Monthly Archives: November 2012

How to Become a Better Translator?

Planning to become a NAATI Accredited Translator?

Check the video below and get some tips to become a better translator 🙂

Thai Cooking Workshop (October 2012)

Are you curious about our latest Cooking Workshop?

Check the video below, it’s taken from our Thai Cooking Workshop in October 2012.

All About German Language

Guten Tag (G’day)

Standard German is known today simply as “Hochdeutsch” (High German), and this is used almost always for written German. Books and newspapers are printed in  standard German. “Hochdeutsch” is spoken by educated speakers everywhere; however, regional variants exist in the spoken language, for example, Swiss German in the majority of Switzerland.

German is part of the West Germanic group of languages within the Indo-European language family and is a close relative of English.

Some interesting facts about German:

– As is the case in many foreign languages, all nouns in German have a specific gender. German is different to  a lot of the Latin languages though, in that it has not 2 but 3 genders – in addition to ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ it also has ‘neuter’.

  • der – masculine
  • die – feminine
  • das – neuter

– Today German is spoken by more than 100 million people worldwide.

– It is spoken in Germany, Austria, a large part of Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the South  Tyrol region of Italy, the Opole Voivodship of Poland, parts of Belgium, parts of Romania and the Alsace region of France. Several former German colonies, such as Namibia, also have remaining pockets of German speakers.

– Following the American Wars of Independence, the Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia and considered adopting a new language for the future of the United States. When it came to the vote, English was chosen above German as the language of the new republic – reputedly only by one vote!

-The first printed book in the world was in German. Johannes Gutenberg invented book printing and printed the first book in the world – a 42-page bible – in 1455. Martin Luther had  translated the Bible from Latin into German to make it available to common people – who could not read Latin – that language of the Church.

– German is often considered to be one of the most important cultural languages worldwide. Many  famous musicians and scientists like Freud, Beethoven, Goethe, Mozart and Einstein wrote and spoke in German.

-German is the third most commonly taught foreign language worldwide.

As you can see, German is definitely a useful language to have in your repertoire. Due to its similarity to some English words, you will find that you can understand bits and pieces of a text straight away, even though they might be spelt and pronounced slightly differently. So, come and find out more about the German language and book yourself in for a German class at Sydney Language Solutions.

Bis Bald!

Danny Ruch – German Language Instructor


How to control your IELTS Writing?

The key to delivering an essay is efficient and effective time management. You need time to think, time to create and finally time to package.

If you leave it to the last minute, all of these tasks become necessarily compressed or omitted.

If you have drafted an effective plan (with 3 clear points in the essay body), you should find your paragraphs correlating to the flow of your essay plan. The topic sentence of each paragraph in the body should state one of your points and link the paragraph to the essay question.

If you find the words not reading cohesively, there could be a flaw in the structure of your essay that requires major changing before you can complete your essay. Therefore, think and plan carefully before writing your essay.

Organise your time to systematically to create the content paragraph-by-paragraph.

Schedule your time to tackle each paragraph in about 5 to 7 minutes.

Often the hardest part is the Introduction of the essay, so you should spend at least 5 minutes to write this.

It may seem that the Introduction should be the easiest section to write first. However, it is also the section that the examiner reads first, and therefore forms the first impression.

It is important that the introductory paragraph makes a strong impactful impression.

Often, it is good to take at least a 15 second between paragraphs. When you read your latest paragraph with ‘fresh eyes’, you can be more critical of your own work. This way you can pick up technical, grammatical or spelling errors that you might not have seen in the course of generating the content

Dr. Na Pham  22.11.2012

OET Reading Skill Tips

Often the writing section B can pose a challenge to those who find comprehension difficult.

There are a few hurdles to pass with this section. In this month I will cover the first hurdle. That is the difficulty of the subject matter.

If students are not familiar with the subject matter, it may be very difficult to gage immediately the general nature of the article. In this respect, I advise all my students to familiarise themselves with three common topics that come up.

First is the top causes of morbidity and mortality in Australia. These can include cardiovascular diseases, common cancers and preventable lifestyle diseases like diabetes and injury.

Second is the Australian health system and the current affair issues specific to Australia. This will require looking up of news and health journal articles.

Third is the indigenous and rural health issues in Australia and all the other social challenges that influence their health.

Once a topic is known as is the case in all things, familiar topics are much more easier to comprehend. I also advise that as you are researching these topics, to keep a vocabulary book of all the common terms, names, acronyms that come up repeatedly as you are reading and try to memorise them.

On top of these common topics mentioned above, often latest break throughs in medical research or new discoveries in report form are included in these reading tests.

In our course we also go through some of the common medical study methods, and the advantages and disadvantages of each as a way to familiarise with how journalists analyse or criticise these findings.

Megan Lee

OET Teacher – SLS

Russian Literature

Russian literature is considered to be among the most influential and developed in the world, with some of the most literary works known worldwide. Russia’s literature dates back to the 10th century, but the peak of its development was in the 18th century and was boosted by the works of Mikhail Lomonosov followed by the literature of the 19th century. This period is called “Golden Age of Russian Literature” which began with Alexander Pushkin who is considered to be the founder of the Russian Literature and often called the “Russian Shakespeare” or the “Russian Goethe”.Its fast development continued further in the 19th century with the poetry of Mikhail Lermontov, world-famous dramas of Anton Chekhov, and the prose of such prominent figures in the literature of all times as  Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Turgenev, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and many others. Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky in particular are the most eminent writers and often described as the greatest novelists ever.

But this is only one facet of Russian literature. The age of the great novelists was over and short fiction and poetry became the dominant genres of Russian literature for the next several decades. The subsequent era of Russian literature is called “The Silver Age” which began in 1880 and continued till the beginning of the Russian Revolution. Leading writers of this Age include Aleksandr Blok, Anna Akhmatova, Marina Tsvetaeva, Ivan Bunin, Maxim Gorky and many others.

But even after the Revolution, throughout the extremely hard period of Stalin’s regime and after it Russian literature did not cease to develop and flourish. Unfortunately, many of the prominent writers, for instance Vladimir Nabokov had to leave the country. By the 1970s and 1980s restrictions on literature were to some extent eased which provided a favourable base for the emergence of myriad of talented Soviet authors as: Vladimir Mayakovsky, Ilf and Petrov, Mikhail Bulgakov, Boris Pasternak, Mikhail Sholokhov andAleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Many modern Hollywood and not only films are based on the plots of Russian classical literature such as for example: “Anna Karenina” by Tolstoi, “Crime and Punishment” by Dostoevsky, “Doctor Zhivago” by Pasternak and many others.


RussianTeacher, VladKibardin

30 Useful Chinese Expressions

Dos and Donts when Travelling in China

What is a back translation? Why is it so important?

Technically, it is the practice of translating a text that has already been translated into a foreign language (TL) back to the original language (SL) – preferably by an independent translator other than the original translator.

Back translation is normally deployed for the purpose of verifying the quality of the finalized product. Sometimes it does improve the readability, accuracy and validity of a translation by requiring that the quality of a translation is verified by a different translator translating back into the source language (LOTE).

Back translation is not routinely performed in that the majority of the clients might still favour traditional proofreading rather than back translation. Original version and back translated version are compared after back translation. By and large, owing to its high cost and various other reasons, back translation is not being extensively applied, but in situations which entail high risk and high return, it could be worth the financial investment.

Should you always listen to a complaint from your customers or your bilingual staff that the translation is not correct?

The notion that any bilingual individual can be a qualified translator or a proof reader is a falsified one in that the professional competence of a translator entails much more than mere bilingualism.

The fundamental requirements of a professional translator comprehend bilingualism, biculturalism, proficiency in practical translation skills and preferably some basic translation theories as well as massive experience in writing. It takes years of professional training and practice to achieve all these requirements. As a result, customers or normal bilingual individuals are probably not in a position to offer unbiased, professional and accurate opinion on the work of a professional certified translator.

Some clients do have the tendency to ask their bilingual staff to do the proofreading on the work of a professional translator and this issue needs to be put on the table and addressed immediately. Having said that, it is the responsibilities of the translator to explain in detail why the translation needs to be done in the way it was done so that the client and the translator can reach an agreement on the final product.

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November 2012
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