Around the web – June 2021

I’ve been working with a new office buddy this month, but what about you, do you work alone or with company? Anyway here are the most popular news articles, blog posts, and stories about language and translation for June.

The winner of the2021 International Booker Prize At Night All Blood Is Black is about a Senegalese soldier fighting for France in World War I (Credit: Corbis via Getty Images)

Fifty Sounds by Polly Barton recounts her experiences in Japan (Picture: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images)

The new Quebec language reform bill may boost demand for Canadian French translation

There are a million different ways to be bilingual
(Gerd Altmann/Pixabay, CC BY-SA)

A Sateré-Mawé leader gathers caferana, a native plant of the Amazon rainforest used as a medicinal herb (Photograph: Ricardo Oliveira/AFP/Getty)

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Around the web – May 2021

Here are May’s news articles, blog posts, and stories about language and translation.

  • Advocacy group Red T – along with many other organisations such as FIT, AIIC, ITI, and SFT – sent an open letter to the NATO Secretary General asking that evacuation plans be implemented for the latter’s locally engaged Afghan interpreters
  • How did “woke” become a slur? Its word history is complex

The complex history of the polarizing buzzword. (Photo Credit: @iheartcreative via Twenty20)

Some languages slice up the messy reality of life differently from your own

Hit or miss

When people share a space, their collective experience can sprout its own vocabulary, known as a familect.

Bodice: the word that launched a thousand romance novel covers

Homer has been given a fresh reading. (Photograph: De Agostini/Getty Images)

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Around the web – April 2021

Did you know that April is the month that the UN celebrates Language Days for three of its six official languages: Chinese, Spanish and English. Anyway, here are more of the month’s news articles, blog posts, and stories about translation and language.

Many words that define human beings by their crimes and punishments are dehumanizing

Shining a light on CPD (image by Colin Behrens)

A British-style, three-letter word for a vaccination shot has proved irksome to many Americans (Illustration: James Yang)

Your kid’s slang isn’t as bad as you think. New research indicates it can have learning benefits for children. (Photograph by SDI Productions/Getty Images)

“I cannot detach my name from people laughing at me, calling me a bitch, letting me know that I’m the punch line of my own joke” (Illustration by Nhung Lê)

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Around the web – March 2021

The month of March is chock-a-block with special days: the Ides of MarchInternational Francophonie Day, St Patrick’s Day, St David’s Day, the vernal/autumnal equinox, Pi Day, and this year the Hindu festival of Holi also fell in March. Anyway here are some more of this month’s articles and stories about language and translation.

March 14 is a day when people like to indulge in pie

Do you know what a “propaganda-condom” is?

Women use emojis more than men and generally understand their meanings better, researchers say. (Illustration: Max Benwell)

      • Lastly, another news story that dominated the last week of March was the supertanker stuck in the Suez Canal. Here’s a look at what the “Suez Canal” is called in various European and Middle Eastern languages

 

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Around the web – February 2021

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.

What are the skills that differentiate the world’s best translators?

There are very few opportunities in life to have it both ways; semicolons are the rare instance in which you can.

Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Lent: what do they all mean?

  • 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.

Facebook has apologised after censoring a discussion of a traditional Black Country dish

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Around the Web – January 2021

Here are January’s most popular news stories and blog articles about language and translation.

(Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay)

  • Tim Gutteridge was interviewed by BookBlast® Diary about why he decided to get into literary translation, and the similarities and differences between literary and non-literary translation.
  • Lynne Murphy took a look at the different things that “fudge” and “leave” mean to speakers of US and UK English

Classic (British) fudge

Tom Roa has already translated “Alice in Wonderland” and hopes to finish “The Hobbit” in a year.

This cake is moist, not damp. (Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

The fabulous aliases of the woodlouse revealed

 

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Around the Web – December 2020

Here are December‘s most popular news stories and blog articles about language and translation.

French actresses who collaborated on the book “Noire n’est pas mon metier” (Black is not my job) pose at the 71st Cannes Film Festival in 2018.

  • Which words did readers of Lynne Murphy’s Separated by a Common Language blog designate as the 2020 US-to-UK and UK-to-US words of the year?
  • The Nazis eliminated Jewish names from the German spelling alphabet. Now the names are to return, at least symbolically

Could you spell that please? The phonetic alphabet makes it easier

  • Is the expression ‘Just Deserts’ or ‘Just Desserts’? And what does it mean?

‘Just desserts’ is popular, but it’s not right

When was writing invented?

Elsewhere on the blog:

Most popular tweets of 2020

Here, in ascending order, are the ten most popular* tweets about language and translation that I shared during 2020 on my @Smart_Translate Twitter account:

10. Beauty & Violence: Sophie Hughes on translating Fernanda Melchor’s Hurricane Season

9.  Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales have been published in Scots, translated by writers including Val McDermid

8.  The meaning of ‘Just Deserts/Just Desserts’

7.  Un lexique éclectique de Le Monde diplomatique qui collectionne des problèmes dont la solution n’est pas mentionnée dans les dictionnaires usuels

6.  What does ‘Zhuzh’ mean (and why is it so hard to spell)?

5. On pourrait croire qu’il est facile de traduire l’un des incipits les plus connus de la littérature française, « Aujourd’hui, maman est morte »

4. Cameroon’s language barriers: Linguistic divides underpin conflict and poor translation is now hampering the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic

3. Eastern Parlance: delightful Asian words with no straightforward English equivalent

2. Les leçons linguistiques de la crise du coronavirus

  1. And the winning tweet: Cambridge Words Dictionary has announced its Word of the Year for 2020

Interestingly three of the tweets are in French (which is a higher proportion than the number of tweets I send in French), two of them being from Slate France. And of the seven others, two are from the Grammar Girl blog.

Do you have a favourite article published in 2020 that you’d like to share? Don’t hesitate to mention it in the comments below.

* ‘most popular’ = top tweets (most engagement & impressions) according to Twitter Analytics.

Related:

Around the web – November 2020

Here are November‘s most popular news stories and blog articles about language and translation.

There are parallels between the two processes—as Charles Darwin saw

American Presidents helped certain words join everyday vocabulary

Do you know your panification from your proofing?

The Afternoon Meal (La Merienda) by Luis Meléndez, c. 1772 (Metropolitan Museum Of Art, The Jack And Belle Linsky Collection, 1982 // Public Domain)

P.S. Do check out the 2020 Freelance translator survey that Inbox Translation has just published. It’s very detailed and packed with everything from rates and professional development to information about pets and dreams!

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