Archive for the 'Language' Category

Primary-school pupils in England have been sitting a new grammar, spelling and punctuation test (check out the specimen questions) as part of their final year assessment. Teachers have criticised the test, saying that there are better ways of assessing pupils’ English-language skills: Grammar is vital but you test someone’s writing skills by examining their writing. Just […]

Language learning is good for quite a lot, by the looks of it. What’s your favourite benefit? Are there any more you would add? With thanks to Jill McIntyre of Bearsden Academy’s Modern Languages Department and Kaplan International Colleges.   By Marian Dougan      

We’ve been nominated as one of the Top 100 Language Lovers 2013 in the annual competition organised by LexioPhiles and bab.la. As you can imagine, we’re well pleased! Nominations remain open until 20 May 2013 (23:59 pm German time). Voting will then run from 22 May until 9 June, with the results being made public on […]

Yesterday’s local elections in England saw the UK Independence Party (UKIP) win a remarkable 25% of the vote. Immigration is a key concern of many UKIP voters, including immigration from EU countries. In 1978, I moved from the UK to Italy, where I lived until 2002. I’m pretty sure that, as viewed from the United Kingdom, […]

If you’ve ever felt bewildered by legalese and found it far removed from Plain English, take heart: you’re in good company. Court of Appeal judge Sir Alan Ward recently heard a case revolving around the Council Tax liability of a family living on an old tug boat, the Cannis. One factor having a bearing on the decision was […]

A week or two ago I heard a recording on Radio Scotland of Dawn Upshaw singing ‪Baïlèro, one of the Songs from the Auvergne: a collection of folk songs from the Auvergne region of France arranged for soprano voice and orchestra or piano by Joseph Canteloube between 1923 and 1930 […] in the local language, Occitan. […]

A really useful message has just popped into my inbox from the Terminology Coordination Unit (TermCoord) at the European Parliament. Very timely, as I’ve just been up-dating my own resources page. Here’s what TermCoord’s message contained: Glossary Links. A glossary search tool with a database of almost 1,400 glossaries available online. All the links in the […]

…the phrase means: A person suited for one job may not be suited for another job. The practice of choosing the best person for a particular job. Once again, the Wikipedia family (in this case Wiktionary) refers to the translation profession to illustrate usage: The term is widely used in the foreign-language translation industry, where […]

The Scottish Government has just published the results of a poll to identify the nation’s favourite Scots word. The winner was “dreich”, which means “wet”, “cold” and/or “gloomy”. I’m not sure if that describes the Scottish weather, or just our character. Respondents were asked to choose their favourite from a list of 8 Scots language […]

Time for a poll, I think, what with David Cameron throwing the gatto among the piccioni with his planned referendum on membership of the European Union. For some of us, EU membership is a business/market access issue, for some it’s all about annoying rules and regulations, and for others it’s emotional — we feel European. A […]