July 2004

Translation and the FBI

July 30, 2004

Thanks Caroline for sending me this slightly disturbing article from the New York Times and for perfectly summing up my feelings on the whole story: "It's so refreshing to learn that US intelligence employs non-reliable, inaccurate translators while firing those...

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Posted by céline on July 30, 2004
Culture

EU language barrier "costing lives"

July 28, 2004

This article in the Guardian today tells us that Doctors in some of the world's poorest countries are being denied cheap life-saving drugs for patients because Brussels lacks enough linguists to translate a new patent law into the 20 languages...

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Posted by céline on July 28, 2004
Language

Using Google 2

July 27, 2004

And now for an illustration of how wonderfully helpful Google can be: I had to translate "cornrow" yesterday. I had absolutely no idea what it was, couldn't find it in my dictionaries and the context wasn't helpful at all. So...

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Posted by céline on July 27, 2004
Freelance translation

Using Google

July 23, 2004

I'm currently subtitling the actors' commentary of Shaun of the Dead, the first romzom (romantic comedy with zombies) ever. It's a very funny film that I recommend, especially to zombie film fans like me who also like a good spoof....

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Posted by céline on July 23, 2004
Freelance translation

Saddam

July 21, 2004

Thanks to LanguageHat, I now have the answer to something that had been puzzling me for a while. Why, do you think, do newsreaders and politicians refer to "Saddam Hussein" as "Saddam"? I always thought this use of his first...

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Posted by céline on July 21, 2004
Words

Dangling participle

July 19, 2004

I had never heard of a dangling participle and wouldn't have thought I'd learn about such a fine grammatical point while subtitling an episode of American Dreams, but there you go. A dangling participle is a participle that doesn't modify...

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Posted by céline on July 19, 2004
Technical corner

My Way

July 16, 2004

Margaret Marks mentions a comparison of the translations of the song 99 Luftballoons on this site (via inthe80s and PapaScott). I thought I'd do a similar thing with Frank Sinatra's "My Way." I bet most people will be surprised to...

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Posted by céline on July 16, 2004
Culture

La Marseillaise

July 14, 2004

It's Bastille day and I'd like to talk about the French national anthem. It is regularly discussed whether its words should be changed. Why? See for yourself why it might be deemed offensive: Let us go, children of the Fatherland...

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Posted by céline on July 14, 2004
Culture

Rozzer

July 12, 2004

Talking about police officers, amongst the numerous and colourful words used to call the police in Britain, rozzer was always one that I thought was non-offensive and almost affectionate. Wrong. It comes in fact from the Hebrew word "chazer" (approximately...

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Posted by céline on July 12, 2004
Words

Accent issues

July 7, 2004

Last night I was chatting to a Black police officer, and somehow we got onto the topic of accents. He said that at work, he was very aware of his Asian accent and did his best to adopt a Queen's...

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Posted by céline on July 7, 2004
Interpreting

The whole nine yards

July 2, 2004

Polite clapping. Four more runs for Sussex in a lively one-day match against Durham. It's a real shame that the wind is freezing in the Sussex County Cricket ground, otherwise this would be a perfect way to end a Wednesday....

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Posted by céline on July 2, 2004
Idioms