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This week’s blog explores pseudo-anglicisms, words that take lexical elements from English to create a neologism that is unknown in English or used with a different meaning. These could be described as a special subcategory of false friends. They appear… Read More

September 21, 2021 by Alison Tunley

The relevance of Latin to contemporary students

According to a survey by the British Council, Latin is only taught at key stage 3 in 2.7% of the UK’s state schools compared to 49% of independent schools. Does it matter? The UK government thinks it does and has launched the Latin Excellence Programme to “level up opportunities for…

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September 14, 2021 by Alison Tunley

Lorem ipsum, the origins of the classic placeholder

Translators regularly come across errors, omissions and other indications of documents that are works in progress in the source language. My favourite is when I discover a chunk of Lorem ipsum, the classic placeholder or filler text, which the author has forgotten to replace with the desired final wording. This…

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September 7, 2021 by Alison Tunley

Talent for slang: the Australian communication

The Australian's talent for slang was highlighted recently in a tweet by Oliver Burkeman, who declared “Today I learned of the Australian COVID-era abbreviations ‘quazza’ and ‘locky d’. It’s like some kind of compulsion with you guys, isn’t it?” The replies quickly pointed out other Aussie Covid slang such as…

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August 31, 2021 by Alison Tunley

Untranslatable words and positive psychology

If you are in search of some idle online linguistic browsing guaranteed to boost morale, take a deep dive into the magnificent “positive lexicography” project curated by Dr Tim Lomas. This is a collection of untranslatable words related specifically to wellbeing, highlighting the relationship between untranslatable words and positive psychology.…

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August 24, 2021 by Alison Tunley

Innocent until proven guilty: how language may be affecting verdicts in Scotland

BBC’s Law in Action programme recently described an interesting linguistic quirk in Scottish law, which is currently under scrutiny. Under Scots law, jury trials can issue one of three verdicts; the defendant can be convicted (found “guilty”), or alternatively they can be acquitted in one of two ways (“not guilty”,…

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August 17, 2021 by Alison Tunley

Celtic influences on English: rather limited?

Such are the vagaries of the Twitter algorithm you can never quite be sure what will pop up on your timeline. Sometimes it successfully manages to supply you with content that genuinely piques your interest and so it was that a tweet by the Northern Ireland Minister of Justice Naomi…

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August 10, 2021 by Alison Tunley

Old English and Frisian, … and a brown cow

While digging into a bit of historical linguistics, I was reminded of the fact that Frisian is English’s closest relative on the continent, with Scots staking a claim to a similarly close kinship within the British Isles (assuming you are prepared to classify Scots as a language in its own…

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August 3, 2021 by Alison Tunley

Graffiti grammar vigilantes on the streets

This blog has delighted in linguistic pedantry before, but the bar has been set to a whole new height by a group in Quito, Ecuador who go out correcting the punctuation and grammar they find in graffiti around the city. Meet the graffiti grammar vigilantes. [caption id="attachment_161491" align="alignleft" width="300"] graffiti…

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July 27, 2021 by Alison Tunley

A Greek dictionary fit for “translators of filthy comedy”

This blog is partial to a bit of ripe language, as discussed in relation to Emma Byrne’s book Swearing is good for you, and all linguists love a good dictionary, so here we combine these passions with a look at a new English dictionary of ancient Greek. Cambridge University Press…

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July 20, 2021 by Alison Tunley

Brexit impacts the UK language-learning industry

Looming large on the horizon are post-Brexit changes to the UK border regime that you may have forgotten about with the current focus on Covid-19 travel rules. From October 1 this year, new passport and visa regulations come into effect, including the requirement that all EU travellers have a full…

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Taylor Wessing LLP

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American Express

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Maximus Crushing and Screening

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For a company looking into translations, I would highly recommend Rosetta as first pick, as the support and service they provide is first class.

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