Loving Our Language: Indo-European languages and where they come from

As we all write in English, it’s great to find out more about the language in depth! Welcome to a new mini-series here on HTWB by Senior Transcriber Neil Wright – an avid expert on historical linguistics. This week Neill looks at where Indo-European languages come from. Over to Neil…

‘Indo-European’ languages might not sound similar to you, but linguists have scratched their heads over the apparent similarities of the Indo-European languages for centuries. Today, huge swaths of populations covering most of Europe, Asia Minor, and northern India speak languages that are so similar in construct, they must have had a single progenitor tongue.

article about Indo-European languages

Scientists and linguistics are closing in on the true origins of the Indo-European languages. Shown above: the flag representing Indo-European languages. Source: Wikimedia Commons

One of the very first people to draw the dots together was a man named William Jones in 1786. He was serving as a judge in British India at the time. Jones was a well-educated man, and had studied Greek and Latin, as well as English in school. Not long after arriving in India, he began to take an interest in Sanskrit — the language of the ancient religious texts — and wrote the following: [Read more…]

My written communication award … maybe not the Booker Prize, but it’s nice

I was thrilled to get an award this week from the Influential Businesswoman Awards 2020 … much as I don’t like to brag or boast, it is gratifying to get a pat on the head. That’s especially true this year when many of us have had a terrible time with our businesses and have been working extra hard to keep the show on the road.

Suzan St Maur wins award for written communication

And after writing millions of words over my career, and I do mean millions (at a guess I’d say around two million here on HTWB alone), I’m flattered to be considered ‘outstanding.’

As for ‘influential’ I’m not so sure, but I do know that I can make readers laugh! [Read more…]

Working from home: a funny ‘pome’

Fed up with working from home? Fed up with lockdown, even though now that it’s lifting slowly? Are you sure??? Enjoy!

funny poem about lockdown, coronavirus and wokring from home

AFTER LOCKDOWN
The woes of working from home

I wish I weren’t so stuck at home
These walls are too familiar
I’m sick of being here on my own
Sat on my fat posterior.

Those curtains I once thought were great
Of such design seduction
Now make me want to masticate
Puke up my latest luncheon. [Read more…]

Happy Fête Nationale à la France!

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Greetings to all our French friends and family on your national day. Hope you’re able to celebrate as much as possible in this weird, wicked year of 2020.

celebration of Bastille Day

Happy Bastille Day!

In case you need to, er, refresh your memory of why and what the French celebrate on July 14th, here’s a quick reminder from Wikipedia: [Read more…]

Weddings during coronavirus: you can still write (and give) a great speech

Updated June 19th, 2020. Everyone knows that weddings have been very hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s only now that small weddings are allowed to go ahead in Northern Ireland. Other British nations are considering allowing small weddings later this summer.

Other countries like the USA, Canada and Australia are at similar points of allowing simple, small events – and many are saying that weddings are likely to be smaller than normal for quite some time to come.

article about wedding speeches during coronavirus pandemic

Even with a very small wedding like we’re experiencing post lockdown, you can write – and give – a great speech

But that’s no reason why your speech should be any different from what it would have been at a healthier time. Even if your audience will be just a few close friends and family sitting around a table, here’s how to prepare it so that when the day finally does come, it will be a great one!

13 articles packed with tips and inspiration for you. And in addition to the traditional speech-making roles we have some ideas for other family members and friends who want to get up and “say a few words.” Enjoy!

Why Coronavirus need not damp down your wedding speech – whoever you are

[Read more…]

How not to get trapped by a translation app

Please welcome Christine Camm, an expert French-English translator whom I met recently via social media. Despite my being bilingual English-French myself I’ve often wondered how the hell professional translators manage to sleep at night, given the ridiculous differences between these two lingos.

And … how English speakers, in particular, manage to destroy whatever co-comprehension there might remain considering that the Brits still feel the French will understand their English provided that they shout it loudly enough, and the French think anyone living from the White Cliffs of Dover northwards is a totally unhinged rosbif who probably needs not only French lessons but also to stop shouting and get a life.
 article about english to french translation

Christine takes up the story with a charming anecdote … 

A young London couple, Carol and Simon, start planning their next short holiday

“Let’s go to Paris,” suggests Simon.

Carol raises one eyebrow and instantly pictures the two of them on a boat, gently floating along the Seine past Notre Dame, sipping champagne and grabbing that all important click of the sun setting behind the Eiffel Tower against the deep blue Parisian sky. The air is warm and accordion music is gently playing. [Read more…]

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