Whether you’re a business looking to procure translation services for the first time, or even the tenth time, understanding the UK’s array of linguistic qualifications can seem a little daunting. How does an MA in Translation Studies differ from an MSc in Translating? Is it worth paying more for a translator with a BA in Translation Studies than for one with a Diploma in Translation? Read more
Some English speakers love peppering their speech with foreign phrases. We think it sounds sophisticated. But here are 11 foreign words and phrases that don’t go over quite as well in their home languages. Let’s all agree to stop using them now.
Phrases to Avoid in French
According to the Daily Mail, [you can’t really trust this poor excuse for a paper] language learning app Babbel has identified this innocuous-sounding phrase as one of the most common gaffes made by Brits abroad: “It literally invites diners to ‘a good digestion’, suggesting that they are so hungry that they are willing to jump at any food offered.”
There is, however, some controversy about this. A 2007 New York Times article, for example, quotes a French etiquette teacher who says, “In France, ‘Bon appétit’ is not proper.” But an article in the Guardian a year later found that most Parisian locals had no problem with “Bon Appetit.” Ironically, the few people who did think it rude were English speakers.
So, perhaps the key here is to know your audience. [Our in house French natives say there’s nothing with it]
Garçon for Waiter
Did you know garçon actually means boy? You might think you sound suave when you address your French waiter this way. But really, you sound like a jerk. Don’t be a jerk. Use “monsieur” instead.
If you’re visiting France, don’t expect the French to express dismay by exclaiming “Sacrebleu!” Unless, of course, you have a Tardis and you’ve time-traveled back to the 19th century. And if you use it, expect to get some odd looks at best.
Watch out for this one if you’re American. While we tend to use it as a fancy word for “main dish” or “main course”, in France it means an appetizer.
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?
Yeah, yeah, it’s the French-language chorus of a famous sexy pop song. But it’s not likely to win you any friends in France, and it almost certainly won’t win you any bedmates. It might win you a slap across the face, though . . . Read more
A few weeks ago, Jonny wrote a post about translation’s role in times of crisis. And now, unfortunately, there’s another example to add to the list: Tropical Storm Harvey.
This storm has dumped unprecedented amounts of water on the US city of Houston, Texas. It’s turned freeways into rivers and low-lying residential areas into lakes. So far, at least 38 people have died. And at least 30,000 have had to abandon their homes for shelters due to rising flood waters.
Relief and rebuilding efforts are going to take years . . . and since Houston is such a diverse city, they’ll have to be multilingual. Here’s how translation has been and will be needed to help Houston recover from the impacts of this devastating storm. Read more
Today marks another milestone in K International’s digital journey: it’s been 20 years since we launched our very first website. Rich (our glorious leader) covered some of the history and the various designs we’ve been through a couple of years ago for our 18th, you can check out that post right here for some nostalgia. It’s been nearly 4 years now since we migrated to WordPress and I’m pleased to say we’ve gone from strength to strength since that day back in December 2013.
With 405 million native speakers, Spanish is the second-most commonly spoken language in the world. But while all of those 405 million people might speak the same language, they don’t all speak it the same way.
So, let’s take a look at the different types of Spanish, where they’re spoken, and what that means for organizations doing business in Spanish-speaking countries.
How different are the different types of Spanish?
There’s not as much variation between the various Spanish dialects as there is between dialects in other languages. Most Spanish speakers, no matter where they’re from, can understand each other simply by speaking more slowly, listening carefully and using context clues for unfamiliar vocabulary.
That said, here are some key facts and statistics about where Spanish spoken and how it differs from place to place:
Spanish in Spain
Number of Speakers: 46.6 million
Where it’s spoken: Spain
Spain is the motherland of the Spanish language, of course. But these days, Spanish speakers from Spain are greatly outnumbered by Spanish speakers from other places.
Latin American Spanish
Number of Speakers: More than 418 million
Where it’s spoken: The United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America
90% of Spanish speakers are Latin American, though indigenous languages are also spoken throughout Mexico, Central, and South America. In the Latin American market, the largest Spanish-speaking countries are:
- The United States.
The BBC just announced that it will now be broadcasting in Pidgin for the West and Central African markets. But wait, what’s Pidgin? Is that even a language?
In fact, pidgin languages and creole languages can be found all over the world. Most them have historically been treated as the bastard children of European languages – denied recognition and looked down upon. But just as in Game of Thrones, it would be foolish to write off pidgins and creoles because of their parentage.
With that in mind, here are 8 things you need to understand about pidgins and creoles.
Isn’t Pidgin English just English with a heavy accent?
Nope. Pidgin languages are makeshift languages that arise whenever multi lingual groups have to communicate on a regular basis without a common language. This can happen because of trade, or as a result of slavery or colonization.
What’s the difference between pidgin languages and creoles?
Pidgin languages are generally simplified and flexible, with a limited vocabulary. Nobody speaks a pidgin language as a first language. But, over time, that can change. If a pidgin language becomes widely used, its vocabulary may grow and additional grammar rules may develop. Children may begin to grow up speaking it from birth. At that point, it’s considered a creole.
And just to make things confusing, since creole languages evolve from pidgins, many languages with “pidgin” in the name have actually evolved into creoles, like Tok Pisin, one of the official languages of New Guinea. Read more
Here at K International, we pride ourselves on our commitment to supporting the next generation of linguists, to achieve this we set up a comprehensive student placement scheme that lasts between 3 & 6 months. The aim of this program is to give language students a competitive edge in the job market. We offer future linguists the opportunity to immerse themselves in a professional translation environment, where they can put the skills they’ve learned into practice. The placements also provide students with the opportunity to develop key industry knowledge in areas such as project management, CAT tool operation and insights into the day to day workings of a modern Language Service Provider.
In addition to these core skills, K International places great emphasis on developing the student’s personal attributes such as ethics, self-discipline and team work.
Our latest student, Valentine Madignier, has just completed the program. Valentine is a student at the Université Catholique de Lyon in France and this is her feedback on the K International placement scheme… Read more
Today, the United States will experience a total solar eclipse. It’s a once-in-lifetime astronomical event, and people are going crazy with excitement. But it wasn’t always this way. Historically, eclipses have fueled myths and superstitions in many different cultures, and some of them are quite terrifying. So, in honor of the 2017 eclipse, here are 8 solar eclipse myths and superstitions from around the world.
Solar eclipse myths from China
As Griffith Observatory director E.C. Krupp told National Geographic, “the earliest word for eclipse in Chinese, shih, means “to eat.” The ancient Chinese believed that solar eclipses were caused by a giant dragon eating the sun, and they sometimes tried to scare the dragon away by beating pots and pans.
Eclipses were a bad omen for emperors, but they were an even worse omen for the emperor’s astrologers. In 2134 BC, two astrologers lost their heads as punishment for failing to predict a solar eclipse.
Solar eclipse myths from Scandinavia
In Viking mythology, eclipses are caused by a wolf named Sköll, which is Old Norse for “treachery.” Sköll chases the sun through the sky. When Ragnarök comes, he will catch the sun and consume her completely. So, each solar eclipse is like a preview of the apocalypse. Comforting, no? Read more
Earlier this week, on the 15th of August, India celebrated its Independence Day. In the 70 years since it was founded, India has made itself into one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing economies. To celebrate, let’s take a look at 8 things businesses need to know about languages in India.
English is an official language in India . . . but that doesn’t mean your organization can get away without translation services.
English and Hindi are the two main languages used by the Central Government. But even when you include people who speak English as a second language, only 12% of India’s population speaks it. So, if you want to reach more than just a small percentage of the people there, you’ll need to translate into some local languages, too.
Hindi is the most commonly spoken language in India.
With as many as 551 million total speakers, Hindi is the most common language in India. It’s also the 4th most common language in the world in terms of native speakers. Even so, translating your content into Hindi will only make it accessible to 53% of the population.
That’s because . . .
India has 122 major languages and up to 1599 other languages.
India is a vast country, and it contains multitudes, of both people and languages. According to the 2001 Indian Census, there are 122 “major languages” spoken by more than 10,000 people.
That said, some of these languages are more commonly spoken than others.
India has 22 “scheduled” languages.
Obviously, different languages predominate in different regions. So, while Hindi and English are the languages used by the central government, the states also have the power to set their own official languages.
The Indian Constitution recognizes 22 of these languages as “scheduled languages”. These languages are used by state and local governments. Additionally, the Indian government is required to protect them and encourage their development.
The 22 scheduled languages are: Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. Read more
Just over a year ago, figures from the UK Ministry of Justice (MoJ) revealed that more than 2,600 court cases had been adjourned due to failures in interpreting services over the previous five years. The news focused on doubts about the viability of outsourcing firm Capita to fulfil the MOJ’s requirements in terms of legal translation and legal interpretation services.
The case highlighted the essential role that court translation plays in ensuring that justice is delivered. The then-Liberal Democrats justice spokesman, Lord Marks QC, summed it up when he stated that “the government must ensure effective and efficient attendance of high-quality interpreters at court to enable justice to be delivered.”
This backs up the affirmation in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which specifies that interpreters who are used in criminal proceedings must be fully competent to the task assigned. Read more
A customer centric internationalisation company based around the dream that language shouldn’t be a barrier to business. We’ll be your voice in another language.
Translating 250 languages by importing and exporting a wide variety of popular content formats, including Microsoft Office, Adobe InDesign, Adobe FrameMaker, HTML, XLIFF, XML, JS, JSON, YAML, Drupal PO, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), and others.
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