Recent Blog Posts

The United States has long attracted many of the world’s brightest minds – from scientists and engineers to linguists and educators.  While the country’s universities and businesses benefit from such a dazzling array of experts, foreign professionals and students often find themselves careening headlong into cultural and linguistic barriers that […]

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What happens when you combine lush greenery, a low cost of doing business, and a bevy of targeted tax incentives? You get a booming film industry that made a statewide economic impact of $6 billion in 2015, for one. It’s official: Georgia has become the 3rd-largest U.S. state for making […]

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Over the course of their training and work experience, language professionals amass an almost superhuman array of skills. Translators and interpreters, in particular, learn to apply their bilingual knowledge in a way that makes them invaluable to the healthcare, legal, and government sectors. They serve as translators, simultaneous and consecutive […]

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From the Tower of Babel to the Age of the Internet, translators and interpreters have had a seat at the table in every major event in history. And yet, by virtue of the very role they play in enabling other parties to communicate, these language professionals seldom occupy the same […]

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The idea of untranslatability is captivating for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the chance to try on another culture’s way of experiencing the world. As the popular anecdote goes, how does an Eskimo or Inuit look at snow, when there are dozens of words to […]

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In today’s 7 Questions to a Linguist, we hear from a towering figure in the field of linguistics, Dr. William Labov. Labov’s scholarly work over the past 50 years has garnered him the moniker “father of sociolinguistics”, and it is with a rigorous quantitative approach to the study of language […]

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In today’s 7 Questions to a Linguist, we look at the juncture of human history and language development with Dr. Bernard Comrie. Dr. Comrie served 17 years as the head of the Department of Linguistics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and currently holds the position of Distinguished […]

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The article you are reading started out with a narrow focus: Slavic surnames in life and literature. The Russian language provides such a wealth of linguistic diversity and flexibility that even something as practical as a last name can be both whimsical and laden with meaning at the same time. […]

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For this edition of 7 Questions to a Linguist, ALTA Language Services interviewed Scott McGinnis, Academic Advisor for the Defense Language Institute, Washington, D.C. branch, and Coordinator of the federal government’s Interagency Language Roundtable. In addition to lending his language skills to support U.S. security, Dr. McGinnis has served as […]

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Don’t let the name fool you — the new web series from comedian Brooks Wheelan is not about how one country’s comedy can be localized to suit another’s tastes. Instead, the globetrotting host – whose credits include a successful 2015 comedy album and a fleeting one-season stint on Saturday Night […]

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