February 21st was International Mother Language Day, and February 25th saw me celebrate 27 years since I created the company that would later become Smart Translate! Anywhere, here are this month’s most popular articles and stories about translation and language.
- How do you define what a professional translator is? A recent court case in Poland – involving a translation agency and an author who realised most of his book “translation” was PEMT – led judges to attempt a definition.
- In this article, Nataly Kelly says linguistic skills are merely the entry point for translators, and that people skills are what make the world’s best translators stand out from the pack.
- The International Conference on Linguistics Communication (
#LingComm21) will take place online 19-23 April. Speakers will include Lane Greene, Ben Zimmer, Mignon Fogarty, Gretchen McCulloch …
- In news that will come as no surprise to any professional translator, researchers have claimed (or should that be “discovered”?) that AI-translated text is less ‘lexically’ rich than human translations.
- And letting AI make judgement calls about what it deems “bad language” can lead to unintended consequences …
- In this New York Times article, writer Lauren Oler makes the case for semicolons; what do you think?
- Following a scandal down under after government coronavirus advice was poorly translated, some Australian artists have decided to reimagine the messaging.
- Staying with the pandemic, a linguist has compiled a list of 1200 new Covid-inspired German words
- February is generally synonymous with Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday (pancakes!), Ash Wednesday, and the start of Lent, but what are all these terms, and where do they come from?
- If you’re a translator and on Facebook you may well have come across (or be one of the 4200 members of) the “Foodie Translators” group. Here colleague Claire Cox talks about how it’s helping us get through the pandemic.
- More about food: have you ever wondered what a pie chart is called in other languages?
- Finally, and still on the subject of food (!): why context is everything. Facebook recently censored a chat about a Black Country local dish, mistaking “faggot” (a type of meatball) for a homophobic slur.
Elsewhere on the blog: