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Translation Postcards: Joao Correia in Coimbra, Portugal

September 21, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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To the Romans it was known as Aeminium, while the Moors called it Qulumriyah, but today we know it as Coimbra, a city with a history that dates back over 2,300 years. Beyond its varied names, the city is home to some fascinating secrets. Officially, it’s still the Portuguese capital, although most Portuguese are unaware of this – and was the birthplace of the country’s first six kings. And slightly closer to home, the traditional garb worn by its university undergraduates inspired the dress of students at J. K. Rowling’s Hogwarts.

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Translation Postcards: Joseph Kuria in Nairobi, Kenya

September 14, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Close your eyes and think of Kenya. Chances are the first things that come to mind are majestic wildlife and famed long-distance runners. But there’s a lot more to the country than these easy clichés, and where better than Nairobi to start finding out…

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Translation Postcards: Sara Arilla in Zaragoza, Spain

July 27, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Let’s begin with a fun fact: “Zaragoza” is actually a Hispanicisation of “Caesaraugusta”, the city’s Roman name. The city, capital of Aragon in Spain’s north-eastern region, boasts a rich history that stretches back to pre-Roman times, and fascinating sights from the Roman, Moorish and Christian periods, from amphitheatre to the Aljafería Palace to an impressive cathedral and of course the “El Pilar” basilica (see cover picture), which dominates the central square.

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Translation Postcards: Ady Namaran Coulibaly in Accra, Ghana

July 20, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Akwaaba! That’s how you say “Welcome” in Twi, the most widely spoken local language in Ghana. Although indigenous to the Ga Tribe, massive urban migration has led to the majority of people using Twi for day-to-day activities. Akwaaba is therefore likely to be the first word you hear on landing at Kotaka International Airport in Accra. Welcome, in fact to the country popularly known as the Gateway to Africa – a hospitable, culturally diverse nation with a fast-growing economy.

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Translation Postcards: Clair Pickworth in Rémalard-en-Perche, France

July 13, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Ever thought of slowing things right down? You wouldn’t be the first. Slow food is all the rage in the world’s foodie community, but why restrict yourself to the dining table? There are places where life itself proceeds at a gentle pace, enabling you to smell the coffee, the roses, and sundry other countryside aromas besides!

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Translation Postcards: Lovenah Panray in Quatre-Bornes, Mauritius

July 6, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Shall we begin with a little geography and history lesson? Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 km off the south-east coast of Africa (see map on following page). First identified by Arab sailors in 975, it was named “Dina Arobi”. The Dutch took possession of the territory for over a century in 1598, then abandoned it in 1710. The French took control in 1715 and named it Isle de France, but then officially ceded it to Great Britain in 1814, who held it until Independence in 1968.

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Translation Postcards: Lina Berova in Munich, Germany

June 29, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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For someone who loves a combination of city life and natural beauty, Munich is perhaps the perfect place. But that wasn’t the impression Lina Berova first had of the city. Having moved aged 14 with her family to the town of Doebeln in Saxony, she visited Munich in 1998 to see her grandparents, who were already living there. She found it dark, cold and unfriendly…

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Translation Postcards: Dhanashri Bhate in Pune, India

June 8, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Milk delivery vans driving by in the early mornings. The thud of newspapers being flung across the fence. The roar of school buses thundering past. Elderly people chanting stotras (hymns of praise) on their morning walks, or with transistors pressed to their ears. Not to mention the speakers blaring out loud music during the many religious festivals. Silence and solitude are rare commodities in India – there’s always someone round the corner, and there’s always hundreds of sounds filling the air.

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Translation Postcards: Ilse Heyrman in Rome, Italy

June 2, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Coffee, style, history, fare bella figura, fine dining and excellent wine, art on every corner, winding shady streets, palaces and fountains. Beauty everywhere you look, and above all, light. There’s a moment, just before sunset, when the light in Rome becomes golden. More than a mere sunset, the air itself takes on a different hue, and bathes everything it touches in shades ranging from pearl to amber.

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Translation Postcards: Joshua Parker in Ensenada, Mexico

May 26, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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The first thing that hits you is the colour. There’s just so much of it about. Just imagine: one day you wake up and suddenly realise your house or business would look better in lime green and shocking pink. Well, there’s nothing stopping you. Meanwhile in this kaleidoscopic town, the kerbs are painted yellow, red, green and blue to denote different parking zones. It’s quite a shock if you’ve just arrived from grey Brittany in the northwest of France, where your parents had an alpaca farm. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…

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Translation Postcards: Nikola Ivanov in Sofia, Bulgaria

May 18, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Sofia is full of unexpected surprises. Today’s city of 1.68 million people was but a small town of 11,000 when Bulgaria became independent in 1878, after 500 years of Ottoman rule, and the presence of a colossal quartet of Orthodox church, Catholic cathedral, mosque and synagogue in the centre bears silent witness to its colourful history as a crossroads of cultures, with a reputation for tolerance.

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Translation Postcards: Bonita Kapitany in British Columbia, Canada

May 11, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Two owls strike up a conversation on either side of the house – an altogether gentler sound than the honking of Canada geese flying overhead as they prepare to land in a nearby lake. In the distance there’s the faint buzz of a neighbour’s chainsaw, while the rumbling of a passing truck or train is carried by the wind from far below. But mostly, you hear the sound of the wind itself, whispering in the trees, but at times whipped up into a howling frenzy, accompanied by a chorus of yipping coyotes. Otherwise, all is absolute silence.

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Translation Postcards: Marlys Estrada in Cardenas, Cuba

May 4, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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It’s early morning. You wake up to the smell of newly baked bread, and the cries of peddlers hawking their merchandise. Living right on the edge of the official economy, they ply the streets on foot or by bike, laden with bags or wooden boxes containing anything that’s worth selling. “Fresh garlic and onion!”, “Clothespegs, brooms and mops!”, “Bleach!” and “Mattress Mender” are among the most common cries.

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Translation Postcards: Zena Alzinc in Tartus, Syria

April 7, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Ask your average viewer of the news what comes to mind when you say “Syria”, and you’re unlikely to hear them describe a liberal, cosmopolitan city with an elegant Corniche, a rich culinary tradition, colourful markets groaning with fresh fruit and vegetables, and a 12th-century cathedral. Not to mention the castles, towers, artefacts and ruins of a whole palimpsest of civilisations, from Phoenician to Aramaic and from Canaanite to Christian and Islamic. What’s more, a city surrounded by virginal landscapes of undulating, forested hills, dotted with ancient ruins, and watered by sparkling rivers. But then again, perhaps your average viewer of the news has never seen, or even heard of Tartus.

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Translation Postcards: Mia Liou in Taoyuan, Taiwan

March 31, 2020 / by Andrew Morris posted in freelancer, translator, translation postcards

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Once upon a time, there were nothing but rice fields here. The city of Taoyuan (桃園, meaning “peach garden”), a post-war creation, is now a thriving urban hub, just 20 minutes by high-speed train from the Taiwanese capital Taipei. Many of its residents work there, and the station platforms every morning are full, but not only of Taiwanese. Crowds of migrant workers from Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines give the place a south-east Asian feel. It’s also here that Taiwan’s airport is situated.

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