Archive for the ‘language’ Category

Zipf’s Law – what on earth is that?!

In the 1930s, the American psychologist and linguist George Kingsley Zipf developed a model to describe word frequency and probability distribution in texts. This is regarded as the beginning of so-called quantitative linguistics – yes, mathematicians can have fun with words too. Zipf’s law derives from this model and, having not lost its relevance, still provides conversation fodder for linguists today. The so-called Zipf distribution also plays a not altogether read more…

A hunt for clues: What are planned languages?

Most of us have probably heard of Esperanto. But what actually is it? And what are Esperanto and other planned languages actually used for? A hunt for clues. Definition Planned languages are languages which have been artificially constructed. So far so good. In contrast to natural languages – German, English, Wolof or whatever – these languages are conceptualised on paper and haven’t developed naturally in the last (couple of million) read more…

Lost in translation: 7 ridiculous film title translations

Hollywood films enjoy a very high level of popularity in German-speaking countries. However, in Germany, unlike in Scandinavian countries for example, the films are not released in the cinemas in their original language – they are dubbed. This means that more often than not, the original titles are changed and the translated titles differ a great deal from the original. In many cases, the English title is actually replaced with read more…

Black snow and purple eyes – multi-coloured idioms from different cultures

What would life be without colour? Colours play an important role in society and culture. They are also associated, whether knowingly or unknowingly, with a diverse range of meanings, which vary greatly according to each cultural sphere. The perception of colours in different cultures is especially evident in the use of proverbs and idioms. Did you know, for example, that in Spain a physical altercation results in a purple eye read more…

Bonzur, ki maniere? – The Creole Languages

They are called Gullah, Kreol morisien, Ngola, Chabacano, Nubi, Negerhollands or Unserdeutsch and are as varied as the languages out of which they emerged. We’re talking about Creole languages! Who speaks them? Where are they spoken? How did they develop? Come with us this week on an expedition into the world of these exciting languages!

The Last of their Kind – Languages Facing Extinction

“Haatelk Wäilkuumen!” –You have just been greeted in Saterland Frisian, a dialect spoken in a relatively small area in North-East Germany. According to differing estimates, Saterland Frisian is still used by just 1500 to 2500 speakers in the municipality of Saterland, in the district of Cloppenburg, North Germany. Saterland Frisian is only one of approximately 3000 languages that are, to a greater or lesser degree, endangered. Get to know a read more…

The joy he gets from interpreting sets him apart – an interview with Gabriel Aquilino

The lingoking team has chosen Mr Gabriel Aquilino as service provider of the month for October. We really appreciate his hard work. He is a highly qualified interpreter who can keep his cool in even the trickiest of situations and works very professionally. Many congratulations on your nomination as service provider of the month!