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“Shciffahrt”

This quote struck a chord: Rechtschreibung ist nicht ein Wert an sich. Sie hat kommunikative Bedeutung. Der Adressat muss meine Texte lesen können, und damit er sie schnell und mühelos lesen kann, muss er einen möglichst fehlerfreien Text vor sich liegen haben, den er nicht erst entziffern muss. On one hand, what do you expect when you ask a 73-year old elementary school expert about...

A Rising Tide

Thank heavens for the Internet. For translators, it has made researching subjects in their target language easier than ever. It was not so long ago that I had to buy countless dictionaries, reference books, and magazine subscriptions, just to keep my head above water. Today, the Internet is my major go-to resource. However, clouds have appeared on the horizon. More and more I find that...

Music To Translator Ears?

When I read the first couple of sentences in the following quote of a Eurobarometer study conducted by the Gallup Organization about the languages preferred by European Internet users, I was very happy. While 90% of Internet surfers in the EU prefer to access websites in their own language, 55% at least occasionally use a language other than their own when online. However, 44% of...

A ♥ for Language Blogs

Sometime last week, Judy and Dagmar Jenner suggested that blogging translators write a post listing their favorite language blogs. This seems a great way to find interesting blogs that have been flying under the radar. I thought I’d try and omit any blogs already mentioned in other “♥ for Language Blogs” posts but please note that those posts have already listed a good number of...

Counters And Plural Formation

I noticed @sandrajapandra having an interesting exchange on Twitter. Of course, I can only see one side, which makes it even more intriguing. The subject: counter words or counters in Japanese. ► I learned this week that squid are counted as 杯 (?!) while alive and 枚 once they’re dried and pressed as snacks. ► Crabs are also 杯, I’m told. Do you ever feel like...

Adjectival Reticules

The subject of parsing and how difficult it sometimes is to parse English sentences has come up a couple of times in this blog. One of the most annoying things when translating English text (and perhaps only American English, I don’t know) are compound structures where it is not clear which element defines which. I now found out that The Economist calls them “adjectival...

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