Blog Archives

Europe’s Contribution to the Future of English

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In my last post “Translating…The Future” I wrote about one possible aspect of the future of the English language; the probability  that it will become more and more simple over time. As I mentioned in that post, it is a natural phenomenon for complicated grammatical structures to be progressively and slowly discarded from widely-spoken languages, […]

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Translating… The Future?

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A little over 600 years ago, Geoffrey Chaucer, whom is widely considered to be the father of English literature, asked why anyone would possibly want to learn English, a language with no literature.  Indeed, at that time English was the new kid on the block, confined to Great Britain’s meager population of just four million […]

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Exploring Idioms in Foreign Languages

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In my previous post “Understanding English-Language Idioms,” I discussed the peculiarity of idioms. Idioms are expressions used in informal language that don’t actually mean what their literal meaning would suggest, which is often rather strange. We use idioms every day without putting much thought into their literal meaning or their origin. However, idioms can also […]

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A big “spasibo” to translators of the Russian classics

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If you’re not planning on learning Russian and learning it fast, this holiday season is the perfect time to treat yourself to a bit of classic Russian literature, English language style, brought to you by renowned translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. My first Russian classic was Crime & Punishment, translated by the Paris-residing couple […]

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Is it possible to mirror the source?

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There is no intellectual feat which can be considered anything but useless, according to Jorge Luis Borges in “Pierre Menard, author of the Quixote”. This affirmation is, however, challenged all throughout the author’s short story, which tells of a man who set out to become the author of the Quixote, centuries after Cervantes’ (in)famous novel […]

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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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Are We Just a Product of the Languages We Speak?

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Each language has a particular grammatical structure and different ways of expressing ideas, which is something that anyone who has studied another language has experienced and which translators are particularly aware of. These unique linguistic nuances often emphasize different parts of speech, which require speakers to consider different causes, possibilities and ideas. But is it […]

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