Monthly Archives - 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 [...]

Nosy N alphabet blog – M and N were put one next to the other

Why do the nose and the letter N go together?  Well, of course, you need your nose to properly pronounce this letter. If you don't believe me, either wait until you catch a bad cold, or close your nose with your fingers and pronounce something like ‘Nine nannies and nine nuns’. Together with its sister and neighbour M, N is the only nasal in English (and I can safely say in Italian too).However, I might go as far as [...]

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 [...]

Spanish translation services

I know some Spanish, can I be a translator?

I think everyone involved in the language services industry has heard this one once or twice. It is normally accompanied by the gnashing of teeth and an “if looks could kill” expression on the face of the translator being asked.I can completely understand where people get this idea from – people who don’t speak different languages aren’t to know that machine translations are largely useless, and they often don’t consider the knowledge required to assess and translate the nuances [...]

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 [...]

The Translation Industry in China

Have a look at the two pictures at the top of this article. While the upper one would actually be quite clear for a foreigner who does not speak any Chinese, the lower one is quite a bit of a challenge! Imagine driving around and needing to decipher those names to decide whether to turn or go straight ahead...However, this just goes to show how much the translation industry in China has improved. According to a report published on [...]

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 [...]

Our Directors, the “Mumpreneurs” of the year!

Our company Directors, Sharon Stephens and Rachel Bryan, have been nominated as finalists for another National Business Award!!!The Mumpreneur Awards aim to celebrate parents throughout the UK who manage the difficult task of juggling business with family life. Sharon and Rachel have earned themselves a place in the final lineup for the Best International Trader Category, which is open to all businesses that trade across the globe. They had more than 700 nominees this year, so reaching the [...]

Get ready for Translation Day!!!

A few days ago I was browsing around the World Wide Web in search of inspiration for an interesting post when I discovered that there is a Translation Day!!! It actually takes place on the 30th September around the world and has been promoted by the FIT, the International Federation of Translators, whose members are not individuals, but associations of translators, interpreters and terminologists around the globe.When I read the text regarding Translation Day, I was really impressed by [...]

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, [...]

(Bad) Translation… hands-on experience

Today I had to buy an adaptor for my Italian mobile charger. I finally succeeded and, while I was looking at it, I thought that checking the instructions would probably be a good idea. The English text was slightly different from the rest, but this is more or less what it said (correctly):The Visitor to UK Travel Adaptor. Ideal for all foreign travellers visiting the UK. Safety Warning: Please read carefully and use in accordance with our safety instructions below. [...]

Volunteering abroad

After talking about studying abroad in Europe, I think it is now a good time to say a few things about volunteering in a foreign country! Of course you can both study and volunteer abroad at the same time, but I think that volunteering is actually the most suitable option in some cases.First of all, volunteering is a great idea if you want to be able to spend some time in a country whose language you do not know. [...]

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 [...]

Diploma in Translation (DipTrans) – IoL (2)

As you might remember, yesterday I mentioned the Chartered Institute of Linguists, which offers accreditations such as the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting. Today I would like to write a little about the Diploma in Translation, which is aimed at translators.This certification corresponds to a postgraduate level, as it requires an excellent knowledge of both the source and target languages, as well as a deep insight into specialist areas, such as medical, legal, and technical fields. The examiners warn [...]

Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI) – IoL (1)

You might or might not already be familiar with these acronyms (or even have passed the examination!), but just to make sure, let’s say a few things about the Chartered Institute of Linguists and then move on to the Diploma in Public Service Interpreting (DPSI).The IoL was founded in 1910 and, with about 6,300 members, is an accredited organisation that delivers language qualifications which will help committed linguists to stand out from the crowd. Its website is a very [...]

Erasmus – not just a historical figure, but also a wonderful experience!

Have you ever thought about spending some time in Europe during your degree? If so, consider the advantages of the Erasmus programme, offered by the EU to all its citizens. It allows you to spend from 3 to 12 months in a foreign university which has a partnership with your own, as well giving you an unforgettable experience, which will stay with you forever!I know that this is always very useful for people learning languages, translation or interpreting, but [...]