Around the web – February 2023

Here’s your February 2023 round-up of news, articles, and blog posts about language, translation and interpreting.

Standing out from the crowd

Lots of genuine etymologies are fascinating and entertaining

Sleep has a more powerful role in language-learning than was previously thought.

Illustration of Roman couple with Latin speech bubbles next to their heads

Instead of transitioning between Latin and English, spoken Latin keeps the cognition all in one language.

Large rock with printed words 'Yr Wyddfa' and 'Snowdon' printed on it

The Welsh name Yr Wyddfa is now used for the mountain instead of Snowdon by the national park authority

On a final note, if you haven’t already done so, do take a few minutes to answer both these surveys:

Further reading on the blog:

Around the web – March 2022

Unsurprisingly, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine occurring late February, the March 2022 round-up has a number of language and translation-related articles, blog posts, and stories about the war.

The US Interior Department is looking to rename 660 federal sites that use an offensive term

Fantasy awards, among others, rarely ever feature a work of long-form or short-form fiction originally written in another language or translated into English

It’s said that if you find a four-leaf clover, it will bring you good luck

In other news, I was honoured to be featured in the “Meet our members” section of ITI’s FrenchNet newsletter: you can see the interview here. At the beginning of March I enjoyed participating in a careers event at a local high school with a class of penultimate year pupils. And I’ve also signed up for the BP22 conference in Lisbon: will I see you there?

Elsewhere on the blog:

Around the web – December 2021 & January 2022

I was away at the end of December and for part of January, so I’ve decided to do a combined post with the most popular news articles, blog posts, and stories about translation, interpreting and language for both months.

  • Struggling for credit where credit is due: more visibility is needed when it comes to crediting translators
  • Mona Kareem: “What poets who are not translators fail to understand is that it is exactly ‘style, tone, and content’ that makes or breaks a translator”
  • In this Ted Talk, The Language Game, former UN chief interpreter Ewandro Magalhaes explores how interpreters connect the world:

A slab on display at the Acropolis Museum in Athens shows decrees written in the Greek alphabet around 446 B.C. (Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group/Getty Images)

On a personal level, in December I was delighted to see my status as a court-appointed sworn translator renewed for another five years!

Elsewhere on the blog

Around the web – July 2021

Here are the most popular news articles, blog posts, and stories about language, interpreting and translation for July 2021.

(photo by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay)

The Tokyo Olympics is on. Can you outrun the jargon?

The letters and symbols of the Rosetta Stone helped scholars crack the code of an ancient Egyptian writing system


The cookbook contained decadent recipes—such as rich chocolate soup—that weren’t traditional fare


Elsewhere on the blog

Around the web – September 2020

Here are September’s most popular news stories and blog articles about translation, interpreting, and language.

  • Ahead of International Translation Day, Zingword took a look at all the ways translators and translator organisations raise translator visibility

2020 has seen a number of changes forced upon the language profession

  • Not only was September 30th International Translation Day, but the whole of September was World Kid Lit Month. In this article Publisher’s Weekly spoke with 10 acclaimed translators about the unique challenges and rewards of adapting international children’s books for English-speaking readers

World Kit Lit Month was established in 2016

Barbe à papa, chauve-souris & poule mouillée

From bathtub gin to the blind pig

  • This month’s incredible-but-true language story is a sign of the times 2020: a Spanish local politician hid behind his face mask to pretend he spoke perfect English


See also:

Around the web – May 2020

Do you know how the month of May got its name? It may (pun intended) seem a simple word, but the origin is actually fairly complex and interesting. We could say the same about several articles listed here in the May 2020 round-up of this month’s most popular stories about language, translation and interpreting.

was Maia a Greek or Roman goddess?

Off-colour and on the mend

Esther Kim interviews the translator of “Friend”, Immanuel Kim

#ThatTranslatorCanCook week 41: Sausage Rougail


Further reading:

Language podcasts

[Updated October 2022]

A recent request from a colleague on Facebook looking for interesting podcasts to listen to got me compiling the following list. I’ve listed podcasts that are about language, translation and/or interpreting, but none about language learning (there are plenty out there if that’s what you’re looking for). Depending on how much time you have available you might want to listen to all of a podcast’s episodes or just cherrypick here and there. The list is in alphabetical order and, with two exceptions, only includes podcasts in English. Podcasts in italics are now defunct/have stopped producing new episodes.

  • I have a soft spot for The Allusionist – subjects are very varied and I like Helen Zaltzmans’ take on things
  • Because Language is a lengthy monthly podcast from Australia about linguistics and the science of language, with bonus episodes for paying subscribers. It was previously a weekly show called Talk the Talk for which there’s still an archive of 395 episodes.
  • ATA’s French Language Division has a Continuing Education Series podcast (uses a mixture of French and English)
  • Globally Speaking by Renato Beninatto and Michael W. Stevens is a podcast by and for localisation professionals
  • Grammar Girl with Mignon Fogarty and the occasional guest: more than 700 short episodes
  • Listen to Wordbee’s International Buzz for a podcast about international business, localisation, global marketing, and more. Yours truly recorded an episode on Creoles. Now renamed L10N Radio
  • LangFM by Alexander Drechsel tells the stories of interesting people from the world of language
  • Marketing Tips for Translators by Tess Whitty has led to a book: The Ultimate Collection of Tips from the podcast
  • Meet the Translator: using an interview format Dot Roberts delves into different areas of translation and learns more about colleagues each month
  • Rough Translation by NPR takes a look at how things are being talked about elsewhere in the world
  • Smart Habits for Translators by Veronika Demichelis and Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo is a holistic look at working in the translation profession and the lifestyle and challenges that go with it
  • Speaking of Translation is hosted by Eve Bodeux and Corinne McKay
  • Subtitle is a podcast by about languages and the people who speak them, hosted by Patrick Cox and Kavita Pillay
  • In 2018 publisher Vagabond Voices ran 7 episodes of the podcast Think in Translation
  • Translation Confessional by Rafa Lombardino explores the aspects of a career in translation that aren’t often or openly talked about
  • Billed as a talk show for translators, Translators on Air (formerly known as ‘Blabbing Translators’) ran until 2018 with 71 episodes, many of which are also available on Youtube
  • In 2010 the University Oxford did a four-part podcast on translation called What is Translation? that is still available
  • Word Bomb by Canadian broadcaster TVO unpacks one explosive word per week
  • BBC Radio 4’s Word of Mouth explores the world of words and the ways in which we use them
  • NPR‘s World in Words talked about society and culture through the prism of language. One of its hosts, Patrick Cox, now produces the Linguistic Society of America-sponsored podcast Subtitle
  • The Worldly Marketer is a podcast from Toronto about localisation, bringing insider perspectives about growing a business in a global marketplace

Other language podcasts*:

  • Accentricity: “every voice is valid” is the leitmotiv of this podcast by Sadie Ryan about accents
  • ATA also has a more general podcast
  • The History of English is a chronological history of the English language examined through the lens of historical events that shaped the development and spread of the language
  • In Another Voice is a podcast about poets we might not have heard of, and their poetry in translation.
  • Language Chats is “a podcast for language-lovers in Australia and beyond”
  • Lexicon Valley is hosted by linguist John McWhorter
  • Lingthusiam by Gretchen McCulloch and Lauren Gawne is enthusiastic about linguistics
  • Parliamo di traduzione a podcast in Italian by Natalia Bertelli, Martina Abagnale and Eleonora Cadelli.
  • Source2Target is a podcast for new and prospective translators
  • Standing on Points is a cultural history of punctuation by Florence Hazrat
  • Three Percent podcasts is a weekly(ish) conversation about new books, the publishing scene, international literature in translation, and many other random rants and raves
  • Caroline Alberoni hosts the TradTalk podcast (mainly in Portuguese)
  • Troublesome Terps is subtitled “The podcast about things that keep interpreters up at night”. Also by Alexander Drechsel along with his  fellow interpreters Sarah Hickey, Jonathan Downie, and Alexander Gansmeier as well as the occasional guest
  • Vistatalks is a language industry podcast by Vistatec. It focuses on interesting discussions with interesting people from around the world
  • Long-running A Way With Words looks at language through family, history, and culture
  • Word Matters by the editors of American dictionary Merriam-Webster is billed as a podcast for “readers, writers, and anyone who ever loved their English class”

*podcasts that I don’t, occasionally, or no longer listen to, mainly due to lack of time!

Further reading:

What language-related podcasts do you listen to? Let me know in the comments!

Around the web – November 2019

Here’s your round-up of the penultimate month of the year’s most popular stories about language, translation and interpreting.

It is hard to tackle a problem you are afraid to name.

In 2019, dozens of emojis showed up in legal cases.

Icelander Kristjan Asgeirsson lost $68,000 in an online scam. The people of Iceland are no longer protected from online fraud because of their linguistic isolation.

What does “milkshaking” refer to?

Further reading:

Around the web – October 2019

October 10th marked a minor milestone for me, as I celebrated the 10th birthday of my Twitter account. Partly based on results from my Twitter feed, here’s your monthly round-up of October’s most popular stories about language, translation and interpreting.

A collection of Native American utensils and weapons. (source: Getty)

The polarisation of politics has led to a new lexicon of insults

Going greener in your office

Could Brexit translate into a comeback for the French language?

Further reading:

Around the web – July & August 2019

If you need to catch up with news about translation, interpreting, and language because you’ve been away over the holiday period, here’s a round-up of the most popular stories that you might have missed during July and August.

Parenting experiences of translators

Netlfix headquarters building in Silicon Valley

Try adding ‘only’ to various places in the line: “I found the eggs in the first shed”.

It’s a linguistic battlefield out there


On a sad note, in mid-August well-respected colleague Valerij Tomarenko died while hill-walking on the Scottish island of Arran. Heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

Further reading: