Category Archives: Translation

All my posts about interesting issues in translation and the differences between languages that help and hinder communication. Got a topic or a question you’d like to see addressed here?

Wednesday Word: Group

A Group of Drinks (drinking group?) Gather ’round, and let’s talk about gathering round! Groups. How do languages express this concept in their unique ways? I just encountered a fun example. I was working through a consultant check of the … Continue reading

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How to (not) do Translation

Just for fun (and a good example of why literal “translation” doesn’t work and isn’t translation at all), I give you a page from the (un)helpful-yet-entertaining instructions that came with a travel alarm my wife bought yesterday: So the question … Continue reading

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Fun with Translation

Languages are different. Everyone knows that, but many people misunderstand the situation. They think this simply means that the words are different. What about grammar? Okay, they will admit that grammar is different, too. Remember those masculine and feminine nouns … Continue reading

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Growl Me To Sleep, Daddy

Music is not a universal language. But we continue to hold onto this widely-accepted myth. Music is indeed a language. It communicates, stirs emotions and elicits a response. And music is a universal phenomenon.  But language communicates consistently, and what … Continue reading

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Wednesday Word: Go

In Palawano, surong, as a verb, means “go.” Put a suffix –an on it, and it’s a noun meaning “destination.” Simple enough. But used figuratively, it can also mean “to improve.” So if your friendship with someone “goes,” not only … Continue reading

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Where Are The Bats? – Blanket!

Language Learning… It never stops. Even after 25 years of working with Palawanos and being deeply involved in their language doing translation and linguistic analysis, we keep learning new things. Here are a few interesting examples I thought you might … Continue reading

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