nom nom nom cake

Cake for Quake

Its Cake for Quake Day at K International.

We’ve all brought in cake to raise money for the British Red Cross to help them with the Japan Tsunami Appeal.

Here are some pictures. If you are in the area please drop in and give us your cash.

want some cake? put some ££ in the cup

some home made. some not (but best are home made).

they’re going like hot cakes.

Gemma’s beautiful cup cakes

Translation Fails

Magazine Illustrates Language Expert’s Article With Bungled Translations

Adam Wooten, a translation expert with Globalization Group, was pleased when a local magazine published an article he wrote about the importance of obtaining accurate, professional translations for companies doing business overseas.

He became much less pleased, however, when he received a copy of the magazine and skimmed over the article. Someone at the magazine had decided to “enhance” the article by translating the title, “Lost Into Translation”, into several different languages. In the Deseret News, Wooten writes:

“I became concerned when I saw large, bright, red text splashed across both pages in six languages. Where did these multilingual phrases originate? I knew Globalization Group, the translation company where I work, had not provided any translations…something about them did not look right.” Read more

Top 10 Asian English Translation Failures

Accurately translating text from Japanese or Chinese to English (or vice versa) can be a difficult task. The languages are just so different, both grammatically and phonetically. Meanwhile, small Asian businesses often don’t have the resources to get a proper translator and rely on machine translation instead. The resulting translations are sometimes odd and nonsensical, and often hilarious. If you need a laugh, has a constantly growing collection of these mistranslations and malapropisms. Here are 10 of my personal favorites:

  1. Hand grenade:” Found over a fire extinguisher in China.
  2. “The grass is smiling at you. Please detour.” Found on a “Keep off the grass” sign from China. Why yes, don’t mind if I do…
  3. “Nokia – Connocting poopie.” Found over a cell phone shop in Manzhouli, China. Obviously, this should say “Nokia – Connecting people.” But it doesn’t.
  4. Read more

C.S. Lewis' Translation of the Aeneid to Be Released Next Month

C.S Lewis, the author of the Chronicles of Narnia books that so many of us grew up reading, has been dead for 48 years. However, scholars are still piecing together fragments of the manuscripts he left behind, and next month fragments of his translation of Virgil’s Aeneid will be published for the first time.

The Independent reports that these manuscripts were rescued from a bonfire at Lewis’ house about a year after the author died. Lewis’ brother, Major Warren Lewis, was cleaning out the author’s old house  and decided to dispose of the notebooks and papers left behind by burning them. Read more

Learn A Language And Avoid Memory Loss

Need an extra incentive to start taking those Spanish lessons? It turns out that learning another language may help keep your memory from deteriorating as you age. Even if you already know two languages, go ahead and try to pick up another – the more the merrier, as far as your memory is concerned.

At least, that’s the conclusion that researchers are drawing from the results of two studies released last week.

The first study, from York University in Toronto, showed that bilingual Alzheimer’s patients were able to delay the effects of the disease by as much as 4 to 5 years compared to patients who only spoke one language. According to Time Magazine, learning another language is like exercise for your brain, and creates a “cognitive reserve” that doesn’t prevent the disease but seems to buy victims more time. Read more

Translate your Brand Name in Chinese

For companies looking to expand into Asia, one of the hardest steps is choosing the right name. Chinese in particular lends itself to plays on words, and it’s common for names to have multiple meanings that can either help a brand or damage it. The result is that a company name that seems simple and straightforward in English can have undesirable connotations when translated phonetically into Chinese.

For example, this story on recounts the struggle that US-based law firm Kobre & Kim LLP went through to find a Chinese version of their name. While the Chinese character for “Kim” means “gold,” finding the right characters to approximate “Kobre” was harder. Eventually, the company decided on a combination of characters that means “Plentiful Knowledge and Victorious in Our Pursuit of Gold.” Read more

Do You Speak Scots?

Do you speak Scots? If you’re not sure how to answer that question, a new website created by the Scots Language Center is designed to help clarify things.

While it seems like the question should be relatively straightforward, the Scots language has become more and more intertwined with English over the past few centuries. This has created a perception that Scots isn’t really a language of its own.  A survey performed last year by the Scottish government even found that 64 of respondents “don’t really think of Scots as a language – more a way of speaking”.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Michael Hance of the Scots Language Centre explained the conundrum:

“Many people speak Scots every day but may not realise they are doing so, thinking that it is slang or even bad English.”

Read more

Dream Inspires Native American Language Activist

Can you imagine hearing the lost language of your ancestors in a dream? Linguist and Wampanoag language activist Jessie Little Doe Baird claims that the inspiration for the Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project she founded came to her in a recurring dream she had as a young woman. She recounted the dream for the Lexington Minuteman:

“People were talking to me and they looked familiar. I knew these people but I didn’t personally know them. I had no idea what they were saying. I was in a place where everything had been burned … purposefully burned. There was a yellow house, and inside, circles of Indian people making circles, chanting. I’m going around this massive room listening,” said Baird. She tried to leave but was blocked. “Someone asked me: ‘What does this mean?’” But it wasn’t in English. “I don’t know,” Baird replied.

The dream inspired Baird to study linguistics at MIT, where she graduated with a Master’s degree in 2000. Read more

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