#208 – October

Terraforming with Language

In this literary-themed issue, we look at the many ways that language shapes our reality, whether that be through reading a good book or inventing the entire mythical world of Middle-earth.



good book can change a person’s entire world.

That’s the power of literature. When a timely idea is printed and distributed, it can very well change the course of history. That’s why some intellectuals and scholars consider the printing press the most important invention of all time, one that accelerated the Renaissance and enabled the Protestant Reformation in Europe.

And of course, there’s nothing more central to a book than its language. Language is how we give shape to our reality and set the foundation of our respective worldviews.

When researching Tolkien’s life for the feature in this month’s magazine, one of the most surprising facts I learned was that his love for creating language birthed the myths for which he’s famous, rather than the other way around. It’s a profound detail that speaks to the creative power of language in and of itself.

Following that theme, this month’s magazine takes a more literary bent. We have book reviews, an examination of language patterns by Tim Brookes, and a piece about managing learning disorders in language work. In addition, a few language pros shared the book that inspires them in their day-to-day lives.

Do you have any inclination to reshape your reality by writing an article about language? Don’t hesitate to reach out to and share your ideas.

Katie Botkin signature



J.R.R. Tolkien’s Life in Languages Inventing and adapting the lexicons of Middle-earth

By Cameron Rasmusson

The September debut of Amazon Prime’s The Rings of Power has brought the work of J.R.R. Tolkien into the spotlight once again. Tolkien was an avid philologist with a lifelong love for languages — both constructed and natural. In fact, he set out to create his literary masterpieces to develop a world for fictional tongues like Quenya and Sindarin that he’d constructed before drafting the first manuscript of The Lord of the Rings.


Making the Link Between Marketing, Revenue, and Localization

By Nataly Kelly

In recent decades, marketing professionals have had to adapt to an increasingly rapid-paced, online world. As digital marketing becomes more and more prominent, localizers have also had to adapt to the ever-shifting demands of marketers, requiring the two parties to work more closely than once before. In this piece, HubSpot’s Nataly Kelly draws connections between marketing, localization, and revenue generation.



The Stonehenge Syndrome Writing as Pattern. How about switching between scripts?

By Tim Brookes

In his latest installment of The Red List column for MultiLingual Magazine, the Endangered Alphabets Project founder Tim Brookes examines a series of seemingly disparate structures — Stonehenge, the Congolese Mandombé script, and trees — to propose an interesting argument about the role of patterns and chaos in scripts (and beauty!).

How MT Helps with All Four Legs

By Mark Shriner

Welcome back to The Lab, where memoQ strategic sales director Mark Shriner examines trends and topics in life sciences localization. This month, he discusses some key principles, best practices, and real-world examples of how artificial intelligence and machine translation are being used to reduce costs and turn-around times, while improving both quality and security of life sciences-related translations.



Translating and interpreting with learning disorders: How my coping skills help me provide better language services 

By Pauline Surgo

Although we typically associate learning disorders like dyslexia with school kids, they can have a profound impact on adults as well. In this article, translator and interpreter Pauline Surgo takes a look at some of the creative strategies she’s developed to overcome dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia in her career and shows how you can incorporate them into your practice as well.



Favorite Books from Language Pros

By Óscar Curros

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the language services industry tends to attract book lovers. To ring in International Translation Day this year, MultiLingual staff writer Óscar Curros spoke with four language professionals about their favorite books — the list ranges from classics of English literature to a highly experimental Mexican work set in the Yucatán Peninsula.



The Language Game How improvisation created language and changed the world

Reviewed by Stefan Huyghe

In their book The Language Game, linguists Morten H. Christiansen and Nick Chater propose a series of novel concepts about the nature of language and how it’s developed. In his review of the book for MultiLingual Magazine, Stefan Huyghe wholeheartedly recommends the book to language lovers looking to learn a bit more about how we acquire our first languages.

Asian Languages Translation A quality guidebook for novices

Reviewed By William Dan

While 1-StopAsia’s book Asian Language Translation is a friendly and approachable work that provides an interesting and straightforward introduction to Asian languages for localization projects, MultiLingual Magazine reviewer William Dan worries that it veers into the territory of Orientalism and oversimplification. Still, he argues that it does have some merit for localizers who don’t have any previous familiarity with Asian languages.



Bolingo’s African Country Guides Senegal, Tanzania, and Togo

Curated by Andrew Warner

Bolingo is back with three more installments in its African Country Guide series, in an effort to help localization professionals learn a bit more about how to best adapt content for Senegal, Tanzania, and Togo. While the guides won’t leave you an expert on these countries, MultiLingual Magazine staff writer Andrew Warner argues that they may still serve as a useful launching point to kickstart research for localization projects in these markets.