Entries by Alison Kroulek

Cash Machines in London go all Cockney

According to the BBC five cash machines in east London will be talking in cockney for the next three months. The cash machines belong to Bank Machine’s ATM’s. Customers will be able to choose Cockney as a language option. They can expect to see phrases such as ‘please enter you huckleberry Finn’ rather than ‘pin’ […]

President Obama in Controversy over Healthcare Translation Policy

Accoring to various news reports there is controversy in the USA this week over ‘ObamaCare’ policies which state proposed healthcare reform plans which include providing on site interpreters for patients who have limited English. The healthcare reform legislation is currently pending in Congress. English language advocates are up in arms as this could add a […]

Confusion over Nazi Slogan Translations

The federal court of justice has overturned the conviction of a man who was fined 4,200 euros for possessing and transporting 100 t-shirts which were to be sold with the words ‘Blood and Honour’ printed on the front. ‘Blood and Honour’ is a translation of the German ‘Blut und Ehre’ which was a Hitler Youth […]

Google adds Hawaiian Language

Web giant Google have added a Hawaiian language version of its search engine. It was done by Keola Donaghy of the Ka Haka Ula Oke’elikolani college of Hawaiian Language. Keola Donaghy campaigned for 3 years to get Google to produce a Hawaiian version of its search engine. He estimates that it took him 100 hours […]

Unlocking the Meaning of an Ancient Hieroglyphic Script

Translating ancient scripts is difficult, especially when the civilization they belonged to is long gone. We lucked out with the ancient Egyptians when we found the Rosetta Stone, which had the same passage translated into three different scripts: Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, demotic Egyptian and classical Greek. Since linguists could read classical Greek, they were able […]

5,000 New German Words

According to the BBC around 5,000 new words have been added to the German language in the latest edition of the well respected German dictionary, Duden. Most of the new words have come from the English speaking world. New terms have been added such as ‘After show party’, ‘No-go area’, ‘It girl’ and ‘Babyblues’. Twitter […]

Recording Dying Languages

Being a field linguist is a hard, if rewarding, job. You have to travel to far-off places, often isolated villages with few luxuries. Then, you spend a lot of time recording the sounds and words of endangered languages that few people still speak.

Slovakia and Hungary in Language Law Row

On the last day of June, Slovakia passed a law governing language use in their country. According to this article, posted on Euractiv.com, the law makes it illegal to use “incorrect” Slovak in Slovakia. The punishment is harsh with fines as high as 5,000 euros (£4,315). Basically, the law makes it very difficult for speakers […]