Blog Archives

The Spanish Invasion

There is a lot of talk about how Spanish is increasingly overrun by Anglicisms. However, it is also interesting to note that English, at present, has also borrowed a significant number of words from Spanish. This phenomenon is not new. As early as the late eighteenth century, in the United States something could be described […]

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Grammars: where Linguistics meets Computer Science

Noam Chomsky is a celebrity in many fields. Some translators get surprised when I mention that he is also well known in Computer Science. He invented (discovered?) a classification of grammars as formal systems according to their power of expression (or processing): the Chomsky Hierarchy. This scheme classifies the languages generated by the grammars in […]

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Can Language Affect the Way We Think?

Ever since I started to learn a second language, I’ve noticed that when I speak in this language, I feel as if I am taking on another personality. I had always chalked it up to my non-native accent and my occasional uncertainty in this second language, which undoubtedly makes me sound less confident. However, research […]

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Automatic Translation of Technical Files

Automatic translation, also for these purposes referred to as machine translation, is a component of Computational Linguistics and represents the intersection of Translation and Information Technology to explore the functions of the software that can translate text from one language to another in a legible manner. Alan Melby, PhD in Computational Linguistics and professor at […]

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Translation Studies

Texts have been translated between languages empirically, by hand. This doesn’t mean that people have not spent time reflecting and theorizing on the art of translation or that the great translators of history have stopped proposing their own theories. However, only recently have linguists elevated translation to a scientific category by creating a branch of […]

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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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Adjectives: Differences in English and Spanish

In English, adjectives are always spelled the same and, syntactically, are almost always placed before the noun. In Spanish, there are a few that are generally unchangeable, but the majoirty aren’t, and nearly all of them denote the number of the subject (singular or plural). Its expressive value differs depending on if it is placed […]

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