Monthly Archives - August 2011

August 2011

O! O? O…

So here we are, at the penultimate vowel of this amazing Alphabet Blog! You may not have noticed this, but O is actually one of the most hard-working of the five vowels, as it appears in so many words in the English language. What many people like about the letter O is its beautiful round form. Actually, although we have talked about several letters which have evolved from a shape that was completely unrelated to their current one, O does [...]

Never too late to learn a language – Nunca es demasiado tarde para aprender un idioma

It has often been said that children are able to learn foreign languages more easily than adults. However, this belief may be wrong. At least that is what a recent study, carried out by the University of Haifa in Israel,  suggests. The  study showed that a person's age does not influence the time required to learn a foreign language. In brief, the experiment involved three groups of people of different ages: the first was comprised of eight year old children; [...]

Trabalenguas (Spanish Tongue Twisters)

Let's take a look at someSpanish tongue twisters - or known as in Spain “trabalenguas", which comes from the verb "trabar" (to jam) and the noun "lengua" (tongue), and which literally means “something that jams/ties the tongue”. So, here are some of my favourite “trabalenguas”. I’ve included literal translations in English, and although most sound like nonsense, it will help give you an idea of what's actually being said. If you are learning Spanish, this is the best way to test [...]

Endangered Languages

Did you know that there are between 6,000 and 7,000 languages currently in use? And did you know that it is expected that half of them will disappear in the near future? This is quite a scary thing to think about. However, the good news is that there is a programme aimed at fighting this. It is called DEL - Documenting Endangered Languages – and it is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation. [...]

The Translation Bureau

Although the title of this post actually sounds similar to a film released recently, it is actually the Translation Office of the Canadian Government, or the Bureau de la traduction for French speakers. Established in 1934, the original Bureau for Translations created the first terminology unit in Canada in 1953, in order to standardize the language used in public institutions. It then went on to provide simultaneous interpreting in the House of Commons. As you probably know, Canada has two [...]

OMG! Unbelievably low translation rates cause alarm

The surprises you can find on the internet... I stumbled across a website earlier, where British people can post jobs they can do for just £5. The reason for charging this amount of money is to allow people to fight the credit crunch. I was quite amused at some of the things you can get for a fiver, such as help choosing what colour clothes you should wear on a certain day... However, I was slightly more than horrified when I [...]

Arrivederci Chiara!

Today we’d like to dedicate the blog to a very special person: Chiara Vecchi, who finishes her placement with us today after working in Planet Veritas with great professionalism and passion. There are so many positive things to say about Chiara, that I don’t know where to start! Her excellent language skills mean that all her translations are of the highest quality. Her perfect English and excellent level of German, together with her care and attention for detail, [...]

German Tongue Twisters

So, after Polish, Chinese, Finnish, and Italian it’s now time for some German tongue twisters. Anyone who has ever been to a speech therapist will know what I’m talking about. Even if you're not trying to practice your pronunciation, give them a go, because it’s always funny to listen to the nonsense you’re saying! Let’s start with the most famous example: "Fischers Fritz fischt frische Fische, frische Fische fischt Fischers Fritz.“ (“Fischer’s Fritz fishes fresh fish, fresh fish is [...]

Finnish Tongue Twisters!

I have suddenly realised that we have never really talked about Finnish! What a shame! Although we have just touched Finland when we talked about Samnordisk, it is worth giving more space to this beautiful, yet not very widespread language. Finnish, together with Hungarian and Estonian, forms the gang of Ugro-Finnic languages. In fact, Finnish has very very little in common with Sweden, although they are one next to each other, but boasts some similarities with Hungarian, even if [...]