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A Linguistic Nostalgia Trip To The Welsh Language

A Linguistic Nostalgia Trip To The Welsh Language

  Each year as we drive into Wales to visit my parents I marvel at how the landscape genuinely transforms as soon as you cross the border. The moment you leave England the first lumps and bumps rise… Read More

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September 14, 2017

Is Scanlation The Black Sheep Of The Translation Family?

  Scanlation refers to the process where foreign language comics are scanned, translated and then edited to make them available to a wider audience beyond their country of origin. It is most commonly associated with the production of English language versions of Japanese “manga” comics, particularly in the USA. The…

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August 31, 2017

The British Debate Over The Pronunciation Of Scone

  What could be more British than an afternoon cup of tea and a scone with jam and cream? Visitors to Britain need to be aware that this innocent baked item is the source of all sorts of contentious debate: jam or cream first, double cream or clotted, is it…

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August 24, 2017

Are Number Conventions The Same In All Languages?

Any translator working from French or German to English or vice versa will surely have cursed softly under their breath at the different number conventions used in these languages for writing out numbers. Where US and British English use a full stop/period to do the job of marking the decimal…

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August 17, 2017

Difficulties In Learning The Awful German Language

  My recent blog about John Le Carré’s paean to the German language prompted me to revisit the rather contrasting essay by American writer Mark Twain in which he humorously details his almighty tussle with German. His full essay is well worth reading, particularly for students of German, but many…

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August 10, 2017

John Le Carré’s Veneration Of Language Teachers

  This week’s blog post is a shameless exhortation to go and read something else! Specifically a beautiful piece by John le Carré (real name David Cornwell) which was originally delivered as part of this year’s award ceremony for German teachers held at the German embassy in London. The speech…

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August 3, 2017

Herbert Lomas On Being a Literary Translator

    On a friend’s recommendation I recently read The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna, translated from the Finnish by Herbert Lomas. This delightful and hilarious book recounts how a dissatisfied journalist walks away from his job, his wife and his home in Helsinki to care for a…

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July 27, 2017

How Is Film Translation Approached?

Previously in this blog I wrote about the Oscars Best Foreign Language Film and, in particular, the somewhat arcane nomination process for this award. Here I thought I would look more closely at the three main approaches taken by the linguists who make these films accessible to foreign audiences: subtitling,…

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July 20, 2017

Quick Guide to Trump’s Vocabulary

  Leaving all politics aside, this week’s blog attempts a little survey of some of the more interesting linguistic quirks of the current President of the United States of America. Neologisms and other unusual choices Trump’s now infamous “Covfefe”, which caused a near internet meltdown for 24 hours, may have…

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July 13, 2017

An Entertaining Tour Through French Cycling Terms

On the 1st of July the 104th edition of the Tour de France got underway and British cycling fans are already refreshing their knowledge of French from the comfort of their sofas. This year the riders will cover approximately 3500 km during the race, an average of 167 km per…

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July 6, 2017

7 Tennis Terms to Make You Feel Like a Connoisseur

Wimbledon fortnight sees Britain in the annual grip of an all-consuming tennis obsession. So this week’s blog takes a look at some of the quirkiest tennis terms and explores their etymological origins: Deuce The first word on our list of tennis terms is borrowed from the game of real tennis and…

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