Blog Archives

The Peritextual Environment

There is a big difference between competence in a field and encyclopedic knowledge. “Competence in the field” is everything related to the concrete information related to the technical aspects of a field. Technical texts require a technical fluency based on the mastery of a specific area of knowledge and its lexical and terminological aspects. Encyclopedic […]

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Demonstratives in English and Spanish

Demonstratives are used to point to another element that they depend on to achieve their full meaning. If they point backwards, it is known as an anaphoric reference; those that point forward are making a cataphoric reference. In English, we work with two degrees of proximity (“this”, “that”), while Spanish offers three (“este”, “ese”, “aquel”). […]

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The Newest Grammar Hounds

Grammar hounds, and I include myself in this list, are those who are so obsessed with proper presentation of a language that even the slightest mistake or oversight in a sentence invokes a twitchy reaction and a move to whatever “Edit” button is available. The Internet is a bastion of poor grammar and spelling mistakes […]

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Common Features of Languages

To begin with, a characteristic that is shared by all languages is that they are arbitrary, which is in its most elemental form is demonstrated in the absence of a natural relationship between the codes of the common language and the events or properties they refer to, between form and meaning. We associate specific concepts […]

The World Bank’s Language Policy

I never cease to discover new facts about the world that stun me to silence. Rebecca Harris at Foreign Policy recently published an article addressing problems that community groups in Yemen are having in receiving a translated version of the World Bank‘s conditions on a grant they were given. When confronted, the official response from […]

Changes in Meaning: Evolution or Corruption?

Neatorama.com has posted an excerpt from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader highlighting different words and expressions whose meanings are not the same now as they were in the past. The list is fun, informative, and most of all, accurate. The classic example of “irony” is brought up and, well, it won’t do anything to solve the […]

Contemporary Theories on Translation: Nida and Steiner

The translation process is defined as the operation of obtaining the closest natural equivalent primarily in terms of meaning as well as the style (attempt to convey the same meaning and the same style as the original). Nida denotes two types of equivalency: formal equivalency, in which the formal characteristics of the source text are […]