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* You are viewing the archive for October, 2010

The mother tongue advantage in translation

What is mother tongue?

Although the term mother tongue is very commonly used in general parlance, it has been variously defined with different connotations ever since its first appearance around 14th century in literature. A common dictionary definition of mother tongue would be: a parent language; one’s native language; the first language learned by a child and in which it can express fully and identifies with; the language learned by children and passed from one generation to the next, etc. In the translation industry, persons fluent in mother tongue or the native tongue are generally considered to have an edge over … Continue Reading

Jobs that require bilingual skills – II

Continuing the discussion on jobs that require bi / multi lingual skills, we have seen in an earlier blog how migration has resulted in the necessity of people learning more than one language for survival. Out of the many professions that require multiple language skills, the healthcare sector has one of the maximum demands. Others include finance, tourism / hotel, social and public services, sales and marketing etc.

Financial services like insurance, banks, and mortgage service providers often have to interact with the public at large. In a multilingual society like the U.S. for example employees knowing Spanish or Chinese in … Continue Reading

Jobs that require bilingual skills

From time immemorial, man has been a migrating animal whether voluntary or forced. The reasons for migration have been varied – trade, livelihood seeking greener pastures, political persecution, colonization etc. This migration is still continuing in modern times and there is no reason to believe that it won’t continue in the future as well. Migration engenders its own problems like assimilation of the migrants into the adopted society, problems of language, religion, cultural practices etc.

Because of migration we have people speaking different tongues living side by side in many countries around the world. Over a period of time the immigrants … Continue Reading

Simplified English – a new language? (Part II)

Continuing the discussion on the subject of simplified English from an earlier blog, simplified English was originally developed for the aerospace industry for writing maintenance manuals but is now used by other industries as well. The need for simplified English has arisen mainly because natural language expressions can be ambiguous depending on the writing style of the writer. Technical writers especially develop special vocabulary called ‘jargon’ which can make writing opaque to others including experts. The problem becomes severe when a document has to be translated into another language. The translator, unless professionally trained can misinterpret and easily cause confusion … Continue Reading