Saturday, 4 April 2020

Languages & Usage: The Translation of 唔見棺材唔流眼淚 is Never Good Enough

Image from RTHK
Image from RTHK

This beautiful Cantonese saying 唔見棺材唔流眼淚 is one of the toughest metaphors to find an equivalent in English. Translation can match either its images or meanings in one clause, but to have both, you will need two. And you will lose the brevity. #WARS #Translation #Saying #Metaphor

LegCo translation 1: This is the so-called "he will not cry until he sees the coffin (refuses to be convinced until one faces the grim reality)"

LegCo translation 2: come to its senses only at the eleventh hour.

LegCo translation 3: "will not weep until it sees the coffin"


指有官員對疫情樂觀 袁國勇引俗語:唔見棺材唔流眼淚

Officials taking outbreak lightly: Yuen Kwok-yung

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Academic Writing: The Microsoft Word referencing style extender for linguistics journals

APA 7th Edition (Alpha)
Image from Locky's English Playground
Frustrated by the fact that Microsoft Word doesn't have the referencing styles for linguistics journals, I created my own stylesheets by extending Yves Dhondt's BibWord project. 

Download link:

Please feel free to make requests for new styles, report bugs and leave comments.

Latest addition:
  1. APA 7th Edition (Alpha version)
  2. Language, Context and Text : The Social Semiotics Forum
  3. Corpora
  4. De Gruyter Mouton journals
  5. SAGE Harvard for SAGE journals

Citation: Law, L. (2020). The Microsoft Word referencing style extender for linguistics journals. GitHub.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Medical: Size of #SARS vs #WARS virions

Is WARS virions really bigger than SARS'? If so, by how much? The following references will give us some clues.



Academic Research: [回應訴求 during #WARS?]

Image from BYU BNC

Image from BYU COCA

[回應訴求 during #WARS?]

Maybe it is just me and my poor Cantonese / Chinese + translation, but the expression 回應訴求 doesn't sound right to me (and always irritates me every time I hear it).

Given that
回應 (vb) = to respond to;
訴求 (n ) = (public / popular / - ) demand(s);

Asking HKGov to 回應訴求 (in Cantonese) does not seem to imply that a positive outcome is expected, which may explain why HKGov officials almost always claim that "we have responded, and the answer is 'no'".

Statistically, in UK / US English at least, "to meet demands" and "to satisfy demands" (滿足訴求 in Cantonese) are much more frequent (FYI: by the multiples) than "to respond to demands".

So maybe it is time to start using 滿足訴求 instead of 回應訴求 from now on.

Just saying.