3 Romantic Ways Lovers Celebrate Valentine’s Day Around the World

3 Romantic Ways Lovers Celebrate Valentine’s Day Around the World

There’s not a lot to help us get through the lockdown. Even the distant dream of a summer holiday has been dispelled by Matt Hancock, despite booking a lovely trip to Cornwall himself. So, what’s left to drag us through these monotonous weeks, months, or probably more likely – years?

Wine? No, apparently that’s not good for you.

Comforting eating? Ditto.

Watching endless hours of trash TV? Umm, that works for a while.

How about a little love?

Yes, that’s right. With Valentine’s Day upon us, what better way to forget our lockdown woes than with a look at how this festival of love is celebrated around the world.

1. Wales

Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Wales just as it is in much of the world, but Wales also has its own special day to celebrate love and romance. St Dwynwen’s Day, which falls on 25 January, honours the Welsh patron saint of love.

The story goes that a young Welsh maiden called Dwynwen fell in love with a man called Maelon (good proper Welsh names, those), but they couldn’t be together, so Dwynwen ran into the woods. There she met an angel who gave her a magic potion to give to Maelon that would help her forget him – she must have really liked him! Unfortunately, the potion turned Maelon into a block of ice. Dwynwen immediately fell to her knees and prayed for three things: for Maelon to be released, for her never to marry, and for God to care for all true lovers.

St Dwynwen’s Day is celebrated today by couples exchanging love spoons. The spoons, carved from wood, carry messages of love and can even be used by couples to tell each other how many children they want so they can start to think about home-schooling.

2. South Korea   

Let’s board the love boat and sail all the way from Wales to South Korea, where traditions begin on 14 February. On this day, it’s up to the women to woo their men with chocolates, sweets and flowers. We then move to 14 March, a holiday known as the White Day, when it’s the men’s turn. They have to shower their partners with similar treats as well as upping the ante with a gift.

Our favourite part of the celebrations falls on 14 April, also known as the rather dramatic Black Day. Rather than staying in, washing their hair and crying themselves to sleep, single friends meet at restaurants to eat Jajangmyeon – noodles in black sauce – and mourn their singledom. That actually sounds pretty good to us. In our opinion, noodles are better than chocolate, and you never know who you might meet!

3. South Africa

Valentine’s Day in South Africa is only for the brave. As well as the usual gift-giving between couples, single women have to bear the ignominy of literally ‘wearing their hearts on their sleeves’. They follow an ancient Roman tradition known as Lupercalia, by pinning the name of their love interest to their sleeve. Personally, we prefer the more cowardly route of an anonymous card.

Send your messages around the world

Whether they’re messages of love or more practical missives such as marketing materials, websites and technical documentation, our professional linguists will be happy to oblige. We provide translation, transcreation, copywriting and telephone interpreting services to get your message heard.

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Chinese New Year – The Year Of The Ox; What does it mean for you?

Friday, February 12th marks the end of the year for those that follow the Chinese zodiac calendar. Many of us know little about the significance of each year, other than that your birth year determines what characteristics you are set. This year, 2021, falls on the Year of the Ox; but what exactly does this year symbolise, and what are its origins?

Although the specific date of when Chinese New Year originated is unclear, it is reckoned that the tradition began in the Shang Dynasty, between 1600-1046BC. The renowned usage of animal years originates from the story of the Jade Emperor, one of China’s most prolific Gods: he invited all the animals to take part in a race. Of all the creatures, only twelve were present at the start line: a pig, dog, rooster, monkey, sheep, horse, snake, dragon, rabbit, tiger, ox, and rat.

As a reward for showing up to the event, the Jade Emperor named a year after each of the animals. The order of the animals was determined by the order in which the animals were able to cross a river. The ox came second, only due to the rat’s cunningness as it convinced the ox to assist it across the stretch of water.

It is common knowledge for many that the Emperor’s race dictated the order of the animal years. However, it is less known that the Chinese zodiac calendar refreshes every sixty years: the animal years are repeated five times – once for each element (wood, earth, fire, metal, and water). This year is thus the year of the Metal Ox. Oxen are highly valued in Chinese culture for their agricultural role. Those who are born in the year of the Ox are said to have characteristics of trustworthiness, modesty, and determination – almost to the point of stubbornness. Recent birth years of Oxen include 1961, 1973, 1985 and 2009.

The connotations of an ox vary across Eastern cultures. For example: it is common for an ox to appear in Korean proverbs, particularly as an altruistic figure that replicates their real-life role of serving mankind; Buddhists see the ox as a true representation of Buddhist nature as depictions of the ox often display them as struggling to pull themselves (or a cart) down a path that symbolises religious practices. Arguably, the most fascinating perspective towards oxen comes from many of Japan’s Shinto shrines: Nade-ushi (撫牛), translating to “rubbing cows”, which are believed to heal diseases of those who rub the corresponding part of the cow’s body to pass their pains on to the statue.

So, how should we expect this year to play out based on such promising denotations? Well, “2021 is going to be a year when work will get rewarded, and those zodiac signs who are lucky in terms of money this year will be the ones that will make a considerable effort” according to the ChineseZodiac.Org [https://www.thechinesezodiac.org/chinese-horoscope-2021-year-of-the-metal-ox/]. Let’s hope so! Oxen may well feel extra pressure this year in their roles of responsibility. They will need to manifest their naturally calm manner aswell as using all available external sources to ensure great success. After such a bleak year, a restrained and apprehensive approach towards the New Year very well might bring great rewards for Oxen that remain true to themselves.

Are you ready to take your business further in 2021? Linguistica are here to help you expand your audience naturally, efficiently, and effectively. For a free quote, email info@linguistica-international.com or for more information on how our specialists can help you and your industry, click here [https://blog.linguistica-international.com/the-role-of-translation-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/]!

新年快乐 from Linguisticazhang-kaiyv-o1fLcy_yITE-unsplash-scaled-e1575913620552-wpv_770x440_left_center

Parasite: A Perfect Example of Diminishing Language Barriers in Modern Art

Parasite premiered in England on February 7th, 2020. It went on to make history just three days later, at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood. Bong Joon-Ho won four awards, breaking records as Parasite became the first non-English film to win Best Picture. Joon-Ho’s work also won itself the titles of Best International Film, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Director. The movie, categorised as a dark comedy and a thriller, instantly left its mark on me. My appreciation for Joon-Ho’s work was not limited by the Korean dialect; in fact, I felt more drawn to the cinematography and music as a result of not focusing my full attention on dialogue. As I watched the movie for the third time, I found myself agitated at the thought that people are missing out on a once in a lifetime movie experience because of a language barrier… then I started making comparisons to a certain playwright that has suffered similar negligence because of linguistic barriers: William Shakespeare – the king of English literature himself.

It is undeniable that Shakespeare’s performative Elizabethan iambic pentameter is more than a stone’s throw from our modern linguistic norms. Yet, those who commit to dissecting the texts he published are rewarded with fanciful tales and clear societal commentary. Similarly, those who can watch Joon-Ho’s Parasite with subtitles are compensated with an unforgettable storyline and cinematic experience. The comparisons continue: both Shakespeare and Joon-Ho choose to monitor two opposing families; both family’s morals are called into question in both stories; and by the end of the plots, the main characters have reverted into their original states. Despite the four-hundred and twenty-five-year gap between the two texts, their parallels are indisputable. Even the crossover of genres is aligned, as audiences receive a slap in the face about two-thirds of the way into the plot, shifting from a light-hearted tone that mocks its characters to a somber and serious theme that threatens the characters we have just become so acquainted with. Perhaps the most interesting comparison is the final lines of both stories, as the bending of social structures results in a catastrophe for both parties and as a result, a new status quo takes hold.

Although Joon-Ho came up with the idea for Parasite in 2013, prompted by the notion that “everyone loves to spy on the private lives of strangers”, and not Shakespeare’s classic tale, it is hard not to draw links between the two tales. Both these stories, and links between them, are a prime example of showcasing how language barriers are gradually becoming extinct in modern-day arts. Hopefully, the widespread success of Parasite marks the beginning of a new era of cinematic experiences.1800