According to the Oxford English Dictionary, homonyms refer to “two or more words having the same spelling or pronunciation but different meanings and origins”. Because many languages have similar alphabets, many languages share words that have entirely different meanings. For example, English has 26 letters in the alphabet, Hebrews has 22, French has 26, and Spanish has 28. Let’s dive into this interesting topic in the world of international translation services.
The Importance of International Translation
Investing in translation and interpreting services is a serious matter. English speakers who love to travel may feel confused when they see a word that means something completely different from what they know. For companies with global businesses, a word error can cost them new customers or even their international reputation. Hiring a professional translation agency will help you reduce these risks.
16 Homonyms And International Translation
Here are 16 English words that mean different things in other languages.
- “Aloud” means saying something in a way that can be clearly heard. In Dutch, “aloud” means “ancient.”
- “Angel” means a supernatural spiritual being who serves God; it means “fishing rod” in German and “sting” in Dutch.
- “Any” means something not specific in English. But in Catalan, it is equivalent to “year.”
- “Awesome” in German is “hammer.”
- A “bank” could be an institution where people deposit their money or the sloping land close to a body of water. In Dutch, “bank” means “cough.”
- “Beer” means a “bear” in Dutch.
- The Dutch use the term “big” to refer to a “baby pig.”
- “Car” in French means “because.”
- “Donkey” is an animal. In Spanish, it means “burro,” whereas, for Italian, it means “butter.”
- The English word “gift” means “married” in Swedish.
- “Home” means “mold” in Finnish and “man” in Catalan.
- “Panna” is cream in English and Italian, but it means “put” in Finnish. In Polish, the term indicates “a single woman.”
- “Sugar” is something sweet, and it’s a sweet term used by Romanians for a “baby aged 0-12 months”. But the speakers of Basque use the term to mean “flame.”
- “Tuna” is a large saltwater fish that is good for making sashimi. The term means “cactus” in Spanish or a “ton” in Czech.
- “But” is a conjunction in English, whereas the Polish use the term to indicate “shoe.”
- “Glass” is something shiny, hard, and brittle in English, but it turns to soft, cold, sweet, and gooey “ice cream” when you’re in Sweden.
How Translation Can Help Your Organization
Translation and localization services are needed to reach out to global audiences. Travelers need global translation services when they visit different countries. NGOs need international development translation services to reach out to the communities they serve. Patients need real-time interpreting services when they cannot understand an English-speaking doctor. If businesses want to win more market share from another culture, translation and localization services can help.
Language Connections is a professional translation agency willing to solve most of the language problems in your life.
About Language Connections:
Language Connections is one of the top language service companies in the US. Over the last 30 years, we’ve focused on providing the best business translation services, interpreting services, as well as interpreter training and customized language training programs. In addition to top-tier corporate language training, we offer certified corporate interpreters and professional business translation services in 200+ languages. Our network includes linguists with backgrounds in all major industries. They’re ready to meet your needs, whether they’re for technical translation services, legal translation, government translation services, international development translation services, education translation services, life sciences translation, or something else. Reach out to us today for a free quote on our cost-efficient and timely translation services, interpreters, or other linguistic services.
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