The languages category features all of our blog posts relating to languages around the world. We post on topics and news about languages and people.

Young Scientist Exhibition 2012, Language Projects

BT Young Scientist Exhibition 2012

Young Scientist Exhibition 2012

The Young Scientist Exhibition 2012 opens today in the RDS. For those interested in languages, there are four specific exhibits we recommend you visit.

Young Scientist Language Projects

  1. From Coláiste Eoin in Dublin, GAERLA: Language transfer and interference, a study of bilingual teenagers.
    • A topic worth discussing in light of the decline of the Irish Language
  2. Again from Dublin, Loreto College, Saint Stephen’s Green, Cryptography: a study of the Irish language
    • This certainly looks like an interesting topic for us — original and valuable
  3. From Coláiste Bhríde in Wicklow — is abbreviated texting having a negative impact on our English language?
    • Again, this one is something that interests us. We believe texting is having a negative effect on the English Language, as too is the use of Facebook and Twitter on communicational skills
  4. From Donegal, Loreto Community School’s project investigates whether Irish TV can help improve children’s Irish

What do you think of these entries? Share your opinion with us…

Visit BT Young Scientist.

The STAR Team

Foras na Gaeilge Spend €6M, New Irish-English Dictionary

€6M on New Irish-English Dictionary

The Irish Examiner reported today that a major update to the new Irish-English dictionary is to be implemented this year.

This is good as there have been a lot of new words added in the last few years. It has also been nearly 50 years since the last major update.

New words to enter the dictionary are Idirlín (Internet), tvuít (a post on the social network Twitter; tweet) and mearscaipthe (an image, video, piece of information, etc. that is circulated rapidly and widely on the Internet; viral).

Based in Dublin, we provide Irish translation services to government departments and commercial companies. Find out more about us on the About page.

The STAR Team

Cad é an blag is fearr as Gaeilge?

Four Courts in Dublin city, an blag is fearr as Gaeilge

Four Courts, Dublin / Wikipedia

Na Blaganna is Fearr as Gaeilge

Are there many good blogs out there in Irish?

We are interested in compiling the top ten blogs as Gaeilge. Let us know who you follow and like. Who is supporting the Irish language well using new technologies, social networks etc.

The STAR Team

Irish presidential debate in Irish – Or was it?

Irish presidential debate

Four courts in Dublin / Stock photo

Irish presidential debate as Gaeilge

Was the Irish presidential debate in Irish or not? What did you think of the debate last night? Cad a cheapann tú?

It’s interesting that Michael D. Higgins was the only fluent Irish speaker in last night’s debate. Did you see the debate? What did you think?

Should our president be fluent as Gaeilge [in Irish]?

The STAR Team

Barack Obama or Queen Elizabeth, Best Irish?

Best Irish Speaker for First Timer

Whose Irish was better: Barack Obama or Queen Elizabeth?

Personally we thought the Queen’s pronunciation was quite good. It was great to hear both speak Irish, though. Even if it was only a few words.

Only in Ireland could something like Barack Obama’s car get stuck on a bump happen. How can they do a complete sweep of the country only to miss a little bump at the American Embassy’s gates that may cause a problem. We don’t think that will be forgotten quickly.

The STAR Team

Yu Ming is ainm dom: Great Irish Video

Yu Ming is ainm dom, Irish Language Short Film

On my travels the other day, I was introduced to this video.

Whilst very amusing its balances really well the reality of Irish and the use of our language.

I thought it was great so wanted to share this with our fellow language visitors.

The STAR Team

Languages of London’s schoolchildren

Mapping the Languages of London’s schoolchildren

Forty-one percent of state school pupils in London speak another language besides English – up from 33pc ten years ago, according to new research published by the Institute of Education and CILT: the National Centre for Languages.

Six experts from the fields of demographic research, linguistics and social policy have compiled a unique new publication which literally maps the languages spoken in London schools on to their individual boroughs and wards, providing a fascinating perspective on the complex nature of London as a global city. Comparisons with earlier data show which languages have changed most and how communities across London are evolving.

Multilingualism is on the increase with almost all the languages recorded having more speakers now than ten years ago. Forty-two languages are now spoken by more than 1,000 pupils across London (up from 25) and 12 languages spoken by more than 10,000 pupils (up from 8). Only four languages have declined in numbers: Gujarati, Panjabi, Greek and Chinese – all well-established communities.

The languages which have seen the biggest numerical increases are Somali, which has more than doubled in ten years; Tamil, Polish and Albanian.

The book comes with important background information about each language, and analysis to help policy-makers, planners or those working in public services to make best use of the data.
Professor Richard Wiggins, who led the research at the Institute of Education said, “our research shows that language data can provide us with a richer understanding of population diversity.  We can use it together with other information to help make better sense of the city we live in and to develop more effective social and educational policies.”

“All the major languages of the world are represented in London, including most of those with more than 10 million speakers worldwide. Yet most of us would be hard-pressed to name more than a few dozen. We want to draw attention to this vast intellectual and cultural resource and stimulate a debate on how it can be developed and used for the benefit of all Londoners”, Teresa Tinsley of CILT remarked.

The STAR Team

Source: Language Capital: mapping the languages of London’s schoolchildren’ by John Eversley, Dina Mehmedbogovic, Antony Sanderson, Teresa Tinsley, Michelle von Ahn and Richard D Wiggins.

Languages of London Go Live at Language Show

Languages of London, Language Show 2010

A new book mapping the languages of London’s schoolchildren and highlighting the richness and diversity of the 233 languages used in the capital is unveiled for the first time at this year’s Language Show at Earl’s Court.

All the major languages of the world are represented in London and the language capital highlights the value of this important resource for London’s future as a key global player. It also reveals how this enormous potential can be harnessed and developed.

Teresa Tinsley, Director of Communications of CILT,  the National Centre for Languages said, “London enjoys an incredible advantage in having English in combination with such a wide range of other languages used by millions of people around the world. We need to do more to capture the potential of this linguistic talent to create a generation of highly-competent, globally connected bilinguals capable of mediating between different cultures and competing in global markets.”

The book contains a wealth of data alongside 29 pages of full-colour maps illustrating the way London’s languages have changed and how communities in the capital have evolved over the last decade.

Building on the groundbreaking research of Multilingual Capital, published in 2000, it is a vital reference book for specialists and non-specialists alike. Pre-launch copies will be available at the show.

CILT, the nationally recognised centre of expertise on languages will be at the Language Show on stand 411 throughout the three days offering a wide range of support and information on services for teachers, learners, and businesses. Visitors to the stand will have the opportunity to sign up for a free trial to CILT Plus, a new service which provides primary schools with unique access to a host of language-learning resources and online training. They will also be invited to sign the ‘Languages Work Pledge’ – a campaign for businesses and individuals to show their support for improving the nation’s language skills for employment and the economy.

The stand will also be showcasing the latest online tool for schools: MYLO, a free interactive way for youngsters from 11 to 16 to learn and practice their languages.

CILT staff will also be hosting seminars on raising students’ motivation to continue learning languages they speak at home, and on how schools can compete for the ever popular European Language Label.

The STAR Team

Using Inverted Commas/Quotation Marks

Inverted commas or quotation marks are punctuation marks used in pairs to mark off speech, a quotation, a phrase or a word. Both single (‘…’) and double (“…”) quotes are correct. Double quotation marks are preferred in US English, while both single and double quotation marks are used in British English. The important thing is to be consistent. If a phrase opens with single quotation marks then it must also close with single marks.

Here are some general guidelines on how to use inverted commas.

Direct Speech

Quotation marks must be used to enclose direct speech or a direct quote:

-The teacher said, “Class is dismissed.”

They are not used for indirect speech, where what someone said is paraphrased:

-The teacher said that the class was dismissed.

If quoted text is interrupted, a closing quotation mark is used before the interruption, and an opening quotation mark after. Commas are also usually used before and after the interruption.

-“Please sit down,” the teacher said, “the class has not ended.”


Inverted commas are usually used for the titles of shorter works such as the titles of songs, short stories, essays, articles and poems. Whether these are single or double is a matter of style, although single quotation marks are often preferred for poetry.
Italics are generally used for the titles of books, magazines or newspapers.

Quotations within Quotations

Depending on whether the original quotation is enclosed in single or double quotation marks, use the other form to enclose a title, piece of dialogue or direct quote that appears within the quotation:

-“I overheard him shout, ‘Please close the door.’” Michael said.

The end of the sentence has two separate sets of inverted commas: a single mark to end the quotation and a double mark to close the quoted speech.

Marks of Punctuation used with Quotation Marks

British and US usage of punctuation with inverted commas is the same for question marks, exclamation marks, colons and semicolons but varies for commas and full stops.

When a semicolon or a colon appears at the end of a quotation, put it outside the quotation mark:

-I heard the assistant say, “The customer service desk is on the 1st floor”; however, I didn’t hear him say, “The desk is currently closed.”

When a question mark or an exclamation mark appears at the end of a quotation, put it inside the quotation mark if it belongs to the quotation:

-Claire said, “I’d like to watch Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

If it does not belong to the quotation, put it outside the quotation mark:

-Did you sing, “Happy Birthday”?

In the US, commas and full stops are nearly always placed inside closing quotation marks. This is also used in British English in fiction and journalism:

-“Sometimes,” George replied, “I prefer to cycle to work.”

In British English, it is standard to include within quotation marks any punctuation marks that appeared in the quoted material, but to place other punctuation outside the closing quotation marks.

-“Sometimes”, Laura said, “I walk to work with a colleague.”

Sarcasm, irony and the non-standard use of words

A common use of inverted commas is to highlight ironic or sarcastic words in a sentence:

-He is wearing a very “fashionable” jacket.
-The secretary called in “sick” today.

Quotation marks can be used to indicate that the writer is using a word in a non-standard or unusual way:

-The study shows that the drug “knows” which cells to target.

They can also draw attention to slang, jargon or humorous usage.

-The police blamed the spate of attacks on the rise of “happy slapping”.

A writer can also use quotation marks to distances themselves from the terminology used, whether because the term is not correct or is controversial.

Incorrect Usage

Quotes are sometimes used incorrectly for emphasis where underlining or italics would be preferable. This can unwittingly alter the meaning of the text by suggesting that the word does not carry its true meaning:

-“Free” cookie with every child’s meal

-“Fresh” fish and chips

Comment faire traduire son site web efficacement ?

Traduire son site web efficacement

La traduction d’un site web est toujours un peu compliquée pour les responsables marketing. On nous demande régulièrement quel est le meilleur processus pour faire traduire son site internet. Si votre site web en anglais contient un grand nombre de pages, et que son contenu change régulièrement – comment gérer le budget de la traduction ?

Il existe beaucoup de manières efficaces de faire face à ce défi.

Utilisez un Système de Gestion de Contenus

Si vous n’avez pas de contraintes de budget, la méthode la plus efficace est d’utiliser un système de gestion de contenus. Choisissez-en un qui peut gérer plusieurs langues et supporter des mises à jour régulières. Rappelez-vous que vous n’avez pas besoin de tout traduire maintenant. Vous pouvez répartir votre budget sur une longue période. Ainsi, vous pouvez livrer un contenu adapté au marché sur une certaine période.

Ne traduisez que les pages principales

Vous pourriez traduire simplement les pages les plus importantes. Nous vous conseillons de demander à votre webmaster de passer en revue les pages les plus populaires de votre site, et faites-les traduire. Vous pourriez vous rendre compte que vos visiteurs sont concentrés sur une partie de votre site. Vous pourrez donc décider quelles pages sont les plus importantes, et faire traduire celles-ci en premier. Cela signifie que vous devrez revoir votre budget à la baisse en fonction de l’importance de votre page, et maximiser votre ROI.

Faites attention en regardant les résultats de cette analyse, car vous pourrez constater que votre page “News” est une des plus consultées de votre site. Cependant, ce type de page est mis à jour régulièrement, et certains ont beaucoup de contenu. Il n’est donc pas préférable de la faire traduire.

Les résultats de cette méthode sont que vous obtenez un site web dont le contenu principal est traduit, en maintenant un budget économique et efficace. Le seul inconvénient est que votre client pourra voir que de l’anglais se trouve encore dans le site. Vous devrez donc décider si c’est acceptable pour vos clients.

Développer un mini-site

Une alternative serait de développer un mini-site dans les langues souhaitées. Dans ce cas, ne sélectionnez que les pages les plus importantes selon votre analyse, et créez un nouveau site avec ce contenu seulement. Ce sera donc un site beaucoup plus petit, qui contiendra des liens provenant de votre site principal. Lorsqu’un utilisateur sélectionne une nouvelle langue, ils seront renvoyés sur le site de leur langue.

L’avantage de cette méthode est que le site web sera totalement traduit avec le contenu important. Vous aurez très peu de travail en gérant le mini-site, et l’avantage principal sera qu’il n’aura pas à être mis à jour trop souvent. C’est le meilleur rapport qualité-prix qu’on puisse trouver.

Traduisez une langue à la fois

On se trompe souvent sur le nombre de langues vers laquelle il faut traduire. D’un point de vue commercial, il est plus logique de faire traduire dans une seule langue à la fois, ou par groupes comme le français, l’allemand ou l’italien.

Lorsque vous lancez un nouveau site, il vous faut faire attention à plusieurs choses …

  1. Qu’il correspond au marché cible. Les caractères spéciaux fonctionnent-ils sur votre site ?
  2. Votre système interne peut-il supporter la communication/le feedback client ? Pourrez-vous gérer vos nouveaux clients français et allemands en même temps ?
  3. Le site web propose-t-il ce que vous attendiez ? Cherchiez-vous à recevoir des appels, des e-mails ou des demandes commerciales directes ?

Utiliser des drapeaux ?

Cette question est assez intéressante. On recommande généralement de ne pas utiliser de drapeaux pour représenter une langue sur un site web.

Langue : Lorsque le site est dans plusieurs langues, il est plus avisé de mettre du texte avec “français, allemand, anglais”. Pour indiquer la langue. Ainsi, quelqu’un choisissant la langue anglais depuis les Etats-Unis, le Royaume-Uni ou l’Irlande ne sélectionnent que l’anglais. Les drapeaux peuvent être assez sensibles au niveau politique. Par exemple,quelqu’un qui vient de la République d’Irlande peut ne pas être enchanté de devoir cliquer sur le drapeau du Royaume-Uni. Le lien écrit “Anglais” serait donc plus approprié.

Site selon les pays : Pour des sites webs spécifiques à certains pays, mettre des drapeaux ne pose pas de problèmes. Si vous avez des bureaux au Royaume-Uni et/ou aux Etats-Unis, il est donc tout à fait acceptable de mettre le drapeau américain pour indiquer vos bureaux des Etats-Unis, et le drapeau du Royaume-Uni pour votre site britannique.

The STAR Team