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Talk to the world

World languages are a window into our diverse cultures and the way we communicate with each other. Our News and Views blog will give you inspiration and ideas for talking and working with people across the world. If you have a topic that you¹d like to see us write about, please get in touch.

How to say ‘I Love You’ in 18 Languages
St. Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, and love is very much in the air.   Birds are singing, bees are buzzing through the roses, and a profusion of little pink cherubs, love hearts and other such romantic paraphernalia is about to descend upon us all.

Don’t let the language barrier get in the way of your romantic liaisons this February 14th.  Here is how to say those all-important
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10 Facts about International Social Media Marketing

International social media marketing is a continually growing and effective way for businesses and corporations to develop, expand and target new customer bases with relative ease and minimal expense. Social media serves to promote new businesses’ visibility in a global arena and can ensure that new products and services are launched to mammoth audiences with minimal effort and investment.

International social media marketing refers to the process of encouraging greater

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Chinese New Year - The year of the Rooster
You are probably aware that the annual celebration of Chinese New Year is on the horizon.  However, how much do you actually know about Chinese New Year and what it means?   Let’s take a look at some common misconceptions about the holiday.

 

1.    Chinese New Year is celebrated on Saturday 28th January this year

This statement is not technically wrong, but neither does it do true justice
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The challenges of Legal Translation – Part 1
It is broadly acknowledged that legal translation is one of the most difficult specialist areas within the whole of the translation industry.  Today we will explore several of the key aspects of legal translation that set it apart from other fields, such as technical and literary translation, and we will discuss the unique challenges that these give rise to, as well as looking at how professional translators work to overcome
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On a shoestring
Whenever I discuss the world of language, apart from the quick ‘cheap laugh’ of an amusing definition, it is always the quest for the origin of a word or phrase that is sought. Derivation is fascinating as it shows the enduring power of legends and myths that cut across all cultures. In this respect English is no different and is open to some wonderful interpretations. Here are some of
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Portmanteau Travels
Another area for fun or indeed for those with a statistical mentality are particularly long words. Germany leads the way with a penchant for portmanteau words - some of which are already being consigned to obsolescence by German dictionary writers.

Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz meaning “thelaw concerning the delegation of duties for the supervision of cattle marking and the labeling of beef’ is 63 letters long.

The Germans are particularly well-known for their
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Sometimes Sunshine
As a child one of the fun things about language were the word games one learnt soon enough to enjoy. None better perhaps than tongue twisters that always translated into nonsense that always succeeded in bringing humour across the generations. From ‘Around the rugged rock, the ragged rascal ran’ to ‘red leather, yellow leather’ one aspect of mastering a language is being able to master its tongue twisters. They are
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How to ensure high quality marketing translations
Your marketing materials are the face of your brand, and if you decide to translate these for your global markets it is important that as much care is taken with the translations as with creating the original English copy.  Errors in translation can lead to embarrassment for your company and potential loss of business in these markets. If you want to ensure that you have high quality translated marketing materials,
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Eid Around The World

The Islamic religious festival of Eid, or Eid al-Fitr to give it its full name, is one of the most important dates on the Muslim calendar. Just like the Christian holidays of Christmas and Easter, the ways in which Eid is celebrated vary greatly from country to country. Let's take a look at some of them.

Saudi Arabia
Eid celebrations in Saudi Arabia are typically some of the most extravagant
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4 Website Translation Tips

With the steady march of globalisation and internationalisation comes the need for businesses to promote themselves to a global audience. A strong website is key to being able to speak to, and with, clients and customers from around the world. In an increasingly global marketplace, having your website translated and localised for your key markets can help expand your global reach and sales. To help you on your way to

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Famous Fictional Interpreters

The rising popularity and controversy surrounding the celebrated Chinese television programme Les Interprètes (The Interpreters) got me thinking about other famous fictional interpreters in popular culture.  Whilst there are always inaccuracies that can occur in fiction, such as the glamorisation or oversimplification of interpreting, programmes like this do raise awareness of what is a very highly-skilled and difficult profession, but which is still often overlooked. Our previous blog covered the top

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The Death of Language
Why languages die and why some are born again.

Most people will be familiar with the concept of a dead language, but what does it actually mean for a language but what does it actually mean for a language to be "dead", and what factors cause it to happen?

Firstly we need to make the distinction between dead and extinct languages. A dead language is a language which has no
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The Language of Fantasy

A hugely important part of the creation of any vivid and believable fantasy world is creating enticing cultures and languages for the various different characters that inhabit it. This is something that we often take for granted when we enjoy our favourite works of fantasy, be they in print or on the screen. However, as in the real world, language and culture are so integral to the way that people speak, think

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A failed experiment in constructed language?

Most people have heard of Esperanto, and indeed most people are aware of its status as a constructed language, i.e. a language that has been deliberately designed for human communication, rather than having developed naturally.  What most people probably don’t know is what the intended purpose of the language is.  There is also much debate as to whether Esperanto has in fact achieved what it was supposed to.

Esperanto was

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Backstroke of the West
Back-translation gone very, very wrong.

These days, the idea of back-translation, translating from one language into another and then back again, is generally frowned on by experienced linguists.  The general idea is that the back-translation is a way of checking that the original meaning of the source text has not been ‘lost in translation’ by comparing the back-translation to the text you started out with.  However, as anyone who has
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Giving business gifts in Latin America
Gift giving at business meetings is common in several countries across Latin America, but if you want to ensure your gift creates the right impression it’s important you time it correctly and are aware of what items to avoid.

Firstly, you should rule out presenting your associates with anything sharp, as this can be interpreted as a sign that you want to sever your relationship. Secondly, dismiss anything that is
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Giving business gifts in the Far East
Gift giving may be commonplace in several countries around the globe, but in countries such as China and Japan, the ceremony involved in the exchanging of tokens can be a much more elaborate and complex affair.

Japan

Gift giving in Japan is an art form and is a key way to show respect and gratitude. Symbolism is very important, as is the ceremony of the giving of the gift, which
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Giving business gifts in Europe
While gift giving at business meetings is not expected in many European countries, such as the UK, France and Italy, in some areas it does form a fundamental part of relationship building. Whether it is appropriate to give a gift and if so, what to give, can vary from company to company as well as from country to country, but there are some general guidelines it can be useful to
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