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Refugees climb language barrier

Source: St. Catharines Standard
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Now that Syrian refugees fleeing their war torn homeland are settling into life in Niagara, they face a great deal of hard work to build a new future for themselves.

Several times during her remarks, the event’s emcee Rose Karborani — the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre settlement coordinator — stressed the importance for refugees to work hard to learn to speak, read and write English.

Karborani, Jerusalem born to Syrian parents, said the refugees want to work, but for many the language barrier holds them back.

“The Syrian people have a real passion inside them to work hard and contribute. They are here now and they want to be part of the community,” she said. “This is why you heard me stressing they have to continue to progress and learn English because they need to work and we cannot have them on Ontario Works forever.” More.

See: St. Catharines Standard

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Demand for interpreters on the rise

Source: St. Cloud Times
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] Stearns County has seen interpreter costs in all departments rise from about $218,600 five years ago to almost $356,000 in 2015. In Stearns County courts, interpreter costs have increased from $117,775 in 2011 to $165,564 in 2015.

Local government officials and a leading language interpreter company say there are often misconceptions about why interpreters are needed, who can interpret and how they are paid. They say professional interpreters are highly trained and knowledgeable not only about language, but about the programs and concepts they are explaining — whether medical conditions, legal definitions or financial aid programs.

Local government officials say they aren’t providing interpreters simply as a courtesy.

“One of the things that lots of people don’t understand is it’s federal law,” said Janet Goligowski, Stearns County gateway services director.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination, including in financial assistance programs. All local governments that receive federal funding must provide “meaningful access” to services regardless of a person’s language. More.

See: St. Cloud Times

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How a self-taught translator created a literary masterpiece one word at a time

Source: PRI
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

But the thing many people are talking about isn’t the book itself. It’s the translator.

Deborah Smith, the 28-year-old Brit behind the novel’s masterful translation to English, only started learning Korean six years ago. So how did she manage to interpret the book so well?

“If you’re asking for the secret, I’m afraid I’m as ignorant as you are,” she says. “Looking back now it feels like I must have looked up almost every other word in the dictionary. That’s probably an exaggeration, but that’s what it felt like at the time. It was a bit like climbing a mountain.”

She says her newness to Korean was actually a boon. “I really knew that I needed to double-check everything and be extra careful,” she says. “I also had to question the dictionary translations of certain terms.”

Plus, with literature, direct translations don’t always work best. “Just because it’s the literal equivalent doesn’t mean it’s the right word to use if you are aiming for some kind of literary effect,” she says. More.

Read the full story and listen to the podcast in PRI here:

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Why machine translation should have a role in your life

Source: The Savvy Newcomer
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

It is neither new nor interesting to observe that the mention of machine translation (MT) provokes strong opinions in the language services industry. MT is one scapegoat for ever decreasing per-word rates, especially among independent translators. The choice to accept post-editing work is often cast in moral terms (peruse the ProZ forums sometime…). Even those who deliberately avoid MT can find it suddenly before them when unscrupulous clients hire “proof-readers” for MT output. And maybe you have had one of those annoying conversations with a new acquaintance who, upon learning your profession, says, “Oh! How useful. I use Google Translate all the time!”

But MT is a tool, and one that I think is both misunderstood and underutilized by some translators. It is best understood as generalized translation memory (TM), a technology that most translators find indispensable. More.

See: The Savvy Newcomer

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Will we ever all speak the same language?

Source: Translators Family
Story flagged by: TranslateFamily

There’s an awful lot of people on Planet Earth and that we speak an awful lot of different languages. Getting all seven billion people – or however many people there will be in the world fifty or a hundred years from now – to all speak one language does seem like it might be a bit tricky. So let’s be generous this time around: let’s look at the chances of ending up with a language that’s spoken by about half of the global population. Enough people, presumably clustered together tightly enough that businesses can make it their primary business language. What do the prospects look like?

No-one can be certain what the future holds, but we can look at past precedent. History is full of examples of “trade languages” or any other lingua franca used to communicate across cultural borders: just think of the pan-European power of Latin throughout Roman times and even well into the Middle Ages. Or the astonishing reach of Mandarin Chinese across most of China. The term “lingua franca” is itself named after a trading language that was used all around the Mediterranean Sea for eight hundred years. But each of these languages was ultimately limited. Travel far enough, and eventually you’d always reach someone who couldn’t understand a word you were saying. This pattern holds true no matter how far back through history you go: there has never been a universal human language. Even when the very first human ancestors started to use language, different tribes probably used different words and different rules to describe the world around them. More.

See: Translators Family

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Confessions of a freelance translator: an interview with Gary Smith

Source: Translator T.O.
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

“Welcome to one of the best jobs in the world!” screams the back cover of Gary Smith’s new book: Confessions of a Freelance Translator, Secrets To Success, a book offering practical, easily applicable tips to make a successful living out of freelance translation. Gary Smith, a member, Certified PRO, trainer, event organizer and conference speaker, is an experienced proofreader and translator from Spanish and Catalan to English. A British native, he has lived in Spain for over two decades, offering webinars and talks internationally and around Spain.

In today’s post, I had a chance to speak with Gary about Confessions of a Freelance TranslatorSecrets To Success, the motivation behind the book, the process of writing it and the usefulness of the tips and tricks he provides throughout the book to translators starting out or who wish to make the leap to better earnings and work. More.

See: Translator T.O.

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New insights into terminology management?

Source: Terminology Coordination Unit
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Three international translation standards have been recently published: ASTM F2575-2014 Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in TranslationISO 17100-2015 Translation serviceand ISO 11669-2012 Translation projects. As an expert in the fields of translation, localization and terminology, Uwe Muegge wrote the article Do translation standards encourage effective terminology management?

Thanks to this paper we can have an idea on how terminology management can be dealt with. More.

See: Terminology Coordination Unit

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Talks for people who love words (videos)

Source: TED Conferences
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Playlist (12 talks). As Wittgenstein wrote, “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.” Watch talks by linguists, data analysts and word nerds.

Watch the videos in TED Conferences here:

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Meet the Hong Kong academics fighting to safeguard the Cantonese language

Source: South China Morning Post
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Scholars at Chinese University and the University of California are promoting the study and use of Cantonese at a time when many in Hong Kong may feel resigned to the dominance of Putonghua.

[...] At a time when many Hongkongers fear that the city’s culture and identity is gradually being lost as it is further integrated into Chinese systems, the role of Cantonese often becomes a sensitive issue. An Education Bureau proposal in February to emphasise the learning of Putonghua and adopt simplified Chinese characters in Hong Kong schools raised hackles across the community, with TVB’s decision to use simplified characters in subtitling its Putonghua newscasts adding fuel to the fire. More.

See: South China Morning Post

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Film producer aims to raise questions about language in the classroom

Source: Herald Scotland
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

There are 72 indigenous languages spoken in Zambia. In the classroom, however, pupils are taught in none of them. As a new Scottish film, The Colours of the Alphabet, reveals, English is the language of education in the country.

Current estimates suggest that nearly 40 per cent of the world’s population lack access to education in their own language. It is a problem that is increasingly felt in Scotland too as the country becomes increasingly multicultural.

In Zambia, the film’s Scottish producer Nick Higgins points out, teaching in English is something of a colonial hangover. It also is a result of an impoverished education system that can’t afford to produce material in indigenous languages. But he hopes the film will also raise questions about our own attitudes towards language in schools in Scotland and beyond. More.

See: Herald Scotland

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Self-publishing: options for translators and authors

Source: Thoughts On Translation
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

[...] This post was prompted by an inquiry I received from a self-published author who’s finishing his first book (in French) and wants to have it translated into English. Many of the inquiries I receive from self-published authors run along these same lines: “I want to have my book translated into English; how much will it cost and how long will it take, and how does the process work?” Which are all reasonable questions. More.

See: Thoughts On Translation

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Student venture provides phone-based English language education in India

Source: Princeton University
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

During their sophomore year, Princeton University students Kasturi Shah and Vaasvi Goyal decided to list all of the problems they wanted to fix in India, their home country. Once they realized that they shared a passion for education, they brainstormed ideas for how to expand access to education to children in India who may not have resources or support in school. Hello, Seekho was born.

Hello, Seekho provides free audio education through a toll-free number in India. By using a basic mobile phone, users can dial the number to connect to over 60 lessons teaching the English language at various levels of difficulty. “Seekho” means “to learn” in Hindi.

“When we decided to tackle education in India, we decided to focus on access and quality,” said Shah, of Mumbai. “We thought of all the existing platforms for free, quality education like Coursera and then the wide-reaching impact of mobile phones in India.” More.

See: Princeton University

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Translated fiction sells better in the UK than English fiction, research finds

Source: The Guardian
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Translated literary fiction is selling better on average in the UK than literary fiction originally written in English, according to new research, with authors including Elena Ferrante, Haruki Murakami and Karl Ove Knausgaard driving a boom in sales.

Though fiction in translation accounts for just 3.5% of literary fiction titles published, it accounted for 7% of sales in 2015, according to a survey commissioned by the Man Booker International prize.

The research, conducted by Nielsen Book, looked at physical book sales in the UK between January 2001 and April 2016. It found that translated fiction sales almost doubled over the last 15 years, from 1.3m to 2.5m copies, while the market for fiction as a whole fell from 51.6m in 2001 to 49.7m in 2015. More.

See: The Guardian

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Don’t kill your language

Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] In her TED Talk, Don’t kill your language, Suzanne Talhouk warns that what’s lost in translation is not just a word here and there, but a collective voice, a collective memory, a culture’s presence in the world. Using your mother tongue, in short, is nothing less than a civic duty. Here are her four pieces of advice to build pride in your own language. More.


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Thousands of court cases adjourned due to failures in interpreting services

Source: The Guardian
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

More than 2,600 court cases have been adjourned over the past five years because of failures in the interpreting service, according to figures released by the Ministry of Justice.

The extent of the problem was confirmed as doubts emerged about the viability of the troubled contract for interpreting services after the outsourcing firm Capita declined to bid for its renewal in October. More.

See: The Guardian

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Translation techniques: Modulation

Source: Translator Thoughts
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Modulation basically means using a phrase that is different in the source and target languages to convey the same idea: Te lo dejo means literally I leave it to you but translates much better as You can have it.  It obviously changes the semantics and shifts the point of view of the source language. Modulation help the translator generate a change in the point of view of the message without altering its meaning and without generating an unnatural feeling in the reader of the target text. More.

See: Translator Thoughts

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An annotated list to TermCoord’s catalogue of downloadable terminology resources

Source: In My Own Terms
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

TermCoord offers a catalogue of downloadable terminology books and other resources which I comment below to help you get a better idea of its contents. I mention first the publications whose full version is downloadable and then proceed with other publications for which other type of information is available. More.

See: In My Own Terms

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The vapor between languages: Idra Novey on writing and translation

Source: Los Angeles Times
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] Novey explores the ways in which the act of translation exceeds the boundaries of text to become a necessary interpretive tool for the messiness of modern life. Novey teaches in the creative writing program at Princeton University. She has written two books of poetry and the translator of four books from Spanish and Portuguese, most recently Brazilian novelist Clarice Lispector’s “The Passion of G.H.” More.

See: Los Angeles Times

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Using LinkedIn to generate translation business

Source: One Hour Translation
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Social media marketing and LinkedIn have already proven that they’re very valuable marketing tools, but now freelance translators in the United States are gaining another tool for growing their business. LinkedIn now has its new ProFinder tool which offers freelance translators even more opportunities.

We understand that it’s not always easy to stay informed and keep up with new technological trends, particularly when technology is forever changing. But we also know that it’s crucial for translators to stay up-to-date and current with whatever’s new in the translation industry. One example is machine translation, and as a translator, you must be aware of the rapid advances in this type of technology; in particular, how this technology will assist you in the way you conduct your business in the future.

It appears that this new tool from LinkedIn, known as ProFinder, is shaping up to be a great opportunity for freelance translators; providing an unprecedented opportunity for freelance translators to grow their business. More.

See: One Hour Translation

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Scam and talk about it: contest alerts translators to stolen profiles

Source: Slator
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Scams are all too common in the translation industry. So common, that a website tracking it claims it has exposed some 4,000 scammers and over 10,000 e-mail addresses they use in 2015 alone.

Typically, translation scams revolve around modifying the CV of a real, experienced translator and sending the fake to an agency in the hope of getting work. Once work is assigned by the agency,  it is then passed onto another rock-bottom-priced translator and, eventually, the scammer gets paid by the agency. More.

See: Slator

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