Language in the News

Language and Your Internet Experience. YMMV

Yup, when it comes to your online experience, your mileage may vary (YMMV) for sure, depending on the language you speak. Check out this great article from The Guardian if you don’t believe me! The digital language barrier: how does language shape your experience of the internet? It’s a powerful insight into how language interplays with the...

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The Importance of Translated Public Health Information Comes Home

Spotted these notices in the arrivals area at Dublin Airport as I returned from abroad. The information is about the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease. These notices are in Gaeilge (Irish), English, and French, and are published by the Irish Health Protection Surveillance Centre. A reminder that we live in a globalized world, sure. Not that disease ever respected national boundaries....

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The Politics of Irish Language: Gaeilge (Never Gaelic)

I was going to write about the politics of the Irish language (Gaeilge) in the North of Ireland/Northern Ireland (see? in trouble already). But I won’t. The topic’s just too hot to handle (see what I did there?) Recent news about the Irish language in that part of the island of Ireland is a reminder that language everywhere has...

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Localization: Culture and Context Cuts Both Ways

We often make the mistake of assuming that all source material intended for localization for a target country or region is in English and that conventions from the source locale content can be easily accommodated in localized versions. But, here’s an example from Nintendo to show the kind of problems that can arise when localizing...

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Correct Youse of English: Your Personal Dialect Map is Here

Thought I was done with regional English? No chance. The Irish Times recently predicted that the phrase “you guys” will soon be accepted as the new second-person plural pronoun in English. As a native Dubliner, I am very familiar with such evolution, the locals already having adopted “youse” and “yiz” as replacements for the pronoun. As...

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Noli Timere: Seamus Heaney, Translation, and a Wall in Dublin

Seamus Heaney, the Irish poet and playwright, passed away in Dublin on 30 August, 2013, after a short illness. His last words, sent by text message to his wife, Marie, minutes before he died, were Noli timere (Latin for Do not be afraid). I took the photograph below in Dublin, a short walk from my...

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DARE to be HyperLocal: Context and Language at the Mall

I love this piece about regional language preferences from the San Francisco Chronicle blog, “Which Words Are Special to Californian?”. It offers us a look at the Harvard University Press Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE), described as “…an Urban Dictionary you can share with your parents and co-workers without fear of being disowned or...

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Contextualizing Localization in the Time of Austerity 2013

I spoke at Localization World in London last week on the subject of Context of Use in User Experience and Use of Context in Localization. There are great synergies between the two  areas and given UX trends it’s clear that context is what makes for a great user experience and for a great translation too....

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Programming and Programmer Languages: Beyond "Hello World"?

Interesting discussion (of old) on the StackExchange blog podcast about coding in other natural languages. Other than English, that is. So,should programming languages should be localized or not? The podcast mentions the case of Microsoft Excel’s Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) language, which was localized from US English (the source/target paradigm framing the discussion is...

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