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WordPress Translation now easy with livetranslation.com

WordPress (WP) has evolved a long way from the journalist-loving blogging platform it once was to becoming a powerful CMS of choice for many SME’s. What it lacks in out-of-the-box functionality is compensated for with the vast selection of user-contributed plugins, which evolve practically at the pace of the web itself.

Matt Mullenweg (all hail) & the team beautifully balance the division between core functionality and community contributed functional extension, making it elegantly simple to learn. Making a platform so usable means that marketers can use it in as much anger as the journo’ types.

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French domains (.fr) to become available to EU businesses

As of the 6th December, AFNIC – (manager of the registry of .fr domain names) will lift restrictions on the availability of the .fr domain (among others) to European businesses.

If you don’t already have a French website for putting this domain to use, there has never been a better time…

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In the mood for foreign films?

It’s a comment you may have heard expressed before by many native English speakers: despite possessing an interest in foreign films and a willingness to embrace their ‘quirkiness’, it sometimes feels as though you have to be “in the mood” to watch them. After watching a French film the other night and hearing my housemate make this exact comment, my thoughts consequently drifted to how world cinema seems to have rapidly gained popularity over the last ten years in the U.K. (more…)

Sweden’s genderless pre-school bans ‘he’ and ‘she’

The question of gender and its importance in language and society has recently been raised following the banning of the terms ‘he’ and ‘she’ at a Swedish pre-school.  The school – named ‘Egalia’ – introduced the measure to allow children to develop regardless of their gender.  Teachers at the school in Stockholm refer to the children by their names, as ‘friends’ or by using the term ‘hen’, a unisex pronoun borrowed from the Finnish language, rather than using gender-specific pronouns.

This news has sparked debate worldwide regarding the importance of gender stereotypes, typical roles of men and women, and benefits and disadvantages of the policy in terms of child development.  From a language point of view, it also raises the topic of personal pronouns, gender, and whether the two are always necessary and how commonly they are used. (more…)

Is the Government right to consider removing a foreign language from the curriculum?

As schools contemplate the removal of a second language from the national curriculum, the fast approaching Olympic Games should actually be reminding us of the importance of languages.

The government’s decision to include French as a core language at the Games demonstrates the significance of languages and communication in today’s society.

With every word spoken at the games repeated in French, Great Britain will seem diverse, cultured, and prepared for the international visitors who have arrived on our doorstep to watch the games. Can we say the same about our school pupils, however? (more…)

Here Comes the Bride…

The greatly anticipated event is almost upon us… with so much hype surrounding the big event, we couldn’t not comment on it! Very soon, Prince William and Kate Middleton will tie the knot in front of nearly 2,000 guests at Westminster Abbey, and what promises to be a vast number of people via television and internet. With so many people wanting to be involved, from all over the world, multilingual communication is in high demand. The monarchy has long been an extremely popular tourist attraction for foreign visitors, and there are a huge number of non-English speakers who want to be able to watch and understand the wedding of the year. (more…)

Online Purchases Increase Across Europe

As e-tailers prepare for another record Christmas period they should consider the changing trends in consumer confidence across Europe for new opportunities. Consumers are buying more frequently in every country in Europe, but as the pace of growth slows in the UK and competition stiffens, smart businesses will look to serve multilingual markets where consumerism grows faster and is less competitive.

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Learn a foreign language and save money!

Perhaps it’s not the number one reason to study a foreign language, but speaking another language can save you money!  You’re less likely to be swindled on holiday if you can communicate using the local lingo, of course, but even at home, knowledge of a foreign language can save you a few pennies.  In my case, a 25% discount totaling more than a few pennies!

I recently visited a popular chain restaurant and found a typo on their menu – the name of a French cheese was spelt incorrectly.   I thought it was worth mentioning on a comment card, and was completely shocked to receive a nice letter and discount voucher a week later!   Learning foreign food names definitely pays off, so keep studying, kids!

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