What do we learn from “Old McDonald Had a Farm”?

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Do you still remember the children’s song “Old McDonald Had a Farm”? In this song, we can learn many animal’s sound from dogs to donkeys. When teaching children a new language, we might start from mimicking animal sounds which is easier to remember and pronounce. Indeed, there are some “universal” animal sounds. Take turkey’s sound as an example, it’s “glou glou” in French and Greek, “clou clou” in Spanish, “glu glu” in Turkish. But for some animal sounds, it got some variation across different languages. Let’s take a look, see how various languages interpret the noises that different creatures make around the world.

  Image DogEnglish = Woof WoofSpanish =  Gua Gua

Swedish = Vov Vov

French = Ouah Ouah

Chinese = Wang Wang

 Image CatEnglish = MeowJapanese = Nyan

German = Maiu

Danish = Maiv

Turkish = Mijav

Image PigEnglish = Oink OinkFrench = Groin Groin

Japanese = Boo Boo

Greman = Grunz

Dutch = Knor Knor

Image BirdEnglish = TweetJapanese = Pii Pii

French = Cui Cui

Greek = Tschiwitt

Turkish =  Juyk Juyk

Image CowEnglish =  MooJapanese =  Mau Mau

Dutch =  Boe

French = Meuh

Turkish = Mooo

 burrowing_owl_by_dingo84dogs-d5u1m7i OwlEnglish = Hoo HooFinish = Huhuu

French = Hou Hou

Russian = Uh Uh Uh

Turkish = Uuu Uuu

Image DuckEnglish = Quack QuackDanish = Rap Rap

Greek =  Pa Pa Pa

French = Coin Coin

Spanish = Cua Cua

Image SheepEnglish = BaaJapanese = Meh Meh

Spanish = Bee Bee

Turkish = Maeh Maeh

Greek = Mae-ee

However, when translating these interesting phrases which interpret the sound; things become not interesting at all, especially for some animal sounds are not universal. We believe that the translating Onomatopoeia article we told before gives you a fully understanding. We hope you likes today’s article and get a free E-quote from Scribers for your next translation!

 

 

 

 

 

Pic Source:

http://www.fantom-xp.com/en_25__White_boxer_dog.html

http://www.wallsave.com/wallpaper/1366×768/cat-laughing-and-80387.html

http://artsignsymbols.blogspot.sg/2013/09/pig.html

http://www.hdwallpapersinn.com/hd-wallpapers-of-bird.html

http://waterconwellspring.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/good-news-for-cows/

http://www.hawaiilife.com/articles/2012/06/kailua%E2%80%99s-duck-lane/

http://12thebook.com/

http://www.hudsonvalleyalmanacweekly.com/2013/10/17/nys-sheep-wool-festival-in-rhinebeck/

Do words need a break?

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Word segmentation is informally known as “word breaks”. When translating from English to Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Thai, the absence of a salient word segmentation process may worry clients.  Segmentation basically refers to dividing a string of utterance. For instance, word segmentation would imply dividing a string of words. In English, word segmentation is easily observed from spaces between words. However, this is not the case for languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean or Thai.

When translating from English to any one of the aforementioned languages, clients might have difficulty typesetting the translation; fitting the expressions into the design layout since they are unaware of the word segmentations. For instance, the translated noun might not make sense without a case marker (ga, de, ni etc.) in Japanese or the translated verb might not make sense without a sentence final particle (le, ma, guo etc.) in Chinese. Hence, it is very critical to know where the word boundaries are, in order to match the meaning of the target text to the source text.

Fret not with Scribers! We resolve this mind boggling issue by ensuring that word breaks are addressed in a comprehensive manner for our clients. Our clients would be able to recognize word breaks and seek clarification with our translators if required. Apart from this, we also provide typesetting service that weaves in the translated expressions seamlessly, giving our clients an ease of mind when they engage our holistic translation and localization service. Log on to scribers.com.sg to begin your stress-free journey with us!

0 to 10, How Much Do You Understand “Interpretation” ?

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We hope our previous post on translation has given readers new insights on the importance of considering cultural and linguistic elements during the translation process. Today, we are going to discuss another important topic – interpretation.

There are generally two types of interpretation – consecutive interpretation (CI) and simultaneous interpretation (SI). The terms might have given you some clues about the distinction between CI and SI. For CI, it allows some time lag for the interpreter to make notes or jot down crucial points before transferring the meaning and gist into speech. However, for SI, it is definitely a lot more demanding and exhausting because it only allows an extremely short length of time lag – less than five seconds or half a sentence.

Many of you might overlook the high stress level involved in an SI assignment. Unlike CI interpreters, SI interpreters have to work in pairs or even in groups of 3 or more, depending on the nature of the conference or event. SI interpreters have to be spot on in terms of timing themselves as well as conveying the meaning of the source language. In other words, CI interpreters are given the opportunity to re-interpret when they wish to further refine the interpretation. On the contrary, SI interpreter do not have this advantage even if they wish to polish their interpretation. We also have to keep in mind that both CI and SI interpreters are not interpreting word for word; they have to keep in mind two different sentence structures and vocabularies. This further elevates the challenge of delivering a perfect interpretation for SI interpreters.

At Scribers, you can rest assured that our pool of CI and SI interpreters is well-trained with vast work experience. Some of them are not only bilingual but trilingual, or even multilingual. Being well versed in more than two languages gives the interpreter a winning edge in perceiving nuances across languages in a more sensitive light. Feel free to log on to scribers.com.sg for more details on our interpretation service!

10 Tips Guide You How to Write in Style

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Formal writing might not come as second nature to many, but there are some simple tips to get rid of these writing woes as far as basic formatting is concerned. Not being able to format your writing would probably leave the reader uninterested and annoyed. The lack of standardization might also imply the disregard towards the target audience as well as the nature of the document or report. It is important to be consistent once you have adopted a particular style of formal writing. This allows the reader to better understand and retain the content of your document. Below are some useful points to take note before you begin to produce or edit a formal document.

1)      First and foremost, whole numbers which are smaller than 10 should be spelt out. In other words, numbers one to nine should not be written as 1 or 7 in formal writing.

2)      If whole numbers are to be spelt out, numbers which do not belong to this category do not have to be spelt out. Values such as 3.5 or 0.5 do not have to be spelt out like three point five or zero point five.

3)      However, as mentioned earlier on, it is important to stick to a particular formal writing style from the beginning to the end of the document. There is really no standard spelling rule for numbers. For example, some writers or editors might adhere to the first rule above, however some might feel otherwise – one-word number should be spelt out instead. For instance, twenty instead of 20 or thirty instead of 30.

4)      Please use a comma if your document involves huge values. For example, in English, the comma is regarded as a thousands separator (886, 000 “eight hundred and eighty-six thousand”) while the period is understood as a decimal separator. However, take note that in Europe, this is exactly the other way round – the comma acts as a decimal separator while the period acts as a thousands separator!

5)      Centuries and decades should be spelt out. For example, seventies or twentieth century.

6)      Values which have been rounded off should be written in a numeral-plus-word format. For instance, about 5 billion or an estimated 20 million.

7)      When two numbers are written next to each other such as 2 15-year-olds, it can appear a tad odd and confusing. In this case, write 2 as two and the phrase becomes two 15-year-olds.

8)      When addressing people formally such as sir or madam, the first letter only needs to be in upper case when it is placed before the addressee’s name or when it appears at the start of a sentence.

9)      In formal writing, please refrain from using the percent sign %.  It should be spelt out as percent. For example, 20%  becomes 20 percent or twenty percent, depending on your preference (this brings us back to the third rule).

10)   Last but not least, please ensure that there is consistency once you have adopted a particular formal writing style. For instance, please do not write 20 boys at one point and then witch to writing twenty days somewhere else in the same document.

We hope these 10 tips have shed some light on adopting an appropriate formal writing style! Please feel free to share more formal writing tips. Happy writing or editing!  🙂

Spanish Dialect is more than your thoughts

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Another difference in pronunciation lies in the palatal lateral approximant (written with two “Ls” ll) and the voiced palatal fricative (written as y). This phonemic contrast can be understood as /ʎ/ (ll) and /ʝ/ (y). In the past, Spanish used to maintain this distinction. However, the majority of speakers today in Spain and the Americas have merged these two phonemes into /ʝ/. This merger is otherwise known as yeísmo. In Spain, speakers continue to differentiate these two phonemes in rural areas and smaller cities of the north while the same phenomenon is observed in South America and this characteristic suggests that bilingualism is a contributing factor – Quechua languages, Guarani and other indigenous languages possess the /ʎ/ sound in their speech sound patterns. This characteristic shows up in speakers from Peru and Paraguay.

Examples:

hoya “pit / hole” olla “pot”
baya “berry” valla “fence”

Grammar wise, there is only one minor difference. As Spanish is a T-V distinction language, (T-V distinction indexes level of politeness depending on the social status of the addressee) there is an emphasis on how the addresser refers to the addressee. For instance, different pronouns representing “you” (second person singular pronoun) denote different levels of formality. In most varieties, there are only two levels of contrasts – either “formal” or “informal” (or “familiar”). Under the formal usage of the second person pronoun, most speakers of Spanish (as well as other Spanish dialects) and Spanish America agree on using usted (second person singular pronoun) and ustedes (second person plural pronoun). However, when it comes to the informal usage of the second person pronoun, there is a regional contrast. For example, either or vos can refer to the second person singular informal and either vosotros or ustedes can refer to the second person plural informal. For instance, in Standard European Spanish, the plural of (second person singular informal pronoun) is vosotros and the plural of usted (second person singular formal pronoun) is ustedes. On the contrary, in Spanish America, vosotros is not used, thus, the plural of both and usted is ustedes.

Pic source: payatdoor.com

Loanwords in Japanese (II)

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Besides the influence of trade, foreign loanwords in Japanese have other implications too. By using loanwords, the speaker demonstrates being a cut above the rest in terms of education, social status and exposure. English as a universal language invokes the thought and feeling of one being polished and superior since many Japanese perceive Western culture to be more interesting and prestigiEous. Research findings show that ordinary folks usually adopt foreign words, such as English, in order to indicate a higher social status. Another contributing factor that supports the endorsement of foreign loanwords in Japanese may be the desire for novelty. As foreign loanwords tend to represent fresh and modern ideas and products, using such loanwords will enable one to appear well-informed and ahead of times.

It is not surprising to note that the prevalent foreign loanwords in Japanese can be found in the music industry. The fascination with English in the music scene is conspicuous – the titles of Japanese pop songs are very often in English. Let us take a look at just this particular list of loanwords!

Loanwords Katakana
genre (French) ジャンル janru
ballad (French) バラード barado
Black music ブラックミュジック burakkumyujikku
hip hop ヒップホップ hippuhoppu
jazz ジャズ jazu
pop ポップ poppu
rap ラップ rappu
backup dancer バックダンサー bakkudansa
band バンド bando
director ディレクター direkuta
group グループ gurupu
main vocal メインボーカル meinbokaru
member メンバー menba
songwriter ソングライター songuraita
lyric リリック ririkku
melody メロ mero
rhythm リズム rizumu
title タイトル taitoru
tempo (Italian) テンポ tenpo
collaboration コラボ korabo
maxi single マキシシングル makishishinguru
new single ニューシングル nyushinguru
live ライブ raibu
festival フェス fesu
one man live ワンマンライブ wanmanraibu

Pic source: www.tofugu.com

Loanwords in Japanese (I)

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As native speakers mingle with foreigners and in turn, gain exposure to foreign ideas, objects and expressions, it is not surprising that such neologisms begin their foray into the native speakers’ world. Very often, these neologisms undergo very minimal change and in the case of the Japanese language, they are usually represented by katakana. Let’s take a look at some of the loanwords in Japanese:

Loanword Katakana
piano ピアノ piano
computer コンピュータ konpyuta
album アルバム arubamu
very delicious バリうま bariuma (bari is the intensifier – “very”)
arbeit (German – “work”) アルバイト arubaito (“part-time job”)

As we can observe from the above table, apart from a phonological change, loanwords in Japanese may also diverge from their original meaning. Taking arbeit into account, the meaning has undergone a shift – referring to a part-time job instead. With trade relations reviving between Japan and the foreigners especially after the 19th century, Japan’s contact with the outside world grew and so did its vocabulary. Before the 19th century – probably between the 16th to 17th century, Japan limited trading opportunities to the West due to the infiltration of Catholicism and the persistence of converting the locals into Catholics.

During the 5th century, Chinese loanwords were initially written in kanji (Chinese characters). However, as Japan opened herself up to other foreign traders, other loanwords soon began their foray into Japanese. For example, loanwords would come from Dutch and German (medicine) as well as French and Italian (music and food). Generally, loanwords that do not come from the West are written in katakana. Loanwords are Japanized in Japanese as they end up taking on a Japanese pronunciation feature. Two interesting examples of Japanized loanwords occur when Japanese speakers abbreviate new borrowings or create new expressions (coinage) from foreign loanwords.

Loanword Abbreviated
supermarket スーパー supa
departmental store デパート depato
Loanwords Coinage
salary, man サラリーマン salaryman “employee”

pic source: randomwire.com

Loanwords in English

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Language is subject to change overtime. Modern English, as we call it, is actually a blend of various languages! Even the original Anglo-Saxon language consisted of a smorgasbord of different dialects from the West Germanic tribes living on the North Coast.  Did you notice a loanword that has just occurred? Yes – smorgasbord! English borrowed and anglicized the Swedish word smörgåsbord. That explains the slightly different pronunciation in English.

The West Germanic tribes were made up of the Saxons (Germany and eastern Holland), the Jutes (probably from northern Denmark) as well as the Angles (possibly living along the coast and on islands between Denmark and Holland) and the dialects used amongst the different speakers were mutually intelligible. In other words, they could easily guess or understand one another.  English’s closest relatives can be found right across the waters – Holland and Germany. Below is a list of similar looking and sounding words!

    English

Dutch

German

as

als

als

bread

brood

Brot

cow

koe

Kuh

dream

droom

Traum

hear

hoor

Hören

him

hem

ihm

under

onder

unter

Interestingly, English as we see now is a hodgepodge of dialects which explains the similarities shared by it and the other neighboring varieties. With each new power figure or conqueror, there will be new borrowings from the donor language into the recipient language. For instance, William the conqueror and his Norman supporters invaded England in 1066 and brought together with them Norman French which was regarded as the prestigious mode of communication. Although simple daily communication was carried out in English, it was injected with a huge number of French words.

From then onwards, English has been actively absorbing new vocabulary from various sources. For example, vestiges of French, Latin and Greek can still be found in English. In diplomacy, French represents the language of diplomacy across Europe, Latin acts as the language of the church while Greek is the strongest contributor of words related to philosophy and science. Apart from these European languages, The American Indian languages, Australian Aborigine languages and the languages of Africa and India have also donated a tremendous amount of words that refer to species of plants and animals in the world!

 As the number of English speakers increases in societies made up of non-native English speakers, different English varieties spring up. The colloquial English variety of Singapore, otherwise known as Singlish, intersperses English with local dialects such as Malay, Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese. Even though English acts as the main mode of communication in Singapore, foreigners will definitely take time and effort to understand Singlish due to the strong influence of local dialectal loanwords and Chinese sentence final particles (la, lor, leh) borrowed into English.

Language is subject to change overtime. Modern English, as we call it, is actually a blend of various languages! Even the original Anglo-Saxon language consisted of a smorgasbord of different dialects from the West Germanic tribes living on the North Coast.  Did you notice a loanword that has just occurred? Yes – smorgasbord! English borrowed and anglicized the Swedish word smörgåsbord. That explains the slightly different pronunciation in English.

The West Germanic tribes were made up of the Saxons (Germany and eastern Holland), the Jutes (probably from northern Denmark) as well as the Angles (possibly living along the coast and on islands between Denmark and Holland) and the dialects used amongst the different speakers were mutually intelligible. In other words, they could easily guess or understand one another.  English’s closest relatives can be found right across the waters – Holland and Germany. Below is a list of similar looking and sounding words!

English

Dutch

German

as

als

als

bread

brood

Brot

cow

koe

Kuh

dream

droom

Traum

hear

hoor

Hören

him

hem

ihm

under

onder

unter

Interestingly, English as we see now is a hodgepodge of dialects which explains the similarities shared by it and the other neighboring varieties. With each new power figure or conqueror, there will be new borrowings from the donor language into the recipient language. For instance, William the conqueror and his Norman supporters invaded England in 1066 and brought together with them Norman French which was regarded as the prestigious mode of communication. Although simple daily communication was carried out in English, it was injected with a huge number of French words.

From then onwards, English has been actively absorbing new vocabulary from various sources. For example, vestiges of French, Latin and Greek can still be found in English. In diplomacy, French represents the language of diplomacy across Europe, Latin acts as the language of the church while Greek is the strongest contributor of words related to philosophy and science. Apart from these European languages, The American Indian languages, Australian Aborigine languages and the languages of Africa and India have also donated a tremendous amount of words that refer to species of plants and animals in the world!

 As the number of English speakers increases in societies made up of non-native English speakers, different English varieties spring up. The colloquial English variety of Singapore, otherwise known as Singlish, intersperses English with local dialects such as Malay, Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese. Even though English acts as the main mode of communication in Singapore, foreigners will definitely take time and effort to understand Singlish due to the strong influence of local dialectal loanwords and Chinese sentence final particles (la, lor, leh) borrowed into English.

pic source: encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com

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