Archive for August, 2012

Top 10 Most Read Books in the World

Can we say these books are the best? It is such a personal issue that I want your opinion. What would 3 best books be for you? Share your ideas here or Facebook.

How many of these books you have read so far?


Bar Jokes Involving Grammar and Punctuation

There are endless ways teaching English to school children. My elder sister is an English teacher in a primary school and I am surprised when I see different practices and technologies of teaching. When I was in primary school, we used to memorize songs to recall vocabulary etc. Now everything is different and easy.

Anyway, I came across a post on internet. It is another way to teach some certain terms like gerund, infinitve and modifier. I want to thank Eric Auld for this great post. I hope it just leaves a smile on your face after reading. If you teach English, you can also use it! Here you go:


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Tips for Medical Translation

Well, in the college, I took a few classes about medical translation; however, I have never been into it. In community interpreting classes, we practiced the hospital dialogues and we got accustomed to certain terms but it is not like translating highly medical texts. One Hour Translation Blog published a post about medical translation. I hope it is a useful guideline for medical translators. I paste the parts that I am interested most (the whole text is quite interesting by the way), you can read the whole text by clicking the link at the bottom:

Medical translation offers a wide gamut of opportunities right from translating medical reports, scientific papers, to labelling in pharmaceuticals, in clinical trials etc. that comply with various country specific regulatory requirements. One of the opportunities that has been growing of late is translating informed consent forms (ICF).

Clinical trial of newly discovered drugs has become a global business. With many non English speaking participants coming into the picture, drug companies particularly from US have to comply with FDA regulations of explaining the pros and cons of a clinical trial in the native language of the participants before undertaking it.

Informed consent forms are very technical in nature and must be translated with utmost care. Any mistake in translation can lead to misunderstanding by the participants in the clinical trial.

The readability of the content by the subjects is very important. Any scientific or legal term must be explained in simple terms. The original and translated version must be ‘consistent’ which means the original style and content must be preserved. Even the font size and any footer information must be maintained.

The translation must maintain first person account like ‘I’, ‘my’, ’me’ throughout the ICF. Translation memory tools identify repetitive text present in the source document and correlate it to previously translated segment to ensure consistency. This can speed up ICF translation and reduce cost and must be made use of as far as possible.

To further ensure quality of translation of ICF, back translation i.e. from the target to source language of the translated documents by a second translator may be resorted to in addition to editing of the original translation. It would clearly bring out any misunderstanding of the subject matter by the translators. This may make translation time consuming but offers means to eliminate some of the errors that might have crept in the translation.

Click here to read the whole article.

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Grammar is Who You Are

Well, first of all, I have to say that I’m not a native speaker, so I accept that I have some grammar mistakes in my English articles. However, it is something I cannot tolerate in Turkish. When I see a grammar mistake somewhere, especially on the internet, the page suddenly loses its credibility in my mind.

Grammar is one of the criteria showing how educated you are, how much effort you put in a work and how much you care about your public profile. For this reason, I read several times what I write. When I happen to have some grammar mistakes somewhere, sometime, I really feel ashamed because it is not who I am!

I do not know if you feel the same or not; I know that some people agree with me. Kyle Wiens who writes for Harvard Business Review, has a great article telling the importance of grammar. I paste the parts that I find most interesting. You can always read the whole article by clicking the link at the bottom:

If you think an apostrophe was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, you will never work for me. If you think a semicolon is a regular colon with an identity crisis, I will not hire you. If you scatter commas into a sentence with all the discrimination of a shotgun, you might make it to the foyer before we politely escort you from the building.

Some might call my approach to grammar extreme, but I prefer Lynne Truss’s more cuddly phraseology: I am a grammar “stickler.” And, like Truss — author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves — I have a “zero tolerance approach” to grammar mistakes that make people look stupid.

Grammar is relevant for all companies. Yes, language is constantly changing, but that doesn’t make grammar unimportant. Good grammar is credibility, especially on the internet. In blog posts, on Facebook statuses, in e-mails, and on company websites, your words are all you have. They are a projection of you in your physical absence. And, for better or worse, people judge you if you can’t tell the difference between their, there, and they’re.

On the face of it, my zero tolerance approach to grammar errors might seem a little unfair. After all, grammar has nothing to do with job performance, or creativity, or intelligence, right?

Wrong. If it takes someone more than 20 years to notice how to properly use “it’s,” then that’s not a learning curve I’m comfortable with. So, even in this hyper-competitive market, I will pass on a great programmer who cannot write.

Grammar signifies more than just a person’s ability to remember high school English. I’ve found that people who make fewer mistakes on a grammar test also make fewer mistakes when they are doing something completely unrelated to writing — like stocking shelves or labeling parts.

About the author: Kyle Wiens is CEO of iFixit, the largest online repair community, as well as founder ofDozuki, a software company dedicated to helping manufacturers publish amazing documentation.

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When Your Tongue Slips… :)

Today, I want to give an example of a so-called “slip of the tongue”. But get ready! It is a very funny story.

Do you know anything about the Ottoman Empire? Well, okay it was one of the biggest empires of the world until WWI (after WWI, it is Turkey). However, the situation was not like that when we go back to the 16th century. There was a “Sultan” called Suleiman, the Magnificent. He is quite famous for his laws and bureaucracy.

A few years ago, the wife of one of the Turkish presidents visited the UK on the occasion of an exhibition about Suleiman. She gave a speech in front of many important people including Lady Diana and she did not use an interpreter. While everything was going well, her tongue kind of slipped and she said “Suleiman, the love maker” instead of “Suleiman, the law maker”.

It was reported that Lady Diana could not help herself laughing! Yeah, well… I guess this is one of the top examples that any Turkish citizen can recall when it comes to the slip of the tongue!

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The History of Trivia

When I say Trivia, it only means something little and useless to me. However, the etymology and the history of that word are quite different. Can you imagine that it means “a place where three ways meet” in Latin? As you all know, “tri” is three and “via” is way. Once again I understood why I love languages because each word is enough to surprise you. 

It was Shakespeare (of course!) who introduced the meanings  “trite, commonplace, unimportant, slight” to English. Not until 1965 we see the meaning of “little pieces of detailed information”. 

If you want to learn more, please watch the video which is quite funny and informative.

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