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State’s sign language interpreters protest in Hartford after entire staff laid off

Source: FOX 61
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Dozens of people turned out for a protest in Hartford on Wednesday afternoon that was held in response to a new round of layoffs that impacts state sign language interpreters.

So far, 25 people have been laid off from the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Interpreting Unit within the Department of Rehabilitation Services, but more cuts are expected. The union says the entire nearly 40 person unit will be laid off in the coming weeks.

Cuts are part of a restructuring of the state budget to reduce debt. According to Gov. Dan Malloy’s office, the mostly part-time employees will continue to provide services to the state, except through a private outside provider instead of being directly employed by the state. More.

See: FOX 61

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Slang is more than debased language

Source: Terminology Coordination Unit
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] What distinguishes slang from other spoken languages, however, is that, while it develops in the same way any semantic change might occur, its meaning often takes on a very specific social significance. To a greater extent than standard language, which it usually flouts, slang outlines social space and constructs group identity. Its specific social contexts are what distinguish it from colloquial or jargon terms. While colloquial terms are considered widely acceptable in speech across a wide range of contexts, and jargon aims to optimize conversation through terms linked to technical understanding, slang aims to, above all, emphasize social and contextual understanding, which renders it unacceptable in many contexts. More.

See: Terminology Coordination Unit

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Wife cake and evil water: The perils of auto-translation

Source: BBC News
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] Poor translations can have big implications for firms who run the risk of offending customers and losing business, or at least looking very amateurish.

Yet we keep being promised that machine learning and natural language processing will soon make flawless, near-instantaneous translation a reality.

So how long will businesses have to wait? More.

See: BBC News

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Mehbooba for safeguarding local languages from onslaught of modernity

Source: DailyExcelsior
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] The Chief Minister called for preserving and promoting local languages which constitute a part and parcel of the State’s distinct cultural identity and heritage. “Government alone can’t do much in growth and development of the local languages and culture in the State,” she said and added that development of a language begins at the family from the parents. “I feel no qualms in saying that the biggest enemies of the local languages are the people of Jammu and Kashmir themselves,” she said and added that in most of the families today the parents prefer to teach their children to speak in Hindi, Urdu and English instead of their mother tongue including Kashmiri, Dogri, Bodhi etc. “This trend has to be reversed, sooner the better,” she said.

The Chief Minister said languages are an important part of any culture, as these enable people to communicate and express themselves. “When a language dies out, future generations lose a vital part of the culture that is necessary to completely understand it,” she said and added this makes language a vulnerable aspect of cultural heritage, and it becomes especially important to preserve it and save it from the onslaught of modernity. More.

See: DailyExcelsior

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Live your dream: become a freelance translator

Source: Translator Thoughts
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

As a freelance translator you are one of the few lucky ones who have a lot of freedom when it comes to when, where and how long to work each day. You are your own boss. You can wear your pajamas at work and have a cup of tea or hot chocolate whenever you feel like it.

A growing number of freelance translators even go a step further.

Most translators have regular clients, work for an agency or pick up work from one of the freelance portals. We download a document, translate it and upload it again. Sometimes we need to clarify some things via e-mail or Skype but that’s it. We do not have to meet clients face to face. Therefore thanks to the internet, we can work remotely from everywhere in the world.

Have you ever worked under a palm tree on the beach with the waves crashing on the shore or in a wooden house in the middle of the jungle, listening to the birds and monkeys?

As long as there is working internet from time to time and juice for your laptop, you can travel the world or live in exotic places. More.

See: Translator Thoughts

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Sharjah teachers build syllabus in electronic sign language

Source: The National
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

SHARJAH // The students at Al Amal School for the Deaf have easy access to course material because teachers have created an electronic library of the curriculum in sign language.

The sign language content covers subjects including Arabic, physics, chemistry and some topics in geography and history for several grades from middle to high school. There are plans to share this bank with other deaf schools in the region.

“The students have become more confident, creative. They have started researching on their own and even give us information,” said maths teacher Hanaa Mohammed.

A maths question on measuring simple slopes was set aside by students who instead asked her if they could measure the slope of the Leaning Tower of Pisa after downloading diagrams and photos from the internet.

“Before, we were not always sure we were successful in teaching subjects like maths but technology helps deliver easy information.” More.

See: The National

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Indigenous languages are dying in Canada

Source: VICE News
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] She represents a growing push towards revitalizing Indigenous languages in Canada — which although recognized in certain parts of the country and deemed “a fundamental and valued element of Canadian culture and society”, are largely in decline. It’s something that has the ear of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who earlier this month said that restoring Indigenous languages is key to preventing youth suicides that have plagued some First Nations communities — though he stopped short of pledging to grant official federal status to those languages, like English and French.

The numbers are stark. Of the approximately 60 languages spoken by Canada’s first peoples, only three — Nehiyaw (Cree), Inuktitut and Anishinaabe (Ojibway) — are expected to survive. The situation is so precarious, advocates are taking their fight to the country’s highest court, arguing that Indigenous people have a constitutional right to be taught in their own languages. More.

See: VICE News

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The infamous three percent

Source: Diálogos Intercultural Services
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

It is common knowledge, at least in the translation industry, that only around 3 percent of all books published in the United States are translations. Indeed, this rather dismal statistic has been enshrined in the name of one of the most important online forums for international literature, the University of Rochester’s excellent website Three Percent. In fact, however, a closer look at the statistics reveal an even worse state of affairs, as the three percent figure is bolstered considerably by technical manuals and other non-fiction texts: for literary fiction and poetry, the figure is actually closer to 0.7%.

And the figure is not much better in other English-speaking countries… even here in Canada, where the few literary translations published are mostly between the country’s two official languages, and with the support of the government’s cultural promotion body, the Canada Council. Conversely, the percentage of translations in non-Anglophone countries tends to range anywhere from around 28% (in the case of France) to 40% (in Turkey), although even higher proportions can be found in smaller markets, like Slovenia (70%). More.

See: Diálogos Intercultural Services

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Scotland leading the world in sign language provision

Source: Herald Scotland
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

SCOTLAND is setting the agenda for sign language provision internationally thanks to new graduates from the country’s first degree course on the subject.

More than a dozen new sign language interpreters have become the first to qualify after completing an MA in British Sign Language (BSL) at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

The 14 graduates will go towards stemming the extreme shortage of BSL interpreters across Scotland, which currently has only 70 interpreters for a community of 6000 people.

A Masters degree in European sign language and a PhD on the subject have attracted both deaf and hearing students from across Europe, America and South Africa.

Graham Turner, chairman of Interpreting and Translation Studies, said: “We are very proud of our MA course, which attracted a full quota of 14 students in 2013, its first year. More.

See: Herald Scotland

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Norwood students create English/Arabic dictionary for Syrian refugees

Source: MyKawartha
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] Students in Sheilagh Bourassa-Young’s Grade 2/3 class at St. Paul school in Norwood have created an English/Arabic dictionary for Syrian families living in the Peterborough area. The dictionary contains around 100 words, complete with an illustration drawn by the students, a sample sentence and Arabic translation.

To create the dictionary, students were asked to think of the most important words that newcomers might need to know while adjusting to their new community, including words associated with food, clothing and transportation. More.

See: MyKawartha

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The European Commission just killed a EUR-100m translation market

Source: Slator
Story flagged by: oxygen4u

[...] The Commission said the issue is important to people, citing a 2010 study where three quarters of respondents pointed out that “circulation of public documents between EU countries” should be improved. What seems like good news for citizens though may not be so great for public notaries and language services providers (LSPs).

First, the bad news for public notaries. The regulation does away with the need for getting an authenticity stamp (i.e., the apostil). Public documents by one EU country have to be accepted by another, as-is.

Now the bad news for LSPs. The regulation “abolishes the obligation for citizens to provide in all cases a certified copy and a certified translation of their public documents.” Instead, a so-called multilingual standard form will be made available in all EU languages, which can be presented as a “translation aid attached to their public document to avoid translation requirements,” according to the Commission. More.

See: Slator

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Why singers should stop using English as their lingua franca and should start singing in their native language

Source: The Guardian
Story flagged by: Nele Van den Broeck

The Hong Kong-born singer-songwriter Emmy the Great asks why more and more musicians, from Gwenno Saunders to Maria Usbeck, are turning to their first languages for their lyrics

“A language dies every two weeks,” she explains, “and with that language dies a whole history of people. Those are things that connect you with the past. They are man and woman’s way of communicating and telling stories.”


Perhaps it’s time to retire English as pop’s lingua franca. “There’s so much out there, and it’s all so special,” says Usbeck, “Meanwhile, new generations are creating languages – think about how texting has changed the way people speak.” Rather than spread the dominance of a single language, music could be a vessel with which we explore and protect many dialects, new and old. More.

See: The Guardian

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Is dubbing detrimental to language acquisition?

Source: Terminology Coordination Unit
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Dubbing, or re-voicing is a post-production process used in the creation of films. It involves additional recordings being ‘mixed’ with original production sound, for example the replacement of voices with dialogues in another language, and is often part of a translation process. It enables the screening and distribution of audio-visual material to audiences all over the world, despite language barriers.

Different countries across Europe, however, have very different approaches to dubbing. While some countries, such as Sweden, Norway or the United Kingdom prefer to maintain the original language of a movie which is consequently subtitled, in others, such as France, Germany, Spain or Italy, the use of full-cast dubbing is prevalent. There are also certain countries which use voice-over dubbing, performed by only one or two actors, such as Poland and Russia.

The choice of subtitles or dubbing can be a budgetary one, with small markets often opting for the former, which is a lot cheaper. Subtitling is also favoured in countries where two or more official languages are used, which allows productions to be comprehensible to speakers of different languages. However, it can also be an aesthetic issue, with artistic purists, traditionalists who advocate that art remains true to its essence and free from diluting influences, often demanding subtitles. They believe that dubbing can devalue a film by adulterating some of its artistic value, as well as the audio-visual interplay of the actors’ performance. More.

See: Terminology Coordination Unit

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Franz PÖCHHACKER: A conversation about research on conference interpreting

Source: A Word In Your Ear
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

The International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), as part of its Training of Trainers series, sponsored a seminar led by Franz Pöchhacker for teachers of conference interpretation. Sessions were held in Rome, Italy, January 29 through February 1, 2016.

Franz Pöchhacker is an Associate Professor of Interpreting Studies at the University of Vienna. He has worked as a conference and media interpreter and has published articles and monographs on various domains of interpreting, including the textbook Introducing Interpreting Studies (Routledge, 2004/2016).

The format of the event-a mix of lectures and discussions – allowed coverage of a significant variety of topics on conference interpretation, training, accumulated knowledge, and exchange experience. So, what do we indeed know? More.

See: A Word In Your Ear

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Gregory Rabassa, translator of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, dies

Source: 570 NEWS
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Gregory Rabassa, a translator of worldwide influence and esteem who helped introduce Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Julio Cortazar and other Latin American authors to millions of English-language readers, has died.

A longtime professor at Queens College, Rabassa died Monday at a hospice in Branford, Connecticut. He was 94 and died after a brief illness, according to his daughter, Kate Rabassa Wallen.

Rabassa was an essential gateway to the 1960s Latin American “boom,” when such authors as Garcia Marquez, Cortazar and Mario Vargas Llosa became widely known internationally. He worked on the novel that helped start the boom, Cortazar’s “Hopscotch,” for which Rabassa won a National Book Award for translation. He also worked on the novel which defined the boom, Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” a monument of 20th century literature. More.

See: 570 NEWS

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Why getting direct clients is difficult for translators

Source: Lingua Greca Translations
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Translators want to win direct customers for a number of reasons. Not only does working with direct customers often come with better remuneration, a translator can often expect more appreciation and a heightened sense of importance and satisfaction with their work.

In a world that is increasingly turning freelance, it’s important that we struggle together to shape that world in our favor. Therefore, I’ve written out the most important reasons why translators fail to get direct customers, and some innovative (I hope!) solutions to those problems. More.

See: Lingua Greca Translations

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Erase a language, murder a culture: north shore Sicilians trying to preserve their endangered language

Source: The New Orleans Advocate
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier
[...] The two friends, both 80, talked of family, music, food and the land they both left in the middle of the last century, speaking mostly in fluent Sicilian.
But conversations like this one are growing rarer. Sicilian is listed by UNESCO as la language that is “vulnerable” to going extinct worldwide.
Native speakers like Compagno watch it fade with each succeeding generation. Her grown children understand a fair bit. But her grandchildren know only a few words, some of them picked up on trips back to her native Ustica, a tiny island off Sicily’s northern coast.
But now, like many endangered languages, Sicilian has inspired something of a revival effort among descendants of the Sicilians who began arriving in southeast Louisiana in the latter half of the 19th century. More.
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Why students are turning away from learning foreign languages

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Foreign language learning in Australia is in serious decline, as we are well into the second decade of the so-called Asian Century.

About 40 per cent of students studied a foreign language in the 1960s. That number is now closer to 10 per cent, including students who are native speakers of a language other than English.

But in almost all the OECD countries, apart from Australia, students finish school with at least one foreign language.

Kurt Mullane, the executive director of the Asia Education Foundation, said “one of our great challenges is our monolingual mindset”.

“We think English will be enough, that it’s got us this far and it will treat us well into the future,” he said. “But the world has changed rapidly. If you are a monolingual speaker these days, you are well and truly in a minority in a global context. Our education sector is still playing catch up to that.” More.

See: The Sydney Morning Herald

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New documentary highlights how Ladino language in Turkey is on verge of extinction

Source: Hürriyet Daily News
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

“If Ladino is lost in our generation, it is the decision of the previous generation,” says one of the young people interviewed in “Las Ultimas Palavras” (The Last Words), a documentary by Rita Ender and Yorgo Demir looking at how the use of the Ladino language is on the verge of extinction in Turkey.

The film, recently screened at the French Cultural Center in İzmir, talks to 19 Turkish Jews between the ages of 25 and 35 to explore their knowledge of and their feelings toward Ladino, the Spanish-Jewish dialect spoken for centuries by Sephardic Jews in Turkey. As the Ladino language developed during the 15th and 16th centuries, it grew to include elements of Arabic, Turkish, Greek, French and Italian. The documentary was screened in Istanbul, Paris and Berlin last year – and was screened for the first time in İzmir.

The young people interviewed, three of whom are from İzmir’s Jewish community, say the only Ladino words they use are sudden exclamations, quick phrases, or household and culinary terms. Mostly they are in possession of an eternal childhood vocabulary consisting of words used by parents, such as “quiet” or “patience” or “your grandfather is sleeping.”

In that sense, Ladino is proof of what many linguists believe is the traditional pattern of death for a language: It is first confined to private homes before it dies a slow death. More.

See: Hürriyet Daily News

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Canadian scholar says there’s no such thing as ‘perfect’ translation

Source: The Korea Herald
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] Hyun does not believe that such a thing as a “perfect” translation — one where the original and translated texts are exact duplicates of each other and evoke precisely the same feelings — exists.

“When you say ‘perfect,’ you’re already assuming certain standards. What does ‘perfect’ mean? If it means to sound as close to the original text as possible, that’s one thing. But if it means to please the target readers, that’s something else,” Hyun said in an interview with The Korea Herald on Monday at a cafe in downtown Seoul.

For Hyun, it is inevitable that certain meanings and emotions become lost, transformed, and added on during the course of translation — even when the writer and translator are one and the same. More.

See: The Korea Herald

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