The translation s...
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Back in March, we reported that Wikipedia and the Internet had finally killed off 244-year-old Encyclopaedia Britannica. While this wasn't massively surprising, and is very much indicative ...!
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By Alex Shephard @alex_shephard

Last week, on the eve of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the largest and oldest in the world (it dates back to the fifteenth century), AmazonCrossing, Amazon Publishing’s translation imprint, announced it would be committing $10 million over the next five years to publishing more works in translation. “We launched AmazonCrossing five years ago to introduce readers to voices of the world through English-language translations of foreign-language books,” AmazonCrossing’s publisher Sarah Jane Gunter said in a statement. “While we are now one of the largest publishers of translated literature in the United States, translated fiction is still a tiny fraction of new publications.”

Over the past five years, only Dalkey Archive, the uber-literary small press that has published books by authors like Carlos Fuentes, Viktor Shklovsky, and Danilo Kiš, has published more works in translation than AmazonCrossing. This year, AmazonCrossing plans to publish “77 titles from 15 countries and 12 languages” in the United States, which will almost certainly dwarf the output of Dalkey and its ilk. And, with this new $10 million commitment, the number of works in translation published by AmazonCrossing should continue to soar. Which means that AmazonCrossing will almost certainly be the largest publisher of translated literature in the United States for at least the next five years.

Of course, $10 million over five years for works in translation is not a world-shaking announcement—after all, Simon & Schuster just gave comedian Amy Schumer close to that amount for just one book. And, while AmazonCrossing did announce a few interesting tweaks to its operations (more on those in a moment), it is mostly committing to continuing to do what works, just on a slightly grander scale. Still, though $10 million over five years will not turn AmazonCrossing into a publishing powerhouse, it still has important implications for translators and for readers.

Despite Amazon’s contentious relationship with the larger publishing industry (Jeff Bezos, the corporation’s founder, once instructed his employees to “approach… small publishers the way a cheetah would pursue a sickly gazelle” in negotiations), the company runs a number of highly successful small and medium-sized publishing houses, including Thomas & Mercer, which focuses on thrillers, Little A, which publishes more literary fare, and AmazonCrossing.

Amazon’s imprints are somewhat isolated, both geographically and commercially, from the wider publishing world. Based in Seattle, not New York (where all major—and most minor—publishers are based), Amazon Publishing typically distributes its books only through As a result, you won’t see them on the New York Times bestseller list, which discounts books that are only available from a single retailer, or on the subway: most are sold in electronic form at price points between $1.99 and $4.99.

It wasn’t necessarily supposed to be this way. In 2011, Amazon attempted to break into New York publishing, hiring industry veteran Larry Kirshbaum in 2011 to lead "Amazon Publishing's East Coast Group" and launch New Harvest, a somewhat sinister sounding imprint that was intended to compete with traditional literary houses. Kirshbaum's efforts alarmed the publishing industry: many feared that the company, having cornered the market on selling books would corner the market on producing them as well .Kirshbaum and Bezos, for their part, both insisted they had only modest ambitions: Bezos told Businessweek that the company had no intention “to become Random House or HarperCollins,” though he admitted that “I think people have a hard time believing that.”

No one in New York believed Bezos. As Brad Stone writes in The Everything Store, “a kind of industrywide immune response kicked in” soon after Amazon announced its expanded publishing arm. Kirshbaum had been given a directive to land big fish and the resources to do so, but he struggled to sign well-known authors to Amazon Publishing, in part because signing with one of its imprints effectively locked you into one retail platform: most retailers, including Barnes & Noble, don’t usually stock books published by Amazon in retaliation for the retailer’s many predatory practices. Foregoing 35% of the market was a risk most agents and authors did not care to take, and while Kirshbaum eventually landed a string of reasonably well-known nonfiction authors, including Tim Ferriss and Penny Marshall, the resuts were mixed at best. Ferriss’s book sold well, but didn't meet expections and undoubtedly took a substantial hit after Barnes & Noble refused to carry it. (Ferriss did himself no favors when he claimed this was censorship.) Marshall was given an $800,000 advance for a memoir that is now regarded as one of the biggest flops of the 21st century.

Kirshbaum left Amazon in 2013, and the retailer’s publishing arm began a slow retreat to Seattle shortly thereafter. When Ed Park—the New York-based novelist and editor who launched the Little A literary fiction imprint—left the company last fall, it was tempting see his departure as a nail in Amazon Publishing’s coffin: the New York Times, for instance, ran a headline that described the move as a “major setback” for Amazon publishing. Park himself admitted that he would not “miss [the] obstacles” he faced with authors, agents, and retailers as an Amazon editor.

Amazon Publishing tried to play the publishing industry on its own turf and lost. Few prominent authors were wrested away from Big 5 publishers, few books won awards or even received significant attention (books published by Amazon are rarely reviewed at all in traditional outlets), and, though a few books sold well, sales weren’t enough to convince agents that publishing with Amazon was worth the risk. While Amazon has continued to disrupt how books are sold and distributed over the past five years, Amazon Publishing bears little of the responsibility for those changes.

But it would be a mistake to judge Amazon Publishing by its failure to make a splash as a more traditional, New York-based publisher—or by its inability to attain the kind of cultural relevance those publishers covet. As Amazon’s efforts to establish more traditional, literary-minded, New York-based publishers failed, its Seattle-based imprints which were focused on the Kindle and more commercial fiction were showing another path forward. In 2012, after Kirshbaum had floundered in New York for a year or so, Amazon’s imprints began doing things a little differently. Per a Seattle Weekly feature about Amazon Publishing that appeared last year:

Not only did Amazon ask them to change the type of authors they were looking for, but the company insisted upon a different way of evaluating them. Going with your gut was out. Data was in. What kind of track record does the author have? The category of books? What type of people bought them?
The former staffer describes it as a “consumer-brand approach that would not be unfamiliar at P&G [Procter & Gamble],” and also as a “West Coast” one. (Wait, isn’t the West Coast supposed to be laid-back and freewheeling, not corporate and data-obsessed? Such is the power of Amazon that it’s giving the entire coast a different hue.)
In some ways, AmazonCrossing was the opposite of the more conventional house Kirshbaum attempted to build. That house would do what many publishing houses do: pay authors large advances for books that would (hopefully) sell a substantial numbers of copies. While it wasn’t quite intended to mirror a traditional publishing house, it was intended to resemble one; at the very least, it was supposed to compete for the same books.

AmazonCrossing, which preceded Kirshbaum by a year, resulted from a different strategy: identify niches that are being underserved by mainstream publishers. In fact, it’s fair to say that over the last five years, AmazonCrossing and a number of its fellow imprints have created a kind of third way between traditional publishing and self-publishing. The curation one expects from a traditional house is there, as is the sense of quality control. The economics, however, closely resemble those of self-publishing: risk is largely assumed by the author, who receives a substantial cut of an insubstantial retail price. Of course, that risk is somewhat mitigated by the assumption that the marketing arm of the only platform a book published by Amazon is expected to sell on, the Kindle, will heavily support the book in question.

Indeed, the entire system is built around the Kindle. Amazon’s substantial (some would say near-monopolistic—the company commands at least 65% of the ebook market) market share has blocked its access to big name authors and crucial markets and prevented it from running a more traditional publishing house, but that same size has allowed it to create a publishing ecosystem in its own image. Amazon is fond of lecturing publishing houses about the various ways that they’re outdated and inefficient, and its own publishing houses offer a glimpse of what Amazon believes the larger publishing landscape should look like.


Overproduction has been a fact of life in the publishing industry for decades, probably centuries, but nothing historically can compete to the flood of content, particularly self-published content, that followed the advent of the Kindle. Many inside the industry complain that there are “too many books,” but Amazon has always taken an opportunistic attitude to this situation. As Open Letter Books’ Chad W. Post told me, “their line on it has always been that they exist to make as many books as possible in as many forms as possible.” Looking for these niches was part of that wider philosophy. The first niche Amazon Publishing identified was commercial, translated fiction.

American publishers are averse to publishing works in translation, which are seen as being too costly: you not only have to pay a foreign publisher for the rights to publish it and a translator to translate it, but it probably won’t sell very well. As a result, America has a famously poor record publishing works in translation. It’s said that only 3% of books published in the United States are works in translation, though even that number may be too high. 587 works in translation were published in the United States last year, according to figures compiled by Post. That number is up from 340 in 2010, but it’s doubtful that it accounts for 3% of all books published in the U.S. (The numbers may work if you’re only counting works of fiction, but even then, you have to exclude works self-published on Amazon and elsewhere.)

That doesn’t mean that literary fiction in translation doesn’t sell. One can point to countless examples from the past 15 years: the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is wildly popular, the Chilean novelist and poet Roberto Bolaño has posthumously sold hundreds of thousands of copies in America, and Elena Ferrante and Karl Ove Knausgaard, an Italian and Norwegian, respectively, have become literary phenomenons recently. All four of those authors, admittedly, were popular elsewhere before they were popular in America.

That last point is key. When asked why translated fiction doesn’t sell, many in the publishing industry argue that translated fiction is too challenging or too intimidating to American audiences. I think, though, that this may be getting things backwards: a great deal of translated fiction struggles to sell in America not because it’s translated, but because it’s challenging in any language. For every Roberto Bolaño, there are a number of intelligent South American novelists whose work didn't make a big splash in their home countries—and didn't resonate in the US.

And because translation has a reputation for selling poorly, the publishing houses that translate the most tend to be smaller. The biggest publishers in translated fiction in America that aren’t AmazonCrossing—Dalkey Archive, Seagull Books, and Europa Editions—are all independent, small presses. Of the ten biggest publishers of translated literature in America, only two are imprints of conglomerate publishers: FSG, which has a long tradition of publishing works in translation, and Atria, which mostly publishes books by celebrities, and they finish 8th and 9th, respectively.

In other words, the current publishing landscape is not geared not towards the most commercial foreign writers, but the most interesting ones. (Which is not to say that there aren’t plenty of exceptions; indeed, many foreign-language books with solid commercial prospects—not to mention English-language ones!—also fail to find a readership.)

AmazonCrossing has a literary seasoning—Post expressed particular admiration for the Ukrainian novelist Oksana Zabuzhko, who has published three novels with AmazonCrossing—but the imprint is fundamentally different from nearly all of the other leading publishers of translated works in America. A New York Times story that appeared earlier this year, “Who Is the Biggest Publisher of Foreign Literature in the U.S.?,” begins to explain why.

AmazonCrossing’s biggest hit so far is probably The Hangman’s Daughter, written in German by Oliver Pötzsch. Its success illustrates how AmazonCrossing capitalizes on its parent company’s global footprint to decide which books to translate. This historical mystery, published by Ullstein Verlag, sold unevenly in German bookstores but managed to gain traction with readers on Amazon’s German site.
“We noticed that Oliver’s books were getting rave reviews from customers, who said things like ‘I can’t put it down,’ ‘It’s incredible,’ ‘I want to read more,”’ said Sarah Jane Gunter, the publisher of AmazonCrossing.
The Hangman’s Daughter has sold over a million copies (mostly electronically) in English since it was first published in 2010. The editors at AmazonCrossing weren’t out to identify books that were getting rave reviews, or works by writers who are winning international awards. Nor were they necessarily looking for international blockbusters, which are often expensive to acquire. Instead, they were looking for books that readers were connecting with, which they could figure out using Amazon data.

Editing and acquiring unpublished works in your own language is a cerebral experience. “If you’re going to try to do American books like a normal American publisher,” Post told me, “the process of deciding what to publish is very much in someone’s mind. You have to figure out ‘Is this a good book, will this find an audience.’ That’s a skill that’s mental and not exactly quantifiable.” Data can help identify the kinds of books that are selling, but not the books themselves—making a decision about what to publish requires that an editor bet on a book’s sales potential. AmazonCrossing’s approach, though, can ease that discomfort. Think of it as a publishing version of “Moneyball”—except Amazon is Billy Beane and The Hangman’s Daughter is Scott Hatteberg.

Even without exact numbers, there is more than enough evidence to suggest that AmazonCrossing has found a level of success. It’s published over 600 books over the last five years, including the million-selling Hangman’s Daughter; and Amazon doesn’t often make lengthy, multi-million dollar commitments like the one it announced last week to projects that aren’t bringing in revenue. AmazonCrossing has found this success by avoiding competition with traditional publishers for authors and books—instead, it seeks out stories that connect with readers in places other publishers aren’t looking, effectively using American publishers’ abysmal translation rate against them. And, because American publishers translate so little, foreign agents and authors are more willing to work with Amazon than their American colleagues—they have fewer options.

But just as American agents who worked with New Harvest had to balance financial concerns with the question of access, foreign agents and authors who work with AmazonCrossing know that they’re getting locked in. Like many—if not all—of Amazon’s imprints, AmazonCrossing is focused almost exclusively on the Kindle, where the vast majority of its sales occur. This has its advantages: Amazon’s imprints rarely if ever have to worry about the kinds of things that occupy the time of a traditional publishing houses: everything from standard publicity efforts to author events and major reviews are off the table. These books have one job, so to speak: to reach the right Kindle readers.

In terms of fiction, Amazon’s imprints have had far more luck with genre titles than with literary fiction, and AmazonCrossing is no different—the successes it most often touts are mysteries, thrillers, and romances. Genre, after all, is king on the Kindle—successful self-published books also tend to be genre, rather than literary. Which makes sense: Amazon has always advocated an aggressive brand of price elasticity: it has consistently argued that the volume that follows lower price points will lead to more revenue than higher, more conservative price points, and Amazon’s imprints have tended to target niches with price-conscious but voracious readers. Books published by Amazon’s imprints tend to more closely resemble those favored by self-publishers (typically between $1.99-$4.99) than those preferred by publishing houses (typically between $9.99-$14.99).

These low prices are another one of Amazon Publishing’s peculiarities. Regardless of one’s affinities, publishing sales are almost exclusively analyzed in terms of units sold, not revenue, despite the fact that revenue is what really counts. If one assumes that The Hangman’s Daughter sold a million-and-a-half copies and that these copies were exclusively ebooks, AmazonCrossing earned between $3-$7.5 million, of which it would then owe the author a significant portion—at least half. These are terms that Amazon can offer only because it’s operating small- and medium-sized houses and printing a negligible number of copies of books.

These are prices that are designed to move Kindle copies, not mitigate risk, and they better. While information about AmazonCrossing’s terms is hard to come by, literary agent Jane Dystel told the Seattle Weekly last year that “We’re seeing advances somewhere in the range of $10,000 or $20,000,” from Amazon’s non-translation imprints. Instead of large advances, authors are offered significantly higher royalty rates. Royalties on books published by traditional houses typically max out at 15% of list price for hardcovers, 10% of list price for paperbacks, and 25% of net receipts for ebooks. Royalty rates given to Amazon Publishing authors differ, but they tend to be far closer to the 70% royalty given to those who self-publish on Amazon than those offered by traditional publishers. (Translators who work with Amazon are also getting different terms: based on conversations I’ve had with people in the know, Amazon pays translators a competitive rate and that AmazonCrossing pays all its translators a royalty, which is pretty uncommon.)

What kind of translated fiction is selling is up for debate, however. In an interview with the New York Times, Post argued that AmazonCrossing fulfils an important cultural role: “To fully understand a culture, to understand literature the whole way, you need more than just the best books. You need the book about Spanish history along with the book about zombies.” Judging a culture only by its most esoteric output gives you a distorted impression of that culture; there’s more to Argentina than Aira. But I do think that it could be argued that this move is less culturally significant than it would have been a few decades ago. Cultures are more connected and more stories are being shared across geographical borders. The significance of AmazonCrossing may not be that it allows us to have a unique insight into Iceland or Mozambique or Indonesia, but that it’s benefiting from the internationalization of culture. As people around the world consume more and more of the same media, narratives and styles may become less regional and more international, widening the reach of a publisher focused on international books with wide appeal. 

AmazonCrossing recently announced a new project in mechanization: a “portal” through which translators, foreign publishers, and foreign authors can submit work to be considered for publication by AmazonCrossing. The portal itself seems to be a bet that the international market they’ve tapped into is substantial—that there are hidden gems awaiting translation. But anyone who’s tackled a slush pile for a publishing house or publication knows that nearly everything that’s submitted is garbage-—AmazonCrossing may hope that it’s working in a specialized enough field to provide a modicum of quality control. They may see it as a way to get bargains from desperate authors, translators, and publishers. They may merely see the benefit in communicating a certain degree of openness—after all, Amazon’s imprints are gatekeepers that can’t be seen as gatekeepers.

And what about that $10 million? Where exactly is it going? In a press release, AmazonCrossing announced that the money would go “toward fees paid to translators over the next five years and increasing the countries and languages represented on the AmazonCrossing list.” When I reached out for comment that somewhat cloudy statement was reiterated, though with an indication that AmazonCrossing also intends to increase the number of titles it publishes, something it’s done every year since its inception. The money for translators will presumably pay more translators, given the increase in production, but as Susan Bernofsky notes on her indispensible blog Translationista, there’s no reason for translators to expect a sudden windfall as a result of this announcement—rates are just as likely to decrease, she argues.

Given the wiggle room and the timing—it was clearly engineered to garner attention at Frankfurt, where Amazon has struggled to get meetings before—it’s entirely possible that the announcement is significantly less significant than it appears. For all we know, AmazonCrossing committed a similar amount of money to acquiring and translating international literature last year. $10 million, after all, is a rounding error for Amazon. What does seem to be significant, however, is that AmazonCrossing is proving that Amazon can run a publishing house its way—based on data analysis and staggeringly low prices—and succeed.!
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At 90, Barbara Beskind is the oldest member of the human-centred design team, IDEO, in Silicon Valley. She is a firm believer of the power of technology in improving lives and is surprised that so few technology innovations cater to improving the lives of the elderly. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal she describes the need for technology such as air bags that will reduce impact while falling, devices with immediate translation technology and walkers that improve stability and posture. Unfortunately, she stands as a minority voice in a business and consumer environment catering only to the young and middle-aged.

Even as the world's population ages at a rate higher than ever before and the predominantly young Indian demographic becomes older, few technology innovations are catered to the senior citizen segment, out of the fear that this may seem insulting to users and unprofitable to business operations. Unfortunately, even existing technology innovations such as mobile phones, laptops and desktops are not built for easier function and use by this section of society.

"By focussing technology innovations on only one section of the population, we must be aware of the large section that gets excluded, resulting in a loss of opportunities for innovation."

I have increasingly noticed that most individuals past their middle-age fear technology and fail to see its use in easing their life. This is far from the truth. Technology can provide convenience, speed and automation to the lives of the elderly. As technology progresses in India, senior citizens have the opportunity to be more independent with the help of convenient technology services including mobile/internet cab booking services such as Uber, grocery shopping services such as, internet banking services and the like. However due to the lack of knowledge, help available and difficulty of use, they shy away from the use of such services.

There are many aspects of technology design for senior citizens that remain unaddressed. Old age brings along with it a decrease in certain capabilities, specifically:

• Decline in cognitive function -- the ability to think, focus, generate ideas, remember and the speed of information processing are likely to be reduced.

• Decline in vision -- focusing on objects, colour matching, decreased visibility in the dark and sensitivity to colour may become difficult as people age. Senior citizens may also be prone to eye disease such as cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

• Decline in hearing -- the ability to distinguish sounds and high pitched consonants are reduced.

• Decline in motor functions and the weakening of muscles and bones, leading to frequent falls.

Numerous approaches and modifications can be done to improve user interfaces on mobile and desktops for the elderly. This modification is needed to overcome some of the problems often faced by this group. Some features that can be modified to make smartphones user-friendly include the following.

Increasing screen visibility: Increasing standard text size on desktops and laptop screens can significantly help mobile phone usage among senior citizens. Other changes that can be made include the use of soft colours (as elderly people are prone to vision problems while dealing with bright colours), more use of white/grey backgrounds and larger images, icons and graphical content.

Keypad spacing and button placement: Sensory and psychomotor functions of the elderly are affected, resulting in weakness, numbness, loss of muscle coordination, pain, stiffness, tremors, rigidity and slow movement. This can be a hindrance as senior citizens attempt to tap on smartphone or desktop buttons. The use of large taps targets makes it easier for older adults to see targets, to distinguish between adjacent targets, as well as allowing them to more accurately acquire tap targets. Larger touchable areas compensate for issues related to movement, control and hand dexterity. Additionally, button placement of features such as volume, camera, music etc. must be conspicuous and easy to access.

Customer support services 24/7: As the ability to learn new things and memory declines with age, the initial adjustment to the use of a mobile phone may be difficult. Often when a sudden doubt about the usage of a particular function on a device arises, help may not always be around for a senior citizen. Making a provision for 24/7 support by technology vendors either on call or easily accessible through help pages on the device itself can go a long way is preventing this.

Moving beyond traditional features: Today portable devices move beyond their basic functions to become an all-in-one tool-kit. Features such as the torch, FM radio, music, magnifiers, and emergency call buttons can be very useful features for senior citizens, helping them to ease their day-to-day functions. Having a good battery life or providing a spare battery can be a plus point, equipping senior citizen users for any unexpected situation.

As technology develops, it needs to head in a direction that embraces diversity and prioritises inclusion. The remarkable thing about technology is the way in which it has helped improve the quality of life of people the world over. By focussing technology innovations on only one section of the population, we must be aware of the large section that gets excluded, resulting in a loss of opportunities for innovation.!
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Kenya's translation and interpretation sector is unregulated and unstructured, exposing it to unscrupulous players, many of whom have no grasp of the sector's complexities. A sizeable number of these characters are solely motivated by monetary gain.

Far too often, many ill-prepared individuals with no solid grounding in languages and poor general knowledge are bumbling from one conference to another, purporting to offer interpretation, but leaving behind disappointed organisers.

Translation is not a commodity; it is a specialised industry. It is a highly complex profession; it not only requires thorough mastery of languages, but also an extensive grasp of issues

Because they serve diverse conferences, translators must have the ability to understand concepts and accurately communicate them in a different language.

Some of the issues are too complex and important to be left in the hands of amateurs - legal, medical, etc. Kenya's translation industry heavily leans towards commoditisation.

To become professional, the sector must shed its haphazard existence and organise. Stakeholders in the sector must step in and salvage the industry from merchants posing as professionals. There is a need to establish a threshold that an individual or organisation must attain to practise as a translator.

There is an urgent need to sensitise industry players - both from the demand and supply sides - on the complexities of the sector. Stakeholder-buyers, project managers and individual translators must understand the standards and the level of professionalism required. It is horrifying, for instance, for a meeting of specialists to be translated by a benighted translator.

Real professionals must stand up to defend the sector from encroachment by merchants. Professionals need to organise, associate and undertake peer review to sanitise the profession.

Mr Macharia is a Nairobi-based English-French Translator and Interpreter.!
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Comme ont pu le constater celles et ceux qui lisent régulièrement ce blog (leur nombre et leur fréquentation me sont désormais inconnus, l'Obs ayant supprimé son système de comptage de « l’accueil » pour ménager les frais et faire un peu plus de fric avec la pub), le cochon m'a détourné du projet que j'avais de faire un billet sur le film de Richard Attenborough, « Cry Freedom » consacré à certaines des heures les plus sombres de l’apartheid sud-africain. Arte l’a programmé en fin de semaine dernière, sans que je sache si la reprogrammation de ce film était une forme de célébration de la mort de Donald Woods, héros de ce même film, (mort « en exil » à Londres en août 2000). 


Un mot de rappel sur Donald Woods (dont le rôle, dans ce film, est tenu par Kevin Kline, celui de Biko revenant à Denzel Washington). Au début de « Cry Freedom », Donald Woods, la quarantaine très british quoiqu’il soit sud-africain,  marié et père de cinq enfants, est journaliste, dans une position importante puisqu’il dirige le Daily Dispatch. Ses idées libérales lui font connaître Steve Biko dont il devient, peu à peu, l’ami ce qui le conduit à s‘engager de plus en plus dans le combat contre l’apartheid.


En 1977, Steve Biko, très surveillé et que la police veut réduire au silence, est arrêté ; en dépit des promesses du ministre de la justice que D. Woods a rencontré chez lui pour plaider la cause de Biko autour d’un whisky, S. Biko meurt en prison, dans des conditions, mal établies ; son cadavre, que D.Woods est autorisé à voir en compagnie de la veuve, prouve à l’évidence, les violences et les tortures dont il a fait l’objet.


D. Woods, qui s’était fait accompagner par un photographe, dénonce, photos à l’appui, la mort de S. Biko. Il est arrêté et banni pour cinq ans par le gouvernement en place. Il lui est interdit d’écrire et de parler en public comme de sortir du pays.  Il réussit toutefois à quitter l’Afrique du Sud, avec la complicité de l’Eglise, déguisé en prêtre catholique ; il passe alors au Lesotho où le rejoignent sa femme et ses enfants. Il part pour la Grande-Bretagne en emportant le manuscrit d’un livre sur la mort de Steve Biko qui sera un succès mondial traduit en dix-sept langues.


Le curieux de l'affaire est que, dans ce film, j'ai été moins intéressé par l'événement central lui-même, que je connaissais un peu car à cette époque je me trouvais à la Réunion où l'on suivait d’assez près et facilement les événements de l'Afrique du Sud. J’ai, en revanche été très attentif au rôle qui a été attribué dans ce film aux Noirs sud-africains et en particulier aux relations de ces groupes ethniques africains entre eux et surtout avec le pouvoir blanc. Les stratégies du pouvoir blanc envers les deux groupes ethniques majeurs du pays, les Zoulous et les Xhosas, ont été en effet importantes et surtout très calculées (« Diviser pour régner ! »).

Zoulous et Xhosas


Il y a beaucoup de groupes ethniques et linguistiques en Afrique du Sud et la RSA actuelle ne reconnait pas moins de onze langues officielles! Toutefois, dans la population noire, les Zoulous et les Xhosas  sont les plus nombreux et sont purement sud-africains (remarque  linguistique : la  consonne notée xh désigne un « clic » émis du fond de la gorge car le xhosa est une « langue à clics », le « xh » étant plus proche oralement de « k » que de notre « x » en dépit de cette graphie). Traditionnellement rivaux, ces deux grands groupes ont eu sous l’apartheid des rôles très différents. On doit par ailleurs se souvenir que si les deux premiers présidents, Nelson Mandela et  Thabo Mbeki étaient xhosas, leur successeur est zoulou !

Les  Zoulous 

Durant l’apartheid, le Bantoustan du KwaZulu (Kwa signifiant « terre de ») a été créé, en 1970, sous le nom de Zululand avant de changer de nom en 1977. Tous les Zoulous devaient devenir, à terme, citoyens du KwaZulu, perdant ainsi leur citoyenneté sud-africaine. Des centaines de milliers de Zoulous, qui vivaient en dehors de ce territoire (ça ne vous rappelle rien dans mon titre bizarre !), furent déplacés, souvent par la force, vers de moins bonnes terres. En 1993, environ 7 millions de Zoulous vivaient en Afrique du Sud, dont plus de 5 millions dans le KwaZulu. De 1970 à 1994, Mangosuthu Buthelezi dirigea le KwaZulu, où il créa en 1975, créa le parti Inkatha YaKwaZulu qui devint ensuite l’ Inkatha Freedom Party (ou IFP). Ce parti était, en principe, un mouvement de protestation contre l’apartheid, mais de tendance plus conservatrice que l’ANC, et, de ce fait, opposé par exemple à la lutte armée comme aux sanctions contre l’Afrique du Sud. Inkatha était à l’origine en bons termes avec l’ANC, mais les deux organisations entrèrent en opposition en 1979 suite aux émeutes de Soweto qui son évoquées à la fin du film qui n’étaient en rien en faveur de l’usage des langues africaines à l’école, comme on le pense souvent à tort, mais pour l’éviction de l’afrikaan du système scolaire au profit de l’anglais.

Les Xhosas

L’African National Congress (ANC) qui fut, avec le parti communiste sud-africain, l’organe majeur de la lutte contre l’apartheid,  était; en revanche, largement dominé et conduit par les Xhosas ; même si l’ANC, dans ses principes, refusait toute  forme d’ethnicisme que ce soit, affirmant  représenter tous les Sud-Africains (y compris les Blancs !), sa direction fut de fait dès le départ, sous l’autorité de la noblesse xhosa à laquelle appartenaient Nelson Mandela et ses proches comme Oliver Tambo et Govan Mbeki. Les fondateurs de l’ANC appartenaient en effet  à des familles aristocratiques xhosas ; « ils avaient reçu une excellente éducation à l’Université de Fort Hare où, au cœur du pays xhosa, les missionnaires purent former, avant le durcissement de l’apartheid, une authentique élite africaine. Mandela était avocat. Thabo Mbeki a fait ses études à la London School of Economics et n’a jamais renoncé à un style british qui passait mal dans le parti » (R. Hureaux, 2009).

« C’est tout naturellement que le fils de ce dernier succéda en 1999 à Nelson Mandela comme si le pouvoir sud-africain était  devenu, au sein de l’ethnie xhosa, une affaire de famille » comme le note, dans son excellent article « Afrique du Sud : révolution zoulou » (2009) que je suis ici, Roland Hureaux, qui a participé comme consultant à la rédaction de la constitution de l'Afrique du Sud démocratique. R. Hureaux poursuit & propos du troisième Président de la RSA qui est lui un Zoulou: « Ce n’est plus du tout  le cas avec Jacob Zuma qui fut longtemps le  principal représentant des Zoulous à  l’ANC,  mais qui s’y trouvait, de fait, en minorité. Accédant au pouvoir à 67 ans, il a profité de l’usure de son prédécesseur, de sa légitimité historique d’ancien prisonnier à Robben Island, et de sa grande popularité dans la base du parti pour s’imposer à la succession de Thabo Mbeki  en dépit de  nombreuses affaires judicaires dans lesquelles ses partisans n’ont vu que la vindicte de ses ennemis ».

Mais revenons au film après cette longue mais indispensable digression. J'ai donc porté une attention toute spéciale à cette question de la collaboration de certains Noirs au régime de l’apartheid ; je puis vous dire (ce que je n'ai noté dans aucune des critiques de ce film auquel j'ai jeté un coup d'œil) que, durant les deux heures que dure ce film, on ne voit qu'un seul Noir qui se soit mis au service du pouvoir et la police de l'apartheid de façon ouverte et ostensible!


Ce « collabo » noir unique apparaît au moment où le journaliste est mis en résidence surveillée et se voit interdit de quitter le pays ; le noir en question, sur lequel s’attarde longuement la camera, se tient devant la maison de Donald Woods et a pour fonction évidente d'en surveiller les entrées et les mouvements ; il est vêtu façon fort élégante et à l'anglaise (costume sombre, cravate, etc. ), ce qui est pour le moins étonnant pour un policier en fonction de surveillant car un ouvrier occupé à ramasser les feuilles mortes aurait moins attiré l'attention ! 

Il est évident que, dans ce film, on a complètement occulté cette question, car, bien entendu, le pouvoir blanc ne pouvait en aucun cas se priver de collaborateurs et d'agents noirs qu’on a évidemment sans doute recrutés de façon majoritaire chez les Zoulous.

Après le film, était proposé aux spectateurs, le long inventaire des Noirs sud-africains morts en prison, sans qu'on sache trop pourquoi ni comment, comme Steve Biko lui-même. Je suis inexact en disant "sans qu'on sache trop pourquoi ni comment", car, pour chacun d’entre eux, était précisée la cause de la mort. Cela allait de la « cause inconnue » à la « pendaison » en passant par la « glissade sous la douche » (ce qui était assurément la cause la plus insolite) ! 


Par hasard, j’avais prévu ce billet pour le jour même ou, en Israël, est annoncée la mort imminente d’un prisonnier palestinien en grève de la faim depuis deux mois. Il envisagerait de rendre la plus radicale, encore en refusant de boire alors que la loi israélienne ne permet pas de l’alimenter par perfusion ! 


N’allez pas croire que je fais ici, à travers l'Afrique du Sud de l'apartheid, le procès d'Israël car je ne connais rien à l'affaire actuelle de Mohammed Allan ! À choisir entre deux fins de vie, peut-être vaut-il mieux glisser dans la douche dans une prison israélienne que; comme en Palestine, être filmé en video tandis qu'on vous découpe tout vif en morceaux à la tronçonneuse, en vous récitant des versets du Coran, le tout pour l’édification des écoliers palestiniens !!
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This judgment was delivered in private. The judge has given leave for this version of the judgment to be published on condition that (irrespective of what is contained in the judgment) in any published version of the judgment the anonymity of the child[ren] and members of their [or his/her] family must be strictly preserved. All persons, including representatives of the media, must ensure that this condition is strictly complied with. Failure to do so will be a contempt of court.

Case No: CM15C05170



Date: 14th August 2015


(sitting as a Circuit Judge)

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Between :

Suffolk County Council

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The Mother
1st Respondent


The Father
2nd Respondent


The Child  
3rd Respondent

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Hearing dates: 21.7.2015 and 14.8.2015

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Her Honour Judge Lynn Roberts:

[1]  I am asked to decide an issue which is important in this case, and on the basis that the decision will be applied in another case brought by the same Local Authority and may be of more general application. It is the view of those who have made submissions and of the court that it is an issue which needs to be clarified for many parties involved in care proceedings in this DFJ area and beyond. The issue is who should bear the costs of translating documents which are produced during court proceedings when one or more of the parents cannot understand English.

[2]  These proceedings concern one child and commenced by way of an EPO on 21.5.2015 and then as care proceedings on 26.5.2015. The mother and the father in this case are both Polish. They are both respondents to the application for a care order and are entitled to non means, non merits tested legal representation. Their English is such that they are unable to read the documentation unless it is translated into their own language, in this case Polish. The “application” documents which the Local Authority produced when starting proceedings have been translated by the Local Authority and there is no dispute that the Local Authority should bear that cost: it is agreed that the parents at the very start of proceedings may not have representation arranged and that time may not allow for the parents’ lawyers to arrange translation of documents. .

[3]  At the CMH on 22.6.2015 the issue of who should bear the costs of the translation of documents created or obtained during the proceedings was identified at a hearing before DJ Hallett and it was agreed that it was appropriate for the DFJ to determine it: a hearing was obtained on 21.7.2015.

[4]  On that day I read skeleton arguments from the parties’ advocates: Miss Rothwell for the Local Authority, Mrs Parry-Jones for the mother, Miss Webb for the father and Mr Wilson for the child and I heard submissions from the advocates as well. Attempts had been made by various of the parties to get a clear view from the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) as to their position and equally importantly, the basis for their position. This proved fruitless as I shall set out later.

[5]  Having heard submissions therefore, it was the view of the advocates, a view I shared, that the LAA should be invited to intervene pursuant to a formal invitation by the court, in order that a decision could be reached by the court which could be relied on in this case and in others with the benefit of the LAA’s considered position. I should add that on the morning of that hearing, when I was first aware of the issue, I attempted to speak to a senior lawyer at the LAA myself. I did not succeed but after the hearing I received a call from Mr Matthew Holden, a lawyer at the LAA who I understand had been asked by the person I had tried to contact to ring me. I explained to Mr Holden what the issue was and why I had taken the view that it would be helpful for the LAA to intervene. The parties, following the hearing, have provided the LAA with their skeleton arguments prepared for the hearing.

[6]  It was a surprise to me therefore to receive a letter by email from the LAA on 4.8.2015 which declined the invitation. I shall return to the full contents of that email later but it appeared that the LAA had not understood the documents which had been sent to them or the reason why their attendance had been sought.

[7]  I had adjourned the hearing for the purpose of securing the assistance of the LAA from 21.7.2015 until 14.8.2015 and on that date I heard from the advocates who were all of the view that we were no further forward as a result of the adjournment and that the LAA had failed to add clarity as to their position or the legal basis for their position. I heard briefly from the advocates who were the same save that Miss Connell represented the child in the place of Mr Wilson.

[8]  Turning now to the issue:
Ms Rothwell on behalf of the Local Authority relies on the case of Re L (Procedure: Bundles: Translation) [2015] 1FLR 1417 . That case involved a Slovakian father of a child who was the subject of care proceedings. The matter was listed before the President as it raised important matters: the LAA were unwilling to pay for a large number of documents to be translated into Slovene. The President determined that only those documents should be translated which were necessary for the proceedings to be resolved justly which in that case meant those documents, or parts of documents, which would enable the father to understand the central essence of the local authority’s case or which related or referred specifically to him. The remaining documents needed only to be summarised for him in his own language.

[9]  Miss Rothwell argues that the guidance in Re L assists in the issue before me by omission: there was no dispute between the parties or indeed with the LAA that the father’s solicitors would fund the translation costs on the father’s public funding certificate. The issue as far as the LAA were concerned was one of scale: they accepted the duty to fund the translation of documents for the father under his public funding certificate but objected to the number of documents sought on his behalf.

[10]  Miss Rothwell further submits that it is a duty of the solicitor instructed to decide which documents need to be summarised for the client in his own language and that it should not be for the Local Authority to play a part in that decision. She argued that if the Local Authority were to share the cost of the translation then it would need to be involved and a conflict of interest is likely to arise.

[11]  The Local Authority put forward 4 options for the court to consider:

that the party requiring the translation funds this on their certificate;
that the Local Authority pays all the translation costs; 
that the translation costs are shared between the parties in equal shares; 
that each party translates all of their own documents. 
Miss Rothwell asks that I order option 1. 

[12]  The mother’s solicitor argued in a brief position statement that the cost of translation should be shared by all of the parties. The solicitor relied on an email, referred to below, received by the child’s solicitor from the LAA confirming that the LAA thought that was the right approach. The solicitor expressed a worry that if option 1 was followed, the LAA might refuse to reimburse the costs. The position statement referred to the parent’s rights under Article 6 of the Human Rights Act. This was expanded on by Mrs Parry-Jones. She disagreed that a principle could be extracted by omission from Re L. She argued that it was not right for a parent to have to pay (via their public funding certificate) to show their innocence and relied on the principle that the costs of instructing an expert in care proceedings are usually shared. She agreed with the way forward proposed by the father’s representatives.

[13]  Ms Webb on behalf of the father prepared a detailed position statement. She also submitted that the general rule is that experts’ costs are shared between the parties in care proceedings. She had sought guidance from the LAA and the response received on 16.7.2015 said:

“…the MOJ has produced a guidance document for care and supervision proceedings which deals with letters before claim, and this states “ …if applicable it should be translated into the language used by the parent or carer…” It would be reasonable to assume therefore that the cost of all documents relied upon by the Local Authority should be translated by them. This would include final care plans, reports commissioned by the Local Authority etc.
As for the remaining documents, the Agency would expect the costs to be met by the party that seeks to rely on them. If they are for the benefit of the mother and the father only then we would expect the costs to be shared by both parties to avoid duplication of costs. For the costs of translating expert reports, if the instruction is a joint instruction then we would expect the mother and the father plus all parties seeking to rely on the contents of the report to share in the costs of translating the report to assist in the mother and father’s understanding.”

[14]  Miss Webb tried to extract some principles from that letter, and based on it, proposed that the Local Authority should pay the cost of translating the documents prepared by them; that the cost of translating documents prepared by the parents should be funded by that parent’s public funding certificate; that the cost of translating documents prepared by the Guardian should be borne by the child’s certificate; that any other documents admitted in evidence should be borne by all the parties in equal shares. She agrees that the Local Authority should not be involved in determining what needs to be translated for the parents and therefore proposes a mechanism whereby the parents’ solicitors advise the Local Authority which parts of the Local Authority’s evidence needs to be translated. She proposes a similar mechanism for the Guardian’s evidence.

[15]  Mr Wilson for the Guardian included in his position statement extracts from the LAA “Guidance on the Remuneration of Experts’ Witnesses” version 4.4.2015. The Guidance does not specifically deal with the issue but under the heading of Translation at paragraph 6.20 it states that “It will not usually be necessary to apply for prior authority for translation where the rate charged is…” Paragraph 6.21 says “The LAA will not fund the costs of translating documents relied upon by the Local Authority before the issue proceedings…” and paragraph 6.22 says “It is likely that not all the documents in the case will need to be translated….”

[16]  Mr Wilson points out the difficulties arising in interpreting the 16th July 2015 letter from the LAA especially as to who “relies” on which document in care proceedings. Mr Wilson spoke to an officer of the LAA on 1.6.2015 and was told that the LAA would expect the cost of translation to be shared between the parties. Mr Wilson submits that there is in fact no definitive or authoritative view on the issue either from the Agency or from the courts, and is hesitant about extracting guidance by omission from Re L .

[17]  After reading and hearing those submissions, I made an order on 21.7.2015 “upon noting that the email dated 16.7.2015 read in conjunction with paragraphs 6.20 – 6.22 of the Legal Aid Agency’s Guidance is ambiguous and upon the Court adjourning this matter to enable the LAA to attend to make representations

The Court orders
1.The Legal Aid Agency is invited to intervene and attend the hearing on 14.8.2015 to make any representations.
2. The LAA is to file and serve a Skeleton Argument by 4 pm on 11.8.2015 in the event that they wish to intervene/attend and make submissions.
3. The Local Authority to serve this Order and send to the LAA the skeleton arguments filed by 4 pm on 27.7.2015…..
The email received from the LAA on 4.8.2015 referred to above read as follows:

Dear Judge,
I am writing to your Honour in connection with your order of 21 July 2015. Paragraphs one and two of that order invited the Legal Aid Agency to consider intervening in these proceedings, and if it decided to do so, to serve a skeleton argument by 11 August 2015. Since writing to you last week, we have now recieved the Local Authority’s skeleton argument. One option which the Local Authority put forward at paragraph five of their skeleton is for the costs of translating documents into Polish be shared equally between the parties.
With this in mind, we have written to the Local Authority and to the solicitors representing the other parties and suggested that the costs should be apportioned equally between all the parties. We understand from the solicitors representing the father in these proceedings that any costs of the translation are likely to be within the limits set out in the LAA’s Guidance on the Remuneration of Expert’s Witnesses and so they can be paid by the LAA without the solicitors having to make applications for prior authority as previously indicated.
In the circumstances, we do not propose to intervene in these proceedings and hope that matters relating to translating documents can be resolved between the parties.

[18]  In my view and that of the parties, this email is very disappointing. Not only does it misunderstand the position of the Local Authority who set out the options for the court but did not endorse the option referred to in the first paragraph, but it also fails to set out any basis for the decision or clarify whether this is in fact a decision or merely “a suggestion”. I responded by return saying “You will of course be aware that I may order that the costs are not shared as you suggest because it may well be I take the view that it is not for the Local Authority to pay such costs.”

[19]  I did not receive a reply, nor did the LAA attend on 14.8.2015 nor did they respond to the invitation from Miss Webb to clarify their position.

[20]  It is therefore for this court to decide the point and it seems to me to be appropriate in the circumstances for this issue when it arises in other cases in my DFJ area to be decided in the same way. Other areas will have to decide their own approach but may find this case helpful until a higher court determines the issue. The LAA have had every opportunity to participate fully but have failed to assist the court or the parties by clarifying their position or the legal basis for it.

[21]  In my judgment it is not right for the costs of the translation of documents produced in the proceedings to be shared equally, nor for the more complicated arrangement proposed by Ms Webb in a valiant attempt to marry up the different advice from the LAA. I consider that the party who needs the documents translated should bear the costs and in this case that means that the LAA must bear the costs incurred on that party’s public funding certificate.

[22]  My reasons are several:

it is right for the Local Authority to provide translated documents pre-proceedings and at the point of issue of proceedings and to bear the costs of that; this is because at that time the parent does not necessarily have the financial ability to pay for this and is unlikely to have a lawyer and a public funding certificate which will cover those costs; it is also necessary because of the urgency of the situation;
thereafter the situation is very different. I do not think that translation of documents is properly described as expert work. It is not the subject of a Part 25 application and the translator provides no report or opinion for use in the proceedings. The role of the translator of documents is in my view much more like any other resource in the solicitor’s office. The position is comparable to that of interpreters. HMCTS pays for interpreters to assist parties at hearings; it is for the solicitor to arrange via public funding for interpreters to attend court for the purpose of taking instructions outside court (although this is often overlooked). It is also for the solicitors to arrange via public funding for interpreters to attend their offices for the purpose of assistance in taking instructions and giving advice. I do not see why written documents should be treated differently.
In the case of Re L the President determined various things. What was not decided because it was not an issue in that case is who should pay the costs of the translation. It was not an issue because it is clear from a reading of the case that the father in that case who needed the translation of documents was publicly funded and that the LAA were paying the costs of the translation. The President did not have to determine the issue as far as I can see because it was never raised on behalf of the LAA by one of the publicly funded parties and the LAA accepted the responsibility to pay the costs of translation. Following the case of Re L it is clear that it is not right for all documents to be translated for the non English speaking party. It is for that party’s solicitor to consider the documentation carefully and distil what his or her client needs to be aware of for the purpose of giving instructions and understanding the case. It would not be right or practical for all the parties to be involved in this process; it would not be reasonable for another party – who has to pay part of the costs – not to have the right to be involved in the decisions made by that solicitor. It is likely to lead to satellite litigation and delay.
I consider the complicated directions proposed by Miss Webb are unworkable, impractical, unfair on the Local Authority and unnecessary.
I do not consider that the Article 6 rights of the non English speaking party are at risk because the LAA will pay the costs of a parent who is a party to such proceedings in any event.

[23]  My order is that:

The cost of translating the documents which are filed and served during the proceedings shall be paid by the party requiring the translation, provided that party is publicly funded. 
Only such documents or parts thereof which are necessary for the party to have translated in order to understand the case as it relates to that party shall be translated; the expectation is that that party’s solicitor shall provide to the party a summary only of some of the documents. 

[24]  For the sake of clarity I add that there was no discussion in this case as to the position of parties who are not publicly funded, such as interveners or other family members, because it was not relevant to the case. Nothing I have said in this judgment should be read as implying anything about the funding of translation which may be necessary in such cases.!
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Our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, mother-in-law and friend, Barbara Mary Killoran Goodall, died Aug. 14, 2015, at the age of 87.

Barbara was the only child of John Francis and Mary Jester Killoran; loving wife of Clifford A. Goodall Sr. for 65 years; mother of Clifford A. Goodall Jr. (Sharon Gray) and Patricia Goodall Strawderman (Dennis Strawderman); and grandmother of Dennis Patrick Strawderman (Lila Hussain) and Mary Margaret Strawderman (Aaron Pollock). She leaves behind a host of many loving family and friends.

Barbara was born on March 16, 1928, in Chicago. She attended Trinity High School and Rosary College in River Forest. Prior to starting a family, Barbara worked for a short period of time for Northern Trust Bank in Chicago. When her husband was relocated to New Jersey, she worked and eventually retired from Union Carbide in New Brunswick.

Barbara met and married Clifford, the love of her life, through his sister Eileen, whom she met on her first day at Trinity High School. Eileen invited Barbara to visit the Goodall home to meet her new baby sister, Kathleen, where Barbara met the returning D-Day veteran. Barbara married Clifford on April 22, 1950, and was thrilled to become the honorary “sixth sister” of the clan (which, in addition to Clifford, Eileen and baby Kathleen included Jean, Joan, Helen and Jimmy). It may have been challenging at times for an only child to be thrown into such a large, crazy Irish family but she loved every minute of it!

All who met Barbara were struck by her extraordinarily beautiful ice blue eyes, but those who really knew her were impressed with her kind heart and gentle, caring manner. She excelled in the art of words and was known unofficially as a “walking dictionary.” Barbara had a wide range of hobbies throughout her life, ranging from her successful attempt at growing tomatoes in her suburban garden to playing golf and bridge, to cooking, decorating and flower arranging (and much more!) She loved entertaining and was especially fond of family gatherings during the holidays, often presenting guests with a new recipe or dessert that had captured her fancy.

Barbara was fiercely proud of her Irish heritage and deeply devoted to her Catholic faith, with a special affinity for the Blessed Mother, to whom she often prayed the rosary. She enjoyed volunteering at the local parish churches and schools wherever she lived. She lived a positive and productive life, facing challenges and having adventures that she never imagined. Barbara traveled to many wonderful and exotic locales with her husband and friends, including her beloved Ireland. True to her Irish roots, Barbara enjoyed having a good time and her infectious laughter – with those twinkling blue eyes! – will be remembered by all.

A funeral mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, at All Saints Catholic Church in Hampstead. A gathering for fellowship and food will be held at the church following the service. Later in the day, a graveside service will take place at a time to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Unbound, 1 Elmwood Ave., Kansas City, Kansaa 66103.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Andrews Mortuary.

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Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday unveiled his health care blueprint, the first policy paper of his presidential campaign. 

"The Day One Patient Freedom Plan," announced by Walker at a machine parts manufacturer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, would provide tax credits based on age rather than income, allow people to shop for plans across state lines and restructure Medicaid and long-term care services.

"It’s all about freedom," Walker said Tuesday, speaking at Cass Screw Machine Products. "It’s putting freedom back in the hands of patients and families to make decisions about your health care and about your money."

Walker's 15-page plan — five of which are dedicated to campaign logos and three of which make the argument for repealing Obamacare — includes no cost estimates or projections of how many people would be covered, but Walker said Tuesday it would be "cost-neutral" and would amount to "a tax cut of about a trillion dollars." 

The policy paper claims the plan could lower premiums by up to 25 percent by reducing regulations and encouraging competition. 

People without employer-sponsored health insurance would receive tax credits based on age to purchase insurance. For instance, people ages 18-34 would receive a $1,200 credit, and people ages 50-64 would receive a $3,000 credit. The plan would also offer a $1,000 credit to people who sign up for health savings accounts (HSAs) and lift contribution limits to those accounts.

The plan promises to "protect those with pre-existing conditions without using costly mandates," by giving states the funds and discretion to close funding gaps. It would also give states the authority to manage and reorganize Medicaid.

Walker said the difference between him and other Republican candidates is that he not only promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but has a plan to ensure Congress will do so. He said he would make members of Congress live under the rules of Obamacare, which he believes would "light a fire" to make lawmakers act.

"We’ve got to repeal Obamacare entirely: lock, stock and barrel," Walker said. "We’ve got to repeal every part of it."

Walker said his plan limits the power of the federal government and takes away federal mandates. But Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, one of Walker's competitors for the presidential nomination, was immediately critical of the plan, saying the plan endorses the "fundamental underpinning of Obamacare" and calling it a version of "Obamacare lite."

"In Governor Walker’s plan, a new entitlement is created for every single American human being from the time they are born right up until they grow old and become eligible for Medicare," Jindal said in a statement. "It is frankly shocking that a Republican candidate for president would author a cradle to grave plan like this."

Jindal accused Walker's plan of being "light on specifics," but it offers far more detail than the proposals for his 2010 and 2014 gubernatorial campaigns.

In 2010, Walker called for making "quality, affordable health care available to hardworking families through market-based solutions like competition, transparency, and tax incentives — not Canadian-style programs that put bureaucrats in charge of personal health care decisions."

And in 2014, he focused on a commitment to fully funding Medicaid services and providing a long-term solution to the viability of safety net services for low-income families, seniors and those with disabilities.

"Government’s role in health care should be to furnish a system of checks and balances and provide a safety net for those who need it," Walker said in both his 2010 and 2014 plans.

Jindal said Walker's plan is "very Washington in that it fails to tell us what it would cost," adding that by his estimate, it looks to be about $400 billion per year.

"When did conservatism die? When did we accept the idea of dependence on government? Governor Walker is confused here," Jindal said. "In his stump speech he has some clever lines about how the Fourth of July is about independence, not dependence. I like those lines. But with this Obamacare lite health care proposal, he’s going to have to drop those lines from his speech."

Conservative political analyst Yuval Levin, on the other hand, said he thinks Walker's plan is "the most substantively and politically serious conservative health care reform we have yet seen from a presidential candidate," in a column for the National Review.

Jindal released his own plan last year, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio unveiled his proposal in an opinion piece published Monday.

The left-of-center Center for American Progress has said Walker's plan would be a "step backwards," and Citizen Action Wisconsin called it a "bait and switch" plan.

"If this vague grab-bag of conservative wish-list items is the best health plan the GOP can come up with for the largest economy on earth, it’s the clearest signal yet that Republicans like Scott Walker are out of ideas and out of touch," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Eric Walker in a statement. 

A full repeal of the Affordable Care Act would leave 19 million people without insurance and increase the federal deficit by at least $137 billion over the next decade, according to a June report from the Congressional Budget Office. Those estimates are based on a repeal date of Jan. 1, 2016, and do not account for the passage of an alternative health care plan.!
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Talk show host and comedian Ellen Degeneres was the recipient of the TEEN CHOICE 2014 Choce Comedian at last night's live event which aired on FOX. Click here for full list of winners

During her acceptance speech, the funny lady took a moment to inspire teens who may be struggling with being different than those around them. "It feels good to be chosen but there was a time in my life that I was not chosen," shared Degeneres. "I think I wanna make sure that everyone knows that what makes you different right now, makes you stand out later in life. So you should be proud of being different, proud of who you are." Watch the speech below!

TEEN CHOICE 2015 aired live on FOX from the University of Southern California's Galen Center in Los Angeles. This year, teens logged on to, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and cast more than 25 million votes in support of their favorite teen icons in film, television, music, sports, fashion, comedy and the web.

Hosted by Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Gina Rodriguez and Josh Peck,TEEN CHOICE 2015 featured performances by EMPIRE's Jussie Smollett and Bryshere "Yazz" Gray, 5 Seconds of Summer, Flo Rida andRobin Thicke, Little Mix and Rachel Platten.

Candie's girls, Fifth Harmony, presented the "Candie's Choice Style Icon" award to Britney Spears, whose trendsetting style has made her a permanent fixture in pop culture and a true fashion innovator.!
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Intel has released the open-source code of the speech system it made and developed for Stephen Hawking.

Called the Assistive Context-Aware Toolkit (ACAT), the system was developed to help Hawking, who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, communicate using very little movement.

ACAT currently uses an infrared sensor or camera, which detects facial movements, while the computer interface uses these movements to select letters and a predictive software helps complete full words. The interface can also be used to access the internet or to use different programs.

Expanding uses

By releasing the source code, project leaders behind ACAT are hoping the developers will be able to modify and expand the uses of the system.

"After Intel deployed the system to Professor Hawking, we turned our attention to the larger community and continued to make ACAT more configurable to support a larger set of users with different conditions," Intel said on its website.

"Our hope is that, by open sourcing this configurable platform, developers will continue to expand on this system by adding new user interfaces, new sensing modalities, word prediction and many other features."

ACAT is now available to download through GitHub, while Intel's site provides other documentation and guides too, but you should note that it is only available for PCs right now.!
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Due to Stephen Hawking’s condition, he relies on a computer to speak for him as you’ve probably seen many times in movies, TV shows, and cartoons where he is depicted. Intel is actually the company behind the software and for those who are interested in taking a peek under its hood, you now can.

Intel has decided to release the software under a free software license, meaning that it is basically open source and developers can go ahead and check it out. Dubbed ACAT (Assistive Context-Aware Toolkit), Intel has described it as “an open source platform developed at Intel Labs to enable people with motor neuron diseases and other disabilities to have full access to the capabilities and applications of their computers through very constrained interfaces suitable for their condition.”

That being said now that the software has become open source, what does this mean? For the end-user probably not much, but for developers it means that it will allow them to create a system that is similar to what Stephen Hawking uses. It might not be 100% the same and depending on the ideas, it could even be improved upon.

As it stands ACAT is only available for Windows machines so developers using Macs are out of luck. It will also require a webcam as it relies on visual cues to understand commands. Intel’s principal engineer Lama Nachman says, “Our vision is to enable any developer or researcher who can bring in value in sensing, UI, word prediction, context awareness, etc. to build on top of this, and not have to reinvent the wheel since it is a large effort to do this.”!
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At graduation event, Haisam Hassanein praises Israel as a haven of diversity and co-existenceBY JTA August 19, 2015, 4:18 am 3

International master’s students at Tel Aviv University were graced with such a speaker at their graduation last week. The class valedictorian, Haisam Hassanein, was brought up in rural Egypt – a place not exactly renowned for its pro-Israel feelings.

But in a speech that is sure to be cited for years to come, Hassanein praised Israel as a haven of diversity and co-existence.

“If you think you heard a million reasons why not to come to Israel, I heard a million and a half,” Hassanein said.

‘On my first day here at the university, I saw men in kippahs, women in hijabs. I saw soldiers walking peacefully among crowds of lively students’
“Growing up in Egypt, the entire country had opinions about Israel, and none of them were positive. All we knew was that we had fought bloody wars, and that they were not like us.”

Hassanein said that his first exposure to Israel in Egypt was through anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist music and television that depicted Israelis as spies and thieves.

He said he expected to find Israelis “unfriendly,” but as soon as he arrived in the country, any anxieties he had quickly dissipated.

“On my very first day here at the university, I saw men in kippahs, women in headscarfs and hijabs. I saw soldiers walking peacefully among crowds of lively students. I learned there were people of every kind in the university, and the university had a place for all of them — Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, Bedouins and even international students,” Hassanein said.

“We must always question our assumptions. Being here in Israel has taught me that life is full of paradoxes and complexities — that nothing is straightforward, and that things are often not as they are made to seem.”!
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Alex Jones is aware that what she’s trying to describe sounds, in her own words, “a bit mad”. “For someone who hasn’t been brought up with it, I appreciate that it sounds totally bizarre,” she laughs. “It” being the National Eisteddfod, the celebration of Welsh language and culture that takes place each August, and more specifically her induction into the Gorsedd of the Bards in a ceremony performed by the Archdruid.
Even if it does sound bizarre, Jones, 38, couldn’t be more thrilled. “It’s a huge thing for me. Huge,” she smiles. “It’s an enormous honour and my family are beside themselves with excitement.”
Dating back to 1792 and made up of poets, writers, musicians and artists who have made a distinguished contribution to Welsh culture, the Gorsedd features among its number opera singer Bryn Terfel and ex-Welsh rugby star Gareth Edwards.
For a woman who is a fluent Welsh speaker you have to be to join the Bards – and fiercely proud of her Carmarthenshire upbringing, join- ing such esteemed company is “the cherry on the cake” of her career. As presenter of The One Show, Jones may now call London home but Wales is where her heart is: “Although I moved from Wales five years ago, it’s still a massive part of my life.
My heritage is very important to me.” Jones recalls, as a girl, how she, sister Jennie and parents Mary and Alun would all pile into the  family’s orange caravanette to attend the Eisteddfod whenever they could. For an otherwise painfully shy girl the festival also offered the chance to try her hand at performance.

“Each school would have to produce a short musical. You’d compete in the county and if you won, you’d compete nationally to perform at the festival itself. If you won overall and got to take part – well, it was joyous.” Her school won plenty of times, which gave her parents many sightings of their otherwise apparently reserved daughter on stage. “It really bought me out of my shell,” she adds. “Really, the Eisteddfod set me on the path that led me to where I am today.”
After she is honoured by the Archdruid before the main druid stone, and touched on each shoulder by a sword, Jones can call herself by her Bard name, Alex o’r Amman, or “Alex from the Amman”. The ceremony will be a family affair, attended by her parents, sister and fiancé Charlie Thomson, an insurance broker. “It’ll be an eye-opener for him although I’m sure he will love it,” says Jones.
As for more pressing concerns, like what to wear under her induction cape, she says, ‘‘I honestly have no idea.”!
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Bilingual Program: Academic Content in Two Languages
Native English and Spanish speakers come together in Casey Middle's Bilingual Program, tutoring one another as they study core subjects and electives in both languages.
AUGUST 18, 2015
RELATED TAGS: Global Education,6-8 Middle School,World Languages


Bilingual Program: Academic Content in Two Languages (Transcript)

Alison: The students who learn their own language in depth in middle school do better in high school. We note it in graduation. We get their math grades as freshmen and we can see it there.

Our students here are really diverse. We have thirteen countries represented and twelve language backgrounds. It's about forty-five percent of our students who are coming from the Spanish language background here learning English.

Lori: There are many challenges with bringing together different elements of our community in the sense of academic preparation, social differences, language differences.

Alison: One of the main things that helps us with bringing kids together is our bilingual program, where students who are native Spanish speakers get native language instruction, alongside of students who are native English speakers, who are wanting to learn Spanish.

Student: [speaking Spanish]

Lori: The goal is that they develop and progress where they're at right now in two languages, and go forward.

Janet: I want to speak the language and I don't want to just be there like speak it and not know how to write it. So that's why I take the bilingual program.

Alison: Students who are native Spanish speakers really have to get solid in their own language. And once they're solid in their own language, they can build on their English, and I think learning the language art skills and the parts of speech, how the language works, makes a huge difference for their education.

Student: [speaking Spanish]

Lori: Well, in sixth grade, they have their core classes in English, math, social studies, science, English language arts. And after those four core classes, they would have three electives. Two of those electives actually would be for the bilingual program, the reading in Spanish and language arts in Spanish. In seventh grade we let them learn geography and Spanish and then they take a Spanish language arts class. When we study world geography, we learn about another culture, so they're using their vocabulary in Spanish to understand the world better. To have two different languages strengthens your cognitive processing ability, your analysis ability. You can go to the skills that you have in the other language to support and increase the skills in the second language.

Alison: [speaking Spanish]

Alison: By eighth grade we offer one class in Spanish and it's more advanced Spanish language arts. So they might learn one type of part of speech in Spanish language arts class and they're learning the same thing in their English language arts. So the bilingual program is designed to have those kids work together. Students who are learning English are tutoring the students who are learning Spanish in the Spanish classes. In the other classes, the native English speakers are assisting the native Spanish speakers with comprehension on things and working together as peers. That's probably the biggest thing we do to make the culture work. It's considered around here a real prize to be able to graduate from this program and be bilingual in three years. Families really value it in terms of not just the language, but also really being able to communicate cross culturally, which is, we think, a tremendous skill for the future for all kids.

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Bilingual Program: Promoting and Celebrating Diversity
Casey Middle School has a diverse student population, including about 45 percent who are native Spanish speakers, many in the process of learning English. Overall, the school has students from at least 12 language backgrounds, and from mixed economic backgrounds. Casey MS aims to promote and celebrate its diversity while meeting student needs through its core Bilingual Program.

Casey's Bilingual Program provides an opportunity for native English and native Spanish speakers to learn and become fluent in Spanish. It is an option for all students, and about 65 percent participate in the program. Students graduating from the Bilingual Program often enter high school at Spanish Level 4. The native Spanish speakers who participate in the program do better in their core middle school academic classes, and go on to do better in high school by building their Spanish fluency. For all students, learning two languages improves their cognitive processing and analytic abilities.!
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ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court (SC) ordered on Tuesday to formulate a joint review committee, consisting of federation and provinces, to review the implementation of Urdu as an official language and promotion and publication of provincial languages. While presiding a three-member bench of the SC, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Jawwad S Khawaja remarked, “Lawlessness will increase by not upholding constitution. English language gives impression of subjugation and due to which we are making our coming generation mentally crippled. In Moulvi Tameezud Din case majority of judges accepted it that we are slaves of British queen. There should be uniformity in education system.” The chief justice remarked, “Federation and provinces should file a report within a week under a joint programme on phased promotion of Urdu and other provincial languages and their implementation. The court remarked, “There is already a supervisory and scrutiny committee which should be given the name of review committee and it should watch and review continuously all the programmes with reference to Urdu and English that how much work has been done and how much more work is to be done. The signboards displayed on roads and other things can be moulded into Urdu and other provincial languages.” The petitioner said that there were so many things, which could be converted into Urdu forthwith. The court adjourned the hearing of the case till August 26.!
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We Australians don’t know much about the languages spoken in our own country – so Fully Sic is here to help! Over the coming months, we’ll be featuring a series of posts about languages spoken around the country. Today, Niru Perera tells us about Tamil.

(c) Meena Kadri

Language name: 

Tamil தமிழ்

Language family: 

Dravidian. This language family consists of the main languages of south India like Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. These languages have long-established writing systems and literary traditions.

Where is it spoken? 

Tamil is spoken wherever there are Tamil people. This is mainly in south India and Sri Lanka. It has official language status in Sri Lanka, Singapore and the Indian regions of Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry. It is spoken by minority groups in Malaysia, Réunion, Mauritius, South Africa and Fiji. More recently, there has been significant migration to countries such as Canada, the USA, the UK, France, Switzerland, Germany, and Australia.

How many people speak it? 

There are around 70 million native speakers of Tamil around the world. In Australia, the last census counted 50,150 people who spoke Tamil at home.

What kind of people speak it? 

Most Tamil speakers have arrived in Australia (mainly from India and Sri Lanka) in the last three decades or are the children of those migrants. For the younger generations, who are being educated in Australia, it is uncertain how much Tamil they will be willing to maintain into the future.

Tamil Hindus tend to maintain Tamil more than Tamil Christians. This seems to be because Saivism (the sect of Hinduism that is popular with Tamils) requires the Tamil language to participate in worship. For many Saiva devotees, Tamil provides specific religious concepts not easily expressed in English.

In what kind of contexts do people use this language?

For most speakers, the use of Tamil is limited to the home and family. While Tamil is not offered as a school or university subject, students can attend weekend language schools and can take Tamil for their final high school exams in some states.

Tamils can access an active social and cultural network, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. There are cultural events, Tamil businesses, and restaurants where Tamil is spoken. There are Saiva temples in several cities where Tamil is the first language (even though some rituals are performed in Sanskrit). I know of one temple which provides Saiva religious classes in Tamil to young students every week. Some Christian churches also offer services in Tamil.

Tamil pop music, soap operas and Kollywood films are accessible in Australia via the internet and Tamil shops. There are also Australian Tamil language publications, websites, and social media and SBS provides Tamil language radio and television shows.

What kind of things can you do in this language that you can’t do in Standard English? 

The Tamil language allows you to practice and participate in particular aspects of Tamil culture, both traditional and modern. Tamil has a rich traditional music and dance culture, including Carnatic singing, Bharatanatyam dancing, and the playing of instruments such as the veena or mridangam. Music and dance classes are available in Australia and are popular with young Tamils. While fluency in Tamil is not necessary, it certainly allows you to access the nuanced meaning of the songs and dances.  Similarly, when watching modern Kollywood films, knowing Tamil means you can understand the context and richness of the dialogue.

Many concepts are better expressed in one’s heritage language. For example, if a Tamil were to call their mother mum, instead of ammaa (அம்மா), they would not be conveying the same sense of closeness.

By understanding what is being said in a Tamil conversation, or by being able to speak in even ‘broken’ Tamil, you can feel part of a community and that can form part of your identity. Being bilingual in an Anglo-dominant country like Australia gives you access to another world and this can be strengthening when you feel isolated or like you don’t fit in.

What is the state of the language at the moment? 

With such a large number of speakers worldwide and a stronghold in Tamil Nadu, Tamil is by no means an endangered language. The future of Tamil in Australia is a different issue. It is likely that as this migrant community becomes more established, and new generations are born, language shift to English may occur at a greater rate. To counter this shift, Tamils have achieved some momentum in accessing and using their language for specific purposes like language schools, cultural activities, and religious practices.


Niru Perera is undertaking a PhD research project on the use of language in a Tamil Hindu temple in Australia and is trying to learn Tamil in her spare time. She is a student at Monash University’s School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics.!
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It seems fair enough that some licence is granted when rendering poems in a different language, but dropping entire cantos is surely taking things too far

Serious questions to answer ... Pablo Neruda in 1971. Photograph: Laurent Rebours/AP
Claire Armitstead
Tuesday 18 August 2015 14.57 BST Last modified on Wednesday 19 August 2015 09.38 BST
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Perhaps it’s down to his wonderfully refreshing manifesto for “an impure poetry” or maybe (whisper it not) it’s due to the seduction of David Soul, whose one-man show featured gloriously on the books podcast, but I’ve become more than usually obsessed with Chile’s Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda. What’s not to love about a poet who wrote odes to artichokes and laundry and argued for “a poetry impure as the clothing we wear, or our bodies, soup-stained, soiled with our shameful behaviour, our wrinkles and vigils and dreams, observations and prophecies, declarations of loathing and love, idylls and beasts, the shocks of encounter, political loyalties, denials and doubts, affirmations and taxes.”

So it was great to learn that a tiny US press is to publish an English translation of 20 lost poems that were discovered last year. Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda will be out from Copper Canyon Press in April 2016 in a translation by Forrest Gander.

I’m not familiar with the work of Forrest Gander, so I wait with some trepidation to see what he will make of lines such as: “Reposa tu pura cadera y el arco de flechas mojadas/extiende en la noche los pétalos que forman tu forma”. I hope he will bathe them in a lyricism of a higher order than the literal translation provided by the Neruda Foundation when the discovery was announced: “Rest your pure hip and the bow of wet arrows/Extend into the night the petals which make up your form.”

The reason for my anxiety is that I’ve done battle over the years with some pretty ropey translations – most recently with Ben Belitt’s 1974 collection, Five Decades: Poems 1925-1970, which I picked up in a London bookshop because it carried a parallel text in the original Spanish and that felt like a necessary prop in making the case for Neruda as a canonical poet to a roomful of sceptics who thought he was far too impure to be good.

The Guardian Books Podcast David Soul performs Pablo Neruda – books podcast
The Starsky and Hutch actor talks about the life and loves of the Chilean poet, and performs Your Feet, Ode to Clothes and more of the literature laureate's work

As far as clunky lines go, this edition’s final lines to the poem Dream Horse take some beating: “I need but a spark of that perduring brightness/my jubilant kindred to claim my inheritance”. (Belitt is fond of perdurance – it reappears in the Ode to the Elephant, that “blessed beast of the perduring forests.”)

It’s unkind to to quote out of context, and particularly from a version that is more than 40 years old, but at the book group I encountered a bigger problem, which raised issues about poetry translation that go far beyond Neruda.

There were five of us in the room reading from three different editions. One of the sceptics announced that she had found a poem she had liked, The Heights of Macchu Picchu, a 12-poem sequence inspired by a visit to the ancient Inca city after which it’s named and published as part of Neruda’s 1950 collection Canto General. She was particularly keen on the majestic sixth canto, she said. We all turned eagerly to the poem, only to find that one edition had lopped off the final two lines, while another had omitted the sixth canto altogether.

It’s one thing to translate a poem badly but it’s quite another to translate selectively, and the discovery threw me into a crisis about the possibility of reading any poetry in translation at all. It was a perfect illustration of the fact that all translators create their own reality, which may or may not reflect the intentions of the writer. After all, if you make the decision to cut out six cantos in a 12-canto series (as my edition did), to what extent are you even trying to keep faith with with the original work?

I found some sort of an answer in Neruda’s own argument for an impure poetry - in his championship of “the used surfaces of things, the wear that the hands give to things”.

In them, he wrote, “one sees the confused impurity of the human condition, the massing of things, the use and disuse of substance, footprints and fingerprints, the abiding presence of the human engulfing all artefacts, inside and out.” What is translation, after all, but another set of fingerprints?
Charles Tiayon:

"It’s one thing to translate a poem badly but it’s quite another to translate selectively, and the discovery threw me into a crisis about the possibility of reading any poetry in translation at all. It was a perfect illustration of the fact that all translators create their own reality, which may or may not reflect the intentions of the writer. After all, if you make the decision to cut out six cantos in a 12-canto series (as my edition did), to what extent are you even trying to keep faith with with the original work?"!
No comment yet. is a recently launched website that offers international users a free online translation tool which makes it easy for people to translate a variety of global languages to and from other languages.

London, United Kingdom - August 18, 2015 /MarketersMedia/ -- is a recently launched website that offers international users a free online translation tool which makes it easy for people to translate a variety of global languages to and from other languages. The aim of the website is to provide and easy to use, quick and cost effective method of translating languages without the need to hire translators. spokesperson said: "Dear internet users, in case you are not familiar with a certain foreign language and you wish to translate a text of any kind, our web site offers an entirely free of charge translation service. In addition to English and German, there is a vast variety of other languages at your disposal. Translating a text with the help of our is rather simple. The only thing you are required to do is to paste or type in the text into the first text field and click the button." (

The easy to use text translator tool developed by a 3rd party, this allows users to simply type or copy and paste the text that needs to be translated. The smart service is cable of detecting a wide variety of languages and translates them in to the user's desired language in a matter of moments. Translation tools have empowered people from around the world expand their knowledge by learning from easily translated text. Because the need for hiring translator or paying for translations is removed the process has become within the reach of anyone with a computer and internet.

The service provides easy translation of some of the following languages: Arabic, Albanian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Pilipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese and more.

The spokesperson informed that the service is in a continuous state of development and advancement that will enable more precise and mistake free translation of languages. Their aim is to help people from all over the world to overcome language barriers. The team behind the service understands the frustration related to finding and hiring translators prior to the availability of the online free translation services. They believe that by giving people the convenience that they can easily use will result in a better informed audience that is empowered to make informed decisions.

About: is a newly established website that offers New Free of Charge Translation Service, Translation of texts, sentences or words into a large number of foreign languages allowed by their translator by Google, or Google translate, to be exact. For more information please visit:

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Release ID: 89372!
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The Legal Aid Agency has been criticised for its lack of cooperation in determining who should bear the cost of translating documents during court proceedings.

The agency was invited by Her Honour Judge Lynn Roberts, sitting at Chelmsford Family Court, to clarify its position and the legal basis for it in care proceedings brought by a local authority. The matter pertained to Polish parents who were entitled to non-means-tested and non-merits-tested legal aid who were unable to read untranslated documents. 


In her judgment, Suffolk County Council v The Mother and The Father and The Child, Roberts highlighted ‘fruitless’ attempts to get the agency to ’provide a clear view’ of its position ’and equally importantly, the basis for [its] position’.

The agency, she said, was invited to intervene in the case ‘in order that a decision could be reached by the court which could be relied on in this case and in others with the benefit of the LAA’s considered position’.

Roberts said she was surprised to receive an email from the agency in which it declined the invitation and suggested that costs be split equally between the parties involved. This was one of four options put forward to the court by the local authority.

Roberts said the agency, in its ‘disappointing’ email, not only misunderstood the position of the local authority but also failed ’to set out any basis for the decision or clarify whether this is in fact a decision or merely “a suggestion”’.

The agency did not attend court to make representations or respond to an invitation by the father’s lawyer to clarify its position, the judgment stated.

‘The LAA has had every opportunity to participate fully but have failed to assist the court or the parties by clarifying their position or the legal basis for it,’ Roberts said.

Roberts, not believing it to be correct that costs should be shared equally, said the role of translators was ‘comparable to that of interpreters’.

‘HMCTS pays for interpreters to assist parties at hearings; it is for the solicitor to arrange via public funding for interpreters to assist parties at hearings; it is for the solicitor to arrange via public funding for interpreters to attend court for the purpose of taking instructions outside court (although this is often overlooked),’ Roberts said.

‘It is also for the solicitors to arrange via public funding for interpreters to attend their offices for the purpose of assistance in taking instructions and giving advice. I do not see why written documents should be treated differently.’

Roberts ordered that the cost of translating the documents filed and served during the proceedings be paid by the party requiring the translation ‘provided that party is publicly funded’. As a result, the agency would bear the costs incurred on that party’s public funding certificate.

But ‘only such documents or parts thereof which are necessary for the party to have translated in order to understand the case as it relates to that party shall be translated’, she ordered.

Roberts said no discussion in relation to the position of parties who were not publicly funded, such as interveners or family members, had taken place ‘because it was not relevant to the case’.

‘Nothing I have said in this judgment should be read as implying anything about the funding of translation which may be necessary in such cases’, she added.

A Legal Aid Agency spokesperson said: ‘Legal aid can be provided for translation services where appropriate. We have been in contact with the court in relation to this case and have established that funding can be provided in these particular circumstances.’
Charles Tiayon:

Roberts ordered that the cost of translating the documents filed and served during the proceedings be paid by the party requiring the translation ‘provided that party is publicly funded’. As a result, the agency would bear the costs incurred on that party’s public funding certificate.

But ‘only such documents or parts thereof which are necessary for the party to have translated in order to understand the case as it relates to that party shall be translated’, she ordered.

Roberts said no discussion in relation to the position of parties who were not publicly funded, such as interveners or family members, had taken place ‘because it was not relevant to the case’.

‘Nothing I have said in this judgment should be read as implying anything about the funding of translation which may be necessary in such cases’, she added.

A Legal Aid Agency spokesperson said: ‘Legal aid can be provided for translation services where appropriate. We have been in contact with the court in relation to this case and have established that funding can be provided in these particular circumstances.’!
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An Afghan interpreter who worked for the British government has been executed while trying to flee the Taliban, it has been reported.
Known to those with whom he served as Popal, the interpreter was reportedly tortured and murdered when he was captured in Iran, having paid smugglers thousands to flee his home country, according to the Daily Mail.
He had already been denied refuge in Britain but headed west regardless, because he feared for his life at the hands of the Taliban, it was reported.
A source who served beside Popal in Afghanistan told the newspaperl: “Anyone they find who!
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Julian Lewis, the head of the defence select committee, says it is 'extraordinary' that Britain is failing to offer asylum to 200 Afghan interpreters







Mr Cameron on a visit to Afghanistan in 2011 Photo: Getty
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By Steven Swinford, Deputy Political Editor10:00PM BST 18 Aug 2015
David Cameron must "urgently" offer sanctuary to Afghan interpreters including a translator who worked for him, the head of the defence select committee has said.
Julian Lewis said it is "extraordinary" that the government is refusing to give asylum to those who have put themselves at risk for Britain.
His warning came after reports that an Afghan military interpreter who was denied refuge in the UK had been killed while attempting to flee the Taliban.
Mr Lewis said: "Everybody knows that in Afghanistan even the slightest suspicion or allegation that Afghans have helped Western forces amounts in effect to a death sentence.
"It is extraordinary that there should be any question of refusing sanctuary to a few hundred people who put themselves at risk in order to help the British mission in Afghanistan.
"The tragic report today demonstrates the urgency of the situation. These people are in a special category of proven friends and allies who must not be abandoned."
There have been growing calls for Mr Cameron to help Afghan interpreters after a 26-year-old known as Shaffy said he felt "abandoned" despite putting himself in danger by working for the Prime Minister.
He worked as one of the British Army's most senior interpreters in Afghanistan, including a spell with Mr Cameron in 2011. He has said that photographs of him with the Prime Minister have been used by the Taliban as evidence that he was a British spy.
He accused the government of abandoning him, despite working for six years with the British military and being caught up in two bomb blasts.
He is one of 200 Afghan interpreters who worked for British forces and have applied for help after being threatened by Taliban militants.
British police working in Kabul have recommended that they take measures to protect themselves such as changing their cars or their phones. However, none of them have been granted asylum in Britain.
The interpreters missed out on a one-off assistance scheme set up last year by the government for its Afghan employees, which includes an option to relocate to Britain.
The scheme only applied to those who had served on the front line in Helmand province for at least 12 months and were still working as of December 2012. Other interpreters, including Shaffy, have been forced to remain in Afghanistan.
Mr Lewis said: "These people have proven themselves to be our loyal friends and bringing them to safety in the UK would not only be the fulfilment of a moral obligation, but it would benefit our country to have here people have shown themselves to share our values and beliefs.
"The British media has for months been highlighted the imminent peril in which individual interpreters have been living. These specific cases [of interpreters being killed] tragically illustrate the accuracy of the fears that were expressed on their behalf."!
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The government claim there is little evidence of ‘Taliban intimidation’ against the translators but the Daily Mail has been told of a shocking wave of attacks.

Men who worked alongside British forces say they have suffered threats, ambushes, beatings, shootings and many have been told they are on Taliban hit lists.

They have told how relatives have been killed, how members of their families have been tortured in a bid to try to find the translators and of threats to their children from militant kidnappers who would then demand an exchange – the interpreter for the youngster’s life.

This is one of the hero Afghan translators who have worked for British troops during the long-running conflict

Some also complain that their pictures from the frontline helping British soldiers or politicians can still be seen on Facebook and YouTube – one 26-year-old said he was shown monitoring insurgent radio messages and telling troops their position on a documentary seen over 250,000 times.

Shaffy, 26, one of the British army’s top Afghan interpreters, told the British he was targeted by the Taliban after being shown on Afghan and British TV working for David Cameron.


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He said: ‘The Taliban told me I stood with Mr Cameron helping the British as they killed their mujahideen and that I would die because of it.’

His image beside the Prime Minister is still available via Google, he said, complaining he has been ‘repeatedly threatened’ because of his vital work.

Translators say British officials are ‘sympathetic and listen’ to their cases but say their hands are tied because they cannot prove the intimidation and attacks. This is despite one man called Niz, 26, an ex-Army and Foreign Office translator, who provided evidence including photographs of a bullet-riddled, blood-stained car after a Taliban ambush near his home in Kunar province.

Two innocent mechanics were killed and a third villager injured in the March attack on a vehicle similar to the one owned by Niz.

This is the car used by the translator which was attacked by the Taliban in Afghanistan back in March 

It was the third time he or his family had been attacked by Taliban gunmen, he claimed. Niz also claims he has been given written evidence by the Afghan police that he is on a Taliban hit-list and his family have been attacked on three occasions by gunmen hunting Niz, but British officials told him they do not accept he is under threat, he says, and steadfastly refused his appeals to be allowed to come to the UK.

A law and politics student, he said: ‘It is an obvious truth that I feel scared and have been abandoned to the mercy of Taliban by the UK government.’

His views are echoed by the former SAS translator known as Chris, who worked for former Prime Minister Gordon Brown in war-ravaged Helmand province.


Gunmen riddled the vehicle belonging to the translator with bullets during a murder attempt

The 26-year-old father-of-two claims he has survived three attacks this year. Just two weeks ago, his pregnant wife was beaten so badly – she was punched with a knuckle-duster – that she lost her baby. Her brother was also brutally beaten as gunmen tried to discover where Chris was.

‘It is disgusting that despite this overwhelming evidence the British still do not accept that I have to leave Afghanistan – they accept I am in danger but that it is not enough to warrant me being moved,’ he said.

‘It will be too late when I am dead. My innocent family is suffering the consequences of my time of loyal service to the British.’

At least 20 interpreters serving with British troops were killed in action and dozens wounded while serving with UK forces.

Six were murdered by the Taliban while on leave and five are said to have been hunted down since UK forces left.!
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Translating the Holy Bible into Maltese – a century of bigotry and recriminations
Unlike the first Civil High Commissioner in Malta Sir Alexander Ball (1757-1809), who endeared himself with the Maltese, the first colonial Governor of Malta Sir Thomas Maitland (1759-1824) was very unpopular and there was no love lost between him and the Maltese. Maitland’s thirst for autocratic powers knew no bounds, which even antagonised the large number of British expats who came to Malta as top administrators or representatives of established shipping and commercial lines.

A drawing of eminent Gozitan scholar Canon G.P. De Soldanis (1712-1770), who in 1750 published a catechism book in Maltese, supported by Bishop Alpheran de Bussan.
King Tom, as he was known, assumed not only the governance of the Maltese islands but was also Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands in Greek waters and he also administered all the British consulates in North Africa. He further alienated the staunch Roman Catholic clergy and the entire Maltese population with his arrogant attitude towards the Church in Malta.
I vividly recall a scholarly exhibition held at the Mdina Cathedral Museum 15 years ago, which provided enough material to demon­strate the complex and arduous course the ‘Word of God’ in the local vernacular had to take, starting with G.M. Canolo in 1822, who published his Maltese translation of the Gospel of St John in London.
This highly researched exhibition, or­ganis ed by then curator John Azzo­pardi, affec­tionately known as Dun Ġwann, was held at this prestigious museum which houses an early 13th-century Codex of the Gospels, which is of great historical and artistic value. It was the gospel on which solemn oaths, such as the oath of office, were taken by Università officials in the Middle Ages.
The exhibition highlighted a momentous period in the history of Maltese Christianity. The early years of British rule in Malta were characterised by bitter recriminations about the rights of the Protestant Church, the official religion of the island’s new masters. This necessitated the urgent provision of a suitable place of worship in Valletta.
The local Church at that time considered the study and translation of the Bible as a closely guarded enclave in which laymen were completely banned
The conventual church of St John was considered by successive early governors as a prize of war since it had belonged to the Knights; consequently they cast envious eyes on it in order to serve the religious needs of Protestant residents.
By 1826 not only did the Protestant Movement hold its meetings at the Governor’s Palace in Valletta but through connections in the British Parliament they raised the matter in London.

Archbishop of Malta Dom Mauro Caruana, who in 1917 issued a ban prohibiting MUSEUM members from studying the Bible. The prohibition was later lifted.
In 1808 Britain gave permission to the London-based Protestant Bible Society to establish a branch in Malta and they were particularly active in Floriana and Cospicua, where army and navy personnel were numerous. The Church Missionary Society of London was at the same time very active in its mission of promoting the diffusion of the Bible in English, one of the basic tenets of the English Reformation.
In such a climate the translation of the Bible into Maltese was a very sensitive issue. It has to be viewed within the strict constraints of the period when zealous members of these societies made their presence felt with huge numbers of Bible books in Maltese and Italian printed in London.
Many of the signals sent out by these events are at times confusing but one message stands out loud and clear – the Bible matters... and some audacious Maltese writers took bold initiatives and made some feeble attempts, at times prompted by the Protestant Movement in Malta, at translating parts of the Bible into the ‘demeaning language of the uneducated masses’, which formed the majority of the local population.
One of the first of these pioneering visionaries was M.A. Vassalli (1764-1829), a convert to Protestantism, who in 1829 published anonymously in London his translation of the four Gospels and Acts of the Apostles. He died a few months later and was refused a Catholic burial.

St George Preca, the greatest contributor to the wide diffusion of the Bible in Maltese.
Of course, pride of place in this regard goes to the eminent Gozitan scholar canon G.P. Agius de Soldanis (1712 -1770), who pub­lished the oldest known manuscript text of the Bible in Maltese – the psalm Miserere. In 1750, De Soldanis published his Maltese alphabet and grammar mainly with the aim of highlighting the benefits of a uniform method for the teaching of catechism in Maltese.
It has to be noted that following the publication of De Soldanis’s grammar and alphabet, the erudite Bishop Alpheran de Bussan immediately took the necessary action to publish in Rome at his own expense the standard text of De Soldanis’s Christian catechism in Maltese.
The local Church at that time considered the study and translation of the Bible as a closely guarded enclave in which laymen were completely banned, particularly if this activity was instigated by the Protestant Bible Society, whose finances supported the publication of the Bible in Maltese and Italian for local distribution.
Riccardo Taylor (1818-1868), who had the audacity to publish his Maltese translation of The Lamentations of Jeremiah at his small printing press in 1844, died in Vittoriosa a miserable pauper and could not even be buried in the local church as was customary in those days. Taylor was the first Maltese translator of the Holy Scripture to publish his work in Malta.
Peter Paul Saydon confessed that he would have stopped his masterly translation of the Scripture were it not for the tangible support he was given by MUSEUM members
A relatively unknown visionary who published religious literature in Maltese in the 1870s was Mgr Ludovico Mifsud Tommasi (1796-1879) of Cospicua. He wrote and published common prayers expressing the purity of the Maltese language, like the Att ta’ l-Indiema (Act of Contrition) and rhymed prayers in honour of village saints, popularly known as kurunelli.

A document showing a signal honour conferred on Dun Ġorġ Preca by Pope Pius XII, which saddened the saintly priest, who silently resented earthly honours.
Undoubtedly the greatest contribution to the wide diffusion of the Bible in Maltese was that of St George Preca (1880-1962), who founded the Society of Christian Doctrine (MUSEUM), a religious institution of laymen, and eventually lay-women, to teach and dedicate themselves to evangelisation.
The strictures imposed on him by the local Church caused him a lot of anguish and deep sorrow, especially that of a formal letter dated March 6, 1917, in which Archbishop of Malta Mauro Caruana and former vicar of Fort Augustus in Scotland decreed that: “è abolito per soci lo studio… della Scrittura” (The study of the Scripture is prohibited to members of the Society).
Preca’s strict obedience, tenacity and resilience caused him great pain, but in due course his pastoral work in the evangelisation of the masses was vindicated. He collaborated with eminent biblical scholar from Żurrieq, Peter Paul Saydon (1895- 1971), whose literary rending of the Bible in Maltese from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek prompted the University of Malta to confer on him the prestigious title of Doctor of Literature. The citation referred to Saydon’s erudition and enormous contribution to Maltese scholarship.

St John’s Co-Cathedral. An impressive gathering of MUSEUM members celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Society of Christian Doctrine. The women members are seated on the right wearing their black faldetta (għonella).
This close collaboration was later acknowledged by Saydon, who confessed that he would have stopped his masterly translation of the Scripture were it not for the tangible support he was given by MUSEUM members, who bought a substantial number of copies of Saydon’s academic translations. Prof. Saydon’s complete Maltese Bible – Il-Kotba Mqaddsa bil-Malti (1929-1959) is a highly literary work that exposes the beauty and purity of the Maltese language.
Perhaps to some people of my generation, deplorably ignorant of the Scriptures, the real surprise is why it should have taken Maltese scholars so long to embark on the task of Bible translation in the vernacular when in 16th century England, William Tyndale (c 1490-1536), availing himself of the invention of printing, proclaimed: “The Bible should be made available to every ploughboy.”
I must confess that I belong to a spiritually illiterate and sterile civilisation, particularly because in my boyhood the only exposure to the Gospels was the sentenzi or ‘words of Christ’ which Dun Ġorġ, at great personal sacrifice, prepared for his MUSEUM members to pass on to us.!
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This morning, two seemingly unrelated posts struck my attention.

The first, titled "Global Machine Translation Market Is Expected To Reach USD 983.3 Million By 2022" (, had this to say:
"The global Machine Translation Market is expected to reach USD 983.3 million by 2022. Technological advancements have led to the development of sophisticated translation technology with minimal errors and grammatical coherence, which has considerably widened the scope for machine translation. The ability to rapidly, seamlessly and cost-effectively translate documents and content in regional languages has spurred the machine translation market over the past few years.
The provision of machine translation Software-as-a-Service (MTSaaS) over secure cloud offerings hosted in data centers is expected to offer substantial growth opportunity for the market. Increasing prominence of cloud computing has resulted in growing demand for cloud-based translation tools, which is further expected to boost the machine translation market. Constant R&D and technological advancements have enabled the technology to seamlessly integrate into a range of products from enterprise-level systems to consumer devices. Upgrading of communication networks and the rising proliferation of smartphones has led to the introduction of machine translation apps that provide instant translation of multilingual text." 
The second, titled "With No New Knowledge in African Languages, They Die" (, argued as follows: 
"UP to now, it has been assumed that the number of people who speak a language guarantees its survival. This means that the more people speak a language, the greater its chance of surviving into the future.
This might be so, from the record of our history until now. In fact, what keeps a language alive is the amount of new knowledge it is able to generate, domesticate and masticate.Classical Latin is not in use today because the work of knowledge is being done in other languages. Classical Arabic continues to be used today because, first it made itself the medium of European Renaissance in the 16th century.Second, it is the language of Islam and if the Prophet and his companions were to come back today, the Quran would speak to them in the language in which it was revealed so many centuries ago.And third, Classical Arabic is the language of Education in the Arab world from kindergarten to university. In the last 50 years, areas of human knowledge have advanced so fast and so furious that these have left some languages behind. Japanese and Chinese refused to be left behind.Wherever their students went to study in the western world /Eastern Europe, they translated something of their new knowledge into Japanese and Chinese.
In the last 50 years, areas of human knowledge have advanced so fast and so furious that these have left some languages behind. Japanese and Chinese refused to be left behind. Wherever their students went to study in the western world /Eastern Europe, they translated something of their new knowledge into Japanese and Chinese. Under the philosophical guidance of using foreign knowledge to their native savvy, they have been able to keep up their side of adding to the new knowledge.Under the philosophical guidance of using foreign knowledge to their native savvy, they have been able to keep up their side of adding to the new knowledge. But if you do not join in these knowledges you cannot contribute to it.Nuclear Physics, ICT, Robotics, Genetics, DNA, Space Technology and Space Exploration and Nanotechnology, which of these can we seriously speak about and pontificate upon in our African Languages? Even the multiple media of everyday are not only absorbed into our systems, they are absorbed in the gibberish of illiterate users of English.Years ago, when the internet began, it was almost hundred per cent in the English language. Today, this is no longer so. This means that African Languages that mean knowledge business can catch up in the knowledge industry."
My questions to African translators: Will Africa get a fair share of the machine translation market by 2022? How?  What will be the actual place translation into/from African languages? What will be your personal contribution?!
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Both hemispheres are involved in the brains of people interpreting a whistled variant of Turkish, compared with a left hemisphere dominance when listeners hear the spoken language


By Cynthia Graber | August 17, 2015
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Language can take many forms—spoken, written, even gesticulated, as with American Sign Language. Regardless of the language form, the left hemisphere of the brain dominates the information processing. But the right hemisphere plays a greater role in processing acoustics, pitch and melodies. Which is why researchers were curious about how the brain processes whistled Turkish.

[Whistle 1]

Yes, that’s Turkish, but being whistled rather than spoken. Before the advent of telephones, mountain communities separated by valleys modified the spoken language into sounds that can be heard up to a couple of kilometers away. For instance [whistle 2] means, “Do you have fresh bread?”

And [whistle 3] translates to: “Who won the game?”

One member of the research team said he first could not recognize the whistles as Turkish, but was able to pick out words within a week.

So what’s going on in the brains that hear and understand these sounds? When researchers played spoken Turkish syllables through headphones, the subjects’ right ears did the most work. Again, the right ear links to the brain’s left hemisphere, the usual primary site for spoken information processing. But when whistled Turkish syllables were played into the headphones, the subjects’ left and right ears shared the task equally—indicating that the two brain hemispheres are both heavily involved in working out the whistles. The findings are in the journal Current Biology. [Onur Güntürkün, Monika Güntürkün and Constanze Hahn, Whistled Turkish alters language asymmetries]

The researchers write that “a natural but acoustically different language can create a radical change in the organization dynamics of language asymmetries.” In other words, the brain will adjust quickly to make sense of incoming information.

Oh, and that first whistle you heard? [Whistle 1] It means “I speak whistled Turkish.”

—Cynthia Graber

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]!
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Iowa Western Community College is reviewing its decision to phase out its sign language interpreting program.
Four members of the Board of Trustees will meet as a special committee to reconsider the college’s previous decision to “teach out” its American Sign Language interpreter training program, allowing current students to finish but halting enrollment for prospective students.
The committee will be made up of board president Randy Pash, vice president Connie Hornbeck and board members Larry Winum and Scott Robinson. They will target a recommendation for the board’s Sept. 21 meeting. The committee was announced at the end of Monday’s regular board meeting.
Iowa Western President Dan Kinney said the two options the committee could recommend are to confirm the board’s May decision to eventually eliminate the program or to reinstate the program going forward.
“They want to take a position on it, a final position,” he said.
Seven speakers, and about 20 supporters total, attended last month’s board meeting in Atlantic to urge the college to reconsider. Some suggested changes the college could implement to make the program more viable, while others stressed the importance of the program to addressing a shortfall of qualified American Sign Language interpreters.
Among the reasons given by the college for recommending the elimination of the program are its cost and declining enrollment. The program is the third most expensive offered by the college, according to an analysis presented to the board in May.
Iowa School for the Deaf said it was not informed about the decision in advance, and members of Iowa Western’s advisory board for the program said they were not consulted or made aware of the college’s intention before the decision was made.
Bethany Koubsky, a longtime freelance interpreter and a graduate of Iowa Western’s program, said she is the spokeswoman for the advisory board, although she is not a member of it, as well as the program’s alumni. She said the review announcement is “fantastic,” and she hopes the college ultimately reverses course.
“There’s a definite need,” she said. “I’m hoping what they will find is there is a huge need in Iowa and Nebraska for interpreters. There’s a shortage everywhere.”!
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Charles Tiayon