Day of the dead festival

Fall Festivals Around the World

It’s official- autumn is here! Planning on taking a vacation soon? Here are 5 of the best fall festivals (or festivals that take place in the fall) from around the world:

What: River Festivals

Where: Laos and Thailand

When: During the full moon at the end of the rainy season, in late October or early November

During the rainy season, Buddhist monks undergo an austere three-month retreat that is often compared to the Christian period of Lent. In Laos and Thailand, river festivals are held to celebrate the end of this period. In Laos, this biggest celebration is in the city of Vientiane, along the Mekong River. Boat races are held during the day; at night, residents hold candlelit processions and release tiny boats filled with candles and incense into the river.

These celebrations coincide with a nighttime phenomenon known as the “Naga fireballs.” Orbs of flame shoot out of the Mekong river to amaze and delight spectators. Locals believe the fireballs are created by the Naga (river serpent) who lives in the river. They may or may not be a natural phenomenon, but they are impressive nonetheless.

What: Festival du Vent

Where: Calvi, Haute-Corse, France

When: 23-27 October, 2013

The Festival du Vent is an annual celebration of the autumn wind. Enjoy art, concerts, theatre, kites and wind-related sports like paragliding, windsurfing and sailing. Read more

Manx Language App

Manx: There’s an App for That

Want to learn Manx? There’s an app for that! Last year, the Manx Heritage Foundation released an app designed for Manx language learners. At the time, Manx Language Development Officer Adrian Cain told the BBC that  “Increasing numbers of people are showing an interest in the language both on the island and around the world. We felt it was a great opportunity to use modern technology to help its revival.”

It appears he was correct, as one year later, the app has been downloaded by more than 4,000 people, according to the BBC. It is available on iTunes and Google Play, and has excellent reviews on both marketplaces. According to the app’s description on Google Play

The app will benefit anyone wishing to start using Manx as well as those who understand some of the language but who would like to refresh their language skills. With its voice-recording and playback function, the exercises encourage you to speak the language by answering questions orally and comparing your answers to model responses.

There are ten units for users to work through, and the  Isle of Man TT Races are used as a theme to make studying more interesting. Read more

Learn 1000 words

Could You Learn 1000 Words?

To remain competitive, the UK desperately needs to improve language education. But the thought of learning a second language sounds incredibly intimidating to many people. What to do?

A new campaign launched just last week aims to make language learning seem more attainable to everyone, not just top-ranked students. The 1000 Words campaign, organized by Speak to the Future, encourages everyone to learn just 1000 words in another language, instead of trying to become completely fluent. According to the Speak to the Future website, 1000 words will be enough to get to you to a basic level of proficiency (level A2 on the Common European Framework of Reference).

At this level of proficiency, you can handle basic, routine tasks and situations. So, you would be competent enough to get out of the “holiday bubble” that often keeps native English speakers from connecting with the local culture on vacation, or perhaps to handle some business-related tasks like waiting on customers.  Read more

Quotes for International Translation Day

Quotes for International Translation Day

September 30th was International Translation Day! International Translation Day is a day set aside to celebrate translators and translation. It coincides with the feast day of St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators.  Naturally, it’s also one of our favorite holidays here at K International.  In honor of the occasion, we’ve put together a list of thought-provoking quotes about the fine art of translation. Enjoy!

  • “Nothing which is harmonized by the bond of the Muse can be changed from its own to another language without destroying its sweetness.”  — Dante
  • “Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” Robert Frost
  • “The first rule of translation: make sure you know at least one of the bloody languages!” –Faiz Ahmad Faiz
  • “Translation is the art of failure.” –Umberto Eco
  • “In translation language facility is not enough; blood and sweat are the secret.” —Samuel Putnam
  • “Translation is like a woman. If it is beautiful, it is not faithful. If it is faithful, it is most certainly not beautiful.” –Yevgeny Yevtushenko
  • “Not everyone who knows how to write can be a writer. Not everyone who knows two languages can be a translator.” ― Nataly Kelly
  • “It is normally supposed that something always gets lost in translation; I cling, obstinately to the notion that something can also be gained.” ― Salman Rushdie
  • “Translation from one language into another…is like gazing at a Flemish tapestry with the wrong side out.” – Cervantes

Some of these quotes imply that translations always sound bad. We don’t think that’s true, of course. A well-done translation will convey both the meaning of the original work and the feeling behind it. However, it’s certainly not an easy task to accomplish!

Which one is your favorite? Do you have any more to add? Let us know in the comments!

Photo CreditAttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by Watt_Dabney

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