By Nasrin Pourhamrang
Recently, the classic African novel “Things Fall Apart” by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe was translated into Persian by Ali Hodavand and released in Iran. Nasrin Pourhamrang, Editor-in-Chief of Hatef Weekly Magazine interviewed the author on a wide range of topics from Art, culture and literature;politics, cultural and linguistic preservation; to the legacy of colonialism and his forthcoming book there was a Country-A personal history of Biafra.
Technology has come to the help of the borderless world of art and literature and has eliminated the geographical frontiers. How do you feel about the fact that your novel has been translated into Persian and that Iranian readers can read some of your works for the first time and make an acquaintance of Chinua Achebe?
I received the news of the Persian translation of Things Fall Part with great joy!Of course, one of the goals of any writer is to connect with his or her readers. Things Fall Apart in particular, indeed all my books, have enjoyed a warm readership. I am particularly grateful for the effort of the translators of my work.
They extend the reach of Art, in this case stories, to more people who may not have encountered them in the original English. I am told with this Persian translation that Things Fall Apart now exists in nearly 60 world languages! It is a wonderful blessing and I am deeply, deeply, grateful! So, the fact that readers in Iran can also read my work is very important to me.
By Trisha Gupta
"Tamil was a major factor for my fame within Tamil Nadu; but it was only after the translation in English that Salma rose to different heights," says the Tamil poet and novelist Salma, whose Irandam Jamangalin Kathai, about the world of women in a Tamil Muslim community, was published in Lakshmi Holmström's translation as The Hour Past Midnight. The novel was longlisted for the DSC Prize in 2011, and sold over 3,000 copies (roughly 5,000 in Tamil, says her publisher, Kannan Sundaram of Kalachuvadu). Shamsur Rahman Faruqi may have long been the brightest star of the Urdu literary world, but to the Indian reader in English, he really only appeared on the horizon with the publication of The Mirror of Beauty (2013), his own translation of his magnum opus Kai Chand Thay Sar- e-Aasmaan (2006). KR Meera's Aarachar might have won coveted Malayalam honours like the Vayalar, Odakkuzhal and Kerala Sahitya Akademi awards, and sold close to 50,000 copies--but it was only with its translation into English as Hangwoman (2014), that the book entered literary conversation outside of Kerala, applauded for its startlingly ambitious take on life, death, sex and the media through the eyes of a young Kolkata woman appointed executioner, and for J Devika's effervescent translation. And so it goes.
"Before the award, I was known as 'a leading writer from Kerala'... When I won the Crossword Book Award in 1999, the press qualified me as 'a leading Indian writer',"
Many regional language writers have only received national recognition late in their lives, because of translation into English. "Before the award, I was known as 'a leading writer from Kerala'... When I won the Crossword Book Award in 1999, the press qualified me as 'a leading Indian writer'," says M Mukundan (Crossword website), whose Kesavan's Lamentations won in the translation category in 2006. This is, of course, testament to an unfair linguistic landscape where English has an easier claim on the national. But it warrants greater scrutiny. If, as Marathi writer Bhalchandra Nemade and Indian English novelist Aatish Taseer would have it, English has squeezed the life out of Indian languages --"English is encroaching upon the innocence of children," Nemade said, in an interview on Scroll; 'How English Ruined Indian Literature' is the title of Taseer's New York Times opinion piece--why does English publishing seem more enthusiastic than ever in directing the many streams of that literature towards us, in translation? If this were a pessimistic critical theory paper, one might argue that the very impulse towards translation is preservationist, and things can only be preserved when they're dead. But however seductive this idea of embalming might be, literature in the other Indian languages seems anything but corpse-like. And yet, being translated into English seems to afford writers in even the most thriving of these literary languages--Bangla, Malayalam, Hindi, Urdu, Marathi--a new lease of life.
Because those of us who live in India but read only in English have grown dead to these languages; translation is the jadui kathi, the magic wand through which we might awake to their pleasures. English has turned us into Sleeping Beauties, and now only English can rouse us. And because whatever Nemade might wish for, neither our history nor the market allow for a clean separation between English and regional language cultures. A dedicated and growing community of Indian readers in English--while not exactly huge yet--is keen to read regional language literature (and read about it), while Indian language readers are often influenced by the 'buzz' English can create around authors.
Translation lists at HarperCollins India and Penguin Books India have certainly increased both in number and variety over the last five years. Penguin brought out 22 translations in 2013, 20 in 2014, and has 23 on the 2015 publication schedule. "We now publish an average of 20 titles in translation: five contemporary fiction titles and 15 classics (a mix of fiction, drama, poetry, memoir)," says Penguin's managing editor R Sivapriya, who heads its translations list. "The numbers must have been half that in 2012." Minakshi Thakur, who heads the same list at Harper, concurs: "We used to do five to six titles, this year onwards we'll have 10 to 12. Earlier most publishers would only do classics, but we want to work with writers who are working now; [build] a list of future classics." Penguin's recent successes include a book as contemporary as Sachin Kundalkar's 2006 Marathi novel Cobalt Blue, which sold over 2,000 copies in Jerry Pinto's 2013 translation, and one as grand and dastan-like as The Mirror of Beauty, which sold 5,000 copies in 1,000-page hardback.
At the more academic end of the spectrum, too, the translation list at Oxford University Press has seen 10 percent annual growth since 2009. It now stands at 125 titles from 18 languages, including less-represented literatures like Dogri (Shailender Singh's Hashiye Par (For a Tree to Grow) and Tamil Dalit writing like Cho Dharman's Koogai: The Owl (translated by Vasantha Surya). But this is still a niche readership, and the slow rate of growth makes publishing solely translations unsustainable. The independent Katha Books, which pioneered translations from the Indian languages, has shifted its focus to translations of children's books.
In a country as multilingual as India, translation has often been the only medium for a Malayalee reader to read the work of a Bengali writer, or an Oriya reader to discover a Kashmiri poet. Most readers in each of these linguistic communities have historically read translations in their mother tongue. Perhaps literary flows, even then, were somewhat unidirectional: I can't keep track of the Biharis and Malayalees I know whose literarily-inclined parents grew up reading Sarat Chandra Chatterjee and Tagore in Hindi and Malayalam translations respectively, but I would be hard put to name any Bengali readers who read Hindi or Malayalam writers (they did read Russian and English classics in Bangla). But as the Indian upper middle classes have grown more monolingual, reading almost entirely in English, it is mainstream English publishers who must take on the task of bringing a multifarious Indian literature to these readers. In SR Faruqi's words, the rising readership for English translations is attributable to "the growth, in geometrical proportions, of Indians who... sadly enough, have no real claim to any other language".
Sometimes an older translation in another language still serves as a route to English. Khushwant Singh and Vikram Seth had both read Sankar's Bangla bestseller Chowringhee in a Hindi translation, and their admiration for this chronicle of life at a 50s Calcutta hotel was partially responsible for Penguin's agreeing to publish Arunava Sinha's English translation, according to both Sankar and Sinha. Today, while Hindi remains an important link language between readers in North India and writers elsewhere, at least some Hindi publishers' decisions about translations may be routed through English. Aditi Maheshwari, translations head at the Hindi publishing house Vani Prakashan, stresses Vani's commitment to translating directly from the original language, whether it be Herta Müller's German or KS Sethumadhavan's Malayalam. But it is hard to deny the role of English (publishing and media) in foregrounding a potentially translatable writer, such as Tamil's Perumal Murugan.
Many Indian language writers cannot but recognise the unfortunately disproportional power English wields, knowing the only way to deal with it is to make it work for them, as much as possible. But writers from languages with a strong critical culture and a large literary readership can often experience a gulf between that vibrancy of exchange and their reception in English.
"English took me to other forums [but I soon saw the] lag between the interest in English in translation and English in original."
"Within Hindi, there's a rich conversation my work and I are part of, though not without its politics and prejudices," says Hindi writer Geetanjali Shree. "English took me to other forums [but I soon saw the] lag between the interest in English in translation and English in original." Her 2001 novel Tirohit appears in Rahul Soni's attentive translation as The Roof Beneath Their Feet (HarperCollins, 2013). "Some 60 people have done research on my books [before any translation], colleges have held discussions. For Katha Satisar (2005), I got ten Hindi literary prizes, including the Vyas Samman and Mahatma Gandhi Samman," agrees the Hindi writer Chandrakanta, author of this acclaimed historical take on Kashmiri Hindus, which Zubaan publishes later this year as A Saga of Satisar. Her intimate account of life in a Srinagar neighbourhood, Ailan Galli Zinda Hai (1986), was shortlisted for the 2012 DSC Prize as Zubaan's translation, A Street in Srinagar, but has not even sold 2,000 copies. "How is it possible that a novel that has been recognised, does not sell? Perhaps Satisar will do better."
While Hindi's literary universe, for example, was (and is) perfectly able to provide a launching pad for a serious writer such as herself, Shree concedes that its "being older" means it "has still to update its training in events, awards, markets". Yet vastly more copies are sold of a successful book in most Indian languages than in English. Benyamin's novel Aadujeevitham, a spare, arresting account of one man's brutal experience as a labourer in the Gulf, sold over one lakh copies across a hundred editions in Malayalam, according to its author. Translated lucidly into English by Joseph Koippally as Goat Days, the book is also one of Penguin's greatest successes-- but with 10,000 copies. Even Chowringhee, with over 30,000 copies sold in English, barely compares with the 100,000 copies its author ascribes to Bengali sales (not counting the huge pirated edition sales in Bangladesh, as he reminds me). And while Hangwoman gave Aarachar and its author a new visibility, only 2,000 hardback English copies have sold till date. Of course, any comparison of sales figures must acknowledge that English books are priced much higher.
"I hope we help the writers with their ambitions, I think we do, but not as much as they deserve," says Sivapriya. "It requires enormous effort to train the gaze of the English reader on them." Thakur agrees, admitting, "It is still a struggle to sell out 3,000 copies of most titles", but adding, "That's the case with most original English [literary] fiction too." Bhima: Lone Warrior, Gita Krishnankutty's 2013 translation of Randamoozham, Malayalam giant MT Vasudevan Nair's classic telling of the Mahabharata from Bhima's perspective, has sold 6,000 copies, she says. "The epic still sells, retellings do well in our market. Translate anything [to do with] Satyajit Ray and it'll do very well. [Take] our 14 Stories project, stories by various writers that Ray made into films--that's the kind of book which goes on to backlist well."
"[I]n a bitter irony, Murugan's novel One Part Woman, which became the focus of a moral censorship campaign that forced the author to give up writing, has sold nearly 10,000 copies."
Controversy of any kind works wonders for sales, in any language. Taslima Nasreen's Lajja, banned in Bangladesh and inciting death threats, is one of Penguin's highest selling translations, with 30,000 copies sold till date. And in a bitter irony, Murugan's novel One Part Woman, which became the focus of a moral censorship campaign that forced the author to give up writing, has sold nearly 10,000 copies. The independent publisher Zubaan Books sold almost 7,000 copies of Urvashi Butalia's translation of Baby Halder's candid memoir of life as a domestic servant, A Life Less Ordinary. Penguin's other successes from before 2012 are all 20th century classics in their original languages: Shrilal Shukla's Raag Darbari, Manto's Bitter Fruit, Tagore's stories and poems, Bhisham Sahni's Tamas.
Often, however, English's ripple effect bears little connection to sales. Meera's Yellow is the Colour of Longing (2011) was long-listed for the Frank O'Connor prize and short-listed for the Crossword award, but did not sell beyond the first print run of 2,000. Being translated, however, brought Meera national exposure, with glowing reviews across the English media and speaking engagements at literature festivals, from Jaipur to Chandigarh, Odisha to Goa, held on a scale that most regional literatures cannot yet muster funds for. The publicity that an English translation receives sometimes triggers fresh interest in the original linguistic community. "If a book is awarded nationally or internationally, it gets more attention [from local readers]," says Benyamin.
Meera and Benyamin both believe the English media covers literature more than Malayalam, and Benyamin, like Sankar, thinks reviews in English are fairer. "A Malayalee reader would believe a bookshop owner more than a critic," says Benyamin. "English reviews were well-researched and positive, maybe because my book was already famous."
"Through English, I rediscovered my Bengali readers," agrees Sankar, long dismissed as middlebrow by Bengali critics. "I never had any good reviews [in Bangla. But] some Bengali readers think, if it's translated by Penguin, and getting rave reviews in London, maybe they should read it."
For writer Uday Prakash, English translation has helped lift his work out of what he sees as Hindi's insular, non-risk- taking, institutionally corrupt world, and made it part of 'world literature'. "When I wrote Peeli Chattri Wali Ladki, I was attacked and abused in the Hindi world. But Jason Grunebaum's English translation, The Girl with the Golden Parasol, got me to Penguin and then to Yale University Press."
Yet English translation is no panacea. Much depends on quality, the publisher's interest and distribution channels. "Older translations of my work, like Jai Ratan's [one of India's most prolific translators], were targeted at an Indian English reader, and could not travel abroad. Jason is young, and a fiction writer himself; his translation reflects how language in America has changed," Prakash adds.
English translation does not guarantee exposure. Although she gained an Indian English readership as early as 2000, after academic Nita Kumar translated her 1997 novel Mai into English for Kali For Women, Geetanjali Shree insists that her writing continues to be routed through Hindi. "Serious readers of my works, such as Annie Montaut, Alessandra Consolaro, Vasudha Dalmia and Francesca Orsini are advanced scholars keen to promote Hindi literature in the West. I am known in Russia and Poland because of Hindi!"
Certainly, Euro-American academic networks have been crucial in spreading regional Indian literature, providing the focused language training and university presses needed to support high-quality literary translation. Hindi departments in the USA, for instance, have produced such wonderful translators as Grunebaum and Daisy Rockwell, who has translated the late Hindi writer Upendranath Ashk.
But how far have translations to English travelled? Over the five years that the DSC Prize has been awarded at the Jaipur Literature Festival, only six out of the 29 shortlisted titles have been translations (UR Ananthamurthy's Bharathipura and A Street in Srinagar in 2011, Uday Prakash's The Walls of Delhi in 2013, Anand's Book of Destruction and Goat Days in 2014 and The Mirror of Beauty in 2015). None has won yet.
All of this is not to ignore that several regional language cultures inhabit positions of superiority with regard to some others: think of Hindi with regard to Urdu, or at a very different angle, to Bhojpuri. English may not be able to speak to this (though it has brought Dalit writers like P Sivakami, Urmila Pawar and Ajay Navaria some welcome attention). But it seems to me difficult to stand either with Nemade, denying that this collective landscape has been forever altered by a flood called English, or with Taseer--taking a position higher and safer than everyone else, and then bemoaning the flood. Bilinguality--reading in at least one Indian language besides English--is one way to withstand the waters. But translation, even in English, if we do more of it and better--while acknowledging that the ground is not level--can let the monolingual reader into several languages. For many of us, it might be the most feasible way to grow some roots.
(Trisha Gupta is a Delhi-based writer)
Images have been provided by Open Magazine.
Google Translate can overlay the translation of signs and text right on your screen. Google
Welcome to Travel App Tuesday, a new feature on the IBTraveler blog.
We’ve come a long way since the days of lugging hefty travel guides on vacation. Now, there’s an app for virtually every travel need -- and a dizzying amount of new ones hit the market practically every day. Travel App Tuesday will attempt to cut through some of that noise and highlight the travel apps that are worth the space on your phone or tablet -- and the ones that simply add to the digital clutter. To kick things off, I thought I’d check out an offering from that most ubiquitous digital presence in our lives: Google.
Available on: Android, iOS
Part of the charm of traveling abroad is making your way through a foreign country and adopting the universal language of smiles, gestures and frantic pantomiming. Carrying along a book of frequently used phrases used to be a common, if inefficient, supplement -- but it would do when you needed to pull up “Where is the bathroom?” in a pinch.
Still, a translation book doesn’t account for mangled pronunciations and is frankly unwieldy in most situations, especially in a digital world. The Google Translate app, which has been around for a while, has been an excellent substitute: Type in a word or phrase and the app spits out its translation in some 90 other languages. You can even play the translation out loud in many of the featured languages and get translations of pictures you take of signs or other text.
But earlier this year, Google added some features that make Google Translate truly indispensable for international travelers. Now, the app lets you instantly translate text using your phone’s camera. You simply point it at a sign or text and the app overlays the translation on your screen -- even when you don’t have an Internet or data connection. So far, the feature is available for translations back and forth between English and Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German and Russian. Google says it’s working on expanding to other languages. See how it works in the following GIF:
Google Translate’s other new feature makes conversation between different-language speakers practically seamless. It can translate a conversation as it happens. You enter “conversation mode” by tapping the mic in the app to start speaking a selected language. Tap the mic a second time, and the app recognizes which of two languages are being spoken and provides real-time translations. See a demonstration in the video below:
Verdict: Google Translate is a must for globe-trotters who want to communicate more easily while abroad. There is a bit of a time lag in conversation mode, and we wish the handy camera feature was available in more languages, but on balance, it's worth installing on your phone or tablet. Especially because it doesn't cost a thing. And the language of free is pretty universal.
Microsoft’s near-instant translation tool for Skype entered preview last December, but the company’s making it widely available starting today. After a five-month testing period, the sign-up requirement for Skype Translator has been removed.
“Skype Translator makes it possible for people to communicate irrespective of what language they speak.”
Microsoft revealed the ambitious Skype Translator at Re/code’s 2014 Code Conference. A creation of Microsoft’s Research Lab, it’s comprised of voice translation and Bing Translate-powered text interpretation. When you speak, your words are translated, recorded to a transcript, and relayed in your Skype video call partner’s native language (Italian, Chinese, English, Spanish, or Mandarin are supported). Text translation is comparable to Google Translate and other such online services.
In a blog post following last year’s unveiling, Skype executive Gurdeep Pall couched Translate as “a new chapter of communication” capable of “allowing humans to bridge geographic and language boundaries to connect mind to mind and heart to heart in ways never before possible.”
Related: Can Skype Translator really help you converse in any language? We tested it to see
That’s a bit hyperbolic judging by the current state of Skype Translator. Our overall impressions are mostly positive, but both the voice and text translation have a ways to go before they can substitute for an interpreter or foreign language skills. Microsoft, cognizant of that, says it’s using machine learning to improve the quality of translation over time. The more it’s used, the more accurate the translations supposedly become.
Microsoft’s made it clear that it’s in the translation software game for the long haul. The company believes machine-powered language software has the potential to transform industries. As one example, Microsoft in a blog post highlighted Pro Mujer, a non-profit development organization based in New York that uses Skype Translator to provide women in Latin America with services typically out of reach.
Related: Skype releases preview version of its almost instant language translation tool
“As we enter an era in which computing experiences need to be more personal, Skype has looked at ways to help communities create stronger connections and be productive,” Pall said. “[Skype Translator] is now removing another barrier to make it possible for people to communicate irrespective of what language they speak.”
Skype Translator is still exclusive to PCs running Windows 8/8.1/10 — you can grab it from the Windows Store, but you’ll have to uninstall the standard edition of Skype and switch on Translation in the settings menu to use it. On mobile, it’s still exclusive to Windows Phone, but Pall said the goal is to “deliver the best Skype Translator experience on each individual platform” as expeditiously as possible. Here’s hoping for an Android, iOS, and Mac client sometime soon.
Almost a year ago, Microsoft demoed one of the best features it could have ever invented for its video chat and messaging application at Re/code’s Code Conference, and the company is finally ready to make Skype Translator available to anyone interested in trying it. Last December, the company released a preview version of it, but only to users patient enough to sign up for access and wait to be allowed in.
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Skype Translator offers real-time translation of spoken languages, though only English, Spanish, Italian and Mandarin are supported for the time being. Still, this is a major achievement, as the software can enable conversations between individuals who don’t speak a common language.
In the future, Microsoft plans to add real-time translation support for more languages. Additionally, Skype Translator works with instant messages too, and it supports 50 written languages.
Microsoft warns on its website that the app is still available only as a preview, meaning that users can expect certain inconsistencies as they try the app.
“Skype Translator is a brand-new experience from Skype, and it’s still learning and improving the way it translates calls,” the company says. “As a preview user of Skype Translator you’ll be instrumental in helping us refine the technology and bring us closer to our goal of overcoming language barriers worldwide. Even the smallest conversations help Skype Translator learn and grow, which can enrich your communication and lead to amazing things.”
The Skype Translation preview version can be downloaded right away by following this link – though you will need to have at least Windows 8.1 running on your computer (Windows 10 Technical Preview is also supported).
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This article was originally published on BGR.com
Skype Translator is one of those technologies that makes you stop and say “woah, future.” A mythical service that can translate your speech in seamless real time, with accompanying transcripts, could eventually surmount the language barrier. But until then, we have Skype Translator, and it’s a great start.
We took a look at Skype Translator in an advanced preview, and since then, the gates to this translation wonder have remained locked up behind a slow-rollout invite process. Well, no longer. Everyone can now try Skype Translator—with live translating for English, Spanish, Italian, and Mandarin—to your heart’s desire. Have an abuela in South America or a conversation partner in Chongqing? Call ‘em, and connect. It’s not exactly as fluid as talking natively on the phone, but building the future of how we communicate is slow work. [Skype]
Original post by Darren Orf on GIZMODO
Skype Translator Hands-On: Close But No Babel Fish
When Skype announced its real-time translation program back in May, most of us seized on the sci-fi-ness off it all—Star Trek's universal translator, Babel fish, etc. But the technology is very real, and has been for years, just it separate pieces. Skype Translator is is the commercial culmination of those efforts, bringing all those things, like speech recognition, automated translation, and machine learning, into one program.
This week Skype began rolling out the "first phase" of Translator, a beta version of the service's live speech translating feature (between Spanish and English for now) and text translation for 40+ languages.
The promise of breaking down the global language barrier is a lofty one—solving the human speech puzzle with all its nuance and imperfection would give our machines a skill that has forever been uniquely human. Skype Translator doesn't quite reach it. Not yet, anyway.
To test, I decided to have some lengthy convos with Manuel Méndez, managing editor at Gizmodo Español. Having not spoken a syllable of Spanish since high school, I opted to speak in my native Inglés (that's one of about five words that I remember) while Manuel, who's a completely fluent English speaker and smarter than me, checked Skype's Spanish-to-English accuracy.
In Translator, you're given a live translation on the right as you're speaking, both in your native language and whatever language your caller is speaking. Now, picture all of the Skype conversations you've ever had. This will not be like that. For Skype Translator to work properly, there is a little mental conditioning involved. For one, you must speak slowly. Skype Translator's speech recognition is good, and plenty fast, but that accuracy decreases as you speed up in words per minute. "Hey, how is it going?" can change to "Hey is going?" pretty quickly.
Also, you'll need to make exaggerated pauses when you're done speaking. Skype Translator will translate pretty quickly. If you're someone who "ums" and "ahhs" and pauses between phrases, your sentence will appear in little chunks, which can be annoying as hell.
Skype Translator will start the conversation with audio translation turned on, meaning after every translated sentence, your male or female avatar, will hop in and basically ready what was just translated. After about five minutes, I turned this feature off (which turns it off for the other speaker as well) and just read the transcripts.
Once you're able to rewire your brain to Translator speak, then this program is really quite amazing. The speech recognition is the foundation of all the translation work. It needs to be perfect. Microsoft says headphones with a dedicated microphone will yield the best results, and for the most part, that was true. But even talking unplugged and over loud music, Translator was still able to do its thing pretty accurately.
But where Skype aces speech recognition, Translator might need some extra credit to get a passing grade in translation. For example, during a Skype chat translation of the following sentence:
"I think I have a handle on this guy."
I was saying to Manuel that I think I understand Skype Translator, calling said program by "guy." However, Skype Translator didn't know that (understandably) and translated:
"Pere creo que tengo un mango de este tipo."
Which literally means "I think I have a dick of this type," with "mango" meaning "handle" but also being a slang term for "dick." Your Grandma living in Honduras just became very concerned.
This is probably an outlier in possible translation mishaps, but they do pop up here and there. That's why Skype Translator Beta really feels like a language assistant that a true translator. According to Manuel, if a Spanish speaker with no English knowledge tried to decipher Skype's rendition of my beautiful prose, they would have a tough time understanding.
Because I know no Spanish whatsoever, I can relate. Generally, I could get the impression of what Manuel was trying to say, but it would show up somewhat broken. But if you have a basic understanding of the language, not necessarily fluent but know a couple hundred words and general grammar, Skype Translator fills in the blanks.
How It Works
In a follow-up post to Skype's Monday beta launch, the team created a helpful little infographic showing how exactly the program's cogs turn:
This an overly simplistic representation of the advanced computer science going on here, but Skype Translator recognizes your voice, corrects for any stuttering or ticks, translates and then delivers to the listener—all in a split second.
After some setup—selecting your language, your digital voice avatar—you enter the Translator app, which looks basically like Skype proper on Windows 8.1 but with a few extras. Now, when you chat with a friend, a translation toggle pops up beneath their profile. When you switch on the toggle, Skype will ask you what language the person you're about to call speaks and writes.
This is important because if you get this confused, Skype will try to translate English phonetically into Spanish, which comes out like jumbled nonsense. Set this up right (and make sure your caller does the same), and place the call like normal.
The verdict? Translator isn't quite there yet. For now, the language barrier is still here. But Skype has created the battering ram that will one day hopefully breach its walls.
Metaglossia has been nominated for theTop 100 Language Lovers 2015 competition (See http://www.lexiophiles.com/english/top-100-language-lovers-2015-lets-get-it-started-tll15)!
We sincerely thank you for your sustained interest in what we have been doing since 2005 to foster mutual understanding amidst humanity's infinite diversity of conceptual frames.
Owing to its one stop-shop of minute-by-minute information on the various aspects of language translation and interpretation --- some of which are hardly always perceivable at first sight ---, Metaglossia is now reachable from over 95 percent of world's countries.
We look forward to winning the competition one day, thanks to your kind support and, especially, your kind votes. Voting (May 26th – June 14th, 23:59 pm CET).
A major movie adaptation of a Newquay author's teen surf novel attracted dozens of hopefuls from the local surfing community auditioning for a role in the film.
A crowd of 80 locals - including dozens of surfer dudes - have auditioned for a part in Bluer Than The Sky, an adaptation of author Lisa Glass's novel Blue to be filmed on Fistral beach in September.
Australian director John Duigan, perhaps best-known for his 1991 film Sirens starring Hugh Grant, flew in for the auditions at the Atlantic Hotel on Saturday and Sunday.
The film's producer Leighton Lloyd, formerly of LA and now living in Newquay, said he had been impressed by those auditioning for 20 'secondary' roles. There are also expected to be casual parts for extras.
The two lead parts of teenage surfer Iris and Zeke, the Hawaiian pro-surfer she meets surfing on Fistral beach, have yet to be cast – and Mr Lloyd did not rule out the possibility of finding a new star locally.
"There's been some extraordinary talent coming out which we are very happy about," he said in a break in auditions on Saturday. "We are in negotiation with some big stars for the part of Iris, as well as looking locally. We have certainly been impressed by what we have seen so far."
He added that the director John Duigan had a track record of spotting young acting talent. "He discovered Naomi Watts and Nicole Kidman at a very young age, and we are firmly into encouraging talent. Lisa really wants the film to really bring out Cornwall at its best, so we are looking locally as well as in the UK and in LA."
Among those auditioning for a speaking part was 26-year-old Newquay-based Jessie Tuckman, a pro-surfer who competes nationally. She was auditioning for the part of Iris's love rival Saskia in the film.
"I had to learn two scenes and perform them in front of the director and the producer and a cameraman who filmed it all," she said. "I guess they want to include actual surfers in the movie so that it will attract people in the surfing world to watch it."
Jessie and her cousin and fellow surfer Tina Beresford, 29, gave author Lisa Glass insights about what it was like to be a female surfer which helped her write her novel, Blue.
It was published last year, after sparking a bidding war among publishers and led to Lisa securing a three-book contract – for a five figure sum per book – with publishers Quercus. From this came the interest from Leighton Lloyd and John Duigan in turning the book into a film.
"Lisa picked my brains about everything to do with surfing, because I'm obsessed with it – I've been surfing for 11 years," said Tina. "I'm from Stockport originally and I moved down here two and a half years ago, for the surfing. I've travelled a lot too for surfing and all my money has gone on surfing.
"The book is really good, and I think the film will inspire the next generation of teenage surfers and give them something positive to look up to, especially when the portrayal of women surfers can generally be a bit sexist, a lot of the marketing is all about selling bikinis and a lot of the girls are under pressure to look a particular way."
Plymouth-born Lisa, who lives in Newquay with her husband and two young daughters, was part of the auditioning panel, as well as meeting fans and signing books. She has just finished the sequel, Air.
Pro-surfer Oli Adams and his wife Emma, who live in Newquay, are also involved in the project. Emma is the film's executive producer, while Oli is surfing consultant on the film. "I'm going to be the stunt double for the main character and I may be giving pointers to some of the actors if they are not experienced surfers," he said.
Filming is expected to start in September, when the surfing conditions in Newquay are at their best, and is expected to be a major boost for the town's economy.
After years of struggle and recrimination, the long lexicographic battle is finally over: Esports, and not e-sports, has been added to the dictionary. The word, describing "competitive tournaments of video games, especially among professional gamers," was added to the lexicon at Dictionary.com earlier this week.
The site explained that its process of selecting new words is based on reviews of external sources, as well as input from its users, through both direction suggestions and search data. But not every candidate makes the cut.
"We rely on research in traditional publications, as well as technology like corpus research. In our case, we are currently using a corpus that has over 19 billion words," it wrote. "The corpus contains a massive collection of sources, from literature to news articles to television and interview transcripts, balanced to reflect actual usage of language."
Other game-related terms joining the new word parade are "permadeath" (the permanent death of a defeated character, after which the player of the game cannot continue with the same character) and "completionist" (a player who attempts to complete every challenge and earn every achievement or trophy in a video game). But clearly, "esports" is the important addition this time around; sorry, hyphenators, but it's "game over" for you! (That one's not actually in the dictionary yet, but I'm hopeful for 2016.)
MADISON-- A University of Wisconsin-Madison project to catalog regional differences in how Americans use the English language has gotten a boost from donations after reports it was low on funds.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports about $60,000 has been donated in the past month and a half to the Dictionary of American Regional English. It was founded in the 1960s and documents regional words from roughly 1,000 communities across the U.S.
Joan Houston Hall, the longtime chief editor of the dictionary, says the donations will keep the project running with three staffers through at least June 2016.
The newspaper reported in March that the annual budget beginning in July for the project would be a little under $100,000, less than 20 percent of its usual annual budget.
A native American language expert has developed a smartphone app to promote First Nation languages, following the success of a Māori language app.
Christopher Horsethief is an assistant professor at the Union Institute and University in Ohio.
He has been an instructor of Ktunaxa Language at the College of the Rockies since 2011.
Professor Horsethief is the developer behind a new KtunaxaFont app intended to help promote the indigenous language.
He said he made the app with a phonetic keyboard option that allows users to write on Facebook, Twitter and iMessage in traditional Ktunaxa characters.
Professor Horsethief said the Ktunaxa app was the prototype for a series of keyboard apps that could empower mobile users from other Indigenous speech communities.
He said the Ktunaxa keyboard app was the number one download, with Māori as number two and Interior Salish number three.
In addition, he has designed Apple Store Fronts for Eastern Cree, Western Cree, Cheyenne and the Navajo Nations.
It's getting to be that time of the year when students wipe tears from watery eyes, exchange final goodbyes and throw their graduation caps into the sky. In other words, it's graduation season — and that also means the season of commencement speeches.
Over the weekend, President Obama and the first lady delivered two separate grad speeches. Michelle Obama spoke at Tuskegee University in Alabama, one of the nation's premier historically black universities, and the president headed to South Dakota to address the graduating class of Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown — one of the nation's top community colleges.
NPR Ed's Commencement Speech App
The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever
Here are some other upcoming commencement speeches happening around the country:
Ken Burns (May 15) — Washington University in St. Louis.
Maya Rudolph (May 16) — Tulane University.
Condoleezza Rice (May 16) — College of William and Mary.
Bill Nye (May 17) — Rutgers University.
Samantha Power (May 18) — University of Pennsylvania.
Stephen Colbert (May 18) — Wake Forest University.
Christopher Nolan (June 1) — Princeton University.
You can see a more comprehensive list from the blog Graduation Wisdom here.
Who doesn't love the commencement speech? It's one of the final moments between a student's life in the academic bubble and the real world.
Sometimes it's also a chance to push a political agenda — as the president touted his free community college plan in South Dakota. Other times it's just an opportunity to make people laugh, or a time for students to look back on their time in school and look forward to their future opportunities.
Above all, it's a moment for everyone, even those who didn't graduate, to feel inspired.
That's why the NPR Ed team sifted through hundreds of speeches (going all the way back to 1774), handpicked our favorites and built this online database.
So, if you're stuck listening to a particularly bad speech this month — or just need some inspiration — you have plenty to choose from. You're welcome.
This is pretty interesting. National Public Radio put together a searchable database of more than 300 commencement speeches they say are the best "ever."
And maybe they are. Click here to check it out.
I was a little disappointed, though, the database doesn't include the speech Shonda Rhimes gave at Dartmouth last year.
Then I searched for my alma mater, the University of Mississippi. It was no surpris the database did not include the speech Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam gave the year I graduated.
I remember that even with rain pouring down, I wanted to sit and hear every word. I was thrilled the speaker was a journalist. I was just weeks away from a newspaper internship and then the rest of my career.
I didn't expect the speech - the little I heard - to resonate with me the way it did.
It's worth reading. Much of what Halberstam said then, just 10 years ago, easily applies to our world today.
"I learned that people from other parts of the country are not any more stereotypical than I was, that human complexity always confounded you, and that the most dangerous thing in the world is to underestimate the intelligence and decency of other people."
"... I learned about the nobility of ordinary people, that in bad times some people, the people you least expect to do it, will emerge and act with great courage simply because they have been taught the difference between right and wrong."
"But now as I am older, I am bothered by something new and even more painful - the rise instead of one America, of two Americas, ever more bitterly divided, ideologically more polarized every day, with less and less respect for each other, each thinking the other is the house of the enemy, with a map to reflect the divisions, one America in red, the other in blue. We are divided increasingly by region, by culture, even by religion."
"Succeeding is more than anything else, picking yourself up on the bad days and deciding that you will not be defeated."
Contact Marquita Brown at (336) 373-7002, and follow @mbrownNR on Twitter.
Remember the election? The drama? The nail biting finales? Just imagine how the competitors and politicians must have felt – not unlike the groom and best man and anybody else who has to give an imposing speech at a wedding.
Yes, the wedding season is just as daunting for those ‘unaccustomed to public speaking’ who are going to have to stand up in public and say a few words. They may also feel as though they have a few hurdles to get over.
If that group includes you, you’ll want to be remembered for giving the performance of your life; a speech that combines Barack Obama's grit, Rochas Okorocha’s style and Patrick Obhiagbon’s magic.
Here are some tips:
Prepare. This may sound obvious but too many people think they can create the speech of their life 24 hours before the big day. However, as with most things in life, there’s no substitute for proper preparation. This means thinking about what you want to say, gathering information and writing a number of drafts in advance.
Keep it relevant. There is nothing worse for the majority of the guests than a best man’s speech focusing exclusively on the premiership matcht or a Father-of-the-Bride gushing about his daughter without mentioning the Groom or his side of the wedding party. Think about your audience before you put pen to paper.
Practise. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Rehearse your speech out loud over and over again, reading very slowly and emphasising key words. You want to know your speech so well that you only need to glance at your notes to remember what comes next.
Keep it short. I recommend an 8-10 minute speaking length for any wedding speech. Too many go way beyond this, creating a bored and restless audience. You especially want to keep it short and sweet if there are lots of little guests in the audience.
Stay sober. This is not to say you can’t have a drink to take the edge off your nerves. But to give a good speech you need to be sharp and clear–headed which means staying clear of the boozing until after you’ve sat down.
Don’t focus on ‘me’. It’s tempting to focus your speech on your own relationship with the person you’re speaking about. But if you labour the point too heavily, it can start to sound like narcissism and be very boring for everyone else.
Do some digging. Don’t just rely on your own material. Contact friends and family who have known the person at different stages of their lives to gather unusual insights and anecdotes.
Get the balance right between sincerity and humour. Try to map out a framework for your speech that has a good combination of the two. An over-sentimental speech can be dull. But a stand-up comedy routine can miss the point entirely.
Avoid rambling. There is no ‘perfect’ shape or style for a speech. But the key is brevity. Stay away from long paragraphs in favour of short, punchy, deliverable sentences.
Use language accessible to everyone. If people don’t understand your joke, they won’t find it funny. So don’t use a long word when a short one will do. Don’t use a clever pun if many of the guests have travelled from overseas. And don’t use slang that only a small group of your friends will understand.
Pick a theme. Anecdotes and observations are key elements of many speeches, but they don’t always link together naturally. Choosing a theme that ties everything together can help it flow and an original and amusing theme is often the difference between a decent speech and a great one.
Consult the other speakers. Your biggest risk is covering ground that has already been mentioned in the other speeches. I would strongly recommend that however original you think your speech may be, you have a quick chat with the other speakers to ensure there is no frustrating overlap.
Check out the location. Find out where you’ll be standing, whether there will be a microphone, and if there will be somewhere to rest your notes. This will avoid nasty surprises that might keep you awake the night before.
Take it slowly: When your big moment comes, speak slowly and pause between sentences. Your audience need time to digest the story before they get the punchline. So give them time to get it.
If I were to choose one word to describe the Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary, it would be - beautiful. This is one of the most beautiful books I have ever held in my hands! And as always with the Crystal standards, the quality lives up to the external splendour.
The Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary is not Shakespeare's Words with pictures, so if you own the latter, you can still get a copy of the former. It is co-authored by David and Ben Crystal, marvellously illustrated by Kate Bellamy, published by the Oxford University Press, and is meant for students. The dictionary covers the twelfth plays most frequently turning up on curricula and course programmes - Hamlet, Henry V, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest and Twelfth Night.
The preliminary pages contain accessible notes on how to use the dictionary. The pages are visually inviting, colours and type adding to its far from mundane dictionary layout. Each letter starts with an illustrated head word - reminding of ABC books or illuminated manuscripts - and is further enhanced by relevant facts and tips. V, for example, is highlighted by Venice, with key information about the significance of the city to Shakespeare's time and plays.
The word definitions are as compact and lucid as possible, often defined through synonymous words. To make the usage clear, each definition is also supported by an example sentence from one of the twelve plays. My favourite bit is the smart way of pointing out Shakespeare's False Friends - a red Warning sign alerting to the differing modern meanings of the words! Dictionary writing is usually a grave matter, and to write one that packs so much information in such an accessible and visually attractive - almost, delicious - manner is an admirable accomplishment.
It is more than a dictionary. Various nuts and bolts, bits and bobs and fanciful facts about Shakespeare, his works and his world are intercalated throughout. Each letter, for example, has a section devoted to a topic - this will expand on a specific word and cover Shakespeare's use of the whole lexical field, like Family in F, Insults in I, Swearing in S, etc.
Closer to the middle of the book, the dictionary temporarily assumes a thesaurus format - that is, instead of the alphabetical order, words are defined within the framework of a common meaning, the semantic head. These are some twenty stunningly illustrated pages divided into eleven semantic fields, with several relevant words defined under each "mother" word: Armour, Swords and Daggers, Clothing, Hats, Animals, Colours, Occupations, Ships, Recreation, Music, Cosmos. The middle double-page spread of the book is shaped by a spacious map of Shakespeare's Europe and the Mediterranean, including a list of relevant countries mentioned in the canon, with their modern-day names/counterparts indicated.
Another useful feature appears at the end of the dictionary. After the letter Z, the authors provide concise and comprehensive notes on Shakespearean grammar, pronunciation, his use of French and Latin. When the week of 23 April is eventually declared as an official "Early Modern Grammar Awareness Week", you will know your thy from your thine, and your -th from your -st!
The cover tells you this is a dictionary "for all students around the world" - but if I were rich, I would buy a copy also for all the adults around the world who have had a disappointing first encounter with Shakespeare's language or none at all.
The Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary can be obtained from the Oxford University Press and many retailers.
MADISON, Wis. -
A University of Wisconsin-Madison project to catalog regional differences in how Americans use the English language has gotten a boost from donations after reports it was low on funds.
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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported about $60,000 has been donated in the past month and a half to the Dictionary of American Regional English. It was founded in the 1960s and documents regional words from roughly 1,000 communities across the U.S.
Joan Houston Hall, the longtime chief editor of the dictionary, said the donations will keep the project running with three staffers through at least June 2016.
The newspaper reported in March that the annual budget beginning in July for the project would be a little under $100,000, less than 20 percent of its usual annual budget.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Yoruba, Cebuano, Lingala, Iloko and Tagalog were some of the obscure, exotic and far-flung languages spoken by those accused of offences before the courts in Ireland last year.
The Courts Service confirmed on Sunday, in response to a Freedom of Information request, that the bill for providing interpretation services for 68 languages in the courts during 2014 totalled just over €1 million. The figures show that most of the fees were paid to Forbidden City Ltd (or their trading name, translation.ie), which received €832,324.
According to the Courts Service, Polish was the language interpreted most often last year in the courts, with interpreters required on 2,151 different occasions, accounting for 28.8 per cent of the languages interpreted.
This was followed by the demand for Romanian interpreters, who were required 1,367 times in court, making up 18.3 per cent.
Prison service chief stresses import of rehabilitation
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The other languages to feature in the top 10 were Lithuanian (14.8 per cent), Russian (9.9 per cent), Mandarin (4.5 per cent), Latvian (3.4 per cent), Vietnamese (2.6 per cent), Portuguese (2 per cent), Arabic (1.7 per cent) and Czech (1.5 per cent).
Yoruba is spoken in Nigeria and Benin, while Cebuano is spoken in the Philippines.
Lingala is a Bantu language spoken in the northwestern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while Iloko and Tagalog are also spoken in the Philippines.
Cassie Lincoln’s new pitbull rescue, Jax, suddenly seemed to have too much energy, couldn’t listen to any commands and didn’t even know his name. He kept jumping on the baby in excitement, she thought.
But she called in Tara Lausch of Get Your Wag On Pet Services of Milton to find out what was going on.
One look at Jax’s body language – his ears back, his tail out, his muscles tight and his eyes bulging – and Lausch told Lincoln that Jax wasn’t excited, he was anxious and afraid. For four weeks, Lausch worked with Lincoln, her husband and Jax, to help the dog relax before the Rehoboth mother was comfortable bringing the baby and dog back together.
That was three years and one more child ago and the information Lausch taught Lincoln still comes in handy, Lincoln, saaid.
She watches to see what signs Jax is giving her as to how he is feeling. When he starts to show signs of anxiety, she helps calm him with soothing music and even a special pheromone collar.
“I sent Tara a picture of me holding the baby and Jax at our feet. It was like I had my family back again,” said Lincoln.
It is important for humans to learn what their dogs are “saying,” said Lausch, who teaches a class called “Reactive Rover Training,” to help owners learn what their dogs are doing and why.
“They are talking to us all the time,” said Lausch, whose company offers group classes and private training for basic obedience, behavior modification, puppy training, educational workshops for pet parents, consultations for families with dogs who are expecting babies or have young toddlers, bite prevention programs for school age kids, seminars on body language. “When we can learn to recognize and see subtle canine communication signals, we can better understand our dogs.”
Understanding helps to better train dogs, as well as to prevent dog bites and dog-dog altercations. It results in a safer experience for any and all dog interactions, she said.
People tend to put human emotions behind many dog actions, like jumpy dogs are happy dogs, but that is not always the reason. Dog parks and play groups can be wonderful, but if there is the wrong mix of dogs or an owner is not prepared or educated, it can be dangerous for both humans and dogs.
The key is supervision at all times and to be monitoring your dog’s behavior and making sure that both dogs are having fun. Things can escalate very quickly. Humans when out with dogs- should not be on the phone or texting, they should pay attention.
Red flags to watch for during dog-dog play (or even human-dog play):
1. High tails – high and stiff means higher arousal.
2. Stiff bodies or tense movement – arousal can lead into aggression in a matter of moments.
3. Dog hunched, slinking, crouching, hiding or running to owner for help: If a dog is avoiding a situation, it’s time to get the dog out of it.
4. Stalking – dog shows strong focus or direct stare. Watch to see if your dog or a group of dogs is stalking another or if your dog is being stalked.
5. Vocalization – listen to the bark. If it is a growl or not playful then it is a sign something more dangerous could be on the horizon.
6. No Owner.
Dogs show signs of stress by shifting their weight, blinking, yawning, mouth closed, tense posture, change in breathing, ears way back, hackles up and/or they shake as if they are wet, said Lausch.
On the other hand, happy dogs have relaxed bodies, level tails, rocking horse gait, and are engaged with the owner or other dog. If dogs are playing, they bow to each other, take breaks in what they are doing and have loose body language.
“Always be your dog’s best advocate,” said Lausch. “Never allow a dangerous or uncomfortable situation to continue. Know when to step in and bring your dog to safety. Be realistic and responsible and know if your dog is appropriate for the dog park or doggie play groups.”
Questions to determine safe play
Some questions to ask to determine if you should interrupt play:
• Is there any level of discomfort for either dog?
• Are both dogs listening and responding appropriately to each others’ signals?
• Are both dogs negotiating play and taking breaks?
• Is either dog attempting to avoid or escape the “play”?
•Is either dog becoming more aroused or continuing a pursuit?
Breaking up a fight
If heaven forbid a dog fight were to break out … safest way to break up:
• Stay calm. Do not scream or yell. This can escalate emotional tension.
• Do not grab either dog near the collar or face.
• If you have a safe object, place it between the dogs.
• If you have a citronella spray, you could try that or a squirt bottle with water.
• Safest way: “Wheel barrow” technique. Get behind the dogs and lift up carefully by the back legs. In a smooth movement, wheel the dog away and to the side.
Delaware Pets writer Margie Fishman is on assignment in Nepal. Her column will return shortly after she does.
Despite earning international acclaim and a Nobel Prize for the English translation of his Bengali poetry in 1913, Rabindranath Tagore was a staunch endorser of regional languages.
On his visit to Chennai, then Madras, in October 1934 as part of a fund-raising endeavour for his university Viswa-Bharathi, Tagore was beset with a peculiar problem — of being lost in translation.
Attending a reception organised by the Women’s Indian Association at Egmore, Tagore confessed to have not understood the address as it was delivered in Tamil. According to The Hindu , in spite of the speech being translated to English, he said, “It is most unfortunate that they who belonged to the same country are separated by different languages. The love for the motherland though is universal and knows no difference of language. ”
The issue of language, which would consume the State a couple of decades later, also came up in a spirited discussion with Fine Arts students in the following days. While discussing how the vernacular can be revitalised in popular art forms, he encouraged young students to embrace the easily understandable regional language rather than the rigidly structured classical languages. He further advised writers to shed their reservations about the colloquial tongue conforming to classical grammar rules. To strengthen his case, he went on to admonish people in south India for using ‘too much English to the detriment of vernaculars.’ He said: “In Bengal, except for very Anglicised people, English is used only in writing; otherwise in conversation, everybody speaks only Bengali. “
When one member pointed out that it was only because of English that he was able to understand them, the poet retorted, “Leave me alone; I am living in the far north, but how about among yourselves.” Way back in 1934, even as the struggle for independence was peaking, Tagore’s observations seemed almost prescient considering the linguistic debates that would dominate the country in the years to come.
Tagore’s 154th birth anniversary fell on May 7.
Rabindranath Tagore in his visit to the city in 1934 took a firm stand in favour of cultivating regional languages
This Facebook search feature could worry Google
Arjun Kharpal | @ArjunKharpal
20 Hours AgoCNBC.com
Facebook is testing its own in-app search engine that will allow users to post links in a status update without having to visit Google, the company has confirmed.
Some U.S. users of the Facebook app will see an "add a link" option next to buttons to add photos or a location to a status post.
A user will type in a search term and then a drop down list of links will appear. The user will be able to preview what is on that website and then share the link on the social networking site.
Typically a user would have to search on Google or other search engines or go directly to a website and copy and paste the link into Facebook. The social networking giant is working on cutting out that process and keeping people inside the Facebook app for as long as possible.
Facebook on a mobile tablet.
"We're piloting a new way to add a link that's been shared on Facebook to your posts and comments," a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch on Sunday.
Google under pressure?
Facebook has indexed one trillion posts that have been shared on users' feeds. This will allow the in-app search engine to suggest the most shared links. This data will allow Facebook to steal a march on Google, experts warn.
This, coupled with advertising opportunities could worry Google, according to analysts, given the stiff competition for mobile ad dollars.
"If you look at Facebook's progress over the last few years, the real growth has been in its mobile advertising revenue," Jack Kent, senior mobile analyst at IHS, told CNBC by phone.
"That means that Facebook's mobile advertising growth will put pressure on Google. And anything which keeps people inside Facebook with an experience that means that you don't need Google would put pressure on Google."
Over 70 percent of Facebook's total advertising revenue comes from mobile and the company has been working hard to keep people in the app for longer.
Another attempt by Facebook to keep its users away from search engines is news. A report in the New York Times this year suggested Facebook was in talk with news publishers to host content on the social networking site rather than linking back to the publisher's website. The aim would be to share ad revenues.
Arjun KharpalNews Assistant, CNBC EU News Digital Team
earch where you want, and for what you want
The Internet is a big place where you can find almost anything you need or want. However, with the abundance of diversity and amount of possibilities, you might have a difficult time obtaining just the product that suits your needs.
This is where search engines come to save the day, creating an organized list of results based on various criteria. Some are specialized to retrieve data only from particular locations, narrowing down results.
In case you don’t want the whole Internet to be used as a source, there are methods to build your own search engine. Just as you find out doing a little research, it takes only a little while to add a custom site with your own parameters and settings to fetch queries of interest. Below you find the necessary steps to add a custom search engine into Google Chrome.
Adding a new custom search engine
Step 1: Download, install, and run Google Chrome.
Step 2-a: Right-click the URL field and choose to Edit search engines.
Step 2-b: Press the Hamburger button and go to Settings. In the Search category, choose to Manage search engines.
Step 3: Locate the Other search engines panel.
Step 4: Write down a name in the first empty field that reads Add a new search engine to define the engine you want.
Step 5: In the Keyword field, write a letter or word to easily access the specific engine.
Step 6: Open an empty tab and navigate to the page for which to add a new engine.
Step 7: Perform a simple search of anything on that site.
Step 8: Copy the whole URL back in the settings menu for Search engines, in the last empty field.
Step 9: Identify your query in the URL you just pasted, and replace it with %s.
Step 10: Hit Done for changes to take effect. To perform a search on the new engine, write down the keyword in the URL bar, hit Tab on your keyboard, then simply write down the query.
While using any app, especially social networking such as Facebook or Twitter, the biggest problem which a user faces is while sharing links. Either you need to go back to Google or any other search engine to locate a particular link or copy from other source and paste it in the Facebook platform.
It seems Facebook doesn’t want their users to get away from their mobile app inorder to search a link. They have introduced a new URL search engine in their mobile app, which will make the process of searching and sharing URLs super easy.
Named as “Add a Link”, this new search platform has being released for few selected iOS users in America, as of now. Depending on the popularity and usage data, Facebook may roll out the same for all users in near future.
Facebook responded to TechCrunch by stating, “We’re piloting a new way to add a link that’s been shared on Facebook to your posts and comments.”
How Will It Work?
In the text space for updating a new status, a new button has been added named as “Add a Link”, which is appearing alongside regular buttons such as ‘Add Photos’, ‘Location’ and emoji feature.
Once a user taps on this “Add a Link” button, a new popup arrives which asks the topic on which the user wants to search links. Once he enters the details, Facebook will display all the links which are being shared on the Facebook platform from other users.
The user can select the link which he wants to share, and add his own text, tag friends or even add the emotion icons while doing the same. A small preview of the content is also visible, which will help the user to make the decision.
Image source: TechCrunch
The links would be sorted depending on various factors, such as freshness of the link shared, likes and preferences of the user and more. Hence, basically, the user is provided links which he got without going away from Facebook’s platform.
Facebook’s Reach Is Now Bigger Than Google?
As per a Facebook official, they will index more than one trillion posts on their platform to showcase the correct and most appropriate link to the end user. If this information is correct, then Facebook’s new search engine becomes larger than Google’s search engine by a considerable margin.
Although Google hasn’t revealed the size of their indexed webpages since long, there are around 4.47 billion web pages which have been indexed till today (May 11, 2015). Even if we assume that with all their super computing power, Google has indexed all these webpages, it is less compared to 1 trillion indexed posts by Facebook.
Anyways, Facebook has now become so huge, that 25% of all referral traffic in the world is now coming in directly from Facebook! Comparably, Twitter only directs 0.88% and Pinterest directs 5.52% referral traffic.
Critics can say that Facebook is only indexing posts made by their users, and Google indexes web pages which are filled with more information and data. But the posts indexed by Facebook have more ‘user’ data, compared with any search engine; and this is the information which advertisers can give top dollars for.
This new announcement from Facebook certainly starts a new battle for search engine dominance.
If Google executives are reading this, then it is high time that they take this new threat from Facebook seriously.
Facebook wants to create a niche in offering its own search engine service so users do not have to rely on Google any more
Posted By: Aman JainPosted date: May 11, 2015 08:30:31 AMIn: TechnologyNo Comments
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is working on “in-app” search engine to enable users to find links within its mobile app. If such a feature is launched, then users will not have to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) search a link prior to posting it on their status update.
Facebook gears up to compete with Google
According to a report from TechCrunch, the social networking giant confirmed it is testing a new method to add links on status updates on the app. The company has already launched an “in-app” search engine for select iOS users in the United States, says the report.
Facebook told TechCrunch that the engine consists of over 1 trillion posts which will enable users to search for links, suggesting that the data is not powered by Google. Users can see similar links in “add a link option” once they type their query in the search box. Thereafter, they can simply select the desired link and publish it with pictures or a status update.
Over the years, Facebook has become a vital distribution platform for many digital news organizations, which in turn strengthens its position as a reliable content host. There is no word about the process Facebook uses to determine the results of each query, but the report reveals that the results depend on the user’s frequency of visiting websites and stories with a high share rate.
Facebook hires a Twitter employee
In a separate development, the social networking site continues to attract some of the most talented employees, and the most recent one is from Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR). A report from Re/code mentioned that Racheal Horwitz, former communications director with Twitter, has joined Facebook. Horwitz supervised the micro-blogging firm’s public relations for its products. In her new company, she will be the Director of Technology Communications.
News of Facebook poaching Twitter employees comes amid the criticism of its content matching algorithm while Twitter, which is supposedly working on the same concept, has not been subjected to the same level of criticisms.
Facebook has been in a dispute for some time with other technology companies over its hiring practices. In fiscal 2014, a court document noted that Google made several attempts in the past to restrict Facebook from poaching its employees.
ABU DHABI, 11th May, 2015 (WAM) -- The Abu Dhabi Fourth Conference for Translation, organised by the Kalima Project, opened yesterday under the theme ?Translation of Novels: Difficulties and Challenges?.
Offering four specialised workshops on translating literary texts from English, Spanish and Japanese into Arabic and from Arabic into English, the workshops, for intern students from national and international universities, will be administered by a group of highly experienced Arab translation scholars.
In addition to the workshops, this year?s conference will host general sessions that review translation theories and problematic issues, with a special focus on novels.
The Abu Dhabi Conference for Translation is one of the pivotal cultural initiatives of the Kalima Project, run by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, TCA Abu Dhabi, which has established solid strategies to enhance the translation movement into Arabic over the past three years.
Chair of the English Literature Department at the UAE University, Dr. Siddiq Jawhar, who supervised several Masters and Ph.D. theses at Arabic and regional universities, will supervise the Arabic-into-English translation workshop, which will tackle both theory and application, as well as intensive practical exercises with the help of the latest educational tools.
Specialising in 19th Century literature, Professor Mohammed Asfour, Chairman of the English Department and Director of the Language Centre at Philadelphia University, Jordan, will run the English-to-Arabic workshop.
Accredited translator at the Spanish Ministry of Justice, Zainab Benyayah, Ph.D., University of Granada, Spain, will be leading the Spanish-into-Arabic translation workshop.
Dr. Al Mu?men Abdullah will lead the Japanese-to-Arabic translation workshop. Associate Professor of Japanese linguistics at Tokyo University, Abdullah has a Ph.D. degree from Gakushuin University, Japan, and has been working across the fields of academia, translation and international co-operation for 15 years and is one of the few Arab specialists in Japanese linguistics and literature.
The closing day of the conference will see Dr. Khalid Al Masri panelling a discussion session about translation?s challenges and different areas of specialisation, with the participation of acclaimed translators Subhi Hadid, Saeed Al Ghanemi and Fakhri Saleh.
Over the course of four years, the Abu Dhabi International Conference for Translation has provided trainees with the best learning experience, and several of them have built very successful careers in literary translation.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2015.
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