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Omniscien Technologies releases new version of Language Studio with neural machine tanslation technology

Source: Kontax
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Omniscien Technologies (formerly Asia Online) has announced the release of its new version of Language Studio™ with next-generation hybrid Neural Machine Translation (NMT) technology.

With this latest release of Language Studio™, Omniscien Technologies has combined both Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) and next-generation, machine learning based Neural Machine Translation technology in a single platform for all 548 Language Pairs supported.

“By offering a choice of technologies at the same price point in our secure Cloud, customers are free to choose the solution that best fits their specific use cases and requirements, guided by Omniscien Technologies’ experts where needed. We don’t believe in merely releasing the latest technology in support of the most recent development trends. We prefer to focus on quality, choice, compatibility, value and expert advice to ensure that our customers can achieve their goals”, says Andrew Rufener, CEO of Omniscien Technologies.

Prof. Philipp Koehn, Omniscien Technologies’ Chief Scientist, adds: “Neural Machine Translation is an evolving technology. In many cases NMT does very well. However, there are still a number of limitations with a pure NMT-only solution. With that in mind, during the development of the new version of Language Studio, our R&D teams focused on the inherent weaknesses in the existing NMT technologies that had not yet been solved by academia or commercial NMT solutions. While we will continue to make significant progress in the future, we have now solved the most significant challenges. In doing so, we have developed a unique hybrid NMT, SMT, Syntax and Rules based solution that provides unprecedented translation quality and control, and the new system is ready for production grade deployment now.”

See full press release >>

Microsoft invites user feedback on existing terminology and translations for Microsoft Dynamics 365

By: Jared Tabor

From the Microsoft Dynamics site:

The purpose of the forum is to give our partners and users the opportunity to give feedback on our existing terminology and translations for future products.

Our professional translators have defined the list you will see in the forum.

Participation is completely voluntary. You may participate as much or as little as you wish, and you may stop participating at any time.

It’s simple!

  • Follow the easy registration steps, then review the glossary and vote for the suggestions listed, or give your own suggestions.
  • Don’t forget to come back and vote more! Before the program closes why not come back and vote for the suggestions that came later.

When?

  • April 20 – 27th: Suggestions & voting accepted anytime during these dates.

How?

The site works as a discussion forum where you can vote for the suggestions submitted, submit your own suggestion, or comment on other participants’ suggestions.

We have included a proposed translation for each of the source term. [sic]

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What will the translation industry look like in 2022?

Source: TAUS
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

On March 22-24 (2017), fifty people came together in a former clandestine church in Amsterdam to break their heads on the question how the translation industry will have changed in 2022. The story that came out can be read as an ordinary battle between man and machine, with a victory for the latter. But at a deeper layer, there is a fascinating intrigue with many threads about game-changing technologies and trends and an outcome that is perplexing even for all of us who think that they are behind the wheel today. Be careful what you wish for.

TAUS Industry Summit 2017 Group Picture

The translation companies of today will not be the same in 2022. We’ll see a split in translation tech and the creative networks, the data factories and the storytelling, the platforms and the boutiques, perhaps sometimes still operating under the same umbrella, but clearly separated in functions. Sounds familiar, this story? Perhaps you are thinking about the paradigm shift in the advertising and marketing industry. Once thought to be so creative, it had its own unique place in an environment of factory and office automation. But now, after a few decades of data storms, the business of the prestigious advertising agencies has changed, fundamentally.

Marketing is automated and driven by data and clicks. The incredibly rapid rise of online ads, razor-sharp marketing, and pay-per-view through companies like Google and Facebook has turned the landscape upside down. Legendary names like Saatchi and Saatchi, McCann Erickson, J. Walter Thompson give us sweet memories of the days of Mad Men, but the creative directors now all report to giant holding companies acting under dull names like Omnicon, WPP, Interpublic and Publicis.

Similar mergers and acquisitions are likely to happen in the relative small translation industry in the coming five years and a convergence with that other creative sector that has fallen victim to data storms – the advertising and marketing industry – would make a lot of sense.

But before we get there, let’s look at the story that developed in Amsterdam just a few weeks ago. The story is broken down into ten chapters, all interconnected, like in every good novel.

Read the full article >>

Stepes to present on mobile translation at TAUS forum in Tokyo

Source: Business Wire
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Stepes has announced it will present Mobile Translation for the Digital Economy at the TAUS Executive Forum in Tokyo Japan on April 25-26, 2017.

The digital era has led to the rapid spread of information, fundamentally altering basic customer expectations about translation speed. Fast delivery no longer refers to a few weeks or days, it now means minutes and seconds. In addition to speed, two of the biggest trends impacting the translation and localization industry are the continued development of mobile technology and artificial intelligence (AI).

“In today’s mobile-connected world, everyone is creating and accessing information, including translated content, on mobile devices. This is why mobile will play an increasingly important role in the translation ecosystem,” commented Carl Yao, Stepes Visionary. “Today’s digital content is becoming smaller, more fragmented, distributed on multiple channels, and in need of on-deand, around the clock translation.”

The TAUS forum will feature Macduff Hughes (News – Alert), Director of Google Translate, and Chris Wendt, Program Manager of Machine Translation at Microsoft, to talk about neural machine translation (NMT) and the other translation technology innovations that are impacting the localization industry. Stepes mobile translation solutions, powered by professional human translators, provide a perfect complement to today’s NMT in terms of both quality and scale.

“Legacy localization services are no longer sufficient in meeting the always-on, agile, and fast translation requirements of the digital age,” noted Marisa Bowers, Director of Worldwide Business Development at CSOFT International. “Mobile translation services like Stepes deliver unrivaled speed and scalability and are perfectly suited for the digital economy.”

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Cloudwords partners with Lilt

Source: PR Newswire
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Cloudwords, a software provider for global content localization, announced on April 18th that it has partnered with Lilt, an AI-infused translation platform, to deliver an end-to-end localization solution that incorporates the best of both Cloudwords’ and Lilt’s technology solutions: Cloudwords software speeds global marketing workflows and Lilt’s interactive Machine Translation (MT) and CAT software boosts translator productivity. Together, Cloudwords and Lilt will offer multinational organizations with high volume, complex localization demands the ability to shorten localization turnaround times, reduce cost and increase quality for multilingual content. The joint solution further enables global marketers to more quickly and efficiently create and deliver localized marketing campaigns and content at scale.

“With Lilt’s technology as part of our solution offering, Cloudwords is further positioned as the preferred technology choice for global enterprise marketing teams who want to get an edge on the competition. Cloudwords offers customers a complete solution to both speed the localization workflow and shorten translation turnaround times, enabling marketers to significantly accelerate go-to-market launch timelines,” said Richard Harpham, CEO at Cloudwords.

Lilt’s technology enables a human+machine partnership to accelerate human translation and improve machine translation quality. As users translate on Lilt, the system offers translation suggestions and learns from human feedback. Lilt is the first production MT system that learns from that feedback in real-time, eliminating lag time for system re-training, which typically takes days or weeks. The system increases the productivity of a translator by 2-3 times, and improves overall localization quality and message consistency.

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Edna O’Brien wins French translation prize

Source: The Irish Times
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Edna O’Brien has won the second annual Ireland Francophonie Ambassadors’ Literary Award for Les petites chaises rouges, the French translation of her novel The Little Red Chairs. She will receive her prize of €1,500 at a ceremony in the Swiss embassy in Dublin in May. Her translators Aude de Saint-Loup and Pierre-Emmanuel Dauzat will receive three weeks’ translation training with Literature Ireland, co-sponsors of the prize with Dublin’s 25 Francophone ambassadors. The other shortlisted works were Tanglewood by Dermot Bolger, Ghost Moth by Michèle Forbes, The Mark and the Void by Paul Murray, The Thrill of it All by Joseph O’Connor and Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín. John Banville was the inaugural winner for for his novel La lumière des étoiles mortes (Ancient Lights).

Shortlist for 2017 edition of the Helen and Kurt Wolff prize announced

By: Jared Tabor

The annual Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize is awarded each spring to honor an outstanding literary translation from German into English published in the USA the previous year. The translator of the winning translation will receive US $10,000. The prize was established in 1996 and was administered by the Goethe-Institut Chicago until 2014. Funded by the German government, the Prize has been administered by the Goethe-Institut New York since 2015.

SHORTLIST 2017

Charlotte Collins

CHARLOTTE COLLINS

For her translation of
Robert Seethaler’s Ein ganzes Leben

A Whole Life
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016

Tony Crawford

TONY CRAWFORD

For his translation of
Navid Kermani’s Zwischen Koran und Kafka

Between Quran & Kafka
Polity Books, 2016

Michael Hofmann

MICHAEL HOFMANN

For his translation of
Jakob Wassermann’s Joseph Kerkhovens dritte Existenz

My Marriage
New York Review Books, 2016

New York pilot program to make sign language interpreting more accessible to police officers

Source: Spectrum
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Deaf and hearing-impaired New Yorkers will soon have an easier time communicating with police officers.

As part of a new pilot program, cops in three precincts will be carrying tablets that can instantly connect them to a live video chat with a sign language interpreter.

The program was designed by the NYPD in collaboration with the Deaf Justice Coalition.

Advocates say there are close to 200,000 people who are deaf or hearing-impaired living in the city.

Amazon’s rapid rise to prominence in the translation of prose into English

Source: The Seattle Times
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

The literary translation community in the U.S. has a tradition of being highbrow, a carefully tended yet narrow reflection of the stirrings of global culture beyond the Anglosphere.

Then Amazon.com jumped in, like a whale into a koi pond.

Armed with financial might and an intimate, machine-learned knowledge of reader behavior, the e-commerce giant made a big splash.

That annoyed some literary types, wary of the leviathan that has shaken up almost every aspect of the media world.

But AmazonCrossing, the publishing unit devoted to scouring the world for good tales, has in a short time become the most prominent interpreter of foreign fiction into English, accounting for 10 percent of all translations in 2016, more than any other publishing house in a field populated by small imprints.

It helps that Amazon is rather numbers-driven about its tastes, which tend toward blockbuster genre fiction — crime thrillers and romance novels — although it also picks well-regarded literary jewels its editors feel would do well with an English-speaking audience.

The goal “is to find great stories, and we think you can find them anywhere,” said Gabriella Page-Fort, AmazonCrossing’s editorial director.

Amazon’s rapid rise to prominence in the translation of foreign prose is yet another sign of its growing cultural significance.

In Hollywood, this newfound power has been recognized by critics and industry peers: In February Amazon Studios garnered three Oscars. Series such as “The Man in the High Castle” and “Transparent” have earned Emmy and Golden Globe awards.

In the book world, Amazon has enabled hundreds of thousands to self-publish their works on Kindle, its digital reading platform. Some of these works — such as Andy Weir’s “The Martian,” which became a best-seller and a movie — have made an impact.

It also has several imprints devoted to various genres, including literary fiction.

Yet Amazon’s shine has been tarnished by a contentious relationship with New York publishing houses, bookstores and some authors. Many bookstores — hurt by the online retailer’s dominance in book sales and its pricing power — have boycotted titles published by Amazon. They’re also less likely to get reviewed by the traditional literary outlets, experts say.

But some members of the literary-translation community, long beset by indifference from major publishers and a lack of resources, appreciate Amazon’s foray in their field.

“It’s kind of amazing. They have the resources and the ability,” says Chad Post, an academic at the University of Rochester who publishes Three Percent, a blog about international literature that draws its name from the estimate that only 3 percent of all books published in English are translated from foreign languages.

In the blog, Post keeps a thorough database of literary  translations into English — which clearly shows Amazon’s trajectory to the top. In 2010, AmazonCrossing’s first year, the imprint published two of 340 foreign translations, or less than 1 percent — one from German and one from French. In 2016, there were 607 fiction and poetry translations and Amazon was responsible for about 10 percent, in languages as diverse as Finnish, Hebrew, Indonesian and Chinese.

By focusing on genre fiction, Amazon is “filling a huge gap” and helping people in the community get “more experience, become better as translators,” Post said.

Not all have super-warm feelings for the Seattle behemoth, however.

Susan Bernofsky, who teaches literary translation at Columbia University’s master of fine arts writing program, says that because of Amazon’s practice of demanding “advertising fees” from small publishers whose books it sells on its website to subsidize its discounted prices, Amazon is still perceived by many translators as having an exploitative relationship with the literary world. The company “has been financially throwing its weight around,” and is viewed with suspicion by many who perceive it as seeing books as mere products, she said.

Read more >>

Decision confirmed to make English the official language in South African courts

Source: Sunday Times
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s office confirmed the decision to make English the official language used in courts. It has already attracted criticism from AfriForum and the Pan South African Language Board.

In an e-mail to staff revealing the decision, Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe said a resolution adopted last month by the heads of courts declared: “English must be the official language of record in all courts in the Republic of South Africa.”

In his April 5 message, Hlophe added: “Kindly ensure that there is compliance with this resolution in all courts in the Western Cape with immediate effect.”

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s office confirmed the decision, which has already attracted criticism from AfriForum and the Pan South African Language Board.

AfriForum’s Alana Bailey said the pro-Afrikaans group was considering mounting a legal challenge, and Rakwena Monareng, CEO of the language board, said while the board would seek a discussion with the heads of courts, litigation could not be ruled out.

But constitutional law expert Professor Pierre de Vos said the resolution would not make any difference because in most courts the language was already English.

The language issue was raised last week at the Judicial Service Commission when Northern Cape Judge Violet Phatshoane spoke about a colleague who wrote a judgment in Afrikaans and told a judge who was not conversant in the language to “consult the dictionary”.

Meanwhile, North West lawyer and language activist Cornelius Lourens has gone to the UN Human Rights Committee after failing in legal action to compel the government to publish all statutes in all 11 official languages.

In his e-mail, Hlophe said the resolution on the abolition of Afrikaans in courts was passed several years ago and “the chief justice has already notified the minister of justice accordingly”.

Mogoeng’s spokesman, Nathi Mncube, said: “In a heads of court meeting held in October 2014, it was resolved that the language of record should be English. This resolution/position was reaffirmed in the recent heads of court meeting held on March 31 2017.

“This resolution was taken recognising that English has become the general language of usage nationally and internationally and to ensure effective communication.

“It is the expectation of the heads of court that all judges president will implement the resolution.”

But Bailey said the move contravened the Justice Department’s language policy passed last year, which recognises three official languages nationally as well as the languages spoken regionally.

A survey  by Legal Aid South Africa last year found that 63.2% of people who applied for legal aid in criminal matters had at least a satisfactory understanding of English.

But Bailey said: “This means 36.8% of applicants have a poor understanding of English.”

Read more >>

More than 2,000 creditors have filed claims against Pearl Linguistics after declaration of bankruptcy

Source: Slator
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Over 2,000 creditors of Pearl Linguistics, the London-based Language Service Provider (LSP) that declared bankruptcy on March 3, 2017, have filed claims with the company’s liquidator, accounting giant PwC.

A regulatory filing dated April 6, 2017 includes a 25-page list of individuals and companies that need to be paid from the proceeds of the liquidation of Pearl’s assets. The list consists mostly of freelance linguists whose services had not been paid at the time of the bankruptcy filing.

Read more >>

How one linguist used genetic principles to determine the origin of language

Source: Curiosity
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Language is arguably the single facet of humanity that sets us apart from all other animals (sign language-speaking apes aside). But we aren’t born speaking, so where did language come from? Linguist Dr. Quentin Atikinson believes it was invented in sub-Saharan Africa, and he bases that theory on an innovative technique based on animal genetics.

There’s a strange quirk of genetics that makes more sense the more you think about it. It goes something like this: the farther a population strays from where it started, the less diverse its genes. In other words, if a certain type of crane originally evolved in Mongolia, then millions of years later, its descendants that settled in Portugal will have a lot more genes in common with each other than the ones back in the motherland will. That’s because the Mongolian cranes have the same diverse pool of genes that they’ve been working with this entire time, while the Portuguese cranes have only the genes of their ancestors that made the journey.

But what does this have to do with language? According to Dr. Atkinson and his team, the same principle applies to phonemes, the building blocks of language. A phoneme is basically the sound of a vowel, a consonant, or another sound (the word “bowl” has three—”b-”, “oh”, and “-l”). It turns out that languages that originate farther from Africa have consistently fewer phonemes. English has approximately 45 phonemes, while Hawaiian has only 13. The click-using languages of Africa, by contrast, can have well over 100. To many, this is evidence enough that humanity’s ultimate mother tongue arose in the same continent where we first evolved.

However, not everybody is convinced. Michael Cysouw and Dan Dediu point out that if you aim your study not at phonemes but at other aspects of language (such as the construction of subordinate clauses, like “when I read it” in the sentence “I didn’t understand the term ’subordinate clauses’ when I read it”), a very different picture emerges. They also argue that although these methods work well enough when predicting where an animal species evolved, they aren’t used correctly in the field of linguistics. While Atkinson concedes that genes and languages might not be 100 percent comparable, that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing other cross-disciplinary research. One study, which draws links between viral DNA and linguistic cognates (that is, words that come from the same root), has been met more positively, and helps explain the origins of the continent-spanning Indo-European family of languages. So while this subject might be something of an academic minefield, it’s certainly nothing to give up on yet.

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A truly multilingual internet could mean $9.8 billion growth opportunity (whitepaper)

Source: DOMAINPULSE
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Possibly the only internet users that are able to properly navigate the internet in their own language are English users. From European languages such as French and German to the Cyrillic languages such as Russian and to Arabic and Chinese to name but a few, there are best a few characters that have historically not been able to be used to entire languages that could not be used.

Imagine being a young man or woman whose only language is Arabic or Chinese. They’re confronted with an internet that requires domain names to have been read in an English script. The characters would be as foreign to them as Arabic or Chinese is to the average person who is not of an Arabic background or from China.

The move to a truly accessible internet has been a work in progress for many years, with the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG), a group made up of ICANN community members as well as non-ICANN community experts, undertaking a number of activities to push for this internet that is accessible to all.

The latest of these activities is the publication of a new study from the UASG that reveals a potential $9.8 billion growth opportunity in online revenue through a routine update to internet systems, including those for speakers of languages that do not use the English script.

The report from technology consulting and research firm Analysys Mason was commissioned by the UASG and clearly demonstrates the economic, social and cultural benefits of Universal Acceptance (UA) of domain names.

Universal Acceptance is a foundational requirement for a truly multilingual internet, one in which users around the world can navigate entirely in local languages. It is also the key to unlocking the potential of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) to foster competition, consumer choice and innovation in the domain name industry.

The Domain Name System (DNS) has expanded dramatically and now includes more than 1,200 gTLDs. Many of those top level domains are longer than the legacy three-character domain name (e.g. .com, .edu and .org) or are in non-Latin based scripts (such as Chinese, Arabic or Cyrillic).

People can now choose a domain name that best reflects their sense of identity and language, although many online systems do not recognise these domain names as valid. For example, problems may arise when a user enters a domain name or related email address into an online form on a website and it is rejected. When this happens, it not only frustrates the user and reduces the opportunities for the organisation to win a new customer, but it also lessens the cultural, social and economic benefits made possible by the internet.

“To excel in the long run, organisations should seize the opportunity – and responsibility – to ensure that their systems work with the common infrastructure of the internet – the domain name system,” said Ram Mohan, Chair of UASG. “Universal Acceptance unlocks a significant economic opportunity and provides a gateway to the next billion internet users by ensuring a consistent and positive experience for internet users globally. Additionally, governments and NGOs will be better able to serve their citizens and constituencies if they adopt Universal Acceptance.”

The newly released, independent research conservatively estimates that support for Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs, which allow domain names in all of the world’s languages) could bring 17 million new users online. These include users whose lack of local language services was previously a barrier to a complete online experience.

The report’s estimate is based on the examination of just five major languages and language groups that would benefit from IDNs because they use non-Latin scripts (Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese and Indic language groups) and the proportion of non-internet users for whom a lack of local language services is a barrier. The research shows that online spending from these new IDN users could start at $6.2 billion per year.

Read more >>

Download the whitepaper >>

Wrongful conviction of Indigenous man sparks calls for interpreter funding

Source: The Guardian
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Interpreters and the Aboriginal Legal Service have called on the Western Australian government to reinstate funding for the state’s only Indigenous language interpreting service in the wake of the wrongful conviction of an Aboriginal man.

Gene Gibson, a Pintupi-speaking man from Kiwirrkurra on the edge of the Gibson Desert, spent five years in jail for the 2010 manslaughter of Josh Warneke in Broome before being released by the supreme court on Wednesday, after the court of appeal ruled his conviction had been a miscarriage of justice.

The court found that Gibson did not speak English sufficiently or have the cognitive ability to understand the legal process.

The conviction for manslaughter came after the initial police interviews had been thrown out of court because police had failed to provide an interpreter. The charge was then downgraded from murder to manslaughter and Gibson pleaded guilty. He argued on appeal that he did not understand that plea.

Dee Lightfoot, chief executive of Kimberley Interpreting Service (KIS), the only Aboriginal-language interpreting service operating in WA, said she hoped the ruling would spark the McGowan government to renew state funding for the service, which was cut in 2014

Read more >>

How is language consolidation affecting the world’s 6,500 + languages?

Source: David Clingingsmith, LSE Business Review
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

Language is the original network technology. When someone learns a language I speak, I benefit because of expanded possibilities for interaction. The long-distance communications revolutions since the 19th century increase the strength of the network effect. These days an English speaker can travel the globe, either in person or from the comfort of a web browser, and interact with others who speak English, either as their mother tongue (372 million) or as a second language (612 million) (Ethnologue).

The globalised Anglosphere we are all familiar with stands in stark contrast to the tremendous diversity of mother tongues spoken around the world. There are more than 6,500 distinct languages in use today. We measure the size of a language by counting the number of people who speak it as a mother tongue. There is enormous variation in the size of languages. While the sixteen largest account for half of the human population, there are more than three thousand small languages spoken by fewer than 10,000 people.

The network effect, reinforced by modern communications technologies, would seem to favour the consolidation of human beings on to a much smaller set of spoken languages, posing a threat to the continued survival of the vast majority of the 6,500 languages in use. But is that actually what is happening? In work recently published in The Economic Journal, I bring two data sources to bear on the question of whether the world’s languages are consolidating. These sources allow me to address the question from different angles, and both provide the same answer. Language consolidation does appear to be underway, but only for those languages with fewer than 35,000 speakers. That means that around 1,900 languages are large enough to be under no threat at all. I conduct simulations using the relationship between language size and growth that suggest about 1,600 languages will become extinct in the next 100 years.

There are two ways to look at these results. On the one hand, the extinction of a quarter of the world’s extent languages would represent a significant loss of human cultural diversity. From that perspective, language consolidation appears as a significant problem. On the other hand, it is striking just how small the minimum viable size for a language remains in a world with such cheap and easy long-distance communication. A settlement of 35,000 people would be considered small almost anywhere in the modern world. That such a small group could maintain its own language in a globalised world is remarkable.

Given the power of these technologies, why are people not abandoning languages that connect them with only 50,000 or 100,000 other people? The answer to this question is less certain, though there are three likely explanations. The first is that much linguistic communication is face-to-face and thus very localised. Above all else, one must be able to speak with others in one’s family, those one works with, and members of their local community. For the vast majority of human beings, those interactions happen within just a few miles of where they live. Second, many goods that can be produced far away, such as clothing and food, do not require knowledge of another language to consume. Third, bilingualism in a second, more widely spoken language need not lead to displacement of a small-sized mother tongue over time. Indeed, a small cadre of bilinguals can serve many of the external communication needs of a small language community.

The data I use primarily reflects conditions at the end of the 20th century. It therefore does not reflect changes that may have come or will come with the wider diffusion of the internet. Only 178 languages, a mere three per cent of the total, have any content at all on the internet. Only 11 per cent of the world’s internet users come from English-majority countries, more than half of all web pages are in English (W3Techs and WDI). While it is possible that the internet may increase the minimum viable size for a language, my suspicion is that the main result will be to promote more bilingualism. Consider the case of the Netherlands, where knowledge of Dutch is under no threat despite more than 90 per cent of the population being able to speak English.

Read more >>

Interview with Donna Parrish on the history of MultiLingual Magazine

Source: Moravia
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

For over two-and-a-half decades, MultiLingual has virtually been the only widespread trade publication in the language industry. Globally Speaking host Renato Beninatto recently sat down with the magazine’s publisher, Donna Parrish, to discuss the history of MultiLingual Magazine, its future, and its relevance to our industry.

Topics covered include:

  • What has made MultiLingual so successful over such a long period of time?
  • How has the publishing model changed in recent years?
  • How does MultiLingual plan, accept and edit content for the magazine?
  • Why is it important for contributors to avoid selling in their article submissions?
  • What are some of the primary challenges and changes for MultiLingual in the foreseeable future?

Listen to the podcast here >>

[Computing] Windows no longer supports Vista, IE9

Source: Wired
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

After April 11th, Windows will no longer support Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 9. This means there will be no further security patches, bug fixes or technical help for those versions of these products.

Fortunately, Vista’s bad reputation led most people to abandon it years ago. Some estimates put its current marketshare among all desktop computer operating systems at less than one percent. By contrast, Windows 7, which Microsoft scrambled to released two years after Vista in 2009, is currently the most popular operating system in the world, used on roughly half of all personal computers. In fact, Vista never gained huge market share to begin with; many Microsoft customers opted to stick with the pleasing and reliable Windows XP for years.

If you are a Windows user and you happen to still be on Vista, be sure to upgrade.

Options for multilingual translation plugins for your WordPress website

Source: WP Mayor
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

If you use WordPress for your web site, you may be interested in this explanation of multilingual plugins and ranking of the 19 best multilingual plugins for 2017:

19 Best WordPress Multilingual Translation Plugins for 2017

TM-Town API use cases for translation management systems

By: Jared Tabor

Recently TM-Town has received inquires from various language service providers asking how the TM-Town API can be used in their own TMS or online tool. Some potential use cases for the TM-Town API include:

  • Finding and messaging the most appropriate professional(s) for a translation job.
  • Finding relevant glossaries for your translators based on the parameters of a client job.

By using the TM-Town API, language service providers can more easily automate their internal processes and create a custom solution that can connect directly to their in-house TMS system.

See full article >>

A chat with the creator of Belter Creole from the “The Expanse”

Source: Wired
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

SyFy’s The Expanse takes place 200 years in the future, a time when humans have colonized Mars and the entire solar system. Belters are the displaced underclass, a great hoard of humanity who left every nation on Earth to find work in the outer reaches. And, just like their bodies changed to acclimate to low gravity, their language also evolved to communicate in the universe’s ultimate melting pot. Belter is the lingua franca for the universe’s most dispossessed peoples. To hear it spoken on the show is to understand how much has changed in this future, but also how similar the Belter experience is to that of immigrants at any time, including now.

This is perhaps why the language resonates so well with the show’s fans on Earth. Enthusiasts regularly tune in to actor Andrew Rotilio and linguist Nick Farmer’s weekly Belter class on Twitter. A punk band wrote a song in the language. And, according to Nick Farmer, the linguist who developed the language, someone even proposed marriage in Belter. The Expanse’s patois has become, like Klingon and Dothraki, the show’s great unifier—the slang all devotees speak.

In the Expanse novels, Belter is mostly just a dialect. But when the show jumped to TV, the producers brought on Farmer to make a it a fully realized language. When he got started, Farmer immediately understood that Belter was a creole. Creoles are based on a mother tongue—in this case English—but incorporate the influence of many other languages. Farmer looked to Haitian Creole for inspiration. Nowhere near as many languages contributed to that creole as to Belter, but it was the best correlate on Earth because it developed after people from all over the world arrived on the island—in many cases by force. “The situation for the Belters is the same,” Farmer says, “but in space.”

Belter is composed mainly of Chinese, Japanese, Slavic, Germanic, and romance languages because Earth’s most common tongues would be the ones to survive to form the new brogue of the cosmos. And every choice Farmer makes about new inclusions affects the world-building of the show. If he puts in a Zulu word, that means there are Zulu people in the Belt. Knowing this, he took his time with the language, writing pages and pages of grammar and hundreds of vocabulary words, which he keeps track of in a Google Doc that he guards like his first-born child. Which, in a way, it is.

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See also: Video interview with Nick Farmer, creator of Belter Creole



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