Beyond Words - Language Blog

Recent Blog Posts

Recently a friend brought to my attention a delightful collection of William Safire’s articles from the New York Times Magazine. Many years ago, my friend wrote Safire regarding the origins of the word “trivia”, which the celebrated journalist had mistakenly attributed to the Latin tri via – the meeting point […]

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Our translation department and our language blog, Beyond Words, often receive questions from students and individuals interested in becoming professional translators. In the past, we’ve written articles and gathered resources about existing translation programs, scholarships, and general advice for prospective translators. We wanted to revisit the subject, so we asked […]

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With the recent Sony hack making the news, it’s hard not to wonder about the safety and confidentiality of information we move across the web. As the manager of ALTA Language Services’ translation department, I interact with clients ranging from government agencies to law firms who need to translate sensitive, […]

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We’ve all had a good laugh reading translations gone disastrously wrong. Warning signs, disclaimers, and company slogans seem to be particularly susceptible to hilarious results. Because they often involve a play on words or a reference to culture-specific concepts, corporate catchphrases become especially treacherous for translators. To assist those who […]

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Not only does every September bring with it New York Fashion Week, but the month often marks a transition in the way we dress. As the season changes and we tuck away our summer clothes in favor of fall wear, we thought it would be a great time to turn […]

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Shadowy figures dart around corners and disappear into the fog. Hard-boiled detectives, commissioned by untrustworthy dames in expensive furs, toss cigarettes on the rain-slicked street and skulk into the night. Film noir is a genre of bad guys and worse guys, where soothing notions like justice, love, and family hold […]

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Every year brings with it an eagerly anticipated summer movie season. Whether or not you personally enjoy 2014’s crop of action, superhero, comedy, and horror films, some may one day form part of their particular genre’s canon. Caught in the zeitgeist of summer moviegoing, we’re starting a new feature that […]

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Is your company pushing the envelope to create disruptive innovations outside the box? Have you considered how scalable your department’s synergy really is? Can your sales reps proactively leverage their resources to snatch up the lowest-hanging fruit? And is that a win-win situation for all? Whether corporate buzzwords are a […]

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As intriguingly varied as world languages are, linguists agree that they share certain structural factors that broach continents and cultures. For decades, the roots of this phenomenon have been debated and explored; a study out of the University of Rochester sheds some light on a potential explanation. The study, conducted […]

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Many of us remember the delightful Schoolhouse Rock video in which a sick little boy, a coy lady, and a jeering crowd yell out a plethora of interjections set to a catchy tune. Interjections are some of the most fun and entertaining bits of any language; they represent a linguistic […]

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