Helen Gräwert

Helen Gräwert

I write, translate (ES>EN) and manage the words on websites for businesses and organisations across Europe who need to reach and connect with English-speaking audiences. Website: www.concisecontent.eu

Location Spain



  • The use of dialect (Yorkshire Tea) and the use of stereotypical imagery (Burger King) to "emphasise the supposed geographical or cultural origins" are, in my view, two different approaches.

    The first draws on a consumer's initimate knowledge of that geography/culture, in that they recognise subtle language use and a very specific region, and they feel a...

  • The example of Yorkshire Tea is an interesting one, because it seems to be drawing more on the connection, associations and values that consumers in or from the UK have about or share with their notion of Yorkshire. For example, the language used (e.g. 'proper brew') is very subtle and might not be picked up by some speakers of English as a second...

  • Product: As a Brit, I'll have to go for Marmite. Yes, I love it - and right there is a tagline ('You either love it or you hate it') that may need to be rethought or restructured slightly.

    Marmite is so ingrained in the British psyche that nearly everyone has a strong opinion on it, and this has informed the branding strategy. A slightly different approach...

  • Thank you for the fascinating introduction, can't wait to get stuck in. I'm a British web copywriter and translator based in a part of Spain whose main economy is tourism.

    That in itself makes the island (Mallorca) a globalised product as the tourist boards, etc, aim to reach and engage both domestic and foreign markets to entice visitors. However, there...

  • Hi everyone. I'm a British web copywriter and translator (ES/CA>EN) based in Catalan-speaking Spain and married to a German.

    I've completed other FutureLearn courses on translation and multilingualism as part of my CPD, and this course seems to be a great fit too.

    I'm interested in translation, localisation, transcreation and communication between...

  • @RaphaëlleRomana It's interesting to hear your first-hand experience of such a situation, thank you for sharing it. What a difficult time for the lady you care for/are in contact with, and for her family. You must bring her (and them) a great deal of comfort, communication is such a basic need.

  • Helen Gräwert made a comment

    Thank you for the info; unfortunately, only online programmes are a possibility for me (and perhaps for many people who choose the FutureLearn platform). Good luck with your programmes, they look really interesting!

  • This has been a truly fascinating course, thank you to the course creators and moderators for preparing it, and fellow students for sharing your experiences. I've learnt so much from you all! Good luck to everyone for the future :)

  • Of the three words/phrases mentioned above as being used in English, I can honestly say I have only ever heard one of them ('bon vivant') used by English speakers in my entire life!

    I've checked and 'mutatus mutandis' is in the dictionary, so while it's certainly not an everyday phrase, it's recognised. But 'Fahrvergnuegen' doesn't come up in my complete...

  • Spanish is such a rich tapestry of influences, with Arabic (in words like 'ajedrez' and in place names like Biniali here in Mallorca), but also words such as 'izquierda' from the Basque 'ezkerra' (I found this out recently in a great book: https://www.fundeu.es/blog/la-fundeu-reune-1001-curiosidades-de-espanol-ordenadas-de-10-en-10/).

  • @SibrechtVeenstra The Romani (or traveller) communities in the UK are regarded as being very close-knit and fiercely protective of their family groups and society. Perhaps this also contributes to the survival of the heritage/home language, as it reduces the impact of and contact with the dominant local language?

  • @SibrechtVeenstra Haha, yes, as soon as I went to the next step I realised that :)

    Thank you for the extra info about the similarities between Dutch, Frisian and the various dialects. It really is a very interesting field!

  • To course moderators: the link provided in two places above does not work (http://home.lu.lv/~pva/Sociolingvistika/0710892_68436_mesthrie_rajend_et_al_introducing_sociolinguistics.pdf). It says that we are not authorised to view the page.

  • 1) How old are you, and when and why did you decide to learn the language? For example, for personal, business or purely interest reasons?
    2) Did you have any prior exposure to the language? For example, within your family, in your place of work or education, or in another way?
    3) How have you learnt the language and how do you plan to maintain or improve...

  • @RaphaëlleRomana I have just found the following article (related to a different unit here on the course) and I thought back to this conversation. We were of course all thinking in the short term, but this takes a longer term view.

    It's about bilingual speakers and issues such as dementia, and it looks at the challenges in healthcare for bilingual speakers...

  • @SibrechtVeenstra I've also just found this article (authors from several UK universities), which you might find interesting. It's on the same topic, but looks at the issue of a second language fading and speakers reverting to their dominant childhood language.

    It mentions a play examining the issue (impact on personal relationships, etc), about a Gaelic...

  • @SibrechtVeenstra No, I couldn't find anything either. But I did find the following from Alzheimer's Research UK, where the Chief Scientific Officer refers specifically to being truly bilingual being the benefit in delaying onset: https://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/speaking-second-language-shows-benefits-alzheimers/

    So I guess it would seem to be a...

  • @AuroraMattei Exactly! Perhaps it reflects where the invaders came from at some point (from mainland Europe), and pushed the indigenous communities back towards the Celtic-speaking West? The map seems to indicate a split along those lines, and it fits with the other Celtic-family languages of Wales and Ireland.

  • A really interesting insight into Frisian and also the legislation behind protecting minority languages, thank you.

    I have a question, which is how is a 'new speaker of a minority language' defined? I had assumed it would be like anyone learning a language, in that they are starting pretty much from scratch, with no or little knowledge.

    José, however,...

  • Language status

    After lengthy, hard campaigns, the 1967 Welsh Language Act finally committed to giving people in Wales the choice of Welsh or English in the courts. It didn’t give a declaration on the status of Welsh, though.

    It was only in the 1993 Welsh Language Act that equality between Welsh and English was enshrined. It also provided for preparing...

  • I grew up in Wales, on the Welsh borders, and we had to learn Welsh from primary school onwards. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much of it now but one day I’d like to start learning it again for fun. My mum taught herself and still writes in Welsh :)

    Where it is spoken

    Welsh is spoken in Wales (UK), where it is also an official language. Patagonian...

  • When Prof. Dr. Goffe Jensma mentions growing mobility as a threat to minority languages, I thought back to the previous exercise and how Romani has survived as a minority language in pockets all across Europe. Is there anything to be observed or learnt from this? Obviously identity is a strong driver for these communities. Is there anything else?

  • Catalan is also a minority language in Italy :) (It's on the map but very tiny!) It's also an official language in other autonomos regions in Spain outside Catalonia, such as Valencia and the Balearic Islands, as well as a pocket in Spain.

  • Interestingly, Scots and Scottish Gaelic seem to come from different language families. According to the map, Scots is Germanic (like Ulster Scots and English) while Scottish Gaelic is Celtic (like Manx Gaelic and Irish Gaelic).

    Meanwhile, Romani is the one minority language in the UK that has a different language family: Indo-Iranian. Outside of the UK,...

  • This has been fascinating! I wanted to choose Wales, where I grew up on the Welsh borders. Then I saw that the map doesn’t count Wales as a country (that depends on who you speak to!), so went for the UK.

    Minority languages include:

    - Scots and Scottish Gaelic in Scotland
    - Ulster Scots in Northern Ireland
    - Manx Gaelic on the Isle of Man
    - Irish...

  • @MichaelaO'Connor You might be interested to know that there is an article on autism and the benefits of being bilingual in the current issue of the CIOL's The Linguist magazine (you might need to pay to see it): https://www.ciol.org.uk/the-linguist#ufh-i-651982324-the-linguist-60-2-april-may-2021

  • With respect to bilingualism helping to fend off a natural decline of cognitive function and maintaining cognitive reserve, has language learning been used in older people already showing signs of cognitive decline or disease to help delay or slow down such illnesses? Or is it too late by then, and any language learning is simply another exercise in...

  • @LoredanaPolezzi Yes, the first link is fine (link text: 'MA in Translation Studies'), it's the second one under 'Find out more' that doesn't work ;) It has URL https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/working-with-translation/6/further-learning from link text 'Register your interest in the MA in Translation Studies'.

  • In my comment at the start of the course, I mentioned that the new fees would put off EU-based students. I've since done some more reading and have found that UK nationals living in the EEA can benefit from home-fee status until 2028.

    More info for anyone interested:...

  • Thank you to the course tutors for an excellent, high-quality course and for all your interaction and sharing your knowledge. If this is a reflection of the MA at Cardiff, then it's surely a brilliant course. If only it were available online (Cardiff is a little far from Spain for attending lectures...)!

    I've learnt so much and it's confirmed to me that I...

  • I agree on all points! We are already connected on LinkedIn, but if anyone else wants to network in that way, my profile link is in my FutureLearn profile :) Good luck to everyone in any case!

  • @AlessandraDeMarco I just tried with my personal Gmail account and it worked (it wouldn't let me view it with my work email account, also Gmail but for business). Odd! Thank you again :)

  • @AlessandraDeMarco Thank you! How did you get access to the link provided originally? It won't let me see anything except for the message that says I don't have access to that service.

  • @AliciaTsui That's a good idea, a sort of 'translator's introduction'? I suppose it's also reasonable to think that readers who search out such books as the one in question are generally more likely to understand and appreciate the reasons for a translation that includes non-standard language?

  • @JoãoPauloSalvatori I agree, I would have thought that use of the first person would also reduce the risk of confusion or misunderstandings. Perhaps it depends on the culture of the country where the interpretation is being carried out?

  • @LoredanaPolezzi Thank you for the link, however it denies access and says that I must be logged in with a different account. Would you possibly have an alternative, please? Many thanks.

  • With respect to the two translations of 'The Magic Mountain', it was interesting to see when the two translations were written.

    The first was in 2016, while the second text (which other commenters seem to agree more closely represents the style, if not the structure, of the German original) was a few years after its publication in the mid-1920s.


  • I agree with you, as it is a sign of respect to also fairly represent an author's work, especially in the case of previously suppressed communities who now have a voice that rightfully deserves to be heard.

    However I wonder if the target audience has a big influence over whether retaining non-standard turns of phrase or language use will help or hinder the...

  • You raise a very interesting point about terminology and what is acceptable nowadays (and this varies greatly by sector). As a copywriter I'm used to consulting style guides written by my clients for their specific business or organisation, and this often makes clear how things should be written, or not. I get the feeling this isn't so widespread for...

  • @MichaelaO'Connor Thank you very much, I'll share this with a friend whose son is autistic and is trilingual :)