Entries by Jonny Henchman

Languages in New Guinea

Which country has the highest number of different languages within its borders? Surprisingly, the answer is not China, India or any other large country. Tiny Papua New Guinea is all of 462,840 square kilometres in size, about as big as the state of California. Despite its small size, it is the most linguistically diverse country […]

Nordic Languages

The Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Icelandic languages are collectively known as the Nordic languages. Since they are all descended from Old Norse, these languages have a lot in common. In fact, someone who speaks one language can often understand someone who speaks another Nordic language, although it may take a bit of effort to do […]

Picture Postcards from Tokyo

Being part of a company working with languages every day really helps stoke the desire to travel. I have just returned from another trip to Tokyo, my third time in as many years. If you have followed some of my previous articles you may be forgiven for thinking I am developing something of an affinity […]

Twitter Enters the Murky World of Machine Translation

Last week you may have heard, or even seen, that Twitter has been trialling automated translation of tweets from certain individuals in Egypt. Following the recent political upheaval, the former president Mohammed Morsi, opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei and Arab Spring activist Wael Ghonim have all had tweets made available to non-Arabic speaking readers.

Communicating for the ALC

As part of our continued drive to increase co-operation between language companies, we worked alongside Dynamic Language in Seattle to provide an information delivery system for the Association of Language companies (ALC) of which we are both members. Our aim, and that of the ALC, is to improve quality and systems within the translation industry […]

A Gaijin in Tokyo

In our last article, Alison noted how lazy we Brits are when it comes to getting a handle on the native language when preparing to travel abroad. From my own experience I’ve seen just how extensive this can be and I’m guilty as charged. In both 2011 and 2012 I travelled to Tokyo for a combined total […]

Translating the Tube

You may have heard London’s long standing tube network hit a milestone this month, 150 years old! 270 stations, more than 200 miles of track and an incredible 3 million passengers a day on average, that’s a lot of newspapers. It’s been a busy time for our friends at Transport for London, with more than […]

The Hawaiian Language

When the Americans annexed Hawaii in 1898, English became the official language of the Hawaiian Islands. Unfortunately, the beautiful native Hawaiian language had been threatened since American and European businessmen developed an interest in the islands in the early 19th century. When Captain Cook first discovered the islands in 1778, there were 500,000 native Hawaiian […]

Indo-European Languages

The Tie that Binds East and West Anyone who has studied languages knows that different languages can be surprisingly similar. For example, Spanish and Italian look very much alike on paper-if you know one of the languages, you can almost intuit the meaning of a sentence written in the other language. It’s not surprising to […]