Why Chinese translators need to use reality checks…

translation,chinese,english,hotel,hilarious,funny jokesLiteral translation from one language to another can lead to hilarious, er, misunderstandings. as this friend discovered when she went to Beijing recently and was given this brochure by the hotel. It is precious. She is keeping it and reads it whenever she feels depressed. It would appear to have been translated directly, word for word, from Mandarin to English… [Read more…]

Why English is a crazy language to read and write

English,language,crazy,humor,funny jokes,hilariousSome more thought provokers from my good friend Eleanor S, who shares my fondness for the utter lunacy of the English language…

For those who love its philosophy of ambiguity, as well as its idiosyncrasies:

1. One Tequila, two Tequila, three Tequila, floor.

2. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

3. If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes? [Read more…]

The comma – don’t abuse its poor powers of arrest

commas,semi-colons,colons,blogging,business writing,English,marketing,business success,writing,copywriting,articles,PR,advertising,emailsDo you abuse the poor, unsuspecting, low-powered comma in your writing? Are you using it in the hope of stopping readers to focus on your next major notion, rather than as a means of separating much less critical thoughts? [Read more…]

Should we all be speaking and writing Globish?

Globish,English,writing,blogging,Suzan St Maur, HowToWriteBetter.net, How To Write BetterDo you think anyone who tries to simplify the English language so numerous cultures can use it and understand each other well, is nuts? Or a genius?

This was a question I asked when discussing Globish with my good friend and German teacher Angelika, and I decided to investigate further. Did I find a group of well-meaning academics trying to invent some sort of anglicized Esperanto? Not at all. [Read more…]

Globish: the full basic list of accepted English words

HTWB Globish 1Here, to go with today’s article about Globish – a simplified version of English designed to help all cultures understand each other as English-as-second-language speakers – is the full list of their 1,500 base words.

Enjoy – and practice using them! As it says in the main article, you can check how your text works (or not) in Globish by using their handy scanner here.

Sorry, you’ll have to scroll as I don’t know how to create columns on here!  [Read more…]

Why we need to give thanks to the USA

Thanksgiving,USA,America,Britain,humor,laughsUPDATED NOVEMBER 2020 … and this was written in gloriously pre-Trump days … On the day when families gather all over the USA to give thanks, it’s only fitting that we here in the UK should think about the things for which we owe gratitude to our American friends. Here are some of my suggestions. Even if you’re American – tell us what we really should be grateful for. (And can we forget the Boston Tea Party once and for all please?)

[Read more…]