french

Excuse-moi? – The French words you just cannot translate

What does “Ennui” mean? Or “Chinoiserie“? It could happen that, on any sort of situation, one happens to cross a word so difficult to translate that the only way to actually succeed is to use more than one single equivalent word. A while ago, the Bright Old Oak researched and presented those words in Finnish…

gender

Battle of the sexes and language: when words have a gender

The decision to turn professor titles from male to female at the University of Leipzig is now causing major controversy. Apparently, Physics professor Dr. Josef Käs came up with the proposal as a joke, but soon saw his own idea taken seriously by the University board: now all teaching members at the University of Leipzig…

map

Translating city names: tradition or history?

Welcome to London. Bienvenido a Londres. Benvenuto a Londra. Three different names for three different languages. Why does culture impose a change of name when it comes to translating names of countries and cities. Another more relevant example is that of Deutschland: “þeudō” meant “people” in Common Germanic, so “Þeodisk” means “belonging to the people“; Germany…