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Kannada is much more than just a language - Daily News & Analysis

Kannada is much more than just a language - Daily News & Analysis | The World of Indigenous Languages |
Kannada is much more than just a languageDaily News & AnalysisKannada is not just a language but a culture in itself whose survival as a means of communication is vital for the sustenance of a culture which was once spread over a large geographical...
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Updates and resources on/in individual languages the world over
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Oxford’s global language initiative - Oxford Dictionaries

Oxford University Press is proud to announce investment in a new global languages programme as part of its mission to extend learning and education through digital communication.

As the makers of the world-famous Oxford English Dictionary and a department of Oxford University, UK, Oxford is already a world leader in the dissemination of English language materials, and publishes language resources in more than 40 languages. In partnership with language technologists, Oxford’s lexicographers and language researchers are leading the way in creating language content built for the digital world, providing language content tailored for the world’s major technology companies.

Now, a new team at Oxford is focusing on global languages and those language communities that have less resource and access to digital language tools and are in danger of getting left behind in the digital race. Oxford’s new programme is designed to help millions all over the world create, maintain, and use the language materials they need while at the same time developing ground-breaking digital-ready content formats to support the growing language needs of technology companies worldwide.  The model attempts to create a win-win situation for everyone involved: communities contribute content, licensees get the content and new digital formats they need, and Oxford generates enough money to publish and keep the services free to all.

To support this ambitious endeavor, Oxford technologists are building an innovative system to integrate and link together language content.

Oxford Global Languages launched it's first two language sites, isiZulu and Northern Sotho, in August 2015. Many more will be added over the next few years. 

The programme is just beginning. To keep informed about Oxford’s global language initiative, please sign up to receive our dictionaries newsletter.

Is your language not digitally well represented? Would you like to be involved in the OGL initiative? Get in touch here. 
Charles Tiayon's insight:

Now, a new team at Oxford is focusing on global languages and those language communities that have less resource and access to digital language tools and are in danger of getting left behind in the digital race. Oxford’s new programme is designed to help millions all over the world create, maintain, and use the language materials they need while at the same time developing ground-breaking digital-ready content formats to support the growing language needs of technology companies worldwide.  The model attempts to create a win-win situation for everyone involved: communities contribute content, licensees get the content and new digital formats they need, and Oxford generates enough money to publish and keep the services free to all.

To support this ambitious endeavor, Oxford technologists are building an innovative system to integrate and link together language content.

Oxford Global Languages launched it's first two language sites, isiZulu and Northern Sotho, in August 2015. Many more will be added over the next few years. 

The programme is just beginning. To keep informed about Oxford’s global language initiative, please sign up to receive our dictionaries newsletter.

Is your language not digitally well represented? Would you like to be involved in the OGL initiative? Get in touch here. 

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Call to declare all provincial languages national

Call to declare all provincial languages national | The World of Indigenous Languages |
A special meeting of World Punjabi Congress was held at the residence of its Chairman Fakhar Zaman to discuss the declaration by outgoing Chief Justice of Supreme Court regarding Urdu to be adopted as the official language.
The members appreciated switching over to Urdu as the official language but reservations were also expressed unanimously that in case Urdu is adopted as the national language of Pakistan then all languages of federating unit i.e. Punjab, Sindh, KP and Balochistan should also be declared the national languages of Pakistan and their nomenclature as the regional languages should be done away with.
It was said that sometime back an MNA presented a bill in the National Language Committee calling for the provincial languages to be declared on a par with Urdu as the national language of Pakistan. The bill was unfortunately put down, thanks to short-sightedness of PPP, ANP and PML-N members. It was resolved in the meeting that in Punjab especially, Punjabi language should be declared medium of instruction at the primary level. It was also resolved that first-ever Punjabi University should be established in Lahore by upgrading PILAC. It was also observed that the present textbooks from school to master level of Punjabi language should be immediately changed and progressive contemporary writers should be included in the courses with the observation that the textbooks authors should be essentially the known Punjabi writers with modern knowledge and new visions. The meeting called upon the Punjab Higher Education Commission Chairman, Dr Nizamuddin and Punjab University VC Dr Mujahid Kamran to take immediate steps. Another suggestion was made by Fakhar Zaman that Punjab HEC should establish a model Punjabi school to put into practice the teaching of Punjabi language at the primary level. It was also observed that WPC had no faith in the Punjab politicians and the bureaucracy that they will take solid steps for the development of Punjabi language. They will not even ask the members of Punjab legislature to speak in Punjabi. Fakhar Zaman said that let chief minister speak in Punjabi in the assembly and set the ball rolling.
Finally it was decided to request the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to take the things to the logical point where the outgoing dynamic Chief Justice Jawwad Khwaja had left the things and take suo motu notice to declare Punjabi the medium of instruction at primary level.
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SABC News - Figures indicate poor book reading culture in SA:Saturday 12 September 2015

SABC News - Figures indicate poor book reading culture in SA:Saturday 12 September 2015 | The World of Indigenous Languages |
Statistics show that only 5% of South African parents read to their children, with 14% of the population being active book readers.

South African Book Development Council Chief Executive, Elitha van der Sandt, says more initiatives are needed to promote reading. Van Der Sandt says it is important that government invest in reading material for children.

She says not enough is being done and not enough time is being invested as mothers, caregivers and educators to promote reading to the young. Further, Van der Sandt says not much is done to also get adults to read, adding that a lot needs to be done to make reading a priority in the country as the benefits that come with a strong reading culture assist the country in a transformational goal.

As the country observes National Book Week, Read a Book SA founder, Tebogo Ditshego, feels the national week is not enough to encourage the public to read more. His wish is to see it being extended to a national book month.

Ditshego also wishes for “more sustainable initiative throughout the year because reading is not something that you can do as a once-off.” According to Ditshego, more resources need to be put behind reading initiatives, with parents taking charge to inculcate the culture within their households.

Adding voice to the subject matter, Director of The Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa, Carole Bloch, believes there should be a clear plan of action by government that will get everyone reading. Bloch says there is not enough reading material for children to read especially in African languages.
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¿Sabes usar el traductor en Chrome para Android?

¿Sabes usar el traductor en Chrome para Android? | The World of Indigenous Languages |
Con tanta y tanta web suelta por Internet seguro que más de una vez hemos buscado algo sobre Android, sobre todo cosas nuevas, y nos hemos encontrado con una web en otro idioma que no es el nuestro.

Normalmente las webs inglesas y las webs chinas son las primeras en publicar ciertas cosas sobre Android aunque determinadas personas pueden no dominar estos idiomas Chrome para Android tiene una herramienta integrada que muchos posiblemente utilizaréis a menudo en vuestro PC de escritorio, el traductor de Google para Chrome.

¿Cómo traducir webs con Chrome para Android?

Como queremos aprenderte cómo traducir páginas webs en Android vamos a enseñarte cómo activar el traductor de Google Chrome en Android de forma sencilla, es realmente fácil hacerlo.

En primer lugar tenemos que abrir Chrome en Android e ir Configuración.
Ahora, descendemos por el menú y buscamos en los Ajustes avanzados la opción Configuración del sitio.
Buscamos Traductor de Google y entramos en esta opción.
Ahí debemos desplazar el primer interruptor a Activar.
Por si las moscas, por si hemos deshabilitado la traducción en alguna web o algo es necesario Restablecer Ajustes de Traducción.

Activar el traductor de Google en Chrome para Android es muy sencillo

Una vez nos hayamos asegurado de haber activado el traductor de Google en Chrome para Android a partir de ahora cuando entremos en páginas con otro idioma nos dará la opción de traducir la web con un un pop-up que ocupará parte de la pantalla.

Por otra parte, si este pop-up te molesta y quieres desactivar el traductor de Google en Chrome para Android tan solo tienes que seguir el recorrido anterior y desactivar el traductor en el paso correspondiente, es muy sencillo.

A partir de ahora ya no tendrás excusas para seguir un montón de webs extranjeras de las que no entiendas el idioma. Obviamente el traductor no siempre es fiable al 100% pero también es útil cuando no entiendes ciertas cosas y entre lo que sabes del idioma y un poco que te ayuda el traductor eres capaz de sacar el 100% del significado. Si eres extranjero también puedes seguir AndroidPhoria fácilmente con este truco, seguro que encontrarás todas las novedades sobre Android.
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Gender-neutral language is coming – here’s why it matters

Gender-neutral language is coming – here’s why it matters | The World of Indigenous Languages |
This is how it’s defined: “a title used ­before a person’s surname or full name by those who wish to avoid specifying their gender or by those who prefer not to identify themselves as male or female”. Earlier this year, the OED added to its lexicon the word “cisgender”, meaning “not transsexual”. That matters, too, because without a word for it, you were either “trans” or you were “normal”.

Sweden has also recently added the ­gender-neutral pronoun “hen” to its dictionary. Pronouns such as “xe” and “they” (used to refer to a singular subject) are already in use in English as alternatives to “he” and “she”. Many conservatives and professional pedants are furious – it’s fussy, it’s far too politically correct and how are you supposed to pronounce “Mx”, anyway? So whose side should we be on?

By some accident of serendipity, the day I found out about all of this was also the day I met the feminist linguist Dale Spender. At 71, she is small and delicate and dangerous, like a cupcake full of razors. She was dressed from head to toe in purple: a lilac handbag, bright violet shoes, an elegant silk dress in swirls of fuchsia and lavender. The activist and author of Man Made Language could be the embodiment of Jenny Joseph’s poem “Warning” (“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple . . .”) but Spender has worn the colour every day for decades, in honour of the suffragettes.

Swallowing my hero worship together with a lukewarm coffee, backstage at a writer’s festival, I asked Spender what she thought, as someone who has long pioneered the politics of women’s language, about the recent push towards a more ­gender-neutral vocabulary.

“It’s the same argument we had in the 1970s, when we started using ‘Ms’,” Spender told me. The title “Ms” was promoted by feminists and widely adopted as an alternative to “Mrs” or “Miss” – the idea being that there was more to a woman’s life than her marital status. “So many of us were getting divorced and leaving bad marriages and we didn’t know how to refer to ourselves,” Spender said. “I wasn’t a ‘Miss’ any more but I definitely wasn’t a ‘Mrs’. They said the same thing back then – that ‘Ms’ was clumsy, that people didn’t know how to pronounce it. But how about ‘Mrs’ or ‘Mr’? They’re hardly obvious!”

Spender reminded me that the Oxford English Dictionary has always been run by men and that mainstream lexicography had a male bias – it wasn’t until 1976 that “lesbian” got an entry in what the feminist Mary Daly dubbed the “dick-tionary”. Spender is dismayed to see this kind of linguistic activism falling out of fashion – “We used to spend days coming up with new words for concepts that needed to be talked about” – and she was delighted that internet culture had brought it back with gusto.

“I love the word ‘mansplaining’,” Spender said. “It’s perfect. You know instantly what it means. And ‘manspreading’, ‘manterrupting’ – did you know that in mixed-gender conversations, 98 per cent of interruptions are by men?”

There is nothing new about activists working to move language forward to create cultural change but it is easy to underestimate the effects of that change over time. Listening to Spender talk about the importance of “Ms” reminded me how radical a proposition it once was for women to claim their own names and titles after marriage. My mother retained what is still referred to as her “maiden” surname, Penny, and always used “Ms”. I remember asking as a child why she wasn’t a “Miss” or a “Mrs” and being told that she didn’t want the first thing people knew about her to be whether or not she was married. That seemed fair enough. Why would a woman want to go around with a label on them that described who they belonged to – like a dog tag – when men didn’t have to? That didn’t seem fair. Also, Penny was a much nicer surname and I made a note to adopt it myself when I was older.

Now that I’m the age my mother was when she had me, I am beginning to understand what an impression that simple, powerful statement made. I always understood that Mum was her own person first and a wife second and that I could be, too. My relationships with men didn’t have to be the core of my identity. The feminists of the 1970s and 1980s had to fight to make that possible but I grew up with that assumption, partly because of a simple act of linguistic activism.

Perhaps the generation being born today will grow up with different assumptions: not just that women should be equal to men but that gender might not be the most important part of your identity. That’s an uncomfortable idea for a great many people, and that discomfort is at the heart of the predictable pedantry over “Mx”, “xe” and “they”.

We can only become what we can imagine and we can only imagine what we can articulate. That’s why language matters to our lives; that’s why little changes in grammar and vocabulary can affect the entire architecture of our political imagination. Today, signing “Mx” on an application form or an electricity bill is an act of linguistic rebellion but, tomorrow, it could be ordinary. And that is how you change the world.
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Égalité linguistique et traduction - Acadie Nouvelle

Égalité linguistique et traduction - Acadie Nouvelle | The World of Indigenous Languages |
La menace qui plane sur le Bureau de traduction est plus sérieuse qu’on pourrait le croire de prime abord. Il ne s’agit pas d’une décision purement administrative. C’est l’égalité du français et de l’anglais qui est menacée. Cette égalité est inscrite dans la loi et n’a pas été facile à obtenir.

Elle n’est pas négociable, malgré les difficultés financières auxquelles fait face le gouvernement provincial.

Il est essentiel que le Bureau de traduction continue d’agir comme rempart contre tout risque de voir la qualité des traductions diminuer. «Ce qui se conçoit bien s’énonce clairement», disait Boileau. Une bonne traduction est une traduction claire, et un français clair plaît au lecteur, alors qu’un français obscur l’agace au point qu’il cesse parfois de lire ou qu’il se tourne vers l’anglais pour mieux comprendre.
Aucune firme privée ne pourra jamais remplir le mandat du Bureau de traduction.

Le gouvernement ne doit pas faire des économies sur le dos des francophones. Notre langue n’est pas à vendre.
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Translation services may be privatized as result of program review

Translation services may be privatized as result of program review | The World of Indigenous Languages |
The Gallant government is asking private industry if it has any interest in taking over French-English translation for the provincial government.

Employees at the provincial translation bureau in Fredericton learned in an email earlier this month the provincial government wants to see if it could save money by farming out their responsibilities to private companies.

So far, the provincial government is only looking for expressions of interest, but the decision is causing concern among the civil servants working at the bureau.

Donald Arseneault, the minister responsible for official languages, is not giving interviews on the subject.

When asked what was happening, Arseneault released a statement saying the translation request is part of his government's strategic program review.

Katherine d'Entremont, the province's official languages commissioner, said she plans to follow the translation services issue closely. (CBC)

"Our government has initiated a series of structural and operational reviews to identify efficiencies," he said.

"The focus of one of those initiatives is on translation. As part of that review, a request for information was released and once the review has been undertaken, our government will evaluate what changes, if any, are required to translation services."

He said any changes would take into consideration the provincial government's "obligation to serve both linguistic communities while respecting the requirements the Official Languages Act."

Concern from the official languages commissioner

However, Katherine d'Entremont, the province's official languages commissioner, is cautioning the government to tread carefully before it sends its constitutional obligations out to private industry. 

"Despite the exploratory nature of this initiative, I believe it needs to be handled with great care," d'Entremont said in a statement released by her office.

"In fact, the services provided by the Translation Bureau are a key component in the delivery of quality bilingual services in the province. The equal status of English and French in New Brunswick requires the government to provide services of equal quality in both of these languages. Consequently, the quality of translation services must not be compromised in any way."

D'Entremont said she plans to follow the issue very closely and expects to discuss it with provincial government officials before any decision is made.
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Bai Li Wins Irish Literature Translation Prize 2015

Bai Li Wins Irish Literature Translation Prize 2015 | The World of Indigenous Languages |
Bai Li has won over three other Chinese translators who vied with her for the Irish Literature Translation Prize this year. Her winning piece was her translation of Colm Toibin's "The Empty House."
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Gender identity language approved for JCPS non-discrimination policies

Gender identity language approved for JCPS non-discrimination policies | The World of Indigenous Languages |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Transgender JCPS students and staff have more protection when it comes to harassment and discrimination.

Board members with Jefferson County Public Schools have voted 6-1 to change a non-discrimination / anti-harassment policy to include transgender students and staff members.

The move is to help protect students and staff members from being bullied based on their gender identity and gender expression.

"That is what our board expects in our schools and in our system," JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens said.

Monday night, JCPS’s policy was amended. The word creed was removed, gender identity and gender expression were added as Hargens explained.

"Our policy revisions were for second approval and reading so the board has looked at them for 6 weeks so this approves them which means they are every explicit on what the expectation of what the board are in terms of our students.”

Linda Duncan was the only board member to vote against this policy change, she asked for more time to look over the items.

"Then it proceeds to list all of the protected categories, if harassment is just that then the guy that is teased at school because he has a big nose – somebody calls him elephant nose and he’s not in a protected category then how do administrators view that,” Duncan said.

The JCPS School Board approved 6-1 to make changes to their non-discrimination policy.

There were no speakers from the public, board members did note there are no state or federal laws protecting the LGBT community.

Dr. Lisa Willner noted that this vote doesn’t mean transgender people won’t be picked on, but with proper training and open minds, members say the school system can continue taking steps towards equality and inclusion.

RELATED: JCPS discusses expansion of non-discrimination policies

JCPS is the state's largest school district and only the second to add gender identity to their non-discrimination / anti-harassment policies.

Fayette County Public Schools in Lexington approved changes to their policy in July 2013.
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District sued over translation services for families of students with disabilities

District sued over translation services for families of students with disabilities | The World of Indigenous Languages |
The School District of Philadelphia is facing a lawsuit alleging that thousands of children are denied special education services due to a lack of translation and interpretation services for families that don’t speak English.

The class action suit was filed in federal court on Friday. Plaintiffs are represented by the Education Law Center, the Public Interest Law Center, and the private firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.

District spokesperson Fernando Gallard said it is the District's practice not to comment on active legal cases. 

The complaint says that the District repeatedly fails to translate documents in a timely manner so that parents can participate in meetings concerning their child’s Individual Education Plan, or IEP.

In addition, the District does not provide adequate interpretation services at the meetings.

"We brought this case because we know that hundreds of families are impacted by this issue," said ELC's Maura McInerney. "The problem has persisted for many years and is not being addressed.  Federal disability and civil rights laws mandate meaningful participation by parents in the special education process and this is critical to positive outcomes for children.  After years of trying to address this issue with the District, we felt that the matter needed to be addressed by the courts."

According to the plaintiffs, 1,500 English language learners receive special education; 1,887 students with IEPs come from homes where the primary language is not English.

One of the lead plaintiffs, Barbara Galarza, speaks only Spanish. Her 10th-grade daughter has ADHD and a mood disorder. 

She said in a statement that she belatedly learned that her son had been diagnosed with an intellectual disability and did not receive the psychologist's report or other vital documents in Spanish.

“The school wouldn’t give me information in Spanish; they didn’t seem to care,” Galarza said through an interpreter. “I couldn’t understand what the District was telling me. They did not help me or my child so that she could do well in school.” 

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

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What’s Marathi for Orc? Translating ‘Lord Of The Rings’

What’s Marathi for Orc? Translating ‘Lord Of The Rings’ | The World of Indigenous Languages |
Mugdha Karnik is a sociologist, a rationalist, and specialises in conservation and biodiversity. A teacher for 20 years, she is at present the director of the Centre for Extra Mural Studies at University of Mumbai. In short, she is the last person you would think of in relation to fantasy fiction. Yet here we have a serious academician donning a translator's hat and giving us the maiden Indian language translation of the epic fantasy, The Lord of the Rings – in Marathi. How's that for magic realism? Excerpts from an interview:

Why did you choose to translate Lord Of The Rings?
When I translated Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, I had come across a quote by John Rogers, the KFMonkey blog-writer and a comedy movie maker. “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year-old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves Orcs.” Very spiteful and uncharitable, but it has truth only in its first sentence. The seed of temptation to translate the other giant of a novel was sown in my mind thanks to this bad quote. But at that point, I was busy translating another of Ayn Rand’s novel, The Fountainhead.

In 2012, my daughter, a great Tolkien fan, came across a recent Marathi translation of The Hobbit. She was actually hurt by the quality of the translation. She cribbed and cribbed, and pestered me continuously to take on the translation of The Lord of the Rings. “Someone else might ruin it!” she said.

I finally started on LOTR the following year, in 2013, succumbing to her insistence and my own temptation. I had read it only once before. So another reading followed, which was done with a clear objective. I wanted to gauge my own language capabilities – whether I could do justice to Tolkien’s prose.

Within a month, I decided it was not only possible, but that it would be enjoyable too. Compared to the philosophical novels of Ayn Rand, the content itself was easy to translate. But Tolkien, being a philologist, had an inimitable style. He had also created various new languages for his magnum opus. Being faithful to the beauty of it in Marathi was the real challenge.

How long did it take for you to translate the magnum opus?
After translating Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, LOTR was a completely different genre for me. I started the work on April 10, 2013 and finished the third book on September 27, 2014 – a little less than one and a half years.

The Lord of the Rings has been translated into 38 international languages. As the first Indian language translator of LOTR, did you face any special challenges?
Everything about translating LOTR was special; it was a very enjoyable challenge. Achieving the crispness of Tolkien’s language and his poetic and evocative descriptions was certainly challenging, but it was not unassailable. I can say that nearly nothing was lost in translation because the matching vocabulary was available in Marathi – Marathi is a rich language and so is my command over it.

The limericks in the original were somewhat difficult to render, as Marathi does not have a rich tradition of limericks. The short poems and the long poems were no problem; but I am sure that because of the complexity of the content of most of the serious poems, I have not been able to do great justice to them. On the other hand, most of the poems are supposedly translated into common speech by either Bilbo or Aragorn... and they themselves declared them to be not so fair translations. So that gives me an excuse if I decide to seek one!

One utterly fascinating aspect of the epic fantasy was the different languages spoken by each of the races. How did you go about translating those?
The dialects of Orcs and hobbits or even Gollum’s garbled speech could be tackled fairly easily, as there is a huge variety of dialects within Marathi. But I took the decision not to translate the elven language. I have merely transcribed the elven conversations and translated the English translation of the same.

Who is your favourite LOTR character? Did you find any characters or plot points to be particularly difficult or evasive in the course of translation?
LOTR has a gallery of characters and they all get established gradually. My only grievance is about Tom Bombadil. A brilliant character was conceived and then let go of. Even the movie-makers ignored him.

I personally loved Tom. His place in the plot could have been secured easily, but he comes in merely as a tease. Also, the whole concept of Lothlorien is so lovely that one hopes that it will survive at the end. As a reader, you also hope that the Ents would someday meet the Ent-wives... that is the success of Tolkienesque plotting!

As a villain, Gollum is greatly detailed – but he has no shades of grey. He has become entirely evil, with no contradictions, even when he is debating with himself as Smeagol and Gollum. No other villain in LOTR can hold a candle to Gollum’s villainy. It was a tremendous pleasure translating Gollum into Marathi.

His monologues were particularly fun to translate – my precioussss! The translation of “preciouss!” was something I had trouble finalising. The exact equivalent Marathi word for “precious” would not yield the same stress and meaning. So I had to use another commonly used term of endearment along with the equivalent word.

Tolkein wrote The Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings to help translators maintain the essence of his work. Did you refer to this work? Was this guide, meant for Germanic languages, useful for a Marathi translation?
I had read about Tolkien’s views on translations of his works, as well as about the controversy related to the first translation of LOTR into Swedish. Tolkien disliked this translation intensely, mainly because the translator Ake Ohlmark had taken undue liberties while translating his verses and had also changed the proper names in the book. After this controversy, JRRT wrote The Guide to the Names in the Lord of the Rings. I did read this, and I saw this as very clear instructions from JRRT. So the effort and temptation to translate some names were nipped in the bud.

The people of Maharashtra have always been known to be pioneers and connoisseurs of indigenous culture. How different is the contemporary Marathi reader, and do you believe he is ready to consume Western epic fantasies like LOTR?
This kind of epic fantasy will surely be welcomed by Marathi readers. Though Maharashtrians are proud of their indigenous culture, Marathi has a very long tradition of translated works from other languages. My Ayn Rand translations were also well received.

The Lord of the Rings already rings a bell even with readers who haven't read the book, as many of them will have seen the Oscar-winning movies. Many of the bilingual readers have already welcomed the translation, as it will give them a different kind of pleasure – of reading LOTR in their mother tongue and comparing the two. Maharashtrians are also known to be critical!

Which Indian literary work or author, in your opinion, compares to LOTR/Tolkien?
LOTR strongly reminds one of Vyasa, except that that epic is now seeped in religiosity. The presence of a gallery of characters and the war between good versus evil are some of the major similarities between the two. I do not see any other contemporary writer who created a legendarium like Tolkien. I may be ill-informed, of course.

Tolkien derived heavily from Norse mythology. How well do you think your readers, who are used to Indian mythology, will relate to it?
The Marathi or, for that matter Indian, readership is hardly acquainted with Norse mythology. But since everyone here is familiar with the highly imaginative Indian mythology, I think they would readily accept LOTR.

Do you plan to translate The Hobbit and The Silmarillion as well?
The legendarium enveloped me entirely once I started translating it. In fact, I really wish I could redo The Hobbit translation, which has been done by somebody else (and was the partial trigger for my own). But as for Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin, I do not think I will translate them any time soon, as I have already committed myself to bringing Asimov’s Foundation series – seven books – into Marathi.

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Cixin Liu Becomes First Asian to Win Hugo Award for Science Fiction

Cixin Liu Becomes First Asian to Win Hugo Award for Science Fiction | The World of Indigenous Languages |
Chinese author Cixin Liu last weekend became the first Asian to win the Hugo Award for best science fiction or fantasy novel. Yet to hear the Shaanxi native tell it, making history pales in comparison to the importance of ensuring science fiction’s future in China.

“I don’t really have any special feeling about it,” Mr. Liu said by phone from his hometown in Yangquan, Shaanxi province, when asked about becoming the first Asian to win the prize in its 62-year history.

“The Hugo Awards are not well-known in China,” he added. “It still cannot change the recent receding popularity of science fiction in China. All I can do is try my best and write as many good sci-fi works as I can.”


Mr. Liu is the author of “The Three-Body Problem,” which tells the story of a faraway civilization that invades Earth in order to save itself from extinction.

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The trilogy – which has won China’s most prestigious science-fiction prize, the Galaxy Award — is based on the author’s experience growing up during China’s tumultuous Cultural Revolution, the decade of political and social upheaval led by Mao Zedong. During that time, many Western works were banned in China and young people were pitted against their elders in a bid to rid the country of ideological “enemies.”

As a young man, Mr. Liu was a fan of Western sci-fi works – some of which he found hidden in his family’s home. He told China Real Time that winning the Hugo Award held special significance for him as he was influenced by many of its previous winners’ writing.

“I grew up with reading Hugo Award-winning works; each year’s award winners have left some memories in my life,” Mr. Liu said.

In China, some commentators have opined that the deft English translation of Mr. Liu’s works by American author and translator Ken Liu (no relation to Cixin Liu) may have given the author a boost in the awards competition. One critic wrote Monday in the Beijing News, a leading commercial newspaper in the Chinese capital, that “The Three-Body Problem”was able to win in part because of the translator’s excellent translation work.

“The English version has its own style … which also brings out the novel’s feminist perspective,” the critic wrote. The story features a female protagonist named Ye Wenjie.

Ken Liu, the novel’s translator, downplayed his own role in the book’s success. “My guideline for translation has always been to follow the author’s lead in this respect since that is part of the joy of reading a translation,” he told China Real Time via e-mail.

“It’s so rare for translated works to be nominated, and I don’t think a translated work has ever won the Hugo before the weekend,” he added. “It’s wonderful to see more translated fiction gaining traction among Anglophone fans because there’s so much great genre literature written in the world, and we are all the richer for being able to enjoy more of these stories in translations.”

The first book of the trilogy was translated into English and went on sale in the U.S. last November. The second book came out in English this month, and the third is expected to be published next April.

–Olivia Geng. Follow her on Twitter @keikogfy.

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NTU launches master’s programme in translation and interpretation

NTU launches master’s programme in translation and interpretation | The World of Indigenous Languages |
NTU launches master’s programme in translation and interpretation

Nanyang Technological University. Photo: Channel NewsAsia
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PUBLISHED: 9:21 PM, AUGUST 25, 2015
SINGAPORE — To meet the rising demand for professional translators, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is launching Singapore’s first postgraduate programme in translation and interpretation.

Focusing on English to Chinese and Chinese to English translation, the new master’s degree programme will start in January next year with an initial intake of 25 students, NTU said in a news release today (Aug 25).

Students in the new programme, managed by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) at NTU, will be jointly taught by NTU professors of different fields ranging from translation studies, linguistics and journalism to science, technology and medicine. This will help students acquire an extensive yet in-depth set of industry-relevant translation skills, the NTU said.

“NTU is sensitive to the needs of industry, and there is strong demand for a high quality, postgraduate programme in translation and interpretation. Through this interdisciplinary programme, we are also keen to develop new research in translation, leveraging the university’s strength in technological innovation and interdisciplinary research,” said Professor Alan Chan, Dean of NTU College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences.

The curriculum will also include a six-week immersion programme at the Beijing Foreign Studies University, a major training centre for diplomats and United Nations interpreters that is recognised for its translation courses in law, finance and economics.

According to a straw poll conducted by HSS for students of past translation classes at NTU, 85 per cent of respondents were interested in enrolling in the new programme.

The new Master of Arts programme comes at a time when the government is highlighting the need to build up translation skills. Last year, the Ministry of Communications and Information set up the National Translation Committee to raise standards and foster future translation talents.

This year, translation is offered as a new subject at four junior colleges — Hwa Chong Institution, Nanyang Junior College, Jurong Junior College and Dunman High School — creating a new pool of teachers and students who may wish to advance their knowledge in this area.

Since 2004, the NTU Division of Chinese has offered a minor in translation, with more than 3,300 students completing the minor so far. From 2005 to 2010, it also offered a Graduate Diploma in translation and interpretation. The Confucius Institute at NTU has been offering a Diploma in business translation and interpretation skills since 2010.

Application for the Master of Arts in Translation and Interpretation opens on Sept 1 and ends on Oct 31.
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NTU Singapore launches new master’s degree to meet demand for translation professionals

NTU Singapore launches new master’s degree to meet demand for translation professionals
25 August 2015 Nanyang Technological University

Nanyang Technological University Singapore (NTU Singapore) is launching the Master of Arts in Translation and Interpretation to meet the increasing demand for translation professionals.

With a focus on English to Chinese and Chinese to English translation, the new programme is the first translation-related Masters programme to be launched in Singapore and has several unique features.
The programme will have a strong interdisciplinary focus, and will be jointly taught by NTU professors in fields ranging from translation studies, linguistics and journalism to science, technology and medicine. This will provide students with a broad-based yet in-depth exposure to industry relevant translation skills essential for various professions.

The new programme will start in January next year and has an initial intake of 25 students.

Professor Alan Chan, Dean of NTU College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, said, “NTU is sensitive to the needs of industry, and there is strong demand for a high quality, postgraduate programme in translation and interpretation. Through this interdisciplinary programme, we are also keen to develop new research in translation, leveraging the University’s strength in technological innovation and interdisciplinary research.” 

Meeting industry demand

Administered by the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) at NTU Singapore, the new programme aims to fill the void for a high quality, postgraduate course in translation that is currently not offered locally.  

In a straw poll conducted by HSS for students of past translation classes at NTU Singapore, 85 per cent of respondents were interested in enrolling in the new programme to advance their skills further. In addition, 96 per cent of respondents are also likely to encourage their colleagues to enrol in the programme. 

Apart from increased demand, the new programme also comes at a time when the Singapore government is placing a bigger focus on building up translation skills.

In 2014 the Ministry of Communications and Information set up the National Translation Committee to raise standards and nurture future translation talents.

This year, translation is offered as a new subject at selected junior colleges. This creates a new pool of teachers and students who may wish to advance their knowledge in this area.

Leveraging NTU’s expertise

The new programme leverages the university’s experience in conducting various translation courses at the certificate and diploma levels.

Currently, the NTU Division of Chinese offers a Minor in Translation. Since it started in 2004, it has received overwhelming response, with more than 3,300 students having completed the Minor so far.

From 2005 to 2010, a Graduate Diploma in Translation and Interpretation was offered.

From 2010, the Confucius Institute at NTU Singapore has been offering the Diploma in Business Translation and Interpretation Skills, targeting at professionals. The Institute also customises these classes for businesses, government agencies and schools.

Professor Liu Hong, Chair, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, said, “Translation is a skill that is useful in both the social and professional contexts in multi-lingual Singapore. As Singapore increases her business and cultural ties overseas, our new programme will also help to meet the critical demand for high-level English-Chinese translation.”

Unique immersion programme

Another unique feature of the interdisciplinary curriculum is a six-week immersion programme at the Beijing Foreign Studies University, which has one of the best translation and foreign language programmes in China.

It is a major training centre for foreign language personnel including diplomats and United Nations interpreters. Recognised for its translation courses in law, finance and economics, the immersion programme will expand students’ horizons and add valuable practice opportunities.

Application opens 1 September

The new master’s programme aims to attract students who have a high command of English and Chinese and are looking to advance their knowledge in translation and interpretation.

Prospective applicants should have a good bachelor’s degree or other qualifications and relevant work experience as approved by the Academic Advisory Committee.

Application opens from 1 September and ends on 31 October. Interested applicants can visit and contact the programme office for further information via or call 6513 2164.
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Net-Translators, A Leading Translation and Localization Company, To Exhibit At Content Marketing World 2015

The largest content marketing event on the planet returns to Cleveland, Ohio September 8-11, 2015; featuring top industry speakers, sessions, and amazing networking opportunities

(PRWEB) August 25, 2015

Net-Translators, an industry leader in translation and localization, announced today that it will be exhibiting at this year's Content Marketing World. An estimated 3,500 people from all over the world will meet in Cleveland, Ohio in September. Customers and friends of Net-Translators receive $100 off the registration fee with code NETTRAN100. Additional information may be obtained by visiting:

"Net-Translators is proud to be a Bronze sponsor and also an exhibitor at Content Marketing World 2015," notes Gal Yissar, CEO at Net-Translators. He adds, "We are thrilled to use the conference as a platform to announce Net-Proxy, a revolutionary new way to translate websites. The recently launched cloud-based website translation management system dramatically reduces the time and cost to manage website localization projects and requires minimal involvement from customers."

There will be ample time to connect with the Net-Translators team at booth #77 and other like-minded content marketing practitioners. Booth visitors are invited to participate in a raffle for a chance to win a Pebble Time smartwatch.

A winning multilingual content strategy begins by developing stellar source content that not only reaches but also engages with its targeted audience. The conference will address content marketing issues and challenges, allowing participants to tackle them head on. Attendees will have the opportunity to see more than 150 incredible speakers including Kristina Halvorson, Jay Baer, David Beebe, Rand Fishkin, Marcus Sheridan, Robert Rose and Ann Handley. The conference also showcases some of the brightest minds at the biggest brands including Kraft Foods, Forbes, Marriott, Lenovo, 3M, Xerox, and Adobe. Entertainment will include a concert at Public Hall with The Barenaked Ladies, hosted by Crowd Content, and an opening reception at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, hosted by Skyword.

About Net-Translators (
Net Translators is a leading provider of translation, localization, and multilingual testing services in more than 60 languages. For over a decade, Net-Translators has helped software developers, medical device manufacturers and hardware companies prepare their products and services for worldwide development.

The company's service portfolio includes the language services needed to localize and test multilingual software, medical devices, and websites including localization of user interfaces, online help, technical and marketing materials, and more. Net-translators' one-of-a-kind Multilingual Testing Center offers professional testing staff and a dedicated localization testing environment for products of all kinds. Net-Translators is certified ISO 9001:2008, ISO 13485:2003, and EN 15038:2006, and specializes in translation of materials for compliance to international regulations.

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

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Consultant: English-French translator,(Home-based),Deadline:04 September 2015 – UN-Habitat

Consultant: English-French translator,(Home-based),Deadline:04 September 2015 – UN-Habitat | The World of Indigenous Languages |
Consultant: English-French translator,(Home-based),Deadline:04 September 2015

Download PDF Version

Issued on: 20 August 2015





Consultant: English-French translator


6 months– Retainer Basis


04 August 2015

Secure land tenure and property rights are fundamental to shelter and livelihoods, and for the realisation of human rights, poverty reduction, food security, economic prosperity and sustainable development. Yet in many countries around the world, particularly those in the developing south, widespread and pervasive land tenure insecurity scars life and inhibits equitable, sustainable development in both rural and urban areas. This has profound negative consequences for millions of people and creates enormous challenges and opportunities for governments, inhabitants and the many agencies and bodies involved in land, poverty alleviation, food security and development.

The Global Land Tool Network was launched in 2006 in response to these challenges and opportunities. GLTN is an alliance of global, regional and national partners contributing to poverty alleviation through land reform, improved land management and security of tenure. The Network aims to improve global coordination on land, strengthen existing land networks and improve the level and dissemination of knowledge on land tenure.

GLTN’s vision is to provide appropriate land tools at global scale to implement pro-poor land policies and land reforms. Its mission is to assist national governments to implement land policies that are pro-poor, responsive to the needs of women, men and the youth, and at scale. The Network advocates a continuum of land rights that acknowledges a spectrum of tenure forms as appropriate and legitimate, rather than focusing on formal land titling as the preferred or best form.

GLTN’s long-term goal is to contribute to poverty reduction and sustainable development through promoting secure land and property rights for all. During its current phase of operations (2012-2015) GLTN aims to render international partner organizations and related land programmes in countries, cities and municipalities better able to improve tenure security of the urban and rural poor.
It will do this by promoting and supporting the adoption and implementation of land policies, tools and approaches that are pro-poor, gender appropriate, effective and sustainable.

GLTN Phase 2 is about maintaining the momentum and building from the successes and lessons from Phase I (2008-2011). The objective is for international partner-organisations, UN-Habitat and related land programmes/projects and targeted countries and/or cities/ municipalities to better able to improve tenure security of the urban and rural poor through the adoption and implementation of land policies, tools and approaches that are pro-poor, gender appropriate, effective and sustainable. The Project will be implemented in six years.

In order to support the country level interventions envisaged in GLTN Phase 2, UN-Habitat is seeking an English-French translator that would enable a wider audience reach in the targeted Francophone countries in Africa such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).


The incumbent will be responsible to translate from English to French and vice versa and to carry out editing and proof reading of French text of internal and external documents that will be published in print or electronically. Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Translating a wide variety of internal and external documents and publications from English to French and vice versa, ensuring that all deadlines are met;
Reviewing, proof reading and editing of French texts;
Review the French publications after the layout has been done before publication in print and electronically;
Translating Power Point Presentations from English to French and vice versa;
Liaising with colleagues, organizing and coordinating translation work, ensuring good quality translation
Assisting in the tasks of the communication staff;
Perform other required related duties that are compatible with the incumbent work load and contract.

Professionalism: Shows pride in work and in achievements. Demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter. Is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results. Is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns. Shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges. Remains calm in stressful situations.
Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively. Listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately. Asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication. Tailors language, tone, style and format to match the audience. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.
Planning and Organising: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies. Identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required. Allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work. Foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning. Monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary. Uses time efficiently.
Technological Awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology. Understands applicability and limitations of technology to the work of the office. Actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks. Shows willingness to learn new technology.  
University degree in translation and/ or languages. Proven knowledge of land management and administration language will be a distinct advantage. 

At least five years of professional experience in the translation of technical documents from English to French, preferably within the framework of the United Nations Common System. 

English and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For the post advertised, the incumbent must have a perfect command of French, which should be the native / mother tongue language or principal language of education, and an excellent command of English. 

Payments will be based on deliverables over the consultancy period. The deliverables, French language products, will be identified by GLTN and worked on by the consultant on a task by task basis. There are set remuneration rates for consultancies. The rate is determined by functions performed and experience of the consultant. The fees will be paid as per agreement.


Applications should include:
•    Cover memo (maximum 1 page)
•    CV in the PHP format, accessible through the INSPIRA website ( Please note, if using INSPIRA for the first time, you need to register in order to activate your account, which will allow you to log in and create a personal History Profile.
•    The PHP should be attached to the application as a PDF file.
•    Summary CV (maximum 2 pages), indicating the following information:
1.  Educational Background (incl. dates)
2.  Professional Experience (assignments, tasks, achievements, duration by years/ months)
3.  Other Experience and Expertise (e.g. Internships/ voluntary work, etc.)
4.  Expertise and preferences regarding location of potential assignments
5.  Expectations regarding remuneration
•    Cover memo (maximum 1 page)

Please also be advised that since April 15th 2010, applicants for consultancies must be part of the
UN-HABITAT e-Roster in order for their application to be considered. You can reach the e-Roster
through the following link:

All applications should be submitted to:
Ms. Josephine Ruria
P.O. Box 30030, 00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Subject title: Consultant: English-French Translator

Deadline for applications: 04 September 2015

UN-HABITAT does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process. If you have any questions concerning persons or  companies claiming to be recruiting on behalf of these offices and requesting the payment of a fee, please contact:
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Hacia un diccionario de gentilicios santiagueños - El Liberal Digital

Hacia un diccionario de gentilicios santiagueños - El Liberal Digital | The World of Indigenous Languages |
El adjetivo o sustantivo gentilicio indica procedencia geográfica de las personas, ya sea continente (americano), país (argentino), provincia (santiagueño), departamento (taboadense), localidad (otumpeño).

Son adjetivos cuando acompañan al nombre o sustantivo. Por ejemplo: las damas mendocinas bordaron la bandera. Pero también pueden ser sustantivos cuando se menciona a una persona solamente por el gentilicio: los correntinos bailan chamamé.

Se forman generalmente sobre la base del topónimo (nombre del lugar) de Loreto -loretano, Ancaján- ancajeño, Añatuyaañatuyense, Capital -capitalino. Hay algunas variaciones en la manera de formarlos, pero en nuestra provincia vemos poca diversidad en la formación de los mismos.

Hay también algunos más particulares, relacionados con la historia, la tradición o el uso. ¿Por qué ocuparnos de los gentilicios? En estos tiempos de globalización, que tantos cambios trae en la tecnología y las comunicaciones especialmente, corremos el riesgo de que, si no estamos bien afirmados en nuestros valores, perdamos la identidad.

Además, los valores nos son dados por nuestra cultura. Y en la medida en que las comunidades estén dotadas de mayor grado de conocimiento de sus raíces, así crecerá el desarrollo autóctono y formativo cultural. También, reafirmando nuestra propia identidad, podremos evitar ser manipulados por los centros culturales del mundo.

Con este proyecto de la AAL, creado y dirigido por el Dr. Luis Barcia, se pretende que el habitante de cada pueblo o ciudad, hasta el del más pequeño de los parajes, conozca y disfrute de un nuevo derecho, el de conocer el gentilicio que le corresponde, como una marca más de identidad y de pertenencia a la comunidad donde nació o vive.

El objetivo final es el Diccionario de gentilicios argentinos, que realizará la AAL, con el que se conformará el mapa de los gentilicios de todo el país.

Para ello, la AAL designa a los lingüistas que efectúan la tarea de recolección y elaboración del Diccionario en cada provincia. Se ha pensado su realización en el marco de los bicentenarios. Se hará provincia a provincia, hasta alcanzar el diccionario nacional de todos los gentilicios argentinos.

La meta es realizar el Diccionario de gentilicios santiagueños, con respaldo del Dr. Pedro Luis Barcia, autor y director del proyecto, para lo cual EL LIBERAL cede este espacio que será semanal y con participación de nuestros lectores a través de Facebook.

La responsable de llevar a cabo este proyecto es la Dra. Hebe Luz Ávila, quien desde 2010 forma parte del proyecto "La academia y el léxico del pueblo", también a cargo del Dr. Pedro Barcia, y autora de dos volúmenes en esta Colección, publicados por la AAL: Léxico de los dulces caseros en la Argentina (2011) y Léxico de la cestería en la Argentina (2012) y de otros cuatro inéditos: Léxico del calzado en la Argentina, Léxico de la carreta en la Argentina, Léxico del rancho en la Argentina y Léxico de la muerte en la Argentina.

La Dra. Ávila ha recogido durante 2013 y 2014, en viajes por su cuenta y consultas a numerosas personas, más de 300 gentilicios santiagueños, ordenados con sus topónimos correspondientes y ubicación en el mapa de la provincia.


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Literary notes: A new, complete Urdu translation of Les Misérables

Literary notes: A new, complete Urdu translation of Les Misérables | The World of Indigenous Languages |
Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, though initially criticised for several reasons, was finally acclaimed as a great work. It is reckoned as one of the great novels of the 19th century. First published in 1862, it was translated from French into English the same year and other translations in several European languages followed.

A website claims that Les Misérables has been translated into 22 languages. What makes this claim dubious is the bizarre fact that the list of languages in which the book was translated includes ‘French’ (I am a firm believer in the notion that the internet is the greatest, cheapest and fastest source of incorrect information, especially about eastern literatures and languages).

What the site does not tell is that Les Misérables was translated into some eastern languages such as Arabic, Persian and Urdu, (Hebrew is the only eastern language mentioned on the website). Dr Nighat Jamal in her dissertation Fransisi Adab ke Urdu Tarajim has mentioned that Les Misérables was rendered into Urdu by Ram Swaroop Sharma. Published by Dar-ul-Isha’at Punjab, Lahore, in 1927, under the title Budnaseeb, it was an abridged translation.

Les Misérables is among the world’s longest novels. The original in French has about 1,900 pages and the English translation about 1,400. It comprises five volumes and over 350 chapters, but Mr Sharma in his Urdu translation tried to capture the essence of the novel within 51 chapters and 250 pages or so. As a result, the fine attributes that make the work great have been compromised. After reading the abridged Urdu translation, she adds, the reader is surprised as to what is so special about the novel and why it is considered among the great pieces of world literature in the first place. Dr Nighat Jamal thinks that despite the shortcomings, the abridged Urdu translation is important since it presents the most famous work of Victor Hugo to the readers of Urdu.

Luckily, that shortcoming has now been overcome, albeit it took Urdu some 85 years to do that. Baqar Naqvi, Urdu’s well-known translator and poet, has yet again achieved a great feat: he has translated the full text of Les Misérables into Urdu. Previously, Baqar Naqvi had done amazing, voluminous translations in such a brief span of time that one wonders if he has got Aladdin’s lamp and the genie carries out the translation for him. First it was some books on science, such as genetics, cloning, artificial intelligence and electronics, which he rendered into Urdu. Then he turned to Nobel Prize winners and translated into Urdu the lectures that the 20th century Nobel laureates gave on the occasion of receiving the Nobel Prize for literature.

It was in 2009. Two years later he came up with the Urdu translation of speeches of the winners of Nobel Peace prize. Both books were quite voluminous. Then he published Urdu translation of the speeches of the winners of Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine. Next Baqar sahib grabbed Nobel winner Herta Müller’s novel The land of Green Plums and translated it into Urdu, which was published in 2012 under the title Nashaibi Sarzameen. He in 2013 published Urdu translation of The Tin Drum, a novel by Noble laureate Gunter Grass.

This time around Baqar Naqvi has made the world of Urdu literature richer by an Urdu translation of the full text of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. It is yet another proverbial feather in his unseen cap (since he does not wear one). The two-volume, 1,826-page translation must have been backbreaking work. It might have made the Allahabad-born, 79-year-old translator look 97. But he looks as young as he looked 10 years ago (and 10 years ago he looked as if he was 59).

The book, titled Mizraab and published by Karachi’s Academy, has blurbs by well-known critics and writers, such as Shameem Hanafi, Fateh Muhammad Malik, Ata-ul-Haq Qasmi and Razi Mujtaba. They have paid rich tributes to Baqar Naqvi, which he truly deserves. They are unanimous that this Urdu translation of Les Misérables is not only rare but Baqar Naqvi has reserved a seat for himself in Urdu translations’ ‘hall of fame’.

The secret to Baqar Naqvi’s mastery over translation is his firm grip on the Urdu language. He not only composes poetry in Urdu but in Hindi, too. His deep knowledge of other languages has helped him a lot. Baqar sahib has taken full advantage of that knowledge and it is a fact that his translations have now become milestones in the history of Urdu translations.

Published in Dawn, August 24th, 2015

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Scholars wonder: Who was first to use the term 'e-mail'?

Scholars wonder: Who was first to use the term 'e-mail'? | The World of Indigenous Languages |
Somewhere, during the early days of networked communication, somebody likely complained about a lengthy term and decided to do something about it. At that point, the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary are guessing, “electronic mail” became e-mail, and a cornucopia of e-prefixed words followed.

But that’s all just conjecture. For years, the dictionary’s editors have been asking the public to help them find documentation of the first time “e-mail” was used — and they still haven’t had any luck.

The appeal has been online for three years — and the word has been an entry in the Oxford English Dictionary since 1989 — but the OED still doesn’t have a verifiable instance of the first time someone used it.

“You’re tempted to think that someone said in some message board, ‘I’m tired of typing out electronic mail. Can we just call it e-mail?’ ” said Katherine Martin, the head of U.S. dictionaries for Oxford University Press. “Something that’s truly unique like this, you expect there to be a single person.”

Right now, the earliest use the editors can find dates to 1979. And that citation comes from a headline in the scientific journal Electronics: “Postal Service pushes ahead with E-mail.”

“Sometimes, you think, we haven’t had any results because there’s nothing earlier out there,” Martin said. “For e-mail, there are a couple reasons that seem important to continue to look at it.”

For one thing, Martin explained, the citation simply “doesn’t look like a coinage.” It seems very unlikely the editors of Electronics would decide to put “e-mail” in a headline if readers weren’t at least somewhat familiar with the term.

These OED appeals, in some form, date back to the 19th-century origins of the dictionary. The earliest printed appeals asked the public to read specific books and look for quotations for any notable words. Soon, the dictionary’s first editor, James Murray, tweaked his strategy: He sent out lists of words for which he needed quotations.

“We will from time to time print and circulate among our existing Readers lists of the verbal desiderata discovered in the course of arranging and working up the materials already in hand,” reads an appeal pamphlet from 1879.

The pamphlet explains that the dictionary’s editors were looking for quotations for three reasons: First, some words don’t have any quotations, or only one, and the editors simply need more; second, some words need more current quotations, and third, as is still the case with many of today’s online appeals, the editors need to find earlier ­— ideally the earliest — use of a particular word. The process of finding that first quotation is called “antedating” by lexicographers.

The appeals have continued on and off since the 19th century. Before going online, Martin said, editors used paper newsletters to publicize their latest appeals.

Since 2012, the OED’s editors have been appealing online for help tracking down early quotations of words, old and new. Readers are asked to leave comments — available for the public to read — directing editors toward any leads or quotations that might fit the bill. The editors respond to those requests as they come in, also in the comments, and when the word is successfully antedated, the appeal is closed.

Many of these appeals have been successful, such as the ones for “bromance” and “FAQ” and the use of “the Company” to refer to the CIA.

The “e-mail” appeal has generated a few responses, Martin said, but nothing verifiable yet. It’s likely that the antedating lies in archived messages held by someone who was involved in the creation or the early implementation of what we’d recognize as e-mails today. If that’s the case, the editors are hoping one of those people will hear that the OED is looking for them and respond.

“In a way, that’s what the appeal is intended to do: To request that any of those people who were involved in those things step forward,” Martin said.
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Sponsored App Review: WCC Chinese Dictionary |

Sponsored App Review: WCC Chinese Dictionary | | The World of Indigenous Languages |
Sponsored App Review: WCC Chinese Dictionary
August 24, 2015 - Written By Justin Diaz
WCC Chinese Dictionary is an app aimed at helping you learn to read and write the Chinese language, as well as speak it by learning modern-day Chinese pronunciation. It’s a collective of tools to help anyone who has the desire to learn with a focus on teaching the language quickly yet still efficiently. Using WCC’s various learning techniques, learning the Chinese language looks to be easier than other methods while also being fun and effective. It’s also a practical tool for travelers, business people, and students who need to look up words and communicate while in China.

Before you can get started with learning the Chinese language, you’ll need to head to the Play Store and download WCC Chinese Dictionary, then you’ll be set and on your way to learning how to read, write, and speak Chinese.

If simply want to start with learning how to write Chinese characters, WCC Chinese Dictionary offers free character stroke order animations (using WCC’s eStroke animation software) so you can see how each character or Chinese word is properly written. In addition, it can show you the radicals (or base parts) of each character for a better understanding of the word’s meaning and origin.

The app also works fully offline so you don’t have to worry about having a data connection to continue the learning process. Thus, you can take it with you and still use everything the app has to offer, which is great if you are travelling in China and don’t have access to the Internet or studying offline.

There are a number of flashcard packs available aimed at helping you learn specific areas of the Chinese language, like learning dating words, a pack for learning Chinese Idioms known as useful Chengyu, as well as a flashcard pack for computer words, a Domino Chinese flashcard pack and various others. The flashcard packs are premium features and offered in the paid version of the app. Flashcard options include switching the questions’ language between Chinese and English, enabling or disabling Pinyin (a popular Chinese phonetic system), and changing the sequence. Creating up to fifty flashcards is free, whereas creating more than fifty flashcards and using the flashcard packs are both offered as in-app purchases.

Also uniquely available in the WCC Dictionary app is the ability to use your smartphone’s camera with built-in Waygo Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software so you can translate Chinese words into either English or Pinyin, making translations much simpler. Simply point your phone’s camera at a group of Chinese characters, press a button and the characters will be instantly translated. The free version of the tool limits customers to ten OCR translations per day, while an in-app purchase allows for unlimited use of the OCR Chinese character reader.

The UI has been recently overhauled to create a smoother interface, providing customers with a dashboard where daily homework is displayed along with a dictionary search bar, a Chinese character of the day and various quick links to other tools to maximize your learning progress. The “Character of the Day” is displayed in both simplified Mandarin (Used primarily in Mainland China) and traditional Mandarin (Used in Hong Kong and Taiwan). Tap “Learn More” to understand how to use the character in a sentence and how to properly speak each character with correct Mandarin pronunciation.

You can also use the app to read illustrated Chinese stories in the Story Library, and in the paid version there are illustrated stories for all levels of learners with the ability to toggle pinyin on and off. The paid version also includes the ability to see translations of the Chinese words into English, and you have access to Mandarin audio of the story as well.

A complimentary website exists that offers online tools and resources to further your Chinese studying. Purchases made online at automatically sync to your Android device. also provides an interactive Facebook page as well as a weekly updated blog page.

If you’re serious about learning the Chinese language, WCC Chinese Dictionary looks to be a comprehensive tool that can help you with the process. Learning a new language can seem like a difficult task at first, but WCC has created an app which aims to make learning Chinese as simple as possible while still allowing the user to learn the language properly. It offers up a lot of different tools and ways to learn the language that should be suitable for various learning types, and it doesn’t just help you learn one portion of the language. It helps you learn how to read, write, and speak it. I found the interface to be very user-friendly and very uncomplicated compared to other language learning tools.


Speed (5/5) – Using the app was very fluid, and I never had to worry about load times when moving between screens or different portions of the app.
Features (5/5) – There are a ton of helpful tools in here to help you learn Chinese, the flashcards and Chinese character of the day in particular are a nice touch.
Theme (4/5) – The UI looks good and is user-friendly.
Overall (4.5/5) – The app offers up a lot of help for learning the Chinese language without making the user feel overwhelmed.
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A Doctor’s Dictionary by Iain Bamforth review – an almost crazily good book

A Doctor’s Dictionary by Iain Bamforth review – an almost crazily good book | The World of Indigenous Languages |
Bamforth is a doctor, translator and poet. Photograph: Alamy
Nicholas Lezard
Monday 24 August 2015 12.05 BST Last modified on Monday 24 August 2015 12.06 BST
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First of all, the title is misleading. If you are looking for something that might, say, explain medical terms or those notes on files that doctors use to acronymically conceal their scorn (the latest example of which I saw in the Viz Profanisaurus: NEFFS – Not Even Fit For Spares), then you had better look elsewhere. What you get instead are 26 essays, shoehorned into an alphabetical schema, which started life either as occasional pieces in journals literary and medical or – worse – book reviews.

I felt cheated – until I started reading it. These are substantial essays, full of unexpected insights. Wide-ranging in theme, they deal with the questions of what it is to have a body, and what it is to have a mind. There is often, but not invariably, a medical bent to them, but the frame of reference is skewed towards the humanities. A look at the index shows that the people most often cited are Shakespeare, Wittgenstein, Nietzsche, WH Auden, Walter Benjamin, Thomas Mann, Freud, Proust, Osip Mandelstam and Stendhal. Bamforth is one of those doctors who writes. I have a high opinion of such people. So do doctors who write. We learn as much in an endnote to an essay – “Tell Me About Teeth” – in which he wonders why there aren’t so many writers who are also dentists. “Indeed, dentist-writers might be able to provide a few lessons in modesty for doctor-writers all too ready to vaunt themselves as paragons of all the virtues.”

Bamforth, it would appear, has little to be modest about. As if being a doctor doesn’t keep him busy enough, he doubles up as a poet, with five collections to his name. He is also a translator, a public health consultant specialising in developing countries and lecturer in comparative literature. He spent a year at an isolated mining town in Australia, Broken Hill, where the streets are named after chemicals used in mining: bromide, argent, cobalt, oxide, chloride, etc (“Bromide” was his street). The piece that tells us about that is filed under R for “resilience”, and to help us understand what life was like there he brings in not only facts about mining and its history, but also Dante (most of “Inferno” is, after all, set underground), Plato (with his cave), Chekhov, Swift, Kafka and Dostoevsky. On the experience of actually going underground: “I seemed as if I was in the Paris Catacombs restyled by Le Corbusier as a huge inverted skyscraper, and I had a sudden vision of the town on the surface pinned down to the surface like Gulliver.”

The remarkable thing is that these diverse literary references never feel like cultural name-dropping. His language is precise: in a piece on Chekhov’s visit to Sakhalin Island, during which the author saw humanity stripped of all civilisation, Bamforth points out with enviable precision that “natural man is the shame of nature”. He is interesting, too, on the richness of technical jargon (he thinks that calling a spade a “spatulate pedally applied dirt extractor” is actually a testament to the flexibility of register of English). He writes revealingly about why the French keep thinking there is something wrong with their livers when they have a certain set of symptoms (“It would seem to resemble what most stolid folk would call a hangover” says Bamforth, who should know, having been a GP in Strasbourg). In short, this is almost a crazily good book. You will like it not only if you want to know the body a bit better, but also if you are interested in culture and how it contributes to, as it were, the corpus of experience. All this he manages in prose that is clear, unfussy, but stylish and quite in command of itself, while never losing sight of the fact that there are more important things.

• To order A Doctor’s Dictionary for £13.59 (RRP £16.99) go to or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99.
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Words Matter: What the Language We Use Tells Us About Our Current Political Landscape

Words Matter: What the Language We Use Tells Us About Our Current Political Landscape | The World of Indigenous Languages |
“Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never harm me.” 

A fine sentiment, but any child subjected to cyber bullying knows that words do indeed matter.

Language evolves.  Sometimes a word that once was negative becomes positive, like “terrific” which originally meant terrifying.  Sometimes a word that was once positive becomes negative, as when “awful” changes from awe inspiring to very bad.

In politics too words matter, and in politics too language evolves. In the last 50 years we have witnessed a politically motivated sea change in the meaning of old words and the introduction of new words, all intended to undermine our sense of compassion.


The prime example is how we’ve changed the meaning of the word “liberal.” For almost 700 years the word meant generous, selfless, noble, tolerant. When the word began to describe a political philosophy it mostly retained its original meaning. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, aside from being “broadminded” a liberal is someone “favoring political reform tending toward democracy and personal freedom for the individual.”

And then the 1960s happened. The Great Society, and civil rights legislation, spawned a change in the definition of liberal. We began to hear the phrase “bleeding heart liberal” to describe someone excessively softhearted.

The miracle of Google’s ngram allows us to trace the popularity of words and phrases in million of books. As we can see, “bleeding heart liberal” comes of age in the 1960s.

Within 20 years the word “liberal” had been demonized. Long-time Chicago based columnist Mike Royko wondered why the term had become so negative if the major criticism of it was that a liberal was too compassionate. He thought the reason was racism. “So I learned that in Chicago, as in many parts of the South and other big cities, the word liberal has one basic, simple definition. It’s just another word for ‘nigger lover,’" Royko  concluded.

In his acceptance speech of the New York Liberal Party Nomination in September 1960 John F. Kennedy proudly  declared himself a liberal and defended the word against criticism, “of by a “Liberal” they mean someone who … cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties-- then I’m proud to say I’m a ‘Liberal.'”  For many, JFK’s definition suggested a government aggressively overruling local sentiments to force states and communities to allow blacks to vote unimpeded and integrate them into neighborhood schools and jobs and the general society. The South especially but not solely rejected both the policies and the word.

The assault on the word “liberal” hit its peak in 1988 during the Dukakis-Bush Presidential campaigns. Coming out of the Democratic convention in late August Michael Dukakis was 10-15 points ahead in the polls.  n aggressive campaign  orchestrated by Lee Atwater and Roger Ailes attacked Dukakis as a “card carrying liberal”, evoking language used by Senator McCarthy in his attacks on leftists as Communists.  A highlight of the campaign was a series of ads about Willie Horton, a black man who while on furlough under a program begun when Dukakis was Governor of Massachusetts had raped and killed a white woman.

The strategy paid off. Late in the Dukakis campaign Royko  reflected, “Republicans have used (the word liberal) like cops beating a confession out of a suspect. Admit it, Mike Dukakis, you are guilty of being a liberal.  Confess, confess.”  And noted, “Dukakis, who started in the primaries saying he was a liberal, now grimaces when he hears it and says he’s not a complete liberal after all.”

By the 1990s the word “liberal” had almost become radioactive.  A famous 1996 GOPAC  memo titled, Language:  A Key Mechanism of Control offered election campaign advice from Newt Gingrich to Republican candidates.  The memo helpfully listed dozens of words candidates should use to promote themselves and denounce their opponents.  On the negative list was the liberal along with words like “intolerant”, “traitors” and “corrupt.”


For many of the same reasons the term liberal, once so positive became so negative, the word “welfare once so positive it was included in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution became a blasphemy.

When FDR promoted the idea that we must collectively accept responsibility for helping those in need the term “welfare” had admirable connotations.  Tellingly, the first federal welfare program, Aid to Dependent Children, was part of the aptly named Social Security Act of 1935. But welfare was done in by one of the same forces that did in liberal:  racism.  In the 1960s many came to view welfare largely as an African- American phenomenon.  They were helped along in this misconception by a media that dramatically overrepresented the number of blacks among the poor, especially in stories involving welfare cheating. Indeed the racially tinged term “welfare fraud” was introduced in the late 1950s and by the late 1970s its use became commonplace in the political arena.

Under President Reagan, who famously campaigned against “welfare queens”, the federal government financially penalized states that gave welfare to ineligible families.  As if to underline the objective of the initiative, no financial penalties were imposed on states that did not offer assistance to eligible families!

By the 1990s Bill Clinton was reelected on his promise to “end welfare as we know it”.  Which he did. The difference in the names of the 1935 law creating a federal commitment to the poor and the 1996 law that all but ended it reflected our new more tightfisted values.  The 1935 Social Security Act gave way to the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act.

The word welfare, like the word liberal, had become lethal.  A 2006 poll by the National Opinion Research Center reveals how much words matter.  More than 65 percent of those surveyed thought government spends “too little” on “assistance to the poor.” But when the phrase “assistance to the poor” was replaced with “welfare” only 20 percent thought the government spent “too little” while 46 percent said it spent “too much.”


In the last generation old words took on new meanings when politicians tied them to race.  And new words were introduced that widened the miserly lens to take into account wide swaths of the population.

One of them was the word “entitlement." The word “entitle” had been in the vocabulary for hundreds of years. But “entitlement” was coined very recently and almost from the beginning was reserved for describing federal programs and had a negative connotation.

Mark Liberman writes that the earliest cluster of uses of the word entitlement was associated with post- WWII veterans' benefits, as in this 1947 Popular Mechanics ad about the GI Act: “Don’t risk losing your veterans entitlement.” He adds, “But this seems to be the last as well as the first context where entitlement is commonly used in a positive or even neutral way.” Very quickly entitlement changed from a legitimate claim to an illegitimate claim.

At first the word was associated largely with federal programs like food stamps that people qualify for without first paying into. But eventually it came to encompass all federal programs that guarantee a benefit to specific groups, even previously sacrosanct programs like Social Security and Medicare for which eventual recipients pay for through taxes.

Soon politicians conflated entitlements with welfare.  In the 2012 election this became explicit. The Washington Post reported, “Mitt Romney framed the 2012 presidential election…as a choice between an ‘entitlement society’ dependent on government welfare and an ‘opportunity society’ that enables businesses to flourish.” Romney added, “Even if we could afford the ever-expanding payments of an entitlement society, it is a fundamental corruption of the American spirit.”

For Romney almost half the country is now dependent on handouts. "(T)here are 47 percent of the people…who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That's an entitlement.”

It is instructive that the word “entitlement” is AWOL for federal programs that help the rich rather than the needy.   The Earned Income Tax Credit program, which provides a refundable tax credit for workers earning below a certain level is often called an entitlement.  But capital gains tax rates that are less than half those imposed on labor are never described as an entitlement even when the Washington Post  reports, "The 400 richest taxpayers in 2008 counted 60 percent of their income in the form of capital gains and 8 percent from salary and wages. The rest of the country reported 5 percent in capital gains and 72 percent in salary.”

Military spending also is immune from the language of entitlement.  But as a Virginia-based defense analyst using the pen name Werther  explains.“$550 billion, give or take, is what is required simply to sustain it in garrison and have the Blue Angels perform the requisite number of air shows during a year. Should we ask it to do anything, even merely adjust its normal deployment schedules to sail down to Haiti and deliver supplies, that costs a billion or two extra. Actual wars, needless to say, cost hundreds of billions extra. Imagine a fire department that charges residents a premium every time its fire engines leave the station house, and you have understood the U.S. military”

The $550 billion is the military’s entitlement.  Anything they actually do to protect the country costs extra.


The rise to prominence of the new increasingly negative word “entitlement” has been accompanied by the changed meaning of the old word “equity.”

Six hundred years ago equity meant fairness.  Equity courts in England were intended to infuse a sense of conscience into the proceedings.

But in the last generation the other secondary definition of equity as property has become so dominant as to virtually eliminate its original meaning. Indeed, its use has now spread to sectors that have not used the term before. Non-profit organizations are increasingly substituting the word equity for equality or justice.

A 2013 report by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for example, is titled, “The Business Case for Racial Equity.”  A major source of good socially oriented ideas, Policy Link observes, “As the country witnesses the emergence of a new racial and ethnic majority, equity—long a matter of social justice and morality—is now also an economic imperative.” And adds, “An equity-driven growth model would grow new jobs and bolster long-term competitiveness while at the same time ensuring that all—especially low-income people and people of color—have the opportunity to benefit from and co-create that growth."

Human Capital

Other new terms emphasize the new commerce-based way of thinking that now dominates policymaking. Consider the term “human capital” which again was first used in the 1960s.


Or the even more widely used term “market-based.

Words matter. Language evolves as societies values change. Today our language tells us that we are human capital, that policies must be market-based, that welfare is an expletive, that no one is entitled to anything and that liberal means profligate and intolerant.  No wonder it is so hard to have a conversation that speaks to the social, empathetic and altruistic side of human nature.

David Morris is co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its initiative on The Public Good. He is the author of "New City States" and four other non-fiction books. 
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Scholars hope to save ethnic VN languages - News VietNamNet

Scholars hope to save ethnic VN languages - News VietNamNet | The World of Indigenous Languages |
VietNamNet Bridge – One of the critical tasks of Viet Nam linguistics was to ensure the clarity of the Vietnamese language and create the best conditions for it to fully develop.

Cultural roots: Ethnic Kho Me artists dance on stage. A recent conference on linguistics focused on preserving the languages of minority ethnic groups throughout Viet Nam – Photo: VNS
This was the view presented by Nguyen Xuan Thang, chairman of the Institute of Academic Science, at a meeting of local and international linguistics scholars in Ha Noi on Sunday.
Thang also said more attention should be paid to preserving the diversity of ethnic minority's languages and enabling them to be used both orally and in the written form.
Hundreds of Vietnamese and international scholars attended the talks, held to discuss 30 years of development in national linguistics.
The conference received 277 studies from scholars, including 40 from scholars in Australia, America, China and other places. The others were from Vietnamese scholars.
The studies were on fundamental and current issues in socio-linguistics; applied linguistics; dialectology, history of the Vietnamese language, language and culture; phonics, lexis, grammar; and ethnic languages in Viet Nam.
Professor Bui Manh Hung from HCM City University of Education said language and literature training in Viet Nam is not yet effective as it lacks theoretical foundations and fails to integrate international trends. The curriculum designer should take into account what students will gain after each class".
Viet Nam had set out good measures in mother-tongue education but more needs to be put in place, said PhD Quang Dai Can, University of Hawaii while he gave a talk on Mother tongue Education. Bilingual education is a highly effective method to strengthen the use of both the native and national language amongst ethnic minorities, according to Can.
The bilingual education programme, which has proven to be cheap, should be implemented not only in elementary schools as is being done, but also in secondary and high schools. Teacher training, curriculum design and pilot schemes were critically important and should be considered before the bilingual programme is put into practice, said Can.
It was also essential that the government carry out more practical steps in ethnic language education so that the ethnic people recognise the government's efforts to preserve their native language and that Viet Nam was a country of language diversity. Success in ethnic minority education would help the country to develop as well as to preserve a live language source for the world, he concluded.
Professor Dinh Lu Giang said the ethnic response to dual-language education should be taken into consideration, as in some areas the locals wanted to be fluent in Vietnamese to make them more employable and their native language was less important. "While knowing the national language is essential, it is also very important to make locals fully aware of the importance of learning their mother tongue. More attention needs to be paid to this problem," Giang said.
Speaking on the preservation and development of the Sila language, spoken in mountainous regions to the north, Thuy Ngoan, Television Broadcaster, in Lai Chau Province said the Sila language was being on the verge of disappearing as very few people used it nowadays, even leaders of villages spoke Vietnamese.
The Sila language can be used to communicate verbally but does not have a writing system. In light of this the National Tourism Authority recorded folk music in an effort to preserve the villagers' traditional rituals. The Radio and Television Station of Lai Chau province plans to make documentary about the local culture in their mother tongue. "More support from the authorities is needed to preserve the Sila language," Ngoan said.
Addressing issues in the teaching of culture in language education, Ma Tin Cho Mar, University of Malaysia concluded: We as teachers need to help students to build up their understanding of the culture in the targeted language to improve student learning skills. The better they understand the culture of a language, the more their understanding of the language itself will improve. Reading texts should be aligned with the understanding of a language's culture, he said.
Speaking on Vietnamese language and culture education in South Korea universities, Professor Song Jung Nam, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, said in the context of growing cooperation between Viet Nam and Korea, it was required that Vietnamese language and culture education is more widespread and improved.
To meet the increasing demand, student and lecturer exchange programmes should be increased between Vietnamese language and culture education centres in Viet Nam and South Korea, co-operation in designing the curriculum for Koreans studying Vietnamese at different levels should be made; a standard assessment of Vietnamese as a second language needed to be created and used in Viet Nam and foreign countries including South Korea; and the government, universities, enterprises and social cultural organisation should have funds supporting Vietnamese language training in foreign countries in different forms of research funding, scholarship, he said.
The conference which was held by the Linguistics Institute was the second of its kind with the participation of about 600 people, following the first international linguistics conference in 2013.
Source: VNS
Tags:Sila language, ethn
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Somalia: The language war between the government and Al-shabaab. By Liban Ahmad

Somalia: The language war between the government and Al-shabaab. By Liban Ahmad | The World of Indigenous Languages |
The Somali language is the one of fields of contestation for the Somali Federal Government and Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen. When the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) commander, General Tuuryare, publicised the newly coined acronym, UGUS ( Ururka Gumaadka Ummadda Soomaaliyeed ‘ organisation for massacring Somali people) . Al-shabaab media outlets used the same acronym but changed the second word into gumeeyay ( degraded) as in Ururka Gumeeyay Ummadda Soomaaliyeed ‘the organisation that degraded Somali people’ ) to refer to federal government security forces. Who is taking the language war seriously and using every trick in the propaganda rule-book effectively?

NISA leaders have decided to call an anti-Al-shabaab campaign conducted in Mogadishu an immunisation campaign as reflected in the headline of the story posted in Radio Mogadishu website: Ololaha talaalka ka hortaga UGUS oo galabta furmay ( immunisation campaign against Al-shabaab started in the afternoon ). The headline makes one wonder if Somali scientists have discovered a counter-terrorism vaccine.

NISA commander has instructed Mogadishu-based journalists to call Al-shabaab UGUS but Al- shabaab has threatened journalists who call it UGUS. Through NISA the Somali Federal Government has been exploring ways to influence reporting by correspondents for websites, radio and TV stations. This is not the “bold, legal war” General Tuuryare vowed to wage against Al-shabaab .

A misleading Radio Mogadishu headline: immunization campaign against Al-shabaab started in the afternoon

Al-shabaab monitors Somali Federal Government TV and websites for ideas to put a spin on stories; its journalists have used a video clip from the Somali National TV, showing NISA commander sitting by an ad for Kenya-based mobile-phone based money transfer, MPESA, and another picture with a story about inauguration of a bank in Mogadishu, showing President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud jubilantly holding a US banknote he had withdrawn from a cash machine of the new bank with the headline Daawo Sawirro:Madaxda DF-ka Oo Isku Bedeshay Tabeeleyaal Wax Lagu Xayaysiisto!!. ( See pictures: Leaders of the Somali Federal Government become billboards ).

( See pictures: Leaders of the Somali Federal Government become billboards ).

Commander Tuuryare of NISA sitting by an MPESA ad

As Al-shabaab loses more territories its propagandists are concentrating on strategies to exploit communication foibles of the Somali Federal Government. Al-shabaab calls suicide bombings camiliyad istish-haadi ah ( martyrdom operation) although victims of its attacks are people in a market or in a bus or students in a college, for example.

The Somali Federal Government will lose the language war if it does not stop giving Al-shabaab opportunities through careless coinage of terms or campaign themes. In one speech General Tuuryare advised people who “think to have contracted UGUS disease to go to the district office and tell them you need to have a medical check up about UGUS disease.

If you test positive , you will be cured of it; if you test negative you will be given a preventive medicine“.

NISA should leave to the Ministry of Information the task of reporting or drawing up communication plans to respond to Al-shabaab’s relentless language war.

Liban Ahmad
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Hartford, Regional Planners’ Visions Differ

Hartford, Regional Planners’ Visions Differ | The World of Indigenous Languages |
Woodstock — An ongoing disagreement between the town of Hartford and regional planners boils down to a single question: What should Vermont look like?

Or, perhaps: Who should decide what Vermont should look like?

Peter Gregory, the executive director of the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission, has a particular vision for the Upper Valley’s interstate interchanges — those patches of land surrounding the exits along Interstates 89 and 91 in towns like Bradford, Hartford, Norwich, Randolph, Royalton and Thetford.

Gregory says that development, if it happens at all in those areas, should be restricted to things that serve the traveling public — park-and-ride commuter lots, truck stops, maybe a motel that allows weary travelers a place to sleep before speeding on their way.

When he articulates this vision, Gregory is following the lead of Two Rivers, the Woodstock-based regional planning commission made up of representatives from 30 area towns, and one of 11 such commissions charged in Vermont’s Planning and Development Act with guiding development in the state.
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Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Translation Studies, Terminology and Lexicography

Council and Conference Committee member of the International Association for Translation and Intercultural Studies - IATIS (