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Working From Home During the Coronavirus: Tips for Success

With employees across the globe in quarantine, many businesses are moving to a remote work model. For someone who is accustomed to the hustle and bustle of commuting and the social atmosphere of their workplace, remote work can be challenging at best. Some of us have children at home, making this transition even more difficult. If you are going stir crazy or struggling to adjust to your new routine, here are a few tips to help you stay sane:

  1. Develop a Routine. When you go into the office, you likely have a set routine you follow every day. Clock in, check e-mail, make a to-do list, etc. While you are working from home, attempt to set and adhere to a routine. Not only will it help you stay focused, it will prevent simple tasks from slipping through the cracks, while helping you to maintain a professional mindset.
  2. Set Up a Workspace. Whether you have an entire room set aside, or a small niche in your bedroom with your computer set up, it is important to designate an area for your “office”. This is your professional space, where you can focus on completing work tasks. Having your own space helps you to maintain focus and shift gears into professional mode. If you choose to do this in your pajamas, well, I won’t judge you.
  3. Communicate. Stay in contact with your co-workers, customers, etc. We are all adjusting to these changes, and it is important to keep in touch with the people you normally conduct business with. It shows that they are not out of sight and out of mind and helps to continue building those relationships that you have worked so hard to develop. For you social butterflies out there, Skype and Facetime may be crucial to your success during this time.
  4. Take Breaks. I applaud you for wanting to power through everything, but you will eventually burn out. If you typically take breaks while you’re at work, don’t stop now. Get up, walk around, stretch. Go outside, if possible, and get some fresh air. Run around the block, shoot a few hoops in your driveway, anything to get you moving.
  5. Go Easy on Yourself. This is a new experience, there will be an adjustment period. There will probably be hiccups in the beginning as you learn how to successfully maneuver through this new situation. You’re not alone, there are millions of others out here who are also working from home. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you have a job to do, a job that your boss thought you were the best candidate for. You will succeed. Just cut yourself some slack.

The Coronavirus, or Covid 19, has thrown millions of lives off balance. For those of us fortunate enough to continue our work from home, it is a huge adjustment that can take a while to get the hang of. Sometimes it may feel like it’s an impossible feat, but we will all persevere, and who knows? You may decide that you prefer working from the comfort of your home, with no commute, and no shoes required. If this is the case, World Translation Center is available to assist you with your online training brochures, webinars, and translation needs.

St. Patrick’s Day

The first St. Patrick’s Day parade in the United States took place in Boston in 1737, amidst efforts to preserve and celebrate the culture of Irish immigrants. With the increase of immigration through the 19th century, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations became more popular and widespread, with some of the largest parades taking place in New York, Chicago, Savannah, and San Francisco. Though originally a feast day to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland, it has evolved into a day when millions of people across the globe, regardless of ancestral roots, take part in the revelry. Sadly, because of the widespread Coronavirus outbreak, most celebrations have been cancelled this year to reduce the possibility of infection. Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, whether raising a pint of Guinness or a dram of Jameson, or having a quiet evening at home, here are a few toasts that are quintessentially Irish to help capture the spirit of the day:

-May the best day of your past be the worst day of your future.

-For each petal on the shamrock, this brings a wish your way. Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day.

-Always remember to forget the things that made you sad. But never forget to remember the things that made you glad.

-May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.

-Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold beer and another one!

 

Coronavirus

COVID-19, or the Coronavirus, is continuing to spread across the globe, prompting businesses to implement exposure risk management plans in the event of a significant disruption in the workplace. The coronavirus is highly contagious and easily transmitted from person to person, making the workplace a particularly volatile environment during times of outbreak. According to the World Health Organization and the CDC, most cases of coronavirus are mild, with some symptoms similar to those of the flu, though it can be dangerous for vulnerable populations, including the elderly and those with underlying health issues.  One possible solution to decrease the chances of infection, is to allow employees to work from home.

Allowing employees to work remotely drastically decreases the chances of contracting and spreading the virus and, according to Forbes, employees who work from home are generally much less stressed and have fewer distractions than those who commute to work each day. There is also evidence of decreased overhead when more employees work from home. Currently, remote positions make up 23% of the workforce, with this trend expected to increase as advances in technology allow remote workers to stay connected, and to work more efficiently.

For clients who wish to educate their employees and implement company procedures in case of an internal outbreak, we offer a 10% discount for translating pamphlets and videos related to the Coronavirus.

World Translation Center has proven expertise in localization and translation in over 150 languages, and extensive experience producing e-learning and corporate training materials.

Caucus Word Origins

The Iowa Caucus indicates that election season is now in full swing in the United States. Presidential hopefuls are preparing for an exciting year of campaigning and competition. But what exactly is a caucus?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines caucus as, “a closed meeting of a group of persons belonging to the same political party or faction, usually to select candidates or to decide on policy.” That sounds straight-forward enough, but the origin of the word caucus has long been shrouded in mystery, since it first began to appear in the U.S. prior to the Revolutionary War.

The word appears as early as 1760 in the Boston Caucus Club, a members-only social and political club. In this instance, it is likely the word was taken from the Modern Greek, kaukos, meaning “drinking cup.” In 1763 the word is being used to describe a private meeting of party leaders or local voters, which is similarly how it is used today. In a private diary entry, a Bostonian man describes meetings of the Caucas Clubb as a group of locals who meet to drink, smoke, and decide leadership.

Similarly, caucus means “drinking vessel” in Latin, as well. Yet another possibility is that caucus is derived from the Algonquian word, caucauasu, meaning “counsel”. Interestingly, there is no direct translation for the word caucus in most other languages.

Malagasy, the Language of Madagascar

At 226,917 square miles, Madagascar is the fourth largest island on the planet. It is well known for its high-quality vanilla beans and diverse wildlife (it is one of only 17 “megadiverse” countries, according to Conservation International), including many different species of lemurs. Less diverse, are the languages spoken here.

The official language, Malagasy, is spoken by most of the population. Among the more educated population, French is also spoken (as a result of Colonialism). Malagasy is a member of the Malayo-Polynesian language family, making it more closely related to the languages spoken in Borneo, the Philippines, and Malaysia than in the neighboring countries of Africa. It borrows words from French, Swahili, and English (Madagascar was used as a base for English pirates in the 18th century!).

What makes Malagasy so fascinating, is that the spoken language barely resembles the written language. This is because of a 19th century Welsh missionary named David Jones.

Jones was befuddled by the Malagasy written language, which utilized an Arabic alphabet called Sorabe. As a result, he developed his own method of writing using the Latin alphabet and, as a result, successfully translated the Bible into Malagasy in 1823. The reason the written language differs so much from the spoken language, is because Jones incorporated many English-Welsh mannerisms into the written language. For example, the last syllable of a word is typically dropped, while unstressed syllables in the middle of words often disappear entirely. Simply put, the Welsh transcribers were spelling things how they would be pronounced with their own native accents.

Today, the Malagasy alphabet contains 21 English letters, excluding C, Q, U, W, and X. 93% of the vocabulary is Malayo-Polynesian, though most words related to animal husbandry are of Bantu (African) origins.

Malagasy is one of over 150 languages we translate at World Translation Center! For an example of how this beautifully unique language is spoken, check out the link below:

Native Malagasy Speakers

 

Thanksgiving Food and Tradition Around the World

In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated by gathering with loved ones while enjoying a large meal together. In some households, football is airing on the television, or lawn games are played while the turkey finishes in the oven. Depending on which part of the country you visit, the roasted turkey may be the centerpiece of the meal with delicious accompaniments like key lime pie in Florida, or manicotti in New York and New Jersey, Hasty Pudding in New England, or pumpkin empanadas in New Mexico and Arizona. Each region has its own set of traditions and favorites, influenced by the various cultures that are represented there. But the idea of a day dedicated to giving thanks is not specific to the United States. Across the globe, people give thanks in their own way, with their own set of customs and cuisines.

The Kadazan Festival takes place in Malaysia every May, and serves to give thanks to the spirit of rice and to strengthen unity by gathering together. Rice is viewed as an extension of the Creator, and is used in many food dishes including tapai and hiing wine. Revelers participate in buffalo races and bamboo stilt races, all the while giving thanks for their bounty.

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The Celtic Origins of Halloween

Jack-o-lanterns. Trick-or-treat. Costumed children with candy-filled buckets. Most people are familiar with Halloween; but did you know that it is based on an ancient Celtic holiday? Originally, it was referred to as Samhain (pronounced sow-in), and was a holiday to celebrate the end of summer and harvest, and the beginning of winter.

The Celts believed that the veil between this world and the world of the dead was thin on Halloween, and that the ghosts of the dead returned to Earth on this day. Large bonfires were lit to ward off the spirits, sometimes with animals burned as sacrifice (the word “bonfire” is derived from the Latin “ignisossium”, or bone-fire). The Celts would also dress in costumes, typically animal skins and animal heads. Later, when the Romans occupied the Celtic lands, the worship of Pomona, goddess of trees and fruit, became infused with Halloween. Pomona was often associated with the image of apples, thus leading to the tradition of bobbing for apples.

Though much has changed over the millennia since Halloween was first celebrated, it remains a day of fun and revelry. This Halloween, impress your little werewolves, witches, and Buzz Lightyears with a few Irish words pertaining to Halloween:

 -Trick or Treat: Cleas nó cóir (class noh koh-ir)
Ghost: Púca or taibhse (pookah or tie-v-sheh)
Costume: Culaith (cull-ah)
Scream/shriek: scréach (shkraykh)
Skeleton: Creatlach (krat-lukh)
Halloween: Oíche Shamhna (ee-ha how-na)
Vampire: Vaimpír (vam-peer)
Blood: Fuil (fwill)

Sense of Humor

Don’t write with a broken pencil, it is pointless
I’m glad I know sign language; it’s pretty handy.
Whiteboards are remarkable.
I am so poor I can’t even pay attention.
I used to be a banker, but I lost interest.
Claustrophobic people are more productive thinking out of the box.

Could you explain the meaning of the above sayings to someone who does not speak English? You would realize rather quickly that translating the phrases, word for word, would do little to convey the humorous intention.

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Newsletter Summer 2019

Click the link below to view our newsletter for Summer 2019.

Newsletter Summer 2019

Sexiest Accents 2019

Are you too sexy for your accent? Not if you’re from one of the countries voted as having the sexiest accents!
https://bigseventravel.com/2019/04/worlds-sexiest-accent/

New Zealand English

People often mistake a New Zealand accent for an Australian one but Kiwi, or “the Newzild” accent, was voted the sexiest accent in the world! Decide for yourself and listen to a couple of demos of our voice talents from New Zealand:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/wtc-voice-demos/NEWZLD_Track3_ML.mp3

https://s3.amazonaws.com/wtc-voice-demos/NZ_English_Chery_IP.mp3

(listen to more here)

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