Beyond Words - Language Blog

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The best advice is simply: don’t! I remember the first time I brought my French boyfriend, Laurent, home for the holidays. Although he made efforts, his English was limited. I was responsible for interpreting much of the small talk. It was no easy task — especially since he liked to […]

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How did Spanish become the second most-common language in the United States after English? The answer will lead us into our country’s past, examine America’s present, and speculate on what the coming years will bring. It wasn’t the English who established the first permanent colony in what we now call […]

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So, you’ve taken the classes and feel confident speaking the language. You may be eager to put your skills to the test on your trip abroad, but before you try making some new foreign friends, you may need to get familiar with some basic local body language. If not, you […]

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Sometimes even major corporations stumble into linguistic dilemmas with badly executed ad translations. Take, for example, the popular soda slogan “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation.” A little miscommunication in Taiwanese resulted in the more macabre “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead.” The Gerber baby food corporation […]

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Is your business being held back from the global marketplace? Targeting your business to fit an international market is as much a necessity as it is an opportunity. America today is far more diverse than it was just twenty years ago. If you do not have your web site translated […]

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If you want something translated, you may be tempted to do it on “the free.” Why not? Today’s technology makes word translation easy — sometimes. For years, Babblefish was the go-to translation site, and recently Google has introduced their free translation application, complete with widgets for translating entire web pages. […]

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Every translator has to deal with the peculiarities of his native language. With every nuance, shade of meaning, and grammatical inclination, each language offers a reflection of the people who speak it. Where one language relies primarily on verbs to carry a sentence to its goal, another lets its nouns […]

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Court interpreters have a difficult and complex job. They are not only expected to know two languages completely, they must also know and use various forms of those languages. Court interpreters regularly work with a range of people, including judges, attorneys, witnesses, litigants, and experts in specific subject fields, such […]

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For most Westerners, the concept of a language with hundreds of different dialects and multiple written systems is a completely alien one. There are, in fact, so many different Chinese dialects, corresponding to areas throughout the various Chinese-speaking regions, that to cover them all would be a truly exhaustive task. […]

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On this blistering Bloomsday, I thought I’d share the news that esteemed Peruvian scholar, Demetrio Tupac Yupanqui, has published the first Quechua translation of Cervante’s Don Quixote Here at ALTA, we don’t get very many inquiries for translation services or language testing in Quechua. That’s not to say that the […]

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