E-commerce is booming. While high street stores and local businesses across the world were reporting losses and shutting their doors through the pandemic, global retail e-commerce sales increased by 25.7% in 2020. These soaring figures for online shopping were fuelled by endless lockdowns, the (not always) cheap thrill of another Amazon package arriving at the front door, and the fact that even a visit to the local supermarket was a potentially life-threatening trip.
Brexit has spelled the end of many things we once took for granted in the UK, in our fully-fledged European days. Well, nearly fully-fledged, other than our refusal of the euro as home currency, and our inexplicable rejection of siesta time as a valid extension of lunch.
What is inclusive writing? Why is it causing a debate in France? And last but by no means least, what does it mean for translation? Some argue inclusive writing is essential to truly achieve gender equality, but others think the practice makes language unnecessarily complicated. ‘Écriture inclusive’ has been making waves for a while, and shows no signs of disappearing – in fact, more and more charities and NGOs are now using it.
Is it just me, or has ‘that’s a problem for future me to deal with’ become a fairly standard phrase in our day-to-day conversations? Research suggests that the way the English language is constructed may make native English speakers more inclined to live in the present (arguably no bad thing!), but also less likely to plan effectively for the future and more likely to engage in self-indulgent or even damaging behaviours.
On January 20th 2021, Amanda Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet in US history. Her poem “The Hill We Climb” called for unity and collaboration and inspired a divided nation. However, when it came to translating Gorman’s work, a debate began to ripple through the translation industry on an almost unprecedented scale.
Over the last year, Covid-19 has completely transformed the world. The way we perform our jobs, interact and communicate day-to-day has radically changed. Yet, in a world that seems so suddenly disconnected, translation has played a crucial role in maintaining normality and keeping things moving. In 2021, translation is more important than ever.