Around the web – June 2015

This month in an effort to improve my activity level I acquired a small smart watch, and despite doing an hour of sport per day I found I’m still quite far from the recommended 10,000 steps per day. I also signed up for the million miles challenge, whose aim is to get as many translators and interpreters as possible to move!

One of my recent activity reports

One of my recent activity reports

So in keeping with this flurry of activity let’s kick off June’s round-up of articles about language and translation with this post by colleague Nikki Graham:

The Proclaimers. ‘But I would walk 807.7km, and I would walk 807.7km more’ does lack a certain ring to it. (Photograph: Murdo MacLeod)

The Proclaimers. ‘But I would walk 807.7km, and I would walk 807.7km more’ does lack a certain ring to it. (Photograph: Murdo MacLeod)

Do you pronounce this 'expresso' or 'espresso'?

Do you pronounce this beverage ‘expresso’ or ‘espresso’?

Fun:

 

Related articles:

Around the web – May 2015

Every year May sees the nomination and start of voting for Bab.la’s Top 100 Language Lovers competition, with categories for Facebook Pages, Youtube channels, Language learning blogs, Language professional’ blogs and Twitter accounts. I’m honoured to have been nominated for the third year running in the latter category. Results will be announced on June 17th. While we’re waiting, here’s my monthly round-up of articles about translation and language for May.

Native or Non-native… That Is the Question

Native or Non-native… That Is the Question

'Bolt' is one example of a contronym

‘Bolt’ is one example of a contronym

  • 14 illustrations that convey moments which no single English word can describe.
  • We all know too much sitting is bad for you. If you still need convincing this short video explains the hidden perils of spending a lot of time on our derrière.
Are our bodies built for a sedentary existence?

Are our bodies built for a sedentary existence?

Fun:

'To throw a chicken at oneself' is a Chilean expression meaning 'to run away'.

‘To throw a chicken at oneself’ is a Chilean expression meaning ‘to run away’.

What's the hardest word to pronounce in French?

What’s the hardest word to pronounce in French?

 

Related articles:

Around the web – April 2015

April once again saw a multinational (Taco Bell) find out the hard way about the need for professional translation when it launched its Japanese website.  Why do I get a feeling of déjà vu? I hope that won’t be your case with my monthly round-up of articles about language, translation, interpreting and freelancing for the past month.

On Taco Bell's badly translated Japanese website 'Crunchwrap Supreme' became 'Supreme Court Beef'.

On Taco Bell’s badly translated Japanese website ‘Beef Crunchwrap Supreme’ became ‘Supreme Court Beef’.

Did you know Tristan da Cunha is the most world's most remote location of native English speakers?

Did you know Tristan da Cunha is the most world’s most remote location of native English speakers?

Humour & Fun:

  • I’m sure Scheherezade Surià had a lot of fun finding all these great pictures humorously illustrating ‘life as a translator’.
"When you go out you seem to find mistakes and mistranslations everywhere and you can’t avoid pointing them out to the people near you… like in the cinema while enjoying a dubbed or subtitled film".

“When you go out you seem to find mistakes and mistranslations everywhere and you can’t avoid pointing them out to the people near you… like in the cinema while enjoying a dubbed or subtitled film”.

Last but not least, I’ll leave you with this quote from Gunter Grass, who passed away on 13th April.

Gunter Grass quote

Related articles:

Around the web – March 2015

Do you have your own website? I created mine in 2011 when I first became a full-time freelancer, but recently decided it needed a more professional touch, so I contacted a company specialising in websites for translators and I’m delighted with the result, which went live this month. Anyway here’s my round-up of articles about translation and language for the past month.

The words 'Female' and 'Male' seem etymologically related, but aren't.

The words ‘Female’ and ‘Male’ seem etymologically related, but aren’t.

Some French have trouble pronouncing the two 'h's in hedgehog.

Some French speakers have trouble pronouncing the two ‘h’s in hedgehog.

  • In a similar vein, Matador have rounded up the 20 funniest expressions in French, translated them literally into English, and given advice on how to use them.
  • Last but not least and humour aside, do take a look at Christine Durban’s series of 8 blog posts about translation and ‘ruckus making’. I recently blogged about my reaction to one of the posts.

15 Reunion Creole proverbs

Every culture has its own proverbs, and Reunion Creole is no exception – it’s a very colourful language that often makes use of imagery even in simple everyday conversation, so for example if you’re starving you might say Mon léstoma i bat kart (literally ‘my stomach is playing cards’). If something is difficult: La pa in rougay tomat! (‘it’s not a rougail tomate’, the latter being a spicy condiment that is quick and easy to make), and to nitpick is chercher carapate su la peau bèf  (literally ‘look for a tick on cattle skin’).

Here’s a list of fifteen Reunion Creole proverbs with their French and English translations and/or equivalents:

Couler la peau la pas couler lo ker
La couleur de la peau n’est pas la couleur du cœur
You shouldn’t judge people by the colour of their skin

Coq mon voisin grossèr mon marmite
Le coq de mon voisin est la taille de mon marmite/Ce que possède le voisin fait toujours envie
We always want what the neighbours have

Bataille coqs

Kan gro bëf i sharzh, sort dëvan!
Quand le gros bœuf charge, ne reste pas devant
When the boss isn’t happy, watch out.

Bon kari i fé dann vië karay
Le bon carri se fait dans une vieille marmite/C’est dans les vieux pots qu’on fait la bonne soupe
Old pipes give the sweetest smoke

Semaine_cr_ole_002

 

Zorey koshon dann marmit poi
Les oreilles d’un cochon dans une marmite de pois/Faire la sourde oreille
Turn a deaf ear

Semaine_cr_ole_006

 

Bëf dëvan i boir dëlo prop
Le boeuf de devant boit de l’eau propre/Premier arrivé, premier servi
First come, first served

Kass pa la tet la plï i farine, soley va arnir
Ne te casses pas la tête si la pluie bruine, le soleil va revenir/Après la pluie, le beau temps
Every cloud has a silver lining

Entr_e_de_Ste_Anne_paneau

Pakapab lé mor san esséyé
Pas-Capable est mort sans essayer/Qui ne tente rien n’a rien
He who tries nothing has nothing

Kalebass’ amèr’ y suiv’ la racin’
La calebasse amère suit la racine/Tel père tel fils
Like father like son

GEDC0833

La chance lo shein lé pa la chance lo shat
A dog’s chance isn’t a cat’s chance/A chacun sa chance
Everybody gets a chance

Semaine_cr_ole_001

Poul i ponde pas kanard
Une poule ne pond pas un canard/Les chiens ne font pas les chats
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

Semaine_cr_ole_009

Le chien y sent sa queue
Chacun voit midi à sa porte
To each his own

Gro poisson i bek su l’tar
Le plus grand poisson ne mord pas en premier/Une bonne affaire se fait parfois attendre
All good things come to he who waits

Action

Ou va war kel koté brinzel i charge
Tu vas voir de quel côté l’aubergine est chargée/Tu vas voir de quel bois je me chauffe
See the true colours (of someone)

Goni vid i tienbo pa dëbout
Un sac de jute vide ne tient pas debout/Avoir le ventre vide rend faible
This last proverb is one of my favourites, but I haven’t been able to find an English equivalent. It literally means ‘an empty jute bag won’t stand upright’, the idea being that if you’re hungry you’re also tired and won’t be able to do anything properly without eating first (definitely my case!).

By the way did you know the study of proverbs is called paremiology?

The pictures are taken from the blog post in French Reunion’s best Creole proverbs, illustrated by Paul Clodel. As Reunion doesn’t have a set orthography you may notice some spelling differences between the quotes I’ve listed and what is shown in the pictures.

If you have anything to add, please let me know in the comments below.

 

Further reading:

Around the web – February 2015

Have you done any professional outreach recently? For the second year running this month I went to speak about the profession of translator and interpreter to six classes of 13-15 year olds at the Careers Morning at a local junior high school. (You can read here about my account of it last year). And February 25th was Smart Translate’s 21st birthday! Anyway here’s my round-up of articles about language and translation for the past month.

The Long Island home of Liz Elting (cofounder and co-CEO of TransPerfect)

The Long Island home of Liz Elting (cofounder and co-CEO of TransPerfect)

What’s funny in one language isn’t always funny in another.

What’s funny in one language isn’t always funny in another.

Fun:

CNN goes to Hong Kong which In fact, appears to be the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, which as of this writing is fortunately not under attack by giant killer hornets.

CNN goes to Hong Kong which In fact, appears to be the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, which as of this writing is fortunately not under attack by giant killer hornets.

Related articles:

Around the web – January 2015

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).
Ebola is just the tip of the iceberg.

Ebola is just the tip of the iceberg.

  • 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.
 'The Welsh language has a unique character which reminds me of the country’s landscapes and history' - Elan valley, Powys in Wales. Photograph: Alamy

‘The Welsh language has a unique character which reminds me of the country’s landscapes and history’ – Elan valley, Powys in Wales. Photograph: Alamy

New York Times Crossword, May 29, 2014 Copyright ©2014 "The New York Times Company." Reprinted by Permission.

NY Times Crossword, May 29, 2014
Copyright ©2014 “The NY Times Company.” Reprinted by permission.

Fun

  • 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.
Barcelona Appt

Here the English (which is itself not very well translated from the Spanish) term ‘take care’ has been translated into French with the meaning of ‘be careful’ (méfiez-vous) instead of ‘take good care of’ …

 

Have I missed anything? Drop me a line in the comments below.

Related articles:

Around the web – December 2014

December 2014 is the month that saw me become an IQC-certified translator! IQC is certification based on essential requirements for the translation profession as well as ITT standard 11:2011 with reference to EN 15038. Anyway here’s my round-up of articles about translation and language for December.

( Illustration: Matt Blease for The Guardian)

( Illustration: Matt Blease for The Guardian)

from K. Hendzel's article on Why Translators are Promoting Premium Markets

from K. Hendzel’s article on Why Translators are Promoting Premium Markets

 

Related articles:

Around the web – November 2014

Most people know that November comes from the Latin word novem meaning nine, as it was the 9th month in the Roman calendar, but did you also know that the Anglo-Saxons called it the ‘wind monath‘, because it was the time when cold winds began to blow? They also called it ‘blot monath‘ because it was when cattle were slaughtered for winter food [*]. In my part of the world November is the start of summer … and cyclone season. Anyway here’s my monthly round-up of articles about language and translation:

Dublin: a scene of devastation during the 1916 Easter Rising

Dublin: a scene of devastation during the 1916 Easter Rising 

italian-hand-gesture

via Alessandra Vita

  • The translation industry’s major business news of the month was that Lionbridge is in the process of acquiring CLS Communication.
  • Here are 11 tips from colleague Nicole Adams for new freelance translators on the hunt for their first assignments.
  • This is what happens when no one proofreads an academic paper properly …
An overly honest citation slips into a peer-reviewed journal

An overly honest citation slips into a peer-reviewed journal

  • Can you tell if someone is British or North American just from the description in their Twitter profile? Apparently so, says Lynne Murphy.
  • Cultural differences: here are very different ways people give feedback and criticism in 12 different countries around the world.
Screen Shot 2014-12-02 at 10.35.54

How do people criticise around the world?

  • This freelancer listed 10 things she doesn’t miss about being employed.
  • Finally, not news, but if you’d like to participate in an online survey about the sociological aspects of translation as part of a PhD thesis follow this link.

On a personal note, I was delighted that my travel blog reached 100 000 views!

Related articles:

Around the web – October 2014

Did you know October is International Creole Month? October 28th in particular is celebrated as International Creole Day, also known as Bannzil Kreyol Day. (For more about Creole see these blog posts I’ve written, or read this Global Voices article to learn more about International Creole Month). On a more personal note on October 8th I reached the milestone of 3000 followers on Twitter! Creole and Twitter aside, here’s my monthly round-up of articles about translation and language:

Circles

Client circles (source: Nikki Graham)

Wishing 'Happy New Year' for the whole of January is one custom that can confuse non-French.

Wishing ‘Happy New Year’ for the whole of January is one custom that can confuse non-French.

  • Here‘s a list of 15 words that are more interesting than they seem.
  • This Welsh translation error brings a smile, but it’s yet another example of companies who should know better not using a professional translator.
Free erections anyone?

Free erections anyone?

Fun:

  • Non-Brits can test their knowledge of British English here, and there’s also a US quiz for English speakers outside of North America.

In French:

Les interpretes Pascale Baldauf,  Ewa Pawlikowska & Michel Zlotowski  (© Radio France - 2014 / Julie Bonnemoy)

Les interprètes Pascale Baldauf,
Ewa Pawlikowska &
Michel Zlotowski
(© Radio France – 2014 / Julie Bonnemoy)

  • La retraite du traducteur – êtes-vous trop jeune pour y penser ? Collègue Gaelle Gagné nous livre son point de vue.

Related articles: