Etymology of “Translation”

What is the origin of the word “Translation”?

It is the process of translating and adapting words or a piece of writing from one language into another. It is also a full-time career and the main source of income for many translators and interpreters all over the world.

Throughout history, civilizations have required translators and interpreters to share their culture, wisdom and works with the rest of the world. Almost every historical register, religious book, masterpiece of world literature,  invention patent, major agreement or international treaty has been through the hands and eyes of translators. The translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek in the 3rd century BC is regarded as the first major translation in the Western world.

origin of the word translation
Translator addressing his master. Unknown Flemish artist. Late 15th Century.

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In a way, translators are the bridge not only between different languages, but also between periods of history, helping people all over the world break the language barrier. Translators and interpreters spend a lot of time transferring and adapting texts and speeches from the source to the target language. So it goes without saying that the origin of the noun translation —and, by extension, (to) translate and translator—, deserves to be analyzed on this blog.

Thomas Eakins
The Translator, Portrait of Monsignor Hugh T. Henry (1902), by Thomas Eakins, American Catholic Historical Society,

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Etymological root of the word Translation

Translation derives from the Latin word Translatio, meaning “to carry across“:

trans, (“across”)

+

ferre, (“to carry” or “to bring”).

Latin> We can find the word trānslātiō in the nominative and vocative cases.

Case Singular Plural
nominative trānslātiō trānslātiōnēs
genitive trānslātiōnis trānslātiōnum
dative trānslātiōnī trānslātiōnibus
accusative trānslātiōnem trānslātiōnēs
ablative trānslātiōne trānslātiōnibus
vocative trānslātiō trānslātiōnēs

As it seems, there was an intermediate step, when English adopted the word from Old French translacion (traduction in modern French).

So, not surprisingly, the origin of Translation is Latin… But what about Greek?

The Ancient Greek term for “translation”, μετάφρασις (metaphrasis, “a speaking across”), has supplied  English with “metaphrase”, which, despite having a similar meaning, is not exactly the same. Metaphrase means a literal, verbatim translation, as opposed to a paraphrase. It is also is also the translation of poetry into prose.

origin of the word translation translate translating

With regards to the use of the word in the sense of  “rendering an expression or speech into another language”, Leonardo Bruni, a Tuscan humanist, historian and statesman, was the first to use the verb tradurre to refer to the art of translation and Robert Estienne, a 16th-century printer and classical scholar in Paris, was the first to use the noun traduction (French for translation) in the sense of rendering of a message or text into another language.

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Etymology of “Economy”

What is the origin of the word Economy?

We learned earlier about the origin of the word finance. Today we will focus on the etymology of the term economy, which at the beginning had a somewhat different connotation from the one we are used today.

Nowadays, Economy refers to the management of resources, such as money, materials, or labor… or the system or range of economic activity in a country, region, or community, whereas Economics refers to the social science that deals with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, and with the theory and management of economies or economic systems.

Economist, economize, economical… all these terms stem from the same word. So, let’s have a closer look.

Etymology of the word Economy

origin of the word Economy

The first part of the term Economy, Eco, is derived from Ancient Greek Oikos (οἶκος, plural  οἶκοι), which meant “house, abode, dwelling”. The Ancient Greeks used the word Oikos to refer to three related but different in nature household categories, namely,  the family, the family’s property (slaves, farmland…), and the house.

origin of the word economy

Nemo (νέμω, némō), the second part of the term, also stems from the Ancient Greek and means “(to) manage, distribute;(to) deal out or dispense”.

Hence, the word Oikonomia (οἰκονομία) meaning “the management  and administration of a household”.

origin of economy

The first recorded sense of the word “economy” is in the phrase “the management of œconomic affairs” , which was found in a monastic work possibly drawn up in 1440. “Economy” is later recorded in a variety of senses, such as “thrift” or “administration”. The most generally used current sense, meaning “the economic system of a country or an area”, as it seems, did not appear until the 17th century.

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Most Expensive and Cheapest Countries in Europe

Most Expensive and Cheapest Countries in Europe

Which are the most affordable countries in Europe? Which are the most expensive ones? In this post I am going to analyze such issues using a number of sources  and items (see below) that  can help solve this conundrum.  We saw earlier which are the most expensive and cheapest cities in Europe. Today I am going to focus on each country as a whole. The main parameters used to list the countries in this ranking are GDP per capita, place in the UN Human Development Index, the Big Mac Index, the price of the shopping basket in each country compared to the European average, the price of 1 Kg of rice (as representative of staple food) and then, within each country, you can even check the most expensive and cheapest cities.  As we all know, everything is relative (e.g., the market basket in a given country may be more expensive but taxes may be lower), but I think it can offer an overview of the current state of affairs.

While it is true that living standards tend to be lower in Eastern European countries, they are also generally cheaper, or more affordable, if you like, for tourists, expats or people teleworking online (such as freelance translators, copywriters, writers or graphic designers) for, say, western companies or agencies.  Portugal, Latvia and Bulgaria feature among the cheapest countries regarding income tax for self-employed or freelancers.On the other hand, Scandinavian countries are considered to be expensive  and have high taxes, but they also rank among the countries with the highest living standards not only in Europe, but in the whole world. They are undoubtedly an example of good governance for others to follow.

Today I won’t go into qualitative aspects, since many would argue —not without reason— that weather conditions, the nutritional quality of local food, the social fabric, the quality of social services, gender-equality policies, even the so-called Happiness Index… are key elements for a good quality of life. I fully share this view, but it is a different kettle of fish.

Below the list of the cheapest countries you can find a description of the main concepts and benchmarks I have used to draw up the ranking as well as the sources consulted.

Most expensive countries in Europe

suiza-pais-mas-caro-de-europa

Most expensive countries in Europe (starting with the most expensive one)

  1. Switzerland

    cost of living in Switzerland

Population: 8,544,034
Currency: Swiss Franc
GDP per capita: 80,590 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 3
Big Mac Index: 6.59
Cost of the market basket: 163% of the European average
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 2.52 USD
Most expensive cities in Switzerland: Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Lausanne and Bern
Cheapest cities in Switzerland:Neuchatel, Aarau and St. Gallen
Taxes in Switzerland
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Average
Income tax: Low
VAT rate: low

  1. Norway

    Cost of Living in Norway

Population: 5,312,343
Currency: Norwegian Krone
GDP per capita: 74,940 USD (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 1
Big Mac Index: 5.51
Cost of the market basket: 137% of the European average
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 2.98 USD
Most expensive cities in Norway:
Cheapest cities in Norway: Bodo and Kristiansand
Taxes in Norway
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: High
Income tax: High
VAT rate: High

  1. Iceland

    Iceland

Grocery shopping prices in Iceland

Youtube channel: Iceland with a view

Population: 350,710
Currency: Icelandic Krona
GDP per capita: 70,332 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 16
Big Mac Index: ——
Cost of the market basket: 125% of the European average
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 3.47 USD
Most expensive cities in Iceland: Reykjavik
Cheapest cities in Iceland: —
Taxes in Iceland
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Average
Income tax: Average
VAT rate: High

  1. Denmark

    Slovakia most expensive and cheapest countries in Europe most expensive and cheapest countries in Europe

Population: 5,745,547
Currency: Danish Krone
GDP per capita: 56,444 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 4
Big Mac Index: 4.44
Cost of the market basket: 137% of the European average
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 2.05 USD
Most expensive cities in Denmark: Silkeborg and Copenhaguen
Cheapest cities in Denmark: Horsens, Odense and Vejle

Taxes in Denmark
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Average
Income tax: High
VAT rate: High

  1. Luxembourg

    ranking most expensive and cheapest countries in Europe Cost of living in Europe

Population: 602,000
Currency: Euro
GDP per capita: 105,803 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 19
Big Mac Index: —
Cost of the market basket: 119% of the European average
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 2.05 USD
Puesto en el índice de desarrollo humano: 19
Most expensive cities in Luxembourg: Luxemburgo
Cheapest cities in Luxembourg : —-
Taxes in Luxembourg
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Average
Income tax: High
VAT rate: Low

  1. United Kingdom 

    cost of living in the UK, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

Population: 66,040,229
Currency: Pound sterling
GDP per capita: 39,734 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 14
Big Mac Index: 3,94
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.70 USD
Most expensive cities in the UK: London, Oxford, Portsmouth, Aberdeen and Bristol
Cheapest cities in the UK: Sheffield, Sunderland y Dundee
Cost of the market basket: 131% of the European average
Taxes in UK
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Average
Income tax: High
VAT rate: Average

  1. Finland

    ranking most expensive and cheapest countries in Finland most expensive and cheapest countries in Europe

Population: 5,517,887
Currency: Euro
GDP per capita: 46,016 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 24
Big Mac Index: 5.06
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 2.20 USD
Most expensive cities in Finland: Helsinki and Tampere
Cheapest cities in Finland: Lapeenranta, Kuopio
Cost of the market basket: 120% of the European average
Taxes in Finland
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: High
Income tax: Average
VAT rate: High

  1. Belgium

    cost of living in Belgium countries ranking

Population: 11,469,204
Currency: Euro
GDP per capita: 43,582 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 21
Big Mac Index: 4.35
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.74 USD
Most expensive cities in Belgium:Mons, Bruselas and Namur<
Cheapest cities in Belgium: Leuven and Liege
Cost of the market basket: 107% of the European average
Taxes in Belgium
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: High
Income tax: High
VAT rate: Average

  1. Netherlands

    most expensive and cheapest countries in the Netherlands European Union

Population: 17,254,086
Currency: Euro
GDP per capita: 48,345 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 5
Big Mac Index: 3.8
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.62 USD
Most expensive cities in the Netherlands: Zwolle and Amsterdam
Cheapest cities in the Netherlands: Groningen and Enschede
Cost of the market basket: 109% of the European average
Taxes in the Netherlands (Holland)
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: High
Income tax: High
VAT rate: Low

  1. France

    cost of living in France EU most expensive and cheapest countries in Europe

Population: 67,297,000
Currency: Euro
GDP per capita: 39,869 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 22
Big Mac Index: 4.51
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.90 USD
Most expensive cities in France: Perigueux, Paris, Lyon and Toulouse
Cheapest cities in France: Saint-Étienne, Montpellie, Marseilles and Perpignan
Cost of the market basket: 105% of the European average
Taxes in France
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: High
Income tax: High
VAT rate: Average
id=”Map_of_sovereign_states_in_Europe_by_2017_GDP_nominal_per_capita_based_on_USD_exchange_rate” class=”mw-headline”>GDP nominal per capita based on USD exchange rate

map Europe GDP per capita

Cheapest countries in Europe

most expensive and cheapest countries Moldavia cost of living in Moldavia

Cheapest countries in Europe (starting with the cheapest one):

  1. Moldavia/ Moldova

    Moldavia cheapest cities cost of living in Moldavia

Population: 3,564,000
Currency: Moldovan leu
GDP per capita: 2,279 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 107
Big Mac Index: 1.75
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 0.95 USD
Most expensive cities in Moldavia: Tiraspol
Cheapest cities in Moldavia: Chișinău
Cost of the market basket: 40% of the European average

  1. Ukraine

    cost of living in Ukraine

Population: 42,895,704
Currency: Hryvnia
GDP per capita: 2,582 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 81
Big Mac Index: 1.57
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 0.99 USD
Most expensive cities in Ukraine: Kiev, Lutsk, Lviv, Kirovoghrad, Dnipro and Kharkiv
Cheapest cities in Ukraine: Simferopol and Zaporizhzhya
Cost of the market basket: 45% of the European average
Taxes in Ukraine
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Low
VAT rate: Average

  1. Macedonia

    Cost of living in Macedonia

Population: 2,075,301
Currency: Macedonian Denar
GDP per capita: 5,474 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 81
Big Mac Index: 1.90
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.26 USD
Most expensive cities in Macedonia: Veles
Cheapest cities in Macedonia: Prilep, Ohrib
Cost of the market basket: 48% of the European average
Taxes in Macedonia
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Average
VAT rate: Low

  1. Serbia

    cost of living in Serbia

Population: 7,040,272
Currency: Serbian Dinar
GDP per capita: 5,899 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 66
Big Mac Index: 2.08
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.08 USD
Most expensive cities in Serbia: Belgrade, Valjevo
Cheapest cities in Serbia: Zrenjanin, Nis
Cost of the market basket: 49% of the European average
Taxes in Serbia
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: High
VAT rate: Average

  1. Albania

    cost of living in Albania

Population: 2,887,000
Currency: Albanian Lek
GDP per capita: 4,582 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 85
Big Mac Index: —–
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.08 USD
Most expensive cities in Albania: Korçë
Cheapest cities in Albania:Tirana, Vlorë and Elbasam
Cost of the market basket: 47% of the European average
Taxes in Albania
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Average
VAT rate: Average

  1. Bosnia and herzegovina

    cost of living in Bosnia

Population: 3,750,000
Currency: Bosnia and Herzegovina convertible Mark
GDP per capita: 5,148 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 86
Big Mac Index: ——
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.23 USD
Most expensive cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Zenica
Cheapest cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bihac
Cost of the market basket: 51% of the European average
Taxes in Bosnia and herzegovina
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Low
VAT rate: Low

  1. Romania

    cost of living in Romania European ranking countries

Population: 19,622,000
Currency: Leu
GDP per capita: 12,523 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 5
Big Mac Index: —-
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.04 USD
Most expensive cities in Romania: Focșani, Bucarest
Cheapest cities in Romania: Târgu Mureș
Cost of the market basket: 52% of the European average
Taxes in Romania
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Average
VAT rate: Low

  1. Bulgaria

    cost of living in Bulgaria Europe ranking list countries

Population: 7,050,034
Currency: Lev
GDP per capita: 8,064 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 59
Big Mac Index: 1,88
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.22 USD
Most expensive cities in Bulgaria:Pleven
Cheapest cities in Bulgaria: Burgas
Cost of the market basket: 47% of the European average
Taxes in Bulgaria
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Low
VAT rate: Average

  1. Poland

    cost of living in Poland paises-mas-caros-y-mas-baratos-de-europa

Population: 38,433,600
Currency: Zloty
GDP per capita: 13,822 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 36
Big Mac Index: 2.42
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 0.82 USD
Most expensive cities in Poland: Warsaw, Kraków and Bielsko-Biala
Cheapest cities in Poland:Rzeszów, Radom and Gorzów Wielkopolski
Cost of the market basket: 55% of the European average
Taxes in Poland
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Average
Income tax: Average
VAT rate: High

  1. Belarus

    cost of living in Belarus

Population: 9,452,113
Currency: Belarusian Ruble
GDP per capita: 5,760 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 50
Big Mac Index: —–
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 0.95 USD
Most expensive cities in Belarus: Minsk
Cheapest cities in Belarus: Maladzyechna
Cost of the market basket: —
Taxes in Belarus
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Average
Income tax: Low
VAT rate: High

  1. Montenegro

    cost of living in Montenegro

Population: 642,550
Currency: Euro
GDP per capita: 7,647 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 49
Big Mac Index: —-
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 1.25 USD
Most expensive cities in Montenegro: Budva
Cheapest cities in  Montenegro: Podgorica
Cost of the market basket: 55% of the European average
Taxes in Montenegro
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Low
VAT rate: Low

  1. Hungary

    cost of living in Hungary paises-mas-caros-y-mas-baratos-de-europa

Population: 9,771,000
Currency: Forint
GDP per capita: 15,531 (GDP nominal per capita – current international dollar)
Place in the UNDP Human Development Index: 44
Big Mac Index: 2.71
Price of rice (white, 1 kg): 01.06 USD
Most expensive cities in Hungary : Budapest, Szombathely y Györ
Cheapest cities in Hungary: Kaposvár, Szolnok y Kecskemét
Cost of the market basket: 57% of the European average
Taxes in Hungary
Since taxation is subject to changes, only an indicative level is given
Corporate tax: Low
Income tax: Average
VAT rate: High
***

Top 10 European countries by GDP 2019

  1. Germany
  2. United Kingdom
  3. France
  4. Italy
  5. Russia
  6. Spain
  7. Netherlands
  8. Switzerland
  9. Sweden
  10. Poland

Source: International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook

Top 10 European countries by PDG per capita 2019

  1. Luxembourg
  2. Ireland
  3. Norway
  4. Switzerland
  5. Netherlands
  6. Iceland
  7. Germany
  8. Denmark
  9. Sweden

Source: International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook

Best European countries for self-employed workers or freelancers

Denmark

You can easily and swiftly register online as a self-employed worker. You don’t have to pay a monthly fee. Income tax ranges from 25% to 50% depending on the type of self-employed worker. Besides, you can benefit from one of the best welfare states in the world, which includes a wide range of social benefits and access to free education.

United Kingdom

If your income is less than £600 (7031€), you are free from the obligation to contribute. If you exceed this amount you pay a percentage depending on your profits. There is no such thing as a minimum capital to register a Limited Liability Company, in case you want to start up your own business.

Germany

Self-employed workers have to pay a compulsory health insurance. If your turnover is ≥ 1,700€ net per month, you must pay a 140€ monthly fee. Those who are under 30 years old and those who make less than 1,700€ don’t need to pay VAT. The downside is that if you want to start up your own company, it is not cheap (you need to pay 25,000€)

Portugal

In Portugal, self-employed workers don’t have to pay a monthly fee. They are not obliged to pay VAT either. It is one of the best countries to be a self-employed worker in Europe.

France

Even though you don’t pay anything during your first year as a self-worker, you are entitled to health care, pension contributions and temporary disability. After the first year, there is a scale stipulating how much a freelancer must pay depending on its income and  work activity. There is no minimum capital required to register a Limited Liability Company.

Explanation of the parameters used in this ranking

Most expensive and cheapest countries in Europe Cost of living in Europe
In red: most expensive countries    In blue: cheapest countries
/strong>

GDP per capita is a measure that divides the country’s gross domestic product (its economic output) by its total population.

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a composite index of life expectancy, educational standards, and per capita income indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human development.

Big Mac Index: The Big Mac Index, published by The Economist magazine, althought not perfect, is useful to measure the purchasing power parity (PPP) between countries and currencies. It uses the price of the famous hamburger as a benchmark. It somehow replaces the shopping basket with the famous hamburger.

Market basket: In an economic sense, a market basket is a permanent set of goods and services that are bought and sold as staples in a functional economy.  So it is is a fixed list of items, in given proportions, used specifically to track the progress of inflation in an economy.

I picked one kilo of white rice among  all the products which are representative of the cost of living because it is a minimally-processed staple food, so there is no need for a large number of productive factors as, for instance, a car.

Sources: Eurostat, Forbes, The Economist, statista.com, preciosmundo.com, Expatistan, bigmacindex.org, Numbeo.com

See also:

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10 most “useful” languages according to the World Economic Forum

Most useful languages

First of all, it is important to highlight the difference between the most spoken languages in the world and those more likely to provide career and job opportunities, since the economic and strategic weight of a language depends on many factors, not only on how many people speak it.

Top 10 languages in the world by number of native speakers

* The top 10  languages in the world by number of speakers are: 1. Mandarin Chinese 2. Spanish 3. English 4. Hindi 5. Arabic 6.French 7. Portuguese 8. Bengali 9. Russian and 10. Indonesian.

The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) prepared by the World Economic Forum (WEF) establishes , among other things, the link between the Power Language Index (PLI) and the competitiveness of a country or region.

From a merely utilitarian viewpoint, today we’ll have a look at the most “useful” or, if you like, “profitable” languages in terms of job prospects and future income that they may yield.

Needless to say, there are a number of reasons why you may want to study a language, many of them even more important than the working future or economic return. Of course, we all have our personal goals and preferences. Nonetheless, in this post I’m going to focus on the most practical side.

Not surprisingly, as Latin language or French did before , the English language takes the lead (see the ranking below) as the world’s lingua franca. But… Who knows? If current growth trends continue, Spanish may well take first place within the next decades, since, as it seems, Mandarin Chinese has proved too difficult to learn for non-native speakers. In the current scenario, though, the truth is that four out of the ten more competitive economies in the world have English as an official language and, except for Japan, the other listed countries have an acceptable level of English.

10 most competitive economies

The most competitive economies, according to the World Economic Forum are: 1. United States, 2. China 3. Japan 4. Germany 5. United Kingdom 6. France 7. India 8. Italy 9. Brazil and 10.  Canada.

The EU paradox

languages EU

An important fact which we should not neglect is that, after Brexit, even though English is co-official in Ireland and Malta and it is an official language of the EU, no European country will be represented by English as  its official language in the Community institutions and bodies —the language representing Ireland in the EU is Irish Gaelic. Taking into account that the European Union —where French and German seem to play a major role— is one of the three world’s biggest economies (according to some specialists, the first one in many aspects), Brexit might change the balance of power in the Old Continent,  at least as far as languages are concerned.

RANKING OF THE MOST USEFUL LANGUAGES IN THE WORLD

According to the Power Language Index (PLI) produced by the World Economic Forum, the 10 most useful languages in terms of competitiveness are:

Language Score Native (MM) Geography Communication Media Diplomacy
1 English 0,89 446 1 1 1 1
2 Mandarin 0,44 960 6 2 3 6
3 French 0,34 80 2 5 5 1
4 Spanish 0,33 470 3 3 7 3
5 Arabic 0,27 295 4 6 18 4
6 Russian 0,24 150 5 10 9 5
7 German 0,19 92,5 8 7 4 8
8 Japanese 0,13 125 27 22 6 7
9 Portuguese 0,12 215 7 13 12 9
10 Hindi 0,12 310 14 8 2 10

The Power Language Index (PLI) uses 20 indicators to measure the influence on language, such as number of speakers, geographical coverage, the percentage of world GDP it accounts for, or cultural influence (notably through the diplomatic and media use).

Not without reason, some would argue that the commercial significance of a language depends strongly on where you are (e.g. if you are in Australia, German may be virtually useless from a business perspective, but Japanese will be central, as they are a major trading partner), or that Spanish is now more powerful than French and has much better prospects as a language on a global basis. Anyway, when you take a closer look at the benchmark, you realise that Spanish is hard on its heels. Be that as it may, these are the conclusions drawn by the WEF.

Udemy

 

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How can we avoid the next financial meltdown?

How the rich get richer – money in the world economy

I strongly recommend this excellent and thorough TV report produced by Germany’s public international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).

The starting point is the map of the current situation: exploding real estate prices, zero interest rate and a rising stock market – the rich are getting richer. What danger lies in wait for average citizens? The fiscal policies of the central banks are causing an uncontrolled global deluge of money. For years, the world’s central banks have been pursuing a policy of cheap money. The first and foremost is the ECB (European Central Bank), which buys bad stocks and bonds to save banks, tries to fuel economic growth and props up states that are in debt. But what relieves state budgets to the tune of hundreds of billions annoys savers: interest rates are close to zero.

This substantial piece of work goes beyond the surface and makes concrete and logical suggestions on how to remedy the situation.

The bottom line is that the interests of the financial industry have determined developments in politics and society for far too long and it’s high time we did something about it.

Two things are for certain:

  • The sick financial system is going to cost us a lot of money.
  • The current deregulated financial system is very likely to lead to the next disaster.

As the report states, we need a different system, but it would be enough if we just returned to what we had: highly regulated financial markets and a banking sector under control and whose purpose was to serve people and companies.

It reminds us that we have to reign in the world’s financial system, but exactly the opposite is happening in the United States under Donald Trump.

To make the system safer for people like that envisaged by the Swiss initiative —the report you can watch below provides further details about it— could be one building block.

It moots that states have to reduce their massive debts since it’s the only way we can curb this deluge of money and break through the spiral of loans. The presenter goes on saying that we need international debt conferences where states mutually waive their debts. At the end of the day, It’s us, the people, who foot the bill.

The report also puts new ideas forward, namely, that big banks must cover their loans with more of their own capital than they do today, that we need to have a global tax on financial transactions and that money needs to go to places where it benefits society… for our future’s sake.

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Wörgl: the miracle of a local currency

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Wörgl: the miracle of a local currency

The Miracle of Wörgl

Legend has it that in the midst of the Great  Depression, the mayor of the city of Wörgl, in Austria, issued a new currency… which depreciated every month by 1% due to the so-called rate of oxidation! That currency was a “Certified Compensation Bill”, a form of local currency best known by Stamp Scrip, or Freigeld.

What followed was wonderful: the currency got into circulation, unemployed people got back to work, local businesses reopened, and in order to avoid losing money a high percentage of citizens spent the currency very fast, local government projects could be all completed … The implementation of the currency resulted in a growth of employment and prosperity, creating a virtuous circle. More surprisingly, inflation and deflation were not detected during the experiment…. Believe it or not, it all happened during the worst economic crisis of the century!

The Wörgl currency was an application of the monetary theories of the economist Silvio Gesell by the town’s then-mayor, Michael Unterguggenberger

Legend has it that in order to reverse the crisis, other cities tried to replicate the Wörgl model, but the National Bank of Austria decided to terminate the experiment on September 1, 1933.

Oracle has it that someday, a developer will find the code that will make the worldwide issue of a Wörgl-like digital currency possible. This day will change economy as we know it, forever. It will mean a complete turnabout. Just imagine a currency that rewards you —or can even make you rich— for spending it quickly! (see the last paragraph of this post).

Wörgl currency

A significant problem about cryptos is that holders prefer to keep them as a store of value in the hope that their price will eventually increase.  As a result, they are not brought into circulation to conduct transactions between consumers and businesses. Whereas it is true that potential buyers wouldn’t find a depreciating crypto particularly  appealing, it is also true that an additional reward for spending it quickly —e.g., the quicker you spend it the highest refund you get— could solve the question.

To be honest, I’ve actually published this post as if it were a message in a bottle. Maybe someone will be able to put the puzzle together and come up with a fundamentally different crypto based on the Wörgl experiment. I really think it would make a difference.

PS: It is necessary to modify the source code of a suitable crypto (or else create a new Blockchain from scratch incorporating a rate of oxidation ) so that the resulting currency both depreciates each month and offers an added incentive to encourage people to spend it. An extra motivation for those who spend it faster could be to participate in a daily lottery or raffle, so that you could actually win a small fortune every day by spending  your currency quickly! Such process could be automated through a Smart Contract. Please, share. We need to find that coder 😉

For further information visit Coinsweekly

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Pascalcoin, an awesome crypto with a bright future

Pascalcoin (PASC), a ground-breaking crypto

I have recently learned about a crypto that I’m quite sure won’t go unnoticed in the coming years. It appeared as though out of nowhere and, suddenly, its transaction volume nearly doubled that of other better known cryptos. It has indeed some awesome features that really drew my attention:

To begin with, Pascalcoin is written entirely in the Pascal programming language, which is an imperative and procedural programming language, designed in 1968–69 by Niklaus Wirthand and published in 1970.  It was named after the French mathematician, philosopher and physicist Blaise Pascal. As for Pascalcoin, the initiator, creator and original architect of the code is Albert Molina.

programming language
Blaise Pascal

A fundamental feature that helps PascalCoin stand out from the crowd  is the payload hash function that can be applied to operations on the chain. Believe me, it is no small feat.

Albert Molina on Pascalcoin

Pascalcoin is a very original cryptocurrency with a groundbreaking new technology called Safebox, which compliments the Blockchain in a way that allows it to be deleted whilst retaining its full cryptographic security. It means that it can achieve infinite scalability. A safebox is where you save amounts of each address through each block of the blockchain.

It was the first crypto to break the 100 transactions per second barrier, pioneering a new tier of scalability suitable for planetary-scale adoption.

If you want to learn more about Pascalcoin technicalities you can visit Pacalcoin: crytocurrency without need of historical operations.

David Bolet, a senior software engineer, Java architect and blockchain developer, has recently launched Pacalcoin’s first wallet. It currently works on Android.  I could contact him to ask him a few questions:

David Bolet, the genius behind Pascalcoin’s first wallet

pascalcoin
David Bolet

The first Pascalcoin’s wallet has been recently launched  and I took the opportunity to ask some questions to its creator: David Bolet. It is now in its beta version, but already operational.

Why should I download the Pascalcoin Wallet?

David: Pascalcoin is a great crypto, very technically advanced, but it has some barriers for users: the first one is that the wallet is limited to the Windows environment, or, if you like,  Linux, but only past a certain level. In addition, you need to have an account in order to get Pascalcoins, and it’s not plain sailing. The wallet brings users closer and makes it way easier to use.

How do you see the future of cryptocurrencies?

David: It goes without saying that there are a lot of cryptos. If you ask me, I don’t think they all will survive. As far as miners and traders go, they can’t bite more than they can chew. As I see it, in the future, we are likely to use the stronger and most widespread ones,  cryptos with a big community which are based on a robust software such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash, Ripple… and those that offer some special features or an added value… We must definitely pay close attention to Pascalcoin, Iota, Neo…  As Stephen Covey put it: “strength lies in differences. Not in similarities”.

Are you currently engaged in any other blockchain projects?

David: Yes, apart from Pascalcoin, I am an active member of a Blockchain community in Barcelona, and I’m very keen on Ethereum, which offers some awesome features,  most significantly smart contracts, with unlimited uses, maybe beyond our imagination, that can literally change the world as we know it.  We meet on a regular basis and, apart from developers, you can find all kinds of people, from bloggers to professionals from the third sector.

Last but not least… Where can I download the wallet?

David: It is now in its beta version, but already operational. I’ve received feedback from people all over the world, and I would like to seize the opportunity to thank them all for their invaluable support.

Just click on the wallet icon to go to the APP 😉

Thank you very much!

It’s my pleasure.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Glossaries

Blockchain Glossaries (English, Spanish, French, German and Italian)

Here is a selection of some of the best online glossaries on blockchain and cryptocurrencies I have found so far.  For the time being, you can find them in English, German, French, Spanish and Portuguese. This post will be updated regularly and new languages will be added.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Glossaries in English

Comprehensive Blockchain Glossary from A to Z

Dictionary of key Bitcoin 

Blockchain glossary for beginners

Blockchain Dictionary

Ethereum Glossary

Cryptography glossary

 

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Glossaries in French

Glossaries (Français) Lexique de la Blockchain et des “crypto-monnaies”

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Glossaries in German

Blockchain-Glossar: Die wichtigsten Begriffe der revolutionären Technologie (Deutsch)
https://t3n.de/news/blockchain-glossar-830913/

 

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Glossaries in Italian

Glossario (Italiano)
https://bitcoin.org/it/glossario

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Glossaries in Spanish

https://es.insider.pro/tutorials/2017-07-05/de-la-la-z-diccionario-sobre-blockchain/

blockchain and cryptocurrencies translation

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Glossaries in Portuguese

Língua portuguesa: Blockchain: glossário de A a Z

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IOTA (MIOTA)

IOTA, the next boom?

Many think that 2018 will be the year of IOTA and its currency MIOTA. To be honest, It blew my mind when I first learned about IOTA: a crypto which in spite of not being based on blockchain, increases transaction speed and does not need either miners or fees? WOW!!!! Can it be real?… Is MIOTA silently eating other cryptos’ lunch?

iotacoin

IOTA is focused on providing secure communications and payments between machines on the Internet of Things. It has a market cap of roughly $14 billion. I first heard about this coin when Bosch corporation acquired a large number of MIOTA tokens in 2017.

miota
                The Internet of things

Iota makes use of distributed ledgers. As I said before, unlike most cryptos, it does not use blockchain. Instead, it uses a technology its developers call the tangle, wich is based on a mathematical concept known as DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph). This design is what distinguishes MIOTA from other cryptos.

IOTA TANGLE
IOTA TANGLE

IOTA does not need miners, so there are no fees either. IOTA is 100% free to use, but it is still decentralised. Everybody plays an equal role in the network. Any time a transaction is made, the issuer must help authenticate to prevuious and also random transactions. It uses a series of cryptographic algorithms along with many other sophisticated techniques to do this work. Any device can manage it without too much effort.

A network like IOTA supports and facilitates a machine to machine economy and allows for two important features: microtransactions and speed (TSS, Transactions per Second). The more people that use the network the faster it becomes. That’s why, in the near future,  I dare say IOTA has good chances to become the underlying protocol behind the next revolution: the internet of things.

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If you are interested in getting some MIOTA you can get them on  Binance. Please note that you must buy MIOTA with ETH or BTC, so you will need to transfer them from another exchange or wallet.

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