International Mother Language Day

21 February 2014 marks the fifteenth “International Mother Language Day”. Established by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in 1999, it aims to promote linguistic and cultural diversity, as well as multilingualism. The theme for this year is “Local languages for global citizenship: spotlight on science”. So who will be celebrating? Well, around […]

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Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is truly in the air here in Wales. It’s customary for people to write cards to their ‘valentines’ and perhaps send a box of chocolates or a bunch of flowers too. Each year in Britain, we spend roughly £503 million on keeping this tradition alive; meanwhile, over […]

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Saint Dwynwen’s Day

  25 January is the day of Saint Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint of lovers. A Welsh equivalent of St Valentine’s Day, the day commemorates Dwynwen, whose legend goes roughly as follows: in the 5th Century Dwynwen, one of the daughters of King Brychan Brycheiniog, was promised to Prince Maelon who did not accept her […]

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Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! – Happy New Year!

  You may think I’m 9 days too late, but if you were following the old Julian calendar you would realise that I’m four days early. 13 January is known in Wales as ‘yr Hen Galan’ (the old New Year’s Day). Some areas, notably the Gwaun Valley, near Fishguard, will see children collecting ‘calennig’ today […]

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Business Language Services Happy St Nicholas day!
Business Language Services Happy St Nicholas day!

The 6th of December is Saint Nicholas day, widely celebrated in Europe as a gift giving holiday. St Nicholas was the bishop of Myra, corresponding to modern-day Turkey, and died on the 6 December 343 AD. We may not know much about him in the UK, but Saint Nicholas is believed to be the inspiration […]

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Business Language Services Happy World Television Day
Business Language Services Happy World Television Day

The United Nations recognises 21 November as World Television Day so this may be a suitable time for a discussion of foreign-language television programmes shown in the UK. When I was younger the only foreign television I remember was American and in English. If you wanted to watch a French film, you had to stay […]

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Halloween is an abbreviated form of All Hallow’s Evening, a celebration to mark the eve of the Christian feast of All Saints Day on 1 November. However, it was only from 609 AD that the Church recognised the festival. The holiday actually has its roots in Pagan traditions; it originated as Shamhain, a Gaelic word […]

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Business Language Services WALES’S PREMIER FESTIVAL IS UPON US
Business Language Services WALES’S PREMIER FESTIVAL IS UPON US

  The National Eisteddfod of Wales, the country’s premier cultural festival, will start tomorrow in the town of Denbigh in Denbighshire, north east Wales. It will run from 2-10 August. The market town will be welcoming an event that regularly attracts around 150,000 visitors over the course of a week. Eisteddfod literally means a ‘sitting’ […]

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Business Language Services BBC programme Story of Wales back on television
Business Language Services BBC programme Story of Wales back on television

BBC Wales’s landmark series on Welsh history will be repeated starting at 10.45pm on 25 July. The Story of Wales summarising the history of Wales from pre-historic times to the 21st Century aired for the first time last spring.  Presented by newscaster Huw Edwards, it was well received in Wales, with around 400,000 viewers, particularly […]

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Business Language Services NEWPORT COUNCIL TRANSLATION BLUNDER
Business Language Services NEWPORT COUNCIL TRANSLATION BLUNDER

  The Western Mail reported last week on a road sign in Newport, ‘no access for coaches’, that was translated as Dim mynediad ar gyfer hyfforddwyr, banning access to sporting coaches, as opposed to buses. It seems there’s no welcome for Warren Gatland in Newport!   This is not the first time a mistake of […]

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