Here’s your monthly round-up of articles and stories about language and translation for July 2020.
- How media use of language when talking about domestic violence denies the existence of a pattern.
- Literary translator Saudamini Deo was interviewed about forgotten Hindi authors whose work can now be read by English speakers for the first time.
- How are Britain’s small presses translating Norwegian literature?
- Cambridge Words’ blog asked whether idioms that use ‘black’ and ‘white’ are offensive. It also looked at words related to light.
- Offensive language: “If obscenities are used they should be spelled out in full,” says The Economist. On a more lighthearted note, the magazine also published a guide to the lingo of dating during a pandemic.
- The racist origins of 7 common phrases. While they are rarely used in their original contexts today, knowing their racist origins casts expressions such as these in a different light.
- Sorry can be more than a mere word when it has real-world consequences.
- A kiss can sometimes be a way of apologising, and July 6th was International Kissing Day. Here are some of the ways of talking about kisses, and where those words come from.
- July 4 and July 14 are national holidays in the USA and France respectively, and both occasions would normally be celebrated with firework displays. What do you know about the language of pyrotechnics?
- 7 wacky words that originated in the USA.
- A new writing system, the Ńdébé Script has been created to address the tonal distinctions and peculiarities of Nigerian languages. You can find out more about it here. (Incidentally, about 70% of the world’s languages incorporate tonal distinctions).
- 5 copywriting tips that also apply to translations.
- Slator reports that online payment portal Stripe found lack of translation was the most common error during checkout in European e-commerce.
- A Welsh medicinal chemistry PhD student at Cardiff University has started creating scientific words that didn’t exist in his native tongue.
- Staying in the UK, there are safety fears over the lack of translated coronavirus advice for resident non-English speakers.
- In this helpful post, colleague Nikki Graham shared 15 of her favourite useful links.
- To wrap up, savour the language of ice cream, and some ‘mixology etymology’: how some well-known cocktails got their names.