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A little about Latin

By |June 30th, 2011|

Today we were having quite a funny conversation in the office about our experiences with the Latin language. When I got back to my desk, I thought that it was actually quite an interesting topic, so here we go with a blog post!

In Italy, Latin is quite a common subject for the students of the liceo, the type of high school whose focus is preparing people for university. Most students study it for five years, as I had to do.

However, to put it in Facebook terms, I would be defined as ‘in a complicated relationship’ with Latin, so let’s not […]

How are you?

By |June 29th, 2011|

“How are you?” seems to have become a habitual phrase used to start off a conversation, something we put in before getting down to the nitty gritty of what we wanted to talk about, rather than a real enquiry about someone’s well-being. Although we don’t have many of these habitual phrases in English, in some languages they’re not only very common, but also an essential part of daily life, particularly in the working environment.


In Japan, for example, at the end of the working day colleagues take leave of each other with the words お疲れ様でした (otsukare sama deshita), which literally means […]

Swansea or Abertawe?: Bilingual Road-signs in Wales

By |June 28th, 2011|

Since 1965, bilingual road signs and warnings have been permitted in Wales, with ‘Araf’ being on the top of the list of every visitor’s Welsh vocabulary.

However, the order in which place-names, attractions and messages appear on road signs varies among the Local Authorities, as can be seen above. Ultimately, it is up to them to decide whether or not the Welsh version of a place-name will be placed before or after the English version, according to the Assembly’s Welsh Language Scheme (5.3). For example, in my home county of Rhondda Cynon Taff and in Cardiff, the English place-name or attraction […]

Not one iota

By |June 27th, 2011|

The “I” is the skinniest and simplest letter in the English alphabet. It is one of the five main vowel letters, and also the fifth most common letter in the English language.
“I” can represent two main different sounds, either a “long” diphthong /aɪ/ as in mine or kite, or the “short”, /ɪ/ as in bill or tin. The short I is used in most European languages, whereas the long I pronounced as “ee” is more typical of English.

Where does the I come from? In 1000 B.C Phoenicians called the letter “yod”, which was later copied and incorporated to the Hebrew […]

Translator of the Week: Alison High

By |June 25th, 2011|

This week’s translating heroine is our special Alison High!!!

Alison completed a very important project from Russian into English on a very tight deadline and we were surprised by her professional attitude and ability to manage her time! So a round of applause for Alison!

This amazing woman interprets and translates from Russian and French into English. Now based in the French speaking part of Switzerland, she completed a BA in Modern Languages in the UK, before achieving a Postgraduate Diploma in Interpreting and Translation Studies. Since 1991 Alison has been working as a freelance translator for several important organizations, such as […]

Strictly business

By |June 24th, 2011|

I was recently fortunate enough to spend a year learning Japanese and studying Japanese history and culture in Fukuoka, West Japan. One of the things that struck me was the extent to which the work culture in Japan defines people’s family and social life. In England, we tend to keep our work and social lives quite separate. In Japan, however, going for a drink with colleagues after work is not only widespread, it’s also essential if you want to advance your career. Indeed, it’s only over post-work beer and sake that the future of the company is discussed and promotions […]

Interviews here and there

By |June 23rd, 2011|

A few posts ago, we looked at how a CV is an essential part of any interview around the world. The way a CV should be written, what must or must not appear in it, are all factors that depend on the country you are applying in. However, this also applies to interviews. There are several dos and don’ts that are important to remember. Here are just a few, but since there are definitely more, so please share them with us!

Let’s start… during an interview in Italy, wages are always referred to after tax, whereas in Germany it is […]

Veritas’ Professional Translation Services: Quality comes as Standard

By |June 22nd, 2011|

This week has been a very exciting one for us, and one which has proved the quality of our professional translation services, as we have now gained two quality certifications: ISO 9001:2008 and the translation-specific BS EN15038:2006, which relates to the running of a translation and interpreting company.

We were audited recently by an external accredited organisation, which has awarded us both standards. These show that we work using a robust and well-organised system, and mean that the quality of our professional translation services has been recognised. Being awarded these standards also means that we can prove the quality of our […]

University Challenge Winners Announced

By |June 21st, 2011|

Hundreds of entries were submitted for our University Challenge contest this year, and the competition was fierce! However, there can be only one winner from each category, and here they are:


ES>EN – Christopher Smith, Aberystwyth University
“Without a doubt, a dream job is being able to get paid for doing something you love, and I have a feeling that many translators can accomplish this with Veritas.”

EN>ES – Sonia Arroyuelo, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
“Having your name on my CV would be an excellent starting point for my first foray into the world of professional translation.”

CYM>EN – Mair Roberts, University of Oxford
“I strongly […]

Lucy’s week at Veritas

By |June 20th, 2011|

Hello, my name is Lucy and I’m a postgraduate student of Interpreting and Translating. This week I have been fortunate to spend a week with Veritas. Reaching the end of my MA course, I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to do next with my language skills, and was keen to find out about the workings of a translation and interpreting agency.


The week with Veritas has given me an invaluable insight into all different aspects of translation and interpretation from an agency’s point of view, and also introduced me to many other language services I had not previously considered, such […]


By |June 17th, 2011|

When we think about swearing today, I think most people will agree that it is something that has become more accepted by society. Whether this is a sign of a deteriorating, or simply liberal, society is something that could be debated, but frankly, that’s a rather large question to tackle in one blog post. Instead, I want to look at what makes these words offensive.

It has been suggested that as most swear words are based on parts or processes of the body, which have acceptable medical terms, it is the actual signifier of the word which causes offence, rather than […]

Curriculum Vitae… one document, so many differences!

By |June 16th, 2011|

A CV – or Curriculum Vitae, if we want to call it by the extended Latin expression – is something you will definitely need to have if you dream of working abroad. However, it is always important to remember that it’s not just the language that’s different in a foreign country. The job market will also be different from country to country, and that involves interviews, applications and of course CVs.

Let me give you a few examples. Here in the UK, if you put a picture on your CV, you would be seen as undermining equal opportunities laws. On […]

How do you pronounce…

By |June 15th, 2011|

With news that a team of computer programmers are working to create a video dictionary of word usage and pronunciation, I thought it might be interesting to look at how useful this would be, and its potential applications.

The team behind EmbedPlus are in the process of developing an API for a video dictionary that not only tells you how to use words, but also how to pronounce them. If this works, never again will you have to suffer the embarrassment of saying or using a word wrong! The potential usefulness of this type of dictionary would be great for language […]

Assyrian Dictionary completed after nearly a century

By |June 14th, 2011|

A project to compile a dictionary of ancient cuneiform (literally: wedge-shaped) writing, started 90 years ago, has now been completed. The Chicago Assyrian Dictionary project was commenced by James Henry Breasted, an archaeologist and the founder of Chicago University’s Oriental Institute, in 1921. The project aimed to compile a dictionary of the Akkadian language, and the dialects spoken in ancient Mesopotamia.

According to an article published in 1991, Breasted originally imagined the project would last around ten years. An optimistic goal by anyone’s standards, considering the main volumes of the OED took around fifty.

The 21-volume dictionary was based on writing found […]

Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod

By |June 13th, 2011|

In the last few posts we have left German aside a bit, so let’s try to make up for that. Although the book Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod is already very famous among German speakers and lovers, it is worth knowing what it is about.

First of all, the title of the book means ‘The dative represents the death of the genitive’. And why is that? As you might know, the German language has cases, namely nominative, genitive, dative and accusative. In recent years, the genitive has started to disappear in favour of the dative. For example, instead […]

Translator of the Week: Ruth Martínez

By |June 11th, 2011|

This week’s Translator of the Week is the fabulous Ruth Martínez!

We chose Ruth this week because she has been working on a large project for us that requires specialist knowledge, attention to detail, and creative flair, all of which she has in spades! She is friendly and professional, and a joy to work with. We all have nothing but good things to say about her, and appreciate her attitude and hard work.

Here’s a little about Ruth, from the lady herself:

I am originally from Spain, where I got my Degree in English Literature and Linguistics. I moved to Britain over […]

Times change… and so does Pronunciation

By |June 10th, 2011|

We often moan about the passing of time and the changes that it brings about, but personally, I often forget that pronunciation also changes over the years. I am not referring to huge differences, such as those between Shakespeare’s Old English and the current one, but rather to those changes occurring in the last 50 years or so.

The British Library has decided that it is worth researching and recording all the changes that have occurred lately. They will then be presented to the public in an exhibition called Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices. If you want to read […]

Business Translation Services: Domesticating… here we are again!

By |June 9th, 2011|

Today I stumbled again into Lawrence Venuti’s book The Translator’s Invisibility and thought that it would be a good occasion to draw from one of his essays to give you a more real example of a domesticating translation, as we talked about a few posts ago. As a quick recap, domestication and foreignisation are two opposing methods of translation, which can be used in many areas of the industry, including business translation services.

In 1636 Sir John Denham published his translation of the Aeneid and he commented on his own work by saying that he had followed Horace’s suggestion to translate […]

Telephone Interpreting: an Art more than a Profession

By |June 8th, 2011|

I am sure that we have all felt that awkward feeling of being on the phone with someone and, even if we know him/her very well, we did not have a clue about what he/she was thinking or meant. I have a few friends who make sure I feel that on a weekly basis. So how does telephone interpreting work? Surely it’s too difficult without seeing people’s body language and facial expressions. Or is it?
The possibility of making calls in a foreign country, thus communicating in a foreign language, makes things much more challenging. I remember that the first few […]

Translation Services and Mother’s Day

By |June 7th, 2011|

I am fully aware that Mothering Sunday was over a month ago and that Father’s Day is yet to come, but I have been thinking about writing a blog post about this for a long time and today I finally found the time to sit down and write it, so apologies if it is a bit late/too early, depending on when you read this.

So, it all started in early April with me seeing pink cards, presents, cakes and all sorts of gadgets suddenly blossoming in any shop in town. When I saw the signs for Mother’s Day, I panicked because […]

Humiliated H

By |June 6th, 2011|

Working on DTP

By |June 3rd, 2011|

Recently I’ve been helping with a great translation project for Veritas in which I have been doing a lot of proofreading and DTP. For those who don’t know, DTP (Desktop Publishing) software is an application used to create documents that combine text and graphics. Nowadays there are several programmes which can do this. The one I’m working with now is called Adobe InDesign, which is normally used for publishing work such as brochures, posters, flyers, magazines, newspapers and books.

Users of the program have plenty of useful tools at their disposal, which means that you can precisely manage every single […]

You’re reading one of the Top 10 Language Professional blogs in the WORLD!!!

By |June 2nd, 2011|

A big thanks to all of you who supported us during the past two weeks and spread the word about the competition!

We have ranked in the Top 10 for our category, Language Professionals, but we have also made it to position 61 in the overall ranking!!! This is a big success for all of us. It means that our readers appreciate the enthusiasm we put into our daily posts, and we are touched that so many people voted for us!

Of course, this doesn’t mean we are going to get complacent – next year we want to be number one! […]

When Brand Names Replace Words

By |June 1st, 2011|

I’ve touched on this before in my blog about the process of ‘verbing’ nouns, when I mentioned the verb ‘google’. But today, I’d like to think about when brand names replace the words for things. You may well wonder why. Well, this is something that can make it difficult for language learners, and I think it would be useful to talk about some of the times this can happen.

I remember going to France and asking in French where the kitchen roll was kept, and being met with a completely blank expression. I tried asking for kitchen paper instead, and […]