Monthly Archives - November 2011

November 2011

Sporting Expressions

The team I play for has recently gained an American coach. This has been great for us, but the language barrier has sometimes proven difficult to surmount. He uses a lot of sports metaphors from basketball, baseball and American football, which often leave us stumped. This got me thinking about the translation of sports metaphors, because if there can be such great differences between UK and US English, how great must the differences between distinct languages be? Granted, much of [...]

Planet Veritas is the region’s Most Promising New Business

As our regular blog readers will know, last Friday Planet Veritas attended the Swansea Bay Regional Business Awards, hoping to win the Most Promising New Business award.  I’m pleased to announce that we won! Our directors, Rachel Bryan and Sharon Stephens, and one of our Project Managers, Estrella Ruiz, attended the black-tie event to collect the award, and by all accounts had a fantastic time. Speaking as an employee of Planet Veritas, I can say that I think this [...]

Most Promising New Business

We have some fantastic news here at Planet Veritas – our dedication, passion and enthusiasm has been noted by the lovely people at the Swansea Bay Regional Business Awards. Planet Veritas has been recognised as one of the region’s most promising new businesses, and we will soon find out if we have won the category. The Swansea Bay Regional Business Awards are being held at the beautiful Brangwyn Hall tomorrow, so please wish us luck! We’re not even at the [...]

Let’s talk English: The “double U”

"Double U" is the only English letter name with more than one syllable, except for the occasionally used, though somewhat archaic, œ. It is also the only English letter whose name is not pronounced with any of the sounds that the letter typically makes. For years, it remained an outsider, not really considered part of the Latin alphabet proper, expressed here by Valenmtin Ickelsamer in the 16th century, who complained that "Poor W is so infamous and unknown that many [...]

The Scottish Dialect

The blog post below on Italian dialects got me thinking about the UK, and if we have anything similar occurring here. This led me straight up north to Scotland. ‘Scots’ is the collective name for a number of dialects spoken in Scotland. These are also known as Doric, Lallans, Scotch, Buchan, Dundonian, Glesca and Shetland. It is the traditional Germanic language of lowland Scotland and the Northern Isles. There are three main languages spoken in Scotland, including Scots, with Scottish [...]

Cup of T is vital to the English language and is the second –most-often-occurring letter…but have you noticed how much thinner the T section of your dictionary is? This is because it occurs more often at the middle or the end of our words than at the beginning. Note where your tongue sits when you say T and D; these two letters are phonetic ‘brothers’ and the sound of both is created through spurts of breath released from the tip of your [...]

Italian Dialects

A dialect is a regional variation of a language distinguished by pronunciation, grammar or vocabulary. This can be influenced by location, historical background, and possibly from differing cultures. This is especially true of Italy where, until 1871, it was a fractured peninsular split between different, and constantly shifting, nations. The first appearance of a national vernacular in Italy appeared with the publication of La Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri. Standard Italian came into its own however, with the advent of [...]

When things go wrong…

Although pr ofessional translation companies continually monitor their quality processes and try to ensure that excellence comes as standard, when things go wrong and a problem suddenly arises, (which happens in any kind of business) what should you expect? There are several strategies to deal with the unexpected; some will show how professional a company is, whereas others highlight a lack of structure and decision-making skills. First of all, companies who really care about their clients are willing to provide sincere and [...]

Literary Translation – Part III

Of all t he types of translation that are out there I’d argue that literary translation, be it novels, poems or short stories, is probably the one where it is the most important to constantly bear in mind the intention of the author, the message the text carries…but to also, simultaneously, bear in mind the emotive effect the language has on the reader; and that’s just for starters! For instance, when it comes to poetry, the translator has to [...]

Literary Translation – Part II

I stumbled upon a collection of quotes about literary translation…some of which really stood out to me so I’m going to share them with you! ‘A great age of literature is perhaps always a great age of translation.’ – Ezra Pound ‘Any translation which intends to perform a transmitting function cannot transmit anything but information – hence, something inessential. This is the hallmark of bad translations.’ – Walter Benjamin ‘Humor[sic] is the first gift to perish in a foreign language.’ – [...]

Literary Translation – Part I

It may not surprise you, considering that I work in the translation services industry, but I spend a lot of my time thinking about translation and when I do my mind inevitably wanders to the wonderfully diverse, and at times controversial, world of literary fiction translation. Unfortunately, despite a recent surge in the popularity of Swedish crime fiction in the UK (Stieg Larsson, Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbo & others) the US and UK have quite a poor track record [...]