Monthly Archives - June 2011

June 2011

A little about Latin

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 [...]

How are you?

“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 [...]

Swansea or Abertawe?: Bilingual Road-signs in Wales

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 [...]

Not one iota

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 [...]

Translator of the Week: Alison High

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 [...]

Strictly business

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 [...]

Interviews here and there

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 [...]

University Challenge Winners Announced

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 Planet Veritas." EN>ES - Sonia Arroyuelo, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona "Having your name on my CV would [...]

Lucy’s week at Planet Veritas

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 Planet 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 Planet Veritas has given me an invaluable insight into all different aspects of translation [...]

Swearing – what is your opinion?

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 [...]

Curriculum Vitae… one document, so many differences!

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 [...]

How do you pronounce…

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 [...]

Assyrian Dictionary completed after nearly a century

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 [...]

Der Dativ ist dem Genitiv sein Tod

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, [...]

Translator of the Week: Ruth Martínez

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 [...]

Times change… and so does Pronunciation

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 [...]

Business Translation Services: Domesticating… here we are again! 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 Services and Mother’s Day

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 [...]