5 Thoroughly Festive Christmas Traditions from Around the World

5 Thoroughly Festive Christmas Traditions from Around the World

Is your Christmas tree up yet? Good, it’s about time, too. With less than two weeks to go until the big day, we thought we’d put on the Christmas music in Linguistica HQ, open the mince pies, and let ourselves be taken with festive cheer. But while we’re celebrating in style here on the south coast, we’d also like to shine a light on how some wonderful people are getting merry this Christmas.

So, join us please aboard the Linguistica sleigh, as we take a whistle-stop tour of some heartwarming Christmas traditions from around the world.

1. Letters to Santa in Canada

Dear Santa,

This year my behaviour has been atrocious, it really has, but I’d love some great presents all the same.

We’re no strangers to writing a quick later to Santa. That’s a quick excerpt above. However, the Canadians take this beautiful tradition to the next level. Any letters that are addressed ‘Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada, HOH OHO’ are opened and replied to by a hardworking team of postal elves. What those replies say, we have no idea.

2. Austria’s Christmas Demon

We all know that if you’re a good boy or girl, Santa will bring you a lovely present as a reward. But what happens if you’ve been bad? Here in the UK, you’re likely to have an empty Christmas stocking, but over in Austria, you can expect to be dragged to the depths of hell by Santa’s evil counterpart Krampus. Krampus is a hideously ugly, half-man, half-goat demon whose job is to punish bad children before Christmas. That culminates in the Krampuslauf, which is one of Europe’s most popular festivals and will probably scar your toddlers for life.


3. Go Bananas in Braga

In the city of Braga in Portugal, the locals like nothing better than gathering in the main square on Christmas Eve to eat a banana that they wash down with Muscat wine – and why not?

The story goes that a Portuguese trader named Manuel Rio wanted to attract more people to his banana warehouse – you can understand why people were reluctant to go. So, he set up a small counter where visitors could buy a glass of Muscat wine. That was 30 years ago. Since then, the tradition has gone from strength to strength, with the local people gathering together to raise a banana to Christmas every year.

4. The Icelandic No-Brainer

Would you like more Christmas presents? Then move to Iceland. All you have to do is to be a good boy or girl and say you believe in the Yule Lads, and you’ll get 13 extra presents, no questions asked. The Yule Lads are 13 merry and mischievous fellows who take it in turns to visit children on the 13 nights leading up to Christmas.

On the night of the 12th December, everyone who believes in the Yule Lads has to leave a shoe out on their window sill. If they’ve been good, they’ll find a new small gift in the shoe every night. If they’ve been bad, their shoes will be filled with rotten potatoes, which will probably get tiresome.

5. Venezuela’s Wheelie Hazardous Christmas Service

On Christmas Eve, it’s customary for Venezuelans to attend a church service called Misa de Aguinaldo. In the capital, Caracas, the locals have taken to travelling to the service on roller skates, with many roads closed so they can wheel their way to their local churches safely. Does this tradition mean that more people spend Christmas in a Venezuelan A&E? Probably. But is it worth the risk? No idea, you’d have to ask them.

Merry Christmas from everyone at Linguistica Translation and Recruitment

It’s been a tough year for just about everyone, but this goes to show that there are a lot of good things happening out there at Christmas. So, have a fantastic time and drop us a line now or in the New Year for any translation, transcreation, copywriting, proofreading or telephone interpreting assistance.

On-demand telephone interpreting

What is On-Demand Telephone Interpreting and How Does it Work?

At Linguistica Translation and Recruitment, we provide a fast and effective on-demand telephone interpreting service that allows businesses to communicate across language barriers as and when they need to.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at on-demand telephone interpreting and run through the different ways that it can help your business.

What is on-demand telephone interpreting?

Telephone interpreting connects human interpreters to individuals who want to speak to each other over the phone but do not share a common language. The role of the interpreter is to listen to what each person wants to say in their native language before relaying it to the other person in their language.

The beauty of telephone interpreting is that it’s incredibly easy to operate and can work in a way that suits you. If an interpreter is with the person they are going to interpret for in person, then they can arrange a simple two-way call. The interpreter will speak to each individual (using a speakerphone for ease) and convey the message to the other person.

If the interpreter is not in the same physical location as one of the speakers, then a three or more-way call can be arranged. Here, each participant will dial in from their own phone and the interpreter will act as the middleman. They can indicate when each person should speak and even use a buzzer system if there are more than two parties involved.

The on-demand element of telephone interpreting is all about ease and low cost. It simply means that businesses can use the service as and when they need to. There are no contracts involved, no set-up or equipment costs and you can pay as you go. That makes it a service that’s available to businesses of every size and with any budget.

What are the benefits of on-demand telephone interpreting?

Telephone interpreting is one of the quickest, easiest and cheapest ways to overcome the language barrier while maintaining the accuracy of the communications. The benefits include:

  • Speed – Just contact a language services provider (that’s us) and you will receive a personal dialcard that allows you to talk to any contact in seconds.
  • Availability – Our telephone interpreters are available to support you 24/7, wherever you are in the world.
  • Convenience – Telephone interpreting allows you to connect with businesses, suppliers and other stakeholders that speak a variety of languages without the need to travel.
  • Cost – All of our cost plans are billed by the second, so you only pay for the time that you’re on the phone. There are also no setup costs or hidden fees.
  • Accuracy – Using a telephone interpreter ensures that your messages are conveyed accurately to eliminate potentially costly mistakes.

When might you use an on-demand telephone interpreting service?

There are lots of scenarios where a telephone interpreting service can be invaluable. It can open up opportunities for small businesses to take their operations overseas and overcome language barriers without the requirement for a big budget. In a world that increasingly works remotely, video interpreters who work in the same way as telephone interpreters but join video calls rather than phone calls can also be very useful.

Telephone interpreting is also widely used in hospitals and other healthcare settings where speed and accuracy are crucial. This includes call centres that provide services to non-native speakers, such as the NHS 111 helpline in the UK.

On-demand telephone interpreters can also be particularly useful if there’s a cancellation, for example,  or if an in-person interpreter is late or does not turn up for an event. When you need to connect with a language professional quickly, an on-demand telephone interpreter is impossible to beat.

Need an on-demand telephone interpreter? 

Then get in touch with Linguistica Translation and Recruitment. We offer a 24/7 telephone interpreting service that you can access for everything from medical appointments to business meetings. Call 02392 987 765 or email info@linguistica-international.com today.