World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day: 5 Shattering Statistics and 3 Ways the Translation Industry Can Make a Difference

20 June is World Refugee Day. This year, it’s an especially solemn occasion. Crises around the world have sent record numbers of people fleeing their homes and their countries for an uncertain life elsewhere. Here are 5 heart-shattering statistics about the refugee crisis…and 3 ways the translation industry can make a difference.

Last year, 65.3 million people were forced to flee from their homes.

That’s a new record- it’s never been higher than 60 million since the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees began tracking it. It’s also more than the entire population of the UK, and more than the number of people displaced after World War II. According to the latest UN report, “If these 65.3 million persons were a nation, they would make up the 21st largest in the world.”

Here’s how that 65.3 million breaks down:

  • 40 million internally displaced.

  • 21.3 million living as refugees

  • 3.2 million waiting on asylum claims.

Every minute, another 24 people around the world are displaced.

They flee their homes, leaving almost everything behind in search of safety.

Although lower than it was in 2014, the rate of displacement is 4 times higher than it was a decade ago. And the dangers the refugees face along the way have increased, as well. According to UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi:

More people are being displaced by war and persecution and that’s worrying in itself, but the factors that endanger refugees are multiplying too.”

More than 50% of Syria’s population has been displaced.

4.9 million Syrian refugees have fled the country since the war began. Most of them end up in nearby countries like Turkey, Pakistan and Lebanon. Read more

nonverbal communication (1)

Nonverbal Communication Across Cultures: How to Offend And Confuse People Around the World Without Saying a Word

Everyone knows it takes more than words to communicate effectively. In fact, more than 65% of social meanings are translated nonverbally, according to anthropologist Edward T. Hall. Think nonverbal communication is universal? Think again! Here are 5 ways to offend and confuse people around the world without saying a word.

Nonverbal Communication: Your Hands Are Talking, but What Are They Saying?

Gesturing is a great way to ensure you’re getting your point across, right? Sure… but choose your gestures carefully! For example, consider the “OK” nonverbal communication AOKsign. Seems innocuous enough, unless you’re in France or Belgium, when it might mean “0” or “worthless.” Or in Brazil, Germany, Russia, Tunisia, Greece, the Middle East and parts of South America, where it’s a crude insult. In the Arab world, it can also be used as a curse.

And what about the “thumbs up” sign? It might seem like an easy way to signal approval, but in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Africa, South America, Afghanistan, Iran, and parts of Italy and Greece, you might be unwittingly inviting your conversation partner to “Sit on it!” How awkward.

Meanwhile, the “V” for victory sign is another gesture with many meanings, some of them obscene. It could mean “victory,” it could mean “peace,” or it could mean “up yours.”

What about pointing? Not in Malaysia, where’s taboo to point with an index finger. Use your thumb instead!

Making lots of grand sweeping gestures is almost a necessity in countries like Italy, where people “talk with their hands.” But in other countries, like Japan, it’s considered rude.

If you’re just about ready to sit on your hands to keep them out of trouble, well… don’t worry, I’m sure that’s considered unpardonably rude somewhere as well! And don’t even think about putting them in your pockets if youre somewhere like South Korea.

The best advice is simply to ask a trustworthy local if there any obscene gestures you should avoid making. Read more

summer festivals 2016

9 Quirky Summer Festivals From Around The World In 2016

Summer is almost here! Do you have holiday plans yet? To help out all you procrastinators, we’ve handpicked 9 interesting and unusual summer festivals  from around the world. Why lie on the beach and get sand stuck everywhere when you could be attending one of these instead?

Summer Festivals 2016: World Bodypainting Festivalsummer festivals WBF-2012_Ulf-Scherling_026

When: 1-3 July 2016
Where: Lake Wörthersee, Austria

Bodies and Beats, otherwise known as the World Bodypainting Festival, is a three-day celebration of the art of bodypainting. The festival features music, bodypainting workshops, and some seriously surreal painted-on costumes.

The main attraction is the “Body Circus” Ball. According to the festival website, the ball includes “Painted bodies, fire-breathers, burlesque dancers, freaks plus the finest club sounds.” 

Summer Festivals 2016: Wife-Carrying World Championshipssummer festivals wife carrying

When: July 2016, Dates TBD
Where: Sonkajärvi,Finland.

Wife carrying is a Finnish sport with an old and storied (if not exactly honorable) history. It was inspired by a legendary gentleman by the name of Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainen. Rosvo-Ronkainen was much like Robin Hood, only without the heart of gold. He and his band of robbers lived in a forest and regularly pillaged the surrounding villages, stealing women along with food and other items.

No women are stolen in modern-day wife carrying, fortunately. In this sport, men carry their female partners in a race around an obstacle course. The winner gets the woman’s weight in beer, among other prizes. Despite the name of the sport, participants do not have to be married to each other. Read more

international marketing social media statistics

11 Thought-Provoking Social Media and International Marketing Statistics for 2016

For businesses, social media is an opportunity to connect with existing and potential customers around the world. But do you know enough to use it effectively? If you think a “one country fits all” social strategy is enough, think again. Here are 11 statistics about social media around the world to fuel your international marketing campaigns:

Asia now has more internet users than Western Europe and North America put together.

International Marketing Takeaways:Planning to market your business in Asia? The internet is your friend. Localised social media should be part of your marketing strategy. That means targeting content to local languages and preferences. It may also mean developing a presence on local social networks.  These networks can rival or exceed Western giants like Facebook in some markets.  Read more

translation apps 2016

7 Powerful Translation Apps and Devices for Travellers in 2016

You’d love to see the world, but fear holds you back. You’re afraid of being isolated in a foreign country, unable to speak the language. How are you going to communicate? Charades? Well, stop worrying , and book those tickets! Here are 7 futuristic translation apps and devices for travellers in 2016 to help you get your point across.

Best Translation Apps: Google TranslateTranslation Apps 1

When it comes to translation apps, Google Translate is obviously the elephant in the room — and for good reason. It supports more languages than the competition, and its comprehensive feature set makes it especially well-suited for travellers.

Languages: Google Translate offers varying degrees of support for 103 languages:

  • Type to translate: 103 languages
  • Offline support: 53 languages
  • Instant camera translation: 29 languages
  • Speech-to-speech translation: 32 languages
  • Handwriting translation: 93 languages

See which features work with which languages here.

Cool Tricks: Translate signs, menus and other written content using your phone’s camera. Offline support for some language, plus excellent integration with the Android operating system for translating text messages and websites. Also, it’s free.

How to Get It: Download it from the App Store or from Google Play. Read more

Keep Calm and Regex - A presentation by Angela Madrid

Keep Calm and Regex

“Keep Calm and Regex” was presented by Angela Madrid at memoQ fest 2016 on 20th May. The main goal of the talk was to present regular expressions in a friendly way and encourage the audience to try their hand at using them.

We have produced a complete a guide to using Regex with memoQ which you can download or view below.

This guide is free for you to distribute with the proviso that proper credit is given to the authour and K International ( Read more


10 Funny Euro-English Words We Might Hear More Often If The UK Leaves the EU

These days, it’s not just the UK and the US that are divided by a common language. Over the past few decades, English has become one of the most frequently used working languages of the EU.  However, most EU workers are not native English speakers. Enter “Euro-English,” an interesting dialect distinguished by common mispellings, mistranslations, false cognates and malapropisms.

These mistakes generally aren’t random. They are often influenced by the speaker’s native language. So, different people end up “misusing” the same words in the same ways over and over again, until the new meanings become commonly understood in the halls of the EU.

In 2013, a frustrated EU bureaucrat named Jeremy Stephen Gardner catalogued these “Euro-isms” in a delightfully curmudgeonly report called Misused English Words and Expressions in Publications. In the report, he explains  that

Over the years, the European institutions have developed a vocabulary that differs from that of any recognised form of English. It includes words that do not exist or are relatively unknown to native English speakers outside the EU institutions and often even to standard spellcheckers/grammar checkers (‘planification’, ‘to precise’ or ‘telematics’ for example) and words that are used with a meaning, often derived from other languages, that is not usually found in English dictionaries…

So, what happens if Brexit becomes a reality? That would leave the Republic of Ireland and tiny Malta as the only EU countries where English is an official language. Yet, EU workers and bureaucrats are unlikely to stop using it as a second language.

According to Quartz  and The Economist, that means “Euro-English” could diverge even further from the Queen’s English. And that means we could be hearing a lot more of these Euro-English words:


English Definition: Someone who performs in a TV show, play, film or other theatrical or broadcast performance. “Do you think Tom Cruise is a good actor?”

Euro-English Definition: Via Misused English Words, “The people and/or organisations involved in doing something”. It is also used for countries involved in EU activities and initiatives. Shakespeare may have said “All the world’s a stage,” but I don’t think this is quite what he had in mind. Read more

Obsolete English Words

14 Obsolete English Words that Deserve Another Chance 

Languages evolve, and English is no exception. Words come and go over time, and many eventually fall into obscurity. Sometimes, this sad fate befalls even perfectly good words…words that deserve another chance at life.  Enrich your vocabulary with thebeefwittedse 14 obsolete English words that deserve another chance.  Let’s bring them back!


Adjective. Slow-witted; stupid. According to the United Editors Encyclopedia and Dictionary, “beef-witted”
implies “a heavy, ox-like intellect.” Other sources say it’s because back in the day, people believed that eating too much beef would make you dumb. Either way, it’s an excellent insult.

He’s so beef-witted, he asked for a price check at the dollar store!


Noun. The act or condition of being a bore.

I had to skip history class today – the professor has a serious case of boreism. 


Verb. To bicker loudly about nothing.

I wish those two would stop brabbling and just break up already.  


Noun: A braggart, a person with an overly high opinion of himself.

I can’t believe that cockalorum is actually running for office!  Read more

Translation News Round Up: 9 Stories to Keep You In the Know

What’s been going on the translation industry lately? Here are 9 language and translation news stories to keep you in the know.

How To Instantly Identify Any Languagetranslation news alphabets

Raise your savoir faire quotient in minutes with this easy-to-learn party trick that makes you look like the smartest person in the room. Read this article to learn how to identify almost any written language, even if you can’t read a word of it.

Learning a New Language Can Boost Your Attention Span in Only One Week

Language learning has many benefits, including better problem solving skills and a more focused attention span. Now, researchers at the University of Edinburgh have demonstrated that students can get a brain boost from learning a new language after only a week of intensive study. The benefit persisted as long as the students continued practicing for at least five hours a week.

Lionsgate Leads Effort To Provide Local-Language Films Around the World

Lionsgate just announced a new venture: Globalgate Entertainment. Globalgate aims to remake and adapt successful films for different markets around the world. According to the Hollywood Reporter, “Lionsgate points to a thriving world market for local-language films — a 90 percent share in India, 60 percent of China’s exhibition market, 55 percent in Japan and a 50 percent share in Korea — to explain its backing for Globalgate.”

Google Search Now Translates Automatically

Google Search will now translate any foreign words you search for automatically. No need to pull up Google Translate. No need to do anything except search for a word in a language that’s different to the one you’re browsing in. No need to give permission; Google would rather ask for forgiveness.  Or not.  Your feelings on this matter are irrelevant. Read more

Google Translate Facts

11 Google Translate Facts You Should Know

Google Translate turned 10 years old last week. With the power of the Google empire behind it, it’s the world’s most popular machine translation tool. At K International, we can’t help but see how Google Translate has helped people communicate when professional translation is unavailable. However, we are also familiar with the consequences of relying on it too heavily. To celebrate our decade-long love/hate relationship with this service, here are 10 Google Translate facts you should know.

1. More than 500 million people use Google Translate.

According to the Google Translate blog, the service has more than 500 million users. That’s close to the entire population of the European Union, which has 508 million inhabitants. When Google released Google Translate in 2006, the number of users was measured in the hundreds.

2. Google Translate translates more than 100 billion words per day.

That’s roughly equivalent to a stack of 128,000 Bibles, every single day.

3.  Google Translate now supports 103 languages.

When it was launched 10 years ago, it only supported two: English and Arabic. Read more