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What are the best newspapers & magazines to keep your English healthy and up-to-date?
Thread poster: Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer

Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:44
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Apr 1, 2009

Language is a living thing. In order to be a good translator, it is not only necessary to have mastered the technical side of your language, but also to immerse yourself in the type of writing you yourself would like to be able to use. I find that the more I read, and by read I mean read quality English texts, the better my own writing becomes.

I am curious what other translators consider valuable newspapers and/or magazines which they feel help them keep their English language skills sharp. I myself tend to translate rather middle-of-the-road business type texts, and therefore for me, newspapers and magazines such as the Guardian and Newsweek are very useful. Perhaps you translate something completely different.

What do you consider the best examples of English these days?

I will add all good/useful suggestions to this list*:

----------------------------
UK English:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/
http://www.economist.com/
http://www.ft.com/
http://www.guardian.co.uk/
http://www.theherald.co.uk/
http://www.independent.co.uk/
http://www.newscientist.com/
http://www.spectator.co.uk/
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/

US English:

http://global.nytimes.com/?iht
http://www.newsweek.com/
http://www.newyorker.com/
http://www.nytimes.com/
http://www.time.com/time/
http://www.vanityfair.com/
http://www.style.com/vogue/
http://www.theweek.com/

International English:

http://www.epw.in/
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/
----------------------------
* This list is just a rough draft so far. When we have enough suggestions, I will try and improve it aesthetically/structurally. MJWB




[Edited at 2009-04-02 22:31 GMT]


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jlrsnyder  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:45
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
The New Yorker Apr 2, 2009

http://www.newyorker.com/
The New Yorker has long been my source for reading contemporary, creative, and masterful use of the English language. The cartoons often introduce me to current buzzwords and slang.


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:45
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
The Economist Apr 2, 2009

Michael J.W. Beijer wrote:
What do you consider the best examples of English these days?

Simple - the Economist, which despite its title is a general economic / financial / political / cultural / technological weekly journal which calls itself a newspaper.

That makes it sound like a heavyweight indigestible product. On the contrary -- it is written in a very light lively style. You may even think it is too light, even slangy for your business translation purposes. But the journalists there are very well informed, and under much less time pressure than daily journalists, so they are able to to write very carefully crafted articles with plenty of up-to-date and accurate terminology. One thing they do particularly well is a regular technology update, which I have found to be an excellent source.

Sometimes they are also a good source words in other languages. I remember reading an article about French 'paysans', which made the point that while many English people might translate that as 'peasants', a better translation is something less pejorative, such as 'country folk'.

I used to be a journalist myself, in radio, and it was always galling when the Economist did a better job than me. But it was then, and is now, my favourite source.


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autor  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 12:45
Member
Portuguese to English
+ ...
The Economist - www.economist.com Apr 2, 2009

I'm English born, educated and worked in business in the UK most of my life, and always found the best written English in "The Economist" magazine (covers International news and business affairs). They even publish a "Style Guide" which is all about how to write clear, consistent and unambiguous reports.

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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:45
German to English
+ ...
The Economist, I would have said... Apr 2, 2009

autor wrote:

They even publish a "Style Guide" which is all about how to write clear, consistent and unambiguous reports.


but I was beaten to it. Surprise, surprise!

I also like to dip into the New Scientist, which is well-written, provides all sorts of snippets to satisfy the curious translator's interest and by no means confines itself to science. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20227021.500-how-misery-inspired-handels-messiah.html

RSS feeds are a useful way of selecting your reading in both cases.

Chris


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Catherine Brix
Local time: 13:45
Swedish to English
+ ...
Several Apr 2, 2009

The New Yorker, for sure. Culture, style and grace.
Vanity Fair, Vogue and Newsweek. Fashionista lingo and a U.S. perspective on the U.S. and elsewhere.
The Economist and the Financial Times. Financial lingo and a U.K. perspective on the U.S. and elsewhere.


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:45
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
The Independent and the Financial Times Apr 2, 2009

See http://www.independent.co.uk - another UK quality newspaper with a comprehensive web presence. Whenever I'm in the UK (and also in-between on the Internet when I have time), I usually read the Economist, the Guardian and the Independent.

Oh, and I forgot the Financial Times, which is very useful and informative in all matters business and financial - http://www.ft.com

Steffen

[Edited at 2009-04-02 12:34 GMT]


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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:45
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Quality British press on-line Apr 2, 2009

Steffen Walter wrote:
I usually read the Economist, the Guardian and the Independent.


Same choice for me, in this order
1. The Guardian, quality daily newspaper and excellent website
2. The Economist, same quality, but weekly
3. The Independent, many years ago this paper was my favorite, I still read it but less frequently

I will also visit The New Yorker, that I did not know yet.


Gianfranco


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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:15
German to English
Economic and Political Weekly Apr 2, 2009

The Economist and The Guardian are good choices that I also read. If you like to read about South Asia and the Indian sub-continent in particular, the Economic and Political Weekly is quite a well written English magazine, although you may sometimes find the English slightly different from British or American English.

http://www.epw.in



[Edited at 2009-04-02 14:25 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-04-02 14:27 GMT]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:45
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
The Spectator Apr 2, 2009

I agree that The Economist, Financial Times and New Yorker are splendid publications. I'd add The Spectator, a weekly magazine that covers politics, current affairs, the arts, theatre, TV, radio, cinema, chess, bridge, fine food and wine, as well as all kinds of sometimes quirky and often highly entertaining opinion pieces.
Yes, the Economist's Pocket Style guide is good - I quoted from it about a week ago in another Proz forum on the use accents etc. in written English.
Best wishes,
Jenny.


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Lutz Molderings  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 13:45
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
The Week Apr 2, 2009

It provides a digest of the week's news and editorial commentary from a large number of news outlets, mainly from U.S. print media but also including non-U.S. and non-print media.

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Giles Watson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 13:45
Italian to English
Contadini and crosswords Apr 2, 2009

Peter Linton wrote:

Sometimes they are also a good source words in other languages. I remember reading an article about French 'paysans', which made the point that while many English people might translate that as 'peasants', a better translation is something less pejorative, such as 'country folk'.



"Country folk" and "farmers" are two of the translations I use most frequently for "contadini" in Italian

Since one of the basic skills of general translation is formulating and reformulating concepts in the target language, cryptic crosswords can be a very useful linguistic exercise, as well as good fun.

The Herald (formerly the Glasgow Herald) has an online crossword that doesn't take too long and - more to the point - is free, unlike some of the better-known puzzles.

http://www.theherald.co.uk/crosswords/

Giles


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 18:15
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
The Times of India Apr 2, 2009

I think this would be the best choice. It is the largest English newspaper in the world.

http://www.quickonlinetips.com/archives/2005/06/times-of-india-worlds-largest-selling-english-broadsheet-newspaper/

And when so many people are reading it, you can expect some quality from its pages. Here is the link to its web edition.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/

I read it daily, the Ahmedabad edition of it, and can say that at least its editorial pages are elegantly written. Many of its columnists are masterly users of the English language; in addition, they have encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject on which they write. Columns of Shobha De, Swaminathan Ankaleshwar Aiyar, Jug Suraya, M.J. Akbar, Gurucharan Das, and Deepak Chopra (yes the spiritual Guru, Deepak Chopra writes a column on this newspaper) are a delight to read.

So are many of its lead article writers like K. Subrahmanyam who writes on defence-related topics, including terrorism.

The paper is so confident of its position in the English language business that it recently took a very controversial decision that touches upon the heart of the English language. It decided to stop writing the pronoun I in capital, arguing that it was unnecessary. It wrote a tongue-cheek editorial justifying its decision. Unfortunately I do not have a cutting, otherwise I would have posted it here. If ten years down the line, other users of English adopt this very sensible practice, TOI (as the paper is often called) can take credit for this improvement of the English language.

This is a hundred year old paper owned by a Jain businessman, Samir Jain. It is the main newspaper in Delhi and Mumbai and has several editions in other parts of India, including Bangalalore, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, etc.

The paper is facing rough weather currently and has seen a decline in its readership as it is buffetted by the more vibrant Hindi press. Today its Hindi competetitors like Dainik Jagaran, Dainik Bhaskar, Rajasthan Patrika, and many others have jousted it off the pedestal of the most read newspaper in India.

Until a few years ago TOI had an almost permanent position in the upper rungs of the top ten newspapers of India. But now these places are occupied by Hindi newspapers and TOI has been pushed down to the lowly ninth position. It is a matter of few years before TOI is ousted from the top ten list altogether by the Hindi papers.

This is not altogether surprising considering that in India Hindi-speakers vastly outnumber people who can understand English.

[2009-04-02 17:49 GMT पर संपादन हुआ]


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Textklick  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:45
German to English
+ ...
Cryptic advice Apr 2, 2009

Giles Watson wrote:

Since one of the basic skills of general translation is formulating and reformulating concepts in the target language, cryptic crosswords can be a very useful linguistic exercise, as well as good fun.

Giles


During those oh-so-wonderful days of commuting into London in packed trains I usually managed to complete the regular crossword. One day, a fellow commuter and evening city 'aperitivo' drinker asked me why I did not bother with the cryptic crossword, from which I had previously recoiled in awe and dismay.

He talked me through the method on two consecutive days and there I was - hooked.

Some useful hints can be found here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/crossword/howto/rules/0,4406,210643,00.html (Looks like you'll have to cut and paste this URL)

Enjoy,
Chris


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ICL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:45
English to Spanish
+ ...
International Herald Tribune (global edition of the New York Times) Apr 2, 2009

In my case, because I am subscribed to the online version of El País (currently the biggest Spanish newspaper), at some point they were associated, so the online version of the IHT used to be included as part of the El País online suscription.

Also, where I live it is relatively easy to get a printed copy of it, and it is not as expensive as some of the other equally available English newspapers (because actually the IHT is almost like a "summary" of most international news, so it is rather "thin").

What I also like about it is that, AFAIK (at least from the version I normally get), I believe its journalists are usually based in Paris, so this gives a quite interesting different perspective (from the European/French point-of-view) of many of the international/USA news vs. the news you read in The New York Times itself.

http://global.nytimes.com/?iht


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