Language

A microblog and a blog

December 4, 2012

Recommended reading

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on December 4, 2012
Interpreting, Language

Piano de cuisine

November 22, 2010

Piano de cuisine : French translation for "range cooker"

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on November 22, 2010
Language

English, French and Arabic

March 30, 2010

The influence of Arabic on English and French: links to Arabic loanwords in French and in English

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on March 30, 2010
Language

Margaret Gelling

June 4, 2009

We spent last Saturday walking in Swaledale, in the Yorkshire Dales, starting from Gunnerside. Our walk book pointed out that this name comes from Norse “Gunner’s saetr”, meaning “Gunner’s slope”, which reminded me of the recent death of Margaret Gelling,...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on June 4, 2009
Language

Plain English Campaign

December 12, 2008

A reader asked me whether the Plain English campaign has affected my work as a translator. This campaign is mainly aimed at the literature produced by the government, at all levels, to ensure that crucial information is easily understandable...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on December 12, 2008
Language

Bilingualism in the USA

November 28, 2008

I’m back from the USA. I had a fantastic time (can you see me in the photo?). I won’t talk about the differences between British and American English, as other blogs out there do it much better than I would...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on November 28, 2008
Language

Rwanda drops French as official language

November 1, 2008

It's official. There goes the 60,000 word English report I was meant to spend most of December and January translating into French for an NGO based in Rwanda. Where do I complain? What do you mean, Rwanda has other fish...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on November 1, 2008
Language

Translation and language links

September 3, 2008

Thank you to all the people who sent me interesting links recently. As I will be starting a Spanish course in October at Leeds Metropolitan University, I was particularly interested in palabea, a social network site for practicing and learning...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on September 3, 2008
Language

Alcohol and linguistic abilities

June 30, 2008

When I first arrived in England and I was struggling to understand and speak English, I noticed that my fluency increased noticeably after drinking some of the warm beer that my new friends seemed to like so much. I always...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on June 30, 2008
Language

Language maps

January 10, 2008

Three interesting language maps for you, courtesy of strange maps (via Language Log) and Wikipedia (thanks Xavier!). Click on the images to go to the relevant articles. A recent map of the languages of Europe....

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on January 10, 2008
Language

Cymraeg

September 20, 2007

I’m off to Wales for a holiday. As I’ll be the co-pilot on this journey and due to the fact that we’ll be going through places such as Eglwysbach, Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, Abergwy-gregyn and the like (I’ll do my best to...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on September 20, 2007
Language

Being bilingual protects the brain

September 18, 2007

Being fluent in two languages may help to keep the brain sharper for longer, a study suggests. It's interesting how bilingual (able to speak two languages with the facility of a native speaker) and fluent (able to speak or write...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on September 18, 2007
Language

How bilinguals switch between tongues

May 21, 2007

Bilingualism is a topic which interests me, and it's been mentioned on this blog in my entry language and the brain and Caroline and Daniel's second language acquisition and bilingual language processing. Now Xavier has sent me a link to...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on May 21, 2007
Language

The "N word"

March 2, 2007

New York to impose a voluntary ban on the "N word" Some argue that doing so [weaving the term into music and entertainment] is empowering, and that reclaiming a slur and giving it a new meaning takes away its punch....

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on March 2, 2007
Language

Stephen Fry & Hugh Laurie: The Subject of Language

January 23, 2007

I'm much too busy to watch Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie ramble on about language. But I did it anyway. "Thanks" Der....

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on January 23, 2007
Language

Language and propaganda

January 12, 2007

One of the many, many things I found fascinating in Cuba is the use of language for political ends. Wherever you go, you are bound to end up reading political messages, all of them to the glory of the revolution....

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on January 12, 2007
Language

The evolution of the Queen's English

December 12, 2006

As the common tongue continues its inexorable slide towards a new dark age of glottal stops and "innits", news comes that even the Queen is drifting slowly down river towards Estuary English....

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on December 12, 2006
Language

Language and familiarity

December 8, 2006

During my first tea-break today, I was saying to a friend that although I have a fairly wide vocabulary, which I rely on heavily in my work, I actually don’t make use of it in everyday speech. I tend to...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on December 8, 2006
Language

Paris Syndrome

October 24, 2006

Around a dozen Japanese tourists a year need psychological treatment after visiting Paris as the reality of unfriendly locals and scruffy streets clashes with their expectations, a newspaper reported on Sunday. "A third of patients get better immediately, a...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on October 24, 2006
Language

Murray's postbox

October 17, 2006

Today is an important day of action in the History Matters campaign, so I thought I would write about a landmark which has a very special place in the history of the English language. This postbox is unique in the...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on October 17, 2006
Language

100 words for 100 years

July 17, 2006

Askoxford.com mentions Susie Dent's Fanboys and Overdogs, in which she selects one word to represent each of the last hundred years. "Not all of them bear heavy historical significance, but each captures something of the cultural vibrancy of the year...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on July 17, 2006
Language

The most common nouns in the English language

June 22, 2006

The most common noun in the English language is "time" "The thing that struck me when I put together this list was that 90% of the top 100 words were one syllable, and that a large proportion were actually from...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on June 22, 2006
Language

Guaraní

June 9, 2006

What do cougar, toucan and jaguar have in common? Not much, apart from all being loanwords from Guaraní, Paraguay's second language (its first language being Spanish). "Paraguay" itself is a Guaraní word that means "place of great water", probably because...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on June 9, 2006
Language

English as the national language of the USA

May 19, 2006

English would be declared the "national language" of the United States under a measure the Senate approved Thursday, a largely symbolic move that supporters said would promote unity and encourage assimilation by immigrants. I don't know what I think about...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on May 19, 2006
Language

The Simpsons, humour and linguistics

March 24, 2006

Margaret links to a post on HeiDeas on The Simpsons, linguistics and humour (extra helping here). Just what I needed to brighten up this dreary Friday morning....

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on March 24, 2006
Language

Guest blogger: The languages of Guernsey

September 30, 2005

By Xavier Kreiss My mother is a Guernseywoman, and I've known and loved Guernsey all my life. The Channel Islands have always held a particular attraction for me - I'm a half-British Frenchman, which probably explains the affinity between myself...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on September 30, 2005
Culture, Language

The Oxford English Dictionary

September 22, 2005

How are dictionaries created? How do people collect all these words and make sure they don't forget any? These are the types of questions that led me to read Simon Winchester's The Meaning of Everything (also, it was a birthday...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on September 22, 2005
Language

Origins of place names

July 8, 2005

There are lots of place names ending in –dene or –dean around Brighton: Westdene, Rottigdean, Saltdean,Woodingdean, Coldean, Holligdean, Ovingdean, Roedean, Varndean, Withdean. Of course I had to find out what this ending means. This is what the Concise Oxford Dictionary...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on July 8, 2005
Language

Is language just a communication tool?

June 9, 2005

Fancy a little challenge? The title of this entry is the topic of the philosophy exam in this year's Bac. I want your essays on my desk tomorrow morning. Mine, in 1990, was "Is art work or leisure?". I loved...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on June 9, 2005
Language

When the Web lingo was new

April 11, 2005

It's amazing how new words and expressions get assimilated by language in the Internet age, to the point where a word that is new one year is commonly and globally used the next. I found this article called "When the...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on April 11, 2005
Language

The top 10 words of 2004

December 2, 2004

Merriam-Webster has compiled a list of the most researched words on its Web sites, and this is the result: 1. blog 2. incumbent 3. electoral 4. insurgent 5. hurricane 6. cicada 7. peloton 8. partisan 9. sovereignty 10. defenestration Blog...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on December 2, 2004
Language

Langue sauce piquante

November 30, 2004

Thanks to Transblawg and Language Hat for mentioning Langue sauce piquante, a very promising new blog written (in French! Hurrah!) by Le Monde's proofreaders. They talk about language, expressions, words, in fact, everything I like. Their most recent entry on...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on November 30, 2004
Language

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...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on July 28, 2004
Language

The Modern Language Association

June 18, 2004

Thanks to Caroline for sending me the link to a CNN article about The Modern Language Association. It gives a map of the languages spoken in the USA. I did a search on "French" and it appears that some of...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on June 18, 2004
Language

Language and diplomacy

May 7, 2004

A couple of weeks ago on Word of Mouth (Radio 4), there was a very interesting piece about the role of the French and the English languages in diplomacy. French was widely used in international diplomacy for two main reasons:...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on May 7, 2004
Language

A hundred words for snow?

April 23, 2004

Language Hat has debunked one of my favourite linguistic facts, which has been around for ages and that I've often heard quoted by people who seemed to know what they were talking about. I genuinely believed that Eskimos had one...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on April 23, 2004
Language

Eats, Shoots and Leaves

February 5, 2004

I recommend Eats, Shoots and Leaves, by Lynne Truss, to anyone with a vague interest in punctuation but who can’t face an arid textbook on do’s and don’t’s. Or who feels that sitting on a bus or a train reading...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on February 5, 2004
Language

Word of Mouth

January 26, 2004

Thanks Andy for letting me know about Word of Mouth, a half-hour weekly program on Radio 4, “Radio 4's open door on the world of words and the way we speak”. I listened online to the most recent program and...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on January 26, 2004
Language

Understatement

January 21, 2004

“We’re now going to try and land, cabin crew take your seats for landing.” We’d been circling Biarritz for 20 minutes, waiting for the storm raging below us to abate, and “trying to land” wasn’t a prospect that was filling...

Bookmark and Share

Posted by céline on January 21, 2004
Language