Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Divided by a common language

You'd think that, if you were to publish a book in any given language, especially English - the world's number one business and commerce tongue, that you wouldn't need to provide translations, but....

<-This is from a delightful book by the well-known Australian stumpwork embroiderer, Jane Nicholas. Some of these, of course, are the brand names used by leading manufacturers of these items, but some are the name of the item itself. There's a similar list in a New Zealand embroidery book I own.

I once saw a blog entry written by a British lady living in the States in which she'd drawn up a list of the different names given to clothes on either side of the Atlantic. The number of differences actually surprised me when I saw them listed. Now, I understand most of them no problem, ('jumper' for 'jumpsuit' was a new one on me), but it was by no means the first time I've felt sorry for anyone coming to English as a non-native speaker, especially in the earlier stages, who wants to be able to get a grip on global English. There are just SO many options and, whilst American English is dominating the world scene to some extent (a fact that always puzzles me given that the USA is about the only English speaking country that uses it, all the others use British English or local adaptations thereof), other words proliferate!!

1 comment:

Sandy said...

yes, a couple of those terms could cause problems if you got the wrong item for your project! "Pellon" in the US is a brand name; they make interfacing material, and usually when you mention the brand, people think of the fusible (iron-on) non-woven webby stuff - imagine buying that when you should have gotten fluffy quilt-batting!