Browsing All posts tagged under »Spanish«

Call a spade a spade. And a trough a trough.

March 15, 2011

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One of the joys of working where I do is that you are always having to explain idiomatic expressions, and work out the equivalent in the foreign language. If I looked up the history or etymology behind each one I’d never make it to the studio, but when my colleagues asked me for a translation […]

How Japan gave the world tsunamis

March 11, 2011

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Today’s events in Japan will likely ricochet around the news for the next few days: as with events such as these, the death total will never be “final” as too many people will have been swept away – never to be found. The 8.8-magnitude (MW 8.8) earthquake hit just off the north-east coast, off Japan’s […]

Gesundheit! Yì Băi Suì! We all fall down.

February 28, 2011

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One of the delights of moving to a new country is learning how to react to events in the local way, with all the things that come with learning a new language. What do you say, for example, if you stub your toe? Get a fright? Or smell something untoward? And my favourite, what you […]

So, I’m going to be a ‘gringo’? All Greek to me…

February 24, 2011

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So, despite recent news about a Brazilian woman finding an alligator behind her sofa, it’s looking like I will be moving to South America this summer. Before me stands the slightly daunting prospect of having to decipher the language and overcome some of the more challenging cultural differences – but I’ve done it before, and […]

Where art thou? Why we’re so chummy with God

February 22, 2011

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I was at my granddad’s funeral the other day. (Don’t worry, this post will get chirpier.) It was terribly sad, of course, but as the ceremony went on, the atmosphere brightened as we remembered his life. At the end of the service came the unbiquitous Lord’s Prayer, and uh-oh… it’s the new-fangled one that just […]

Gaddafi? Qaddafi? Kaddafi? Let’s call the whole thing off!

February 21, 2011

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Have you ever been lost in transliteration? You’re not alone. And you don’t need to tell me about it. Russian’s 33 letters do not fit perfectly into English’s 26. Arabic fits even more awkwardly. Chinese can be fun, too. Why? Well, for one – alphabets don’t match because the underlying sound systems don’t match. We […]