Tag Archives: translation

7 posh French phrases that are now popular in English

8 Oct

Author: Pratibha Alagh What if we told you English belongs to same language family as Dutch – Germanic, but that it has more features in common with French, an offspring of the Romance languages? Strange, right? But, when it comes to languages, it’s not all about the roots. What is at play is another very […]

Word Nerd: German, the original hashtag language

4 Dec

You know how hashtags work. A hashtag is a hash sign followed by a word. Sometimes a phrase is compounded into a single word. People can intuitively understand its meaning from either the word itself or the context. Sometimes, though, it’s possible to take it #TooFar #BeyondAllReason #DoesItEvenMakeAnySenseAnyMore #ICantEven. Well, if you thought this was […]

Word Nerd: 7 words of wisdom that India gifted to the English language

16 Oct

Language and history often go hand in hand. The words we use – or don’t use – often contain fascinating stories within them that carry a good deal of meaning beyond the dictionary definition. Here are a few – feel free to add some of your own in the comments! 1. Ahimsa This Sanskrit word […]

Word Nerd: The perils of translation

23 May

Whenever we speak with someone whose native language or culture is different from ours, we are essentially translating. Good translation requires much more than a vocabulary – it takes a nuanced understanding of both language and culture. Japanese, for instance, has different verbs for the same action, and using a less respectful verb in a […]

Word Nerd: Paneer, cottage cheese, and the vocabulary of diversity

18 Apr

Photo of cheeses by Rodney. Used under CC BY 2.0 license

Recently, a friend who is a professor of Italian language and culture expressed her frustration that an English-language textbook had translated “ricotta” as “cream cheese”. I remarked that it was like Indian cookbooks wrongly translating “paneer” as “cottage cheese”. She said that this was different because the author was a scholar of Italian cinema, and […]