Tum Island

Some Useful Polish

Here’s some useful Polish language words and phrases. I hope you are planning a visit to Poland and get to use them soon.

English on the left, Polish on the right.

Polish Phrases

Yes = Tak

No = Nie

Thank you = Dziękuję

Thank you very much = Serdecznie dziękuję

You’re welcome = Nie ma za co

Please = Proszę

Excuse me = Przepraszam

Hello = Dzień dobry Read more

Losing Language

“Poetry is just the evidence of life.  If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash”.

This is a quotation of the artist Leonard Cohen which points out the necessity of poetry. It is the same for language. Humans need to talk and share between us but for this, reading literature is very useful. Aristotle said:

“Man is by nature a political animal”.

This means that Humans want to live in society and to develop social relationships with other citizens.

Language, in the strict sense of the term, allows us to communicate but literature and poetry allow us to embellish it. Classical language is losing its value and giving way to the modern. This is represented by mobiles and Internet language, for example “LOL” or “OMG” (oh my God).

Two main reasons can explain losing a language. The first fundamental reason is Time Acceleration: we live more quickly than before and we have less and less time to live. That is why we use abbreviations languages and news means of communication (SMS, SKYPE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER etc.). Paradoxically, people lives much more quickly but spend more time behind the TV! Time Acceleration can also cause other reasons such as Modern Technology and News means of communication. As I said above, Internet and Mobile phones caused the weakening of language even if we need it to work and to communicate .It would be difficult to do without it… Read more

Cuts Threaten Italian Academy‎

Across the globe, government services are being slashed in the name of austerity. In many countries, language services are not exempt from the chopping block– and in Italy, the damage may go so far as to include the Italian language academy itself, the Accademia della Crusca.

The academy was established in either 1582 or 1583. It published the first Italian dictionary ever released in 1612. Ever since, it has focused on training linguists and researchers who study Italian, working with the Italian government and other international governments to promote respect for all of Europe’s languages and working with schools and other organizations to keep the Italian language alive and vibrant by sharing “historical knowledge of the Italian language and awareness of its present evolution.” Read more

Ojibwe Language Into Modern Day

The Ojibwe language is the fourth most common Native American language spoken in North America, with a total of approximately 56.531 speakers in the US and Canada. Even so, like most native languages, it is in some danger of dying out as most of the speakers are elderly.

However, steps are being taken to preserve the language. One effort, which is being led by University of Minnesota Duluth education professor Mary Hermes, involves creating a series of videos showing Ojibwe being used in casual, everyday situations, as it will have to be spoken if it is to survive and thrive in the future. Read more

Translating Fast Fashion

We recently developed a solution for a very large European retailer to help them to localise/translate all of their packaging for their dynamic range of clothing.

The challenge in this space is to provide translation that is ‘on trend’, error free and makes best use of all the previously translated material, which helps to dramatically lower the unit cost per word to translate. When we reviewed the existing translation solution we found that the translation was being stored on a shared excel sheet in head office.

The theory was great, if they’d translated something once then that translation could be re-used for future packaging at (virtually) zero cost. But in practice it meant that no one was responsible for the data and the spreadsheet had to be emailed around people outside of the ‘loop’. Comments and suggestions were not imported into the master list, the context of the translation was often wrong and the quality of the translation never really improved over time. Read more