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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

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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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June 29, 2017

What’s behind the Icelandic translation of Dracula?

  Translation always involves something of a tussle between remaining loyal to the original text and creating something new, which reads as if it was originally written in the target language. Never more so than for literary translation where the end product must be a work of the greatest creativity.…

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May 31, 2017

Translating recipes – Part 3

In the last of my three blog posts on translating recipes, I tackle the vexed issue of quantities and measurements and then the more delightful experience of culinary exploration. Quantities Even countries which share a common language offer a baffling array of kitchen measuring methods. Younger British cooks who are…

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May 24, 2017

Translating recipes – Part 2

Following on from my last blog post looking at the challenges of converting the ingredients used in a foreign recipe into your target language, here I’ll be discussing some of the other issues that arise especially when it comes to availability and different cooking traditions. Ready made products A tricky…

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May 17, 2017

Translating recipes and related cultural issues

Recently I have done several projects which involved translating recipes. On the face of it this seems like a simple task: take the list of ingredients and convert into the target language; then simply do the same for the recipe method. Recipes tend to be very well structured, written in…

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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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