Are some languages easier or more difficult to learn than others? Yes, and no. Learning a language – as well as the act of translation – is all about individual perspective. As such, no languages are equally easy or difficult to learn for everyone. Instead, it’s better to talk about close and distant languages. The “closeness” of two languages makes learning them easier.
The Braille alphabet is a written communication tool that has allowed millions of visually impaired people to communicate with the same efficacy as the normally sighted.
The Braille system takes its name from its inventor, but was created thanks to the expertise of various people, who provided the basis for creating a tactile alphabet.
How many difficult words are there in the world? And which language contains the most unpronounceable words? In reality, these are not questions that can be answered objectively, since, as linguists will know, a language’s difficulty (like any aspect of human culture) is entirely subjective.
Translating Harry Potter is just about as difficult as literary translation gets, not only due to the book and film series’ global success, but also to the fact that the character names were translated differently from one edition to another, causing confusion among readers, along with a lot of criticism.
Dreaming in different languages is perfectly normal. In fact, people who have lucid dreams can sometimes voluntarily switch from one language to another during their dreams. There are many reasons why someone might dream in different languages and there are various theories about what it all means: read on to find out more.
The most studied languages in the world are not necessarily the most spoken languages in the world. Italians were recently shocked to find out that their mother tongue is the fourth most studied language in the world, despite its apparent complexity. But have things changed over the past couple of years? And what are the main reasons people choose to study languages?
Which languages are the most sought-after in the world of work? Is it even possible to rank them? Perhaps it would be best to focus on specific industries? You might be unsurprised to learn that the latter approach makes more sense, despite the same few languages topping the rankings, regardless of sector.
Learning languages is never easy, especially if you want to become fluent. However, it’s widely believed that some languages are harder to learn than others.
Although there may be a grain of truth in this statement, it is worth pointing out that it’s impossible to objectively and unambiguously ascertain which languages are the hardest to master, despite some of them being seemingly impossible to learn.
What are false friends? They are essentially tricky words or phrases that you need to look out for when translating from English into another language. Below are some English words that may deceive you due to their resemblance to Italian words. But watch out, they have very different meanings!
How does we determine whether or not a word is ‘beautiful’? In reality, there is no set way to do so, instead, we rely on a sort of ‘feeling’ that certain words (that only exist in some languages and not others) are able to encapsulate concepts with extreme precision or a pleasing sound.
Most translators will be aware that certain cultures can be particularly sensitive to specific concepts, perceiving them in entirely unique ways. Often, this ‘sensitivity’ to specific items, emotions or situations is encapsulated in a word.
The Italian language has a vast vocabulary and naturally as such, contains some untranslatable words. This sort of predicament often requires professional translators to employ some classic ‘lateral thinking.’ We’ve compiled a list of untranslatable words from Italy and around the globe.
While some languages are continuing to gain new speakers, others seem destined for oblivion. In most cases, the latter includes ancient languages spoken by very small and isolated communities, whose inhabitants are progressively diminishing in number or are forgetting their population’s ancient cultural traditions.
Transcreation is a real art, and those tasked with transcreation must ensure that the translated advertising slogan is just as effective in one language as another, while also maintaining the same rhythmic and linguistic features as the original slogan. Sometimes, this attempt fails miserably, but occasionally, a translator is hit with a real stroke of genius that’s destined to remain engraved in the minds of consumers and in the history of international advertising translation forever. Let’s take a look at a few of the most famous examples.
The title of a film is its primary selling point. The cast, director and plot are key to longer-term box office success, but it’s usually the title of a film that’s meant to attract viewers.
That’s why translating a film title is a complex task, and one that requires the translator’s utmost attention, who is often influenced by a number of factors. Here is a list of film titles that have been translated into Italian, with some questionable results, to say the least.
What are the most translated websites in the world? You may be surprised to hear that the most translated website in the world is not Wikipedia or Google. At the top of this list is a website belonging to an international organisation that has made great strides in online communication – proof that it is never too late to enter the digital age. Tech giants will have to make do with coming in second place. Here is an overview of the world’s most translated websites!
If we were to ask you what the most translated book in the world might be, you’d likely get it right: The Bible. This ancient text, together with the Quran, is one of the most translated books in the history of humanity. Translating a text is often the most effective way to promote its circulation and, in this case, to spread a system of beliefs.
Over the centuries, however, things have changed radically: among the texts written more recently, novels clinch the top spot at the most translated book format ever.
Translating adverts is a very delicate task, primarily due to the cultural implications that need to be considered in order to avoid producing a disastrous translation that could have a very negative impact on a brand’s overall image.
Sayings – or idiomatic expressions as they’re sometimes called – can be both a blessing and a curse for translators. In fact, the metaphorical meaning of an idiomatic expression often doesn’t correspond to its literal meaning, which is precisely where its suggestive power tends to lie.
Translation errors on restaurant menus are par for the course, just like parmesan on macaroni pasta with tomato sauce (or ‘macarons to the sauce of tomato,’ of course).
The internet is a real gold mine for people wanting to have a good laugh at the expense of restaurant-owners who have underestimated the importance of translation, and there is certainly a lot of content out there.
Are you wondering why your Turkish contact arrived half an hour late to a company meeting? Do you have a left-handed colleague who was sent by the company to negotiate with an Arab business partner, resulting in disaster?
What are some of the most commonly spoken languages in the world and which are the most important? The answers are complex, especially from a translator’s point of view!