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Similarities and differences between English and French

By |September 27th, 2010|

The French and English languages share many linguistic similitudes, despite having such different origins. French comes from the Indo-European family of languages and forms part of the Romance languages along with other languages such as Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Catalan amongst many others. On the other hand, England having been invaded by Germanic Tribes in the early 5th century,  the Germanic language, ‘Angles’ was strongly imposed.  Therefore, one wonders about the close connection shared between these two languages of different motherlands.

This phenomenon came about during the time of the Norman invasion of Britain in the 11th century. This is when the […]

Car Names – Translated

By |September 23rd, 2010|

There is a theory that the Japanese prefer to buy cars with names that sound “foreign”. Therefore, many Japanese car producers launch cars with very weird names. Unfortunately, the marketing managers often do not check the meaning of these terms. This lack of wisdom often leads to funny and sometimes unpleasant results. The following are some examples:

Fiat Uno – In Finland sounds this word like “Uuno“ – which means a dork.

Ford Pinto – Means in South America bandit, dastard, or drunk.

Ford Probe – In Germany, “Probe” means sample, test, trial.. A trial car?!

Lada Nova – This is a not really […]

Spanish Tongue Twisters

By |September 22nd, 2010|

Here are some Spanish tongue twisters. I hope you enjoy them! Even though they don’t make any sense in English…
¿Cómo quieres que te quiera
si el que quiero que me quiera
no me quiere como quiero que me quiera?
(How do you want me to love you, if the one I love doesn’t love me like I want.)
El cielo está enladrillado,
¿quién lo desenladrillará?
El desenladrillador
que lo desenladrille,
buen desenladrillador será.
(The sky has cobble-stones, who will uncobble it? The cobble-stone man who uncobbles it, a good cobble-stone man will be.)
El perro de San Roque
no tiene rabo
porque Ramón Ramírez
se lo ha cortado.
(San Roque’s dog doesn’t have a […]

Tips on improving your Welsh

By |September 21st, 2010|

Lots of people know some Welsh or have some contact with the language. And many people want to feel a little more confident about their ability in Welsh. So if you fancy improving your Welsh without going on a full-blown course, here are some tips on improving your Welsh (or ‘cynghorion’ as we’d say).

Radio Cymru in the car, in the house – probably the simplest and least painful way of improving your language skills. And this works for beginners where the emphasis would be on pronunciation as well as for the more advanced in hearing the words currently in vogue […]

Business Customs in Korea

By |September 17th, 2010|

Gyungbokung Palace in South KoreaThe correct way of speaking to a client or business partner is not the same in every country. Misunderstandings can lead to an unsuccessful business meeting or even the cancellation of a contract.

A simple way to prevent such misunderstandings is to learn about the culture in a particular country. In today´s article Jean Sim, a Korean translator, explains the practices used in business in Korea.

Business begins with the exchanging of business cards.

Bowing to each other is a way of greeting, not hugging.

Touching – for example petting the back and wrapping an arm around a shoulder […]

Slovak Language Tongue Twisters – „Jazykolamy“

By |September 16th, 2010|

Last week we said that tongue twisters are good practice for pronunciation and articulation and I promised you some Slovak language tongue twisters, but first I probably should tell you something about the Slovak Republic, also known as Slovakia. Incidentally, if you are looking for any Slovak translation services, let us know.

Slovakia is a member state of the Europe Union and bordered by the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and Austria. Until 1993, the Slovak Republic was joined with the Czech Republic and these countries were known as Czechoslovakia. Slovakia today has a population of over five million people and […]

Everybody knows a little bit of Spanish Language!

By |September 15th, 2010|

If you are familiar with the term “Latin Lover”, you may not be surprised to know that the Spanish language is called a Romance language. But the romance we are talking about here is not exactly the Latin Lover type – unless you love to learn Latin of course.

The Spanish language is regarded as a Romance language because its origins reside in the Latin of ancient Rome (as well as other languages such as Italian, French, Romanian and Portuguese).

The English language has a lot of words that are very similar to Spanish, because they come from Latin and French roots. […]

Multimedia Localization

By |September 14th, 2010|

Since communication tools have become more sophisticated, the methods used to localize their output have had to change as well. Not so long ago, localization was most often performed in a written form, e.g. product manuals, user guides and training materials, etc. The internet has provided online help, websites and GUI which created a new ubiquitous domain called multimedia. The most common multimedia materials are flash movies, video clips, sound files, and complex graphics which can all be found in e.g. video games, interactive software, Web applications, DVDs or CD-ROMs.

Traditional localization used to […]

CATs who don’t meow: Software for Technical Translations

By |September 13th, 2010|

The acronym CAT is used quite often in the world of technical translations. Despite the way of writing and reading it, this is not related to our furry friends. CAT stands for “Computer Assisted Translation” and is a form of translation where a human being translates texts using computer software designed to support and facilitate the translation process. This is particularly helpful when it comes to technical translations, as the relevant documents often have a high percentage of repetitions.

Most of the CAT software programmes store previous translated source texts and their equivalent target text in a database (Translation Memory – […]

Why English is NOT a Romance Language

By |September 10th, 2010|

Why is English NOT a romance language[hr]

England is surrounded by countries which speak Romance languages. France, Spain, Portugal, Italy all speak languages with roots deeply entrenched in the Latin of the days of the Roman occupation. Even the path of an entire network of Roman cobblestoned roads still runs across the entire country which was occupied by the Romans for four hundred years. So the question is: How come England was not influenced by Latin, but adopted a Germanic language instead? Especially considering that the Welsh still speak Brythonic and kept their native language despite continuous invasions from the […]

German Tongue Twisters

By |September 9th, 2010|

Tongue twisters are not only funny, but also good practice for your pronounction. Actors and other speakers regularly use them in exercises, often before their performance, to improve their articulation and to warm up.

The difficulty is very often not in saying the tongue twister once, but in repeating it a few times consecutively. Tongue twisters consist mainly of malapropisms (words that sound similar) and repetition. But also of personal names and loaned, foreign terms. Some tongue twisters are even in the Guinness Book of Records.

In the German language a tongue twister is called ‘Zungenbrecher’, which means tongue breaker – a […]

Studying a Language Abroad: ERASMUS

By |September 8th, 2010|

The best way to learn a new language is by living abroad for several months or years. Otherwise, it is impossible to speak a language fluently. If you are atudying any language related degree, like language translation, Erasmus programmes are the cheapest and easiest way to improve your language skills.

Do you know the history of the Erasmus programme? Do you know which countries participate and how many students have participated in the Programme to date?

The Erasmus Programme is a European Union student exchange programme and gives you the possibility of doing an exchange period of between 3 months […]

Translation and Interpreting: Two Different Instruments from the Same Family

By |September 7th, 2010|

People who do not deal with translation and interpreting services very often are confused about the translator’s and interpreter’s different roles. The two professions are often erroneously considered as the same, but this is not true: the roles of a translator and interpreter do not always coincide.

Interpreting services differ from translations, as they take place in real time and in the presence (whether physical, televised or telephonic) of the speakers and recipients for whom the interpreter provides the service.

The Importance of Language Translation

By |September 6th, 2010|

If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.
In recent years language translation and interpreting industry has been described using the terms of Globalization, Internationalization, Localization, and Translation. This has lead to the usage of the acronym GILT. According to a 2007 University […]

Romance Languages

By |September 3rd, 2010|

The Romance Languages are a group of closely related vernaculars branching out from the Indo-European language family which derives its roots from Vulgar Latin, an Ancient Italic language.

The major Romance Languages are:


There are more than 800 million native speakers all over the world, spread out mainly in the Americas and Europe.


The resemblance between Romance languages is characterised mainly by their common origin from Vulgar Latin, the popular sociolect of Latin spoken by the lower classes which comprised of soldiers, settlers and merchants of the Roman Empire. It can be differentiated from the Classical form of the language spoken by the […]

The first steps to learning a new language

By |September 2nd, 2010|

Today I will show you the basic material needed in order to start learning a new language.

Flash cards

It is a very easy and efficient way to learn vocabulary. You can buy them or make them yourself on a piece of paper. The trick is to take them with you everywhere you go so that you can study vocabulary whenever you have 30 seconds available.

Language tapes

You will need as many good language tapes as possible. Do not waste money on “miraculous” programs that claim to teach you how to speak a language with 5 or 10 tapes. What you are looking […]

German words used in English

By |September 1st, 2010|

Whilst analysing or comparing one’s own language with a foreign language, many people find it helpful to look for words that are well-known or similar to their own language. This stems from the fact that most languages have evolved from Latin. Latin is the mother of almost all languages worldwide, so it is not surprising that it has left marks on individual words. This article does not deal with Latin roots in English, but with German words applied in English.

It is surprising how many German words are known and used in foreign languages (not only in English), and there are […]