Here’s my round-up of articles about translation and language for the first month of the year.
- One of the defining moments of the month was January 7th’s Charlie Hebdo shooting. In this article The Economist talks about the language of blasphemy and ‘dangerous’ words.
- People in Africa die every day because of ‘silly’ mistakes due to misunderstanding. Translation can save lives there (as it can elsewhere).
- A Shropshire court heard that an Italian man spent two nights in a cell for failing to give a breath test because there was no interpreter to explain what to do.
- A former Welsh speaker writes about what it feels like to forget a language you were once fluent in.
- Are the benefits of being bilingual overstated? ‘Is Bilingualism Really an Advantage?’ asks the New York Times.
- A former bodyguard of the Malaysian prime minister has been detained in Queensland after being sentenced to death for the murder of a pregnant translator who had been working on sensitive Malaysian defence contract negotiations.
- One spelling error cost Britain’s Companies House up to £9 million after being sued for ruining a business.
- Aspiring literary translator? Intralingo’s Lisa Carter answers the question how do I find a book to translate?
- ‘Have we already seen the year’s most ridiculous e-mail?’ asks colleague Konstantinos Stardelis.
- Who is the 23-year-old wordsmith behind the hip, new voice of the New York Times crossword puzzle?
- TedTalk volunteer translators shared some of their favorite idioms and how they would translate literally – the results are often very funny.
- Here are 10 idioms only the French understand.
- I spent a few days this month in Barcelona and was amused by the French translation of this sign at the entrance to our flat.
Have I missed anything? Drop me a line in the comments below.