Is translation an art or a math problem? This is the question that Gideon Lewis-Kraus of the New York Times Magazine asks after attending the First Machine Translation Marathon of the Americas held in May at the University of Illinois. Looking at the history and development of the long-sought ‘Universal Translator’, he gives us insight into the ever-increasing rift between computational linguists and ‘human’ translators, and questions the rationale of taking the ‘human’ out of the equation.

Lawyer and translator Paula Arturo shares her thoughts on an emerging trend in the translation industry: the addition, by large translation agencies, of a contractual clause ‘reserving the right to scan your computer and carry on onsite checks of translators’. Have you ever experienced this issue?

Carol’s Adventures in Translation guest author Raphaël Toussaint explains what terminology is and underlines the different levels of terminology work. You may benefit from the few recommendations he makes about applying an efficient terminology approach to translation.

In the Economist’s Prospero column of last week, R.L.G. describes the inherent, inevitable humility that the polyglot feels, and shares his thoughts on the varying levels of competence a multilingual individual possesses from one language to another.

Finally, UNESCO and other institutions recently published a map of the world’s 7102 known languages. A fascinating graph!

This is a brief review of translation and language news from around the world, along with the links to the relevant content. Let us know if you come across interesting online content!