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Largest all-women expedition heads to Antarctica - BBC News

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The largest ever all-female mission to Antarctica sets sail, to promote more women to the top of science.
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Wildlife Photographer of the Year - People's Choice - BBC News

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Images shortlisted for the People's Choice Award in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
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Bumper load of new viruses identified - BBC News

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Scientists looking into invertebrate animals discover nearly 1,500 new viruses - the largest number documented in any one study.
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Paper bike helmet wins Dyson award - BBC News

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A cheap, foldable cycling helmet made of paper wins the international James Dyson award.
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'Post-truth' declared word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries - BBC News

'Post-truth' declared word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries - BBC News | Technical Translations and more | Scoop.it
Oxford Dictionaries has selected "post-truth" as its 2016 international word of the year.
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Goldsmiths Prize: Single sentence novel wins £10,000 award - BBC News

Goldsmiths Prize: Single sentence novel wins £10,000 award - BBC News | Technical Translations and more | Scoop.it
A novel written in a single unbroken sentence wins this year's Goldsmiths Prize for fiction that "breaks the mould".
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Scientists restore leg movement in paralyzed primates using wireless neural interface

Scientists restore leg movement in paralyzed primates using wireless neural interface | Technical Translations and more | Scoop.it
An international team of scientists has used a wireless "brain-spinal interface" to bypass spinal cord injuries in a pair of rhesus macaques, restoring intentional walking movement to a temporarily paralyzed leg. The researchers, who describe their work in the journal Nature, say this is the first time a neural prosthetic has been used to restore walking movement directly to the legs of nonhuman primates.

The study was performed by scientists and neuroengineers in a collaboration led by Ecole Polytechnique Federale Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, together with Brown University, Medtronic and Fraunhofer ICT-IMM in Germany. The work builds upon neural technologies developed at Brown and partner institutions, and was tested in collaboration with the University of Bordeaux, Motac Neuroscience and the Lausanne University Hospital.

"The system we have developed uses signals recorded from the motor cortex of the brain to trigger coordinated electrical stimulation of nerves in the spine that are responsible for locomotion," said David Borton, assistant professor of engineering at Brown and one of the study's co-lead authors. "With the system turned on, the animals in our study had nearly normal locomotion."

The work could help in developing a similar system designed for humans who have had spinal cord injuries.

"There is evidence to suggest that a brain-controlled spinal stimulation system may enhance rehabilitation after a spinal cord injury," Borton said. "This is a step toward further testing that possibility."

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Look Inside: A Spectacular Collection of Cutaway Infographics

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The book offers an exquisite assortment of cross sectional, transparent, and exploded-view cutaways that crisscrosses both history and subject matter.
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Brexit, Trumpism named words of the year

Brexit, Trumpism named words of the year | Technical Translations and more | Scoop.it
(CNN)So it turns out Britain's voters aren't the only ones backing Brexit. The term -- a fixture in headlines around the world throughout 2016 -- has been named Word of the Year.

Brexit -- a portmanteau, blending "Britain" with "exit" -- describes the UK's impending departure from the European Union, in the wake of a controversial referendum on the issue in June.
The team of lexicographers behind the Collins Dictionary say it is the most visible English term of the past year.

UK to Europe: We're out
"We believe that the obvious increased use of 'Brexit' (up 3,400% in 2016), its significant impact in British politics and Britain's exit from the EU make it a word not only primed for history books but also as Collins' Word of the Year," the team said in a statement.
The language experts looked at all English media -- from newspapers, to radio and social media -- to draw their conclusion.
Brexit's roots can be traced back to 2012, when economist Ebrahim Rahbari coined the term "Grexit" as a shorthand for "Greek exit," referring to Greece's potential withdrawal from the eurozone as a result of its economic crisis.
But it is not the first time the world of politics has conjured up a word that took on a life of its own.
The new 'Watergate'?
Back in 1972, "Watergate" became part of the Oxford English Dictionary after a scandal that began with a burglary in the Washington Watergate Hotel led to the eventual resignation of President Nixon.
The "-gate" suffix has since been used to denote scandals from 'winegate' (chemicals used to transform vinegar into fake wine) to 'horsegate' (frozen lasagnas containing horse meat) and 'bridgegate'.


Behind the biggest break-in of the 1970s 01:13
Helen Newstead, head of language content at Collins, believes Brexit will soon overthrow Watergate.
"Brexit' is arguably politics' most important contribution to the English language in over 40 years, since the Watergate scandal ... [and] 'Brexit' is proving even more useful and adaptable," she said.
Some of the new words created from Brexit include "brexiteers" -- those who voted for the UK to leave the EU -- and "bremorse" -- the feeling of regret experienced by those who chose to leave, and then changed their mind.
'Mic drop,' 'hygge' contenders
Besides Brexit, the team at Collins shortlisted other nine words as strong contenders for the top prize.
"Trumpism" -- a controversial statement attributed to US presidential contender Donald Trump -- was one of the most popular.
"Depending on your point of view, [Trumpism] can be held up either as evidence of the man's ability to make America great again or else as proof of his unfitness to hold the highest political office," explained the Collins' team.
"Mic drop" -- "a theatrical gesture in which a person drops (or imitates the action of dropping) a hand-held microphone to the ground as the finale to a speech or performance" -- as demonstrated by US President Barack Obama at a recent dinner also made the list.
Other top terms included "throw shade," "hygge" -- the Danish concept of "creating cosy and convivial atmospheres that promote wellbeing" and "snowflake generation" -- new young adults who are seen as less resilient than previous generations.
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Translation help at the polls: what's required and how it works — NewsWorks

Translation help at the polls: what's required and how it works — NewsWorks | Technical Translations and more | Scoop.it
There are requirements at polling places, but help doesn't reach everyone who needs it.

Elections have been hectic for Cesar Liriano for most of the nine years he's lived in the city of Lebanon. Presidential elections are craziest, but he's busy during the lower-turnout local and gubernatorials, too.

"Normally, I get up at 5 o'clock every day, doesn't matter elections or not," Liriano says. "I go down as soon to the polls as soon as they open, I go and vote with my wife, and then I get prepared to be running from one poll to the other."

Liriano, who's from the Dominican Republic, has run for City Council before, as a Democrat, but it's more his role as a community leader that puts him in demand as a translator.

He says he's often summoned to a polling place and arrives to find well-intentioned election workers simply unable to communicate with voters. He says he hasn't always made it before the language barrier discouraged voters away.

"At the end, they end up without voting just because they can't understand what the people at the polling place are telling them to do," he says.

Liriano, 40, has been trying to raise awareness about the shortage of language support at the polls since last spring, at least.

Cesar Liriano attends a poll watchers training with the Lebanon County Democrats at Hoss’s Restaurant.  (Lindsay Lazarski/WHYY)

The city of Lebanon is known for its sizeable Latino population, so the county puts interpreters at some precincts and all voting machines offer Spanish versions of ballots.

But it's not a requirement under federal law.

The way the Voting Rights Act is written it can leave gaps between community need for translation and interpretation at the polls and what's provided, advocates say.

In places like Lebanon, the shortfall is due mainly to how legal requirements are triggered.

How it works

Voters can bring along someone to assist them, so long as that person isn't their employer or union representative.

But what if that's not feasible?

Basically, the law determines whether the government has to provide support for voters with limited English proficiency by counting how many speak the same language in a given jurisdiction.

If it hits 10,000 people or 5 percent of eligible voters, translation and interpretation requirements are triggered under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act.

But the population thresholds are calculated at the county level. In Pennsylvania, three counties meet it, in each case for Spanish: Berks, Lehigh and Philadelphia.

"I think that the law works for the majority and I guess that's appropriate, in a lot of ways, or people feel like it's appropriate," says Hazel Diaz, volunteer coordinator for the Lebanon County Democratic Committee.

By the numbers

In the city of Lebanon, 12 percent of eligible voters have limited English proficiency and speak Spanish. Countywide, it's 3 percent — comfortably under the 5 percent federal threshold.

Nineteen Pennsylvania municipalities meet the threshold, but are within a county that does not. The list includes Lebanon, Lancaster, Hazleton, West Hazleton, Harrisburg and York. Combined, they're home to more than 15,000 Spanish-speaking eligible voters with limited English proficiency.

"We've had people run for city council and win by 11 votes," Diaz says. "So every vote really does count."

Sufficient data to do a similar analysis for other languages wasn't available.

But there are more than 140,000 eligible voters with limited English proficiency statewide speaking a language other than Spanish, the vast majority residing in Philadelphia and surrounding counties.

In Philadelphia, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund' has been trying to get more language support at polls, including through a complaint under the city's Fair Practice ordinance.

Support spectrum

Exactly what kind of help is required?

It's varies among counties, or even polling places within the same county.

"Reasonable and effective," says Will Gonzalez, who heads Philadelphia-based Latino coalition Ceiba. "Those are the two subjective terms by which you judge compliance [with the Voting Rights Act]. ... [It comes down to] balancing the need of limited English proficient citizens in a particular precinct relative to the resources available."

There's general agreement that ballots and voting machines must offer translations, for example.

But in practice, particularly when it comes to verbal communication between poll workers and voters, there's ambiguity as to what constitutes "reasonable steps" taken to provide "effective" support to overcome language barriers.

None of the three counties under federal mandate supplies bilingual election workers at every polling place. Berks and Lehigh counties' election officials we spoke with say workers at sites without an interpreter can call the main office for help interpreting — but only in Spanish. They say other language barriers have never come up.

Philadelphia poll workers have access to interpreters in languages other than Spanish via Language Line translation service.

But Vattamala says the service is "something that's there on paper but in practice it never gets used."

Language Line representatives didn't respond to requests for comment. The company website describes the service as on-demand, 24/7/365, and available in 240 languages, although advocates for refugees and other LEP populations typically make appointments to ensure they get through to someone.

When translators are accessible by phone, they're highly preferable to mobile apps such as Google Translate, because mechanical translation of text to try to facilitate verbal conversation, Gonzalez says, "leads to misunderstandings" and "isn't effective at all."

But even when telephonic interpretation works optimally, some say it still leaves much to be desired.

"Some of my advocate friends say ... the impersonality and the difficulty of exchanging a handset or exchanging a mobile telephone back and forth makes telephonic interpretation not effective and not reasonable," Gonzalez says.

Places where translation is not required, but is available

York, Dauphin, Luzerne, Lancaster and Lebanon counties are not under the federal mandate to provide translation services, but include at least one of the 19 towns that "would be" if population thresholds were calculated at the municipal level.

Each of these counties provides Spanish translations of printed ballots, electronic versions on voting machines, or both. They also provide interpretation over the phone or through bilingual poll workers, assigned to select precincts based on feedback from election judges.

Dauphin, for example, ensures bilingual support at two precincts in the city of Harrisburg, and all 164 sites countywide have hard-copy provisional ballots in English and Spanish, according to Dauphin County Director of Elections & Voter Registration Jerry Feaser.

The translation that doesn't add to the printing expense, Feaser says.

Voting machines offer a Spanish language option throughout Lebanon County. It cost $4,000 or so – about 2 percent of the county's total election budget – to program machines to offer each of the 56 precinct's different ballots in Spanish, according to voter registration director Michael Anderson.

Lebanon County will staff 15 polling places in the city of Lebanon with 22 interpreters. About half of those are students at the city's public high school, Anderson says.

Lehigh County has a similar partnership with Muhlenberg College, according to Timothy Benyo, chief the county's clerk of registration and elections.

Vatamalla says using students is a "wonderful idea that would be one of the best ways to eliminate almost all of the problems that we've encountered and observed in the last several elections." But he says students aren't used very frequently.

Anderson says he'll also call on some of the Lebanon Democratic Committee's bilingual volunteers, should the need arise, on Election Day.

Anderson says he's not concerned about using party-affiliated translators. Anyone helping voters communicate with poll workers would be within the 10 feet distance at which rules against politicking kick in, the same guidelines which apply to county-trained, county-paid poll workers, he says.

Vattamala says having people who are associated with a political party at the polls leads to problems.

"We've seen this in numerous elections," Vatamalla. "They oftentimes will be persuaded or through language barriers, the person that is assisting that is partisan will oftentimes choose candidates that the voter themselves did not want to choose."

 

Editor's note: Statistics on voter residency, English proficiency and native language are based on a Keystone Crossroads analysis of 2014 Census data, the most recent available.

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Serge AWONO's curator insight, November 8, 4:56 AM

Translation help at the polls: what's required and how it works — NewsWorks

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Why does legal translation go wrong?

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Incorrect legal translations cost time and money, so how do you make sure that it’s done right?
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The worst video game translation job ever

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Localization is an underappreciated aspect of game development. There is a lot that goes into localization such as redesigning cover-art, censoring parts of games for cultural sensitivity, and recording new voice-overs in the targe
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New pound coin: Firms told to prepare for redesign - BBC News

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Businesses are being urged to prepare for the new pound coin that is being introduced in March 2017.
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The many ways lasers help us see the world more clearly - BBC News

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Lasers have been around since the 1960s, but today's highly accurate versions are transforming surgery, computing, engineering and mapping.
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Les intraduisibles de la langue française.

Les intraduisibles de la langue française. | Technical Translations and more | Scoop.it
Ce que nous appelons "intraduisibles", ce sont des mots, des expressions idiomatiques qui ne trouvent pas d'équivalent parfait dans d'autres langues. Propres au patrimoine, à des référents historiques, à une activité spécifique, ces particularités françaises reflètent une certaine représentation du monde. Retour sur ces trésors, ces bizarreries, ces empreintes inconscientes de notre façon de parler et donc de penser.
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Shakespeare's Tempest gets mixed reality makeover - BBC News

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Virtual Ariel flies around the stage in a production of The Tempest as the RSC embraces technology.
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Most common surnames in Britain and Ireland revealed - BBC News

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The most common surnames in Britain and Ireland - and their origins - are revealed by researchers.
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The Evolution Of Grammatical Genders: Why French Has Two Genders, German Has Three, And English Just Doesn't Care

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Masculine and feminine seem like perfectly normal distinctions, but are they more cultural than natural. How grammatical genders influence our worldview.
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Dailytimes | Spanish is the happiest language in the world and its people are the most in love

Dailytimes | Spanish is the happiest language in the world and its people are the most in love | Technical Translations and more | Scoop.it
Paris may be considered the romance capital of the world, but it turns out that Spain is the most amorous nation.

Spanish people sent more love-related messages on Viber than any other region last year, ahead of France, Italy and Japan.

And this may be linked to the fact the language was recently found to be the happiest and most positive by mathematicians. Viber said its Spanish users sent the most love-related stickers on its messaging app during 2014 and the 'kissing couple' sticker topped the list globally.

In a separate study, a team of researchers, led by Dr Peter Dodds from the University of Vermont, built a database of billions of individual words from 10 of the most popular languages using online sources. This included Google Books, Twitter, subtitles on films and TV shows, song lyrics and the New York Times in Spanish, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Indonesian, Korean, Russian and German.

From this, the scientists compiled a list of 10,000 most commonly used words in each language and labelled each as either positive and negative.

For example, the words 'lying' and 'cried' were plotted on the negative side, while 'love' and 'laughter' were positive words. Once all of these words were plotted, the researchers found that every language studied was inherently positive, and more words fell on the right of centre than the left.

"Using human evaluation of 100,000 words spread across 10 languages diverse in origin and culture, we present evidence of a deep imprint of human sociality in language," said the study. "The words of natural human language possess a universal positivity bias, the estimated emotional content of words is consistent between languages under translation, and this positivity bias is strongly independent of frequency of word use."

And at the top of this list was Spanish, which had the highest skew towards positive sentiment. Chinese was at the opposite end of the scale.

English was in third place.

To test these findings, the team later applied their analysis to books including Herman Melville's Moby Dick, Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, and Alexander Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo.

They mapped the emotional content and plotted peaks and troughs throughout each. Language used in Crime and Punishment was predominantly positive but ended on a very low point. The Count of Monte Cristo had the lowest dip at around the third-way mark but ended very positively. Moby Dick had the highest peak a quarter of the way, sentiment fell at the half-way mark and the book ended on a low.

These peaks and troughs in positive and negative language related to high and low points in the narrative, going someway to prove Dodds' research.

The findings were published in the journals Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Separate research from Twitter found that Sweden is the country most likely to Tweet 'I love you.' The site has created an interactive 'World of Love' map that reflects the volume of tweets mentioning this phrase in 100 different languages. This volume was then related to the total population of each country to establish the ranking. The UK came in at 51 out of the 173 countries that Twitter operates in, and the top five countries were Sweden, Slovenia, Israel, United Arab of Emirates and Norway. 

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India scraps 500 and 1,000 rupee bank notes overnight - BBC News

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India's PM says existing 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes will be withdrawn from the financial system overnight.
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« Au nom du savoir et de la démocratie, enseignons dans les langues africaines ! »

« Au nom du savoir et de la démocratie, enseignons dans les langues africaines ! » | Technical Translations and more | Scoop.it
Fary Ndao rappelle, études scientifiques à l’appui, qu’on apprend mieux en commençant l’école dans sa langue maternelle.

Par Fary Ndao

LE MONDE Le 02.11.2016 à 11h37 • Mis à jour le 02.11.2016 à 11h48

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L’Afrique est le seul continent où les langues maternelles parlées au quotidien ne sont pas enseignées dans le cadre scolaire officiel. [Un sujet central qui a agité plusieurs des Débats que Le Monde Afrique a organisés à Dakar fin octobre sur le thème de l’éducation supérieure.]

Lire aussi :   « Une Afrique moderne et pleine d’elle-même », le slam des futurs Einstein africains

La langue dite « maternelle » est définie par l’Unesco comme étant « la ou les langue(s) de l’environnement immédiat et des interactions quotidiennes qui construisent l’enfant durant les quatre premières années de sa vie ». Ainsi, beaucoup d’enfants africains, notamment en Afrique de l’Ouest, ont une langue maternelle africaine de portée nationale (wolof au Sénégal, bambara au Mali, fon au Bénin) et une seconde langue maternelle d’extension régionale parlée dans leur village, leur ville ou leur province.

Les langues internationales compliquent la diffusion du savoir

En délaissant ces langues maternelles au profit exclusif des langues internationales (français, anglais, arabe), les pays africains ne facilitent ni la diffusion du savoir au sein de leurs sociétés, ni l’intégration de leur intelligentsia à la communauté académique mondiale. Il est important de rappeler, pour convaincre les sceptiques, ce chiffre issu du rapport de l’Unesco sur la science : sur les 20 pays effectuant le plus de publications académiques dans le monde, l’on retrouve une majorité de pays (douze) où la langue officielle n’est parlée que dans ledit pays et ses zones frontalières. Ces douze pays sont : la Chine (mandarin), le Japon (japonais), la Corée du Sud (coréen), l’Inde (hindi), la Russie (russe), l’Italie (italien), les Pays-Bas (néerlandais), la Turquie (turc), l’Iran (persan), la Norvège (norvégien) et Israël (hébreu). La langue seule n’explique pas tout et il existe bien entendu plusieurs facteurs qui contribuent au dynamisme de la recherche dans un pays : tradition universitaire, moyens économiques, existence d’un tissu industriel, etc.

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Cependant, la vitalité académique de ces pays démontre qu’il n’est pas nécessaire d’avoir une langue parlée sur trois continents pour trouver des solutions originales aux problématiques endogènes ou pour contribuer à l’amélioration du savoir mondial. Les pays asiatiques ont le fait le choix d’une éducation basée sur la langue maternelle. Leur réussite académique et économique montre qu’il existe une différence significative entre la langue d’acquisition du savoir, c’est-à-dire la langue d’enseignement, et la langue de communication qui correspond à une langue de portée internationale utilisée pour partager ce savoir en dehors de ses frontières. Ceux qui en doutent pourront répondre à cette question : qui parle le coréen à part les Coréens ?

Lire aussi :   Cédric Villani : « Les étudiants africains sont très intéressants, on sent l’appétit, l’enthousiasme »

En Afrique, il ne s’agira pas de remplacer le français ou l’anglais par une seule autre langue, fût-elle africaine. Il apparaît plus judicieux de se diriger vers un enseignement multilingue basé sur la langue maternelle comme le recommande l’Unesco et ses nombreuses études de cas pratiques depuis 1953. Cet enseignement pourrait se décliner comme suit : une langue africaine d’extension régionale pour la primo-alphabétisation, rapidement complétée par l’enseignement dans la langue africaine de portée nationale avant l’enseignement des langues internationales. Le triptyque « un territoire, une langue officielle, une nation » est davantage un fantasme qu’une réalité tangible dans les pays africains. Les langues internationales n’y sont bien souvent comprises que par une minorité qui les utilise pour confisquer les débats démocratiques, monopoliser l’information économique et contrôler l’appareil d’Etat. Il faut donc faire la promotion de nations africaines basées sur la reconnaissance de la diversité linguistique et culturelle.

85 % des enfants concernés en école primaire

L’enseignement en langue maternelle permet d’éviter le temps d’acculturation qui oblige l’enfant sénégalais ou malien découvrant l’école primaire à effectuer un sevrage brutal où il abandonne les acquis de sa ou ses langue(s) maternelle(s). Des études de l’Association pour le développement de l’éducation en Afrique (ADEA) estiment en effet qu’au moins 85 % des enfants africains débutent leur vie scolaire avec l’obligation d’apprendre dans une langue qu’ils n’ont jamais parlée, ni souvent entendue. Il suffit d’imaginer la situation cocasse où 85 % des petits Français entrant au CP seraient alphabétisés en wolof ou en bambara. C’est pourtant une telle aberration qui se déroule, depuis des décennies, dans beaucoup de pays d’Afrique noire francophone.

Renverser ce paradigme linguistique permettrait aux enfants de ne pas subir cette rupture violente qui va à l’encontre de tous les résultats de recherches en sciences cognitives depuis plus de quarante ans. Ceux-ci montrent en effet qu’un apprentissage est plus efficace si l’apprenant possède déjà des connaissances, même rudimentaires, sur le sujet d’apprentissage. Il est par exemple beaucoup plus facile d’apprendre à programmer dans un nouveau langage informatique, lorsque l’on connaît déjà un autre langage informatique, quel qu’il soit. C’est ce que confirme le docteur Seynabou Diop, spécialiste des sciences cognitives, dans cet article paru en 2012 : « Les connaissances antérieures de l’enfant peuvent être inadéquates, peu structurées, mal structurées ou totalement fausses au départ (…) Les langues nationales, parce qu’elles offrent une pléthore de connaissances antérieures propres aux enfants, permettent de les engager dans un processus de restructuration et de construction active des connaissances. »

Faciliter l’alphabétisation

Ainsi, la primo-alphabétisation doit toujours être effectuée avec l’une des langues maternelles de l’enfant. Un enfant du Fouta, au Sénégal, devrait aborder les premières années de sa vie scolaire en pulaar. Dans d’autres régions ayant des identités linguistiques fortes, des concertations sur le choix de la langue de primo-alphabétisation pourraient être menées par les autorités administratives avec les parents d’élèves, les enseignants appuyés par des spécialistes en sciences cognitives. Un tel processus a été adopté avec succès au Burkina Faso au début des années 2000.

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Un enfant apprenant dans sa langue maternelle a statistiquement moins de chances de redoubler à la fin du primaire. Il comprend mieux et peut se faire aider par ses parents, même si ceux-ci ne sont pas alphabétisés, car ils comprennent de fait la langue de primo-alphabétisation qui est celle qu’ils parlent à leur enfant à la maison.

Un enfant alphabétisé dans sa langue maternelle n’a généralement aucune difficulté pour apprendre une nouvelle langue. Plusieurs expériences, menées au Sénégal et en Ethiopie, montrent que les enfants qui sont alphabétisés en wolof ou amharique, obtiennent de meilleurs résultats en français ou en anglais que les élèves qui sont exclusivement alphabétisés dès l’entrée au primaire en français ou en anglais. Nul paradoxe ici : l’apprenant intègre les nouvelles langues en les comparant aux structures grammaticales et syntaxiques qu’il a apprises dans sa langue maternelle.

Enfin, l’enseignement du français et de l’anglais à la fin du primaire ou dès l’entrée au collège, permettra à nos (futurs) chercheurs de continuer à disposer de langues de communication internationales et ainsi rester en contact fécond avec le reste de l’intelligentsia académique mondiale. Ces langues font par ailleurs partie d’un héritage historique et culturel africain qu’il est inutile de nier.

Doper la recherche et consolider la démocratie

Au-delà de la primo-alphabétisation, la possibilité de mener des études supérieures dans une langue maternelle doit également être envisagée. L’étudiant africain ayant appris les bases des mathématiques, de la grammaire puis de la physique dans sa langue maternelle depuis ses premiers pas à l’école, voit se développer chez lui un sentiment naturel de banalisation du savoir scientifique et historique et arrive à ne plus considérer ce savoir comme un sanctuaire de vérité absolue. On s’épargnerait ainsi les scènes de mémorisation par cœur auxquelles l’on assiste dans les allées des grands temples de l’apprentissage machinal que sont les universités africaines.

Couplé à celui, plus tardif, des langues internationales, l’enseignement en langues africaines augmentera mécaniquement la base démographique potentielle de chercheurs, d’ingénieurs, de philosophes, de sociologues, d’écrivains, corps indispensables pour tirer l’Afrique noire de sa léthargie culturelle, et la mettre à l’abri des risques sécuritaires et idéologiques qui pèsent sur elle. Cela permettra également d’améliorer la vie démocratique au sein des pays africains, une urgence lorsque l’on voit la facilité avec laquelle les masses sont manipulées par les lettrés, politiciens ou intellectuels. Enfin, cela pourrait faire reculer l’obscurantisme religieux dans des pays où la masse communique avec ses « guides » dans les langues qu’elle comprend quand, dans le même temps, les lettrés s’enferment dans de nombreux colloques boudés par cette même masse. A l’heure où émergent de plus en plus de mouvements radicaux, la langue maternelle peut constituer un rempart contre le fanatisme, grâce à l’ouverture qu’elle pourra apporter sur d’autres horizons culturels.

Fary Ndao est ingénieur géologue, ancien membre du cercle de réflexion L’Afrique des Idées.

Via Charles Tiayon
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Serge AWONO's curator insight, November 7, 7:07 AM

« Au nom du savoir et de la démocratie, enseignons dans les langues africaines ! »

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This Map of the World Just Won Japan’s Prestigious Design Award

This Map of the World Just Won Japan’s Prestigious Design Award | Technical Translations and more | Scoop.it
But the map of the world has been around for hundreds of years. So what’s so special about this map? To begin, Tokyo-based architect and artist Hajime Narukawa has a problem with our current map and he’s been working for years to try and fix it. In 1569 geographer Gerardus Mercator revealed his world map and, to this day, it’s the generally accepted image we have of this planet. But it has major flaws in that it dramatically distorts the sizes of Antarctica and Greenland.

Narukawa developed a map projection method called AuthaGraph (and founded a company of the same name in 2009) which aims to create maps that represent all land masses and seas as accurately as possible. Narukawa points out that in the past, his map probably wasn’t as relevant. A large bulk of the 20th century was dominated by an emphasis on East and West relations. But with issues like climate change, melting glaciers in Greenland and territorial sea claims, it’s time we establish a new view of the world: one that equally perceives all interests of our planet.

Via Mariaschnee
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How do I get a legal translation certified?

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You know you need to get the translation of your document certified, but what does that actually mean and what’s involved?
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Biggest telescope may swap continents - BBC News

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One of the world's biggest telescope projects might be forced to move its location to a different continent.
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Costumes to go: Rolling out for Halloween - BBC News

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As trick-or-treaters get ready to hit the streets some children in America will be rolling out in the most spectacular costumes.
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