Posts Tagged ‘language educators’

Untranslatable “Love Words”

bee_my_honey_by_toxicpineapple-d5f6le1 It is interesting that we have tens of “love words” that we use everyday. I call them “love words” in quotation because I couldn’t find a better phrase for them. 🙂

The other day, some of my friends call me as “gülüm”. When we translate this into English, it is “my rose”. It sounds quite funny when translated. 🙂 “Gül” means “rose” in Turkish and we use it as a “love word” among family members or close friends. Similarly there is “kuzum”, the translation is “my sheep”. 🙂 I know how funny it sounds.

Then I just thought the English “love words”. There is “honey” and we directly use it in Turkish but it is a recent usage – probably just pass from English with the new generation and television.

I’m sure there are tens of untranslatable “love words” in your language as well… What about sharing them with us? 🙂


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Social Media for Translators

If you’re reading this right now, it means that you are in social media in this or that way. For me, it is irreplaceable. Using social media, I communicate, network, read, discuss, learn… There are more actions than I can count here. In the morning I wake up and check my Twitter and Facebook feed. During the day when I give a break I check my Instagram and Pinterest. I also use social media to promote my works (esp. Linkedin). I’m sure you use social media in countless ways.

So how should translators use social media? I came across this book on amazon.com. I have ordered it and I’m waiting for the shipping.

If I find it helpful, I’ll definitely write a review here.

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It is undeniable that social media is not just a fad but rather an essential part of business today. It is crucial in any online marketing strategy, particularly for SEO purposes, to boost brand awareness and to drive traffic to your website. But just setting up profiles on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is not enough. So take a look at what else you need to bear in mind when developing a social media marketing strategy for your translation business.

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Find Out the Similarities Between Languages

There are thousands of languages and dialects around the world. If you encounter a language that you’ve never heard before, you feel like an alien is speaking to you. 🙂

But it doesn’t work like that for people who are interested in foreign languages. Instead of listening to an alien speech, we try to understand some certain patterns, we give attention to syllable stresses, we try to find some lexical similarities between our own language and this “alien speech”. 🙂

So, I discovered an interesting website showing the similarities between languages. It does not go in detail and it only shows the percetages of the similarities in certain categories, but I’m sure you’ll want to check it up. 🙂

 

First, you select the language that you want to compare to other languages:

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Than you can see the similarities a certain language shares with others.

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Cactuses (Difficulty) indicate the relative difficulty of learning this language if you already speak Italian. The fewer cactuses/cacti, the easier.

Here is the website: http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/e/languages/similarities/index.html

Enjoy! 🙂

 

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German Words in English

The early form of English is quite similar to German. After all both of them belong to the same language family, namely Germanic. It is not surprising that there are many words from German… I have found a very useful article about the German words in English. Although sometimes you can guess from the spelling and pronunciation, sometimes it is quite hard to distinguish them from real English words. Since it is a little long, I will publish the article into 3 parts. It is a valuable source of information for us – the language lovers…

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More Natural Pronunciations for Online Language Learning

Finally, I found a website with natural sounding pronunciations for online language learners. I have introduced many websites before; however, the pronunciations all have a kind of mechanical sound. This one, although including only basic words, is more realistic if you want to try new languages in your spare time! I just tried Arabic and I already learned the numbers! 🙂

 

There are 11 language options. When you move your pointer over “French”, for example, you can see a brief info about the language and the flags of the countries where French is spoken.

 

When you select a languages, you see different types of conversations.

 

Let’s say you click on “My Home”. You see the whole plan of a home and you can click on any subject and hear the pronunciation.

 

You can also visit each room and click on anything! You can cook meal and see what’s in the fridge…

This is quite funny and exciting because you eventually learn some words and hear the exact pronunciations…

 

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That’s Why English is Hard to Learn

We’ll begin with box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a whole lot of mice,
But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be pen?
The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
But the plural of vow is vows, not vine.

 
And I speak of a foot, and you show me your feet,
But I give a boot… would a pair be beet?
If one is a tooth, and a whole set is teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be beeth?
If the singular is this, and the plural is these,
Why shouldn’t the plural of kiss be kese?
Then one may be that, and three be those,
Yet the plural of hat would never be hose.
We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
The masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim.
So our English, I think you will agree,
Is the trickiest language you ever did see.

 

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Common Grammar Mistakes in Translation

There are certain words or phrases that most of the people use wrong. Spelling is also another issue considering such mistakes. For example, I always misspell “grammar” as “grammer”. I can only edit this mistake after proofreading. I do not know why, I am also confused when it comes to import and export 🙂 Whenever I work as an interpreter, I write these two words on post-its and put them somewhere close to me. I came across a good article explainingthe common grammar mistakes in translations. It is a column by JON GINGERICH, I want to thank him for this wonderful post. If you have more grammar mistakes in mind, please feel free to add 🙂

Who and Whom

This one opens a big can of worms. “Who” is a subjective — or nominative — pronoun, along with “he,” “she,” “it,” “we,” and “they.” It’s used when the pronoun acts as the subject of a clause. “Whom” is an objective pronoun, along with “him,” “her,” “it”, “us,” and “them.”

Which and That

This is one of the most common mistakes out there, and understandably so. “That” is a restrictive pronoun. It’s vital to the noun to which it’s referring.  e.g., I don’t trust fruits and vegetables that aren’t organic. Here, I’m referring to all non-organic fruits or vegetables. In other words, I only trust fruits and vegetables that are organic. “Which” introduces a relative clause. It allows qualifiers that may not be essential. e.g., I recommend you eat only organic fruits and vegetables, which are available in area grocery stores.

Lay and Lie

This is the crown jewel of all grammatical errors. “Lay” is a transitive verb. It requires a direct subject and one or more objects. Its present tense is “lay” (e.g., I lay the pencil on the table) and its past tense is “laid” (e.g.,Yesterday I laid the pencil on the table). “Lie” is an intransitive verb. It needs no object. Its present tense is “lie” (e.g., The Andes mountains lie between Chile and Argentina) and its past tense is “lay” (e.g., The man lay waiting for an ambulance). The most common mistake occurs when the writer uses the past tense of the transitive “lay” (e.g., I laid on the bed) when he/she actually means the intransitive past tense of “lie” (e.g., I lay on the bed).

Moot

Contrary to common misuse, “moot” doesn’t imply something is superfluous. It means a subject is disputable or open to discussion.

Continual and Continuous

They’re similar, but there’s a difference. “Continual” means something that’s always occurring, with obvious lapses in time. “Continuous” means something continues without any stops or gaps in between.

Envy and Jealousy

The word “envy” implies a longing for someone else’s good fortunes. “Jealousy” is far more nefarious.

Nor

“Nor” expresses a negative condition. It literally means “and not.” You’re obligated to use the “nor” form if your sentence expresses a negative and follows it with another negative condition.

May and Might

“May” implies a possibility. “Might” implies far more uncertainty.

Whether and If

Many writers seem to assume that “whether” is interchangeable with “if.” It isn’t. “Whether” expresses a condition where there are two or more alternatives. “If” expresses a condition where there are no alternatives.

Fewer and Less

“Less” is reserved for hypothetical quantities. “Few” and “fewer” are for things you can quantify.

Farther and Further

The word “farther” implies a measurable distance. “Further” should be reserved for abstract lengths you can’t always measure.

Since and Because

“Since” refers to time. “Because” refers to causation.

Disinterested and Uninterested

Contrary to popular usage, these words aren’t synonymous. A “disinterested” person is someone who’s impartial. For example, a hedge fund manager might take interest in a headline regarding the performance of a popular stock, even if he’s never invested in it. He’s “disinterested,” i.e., he doesn’t seek to gain financially from the transaction he’s witnessed. Judges and referees are supposed to be “disinterested.” If the sentence you’re using implies someone who couldn’t care less, chances are you’ll want to use “uninterested.”

Anxious

Unless you’re frightened of them, you shouldn’t say you’re “anxious to see your friends.

Different Than and Different From

This is a tough one. Words like “rather” and “faster” are comparative adjectives, and are used to show comparison with the preposition “than,” (e.g., greater than, less than, faster than, rather than). The adjective “different” is used to draw distinction. So, when “different” is followed by a  preposition, it should be “from,” similar to “separate from,” “distinct from,” or “away from.” e.g., My living situation in New York was different from home. There are rare cases where “different than” is appropriate, if “than” operates as a conjunction. e.g.,Development is different in New York than in Los Angeles. When in doubt, use “different from.”

Bring and Take

In order to employ proper usage of “bring” or “take,” the writer must know whether the object is being moved toward or away from the subject. If it is toward, use “bring.” If it is away, use “take.”

Impactful

It isn’t a word. “Impact” can be used as a noun (e.g., The impact of the crash was severe) or a transitive verb (e.g., The crash impacted my ability to walk or hold a job). “Impactful” is a made-up buzzword, colligated by the modern marketing industry in their endless attempts to decode the innumerable nuances of human behavior into a string of mindless metrics. Seriously, stop saying this.

Affect and Effect

Here’s a trick to help you remember: “Affect” is almost always a verb (e.g., Facebook affects people’s attention spans), and “effect” is almost always a noun (e.g., Facebook’s effects can also be positive).

Irony and Coincidence

“Irony” is the incongruity in a series of events between the expected results and the actual results. “Coincidence” is a series of events that appear planned when they’re actually accidental.

Nauseous

Undoubtedly the most common mistake I encounter. Contrary to almost ubiquitous misuse, to be “nauseous” doesn’t mean you’ve been sickened: it actually means you possess the ability to produce nausea in others. e.g., That week-old hot dog is nauseous. When you find yourself disgusted or made ill by a nauseating agent, you are actually “nauseated.” e.g., I was nauseated after falling into that dumpster behind the Planned Parenthood. Stop embarrassing yourself.

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Orange: The Fruit or The Color?

This is a never ending discussion. It is actually similar to the relation between egg and chicken 🙂 But, today we will put an end to it with this article! 🙂

Anyway, let’s be serious 🙂 Last week, we had a discussion about the names of colors. For example orange. Did our ancestors name the fruit after the color, or the color after the fruit? At first, my friends claimed that the fruit was named after the color; however, I disagreed. I gave the violet example to prove it. In my opinion, the color violet was named after the flower. When people saw similar colors to violet itself, they just named this color as violet. When it comes to orange, the situation is the same. I also found an article supoorting my discussion. It is a very funny one so I strongly recommend you to visit the website itself. I want to thank DAVEN HISKEY for this funny article.:

Today I found out the color orange was named after the fruit, not the other way around.   Before then, the English speaking world referred to the orange color as geoluhread, which literally translates to “yellow-red”.

The word orange itself was introduced to English through the Spanish word “naranja”, which came from the Sanskrit word nāraṅga, which literally means “orange tree”.  The English dropped the leading “n” and eventually we got the word “orange”.

In the early 16th century, the word orange gradually started being used to not only refer to the fruit, but also what we now know of as the color orange.

Bonus Factoids:

  • There is an orange tree in Europe called “Constable” that is estimated to be almost 500 years old.
  • Lightning kills more orange trees annually than any disease.
  • Temple Oranges and Murcott Honey Oranges are actually hybrid oranges, being crossed with tangerines.
  • Over 25 billion oranges are grown in the United States every year.  That’s enough oranges for every American to eat about 83 oranges a year.
  • Christopher Columbus brought the first orange seeds to the New World on his second voyage in 1493.  On this same voyage, he also brought seeds for lemons and citrons.
  • Navel oranges are named for their belly-button-like formations on the opposite side from the stem.  As a general rule, the bigger the navel in the orange, the sweeter it will be.
  • There is no single English word that rhymes with orange.  There are however half rhymes such as “hing”, “syringe”, “sporange”, etc.  There are also proper nouns that come very close to being a perfect rhyme with it, such as “Blorenge”, which is a mountain in Wales, and “Gorringe”, which is the last name of the US Naval Commander who discovered and named Gorringe Ridge in 1875.

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Product Names of IKEA

To me, they mean nothing; however, it is not the case for Thai people! IKEA opened its first store in Bangkok and it resulted in a linguistic problem 🙂 In Swedish, I guess all the product names have a certain meaning but in other languages, these words might mean very very bad things! We have many examples for this issue. You should remember the Ford Nova case, which is quite popular in marketing classes 🙂 You know the French or Spanish (I Dont quite remember) pronunciation of “Nova” means “No Go” or something like that. So when you give this name to a car, it is not good at all 🙂 The car “should go”. In IKEA case, there is a similar situation which requires further linguistic and marketing research. Let’s see what UPI.com says about this:

“BANGKOK, June 9 (UPI) — A language squad spent four years vetting IKEA product names before the Swedish furniture giant opened its new Bangkok store last year.

Natthita Opaspipat, a member of the team, told The Wall Street Journal IKEA’s Swedish names “bring a unique character to the brand.” But she said misunderstandings are easy when they are heard by Thai speakers.

“We’ve got to be careful,” Natthita said. “Some of them can be, well, a little rude.”

The Redalen bed, for example, named after a town in Norway, sounds like a Thai term for sexual intercourse. Part of the name of the Jattebra plant pot also sounds like a term for the sex act, a term not used in polite society.

IKEA’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad, began using children’s names and place names in the Scandinavian countries for his products in the 1950s because he himself was dyslexic. While the company’s sources of names have expanded along with its product line, it is still Scandinavian.

Natthita said the team has tried to keep as close to the original as possible, sometimes only changing a single letter. Team members have to consider both how a word sounds and what it will look like when spelled out in Thai’s cursive alphabet.”

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Different Ways of Learning a Language Online

3-4 days ago, some one asked me on Linkedin if I know any good website where one can learn a language online. I sent her the links of my previous posts. I introduced you a couple of online learning tool before but after answering her question I got more curious and I came across this web site on internet: http://www.readwriteweb.com. Some time ago, they published a post about the online language software and websites. I checked all the websites they recommended; however, some of them are not working anymore. I have just pasted the recommendations of readwriteweb.com. I found some of them quite interesting and useful. If you want to learn a language online, I’m sure you will like one of the following links!

– Mango Languages: 12 different online language courses presented in conversational format with prices starting at free.

– Vocabulix: Free vocab building lessons in Spanish, German and English, as well as other languages, with a baked in social network.

– Pod NetworkSpanishpod – Frenchpod – Chinesepod – Free online lessons in three languages.

– BBC Languages: A host of language learning tools and self-contained online courses from the BBC.

– eLanguageSchool.net: Free lessons for learning 10 different languages online.

– LiveMocha: This site combines lessons, with an online community allowing you to practice speaking with native speakers, which dovetails nicely into the next set of sites.

– xLingo: A language exchange that lets users create and share flashcards with each other.

– Palabea: Reviews of language learning software in addition to an online language exchange.

– Interpals: A large language exchange from a popular penpal social network.

– Mixxer: A free language exchange using Skype built by Dickinson College.

– TT4You: A free global language exchange site.

– Language Buddy: A free language exchange with 115 supported languages.

– Convesation Exchange: Text and voice chat, email, or face-to-face meetings can bet set up via Language Buddy to improve your conversational skills.

– Lingozone: Build vocab skills by playing game of Word Ladder and Hangman, while making friends with whom to practice speaking.

– Language Exchange Network: Think Craigslist for language learning; this site has super-simple language exchange classified listings.

– MyLanguageExchange: One of the oldest online language exchanges (this site was a Yahoo! Internet Life pick in 2001), it claims over 1 million members speaking 115 different languages.

 

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