Another Great Year for Translations

The ATA, of which the author a long-standing member, is celebrating another historic year for the industry, as it joined forces with other organizations to increase the visibility and influence of translators and interpreters around the world. Below are some of this year's handpicked accomplishments: "The UN General Assembly recognized International Translation Day and acknowledged … Continue reading Another Great Year for Translations

Transcreation Toolbox (II): The Literary Devices Behind Great Slogans

(Read initial article here.) Here are some other exciting examples of slogans for brands that have made history. And an explanation why they have managed to stand out and work so well. British Rail: Six simple words and a rhyme. "Let the train take the strain". There is assonance for a more powerful and memorable … Continue reading Transcreation Toolbox (II): The Literary Devices Behind Great Slogans

Cooperative Communication and Grice’s 4 Maxims

Some time ago I promised to offer you a more in-depth look at pragmatics, the principle of cooperative communication, and the 4 Gricean Maxims. I owe it to all of you patient readers to deliver on that promise, so let me just apologize for the delay and pick up where I left off. I've been … Continue reading Cooperative Communication and Grice’s 4 Maxims

Language and Logic: Deconstructing Political Discourse (I)

Why does language matter?  Why is it important and beneficial for people to have very good language skills? Postmodern culture theorists will tell you all notions are socially constructed, and that language is used not only to reflect, but also to co-create realities.  In a sense, all reality is textual:  it depends itself on language … Continue reading Language and Logic: Deconstructing Political Discourse (I)

Translation News

Here is the latest news straight from the ATA Headquarters: Roughly a third of all global research could be overlooked by the international scientific community because it is published in languages other than English. Scientific knowledge by non-native English speakers is often underrepresented in the dominant English-language academic journals, and there is a language-related imbalance … Continue reading Translation News

2016 Translation News

Only three more days until 2017! But before we leave 2016 behind to embark on new adventures, here are some of the most interesting linguistic news directly from the ATA headquarters: Wikitongues, a non-profit organization based in New York, wants to help preserve and record linguistic diversity. It has volunteers in 40 countries, who have recorded over … Continue reading 2016 Translation News

Social Interactions via Language – Politeness

Now, another theory I absolutely love in terms of conversation analysis and pragmatics (speaker meaning) is Brown and Levinson's "Politeness theory". According to Yule (2014), politeness is showing awareness and consideration for another person's emotional and social sense of self (or "face"). Psychology tells us there are at least two basic psychological needs we all … Continue reading Social Interactions via Language – Politeness

Social Interaction Via Language – The Co-operative Principle in Conversation

The usual underlying assumption in conversation is that the participants are co-operating with each other. But are they? Always? Did you ever have a conversation that was not only ineffective, but it left you completely unfulfilled and bamboozled? I know. Been there, done that. The reason for this is probably quite simple. Either you or your … Continue reading Social Interaction Via Language – The Co-operative Principle in Conversation

Second Language Acquisition – A Few Tips

Second or foreign language acquisition is often fundamentally different from first language (or mother tongue) acquisition. The first language is acquired through a process of daily immersion and constant interaction in a nurturing "native language" environment - and small children have little else to do besides absorbing things like sponges from their environments. Second language acquisition … Continue reading Second Language Acquisition – A Few Tips

Meaning Revisited

So how do we make sense of words, sentences and texts? How are we able to decipher discourse and take part in conversation? What are the required elements of meaning and how are they glued together? Words usually have both a conceptual meaning (their literal definition in a dictionary, the reference they point to in … Continue reading Meaning Revisited