Meet the translator: Shadia Ramsahye, who brings you TED Talks in Urdu and French

TED Blog

ShadiaTED Talks are available in 102 languages, from Albanian to Vietnamese, thanks to the tireless work of our volunteer translators. So far, more than 10,000 volunteers have created nearly 45,000 talk translations — and today, the TED Blog brings you a Q&A with one of them. Here, meet French and Urdu translator Shadia Ramsahye.

1.     Where do you live? And what do you do by day?
I am from a place after which heaven was copied — Mauritius. (Mark Twain said it!) But I have been studying at the Sorbonne in Paris since 2009 — first computational linguistics, then communications. I am more of a night person though, and that’s usually when I translate.

2.     What drew you to TED?
A friend of mine posted a talk about physics on Facebook. I didn’t get most of it, but I clicked on another video. Then another. Then another. And I…

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Tips to Stay Motivated for Language Learners

Each individual is motivated in different ways; here is the right balance of incentives, encouragement, and environment in which to learn more efficiently…


  • Set short, medium, and long-term goals to focus your activities
  • Tell your boss/parents that you are learning a new language and request some type of reward for increasing your skills
  • Reward yourself for reaching goals
  • Keep expectations high, aspire to speak like a native


  • Tell friends and family that learning a new language is important to you
  • Frequently remind yourself that you are going to succeed
  • Try to understand what tends to motivate and discourage you
  • Praise yourself for mastering a piece of work


  • Find a teacher or tutor who is enthusiastic and who can help teach and motivate you
  • Take responsibility for your own learning
  • Choose learning materials that are geared to your level of learning and are interesting and stimulating to you personally
  • Find other students, like yourself, who take language learning seriously
  • Use the target language in every opportunity

Be sure to use these tips, share any others you have, and let us know how your language learning is going!

Lucky Linguist Winner: Jagdish Mistry

Love Our Linguists

On Wednesday, July 3, 2013, thebigword welcomed one of its Linguists to LinkUp House, Jagdish Mistry. Jagdish was thebigword’s lucky winner from its BPSS completion prize draw and travelled 5 hours on a round trip from Leicester to come and meet the team!

Jagdish has been registered with thebigword since March 2012, speaks Gujarati, and interprets regularly for IPS & Atos! He’s DPSI qualified and has a CTC; so, he is ready to begin work for UKBA!

Jagdish said, “spending time face to face with people who have taken time out of their busy day to spend with linguists is absolutely dynamic for building positive and memorable relationships with the linguist community.”

He shared experiences of good & bad agency praxis and added that thebigword is one of his preferred and loved agencies to work with due to the assignments being interesting and variable. He noted, “the teams make the experience of working as a freelance linguist extremely positive.”

“On leaving, Jagdish wanted [Tasha (an employee of thebigword)] to pass on his gratitude for the kindness, welcome, and generosity given by all at thebigword and is looking forward to getting to grips with his new iPad, which will help with his work management and invoicing.”