Translation blunders – from humorous to downright offensive

Sometimes even with the best of intentions, things don’t quite turn out as expected. Many companies in an eager attempt to engage with their international customers have translated their slogans and marketing materials that, unfortunately, have not had the same resonance as the original English version. The famous coffee chain, Starbucks, left customers in their Welsh branch […]

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Translation Howler of the Week

“I’ve got a strap on me, this is bare bait” Text message evidence translated by barrister, Mark Paltenghi, in court as: “I’ve got a gun and this is really risky.” [Source: Mail on Sunday] Look out for next week’s translation howler winner. Feel free to add your own and we can build up some of […]

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Bilingual children cope better in noisy classrooms

  From September this year, the teaching of a foreign language to primary school children in state schools across the country has become compulsory. The move was influenced by growing concerns over the number of students who are not choosing a language for their GCSE and A-level exams. It was reported that between 1996 and 2012, […]

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Should professional translators be concerned about machine translation?

For centuries, translators have worked hard to translate demanding, lengthy and often highly technical texts so that we can all benefit from reading them in our native language. We now might be entering an era where machines will take on their work and we will be able to have our texts translated by just a […]

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Can ‘linguistic tourism’ save 24 endangered languages of Europe?

A recent study by Dr. Christopher Moseley of UCL School of Slavonic Languages and Eastern European Studies, based on the data from the UNESCO Languages in Danger project initiated  in 1993, found that there are 33 languages under threat of extinction with four on the list being spoken in Britain. Isle of Man’s Manx language and Cornish have […]

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Placing Emphasis on Fun when it comes to Language Learning

                  Many schools and colleges up and down the country organised various activities and events to mark the European Day of Languages on 25 September. These included treasure hunts, storytelling and dressing up all of which had a language-based theme. This year Florence, Italy, was host to a major conference […]

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New Shortlist Reveals Worst English Language Offenders

When a company or an individual is in the limelight one would expect them, or at least their marketing agency, to advise against using poor grammar. Sadly, this is clearly not the case, as well-known institutions such as the NHS and Tesco have been named amongst the worst offenders for using poor grammar.   The […]

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