About Barbara Sawhill


Posts by Barbara Sawhill:

What English Sounds like to Non English Speakers {0}

Mental_Floss  featured a short film by Brian Fairbarn and Karl Eccleston called “Skwerl” which is intended to show English speakers what their language sounds like to others. The dialogue is made up of real words, in a less than logical order, with a few odd pronunciations thrown in for good measure.  You can see the(…)

40 idioms that cannot be translated literally

40 idioms that cannot be translated literally {0}

In case you didn’t know, the folks at TED talks have an ongoing volunteer  project to subtitle TED talks into several languages. Obies interested in translation might want to check it out here. Recently the TED folks asked their translators about idioms in their home language that could not be translated into other languages.  There are several(…)

Radio Ambulante: Oberlin

Radio Ambulante: Oberlin {1}

Winter Term at Oberlin is usually a very quiet place, but over at the studios of Oberlin’s own WOBC (91.5 on your FM dial) there are amazing, wonderful, creative radio programs being broadcast over their (now improved!) antenna via the radio airwaves and online While WT programming is only for the next couple of weeks please take a look at their show schedule (click on(…)

Technical terms in languages other than English

Technical terms in languages other than English {0}

This article was in the Economist about some the challenges that the Mozilla Foundation has faced when translating technical terms like “crash” and “aspect ratio” to some of the world’s 7000 different languages. I particularly liked  how the translation of “windows” in Zapotec took into consideration the socio-cultural reality of people who speak it… and the fact that their(…)

Happy European Day of Languages!

Happy European Day of Languages! {0}

In honor of today being the European Day of Languages, I encourage you to take a look at this site that was created to celebrate the day as well as create links for interesting language resources, facts, trivia, events  from around the world. My favorite is this one:  it allows you to learn the names of(…)

Computer Games Saving Native Languages

Computer Games Saving Native Languages {1}

As reported in Indian Country Today, here is a story about how computer games for children, especially games that can be played on mobile devices, are working to help save indigenous Mexican languages such as Mazahua, Chinanteco, Nahuatl of Puebla, Tzeltal, Mixteco, Zapateco, Chatino among others. “Three years ago, before we employed these materials, we were(…)