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Quick Guide to Trump's Vocabulary

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… Read More

May 3, 2017

Translating Miffy: the life of Patricia Crampton

  The death of Dick Bruna, the creator of Miffy, in February this year was widely reported. Obituaries dedicated to the Dutch illustrator and author appeared all around the globe, underlining the truly international appeal of his most beloved creation. Less widely reported was the death of the award-winning and…

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April 26, 2017

British maths teachers turn to Chinese translation for inspiration

  Chinese school students regularly top the world rankings for their performance in mathematics. So perhaps it is not surprising that the publishing company Harper Collins is looking to Chinese maths textbooks for inspiration. In a deal with the Shanghai Century Publishing Group, the education division at Harper Collins have…

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April 19, 2017

The Oxfors comma Court case

  “For want of a comma, we have this case.” David Barron, Boston federal appeals judge   Grammarians, punctuation pedants, eagle-eyed copy editors and other language enthusiasts took enormous delight in the recent US court ruling, in which a group of dairy delivery drivers were awarded millions of dollars owed…

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April 12, 2017

The language of the marathon

This blog post is shamelessly influenced by your blogger’s obsession with running! April is the month when Londoners and Bostonians turn out in their droves for two of the finest city marathons. And this year I will be attempting to run both, a total of 52.4 miles with just six…

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March 9, 2017

Are modern languages an endangered species in British schools?

Learning of languages in the UK is slowly dying out. That is the stark warning from an investigative article in the TES published in January this year. Since the Labour government made foreign language learning optional at GCSE from 2005, the number of students choosing languages has fallen drastically. What’s…

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March 2, 2017

Can dialectal prejudice contribute to miscarriages of justice?

  Can prejudice against a dialect potentially influence decisions made in the criminal justice system? That is the question at the heart of a fascinating paper by John Rickford and Sharese King published in Language: A Journal of the American Linguistic Society. The paper investigates whether a jury’s attitude towards…

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February 23, 2017

The Oscars – Best Foreign Language Films for 2017

Excitement is mounting in the film industry at the prospect of the annual Oscars ceremony on February 26th and there is one award category in particular which will be of interest to those working in translation: the Best Foreign Film award. To be eligible for the award each film must…

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February 15, 2017

Marks and Spencer Hits Translation Obstacle in Mid Wales

I spent Christmas in my home town of Aberystwyth in Wales and this gave me a chance to indulge in one of my favourite pastimes, flicking through my parents’ back copies of the local newspaper The Cambrian News. Regional newspapers are always a delight for the London escapee with the…

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February 8, 2017

Are Native Speakers at a Disadvantage in a Global Market?

We naturally assume that being a native speaker brings advantages in terms of being able to communicate clearly. Native English speakers, in particular, often feel that their prowess in a global language gives them a straightforward channel of communication to business colleagues all around the world. But a recent conversation…

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February 1, 2017

Do You Speak Footballese?

The winter months offer rich pickings for the armchair football fan with fixtures coming thick and fast and club chairmen (they are generally men) hitting the panic button and firing their managers in the hope of turning their seasons round. At the time of writing four Premier League managers have…

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