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Lost in Punctuation

As languages may differ in terms of structure, gender, and syntax; there’s something that most languages have in common (there are a few exceptions to the rule): they need Punctuation. Punctuation is what helps us make sense of what we read and say, a necessary evil which serves to contain the chaos inherent in language. […]

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Untranslatable Words from French

There are thousands of words and expressions that, for linguistic or cultural reasons, don’t have an exact equivalent in other languages. When translating, we must use our imagination and our linguistic abilities to incorporate them into the target text in the most natural way possible. In an earlier post in our collection of linguistic curiosities, […]

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An Academy of the English Language…Not

Is the English language perfect as it is? As it continuously evolves (and sometimes regresses) and transforms, should there be a body in charge of regulating it? These are some of the questions that are being asked when it comes to establishing rules regarding the use of our widely spread language. The French language has […]

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What is Papiamento?

When you’re on vacation you want everything to be easy and relaxing. And for many, apart from resting and exploring our destination of choice, we would also like to be able to communicate with the locals.   Since English is my native language, and I also speak Spanish quite fluently, traveling through any English-speaking country, […]

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The Gender-Sensitive Evolution of Languages

One of the characteristics that makes the English language such an easy-to-learn and accessible language is – from a grammatical perspective – its neutrality when using masculine and feminine nouns, and more importantly, articles. Latin languages (such as Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese) are gender-sensitive languages, where the differentiation between masculine and feminine is evident. […]

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3 Ways Pronunciation Can Get Lost in Translation

A Spanish-native friend of mine recently recommended I watch a new Netflix series which has gone viral; you may have heard of “Stranger Things”. There was some initial confusion, however, because my friend didn’t say “Things”, but rather “Fings”. This phenomenon caught my attention: (it always has actually, and that’s why I’ve decided to write […]

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