Archive for the Category: Translation

Big fun!

A friend of mine who is learning Welsh likes to translate Welsh expressions literally and then use them in English. One Welsh equivalent of goodbye is hwyl fawr [hʊɨl vaur], which he translates as “big fun”, which sounds quite funny in English. Do any other languages have a phrase used when parting that has a […]

Also posted in English, Language, Welsh, Words and phrases 6 Comments


Recently I was sent a link to an infographic containing some apparently untranslatable words for love, and this got me wondering if there really is such a thing as an ‘untranslatable’ word or concept. The words featured in lists of ‘untranslatable’ words are often given poetic-sounding meanings, and other more ordinary and common meanings they […]

Also posted in Dutch, English, German, Language, Words and phrases 5 Comments

Lyrics Translate

The other day I came across a useful site called Lyrics Translate, where you can find, submit and request translations of songs. It currently contains translations between a wide range of languages, including English, German, Russian, Turkish, Spanish, Polish and so on, and the site itself can be viewed in a variety of languages. There […]

Also posted in Breton, English, French, Irish, Language, Manx, Music, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Welsh 2 Comments

New Finnish Grammar

I’m currently reading New Finnish Grammar, an English translation of Diego Marani’s novel Nuova grammatica finlandese. It is the story of a man who is found unconscious with a serious head injury on a street in Trieste and who is cared for by a Finnish doctor, who believes he is Finnish as his jacket has […]

Also posted in English, Finnish, Italian, Language 9 Comments

Bones of earth

A composer called Daniel J Hay contacted me today asking for help with a piece he’s working on entitled Tears For Earth. In the first movement, Bones of Earth, he wants to have a chorus of speakers in counterpoint to the tenor solo repeating the phrase “bones of earth” (or “the bones of the earth”) […]

Also posted in Language 30 Comments


This sentence in Judeo-Arabic was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot who would like to know what it means. האדא כלאמהום. אלדי יגאוובון עלא האדה מסלכהום. ומא ענדנא גוואב נגרח להאדא גוואבהום Can you help? I put it into Google translate and got this transliteration: Hada Achlamhum. Baldi Igaauubon Ala Shahada Msllachhum. Ma Endana […]

Also posted in Arabic, Language 7 Comments


Tweak verb – 1. To pinch, pluck or twist sharply. 2. To adjust; fine-tune. 3. To make fun of; tease. noun – 1. A sharp, twisting pinch. 2. A teasing remark or action; a joke. [source] Etymolgoy: From the Old English twiccian (to pluck), from the Proto-Germanic. *twikjonan. We were discussing tweaking last night in […]

Also posted in English, French, Language, Words and phrases 1 Comment

Quick Czech question

Can any of you translate the following bit of Czech into English – “Zdravím předladatele”? A visitor to Omniglot has asked for help with this.

Also posted in Czech, Language 6 Comments

Translator specs

A Japanese company has come up with a gizmo called a Tele Scouter / テレスカウター which can translate what people say to you in foreign languages and display the results via a retinal display attached to your glasses. The Tele Scouter is a small gadget that fixes onto glasses which incorporates a retinal display, a […]

Also posted in Language, Technology 7 Comments

The Lion and the Mouse

Emilio Gonzalez, who works as an intercultural mediator with immigrant children in Tenerife, emailed me to see if I could help to translate a short story into as many languages as possible. Here’s the original Spanish version, and the English version: El león y el ratón Érase una vez un ratón que salió de su […]

Also posted in Language 25 Comments
%d bloggers like this: