Twitter is the most ephemeral of media. You throw your deep thoughts, attempted jokes and mood updates at you followers. Chances are they never see them, and if they do, chances are they don’t pay much attention. Few messages elicit more than a handful of answers or retweets.
On the whole, this is fine. Twitter is chatter, not literature. However, some tweets deserve better, sometimes in their own right, but more often because they contain links to great stuff.
Therefore I intend occasionally, once every few weeks perhaps, to post some tweets here on the blog; mostly my own, but I may do some plagiarism as a side job. I’ll probably edit them a bit, for I can’t see why I should observe the 140-character limit here and retain the original typos and other infelicities.
So, here goes.
Translation is not about words. It’s about what the words are about.
This one was a retweet from @ohmytranslation; I have no idea who first came up with it. Someone anonymous, perhaps – that would be typical for the world of translation. Anyway, I think it neatly captures something essential about the craft that many outsiders are not aware of. (See comment below.)
How to pronounce 18 vowels of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), such as œ, ɑ, ɨ and ɯ. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UIAe4p2I74.
There is of course much more about the IPA available on YouTube. Here’s a list.
As the Sami languages have many words for snow, so does #Gaelic for moor- and peat-related phenomena. www.theguardian.com/books/2015/feb/27/
This is a long article in the (London) Guardian about a book that looks into the relationship between words and landscapes. It’s a long piece, and I must admit I haven’t read all of it, just stored it. That’s another Twitter thing (or a private vice?): sharing half-digested stuff.
It’s counterintuitive but true, and it makes sense when you read the whole story: having to speak a new language on the job, and especially on a 3D job (dirty, dangerous and difficult), does not help to learn that language easily or well. http://goo.gl/zMKZZR
I wonder to what extent this is also true for, say, working as an expat in an office environment.