Language Rich Europe launch – Denmark

In the latest of our launch events, Language Rich Europe will be launching the results of its research in Denmark on 6 February 2013. The programme is as follows:

Welcome: Sabine Kirchmeier-Andersen, Director, Danish Language Council

Presentation of LRE project: Aneta Quraishy, LRE Senior Project Manager, British Council

Presentation of LRE results: Professor Guus Extra, Tilburg University

Languages in Denmark in 3 language monitors, LRE, ELM and META-net: Sabine Kirchmeier-Andersen

Multilingualism in Denmark: Writer and Adj. prof. Peter Harder, Copenhagen Business School, Network for multilingualism ‘Ja-til sprog

Questions and panel discussion.

There will also be live-tweeting from the event from Language Rich Europe’s twitter account

You can read the results of the Denmark LRE research in Danish and English on our website.

New Multilingual Synopsis of the European Training Thesaurus

We have just heard about this exciting new tool for training professionals and wanted to share it with you. This article originally appeared in Europa news on languages.

New Multilingual Synopsis of the European Training Thesaurus – Are you a training professional? A new multilingual toolkit for you.

The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) has recently published the new Multilingual Synopsis of the European Training Thesaurus for all those working in education, training and employment.

The publication, which is available online, is a selection of 1,207 terms and concepts which appear frequently in literature related to European vocational education and training. The tool, which is the basis for the complete online thesaurus CEDEFOP is currently preparing, allows for quick navigation by language, term and topic.

The terms/concepts cover several topics such as lifelong learning, vocational education and training policy, assessment and certification of learning outcomes, recognition of certificates and diplomas. Each term is presented in 11 languages: Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, and Swedish.

To download the thesaurus, click here.

Dodgeball is good craic: untranslatable words

I recently completed Google’s ‘‘Living on the Web Quiz’‘. It’s linked to the imminent launch of their new laptop which uses the search engine giant’s own operating system employing web-based applications only. Even though I knew the quiz was a marketing questionnaire masquerading as a quiz, with pretty birthday card imagery,  I couldn’t stop myself somehow. I wanted to see how much I was ‘living on the web’. Turns out less that everyone else.

Image for Google's "Living on the web quiz"

Not living on the web that much

One of the questions was ‘You’re scheduling an important meeting with your dodgeball coach. Do you… (a) use desktop calendar software, like Outlook? (b) use a web calendar that syncs to all your devices, like Google Calendar? (c) pencil it into your schedule book? or (d) write it on your hand? Now, I used to be a (d) person. Then I got a job. Now when I’m in the office I’m an (a) person. However, for some reason I try to be a (c) person (ok, the ‘some reason’ is that I really like those Moleskine diaries that appear every year in my Christmas stocking, but I have to force myself to use them, even perversely writing reminders retrospectively). When I’m not an (a) person I have a technique, which I can’t seem to shake, of e-mailing myself: I write something meaningful / meaningless / nothing in the subject line, a scrap of text or URL in the body, my name in the ‘To’ field, and click ‘send’, hoping I will read it and act on it after an undefined period of time has passed. It’s an imperfect system, but it doesn’t work!

All this is a long-winded prelude to excusing the amount of time which has passed between spotting this nice article by Jane Nethercote on the Lonely Planet blog (September 2010…) called Say again? Words that have no translation, e-mailing it to myself, and getting around to writing about it.

The article begins: ‘Travelling overseas and want to show the locals your know-how? You might not be able to say ‘please pass the cheese’ in Danish, but if you can use ‘hygge’ in a sentence, you’re bound to astound.’ It turns out that ‘hygge’, similar to the Dutch ‘gezellig’ is not so easy to translate.

Hygge is followed by a list of similarly untranslatable words like ‘antojo’ – a whim or sudden craving in Spanish, ‘saudade’ – a melancholic longing for better times in Portuguese, and ‘schadenfreude’ – ‘the classic’, meaning: deriving happiness from others’ unhappiness (interestingly one of the comments refers to a word in Sanskrit which means the exact opposite: ‘mudita’). There are also some more obscure words like the Czech ‘litost’, the Farsi word ‘ta’arof’, and the romantic ‘vacilando’, another Spanish word.

Do you have a word you’d like to share? From Irish I have ‘craic’, but I’ll leave it to the Urban Dictionary to venture a translation. Share your word here.