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Athens Airport

“Translators are the shadow heroes of literature, the often forgotten instruments that make it possible for different cultures to talk to one another.”—Paul Auster 


Today is International Translation Day.  Although it started as a tribute to St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators, it has evolved into a day when professional translation organizations all over the world recognize the work of translators.

Without the work of translators, most people would not be able to read Shakespeare or Tolstoy.  They wouldn't have been introduced to magic realism in “A Hundred Years of Solitude” or feared for Harry Potter’s life.  Pokemon would be unknown outside Japan, and "Plaza Sesámo" wouldn't mean anything to generations of Latin American children. As for philosophy, much of it would be Greek to the rest of us.

Translators work behind the scenes to bring the world together one word at a time.  To honor their work, go to the nearest bookstore or library today and start reading a book that's been translated.  Imagine the new world you'll discover.

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The Newspaper Map does exactly what it promises to do: It maps 10,000-plus newspapers all over the world and lets you browse through, and read, every one of them.

You can search by specific location, zoom in on any given area, filter the news outlets by language, or translate foreign papers into English. And if your news fixation’s accompanied by a history fetish, you’ll want to click the “Historial!” button, which links you to the archives of forgotten (but fascinating) papers like the Diario de la Marina (published in Havana from 1899 to 1959), Le Petit Journal (published in Paris from 1863 to 1940), and the Louisiana Capitolian (published in Baton Rouge for just a few years, starting in 1879).

Curious? Check it out here.



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Content Rules is one of the best selling business books on Amazon right now. In the very first chapter, I was struck by the similarities between content marketing and translation. Ann Handley and C. C. Chapman say that content (websites, blogs, white papers, etc.) should be the basis of your marketing. Take a look at this list of what content marketing can do for your business:

  • Attract customers.
  • Educate your buyers abouut a purchase they are considering.
  • Overcome resistance or address objections.
  • Establish your credibility, trust, and authority in your industry.
  • Tell your story.
  • Build buzz via social networks.
  • Build a base of fans and inspire customers to love you.
  • Inspire impulse buys.

If you substitute "translation" for "content marketing", I think every one of these points applies. The only difference is your audience. If you are already producing content to reach your customers, it may be the time to take the next step and launch translated content.


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Someone may speak two languages well enough to communicate with native speakers, but the skills demanded of translators go beyond that. Translators must bridge linguistic and cultural gaps, which means translating concepts, instead of a literal word-for-word version.


Here is a well-known example: Pepsi wanted to increase sales in China. The slogan "Come Alive With The Pepsi Generation" was introduced to Chinese consumers as "Pepsi Will Bring Your Ancestors Back From The Dead."


Other cases aren't only scary, but actually fatal. A medicine bottle reads "Adults: 1 tablet 3 times a day until passing away" when the intention was “until symptoms pass..."


Most of the Western vocabulary comes from Latin and Greek and many words may look similar in several languages but have different meanings.


These so-called “false friends” can be misleading.






Article by Rafa Lombardino

Source: San Diego BBB

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The Chinese New Year begins on Thursday, February 3rd and ushers in the Year of the Rabbit. People born during a rabbit year are said to be considerate, fragile, modest, calculating, ambitious, well-mannered, fashionable, obsessive,  and sophisticated. Sting, Tiger Woods, Angelina Jolie and Orson Welles were all born in a rabbit year.

If you eat the right foods, good luck, more money and a long life may be in your future. Here are a few to try.

For a long life: Eat long noodles or long green beans.

Why?: For their shape but don't cut them into smaller pieces.

For wealth:  Eat dumplings or eggrolls.

Why?: Egg rolls resemble gold bars and dumplings look like old Chinese silver and gold ingots.

For good luck: Eat oranges and tangerines.

Why?: The Chinese words for these fruits sound like luck and wealth.

Happy new year, Xin Nian Kuai Le, 新年快乐.


Photo by Andrew_B under Creative Commons license.



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