live chat Live chat
insight by wfx

Welcome to Wordwide FX's new enterprise!

Insight by WFX is a synthesis of our passion for languages and the financial markets. Here you will find technical and fundamental analyses from our clients, media partners and contributors in different languages, as well as discussions on languages and translation. And of course we will keep you updated on what is happening inside Wordwide FX Financial Translations. Hope you enjoy it! Greetings from the Wordwide FX team!

quotes
24/08/2017

The Earliest Surviving Secular English Song (c. 1225 AD)

author-image

By Wordwide FX Financial Translations

Via Realofhistory.com

Miri it is while sumer ilast with fugheles song, oc nu

neheth windes blast and weder strong. ei ei what this

niht is long. and ich with wel michel wrong, soregh and

murn and fast.

Merry it is while summer lasts with the song of birds;

but now draws near the wind’s blast and harsh weather.

Alas, Alas! How long this night is! And I, most unjustly,

sorrow and mourn and fast

 

These lines are the lyrics to might be the earliest surviving secular English song, dating from the first half of 13th century (circa 1225 AD). Known as Mirie it is while sumer ilast (‘Merry it is while summer lasts’), the preservation of the song is quite fortuitous since it was composed on a paper that was kept inside an unrelated historical manuscript.

The manuscript in question here pertains to the Book of Psalms, originally written in Latin on parchment, dating from the latter half of 12th century AD. However after a few decades of its composition, an anonymous writer (probably not the original scribe) added a flyleaf – a blank page, at the beginning of the manuscript. This particular page contained handwritten compositions of two French songs, along with a verse (in Middle English) of what is now considered as the earliest surviving secular English song – Mirie it is while sumer ilast. This ‘rudimentary’ music has been recreated and performed on a medieval harp by Ian Pittaway. There is another version by Ensemble Belladonna (below).


Another famous specimen Sumer is icumen in (more widely known as the Cuckoo Song or Summer Canon), is also counted among the earliest surviving songs in English. Possibly composed circa 1260 AD, the song (also written in Middle English, Wessex dialect) is now given the distinction of being the oldest known piece of six-part polyphonic music in English. The following musical arrangement was performed by the Hilliard Ensemble.

post-image
quotes
07/12/2016

The World’s Most Efficient Languages

author-image

By Wordwide FX Financial Translations

Via The Atlantic.com

By John McWhorter

How much do you really need to say to put a sentence together?

Just as fish presumably don’t know they’re wet, many English speakers don’t know that the way their language works is just one of endless ways it could have come out. It’s easy to think that what one’s native language puts words to, and how, reflects the fundamentals of reality.

But languages are strikingly different in the level of detail they require a speaker to provide in order to put a sentence together. In English, for example, here’s a simple sentence that comes to my mind for rather specific reasons related to having small children: “The father said ‘Come here!’” This statement specifies that there is a father, that he conducted the action of speaking in the past, and that he indicated the child should approach him at the location “here.” What else would a language need to do?

Well, for a German speaker, more. In “Der Vater sagte ‘Komm her!’”, although it just seems like a variation on the English sentence, more is happening. “Der,” the word for “the,” is a choice among other possibilities: It’s the one used for masculine nouns only. If the sentence were about a mother, it would have to use the feminine die, or if about a girl, the neuter das (for reasons unnecessary to broach here!). The word for “said,” sagte, is marked with a suffix for the third-person singular; if it were “you said,” then it would be sagtest—in English, those forms don’t vary in the past tense. Then, her for “here” means “to here”: In German one must become what feels to an English speaker rather Shakespearean and say “hither” when that’s what is meant. “Here” in the sense of just sitting “here” is a different word, hier.

This German sentence, then, requires you to pay more attention to the genders of people and things, to whether it’s me, you, her, him, us, y’all, or them driving the action. It also requires specifying not just where someone is but whether that person is moving closer or farther away. German is, overall, busier than English, and yet Germans feel their way of putting things is as normal as English speakers feel their way is.

Other languages occupy still other places on the linguistic axis of “busyness,” from prolix to laconic, and it’s surprising what a language can do without. In Mandarin Chinese, a way of saying “The father said ‘Come here!’” is “Fùqīn shuō ‘Guò lái zhè lǐ!’” Just as in English, there is no marker for the father’s gender, nor does the form of the word shuō for “said” indicate whether the speaker is me, you, or him. The word for “here,” zhè lǐ, can mean either “right here” or “to here,” just like in English. But Mandarin is even more telegraphic. There is no definite article like “the.” The word for “said” lacks not only a suffix for person, but is also not marked for tense; it just means “say.” It is assumed that context will indicate that this event happened in the past. Much of learning Mandarin involves getting a sense of how much one can not say in an acceptable sentence.

Moreover, anyone who has sampled Chinese, or Persian, or Finnish, knows that a language can get along just fine with the same word for “he” and “she.”* And whereas Mandarin can mark tense but often doesn’t, in the Maybrat language of New Guinea, there’s pretty much no way to mark it at all—context takes care of it and no one bats an eye.
If there were a prize for the busiest language, then a language like Kabardian, also known as Circassian and spoken in the Caucasus, would win. In the simple sentence “The men saw me,” the word for “saw” is sǝq’ayǝƛaaɣwǝaɣhaś (pronounced roughly “suck-a-LAGH-a-HESH”). This seems like a majestic monster of a word, and yet despite its air of “supercalifragilisticexpealidocious,” the word for “saw” is every bit as ordinary for Karbadian-speakers as English-speakers’ “saw” is for them. It’s just that Karbadian-speakers have to pack so much more into their version. In sǝq’ayǝƛaaɣwǝaɣhaś, other than the part meaning “see,” there is a bit that reiterates that it’s me who was seen, even though the sentence would include a separate word for “me” elsewhere. Then there are other bits that show that the seeing was most significant to “me” rather than to the men or anyone else; that the seeing was done by more than one person (despite the sentence spelling out elsewhere that it was plural “men” who did the seeing); that this event did not happen in the present; that on top of this, the event happened specifically in the past rather than the future; and finally a bit indicating that the speaker really means what he’s saying.

The prize for most economical language could go to certain colloquial dialects of Indonesian that are rarely written but represent the daily reality of Indonesian in millions of mouths. For example, in the Riau dialect spoken in Sumatra, ayam means chicken and makan means eat, but “Ayam makan” doesn’t mean only “The chicken is eating.” Depending on context, “Ayam makan” can mean the “chickens are eating,” “a chicken is eating,” “the chicken is eating,” “the chicken will be eating,” “the chicken eats,” “the chicken has eaten,” “someone is eating the chicken,” “someone is eating for the chicken,” “someone is eating with the chicken,” “the chicken that is eating,” “where the chicken is eating,” and “when the chicken is eating.” If chickens and eating are à propos, the assumption is that everybody in the conversation knows what’s what. Thus for a wide variety of situations the equivalent of “chicken eat” will do—and does.

So does the contrast between Riau Indonesian’s “chicken eat” and Kabardian’s “they saw me and it affected me, not now, and I really mean it” mean that each language gives its speakers a different way of looking at the world? It’s an intriguing idea, first formulated by anthropologist and linguist Edward Sapir and amateur linguist (and fire inspector!) Benjamin Whorf. If it were correct, an English-speaker would generally think about the past more than a Chinese-speaker would, while Germans would think more about movement than Americans or Brits.

Experiments have shown that this is often true to a faint, flickering degree a psychologist can detect in the artifice of experimental conditions. But does this mean a different way of experiencing life? Is a Kabardian shopkeeper in the Caucasus more exquisitely attuned to the nuances of experience than a Riau Indonesian-speaking fisherman in Sumatra? If that Kabardian shopkeeper’s jam-packed verbs mean that he vibrates in tune to the jots and tittles of life, then doesn’t one have to say that the Riau Indonesian speaker, whose grammar directs his attention to so few details, is something of a limp string on the guitar? We would run into similarly hopeless comparisons around the world. The Zulu speaker would be hypervigilant given the complexities of his language, the Samoan speaker inattendant given the less obsessively complicated nature of hers.

If thought and culture aren’t why some languages pile it on while others take it light, then what is the reason? Part of the answer is unsatisfying but powerful: chance. Time and repetition wear words out, and what wears away is often a nugget of meaning. This happens in some languages more than others. Think of the French song “Alouette, gentille alouette …” (“lark, nice lark”) in which one sings “ahh-loo-eh-tuh.” In running speech the word has long been pronounced just “ah-loo-ett” with no -uh at the end. That –uh in the song today is a leftover from the way the word actually was once pronounced normally, and it indicated the word’s feminine gender to the listener. Today, beyond marginal contexts like that song, only the final e in the spelling of alouette indicates its gender; hearing it in a sentence we’d have to rely on the definite article la alone to know that the word is feminine.
In a language where final sounds take the accent, such sounds tend to hold on longer because they are so loud and clear—you’re less likely to mumble it and people listening are more likely to hear it. In Hebrew, “Thank you very much,” is “Toda raba,” pronounced “toe-DAH rah-BAH.” The sounds at the end of the word mark gender in Hebrew, too, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon because they are enunciated with force.

When a language seems especially telegraphic, usually another factor has come into play: Enough adults learned it at a certain stage in its history that, given the difficulty of learning a new language after childhood, it became a kind of stripped-down “schoolroom” version of itself. Because all languages, are, to some extent, busier than they need to be, this streamlining leaves the language thoroughly complex and nuanced, just lighter on the bric-a-brac that so many languages pant under. Even today, Indonesian is a first language to only one in four of its speakers; the language has been used for many centuries as a lingua franca in a vast region, imposed on speakers of several hundred languages. This means that while other languages can be like overgrown lawns, Indonesian’s grammar has been regularly mowed, such that especially the colloquial forms are tidier. Lots of adult learning over long periods of time is also why, for example, the colloquial forms of Arabic like Egyptian and Moroccan are somewhat less elaborated than Modern Standard Arabic—they were imposed on new people as Islam spread after the seventh century.

In contrast, one cannot help suspecting that not too many adults have been tackling the likes of sǝq’ayǝƛaaɣwǝaɣhaś. Kabardian has been left to its own devices, and my, has it hoarded a lot of them. This is, as languages go, normal, even if Kabardian is rather extreme. By contrast, only a few languages have been taken up as vehicles of empire and imposed on millions of unsuspecting and underqualified adults. Long-dominant Mandarin, then, is less “busy” than Cantonese and Taiwanese, which have been imposed on fewer people. English came out the way it did because Vikings, who in the first millennium forged something of an empire of their own in northern and western Europe, imposed themselves on the Old English of the people they invaded and, as it were, mowed it. German, meanwhile, stayed “normal.”

Even if languages’ differences in busyness can’t be taken as windows on psychological alertness, the differences remain awesome. In a Native American language of California called Atsugewi (now extinct), if a tree was burned and we found the ashes in a creek afterward, we would have said that soot w’oqhputíc’ta into the creek. W’oqhputíc’ta is a conglomeration of bits that mean “it moved like dirt, in a falling fashion, into liquid, and for real.” In English, we would just say “flowed.”
 

post-image
quotes
16/11/2016

One More Year at the Finance Magnates Expo: There and Back Again

author-image

By Wordwide FX Financial Translations

Back home again after two intensive days in London enjoying great conferences and an amazing atmosphere in Europe's financial capital with the best international minds of the FX industry. It's been great to share the event with people we work with on a daily basis, and to put a face to email conversations and Skype chats. It feels really good to see so many enthusiastic professionals giving their very best to turn these two days into the benchmark event for brokers, retail traders, and companies like ours, oriented to services for brokers.  

 

FXPRIMUS, FXEMPIRE, AFX Group, UFX, Saxo Markets, Investing.com, and other clients and specialized media attended one more year the biggest expo in the FX and binary options industry. It was also lots of fun to meet fellow Barcelonians!  We'd like to send special regards to FXStreet's founder Francesc Riverola. 

I hope to see you all again next year!

The Wordwide FX Team

post-image
quotes
31/10/2016

'Th' sound to vanish from English language by 2066 because of multiculturalism, say linguists

author-image

By Wordwide FX Financial Translations

Visitors expecting to hear the Queen’s English spoken on the streets of London in 50 years may need to "fink" again.

By 2066, linguists are predicting that the "th" sound will vanish completely in the capital because there are so many foreigners who struggle to pronounce interdental consonants - the term for a sound created by pushing the tongue against the upper teeth.

Already Estuary English – a hybrid of Cockney and received pronunciation (RP) which is prevalent in the South East – is being replaced by Multicultural London English (MLE) which is heavily influenced by Caribbean, West African and Asian Communities.

But within the next few decades immigration will have fundamentally altered the language, according to experts at the University of York.

The "th" sound – also called the voiced dental nonsibliant fricative – is likely to change to be replaced an "f", "d", or "v" meaning "mother" will be pronounced "muvver" and "thick" will be voiced as "fick".

However the ‘h’ that fell silent in Cockney dialect is set to return allowing ‘ere’ to become ‘here’ once more.

Dr Dominic Watt, a sociolinguistics expert from the University of York, said: “Given the status of London as the linguistically most influential city in the English-speaking world, we can expect to see significant changes between now and the middle of the century.

“The major changes in the way we speak over the next 50 years will involve a simplification of the sound structure of words, they’ll become shorter probably

“By looking at how English has changed over the last 50 years we can identify patterns that seem to repeat. British accents seem to be less based on class these days. 

 “Languages also change when they come into contact with one another. English has borrowed thousands of words from other languages: mainly French, Latin and Greek, but there are ‘loan words’ from dozens of other languages in the mix.”

The Sounds of The Future report was produced from a study involving analysis of recordings from the last 50 years as well as social media language use.

Other changes likely to become widespread by 2066 include a habit known as "yod dropping" in which the "u" sound is replaced with an "oo". It means that "duke" becomes "dook", "news" is pronounced "nooze" and "beauty" changes to "booty".

Consonant "smushing" is also predicted where two sounds collapse together completely so that "wed" and "red" will soon be indistinguishable.  

Likewise the "l" at the end of words will be dropped so that the words "Paul", "paw" and "pool" all sound the same. Similiarly, "text" will lose the final "t" to become "tex".

And, the glottal stop pronunciation of "t" – a brief catch in the throat when the tongue tip closed against the roof of the mouth – will be the default pronunciation.

Brendan Gunn, a voice coach who is currently working with Pierce Brosnan on his new US series said: “The younger generation always wants to be different from the older generation and that process will continue throughout history.

“Text speak which is a form of shortening will become ordinary speak, so you may end up saying ‘tagLOL’ or ‘toteschill’ which means hashtag laugh out loud or totally chilled.

“Even in the Royal family it is probable that Prince George will speak much differently to the Queen. In London I think we will see the ‘th’ becoming an ‘f’ all the time.”

 

 

Technology will also change the way people speak, and the experts predict that as artificial intelligence emerges the, computers could begin to invent new words.

Dr Watt added: “It is conceivable that some of the words that will come into English in the next 50 years will have been invented by computers because as computers become more intelligent it may be they start creating words of their own and feeding the, back to us.

“Already we’re seeing text words phrases coming into respected dictionaries. As time goes on we’re going to see more and more of that kind of thing.

“The traditional dialects will die out and others will morph into the speech of large urban centres.”

The Sounds of the Future report was commissioned by HSBC to coincide with the launch of its new voice ID, which is currently being rolled out to 15 million users. 

post-image
quotes
18/10/2016

FXTM analysts in Arabic, Chinese, and Indonesian, by Wordwide FX Financial Translations

author-image

By Wordwide FX Financial Translations

More good news for us at Wordwide FX Financial Translations. One of our best clients, Cyprus-based broker FXTM, has recently entrusted us with the translation of technical and fundamental analysis by the company's top analysts, Chief Market Analyst Jameel Ahmat, Chief Market Strategist Hussein Sayed, and Research Analyst Lukman Otunuga. It's a pleasure and a privilege for us to be a part of FXTM's global strategy and to help them reach out to more and more clients worldwide.

Our partnership with FXTM started over a year ago and day by day we've been able to build a fruitful cooperation. Now, we are proud to say we have become one of their most trusted providers of specialized FX translations and that we are in charge of over 15 languages, including Arabic, Indonesian, Spanish, Thai, Chinese, Italian, and much more.

It's a real pleasure to work hand in hand with the FXTM team: Web Content Manager Sofia Kotsou, Email Marketing Specialist Nina Plavnik, and PR Executive Olga Ulasovich, and of course with analysts Lukman Otunuga, Hussein Sayed, and Jameel Ahmat. We want to thank you very much for allowing us to share these fascinating materials here on our blog.

The Wordwide FX Team


 

post-image
quotes
03/10/2016

Every British swear word has been officially ranked by its offensiveness

author-image

By Wordwide FX Financial Translations

Via indy100

The UK’s communications regulator, Ofcom, interviewed more than 200 people across the UK on how offensive they find a vast array of rude and offensive words and insults.

People were asked their opinion on 150 words in total. These included general swear words, words linked to race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, body parts and health conditions, religious insults and sexual references, as well as certain hand gestures.

They were asked to rate words as mild, medium, strong or strongest. 

And this is what Ofcom found.

For general swear words, the following words were seen as...

Mild: Arse, Bloody, Bugger, Cow, Crap, Damn, Ginger, Git, God, Goddam, Jesus Christ, Minger, Sod-off.

Medium: Arsehole, Balls, Bint, Bitch, Bollocks, Bullshit, Feck, Munter, Pissed/pissed off, Shit, Son of a bitch, Tits 

Strong: Bastard, Beaver, Beef curtains, Bellend, Bloodclaat, Clunge, Cock, Dick, Dickhead, Fanny, Flaps, Gash, Knob, Minge, Prick, Punani, Pussy, Snatch, Twat

Strongest: Cunt, Fuck, Motherfucker

Words rated as mild were thought to be okay to use around children, whereas medium words were seen by most to be potentially unacceptable before the 9pm watershed. The vast majority thought the strong words should definitely be saved for after 9pm.

For sexual insults, most words were rated as strong.

The only words rated mild or medium were: Bonk, Shag, Slapper, Tart. 

Words rated strong were Bukkake, Cocksucker, Dildo, Jizz, Ho, Nonce, Prickteaser, Rapey, Skank, Slag, Slut, Wanker, Whore.

Ofcom, which says this has been its most in-depth research yet, found that TV viewers are becoming less tolerant of racist and discriminatory language.

Most words relating to gender and sexuality, and race and ethnicity, were seen as strong, whereas most relating to disability were seen as mild or medium.

An Ofcom spokesperson told indy100:

"The findings are from new research on people's attitudes towards potentially offensive language and gestures in broadcasting, the biggest study of its kind carried out by Ofcom."

"The results are vital in supporting our broadcasting standards work to protect viewers and listeners, especially children." 

post-image