Blog Archives

april fish!

Happy April Fool’s Day! If you’re English, you’ve only got till noon to play your tricks or you’re the fool. If you’re over the channel, your day may involve April Fish, usually made of paper and attached to someone’s back

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Posted in April Fool's Day, international, language, words

¡habla conmigo! – talk with me!

If you want someone’s mind to grow, you have to start a conversation with them as soon as they’re born. It’s not enough for them to hear language around them, adults talking to each other, people talking on TV or

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Posted in Illustration, language, words

world book day 2014: binge-read or savour?

World Book Day today, and there’s a £1 book for everyone under 18 in the British Isles (discussion of the politics of that short-hand term another time, please). There’s an app, there are trailers for the books, you can win a

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Posted in books, language, literature, Word of the Year 2013, words, World Book Day

more gender pronouns: they

Facebook has finally broadened its pronoun options from 2 to 50. This should theoretically stop those odd posts with the “wrong” gender assignment, and make a lot of transgendered and queer people very happy. The only problem is that you have to

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Posted in gender, language, translation, words

year of the horse: China in 10 words

Happy Chinese New Year – Xin Nian Kuai Le! Gong Hey Fat Choy! To celebrate the dawning of the Year of the Horse, it’s time to read about China. The London Review Bookshop recommends an introduction to Chinese poetry, including

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Posted in international, language, literature, poetry, translation, words, Year of the Horse

more stories, more words

“One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die.”— Evelyn Waugh “Human vocabulary is still not capable, and probably never will be of knowing, recognizing, and communicating everything that can be humanly experienced

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Posted in international, language, literature, words

one word to begin

New years’ resolutions can be overwhelming, if like me, you make a lengthy list and then struggle to live up to your own ideals, often failing within the first week. So this year I decided to choose one word to guide

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Posted in faith, Illustration, language, literature, words

hobbit scripts

It is that time of year again – time for the next Hobbit movie, a chance to escape back into the magical world of Middle Earth. The first Hobbit film was too long, but it was also the first film I saw

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Posted in international, language, literature, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, translation, words

selfie, bookshelfie

The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013 is: Selfie (n. informal) a photograph taken of oneself and usually uploaded onto social media. From a short list which included bedroom tax (for UK speakers), binge-watch and twerk, selfie was the clear global

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Posted in language, Word of the Year 2013, words

twist your tongue around the world

Sometimes your tongue gets in a knot and the words just don’t come out. But if you can untangle it, you will sound fluent as never before. I tell first time visitors to Finland that they can find the lift

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Posted in international, language, translation, words
advent Alice in Wonderland American And Other Stories Antonia Lloyd-Jones Arabic Argentina Best Translated Book Award Bible books Brazil Brazilian Portuguese British British Library Buddhism Catalan Catalonia Children's Books China Chinese Christmas Christmas Carols Contemporary Czesław Miłosz Dari David Hackston Dublin Literary Award Edinburgh Festival English Estonian Fantasy Farsi Fiction Finland Finland 100 Finlandia Prize Finnish Flemish Free Word Centre French George Szirtes German Greek Hebrew Herbert Lomas Herta Müller history Hungarian Iceland Idioms Illustration India international International Translation Day Iran Irish Gaelic Italian J. R. R. Tolkien Japanese Jenny Erpenbeck Johanna Sinisalo Korean Language language learning Languages Latin Literature Lola Rogers Mabinogion Man Booker International Prize Maori Maria Turtschaninoff Moomins New Year Nobel Prize Nobel Prize for Literature Norwegian Old English Olga Tokarczuk Owen Witesman Oxford English Dictionary Penguin PEN Translation Prize Persian Philip Boehm Phoneme Media Poetry Poetry Translation Centre Polish Portuguese Pushkin Press Queer Romanian Rosa Liksom Russian Salla Simukka Second World War Shakespeare Short Stories Sofi Oksanen Spanish Stanisław Barańczak Suomi100 Susan Bernofsky Svetlana Alexievich Swedish Switzerland Thomas Teal Tibetan Tove Jansson transation Translation translator Translators Without Borders Valentine's Day Wales Warsaw Welsh Wisława Szymborska Witold Szabłowski Women in Translation Month words Words without Borders writing YA

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