The internet now connects more than 2 billion people – roughly a third of the world population. And it’s more multicultural and multilingual than ever before. Speaking to everyone in their native language (obviously) isn’t an option! But how many languages should you really use for global online marketing?
The Olympics might be inspiring record numbers of tweets from London. But the city is only third in a new list of the most Twitter-addicted cities in the world.
The countdown is finally over, and the eyes of the world have turned to the London Olympic Games! Athletes from more than 200 nations, as well as half a million visitors, have descended on the city. Although the official main Olympic language is French, there’s no doubt the city centre will resemble the Tower of Babel, with speakers of hundreds of tongues from around the globe.
Olympic fever is sweeping the country, and we’re counting down the days to the opening ceremony! But we’re not just excited about the sporting events. As half a million foreign visitors arrive in London, it’s also a chance to celebrate global culture and business.
The world’s languages are dying out at a faster pace than ever before. Many minority languages have only a handful of speakers left. They may be the last generation ever to speak their native tongue, knowing that much of their culture, stories and shared knowledge will be lost forever.
As Scotland welcomes its annual influx of visitors, a new book is advising Japanese tourists to steer clear of football shirts and “weird sausages”. The first official Japanese guide to the country is packed with information to bridge the cultural divide – some more useful than others!
Demand for German language training has shot up in Greece, according to the Goethe Institut, which organises classes around the world. It’s hardly surprising that the country’s economic woes have led to a 50 per cent rise in the numbers studying the language. Students see it as a passport to new opportunities in Europe’s healthiest economy.
Football’s often considered a universal language. And much of Europe is living, thinking and speaking the language of football this month, as they follow the Euro 2012 action.
Katharina Haberstock takes a further look at the challenges of translating literature, including poetry.
All writers have their own unique style, tone and rhythm, and tell their stories in their own way. The translation of literature is a delicate balancing act between conveying the meaning and capturing an author’s distinctive voice.
In the first of two posts, Katharina Haberstock looks at the role translation has played in the history of publishing.
Literature and translation have played key roles in the development of world culture. Without the translation of texts, a lot of our common culture wouldn’t exist nowadays. Just imagine if an epic like Homer’s Iliad hadn’t been translated into various languages, Western literary history might be very different. The Bible’s content, the most translated book ever, would not be available to us.