Create. Make a difference.

 When you feel down and incomplete,

just take your pen, pencil, guitar, mic, trainers, ballet shoes, 



Regardless of what you love,
everything you do, can make a difference.

Foundations of being a translator.


Every day is the perfect day to start and learn something new. Every day you can make a difference in your life.



Today, I want to share with you one of my favourite songs, back to 1999.
I draw inspiration from the lyrics.  Who else remembers this song? 🙂


 Music by Savage Garden


 Lyrics by Daniel JonesDarren Hayes


I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe we place our happiness in other people’s hands
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it’s bad for you
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self-esteem
I believe I’m loved when I’m completely by myself alone
I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye
I believe you can’t control or choose your sexuality
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy
I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul
I believe that family is worth more than money or gold
I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair
I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires
I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye 
I believe forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness
I believe that wedded bliss negates the need to be undressed
I believe that God does not endorse TV evangelists
I believe in love surviving death into eternity
I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye
[repeat ]



[Repost] A Scientific Guide to Saying “No”: How to Avoid Temptation and Distraction (by James Clear)

A Scientific Guide to Saying “No”: How to Avoid Temptation and Distraction

Posted on Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Learning how to say no is one of the most useful skills you can develop I found, especially when it comes to living a more productive and healthy life.

Saying no to unnecessary commitments can give you the time you need to recover and rejuvenate. Saying no to daily distractions can give you the space you need to focus on what is important to you. And saying no to temptation can help you stay on track and achieve your health goals. In fact not being able to say no, is one of the most biggest downfalls that successful entrepreneurs claim as their own key mistakes.

But how do we actually get past the urgencies of everyday life and avoid distraction, so that we can focus the things that are really important to us?

It seems like a big task, I wholeheartedly agree. And yet, research is starting to show that even small changes can make a significant impact for a better way of saying no. In fact, here’s one change you can make right now that will make it easier for you to say no, resist temptation and improve your productivity and your health:

How to Say No: Research Reveals the Best Way

In a research study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, 120 students were split into two different groups.

The difference between these two groups was saying “I can’t” compared to “I don’t.”

One group was told that each time they were faced with a temptation, they would tell themselves “I can’t do X.” For example, when tempted with ice cream, they would say, “I can’t eat ice cream.”

When the second group was faced with a temptation, they were told to say “I don’t do X.” For example, when tempted with ice cream, they would say, “I don’t eat ice cream.”

After repeating these phrases, each student answered a set of questions unrelated to the study. Once they finished answering their questions, the students went to hand in their answer sheet, thinking that the study was over. In reality, it was just beginning.

As each student walked out of the room and handed in their answer sheet, they were offered a complimentary treat. The student could choose between a chocolate candy bar or a granola health bar. As the student walked away, the researcher would mark their snack choice on the answer sheet.

Here’s what happened:

The students who told themselves “I can’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bar 61% of the time. Meanwhile, the students who told themselves “I don’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bars only 36% of the time. This simple change in terminology significantly improved the odds that each person would make a more healthy food choice.

Makes sense right? Now the findings didn’t stop there, here is what happened next:

How the “Right Words” Make It Easier to Say No

The same researchers were also interested in how the words “can’t” and “don’t” affect our willingness to say no when faced with repeated temptations and distractions. After all, most of us can turn down a candy bar once, but eventually we slip up. Similarly, you might be able to focus on your work when you’re pressed for time, but what about avoiding unproductive behaviors on a daily basis?

In other words, is there a way to say no that makes it more likely that we’ll stick to good habits and avoid bad ones? You bet!

The researchers designed a new study by asking 30 working women to sign up for a “health and wellness seminar.” All of the women were told to think of a long–term health and wellness goal that was important to them. Then, the researchers split the women into three groups of 10.

Group 1 was told that anytime they felt tempted to lapse on their goals they should “just say no.”This group was the control group because they were given no specific strategy.

Group 2 was told that anytime they felt tempted to lapse on their goals, they should implement the “can’t” strategy. For example, “I can’t miss my workout today.”

Group 3 was told that anytime they felt tempted to lapse on their goals, they should implement the “don’t” strategy. For example, “I don’t miss workouts.”

For the next 10 days, each woman received an email asking to report her progress. They were specifically told, “During the 10–day window you will receive emails to remind you to use the strategy and to report instances in which it worked or did not work. If the strategy is not working for you, just drop us a line and say so and you can stop responding to the emails.”

Here’s what the results looked like 10 days later…

  • Group 1 (the “just say no” group) had 3 out of 10 members who persisted with their goals for the entire 10 days.
  • Group 2 (the “can’t” group) had 1 out of 10 members who persisted with her goal for the entire 10 days.
  • Group 3 (the “don’t” group) had an incredible 8 out of 10 members who persisted with their goals for the entire 10 days.

The words that you use not only help you to make better choices on an individual basis, but also make it easier to stay on track with your long–term goals.

Why “I Don’t” Works Better Than “I Can’t”

Your words help to frame your sense of empowerment and control. Furthermore, the words that you use create a feedback loop in your brain that impacts your future behaviors.

For example, every time you tell yourself “I can’t”, you’re creating a feedback loop that is a reminder of your limitations. This terminology indicates that you’re forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do.

In comparison, when you tell yourself “I don’t”, you’re creating a feedback loop that reminds you of your control and power over the situation. It’s a phrase that can propel you towards breaking your bad habits and following your good ones.

Heidi Grant Halvorson is the director of the Motivation Science Center at Columbia University. Here’s how she explains the difference between saying “I don’t” compared to “I can’t”:

“I don’t” is experienced as a choice, so it feels empowering. It’s an affirmation of your determination and willpower. “I can’t” isn’t a choice. It’s a restriction, it’s being imposed upon you. So thinking “I can’t” undermines your sense of power and personal agency.

In other words, the phrase “I don’t” is a psychologically empowering way to say no, while the phrase “I can’t” is a psychologically draining way to say no.

How You Can Apply This To Your Life

One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.
—Leonardo Da Vinci

There are situations everyday when you need to say no to something. For example, the waiter who offers you a dessert menu… or the urge to skip a workout and stay home… or the distracting call of texts, tweets, and updates when you should be focusing on something important.

Individually, our responses to these little choices seem insignificant, which is why we don’t make a big deal about telling ourselves that we “can’t” do something. But imagine the cumulative effect ofchoosing more empowering words on a consistent basis.

“I can’t” and “I don’t” are words that seem similar and we often interchange them for one another, but psychologically they can provide very different feedback and, ultimately, result in very different actions. They aren’t just words and phrases. They are affirmations of what you believe, reasons for why you do what you do, and reminders of where you want to go.

The ability to overcome temptation and effectively say no is critical not only to your physical health, but also for your daily productivity and mental health.

To put it simply: you can either be the victim of your words or the architect of them. Which one would you prefer?

About the Author: James Clear is an entrepreneur, weightlifter, and travel photographer in 18 countries. He writes at, where he uses proven research and real-world experiences to share practical ideas for living a healthy life. You can get new strategies for sticking to healthy habits, losing weight, gaining muscle, and more by joining his free newsletter.

About the Author

James Clear

James Clear writes at, where he uses behavior science to help you master your habits and improve your health. For useful ideas on improving your mental and physical performance, join his free newsletter. Or, download his free guide: Transform Your Habits.

[Repost] Clearing up the Top 10 Myths About Translation (by Nataly Kelly)

Nataly Kelly

Clearing up the Top 10 Myths About Translation

Posted: 06/13/2012 11:06 am


1. Translation is a small, niche market. The global market for outsourced language services is worth more than US$33 billion in 2012. The largest segment of the market is written translation, followed by on-site interpreting and software localization. The vast majority of these translation services are provided by small agencies — there are more than 26,000 of them throughout the world. These companies coordinate translation projects in multiple languages simultaneously, often involving many different file types, processes, and technology tools. The words themselves are translated and interpreted by the hundreds of thousands of language professionals scattered all across the globe. Many translators and interpreters also have direct clients, but most are freelancers whose work comes from agencies.

2. The need for translation is fading away. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsestimates that there will be 83,000 jobs for interpreters and translators by 2020 in the United States alone. This job market is expected to grow by 42 percent from 2010 to 2020, significantly higher than the average of 14 percent for all professions. Data from Common Sense Advisory shows that globally, the market has a compound annual growth rate of 12.17 percent.

3. Most translators translate books; most interpreters work at the United Nations. Literary translation and conference interpreting are two of the most visible specializations, but they actually represent very tiny segments of the market at large. Who are the biggest translation spenders? Military and defense agencies spend the most on translation, with the United States routinely spending billions on language services for defense and intelligence initiatives. On the commercial side, some of the largest segments of the translation market are manufacturing, software, health care, legal, and financial services. As a result, freelancers often work in these specialty areas — as financial translators, medical interpreters, legal translators, and court interpreters.

4. Any bilingual can be a translator or an interpreter. The ability to write in English does not make a person a professional writer. The ability to speak English does not make a person a professional speaker. Likewise, the ability to write or speak two languages does not mean that a person can translate or interpret. Plenty of people who are perfectly fluent in two languages fail professional exams for translation and interpreting. Why? Being bilingual does not guarantee that a person will be able to transport meaning from one language and culture to another without inflicting harm in the process. Most translators and interpreters are highly educated, with advanced degrees and training in either translation, linguistics, or a specialty field. Also, while not mandatory, professional certifications are widely recognized and strongly encouraged. In the U.S., translators are certified by the American Translators Association, and a variety of certifications exist for interpreters.

5. Interpreters and translators do the same thing. The all-encompassing term that the general public uses to refer to language professionals is “translators,” but the reality is that translators and interpreters have very different job skills. Translation refers to written language, while interpreting refers to spoken language. Translators must have great writing skills and training in translation, but they must also be adept at using computer-assisted translation tools and terminology databases. Interpreters, on the other hand, have to develop their short-term memory retention and note-taking skills as well as memorizing specialized terminology for instant recall.

6. Translators and interpreters work in more than two languages. One of the most common questions translators and interpreters are asked is, “How many languages do you speak?” In reality, many translators work in only one direction — from one language into another, but not in the reverse. For translators and interpreters, it is better to have in-depth knowledge of just two languages than to have surface-level knowledge of several. Why? Of approximately one million words in English, the average person uses only 4,000 to 5,000 words on a regular basis. People who are “educated” know between 8,000 and 10,000 words. The professions with the widest vocabulary, such as doctors and lawyers, use about 23,000 words. Interpreters and translators who work for these specialized professions often use this kind of advanced technical vocabulary in two languages. Some translators and interpreters do work in more than one language combination — for example, conference interpreters often have several “passive” languages that they can understand. However, translators and interpreters are not usually hyperpolyglots.

7. Translation only matters to “language people.” The need for translation crosses both the public and private sectors. In the business world, executives at companies of all sizes are beginning to recognize that translation is a pathway to enabling more revenue and entering new markets. A recent study found that Fortune 500 companies that augmented their translation budget were 1.5 times more likely than their Fortune 500 peers to report an increase in total revenue. Also, government bodies are increasingly taking an interest in translation. Indeed, even those involved in development and non-profit work need to pay attention to translation. A report on translation in Africa conducted for Translators without Borders in May 2012 showed that greater access to translated information would improve political inclusion, health care, human rights, and even save lives of citizens of African countries.

8. Crowdsourcing puts professional translators out of work. As online communities have become more popular, so has something called “crowdsourced translation.” This phenomenon typically emerges when online community members get excited about a product and want to use it in their native languages. Sometimes, these customers and fans even begin creating their own translations and posting them in user forums. Instead of leaving their customers to pontificate on the best translations amongst themselves, smart companies are giving these communities the ability to easily suggest their translations. Are companies harnessing the work of these volunteers to obtain free labor? Actually, as the research shows, saving money is not a primary motivation — setting up these kinds of platforms can cost companies more time and money than just paying for traditional human translation. They typically pay human translators and translation companies to edit the group-translated content anyway, but they believe the collective approach gives power directly to customers and users, enabling them to have a say in which translations they like best.

9. Machine translation is crushing the demand for human translation. 
The opposite is true. Machine translation is actually expanding the demand for human translation and fueling the market at large. How? Machine translation — especially the free online kind — serves as an awareness campaign, putting translation squarely in front of the average person. Translating large volumes of information is never free — it comes at a cost, even with machine translation. Machine translation technology and related services make up a tiny percentage of the total translation market. Of course, machine translation can achieve some feats that humans cannot, such as quickly scanning large bodies of text and provide summaries of the information contained within them. However, as with most technologies, humans are needed to use machine translation intelligently. As Ray Kurzweil points out, technologies typically don’t replace whole fields — rather, they more often help fields to evolve.

10. All translation will someday be free. The translation and interpreting industry adds tens of thousands of new jobs to the global economy each year and there is no slowdown in sight. Translators and interpreters are extremely important members of this industry — in fact, they are the very heart of it. However, much like other professional service industries, the translation industry also relies on countless other professionals: project managers, account managers, vendor managers, production managers, schedulers, trainers, quality assurance teams, proofreaders, desktop publishing professionals, engineers, product managers, salespeople, marketers, technicians, and even people who work in procurement, human resources, billing, and IT. Research from Common Sense Advisory shows thatdemand for translation is outpacing supply — so if anything, human translators are becoming even more important. However, they are part of a much larger ecosystem, one that keeps global business churning and international communication flowing.

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[Repost] Up the apples, she’s got a lovely pair of bacons – what do East Londoners mean? (by transpanish)

Up the apples, she’s got a lovely pair of bacons – what do East Londoners mean?

Cockney rhyming slang is jam-packed with references to fruit, vegetables and other kinds of foods. This East London working-class slang, structured around a simple rhyming system, was the East Londoner’s language code which prevented bosses, the police and other authority figures from understanding what was being said.

Some of the most popular food-related cockney rhyming phrases include “apples and pears,” “bacon and eggs” and “custard and jelly.” Below, we’ve compiled a fairly extensive list of food rhymes and their East London meaning…


apples and pears

The phrase “apples and pears” rhymes with “stairs” and so is commonly used to refer to anything which might be going on above. You might say to someone, looking for an item they’ve lost, “It might be up the apples,” meaning it might be upstairs and therefore worth checking.

bacon and eggs

Bacon and eggs rhymes with legs and is used when you want to compliment a woman. You might say, “You’ve got a lovely pair of bacons,” meaning that she has a really good looking pair of legs.

custard and jelly

“Shall we watch a bit of custard?” might be a question someone would ask if they wanted to watch the television, as custard and jelly refers directly to the telly (television).

loaf of bread

If you’re ever told to, “use your loaf,” in the East End of London, it’s because you’re being told to “use your head” or to think/act smarter. “Head” rhymes with “bread,” and so the phrase is shortened from “use your loaf of bread (head)” to “use your loaf!”

mince pies

When a guy from the East End of London wants to chat up a lovely lady that he sets his eyes on, he might say, “You’ve got lovely mincies.” “Mince pies”, rhymes with “eyes” and… the conclusion to be drawn from the rest is quite clear.

peas in the pot

When you walk into a room and someone says, “It’s a bit peasy in here,” they mean that it’s a bit hot. “Peas in the pot” rhymes with “hot,” hence the use of the phrase, “peasy.”

plates of meat

“Plates of meat” rhymes with “feet.” You might hear someone say, “Be careful of me (my) plates,” if they’re frightened that someone else is about to stand on their feet.

potatoes in the mould

A shortened version of “potatoes” in the East End of London is the word “taters.” The phrase “potatoes (taters) in the mould” rhymes with “cold” and is used when someone is feeling a little nippy. You might hear someone say, “It’s a bit taters in here.”

rabbit and pork

If you happen to be spending a lot of time with someone who talks and talks and talks and never seems to want to just be quiet, you might want to say, “Wow! You can really rabbit, can’t you!” The phrase “rabbit and pork” rhymes with “talk” and is used to talk about the big chatterboxes in our lives.

tea leaf

“He’s a little tea leaf,” is used to accuse someone of being a “thief.”

As is made evident from the examples above, the parts of the rhymes which don’t actually match the sound of the word they are referring to is the word that is normally used in Cockney Rhyming Slang. For instance, in “bacon and eggs”, “eggs” rhymes with “legs”, but “bacon” is the part of the phrase which is used when you want to tell a woman she has a lovely pair of “bacons” (legs).

By opting for the section of the rhyme which doesn’t actually rhyme, the secret meaning of the phrase was kept even more of a secret amongst the working classes of East London. Secrecy to Cockney Rhymers means everything.


Cf. original:


[Repost] Lost in translations: la questione della traduzione a partire dal principio. Ovvero: il titolo (by Mariachiara Eredia)

Lost in translations: la questione della traduzione a partire dal principio. Ovvero: il titolo


In un mondo in cui spirito di servizio e galanteria sono ormai un retaggio perduto di austeniana memoria, sopravvive nonostante tutto un cavalier servente, Highlander dei giorni nostri armato non di spada ma di dizionario: costui (o costei, non perdiamoci in sottigliezze di genere) è il traduttore.

Dal latino tradūcere (letteralmente: “condurre al di là”), il traduttore staziona a cavallo fra due lingue, due mondi, due culture diverse, teso nello sforzo continuo di mettere in comunicazione una parte con l’altra, travasando forme e contenuti con la mano più ferma che gli riesca di trovare: il pericolo di far traboccare stile e parole è infatti costante, e il punto non è tanto evitare che trabocchino, quanto piuttosto non farli traboccare eccessivamente.

Ma anche se qualcosa va perduto, inevitabilmente, in ogni traduzione, lo specialista nella rimozione delle barriere linguistiche cerca sempre di servire il testo nel modo più fedele possibile, rendendolo al meglio nella lingua d’arrivo (“target language”, è così che la chiamano gli addetti ai lavori; anglicizzarsi è cool e fa tendenza, di questi tempi); o almeno, servire il testo dovrebbe essere l’obiettivo di un traduttore come si deve, uno tutto d’un pezzo. Ma non è facile, e questa rubrica si propone di rendere più o meno l’idea di quanto non lo sia; la lingua-campione scelta per questa carrellata di perdite e grattacapi traduttivi è l’inglese, di competenza di chi scrive e, probabilmente, al giorno d’oggi, un po’ di tutti quanti.

Tra una tappa e l’altra di questo viaggio interlinguistico ci si concentrerà prevalentemente sui risvolti letterari della traduzione, senza però escludere altri ambiti, dal cinematografico al televisivo, come succede in questa prima puntata, dedicata all’inizio degli inizi: il titolo.

Chi ben titola…

Ovviamente, qualunque cosa, sia essa un libro o un film, comincia dal principio, che nel nostro caso è il titolo; citazione extra-testuale, gioco di parole accattivante, anticipazione sibillina, il titolo è il biglietto da visita di un qualsiasi prodotto letterario o cinematografico, e tradurlo, a volte, diventa una missione impossibile davanti alla quale pure Tom Cruise batterebbe in ritirata.

Purtroppo, non tutti i titoli si prestano a traduzioni immediate come The Da Vinci Code (Il codice Da Vinci), Pride and Prejudice (Orgoglio e pregiudizio) e The Lord of the Rings (Il signore degli anelli); e allora, il traduttore è solo con il suo dramma, oppure a volte, come vedremo, gli viene richiesto di rispondere a direttive editoriali ben giovane holden

Un esempio emblematico della difficoltà di tradurre i titoli è quello di The Catcher in the Rye, che dizionario alla mano diventerebbe “Il ricevitore nella segale”, titolo che nessun lettore italiano riconoscerebbe là per là, e nemmeno riflettendoci su. Il titolo corrispondente nella nostra lingua, infatti, è Il giovane Holden, il romanzo di Salinger sull’alienazione adolescenziale che, per lo stile e il linguaggio peculiari che ne hanno fatto la fortuna, promette crisi traduttive che vanno ben oltre il problematico titolo. E così, mentre l’originale inglese è un riferimento al verso di una poesia storpiata dal protagonista, e fa leva su due termini più che popolari nel linguaggio corrente americano (il “catcher”, infatti, è un ruolo del baseball, e il “rye” rimanda al “rye whiskey”), la traduzione italiana è l’insipidità fatta titolo; d’altronde, “Il ricevitore nella segale” avrebbe senz’altro fatto sgranare gli occhi ai possibili lettori.

Peggio ancora quando, invece, i titoli originali possiedono un doppio significatoderivano da un modo di dire o sono costruiti con un gioco di parole: è questo il caso di The Man with Two Left Feet, racconto del grande umorista inglese P.G. Wodehouse, tradotto letteralmente con L’uomo con due piedi sinistri, che non significa assolutamente niente ma che, complice il mondo surreale e i personaggi sgangherati di Wodehouse, riesce a passare inosservato. Per la cronaca, in inglese “avere due piedi sinistri significa “ballare malissimo”.

L’ultimo esempio letterario presentato qui è il titolo di un (meraviglioso) thriller di Agatha Christie, Crooked House, che letteralmente dovrebbe essere reso con “Casa storta”; la “stortura” a cui allude questo titolo inquietante riguarda da vicino l’insospettabile assassino di turno. L’edizione italiana recita È un problema (sottinteso: tradurre questo titolo).agatha cristie

Ma il cinema regala spunti altrettanto interessanti: un esempio su tutti, il caso dei vari “Se fai qualcosa, io faccio qualcos’altro”, che annovera, fra gli altri, Se mi lasci ti cancelloSe scappi ti sposoSe cucini ti sposo, e la variante a parti invertite Se ti investo mi sposi?, titoli che suonano più o meno minacciosi alle orecchie di celibi e nubili impenitenti, perché non serve scappare così come basta preparare un’omelette, l’altare è lì a un passo. Sarebbe forse superfluo chiarire che non uno solo di questi titoli, in originale, minacciava lo spettatore (i titoli in inglese sono, rispettivamente, Endless Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,Runaway BrideTime Share e Elvis Has Left the Building). La scelta traduttiva “seriale” adottata dall’Italia mirava certamente a creare un filone di prodotti che, richiamandosi l’un l’altro, avrebbero suggerito allo spettatore una familiare continuità; peccato che l’improprioSe mi lasci ti cancello sia un film di diversi significato e levatura, e che sia finito nel calderone dei minacciosi “Se” per…non si sa bene quale motivo.

L’elenco di film con titoli italiani che, confrontati con l’originale inglese, strappano un sospiro perplesso allo spettatore è piuttosto lungo, e se a volte lo stravolgimento è inevitabile, altre volte viene il sospetto che si sarebbe potuto evitare: esemplare, in quest’ultimo caso, il primo capitolo della fortunatissima saga dei “Pirati dei Caraibi”, intitolato The Curse of the Black Pearl (“La maledizione della Perla Nera”), e tradotto con La maledizione della prima luna, sostituendo alla nave del pirata Jack Sparrow la “prima luna” che innesca la maledizione; perché se ne sia sentita la necessità, non si capisce bene.pirati dei caraibi

Oggigiorno, in ogni caso, il problema titolo è spesso arginato, soprattutto per quanto riguarda generi popolari fra gli adolescenti, dal fantasy al paranormal romance: se lapidario e attraente, il titolo originale non viene tradotto affatto, o al massimo è accompagnato da un sottotitolo chiarificatore nella lingua d’arrivo. Quindi abbiamo TwilightHunger Games eShadowhunters, titoli invariati tanto nelle versioni letterarie quanto nelle loro trasposizioni cinematografiche; l’ultimo citato non è l’originale, ma per il pubblico italiano si è scelto comunque di mantenere un titolo inglese, estrapolandolo dalla trama. Insomma, sarà per il fascino esotico della lingua straniera, sarà perché, ancora una volta, si tende al richiamo seriale intertestuale, ma Twilight e gli altri volumi della saga, tutti dai titoli rigorosamente “congelati”, non hanno avuto alcun problema a diventare veri e propri cult fra le giovanissime. Che poi, una dodicenne con una cultura media, “Crepuscolo”, forse, non sa neanche cosa significhi.

Se questa prima fase di “riscaldamento” vi è piaciuta, non perdete il prossimo appuntamento; strada traducendo, ne vedremo delle belle!

Mariachiara Eredia


Cfr. originale:


[Repost] Word histories: conscious uncoupling (by Simon Thomas)

Shared on fb by ElleDi Traduzioni


Word histories: conscious uncoupling


 Simon Thomas blogs at

Published4 April 2014


Tags ,

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin (better known as an Oscar-winning actress and the Grammy-winning lead singer of Coldplay respectively) recently announced that they would be separating. While the news of any separation is sad, we can’t deny that the report also carried some linguistic interest. In the announcement, on Paltrow’s lifestyle site Goop, the pair described the end of their marriage as a ‘conscious uncoupling’. So… what does that mean?

The phrase was picked up by journalists, commentators, and tweeters around the world. Some called it pretentious, some thought it wise, others simply didn’t know what was going on. Let’s have a look into the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and see what we can learn about these words.

Conscious is perhaps the less controversial word of the pair. A look through the Oxford Thesaurus of English brings up adjectives like awaredeliberate,intentional, and considered. But did you know that the earliest recorded use ofconscious related only to misdeeds? The OED currently dates the word to 1573, with the definition ‘having awareness of one’s own wrongdoing, affected by a feeling of guilt’. This sense is now confined to literary contexts, but it was only a few decades before the general sense ‘having knowledge or awareness; able to perceive or experience something’ became common. The idea of it being used as an adjective referring to a deliberate action came later, in 1726, according to the OED’s current research.

The verb uncouple has an intriguing history. The current earliest evidence in the OED dates to the early fourteenth century, where it means ‘to release (dogs) from being fastened together in couples; to set free for the chase’. Interestingly, this is found earlier than its opposite (‘to tie or fasten (dogs) together in pairs’), currently dated to c.1400 in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. In c.1386, in the hands of Chaucer and ‘The Monk’s Tale’, uncouple is given a figurative use: ‘He maked hym so konnyng and so sowple / That longe tyme it was er tirannye / Or any vice dorste on hym vncowple.’ The wider meaning ‘to unfasten, disconnect, detach’ arrives in the early sixteenth century, and that is where things rested for some centuries.

The twentieth century saw another couple of uncouples – one of which is applicable to the Paltrow-Martins, and one of which refers to a very different field. In 1948, a biochemical use is first recorded – which the OED defines ‘to separate the processes of (phosphorylation) from those of oxidation’. But six years earlier, an American Thesaurus of Slang includes the word as a synonym for ‘to divorce’, and this forms the earliest example found in theOED sense defined as ‘to separate at the end of a relationship’. Other instances of uncouple meaning ‘to split up’ can be found in a 1977Washington Post article and one from the Boston Globe in 1989.

So, despite all the attention given to the term ‘conscious uncoupling’, people have been uncoupling in exactly the same way as Gwyneth and Chris – and using the same word – since at least 1942. So perhaps not quite as controversial as some commentators suggested.


Cf. original:

[Repost] On mother tongue, native speakers and other linguistic myths (by Pierre Fuentes)

On mother tongue, native speakers
and other linguistic myths

It is often said that real professional translators translate only into their ‘mother tongue’ because only ‘native speakers’ are fully competent in ‘their language’. I wish to question these linguistic myths.

What does ‘mother tongue’ mean?

The meaning of the expression ‘mother tongue’ is ambiguous.

Admittedly, the only language that monolingual speakers generally claim to know is that of their mother. They first learnt that language through interaction with their mother, at an early age.

But the world is diverse. Some people first learned their father’s tongue. Some did not have parents. Some were raised by people who spoke different languages.

Moreover, the expression ‘mother tongue’ poses an ideological problem, because some people imply that their mother tongue is the mother of their identity, as if, without it, they would not be ‘their true selves’.

Such a claim can bring people together, as in the case of the Irish slogan ‘ní tír gan teanga’ (no land without language).

But we must not forget that romantic slogans can also be used to discriminate towards the Other.

The Nazis, for instance, used mother tongue fascism to justify linguistic discrimination towards multilingual Jewish Germans. They claimed that these multilingual speakers were perverting the ‘mother tongue’ because they were not true ‘native’ German speakers.

I will let you reflect on what ‘perverting a tongue’ might mean and move onto my second question.

Who’s the ‘native speaker’?

One can only marvel at the term ‘native speaker’. This bizarre expression implies either that we were born speaking – a rare achievement – or that we were born into a language. My non-native instinct tells me we’ve got a metaphor on our hands.

Obviously, ‘native speaker’ does not imply that we are linguistically autonomous from birth. In fact, nothing much happens linguistically in the first year of our lives. Any parent of a young child will confirm this: what first happens with your newborn is communication.

When we use the term ‘native speaker’, we imply that a person has alegitimate competence in a given language.

But how do we make it legitimate? By being born with it, or by acquiring it? In other words, does native legitimacy come from innate or learned behaviour?

As sociolinguist Deborah Cameron recently pointed out, UK statistics suggest that the test for British citizenship applicants advantages native speakers of white European ancestry. So it would seem that there are different types of native speakers and that they are not all legitimate.

Interestingly, discourses that promote the ‘native speaker’ concept are often qualified with adjectives like ‘pure’, ‘perfect’, ‘authentic’ or ‘unique’.

Let’s take a look at translators

Some of us have developed a high level of oral or written comprehension in various languages, but cannot speak or write such languages as ‘correctly’ as ‘native speakers’ would. Some of us can even write languages that we cannot speak.

Sounds weird? Try speaking like Julius Caesar. While we can read him and write like him, no one really knows what this true native Latin speaker sounded like.

In any case, we don’t need to interact with living people to read or write a language – be it ancient or modern. These activities involve a different type of language use than, say, buying a pint for your mates on a Friday night.

Indeed, it has to do with how we use languages. Since we do not speak like we write, conversation plays a limited role in the work of most professional translators. Speaking like a true native is therefore far less important than having excellent writing skills.

The second mother tongue

Using the language of your mother on a daily basis does not make you a professional translator. And English has in common with many minority and endangered languages the fact that most of its speakers were not ‘born into it’.

While these ‘new speakers’ are often criticized by those who claim to be ‘natives’ – for their mistreat of language conventions, ie illegitimate use – some of these new speakers reach a level of competency that is so high that their new language becomes their language of habitual use – a fact that ITI’s Code of Professional Conduct takes into account.

Such competency allows them to claim certain legitimacy, at least in some areas of language use. They may not be able to have a laugh in that language at the pub on a Friday night, but they can translate medical reports that most ‘natives’ would simply not understand.

As a group of intellectuals commissioned by the EU once put it, some people are capable of adopting a ‘second mother tongue’. Language diversity is not about building walls between languages. It is about recognising the diversity of use human beings make of their tongues.

About the author:

Pierre Fuentes is a French translator and a registered architect who works mostly with texts in the fields of architecture, design, property and construction engineering. He suffers from lingophilia, having been severely exposed to English and Spanish and, to a lesser extent, to several other languages, including Galician, German and Irish.

[Repost] Escargoter, saladiner, mondemoisil : découvrez les nouveaux mots de la langue française! (by NJI)


Écrit par  NJI

Du 3 février au 23 mars, la Semaine de la langue française et ses partenaires ont lancé sur Facebook le Défi “Inventez le Mot de la Semaine”, invitant les internautes à créer un mot nouveau et sa définition en 300 signes maximum. Ce Défi a rencontré un immense succès et près de 3000 mots ont été inventés. Ce sont finalement les mots “escargoter”, “se mémériser” et “tôtif” qui ont été élus Mots de la Semaine, parmi les contributions les plus “aimées” des internautes.Lundi 24 mars, un jury composé de grands témoins de la Semaine, de représentants de spartenaires de l’opération et du ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (Délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France) ont désigné les lauréats, junior comme senior, parmi les contributions les plus “aimées” des internautes.

Lauréat dans la catégorie senior
Escargoter : Prendre son temps.

Lauréat dans la catégorie junior
Se mémériser : (verbe pronominal, 1er groupe) Se vieillir au moyen d’habits hors d’âge.
Ex : Elle pourrait être jolie si elle ne prenait tant de soin à se mémériser.

Prix spécial du jury
Tôtif : Le contraire de tardif : un réveil tôtif ; et l’adverbe dérivé : tôtivement.

ll n’a pas été facile de choisir les gagnants. Les critères à prendre en compte
étaient nombreux : inventivité lexicale, qualité sonore et visuelle du mot, clarté de la définition, facilité d’utilisation, possibilité d’entrer un jour dans la langue courante, respect des normes linguistiques…

Les trois lauréats respectent l’ensemble de ces critères. Peut-être intègreront-ils un jour les dictionnaires ?

10 mots nominés dans la catégorie senior

 Afrancien : (n. et adj.) Français d’origine africaine ou Africain de France (ethnologie). Qui est propre aux Français d’origine africaine. Relatif aux Français d’origine africaine.

– Bussoter : Attendre le bus.

– Krealinker : Partager une idée créative sur un support de communication virtuel (réseau social, forum…).

– Escargoter : Prendre son temps.

– Gremcher : Faire son grincheux boudeur.

– Lalaliser : (verbe du 1er groupe) 1. Chanter “la la la” quand on ne peut pas se rappeler les paroles. “Tu connais cette chanson, c’est la la la la …”. 2. Utiliser trop souvent l’expression “Oh là là”. “Il m’énerve, il lalalise sans cesse.” 3. Traiter avec légèreté. “Il ne faut pas lalaliser ce problème.”

 Cordiamicalement : Contraction de « cordialement » et « d’amicalement ».
Formule de politesse se plaçant en fin de texte avant son propre nom. A utiliser quand la relation avec la personne visée, sans être déjà amicale, est toutefois plus que simplement cordiale.

 Jeudredi : (nom masculin) S’emploie à la place de jeudi. Façon de positiver la fin de semaine en renommant le jeudi : plus tout à fait jeudi mais pas encore vendredi. Peut également être employé pour accélérer la venue du week-end. Ex. “Superchouette, aujourd’hui c’est jeudredi”.

– Maisnif : Odeur caractéristique d’une maison.

– S’enrêver : S’embarquer dans un rêve éveillé (en général contre son gré…).

10 mots nominés dans la catégorie junior

– Textoter : (verbe) Communiquer par texto. Ex : Il textote sans arrêt avec ses amis.

– Se mémériser : (verbe pronominal, 1er groupe) Se vieillir au moyen d’habits hors d’âge. Ex : Elle pourrait être jolie si elle ne prenait tant de soin à se mémériser.

– Se miroiriser : Se regarder dans le miroir.

– Scolarophobie : (nom féminin) Phobie de l’école.

– Shopivore : (nom masculin et adj.) Se dit de quelqu’un qui est addict au shopping. Ex : Il passe son temps dans les magasins ! C’est un véritable shopivore.

– Uhuter : (verbe transitif) Coller avec de la colle en bâton.

– Empreinter : Emprunter des chemins où on laisse son empreinte.

– Saladiner : (verbe intransitif, 1er groupe) Manger une salade au dîner. Ex : Maman, je saladine avec mes copines aujourd’hui !

 Flemmitude : (n.f.) Attitude molle qui consiste à traîner les pieds et à vouloir rester dans son lit. Ex : Cet élève fait preuve d’une trop grande flemmitude, dit le professeur.

– Peurophobie : (nom féminin) La peur d’avoir peur.

10 mots nominés pour le Prix spécial du jury

– Mamimosas : Grand-mère qui adore les fleurs.

– Accordéontologie : Morale élastique.

– Mondemoisil : Titre donné aux jeunes garçons et hommes non mariés (même principe que pour mademoiselle, sauf que le « ma » et le « elle » ont été mis au masculin).

– Marmoufler : Pantoufler comme une marmotte (ou marmotter comme une pantoufle) pendant un ou plusieurs jours d’affilée.

– Baïe-baïe : Se quitter avec un pincement au cœur. Douleur provoquée par la séparation.

 Vexpresso : Etat d’une personne qui se vexe instantanément avec ou sans sucre.

 Malabarbe : Homme barbu.

– Esquivarder : Bavarder pour esquiver une tâche ennuyeuse.

– Tôtif : Le contraire de tardif : un réveil tôtif ; et l’adverbe dérivé : tôtivement…

– Adverboulimique : (adj. ou nom.) Se dit d’un rédacteur qui fait un usage excessif des mots modalisateurs. C’est un auteur très, trop, si, tant, tellement, plus… un véritable adverboulimique.

La Semaine de la langue française et de la Francophonie a célébré, du 15 au 23 mars, toutes les inventions langagières, y compris les plus insolites ou les plus inattendues.
Le succès rencontré par le Défi «Inventez le mot de la Semaine» est la preuve que la langue française est plus vivante que jamais.

Escargoter, saladiner, Mondemoisil : découvrez les nouveaux mots de la langue française !