Here Comes Halloween: Traditions and Translations from Around the World

It’s Halloween! How will you celebrate? Here are some traditions and translations from around the world.

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Halloween in Ireland

Many of our Halloween traditions come from Samhain, the ancient Celtic harvest festival. So, it’s no surprise that Ireland is one of the world’s biggest Halloween hotspots.  On 31 October, everyone dresses up in scary costumes and celebrates. Children often go out “guising,” going door-to-door to beg food and candy. This tradition dates back to 16th century Samhain celebrations, but the phrase “trick-or-treat” is a relatively new American import.

One thing sets the Halloween festivities in Ireland apart from the rest of the world: Fireworks, and lots of them.  In Northern Ireland, the city of Derry has a street carnival parade that ends in a massive fireworks display. Fireworks are prohibited in the Republic of Ireland, but that doesn’t stop people from setting them off anyway.

Irish Halloween Words

  • Trick or Treat:  iCleas nó cór or Tabhair féirín dom, nó buailfidh mé bob ort! 
  • Happy Halloween: Oíche Shamhna Shona Duit
  • SkeletonCreatlach
  • Costume: Culaith
  • Bonfire: tine cnámha

Read more

K International Spooktacular

K International Spooktacular

So it’s that monstrous time of year when the K International team let their professional hair down a little and get their fangs deep into Halloween.

Here’s a few ghoulish pictures of the staff, organised by our gruesome #Ksocialteam, Sherrien Collins & Sajeda Al-Nashash. Read more

K International Vs. The Gadget Show

K International on the Gadget Show

If you were sitting down to watch the Gadget Show on Channel 5 last night (26th of October 2015), you will have seen a couple of our linguists featured in the show. First up, Monica Bloxam took on presenters, Amy Williams and Jason Bradbury, in a Human Vs. Machine translation challenge. Read more

Chomsy-on-language

Documentaries About Language

We’re so lucky that language is at the centre of everything we do at work. Let’s take a moment to stop the clock to appreciate how beautiful it is and maybe even look back at what inspired us at an early age to take a career in the language industry. To help here are my favourite documentaries of all time about language.

The Story of English

I am biased but it’s a fact that English is more influential than any other language. The first episode of this documentary sets out to provide evidence of that and to explore how the language has evolved. The story begins with an English language rock concert in Russia; the English influence was so strong that it even managed to break through the Iron Curtain. Further images show English as the universal language of air-traffic control, computer data, newspapers, telegrams, international trade and world news. American English is the original language of the movies, and the world of music is dominated by English-language songs.

The tour of the English language takes viewers from elite-Public-School English to the BBC wireless broadcasts that sent that very English over the airwaves and into the homes of people from all classes. For the first time, the Queen’s English was now considered by many to be the correct English.

Decolonisation removed Britain’s political influence from around the world, but the English language remained behind. India, Ghana and Nigeria are all countries that have English, or a form of English, as a link language. It’s the common thread in the midst of the diversity that comes with multi-language countries.

In all of the ex-colonies, English has evolved, and each country has its unique form. In fact, language is never static. As interviewees provide definitions of modern-American-slang terms, that fact becomes increasingly obvious. The idea of one correct form of English is set aside in favour of acknowledging the diversity. Read more

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