What is the Melbourne Cup?

In Australia, Melbourne Cup Day is an annual horse racing event which is held on the 1st Tuesday of November each year. Melbourne is in the state of Victoria and there is a public holiday declared in the state on Melbourne Cup day. Melbourne Cup in 2018 will be held on Tuesday 6th November.

Melbourne Cup Facts

The annual Melbourne Cup happens to be one of the most popular racing and social events in Australia. The main event happens at the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne attended by about 100,000 people. At the same time, local races take place in the country on the same day while the main event is broadcast on screens at race track venue throughout the country. Throughout the world, around 650 million viewers watch the event live and many at 3 pm Melbourne time so enthused by the event that they stop what they are doing to watch it either on TV or via the internet and if these sources aren’t available they listen to the main race on the radio. Many are getting their documents ready and visas translated in advance to attend the event!

The Melbourne Cup is a day when women attending the race dress up in colorful dresses and hats. Many take part in a fashion parade showing off their attire. As VIPs usually attend the race special marquees are constructed for their use. Champagne, wine, spirits, and gourmet foods are typically served on the day.

When it comes close to the time of the main race many offices and workplaces throughout the country put on their own events in support of the Melbourne Cup. These include dress and hat competitions and joint staff lunches at nearby restaurants. Big screens are erected making it possible for workers to view the event. It can’t be forgotten that this is an event when many people wage a bet on the winner.

Melbourne Cup history

Melbourne Cup Day became important in Australia since the 1st race took place in 1861 at Victoria’s Flemington Racecourse. This first race was won by the horse Archer, who also won the race in1862. The event typically features several races, including a handicap race where 20 thoroughbreds are forced to run for several million Australian dollars. There was one well-known winner called Phar Lap, a New Zealand thoroughbred who in 1930 won the event and was subsequently given a nickname of “Australia’s wonder horse.” This later became a famous movie. When Phar Lap died the story goes that it was caused by poisoning.

In 1877 the 1st Tuesday in November which was designated Melbourne Cup Day became a public holiday.  As there was not full adherence to the public holiday by all of Melbourne’s metropolitan councils in 2008 new legislation was passed by the Victorian Parliament ensured that Melbourne Cup Day was a public holiday throughout all the state’s council areas. This meant that Melbourne Cup Day became officially one of the state’s public holidays. From time to time similar race events take place in Australia because horse racing is a popular pastime.


Because Melbourne Cup Day is the best-known racing fixture in Australia and its importance brought on the need to declare the day a state public holiday it has now been given the phrase that it is “the race that stops the nation.” There are, however, a few Australians who consider horse racing to be a cruel sport and have protested over the years about the staging of the event. So far nothing has been done to stop the annual event taking place and there have never been any attempts to reform it in recent years.

The Role of Brand Translation

What is Branding?

When you go out to your local shopping centre to buy a product you often get completely overwhelmed by all the different names that are used for what basically seems to be the same product. There is a very good reason for this and that’s because a business wants you to recognise its own brand.
When a company sets out for the first time marketing for example peanut butter with a secret ingredient no one knows the company so it chooses a name for the products it produces. This is so anyone who happens to choose the product and ends up liking it will be able to identify it again by its brand name.
If the brand name doesn’t seem a lot different from others the buyer will have difficulty differentiating products, so in the end the company won’t achieve much. It has to have a brand label that can be picked out easily. A brand name change may be necessary if a competitor chooses a similar type of branding.
Creating awareness through a brand name means an accurate translation
The more work a company puts into creating a brand and identity the more likely it is to create an awareness of it. For example, even without adding any additional language, Coca-Cola is familiar throughout the world. The brand defines itself through its red colour and the presence of the can or bottle to hold the liquid. This is certainly identity and branding revealing itself in the best way possible. What’s most important too is that when a brand is marketed overseas any slogans used may need a brand translation that correctly represents the brand. Slogans are hard to translate accurately unless an experienced human translator does the job and it’s not left in the hands of a machine translation tool.
There have been several incidences when poor translators have been used for a brand translation. This is mainly the result of a brand slogan being translated in a way that makes it culturally sensitive or even offensive. This sort of translation mistake can ruin a company’s brand and taint its reputation so a brand name change may be necessary.
Conclusion- Why Brand Translation is Important
Branding is one method of identifying a product to consumers so they know what the packaging and labelling looks like when they enter a store. When it comes to marketing overseas the company has to be very careful who it chooses to do a brand translation because it needs to be sure any translation fits the brand perfectly.

Is Tamil a National Language in Australia?

Misconceptions about Tamil in Australia as a National Language

Not so long ago there was a misconception in Australia that Tamil was one of Australia’s national languages. Most people who know much about Australia will know that the country has no national language as such, but English has since the time of European settlement been adopted as the de facto national language. Over the decades since English settlement began the English spoken has evolved somewhat so that Australian English varies a little particularly its accent and some distinct idioms, even though it’s still easily understood by anyone who is a native English speaker. This doesn’t mean English is the only language spoken in Australia. Far from it, as well as a host of Aboriginal languages, there are many other languages spoken by immigrants who have entered the country permanently over the last one hundred years or more.

The Languages Spoken in Australia Today

Apart from English, which according to the last official census in Australia in 2016, 73% of the population speak as their main language, the next commonest language is Mandarin, followed by Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Italian, and Tamil. On top of the migrant languages, the indigenous population is represented as well with 52,000 of them speaking one of the many indigenous languages in the home, according to the 2006 census.

The Tamil Language in Australia

At one point Hugh McDermott, who is the state member for Prospect, suggested that Tamil in Australia should be part of the school’s National Curriculum. This statement was misconstrued to mean it should be a national language in Australia as well. There is no doubt that there are several thousand Tamil speakers spread across the country, but as there is no national language in Australia, Tamil would never take on this status. The number of Tamil speakers in Australia is:

NSW – 21,527
VA – 17,452
WA – 4,078
QLD – 3,475
SA – 1,703
ACT – 1,416
NT – 280
TAS – 216

Tamil Australians who speak Tamil are typically those who originate from Tamil Nadu or those who identify with Tamil culture. The origins of the majority of Tamil Australians are from India, Sri Lanka, Singapore or Malaysia.

Where does the Tamil Language come from?

Bhadriraju Krishnamurti, a renowned linguist, believes Tamil descended from the Proto-Dravidian language, which was spoken around the 3rd century BC, possibly in peninsular India in the lower Godavari River. The next stage in Tamil history is Proto-South-Dravidian which was evidently spoken in the middle part of the 2nd century BC, while proto-Tamil made its debut in the 3rd century BC.

Characteristics of Tamil Language History

When compared to other Indian languages Tamil has the oldest Indian literature that is non-Sanskritic. Scholars categorise its language history into 3 distinct periods:

The first is Old Tamil from 300 BC to AD 700, Middle Tamil from the 7th–16th century and Modern Tamil from 1600 to the present day. Interestingly, in November 2007, an excavation that was carried out at Quseir-al-Qadim discovered Egyptian pottery that dated back to the 1st century BC which was sprinkled with old Tamil Brahmi inscriptions. It has also been discovered in Tamil language history that it was the language used by India’s earliest maritime traders.

Geographic Distribution of Tamil in India

Tamil is the main language spoken in Tamil Nadu in India and in the Northern and Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. Tamil can also be found spoken in smaller numbers in other Indian states such as Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra. Up to the 12th century Tamil, or a dialect of it, was the common language spoken in Kerala in both literatures and for administration purposes. Also, Tamil was used often in inscriptions in Chittoor and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh in the southern parts, up to the twelfth century AD. It was also used for the purpose of writing between the tenth and fourteenth centuries in such places as Mysore, Kolar, Bangalore, and Mandya in south Karnataka district.

Most of the populations who speak Tamil outside of India live in Mauritius, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, and Burma. A significant group of Pakistani Tamil speakers resides in the city of Karachi in Pakistan, which includes Hindus who are Tamil speakers and Muslims and Christians. There are also groups of Tamils who live in Guyana, Trinidad, Tobago, Fiji, Réunion, and Suriname. It is spoken in Canada by migrants from both India and Sri Lanka and India. In the United States, particularly New York and the state of New Jersey Tamil speakers can be found.

Conclusion- How many Countries have Tamil as an Official Language?

Tamil is found as an official language in Singapore, India and Sri Lanka. It has been assigned official status in the state of Tamil Nadu in India and Puducherry, an Indian Union Territory. It’s a language used with English, Mandarin, and Malay in the education sector in Malaysia. However, it’s a misconception that it is a national language of Australia. However, there are Tamil speakers living in Australia who may need to use English to Tamil translation online from time to time.

Is it Possible to Work Out What the World’s Oldest Language Is?

The oldest human language is shrouded in mystery. The first language spoken on Earth is estimated to have emerged around 200,000 years ago in Southern or Eastern Africa. In fact, it is unlikely ever to be known just how the ability to communicate with language actually came about. It is thought that the need for better communication developed at the same time as the transformation of the African ecological environment in which early humans lived. Fossil evidence shows that the size of the hominid brain grew quite rapidly, presumably to accommodate parts of the brain that could deal with complex thought and verbal communication.

The real reason that we will never know what the oldest known spoken language was is that it would have predated written records by tens of thousands of years. By the time writing in the form of hieroglyphics became commonplace, languages would have developed all over the earth in places to which humanity had spread.

7,000 languages are recognised today

What we do know more about is the existence today of languages that have changed little through antiquity. There may be doubt about exactly what is the oldest living language, but there are certainly several contenders. There are around 7,000 languages in the world today. These are grouped in a much smaller number of language families. Languages evolve because people move away from where they used to live and because of isolation, gradually change the words and grammar they used to use.

The only record we have of the age of different languages is from written manuscripts and other forms of writing. There are several places around the world where writing developed independently. These places and the languages used at the time are presumed to be the world’s oldest living languages, but that is still not certain as there may be other languages in existence that were used by people who never used writing. For example, indigenous Australians have been in the Australian continent for at least 60,000 years according to the fossil record. No indigenous Australian community or language group ever invented, or had any need to invent, writing, yet presumably their languages are ancient.

Some of the oldest living languages are almost extinct

Of the languages we are certain about, some of the oldest are now functionally extinct. For example, one of present day India’s oldest languages is Sanskrit. Although there are many monuments and buildings as well as documents that have been written in Sanskrit, it is not a living language. Some Indian scholars believe that there is evidence that Tamil, which is closely related to Sanskrit, may actually predate it and the language may be one of the oldest languages in the world at over 5,000 years old.

Latin is another ancient language and was in use throughout what is modern day Europe and beyond for long periods before it died to be replaced by its descendants, the Romance language family, including Italian, Spanish, French, Romanian and Portuguese.

Back in Asia, Hebrew and Aramaic are also regarded as some of the world’s oldest living languages, and have a linguistic affinity with Sumerian which first developed in the Middle East many thousands of years ago. Further to the East, the Korean language and Chinese are also very old languages, although like many other languages that have been around for a long time, they have changed down the ages. It would be hard for a Korean from 1,000 years ago to probably a modern Korean today! They would probably need a translator.

Other old languages have changed through the ages, yet remain recognised as being related to the original. For example, Greek has been used since antiquity, but has changed so much that scholars of Ancient Greek would have a hard time conversing in modern Greece, despite the obvious relationship. Again, translators are often used to bridge the language gap when translating ancient texts into the modern equivalent.

Other continents have ancient languages too

In Africa, Egyptian is probably the best known oldest language that we know about. Like Greek, though, ancient Egyptian as has been recorded in hieroglyphics on famous monuments like the Pyramids, has disappeared and is no longer a living language. In fact, modern Egypt uses Arabic as its official language, another very important old language.

Over in the Americas, some of the oldest languages are Aztec, Mayan and Inca. Again, there may be older languages still spoken today, yet their speakers never developed writing, so their origin is shrouded in the jungle mist.

Conclusion on World’s Oldest Language

There are several contenders for the world’s oldest living languages although no one will ever really know which of them is the oldest. Making sense of ancient hieroglyphics and written texts has become a specialised translation skill. Old language translators are few and far between. Ancient language translators must first learn the language they are studying, then and only then can they translate the ancient writing so that it can be read and studied by everyone else. Even not so ancient languages like Old English need translators of their own. Chaucer’s bawdy tales, for instance, need translating by old English sentence translators, so the words and phrases of Old English can be understood and enjoyed by today’s English speakers.

Is Your Español Good Enough to be a Translator?

Spanish is one of the world’s most important languages. It is spoken in Spain, of course, but perhaps, more importantly, it is spoken from the Rio Grande right down to Patagonia in Central and South America and right out into the Caribbean. In addition to that, it is now the second most important language in the U.S. While many Spanish people can speak English well, this familiarity with another language tends to be lacking through Latin America. Many native Spanish speakers seem to have difficulties in learning English as a second language. Perhaps this is a consequence in South America in particular that there is very little contact with people who speak anything other than Spanish, apart from a very few tourist hotspots.

Jobs for those who speak Spanish

This presents a very good opportunity for Spanish speaking jobs. They may be jobs for Spanish people themselves who are bilingual or Spanish speaking job opportunities for those who are able to speak Spanish as a second language well.
An example of the latter is that of a Spanish language translator. Any business or government agency that has a lot of dealings with Spanish speakers, whether these are in the U.S. or Latin America, will need to translate to and from Spanish. Spanish translator jobs are less numerous in continental Europe, although Spain and its satellite islands (the Balearics and the Canaries) enjoy a huge number of English speaking tourists every year and this is where translation is an important requirement;

Spanish Teachers – A job opportunity for Spanish people

Teaching Spanish as a foreign language is one job that Spanish speakers, whether they are native speakers, or fluent second language speakers, will find plenty of opportunities in the United States because so many people do speak Spanish there. Europeans who want to learn Spanish may go to evening classes or as adult learners in colleges across Europe. A knowledge of Spanish helps people to enjoy their experience visiting Spain or anywhere in Latin America and also to appreciate the rich heritage of Spanish literature.
Anyone who decides to visit the huge South American continent is well advised to learn some Spanish as in most places away from the main cities few people will speak anything other than their own native indigenous language e.g. Quechua, as well as Spanish.
The only disconcerting thing about learning Spanish is that it is often spoken in a hazard to understand the regional dialect. If you were to visit Nicaragua, in Central America, for example, it will be near impossible understanding the Spanish of ordinary Nicaraguans! By contrast, Colombians and Mexicans often speak easier to understand Spanish.

Spanish Interpreters

There are Spanish interpreter jobs in tourist centres and in some government agencies where Spanish as a foreign language is spoken a lot. For example, ion many U.S. public hospitals it is vital to have a few Spanish interpreters available in case there is a need for diagnosis and treatment options to be discussed with Spanish speaking patients.

Language Shapes How People Behave and Think

Linguists and scientists have conducted many studies showing how language shapes how people both behave and think. Language is a part of a culture and so it has an important effect on how a person thinks, which affects how they behave.
The way speakers provide an interpretation of the everyday things that they feel, see and hear around them can be complex because of the influence of personal experiences through traditions, norms, cultural rules and languages. Thoughts originate from words and the thoughts themselves initiate behaviour.
Global business and international communication are affected by languages as well so there is a pressing need to get localized and get language translations. To do business in another country, a business has to be able to deliver product messages to both their employees and their targeted audiences in an appropriate language that can be clearly understood. Localization basically means that all types of communications have to be translated into the targeted local language. The training of local employees in the corporate culture must match the local culture otherwise it’s doomed to fail.
People use their language every day in order to communicate, celebrate, negotiate, argue, learn, document and legislate. People each day are exposed to language from the media, indoor and outdoor and websites. In societies which are still not so technologically advanced, knowledge is more likely to be transmitted orally.
Connection between culture and language
Every language perceives the world in a slightly different way which means the speakers of a specific world language view things somewhat differently. It takes a lot of learning and understanding by researchers before they can fully understand the relationship between culture and language in a society they are studying. This ultimately affects language translations.

What is Book Meta Data Translation?

Every author wants a book to find its way to an international audience. The use of metadata is becoming increasingly important as a method of getting discovered by a larger audience.

If you have written a book which has a single niche say for example a sci fi novel about a colony in outer space and you enter it as metadata, you would expect it to assist your book to rank uniformly, internationally. However, you find your sales won’t pick up despite of following all the tips of translation. This is because your book can’t be easily found by search engines like Baidu in China. This is due to the fact that it promotes metadata translation in Chinese languages and not English metadata. There are most likely potential readers that would love your book but it’s simply not discoverable by them.

This problem can be solved when the book is well translated and well placed. Metadata can assist your books to get new readers and increase your sales, whatever the language.

An Overview of Book Metadata

Book metadata assists search engines to connect your book to readers by providing a way for the search engines to index online info. Metadata translation assists users to find the product or content they are looking for. For the book publisher, this is particularly important, as metadata will attract potential readers to your books’ titles. When somebody keys into a search engine a query, the search tool quickly reviews numerous web pages to source the metadata that fits best the query. The amount of detail, its accuracy, and its relevance of the book’s metadata can have an impact directly on its visibility. Metadata translation for a book typically includes the following:

  • Name of author and any contributors;
  • International Standard Book Number (ISBN), with book title, and its subtitle;
  • Book description plus a synopsis and cover image;
  • Publication date and the name of the publisher;
  • Genre and subject matter;
  • The book’s price;
  • The targeted audience;
  • A table of contents;
  • Reviews, excerpts and quotes from the book.

Precise Translations and Better Metadata

As metadata seems to be an important part of publishing a book, accurately translated metadata is significant too. When somebody is looking for a book, inaccurate and poor translations will mean the book will be hard to find.

The main benefits of a book metadata translation are:

1. A Notable Sales Increase
When 3 descriptive data components are there, there is a 72% rise in books sales when compared to books without descriptive data. Also book titles with keywords experience average sales 34% percent greater than book titles that don’t have keywords.
2. Improved Discovery of the Book
This will mean that those after your book to put it into their country’s supply chain can appropriately plan their orders. It will also enable readers searching for books of interest to them to find your titles prior to publication, and perhaps even order them in advance.

What’s New in Facial Recognition Technology?

Not that long ago a team of behavioural scientists and linguists were helicoptered in to a remote valley in Irian Jaya, the Indonesian half of the huge island of New Guinea. They had heard that there were people living in the valley that had never before been encountered. No-one knew what language they spoke so there was no-one who could translate what they said into English. One of the purposes of the expedition was to investigate the theory that human facial signals were universal, in other words they were not culturally ‘learned.’
The results seemed to confirm the theory. Without the use of translators it was discovered that basic human facial signals were just the same as those used naturally by the researchers: smiles indicating friendliness and humour; frowns for confusion and anger; quizzical looks when unsure of the meaning of an action and so on.
This was universal ‘facial recognition translation’ between two groups of human beings that knew nothing about each other.
Facial recognition technology has since become much more refined and has become part of the technology used by immigration authorities and law enforcement because of its effectiveness. Few people who have experienced arriving at an international airport today would not have been subject to biometric scrutiny, which matches a face on a passport to a database. The facial recognition software used at such gateways is so sophisticated that entry is now often completely automatic. As long as your own face matches the biometric features on your passport you are allowed to pass through the barrier. At the same time your entry is recorded by immigration authorities and matched against a criminal database in case you are trying to evade police by slipping into or out of a country.
Facial recognition technology is now used in a myriad of new ways. You can use it to search for references to yourself anywhere on the internet. It’s not confined to that either. In what has become a more controversial use you can also search for people you know on the internet just with the use of a single photograph of the person’s face. Facial recognition may soon replace keys and security keypads because it is at least at present impossible to forge.
Facial recognition is one step up from fingerprint recognition, mainly because faces are recorded in far more numerous ways than fingerprints are. A thief is caught on a CCTV camera and providing that his (or her) face is not obscured by a mask or balaclava the image can be compared to a list of suspects held by the police, or even compared to an internet search in case there are clues to the identity of the criminal.

Planning a Trip to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia?

Its four years since the last exciting Soccer FIFA World Cup that was held in the soccer-mad country of Brazil. This time it is in the almost equally soccer mad country of Russia. If you are thinking of attending any of the matches or all of them then there may be many things to think about before setting off for Moscow later this year.

Tickets for FIFA

Ticket sales for the FIFA World Cup are officially closed, but you may still be able to purchase a ticket for an individual game. Check the website.

Visas for Russia

Russia has waived the usual requirement to get a valid tourist visa before coming to the country to enjoy the FIFA World Cup. Instead, the only requirement is to make sure you get what the organisers call a “Fan I.D.” The fan I.D. is available to anyone who has purchased a ticket to any or all of the World Cup matches. The Fan I.D. is not just to show to officials or any of the match organisers, but you can also use it to get special discounts while you are in Russia like hotels and restaurants. Make sure to get your Visas Translated in advance!

How to get Russia for FIFA

The easiest and fastest way to get to Moscow and many of the matches scattered around the country is by air. Remember Russia is a very large country and matches are taking place in 11 different cities and 12 different stadiums.
When you are in Russia you have the option of flying to other cities, taking a train or a bus. The country is well served by all three forms of transport, but be prepared to take a long time if travelling over land. It takes over 11 hours, for example just to travel from Moscow to St. Petersburg by train!

Getting Accommodation in Russia for FIFA

It is best to book accommodation in advance rather than leave it to when you get to a city to watch a match. There are now plenty of accommodation options right across the country and you should not have any difficulty finding a room. Give your fan I.D. number when booking and you may get a special discount for Soccer FIFA World Cup fans!

Communicating in Russia

There are approximately 144 million people in Russia and most of them speak Russian, even if it is not their native language. Russian is not that easy to learn as it is not related to English and most signs are in completely different alphabet, Cyrillic. However, learning a few words or phrases in Russian will break the ice when talking to locals and there are several words that you will certainly recognise like “vodka” and “futbol!”

Lost in Translation: Kids as Translators Have So Much to Lose

If you aren’t fluent in a language, relying on your kids’ English speaking interpreters too much puts far too much responsibility and weight on them.

If you happen to visit a clinic, a bank, or a grocery store in California, it’s quite common to see kids translate for their parents who don’t speak English. Even though in a hospital setting for instance, a patient is entitled to the services of an interpreter a child often steps in. The child may even be in the position of taking responsibility for transmitting life and death information to his or her parents. This is not entirely fair on the child or the parent just because the spoken English by kids is the only possible remedy for parents who have limited knowledge of English.

Children are often given the responsibility of translating immigration, financial and medical documents. This exposes them to all sorts of aspects of life that they have no real understanding of. This can affect the child’s social interactions at school and with persons in authority. There is also a sense of role reversal when a child ends up playing the adult role on behalf of his/her parents. Because a child doesn’t have the same understanding of life as an adult his or her knowledge could be lost in translation when explanations are given on situations that require an accumulation of knowledge.

There are solutions available and that’s providing interpreting and translation services administered by government agencies. Others would say the parents should make more effort to learn English, but this isn’t always an option for people who have only recently arrived in a country where their native language is not spoken. Immigrants’ children tend to learn English quite quickly, which allows faster assimilation into the culture and they become burdened playing the role of interpreter and translator. 

Perhaps the service providers involved in government agencies, health care and financial services should make more effort to reach out to immigrant populations. This in the first place means making available materials in appropriate languages, providing interpreters who are just a phone call away and releasing children of the burden of providing interpretative skills on what are often seen as sensitive matters that children have little knowledge about but are given the burden of trying to translate sensitive information about topics which they possess little knowledge due to their worldly knowledge and experience.