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The Evolution of Technology

Technology has been evolving continuously at a very fast pace like never before. Humans have invented various technologies that their mind can imagine. Twenty years ago, there were no phone lines in developing countries like India. In order to access a phone line people had to travel miles to use a public phone booth to call up their loved ones. Then came the cell phone revolution where an incoming call was charged at a really high price. Things changed with time, and many organizations ventured into the telecommunications industry making outgoing calls cheaper and the incoming calls free. The communication industry just changed. Communication across the whole world became so easy from booking a Trunk call from one country to another country to just dial a number to reach a person sitting on the other side of the globe. So now we are in 2012 where phones have literally become computers, leaving the customer with the choice between buying a phone or a computer. In just around 2 to 3 decades, there has been immense rise in the development of technology with respect to communication increasing the demand of technical translation.

 If we talk about the technological developments human beings have been able to accomplish in other industries, then this article would probably become a thesis. Computers have evolved in a similar manner. Starting from a mega sized bulky computer with an operating system like DOS, to today wherein it’s possible to send emails rather than communicating through phones. The technology of the latest computers has been synchronised with phones to make lives of human beings much easier and comfortable. We are now living in the generation of I pads which weights approximately 650 grams compared to a desktop computer that weighs over 8 Kgs and is importable. Isn’t this a proof of the amazing power human beings have to create anything that they believe is possible and make their lives easier? The world of internet has just expanded since its existence. Any product/service can be bought without having to physically go to a shop whilst at the comfort of your home or office. Back in the days when we were in school, if we had a question in mind, we had to wait to go to the school or my tuitions to get an answer for my question.

Today the same situation has a solution available in matter of seconds through search engines like Google. More and more schools encourage these kind of self learning process compared to traditional methods like professors delivering lectures to students.  The use of technology is just increasing in almost each and every area of our life. From traditional marriages now people meet and create a relationship over the Internet. It’s great to see how human beings are literally unstoppable and continue to invent and develop technology at a lightning speed.

London 2012: An Emotional Roller-Coaster Ride for an Expat?

by Azelea Bakrie

Now that it’s all (supposedly) over, I find myself somewhat dismayed.

Before it started, I was dreading the traffic, the people, the tourists. I said to anyone who asked, “I’ll be at home, giving my full support through my television I suppose. There was a British Airways ad on the underground that read “If You Shout Loud Enough at the TV, Team GB will hear you” (or something along those lines).

*note of amendment – I found the ad today – here it is! (And I hope there’s no copyright infringement/advertising bloops in sharing this!)

Cheers behind the television works!

After the opening ceremony, I was immediately caught up with it. It got to the point where I went swimming all of a sudden the next weekend, pushing for 20 laps (sorry, I haven’t been to the gym, or done any ‘good’ exercise for at least six months before this). The next morning, my limbs and muscles were, naturally, protesting.

After that weekend, somewhere in the middle of the current week, I dreaded listening to the radio, switching on the TV, or picking up a newspaper. If you haven’t the voices of TV or radio presenters reminding you every five minutes and at every hour’s news what just went on a few minutes ago in the Olympic park and all other designated ‘Olympic’ areas (other than the occasional blurp about what’s going on in Syria), I also find myself stumped by the time I got to the sports section of the papers, wondering what on Earth I had been reading before that!

Yet, I had been keeping myself busy as usual, volunteering in a local charity shop. But it was so quiet I could hear my own heart beat – even the occasional old lady who would visit the shop and treat me to her homemade pies and cookies two to three times a week, disappeared. The high street was deader than dead.

And it never really hit me that I was somewhat caught in between, when I had the impulse of switching on the television, and of all Olympic events, it was archery, where Larry Godrey of team GB was up against Khairul Mohamad of team Malaysia for a spot in the quarter finals. For all the other events thus so far that I managed to partake in front of the black box with moving images, I had been cheering on for team GB, until that day.

Even more so when the Badminton finals were on, where it was Lin Dan of China vs Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia. In my not-so-long years ago of growing up, these two are life-long rivals – I remembered catching a live match between the two in Malaysia for the Petronas Cup.

“For goodness sake woman, calm down! I thought at one point I needed translation services here to understand what you’re on about!” my husband said to me while I was cursing, shouting, cheering and crying altogether during that ultimate match in Bahasa Malaysia. I honestly didn’t know what came over me.

Malaysia and the Olympics-London 2012

And it wasn’t until about 5 days to London 2012’s closing ceremony, that the newspapers finally reported something of more ‘realistic’ concerns – UK’s economic turmoil. GREAAAAT. I didn’t know whether to feel glad that we’re finally hearing of something else in the news, or upset that there’s going to be another round of price hikes, job drops and money-related scandals.

But watching the closing ceremony  of London 2012, it got me thinking about the Paralympics. Why is it considered a separate event, having their own opening and closing? When all health and safety regulations in any house or building in the UK is made to accommodate any disabled persons regardless whether they are really living there or not, then why this kind of a distinction? I could understand that it was not fair competition if they all ran the same race at the same time and place… but does it mean their events couldn’t run within the same period but by separate schedules and venues throughout the duration all together? I was, again, stumped. Not having questioned it till now however, proves that I’ve probably grown up, grown old, and growing into the whole British culture – becoming somewhat critical, easily annoyed and affected by the uncertain weather, and finding reason to complain all the time! Yet I felt a big pang of irony when watching Eric Idle perform ‘Always Look at the Bright Side of Life’ during the closing ceremony of London 2012 – Ah, life, I wish!

Journey of a Linguist

By Chiara

Studying translation is really interesting, and I think everyone would be fascinated by this art, because we can indeed consider it as an ART. I love translating, especially brochures, advertising or documents related to travel and tourism; every time you have a new document to translate it is a new “word hunt” to find the perfect term and give it the right amount of poetry and at the same time make the reader feel cosy and safe. The tourism and leisure industry is very wide and needs lots of translations, and obviously is more interesting than an instruction manual or something similar.. you learn so much new and a lot of other interesting information!

Moreover, to translate in this field you must be a good writer, because you have to give the actual translation, a sound, rhythm as it must be written by a native speaker. And of course when translating I am the native speaker! I have to translate idioms and expressions, and create a text identical to the source but at the same time  keep in mind the factors like the cultural essence and the style of speaking. It requires a lot of imagination and hard work, because sometimes you find words you can’t translate since they don’t exist in the other language, so you must create a short sentence which can explain in few words the idea given by the source word! That’s a very challenging translation! But I like challenges and above all I like the satisfaction when you have found the right periphrasis and with it you give the same meaning and the same nuance of the source text. That’s satisfying! Learning a new language or languages can be a challenge for some people, but for someone like me it is fun. It gives me the opportunity to explore a whole new word. I have managed to learn different languages like French, Spanish, German and English in the last few years. And I intend to continue this great journey to explore new languages, cultures and traditions.

In my opinion everyone may be a good translator, but the basic requirement is to be open minded to understand traditions and ways of living to be able to transfer them into your own language maintaining the same cultural charm of the source.




Things you must know about China and their Culture….

By Hiren

The financial situation across the world is weakening and the major economies like USA and the UK are struggling to cope with this downturn. In such situation China has come across as a winner and is the fastest growing economy in the world. They say China will be the next super power in the world. Aren’t they one already? They seem to be ruling the world. Look at the Olympics Games 2012 for example.  They are dominating the sporting world as well. The eyes of the globe seem to be on China and everyone wants to know more about the Chinese people, their culture , their language, and the way they behave. So if you are planning a trip to China for either of the above mentioned reasons the following steps will help you avoid some embarrassing moments…

Chopsticks Matter… 

 Chopsticks are a very important part of the Chinese culture. If you can’t hold a chopstick correctly then you have very few chances of surviving in China. You will rarely find a spoon when dinner is served in China. Some Chinese people pay great importance in the way you eat with the chopsticks and believe this makes a huge difference in the way people behave. (It’s a Chinese superstition).
First Names a BIG NO…  

People in the west are more used to calling others by their first name but not in China. For example Susi Yang will be called by an American as Susi. But in China she will be addressed as Yang. Only close friends or the family members have the pleasure to call Susi by her first name. So it is of vital importance to understand that in China last names always come first which is completely the opposite from the western world.
 Have you got presents…  

Chinese people are very humble and well mannered. They love giving presents regardless of the occasion. It doesn’t have to be a Chinese new year for a Chinese to give you a present. If a Chinese family are going to their relatives house for dinner which they regularly visit they will still give presents. If you have a Chinese friend than I am sure you are aware about their humbleness and kind behaviour.
Are you a good host…?  

Chinese people visit their family and friends regularly and expect you to be a good host. Offering your guest food or drinks is not enough to be considered a good host in China. Declining food or drinks among Chinese people is common and as a good host it’s your responsibility to keep on offering.
 Behave in Public…  

Tourists have the habit of moaning and complaining about the local people when on visit to a foreign country. However this habit must change if you are planning to visit China. Avoid getting angry and violent in public during your visit to this amazing country. Chinese people respect harmony and peace and as foreigners you must ensure this norm is not broken.
So what are you waiting for?  

China is full of rich history, culture and traditions and is the place to explore in the 21st century. One piece of advice though! Do you know the Mandarin language? If not you might end up looking for Mandarin translation.  Chinese people love foreigners who can speak Mandarin or Cantonese. But don’t worry the different Chinese languages are as fascinating as the country itself. So learning their language is a great journey which you must explore as well.




My Trip to Syria

By Patrizia Stellato

My first trip in Damascus was in August 2009. As soon as I arrived, this ancient and beautiful city impressed me in a very positive way. For its geographic position, getting in touch with Syrian people means to approach a world that seems to be in a perfect balance between East and West, past and present. Small traditional shops, milled around in the crowded, chaotic “suq”, the local traditional markets, full of thousand of colours and scents, coexist with immense shopping centres. Night clubs and discos, full of young people lost in the music and alcohol, stand close to some of the most ancient mosques and churches of the Arab world which face each other, almost as the symbol of an endless struggle between two religions so similar yet so far. This is Syria, or this my first impression of an amazing country where young people try to project into the future but anyway they give importance to traditions and to the national pride.

Furthermore, I was very impressed by the great ospitality and the warm welcome of Syrian people in the way that Arab are famous for. When we got lost in Damascus, people always tried to help us and escort us in the right place. All the friends I met there, still now in my heart, were very hospitable and generous and made us feel at home. The Syrian, a such genuine people, unfortunately, still now, wrongly suffer the lack of democracy and political rights due to an endless dictatorship whose tentacles reach any field of life: freedom of political expression, freedom of press, right of assembly, right of free elections. Syria fascinated me to such an extent that I decided to learn the Arabic language and I can proudly say that now I have completly learned the language.

 After a month in Damascus, we also decided to take a short trip to Palmyra. A deserted ancient Roman situated in an palm-tree oasis, Palmyra is an incredible sight. We arrived there in the evening, and went up to the beautiful old castle to watch the sun set over the stone desert. But we stayed the night in a hotel in Palmyra, and decided to get up early in the morning to see the sun rise over the Roman ruins. We got up at 4.30 the next morning and staggered sleepily into the ruins, expecting to find as many tourists and salesmen as the night before crowding the place but we had all to ourselves and I think t’s probably one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.

In conclusion, Syria was really a life-altering experience for me. I really miss this heart-breaking country and I hope, one day, to come back there.

Sightseeing in Your Own Back Yard

Daniel Harris

A typical Brit pretty much will always choose to be, well, anywhere but Britain. That can mean a whole multitude of things; going on your typical 10 day holiday to Spain every summer, Travelling the World or even a short weekend City Break.

I don’t know if that mentality is the same in all countries, but it’s what is given to you in the ‘How to Live in Britain’ guide which is mandatory to have from birth in this country.

My question is though how often do we step back to look at the sights and attractions in our own countries (wherever you may come from)

As a Londoner I’ve seen many attractions like; Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, The London Eye, even suffered through the public transport. That being said I have never visited those places on purpose or even stopped to have a photo taken outside them. However I have visited many places in Europe and done tonnes of sightseeing and seen things similar to what I could see in London if I wanted too. But for some reason we specifically want to see these things in another country

I think travelling can sometimes make you ignorant to what’s amazing to see in your own country. Maybe it’s because we are so used to seeing what’s in our own country that we don’t even stop to look anymore.

I may be a self proclaimed pessimistic Brit, but even I find that quite sad. Contrary to popular belief beyond London there are tonnes of amazing sights to see throughout the country but god forbid we should enjoy travelling anywhere unless it’s by plane and god forbid we should travel anywhere where it’s not sunny!

Even though we like travelling all round the world there are benefits to sightseeing in your own country;

  • Difficult to get Lost
  • Everyone speaks the same Language
  • Cheaper (you would hope)
  • No need for a Translation Agency
  • When you’re done you can go home and not a hotel

On reflection those advantages don’t look that glamorous but some people love their home comforts!

Like I said before I wonder if it’s the same in other countries and does it translate to their way of thinking too for example do Italians go to visit Rome to sightsee or do the Spanish ever visit Madrid to see the attractions.

As mind expanding as it is to travel the world (and yes it’s still something that I want to do) there is always something interesting to see where you are! You just need to look properly

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