Blog

Let’s take a step back in time

  • 24/02/2016
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Where it all began… We have been using the language industry for years!  The service that we are in all stems back to our roots. From as far back as we know people have needed to communicate to survive.

 

Translation is intertwined with that of language itself. The word translation stems from the Latin word ‘translatio’ which means ‘to bring or carry across’. As the world has developed this so has the formalisation of translation for business purposes, with the internet and mechanical translation revolutionising the field.

 

Here we have found some of the oldest types of correspondence in the world…

1. The first record we have of specific medical advice is in the form of an Egyptian papyrus. This document is 4,000 years old and is known as the ‘Kahun Gynaecological Papyrus’. It was discovered in 1889 and contains information on the diagnosis and treatment of a number of ailments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Early literature often came in the form of poetry. Before writing, verbal stories were passed on through the generations and poetry was an easy way to learn and recite tales. ‘The Epic of Gilameshis a contender for the first poem. The earliest surviving written versions are dated to around 2000 BC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Thought the oldest message in the bottle, ‘Chunosuke Matsuyama’ supposedly sent out a message in 1784, asking for rescue after he became shipwrecked. The message washed up on a beach in 1935.

 

 

4. The world’s first newspaper was launched in Germany in the early 1600s and was called Relation aller Fürnemmen und gedenckwürdigen Historien (Collection of all Distinguished and Commemorable News). The papers were published in Strasbourg, a Catholic city, so the protestant Relation was published anonymously to avoid given away the printing location.

 


5. The oldest correspondence ever sent were diplomatic letters between the pharaohs of Egypt and other political leaders. These clay tablets, known as the Amarna letters, were sent in the 14th century BC.

 

 

For more information on our translation services give us a call today on 01273 473986 or email translations@vlslanguages.com.

Vandu Language Services is based in Lewes, Sussex and has been helping organisations overcome the language barrier since 1999. We provide interpreting, translation, bilingual advocacy and cross cultural training for when you need to communicate clearly across cultures.

                                                                                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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World mother language day

  • 17/02/2016
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The 21st of February 2016 marks 16 years since International Mother Language Day began, it has been observed every year since to promote linguistic cultural diversity and multilingualism.

The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.

The term "Mother language" is used in several languages: lengua materna (Spanish), lingua madre (Italian) and langue maternelle (French).

On the 16th of May 2009, the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution, called on its member states "to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by people of the world". In the resolution, the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages to promote unity in diversity and international understanding through multilingualism and multiculturalism.

The resolution was suggested by Rafiq Islam, a Bengali living in Vancouver, Canada. He wrote a letter to Mr. Kofi Anan, the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations asking him to take a step for saving all the languages of the world from the possibility of extinction and to declare an International Mother Language Day. Rafiq proposed the date as the 21st February, the day of the 1952 killing in Dhaka on the occasion of language movement.

Languages are the most powerful instruments for preserving and developing our heritage. All moves to promote the circulation of mother tongues will not only encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and communication.

      

 

Vandu Language Services is based in Lewes, Sussex and has been helping organisations overcome the language barrier since 1999. We provide interpreting, translation, bilingual advocacy and cross cultural training for when you need to communicate clearly across cultures.

                                                                                     

                                  

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Roses are red violets are blue…

  • 12/02/2016
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  • Admin

Roses are red violets are blue…

Let’s explore some our favourite romantic destinations in the world for you…

 

Bali

 

With its exotic beaches and crystal clear sea, Bali definitely ticks every box for being a place to relax, unwind and enjoy the sun.

How to say ‘I love you’: Aku cinta kamu

 

New York City, USA

A stroll through central park is sure to get you feeling its magic whilst Times Square will dazzle you at night with its vibrant atmosphere.

How to say ‘I love you’: I love you!

 

Paris, France

A trip up the Eiffel tower or a stroll across Lock Bridge. This city break oozes romance, easily making it into our top 5.

How to say ‘I love you’: Je vous aime

 

Queensland, Australia


 

If you want to see some of the oceans finest, dangerous and most beautiful sea creatures, the Great Barrier Reef is for you. The vast golden beaches also attract many surfers and beach lovers.

 How to say ‘I love you’ in Australian aboriginal: Kungkungullun Ngune

 

Barcelona

 

Spain’s most popular tourist destination, Barcelona, has drawn crowds by the thousands for its unique charm. Fantastic architecture, interesting history, unforgettable sunsets and out of this world food.

How to say ‘I love you’: Te quiero

 

 

Vandu Language Services is based in Lewes, Sussex and has been helping organisations overcome the language barrier since 1999. We provide interpreting, translation, bilingual advocacy and cross cultural training for when you need to communicate clearly across cultures.

                                                                                     

 

 

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Chinese New Year

  • 02/02/2016
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  • Admin

The Chinese Zodiac, known as Sheng Xiao, is based on a twelve-year cycle, each year that cycle is related to an animal sign.

So which year were you born in? The dog, the cat or maybe the Pig? Well, if it was the Monkey, 2016 is your year.

Its Chinese New Year, an important time for families. This celebration brings everyone together through the power of music, food and dragon dance.

According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast who looked like an ox with a lion’s head and lived in the sea.

It was believed that at the night of New Year's Eve, the beast would come out to harm people, animals, and properties. It was soon discovered that the beast feared the colour red, fire, and loud noises. Therefore, for self-protection, people formed the habit of displaying red in front of their house as well as launching fireworks, and hanging lanterns.

This tradition has been continued to this day and has become an integral part of celebrating the arrival of the New Year.

We got the chance to speak to one of our Mandarin interpreters to give us an insight into this time of the year.

 

What does Chinese New Year mean to you?

Chinese New Year is the most important festival in China, just like
Christmas in the UK. It is all about family getting together and visiting relatives and friends. It is a good time to catch up with each other, have a good laugh, and most importantly to drink and eat great feasts every day for up to two weeks.

 

 What is your favourite part of Chinese New Year?

Millions of people are moving at the same time to get home, you can imagine how busy it will be!  Most families will watch the biggest annual national entertainment program with lots of celebrities, dancers and singers from different nationalities with beautiful traditional costumes whilst people are counting down to New Year.
 

What are the traditions around this time?

My parents still keep to the old ways of preparing food. A few days before New Year, they make stuffed buns to steam from scratch with fresh ingredients. We buy a large amount of vegetables and meats to cook main dishes, both cold and hot. The first feast together is called ‘union dinner’, this is the most important dinner of the year. Chicken and fish are very common on the table as they bring good luck whereas the most traditional drink is strong rice wine.

No presents are given between family members, instead we bring fruits, wine and boxed snacks. We don't buy presents for children either, alternatively we give lucky red envelope with money inside.

The celebration lasts from New Year Day for up to two weeks until lantern Festival which is the fifth day of the first lunar month. Parades including drums, folk dance and walking on stilts can sometimes be seen. In the countryside, we are still able to light fire racks, which are forbidden in the cities for safety reasons.

 

 
                                                                                        

 

Vandu Language Services is based in Lewes, Sussex and has been helping organisations overcome the language barrier since 1999. We provide interpreting, translation, bilingual advocacy and cross cultural training for when you need to communicate clearly across cultures.

 

                                                                                     


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In conversation with Sara Geater, Specialised Commissioning, NHS England

  • 27/01/2016
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  • Admin

It’s our business to communicate well and we love it. We enjoy striking up conversations with people who live or work across different cultures.

For this post, we hear from Sara Geater, who’s a Senior Engagement Manager with NHS England. In her work for the National Support Team, Specialised Commissioning, she gathers opinions and evidence on cutting edge treatments, so her team can evaluate whether the NHS – and the taxpayer – is justified in spending money on them.

It’s often a politically charged area, because Specialised Commissioning focuses on treatments for relatively small numbers of people with very rare conditions: low volume, high cost. Sara has to make sure that everyone affected – patients, experts, interested charities - has the chance to have their say.

That desire to ensure that everyone has input, everyone has a voice, has underpinned every stage of Sarah’s career. That journey started in the Himalayas.

‘She was breaking a boulder into little rocks so she could feed her children’.

After Sara finished her degree in peace studies with politics and conflict resolution, she went travelling for about 18 months:

“I went to Asia.  And I was working in a boys’ home and school where my parents have always sponsored children at this boys’ home and school. I went and worked there for a month or so, in the hills of the Himalayas.

“And I was reading at the time Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, about his time in prison.  The thing that the apartheid regime gave them, to make them feel less human, was chipping big boulders into small stones.  That kind of was the punishment that the regime gave them, to sit in the hot sun and do this job.

“And I went for a walk around in the mountains where I was working, and I came across this lady who had a baby on her back and a toddler sat next to her, and she was crouched down with a little hammer breaking a boulder into little rocks so she could feed her children.  And I think that that for me was the time when I really understood just how inequitable this world is.

‘That was probably the turning point. I want people to feel part of society.’

“And I think that never left me really.  And when the world seems unfair, I always think back to that lady, what she did to feed her child was the same punishment as they gave Mandela to make him feel less human.  And I think that that’s kind of what drives me on, that image of that woman that I passed by in the Himalayas.

“And I think that was probably the turning point for me, which made me think, ‘I’m going to challenge this.  I want people to have a voice.  I want people to feel accountable and people to feel part of society, because I think that’s how we get a better society and for people to feel part of it.”

‘I think naturally I am a bit of an activist.’

When Sara returned to the UK, her career began in East Sussex. She was taken on to be a PALS co-ordinator.  (PALS stands for ‘Patient Adviser Liaison Service’).   At the time – 2002 – it was a new and bold idea.  Sara was employed to set it up for two primary care trusts in East Sussex, spanning Hastings, Rother, Downs and Weald:

“It was all about customer service in the NHS, which hadn’t existed prior to that as a format in its own right.  And as the notion of public accountability and public participation started to grow within NHS policy, it was kind of the natural place where it sat.

“PALS was very much about individuals.  The thing that struck me, was most people were really supportive of the NHS, but it doesn’t always go well.  But when it didn’t go well there was really no outlet just to say, “This didn’t go well and shouldn’t it be better and can we not make it better?”

“So actually most people didn’t want to complain, didn’t want anyone to get into trouble, weren’t out for revenge or anything.  They just wanted to make it better. PALS was about really activating improvement in the service.

 “And I was in a position where if I did my job well, then we could make that happen.  We could turn that learning and that insight into improvement and making it better and making it work better for everybody.

“If I think back 12 or 13 years ago, where there wasn’t even a concept of public accountability so much, certainly not public participation and decision making, to where we are now, where if you don’t do it you end up being caught because everyone expects you to do it, I think we’ve advance a really long way.  But I think that there’s even further to go.”

In our next conversation with Sara, we look at how the demands being made on community interpreters led to the birth of bilingual advocacy…

 

Vandu Language Services is based in Lewes, Sussex and has been helping organisations overcome the language barrier since 1999. We provide interpreting, translation, bilingual advocacy and cross cultural training for when you need to communicate clearly across cultures.

 

                                                                                     

 

 

 

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