Metaglossia: The Translation World
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Metaglossia: The Translation World
News about translation, interpreting, intercultural communication, terminology and lexicography - as it happens
Curated by Charles Tiayon
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Top 20 memes of 2012: Words, terms and phrases that first entered our vocabulary during the year

Remember binders full of women? How about redneckognize? Check out the new phrases, words and terms that became a part of our collective vocabulary in 2012.!
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The words of 2012

by Paul Heacock As the year winds to a close, it is once again time for the staff and contributors to Cambridge Dictionaries Online and its blog, About Words, to sort through the year gone by and h...!
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Forget YOLO: Why 'Big Data' Should Be The Word Of The Year : NPR

"Big Data" had just as much to do with President Obama's victory as phrases like "Etch A Sketch" and "47 percent," says linguist Geoff Nunberg.!
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"Gangnam Style" podría ser incluido en el diccionario británico

Gangnam Style fue elegida junto a fiscal cliff abismo fiscal y Romneyshambles las vacilaciones de Romney como una de las palabras del año del diccionario Collins.!
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Those odious words

The ever-game Steve Kleinedler of the American Heritage Dictionary took on one of those chores that regularly fall to lexicographers: He appeared on Boston's WBUR to talk about words people want...!
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The fun of reading dictionaries, encyclopedias

WORLD OF WORDS: Taking an intellectual journey into a knowledge wilderness

SOME years ago, Royal Professor Ungku Aziz challenged the audience to read the entire volume of Encyclopedia Britannica and all the journals published by the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (MBRAS). It would be an adventure unlike any other -- an intellectual journey into a knowledge wilderness.

As time passed by, I was engrossed in issues pertaining to brick and butter and occasionally that of survival. But I did check what would be in store if I were to take up the challenge. It would been an intellectual version of climbing the Everest without supplemental oxygen or summiting K2 during winter. Needless to say, the odds were insurmountable.

Let's begin with the MBRAS journals. MBRAS was established by British administrators who were interested in "Malayan studies".

The journals published since 1877 pioneered studies on Malayan culture, history, literature, botany, ecology, archeology and anthropology. Reading such dense texts that have been around for 135 years was no easy feat. I gave up.

I checked the Encyclopedia Britannica. It has been around for 244 years, the first edition came out in Scotland in 1768.

At its peak, it consisted of 65,000 entries, in 44 million words, covering 33,000 pages with 24,000 images. There were 9,500 contributors for the 32-volume set, not including its indexes and a Propedia, an introductory volume that was started in its 15th edition.

I did a bit of hom

Read more: The fun of reading dictionaries, encyclopedias - Columnist - New Straits Times!
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Slang: The universal language

Lexicographer Jonathon Green explains the etymology of the f-word -- and how slang informs our speech
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Before we look at your book selection, could you tell us what slang is?

Slang is difficult because everything about it defies simple classification. Nobody knows the etymology of the word slang. If you take slang to a linguist they try to define it within the boundaries of what they know as linguists, and very soon they discover they can’t find a specific register into which it falls.

I see slang as the counter-language. At its heart it’s down, it’s dirty, it’s grubby, it’s tart, it’s essentially subversive. It questions and deals with themes like sex, drugs, violence, rudeness, abuse, racism and so on and so forth. Slang is primarily concrete, but the one abstract that underpins it is that of doubt. It seems to me that slang is always doubting. It’s always questioning, it’s always cynical, it’s always undermining and it’s always been negative. It’s very thematic, which means it’s basically a lexicon of synonyms. There are 1,500 synonyms for having sex, 1,000 penises, 1,000 vaginas and 2,000 drunkards and drink-related words… and so on.!
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Confusing Words

Confusing Words is a collection of 3210 words that are troublesome to readers and writers. Words are grouped according to the way they are most often confused or misused.

Some of these words are homonyms (words that sound alike but are spelled differently) and some are just commonly confused.

What are Confusing Words?
affect and effect
there, their, and they're
capital and capitol
affluent and effluent
atheist and agnostic
...and over 3000 more.
Most Popular Confusing Words
lay (17055)
lay (17046)
affect (15831)
less (11461)
less (11458)
less (11456)
The last confusing word viewed was: buy, which is confused with bi-, by, by-, and bye.
Click the Confusing Words logo to return to this page. Click About Confusing Words below for help finding the words you're looking for, contact information, and for a history of this project.!
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François Hollande parlera à l'Afrique avec «de nouveaux mots», selon Yamina Benguigui -

François Hollande parlera à l'Afrique «avec de nouveaux mots» pour en finir avec «les oripeaux du colonialisme» lors de sa tournée à Dakar et Kinshasa la semaine prochaine, a déclaré ce jeudi la ministre déléguée à la Francophonie.

Lors d'une conférence de presse à Paris, Yamina Benguigui a évoqué la première tournée africaine du président français, qui doit se rendre au Sénégal puis en République démocratique du Congo pour assister au XIVe sommet de la Francophonie. La ministre a dit voir dans ce voyage l'occasion d'en finir avec la «Françafrique» et de réparer les dégâts causés selon elle par le discours de Dakar de Nicolas Sarkozy.

«L'Afrique a été humiliée et la France a aussi été humiliée par le discours de Dakar»

«L'homme africain n'est pas assez entré dans l'Histoire», avait déclaré l'ex-président en juillet 2007 dans la capitale sénégalaise, provoquant une polémique sur le regard porté par la France sur le continent et ses anciennes colonies. «L'Afrique a été humiliée et la France a aussi été humiliée par le discours de Dakar», a estimé Yamina Benguigui mercredi devant la presse étrangère réunie au Cape, à Paris.

«Il faut pouvoir apaiser les choses, apporter de nouveaux mots, avoir un nouveau langage et définitivement se débarrasser des oripeaux du colonialisme. Définitivement», a-t-elle insisté. La Francophonie, qui réunit 56 Etats, peut selon elle contribuer à tendre vers cet objectif. «Avec cette langue française qui est surtout une langue solidaire, une langue de partage et il faut maintenant être clair dans notre façon de dire. Et le président Hollande ira porter cette parole», a déclaré la ministre.!
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LePage and the meaningof the word corrupt | The Morning Sentinel, Waterville, ME

For any other politician, I would hesitate to use such a loaded term when describing their actions, but LePage has given us a special license to use that word.

At a town hall in April, LePage declared that state workers in middle management were "about as corrupt as can be." His spokesperson claimed that this was a legitimate charge, even with a complete lack of evidence of any misdeeds, because one of the dictionary definitions of corruption is "spoiled or contaminated."

The next day, LePage doubled down on his attack, writing in a letter to state workers that they had been "corrupted by the bureaucracy" and that it was "union bosses" who had done the contaminating.

The LePage definition of corrupt isn't used much now. Webster's New World College Dictionary lists it as "obsolete," but it is a technical meaning of the word. Perhaps LePage, as part of his new state education plans, just wanted to teach us some etymology and show that corrupt came from the Latin corrumpere (to destroy or spoil) and rumpere (to break -- also the root of "rupture").

A different definition of the word might apply to LePage: The first meaning listed by Merriam-Webter's Dictionary of Law, which states that corruption is characterized by improper conduct "intended to secure a benefit for oneself or another."!
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Fundéu BBVA: "congratularse por" o "de algo", no "congratularse con algo"

La Fundación del Español Urgente (Fundéu BBVA) señala que el pronominal congratularse, cuando se refiere a alegrarse por algo, se construye con las preposiciones por o de, y no con.Sin embargo, en...!
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Why it is important to use the right words

MANILA: “I do not want my friends to think I’m a genius.” Those were the words of a 14-year-old boy as he struggled to compose a letter as part of his school assignment.!
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More Colloquial Expressions from Spain

This week I devoted a few hours to transcribing a series of talks on business leadership, which were given by a Basque speaker. The experience reminded me once again of how much the different variants of the Spanish language differ from region to region. Thus, I decided to extend my previous post on colorful sayings from Spain and offer you a few more examples.
- No tener abuela (literally: To have no grandmother):
Spanish grandmothers, like those in many other places, are very affectionate with their grandchildren, and it is common to hear them express their love in some form of praise, compliment, or flattery, of the kind of “My, how beautiful you are, my child!” In the case of this phrase, the recipient is one who, given the habit of praising himself, would seem not to have anyone to tell him what a good person or how good-looking he is. For someone displaying such behavior, it would not be uncommon to say to him: “What happened? Don’t you have a grandmother?”
- Salir por un ojo de la cara (literally: Cost an eye)!
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Who is a “Full Ghanaian”? | Feature Article 2012-08-21

NPP MPAdamu Dramani is not a Criminal.

Buoyed by the fate of the jailed NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central, the brave Victor Okaikoi is reported to have renounced his dual citizenship and has now morphed into a “full Ghanaian” (from half to full) in order to contend for a parliamentary seat. The latter is the gist of a news item carried by on the 9th of August, 2012. To assume that Victor Okaikoi, is or was not a full blooded Ghanaian before his renunciation is to imagine stupidity on steroids. No one can convince any reasonable Ghanaian that Victor Okaikoi, one whose life could easily have been lost to the ego driven maniac Rawlings, is less of a Ghanaian than Rawlings or any of the quislings that blindly follow him. In addition, I don’t think most Ghanaians understand why some, though fully committed to Ghana, their birth country, inevitably maintain Dual Citizenship out of necessity and for practical reasons. Victor Okaikoi is one of the lucky ones to escape the death binge of Rawlings and his churlish phalanx. He deserves our admiration for standing up against the callous and evil reign of Rawlings.

Who really is a “full Ghanaian”? Are the authorities in Ghana saying that MP Adamu Dramani is not a “full Ghanaian”? What did he do in his capacity as MP that turned out to be un-Ghanaian? What really is un-Ghanaian behavior? Why is the Ghanaian afraid of his or her blood brother or sister who has spent time overseas? Here is a gentleman who was born of Ghanaian parents, yet some, have engendered a constitution that vilify, castigate and jail innocent Ghanaians for wanting to serve. All this man did was to serve his people. What is it about Dual Citizenship that irks Ghanaians? If Dual Citizenship is such a horrible thing or carries no relevance, why is it honored by country Ghana? Should Dual Citizenship really qualify a born and raised Ghanaian to any real rights? Where is the evidence to show that dual citizens are less loyal? What really is the logical reasoning behind the need to marginalize our blood brothers and sisters? Let us assume that this fine gentleman is or was the best thing that happened to his district in his capacity as MP. Why should we throw him in jail? Why should we throw him out if his people voted for him? Did his people know him to be Ghanaian? Does he speak and eat their food? Does he have family and friends among them? Does he reflect their values, conventions and norms? This man was no stranger to his own kith and kin. Was he?!
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10 Long Science Words

Want to learn 10 long science words to impress your friends? Read on.

This is not only a list of 10 long science words, but has longest word in the English language – pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis.!
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Collins Revolutionizes Learning Dictionaries With COBUILD App | Virtual-Strategy Magazine

Leading publisher launches iPhone and iPad product for advanced American English learners that includes language resources such as sentences, audio pronunciations and context clues | Virtual Strategy Magazine is an online publication devoted...!
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Um ain’t a word | The Dickinson Press | Dickinson, North Dakota

I looked up the word “um” in the dictionary and guess what? It’s there.

That’s disconcerting. Why? Because I recently went to a conference in Kansas City and way too many speakers used way too many “ums” in the middle, beginning and at end of sentences and nearly as many “you knows.”

Now these were public relations people from big colleges around the country who are paid to communicate for a living and should know better but apparently they don’t. My high school speech teacher would have had a stroke, three heart attacks, and a seizure and then needed three soothing chocolate bars for rehabilitation had she been there.!
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Collins Revolutionizes Learning Dictionaries With COBUILD App

New York, NY (PRWEB) August 08, 2012 As English language learners try to speak more like natives, mastering the nuances and natural usage of the language can be difficult.!
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The Oxford English Dictionary's New Food Word Additions

If you needed more proof that recent years have seen food culture creep into public consciousness like never before, then just check out Mental Floss and Houston Press' lists of new words recently added to Oxford Dictionaries Online.!
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El espanglish avanza en el diccionario de la RAE

Mezcla de 'español' con 'english', el espanglish define el modo de hablar propio de los hispanos en Estados Unidos. El término será incorporado a la edición 2014 del diccionario de la RAE gracias al cambio de los tiempos y a la presión ejercida por la Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española (ANLE).

El 'estadounidismo', definido como “palabras o usos propios del español hablado en los Estados Unidos de América”, se agregará, junto con 'blog', 'bloguero', 'chat', 'chatear', 'tableta electrónica' y otros vocablos del inglés, a la próxima edición del diccionario de la prestigiosa academia.

En Estados Unidos, el idioma español es hablado por más de 50 millones de personas, es decir, por una población superior a la de Argentina, Colombia o España; lo que coloca a esa comunidad en la mayor hispanoablante después de México, el país con más hispanoparlantes del mundo.!
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Nouveau dictionnaire de l'automobile

Le Comité des Constructeurs Français d’Automobiles édite cette année encore son dictionnaire du vocabulaire de l’automobile.

Toute l'actualité en image "Des Mots et des Autos", c’est le nom du dictionnaire qui est édité régulièrement par le CCFA, le Comité des Constructeurs Français d’Automobiles. La première édition date de 1995 et la dernière en date remontait à septembre 2010. Comme la société tout entière, et ce qui la compose, l’automobile est en perpétuelle évolution et les termes qui lui sont appliqués également. Une commission composée entre autres de représentants de l’Académie Française, des ministres des Transports et de l’Education Nationale, des constructeurs français, d’ingénieurs ou encore d’universitaires, s'est rassemblée pour définir la terminologie de chaque mot se rapprochant de l’automobile et en a édité un dictionnaire.!
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Le mot cousinade entre dans le dictionnaire

La saison des cousinades bat son plein. Les cousinades, vous savez, ces fameuses réunions de famille qui rassemblent le plus possibles de descendants d'un couple-souche... Et bien le mot vient enfin d'être reconnu à sa juste valeur par la dernière édition du Petit Larousse (2013). Savez-vous qui est le modeste artisan de cette petite conquête généalogique de la langue française ? Christian Ferru, l'organisateur de la plus grande cousinade au monde qui a eu lieu en 1991, attestée par le livre Guiness des records !

Avec fierté, Christian raconte comment il a réussi à faire passer cette idée auprès du célèbre dictionnaire : "J’étais réellement frustré de ne pas y lire ce mot, j’ai toujours pensé qu’il devait y avoir sa place, sachant qu’il est bien d’origine française. Depuis 2007, j’ai adressé à plusieurs reprises quelques courriers à Monsieur le Directeur Éditorial et au comité de rédaction du Petit Larousse, souhaitant voir apparaître ce mot qui me tenait à cœur. Les réponses étaient assez positives mais… le temps passait sans aucune insertion".!
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Curiosity : pourquoi ne peut-on pas dire «amarsissage» ?

Ni l'Académie française ni l'Académie des sciences ne reconnaissent le terme, pour les mêmes raisons qu'elles n'ont pas accepté le mot «alunissage».!
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El Diccionario de la Lengua Española se enriquece con vocablos prehispánicos

Notimex (México).- El Diccionario de la Real Academia Española, en su vigésima segunda edición, de 2001, incluye dos mil 895 mexicanismos, de los cuales un número importante son de origen prehispánico, afirmó Jaime Labastida, director de la Academia Mexicana de la Lengua.

En entrevista con Notimex, el también filósofo, poeta y director de Editorial Siglo XXI destacó que para esa edición del volumen el número de regionalismos aumentó, pues en la anterior edición, la vigésima primera, de 1992, fueron aceptados mil 121 mexicanismos.

Entre los mexicanismos que provienen de voces indígenas, que se emplean en México y han sido aceptados en el diccionario de la lengua hispánica, mencionó como ejemplo los vocablos escamole, molcajete, popote y tlacoyo.

Pero también hay palabras que el país ha aportado al español en el mundo sin que tengan una raíz autóctona, entre las que se pueden mencionar emérito, merendero, moler y orita, entre varias más.

“Hay otras palabras que nosotros les dimos al mundo, de origen náhuatl, como tomate. Nosotros diferenciamos entre el jitomate y el tomate, pero en el mundo no se diferencia, es solamente tomate, que son diversas variedades de éste. Es una palabra que ya no es solamente mexicana es una aportación de México al mundo, al igual que aguacate”, destacó.!
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Dictionnaire des mots savants, employés à tort et à travers - Tristan Savin

Critiques, citations, extraits de Dictionnaire des mots savants, employés à tort et de Tristan Savin. Un petit livre qui se picore au fil des jours ou des moments de la jou...!
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