the lounge

A place to place to relax, read the news - and wonder what translators are actually reading on the internet...


general news sources

English language news


The Guardian

The Independent

The Economist

The New York Times

The Washington Post



The Huffington Post

The New Yorker

Sign & Sound

Scientific American


Nachrichten (in German)

For German-language news, please go to the German language Café


Notícias (in Portuguese)


Jornal de Notícias

Diário de Notícias



Het Nieuws (in Dutch)

nrc next



medical & health news services

Medical News Today brings you hourly health news from well-regarded sources such as JAMA, BMJ, Lancet, BMA, plus articles written by their own team. The site also features an archive containing over 180,000 news articles.


Medpage Today, an US medical and health news site.


found in translation

Language-related news stories - no longer updated

(I stopped updating this when looking after my ducks, chickens, and potatoes started taking up more and more time - but The Recipe can still be found below.)

20 August 2020

Epidemics, pandemics, and the grippe

David Shariatmadari, the author of Don’t Believe A Word: From Myths to Misunderstandings – How Language Really Works, on how our choice of names for diseases can influence how we perceive them in this article in

Don't Believe A Word is published in August 2020 and can be ordered here.

31 March 2020

Physical Distancing

The new distancing term according to the WHO here.

18 March 2020

Social Distancing

Merriam-Webster gives an interesting overview of Corona virus related terminolgy here.

8 March 2015

The Peat Glossary

Read Robert Macfarlane on the language of landscape in The Observer here.

29 Oct 2012

Learning to say Bordsteinkante

People in Italy, Greece, and Spain are taking up German to boost their job prospects, Der Spiegel reports on its English website.

16 Mar 2012

The personal cost of interpreting

A UK court interpreter talks about the demands of her job and the threats to quality posed by new regulations in The Guardian.

28 Jan 2012

Found in Translation

"Recent works by nine artists who look at translation a both a model and a metapher".

An exhibition at Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (runs until 9th April)

29 January 2011

The age of hyper-connectivity

In an article on the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the business editor of the BBC News website there are more opportunities than ever to be caught out as a hypocrite; you have to be authentic

28 January 2011

Three-year old helps unravel Swift's prose

of Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver's travels, writes Meav Kenedy in The Guardian.

26 January 2011

Orhan Pamuk on the marginalisation of non-English experience

Much of human experience is marginalised, according to Nobel-prize winning author Orhan Pamuk speaking at the Jaipur Literary Festival, reports The Guardian.

The Ancestor of Language

Watch Murray Gell-Mann talk on

November 2010

The mouthfeel of translations

Julian Barnes, writing about a new English translation of Flaubert's Madame Bovary, establishes some truths about translating in the current issue of the London Review of Books.

Oktober 2010

The end of Globish

Nicholas Ostler, the British linguist, says in his new book The Last Lingua Franca that global English will eventually die out. In an interview in The Guardian, Ostler says that he expects that advances in computer technology and machine-translation will mean that in a generation or so there will no longer be a need for a global language because people will be able to express themselves in their own language.

August 2010

A sad day for languages in British schools

Less than a quarter of GCSE students now take French, a 50% decline since 2002.

German too has fallen sharply.

At the same time, university language departments across the country are closing down because of an insufficient number of students.

The decrease in GCSE languages is disappointing, according to Ziggy Liaquat, chief executive of Edexcel exam board, "because clearly – as a nation – having strong languages is very, very important when operating in a global market."

Read the full article in The Independent.

Further background and analysis in this article in The Guardian.

August 2010

Global warming threatens Inuit language

An anthroprological linguist from Cambridge University will spend a year with the Inughuit people of nothern Greenland charting their language and culture which are under threat from thinning ice sheets and warming temperatures.

Reat the full article in The Guardian.

July 2010

The way we speak, the way we think

Patterns in languages seem to provice a view of a culture's priorities and people who learn another language adopt a a new way of looking at the world writes

Lera Boroditsky in The Wallstreet Journal.

May 2010

Body language

When I work as an interpreter at discussion sessions, it's important for me to be able to actually see the speakers in order to observe their body language.
I therefore found it particularly interesting to read Peter Collet's comments on the first joint appearance of the new British prime minister and his deputy at number 10 Downing Street.

Watch the video on YouTube and read the comments in The Guardian.

April 2010

Blame the proofreader

Book publishers Penguin Australia blamed proofreaders for concentrating too much on quantities and less on spelling because they apparently let a misprint through that has now forced Penguin to destroy the entire print run of their Pasta Bible... [more]

March 2010

Linguistic diversity in Germany

Trade is livelier among regions that share a language: Do migrants respond to cultural factors rather than social ties, ask the authors of an interesting study on German dialects. The study finds that dialect zones have hardly changed over the last 120 years and that the old patterns were reestablished after Germany's reunification in 1989.

Read the full article in the Economist here.

December 2007

German as a language for science

Taking a conference on neuroscience in Berlin held in English even though nobody in the audience spoke English, Stefan Klein, a biophysicist and writer, wonders about the consequences for democracy in

Research in Sweden and the Netherlands seems to suggest that "we are dumber in English", i.e. when we encounter facts only in a foreign language.


...and a bit of light relief:

Having your tummy felt

A hospital doctor in Yorkshire describes in the Financial Times how it is still not possible for patients to show their doctors which bit of their anatomy they are referring to. 

Don't blame the interpreter...

In the course of a rather interesting assignment, when we were looking for background material on Canadian beer drinking habits, we came across this video clip - part of the A Part of our Heritage series made by the Canadian government.

(The video itself has nothing to do with beer.)


The translator is at lunch

- or why you should always make sure proofreading is done by native speakers:

Meanings can get seriously lost when they are translated into another language - something which we often struggle to get across to our clients.

As the managing editor of the language magazine Golwg says about translating text from one language into another: "Ideally they should be written separately in both languages."

We quite agree.

Read the full article here.


freshlemon and the environment

Although one might think that translating and interpreting - being office or home office-based activities - use few natural resources (apart from late-night chocolate bars and espresso shots) this is not necessarily the case.


We aim to minimize our impact on the environment and therefore:

  • Travel by rail and use public transport whenever possible.
  • Use office consumables from sustainable resources and recycling materials whenever these are available.
  • Host our website using electricity from renewable sources.
  • Ensuring our electricity comes from green sources (regional wind and water).

...and the chocolate bars are made from sustainable cocoa.

the freshlemon recipe


freshlemon Curd


As, unfortunately, we are not currently sending out jars of freshlemon curd to our lemon curd lovers, you will have to make your own.

But once you have tasted this one you will never want to buy another jar in a shop anyway.


Here is what you will need:


4 ripe lemons*

200 g fine sugar

100 g butter, sweet cream

3 fresh eggs

1 egg yolk


You also need a sharp grater or zester because you only want to remove the very outer part of the skin - any of the white stuff will make the finished curd taste bitter.


Put the lemon zest and juice, sugar and cubed butter into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, but without touching the water, and stir until the butter has melted.

Add the egg and yolk mixture and let it cook until it thickens, stirring continuously.

Remove from heat, stirring occasionally.

Pour into jars, seal, and label**.

Keep refrigerated (shelf life approx. 2 weeks).


* It goes without saying that lemons, butter, and eggs should be organic - because who would want to bother spending that much time mixing up second-rate ingredients. And the lemons must be unwaxed, of course.


** Click below for the label.


I'm indebted to Nigel Slater for this. 


Ingredients: excellent raw materials and dedication
Adobe Acrobat Document 5.9 KB

the recipe no II


Granita di Limone


The recipe for this truly traditional and delicious Italian fresh lemon fruit sorbet comes from Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo, the "two greedy Italians" who taught Jamie Oliver how to cook Italian and now run a string of restaurants across the UK.


The result of your efforts should be a hard, rather grainy water ice, not the smooth sorbet type that is obtained by continuous stirring in an ice-cream maker.


You will need:


500 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice (i.e. 6-8 large lemons***)

300 g sugar

500 ml water

grated peel of one lemon***


Mix water and sugar and slowly boil the mixture in a small saucepan until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has thickened somewhat (about 10 minutes).

Leave to cool. -

Pour the lemon juice through a fine sieve.

Add the syrup, stirring thoroughly.

Leave to stand for about half an hour, stirring occasionally. -

Add the grated peel, pour into a plastic bowl, and stand in the freezer.

After half an hour, stir once using a fork.

Return to the freezer for four hours and stir again after 30 minutes and three times thereafter. (There is no need here to perform complicated arithmetics trying to divide three-and-a-half hours by three: just ensure that the granita is firm and grainy. Depending on your freezer, you may have to freeze it over night.)


*** see THE freshlemon RECIPE, above


the recipe no III


We're trying out a pizza napoletana recipe for which you do not need the type of 480°C-made-from-lava-rock-wood-fired-pizza-oven demanded by

(Of course, this is not genuine pizza napoletana.)


You will need a 30 cm cast iron frying pan with a metal handle and an oven with a grill.


More on this as soon as we've tried it out in our kitchen.


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helping women and children in regions of conflict, and

Cap Anamour

providing emergency aid since 1979