About Language

Does a second language open the door to business success?

Following news that the popularity of language learning is declining year on year (The Telegraph), it’s clear that less young people are considering modern foreign languages to be an important consideration for their future careers. Yet ongoing research consistently suggests that this doesn’t match up to the needs and expectations of UK Business. Back in 2013, the British Council published a report in which they pinpointed ten languages that would be crucial for the UK’s long-term prosperity, security and influence, using various indicators such as export trade, emerging markets and diplomatic concerns. The results were as follows (in order of importance): 1 Spanish 2 Arabic 3 French 4 Mandarin Chinese 5 German 6 Portuguese 7 Italian 8= Russian 8= Turkish 10 Japanese The report found that 75% of the adults polled were unable to hold a conversation in any of the languages highlighted, and the British Academy declared the UK to be trapped in a ‘vicious cycle of monolingualism’ whereby […]

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How to Avoid a Branding Blunder

Following the decision of a Judge in France to prevent parents from naming their baby girl ‘Nutella’, this has sparked debate over words that should be deemed suitable, and indeed unsuitable, to be used as a name. In this case, the French courts deemed that the name would ‘lead to teasing or disparaging thoughts’ (BBC News) due to its association with the popular hazelnut spread. This certainly isn’t the first case of its kind, but brings to mind an interesting point regarding our word associations and the power held within language. There are few instances where this becomes more apparent than in the translation world.

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Académie Française elect controversial member

Académie Française

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“Bestie” and “E-ticket” are now in the Oxford English Dictionary

  Since The Millenium the Oxford English Dictionary has added new words every 3 months in order to keep-up with modern times.  In this latest revision, a bumper crop of over 900 new entries including “beatboxer” and “Old Etonian” have been approved by the publication. So why do we have so many new words?

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Which type of Chinese do you need?

In the localisation industry we frequently come across misconceptions about the Chinese language, where and how it is used, and other queries relating to Chinese culture. Being a Mandarin speaker and card-carrying Sinophile, I feel duty-bound to try to set the record straight and try to end the confusion if I can, so intend to do this through a series of blog posts and other articles that we’ll share with you over the next few months. Feel free to comment and ask any questions you’d like answered or have always wondered about – I’ll do my best to answer! Without further ado, here is my response to the most common question that arises: Which type of Chinese do I need?

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