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Meet the last native speakers of Hawaiian

Source: PRI
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

The decline of the language can be traced back to the end of Hawaiian royal rule. After a coup that dethroned the last Hawaiian queen, a law was enacted barring Hawaiian from being used in schools. That law stayed on the books for 90 years, contributing to the decimation of the language. By the 1970’s, Hawaiian was mainly spoken by elders. In short, it was dying — quickly.

Then in the 1980s a group of language activists began a serious effort to save Hawaiian. They formed a Hawaiian Lexicon Committee to coin new Hawaiian words for computer, cellphone, even a new word for native speaker. And most importantly, they started Hawaiian language pre-schools. Those initial pre-schools have mushroomed into many across the island chain. Today, the largest group of Hawaiian language learners are children. More.

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

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2016 PEN/Heim Translation Fund winners

Source: Translationista
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

The 2016 PEN/Heim Translation Fund’s Advisory Board has met and deliberated – which must have been a lengthy undertaking, there were a whopping 171 entries this year – and has selected fourteen translators, each of whom will receive a $3,670 grant to assist in the completion of their project.

The PEN/Heim Translation Fund, now in its thirteenth year, was made possible by a generous donation from translator Michael Henry Heim and his wife, Priscilla Heim. More.

See: Translationista

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9 useful strategies for getting clients to pay on time

Source: HubSpot
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Everyone is trying to manage cash flow. But no matter how buttoned up you might be in your process, it still could mean clients pay late, which messes with your stability.

Here are nine strategies to make sure your clients are ready and able to pay your agency’s invoices on time. More.

See: HubSpot

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A to-do list for the translation industry

Source: TAUS
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] Now MT is everywhere. Insiders say that everyday computers translate 200 Billion words. That is 100 times more than the output of all human translators together. MT is everywhere and always there, except … well, except the professionals seem to have their doubts. That makes me think that the state of the industry could be better.

TAUS may be getting old, but we cannot start resting on our laurels. Just coming back from the Industry Leaders Forum in Dublin, we realize how much work is yet to be done. Too often we are stuck in the past, in the way we have been doing things for a long time. How we price the services. How we plan the process and manage the projects. How secretive we often are about resources and processes. How we hang on to our data. How we ‘know’ quality when we see it.

If our friends, family and hundreds of millions other ‘ordinary’ citizens around the world happily use the MT button on the internet and share their data, why are we, professionals in the industry, then, afraid to do so? More.


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Skype meeting broadcast will get translation, transcription features

Source: Small Business Trends
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

A communications tool used to facilitate online meetings will soon have the capabilities to translate the remarks of participants and preserve a written transcript of what was said. Microsoft announced last week at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto that it would be adding automatic transcription and translation for Skype Meeting Broadcast.

Certainly, being able to communicate with anyone around the world without the barrier of different languages has clear business advantages. But real-time translation has been, and still continues to be, one of the biggest challenges in the IT sector. Although some great developments have introduced some innovative products for real-time translations, there is still a ways to go before it is perfected. More.

See: Small Business Trends

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The subtle art of translating foreign fiction

Source: The Guardian
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] Translation matters. It always has, of course – and should you be interested in the many ways it can affect the reader’s response to a book, I recommend both Tim Parks’s essay collection Where I’m Reading From, in which he asks interesting questions about the global market for fiction, and Julian Barnes’s brilliant and questing 2010 essay, Translating Madame Bovary. But perhaps right now translation is more important than ever – for suddenly, foreign literature seems finally to be finding its place in Britain, an island where it has previously struggled to attract substantial numbers of readers. How did this happen? It’s hard to say, but perhaps it began, thinking back, with the Scandinavian crime sagas — by Stieg LarssonHenning MankellJo Nesbø et al – that we all began gobbling up in increasingly vast quantities around the turn of the century.

[...] “There are some books whose success is very local,” says Adam Freudenheim, the publisher of Pushkin Press, and the man who introduced me to the Russian writer Teffi (and to Gundar-Goshen). “But the best fiction almost always travels well, in my view.” For him, as for other presses that specialise in translated work (Harvill Secker, Portobello, And Other Stories, MacLehose Press and others), the focus is simply on publishing a great book; the fact that it is translated is “not the decisive thing”. And this, in turn, is how he accounts for the increasing popularity of foreign fiction – a shift that he, like Ann Goldstein, believes is real enough to turn out to be permanent. There are, quite simply, a lot of great translated books out there now, their covers appetising, their introductions informative, their translations (mostly) works of art in their own right. More.

See: The Guardian

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Translating bilingualism into careers

Source: Albuquerque Journal
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] Being bilingual, as Portal is, is a gift, a talent, a resource that New Mexico is rich in, she says.

So Portal created Valley Community Interpreters, or Intérpretes Communitarios del Valle, a grass-roots effort in Albuquerque to train bilingual students to become interpreters in a number of fields.

“It’s a very fast-growing industry, and yet there was really no one here training interpreters,” Portal said. “Our goal is to build and train a bilingual workforce in New Mexico that can work in the industry to help others communicate with society in general.”

The interpreter profession is expected to grow by 46 percent in the next 10 years, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That’s not surprising, considering that more than 300 languages are spoken in the country and more than 25.2 million people are “limited English-speaking,” 75 percent of whom say their native language is Spanish, according to U.S. Census figures. More.

See: Albuquerque Journal

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New tiered sign language interpreter system takes effect

Source: Detroit Metro Times
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

As Michigan civil rights law calls for, if someone is in need of an interpreter one needs to be provided to them, but up until now that interpreter did not need to have a specific level of vocabulary knowledge catered to different situations.

With the new requirements there are three tiers of interpreters: general knowledge and education settings, moderately specialized knowledge such as government meetings and medical settings, and highly specialized knowledge such as psychiatric evaluations and legal procedure.

This comes as a positive change in context of the complicated history both Michigan and the nation have with recognizing the civil rights of people who are deaf or hard or hearing. More.

See: Detroit Metro Times

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Longlist for Read Russia Translation Prize announced

Source: Russia Beyond The Headlines
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

A total of 28 translators from 18 countries have been provisionally nominated, with the final shortlist to be announced mid-August.

The organizers of the Read Russia Prize, the biennial award aimed at popularizing Russian literature and encouraging foreign translators and publishers of Russian literature, have announced the longlist for the 2014-2016 season on July 25.

The prize is given to a translator or a group of translators for the best translation of a prose or poetic work from Russian into a foreign language and published within the last two years.

The main prize is 5,000 euros ($5,700) for the translator (or group of translators) and 3,000 euros ($3,400) for publishers to cover costs. More.

See: Russia Beyond The Headlines

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Deaf community to file complaint to get interpreter jobs back

Source: WTNH
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

The deaf community is converging at the capitol to file a complaint in an effort to get interpreters their jobs back.

Many in the deaf community say they’re losing a vital resource for them. As a cost-saving measure, the state laid off about 40 interpreters.

We spoke with one of those interpreters last week, she says not only is she concerned about making ends meet for her family, she’s also worried about her clients.

The group ‘We the Deaf People’ told us this has thrown the deaf population in the state into turmoil. Deaf people relied on these interpreters in schools, emergency rooms, and doctors’ offices. More.


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Bilingual preschool in Greensburg speaks to demand for earlier foreign language instruction

Source: TribLIVE
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

[...] Nancy Rhodes, a senior consultant for world language education at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, D.C., said recent studies have pointed to a number of ways early absorption of a foreign tongue can boost children’s development.

“Research has shown students who study languages score higher in creativity and problem-solving.” Those are attributes that can apply across academic subjects.

Rhodes added: “Learning a second language actually enhances their native language skills.”

Before striking out on her own, Petit Paris operator Anna Maria Skop introduced French language to Harper and fellow students while working at another local preschool.

“After two to three months, the kids were speaking French between them,” Skop said. More.

See: TribLIVE

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Deaf people encounter troubles with medical care

Source: The Sacramento Bee
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

When you’re hospitalized or in pain, understanding a doctor’s diagnosis or a nurse’s instructions is hard enough. But when you’re deaf, it can feel like being shut out.

Ellen Thielman, a retired computer programmer, found that out twice this year. Deaf since infancy, the Sacramento resident has navigated the hearing world for years – graduating from college, raising two children and working more than 20 years for several California state government departments.

But when Thielman, 67, landed in the emergency room last January with what she thought might be symptoms of a stroke, she was frustrated by the lack of adequate sign-language interpreters and her inability to effectively talk with medical staff.

“I was furious, upset and a bit traumatized. I felt really alone,” said Thielman, who lives independently but needs a service dog to hear even her own doorbell.

Thielman wasn’t misdiagnosed, mistreated or given improper medications. Still, in two emergency room visits and subsequent hospital stays this year at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, she said she frequently felt isolated and unsure why she was getting certain injections or exactly what her medical status was. Both times, she said, it took three to four hours for a trained interpreter to arrive in the emergency room. Later, in the hospital, she was unable to schedule an interpreter to meet with her doctors. More.

See: The Sacramento Bee

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Researchers recreate how words were spoken 8,000 years ago

Source: Daily Mail Online
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

It is one of the key factors that has helped to define different national identities and introduced divides between populations around the world.

But many of the wonderful and varied languages spoken globally can trace their history back to just a few sources.

Now researchers have recreated what they claim is the mother tongue of one of the largest group of languages spoken around the world – the Indo-European languages.

They have developed a way to simulate these extinct sounds from this Proto-Indo-European language that was spoken around 6,000 to 3,500BC.

This ‘mother tongue’ has evolved over time to spawn more than 440 modern languages in the world today from sing-song speech of Scandinavians to the harsh sounds of the Slavic dialects. More.

See: Daily Mail Online

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New sign language interpreter rules in effect in Michigan

Source: The Detroit News
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

A Michigan Supreme Court justice and state civil rights officials called attention Wednesday to new rules establishing specific certification levels for sign language interpreters to work in courtrooms, hospitals and other settings.

The regulations, which took effect July 7, outline skill levels and training needed for interpreters who must be provided by judges, attorneys, physicians, mental health providers and others.

“These extremely important medical situations or legal situations must have key, effective communication. Deaf, deaf blind and hard of hearing people … have a right to that,” Annie Urasky, director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights’ Division on Deaf, Deafblind and Hard of Hearing, said through an interpreter after a news conference at the Hall of Justice. More.

See: The Detroit News

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Health system breaks the patient language barrier

Source: H&HN
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

One of the major challenges facing Washington state-based Providence is the increase of limited English proficient and deaf patients seeking medical treatment throughout its health system, creating a need for expanded access to immediate language services.

[...] Providence once relied on telephone and on-site interpreters to communicate with LEP and deaf patients. But according to Cyndy Daniel, assistant emergency department manager for Providence Milwaukie Hospital near Portland, Ore., telephone interpretation was not well-suited for the fast pace of emergency care.

“Telephonic interpreters would be hit-or-miss,” Daniel said. “Some patients wouldn’t speak loud enough, and we would run into a variety of issues that anyone can have with phone communication.”

For scenarios in which a telephone interpreter was not an option, such as end-of-life discussions, group settings and deaf patients, the health system also worked with third-party agencies to provide on-site or face-to-face interpreters. But on-site interpretation had its own problems.

[...] “We look to invest in passionate, amazing management teams who are building disruptive technologies, like video remote interpreting, to help solve important problems that our health care system and patients care about,” said Martin.

Providence clinicians now have immediate access to video interpreters in more than 200 languages, including American Sign Language, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A provider is able to select the patient’s requested language, designate if a female or male interpreter is preferred, and connect within seconds to a live, medically trained interpreter who appears on the screen. More.

See: H&HN

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The translator’s job is to be invisible

Source: The Kingston Whig-Standard
Story flagged by: Paula Durrosier

Translating literary works from French to English requires much more than exchanging one word for another, more than trading sentences between languages. It takes an understanding of the author’s message to capture the vision, the essence, of the writing.

It also takes a yearning to communicate fully, something Patricia Carson Claxton felt as an Anglophone living in Montreal in the 1950s. Moving beyond basic bilingualism, the Kingston-born co-founder of the Literary Translators Association of Canada became one of the industry’s top translators. More.

See: The Kingston Whig-Standard

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The magic of ‘untranslatable’ words

Source: Scientific American
Story flagged by: Eva Stoppa

[...] Such words have long fascinated linguists, who refer to them as loanwords – i.e., words that English has ‘borrowed,’ usually because it lacks its own native term for the phenomena that the word signifies (although there can also be other reasons, like the prestige associated with deploying foreign terminology). Then, with the passage of time, and the legitimacy conferred by widespread usage, such words eventually become assimilated into English (often with a degree of adaptation). However, perhaps even more intriguing is the related phenomenon of so-called ‘untranslatable’ words: essentially, words which also lack an equivalent in English, but haven’t yet been borrowed. Admittedly, untranslatability is a contentious term. On the one hand, it could be argued that no word is actually truly translatable. Words are embedded within complex webs of meanings and traditions. As such, even if languages seem to have roughly equivalent words – amour as the French counterpart to love, for instance – translators have long argued that something precious is always lost in the act of translation. Conversely though, some people submit that nothing is ever genuinely untranslatable. Even if a word lacks an exact equivalent in English, its meaning can usually be conveyed in a few words, or at least a couple of sentences. However, it’s the fact that a word doesn’t appear to have an ‘exact match’ in English that makes it so potentially intriguing (and, in common parlance, renders it ‘untranslatable’). Such words pique our interest, and for good reason. Above all, they appear to indicate the existence of phenomena that have been overlooked or undervalued by English-speaking cultures. More.

See: Scientific American

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The ready reading list for test adaptation

Source: Responsive Translation
Story flagged by:

What do you do when you want a test to serve a whole new audience in a different language?

Adapting tests and instruments for different linguistic and/or cultural groups for the purposes of educational and psychological testing is a complex undertaking. Fortunately, recent research and best practice means lots of good reference documentation for planning. Here is a short list of our favorites. More.

See: Responsive Translation

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Is there anything that shouldn’t be translated?

Source: Translators Family
Story flagged by: Oleg Semerikov

Is there anything that shouldn’t be translated? All right, we’ll admit it: it does sound like an odd question. Especially coming from a translation agency. After all, we do live in the age of information. With search engines and encyclopaedias and on-demand media just a mouse-click away, universal access to content is something that most people take for granted now. These days, everyone wants access to everything, all of the time.

So yes, in that context, the idea of consciously choosing not to translate something may seem a little counter-intuitive. And in fact, assuming unlimited time and budgets, we’d absolutely recommend that every business translate all of its materials into as many languages as possible. But if we drill down a little deeper into the details of each of those documents, we might find words or phrases – or sometimes even longer sections – that require a slightly different approach to just translating them word-for-word. If you receive a translated document and it retains some source-language words or phrases, or the content doesn’t quite look identical to the original version, this might be the reason why. More.

See: Translators Family

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‘AIIC Conversations’

Source: A Word in Your Ear
Story flagged by:
AIIC presents CONVERSATIONS – a series of talks among conference interpreters about their profession and craft. Created by Lourdes de Rioja and Luigi Luccarelli with AIIC coordination and support by Gisèle Abazon, CONVERSATIONS will be rolled out in September 2016 with four videos exploring the lives of diverse groups:

Interpreters working on staff at international organizations …
Consultant interpreters serving a broad clientele …
Young interpreters addressing how they entered the field …
Trainers commenting on trends in professional development.


See: A Word in Your Ear

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