Recent Blog Posts

Language learners experience a blow to their confidence when they fail to comprehend a native speaker. Many students have experienced something like this: after months or even years of diligent study and practice, they fail to understand someone during a casual conversation, and are too embarrassed or frustrated to ask […]

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There are three teaching methods that dominate the business of language instruction: the Direct Method, the Grammar-Translation Method, and the Audio-Lingual Method. Deciding which is the best method is difficult because each has strengths and weaknesses, and the nature of a student’s goals will determine which is best for that […]

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For Beyond Words readers who know ALTA primarily as a translation company, it may come as a surprise to learn that we are national leaders in the Language Testing sector. Since ALTA does not develop academic language tests (like the TOEFL & SAT, which get so much attention) it’s not […]

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2009 proved to be a successful year for ALTA despite the economic conditions. In the Translation Services division, we managed thousands of projects that ranged widely in language combinations, scale, and complexity. As we noted in last year’s post, 10 Most Requested Languages for Translation in 2008, geopolitical events and […]

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I was first introduced to Erin Mckean through her 2007 TedTalk on the work of lexicographers, and I’ve been a big fan ever since. Her sense of humor, wit, and effervescence when writing or speaking about language are contagious, and although she is playful, her work is attempting to do […]

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A recent study conducted by researchers at The University of Granada’s School of Translation and Interpretation attempts to analyze and evaluate the results of machine translations done with popular online tools such as Google Translator, Promt, and WorldLingo. The study was published in this month’s issue of Translation Journal, and […]

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The following video highlights the longest words in the English language, from supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and antidisestablishmentarianist to some impossibly long chemistry terms. Enjoy!

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Since earning recognition for Innovation in Multicultural Health Care, Kaiser Permanente’s Clinician Cultural Linguistic Assessment language testing tool, which is administered by ALTA, has been receiving a lot of positive attention from people in the medical community. ALTA receives a mention in the following article from the California Healthfax publication:

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As our nation’s policy makers and health care providers debate the future of health care reform, ALTA and Kaiser Permanente are working together to improve the quality of care for ethnic minorities and multilingual patients. Having recently been recognized with an award for Innovation in Multicultural Health Care from The […]

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In her recent lecture on dictionaries, Erin Mckean likened the task of the lexicographer to that of a fisherman dropping an enormous net into a sea of language, and collecting with wonderment the words that surface. If that is a good analogy, then surely one of the world’s most interesting […]

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