Blog Archives

Errors? Blame Titivillus!

During the Middle Ages, a period during which the vast majority of the population was illiterate, the skills of reading and writing were under the responsibility of the Church, and, in particular, the monasteries, where monks transcribed different (usually religious) texts over and over again in order to preserve them over the years. This activity […]

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The 21st Century: Scientists or Translators?

As globalization continues throughout the world, the translation of scientific documents (and in particular, those for the medical and pharmaceutical fields) is faced with a series of challenges. One of the most notable characteristics of medical language during the last few decades of the twentieth century was the complete domination of English as the sole […]

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Where Do We Obtain Reference Materials for Translations?

Translators must sometimes undertake very specific translations focused on a very technical subject that is of critical importance to a client. In these cases, we must take into account that this client is entrusting us with something that could be crucial to their business or personal life. For example, sometimes we receive manuals for factory machinery or […]

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The Mystery of the Untranslatable Book

In Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library is a book that no one has ever been able to read. It is written in a non-existent or unknown language and features illustrations of plants and creatures that have never been seen on the planet. The copy has 240 illustrated pages, is quite small, and is bound […]

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The Birth of a Language

Some time ago we wrote about code switching, and how this informal phenomenon manifests itself in virtually infinite ways. In that post, we mentioned Spanglish, Belgrano-Deutsch, Portuñol, and Llanito as examples of code switching. Of course, that list was not exhaustive, as there are many other examples. Indeed, in recent years we can even add […]

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Can Artificial Languages Be Established?

Artificial languages​, that is, languages ​​constructed by humans based on the study of “natural” languages, ​​have been created throughout history for multiple (and, indeed, very interesting) reasons, although they have not always achieved their purpose. In many cases, the purpose of these languages ​​has been to unite the world. In 1879, a German priest named […]

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What Is Nüshu?

This week, while surfing through an online video site, I came across a documentary on a group of women living in Hunan, a remote region in southern China, who have a unique and interesting history to contribute to the world of translation and languages. This group of women created a set of characters that only […]

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