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SDL announces new features in Studio 2015

Source: TranslationZone
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

The future – introducing SDL Trados Studio 2015

[...] SDL Trados Studio 2015 will provide, for example, a better way to review files and then update the translation memory by reducing manual processes. Reviewers will find their work more enjoyable and will benefit from a better process and high quality translation assets as any change can easily and automatically be saved back into the translation memory.

So I think it’s fair to say that quality really is never an accident when it comes to translation – it’s the result of translators taking pride in their craft, with a little help from translation technology along the way.

Whilst we busy ourselves putting the finishing touches to what will be our best release yet, you can find out more information on Studio 2015 by visiting our dedicated webpage for freelance translators or our dedicated page for language service providers. More.

See: TranslationZone

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The world’s languages, in 7 maps and charts

Source: The Washington Post
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

These seven maps and charts, visualized by The Washington Post, will help you understand how diverse other parts of the world are in terms of languages.

1. Some continents have more languages than others

Not all continents are equally diverse in the number of spoken languages. Whereas Asia leads the statistics with 2,301 languages, Africa follows closely with 2,138.

There are about 1,300 languages in the Pacific, and 1,064 in South and North America. Europe, despite its many nation-states, is at the bottom of the pack with just 286. More.

See the rest of these maps and charts in The Washington Post here:

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Monterey to host Language Capital of the World® Cultural Festival

Source: MediaLocate News
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

The City of Monterey, California, officially designated as “The Language Capital of the World®,” has announced that its first annual Cultural Festival will take place at Customs House Plaza on May 2 and 3, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. MediaLocate is proud to be a sponsor of this event that celebrates and honors the amazing cultural diversity of the city that was once California’s first capital under both Spain and Mexico.

The trademarked slogan of “Language Capital of the World®” for Monterey County was recently approved by the Library of Congress. The slogan has been used for many years to reflect the many institutions involved with international studies and language instruction in Monterey County.  Nearly 25 percent of the nation’s post-secondary learning in languages other than English take place in Monterey County. Organizations here also play a major role in delivering translation (written word) andinterpretation (spoken word) services around the globe. Of course, Monterey County is also a very popular destination for visitors from all over the world, and Monterey’s languages and cultural diversity are reflected in its Native American, Chinese, Filipino, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Portuguese, Spanish and Vietnamese roots.

In its role as the premier, truly local language services provider in the Monterey area, MediaLocate actively supports, draws on and fosters talent from local educational institutions such as the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and the Defense Language Institute. With its multinational, multilingual team hailing from all four corners of the globe – Mexico, Germany, China, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Ireland, Spain, Argentina, Slovakia, Turkey, Russia, Korea, the Philippines and Austria, MediaLocate is a natural to support this first-ever family-oriented multicultural event. More.

See: MediaLocate News

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What will the English language look like in 100 years?

Source: The Christian Science Monitor
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Since the British Empire’s dispersal of English to different parts of the world, the language has taken on many forms. With all of these existing varieties, what’s in store for this global language?

You don’t have to be a globetrotter to see that the English spoken in India doesn’t sound the same as the English spoken in England. And the English in Nairobi really doesn’t sound the same as the English in New York.

Where is the English language headed? To answer that, we must first look at where it came from.

Modern English, with origins in the 5th century as a Proto-Germanic language, began to spread around the globe in the 1600s.

“Historically, British adventurism, expansionism, as well as slave trade and Christian evangelism led to the global spread of the English language and its diverse forms,” Joseph Osoba, English Linguistics professor at the University of Lagos in Nigeria, tells the Monitor.

As the influence of the British empire recedes, English speakers around the globe are now left to find their own way. More.

See: The Christian Science Monitor

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Thou art translated! How Shakespeare went viral

Source: The Conversation
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, when Peter Quince sees Bottom turned into an ass-headed figure, he cries in horror: “Bless thee, Bottom, bless thee. Thou art translated!”

Other characters in the play use the verb in similar ways to refer to a broad range of altered states. Helena hopes to be “translated” into Hermia, her childhood friend and rival, while a love potion transforms characters that come in contact with it.

Appropriately enough, translation has come to define Shakespeare’s legacy. Since the 16th century, his plays and sonnets have been translated and performed all over the world in an ever-growing number of languages, dialects and styles. One of the most translated secular authors in the world, more than four billion copies of his works have been sold.

Why did Shakespeare – and not his contemporaries like Christopher Marlowe or Thomas Kyd – “go viral?”

A closer look reveals that his narratives contain qualities that are easily adaptable to different cultures and eras, and have given his works broad appeal outside his native England. It helps explain why, even before mass communication, Shakespeare was a hit with readers ranging from Soviet communists, to German Romanticists like Goethe. More.

See: The Conversation

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Death and dying, lost in translation

Source: Pacific Standard
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Language barriers top the list of challenges doctors face with end-of-life conversations with patients from different ethnic backgrounds.

It’s never easy for doctors to talk to their patients about death, but it’s especially hard when they don’t speak the same language. In fact, language differences top the list of barriers doctors encounter when discussing end-of-life issues with patients, according to a study published today in the journal PLoS One.

The nation is growing older and more ethnically diverse over time, according toUnited States Census Bureau statistics, which means more and more medical resources will be devoted to end-of-life care. Meanwhile, non-white patients are more likely to undergo intense, often useless treatments in their final years, and are less likely to go into hospice care—all while incurring higher end-of-life costs.

That’s a problem that better communication could ease, argues a team of researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine and the Veterans Administration’s Palo Alto hospital. But until now, no one really knew what stood in the way of doctors talking with their patients about planning for their final days, especially when those patients were from different ethnic backgrounds. More.

See: Pacific Standard

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Employee expands library’s reach by translating children’s books to her native tongue

Source: The River City News
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Arlene Wilson is changing the dynamics of the Kenton County Public Library.

Always a place to be able to visit the world virtually, the library is being enhanced by the Phillippines native who is translating children’s books into the language of her homeland, Tagalog, essentially expanding the inventory of books.

“So far I have translated five books that are in print, but I have translated 15 more that are in the pipeline,” said Wilson, a Children’s Programmer at the Erlanger branch of the library. “The Mantra Lingua Publishing Company translates books into 52 languages and Tagalog is one of them. The books I have done are already in the world catalog.”

Wilson became aware of the deficit in books translated into Tagalog five years ago when she was doing a program at the Independence branch of the library.

“I wanted to use a book called Farmer Duck, and also The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so I called Mantra Lingua and asked them what books did they have in Tagalog,” she explained. “They told me what they had and said they probably won’t have anymore because the lady who translated the books for them had moved away. I said, do you need someone to translate for you? And they hired me the next day. That was five years ago in March.” More.

See: The River City News

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Nigeria: 109 Authors in Race for 2015 the Nigerian Literature Prize

Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

General Manager, External Relations, NLNG, Dr Kudo Eresia-Eke (middle); Chairman, Literature Advisory Board, Emeritus Professor Ayo Banjo ; and Chairman, panel of judges for 2015 Edition of The Nigeria Prize for Literature, Prof. Uwemedimo Enobong Iwoketok at the presentation ceremony of the entries to the judges in Lagos… last week

Nigerian writers from across the country and beyond have submitted a total of 109 entries for The Nigeria Prize for Literature 2015 edition. The prize is sponsored by Nigeria LNG Limited. Focus this year is on Children’s Literature.

The US$100,000 literary prize rotates yearly among four literary categories of prose fiction, poetry, drama and children’s literature. Authors competing for the award typically send in their works which are assessed by a panel of judges, comprising eminent literary scholars, with their decisions and reviews overseen by an advisory committee of equally distinguished academics and literarists. More.


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How translators can assess post-editing MT opportunities

Source: eMpTy pages
Story flagged by:

With the continued growth in the use of MT, it has become increasingly important for translators to understand better when it is worth getting involved, and when it is wise to stay away from post-editing opportunities that come their way.

This is still a very fuzzy issue for most translators and I think it might be useful to share some information with them to highlight some of the key variables they could use to determine the most rational action given the facts at hand. For some, post-editing will never be palatable work, but for those who look more closely and see that PEMT is now just another variant of professional translation work that is much like other translation work, which can be economically advantageous when one is working with the right partners and the right technology in this case.

We have seen that in the early days of MT use that there has been much cause for dissatisfaction all around, especially for translators who have been asked to post-edit sub-standard MT output for very low rates. Translators do need to be wary since many LSPs deploy MT technology without really understanding it, with the sole purpose of reducing costs, and with no understanding on how to produce systems that actually enable this lower cost scenario or interest in engaging translators in the process. Thus it is worth translators learning some basic discrimination skills to determine and establish some general guidelines to understand the relative standing of any PEMT opportunity that they are presented with. More.

See: eMpTy pages

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Charter innovations show promising results for teaching language (podcast)

Source: Chalkbeat
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Three Indianapolis charter schools are trying different approaches to aid children just learning to speak English

Mariama Carson’s dream is to open a charter school unlike any other in the state focused on learning two languages at once.

If she gets the go-ahead, students from Kindergarten to eighth grade will exclusively speak Spanish half the day and English the other half. Teachers will drill lessons in grammar, math and culture in both languages with the goal that they graduate fully bilingual.

As the number of English language learners in Indianapolis charter schools swells — it could reach a quarter of charter school enrollment by 2020 — some schools are becoming beacons for a fast-growing Latino population. More.

See the full post and listen to the podcast in Chalkbeat at:

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Team puts “weird” grammar on the map

Source: Futurity
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Researchers are working to document sentences like “Here’s you a piece of pizza.” Though it sounds totally normal to some English speakers in the United States, it strikes others as totally bizarre.

The Yale Grammatical Diversity Project explores the diversity found in varieties of English spoken in North America by documenting the subtle—but systematic—differences in syntax, the study of how phrases and sentences are put together.

To understand the syntax of human language, linguists sometimes compare languages that are radically different from one another (like Navajo and English), and sometimes compare languages that are minimally different from one another. This project looks at the minimally different varieties of English spoken in North America.

“Unlike variation in phonology (often referred to as “accent”) and in the lexicon (“skillet” vs. “frying pan” or “soda” vs. “pop”), variation in grammatical systems within English has for the most part not been systematically investigated,” says Larry Horn, professor of linguistics and philosophy.

This “variation may be found among speakers who live in a certain geographical region, or who belong to a certain age group, or to a particular social or ethnic group,” notes Horn. Examples of these constructions are included on the project’s website. More.

See: Futurity

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The Translation Workshop: Are thirty hands better than two?

Source: World Literature Today
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

In a recent essay for WLT, Hungarian writer Zsolt Láng muses on writing—and playing—together: “Writing together has neither an official nor a nickname. For want of a better term, they call it writing for four hands, writing for two hands (after all, only one plus one hand is engaged in it), or simultaneous writing. . . . The one to compose the most for four hands was Robert Schumann, and it is his exhortation that is echoed by teachers encouraging their students to engage in four-handed play: ‘Do not miss any opportunity to play music with others. Only so will your playing become fluent and vigorous’” (“Ping-Pong; or, Writing Together,” trans. Erika Mihálycsa, Jan. 2015).

By analogy, translating together provides a wonderful opportunity for developing a “fluent and vigorous” style. In recent years, the most successful example of “four-handed” translation comes from Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, whose prizewinning translations of Russian classics have inspired a new generation of readers. But do too many hands spoil the proverbial stew? Fourteen advanced French students from the Norman Public Schools recently put that adage to the test.[1]

During a day-long translation workshop with poet, playwright, and translator Zack Rogow, the students spent the morning discussing various translations of Arthur Rimbaud’s “Ma Bohème,” and in the afternoon he challenged them to translate Armand Robin’s “Quarante Vies” (1940), which has never before appeared in English. More.

See: World Literature Today

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Could German language be forgotten in France?

Source: The Local
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

The German ambassador to France has met the education minister to air her concerns about the decline of German language classes for French students, as new reforms threaten to push the language to a fourth option.

The German Ambassador to France Suzanne Wasum-Rainer met with Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem on Monday night for “extensive discussions” about the number of students in France learning the German language, reported Le Figaro newspaper.

At the heart of the matter is a slew of education reforms that are on the table in France which would see a shift in the way younger children are taught second and third languages.

The reforms, which are scheduled to take effect in September next year, include measures for pupils to start learning their second foreign language at the age of 12, one year earlier than they currently do.

This extra time spent on a new language could mean that cuts are made elsewhere, which would likely mean a removal of “bilingual” or “international” classes. More.

See: The Local

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A language of their own: Swahili and its influences

Source: Harvard Political Review
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

“Africa will write its own history, and it will be, to the north and to the south of the Sahara, a history of glory and dignity.” So wrote Patrice Lumumba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s first prime minister, in 1960. Though his leadership was unconnected to Swahili particularly, the words spoke to a new, proud pan-Africanism to which Swahili was inextricably linked.

When the Kenyan government adopted Swahili as its official language in 1970, it lauded the language for being more African than was English, the previous choice for the government and people’s affairs. As The New York Times reported then, “the governing council of the Kenya African National Union, the ruling party, decided that the widespread use of English language smacked of neo-colonialism, or at least was un-African.”

Or so it was said. But Swahili itself appears to be, at least somewhat, “un-African.” Jomo Kenyatta, president at the time, seemingly chose to overlook Swahili’s foreign influences. The language was born from the interactions between dwellers of the East African coast and traders from the Middle East. Those traders spread its vocabulary as they rode their ivory and slave caravans farther inland, reaching the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the west and Uganda in the north. Indeed, the very name “Swahili” stems from the Arabic for “of the coast,”sawahili. The language also incorporates pieces of English, German, Portuguese, and other tongues belonging to the merchants and colonizers who permeated the region. Yet, curiously, Swahili has come to represent pride in post-colonial identity. More.

See: Harvard Political Review

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‘Vague’ Japanese language can be maddeningly specific

Source: The Japan Times
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Probably the most annoying thing ever written about language goes something like this: “Eskimos have 52 words for snow because it’s important to them. English should have as many words for love.” All this really says is that the Inuit language probably lets you stick morphemes together to create new words without bothersome prepositions or tenses, sort of like Japanese kanji. English is different, but still perfectly adequate for expressing concepts like “crusty 3-day-old snow the dog peed in” or “crazy doomed love of someone who will make you miserable.”

The second most annoying (to me) thing written about language is that Japanese is “vague.” This is a pretty ironic thing to express in modern English, which has a single second-person pronoun that is incapable even of distinguishing between plural and singular.

Japanese, by contrast, has scores of words for “you,” from the circuitous sochira (そちら) and the militaristic (now just rude) kisama (貴様) to the gruff omae (お前) and the boring, textbook anata (あなた). Usage of these depends on who you are and to whom you are speaking. Most of these can also be rendered plural by adding the suffices ra (ら) or tachi (達). More.

See: The Japan Times

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On tweeting and twitteando: Should we resist when languages change?

Source: The Tico Times
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

[...] When it comes to language, I feel something similar. In English, I’m a crotchety old-school grump. I am an editor and a former English teacher, and happily embody the worst qualities of both, brandishing a red pen and waging a warring battle against change.

I hate the use of “impact” as a verb. I correct split infinitives, even though I know that’s a nonsensical, knee-jerk reaction based on an idealization of Latin. I cringe at the word “trending.” When a common error becomes so widespread that it gets incorporated into the dictionary, I feel downright betrayed (I’d give some examples, but my blood pressure would go through the roof).

In Spanish, I have no such loyalties. I have the tone deafness of the second-language learner: I lack the linguistic radar and cultural context that allows a native speaker to understand when someone is using a current, new-fangled or old-fashioned term. More.

See: The Tico Times

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Why does Africa have so many languages?

Source: The Christian Science Monitor
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Studies show the African continent contains the highest genetic diversity of any place in the world, but whether or not that correlates to the highest variation in language isn’t as clear.

With more than 2,000 distinct languages, Africa has a third of the world’s languages with less than a seventh of the world’s population. By comparison, Europe, which has about an eighth of the world’s population, has only about 300 languages.

Africa’s linguistic diversity can even be found among individual Africans. For instance, a study of 100 inhabitants in a city in western Uganda found that the average speaker knows 4.34 actual languages.

So why is this anyway? To help explain diversity, linguists borrow tools from evolutionary biologists:  linguists explore the relationships between distinct languages in the same way evolutionary biologists explore family relationships and speciation of living things. Given the parallels in these two fields, it’s no coincidence that Africa, the place of highest genetic diversity, contains rich linguistic diversity as well. More.

See: The Christian Science Monitor

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ELRA adds monolingual lexicon

Source: MultiLingual
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

The European Language Resources Association (ELRA) has added a new monolingual lexicon to its catalog. CEPLEXicon results from the automatic tagging of two corpora, using a tagger and the POS tag set. The automatic tagging was followed by a partial manual revision. This lexicon covers all of the speech produced by seven monolingual Portuguese children.

See: MultiLingual

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Source: MultiLingual
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

MateCat, a web-based CAT tool designed to assist with the post-editing and outsourcing of translation projects, has officially launched. The tool is the result of a research project led by a consortium composed of the international research center FBK (Fondazione Bruno Kessler), Translated srl, the Université du Maine and the University of Edinburgh.

See: MultiLingual

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Shakespeare in Russian? Why language is no bar to the Bard

Source: The Telegraph
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

For the past 30 years, the theatre company Cheek by Jowl hasn’t just been helping to keep Shakespearean drama alive, it has been jolting it with theatrical electric shocks. Its shows are stylised, with original settings often startlingly reconfigured, and its actors are trained, meticulously, to speak the Bard’s words with particular lucidity.

The company has staged performances in 300 cities across 40 countries, and boasts a clutch of awards, including an outstanding achievement Olivier for artistic director Declan Donnellan. Spotting new talent is a forte: without Cheek by Jowl giving them an early break, we may never have discovered Daniel CraigMichael SheenMatthew Macfadyen or rising superstar Tom Hiddleston. And, frequently, the company’s groundbreaking Shakespeare productions aren’t even in English.

Why, you may ask, should British audiences even consider watching Shakespeare in Russian? – something they are being invited to do currently, as the company’s Measure for Measure is in residence at the Barbican (a production The Telegraph is live streaming, with subtitles, on Wednesday evening). The answer, according to Donnellan, is because different languages can offer a whole new perspective on Shakespeare’s genius. The original language might not even be essential to understanding the plays at all – a view that is unlikely to sit well with literary academics. More.

See: The Telegraph

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