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Welcome to LingoStar’s blog! On this page, you can find a lot of interesting and useful information about the translation industry. Explore topics on website translation and localization and how successful localization can influence your business to help your company grow and go global.

Language Blog Topics

On this blog, you can also learn about professional translators and interpreters, multilingual search engine optimization (SEO), the importance of socializing and networking and translators’ professional ethics. Quite often we write posts about the languages of the world, other cultures, and their traditions. Not only do translators convert texts from a source language to a target language, but they also help people communicate with each other, help establish international contacts, and are often prominent figures in the social, economic, and political life. Lastly, of course, we want you to have fun, so on our blog, you can find many posts that will entertain you and, hopefully, make you smile!

We hope you enjoy our blog and discover a lot of interesting things! 

Study in Canada and Why You Need Translations

Every year, thousands of students come to Canada in order to start, continue, or finish their studies. There are many Canadian schools, programs, and careers available for everyone. If you want to study in Canada, you’ll have to find the one that best suits you. You’ll also need to find out, ahead of time, what type of documents in English and French you’ll need to submit to the authorities. Why study in Canada? People worldwide consider that the quality of education in Canada is outstanding — from as early as elementary school to post-secondary studies. In fact, more than 25 Canadian universities feature in the World University Rankings. This is mainly due to their strong focus on research and development. What’s more, the Canadian government offers great support for research in many fields. In terms of economy, studying in Canada is not as expensive as in other countries such as the US or the UK. Tuition fees in Canada might seem rather cheap due to the possibility of applying for a range of scholarships. The aim of these scholarships is to cut down your expenses. Lastly, another reason why you should consider studying in Canada is its safe and peaceful environment. It is the sixth most peaceful country in the world. The process of studying in Canada Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PWPP) allows international students to stay and work in Canada for up to three years after completion of their graduation. Not only can you gain some work experience, but you can also apply for permanent residency after some time. If you’ve decided to apply to study in... read more

Hispanic Culture Around The World

In our last blog post, we talked about the Spanish language, which is spoken all over the globe. This time, we are focusing on the culture associated with it. In this blog post, we set out some of the most popular traditions of Hispanic culture. About the word “Hispanic” and Hispanic culture We use the term Hispanic when referring to people who originate, either directly or through their ancestors, from a predominantly Spanish-speaking country, especially from Spain or a Latin American country. The Catholic religion It goes without saying that Hispanic culture is closely related to the Catholic religion. Take Argentina for example. Jesuit missionaries from Spain introduced Catholicism in Argentina in the 17th century. Since then, the Catholic Church has had a significant influence on Argentina’s history, as well as on the ruling class in the country. There are regional differences in the practice and degree of religiosity in Argentina. The capital of Argentina is Buenos Aires. People consider it to be the most secularized region of the country. On the other hand, the provinces of Jujuy, Salta and Tucumán often show a strong sense of religious devotion. One of the biggest religious assemblies in Argentina is Señor y Virgen del Milagro (in English, the Lord and Virgin of the Miracle). People usually celebrate it in Salta. The event contains a large procession of people who walk, bike or ride on horseback from their farmlands and desert towns into the province. It’s also recognizable in a great number of movies or TV shows that include a Hispanic or Latin individual. They tend to carry the rosario (a beaded necklace with... read more

Varieties Of Spanish Language In Spain

About the Spanish language Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world, beaten only by Mandarin, English, and Hindi. It is a Romance language spoken by natives in Spain and most Central and South American countries. In Spain, the variant is Castilian Spanish. Let’s talk about the different varieties of Spanish. There are many variations of the Spanish language. You can find them everywhere. Each country has its own variant. In Spain, the official language is Castilian Spanish and it has many varieties. In Galicia, people also speak Gallego (Galician). One of the things that characterizes the language variation in this area is the exclusive use of the past simple. Some languages have past simple and past perfect, and so does Spanish. Read on to learn about some examples! Varieties of the Spanish language: past tenses La Fundéu and La Real Academia Española are some of the institutions in charge of explaining the correct use of the Spanish language. They recommend the use of both past perfect and past simple. However, in some parts of Galicia, Asturias, and in the Canary Islands, people frequently use the past simple. According to some studies, in Spain the past perfect is more common when talking about today or now. Meanwhile, the past simple is used when explaining something that was done: last night or yesterday, for example. So instead of saying “¿Por qué no ha venido con nosotros?” (in English, “Why didn’t he join us?”), the inhabitants of these areas would say “¿Por qué no vino con nosotros?”. Varieties of the Spanish language: expressions In Spain, there is a misconception... read more

Dutch and Flemish: Language Differences

Discover Dutch and Flemish The Dutch and Flemish languages have many things in common. But they also have differences. Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands and one of the three official languages of Belgium. The population of Flanders, a northern Belgium region wedged between the North Sea and the Netherlands, speaks Dutch. However, the variant spoken here is known as Flemish. Flemish speakers account for 59% of the Belgian population. There are four principal Flemish dialects in Flanders. There is Brabantian, Limburgish, East Flemish, and West Flemish. But how do Dutch and Flemish differ from one another? Main differences between Dutch and Flemish The variations of this language don’t lay in grammar. The differences are in vocabulary and pronunciation. Usually, there are no changes in grammar; but in some dialects, the word order can change a little. Dutch speakers generally tend to pause between words; in Flemish, the words are often strung together. Let’s talk about the differences in pronunciation. Even those who don’t speak the language can perceive a variation in the pronunciation of different words. This is because the pronunciation of Flemish is more similar to French than Dutch, as Dutch leans more towards English. One example of this is the scraping G. The further you move south (from the Netherlands to Belgium), the sound of the letter G becomes softer, more like the French sound of the letter. The flow of words also becomes more relaxed. So we could say that Belgium has the softest version of Dutch (at least if we don’t take into account the African variants of the language). Do Dutch... read more

Dutch Translations in the Netherlands – What Is Happening to Dutch?

The vast majority of the people who live in the Netherlands speak English fluently. So do we need English and Dutch translations to target people in the Netherlands? In fact, at 70%, the Netherlands has the highest percentage of non-native English speakers in the world. The Netherlands is the only country in the European Union that doesn’t require foreigners to speak its own native language. This means that if you want to get a job, live, or even go to university there, you don’t need to prove that you speak a minimum level of Dutch. It is true that in most cases, students usually have to prove their language skills in the country’s official language before enrolling at a university; however, in the Netherlands, this is not the case, since many Dutch universities offer degrees in English. So compared to other countries, it is exceptionally easy to live in the Netherlands without speaking the country’s native language. About the Dutch language We may consider Dutch a small or not widely used language, but people actually speak it in several countries: it is the official language of the Netherlands and Belgium, where it takes the name of Flemish. People also speak it in Aruba, Suriname, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Germany, etc. Dutch has its roots in a dialect of Low German and a lot of its words come from English. This is why people usually say that Dutch is a mix of German and English. Dutch has 23 million native speakers all over the world. As we have mentioned before, Dutch is spoken in several countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, etc. However,... read more

Translation Internship English and French in Canada

In this blog post, we’re introducing our former French intern who has completed an internship with our company. She’s described the process of looking for a translation internship and what her learning outcomes were. If you’re interested in looking for a translation internship in Canada, read on! Let me introduce myself. I’m a  French university student and my mission was to complete an internship in Canada. Indeed, this is a requirement of my translation studies. This internship is part of the second year of my master’s degree in translation. Following a bachelor’s degree in translation (English/Portuguese and French) and then a master’s degree, this internship was the way to conclude my five years of studies in this field. My internship didn’t have to satisfy a long list of requirements. I had to work with one of my languages, evolve in a professional translation environment (translation agency/department or an independent translator) and a professional had to supervise me. Looking for an internship in a translation agency in Canada After an internship with an independent translator last year, it was logical for me to do this one in a translation agency. I wanted to discover precisely how an agency works from the inside, how to manage a project, and also be able to work on a range of diverse projects. Diverse in terms of languages but also services, not only translation but also interpreting, subtitling, and more. I wanted to combine this internship and my desire to discover Canada. It’s for this reason that I started researching Canadian agencies. Finding a translation agency LingoStar is one of the first agencies where... read more

Languages Around the World

The most spoken languages around the world English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Hindi and a whole lot more languages are spoken around the world. But do you know exactly how many? Well, the answer is 7,151! However, only 23 languages account for more than half of the world’s population. Nevertheless, we would like to talk about the top 10 most spoken languages in the world. First of all, it is important to point out that this top 10 has not always been the same. Indeed, the world is constantly changing, and with it the communities that speak different languages. They too are constantly changing. Some of them die, others are born, and others change according to the times in which they live. In 2022, at the top of the list, there is, unsurprisingly, English, immediately followed by Mandarin Chinese, each with over 1 billion speakers. In third place, there is Hindi, with more than 650 million speakers, and Spanish, spoken by more than 500 million people. French, Bengali, Modern Arabic, Portuguese, Russian and Urdu follow in our list, with over 200 million speakers each. The most spoken languages over the last century If we take a look at the top 10 in the early 1900s, we can see how slightly different things were. Indeed, the most spoken language was Mandarin Chinese. However, this is not unexpected due to the huge number of Chinese inhabitants. What may be more surprising, instead, is that the second most spoken language was not English, but Spanish. English gained the second position in 1911 and the first position only in 2013!... read more

Travel and Translation: Two Different Ways To Meet New Cultures

Relation between travel and translation If you look in a dictionary, you will discover that the English term “translation” has two meanings. The first one says: the process of translating words or text from one language into another. The second one states: the process of moving something from one place to another. We can say that travel and translation are rather connected. A traveller moves from a place to another in order to discover new cities, new words and new cultures. In the same way, translating is a passage from one language to another, from a source culture to a target one. Thus, travel and translation are very much interconnected as they both focus on the idea of movement and passage. So, what happens when a traveller simply moves with their language and culture to another country? Travel books and translation Travel literature translated into many different languages tells us about foreign countries so we can understand facts about other cultures. By reading travel books we can discover new countries. They unveil for us what is hiding out there in the big world. They also allow us to study and compare different cultures. At the same time, a travel writer or a travel blogger translates new travel experiences. They also tell us about another reality by converting their travel experiences into a travel book or a travel blog. The most important moment of a trip and a tale starts when a traveller arrives in some unknown place and must find their way into a new culture. Similarly, a translator describes an experience by translating it from one language to... read more

Japanese Translation Challenges

Japanese words in English and other languages There are many languages in the world that are difficult to translate into English. Japanese is one of them. One reason for Japanese translation being really hard would be the unique development of Japanese culture. Japan is an island nation surrounded by the sea. For this reason, it developed its own culture and technology while adopting those introduced from the continent a long time ago. In this blog post, we will look at some hard-to-translate words that other languages and countries have adopted in their original form. With globalization, Japanese food culture is also spreading to other countries. Indeed, different Japanese meals and food items are being presented in the Japanese language in other countries. Some of the most popular examples of Japanese food names are sushi, tempura, ramen, and wasabi. Japanese translation and pop culture Another influential phenomenon is the Japanese modern pop culture. The globalization of recent years has led to the spread of Japanese pop culture worldwide, along with a growing preference for works that are uniquely Japanese. Two perfect examples of words being used in other countries using the original Japanese wording are Anime and Manga. A manga is a story that uses pictures and texts. On the other side, an anime is short for animation, wherein a cartoon has dialogue and music that cannot be heard in the comic. Thanks to these entertaining blockbusters, some of the Japanese words appearing in them are becoming widely used. For example, the word kawaii means cute or adorable. Japanese translation phrases derived from Japanese culture     Another characteristic of Japanese culture... read more

Creativity in Language and Translation: Neologisms

Creativity in a language is one aspect of human intelligence and we express it also through language and translation. Furthermore, we have to consider that languages change throughout time. Neology is the term we use to indicate the process of the creation of a new lexical unit. Neologism is the product of this activity. One of the most difficult challenges for translators is the necessity to find the right word. This happens because sometimes the perfect equivalent does not exist in the target language. That is why translators need to create new words or neologisms.  How and why do we use creativity in language translation? Creativity in language and translation is important in a lot of fields, for instance in the technological field where translators have to manage large language databases. Furthermore, they have to do some statistical calculations in order to produce correct and usable text. There are a lot of reasons that push a community to create a neologism; the creation of a new word can derive from the need to name an original reference. This is the case for a new scientific discovery or invention or a new social expression. Neologisms in different fields and creativity in language translation Creativity in language and translation and, more generally, neologisms appear in the following fields: science and technology, culture and society, politics, and art. Over the last few years, scientific and technological progress has introduced procedures and devices in our daily lives that were impossible to imagine before. As a consequence, we have to create new words, especially in the IT and communication field where all new terms... read more

Talking about the weather – How to start a conversation around the world

Weather in small talk Spring has come with new beginnings and new weather conditions. Did you know that the weather is one of the most common topics for small talk around the world? In a lot of countries, people use small talk to fill awkward silences or as a way of breaking the ice and they do that by talking about the weather. Let’s imagine you are stuck in the elevator with a person you don’t know, what do you talk about? The weather of course! However, not every country welcomes small talk. Countries like Scandinavia, Sweden, Finland and Norway are not really into small talk. As for everything related to language, it is just a question of culture. For instance, in the USA and the UK, small talk is very common. Indeed, in the USA, small talk occupies at least six hours per day of conversation. In the UK, instead, 38% of British people make small talk about the weather. Talking about the weather – the weatherese language Actually, talking about the weather is not something we do just in small talk, but rather, there is a specialised language about the weather called weatherese. Forecasters use this language in weather forecasting. The problem is that forecasters seem to pay more attention to what the weather is than to how the weather may affect people. Indeed, specialised language is often used to save time, as most people do when speaking in a particular field. The problem with forecasters is that they are talking to a general audience, so they should be understood by everyone. On the other hand, academics... read more

The Language of Women | Does Language Shape Our Thoughts About Gender?

The Language of Women As A Secret Language The language we speak shapes our thoughts about gender and our perception of reality. Many linguistic studies say that there are several types of languages in the world, including the language of women. There are natural languages (or human languages), formal languages, and artificial languages. The latter are often used and created either for amusement or for practical purposes, e.g. Esperanto. Among these are the languages created by women and for women. Mothers are key figures in children’s language development, so much so that we speak about a “mother tongue” to identify a native speaker of a particular language. However, from a linguistic point of view, there is no “female language”, “language of women” or “natural female language”. The Language of Women and Prejudices We also have to consider that our language reflects our social prejudices. What happens if none of the existing languages enable women to express the feelings and emotions inherent to them? What happens if women can’t express the way they feel and think because their language doesn’t contain the right words to convey their thoughts? Or because their language describes and reflects a patriarchal society? Think about how you use your language and whether it’s more geared towards how men or how women express themselves. Native Tongue As A Language of Women, By Suzette Haden Elgin  The American linguist and writer Suzette Haden Elgin addressed this topic in the 80’s. She theorized that if women had their own language to express their opinions, they might represent reality in a very different way than when men talk. To... read more

Gender Neutrality – How to Achieve a Bias-Free Environment

Gender Neutrality In Everyday Life Set in 1961, Hidden Figures is a film about the true story of a team of African-American mathematicians in which gender and racial distinction are broken down in favour of neutrality. The main protagonist, Katherine Johnson, is a talented woman who is hired to work for NASA. However, she works in a white, male-dominated environment, where the toilets for coloured women are in a completely different building from the one where she works. For this reason, every day she has to go back and forth between the two, meaning she’s often absent from her desk. When her boss demands an explanation for her constant absenteeism, Katherine, filled with indignation, makes a moving speech about how the racially divided, male-dominated society in which they live is impeding her from doing a good job. In agreement, her boss destroys the “colored ladies room” sign outside the toilets to stop the segregation. Hidden Figures might be set in the early sixties but gender and racial discrimination are still present in our lives. The difference is that today is not just about the distinction between male and female. This happens because we live in a gender-fluid society where things are far more complex. In this blog post, we will explore what is gender neutrality and how it affects languages. The Way Gendered Languages Shape Our World Historically, the masculine gender has always been the default gender for describing situations where both men and women are present. Indeed, with respect to gender, we can distinguish three types of languages: Gendered languages like Spanish, French and Italian, where nouns and... read more

Beauty and Culture – The Hurdles in Translating for the Cosmetics Industry

The Relationship Between Beauty and Culture Carnival is upon us, and we can’t help but think about all the beautiful clothes and makeup used on this occasion. Carnival is held in various parts of the world and is packed with cultural traditions. What is the relationship between beauty and culture? How does the concept of beauty change across different cultures?  And in what ways does it affect the world of translation? Cultural influences guide our perception of beauty, which takes on a different meaning not only across different countries but also across different ages and eras. Indeed, Americans in the fifties conceived beauty differently from today. In most European countries, a slim figure with flawless skin is the ideal of beauty, whereas in Africa, a larger figure is considered beautiful. To achieve this ideal of beauty, women (and, most recently, also men) have been experimenting with cosmetics and beauty aids for a long time. Some people go to great lengths to alter their appearance and conform with what society considers beautiful. Religion, as part of a culture, also has its influence on beauty. In Hinduism for example, they portray Goddesses as beautiful, making beauty a godly quality. In the Muslim religion, instead, they abhor things like nudity and women must wear a veil to hide their face from everyone except their husbands. Today’s Ideals of Beauty and Culture Pride However, today’s ideals of beauty are far more inclusive than they were in the past. Thanks to social media, in particular Instagram, a lot of celebrities, whose beauty is not the “standard” one, encourage women and teenagers to be proud... read more

Can We Translate Culture?

It is undeniable that every language brings with it not only a grammar code but also an entire culture. We do not translate culture only by directly using a language. We also apply various forms of intercultural communication. This is why it is important to have an intercultural approach when translating culture from one language to another. Intercultural Translation – Translate Culture through Words Of course, there are languages and industry fields where direct translation prevails, such as information technology or science. But in other fields, we cannot ignore the relevance of intercultural aspects. There are some intercultural words, or rather, words that influence and shape realities unknown in other language groups, or words shared with other languages but used for a different concept. For example, a lot of English words are used in Italian with different meanings. It’s the case of mister, which means football coach, or scotch, used to designate adhesive tape. The Use of Realia To translate culture means to convert a text through words called realia (personal names, places, names of food, etc.). We use these words in translation to indicate culturally specific objects that are very difficult to translate. The vocabulary connected to a determined culture or that belongs to a specific linguistic community contains words and expressions that describe events or objects representative of this culture. Simply put, some words have a local or historical “colour” and often, we do not have the perfect equivalent in another language. We can translate these realia by using different strategies. We can invent a new word (neologism) or we can replace the realia with a description.... read more

Translation Blog and News

LingoStar has been a language services provider in Canada, the USA, and Europe for more than a decade. We are proud to say that we cooperate with professional translators, interpreters, and other language specialists worldwide and work with over 100 language pairs. If you are looking for a reliable translation company, contact LingoStar! We are always ready to help you with your projects and documentation. Get a free quote online.