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Recent Updates

Buckets and spoons: an etymological tour of death metaphors

The need to translate English into English is more common than you might imagine, where phrases of English are deployed in a foreign language and have taken on an alternative meaning that isn’t appropriate in actual English text. Read More

January 19, 2024 by Alison Tunley

Proofreading prompts — Part I: A vocabulary checklist

One of the benefits of doing regular review work as a translator is that it offers useful reminders of things to watch out for in your own translation tasks. It is always easier to spot errors or stylistic glitches in someone else’s work, so this is a great opportunity to…

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January 12, 2024 by Alison Tunley

Definite articles and personal names

One of the first things I noticed many moons ago when working as an au pair in Germany, was the way the definite article was frequently stuck in front of people’s names “Die Petra …”, “Der Klaus …” etc. With certain regional variations, this definite article plus name formulation crops…

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January 5, 2024 by Alison Tunley

2023 Word of the Year nominations

This blog traditionally closes out the year by offering a round-up of the various dictionary Word of the Year nominations. Arguably the most prestigious WOTY award comes from the Oxford Dictionaries team, and the 2023 selection of rizz flummoxed your blog author so comprehensively that she needed the Christmas holidays…

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December 27, 2023 by Alison Tunley

Sign language and translanguaging among deaf signers

My ever-expanding list of language topics I should know more about has long since had sign language on it, and my interest increased when my middle daughter selected a university credit in British Sign Language as part of her liberal arts degree. So I was primed to notice a recent…

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December 15, 2023 by Alison Tunley

Market forces and minority languages in the Welsh digital landscape

Back in 2018 Rhodri Williams, the outgoing director of Ofcom Wales, warned that the growth of streaming services such as Netflix could have a detrimental impact on original language content aimed at a “geographically-specific audience”. The power of the market means that global players are most interested in content that…

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December 1, 2023 by Alison Tunley

Adoption vs adaption – loanword corruption in the world of Cryptocurrency

Every translator understands that dictionaries have their limits when it comes to selecting the right word. A fascinating example of this cropped up recently in a piece I was working on for a German financial services company. The topic was cryptocurrencies and particularly the evolving technologies in this rapidly changing…

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November 24, 2023 by Alison Tunley

What does “in writing” mean in German and English law?

Words do not have neat one-to-one mappings between languages. You do not need to be a very advanced language learner to be aware of that phenomenon, so it’s surprising how often this seems to trip up the unwitting translator. For example, German legal documents frequently distinguish between Schriftform and Textform,…

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November 17, 2023 by Alison Tunley

Fashion translation will detonate your thesaurus

After another immersion in the world of fashion translation, I have once again emerged in awe of the repetitive and often vacuous nature of fashion marketing texts. Sorry fashion people, but it’s true. Once you get past the basic fact that you are promoting a pair of trousers, a dress,…

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November 10, 2023 by Alison Tunley

Language proficiency and the UK census data

In January, this blog examined language data emerging from the 2021 census in England and Wales showing an ongoing increase in the proportion of residents who do not regard English as their main language. Shortly after this, a suggestion emerged that this population of non-native speakers could be the cause…

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November 3, 2023 by Alison Tunley

Geography as an etymological treasure trove

A few years ago, my eldest daughter and I set ourselves the task of hiking the North Downs Way, a long distance trail which takes walkers from Farnham to Dover via the Surrey Hills and over the Kent Downs. The aim was to do a couple of days at time,…

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Taylor Wessing LLP

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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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