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Posted By P & L Blog

Yes, he did, and he wasn't the only English-speaking artist to record in other languages. The Rolling Stones released an Italian version of As Tears Go By, and Marvin Gaye crooned Wie Schon Das Ist (How Sweet It Is) to German audiences.  Motown artists Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, and Smokey Robinson recorded songs in French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Most foreign language versions of old hit songs are no longer available for sale, but you can listen to them thanks to YouTube. Let us know what you think of Johnny Cash singing Ring of Fire in Spanish. 

Posted By P & L Blog

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

Posted By P & L Blog

A recent New York Times article, When Your Life Becomes a Verb, talks about how Charlie Sheen's last name has become a verb meaning "partying, questionable decision making and public humiliation." I started thinking about other last names that are now common words in English.

Lynch, boycott, and sandwich were the first that came to mind. Zamboni and jacuzzi are the last names of their inventors, but they have become generic names in their categories.  We forget that these eponyms were once closely associated with human beings. Will "sheening" have legs, or will it disappear once we move on to the next celebrity scandal?

Posted By P & L Blog

The Exclamation Point!

The exclamation point is greatly overused!
One could even say it is frequently abused!
In advertising copy, it repeatedly resounds!
And in breathless prose, it literally abounds!
The poorer the writer, the more frequently the case!
The exclamation point, they readily embrace!
To give a little emphasis! To make a little point!
This punctuation mark they will appoint!
But, to make emphasis perfectly clear,
Good writers generally appear
to make little use of exclamations
and other such typographic affectations.

-- Ed Truitt

Ed Truitt is a science writer at the Weizmann Institute of Science


For more poems about grammar, visit National Grammar Day.




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