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Posted By P & L Blog



Many word lovers also love dictionaries.  Because no dictionary contains all the information we need or want, most of us own quite a selection.  But any new dictionary we buy is already out of date; the process used to create them is long and laborious so new words may not appear in print for years.

In "Redefining Definition", Erin McKean notes that the definitions found in dictionaries can be overly abstract and they are often incomplete.  Space limits the number of examples that can be included, depriving the reader of important information. McKean says that online dictionaries can use real-time examples pulled from different sources including websites and social media.  The meaning of new words will be accessible much faster and to more people than in a print version.

McKean is the former editor in chief of American dictionaries at Oxford University Press and now she has founded the online dictionary  Her understanding of both online and print gives her an interesting perspective.

As sites like grow, will you hold on to your print dictionaries?


Posted By P & L Blog


Students trying to learn English are right to complain it is a difficult language.  Spelling and pronunciation are all over the map: try explaining why rough and dough do not sound alike, or why "i before e except after c and in words sounding like neighbor and weigh".  Add to that the differences between US and UK pronunciation (why do we treat the ch in schedule as a k?) and you begin to have a whole new level of respect for people who stick with their ESL lessons.

Is English really that difficult compared with other languages?  The Economist has an interesting overview of the difficulties posed by many languages.  What language has been the hardest for you to learn?



Image by tochis under Creative Commons license.

Posted By P & L Blog

Hablamos Espanol


Or so says Daniel Cubias in an article on the Huffington Post.  He cites several reasons why we should study Spanish, some personal and some applicable to all Americans.  He comes from a Latino family but he's not fluent in Spanish, and this causes him some cultural confusion.

Why should the rest of us learn Spanish? Cubias says knowing Spanish willl give you a leg up when looking for a job.  He also says that because we live in a multicultural society, learning Spanish shows respect for other cultures. 

Isn't it possible to respect other Americans without learning their native language? Wouldn't learning French also be good exercise for our brains? Should all Americans learn Spanish?




Photo by takomabibelot under Creative Commons License.

Posted By P & L Blog

Clark Gable

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the fim premier of "Gone with the Wind" in Atlanta.  What many consider to be a quintessentially American story has, in fact, been seen by over 300 million people worldwide.  But not everyone say the same movie.  Irish censors deleted scenes of Clark Gable and Viven Leign embracing.  The Spanish release changed the film's most iconic line.  When Rhett Butler leaves Scarlett at the end of the movie, he tells here "I don't care" instead of "I don't give a damn".  This is a great example of how changing just a word or two can change the meaning of a sentence.


If you've never see "Lo que el viento se llevó", it's worth watching this clip just to hear how much the voice over actor sounds like Clark Gable.



Posted By P & L Blog


Common Sense Advisory is conducting a survey on how language service providers give back during the year as part of their annual Holiday Mitzvahs Global Watchtower posting.

We offer all local nonprofits a free English to Spanish translation so that they can communicate with their Hispanic clients.   Some of the organizations P & L Translations has helped include a provider of legal services, animal shelters, a group promoting early childhod literacy, a nonprofit that helps victims of domestic abuse, and medical clinics. 

Helping Nashville nonprofits give Spanish speakers access to information in their language is important to us.  The nonprofits are thrilled that they can serve more members of the community, and that a local business values their service. 

What good works does your company do?



Image by Sam Ruaat under Creative Commons license.



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