Posted by: Lauren Webb, Operations Manager
The team I play for has recently gained an American coach. This has been great for us, but the language barrier has sometimes proven difficult to surmount. He uses a lot of sports metaphors from basketball, baseball and American football, which often leave us stumped. This got me thinking about the translation of sports metaphors, because if there can be such great differences between UK and US English, how great must the differences between distinct languages be?
Granted, much of the difficulty in this case lies in the differences between the sports played in the UK and America – football, cricket and rugby are more popular here, and so our usual sports metaphors will relate to those sports, naturally. Though we may play a casual game of baseball on a rare sunny day, the sport isn’t televised to the same extent as it is across the pond, so the idioms haven’t stuck. The popularity of American television programmes have meant that we Brits understand some sports idioms, such as “throwing a curve ball”, but wouldn’t get the gist of some of the more technical ones. Conversely, countries that share similar sporting traditions will likely have idioms which convert well from one language to the other.
In order to ease the potential difficulties, I thought it might be fun to round up a couple of interesting sports expressions, along with their meanings. Let us know if you know any others!
Sticky wicket – a difficult situation (UK English – cricket)
Curve ball – Something that ...Continue Reading →
Posted by: Lauren Webb, Operations Manager
As our regular blog readers will know, last Friday Veritas attended the Swansea Bay Regional Business Awards, hoping to win the Most Promising New Business award. I’m pleased to announce that we won! Our directors, Rachel Bryan and Sharon Stephens, and one of our Project Managers, Estrella Ruiz, attended the black-tie event to collect the award, and by all accounts had a fantastic time.
Speaking as an employee of Veritas, I can say that I think this success is due to our directors’ attitude toward their staff. Never before have I worked for a company which truly strives to support and develop each member of the team like Veritas does. They are committed to training, and work closely with local organizations such as Go Wales and Swansea University to develop the linguists of the future. It’s no surprise that a company who treats their employees well will thrive, and I personally think this is why Veritas has been recognised for its promise.
We have a very bright future here at Veritas, and with your support will continue to go from strength to strength.Continue Reading →
We have some fantastic news here at Veritas – our dedication, passion and enthusiasm has been noted by the lovely people at the Swansea Bay Regional Business Awards. Veritas has been recognised as one of the region’s most promising new businesses, and we will soon find out if we have won the category. The Swansea Bay Regional Business Awards are being held at the beautiful Brangwyn Hall tomorrow, so please wish us luck!
We’re not even at the end of the year yet, but 2011 has been an exciting time for Veritas – from the re-launch of our website with many useful resources, to gaining accreditation in both the BS EN ISO 9001:2008 and the BS EN 15038:2006 quality standards, we’ve achieved a lot. Our blog was also listed as one of the top 100 Language Lover blogs worldwide!
Let’s hope tomorrow brings even more reason to celebrate!Continue Reading →
“Double U” is the only English letter name with more than one syllable, except for the occasionally used, though somewhat archaic, œ. It is also the only English letter whose name is not pronounced with any of the sounds that the letter typically makes.
For years, it remained an outsider, not really considered part of the Latin alphabet proper, expressed here by Valenmtin Ickelsamer in the 16th century, who complained that “Poor W is so infamous and unknown that many barely know either its name or its shape, not those who aspire to being Latinists, as they have no need of it, nor do the Germans, not even the schoolmasters, know what to do with it or how to call it…”
In Europe, there are only a few languages that use W in native words and all are located in a central-western European zone between Cornwall and Poland. In Middle High German, the West Germanic phoneme W became realized as V and this is why the German W today represents that sound.
In the alphabets of most modern Romance languages, W is used very little. When a spelling for W in a native word is needed, a spelling from the native alphabet, such as V, U, or OU, can be used instead.
Unlike its use in other languages, the letter is used in Welsh and Cornish to represent the vowel U.
In the Finnish alphabet, W is seen as ...Continue Reading →
V is one of the youngest letters of our alphabet (it shares this distinction with J) and was only fully accepted into the alphabet in the mid-19th century. It did appear in print prior to this however, but was seen more as the consonantal variation of U rather than a letter in its own right. V was born from a need to represent new sounds that were forming in the Romance languages after the fall of the Roman Empire (A.D. 500).
The Romans managed just fine though with 23 letters…but, was there not a Roman V? Does the goddess Venus ring any bells? Vesuvius? Is Julius Caeser not famous for his utterance, ‘veni, vidi, vici’ (I came, I saw, I conquered)? In fact, the Roman letter V used in those examples was never a V. It was U, written as V, and pronounced like ‘w’….blimey!
The sounds for ‘f’ and ‘v’ are as close as two consonants can be. Say them to yourself…they are classed as dento-labial fricatives and involve air being pushed through the barrier that resting your front teeth on your lower lip creates. The difference is that ‘v’ involves the use of the vocal chords while ‘f’ does not. In Old English, the letter F was used for both letters.
In medieval writing there was a tug of war between the two letters U and V; a written U could ...Continue Reading →