Felix Sadeli sent in this list of colossal mistranslations of food names. We've already seen several of these and explained a number of them on Language Log: "Puke " (10/8/10) "Gourmet Chinese cookshop " (1/27/14) — "Soup for Sluts" (in the comments) "Combating the monolithic tree mushroom stem squid " (5/3/10) ("The jew's ear Juice" — […]
Some clarifications about my Wall Street Journal article, which seems to have led to some misunderstandings among Language Log’s readers (as well as over at Languagehat). Since the readers here are the most well-informed audience that piece will ever reach outside of professional linguists, I thought it’d be useful to clarify what I based the […]
Victor Mair has a post at the Log about John McWhorter’s Wall Street Journal article “What the World Will Speak in 2115: A century from now, expect fewer but simpler languages on every continent.” After a fair amount of chitchat, the thread gets quite interesting; I agree with the commenters who say that no matter […]
As a mid-week diversion, let us put this to you. Language Log has been contacted by a producer for the Howard Stern show to provide an expert opinion on a purported song of alien provenance. Here's a recording: What you are hearing is another Sirius XM radio host, Riley Martin, performing what he says is […]
Mark Liberman at Language Log tries to set the record straight -- yet again: Presidential pronouns: This time it's Ron Fournier: Ron Fournier, "Is Obama More Interested in Progress or Politics?", National Journal, 1/20/2015: Count how many times Obama uses...
There is an interesting post on Language Log about the following image.
Perry C. writes: I hope you've been well. I am an active reader of language log and often notice posts that point to odd phrases. On my way back to Penn, jetblue had a sign at LAX that read "have a more bon voyage." I'm not sure of the meaning that the sign (attached below) […]
From the Hackney Gazette: In some other place and time, perhaps there was a headline "Missing moonshine still discovered". h/t Anton Cox, who wrote: Although I am a big fan of Language Log, I may be too much of a Brit to get much from most of the crash-blossom posts (I never read them the […]
I'm pretty sure this will push some wet buttons among Language Log readers and authors. Kira Simon-Kennedy found this stellar specimen of Chinglish in a press release from the China-sponsored section of the LA Art Show. The whole thing is pretty lackluster (what else to expect from State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and […]
I have mentioned chinaSMACK before on Language Log, but have never featured it so directly as in this post. The reason is that this time there's an interesting language aspect to one of their articles that is hard to pass up. chinaSMACK specializes in translating trenchant, amazing stories from the vast amount of traffic that […]
Three years ago, Language Log covered what we referred to as the "Morpheme(s) of the Year" (12/17/11). Two years ago, we advanced to "Chinese character of the year: mèng ? ('dream')" (12/25/12). And last year, we looked at "'Words / Characters of the Year' for 2013 in Taiwan and in China" (12/26/13). Toward the end […]
Scott Alexander ("Come ye to Bethlinkhem", 12/8/2014) does his best to generate sympathy for the Chinese authorities: China bans puns on the grounds that they may mislead children and defile cultural heritage. Language Log is on the story, and discusses the (extremely plausible) theory that this is part of a crackdown on people who use […]
Skytree, “The Machine Learning Company,” has published a technology brief entitled, “Machine Learning on Natural Language Text and Log Data.” The author of the brief is Nick Pendar, PhD, who serves as NLP Data Scientist for the company. Pendar...Show More Summary
Via Twitter, Matthew Leavitt asks Language Log what we think of the translation of Xi Jinping's metaphor: “when a car breaks down on the road, perhaps we need to step down and see what the problem is.” This was spoken at a news conference during the Beijing summit between President Obama and Chairman Xi and […]
I’ve been following the discussion at the Log with great interest, and this long comment by Jongseong Park (all of whose contributions to the thread are well worth reading) is so informative I had to share it here: The literary language in Korea was Classical Chinese until the end of the pre-Modern Era, continuing long […]
Third party keyboard "Minuum" has received it's largest update yet today. The update contains support for 12 new languages, fifteen new themes, along with some new advanced customization settings. You can find the full change log below:...Show More Summary
The best way to stay on a budget is to keep a running log of your expenses; that (and taxation entities like the IRS) is why so many companies require their employees to keep detailed records of exactly what they spend. But many of the expense...
My first thought upon reading the following announcement is that my colleagues and I here at Language Log headquarters hasten to claim Ben as one of ours (he doesn't just belong to the WSJ!): "WSJ's Ben Zimmer receives first LSA Linguistics Journalism Award" Here's the text of the LSA announcement: The Linguistic Society of America […]
Chinglish makes an appearance in the "Translators" segment of HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (10/19): For those who may have missed my old Language Log post, this classic Chinglishism was explained at great length and with many details in "The Etiology and Elaboration of a Flagrant Mistranslation" (12/9/07), with an update and refresher […]
From Anschel Schaffer-Cohen: I'm an avid Language Log reader, and as an amateur student of language politics I'm always fascinated by your discussions of language vs. dialect vs. topolect, and the role played by mutual intelligibility. As such, I was fascinated to see this quote show up in my Facebook newsfeed: From the last sentence […]