This month I had the pleasure – and honour – of spending a morning at the Careers Fair of a local high school talking to final year pupils about my profession. Whether or not you’re also a professional translator I hope you’ll find something of interest in February’s round-up of popular stories about language and translation.
- With February commonly being associated with love, not surprisingly the most popular article I shared listed a dozen pet names in other languages that don’t work quite so well when translated into English.
- February 21st was International Mother Language Day, and UNESCO reiterated its commitment to linguistic diversity as a reminder that linguistic diversity and multilingualism are essential for sustainable development.
- This Economist article looked at the the painful origins of many creole languages, which have often – but not always – evolved from slavery.
- Have you ever tried proofreading your work using text-to-speech? Corinne McKay looked at whether it’s worth a try.
- Did you know the word ‘bulldozer’ has a racist etymology? [discusses language that some may find offensive]
- Do you sign off your emails ‘Best wishes’,’Kind regards’ or neither of the above? BBC 4’s Word Of Mouth discusses the subject.
- Following on from last month’s World Economic Forum in Davos, here are some examples of business jargon that hit raw nerves.
- A recent article in French Elle about ‘souping’ has been widely mocked, and prompted a language debate about France’s tendency to adopt ‘ing’ as a suffix.
- Staying on the subject of food, new research shows people are more likely to eat foods they’re averse to if presented in a foreign language, like calling snails escargot.
- Quiz: Do you know the official language of each of these countries? (starts off easy, but gets harder towards the end!)
- En français : Pourquoi on n’a aucun mal à dire coiffeuse et beaucoup plus à dire professeuse.