Blog Archives

‘Jack Finn’s Carols

Finnish Christmas carols are often seen as extraordinarily depressing. That isn’t quite fair. In fact, we have a Finn (Jaakko Suomalainen, Jacobus Finno) to thank for some of the best loved carols worldwide. He was a priest and head of the

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Posted in Christmas, history, translation

Do Geese See God?

Do geese see God? (English) Knit again and you’ll get a beer (Neulo taas niin saat oluen, Finnish) It was raining bread in the garden (Aias sadas saia, Estonian) Maybe tomorrow that lady will give a cake to the hedgehogs

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Posted in language, translation, words

Rejoice! or Exult?

Catholics should be used to the new English translation of the Latin liturgy after four years. But at times like Easter, which particularly cut through and beyond time, it’s familiar words we want. The premise for the new translation was

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Posted in faith, translation

holy languages for holy week

The holy books of Christians and Jews are a complex mixture of languages and manuscripts that gloriously overlap and contradict. There are more and more chances to see this huge diversity coming together. Two exhibitions, similar content, different title: verbum

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Posted in faith, international, language, translation

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

O!

‘Would it be of any use, now,’ thought Alice, `to speak to this mouse? Everything is so out-of-the-way down here that I should think very likely it can talk: at any rate, there’s no harm in trying.’ So she began:

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Posted in language, translation

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

an anchor and a voice-right: Seamus Heaney’s translations

It’s not Seamus Heaney’s month’s mind yet, but his first memorial has gone up in the National Portrait Gallery in London. The Nobel awarding committee were right to call him a beautifully lyrical poet. His poetic translations are full of energy and life, and

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Posted in language, translation

Terms and conditions

Have you ever noticed that lawyers like to say the same thing twice? A marriage is to have and to hold; the partners who make and enter into it may covenant and agree that their goods and chattels are shared

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Posted in language

mihi placet

mihi placet. That’s how to “like” something in Latin. Facebook will ask you “quid in animo tuo est?” instead of “what’s on your mind?” Hopefully not everyone will respond with MC (short for magno cachinno = LOL). For describing those

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Posted in language, translation
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