News & Blog

The Phaistos Disc

13th June 2019

  It’s not often that we at Accutranslate have to admit we can’t do something – but I think we can be forgiven for this one. The Phaistos Disc is an inscrutable work of unknown origin, purpose, and meaning, written about 4,000 years ago. It was found in 1908 in the Minoan palace of Phaistos […]

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Translating your Book?

7th May 2019

I’m a voracious reader so I’m always keen to see what’s on the Man Booker Prize for Fiction shortlist each year. This world famous literary prize is awarded for the best original novel written in the English language and published in the United Kingdom. There have, it’s true, been some turkeys – notably James Kelman’s […]

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What do people call Bread Rolls?

23rd April 2019

What is language for? I was having this discussion with one of my class groups a few weeks ago. The commonest answer was simple – to communicate ideas, information and instructions to others. And of course, that’s true. But language is so much more than that. It carries our history, our identity, our social mores […]

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‘Everyone Speaks English’ – should you bother translating your marketing materials?

14th April 2019

Last week I was talking with a friend who is setting up a business selling gourmet foods. We were talking about websites and marketing materials, because he wants to sell both in the UK and abroad. He said ‘Everyone speaks English these days so I won’t bother translating this stuff.’ I nearly fell off my […]

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Bank translation error muddies communication

24th February 2019

On Thursday Banco de Mexico – Mexico’s Central Bank – found a translation error in the minutes of its interest rate-setting meeting. Since 2017 the bank has provided an English translation alongside its Spanish minutes to improve its communication. Rather than improving communication the mistranslation could have had the unfortunate consequence of muddying communication with […]

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Poor translation embarrasses Coca-Cola

13th November 2018

‘Hello, Death': Coca-Cola’s New Slogan? Gareth Seymour was passing through Auckland International Airport in New Zealand when he noticed a Coca-Cola vending machine that said “Kia Ora, mate”. ‘I read with Māori language eyes and thought – they haven’t had this checked by a Māori’. He had spotted the poor translation (actually a half translation), […]

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