Articles for Languages/Linguistic curiosities

September 30 marks International Translation Day, a time to reflect on changes in the industry in 2020

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village "Finding the words for a world in crisis" was the theme for the 2020 International Translation Day poster design contest set up by FIT, the International Federation of Translators. The beautiful winning design, by Russian artist and translator Liza Gunenko, ...

In the era of internet language punctuation is morphing into new shapes, acquiring new tasks, and new meanings

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village The age of online communication has brought about a radical reinvention of punctuation, in ways that transgress the boundaries of what is commonly defined as "good grammar". This has sparked concerns about the future of formal language and become a ...

Russian literary classics set in 2020: updates to Russia’s greatest books

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village Fiona Bell is a literary translator and scholar of Russian literature, based in Oxford. She won a highly competitive fellowship from the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) in 2018, and her translation of Natalia Meshchaninova's Stories received a 2020 PEN/Heim ...

“Planet Word”, an interactive museum dedicated to language, opening up soon in Washington DC

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village "Planet Word", opening up in Washington DC on October 22, 2020, will be an interactive center dedicated to language arts. Its mission is to inspire a love of words and language and the project is grounded in the belief that ...

“Fabricius”, Google’s new AI tool, unravels the symbols of Ancient Egypt

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village Google launched "Fabricius", a web based AI tool to let users interact with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, on July 16, 2020, to coincide with the anniversary of the Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta stone was the first Ancient Egyptian bilingual text (Egyptian/Ancient ...

“A poem a day”, 365 poems in 34 languages by 279 poets: a tribute to the many languages of India

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village Sampooran Singh Kalra (b.1934), known as Gulzar, is an Indian lyricist, poet, author, screenwriter, and film director. His anthology of 365 poems, one for every day of the year, has just been published by Harper and Collins. He describes it ...

The origins of idioms are lost in the mists of metaphor and meaning: they are “the fossilized poetry of language”

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village Chi Luu, a computational linguist and natural language processing researcher, writes about idioms and their special power to draw people together in a recent article for JSTOR Daily. The origins of idioms, she says, are most often frozen in time, ...