Opinion & features

Wisconsin courts face interpreter shortage

Source: The Badger Herald
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Looking to address a statewide shortage of interpreters, Wisconsin’s Court System is pushing for more people to join its court interpreter program to ensure that everyone has a voice in the judicial process.

The program, which has been in place since 2003, employs interpreters speaking over 60 languages, Carmel Capati, attorney and manager of theWisconsin Court Interpreter Program, said. But recently, the program has experienced a shortage in languages like Spanish and Arabic among others, Capati said. This has made it difficult for cases to progress through the judicial process. More.

See: The Badger Herald

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One in five Americans now speak a language other than English at home – and Arabic is the fastest growing language

Source: Daily Mail Online
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

A record amount of Americans now speak a language other than English at home, with dramatic increases in the number of Arabic speakers.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey, analyzed by the Center for Immigration Studies, there are now 64.7million Americans over the age of five who speak at least one language other than English. That’s one in five Americans.

The amount is staggering compared to 1990, when less than half that amount (31.8million Americans) reported speaking a second language. And the number of foreign language speaking Americans today is triple the number back in 1980. More.

See: Daily Mail Online

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Children and language: the importance of translation and learning languages

Source: TraductaNet
Story flagged by: Carolina Pedrulho

Learning to speak and write form part of the growing up process of a child from birth. The development of language is more intensive up to five years of age, but it continues throughout adolescence and effectively never ends.

In the early years of life, the stimulation of language is very important for brain development and the acquisition of communication and socialisation skills – also achieved through reading or learning different languages.

This period of children going back to school is the perfect time to reflect on the theme of children and language: what is the role of translation in this learning and what is the importance of learning several languages from an early age? More.

See: TraductaNet

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Parlez-vous? Maine schools struggle to find foreign language teachers

Source: BDN Maine
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

In a taxing scramble to find qualified foreign language teachers, some Maine school districts are turning to digitized assistance to expose their students to other tongues.

More than one have decided to use Rosetta Stone for their foreign or world language instruction, opting for the computer-based software where flesh-and-blood teachers aren’t available.

Madison Area Memorial High School in Somerset County drew widespread media attention last month after it decided to purchase Rosetta Stone to teach its students. Schools in the Bingham, Dyer Brook and Lincoln areas also are relying on computer software.

The shortage of applicants for foreign or world language teacher openings has been especially prevalent in smaller, more remote school districts, where administrators say they’re fighting to attract qualified people to apply. More.

See: BDN Maine

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Can you give us a quote and a turnaround time?

Source: Thoughts on Translation
Story flagged by: Jared Tabor

“Can you give us a quote and a turnaround time?” As freelancers, we hear or read those words a lot: a client, or prospective client, has a document that they need translated, and they want to know about how long it’s going to take, and about how much it’s going to cost. So, when you’re on the receiving end of that request, what’s the best way to proceed? Let’s look at a few options. More.

See: Thoughts on Translation

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Revival of endangered aboriginal language empowers speakers in Yukon

Source: The Globe and Mail
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Riley Vance is perched on a wooden horse in his Whitehorse-area daycare when he starts singing about tidying up in Southern Tutchone, an aboriginal language with fewer than 50 fluent speakers left.

The three-year-old’s ditty is the fruit of an effort in Yukon’s Kwanlin Dun First Nation to teach dozens of children words and phrases in the endangered language daily at a local head-start program. They now have the first ever children’s book in the language.

“We’re at a critical stage with our language with only a few fluent speakers left, so it’s been exciting to have them singing nursery rhymes,” said Erin Pauls, who runs the Dusk’a Head Start program. More.

See: The Globe and Mail

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The interpreter of emotions

Source: The Hindu
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

“Subtitling is an act of kindness,” says Nandini Karky. Conveying the true essence of a scene goes beyond merely translating lines from one language to another. “A subtitler should be empathetic towards the creator as well as the viewer,” she says. Nandini has written subtitles for films, including IPisaasu,Yennai Arindhaal, and Thanga Meengal, and knows first-hand the challenges of subtitling for a film within three or four days, with barely any support from the film’s team. More.

See: The Hindu

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How the Miami Tribe got its language back (Podcast)

Source: PRI
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

The language had been spoken by the Myaamia people, Native Americans who originally lived in what is now Indiana. Also known as the Miami, they were forcibly relocated twice in the 19th century, and ended up scattered throughout the Midwest and beyond — a situation that put pressure on the language even a century ago.

By the 1980s, linguists and tribe members alike thought the language was gone. But then Daryl Baldwin came along. He’d always known he had Myaamia heritage, but it wasn’t until his late 20s that he got interested in the language. More.

Read the full story and listen to the podcast in PRI here: http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-10-14/how-miami-tribe-got-its-language-back

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What is language extinction and why should we care?

Source: NITV
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Almost half of the roughly 6,900 languages spoken around the world today are endangered. Scarily, the rate of extinction is accelerating and there is a whole lot at stake.

Communities around the world are losing their indigenous tongue at an unprecedented rate. The grimmest predictions suggest up to 90% of the world’s languages will have disappeared by the end of this century.

A language becomes extinct when its last native speaker dies, and it’s usually the result of its speakers shifting to a lingua franca like English, Arabic or Spanish. This implies choice, but it’s often a history of marginalisation that leads to the change. More.


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First Australian Indigenous-language video game offers new platform for ancient culture

Source: ABC News
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

The world’s first Aboriginal Australian-language video game is being developed in a bid to preserve traditional language and culture.

The endless runner game is titled Tjinari, meaning “someone always on the go” in the Western Desert language Ngaanyatjarra.

“It’s very important to make sure that our young people continue to speak our languages because all languages are important,” Ngaanyatjarra linguist Elizabeth Marrkilyi Ellis said. More.

See: ABC News

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Elfdalian, a forest language from the age of Vikings, may soon disappear

Source: MNN
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

In a remote part of Sweden surrounded by mountains, valleys and thick forests, the community of Älvdalen is desperately attempting to preserve its unique heritage.

Up until the mid-20th century, the town of some 1,800 inhabitants spoke a language called Elfdalian, believed to be the closest descendant of Old Norse, the language of the Vikings. The beautiful and complex tongue, likened to the fictional languages of “The Lord of the Rings” or “Game of Thrones,” remained preserved throughout the centuries because of the area’s natural isolation.

“Älvdalen lies extremely deep within the Swedish forests and mountains,” Michael Lerche Nielsen, an assistant professor at the Department of Nordic Research at the University of Copenhagen, told ScienceNordic . “You can get there by boat up the river, Dalälven — a journey of more than 100 kilometers — and getting there and back used to be quite an expedition. So people in the area weren’t particularly mobile and were able to preserve this very special culture, considered in Sweden to be extremely traditional and old fashioned.” More.

See: MNN

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Taking Indigenous languages online: can they be seen, heard and saved?

Source: The Conversation
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

With our digital world dominated by English, minority and endangered languages struggle to be seen and heard. A new interactive documentary launched online by SBS, My Grandmother’s Lingo, attempts to add one more language to the mix and raise awareness of the plight of small languages.

In a beautiful, poignant digital installation, Angelina Joshua of Ngukurr guides participants through a sensory-rich tour of her heritage language, Marra, now spoken fully fluently by only three very elderly people.

Angelina explains that she didn’t have the opportunity to learn her own language but is now realising that long-held desire. Her story is enmeshed with her ancestry, and learning Marra as an adult clearly brings Angelina a sense of joy and pride. More.

See: The Conversation

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‘Language is a gift’: Elders hold key to preserving Indigenous languages

Source: CBC News
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

The way to preserve a language is to start the lessons at home. And listen to your elders. It’s a conversation happening at a Winnipeg conference with First Nations leaders, elders and educators.

Elder Mary Houle is from Ebb and Flow First Nation. Ojibway was her first language.

“Our language was given to us. We have to speak our own language the way our mom and dad did,” Houle said.

She worked in Ebb and Flow’s school before retiring. At that time, she says she didn’t hear her language being spoken by children. She said she supports the steps being taken now to have the languages taught in classrooms but she’d like to see teachings start even sooner. More.

See: CBC News

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The world looks different when you’re speaking a second language

Source: Science of Us
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] And yet the question of how language shapes who you are — or whether it does at all; or if it does, to what extent — is a fiercely contested one in the field of linguistics, and has been for many decades. “Depending on whom you ask,” as Collins phrases it, “languages are either prescription glasses (changing the way you see the world) or vanity contact lenses (basically negligible).”

The debate over linguistic relativism, the term for the notion that the language you speak is at least partially responsible for your perception of the world, can be traced at least as far back as the 18th century, but Collins writes that the figure responsible for influencing our modern way of thinking about this is likely the mid-century linguist Benjamin Lee Whorf. More.

See: Science of Us

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Back to the 19th century: how language is being used to mark national borders

Source: The Conversation
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

According to a series of newspapers, immigrants will apparently change the English language in Britain beyond repair over the next 50 years. TheDaily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Daily Express have all run alarming stories on this topic. Language will change “because there are so many foreigners who struggle to pronounce” certain sounds, such “th” as in thin or this.

These claims follow a recent report by sociolinguist Dominic Watt at University of York and accent coach Brendan Gunn on how the English language is likely to change in Britain in the next few decades. The report suggests this will happen due to the increased use of technology and the growing cultural influence of London and the US. More.

See: The Conversation

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ProZ.com Mobile for Android and iOS: the translation workplace anytime, anywhere

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

Early this year, the ProZ.com team was proud to announce the release of a new ProZ.com Mobile app for Android. Since then, the app has had over 3,000 users performing more that 60,000 job actions, posting more than 3,000 votes on Quick Polls, setting their availability to take on new projects in real time and more.

On September 30th, ProZ.com celebrated International Translation Day by making ProZ.com Mobile available on iOS, in Beta stage and free of charge to ProZ.com members. More.

See: Translator T. O.

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Interview with Biljana Stojanovic: Leaving your “safe” job and following the open road

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

As announced at last week’s annual virtual conference in celebration of International Translation Day, ProZ.com will now be offering two distinct packages as part of ProZ.com professional membership: a Standard package and a Plus package. To help spread the word about this, the site team is launching a special “Open Road” campaign during which both packages are being offered at a significantly discounted price.

Those who purchase or renew their membership before the end of the year will be eligible to participate in a weekly giveaway for an Apple Watch, and one lucky translator will be chosen for the grand prize – a brand new Nissan Juke – in line with the “Open Road” theme of the campaign.

The following is an interview with our first giveaway winner of an Apple Watch – Biljana Stojanovic. Biljana is an English into Serbian translator specializing in chemistry, pharmaceuticals, and engineering. More.

See: Translator T.O.

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Educational program seeks to save rare Tsuut’ina language

Source: CTV Calgary News
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

There are only about 30 fluent speakers of the Tsuut’ina language left, but the band is hoping to revitalize the language and pass it on to the next generation.

It’s doing that by holding regular classes and pairing up young people with Elders who speak the language, and with 70 per cent of the population under the age of 30, passing on the language is critical in passing on the band’s traditions.

“Language is connected to identity, so if you don’t know your language, you don’t have much of an identity, and that is something we have tried to do with our program is instill that pride and identity in the young people and all Tsuut’ina people,” said Steven Crowchild, language teacher. More.

See: CTV Calgary News

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Northwest Territories man behind nearly 300 Indigenous language books retiring

Source: CBC News
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] The assistant superintendent with the South Slave Divisional Education Council, based in Fort Smith, N.W.T., is retiring next week. But he leaves a legacy of nearly 300 books published in Dënesųłiné (Chipewyan), Dene Yatié (South Slavey) and Cree over the past 10 years.

“I vividly recall one of my first meetings [with the district's language instructors],” says Kaulback.

“I said, ‘What are our priorities, what do we want to accomplish?’ Almost every single one of them said, ‘We want literature, we want to be the same as an English or French program in terms of books and resources we can use in our programs.’”

“We want these books to represent our culture, our people, our communities, our language, and we want them as good as any books you’d see in any store,” Kaulback recalls them saying. More.

See: CBC News

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First official Yup’ik interpreter for Alaska Court System

Source: KYUK
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

In the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta, where Yup’ik is the primary spoken language, the Alaska Court System has a new Yup’ik interpreter, who happens to be the first official interpreter for the language in the country. Crystal Garrison, who recently passed the National Center for State Courts’ written exam for Court Interpreter, has become the first Yupik speaker to do so. And she didn’t just barely pass – she got a score of 93. More.


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