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per cent or percent?

%

Across the board, dictionaries suggest that percent, written as one word, is American English, whereas per cent, written as two words, is British English. The European Commission (Directorate-General for Translation) English Style Guide concurs, although it is not prescriptive and notes that per cent is normally [blog author’s emphasis] written as two words in British English. Wikipedia even goes as far as describing the frequency of use of the two-word form in British English as “sometimes”. In any case, the online free dictionary suggests that the use of the two-word form is diminishing. No evidence is given for this statement, but it would be in line with the (in many case entirely ‘sensible’) trend of compounding. Not to mention the fact that, from a German Prozent perspective, the one-word form simply ‘feels more natural’.

Wort des Tages: Lohnkluft

Laut Google ist der Begriff Lohnkluft ebenso weit verbreitet wie die Lohnkluft-Praxis, und die besagte Kluft ist weiterhin erstaunlich tief bzw. groß oder hoch – siehe z.B. Deutsche Welle-Bericht von 2014 oder aktueller Bericht im  
Wird die Lohnkluft-Praxis ‘aussterben’, bevor der Begriff in den Duden übernommen wird?

Quelle: Deutsche Welle

An epidemic of prepositional anarchy?

In his linguistically thought-provoking Guardian article under the heading “Back to prep school“, Andy Bodle reckons that Harry Blamires, the author of The Penguin Guide to Plain English, is far from alone in thinking we are in “an epidemic of prepositional anarchy”.

His bottom-line advice is to “check the dictionary”, although interestingly (and perhaps contradictorily?), he also refers to Google Ngram Viewer as a tool for trying to determine which version can be regarded as ‘more correct’, in cases where several ‘legitimate’ options exist, e.g. bored with/of, obsessed with/by, identical with/to.

Further reading: comprehensive Wikipedia page on prepositions, postpositions, circumpositions and adpositions.

Word of the day: twonk

Source: http://www.urbandictionary.com

In contrast to the Urban Dictionary, the OED seems uncertain re the origin of the term – see below. Discuss?

Agile

How agile are you? Or rather, how agile is your company?

Management Today Words-Worth examines the question and indeed the term itself – see below.

One would like to think that HE Translations fits the bill…

Source: Management Today

CPD

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for translators is about refining and expanding one’s existing skills and subject knowledge, keeping up-to-date with commercial and linguistic developments, learning new technologies and contributing to the profession. The benefits of CPD are multiple and include:

  • enhanced understanding of one’s specialist fields
  • improved productivity, efficiency and confidence
  • learning new specialisms
  • keep up to date with one’s source language(s)
  • achieving greater job satisfaction

CPD comes in many different forms and can be formal or informal CPD. The website of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting lists examples from both categories. It goes without saying that professional translators carry out informal CPD routinely on a daily basis. Occasionally, they even find time to reflect on it. One of the trademarks of professional translators is endless intellectual curiosity in a wide range of different and often challenging subjects.

Save this house from… boring people

Spotted in Heidelberg (Albert-Ueberle-Straße) the other day…

Behüt’ dies Haus
vor Wetter und Wind…
und Menschen die langweilig sind.

English translation, provided by HE Translations “team member” Jacqui Birnie:

Save this house
from wind and weather…
and boring people altogether.

German residents have declared a state of emergency

The day after the Brexit referendum fiasco…

Can’t resist sending the photo below from a Facebook post by a Facebook friend (nice neighbour in real life), under the good old German motto: »Humor ist, wenn man trotzdem lacht«.

The caption on Facebook was:
Remaining German residents* have declared a state of emergency, and claimed asylum on the closest thing to a sun lounger. Emergency reservation towels are on order“.

*The ‘residents’ are miniature schnauzers.

Rhinoceros charging in Great Russell Street

Report by HE Translations director Herbert Eppel

VW beetle car in British Museum
The other day I went so see the Germany: Memories of a Nation exhibition at the British Museum. Somehow I wasn’t entirely convinced by it, with doubts similar to those expressed by translator colleague Margaret Marks in a review on her blog. Still, it was interesting, and I hadn’t been to the British Museum for ages – the roof is stunning, and something of a technical achievement!
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