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Mexican newspaper launches Mayan-language edition

Source: Global Voices
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

La Jornada, one of the main newspapers in Mexico, has recently launched an edition with content in Mayan. It will be published daily in Mérida, the state capital of Yucatán, in Mexico’s southeast.

According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico, Mayan is the country’s second most spoken indigenous language, with about 800,000 speakers, after Náhuatl. Today, the largest populations of Mayan speakers can be found in the Mexican states of YucatánCampecheQuintana RooTabasco, and Chiapas.

The institute indicates that in Mexico around 6.6 million people speak an indigenous language, which in 2010 represented 6.5 percent of the Mexican population, a reduction since 1930, when this figure was around 16 percent of the population. More.

See: Global Voices

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Is it a case of ‘the younger, the better’ for children learning a new language?

Source: The Conversation
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

As primary school children bound through the first weeks of their summer holidays, perhaps those lucky enough to go abroad will get the chance to practice some of the new vocabulary they’ve learnt in a foreign language class. It’s the end of the first academic year in which languages were introduced formally within the primary school curriculum in England: in September 2014, it became compulsory for all children aged seven and older to learn a foreign language.

There is a widespread belief that if only we could teach foreign languages very early, Britain could stop lagging behind its European counterparts in terms of language capability. But is the earlier the better when it comes to learning a new language?

There is a difference between children immersed in the new language they are learning, for example as immigrants in a new country, and children exposed to a foreign language in the classroom for a few hours a week at best.

In the case of immigrant children, research has shown that adolescents and young adults are faster learners than young children. However, young children, do eventually catch up with older learners and typically become indistinguishable from native speakers, which is not generally the case for adults. For immigrant children, earlier does seem better, but only if children are given plenty of time and opportunity to make the most being immersed in a new language. More.

See: The Conversation

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CIOL translation exam to be available in India

Source: Times of India
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Translators may soon be able to take exams for a UK-based pro fessional body’s diploma in translation (DipTrans) in India. The first exam in the country is going to be conducted at a training company in Pune in January 2016.

The Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) offers it outside the UK due to its international content (other qualifications have UK-specific components).Every year, of the roughly 1,000 candidates who take the exam, about 40% do so outside Britain.

Aspirants should be experienced, practising translators, aged at least 19, to be able to apply for the Master’s-level credential, which requires a strong grip over the chosen languages. While the institute does not provide preparatory training, it suggests they could study a course offered by third parties. More.

See: Times of India

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New translation of the world’s oldest novel

Source: The Japan Times
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

‘The Tale of Genji,” written by Murasaki Shikibu around 1,000 A.D., is regarded by many as the world’s first novel and is arguably the most influential work of Japanese literature ever written, inspiring countless other works of drama, fiction and fine art.

This titanic tome, coming in at well over 1,000 pages in English translation, is the ultimate challenge for any literary translator of Japanese novels.

“It took me 15 years of steady, almost daily, work,” says Dennis Washburn, a professor at Dartmouth College in the U.S. who recently joined the elite corps of translators that have produced English-language versions of Murasaki’s classic. It’s a novel that relates the life story of Prince Genji — an illegitimate but beloved son of the Emperor — and his many love affairs. Unusually, the novel also continues to follow the intrigues and disappointments of a second generation of characters close to the Imperial throne. More.

See: The Japan Times

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When should we apply extra charges to translation projects?

Source: Tranix Translation & Proof-Editing Services - My Words for a Change
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

For some, the answer is obvious. For others, it’s not that easy. I personally think that it is a case-by-case decision, depending not only on you, but also on the client and on the specific project. Let’s try to analyse this sensitive issue.

People usually believe that extra charges should apply for overtime hours, rush deliveries or complex jobs. I don’t think these concepts mean the same thing to each of us. Let’s explore these three points.

What are overtime hours?

I tend to consider that freelancers don’t really do “overtime hours”. They sometimes work more than they had planned or than they would like. But I always feel it’s a little bit strange to talk about “overtime hours” for professionals who are supposed to work “whenever they want”. That being said, should we consider that we are entering into the “extra working hours” area if we work over eight hours per day? In this case, what about the freelancers who decided to work six hours per day or ten? And what about working in the evening? Should this be considered overtime? When I was working as a freelance reviser, I occasionally enjoyed shopping during the day and checking translations in the evening. I never considered I was working overtime and I was happy to accept some interesting assignments arriving at the end of the day. I sometimes even enjoyed revising at night. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t do this any more and I might consider asking to be paid more if I had to be at my desk after 7 p.m. More.

See: Tranix Translation & Proof-Editing Services – My Words for a Change

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Inspiring women beat poverty by translating for the sick in hospitals

Source: Mashable
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

[...] Even that young, Vertkin understood the link between language and success. As Jews facing second-class citizenship and economic hardship in Russia, she and her parents uprooted for a better life in Israel and then the U.S., giving up the culture and language they always knew.

That’s why Vertkin launched Found in Translation, a social enterprise that offers free medical interpreter certificates and job placement to low-income, bilingual women in the greater Boston, Massachusetts area.

The mission is twofold — to break down language barriers in health care, while also tackling poverty and homelessness, two issues that affect women (especially women of color) disproportionately.

We help them take their language skills and turn them into something that’s marketable in the workforce, which can get them out of poverty permanently,” says Vertkin, who also acts as Found in Translation’s executive director. More.

See: Mashable

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Translator’s profile: Interview with Alyson Waters

Source: Asymptote
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Q&A with Alyson Waters, translator from the French and managing editor of Yale French Studies.

Alyson Waters’s translations from the French include works by Louis Aragon, René Belletto, Eric Chevillard, and Albert Cossery. She is the 2012 winner of the French-American Translation Award for her translation of Chevillard’s Prehistoric Times. Waters has received a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, a PEN Translation Fund grant, and residency grants from the Centre National du Livre, the Villa Gillet, and the Banff International Literary Translation Centre. She teaches literary translation at New York University and Columbia University and is the managing editor of Yale French Studies. She lives in Brooklyn.

Read the full interview in Asymptote here:

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Google Translate now reads 20 new languages in real-time

Source: National Geographic Traveller India
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Plus a smoother experience with its conversation feature, and on slow connections.

Google Translate is a pretty useful app when you’re on the road. The tech giant has been working to help travellers explore the world without the barriers of language, and its latest update does just that.

Google has added 20 new languages to its instant visual translation feature, the company announced on its blog. This means that in addition to the seven languages – English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish – that were made available in the last update, you can now use the app to translate signs between English and Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Filipino, Finnish, Hungarian, Indonesian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian. You will have to download a language pack for each. More.

See: National Geographic Traveller India

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Cook Island Māori language expert confirms language is thriving

Source: Māori Television
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Despite 40,000 Cook Island Māori living in New Zealand and only 12,000 living in the Cook Islands, one Cook Island Māori language expert says their language is thriving more than ever.

With Māori Language Week upon us, Te Kāea spoke to Cook Island language expert Papatua Papatua today and many other locals about the status of their language and how they are able to keep it alive.

There are just some things you can’t learn from a book.

Keri Herman says, “You can see the children here from Mangaia really embrace their language because they were brought up in it, in their own dialect.” More.

See: Māori Television

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Translation, tourism courses at Indira Gandhi National Open University

Source: Hindustan Times
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Indira Gandhi National Open University (Ignou) has opened admissions for its master’s, bachelor’s, PG diploma and diploma programmes in tourism.

The School of Tourism and Hospitality Services Management of Ignou is offering master’s  of arts in tourism management, bachelor of arts in tourism studies and diploma in tourism studies.

The School of Translation Studies and Training is also inviting applications for its MA in translation studies programme which is aimed at familiarise learners with the theory and practices of translation. This programme consists of 12 courses and a major project comprising the practical component.

Eligibility for this programme is graduate in any discipline with adequate knowledge of Hindi and English. The medium of instruction is Hindi and the duration is two years. The school works closely in the areas of skill upgrading and skill building in translation among Indian languages, and developing translation pedagogy. It constantly strives to integrate teaching-learning with research and training in the field of translation. More.

See: Hindustan Times

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The UK sees Arabic as key. The UAE should as well

Source: The National
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Arabic is dying out, that’s the story we’ve been told for decades now. The prevalence of English in the international media and the general use of the language on the internet means that English has become what we are all supposed to focus on. But am I, as one of a few hundred students just graduated with a degree in Arabic, supposed to sit back and cry over my useless qualification? Not so, according to the British council.

A new report commissioned by the organisation, whose remit is the propagation of British culture and the English language, lists the “Top 10 Languages of the Future”. The report, which was commissioned to find out which languages the UK needs most and why, ranks Arabic at number two.

But how can that be the case? It was only a few months ago that this newspaper published a special report suggesting that Arabic was “at risk of being a foreign language in the UAE”. So why is the British Council now working with UK schools to teach 1,000 children (rising to 5,000 in September) how to start their day with sabah al khair? According to the British Council, the answer is mainly based on three factors. First, the number of emerging high growth markets that speak Arabic. Second, cultural, educational and diplomatic factors, which essentially means that without Arabic speakers, the UK won’t be able to work well with a host of countries. And third, the level of English proficiency in Arabic- speaking countries (very low) and the level of Arabic proficiency in the UK (1 per cent of the population suggests that it could hold a conversation in Arabic).

What does this have to do with the UAE? Well, it shows that Arabic is not a language to be left to wilt. The challenge now is to be at the forefront of Arabic teaching. In a previous piece, I wrote about how the UAE needed to teach foreigners Arabic if the language were to survive. My focus was that Arabic is becoming a second language thanks to a sea of English-speakers without any interest, reason or resources to learn the language and that the UAE needs to start growing the number and output of language institutes in the country. More.

See: The National

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Mordecai Richler finally gets a proper French translation

Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Mordecai Richler may be one of Canada’s best-loved writers, but French translations of his novels have never done justice to his work – until now.

Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné spoke to Bernard St-Laurent of CBC’s C’est la vie about translating Solomon Gursky Was Here, the first of five Richler novels the pair are translating for Les Éditions du Boréal.

Early translations of Richler’s work were done in France and fundamental facts about the life and culture of Montreal – bedrocks of the novelist’s work – were often wrong. Saint-Martin and Gagné spoke about the flaws and strangeness of the old translations and the challenges they faced while translating the author’s jokes. More.


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“Go Set a Watchman”, long-awaited second novel by Harper Lee, published in Spanish (source in Spanish)

Source: Fox News Latino
Story flagged by: Ma.Elena Carrión de Medina

It took translator Marián Belmonte four months to complete the Spanish version of “Get Set a Watchman”, the long-awaited second novel by Harper Lee.

Read the whole story in Fox News Latino here:

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Watch this brilliant visualization of words in the English language

Source: VentureBeat
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

What are the most frequently used words in the English language? You’re about to find out.

In 1965, researcher Mark Mayzner published Tables of Single-letter and Digram Frequency Counts for Various Word-length and Letter-position Combinations. His work, which studied the frequency of letter combinations in English words using a corpus of 20,000 words, has been cited in hundreds of articles.

In December 2012, when he was 85 years old, Mayzner contacted Peter Norvig, a research director at Google. He wanted to see if “perhaps your group at Google might be interested in using the computing power that is now available to significantly expand and produce such tables as I constructed some 50 years ago, but now using the Google Corpus Data, not the tiny 20,000 word sample that I used.”

Norvig did exactly that, and today, YouTube user Abacaba created a brilliant visualization of the results. Before you start watching, try to guess the three most frequently used words in the English language. More.

See: VentureBeat

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Digitized, searchable archives help revive ’sleeping’ languages

Source: Smithsonian Science News
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

[...] During week-long programs in June and July, Myaamia kids and teens learn about “Ašiihkiwi neehi Kiišikwi,” or Earth and Sky. They attend scavenger hunts to find natural objects like rocks or plants using lists written in Myaamia; they sing songs in their language and learn dances, games and other activities. Young learners of Myaamia are also embedding their language by using it in a very modern context: social media.

“We’re starting to see the Myaamia language on Facebook and Twitter, and if young people are engaged and have the social media tools to use the language, they will use that,” says Daryl Baldwin, a Miami Tribe member and director of the Myaamia Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. “Young people want to chit-chat in their language, tease each other, and joke a little.”

That these youth are able to communicate with any degree of fluency in the language of their forefathers is due, in large part, to advancements in digitization. Scanning and digitizing the surviving written records of dormant Native American languages housed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, the Library of Congress and in the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives makes them much more accessible to language researchers and experts with a keen interest in reconstructing Native American languages. More.

See: Smithsonian Science News

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7 ways to grow as a translator: where can you take your business after it’s plateaued?

Source: Business School for Translators - WantWords
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Sooner or later, we all get to a point in our careers where things are going satisfactorily well, we have a large and diverse pot of clients and we’re generally happy with the business and career. It’s often referred to in business as “plateau”: after climbing up for a while and building solid foundations, you reach a safe haven and calm waters. But equally, things just keep being the same when you’ve reached your plateau.

“The sameness” of things may be a relief for many freelancers. No more restless pursuits of customers, no more heavy marketing campaigns, fewer financial worries. Yet at the same time, in business sense, it’s not a good place to be. It means your business is no longer developing and it’s on the path to its end of life.

Don’t get me wrong, it feels sooo great to enjoy your plateau for a while (go on holidays, release the pressure, cut down working hours, etc.), but planning to stay there forever is not a viable business approach.

What can you do after your business has plateaued then? More.

See: Business School for Translators – WantWords

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Chinese Association calls for review of New Zealand’s language interpreting services

Source: Radio New Zealand News
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Chinese Association president Meng Foon says it is time New Zealand’s language interpreting services are reviewed.

[...] Mr Foon, who is Gisborne’s mayor as well as the president of the Chinese Association, said interpreting services needed to be efficient.

“It is probably timely for a review to ensure that all the appropriate languages and dialects are actually catered for, from not only Chinese people, but from new immigrants that actually come from overseas that actually struggle with English language at the present time.”

Mr Foon said services should have the resources to help people in times of stress.

International Federation of Translators president Dr Henry Liu said interpreters should be available 24/7.

“This is something that we have failed in providing adequate services to all New Zealanders across different language groups,” he said.

“This need not be that way and we could remedy that with a more strategic approach.”

He warned that a slow language interpreting service could be the difference between life and death when it came to 111 calls. More.

See: Radio New Zealand News

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Hawaii courts face migrant translation challenge

Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

In 2008, 6,800 cases required interpreters; by 2013,that number had swelled to 8,100

A recent case involving a man accused of shooting a woman and a police officer on Hawaii island highlights a growing challenge in Hawaii: finding people who can translate court hearings in other languages.

The man speaks Marshallese, and his right to hear his proceedings in the Marshall Islands tongue has led to delays in his case.

Officials with Hawaii’s Judiciary note the state has a limited pool of court interpreters from which to draw, and the ones they do have often must travel between the islands for proceedings, creating logistical challenges.

Meanwhile, requests for their services have soared, fueled by an influx of migrants from certain Pacific island nations who come to Hawaii under an agreement with the federal government. The deal, known as the Compact of Free Association, lets citizens from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau live and work freely in the United States in exchange for allowing the U.S. military to control strategic land and water areas in the region. More.

See: Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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On a mission to write physics encyclopaedia in Telugu

Source: The Hindu
Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Murali Narayana Dulla, an octogenarian, has embarked on a huge task of bring out an encyclopaedia of physics in Telugu language to help students and scholars to break the language barrier to explore the depth of the subject.

The Benarus Hindu University’s alumni has already compiled and published all the topics that start with the first five alphabets by detailing them in a well accepted terms and words in Telugu. The amateur lexicographer, Mr. Narayana started the academic exercise in 2011. “I have decided not to compromise with the standard that should be useful for the advanced learners, research scholars and the teaching fraternity,” he said. More.

See: The Hindu

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Global CEOs who lack language skills get lost in translation

Story flagged by: Maria Kopnitsky

Facing thousands of Deutsche Bank AG investors, many of them mutinous, Anshu Jain knew a lot was riding on his speech at the annual meeting of Germany’s largest bank.

“On this day, every word matters,” Jain said in German at the May gathering. For that reason, he said he’d continue in his mother tongue. The Indian-born British national delivered the rest of the 2,000-word address in English.

Less than three weeks later, Jain resigned as co-chief executive officer after losing the confidence of investors. Brady Dougan, an American who struggled with German during eight years running Credit Suisse Group AG, left the Zurich-based bank at the end of June.

While their failure to master German didn’t cost Jain and Dougan their jobs, it drew criticism in their host countries and deprived the CEOs of a valuable tool for connecting with local shareholders, customers and colleagues. At a time when border controls have disappeared in much of Europe, language can still be a barrier.

“You have to be understood by your clients, and your clients in Germany speak German, said Kerstin Altendorf, a spokeswoman at the Berlin-based Association of German Banks.

While many multinationals based in Europe — including Airbus Group SE, Daimler AG and SAP SE — have adopted English as their corporate language, English alone isn’t enough. More.


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