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Google Translate and a new debate: Is it misogynist?

Google Translate and a new debate: Is it misogynist?

Inclusive language is undoubtedly one of the issues of the moment in terms of linguistic uses, customs and practices. As we have seen in our article dedicated to this topic, inclusive language questions the generic use of masculine in formal language since it considers that it places man and his position in the world at the center of everything that exists.
This phenomenon, driven especially by feminist movements and LGBT groups, aroused many questions and detractors around them. Now, it is the turn of Google Translate.
Here is everything there is to know about this new debate.

Is Google Translate macho?

Spanish or Castilian, like the English language and most of the world’s languages, use feminine and masculine personal pronouns. However, there are also many other languages that have neutral pronouns, that is, they do not distinguish between the different genders. Some of these languages are Euskera (Basque Country), Bulgarian (Bulgaria) and Hungarian (Hungary).
It is precisely these languages that do not make differences or that use neutral gender that generated an unexpected debate around the Google Translate algorithm. Recently, users from different countries discovered that Google Translate assigns the male or female gender to the subject of a sentence depending on the content of the sentence. According to these virtual complaints, this tool would have a macho bias due to the way it decodes – and consequently, translates – their texts.

A clear example of this is a post by a user on Reddit in which he analyzes what the Google Translate responses are when passing certain phrases from Hungarian to English:
• Ő szép / She is beautiful
• Ő okos / He is clever
• Ő olvas / He reads
• Ő mosogat / She washes the dishes
• Ő tanít / He teaches
• Ő főz / She cooks

In these and many other cases, the digital platform seems to fall into the typical historical gender stereotypes that are being eradicated around the world. Thus, the feminine pronoun she is attributed to actions related to the world of beauty, upbringing and housework. Instead, the masculine pronoun he was applied for intellectual and professional actions related to the academic and work environment.

Euskera: The case of the Basque language

Along with the Castilian language, Euskera is the official language of the Basque Country, a Spanish autonomous community considered a historical nationality. Euserka is the oldest language in Europe still spoken today and the only isolated one on the continent, therefore, the Basque Country has always been a case of interest for linguists, anthropologists and historians. This language, as we have seen, does not distinguish between genders.
Although in the cases analyzed with Google Translate this “sexist bias” reported on the Internet is less evident than in the translations from Hungarian, there are also some problems around the interpretations of Basque. Here are some examples:

• Gidatzen du: Although in Basque it means he / she drives, Google Translate presents the alternative in masculine as equivalent.
• Josten du: Although in Basque it means he / she sews, the opposite happens than in the previous example and Google Translate gives a result with the subject in feminine.

Our conclusion on the debate

Although no conclusion has yet been reached on this specific debate, the truth is that this questioning places another relevant question at the center of the problem: no online translator will ever be able to supplant the work of a professional translator. As useful as these tools are to understand or broadly interpret a text, the errors they have widely transcend the question of genres, which is not a minor detail either.
Worldly Translations is a translation agency with more than a decade of experience, so we know how to respond efficiently and personally to the needs of each of our clients. We have specialized translators in all disciplines, so we assign each job to the most appropriate person.

If you are looking for quality translations, contact us.

We hope you enjoyed hearing the current discussion around the Google Translate algorithm and why you are these tools will never measure up to a professional translator. Until next time!

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Artistic or alternative languages: Get to know the most famous ones

Artistic or alternative languages: Get to know the most famous ones

Cinema, literature and television series often take their fictional universe to break all the limits of known reality. Beyond creating their fantasy worlds, their characters, their customs and their costumes, in many cases they even dare to inaugurate their own language.
There are multiple books, audio-visual productions and even works of art in which the author, director or artist build their fictional universe in the field of language as well. Thus, to make this imaginary society even more credible and governed by its own rules, they give rise to artistic or alternative languages. Undoubtedly, these languages ​​also constitute an extra attraction for the followers of these fictional worlds that arouse so much fanaticism in the five continents.

What are artistic or alternative languages?

Artistic or alternative languages ​​are artificial languages ​​that have been invented as a merely creative act by the author of a production. These languages ​​are characterized by being created for a single reason: to enjoy the aesthetic pleasure of the result and its effect on fiction. That is, unlike other artificial languages ​​such as philosophical language and logical language, these lack a purpose motivated by the experimentation of socio-linguistic theories.
Although there are different schools in the creation of artistic languages, the most important is the naturalistic school that tries to imitate the complexity and historicity of natural languages. Other alternative languages ​​were not inspired by the natural evolution of languages, but are of a more abstract style that has nothing to do with existing languages ​​in reality.


Which of these languages ​​are famous around the world?

In recent years, fictional literature, film and television series pay increasing attention to artificial languages ​​created exclusively to deepen the meaning of these productions.
Among all the artistic or alternative languages ​​that currently exist, we present the five best known internationally:

  • Klingon language (Star Trek saga)
    It is an artistic language developed by the American linguist Marc Okrand as the vernacular of the Klingon race in the Star Trek universe. This language was designed with the linguistic typology known as Object Verb Subject (OVS) to make it less intuitive and give it a more alien look.
    While actor James Doohan created the basic sounds along with a few words for the first film in the series (1979), Okrand turned that sparse vocabulary into a comprehensive lexicon and complete grammar for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) and subsequent production

  • Na’vi (Avatar)
    It is the artificial language spoken by the natives of the Na’vi people, inhabitants of Pandora, the moon of the fictional planet Polyphemus from the movie Avatar (2009). This artistic language was created by the doctor of linguistics Paul Frommer at the request of the film director James Cameron.
    Cameron asked Frommer to create a language that was “pronounceable” for the film’s actors but had nuances that would substantially differentiate it from natural languages. Currently, the Na’Vi vocabulary has more than 2,250 words, yet it continues to grow as fans of the film invent new terms that are approved by Paul Frommer.

  • Languages ​​of Middle-earth (books by J. R. R. Tolkien)
    Middle-earth is a fictional continent where most of the stories written by British author J. R. R. Tolkien take place, including The Lord of the Rings.
    For his fictions, Tolkien mainly developed two related Elvish languages ​​that would later be known as Quenya (spoken by the Vanyar, Noldor, and some Teleri), and Sindarin, spoken by the elves who stayed behind in Beleriand.
    However, the languages ​​of Middle-earth include all these artificial languages: Dunael or Adunaic (spoken by the Númenóreans), Entic (spoken by the Ents), Black tongue (spoken by the servants of Sauron), Khuzdûl (spoken by Dwarves), Valarin (spoken by the Ainur), and Rohírrico (spoken by the Rohirrim) and related to Kuduk (a language originally spoken by the Hobbits).

  • Dothraki (A Song of Ice and Fire – Games of Thrones)
    The Dothraki language is an artificial language created for the indigenous Dothraki people in the novels A Song of Ice and Fire by writer George R. R. Martin, and in its television adaptation Games of Thrones.
    A small part of the lexicon is the work of Martin, but the development of grammar and most of the vocabulary – which today has more than 2,500 words – is the work of David J. Peterson, member of the Society for the Creation of Languages. Peterson was hired by HBO to provide the series’ Dothraki dialogue; However, this language was designed according to the original conception of the author, that is, based on the phrases and words already existing in his novels.

  • Minion Gibberish (Despicable Me)
    In the movie Despicable Me, the Minions speak in the artistic language known as Gibberish or “Minionese” which simply means “incomprehensible”. However, thanks to the expressiveness of these nice characters it is always possible to understand what they are referring to.
    The film’s directors, Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud, explained that to create this artificial language they made a selection of words that they found funny due to their sound and meaning. Therefore, its development was considerably less complex than in the cases mentioned above.

We hope you have enjoyed knowing what artistic or alternative languages ​​are and why they are so closely related to works of fiction. Until next time!

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The Tower of Babel: Discover its relationship with translation

The Tower of Babel: Discover its relationship with translation

The Tower of Babel is much more than a building mentioned in the Bible. In truth, this is a founding myth that tries to explain why the people of the world speak different languages.
This construction known as the Tower of Babel is described in the book of Genesis, whose authorship is traditionally attributed to the prophet Moses. Being deeply related to the biblical origin of languages, this myth is also closely linked to translation as we know it today.


What is the myth of the Tower of Babel?

According to the book of Genesis, humanity was almost extinct after a worldwide flood, called the universal flood. However, thanks to Noah’s Ark, this biblical character managed to survive the natural catastrophe along with seven members of his family.
According to myth, as the only human beings that inhabited the planet, the descendants of Noah settled on the plain of Senaar (later Babylon). There, they decided to undertake the task of building a tower so high that it reached the sky. When observing the building, Yahveh (the God of Noah) decided that the inhabitants of the Earth should speak different languages ​​so that they would stop understanding each other and thus abandon this construction.
According to the Bible, to avoid the development of the building God made the builders begin to speak different languages ​​giving rise to the origin of the different languages. Thus, human beings dispersed throughout the Earth speaking in different languages:

All the Earth spoke the same language and used the same words. As the men migrated from the East, they found a plain in the Senaar region. They settled there and said, “Let’s build a city and a tower whose top reaches up to the sky. Let us become famous and let us not be scattered on the face of the Earth ». But Yahveh came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building and said: «Behold, they all form one people and they all speak the same language; This being the principle of their companies, nothing will prevent them from carrying out everything they set out to do. Well then, let’s go down and confuse their language so that they don’t understand each other. “
Thus, Yahveh scattered them from there over the entire face of the Earth and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel, because there Yahveh confused the language of all the inhabitants of the Earth and scattered them all over the surface “
Genesis 11: 1-9


Are there traces of the Tower of Babel?

Although the Tower of Babel is part of a biblical account, it is often associated with the ancient Etemenanki temple (“The temple of the creation of heaven and earth”). The construction of that temple is uncertain, but it probably existed before the reign of Hammurabi, the sixth king of Babylon, whose reign lasted from 1792 to 1750 BC. C.
This building was a seven-story high ziggurat (pyramid-shaped temple) dedicated to the Babylonian god Marduk of which few remains exist today. Etemenanki was historically associated with the Tower of Babel to such an extent that this temple is said to have inspired this popular biblical account.


What is the relationship between this myth and translation?

The myth of the Tower of Babel places the origin of the world’s languages ​​in one, an “original language”. According to the Bible, the diversity of languages ​​is a “divine punishment”; therefore, this multiplicity of languages ​​would be a negative thing for humans since they stopped understanding each other.
The intention of this biblical story is to show that humans need to understand and collaborate with each other —without challenging God— to achieve their projects. But in addition, this myth gives great importance to language as a social link to achieve the common objectives of humanity. This teaching is closely linked to translation, since it makes it possible to overcome these linguistic barriers and understand people from all over the world.
Professional translation allows a text – of any kind – to become intelligible for all cultures that inhabit the Earth. Thus, it is possible to think of the task of the translators as a small amendment to that union and understanding that humans lost along with the ambitious Tower of Babel. Thanks to translation, today we are able to enjoy this multiplicity of languages ​​and appreciate them in all their human, social and cultural richness.

We hope you have enjoyed learning about the myth of the Tower of Babel and why it is related to professional translation as we know it today. Until next time!

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What is Spanglish, where is it used and what is its origin?

What is Spanglish, where is it used and what is its origin?

In Spain and Latin America, it is very common to hear Hispanics say that they “speak Spanglish” to joke about their knowledge of the English language. However, in the United States, Spanglish is much more than a joke.
It is a hybrid language that, although it is not official, is of colloquial use and is very widespread in certain areas of the country. Therefore, among scholars of the world’s languages ​​this phenomenon also deserves to be taken seriously.

What is Spanglish?

Technically, Spanglish is the morphological, syntactic and semantic fusion of the Spanish language with English.
Although Spanglish is often confused with the use of Anglicisms in Spanish, they are two very different things. For their part, Anglicisms are “linguistic loans” from the English language to other languages. A clear example of this are the words “selfie” and “spoiler”, so popular in Spanish-speaking countries. Instead, Spanglish is a very common hybrid language in certain areas of the United States with a large Spanish-speaking population.
In the US, then, the use of words of Hispanic origin but morphologically “anglicized” in phrases of the English language is called Spanglish. Likewise, Spanglish also falls within what is known as pidgin. What does this mean? A language created and used by individuals from different communities living in the same territory.
Spanglish is widely used in California, Florida, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, some neighborhoods in New York, and other cities in the United States. Therefore, it is a phenomenon of great relevance in the country, mainly among immigrants and descendants of Hispanic people.

What is the origin of Spanglish?

Although the origin of this hybrid language is imprecise, the name “Spanglish” began to be used in the 1940s by the Puerto Rican writer Salvador Tió. His first article on this subject, “Theory of Spanglish,” was published in the Diario de Puerto Rico on October 28, 1948.
In his note, Tió explained that Spanglish is simply the Spanishization of the English language. Years later, in March 1971, he published in the newspaper El Mundo his theory of Englañol or Engañol, which is to give Spanish words the meaning they have in English. The latter would actually be related to false cognates.
Also, the 1972 edition of the Dictionary of American Regional English included the first examples of this phenomenon. Most of the authors who studied the development of Spanglish consider that it was in the 1960s when the Hispanic neighborhoods of Miami, New York and Los Angeles saw the explosion of “mock Spanish”, the predecessor of Spanglish, and that this then it was expanding through the cities.

Controversies surrounding this hybrid language

Of course, Spanglish does not escape the controversies and detractors that always arise around unofficial languages either.
In the United States, the dominant linguistic ideology guards the hegemony of the English language, which has favored throughout history the abandonment of other native languages ​​spoken in the territory. However, the continuous flow of immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries and the growing economic and political importance of the Hispanic population allowed Spanish to prevail in certain regions of the country.
The hybrid language resulting from this social phenomenon was widely criticized in the most orthodox and cultured linguistic and literary circles. However, today there is a grammatical and lexical evolution of Spanglish that is carefully studied by various linguists.
Another famous example of language fusions is Portuñol (also “portunhol”), which mixes Spanish and Portuguese, and Franglais, which relates French to English. However, none of these are as important in a nation as Spanglish is in the US.


We hope you have enjoyed learning about what Spanglish is and why it became so relevant in the United States. Until next time!

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Spanish is already the second most spoken language in the world

Spanish is already the second most spoken language in the world

While English continues to occupy its historic place as the universal language, Spanish is already the second most widely spoken language in the world. This was revealed in the latest Yearbook “Spanish in the world”, published by the authorities of the Instituto Cervantes in Madrid. Year after year, this report updates the main data on the Spanish language and its culture in the world.
The Yearbook is the result of research carried out by specialists and academics related to the international promotion and teaching of Spanish as a foreign language. Therefore, its conclusions are essential in order to understand what is the international relevance of the Spanish language and how it is making its way among speakers.

What data makes it the second most spoken language in the world?

According to the results shared by the Cervantes Institute, 585 million people – 7.6% of the world’s population – currently speak Spanish in the world. This means five million more than in 2019; a data that confirms its evolution in the last decade, in which the number of speakers grew by more than 30%.
Likewise, more than 22 million people choose to study Spanish as a foreign language, 60% more than in 2010. Of the total number of students, the European Union, Brazil and the United States account for 90%. An interesting fact is that the predominant profile of the student of this language are women, over 30 years old and interested in its culture.
But in addition, Spanish also consolidated itself as the second mother tongue of the world by number of speakers, ranking only behind Mandarin Chinese. Of the total number of people who speak Spanish (585 million), almost 489 million are native Spanish speakers; that is, 6 million more than in 2019.
Another relevant fact is that Spanish is also the third most used language on the Internet, 7.9% of users communicate in this language. In this sense, Spanish is also the second language in the publication of scientific texts, only behind English. Likewise, this language is the third most used in the United Nations and the fourth in the European Union, where Brexit helped its predominance. However, the increase in the use of English in international organizations seems to reduce the role of Spanish and the other official languages.

Spanish in numbers

  • 585 million people – 7.6% of the world’s population – speak Spanish.
  • The number of Spanish speakers increased by 30% between 2010 and 2020.
  • 22 million people study Spanish as a foreign language.
  • The number of Spanish students increased by 60% between 2010 and 2020.
  • 489 million people are native Spanish speakers.
  • 7.9% of Internet users communicate online in Spanish.

What is the situation of the Spanish language in the United States

The Cervantes Institute Yearbook also analyses the situation of Spanish in the United States. There, more than 62 million Americans (18.7% of the total population) are of Hispanic origin. Of these, 71% use Spanish in the family environment and 94% identify themselves as Hispanic. In this country, Spanish is also the most studied language at all levels of education.
By 2060, it is estimated that the United States will be the second Spanish-speaking country in the world, behind Mexico, and that 27.5% of its population will be of Hispanic origin.

What is the economic weight of the Spanish language?

The Instituto Cervantes report also makes revelations regarding the economic importance of the Spanish language. This Yearbook reflects that the world’s speakers of this language have a joint purchasing power of around 9% of the world’s GDP.
In countries where Spanish is the official language, almost 7% of world’s GDP is generated. But also, this is the second most relevant language in the language tourism sector.

We hope you have enjoyed learning about why Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world and what is its current importance internationally. Until next time!

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The keys to specialized translation

The keys to specialized translation

Know what are the keys to specialized translation

Throughout the various articles on the Worldly Translations blog, we have referred to specialized translation on several occasions. However, not all people are familiar with this expression or with what the characteristics of this type of translation are and how the professionals who perform them should be trained.
What is specialized translation? What are its peculiarities? What attributes should a specialized translator have? All this and much more in the following article.

What is specialized translation?

Specialized translation is one in which a specialized text is translated into another language; that is, a document that revolves around a specific discipline and with its own terminology used by specialists in the field.
Therefore, specialized translation requires in-depth knowledge of the subject in question and the use of a specific vocabulary of the field of study in which the text is framed.

Some clear examples of this type of translation are: legal translation, medical translation, marketing translation, financial translation and scientific translation.

What are its main characteristics?

  • The use of specific terminology: The first peculiarity of specialized translation is its specific terminology. These types of translations require absolute precision, that is, they do not leave room for approximation.

    An ambiguous phrase, even if it seems only a detail, can have serious consequences, especially in areas such as legal, financial, medical or scientific. Therefore, a specialized translator cannot afford inaccuracies.


  • More precision, less creativity: With the exception of literary translation, where there is a little more scope for creativity, specialized translation demands, above all, precision and rigor.
    Thus, for example, in a legal translation the professional translator must do their job taking into account the legal differences between the country of origin and the country of destination, as well as the different legal figures and international laws in force.

  • Documentation, reliable sources and updating: Consultation sources and documentation are indispensable allies for any specialized translator. Over the years, the compilation of study material and the creation of your own “reference library” has been extremely useful to speed up the translation work.
    However, this type of professionals must be permanently updated on the developments that arise around their field and directly affect the communication and dissemination of specialized documents.

  • Towards a specialized audience: In addition, as we have already highlighted, these types of texts are aimed at a specific audience that is usually framed in a certain field of study. Therefore, it is always important to keep in mind that we are addressing an especially demanding audience that shares a specialized language.

What are the attributes of a specialized translator?

A specialized translator is a professional who manages to combine the skills and competencies of a professional translator and the knowledge related to their field of specialization. Beyond having extensive knowledge of the specific terminology and the conjuncture of the field of study in question, the translator must be able to apply it properly to their work.
Therefore, a specialized translator is above all a person who is curious, informed and passionate about a certain subject in which they are continuously trained. Otherwise, they will probably not understand the original meaning of the text or be able to express themselves correctly in the target language.
However, this does not necessarily mean that this professional must have a university degree linked to this field. The study of a career is not the only way to know, train and deepen our knowledge about a specialty. Therefore, a person with the title of professional translator can train independently and self-taught on a subject of interest to them to become – after much practice and gained experience – a specialized translator.

How can I contact a specialized translator?

Worldly Translations is a translation agency with more than a decade of experience, consequently, we know how to respond quickly and efficiently to the particular needs of each of our clients. We have specialized translators in different fields of study, so we assign each job to the most appropriate person to carry out that task.
If you need a specialized translation, contact us through this form.

We hope you have enjoyed learning about what specialized translation is all about and why it is so important to use a trained professional in the field to obtain the best results. Until next time!

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Correction and editing of texts: What are their differences?

Correction and editing of texts: What are their differences?

The correction and editing of texts are two essential activities for all clear, coherent and efficient written communication, whether for the academic, personal, professional or business fields. But let’s start at the beginning, why are they so important?
In the first place, because grammatical errors threaten the effectiveness and seriousness of any written document. Texts that contain spelling, punctuation, syntax, conceptual or structural errors limit reading fluency and convey to the reader a sense of informality and laziness that – depending on the case – can be very counterproductive for the author.
From causing the loss of a business and voiding a deal to disapproving of important academic work, the chances of plans being ruined by poor-quality text are endless. Therefore, as happens in many areas of life, in written communication the attention to detail also makes a difference.
To prevent this kind of inconvenience it is necessary to resort to proofreading and editing of texts. Although many believe that these two activities are very similar to each other, the truth is that they are different and – fundamentally – complementary.

What is text editing?
Text editing is the process of reading, reviewing, and making suggestions about the content of a written document. The purpose of this work is to improve the fluency of the text, its readability, clarity and precision, in addition to correcting grammatical and spelling errors, if any.
Therefore, text editing is a thorough and detailed review of the document, whether it is an original writing or its translation into another language. A professional editor takes care of the content analysis, coherence, organization, style and tone of the text in question.
But in addition, the editing process also involves verifying that the author has used the most accurate terminology for the text. For this, the editor must carefully investigate each concept or word that they do not know and / or generates doubts to ensure that the use of that term is correct.

What is proofreading?
Proofreading is the final stage in the writing process of a document: the professional proofreader is the last person to proofread a text, after the editor and before it is considered ready to be distributed, submitted or published.
In this instance, the meaning of the words and the terminology are left aside, since it is considered that the editor – as long as they have done their job well – previously dealt with them. At this stage, the work focuses on the details of the text.
Proofreading consists of checking the document for errors in spelling, grammar, syntax, punctuation, typing, and capitalization. In addition, the proofreader also controls page numbering and consistency in abbreviations, formats, and the overall style of the document.
In the case of working on proofreading and editing translations, another important distinction between both works is that while the editor uses the original text to edit the translated document; the proofreader concentrates only on the final version of the document, that is, on the translation into a new language.

What are the characteristics of a professional proofreader and editor?

Although both professions are different from each other, proofreaders and editors often share certain characteristics that define their professional profile.
Some of them are:

  • A university or higher educational level (both are university majors).
  • Familiarity and taste for universal literature and literary values.
  • Independent judgment capacity to edit and correct different documents, regardless of their authorship and origin.
  • Understanding and updating against the trends, uses and customs of their time.
  • Ability to express oneself in writing with clarity, coherence and effectiveness.

How can I contact an editor and proofreader?

Worldly Translations is an agency with more than ten years of experience, so we know how to respond quickly and efficiently to the particular requirements of each of our clients. We provide document translation, transcription, proofreading, revision and editing services to meet a wide range of needs.

In our team we have professionals who are passionate about proofreading and editing texts. If you need our services, contact the agency through this form.

We hope you have learned the different differences in proofreading and editing to apply them in study and comprehension. Until next time!

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How to improve your understanding of the English language

How to improve your understanding of the English language How to improve your understanding of the English language

How to better understand the language? How to incorporate a good pronunciation in English? How to apply all the knowledge acquired to the oral comprehension of the language? Those are some of the most common questions we are faced with in the process of studying English and incorporating the vocabulary and grammar of your language.
It is a known fact that words in English are written and pronounced differently and this is one of the main obstacles when learning English. Therefore, for the study of this language it is extremely important to jointly strengthen the command of written and oral English.
The activity known as listening is one of the most classic and essential techniques for studying English. Fortunately, nowadays it is no longer necessary to use only old academic recordings to improve listening. Currently, there are different techniques and strategies to incorporate at home and deepen the oral understanding of the language. Here are some of them:

  • Watch TV in its original language

Our first recommendation to improve listening is to be patient, persistent and take advantage of any opportunity to listen to native speakers speak in English. Therefore, watching television in the original language (movies, series and even foreign news channels) is one of the best ways to incorporate the correct pronunciation of words and decode the sounds of the different combinations of letters in English.
As we have already seen from this blog, with will and creativity it is even possible to improve your English by watching Netflix. Therefore, there are no excuses to practice at home and use idle time to enrich your skills.

  • Content for children

A very good alternative to start watching – and listening to – television in the original language is to start with content for children. Cartoons -like SpongeBob or Peppa Pig- have short episodes in which simple, slow and easy-to-understand language is used for both native children and adults who seek to become familiar with the English language and improve listening.
In addition, many cartoons and programs today have winks aimed at the adults in the family that make them more enjoyable to practice using the language.

  • Audios and transcripts

Audio transcriptions (for example, movie subtitles or song lyrics) are very useful to anchor the spoken language to its written version, however, the ideal way to improve listening is to start by listening to the audio several times without relying on the text or its transcription.
Only once we are familiar with the audio and can master its meaning will we begin to work with its transcription to help us finish understanding and fixing concepts. Why? Because we must always consider that in “real life” we will not have the texts when participating in a conversation in English and what we aim at is to always be able to communicate more and better.

  • The importance of accents

As with the Spanish spoken in different countries of the world, in the English language different accents coexist depending on the nation or region of origin of the speaking person. Thus, it is not the same accent that is used in different areas of the United States as in the countries of the United Kingdom (Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland).
In general, the best way to improve listening is to work with recordings made by people with a “standard accent” (either British or American), avoiding as much as possible too closed accents that can add more complexity to the learning process.

  • Keys to improve listening
  • Take advantage of any opportunity to listen to native speakers; if it is possible to interact with them, even better.
  • Maintain a positive attitude and avoid frustration, it is best to start gradually, maintain consistency and go from low to high complexity to begin to see results in the short term.
  • It is normal to feel nervous when talking to a native speaker, however, it is important to keep in mind that everyone will appreciate your effort to communicate. Therefore, do not be afraid to ask them to repeat what you did not understand or to speak more slowly to be able to follow the thread of the conversation.
  • In an exchange with a native speaker, do not try to literally translate each word because it is mentally exhausting, the important thing –as always- is to understand the communicative intention of the interlocutor so that the conversation flows and reaches a successful conclusion.

We hope that you have found this series of tips and advice to improve listening to be interesting and easy to apply in the study and understanding of the English language. Until next time!

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Scientific translation: What is it and what does it do?

Scientific translation: What is it and what does it do?

Scientific translation is a very extensive branch of technical translation. As we have already seen in this blog on financial translation and legal or sworn translation, technical translations are especially complex because they belong to very specific topics in which the professional translator must be highly specialized.

What is scientific translation?

Scientific translation is focused on those complex texts belonging to academic areas in which it is necessary to have knowledge of the subject in order to understand them and make them intelligible in another language. As its name implies, this specialized translation handles texts produced in fields such as biology, chemistry, physics, and robotics, among many others.
The branch of scientific translation arises from the need to accurately interpret a specific terminology; therefore, it implies additional training for the translator to be able to translate specific scientific material accurately and without errors.

Keys to scientific translation

When embarking on a scientific translation there are some aspects to take into account regarding the specificity of the texts. Some of them are:

  • Generally, scientific articles are disseminated to share with the rest of the scientific community – and by extension with society – the progress made in a given field of study.
  • The institutions or people to whom a scientific translation is directed are familiar with scientific documentation in other languages, therefore, it is essential to have a clear knowledge of the matter and avoid misinterpretation.
  • One of the main characteristics of scientific translation is the use of specific terms and abbreviations. Therefore, the professional translator must be able to master these elements and create new texts in other languages ​​while maintaining the style, imprint, tone and meaning of the original documents.
  • Scientific translations are aimed at people who already know the subject or are even experts in the matter, therefore, any misunderstanding by the translator will be reflected in the translation and hardly go unnoticed.

What are the most common mistakes in scientific translation?

The translation of a text from one language to another will always be conditional on the translator’s knowledge and understanding of the subject in question, even more so in a case as complex as that of scientific translation.

Accurate understanding of content makes the difference between a bad translation and a correct translation. Here are some of the most common mistakes that often appear in scientific translations:

  • Syntax errors are very common when the revision that all translation work requires is omitted, especially in the case of texts with the complexity of scientific documents.
  • In those cases, in which the translator is not specialized in the subject and therefore does not fully understand the content of the text, they will probably fall into a literal translation. In general, this leads to errors that could well be avoided with a specialized scientific translation.
  • Another very common error in technical translations is related to false cognates, that is, those words that seem to be related to another word from a different language (such as cognates) but do not actually share the same etymological origin.

In short, all these misinterpretations could be avoided by resorting to a specialized translator.

How can I contact a scientific translator?

Worldly Translations is a translation agency with more than ten years of experience, so we know how to respond quickly and efficiently to the particular needs of each of our clients. We have specialized translators, so we assign each job to the most appropriate person to carry out that task.
If you need a scientific translation, contact us as we have expert translators in scientific documentation from different fields of research.

We hope you have enjoyed learning about what scientific translation is all about and why it is so important to share the achievements of the international scientific community around the world. Until next time!

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Learn about the origin of the Spanish language and its history

Learn about the origin of the Spanish language and its history

The Spanish language is one of the three most widely spoken languages ​​on the planet, along with English and Chinese. More than 577 million people speak Spanish in the world, of which 480 million have it as their mother tongue; therefore, 7.6% of the world’s population today is Spanish-speaking.
As language aficionados, these compelling data lead us to think about the origin of the Spanish language and how it spread in this way around the world. As we have done with the history of the English language, in this article we invite you to learn more about this widespread language.

What is the origin of the Spanish language?
To begin to unravel the origin of the Spanish language, we will begin by understanding the meaning of its name. According to the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE), the word “Spanish” derives from the Provençal “espaignol” which comes from the medieval Latin “hispaniolus” (it means “from Hispania”, the way the Romans called the Iberian Peninsula). Undoubtedly, knowing the etymology of this word gives us some guidelines about its genesis.
Like Portuguese, French, Italian, Catalan, Galician and Provençal, the Spanish language comes from Latin, since most of the Iberian Peninsula was conquered by Rome and was part of its empire, as well than many other European territories. After the fall of the Roman Empire (5th century), the influence of the so-called “cult Latin” gradually diminished among the common people and vulgar Latin was installed with substantially different phonetics, syntax and lexicon. In this context, in which the deformations of Latin arise, the typical Castilian romance of the region is born, which gave rise to the Kingdom of Castile and which spread throughout the peninsula during the Middle Ages.
As we have seen in our article “Spanish and Castilian: Are they or are they not the same?”, This is how the first version of the Spanish language emerged, which initially not only had a marked influence from vulgar Latin, but also took words from Greek , Celtic and Germanic.

How did this language evolve?
However, the creation of a standard Spanish language, based on the Castilian dialect, would begin several centuries later, more specifically in the year 1200. At that time, King Alfonso X of Castillla – called “el Sabio” – and his court of scholars settled in the city of Toledo, chosen as the base for their cultural activities. There, they wrote original works in Spanish and translated stories, chronicles, and scientific, legal and literary works from other languages ​​(mainly from Latin, Greek and Arabic).
These intellectual activities that characterized the time and went down in history under the name of “Toledo School of Translators” were transcendental for the dissemination of knowledge in ancient Western Europe. Likewise, at this stage Alfonso X also adopted the Castilian dialect for administrative work and the dissemination of all official documents and decrees.

Later, during the reign of the Catholic monarchs Isabel de Castilla and Fernando de Aragón, the Castilian dialect of Spain gained wide acceptance after completing the Reconquest of Spain in 1492, where they made Castilian the official language in their kingdom. In addition, a no less important detail is that in that same year a very important book for the history of the Spanish language was published: “Grammatica” by Antonio de Nebrija, the first work dedicated to the study of the Castilian language and its rules.
From this publication on, grammar was considered the discipline that studies the rules of a language until the advent of linguistics as a scientific discipline in the 19th century. The publication of “Grammatica” was also a tool for the dissemination of Spanish, since from 1492 its predominance spread throughout much of the globe. Likewise, the authors of new grammars after Nebrija took his work as a basis for spelling in the Spanish language.

What is happening today with the Spanish language?
Today, the Spanish language is widespread throughout the planet, as it is spoken by more than 577 million people as a native, second and foreign language. It is the second language in the world in number of native speakers and the second language of international communication after English.
Spanish is a universal, multicultural and constantly evolving language, three attributes that make it a reference language for global communication.

We hope you have enjoyed learning about the origin of the Spanish language and why it is one of the most widely spoken languages ​​in the world. Until next time!