The man who speaks 32 languages – and counting

When Ioannis Ikonomou arrived in Brussels as an interpreter, the EU

had 12 official languages. He learnt them all – then kept going.

Originally Posted by Xan Rice on NewStatesman

One Sunday evening in January, in a high-rise apartment in the upmarket European Quarter of Brussels, Ioannis Ikonomou, who is Greek, was anxiously watching the television news. The left-wing Syriza party, which had pledged to end austerity, was poised to win the election, pushing Greece towards confrontation with its international creditors.

He was, however, more worried about the showing of the far-right Golden Dawn, which he detests. “I’m the opposite of Odys­seus,” said Ikonomou, who looks younger than his 50 years, with close-cropped…

Interpreting a New Life in America


Community interpreting is a vital service for immigrants who, for one reason or another, haven’t learned their host country’s language. In urban cultural districts, people can get by quite well—until they have to access services. When it comes to medical care, family members are often called upon to interpret, which can lead to errors that have a serious clinical impact. Members of the medical sector have long pointed out this problem, since ad-hoc interpreters don’t have the necessary training to relay precise medical information…

Life as a Freelance Translator

Thinking about becoming a translator?

Marek Nowak explains in a guest article about why he decided to become a translator and how it has influenced his life and how it might influence yours should this be a path you’re pursuing.

Attribution: Trevor Bexon,

Almost every day I come across someone who asks me “what is it like being a translator?” I assume they expect a short and straightforward answer such as ‘great!’ or ‘terrible!’, but the honest truth is that the answer isn’t, and cannot be, that simple. There are just too many variables which need to be taken into…

The Evolution of Language: When & Why Did We Start Using It?

For hundreds of years, we humans have been selfish in our claim that we are the only species which uses languages. And while it is true that apes and other animals possess the ability to communicate with one another, there is no doubt that no other species on this planet uses language quite the way we do. Language has been a huge aid to humanity in helping us to evolve and develop, and we definitely wouldn’t be where we are today if it were not for our ancestors’ ability to start using language. So when and why did our great, great, great (insert another hundred ‘greats’ here) cavemen grandfathers decide that language was a necessary part of the human story?

MIT claims to have found a “language universal” that ties all languages together

A language universal would bring evidence to Chomsky’s controversial theories.

Language takes an astonishing variety of forms across the world—to such a huge extent that a long-standing debate rages around the question of whether all languages have even a single property in common. Well, there’s a new candidate for the elusive title of “language universal” according to a paper in this week’s issue of PNAS. All languages, the authors say, self-organise in such a way that related concepts stay as close together as possible within a sentence, making it easier to piece together the overall meaning.

Language universals are a big deal because they shed light on heavy questions about human cognition. The most famous proponent of the…

Bilingualism And Brain Health

Learning A Second Language Boosts Cognitive Function, Even At Old Age


Most of us communicate with one another in a single common language, while some of us are part of the bilingual and multilingual world that can speak and write in two or more languages. Bilingualism can make things like traveling or watching movies easier, while also providing benefits for the brain. In a TED-Ed lesson, “The benefits of a bilingual brain,” Mia Nacamulli explains how learning a second language can boost brain health in the three types of bilingual brains that exist.

“While a balanced bilingual has near equal abilities across the board in two languages, most bilinguals around the world know and use their…

How to Maximize Your Voice Over Brand

Originally published by  on Voice Over Herald

How to Maximize Your Voice Over Brand

Personal branding in your voice over career is creating an image that distinguishes you from the rest of the voice over actors in the market. Branding is an essential part in marketing your voice over business as it gives you the edge and identity in the increasingly competitive industry. But creating a brand does not end with identifying the niche you want to focus on, and how you would stand out in that chosen niche – you should also work on having a strong…

Framingham: High schoolers from Italy, France visit

MAPA President and Framingham resident, Drita Protopapa, is coordinating activities for

a group of Italian/French HS students during their 3 week stay in Framingham for WEP-USA

Drita Protopapa of Framingham talks about Framingham town government to a group of high school students visiting from Italy and France during their visit to the Memorial Building Tuesday.  In the front row, center, is Andrea Leoni, 16, of Milan, Italy.  Protopapa is local coordinator for the students' three-week World Edcuation Program visit to Framingham.  Daily News Staff Photo/Ken McGagh Drita Protopapa of Framingham talks about Framingham…

Reflections on a Life as a Translator – NETA’s 2015 Conference

More information about NETA on

NETA’s 40th Anniversary and 2015 Conference


Keynote Speaker, Arthur Goldhammer, tells the story of his long journey to and with translation

This year’s 40th anniversary conference of NETA could not have had a more opportune opening than a keynote address by Arthur Goldhammer, a renowned translator and a recipient of numerous awards, whose most recent translation of Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century has sold nearly a million copies. The story of his long journey to and with translation, initiated only two years after NETA was founded, easily captured the audience’s interest, in spite of its great variety in age and experience. His very personal perspective…

Concentration in Medical Spanish boosts bilingual skills, employability


Mesa, Arizona ~ There is an urgent need for professionals who can effectively communicate in Spanish and address the health, safety, legal and social needs of a widening Hispanic population in the United States.

Currently, there exists a shortage of interpreters and other workers who can speak and understand Spanish in nearly every field, and the demand for these skills is expected to rise as the Latino population increases from 17.4 percent to 28.6 percent of the U.S. population by 2060, according to U.S. Census Bureau projections.

The new concentration in Medical Spanish at Benedictine University at Mesa is designed to confront this challenge. By providing students…