Language and Its Influence on Our Lives

For a long time, the idea that language might shape thought was considered at best untestable and more often simply wrong. Research in my labs at Stanford University and at MIT has helped reopen this question. We have collected data around the world: from China, Greece, Chile, Indonesia, Russia, and Aboriginal Australia. What we have […]


Interpreter of the Month: Thomas

Thomas Johnston is a jack of all trades at Affordable Language Services. As Interpreting Operations Manager, Thomas is the guy in charge of the day to day operations in the interpreting department. He actively oversees the handling of over 1100 interpreter requests per month for over 120 languages, from a pool of over 500 local […]


“In Other Words”

When learning a new language, speakers often experience a series of somewhat comical mishaps. This is especially common when it comes to jokes. What is funny in one culture may not be in another, or the gag may just not translate well. One example is the traditional American “Knock, knock” joke. Foreground Dance (based out […]


Make More of Your 140 Characters

Web developers are coming up with new tools to help Twitterers make the most of their 140 character limit. Thsrs (the shortened version of thesaurus) takes a long word you want to use, and searches for shorter synonyms. How cool!     If that doesn’t help you shop it down, 140it certainly will. Granted, it […]


Supreme Court Exceeding Limited English Proficient Obligations

A statement issued by the Ohio Supreme Court regarding legal interpreters. “Guidelines issued this week [August 23, 2010] by the U.S. Department of Justice show that efforts by the Supreme Court of Ohio are exceeding national standards in breaking down language barriers in the courtroom. Ten years ago, President Clinton signed an Executive Order that […]


In the Community

At Affordable Language Services, we like to share our knowledge of culture and language with the community. Gary Elfers, our Executive Director, headed to the Batavia Rotary Club to speak last week. The members enjoyed it so much, they even blogged about it! Gary explained the difference between translation and interpretation, a bilingual speaker and […]


Facebook, Twitter Changing English Language

Online lingo is seeping into daily conversation as we talk about “googling” or “friending.” A recent article in Intelligent Life magazine looks at the increasingly common phenomenon of creating verbs from nouns. (The fancy term is “denominalisation,” if you were interested.) In “You’ve Been Verbed,” writer Anthony Gardner reasons one force driving this change is […]


Top 50 Jobs in 2011: Interpretation & Translation

US News and World Report lists Interpretation and Translation as one of the Top 50 Jobs in 2011! Here’s why: Employment opportunities are increasing quickly. The exact figure the Labor Department projects is a whopping 22 percent growth by 2018. They attribute this to a growing population of non-English speakers in the US, and an […]


The Dangers of Poorly Translated Prescriptions

When computer software programs are used to translate prescriptions the outcome could be disastrous as highlighted in this Health Day news article. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_97391.html It’s just not possible for a software program to differentiate between the literal translation and the intended message, therefore it is vital to use a qualified translator for any written document that […]


English Slang

English isn’t just English. If you’ve ever spoken with someone who lives outside your geographical region or culture, you know slang pervades the English language, as it does in most others. Beyond that, try talking to a Brit. As an American it quickly becomes clear that although you’re speaking the same language, you’ve got no […]