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Linguistic “Inheritance Tracks”

The Saturday Live show on BBC Radio 4 features a slot called “Inheritance Tracks”, in which a guest shares a piece of music they would like to recommend to future generations and a piece they have themselves inherited from… Read More

May 10, 2022 by Alison Tunley

Linguistic “Inheritance Tracks”

The Saturday Live show on BBC Radio 4 features a slot called “Inheritance Tracks”, in which a guest shares a piece of music they would like to recommend to future generations and a piece they have themselves inherited from a previous generation. I think this format would work well for…

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May 4, 2022 by Alison Tunley

Lost job titles and nominalisation: the knocker-upper

During a bleary-eyed start to the day recently, discussion at the breakfast table turned to the pros and cons of different alarm clock devices and the tricks people deploy to ensure they get out of bed rather than remaining under the duvet. This led us on to the now lost…

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April 27, 2022 by Alison Tunley

Speech recognition: Part II Tips for translators

The previous blog describes getting to grips with speech recognition tools for successful dictation. In terms of using speech recognition for translation work, certain types of projects lend themselves more easily to be being handled by a dictation application. The very first project I took on was relatively straightforward from…

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April 22, 2022 by Alison Tunley

Speech recognition: Part I “It’s not that bad!”

This blog is brought to you by speech recognition, which I was finally forced to embrace having fractured my shoulder cycling at our local velodrome. Many years ago I studied acoustic variation in speech for my PhD and did a placement with a speech recognition company. So I knew enough…

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April 12, 2022 by Alison Tunley

By the way (the joy of parentheses)

Let’s face it, getting side-tracked is all too easy. So it’s not surprising that languages have devised syntactic mechanisms of handling linguistic digression without the reader or listener losing the thread entirely. A sentence might begin with a particular topic, dive off into some additional information (which may or may…

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April 5, 2022 by Alison Tunley

Uncountable nouns and tricky plural translations

A little while ago this blog covered my failure to correctly pluralise the noun kohlrabi. I described some of the reasons why I wasn’t particularly happy with the proposed plurals found in the dictionary, but since then I have wondered whether my dissatisfaction with the plural form was because I…

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March 31, 2022 by Alison Tunley

MS Word gets in on the inclusive language act

Most translators will be familiar with Microsoft Word’s spell-checker, and probably its grammar checker too. Many is the time those tools have saved me from submitting a rogue apostrophe or a finger-fumbled typo. In an idle moment, I found myself exploring the Refinements tools also available via the Editor facility.…

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March 22, 2022 by Alison Tunley

Is sound symbolism a uniquely human trait?

This blog recently described a study investigating sound symbolism, in other words non-arbitrary mappings between phonetic properties of speech sounds and their meanings. Researchers described the way people associate the pseudowords “bouba” and “kiki” respectively with rounded and angular shapes. Now another study has tried to establish whether this could…

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March 15, 2022 by Alison Tunley

Linguistic immortality – people who would rather their name was forgotten

Getting your name in the dictionary by having something named after you might seem to be a pretty cool achievement, a way to achieve linguistic immortality. The list of things named after people is extensive. Not surprisingly, many of these items are inventions named after their creator, such as jacuzzi,…

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Maximus Crushing and Screening

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