Beyond Words - Language Blog

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China is a multiethnic country with a complex linguistic history. Aside from the dominant Han Chinese group, there are 55 ethnic minority groups living in China. These minorities have their own languages (an estimated 200 dialects) and writing systems. Referring to the languages spoken in the People’s Republic of China […]

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A concierge at a resort hotel who must communicate with guests in their language… A nurse practitioner who must be able to tell a Spanish-speaking patient about their medical treatment options… A legal assistant hired to provide foreign language document reviews at a law firm… A translator at a multinational […]

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Consider the following conversation: A: “Yesterday was, like, the worst day of my life. I got home from work around five-thirty and I was, like, so hungry so I went to the fridge to make a sandwich but when I opened the door there was, like, a whole family of […]

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ALTA is happy to support women’s equality through our Medical Interpreter Training course! Check out Ana’s story to learn how being a medical interpreter has helped her achieve her goals and leave a legacy for her daughter. Ana Salvadore Interview: 1) What languages do you speak? Spanish, English and Italian […]

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News host Laura Ingraham recently brought grammar into the political spotlight during a segment in which she criticized NBA players LeBron James and Kevin Durant for a conversation they had about politics. What Ingraham criticized in this instance was not only what they said, but how they said it, calling […]

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Lithuanian Haris Poteris and his Dutch best friends Hermelien Griffel and Ron Wemel attend a French school for magic called Poudlard (“bacon lice”), get in trouble with the Dutch Severus Sneep, and receive medical attention from an Italian Madama Poppy Chips. Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it? A […]

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Spectacular translation fails are the stuff of legend. While one of the most famous marketing translation fail examples is that of Chevy’s attempt to introduce its new car model “NOVA” in Mexico, which translates to “No go” in Spanish, this translation fail is actually a myth (there are plenty of […]

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After the Helsinki Summit, it feels like the whole world is seeing the field of interpretation for the first time. Everyone has eyes on one interpreter, the only person apart from President Trump and President Putin who knows what was said in their private meeting at the 2018 Russia-United States […]

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A Russian and an American step into an elevator – let’s say the two know each other vaguely as colleagues at work. If this elevator happens to be in America, what ensues is likely a very uncomfortable (Russian) and confused (American) exchange, triggered by an innocuous American “How are you?” […]

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This year, my coworker and I went to California to present at the CHIA conference. Three hours before our presentation, I got this text message from my mom: “I’m ok, but I’m in the hospital.” She’d fainted in her bathroom the night before. She hit the rim of the bathtub […]

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