December 2010 Archives

Happy Christmas everyone from TrànslationWörks!

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TrànslationWörks is taking a break for the festive season and will be back in business on Tuesday 4 January 2011. Happy New Year!

The free use of this image granted by the fine folks at Image: Idea go / is hereby gratefully acknowledged.

A couple of ideas for Christmas presents for linguists

We are already in the midst of the season of commercial madness when we feel moved to buy a present for nearly everyone we know. In a moment of generosity and goodwill to all wo/men, I have compiled a short list of books you might like to give to your nearest and dearest linguist.

Adam Jacot de Boinod has written a series of books that should keep even the most avid reader occupied until well beyond Boxing Day:
The Meaning of Tingo and Toujours Tingo, books featuring words which have no equivalent in the English language. Tingo is a word he borrowed from the Pascuense language of Easter Island meaning, "to borrow things from a friend's house, one by one, until there's nothing left".

He also collected more material for I never knew there was a word for it which is sure to introduce the reader to a whole new vocabulary. The only problem with this book is, of course, that if you use these newly-acquired words in conversation, you are likely to meet with blank looks - as nobody else is likely to know there was a word for it either!

Last month, I attended an event organised by the wonderful Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights here in Bath to promote the launch of the late Miles Kington's Le Bumper Book of Franglais . With dramatic readings by Franglais-speaking actors, including veteran comic actress Stephanie Cole, the book was brought alive. A word of caution: I have found in the past that native speakers of French do not find the British version of Franglais very funny. It seems that when the French speak Franglais they emphasise different aspects of the language - and these tickle them. There's probably a PhD in comparative linguistics in there somewhere!