Lingualista

Turkish Suffixes & Word Formation: “Sağ”

Although every language has its own unique way of forming words (in English, for example, we can form adverbs by adding “-ly”: careful > carefully), Turkish, as an agglutinative language, provides particularly fertile ground for the construction of a wide-array of words with varied meanings all based on a single base word. This is ultimately a great tool that can help language learners grow their vocabulary exponentially and, in doing so, improve comprehension.

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Literal Translation of “Roller Coaster” in Languages Across the Globe

If you had to name a new invention, how would you go about it? Would you come up with a term that reflected its physical appearance? Its function? Its history or origins? The feeling or effect of the invention? This challenge was faced pre-21st century with the invention of what is now known, in the English-speaking world at least, as the roller coaster. What about in other languages? What terms did they come up with for this invention? (more…)

Previous, Prior, Preceding: Understanding and Translating Shades of Meaning

Word choice is one of the many challenges handled by translators. In order to overcome this challenge, translators have to understand the subtle shades of meaning behind the words’ official definitions, both in the source and target languages. With this in mind, the aim of this post is to uncover subtle distinctions between the words “previous,” “prior,” and “preceding.” The first half of this post provides an in-depth look at the official definitions, common usages and subtle connotations of these words. This information will then be used to determine how to best translate similar terms from Spanish into English. (more…)

‘Apostar’ in English

This post takes a close look at how to translate ‘apostar’ into English across several contexts.

The Obvious Translation: ‘Bet/Wager’

The most straightforward translation of this word is “to bet or wager.” A few examples of this word in context are provided below: (more…)

Useful Spanish Suffixes: The Case of “-ero/a”

This is the first post in what I’m hoping will eventually become a full series on the use of prefixes and suffixes as a language learning tool. As anyone that has studied Spanish has probably learned, these can be a great way to rapidly increase vocabulary and “fluency” (in this context, meaning the ability to create natural-sounding sentences) and to help learners make educated guesses about words they don’t know or remember. Perhaps one of the most well-known examples of this in Spanish would be the perro (dog) / perrito (puppy; affectionate mention for a dog) conversion.

This time around though, I will be dealing with one of my favorite Spanish suffixes: “-ero” and its close relative “-dor(a).” The blessing and curse of this suffix stems from its varied, unexpected and unpredictable uses.  (more…)

Eurovision: “Celebrate Diversity”?

This year’s slogan for the Eurovision Song Contest had laudable intentions: “Celebrate Diversity.” But was this nothing more than an empty promise? Anyone hoping to find a true embracement of diversity in this program will be hard-pressed to find it. It’s no secret that English song submissions in this competition are on the rise, reaching a record 84% this year. Lurking behind this statistic are even further indicators of a competition –in my opinion– completely devoid of diversity. English-speaking hosts, judges awarding points primarily in English, complete domination of English in promotional materials for the event, and official Eurovision websites available only in English. (more…)

A Nugget of Knowledge (Brought to You by the Spanish Language): Prickly Pears are Figs!

My day started out like any other. Wake up 8:30. 20 minute walk to work. 9:30 start work. Stare at computer screen. Morning snack at 11:00. And that’s when things finally got interesting. When I first moved to Spain, every day was a new opportunity to learn something new. But after nearly four years here, my language acquisition rate has plateaued. Needless to say, when my co-worker took out what I can only describe as a “dainty in size, crude in character” fruit, I was excited about the new perla de conocimiento he was about to share with me. (more…)

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