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Cockney Rhyming Slang

By |May 31st, 2011|

According to a recent report by the BBC, Cockney is set to move east in the next 30 years, out of London and nearer to the surrounding counties. The London accent is expected to be replaced by one influenced by London’s multicultural population, many of whom are not native speakers of English. Professor Paul Kerswill from Lancaster University carried out the study which shows this move toward Multicultural London English, or ‘Jafaican’, if you prefer the slang term.

Apples and pears – stairs.

So, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some Cockney Rhyming Slang, and I wonder […]

Oy! Owch! Itai!

By |May 30th, 2011|

What do you say when you hurt yourself? It may not have occurred to you that people in different countries say ‘owch’ differently – it’s certainly not the kind of thing teachers tell you when you’re learning foreign languages! I recently came across this excellent list of pain words, which tells you how different countries express themselves when they get hurt.

Here they are:

أخ (Aakh!)

Bahasa Indonesia

哎哟 Aiyo!
哎呀 Aiya!




いたい! (いたっ!いったっ!いったたたっ!いって~)
Itai! (Ita! Itta! Ittatata!)

Ajma! (Ay-ma!)

آخ or واخ (pronounced aakh and vaakh, respectively)




Tagalog (Philippines)

โอ้ย Oy!


Oh baa!

Oh maa!
(Gujarati): Oh baaprey!

So maybe the next time you stub your toe while abroad, you might like to try one […]

Translator of the Week: Eugene Browne

By |May 28th, 2011|

This week’s Translator of the Week is Eugene Browne! Congratulations!

We have only just started working with this translator, but he has impressed us so much already that we knew that this week’s translator of the week couldn’t possibly be anyone else. Eugene helped us out on a large DE>EN translation job after another translator let us down. The deadline was very tight, but he still managed to produce the high-quality work that we’re always looking for. Sometimes you can find the best translators during a crisis, and so every cloud has a silver lining! We hope to create a long-lasting […]

Closure of the Westminster University course in MA in Conference Interpreting

By |May 27th, 2011|

The other day I was lazily browsing through the web, when I stumbled into this news and, although you might know already, I thought that it was important to share this with you. The University of Westminster has decided that, due to the substantial financial cuts affecting the university, this excellent course that has run for almost 50 years will stop running from the next academic year. As the lady who wrote the blog post points out, we are not talking about some obscure and mediocre course, but rather about one of the best ones of its kind in the […]

Xbox Kinect can translate sign language!

By |May 26th, 2011|

Well, the title of this blog doesn’t need much explaining: some programmers from the École Supérieure d’Informatique Électronique Automatique (ESIEA), in Paris, have come up with a clever programme for the Xbox Kinect, which is able to translate sign language.

For those who don’t know, the Kinect is a motion-detecting webcam that allows the Xbox games console to be played with the player’s own bodily movements, rather than a traditional controller. The programme uses this technology to recognise certain body shapes and then displays the corresponding word on-screen.

So far, this project is in the development stages, and can only […]

Professional Translation Services: Reading is not just for learning… but also fun!

By |May 25th, 2011|

G: Once upon a time, in 312BC…

By |May 23rd, 2011|

It is common knowledge that there are generally no “launch dates” for letters of our alphabet. They just evolve. The shapes and sounds develop slowly over a long period of time. The letter G, however, is an exception, making its official debut sometime in 312 B.C, but our story begins earlier than that.

The Phoenicians used a simple graphic form that looked roughly like an upside-down V to represent the consonant ‘g’ sound (as in “go”). They named the form gimel, which was the Phoenician word for camel. Some contend this was because the upside-down V looked like the hump of […]

Translator of the Week-3Translator of the Week-3Translator of the Week-3Translator of the Week-3

By |May 21st, 2011|

The translator of the week is the fabulous Alessandra Russo!

Alessandra is one of our favourite Italian translators, and we wanted to tell everyone how brilliant she is! Alessandra regularly completes large projects for us, and is reliable, accurate and professional, so a joy to work with!

After completing her BA in Modern Languages, Alessandra moved to the UK to do an MA in Translation with Language Technology and Spanish at Swansea University. She has over 6 years’ professional experience translating, and is highly quality-oriented, something we value greatly at Veritas!

Here’s a little about her, from the translator herself:

I have always had […]

Translation Services and the Accademia della Crusca

By |May 20th, 2011|

A few posts ago, Estrella talked about updating languages and the different strategies that different countries adopt to do that. Since she mentioned the Italian institute Accademia della Crusca, I thought it would be interesting to learn a bit more about it and its activities.

First of all, I was very pleased to find out that the Accademia della Crusca boasts a bilingual website, both in English and Italian, although some of the funniest sections have not been translated. Anyway, founded in the second half of the 16th century, the Accademia  was given the name Crusca (‘Chaff’), establishing the use of […]

Translation for children

By |May 19th, 2011|

A translation for children … at first glance it seems simple, right? Well, it’s actually not as easy as it seems. For the translation of children’s stories, like for any other specialized translation, we must adapt the target text to the target audience, preserving its original sense but also making sure that the child can fully feel and enjoy the history, context and meaning of the text.

It is true that the vocabulary and grammar used in children’s literature is usually a lot simpler that that used in more technical texts, such as a medical document for example, but this […]

Document Translation Services: Skopos Theory

By |May 18th, 2011|

Although at first sight it might sound like some kind of exotic disease, skopos is actually an important term in relation to document translation services, as it is the name of a very popular theory in translation studies. Skopos is a word from ancient Greek that boasts more than one meaning, such as ‘purpose’ and ‘aim’. The skopos theory was firstly formulated in the 1970s by Reiss, but Hans Vermeer – a German linguist and translation scholar – is generally considered to be the scholar who fully developed it in the 1980s.

Of course it would be impossible to present a […]

It’s time to vote!

By |May 17th, 2011|

As we told you yesterday, the Veritas blog has been shortlisted in the best 100 Language Professionals Blogs in the WORLD!!! We still can’t believe it!

You can start voting today, and voting lasts up until 29th May. All you have to do is to click on the below link where you will find the list of all the nominated blogs. Select “Veritas; passion for languages” and finally press the button “Vote”.

So if you like our blog, please help us to end up in the top 25! It would […]

Shortlisted in the 100 top language blogs in the WORLD!!!

By |May 16th, 2011|

Great news for our blog! We have recently been nominated as one of the best blogs written ‘by people using languages in their profession, such as translators or interpreters’ by Lexio Philes. We are all very happy, as this highlights that our hard work has been spotted and praised at an international level.

And now? The competition goes on… and you can be part of it. From tomorrow 17th May until 29th May you can vote for your favourite blog for each category:

Language Professionals Blogs (blogs from translators, interpreters etc. on the professional usage of languages)
Language Learning Blogs (blogs about language […]

Public Service Translation and Interpreting

By |May 13th, 2011|

Nowadays there is a growing number of immigrants living in most countries around the world. So our societies are becoming more multicultural and multilingual. This sector of the population, along with tourists, are all users of many public services such as hospitals and police stations.

As a result, new needs have arisen for the integration of these people. They need access to utilities and other rights that they hold as citizens of the country. I won’t try to tackle the issue of integration here. It would be too complex to analyse in such a short space. I’d just like to […]

Beware False French Friends…

By |May 12th, 2011|

I don’t mean false friends of the human variety, thought they should be treated with caution, nor do I mean to imply that the French are untrustworthy. What I am talking about, of course, are actually called false cognates, but are more colloquially referred to as ‘false friends’. These are words in another language which look or sound like an equivalent to an English word, but actually have a completely different meaning. As a student of French and French translation, I have encountered many of these, and I wanted to share some of the worst examples with you, so that […]

Are CAT Tools Useful?

By |May 11th, 2011|

Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools are used by many translators these days, whether for term-base management or translation memories. But there is some debate over the usefulness of these tools, and some translators refuse to use them at all. Why is this? Do they genuinely feel that they don’t aid productivity, or are they afraid of the automation of translation? After all, if translation software ever gets perfected, translators will be out of a job.

So that any bias present in this article can be recognised and read accordingly, I feel that I should state my position. In all honesty, I’m […]

What makes Veritas different?

By |May 10th, 2011|

If you’re not familiar with the translation industry, it can be difficult to know which company to choose. They all claim to be the best, and it’s tough to know how to differentiate between them. Your decision is likely to be based on both quality and cost; you want the highest quality, but many companies seem to charge exorbitant prices for their best services. Why? Because most translation and interpreting companies are run by businesspeople, not translators. This is where Veritas differs from your run-of-the-mill companies. We were founded by translators, and place high emphasis on an understanding of the […]

F: The flawed, filthy fricative

By |May 9th, 2011|

Updating Language

By |May 6th, 2011|

Languages change and evolve continually with the passing of time. Words are constantly added and removed, or even loaned from other languages, or given new meanings. For this reason, dictionaries are never finished, but are a living work which should be updated periodically so that they reflect these changes and the new forms of language which appear.

But, who chooses and updates these words in the official dictionaries of each country? Well, there are countries, like the United Kingdom, where there is nobody who oversees the changes in the English language. In other countries there is an organisation or institution which […]

What is SSE?

By |May 5th, 2011|

Have you ever wondered about sign language? Many of us don’t encounter sign language much in our everyday lives, and so don’t know much about it. Even when we do know somebody who signs, many of us don’t learn more than the basics of signing. Having grown up with deaf grandparents, I have been exposed to BSL (British Sign Language) from an early age, but know only very simple signs. My family tends to rely more on lip-reading and gesturing, rather than sign language proper. Recently, I came across something which I thought would bridge the gap between spoken English […]

Archaic or Contemporary? Which is best?

By |May 4th, 2011|

When translating religious texts, the question of how to render the text can be a tricky one: do you translate the text in the same archaic way as the original was written, or do you modernise the text for its new audience? There are pros and cons associated with both approaches, and for today’s blog I’d like to take a brief look at these.

Using old-fashioned language in texts of this kind can seem awkward, and can make the translations difficult to understand for the new target audience. However, this level of difficulty may have been present in the original text, […]

How far should language campaigning go?

By |May 3rd, 2011|

A Welsh language activist currently stands accused of endangering the lives of children, and causing chaos during a fundraising event. The activist allegedly removed signs and guide posts from a race course running along a mountain in Gwynedd, North Wales, because they were in English.

The race was being held to raise money for a local primary school, and children between the ages of seven and sixteen took part, as well as adults, who ran a longer course. Concerns were raised when none of the participants arrived within the expected times, and crossed the finish line from different directions. The […]

Energetic, Ecstatic E

By |May 2nd, 2011|

We Anglophones make our ‘E’ work hard for its money – it is the most-used letter in the English language. And it’s no surprise – the letter E represents around 15 different sounds in total. We use it differently from our European counterparts, however, and our long ‘ee’ sound is represented by the letter ‘I’ across the channel. Their long ‘E’ sounds more like ‘ay’.

The letter ‘e’ began its life as the Semitic letter ‘he’, which was written as a pictogram resembling a man shouting ‘hey!’, and actually held that same meaning. It was gradually adapted into an abstract form, […]