Thanksgiving, one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States, is basically a harvest festival.
Language Connections would like to share 5 other international harvest festivals.
CH’USOK – Korea
The Harvest Moon Festival, Ch’usok, is one of Korea’s most popular holidays. Held in September or October, it is a celebration of the fall harvest and a time to honor one’s ancestors. The festival begins with a ceremonial offering of food and wine to the ancestors, followed by a feast of traditional foods such as sweet rice cakes.
Athletic events, including Korean wrestling matches, are common as are dance performances. The circle dance, or Ganggangsuwollae, tells the story of how, in 1592, Korean women dressed up as men and danced in a circle to fool the Japanese invaders into thinking that the Korean force was larger in number.
One of the world’s oldest holidays, Halloween is still widely celebrated today. It is especially popular in the United States, where more than 60% of the population decorate their homes and offices for Halloween.
While customs vary from country to country, from honoring one’s ancestors to trick or treating in scary costumes, the theme is centered around spirits and ghosts of the dead. This month we take a look at some interesting Halloween traditions from around the world.
Feast of Hungry Ghosts – China
During Teng Chieh, or the Feast of the Hungry Ghosts, it is thought that the gates between the world of the living and the afterlife open, and hungry ghosts emerge to wander around the earth looking for food, or worse yet, revenge on their enemies. The ghosts are thought to be the spirits of dead relatives who suffered a wrongful death or sinned during their lifetime. According to Chinese custom, families must pay tribute to the spirits of their dead
family members so that they will not bring them any misfortune. Typically, food offerings are made to please the spirits and lanterns are lit to help them find their way. Loud outdoor opera performances are also common, with front row seats kept open for visiting spirits. Another custom is the making and burning of paper boats and other such objects to honor the dead.
With the ever growing need for an online translation in our society, Google Translate is becoming more and more popular.
Although machine translations give us a general idea, especially in the absence of a human translator, they are not always accurate. This is because machine translation tools such as Google Translate provide literal translations (word for word) which are often grammatically incorrect and/or entirely incoherent.
A few examples below show just how funny things can get. Such cases are a reminder of why you shouldn’t rely on machine translation to translate into a language with which you are not familiar.
Machine Translations from Russian into English
A Place Card on a Buffet Table:
The correct translation is:
“White Cabbage with cucumbers and house dressing”
A Sign on the Door:
The correct translation is:
A Sign at the Vehicle Inspection Station:
The correct translation is:
“Driver, turn off the engine”
“Present the car for inspection”
The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings
With the release of the new film based on the book The Hobbit, Language Connections examines the many new languages created by J.R.R. Tolkien for his popular novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Languages of Middle-Earth
In many works of fictional literature, authors will create fantastic new languages for the strange new worlds they imagined. Among the most famous are the languages constructed by J. R. R. Tolkien which were created for his fictional universe, often called Middle-earth, and are the basis for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Many of the names of characters in Tolkien’s books, such as Elrond and Bolg in The Hobbit and Galadriel and Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, are derived from Middle-earth languages. There are many who consider Tolkien a linguistic genius because of his creative ability to compose these new and complex languages.
#LordoftheRings, #Middle-Earth, #TheHobbit, #Tolkien, Aragorn, Dwarfs, Elf, Elves, Elvish language, Ents, Frodo, J.R.R. Tolkien, Mordor
A look at wedding traditions from around the world demonstrates the uniqueness of each culture and country. Learning about these different wedding customs broadens the horizons and entertains. At the same time, you begin to realize that no matter how different these practices, there is one final goal – to create a happy and prosperous family.
Language Connections is happy to share with you 7 of the most interesting traditions that we came across. Enjoy!
1. Rings on Their Toes – India
While the symbol for a Western bride-to-be is to wear a ring on her ring finger, Indian brides prefer the tradition of Bichiya – where the engagement ring is worn on the feet. Brides usually wear a silver ring on their left foot, next to the big toe. The groom places the ring on his bride’s toe during the ceremony, and these rings are worn only by married women. In India, the rings on toes play the similar role as engagement rings on fingers in the Western culture. However, Hindu men can also wear rings, if they wish.
2. Smashing Dishes – Germany
The custom of smashing dishes, also known as the Polterabend, is a common tradition which occurs during the rehearsal dinner prior to the wedding. Although the origin of this German custom is unknown, it is believed that the cacophony created by the beating of utensils and breaking of dishes symbolizes the inevitable future conflicts which the newlyweds will have to face in their married life. After the wedding, both the groom and bride are responsible for sweeping up the mess. By smashing plates in advance, friends prepare the married couple for the upcoming obstacles they will face together and wish them luck in their new life as a married couple. It is also said that the more dishes that are broken, the more luck the married couple will receive.