As we’ve seen throughout our series of Translation Postcards, you can find translators in historic villages, towns and cities all over the world, but few of us live in a place that boasts over 3,400 years of recorded history. Home to Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum, Athens (Αθήνα) is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilisation and the birthplace of democracy, largely because of its cultural and political impact on the European continent, and in particular the Romans.Read More
It may not be a pretty city, but it’s certainly a historic one, with roots that date back to the pre-Viking, Anglo-Saxon era, and a port that was already a busy international transit hub when William the Conqueror was on the throne in the 11th century. Some of the ancient city walls are still visible – the most famous relic being the iconic Bargate.Read More
It’s the city that gave us both Lionel Messi and Che Guevara, and the birthplace of the Argentine national flag. For those reasons alone it’s worth taking a much closer look at Rosario, the third largest city in Argentina, set on the pampas alongside the broad brown waters of the Paraná, which gets its oxide and colour from its origins far to the north in Brazil. Scorching hot in summer, and cold and wet in winter, at least Rosario escapes the snow.Read More
Of all the destinations we’ve visited in our travelling armchairs, few are more iconic than Paris. The French capital is a global centre for art, fashion, gastronomy and culture, and its landmarks, from the 12th-century Notre-Dame to the Arc de Triomphe and perhaps above all, the Eiffel Tower, are world-famous. Paris is no less renowned for its museums, luxury goods, booksellers along the Seine, grand 19th-century boulevards, and of course its café culture – there can be few greater pleasures than tucking into a fresh crusty baguette or a delicious croissant with a piping hot café, as you watch the world speed by.
Ask most people what country Chișinău (pronounced kiʃiˈnəʊ ) is the capital of and they’ll stare at you blankly. Even when you reveal the answer – Moldova – their expression might not change dramatically. But this country, whose outline resembles a bunch of grapes is a fascinating corner of Eastern Europe, is well worth discovering in greater detail.Read More
It’s the world’s highest capital, a bowl-shaped city in the shadow of the fabled Illimani mountain to the southeast, a rocky presence which has infused the country’s folk music, poetry and art for centuries.Read More
Long before it became a package-holiday destination, or the darling of the low-cost weekend-break generation, the island of Mallorca was known as a favourite summer getaway for royalty, as well as a splendid refuge for artists, writers and musicians in search of inspiration. Golden and turquoise coastlines, magnificent mountain views and rolling hills dotted with vineyards, almond, olive and citrus groves. Away from the glamour of the beaches, the rural backwaters are full of orange trees and donkeys, small villages and traditional ways of life, folk traditions and religious feast days, bonfires and dancing demons, all under clear Mediterranean skies…Read More
Let’s start with a pronunciation lesson: it’s Kyiv (rhymes with peeve), not Kee-eff. Got it? At least that’s what your modern internationalist in the know says. Problem is, not many people are in the know when it comes to Ukraine. From the media we might glean snippets about wars, orange-coloured revolutions, and political turmoil, not to mention the infamy of Chernobyl. And yes, there’s a territorial war with Russia going on as we speak in the East of the country. But that’s a long way from Kyiv, a vibrant city with a great deal to offer, and where everyone’s in a hurry, whether in bright summer sunshine or crunching over a thick layer of snow.Read More
The air is heady with incense. Wherever you look there are colourful offerings – in the middle of a busy street, on the pavement, in little shrines in front of houses, in paddy fields, on the beach and of course at the feet of statues. Dressed in traditional lace tops, multi-coloured sashes and sarongs, women bear these offerings on trays – sometimes even riding a motorbike at the same time. Amid these timeless scenes, the sound of Hindu chanting alternates with the Muslim call to prayer floating in the air.Read More
Not many translators wake up every morning to the sound of cockatoos. Or find possums in their back yard. Or set out for a picnic, only to be joined by kangaroos, wombats or spiny anteaters. And don’t forget those sturdy shoes when out hiking in snake season. But then again, not many translators live in Canberra in Australia.
These days, the most oft-cited example of an isolated country ploughing its own furrow, cut off from the rest of the world, is North Korea, but there were long decades in the aftermath of World War II when Albania was a strong contender for the title…
It was a humble beginning. One of eleven children, nine of whom are still alive, Thomas Chahweta grew up in a rural village in Zimbabwe. As in many countries in the South, children were seen by the previous generation as an investment. His parents were subsistence farmers and he and his siblings worked hard in the fields growing crops, selling the excess harvest to pay for school fees.
In March 2020, perhaps inspired by the fact that travel was fast becoming a thing of the past amid a global lockdown, I came up with the idea of a series of Translation Postcards for ProZ.com, featuring colleagues from all around the world — a chance to share an insight into their localities, lives, professional ups and downs, and even habits and diets.
When you’ve spent many years of your life in two world cities: London and Istanbul, then a move to Devon certainly represents a change. But on those occasions when you miss the brightly lit skyscapes, the cosmopolitan hubbub and the busy shops and cafés, the bucolic countryside, spectacular coastlines and quaint streets of Devonian market towns and villages offer plenty of consolation.Read More
There are some places in the world where life just seems slower… Far from the frenzied bustle of Ho Chi Minh City (which locals still refer to as Saigon) – the economic powerhouse in the South – or Hanoi, the political capital in the North, Hue in Central Vietnam is a city of peace and quiet, palaces and pagodas, tombs and churches. The strains of gentle melodies waft around as you sample the spicy cuisine at cosy restaurants, or while away the time at coffee shops that once served as classrooms for the princes of the long-since deposed royal family.Read More