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Export – Word of the day

Export - Word of the day - EVS Translations

Export - Word of the day - EVS Translations

The word export derives from the Latin exportare. Prior to the 17th century, export did not mean ‘to send out commodities to other countries’, but ‘to take away’: ex meaning ‘out’ and portare meaning ‘carry’. In 1612, the philosopher and statesman Francis Bacon wrote Essays in which the original sense of export appears: “They export honour from a man and make him a returne in enuy”. It wasn’t until 1665 that export, in its modern sense, first appeared in English print when Hugo Grotius, a Dutch jurist and scholar, translated Annals and Histories of the Revolts of the Low Countries. It’s here he wrote: “They might export any thing, but Materials for War and Corn”.

Speaking of exporting, then, it was ship building in the 19th century that allowed Britain to export its goods around the Empire and consequently for British industry to flourish. In the Victorian era, it was the textile industry which was thriving as it supplied the rest of the Empire with a variety of fibres and dyestuffs. Here in the 21st century, the textile industry still makes a healthy contribution to the UK economy, but it is cars, refined petroleum, crude petroleum, packaged medicaments and gas turbines which are currently the UK’s top exports. These industries collectively make-up the UK’s manufacturing sector—an export-intensive sector which accounts for 44% of the UK’s total exports.

Far from the golden era of manufacturing, this sector in the UK has seen its fair share of ups and downs, especially over the last decade. Nevertheless, there does seem to be an air of positivity among some manufacturers about the prospects for 2016 and certainly in relation to export growth. A report by The EEF Manufacturer’s Organisation reveals: “Manufacturers’ top priorities for the year ahead are to increase their investment in technology and innovation and to sell into new export markets”. It goes on the say: “Although manufacturers have expectations for global economic conditions to remain subdued, they still think they can grow their exports – albeit moderately – in 2016”. According to the report’s findings, it’s the transport manufacturers who are “most upbeat about export prospects”.

This positive sentiment was echoed in The Financial Times last week when it reported the good news that “Britain’s carmakers shrugged off steep declines in Russia and China last year to ship more cars overseas than ever”. We shouldn’t get too excited, however. According to the report, some in the industry remain cautious given the fact that many of these cars are being exported to EU member states while we head towards an EU referendum…

Let’s hope manufacturers realise their export goals for 2016 and put the UK on the path towards a stronger, more balanced economy.


Bitcoin – Word of the day

Bitcoin – Word of the day - EVS Translations

Bitcoin – Word of the day - EVS Translations

For all of its ease of use, money - whether banknotes, coins, numbers in a bank account or in the form of a balance on a plastic card - does have some inherent flaws. For example, it can be stolen with no chance of recovery, it can be laundered to hide illegal activities, it can be inflated or deflated to change its real value, and, when travelling, there is the risk of exchange rates and the dreaded foreign transaction fee. For the longest time, in spite of their flaws, these paper notes, coins, and currency values were the only option for conducting commerce; however, thanks mostly to the Internet and the rise of global e-commerce, today’s word is helping to change that.

Having existed for less than a decade, Bitcoin is a compound word consisting of bit, an abbreviation of “binary digit” and a nod to its coding heritage, and coin, a nod to its usage as a unit of currency. Being a fiat currency itself (like virtually all currencies) and rather volatile, the value of bitcoins has seen initial lows of almost no value to highs of well over $1,000 USD per bitcoin.

While it may lack the historical pedigree of most of the words we discuss, bitcoin is definitely making up for that in cultural and economic impact. Regardless of whether it is used as a legitimate means of transacting value or masking illegal, criminal activity, with the number of merchants currently accepting bitcoin growing to over 100,000 and including names such as PayPal, Microsoft, and Dell, bitcoin is becoming widely accepted. In addition to use for basic, monetary transactions, bitcoins, by being considered a commodity, are also used as an investment vehicle, such as for the purpose of hedging against inflation (Argentina)  or government financial policy (Cyprus).

The first known use of the word bitcoin was, naturally, via bitcoin’s creator, Saitoshi Nakamoto, who, on October 31, 2008, submitted a paper entitled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System on an electronic mailing list, stating, “I've been working on a new electronic cash system that's fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party... Bitcoin: a peer-to-peer electronic cash system.” Showing the speed with which the idea has caught on as well as the scepticism that has followed it, the respected periodical, Foreign Policy, commented in 2012, “Bitcoin, a digital currency that is either the future of global commerce or a high tech form of money laundering—depending on whom you ask.” Ireland’s Sunday Independent, however, in 2014, took a much more rational tone regarding bitcoin, declaring that, “Bitcoin is not really a currency, it's a commodity. It has no value other than what people are willing to pay for it.” It appears that bitcoin is here to stay, much like other things, the direction it takes will ultimately depend on how we use it.


Favela – Word of the day

Favela – Word of the day - EVS Translations

Favela – Word of the day - EVS Translations

With one of the world's most famous carnivals - the Rio Carnival - which attracts nearly two million people on the street every day; taking place currently, Brazil and in particularly Rio de Janeiro, attract tourists from all over the world.

And while many would likely not miss visiting Copacabana – the world's most famous beach, and the famous statue of Jesus Christ, which is one of the highlights of Rio; there is one aspect of urban life in Rio which would attract the interest and curiosity of some while completely repulse other – the favelas.

To cut it short, a favela is a slum, a shantytown; but going deeper, there are nearly 1000 favelas in Rio where close to 1.5 million people, or around one forth of Rio de Janeiro's population lives.

A favela is, indeed, a great place to touch to and observe the local Brazilian style of life, but the reason most tourists stay away of it, is the fear of crime, which Brazil is anyway quite populFaar with. Most tourists believe that visiting a favela is only an option when you have insiders along and even then is still a quite risky undertaking, regardless of the fact that most favelas are situated near areas where middle and upper urban class lives. Literally, to pass from an upper class neighbourhood to a favela, one might only need to cross a narrow tunnel.

The oldest favela in Rio was founded in 1879, a decade after the abolition of slavery. The first settlements were soldiers and former slaves, followed by some of the poor population which was with time pushed away from the central urban regions.

The word favela, naturally, comes from Portuguese to name a slum and is possible that the term derived from the name of a plant native to rural North-eastern Brazil (Jatropha phyllacantha).

The first time, the word appeared in print in English, was in only 1961. In How to Tango: a solo across South America, where George Mikes provides a quite detailed description of a favela: “In the midst of all this beauty and elegance, you discover the favelas... The favela is a wretched, ramshackle, filthy hut run up out of sticks, rotting planks, dirty rags and cardboard, as a rule in less than twenty-four hours... The favelas have no electricity (unless, as frequently happens, an enterprising favelado manages to tap an electric cable).”

But keep in mind that much has changed since the 60s, most modern favelas appeared in the 70s to host Brazilians who moved from rural to highly urbanised areas and the Brazilian government took many efforts to improve the infrastructure in favelas.

Nowadays, according to a study released in 2013, 80% of favela residents are proud of where they live and 70% feel secure with their surrounding and do not intend to leave it even if their incomes double.


Caucus – Word of the day

Caucus – Word of the day - EVS Translatons

Caucus – Word of the day - EVS Translatons

With the results of the Iowa Caucus, the first step in the American presidential election, showing Senator Ted Cruz narrowly winning for the Republicans and Hillary Clinton leading in the too-close-to-call Democratic contest, much of the media attention will go into analysing what happened in Iowa as well as moving on to the next contest in New Hampshire. Though, the results are what matter, many people - even a large number of Americans – do not quite understand what a caucus is and what makes Iowa so different. Before examining the event itself, what about the word?

The word caucus, simply meaning a private or restricted meeting, first came into use during the mid-1700’s in the British colonies of North America, and is thought to have derived from either the Algonquin (Native American Indian) word caucauasu, meaning “counsel,” or the Algonquian cawaassough, meaning “adviser,” or even a mix of both. The word can be utilized in a number of meeting/group discussion scenarios; yet, the most widely understood usage is political/governmental.

So, in a political sense, how does a caucus work? While many of us are accustomed to elections where one can vote at any time during the day and via a secret ballot, caucuses are different. A caucus involves meeting at a certain place and a certain time, behind closed doors, and only involves members of a certain political party. For example, in Iowa, a Republican caucus occurring at a gymnasium at 7p.m., would only be open to registered Republicans who arrive at the gymnasium at or before that hour. As for how votes are tallied in a caucus scenario, this can either be done by secret ballot or by an open, public ballot, involving people dividing themselves into groups based on which candidate they support. As far as benefits and drawbacks are concerned, caucuses, due to their restrictions, tend to have a much smaller turnout. But due to their more public, participatory nature and the fact that attendees are typically more motivated, those who vote are more educated on the candidates as well as the issues.

Caucus - Histrory

The first known use of the word caucus was in a supplement of the Boston Gazette from 5 May, 1760 where a reference was made to: “The new and grand Caucus... The old and true Caucus.” Unlike in the American system, where a caucus has always been viewed more as a necessity, the first strictly British use of the word appears in an 1878 issue of The Times, stating that, “The policy of the politicians of the Midland capital will bring upon us the ‘caucus’ with all its evils..The introduction and progress of the ‘caucus’ system among us.”

Aside from the word itself, why is Iowa the first state to vote?
Iowa does not hold a place of particular significance to merit such an important position, but it has been the first to vote since 1972 because of their complex (and time-consuming) system of caucuses and conventions from individual precinct-level to state-level as well as a desire to spread out the national presidential primary schedule.


Quinoa – Word of the day

Quinoa – Word of the day - EVS Translations

Quinoa – Word of the day - EVS Translations

The latest hype about quinoa can be equally well described as the one for coconut oil, one must had been in a coma in the last years, as an only plausible excuse to have missed out the talk about it.

The most confusing part about the protein-rich crop, appears to be its pronunciation. Regardless of whether we ask for /keenoua/ or /keenwah/; the grain should keep us all full, satisfied and healthy.

And could we possibly think any differently, knowing that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) declared 2013 to be the International Year of Quinoa?

Quinoa - History

FAO's objective was to draw attention to the role quinoa could play in providing food security for poor regions, along with a recognition of the Andean people (the aboriginal inhabitants of the area of the Central Andes in South America), who were the first to domesticate the crop some 3000-4000 years ago.

So what is all the hype about? From the Incas who held the crop to be sacred and referred to it as chisaya mama or "mother of all grains", to nowadays when it is labelled as a super food, quinoa has always been incredibly nutritious.

Quinoa, among from been amino acid- and protein-rich and containing good levels of E and several B vitamins, also contains plant antioxidants which have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects and is higher in fibre than most grains.

It is one of the few grain crops to not contain gluten, which makes it suitable for people who suffer celiac disease or have problems with digestion.

It is considered as a possible crop on NASA Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied space flights.

Maybe the future will see quinoa harvested on other planets, but the past had seen its decline when the Spanish conquests of South America forbade its cultivation and forced the Incas to grow wheat instead.

The commercial quinoa exports to the US started in only the 80s and the last decade saw a tremendous increase in the world production, driven by the higher awareness of the health benefits of quinoa consumption.

Quinoa, as a word, is believed to be a borrowing from the Spanish pronunciation of Quechua, the South American language; with the first written British record coming from 1598, from a translation of Jan Huygen van Linschoten's Voyages into the East and West Indies: “A kind of fruit called Quinua..wherof they make their drinks, and eat we do rice”.

That record came four decades after the Spanish conquistador and chronicler of Peru, Pedro de Cieza de Leon, firstly described how quinoa was cultivated in Peru, as Clements Robert Markham in his Peruvian bark: a popular account of the introduction of chinchona cultivation into British Indi confirms in 1880: “The earliest mention of the quinua grain of Peru occurs in the ‘Cronica’ of Pedro de Cieza de Leon”.

Nowadays, Peru keeps its top place among the largest producers and exporters of quinoa, while the grain has earned a top position among the modern super foods.


Chowder – Word of the day

Chowder – Word of the day - EVS Translations

Chowder – Word of the day - EVS Translations

The winter has bitten and it is a bit grim outside, the freeze is overwhelming and our thoughts naturally wander into daydreams of sunshine and tropical beaches.

We suspect too few of us would imagine Canada, Scandinavia or even Northern France, whenever the word beach is mentioned. And yet it is a well-known fact that these countries do have an impressive coastline. We should be keeping it real here and admit that the beach in the winter is less inviting, to say the least.

Actually, drafty and damp in the same place is one of the worst possible scenarios. Yet, there are few, but tested remedies for the bitterly cold days.

The all time number one favourite hot chocolate and marshmallows - we will need an open fire for that or a fireplace would do the trick also. The second-best nearly perfect item on the list of bad weather beating classics are all the soups and stews and chowders that make us feel warm inside.

While soup is a culinary staple on every table regardless of your GPS coordinates, chowder tends to be more popular in regions with the above mentioned coastal and somewhat Nordic lifestyle. This is so, because originally the chowder is a dish, prepared of seafood (mostly fresh cod, but also clams, salmon etc.), stewed with pork or bacon, and thickened with milk or cream and biscuits. And, bearing in mind that chowder has a French origin, to perfect it we should add cider or champagne.

The word chowder has been most probably adopted into the English language from the French chaudière, (cauldron in English) - a large metal pot for cooking over an open fire, in which the first chowders were probably cooked

The history of chowder in the English sources starts somewhere in the 18th century from the fishing villages of Brittany.

With the first written reference coming from 1751, from an issue of the Boston Evening Post which contains directions for making a chowder.

The recipe has been brought afterwards to Newfoundland, New England and Nova Scotia - regions famous for their chowder.

Ingredients can vary as long as there is some kind of seafood, cream and vegetables in the chowder and it is served with crackers on the side. As The Naval chronicle points out in 1809: “ made in the following manner: a fish..skinned, cut up..and put into a kettle, under which is laid some rashers of salt pork or beef, and some broken pieces of biscuit; then the whole is..covered with water, and boiled about ten minutes“.


Sarcasm – Word of the day

By far, this is one of the most confusing aspects of а given language for new learners. Unlike most other expressions or forms of humour, which can easily be identified or referenced in the writing itself, today’s word, due to its subtle nature and hidden sub-context, can often be a tightly-held secret of those who are fluent in a language.

Regardless of how it has been defined, sarcasm, as a verbal device, can be considered to be as old as spoken language itself. While, much like we “know art when we see it,” we may know sarcasm when we hear it, but what about the word itself?

Our word, sarcasm, comes from the Late Latin sarcasmus, which comes from the late Greek sarkasmos, meaning "a sneer, mockery, or taunting." Though from the ancient Greeks to the modern day, sarcasm is used as a way to cuttingly express contempt; the base word deals with the term in the actual sense of butchery, with sarx meaning a “piece of mean” and the extended sarkazein literally meaning “to strip off the flesh” or, on our sense, to tear away at the image of something or someone.

Properly and sparingly used, sarcasm can be an amazing linguistic tool. But studies have shown that sarcasm, especially when overused, is perceived by others as showing hostility and jealousy, and can be harmful to an individual’s happiness and relationships. Additionally, it is noted that, where actual wit takes talent, sarcasm, when relied on too heavily, can demonstrate a lack of intelligence and understanding.

The first known written use of the word sarcasm comes from Edmund Spenser’s 1579 poem, The Shepheardes Calendar, which writes that, “Tom piper, an ironic Sarcastic, spoken in derision of these rude wits, which [etc.].” Henry Hutton’s 1619 work, Follie’s Anatomy, drawing the reader in, states, “Muse, show the rigour of a Satyr’s art, In harsh Sarcasm, dissonant and smart.” In closing, considering what was states earlier, Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, perhaps, says it best: “Many are of so petulant a spleen, and have that figure Sarcasm so often in their mouths,..that they must bite.”


EVS Translations to exhibit at GALA 2016, New York

GALA conference in New York

EVS Translations will exhibit at this year’s GALA conference in New York City from March 20-23

EVS Translations will exhibit at this year’s GALA conference in New York City from March 20-23. GALA is the premier translation and localization industry conference and brings together leading names of the language services industry for a vivid mix of expert panels, workshops and exhibition. Popular among industry insiders, the general public and corporate buyers, GALA presents a comprehensive platform for best practices, innovation, strategy and emerging trends. In addition, GALA provides an opportunity for business professionals to learn how their companies and content can benefit from expert localization and global content management.


Florian Schwieger, EVS Translations

Florian Schwieger, Head of Marketing & Business Development at EVS Translations USA

Learn more about what EVS Translations can do for you and visit us at booth 25:


Translations are our passion, regardless if we are talking about a 200 word document or 2 million word project. We love having the opportunity to get out and meet with our clients and other industry professionals face to face. In November we attended the TC World Conference in Stuttgart, Germany, as well a local exhibit here in Atlanta, which was great—there was a real sense of Atlanta’s growing economy and how international the business scene has become. Now we’re looking ahead to GALA in March, where we will be presenting our newest products and services. It’s a chance to talk innovation and ideas, learn something new, and network. If you’re planning to attend, please come and visit us at stand 25 and find out all the latest news from EVS Translations.

Florian Schwieger, Head of Marketing & Business Development at EVS Translations USA


Why visit EVS Translations at GALA 2016?

  • Meet us in person

  • Tell us what your care about

  • Discover solutions for your globalization goals

  • Learn about new services and products we are launching this year

  • Explore the advantages of one of world’s largest translation engineering providers can deliver for your benefit.

  • Realize your full localization potential

Visit us at stand 25 at GALA in New York City from March 20-23 and find out more about what we can do for you.



Depression – Word of the day

Depression – Word of the day - EVS Translations

Depression – Word of the day - EVS Translations

For many of us, it is this time, during the first month of the new year, that today’s word creeps into our lives. The landscape becomes either bleak and white or overcast and grey, the merry times and holiday celebrations are over, and (in many of our cases) the new years’ resolutions are either starting to take a toll on us or we have already given them up, adding a sense of frustration and failure. It seems as if, while coming down from the “high” of the holidays, our mood and mental outlook this time of year really takes a battering, often going to below what we considered to be “normal” prior to the holidays. Whether it be major, minor, or seasonal, with depression (and/or anxiety) affecting nearly 1 in 5 adults in the UK, this is definitely a word that needs closer examination.

Instead of starting with the word, let’s first look at the disease/disorder. Though the causes can be as varied as a chemical imbalance or the result of bad news and the condition can affect anyone, certain demographics do seem to be at a higher risk. For example, women are more susceptible than men (21% to 16%), divorced or separated people are more likely to have symptoms than those who are married or in a civil partnership (27% to 16%), and the unemployed are 8% more likely to show symptoms than those who are gainfully employed (23% to 15%). Interestingly though, one of the most important factors in mental health appears to be physical health: people who are unhappy about their physical health are more than 3 times as likely (38%) to show symptoms of anxiety and depression as people who who are relatively happy with their level of health (11%).

Depression - History

As for the word itself, “depression” comes from either the Old French depression or directly from the Latin depressio(nem), both of which mean “to press down.” Though, over the course of the last several decades, we have come to know the word as almost exclusively referring to the mental disorder, it may be surprising to learn that the word was once more widely and generally utilized.

The word “depression” first appears in English circa 1400 in Chaucer’s A Treatise on the Astrolabe, where, using the term astronomically, he writes: “And that is the depression of the pole Antarctic, that is to say, that is the pole Antarctic beneath the Horizon the same quantity of space”. In 1665’s Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, the word is used in its literal sense to define a geographical/topographical feature, “Of the Nature of the Ground..and of the several risings and depressions thereof.” Finally, for our most widely understood usage, though the term only acquired its psychological usage in 1905, it was first used to denote being dejected or low in spirits in Richard Baker and Edward Phillips’ 1665 work, A Chronicle of the Kings of England, where it was written that, “Lambert, in great depression of Spirit, twice pray'd him to let him escape.”

As a final writing on this, if you are exhibiting some of the symptoms of this word, do seek help and talk to someone about it- there’s no need to suffer in silence.


Spinster – Word of the day

One of the most famous British spinster characters – Bridget Johnson, was actually in her early 30s when was labelled as a: “verbally incontinent spinster who drinks like a fish, smokes like a chimney, and dresses like her mother” by Mark Darcy.

But the movie was released nearly 15 years ago and thankfully, much has changed since then as how our society treats women who are still single in their late 30s and even 40s.

In most of the Western world, gone are the times when women over 25 felt the pressure and the shame mark of being still unmarried.

In the modern Western society, many women speak out on their personal choices of not getting married and not having children or looking for the right partner in life regardless of how long the search is going to take.

The term spinster appeared in the 14th century to name a woman who practises spinning of thread as a regular occupation.

As unmarried women were supposed to occupy themselves with spinning, within time the term came to be "the legal designation in England of all unmarried women from a viscount's daughter downward" [Century Dictionary] in documents from 1600s.

And by the early 18th century, the term jumped into the everyday language to refer to all unmarried women beyond the usual age of first marriage, which at the time was around 25 years.

The first written record comes from 1719, Richard Steel The Spinster, where J. Roberts says: “I write myself spinster, because the laws of my country call me so...As for us poor spinsters, we must certainly go away to France”.

One of the most popular stories told by and about unmarried women at the end of the 18th century, The Heron: a tail for the old Maids (an old maid was an equally shameful name for an unmarried woman) suggests that the old maids did not marry not because they could not have, but because were simply way too picky.

In modern everyday English, the term spinster is not used to simply label an unmarried woman as such, but refers to a stereotype of an older woman who is unmarried, childless, prissy, and most likely has many cats – a confirmed female bachelor with nasty habits and bad temper.