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What is the most popular language in your country?

Out of all the hundreds of languages and dialects there are out there, which ones are the most searched for? Who wants to learn what? We decided to carry out a study to find out. With the help of Google Trends as a measuring tool, we checked which languages are most searched for around the world in a selection of languages. The methodology is quite simple. We looked at data from 2011 to 2016 in the following countries: Continue reading →

Frozen Heart – Translation Strategies Revealed for Disney© Movie Titles

Other studies of movie titles have shown that translators can go a thousand miles in order to culturally adapt their translations to fit their audience; sometimes to the very extreme (cf. Brew 2008, 50FMTT 2011 and Mahan 2012). Ultimately the producers’ choice, this article nonetheless investigates translations of Disney© movie titles from English into the target languages German, French, Spanish, Russian and Swedish. The selection of target languages was made based on the number of speakers of the languages, but the access to native speakers to evaluate the titles was also taken into consideration. Both a quantitative and a qualitative analysis of the subject will be provided. Continue reading →

No matter how tense or moody, we tackle all the verbs at bab.la!

The bab.la conjugation tool has been growing quite nicely in the last few months. We started with Romance languages (French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese) along with German, English, Dutch and Polish a few years back. Those proved to be popular products as conjugation is usually one of the trickiest parts when it comes to learning a language.

English speakers may think that this is a joke; just add an ‘s’ at the third person singular in the present tense, some -ed for the past except for a few exceptions, all in all nothing undoable.

Fools! Not all languages are as minimalistic as English! Romance languages have different forms at all tenses and all persons. German can add endless syllables. (Have you met entgegengegangen?) Polish has even a different form whether the referred person is male or female. Conjugation is a nightmare.

Fortunately, bab.la is here and willing to wrestle in the darkness of conjugation to make it easy for you 🙂 Yes, that’s how hardcore we, language lovers, are!

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(Picture: sxc.hu)

So we have added some more languages to our range of skills.

We now have Swedish conjugation. Did you know that Swedish conjugation is almost as easy as English conjugation? You should look into learning Swedish.

We then added Russian conjugation. Much harder than Swedish. You should ALWAYS have a look at it before writing anything.

Finally, our latest addition is the Finnish conjugation. If you think Finnish and Swedish are kindred language, think again! Finnish is completely different and looks like an alphabet soup.

Verbs

(Picture: Arno Hollosi)

That’s it for now, but we keep on working and we will be adding more languages very soon!

~John

iPhone (and iPod Touch), here we come!

After our successful launch of the Twitter dictionary interface we can now say that the iTunes app store has some truly worthwile language learning apps. Together with our partner mobilinga we have created a few language learning apps with the most important vocabulary for each language. After all, you can already understand 95% of a daily newspaper by just knowing 4.000 words of that language. And I believe with some yellow press newspapers less than 1.000 words is enough when you concentrate looking on the pictures 😉 So, without further ado, here’s a list of the first apps:

Französisch Wortschatz – 5.000 Vokabeln: Vocabulary flashcards for German speakers learning French

Spanisch Worschatz – 5.000 Vokabeln: Vocabulary flashcards for German speakers learning Spanish

There are more languages in the pipeline, so check the iTunes store in a couple of days.

Andreas

Our gift for Christmas: Intercultural communication :-)

Maybe the title is a little misleading but we finally launched our German-French and German-Russian dictionary today. Now, the French, Russians and Germans have no way to complain about miscommunication any more 😉

Adding the two new dictionaries makes a total of 15 dictionaries in 11 languages since our start at the end of July last year. We take a moment to look back and say: Quite impressive (I know, self-praise stinks but let this stinky smell for one time be Christmassy smells like oranges, cinnamon etc.). Not that we are loosing speed, quite the contrary. Our language enthusiasts will see new dictionaries added in the new year. But it just feels good to achieve more than we originally planned, and that’s the best present for the holidays.

We wish you and your family Happy Holidays and Frohe Weihnachten!

Andreas for the entire bab.la team