Monthly Archives: December 2009

One Japanese New Year’s Celebration

While taking my time to look around and appreciate all that other cultures have to offer in terms of variety and uniqueness, I stumbled across this fantastic post describing the tradition on the Japanese peninsula of Oga: http://samuraidave.wordpress.com/2009/03/04/japanese-devils-scare-the-laziness-out-of-kids/ In short, the tradition centers around Namahage, a local mountain deity who…well, he must be seen to […]

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Book Club Meeting #2

Just in time for Christmas, I have found “On the Death and Life of Languages” by Claude Hagege is now available at my favorite bookstore and I must say that I am intrigued. Here is a description from the publisher: Twenty-five languages die each year; at this pace, half the world’s five thousand languages will […]

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Automatic Translation Websites

Several websites have popped up that are in the business of automatic translation. Some of them are just general, and others are specialized in certain subjects and offer their services to anyone who is looking to translate any word or phrase. We also have online dictionaries that are specific to fields such as medicine, legal, […]

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The Importance of Language in Diplomacy

The United States government has a high demand for linguists. President Obama’s administration is looking to put more emphasis on diplomacy through more effective multilingual communication in all areas: intelligence, defense, State Department agencies, etc. The ILR (Interagency Language Roundtable) was created and includes several agencies of the State Department. Its main focus will be […]

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Is “usted” Really Always the Best Option?

I’ve noticed lots of confusion regarding this matter: many people are under the impression that it’s correct to use “usted” at all times, in all cases. I’m afraid that that’s not correct, however: not always, not in all cases.  It depends on the objective to be accomplished. According to the Diccionario de la Real Academia […]

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Why Multilingualism Counts for So Much

As a translator and as someone that is surrounded by multilingual individuals on a daily basis at work, I’d have to say that I find the process and the effort of grappling with various languages to be enormously rewarding.  As somebody that grew up in a multilingual home I am convinced it is something that […]

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