Linguistic Tips

Korean novelist Han Kang wins 2016 Man Booker International Prize

The prestigious Man Booker International Prize is awarded annually to the best international novelist and translator team that publishes a work of fiction into English. The 2016 award went to Hang Kang, a South Korean novelist, and her translator, Deborah Smith, for the novel The Vegetarian. Originally published in Korean in 2007, and then made [...]

By | 2016-10-19T12:58:36+00:00 May 16th, 2016|Linguistic Tips, News|

When Pigs Fly & Other Idioms

We spotted this very nice article on Visual News, How Other Countries Say “When Pigs Fly” and Other Idioms. It features the work of London-based illustrator and writer Genevieve Edwards."When pigs fly" or "when pigs have wings" are idiomatic English ways to exaggeratedly say "It'll never happen." Because pigs are obviously seen as absurdly non-aerodynamic [...]

By | 2016-10-19T13:08:32+00:00 January 19th, 2016|Linguistic Tips|

It’s just too much!

The word "just" alters in meaning greatly in English. Primarily, it means "fair," especially when dealing with an ethical decision or legal ruling. This comes from its origins in Latin, iustus, which had various senses and uses of "just," "lawful," or "true." It all derives from the Latin root ius, meaning "law" or "right." These [...]

By | 2016-10-19T13:08:41+00:00 January 18th, 2016|Linguistic Tips|

It's an Italian thing…

Italians have a number of popular idiomatic expressions. From having "short arms" to speaking "without hair on your tongue."The origin of the former phrase, Avere le braccine corte ("to have short arms"), came from the idea someone's arms were too short to reach for their wallet when it came time to pay for something, such as [...]

By | 2016-10-19T13:08:51+00:00 January 15th, 2016|Linguistic Tips|

I Have a Duck to Half-Sell You

In French, the word simply means "duck." Yet in English, "canard" has come to have two meanings: one derogatory, and the other technical.If the 1905 book "French Idioms and Proverbs: A Companion to Deshumbert's 'Dictionary of Difficulties'" is to be believed, the word originated from some now long-forgotten French anecdote about 'half-selling a duck' to [...]

By | 2016-10-19T13:09:18+00:00 January 12th, 2016|Linguistic Tips|

The Beatles, in Translation

With the newly-announced release of the music of The Beatles on various streaming services, such as Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Prime, Google Play, and more, it's worthwhile to look at how The Fab Four sometimes used foreign lyrics in their music.In their early career, long before they became pop icons, The Beatles traveled to Hamburg, [...]

By | 2016-10-19T13:10:56+00:00 December 24th, 2015|Linguistic Tips|

Why is ice-cream called "glace" in France and "crème glacée" in Canada?

In Europe, it all started with Marco Polo: the explorer "discovered" ice cream during one of his adventures in the Far East and came back to Italy with this brilliant invention.France had to wait until the 16th century when Italian Catherine de Medici married the French king Henri II and brought this delight to the [...]

By | 2015-08-17T22:43:26+00:00 August 17th, 2015|Culture Studies, Daily Questions, Linguistic Tips|

How can languages affect the way we think?

 Have you ever heard that the Germans’ high organizational skills are reflecting in their complex, yet rule-complying grammar? Or that people who speak a language with no future tense are happier? What about languages that do not have numbers?These are stories we hear about the differences between speakers of different languages. But the extensive research [...]

By | 2015-08-17T13:05:28+00:00 August 17th, 2015|Culture Studies, Daily Questions, Linguistic Tips|

How to say "you" in Japanese?

How many forms of “you” do you think Japanese has?In a sense, there are so many words that can refer to the second person (あなた、お前、貴様、君、そちら、御社、お宅…), but none of them is a pronoun in the same sense as in most European languages.When Japanese people need to directly address somebody, they usually use the person’s name with the [...]

By | 2015-08-14T08:32:43+00:00 August 14th, 2015|Daily Questions, Linguistic Tips, Localization Tips|
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