British landmarks seek Chinese names

Nominations are now open to rename our landmarks in Chinese. Celebrities, places and foods are often given names in China that describe what people think about them. VisitBritain is today launching a new campaign, ‘GREAT names for GREAT Britain’, that invites Chinese consumers to come up with the most fitting, amusing and memorable Chinese names for some of Britain’s food, landmarks and other attractions.

The 101 British landmarks will cover a wide range of locations. Names will be revealed in batches over the next 10 weeks on VisitBritain’s social media platforms including Weibo. The first batch covers points of interest with a royal connection, including Kensington Palace and The Mall.

Other highlights from the list include Chatsworth, Eilean Donan Castle, Brighton Pier, King’s Cross St Pancras station, Dartmoor, Hadrian’s Wall, Beachy Head, Rhossili Bay, London’s Shard and the Wales Coastal Path. British people and objects also feature including the kilt and the Highland Games, along with the Loch Ness Monster, Cornish pasty, Devon cream teas, Stilton Cheese, Haggis and Beefeaters.

Faced with the Welsh village with Britain’s longest name – Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch – one suggestion that has already been forthcoming is Continue reading “British landmarks seek Chinese names”

London celebrates French Republic

This Sunday Londoners will join the French nation in celebrating Bastille Day (or « La Fête Nationale »).  The annual 14 July jamboree marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789. This and the subsequent Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen are seen as a symbol of the rise of the modern French nation.

Perhaps the celebrations are no surprise given that London has been described as “France’s sixth biggest city” due to the sheer number of French people who call it home.
Continue reading “London celebrates French Republic”

London’s festival of contemporary Arab culture

A window on contemporary Arab culture. That’s what is promised at the second ever Shubbak Festival, a fortnight-long event which opened last week. Running until 6 July in venues scattered all across London, this festival celebrates the visual arts, music, and Arabic translations and literature.

The first Shubbak Festival in 2011 was a great success and it has now become a biennial event. We’ve selected a handful of this year’s events Continue reading “London’s festival of contemporary Arab culture”

Speaking the right language to reach Londoners

Website admins and community outreach take note: even a first glance at the latest release of UK Census figures shows just how much of a global city London has become. (A more detailed blog looking at the picture across the UK will follow once we have crunched the numbers.)

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The data released today reveals that in most parts of London over 100 languages are spoken Continue reading “Speaking the right language to reach Londoners”

Community translation website uplift

New figures let UK websites boost their audience by revealing languages to consider for translation. Below we look at the top options.

Last week’s Census figures give UK websites and community projects insight into which languages to target for translation in a specific locality or nationwide. In an earlier article, I argued community translation can increase your audience and their involvement – and the new Census figures give further insight.
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!EMOCLEW – Garbled London Greetings Strike Yet Again

When London made its bid to host the Olympics, one point was made over and over. London is a city of the world. London is a multicultural city. More than 300 languages are spoken in London. Come to London, and you’ll find the world. And so on.

And so the Olympics came to London. People have been coming to London from all over the world. From all over the world, people have been watching London.

And when is the worst time to fall flat on your face? When everyone in the world is watching. Continue reading “!EMOCLEW – Garbled London Greetings Strike Yet Again”

Clerkenwell House of Detention, ghost tales and mummified cats

As well as serving drinks to revolutionaries, the original Crown Tavern pub on Clerkenwell Green has the dubious reputation of having exhibited a mummified cat. Apparently during the 17th Century the cat “which some mason of John or Richard’s reign had cruelly buried alive in one of the walls of St. James’s Church, used to be solemnly shown there”.

Other mysterious events in and around Clerkenwell include the Cock Lane Haunting. The elaborate tale as thick as a modern day Eastenders plot began in 1762. Continue reading “Clerkenwell House of Detention, ghost tales and mummified cats”

More Clerkenwell history: the Russian connection and a musical coal man

The Musical Small Coalman of Clerkenwell

Where would you find Russian revolutionaries in the early 1900s? The biographies of the future leaders of the Soviet Union show that they were men well travelled as it was not easy to organise left-wing parties in Tsarist Russia, and radicals were often forced into exile. I wrote last week about Clerkenwell’s radical history, and in 1902, the leading Bolshevik Vladimir Lenin came here. He set about publishing the revolutionary newspaper Iskra (The Spark) to be shipped back to Russia.
Continue reading “More Clerkenwell history: the Russian connection and a musical coal man”