Blog Archives

Etymology: The DNA of Words

The word “etymology” comes from the Latin word “etymologĭa” and also the Greek word “ἐτυμολογία,” which is composed of “ἔτυμος étimos” (true sense”), and “λογία” (“the study of”). Therefore, etymology is the study of the meaning of words, or parts thereof. For example, Latin and Greek are two “heavyweights,” as they are the source of […]

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Helianthus vs. Sunflower – Are botanical translations a real challenge?

I’ve always been intrigued by the real and complex names of flowers. Who knew that a sunflower is actually called helianthus or that Lanicera caprifolium means honeysuckle? I bet the majority of you don’t and that’s why when it comes to literary translations it’s really important that linguists are familiarized with these terms and also […]

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Spectacular Vernacular

Before the beginning of the Middle Ages, Latin was the language used by educated persons to transmit their knowledge, both religious and academic. Even after the start of medieval times, Latin continued to be the language of choice, but vernacular began to creep its way in to both the religious and the academic circles, with […]

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A Not-so-Dead Language

A few weeks ago we talked about Latin and some of its expressions that persist until today, even in daily use. In the title of this post we make reference to the fact that these expressions are the resistance of a dead language. However, aside from these expressions, which are used in all fields, Latin […]

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Latin Phrases: The Resistance of a Dead Language

Until the 18th century, the language of cultural and scientific expression in Europe was Latin. For this reason, many Latin phrases continue to be used until today in scientific, philosophical, technical, religious, medical, and legal language. We frequently come across these phrases, and in general, if we are translating between European languages, where in most […]

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Difficult Languages

It is easier for a person who speaks a Latin-derived language to learn to speak another language that shares the same Latin roots since they will both use the same alphabet and similar sounds. However, attempting to learn a language that has a completely different set of letters or characters and sounds from your own […]

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The Origin of the Carnival Holiday

Although many people usually associate the holiday of Carnival as something celebrated in Brazil, many would be surprised to know that it is in fact, a worldwide celebration. Usually occurring in February, the festivities for this holiday happen right before Lent. The many themes surrounding this holiday include masks, parades, fireworks, dancing, and of course, […]

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