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6900 languages across the world; is Father Christmas a hyperpolyglot?

By |December 25th, 2012|

A different kind of ball game

By |December 21st, 2012|

Now I’m not a big sports fan but I know the difference between football and rugby. I may not know the entire lingo to go with it but I can tell them apart. So, to make matters more complicated, a New Zealand friend of mine was talking about a footie […]

We all laugh in the same language!…or do we?!?

By |December 20th, 2012|

Around the world we can all recognise when someone is sharing sad or happy emotions, however we might not be able to read it with the same ease. The difference between the meanings of laughter between languages are not clear when writing! Especially when web chatting or texting!

Not only do […]

Plurilingualism and the future of translation

By |December 19th, 2012|

By Maria Ampelourgou

There has been a lot of fuss in the translation world lately about this Chinese girl who can write, not only employing both hands simultaneously, but in different directions and languages as well. Chen Siyuan is said to be able to even write poetry using different hands for consecutive […]

Christmas celebrations around the world

By |December 18th, 2012|

The Americas

As a predominantly Christian continent, Christmas is widely celebrated across the Americas. In the USA and Canada, Christmas is celebrated similarly to the UK, with homes decorated, traditional roast dinners, midnight mass, nativity plays and a visit from Santa Claus.

Christmas in Latin American countries is slightly more traditional, here […]

Brace yourselves…for Dothraki!

By |December 17th, 2012|

by Maria Ampelourgou

HBO’s Game of Thrones is yet another typical case of a critically acclaimed TV series that I found myself casually following but it somehow failed to leave me breathless on the edge of my seat as it did to the rest of my overexcited friends. In any case (and […]

Christmas in Spain

By |December 14th, 2012|

by Gema Matrinez Paredes

Christmas in Spain starts with the traditional Christmas lottery draw on 22nd December.

Two days later, the night of the 24th, is “Noche Buena”, when the whole family get together at home and usually eat lamb or stuffed turkey, and for dessert, a scoop of ice cream with […]

Are we unabashedly dropping adverbs from the English language?

By |December 13th, 2012|

At dinner with a friend the other day, during my standard babble to him about the days’ events, I was stopped dead as he corrected my grammar mid-sentence. Now, I have always loved language and although I have never claimed to be an expert at writing grammatically correct texts, I […]

Language insight: Do you like mademoiselle the Greece?

By |December 12th, 2012|

By Maria Ampelourgou

There is this old song by Greek singer Antonis Kalogiannis, referring to the notorious ‘Greek kamaki’ (pick-up lines), where one can hear the memorable line “Do you like mademoiselle the Greece?”

I can only guess that the given mademoiselle has not exactly been charmed by the eloquence of […]

Teaching dogs new tricks, like teaching a new language!

By |December 11th, 2012|

For any dog lover and owner this might not be a surprise, but dogs do have the capacity to learn and understand more than one language!

Dogs are known to be able to register 1000 words on average, which is more than many humans manage to remember after years of school. […]

Localisation and the notorious ‘Greeklish’

By |December 10th, 2012|

By Maria Ampelourgou

Since I am a new addition to the team, one of my colleagues suggested that I might be able to offer some insight about my native language, with an article on an interesting linguistic or intercultural issue.

So here I was last night, caught between Greek on one side […]

Why do we love languages?

By |December 7th, 2012|

By Gema Martinez Paredes

We usually study other languages because we are forced to in school when we are young. At this point in our lives we’re not normally aware of the importance of learning another language and the wonderful opportunities that it can open…

So why do we love languages?

First of […]

Hand gestures in different cultures

By |December 6th, 2012|

by Maria Ampelourgou

With Christmas just around the corner, many of you might be considering spending winter holidays abroad, getting to explore new destinations and festive customs. I can picture you flipping through the pages of colourful travel guides right now, seeking the absolute travelling experience. Nevertheless, in order to […]

The Spanish Constitution

By |December 5th, 2012|

By Gema Martínez Paredes

Tomorrow, the 6th of December, is a public holiday in our country, Spain, but why?

Spain is a very old nation historically, in 1978 it decided to regulate itself by means of civilized and democratic norms and for a document was drafted up that says how we should […]

A few steps to help your children learn a language!

By |December 3rd, 2012|

We all know that a kid’s mind is like a sponge! That is why many parents avoid using certain swear words in front of their offspring. The young life is indeed the best stage when we are keenest in absorbing everything that surrounds us! That makes it the perfect chance […]

Technology and new words

By |November 30th, 2012|

You only need to compare a dictionary from five years ago to one from this year to see how many new words enter the English language due to the rise in technology. The invention of Facebook, for example, led to the verb form, ‘to facebook someone’ which seems no less […]

Social media and different languages

By |November 29th, 2012|

The Spanish Situation

By |November 28th, 2012|

Applications to avoid getting lost in translation on the phone

By |November 27th, 2012|

By José Antonio Martinez Aviles

Could you imagine being able to speak to a Japanese person on the phone without either of you knowing each other’s languages? Well, now it is possible!

An application has been created which provides real-time translations, allowing Japanese people to telephone abroad and for both parties to […]

Multilingualism and language learning linked to brain growth

By |November 26th, 2012|

By José Antonio Martinez Aviles

At the Swedish Armed Forces Interpreter Academy, young recruits learn new languages at an incredibly fast pace. By measuring the brain activity of these recruits before and after the language training, a group of researchers has had a unique opportunity to observe what happens to the brain […]

“The lost generation” – The current economic situation in Spain

By |November 23rd, 2012|

by José Antonio Martinez Aviles

I am a 21 year old Spaniard, and I am part of “the lost generation”.

We have acquired this title because soon there will be no trace of us in our own country as so many of us have left to seek a better future elsewhere, which […]

Some rather embarrassing mistakes – The importance of proofreading

By |November 22nd, 2012|

Over the years there have been numerous incidents in Wales involving some extremely embarrassing mis-translations from English into Welsh going public.

Back in 2006 a bilingual road sign was put up in the Vale of Glamorgan aimed at cyclists. The English, which read “cyclists dismount” was translated into Welsh as “Llid […]

The culture of swearing

By |November 21st, 2012|

by José Antonio Martinez Aviles

Different words with similar meanings: Swear words are a widely used resource because, although they can be offensive, they define the mood of the person using them.

Abuse of strong swear words in our vocabulary is an attack on language and can impoverish our vocabulary, but is […]

Día de la Revolución – Mexican Revolution

By |November 20th, 2012|

By Gema Martinez Paredes

Today, over 200 years ago, the Mexican Revolution began.

Conflict began on 20th of November 1910, with an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero against long time autocrat Profirio Diaz, and lasted for the best part of a decade until around 1920. Over time the revolution changed from […]

Learning English as a second language

By |November 19th, 2012|

by Gema Martinez Paredes

The acquisition of English as a second language usually begins once a first language has been established. Often, when a child starts school they will be introduced to a second or even third language. Children find it easier, but anyone can learn a second language at any […]