Blog Archives

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 […]

How to Kill a Language

In language, few things are as interesting and intriguing as the capacity for innovation and creativity that serve as the basis of a “living language.” Without these properties, languages become paralyzed and inevitably embark upon the path to their linguistic demise. Nonetheless, in many languages there is a minority of native speakers that are infatuated […]

Tagged with:

Changing Chinese Names

As I have brought up on this site before, one of the things I most appreciate about the English language is the amount of creativity speakers have due to the lack of a regulating body. Another issue that has never ceased to amaze me is the fact that other countries do not allow you to […]

Tagged with:

Cogency: Am I Making Myself Understood?

The ability to formulate an argument (written or spoken) that logically sustains itself is not perceived the same way in every part of the world, a fact which makes the work of a translator quite peculiar in certain instances.  In fact, the intersection of language and culture yields some incredibly interesting dilemmas, with regards to […]

Tagged with:

Obama and the Grammar Police

While President Obama has long been lauded for his eloquent speech (see my post “Obama and Power of Words”), as well as his intellect and professionalism, he has also been slammed for his grammar. Obama’s most widely criticized “mistake” is doubtlessly his “misuse” of pronouns. Like so many American English speakers, myself included, Obama often […]

Tagged with:

Split Infinitives and the Monster of Prescriptive Grammar

Yes, the Monster of Prescriptive Grammar has reared its ugly head, and boy did it choose the occasion to do so – the inauguration of the first African-American president of the United States. For those who watched President Obama take the oath of office, I’m sure you found it awkward, ridiculous, shameful or just bizarre […]

Tagged with:

Research

We often get a translation on a topic that we don’t know in detail. What should we do? We have a few possibilities: If we find the terminology and content of the document(s) to be too complex and the amount of text involved would require research on our part that would take too much time […]

Tagged with: