Archive for the 'Italian' Category

The “As a Linguist” blog has a new post, Wait, who just died?, on the problematic pronunciation and spelling of Colonel Gaddafi’s name. I’ve been “translating” his name (from the Italian version, Gheddafi) just about every day since the Libyan uprising began (I work with another translator on the English version of the Italian Foreign Ministry’s website). So […]

It seems that Italy too has got problems with spelling and punctuation, though in this case at graffiti rather than local authority level. The text in black above should read “L’orgoglio non serve”. Roughly translated, “Pride doesn’t serve any purpose”, to which an Italian Lynne Truss has responded “But apostrophes do”. This picture is from a […]

Ofgem, the UK energy regulator, has carried out a review of energy companies’ pricing practices. The review found that competition is being stifled by a combination of tariff complexity, poor supplier behaviour, and lack of transparency. The Chief Executive said: Consumers have told us that energy suppliers’ prices are too complicated. It is no surprise that […]

Tuesday’s post (15 March) was inspired by Newcastle University’s study of Japanese- and English-speakers’ perceptions of the word “blue”. From an English-Italian translation perspective, “blue” is an interesting word, and something of a false friend. The Italian “blu” refers to dark or navy blue, while “azzurro” is used for other shades of the colour. And […]

As I’ve been putting together the last few posts on books as Christmas gifts, it’s been a lovely surprise to discover so many publishing houses specialising in their own niche markets or in helping little-known authors get published. Sparkling Books: are publishers of non-fiction and fiction. Our series are: Sparkling Perspectives – non-fiction Sparkling Imaginations – […]

I wrote a couple of posts, back in August, about the Oxford comma (Oxford commas (1), The Oxford Comma dilemma: a solution? and Oxford commas (2): Live dangerously – take our poll!). This post too is about “list” sentences containing commas. It’s also about a way of spotting when an Italian-to-English translator is working on […]

Fascinating comma fact 1 A comma is not just a punctuation mark, it’s also a type of butterfly, so-named because of the white comma-shaped marking on the underside of its wing (you can just about see it in the photo). UK Butterflies (which provides more detailed photos) describes the Comma as looking like a “tatty […]

A quick PS to yesterday’s post on the use of the Italian adeguamento (correction, adjustment) to signify aumento (increase). Italy’s Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas uses the term aggiornamento (literally “up-dating” ) when referring to its quarterly gas and electricity price adjustments. Energy tariffs are linked to oil and natural gas prices on the […]