Language Links

(Wood Type Collage #E by Green Chair Press)

How Interpretation Works at the United Nations

“U.N. interpreters don’t need to know every official language. Rather, the U.N. hires interpreters who can translate into their native language from at least two other languages. A Russian interpreter, for example, might also know English and French. But he might not know Chinese. In that case, if the speaker is Chinese, the interpreters will use what’s called a “relay system.” The interpreters in the Chinese booth will translate the original speech into English or French, and the rest of the interpreters will translate that version into their own languages.”

The Infinite Jest Vocabulary Glossary (via @beksandro):

Anechoic (an·e·cho·ic) — Neither having nor producing echoes.

Regarding “Hell for Leather”:

“Hell for leather, in American vernacular, refers to an arduous walk that may have been strewn with difficulties and was a strain on footwear.”

The nicest things anyone has ever said to Antonia:

“I wish you were my mum.”

We’re Totally Fun Here

Excerpt from Antonia Cornwell’s very kind recap of her trip to the U.S.:

“Just as Earl Grey tastes better in England and A&W root beer tastes better in America, certain music sounds better here too, like Elton John’s Crocodile Rock on the Mustang radio when you’re driving past baseball games and white picket fences on the way to the diner to sit at a Formica table and order pancakes and corned-beef hash.”

Also, this is the second Londoner (Londonist? Londonite? Luddite?) I’ve heard wax nostalgic about pancakes and/or giant American breakfasts. If there’s one thing we do better than public inebriation, it’s hangover breakfasts.