Category: Other languages

song map

Map: many songs for the Eurovision Song Contest

On 23 May, the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 will be taking place in Vienna, Austria – and celebrating the 60th time the competition has taken place. We’re celebrating by looking at translations of the word song in the languages of each country that is participating in this year’s contest – which includes, for the first […]

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motherland

Identity crisis: motherland or fatherland?

In 2015, people across the globe will commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War. In Russia, the grand public holiday that marks the end of this ‘Great Patriotic War’ (Velikaya Otechestvennaya voina/Великая Отечественная война in Russian) is one of the highlights of the calendar year. Victory Day (Den’ Pobedy/День Победы) […]

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translater interpreter

What makes language interpreting different from translation?

The seemingly straightforward question ‘So, what do you do for a living?’ sends professional interpreters into an existential quandary; we struggle how to best answer this polite enquiry. Should we describe ourselves as translators or interpreters? The reason this question poses such a conundrum is that it is never easy to explain to others what […]

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Sharing infographic

Infographic: Chinese language facts

How much do you know about Chinese? Our handy infographic offers an overview to the Chinese language family, introducing you to key elements such as the number of native speakers worldwide, where different Chinese-speaking populations are located, the names of the major dialects, and the different types of logographs (signs or characters that represent words or phrases) that […]

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russian easter

Pancakes, eggs, and effigies: springtime in Russia

Russia is a notoriously chilly place. And while snow may have its appeal, there comes a time when even the hardiest Muscovite starts willing for the first signs of spring and the chance to pack away their fur coat (shuby/шубы) for a few months. As the saying goes: vesna ne prosto vremya goda, a sostoyanie […]

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donkey

Taking Portuguese idioms literally

Learning a new language often allows for lots of fun cultural titbits, including unexpected literal meanings of common idioms. The Portuguese language is filled with fun idioms that literally translate into situations that sound amusing to English speakers. Of course, these idioms are no stranger than lots of idioms that you would find in other […]

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black ink

Learning Portuguese: when brown is black and India is China

Portuguese and English have been part of my life as far as I can remember. I was brought up in Brazil and got used to switching from speaking Portuguese to English then back to Portuguese. Word games were part of my childhood and I would translate some expressions literally just for a laugh. Vamos dar […]

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Latin RIP

Requiescat In Pace, Latina

Readers of a certain age—and I would count myself among them—regard Latin as a noble thing of antiquity. The language is not nearly as widely studied as it once was. Indeed, Latin was once taught in grammar schools and familiarity with it—if not mastery of it—was a prerequisite for university admission. Today, even those who […]

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