Metaglossia: The Translation World
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Metaglossia: The Translation World
News about translation, interpreting, intercultural communication, terminology and lexicography - as it happens
Curated by Charles Tiayon
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Gad Elmaleh’s Translated Comedy - The New Yorker

The French comedian Gad Elmaleh performed English-language standup at Joe’s Pub, in New York.
PHOTOGRAPH BY SAM HODGSON / THE NEW YORK TIMES / REDUX
Most people prefer comfort to its alternative, but the cushy life isn’t for everyone. St. Francis renounced a fat inheritance to dress in rags and tend to lepers. David Blaine buried himself in a plastic coffin beneath a three-ton water tank on Sixty-eighth Street for a week. If you’re looking to push your own limits, you could take up free climbing or enter a hot-dog-eating contest. Or you might choose to quit your country and live, for an extended period of time, in a foreign language—a situation that tests strength not of limb or of constitution but of humility. Not understanding, and not being understood, is an endurance exercise all its own, a crash course in the art of serial self-mortification. Your personality, that familiar, nuanced, fluid thing—witty at a party, incisive in conversation, polite in a restaurant, obscene in a traffic jam—becomes about as fleet and flexible as a rusted hunk of scrap metal. You were used to being clever in your regular life? Cleverness is totally out of the question. You used to be funny? Good luck with that.

“It’s humbling, starting over,” the comedian Gad Elmaleh confessed at Joe’s Pub, last week. He was working his way through the final performance of “Oh My Gad,” his English-language standup show that began its run at the theatre in January: twenty-six shows in the course of six months. Elsewhere, Elmaleh is a celebrity. He’s a Moroccan Jew, raised in Casablanca, and has lived in Paris for years. When he performs in Europe, he does it in French, in arenas that seat thousands of ecstatic fans who have paid a premium for the privilege of seeing him live; the cheers start up before he sets a foot onstage.

But fame and fortune have a way of breeding complacency, and nothing kills comedy faster than that. The stint at Joe’s Pub was a corrective of the most American kind: a learning experience, a way, to quote an expression that particularly tickles Elmaleh, of challenging himself. In other words, he was slumming. Tickets were priced at twenty-five dollars. People ate tacos and hamburgers and signalled to servers for refills of wine and beer. The audience seemed to be split between leggy French women and sharp-jawed French men, thrilled at the chance to see the star’s unfamiliar material, and quizzical locals, perplexed by the unfamiliar man peddling it. Elmaleh searched for the words to describe the predicament he had willingly put himself in. “It’s like if I were to play Roland-Garros with my left hand,” he said, scanning the crowd. The joke fell flat, a victim of terminology. (In the U.S., we call it “the French Open.”)

Elmaleh, as Lauren Collins wrote a few months ago, has been enthusiastically applying himself to his English lessons, but it’s not just his language that requires translation. Stylistically, he’s a totally different breed than the current American kings of comedy. He’s a dazzlingly protean entertainer and a charmer by temperament, what you might call a real old-fashioned song-and-dance man. His shows often feature a musical interlude, during which he accompanies himself, with impressive facility, on the guitar or piano as he croons original compositions, very much in key. His finger drumming is virtuosic, as is his sheer physical skill. Not for Elmaleh, the big belly worn as a schlub’s badge of honor by the likes of Louis C.K., Paton Oswalt, and Hannibal Burress. At forty-five, he keeps himself trim and supple. He tends to open his shows with a series of hip thrusts and twirls executed under a swirl of colored spotlights, as if he were about to perform magic in Vegas, or headline a cruise disco: tongue-in-cheek cheesy, but also big-hearted and endearing in a way that comedy’s conventions of cool don’t often allow for. Elmaleh moves with the precision of a mime (his father’s profession), easily conjuring up characters with a tilt of the head or a slouch of the spine, and he has a habit of leaping athletically around the stage. Imitating an exasperated father chasing after a kid in his special “Papa Est En Haut,” from 2010, he jogs in a loop around the stage, skipping over the footlights in his polished brogues like a show pony clearing his jumps. The moment takes place nearly an hour into the show, and lasts for two full minutes. Even as he feigns exhaustion, Elmaleh seems to barely break a sweat.

Flashes of that physical wit were on occasional display at Joe’s Pub, as when Elmaleh illustrated the contortions of an Uber driver’s route with a pithy ballet. Later, he admonished a distracted spectator: “Do you want me to rewind to something you didn’t get before?” before doing just that, reversing the steps he had taken over the previous five minutes in a sped-up moonwalk. The feat was met with the delighted applause of recognition: There’s our Gad!

But Elmaleh is in the U.S. to get away from that kind of crowd-pleasing showmanship. He wants to practice a more American craft, in the American vernacular. He generally wears a headset microphone, the better to keep his arms free as he performs his stage gymnastics. At Joe’s Pub, though, he worked the standup’s handheld mike and did the standup’s shuffle, pacing back and forth in dark jeans and a jacket as he performed a set largely composed of riffs on an outsider’s impressions of New York: the judgmental cab drivers, the cutthroat real-estate brokers, the incessant sidewalk solicitations to contribute to a worthy cause, the city’s sweet-and-sour mix of total indifference and then mawkish concern when a tip or a commission might be on the line. “How can you be more than happy to help?” he wondered, of the idiom thrust upon him in a store by a particularly eager salesman.

Like his friend and mentor Jerry Seinfeld, Elmaleh likes to work in an observational, sociological mode—a tough thing to pull off when the society you’re examining is less familiar to you than it is to your audience. What feels fresh to the observer may not feel quite so fresh to the observed, and Elmaleh stumbled into his fair share of clichés in his sketches of the American absurd. He’s hardly the first person to complain that baseball is boring, or to ring a laugh from the notion that the denizens of L.A. are fame-obsessed and vain.

Jokes like these seemed to exist more for Elmaleh’s benefit than for ours. And, in a way, that was the appeal and the fascination of the show: watching Elmaleh, the consummate insider, choose to relegate himself to the role of an outsider, embracing the vulnerability of learning something new in public. He was taking a chance, rewinding his own career. Elmaleh started out on the social margins—a North African Jew is hardly a likely candidate to have become France’s premier comedy superstar—and figured out early on how to use that status to his artistic advantage. In “L’Autre C’est Moi” (“The Other, That’s Me”), an early special, from 2005, Elmaleh introduced one of his best-known characters, his nemesis, Le Blond. Things are peachy for Le Blond. He’s handsome (in a blond sort of way) and successful, gliding through life unperturbed. When he eats a sandwich, the mayonnaise doesn’t squirt all over, and the lettuce doesn’t get stuck in his teeth. His kids are perfectly behaved; they draw peaceably in coloring books as their peers wreak havoc. Le Blond, in other words, is a winner. He’s also dreadfully dull.

Elmaleh might have felt that he was getting too blond for his own good. Last year, he did time in the French tabloids after his much-discussed breakup from Charlotte Casiraghi, a member of the royal family of Monaco. At Joe’s Pub, he did crowd-work of the “Where you from?” genre, practicing his English by flirting with a couple of girls from New Jersey who didn’t know him from Adam. It was humbling, all right, but the girls ate it up. So did Elmaleh. It can be more fun to be a pauper than a prince.

Elmaleh now lives in Manhattan, where he can keep honing his sense of the American absurd by observing the natives at his leisure. Come February, he’ll play Carnegie Hall. You know what they say about how you get there. When I chatted with Elmaleh after the show, he told me that he’s been getting additional practice at the Comedy Cellar, where he shows up regularly to do open mikes. He loves the obscurity of not being a headlining act. “Sometimes, I get more butterflies when I do the cellars than when I do the equivalent of Madison Square Garden that we have in France,” he told me. When nobody knows who he is, he has to earn his laughs honestly. “They’re not going to give you a little ha ha.” It’s the American way: all or nothing. Go big, as we say, or go home.
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France - Marathon des mots : l'Afrique et la diaspora à l'honneur à Toulouse - JeuneAfrique.com

C’est sous le regard fier et bienveillant des Affogbolo, couple afropolitain imaginé par Pierre-Christophe Gam, que s’est ouverte la douzième édition du Marathon des mots. Cette année, le festival toulousain met l’Afrique et sa diaspora à l’honneur du 23 au 26 juin.

Rencontres, débats, dédicaces… l’événement qui se réunit dans différents lieux de la ville et de sa périphérie rassemble en moyenne 100 000 participants. Parmi les invités, les écrivains incontournables que l’on retrouve à chaque événement littéraire (Alain Mabanckou, Dany Lafferière, Léonora Miano, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Boualem Sansal, Felwine Sarr, Fawzia Zouari…) et des révélations à l’image de l’Angolais Ondjaki (Les Transparents, Métailié), du Ghanéen Nii Ayikwei Parkes (Notre quelque part, Zulma), du Nigérian Chigozie Obiama ou de son compatriote Leye Andele, auteur d’un polar explosif Lagos Lady. L’occasion pour ce dernier de défendre une littérature plurielle. “Les romans policiers ou les thrillers n’ont pas encore acquis leur lettres de noblesse, regrette-t-il.  Or, à mon avis, il est plus difficile de bâtir un polar où chaque mot compte qu’un roman. Bien souvent, quand je lis des romans de 500 pages, je me dis que tout cela aurait pu tenir en 100.”
Un avis que ne partageraient sans doute pas Chigozie Obiama (Les Pécheurs) et Chinelo Okparanta (Le Bonheur, comme l’eau, Zoe). Jouant avec les mots comme avec les langues, Chigozie Obiama travaille l’anglais et les langues nigérianes. “Je suis un amoureux de la langue anglaise, confie-t-il. Parfois, j’ai envie d’écrire de manière très classique, proche de l’anglais du XIXe siècle. Mais à d’autres moments, ce peut être le yoruba ou l’igbo qui me viennent naturellement. Cela révèle notre culture hybride, celle du Nigeria actuel, création des Britanniques.”

Génération décomplexée

“Ce qu’il faut comprendre, poursuit Chinela Okparanta, c’est que l’identité n’est pas quelque chose de figée. Mais elle s’adapte sans cesse et nous devons la construire avec ce que nous avons aujourd’hui et malgré la perte en amont. Nous avons perdu des éléments de nos cultures africaines à cause de la colonisation mais nous devons aller de l’avant et arrêter de nous penser en victimes. Nous avons fait de l’anglais une langue africaine”. Une créolisation riche de promesses qu’explore cette nouvelle génération d’écrivains, à l’écriture ciselée et totalement décomplexée.
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Challenges of Old Testament translations

In Hebrew, the Old Testament is called TaNaKh, an acronym for Torah (the five books of Moses), Nevi’im (the Prophets), and Ketuvim (the Writings).

When reading any English translation of the Bible along with the original Hebrew version, one frequently finds textual inaccuracies between terms and ideas in the original, compared to those found in the translations.

Sometimes misconceptions result from a wrong translation of the original Hebrew. For example, the word “achot” means both “sister” and “lover,” but many English translations of The Song of Solomon, 4:12, use “sister” instead of “lover,” thus wrongly implying incestuous relations.

Often, however, misconceptions are born out of a misunderstanding of the original idea. For example, old translations, including the King James Version, use “Thou shalt not kill’ instead of the correct “Thou shalt not murder.”

The oldest specimens of the Old Testament (OT) we have to date are the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were written in old Hebrew in the third and second centuries B.C. It was only in 1947 when a Bedouin shepherd found them hidden in caves on the eastern slopes of the Judean desert. To underscore this point: There are no extant versions of the OT that we know of that are earlier than the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The first translation of the Hebrew Bible was into Greek (also known as the Septuagint, or “The Translation of the Seventy,” or by its Roman numerals LXX), which began in the second century B.C. and finished in the second century A.D. It was followed by two different translations into the Aramaic language, Targum (i.e., “translation”) Yonatan, from about 50 B.C., and Targum Onkelos from the first century A.D.

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In the late first century A.D. a few biblical texts in Old Latin (Vetus Latina) began to circulate among the early churches, but in the late fourth century A.D. they were superseded by St. Jerome’s updated Latin translation known as the Versio Vulgata, or simply the Vulgate.

This version became the standard Bible translation adopted by the Catholic Church for many centuries. The Renaissance saw Wycliffe’s English translation and Martin Luther’s German translation, leading to a plethora of many other translations into different languages.

Translations have always generated debates about their accuracy, compared to the original. For example, idioms and poetic expressions are almost impossible to translate. In regard to the Bible, however, authenticity is particularly important since many believe it to be the word of God.

Thus, when one translation is different from another in the same language, without having linguistic access to the source from which they were translated, the reader is at a loss as to which translation is most faithful to the original source. Moreover, the farther we move in time from the era of the original, the less coherent the original concepts become.

In this already complex situation, one must also consider that any Bible translation may reflect the personal preferences and theology of the translator. And when a particular translation is based on the Vulgate (Latin), which was based on the Septuagint (Greek), which was based on the original Hebrew, the issue of authenticity becomes seriously exacerbated.

Of course, reading the Bible in translation is better than not reading it at all. Nonetheless, it behooves the Bible devotee to understand that any given biblical translation has many flaws, and that practically all translations of the Old Testament contain mistranslations, textual omissions, and even arbitrary additions that do not exist in the original Hebrew Bible.

Uri Barnea was ordained as rabbi from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, following which he served for seven years a Reform congregation in Hattiesburg, Miss. In the summer of 2014, he retired from the rabbinate and returned to Billings. He now teaches Introduction to Judaism, The Biblical Prophets, and other Old Testament courses through Billings Public School's Community Education program.
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My View: English-language learners highlight the positives about Rockford

On Friday, June 3, the Register Star Editorial Board encouraged the Rockford community to "embrace what’s positive about" Rockford. I have lived in the Rockford area since 1970 and like many other Rockfordians, I take many of the great things in this community for granted.
In the last year, I have been hired by the Rockford Public Schools to do two different jobs. In doing those two jobs, I realized I had become complacent about what the Rockford community has to offer. In the spirit of being positive about Rockford, I decided to share my experiences. In this article, I will share one experience, and in my follow-up article next week, I will share a second one.
I worked with the Bi-Lingual Parent Advisory Committee. This committee is described in the Illinois School Code: "School districts shall provide for the maximum practical involvement of parents of children in transitional bilingual education programs. Each school district shall, accordingly, establish a parent advisory committee which affords parents the opportunity to effectively express their views and which ensures that such programs are planned, operated, and evaluated with the involvement of, and in consultation with, parents of children served by the programs." It was determined that the committee needed some guidance in governance and a new set of bylaws, and I was brought in to help.
I am embarrassed to admit that I, like many Americans, only speak English. But, I am extremely aware of how important it is to teach our young to speak multiple languages. I was shocked to learn that 49 different languages are spoken by students currently enrolled in the RPS205. What a challenge for the district.
When I attended the first committee meeting, I was stunned at what I saw. I felt like I was sitting in a meeting at the United Nations! The tables were set up in a large square with the approximately 20 committee members sitting on the outside of the square. They were parents of Rockford students, and many of them do not speak English. Several of the committee members were wearing headphones. Walking around the outside of the square were five or six people who were translators, speaking into their headset and translating into their designated language what was being said. There was no pausing; the translation was going on simultaneously as the speaker was making his/her point.
I had no idea this kind of sophisticated communication occurred in Rockford. Because of this group, these parents are able to have an impact on what is taught and how it is taught to their children, like every other parent of a child in the Rockford Public Schools.
Parents of the English-language learners are eager to integrate into the Rockford community. In April this year, the committee's parents organized a multicultural fair to share their cultural knowledge and traditions. The fair was hosted at East High School and attracted more than 500 visitors, with the participants representing more than 35 countries. Many families came with their children, who were mesmerized by the variety of people dressed in their traditional clothing, showing their heritage crafts, music and dance. In addition, some ethnic restaurants donated their food so visitors could literally experience the taste of different cultures. I attended the multicultural fair and found it fascinating.
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Brexit : une Réunionnaise de Londres témoigne (4) | Réunionnais du Monde - Ile de la Réunion

Racontez-nous votre parcours.

Annabelle Payet, 31 ans, je suis originaire de Sainte-Suzanne. J’ai quitté l’île après un bac L et je me suis installée à Paris. Après un DEUG en Langues Étrangères appliquées et un BTS en Commerce international, j’ai passé un Master 2 en communication. Après dix ans à Paris et un PVT en Australie, Tasmanie et Japon, j’avais envie de changer d’endroit et le plus proche pour moi sans visa, c’était Londres. Je travaille aujourd’hui comme « Business Development Manager » dans une agence de Traduction.

Pourquoi Londres ?

J’aime la ville, j’y avais des amis déjà installés et c’est facile d’accès. C’est un endroit fascinant, très riche et éclectique. La culture pop British m’a toujours attiré : j’ai grandi au son des Sex Pistols, des Beatles, en lisant Sherlock Holmes et j’étais même fan des Worlds Apart (rien que ca !). Plus sérieusement, j’ai eu plus de facilité à trouver un travail et à évoluer dans la branche qui m’intéressait après m’être installé ici il y a deux ans et demi. J’ai trouvé un travail permanent deux mois après mon arrivée et les démarches sont assez simples au niveau administratif. J’adore les grandes villes car c’est toujours très animé, on peut se déplacer facilement (je n’ai pas le permis !) et je m’y sens très a l’aise.

Ce référendum a-t-il passionné les gens que vous côtoyez ?

Etant dans une agence de traduction, 80% de mes collègues sont européens de tout horizons : Italie, Lituanie, Espagne, Portugal, Pologne... Le référendum nous a tous rendu très nerveux, on imagine le pire : être expulsé alors qu’on a justement tout quitté pour venir s’installer ici, pour y construire une vie. On peut comprendre les arguments de chaque côté mais on n’ose pas trop participer au débat, car quelque part en tant qu’ expatriés on « fait partie » du problème.

Comment avez-vous vécu les dernières heures avant le résultat ?

J’évite d’être en live sur les news car je trouve ça trop stressant mais je regardais régulièrement le site web de la BBC, on était sur le qui vive avec les amis anglais et européens. La tendance affichée par la BBC nous a tordu le ventre jusqu’à ce que le résultat soit confirmé.

Pouvez-vous nous décrire l’ambiance autour de vous, alors que le résultat du référendum vient de tomber ?

Triste. Autour de moi tout le monde est deçu et anxieux. Cela présage beaucoup de complications à tous les niveaux, que ce soit pour les Anglais ou pour les expats. Mes amis anglais expliquent le partage des votes par un écart générationnel. Les plus jeunes soutiennent l’appartenance europénne mais les grands parents sont farouchement contre. Qui a eu raison au final ? On verra bien...
 
Selon vous qu’est ce qui motive le désir « d’indépendance » des Anglais ?

En tant qu’insulaire je pense qu’on est de nature assez fière et protectionniste. Avoir le contrôle et l’indépendance économique est un reflet de l’indépendance géographique.

www.reunionnaisdumonde.com/r/18/Royaume-Uni (282 inscrits)}
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Le « Brexit » n’aura pas lieu

Analyse. Attention, problème de traduction : les Britanniques ont certes voté pour le « Brexit », mais cette expression ne signifie pas qu’ils vont quitter l’Union européenne (UE) et encore moins l’Europe.

Il suffit d’observer les tergiversations du premier ministre, David Cameron, qui souhaite laisser à son successeur le soin d’exercer l’article 50 des traités européens, ce fameux article qui entraîne le compte à rebours de deux ans pour sortir de plein droit de l’UE. Déjà, Albion joue la montre. Elle va devoir négocier simultanément son divorce et son remariage, sous une forme à inventer, avec les Européens.

Passons sur les mille questions sans réponse : que va-t-il advenir des immigrés polonais à Londres, des retraités anglais en Creuse, des étudiants espagnols en Ecosse, des droits de douane que l’Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC) interdit d’augmenter…

Qu’adviendra-t-il si, à la faveur d’élections, les conservateurs britanniques perdent le pouvoir ? Quitter l’UE apparaît presque « matériellement impossible », comme devait l’être « la guerre » avec la mise en commun du charbon et de l’acier selon la déclaration Schuman de 1950, tant le droit et l’économie anglais sont enchevêtrés avec l’Europe.

Faire fi des rancœurs passées
Les Britanniques ont trop cassé d’œufs depuis 1973 dans l’aventure européenne et, comme le résume Pascal Lamy, ancien directeur général de l’OMC, « on ne refait pas des œufs à partir d’une omelette ».

En dépit d’un ton martial, les Continentaux vont eux aussi devoir fair
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Pilot, el novedoso auricular que traduce idiomas

Ingenieros estadounidenses han desarrollado unos auriculares inalámbricos que interactúan con una app del teléfono móvil, traduciendo lo que dicen personas que hablan en diferentes lenguas, conjugando sistemas de reconocimiento del lenguaje, síntesis de voz y traducción automática.

Su nombre es Pilot y es capaz de traducir hasta cuatro idiomas en tiempo real y sin necesidad de estar conectado a Internet.

“Este sistema permite que se unan a la conversación varias personas con el auricular puesto y se entiendan aunque hablen diferentes idiomas. También usar el teléfono móvil como un altavoz para trasmitir lo que estamos diciendo en el idioma que elijamos”, según Andrew Ochoa, director ejecutivo de Waverly Labs (WL), compañía creadora del producto.

“Ambos participantes en la conversación deben ponerse el auricular para que haya una traducción en ambas direcciones y, cuando dos personas llevan puesto este aparato, cada una de ellas escucha lo que le dice la otra en su propio idioma”, según Ochoa.

“La actual versión de este dispositivo no traduce todo lo que se escucha alrededor del usuario, sino solo lo que dicen las personas que llevan puesto otro auricular similar”, explica.
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La mala traducción del testamento puede dejar a Colau sin la gestión de 250 millones. Noticias de Cataluña

A las palabras las carga el diablo. Y a las de un testamento, más. De ahí que la traducción de las últimas voluntades del multimillonario Julio Muñoz Ramonet sea ahora el nudo gordiano para determinar si una herencia de 250 millones de euros sigue siendo gestionada por el Ayuntamiento de Barcelona o pasa a la familia del financiero. Porque el asunto de la mayor herencia recibida por el consistorio catalán ha vuelto a saltar a la palestra: el albacea testamentario Romano Kunz, que además es notario, abogado y amigo de Julio Muñoz Ramonet, acaba de crear una fundación en Barcelona para dar cumplimiento a las últimas voluntades del multimillonario y envió una carta a la alcaldesa de la ciudad, Ada Colau, exponiéndole que la fundación creada por el Ayuntamiento barcelonés no cumple esas últimas voluntades.
Pero ahora contraataca con cargas de profundidad: sostiene que una mala traducción del testamento fue la causante de que el Ayuntamiento de Barcelona se “apropiase” de esa jugosa herencia. El testamento en cuestión está escrito en alemán y consta de 300 páginas. Ahora, Kunz ha realizado una traducción jurada del texto que difiere en lo sustancial de la traducción que había realizado el consistorio para arrogarse el protagonismo en la gestión de la herencia.
Muñoz Ramonet había dejado un palacete en la calle Muntaner, un edificio en la calle Avenir y entre 700 y 800 obras de arte, de las que más de 300 están en “paradero desconocido”. Fuentes del Ayuntamiento barcelonés señalan a El Confidencial que “hay sentencias que determinan que nosotros somos los que debemos gestionar la herencia. Además, la última determina que la familia tiene la obligación de entregar las obras de arte que todavía no han aparecido o, en su lugar, abonar su valor en metálico.

Imagen del legado de Muñoz Ramonet. (EFE)
De momento, los peritos ya están haciendo una valoración de las obras de arte inventariadas "para saber cuánto cuestan las que están desaparecidas”. Estas fuentes afirman que de las más de 300 que faltan por aparecer, unas 200 “son de primer orden”. Entre los cuadros pertenecientes a la herencia hay obras de Goya, Rembrandt, Murillo, Zurbarán, Delacroix, Boticcelli, Tiziano, Fortuny, El Greco, Sorolla o Gainsborough, por poner algunos ejemplos. Y ese puede ser el paso previo a que el consistorio que preside Ada Colau reclame a la familia una cantidad millonaria en concepto de indemnización por los cuadros que faltan.
La frase de la polémica
Pero esa reclamación puede quedar en el aire si se pone en duda la autenticidad de la traducción del testamento. Resulta que Muñoz Ramonet dejó dicho, textualmente, que destinaba “la finca de la calle Muntaner, con inclusión del parque y su jardín y del Palacio de Porvenir, así como su contenido íntegro a una Fundación que lleve mi nombre”. A continuación, el texto en alemán, que obra en poder de El Confidencial, señala que el objeto de la fundación será la conservación y el mantenimiento de las instalaciones y su visita y uso razonable por parte del público “unter dem Patronat der Stadt Barcelona”, conforme se señala en el apartado c del punto 4 del testamento. El consistorio tradujo por su cuenta que eso quería decir “bajo el patronato de la ciudad de Barcelona”, pero la traducción correcta es “bajo el patrocinio de la ciudad de Barcelona”, lo que cambia sustancialmente el contenido del testamento.

La alcaldesa de Barcelona, Ada Colau. (EFE)
“En alemán, la palabra ‘patronat’ significa ‘patrocinio’, mientras que el patronato como órgano tiene diferentes nombres: ‘Stiftungkuratorium’, ‘Stiftungvorstand’, ‘Vorstands’, ‘Stiftungausschuss’ o ‘Ausschuss’. Y es importante tener en cuenta que, en castellano, la palabra ‘patronato’ tiene intencionalidad jurídica porque equivale al gobierno de la fundación. En alemán, en cambio, no tiene intencionalidad jurídica porque se refiere a patrocinio o 'esponsorización' y no al gobierno de la institución”, explican a El Confidencial fuentes cercanas a la familia de Muñoz Ramonet.
El consistorio tradujo por su cuenta“bajo el patronato de la ciudad de Barcelona”, pero la versión correcta es “bajo el patrocinio de la ciudad de Barcelona"
Estas fuentes añaden que “no hay que olvidar que el testamento fue redactado por el notario suizo Kunz, que es doctor en derecho y que conoce perfectamente el concepto de ‘órgano de gobierno de la fundación’ y que sabe que ese órgano en ningún caso se designa como ‘patronat’ en la legislación suiza ni en la alemana”. El propio notario señala en un documento personal, al que ha tenido acceso este diario, que la palabra ‘patronat’ del testamento responde “al concepto legal de patrocinio sin ninguna duda”. Lo que está ahora por ver es si esta circunstancia puede influir en algo sobre la sentencia emitida por el Supremo en 2012 que daba la razón al consistorio basándose en la mala traducción.
Desde el Ayuntamiento de Barcelona se afirma, sin embargo, que las cuatro hijas de Muñoz Ramonet ya establecieron un pleito en Suiza sobre el tema. “Querían invalidar el testamento por la mala traducción, pero los tribunales suizos fallaron en su contra y les hicieron pagar las costas”, argumentan fuentes del consistorio barcelonés. Fuentes cercanas a la familia, en cambio, aseguran que el pleito suizo fue sobre la invalidación del testamento, no sobre el legado, lo que son dos conceptos jurídicos “muy diferentes”. Ese juicio, pues, no afecta a la nueva reclamación que se hace en Barcelona.
“Ya se ha cumplido su última voluntad”
Un portavoz municipal reconoce que ahora se abre un nuevo episodio en la lucha por la multimillonaria herencia. “La fundación creada por el Ayuntamiento de Barcelona lleva casi 21 años funcionando y no es de recibo que ahora venga un señor y cree otra con nombre muy parecido”, subrayan, refiriéndose a la Fundación Casa Julio Muñoz Ramonet, que el notario Romano Kunz fundó el pasado 26 de mayo de 2016, frente a la Fundación Julio Muñoz Ramonet que el Ayuntamiento de Barcelona creó en 1995.

Julio Muñoz Ramonet. (TV3)
Además, destacan que “la fundación del Ayuntamiento ha cumplido la voluntad del testamento”, cosa que Romano Kunz niega, ya que en el mismo se especifica que en el patronato han de estar las hijas del financiero. También subrayan el hecho de que el albacea testamentario no haya aparecido en escena hasta ahora, tras 20  años de pleitos: “Son ganas de marear la perdiz, porque las últimas voluntades de Muñoz Ramonet ya se han cumplido con la creación de la fundación de 1995 y no hacía falta esta. Y ya veremos si jurídicamente se puede mantener el que haya esta nueva fundación con nombre muy parecido a la ya existente. De momento, ha de inscribirse aún en el registro oficial de la Generalitat”. Otras fuentes del consistorio argumentan que “la apertura de esta nueva línea de confrontación responde al perfil de las hijas del financiero de seguir litigando”.
En los círculos cercanos a la familia de Muñoz Ramonet, sin embargo, se afirma que las nuevas reclamaciones parten de la base de que el notario y albacea testamentario jamás había sido llamado por el consistorio barcelonés para consultarle sobre la herencia, “lo que hubiese sido lo correcto. Si ahora se encuentran con que se han hecho las cosas mal, no tienen que buscar responsables fuera: que los busquen dentro del Ayuntamiento. Las cosas se han hecho mal”.
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Former Afghan interpreter shifts gears for a new career in America

alda Kabiri worked as a translator with U.S. task forces in Afghanistan for five years. Now she balances her desire for a college degree with a day care she runs out of her home for other Special Immigrant Visa holders. Sacramento County provides payment for children attending the day care but has been late in paying her. She struggles to make ends meet. Jessica Koscielniak McClatchy
BY STEPHEN MAGAGNINI
smagagnini@sacbee.com
Yalda Kabiri’s day care business is nothing fancy – just a converted bedroom in the two-bedroom apartment she shares with her husband and two children in Arden Arcade.

She has put down new pieces of carpet in an effort to thwart the bedbugs and roaches infesting the complex.

Her home business represents a small first step toward building a new career in the United States. It’s also meeting a critical need among Afghan refugees in Sacramento. Newly arrived Afghan mothers are required to attend English classes and enroll in job training programs as a condition of receiving government aid, and they need someone to watch their children.

   
Former interpreter starts over as she opens day care, goes to college
 
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Kabiri, 27, was among a small minority of female interpreters employed by the U.S. military during its occupation of Afghanistan. Unlike many of the Afghan women arriving here, she is accustomed to working outside the home and speaks English. Besides running her day care, she is taking classes at American River College with the goal of becoming a kindergarten teacher and maybe – someday – a lawyer who helps other immigrants.

“Every immigrant has a big idea,” Kabiri said.

Kabiri’s father was a tailor. Her mother taught high school but lost her job in 1996 when the Taliban took over Kabul. “I was in fourth grade when they closed all schools and universities for girls, so my mom had a secret school in our home,” she said.

At the time, she said, women who went outside without burqas shrouding them from head to toe were whipped or beaten with sticks. “When I remember what happened, I start crying.”

Kabiri was in seventh grade when U.S. forces recaptured Kabul. She went back to school, and began studying English.

After high school, she earned an ESL certificate and passed the test to become one of the few female translators for the U.S. military. She was assigned to the medical task force at the Bagram Air Base, where she worked with Afghans from remote villages, many of them women and children. Kabiri earned $1,000 a month, money that helped support her six sisters and brother.

At 21, she married a young man she met in her ESL class.

Kabiri commuted six hours round-trip to work, six days a week. She said she was often taunted and threatened as she rode in a taxi or carpooled to the base in northeast Afghanistan. She tried to keep her job a secret because of widespread hostility toward people who worked with the United States.

“One day, the taxi driver tried to kidnap me and my daughter and we had to jump out,” she said.

In 2013, while she was pregnant with her second child, Kabiri was granted a visa to come to the United States. But the U.S. Embassy refused to grant one for her husband, despite her almost daily pleas. Kabiri used $2,300 in savings to buy tickets for herself and Sana, her daughter.

She had no friends or relatives in the United States, but she knew where she wanted to go. “I said I wanted to go to California because I heard there were a lot of Afghans,” she said.

She was settled by the International Rescue Committee, one of four nonprofit organizations responsible for administering federal refugee aid in Sacramento. The group placed her in the Villa Capri apartments, a low-slung complex of worn buildings on Trussel Way in Arden Arcade. She said her apartment had dirty carpets and was infested with bedbugs and roaches. One day last summer, she ducked for cover when she heard gunshots outside her windows.

The reality of life in Arden Arcade was not what she expected.

 
Yalda Kabiri supervises her youngest daughter Usna, 2, as well as Ozair and Samaa, 17-month-old twins enrolled in her day care. In Afghanistan, she worked as an interpreter for U.S. forces in dangerous provinces.
“My dream was a nice house, nice location,” she said. “I worry about the children and what they see growing up here. They hear gunshots, see police cars and can smell marijuana.”

Villa Capri is owned by Emily Chen of Cupertino, who did not return calls from The Sacramento Bee.

In September 2010, the 70-unit complex was cited for roaches in at least 15 apartments, broken or missing screens, broken air conditioning, faulty switches and non-functioning smoke detectors, according to public records.

Shortly before Afghan refugees began to move in several years ago, someone was killed on the property, said Sacramento County Code Enforcement manager Barry Chamberlain.

“They pretty much did a huge rehab of the property,” Chamberlain said. “The DA was involved, the sheriff was involved, the bank was involved. The murder was the triggering incident.”

Once she had moved into Villa Capri, Kabiri had to figure out how to get to the doctor for her prenatal appointments. Her husband, Zabihullah Najem, arrived in the U.S. a month after she did, but the couple didn’t have a car.

At first, a representative of the International Relief Committee drove her, but that stopped after a month, Kabiri said. She was left with no car or money for cab fare. So the couple bought a bicycle from Walmart and she learned to ride it.

“I biked for 90 minutes each way to my doctor’s office in Fair Oaks every week,” she said. Their second daughter, Usna, was born in July 2013.

Najem landed a $12-an-hour job working the 4 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. shift at the Apple facility in Elk Grove. Several hundred Afghan refugees have been hired there by an Apple subcontractor, Volt Workforce Solutions. The swing shift schedule allows Najem to help out and watch the girls twice a week so his wife can attend school.

“I’m a technician. We check iPhones before releasing them to the public,” said Najem, 33. “I work 40 hours a week. We don’t have health care. I wish they’d give us iPhones.”

The Bee’s Renée C. Byer contributed to this report.

Stephen Magagnini: 916-321-1072, @SteveMagagnini
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From battling insurgents to checking iPhones – Afghan interpreter mourns lost sense of purpose

Abdul Farhad Ghafoori misses the sense of purpose he felt in war.

On the wall of his apartment in Arden Arcade, Ghafoori, 25, has hung a photo collage of his former life. One snapshot shows a handsome young man in camouflage fatigues being embraced by a strapping U.S. soldier in Laghman province. In another, Ghafoori poses in front of a tank. Another shows him wearing the Afghan National Army uniform.

“I’ve put these up to remember what I was doing: training Afghan security forces,” Ghafoori, 25, said as his daughter, Kayinat, 4, climbed up on a chair and smiled at the pictures of her dad in uniform. His son, Ahmad Farzad, 2, played nearby with a toy gun.

“I was interpreting and translating documents for coalition forces, and went on foot patrols in the provinces with U.S. Special Forces,” said Ghafoori, whose father was killed by the Taliban when he was a toddler. “We put our lives in danger, trying to avoid (improvised explosive devices) and the Taliban firing into our bases.”

Today, Ghafoori works the night shift at the Apple plant in Elk Grove, troubleshooting iPhones that come in for repair or refurbishing.

   
Images document a family's struggle with bedbugs, cockroaches and crime
 
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He said his life here feels boring and meaningless. A foot injury has stopped him from running at night to reduce his stress, but he has been too busy to make it to the doctor.

Ghafoori earns $10 an hour for working from 8:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. During the day, he watches his son and daughter so his wife can attend English class. He’s also looking for a better-paying job with health care.

His family’s one-bedroom apartment on the second story of a building on Bell Street is dark and gloomy, facing a brick wall and a chain-link fence, but it’s better than the first-floor apartment where he and his family were resettled upon their arrival in August 2015.

Their first night, they were besieged by roaches and bedbugs. His crying children were left covered with inflamed red bites.

At his cultural orientation class soon afterward, Ghafoori, accompanied by his wife, Badria, and their two badly bitten children, held out his palms and said, “We expected the government to provide for us and put us in a good, clean place. My apartment is full of insects, and in Afghanistan we didn’t have these insects.”

Mark Silva, a local official with the International Rescue Committee, which placed Ghafoori and his family in the apartment complex, said bug infestations are a common problem faced by new refugees. “It’s one of my biggest fears,” he said. “Refugees bring in mattresses and couches off the street that have bugs.”

Ghafoori’s building has a history of infestations that long predates the arrival of his family or other Afghan refugees, however. It is owned by Emily Chen of Cupertino, who did not return calls from The Sacramento Bee. In July 2011, the county inspection records show the building had a cockroach infestation. The county classified the building as “substandard” and said it “constitutes a public nuisance.”

Ghafoori said he persuaded the landlord to spray the apartment, but that afterward it smelled so bad the family slept in another Afghan’s home.

The spray helped stave off the attacks, but his kids were still getting bitten. “I still feel like something’s crawling around in my pants or up my body,” he said shortly after his family’s arrival. “I still can see cockroaches and bedbugs walking around, and I have trouble sleeping at night.”

 
Abdul Farhad Ghafoori shows one of several bugs he photographed in his apartment with his wife, Badria, daughter, Kayinat, 4, and son, Ahmad, almost 2. “We came from Afghanistan. We ran away from the Taliban and now we have to fight cockroaches,” Badria said. The landlord sprayed the apartment, but the family still had trouble sleeping at night.
Like some other Afghan refugees, Ghafoori said he and Badria, 31, had a relatively comfortable life in Afghanistan. They lived in a larger, nicer apartment.

But when they got their visas, they had to pack up quickly and give away their belongings. A lace tablecloth is one of the few possessions they took.

“We brought it to look nice and to make things look beautiful,” he said.

When he first arrived, Ghafoori said he spent hours looking for jobs on Craigslist and researching how he could take the GED.

But he now realizes how hard it will be for him to go to school or get a better job, with two young children and his wife taking English classes. Badria, 31, the daughter of a pharmacist, went through 12th grade in Afghanistan and is studying hard to crack English.

Ghafoori carpools to his job at Apple and watches the children during the day. For awhile, he owned a bicycle, but it was stolen from a tree in front of his apartment where he had chained it.

At his refugee orientation class, IRC staff members who arrived as refugees said they worked as janitors and dishwashers for their first two years before finding something better.

“My dream before I came here was that I would be placed in a good place, clean area, safe place,” Ghafoori said. “I would have a good job and good future. As I see now, it’s too much of a struggle.”

The Bee’s Phillip Reese and Renée C. Byer contributed to this report.

Stephen Magagnini: 916-321-1072, @SteveMagagnini
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His interpreter saved his life in Afghanistan; he works so none are left behind

Matt Zeller’s voice rises when he recounts the moment his Afghan interpreter saved his life.

Outgunned and outmanned in an intense firefight, Zeller said, he didn’t notice two insurgents approaching him from behind – until they were shot and killed by Janis Shinwari.

Interpreters, though not officially combatants, carried weapons and fought alongside U.S. forces in the Afghan war, said Zeller, a former Army intelligence officer. “There are countless (soldiers) who would say, ‘That’s my brother, my guardian angel. When you share a foxhole and are being shot at, that’s a bond that can never be broken.

“By the end of my tour, our translators wore our uniforms, because we learned early on in firefights that the Taliban would actually target them for the bulk of their fire.”

Since returning from his tour of duty, the Army captain has dedicated his life to getting Afghan translators safely out of the country and making sure they receive enough assistance to launch new lives in the United States. He is one of several prominent critics of the U.S. Special Immigrant Visa program, under which Afghan interpreters and others who worked for the United States during the war in Afghanistan are permitted to immigrate.


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In the first years of the program, only a trickle of visas were issued. Zeller, based in Virginia, drew national attention with his lobbying effort to get Shinwari out of the country in the face of Taliban death threats. Once Shinwari arrived, Zeller said, he became aware of the challenges facing Afghan SIV holders in the U.S. He said he’s furious over the way many of translators who’ve arrived in the U.S. since 2009 have been treated.

He co-founded a nonprofit called No One Left Behind in October 2012 to help former translators. He said it now has chapters in Washington D.C., Chicago, Omaha, Boston, Denver, San Diego and San Francisco, and that Sacramento desperately needs one.

 
JESSICA KOSCIELNIAK McClatchy Newspapers
Matt Zeller is co-founder of No One Left Behind and a U.S. Army veteran. His organization helps former Afghans who served the U.S. as interpreters relocate to the United States.
“We’re trying to do it this summer,” he said. “California has the largest population of Afghan translators, many of whom end up going to Sacramento because the Bay Area is ridiculously expensive. But compared to other cities in the U.S., Sacramento’s cost of living is astronomically expensive. If you really want to find a place where you will not be struggling to climb out of poverty, you might want to consider going to more affordable cities.”

The number of translators and their families arriving has accelerated nationwide in recent years. About 1,100 Afghans with Special Immigrant Visas arrived in fiscal 2013, nearly 8,000 in 2014, another 7,200 in 2015 and 9,000 more so far this fiscal year, according to the State Department.

Zeller said the U.S. resettlement system proved unprepared to handle this increased flow of Afghan refugees.

An extreme example of that lack of readiness is the story of what happened to Ajmal Faqiri, who translated for U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. “We actually found him homeless after he arrived in San Francisco airport on Dec. 13, 2013,” Zeller said. “He picked up his four bags, with his wife, 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter and found an airport policeman and asked, ‘What do I do now? The guy pointed north and said the homeless shelters are that way. So they walked up Highway 101.

 
“We found them homeless, wandering the streets of San Francisco after an Afghan guy noticed them and helped them contact my interpreter through Facebook.”

Zeller said he believes the SIV holders deserve the same benefits as U.S. veterans. “They have earned their citizenship more than most Americans ever will in their lives,” he said. “The only difference between me and Janis, my translator, is that I won the birth lottery. I did one tour of duty, was injured and can go to the VA for health care. Then there’s my brother Janis, who spent eight years in combat on the front lines, saving the lives of five Americans, and he doesn’t get to go to the VA and get help for the six times he was blown up.”

The issues highlighted by Zeller, though he lives in Virginia, are the same ones facing Afghan refugees in Sacramento, one of the nation’s biggest destinations for special visa holders. While there are no reports of people wandering around homeless, housing is the single most pressing complaint raised by the new arrivals.

At a recent meeting of the Sacramento Refugee Forum, a coalition of agencies working on resettlement, frustration over the situation was palpable. State Refugee Coordinator Sysvanh Kabkeo told the group that “it’s beyond my imagination” how to find enough affordable, decent housing for the influx of refugees.

Sacramento’s refugee housing crisis has become so acute that the U.S. State Department is now discouraging Afghan SIV holders from coming here.

“If you’re a refugee and you want to resettle in Northern California or Northern Virginia, for example, you may not be able to afford the rent from your first paycheck in areas where housing costs are very expensive,” said Larry Bartlett, director of the department’s refugee admissions office. “We try to dissuade refugees from selecting expensive cities unless they have a relative or friend there that makes their adjustment easier.”

A little ‘welcome money’

Four refugee agencies – International Rescue Committee, World Relief, Opening Doors and the Sacramento Food Bank – have resettled nearly all of the Afghan special visa holders here.

The State Department gives each resettlement agency $2,025 per person – $900 to spend on case management and $1,125 to cover rent, furniture, dishware, food and pocket money. But this $1,125 – dubbed “welcome money” by the refugee agencies – doesn’t go far. The agencies can reassign $200 of it to the needs of other refugees, meaning it doesn’t have to go to the family for which it was paid by the government.

Much of the remaining $925 per person is often spent on rent, used furnishings or housewares – without the knowledge or consent of the refugees themselves. One new arrival, former translator Yalda Kabiri, said she received just $45 in spending money when she arrived in 2013.

Many told The Sacramento Bee they would rather have all the cash to pay for phones, used cars, gas and their own furnishings. Before they are given the last of their pocket money, they are required to attend cultural orientation classes.

The State Department expects the resettlement agencies it contracts with to help support new refugees for 30 days – 90 days if they need an extension. Newly arrived families can also qualify for cash assistance and food stamps for up to four years. Those who come without children are eligible for food stamps and just eight months of cash assistance at $331 a month.

 
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Afghan allies from war on terror struggle to find the American dream
The State Department offers Special Immigrant Visas to Afghans who risked their lives translating and providing other services to U.S. and allied forces during the war on terror. Sacramento's ethnic diversity and mild climate have made it a magnet for the
Jessica Koscielniak McClatchy
Some common themes have emerged among special visa holders in Sacramento. Upon arrival, they are settled in one of a number of apartment complexes in Sacramento County. These units are often infested with roaches and bedbugs, and located in neighborhoods with relatively high crime rates. But the rent has been prepaid for several months, making it hard to move.

The furniture provided is often used and worn, and in their view not worth the money the refugee assistance agencies often spend on it. The men are dismayed to learn that their Afghan credentials and letters of recommendation mean nothing here. Many have taken jobs at $10 an hour repairing iPhones for an Apple contractor in Elk Grove.

It’s a narrative that infuriates Zeller. As a combat veteran, he noted, he can receive preferential treatment for jobs at Walmart and many other employers. But newly arrived special visa holders can’t get a job until they get a Social Security card, a process that can take four months. Then, they’re often disqualified by a series of red flags: Their Social Security numbers are brand new, they have no established credit history and nobody has ever heard of the universities they attended.

Zeller said he knows Afghan families elsewhere in the country who have been put in condemned homes or rat- and bug-infested apartments, and when they want to move landlords won’t refund their money.

“There’s no investigatory body, no oversight,” he said. “There’s never been a congressional hearing, no inspector general looking into the Office of Refugee Resettlement to see how the money’s being spent and if resettlement agencies are actually doing their job.”

The refugees have to start paying rent as soon as they arrive, but Zeller complained that the resettlement agencies often don’t explain what leases entail or what it actually means to make a rent payment on the first of every month.

“I’ve lost count of the number of translators who have come to me with eviction notices,” he said.

When an Afghan refugee does wind up in court, he said, it can be terrifying, since the judicial system in Afghanistan is corrupt. Sometimes, they don’t go, and their legal problems snowball.

“You can imagine the profound frustration they experience when they realize how very little support they get to assist them in their integration,” he said. “I know five who have gone home to Afghanistan to die.”

‘Systemic problems’

Representatives of refugee resettlement agencies say they are doing the best they can with limited resources. They say they need to prepay rent, because otherwise refugees could wind up homeless. Rents also have risen steeply in the past two years.

“I used to be able rent a one-bedroom apartment two years ago for $545; now it’s closer to $700,” said Kirt Lewis, director of the Sacramento field office of World Relief. “We look for the safest, most sanitary, most affordable housing we can find.”

Since the State Department gives each resettlement agency just 90 days to provide refugees with housing, schools, medical care, cultural orientation, food stamps, cash assistance, Social Security cards, language classes and job placement services, it’s not surprising that they often fall behind, said Deborah Ortiz, the former state senator who now leads Opening Doors, a resettlement agency in Sacramento.

“The needs of arriving refugees don’t just happen between 9 and 5 p.m.,” Ortiz said. “Our staff are running around driving people everywhere.”

That the newcomers’ array of needs are met “is pretty amazing” she added, since much of the work is done by volunteers, or by former refugees who make $12 an hour.

The Afghan SIV holders, many of them strict Muslims, pose a unique set of problems, said Ortiz, whose caseload now is almost 90 percent Afghans. “You’re not going to get your last (welcome money) check until you go to cultural orientation class, but we find ourselves trying to accommodate separate orientations for men and women, and the husband may say, ‘My wife can’t drive in a taxi with a man’ to the orientation or her medical appointment, which means we get further and further behind doing our cultural orientation for women.”

As hundreds of new refugees arrive here every month, “We have a lot of systemic problems,” Ortiz said. “We have a massive housing problem with refugees, and huge mental health issues.”

Completing required health screenings within 30 days is a challenge, she said. The county’s Refugee Health Clinic can barely keep up and “scrambles to get the right interpreter for scheduled appointments,” Ortiz said. “But there are no-shows because clients either can’t get a ride or simply miss appointments, and the average time to complete health screenings is more than 50 days.”

Along with culture shock, many Afghan refugees come with unrealistic expectations about cash and housing, especially since they got no cultural orientation before they arrived. Many enjoyed a higher quality of life in Afghanistan despite the threat of death, Ortiz said, “but for the most part, people are really grateful to be here.”

Kabkeo said Sacramento County and its cities could do more to help the Afghan refugees.

 
Members of Sacramento County’s mental health community support team attending the recent refugee forum meeting said they don’t have a single counselor on their suicide prevention hotline who speaks Dari or Pashtun, the main Afghan languages, even though as many as half of the Afghans arriving suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The refugee forum here has not been as proactive as some others in the state, despite the burgeoning population. Some refugee forums in California are trying to improve services by forming nonprofits that hire membership coordinators, said state Refugee Programs County Operations Manager Jacqueline Hom. The East Bay Refugee Forum, for example, charges dues to its members and uses them to fund a person who goes to local churches and has been able to raise thousands of dollars and deliver boxes of coats and backpacks to refugees, Hom said.

On the federal level, the Obama administration launched the White House Task Force on New Americans in November 2014 to better integrate refugees arriving in the United States. Forty-seven communities have signed on to participate, a process that asks them to develop policies and programs to assist newcomers, according to the task force website. They include San Jose, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Kabkeo said.

“But I don’t see Sacramento or any city in the greater Sacramento area.”

Zeller’s nonprofit is trying to help ease the transition for former translators, who make up a significant portion of the special visa holders arriving in the U.S. Completely funded through private donations, it offers to pay three months’ rent, plus provide furnishings and an inexpensive car. It costs his organization about $15,000 to resettle a family, Zeller said.

In addition, Zeller said, “We actually will work with them to find a job, and not just a job mopping floors at 7-Eleven or flipping burgers, but an actual job that sets them up with benefits, that is livable, that is a career. And we, whenever possible, try to get them into college as quickly as possible, because we recognize that education is the only way forward for them in this country.

“They’re not just going to come here and be a doctor or a lawyer, even if they were that in their country. Their certifications don’t transfer here, so they have to go back and get re-educated.”

McClatchy Newspapers’ Jessica Koscielniak contributed to this story.

Stephen Magagnini: 916-321-1072, @SteveMagagnini

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'Not every film can be made in multiple languages'

At a time when the demand for bilingual and dubbed versions of films is at an all-time high in Indian cinema, ace filmmaker SS Rajamouli of Baahubali: The Beginning fame, says it's only feasible to release those films in multiple languages which have a universal human connect.
Rajamouli's southern magnum opus Baahubali: The Beginning, which was made on a whopping Rs.100 crore-plus budget, released across the world in different languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi and minted over Rs.600 crore worldwide.
Rajamouli says whether a film should be released as a bilingual project or not depends on the subject of a project.
"Each and every film cannot be released in all the languages. If you get a subject which is predominantly based on human emotions, which are general to everyone irrespective of caste, creed, region, language or culture specific - if you know that your story is based on those human emotions and it connects to everyone - then it is eligible to release in all the languages," Rajamouli said.
"In the case of 'Baahubali: The Beginning' we believed it needs to be showcased to a wider audience," he added.
The National Award winner and Padma Shri awardee says mediocre subjects cannot register huge footfalls at theatres.
"Art is a very difficult business, and cinema is both art and business.
"You just cannot say that it is all art, and vice-versa. So that way, one has to give space for another and you should be sensible enough to think of both angles," said Rajamouli, credited with films like Eega, Magadheera and Vikramarkudu.
"If you are putting money in a film, there should be some avenue from where you can get the money back. No one wants to make films to be bankrupt. When you start believing in a mediocre subject thinking that it is going to fetch more in various markets just by pumping in more money to it, then that's where the problem starts," he added.
Now Baahubali: The Beginning, starring Prabhas and Rana Daggubati in the lead, is set to release next month in 6,500 screens across China -- which is increasingly becoming an important market for Indian movies.
"There has been a lot of effort from the producer's side to release it as a mainstream film there (in China). This is not the first time, as a lot of (Indian) films have released there before. But all of them have received a very small number of screens," Rajamouli said.
" 'PK' broke that (image) as it got a wide release there. 'Baahubali: The Beginning' is going to release in 6,500 screens. Our film is going to release all over China. It's bigger than its India release," Rajamouli said.
He also appreciated how since the "Chinese are very aggressive in their marketing, they have grown exponentially (in terms of filmmaking) when they decided to put their eye on cinema 10 to 15 years ago".
"I hope our film does well, not just for us, but for the string of Indian films to follow," he added.
Asked why he never thought of making Baahubali: The Beginning in Hindi and release it as a commercial Bollywood film, Rajamouli said: "When I started 'Baahubali: The Beginning' and had the script and the schedule ready, we knew that I need my stars to give me their dates for two years.
"Can you think of any of the Bollywood stars who can give their dates for two years without committing to any other movies? It wouldn't have happened."
The sequel of Baahubali: The Beginning, titled Baahubali: The Conclusion, is slated to release in 2017.
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Not every film can be made in multiple languages: Filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli

At a time when the demand for bilingual and dubbed versions of films is at an all-time high in Indian cinema, ace filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli of “Baahubali: The Beginning” fame, says it’s only feasible to release those films in multiple languages which have a universal human connect.
Rajamouli’s southern magnum opus “Baahubali: The Beginning”, which was made on a whopping Rs 100 crore-plus budget, released across the world in different languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi and minted over Rs 600 crore worldwide.
Rajamouli says whether a film should be released as a bilingual project or not depends on the subject of a project.
“Each and every film cannot be released in all the languages. If you get a subject which is predominantly based on human emotions, which are general to everyone irrespective of caste, creed, region, language or culture specific – if you know that your story is based on those human emotions and it connects to everyone – then it is eligible to release in all the languages,” Rajamouli told IANS here.
“In the case of ‘Baahubali: The Beginning’ we believed it needs to be showcased to a wider audience,” he added.
The National Award winner and Padma Shri awardee says mediocre subjects cannot register huge footfalls at theatres.
“Art is a very difficult business, and cinema is both art and business.
“You just cannot say that it is all art, and vice-versa. So that way, one has to give space for another and you should be sensible enough to think of both angles,” said Rajamouli, credited with films like “Eega”, “Magadheera” and “Vikramarkudu”.
“If you are putting money in a film, there should be some avenue from where you can get the money back. No one wants to make films to be bankrupt. When you start believing in a mediocre subject thinking that it is going to fetch more in various markets just by pumping in more money to it, then that’s where the problem starts,” he added.
Now “Baahubali: The Beginning”, starring Prabhas and Rana Daggubati in the lead, is set to release next month in 6,500 screens across China — which is increasingly becoming an important market for Indian movies.
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Not every film can be made in multiple languages: Filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli (IANS Interview)

At a time when the demand for bilingual and dubbed versions of films is at an all-time high in Indian cinema, ace filmmaker S.S. Rajamouli of "Baahubali: The Beginning" fame, says it's only feasible to release those films in multiple languages which have a universal human connect.

Rajamouli's southern magnum opus "Baahubali: The Beginning", which was made on a whopping Rs 100 crore-plus budget, released across the world in different languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi and minted over Rs 600 crore worldwide.


Rajamouli says whether a film should be released as a bilingual project or not depends on the subject of a project.

"Each and every film cannot be released in all the languages. If you get a subject which is predominantly based on human emotions, which are general to everyone irrespective of caste, creed, region, language or culture specific - if you know that your story is based on those human emotions and it connects to everyone - then it is eligible to release in all the languages," Rajamouli told IANS here.

"In the case of 'Baahubali: The Beginning' we believed it needs to be showcased to a wider audience," he added.

The National Award winner and Padma Shri awardee says mediocre subjects cannot register huge footfalls at theatres.

"Art is a very difficult business, and cinema is both art and business.

"You just cannot say that it is all art, and vice-versa. So that way, one has to give space for another and you should be sensible enough to think of both angles," said Rajamouli, credited with films like "Eega", "Magadheera" and "Vikramarkudu".

"If you are putting money in a film, there should be some avenue from where you can get the money back. No one wants to make films to be bankrupt. When you start believing in a mediocre subject thinking that it is going to fetch more in various markets just by pumping in more money to it, then that's where the problem starts," he added.

Now "Baahubali: The Beginning", starring Prabhas and Rana Daggubati in the lead, is set to release next month in 6,500 screens across China -- which is increasingly becoming an important market for Indian movies.

"There has been a lot of effort from the producer's side to release it as a mainstream film there (in China). This is not the first time, as a lot of (Indian) films have released there before. But all of them have received a very small number of screens," Rajamouli said.

" 'PK' broke that (image) as it got a wide release there. 'Baahubali: The Beginning' is going to release in 6,500 screens. Our film is going to release all over China. It's bigger than its India release," Rajamouli said.

He also appreciated how since the "Chinese are very aggressive in their marketing, they have grown exponentially (in terms of filmmaking) when they decided to put their eye on cinema 10 to 15 years ago".

"I hope our film does well, not just for us, but for the string of Indian films to follow," he added.

Asked why he never thought of making "Baahubali: The Beginning" in Hindi and release it as a commercial Bollywood film, Rajamouli said: "When I started 'Baahubali: The Beginning' and had the script and the schedule ready, we knew that I need my stars to give me their dates for two years.

"Can you think of any of the Bollywood stars who can give their dates for two years without committing to any other movies? It wouldn't have happened."

The sequel of "Baahubali: The Beginning", titled "Baahubali: The Conclusion", is slated to release in 2017.

(Sandeep Sharma can be contacted at sandeep.s@ians.in)

--IANS
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PREMIO CHEIJ HAMAD DE TRADUCCIÓN Y ENTENDIMIENTO INTERNACIONAL 2016 (Qatar)

PREMIO CHEIJ HAMAD DE TRADUCCIÓN Y ENTENDIMIENTO INTERNACIONAL 2016 (Qatar)
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Graduaciones con mucho futuro

 El alumnado del campus Duques de Soria ha vivido «con enorme satisfacción» un intenso fin de semana, en lo que se refiere a graduaciones. La jornada de ayer comenzó a mediodía con un acto protocolario abierto por el vicerrector del Campus Duques de Soria, Luis Miguel Bonilla Morte, que dio paso a la graduación de 43 alumnos de la tercera promoción de Fisioterapia.

El evento contó con la impartición de una lección breve bajo el título ‘El papel del fisioterapeuta en la atención integrada de salud’, dictada por Enrique Delgado Ruiz, gerente de la Gerencia Integrada de la Asistencia Sanitaria de Soria.

Tras la entrega de diplomas y becas, en representación de los nuevos graduados habló el estudiante Carlos Abarca, y acto seguido lo hizo la decana de la Facultad de Fisioterapia, Alicia Gonzalo Ruiz.

Tras ella, intervino el gerente territorial de Servicios Sociales de la Consejería de Familia e Igualdad de Oportunidades. El acto se clausuró con la actuación del Coro Universitario Duques de Soria.

Asimismo, a todos los alumnos se les entregó un ejemplo del libro ‘Un estilo de vida y otros discursos’, de Sir William Osler (regalo de la Fundación Lilly).

La intensa jornada prosiguió por la tarde, en el Palacio de la Audiencia de Soria, donde tuvo lugar la graduación también de la tercera promoción del grado en Traducción e Interpretación (60 estudiantes) y la novena promoción del máster (ocho estudiantes).

El programa contó con la impartición de la lección breve: ‘La Traducción al servicio de la ciencia: Los Tratados de enología’, por Miguel Ibáñez Rodríguez, profesor de la Facultad de Traducción e Interpretación de Soria.

Con posterioridad se procedió a la entrega de distintos diplomas y becas. También se contó con la intervención de Beatriz Arias Martín y Martín Díaz Moreno, en representación de los nuevos graduados y de Andrea Sofía Bernárdez López, en representación de los alumnos de máster.

Asimismo se produjo la intervención de la madrina de la promoción de Grado, Susana Álvarez Álvarez y de la madrina de la promoción de máster, Cristina Adrada Rafael. Todo con la intervención del decano de la Facultad de Traducción e Interpretación, Antonio Bueno García. La clausura del acto académico corrió a cargo del vicerrector del campus de Soria, Luis Miguel Bonilla Morte, subrayada por la actuación del coro del campus universitario soriano.

A todo esto hay que sumar que el viernes, la Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y del Trabajo, también celebró la promoción del presente curso, en el que se procedió a la titulación de 5 alumnos del grado de Administración y Dirección de Empresas, 7 de Relaciones Laborales y Recursos Humano y otros 27 más del plan de estudios conjunto de ambos grados.
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Traducción de libros de texto de Derecho a la lengua purépecha de cara al nuevo Sistema de Justicia Penal - Noventa Grados

Morelia, Mich, 26 de junio de 2016.- La asociación civil Sepamich y el investigador de la Universidad Michoacana, Ricardo García Mora, trabajarán de la mano en la traducción de libros de texto de Derecho a la lengua purépecha de cara al nuevo Sistema de Justicia Penal.
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Is racism the Malaysian norm?

COMMENT Ever since the news broke about the residents at Waja Apartments in Taman Tun Perak, Cheras openly displaying a banner urging realtors to refrain from renting condominium units to African tenants (‘Say No to African People’), I have waited to see if there would be protests by Malaysians, especially politicians and community leaders, against this blatant racism.

I was sadly disappointed. After all this time, it is only former Miss Malaysia-Universe Deborah Henry who has protested against this blatant racism, saying it is unfair to generalise and stereotype a community for the mistakes of a few: “There’s a thin line between racism and discrimination. One bad person doesn’t equate to an entire community.”

She criticised the action of displaying racist banners in residential areas as unhealthy, saying that instead, these issues need to be dealt with appropriately. It has been reported that such banners against Africans have cropped up in Shah Alam and the Sunway area as well.

In fact, such blatant racism is not just unhealthy; it is condemned and outlawed by the world community, in particular the Declaration of the World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Durban 2001:

“35. We recognise that in many parts of the world, Africans and people of African descent face barriers as a result of social biases and discrimination prevailing in public and private institutions and express our commitment to work towards the eradication of all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance faced by Africans and people of African descent...”

Just in case Malaysians feel they are a superior race to Africans, they may like to know that following from this clause of the 2001 Declaration at Durban:

“36. We recognise that in many parts of the world, Asians and people of Asian descent face barriers as a result of social biases and discrimination prevailing in public and private institutions and express our commitment to work towards the eradication of all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance faced by Asians and people of Asian descent...”

Living in a ‘Malaysian Bubble’

Yes, for years through the colonial experience, Asians have suffered racism and racial discrimination even in their own countries. However, Malaysians who have lived all their lives in this post-colonial ‘Malaysia Bubble’ have had a different lived experience in which they do not identify as victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

The reason the Malaysian government has not ratified the International Convention on the Eradication of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) is because racial discrimination is part of ‘normal life’ in Malaysia where it is disguised as ‘affirmative action’. For what is the policy that excludes ‘non-bumiputeras” from public institutions such as UiTM but blatant racial discrimination? Likewise, the policy that gives discounts for house purchases, etc to ‘bumiputeras only’.

Time for an Equality Act

Once Malaysia ratifies the ICERD, we would have to introduce legislation to outlaw racism and racial discrimination. In countries that have ratified the ICERD, they have introduced an Equality Act and incorporated Equality into their Human Rights Commission to ensure the implementation of the Equality Act.

Furthermore, to outlaw racism and speeches that promote hate crimes, such countries have introduced a Race and Religious Hatred Act to deal with intolerant racists and assorted bigots.

Until such time, this ugly incident is a reminder to each of us to audit our own biases and prejudices, and reflect on how we would feel faced by such discrimination. Certainly Asians who have travelled abroad will have experienced racism at first hand and in different guises.

You’re an African!


Watching all this racism against Africans by Malaysians, I am reminded of this song by Peter Tosh from the Seventies, titled ‘African’ which crystallises the nature of racism:

“Don’t matter where you come from
As long as you’re a black man, you’re an African
No mind your nationality
You have got the identity of an African...

So don’t care where you come from
As long as you’re a black man, you’re an African
No mind your complexion
There is no rejection, you're an African...
‘Cause if your plexion high, high, high
If your complexion low, low, low
And if your plexion in between, you're an African...

And if you come from Russia
(You are an African)
And if you come from Malaysia
(You are an African)!”

 

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Institute of Hawaiian Language Research and Translation opens its doors to the public

“Mahi ʻIke Hawaiʻi: Cultivate Hawaiian Knowledge” is the motto of the new Institute of Hawaiian Language Research and Translation (IHLRT) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The new institute is led by Puakea Nogelmeier, a professor of Hawaiian language, and is an invaluable resource for anyone in the state and beyond to find and utilize historical Hawaiian knowledge.

There exists a large repository of Hawaiian language material which documents Hawaiʻi from ancient times through most of the 20th century. One of the largest sources of information is the cache of newspapers published in Hawaiian for over a century, and a signature project of IHLRT is the research and translation of these historical materials.

Between 1834 and 1948 more than 100 Hawaiian language newspapers were published, equal to over one million letter-sized typescript pages. For over ten years the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program has been collaborating with the Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge and Awaiaulu, a local nonprofit organization, to locate and translate information and make it widely accessible. To date only a tiny fraction of the material has been translated, and a treasury of text which illuminates Hawaiʻi’s past remains untapped and inaccessible.

Training the next generation
The new institute will also provide professional training and prepare the next generation of translation leaders and scholars in all fields related to Hawaiʻi, its people, its culture and its history. Faculty and students from any of the University of Hawaiʻi campuses can participate in research projects.

“Historical Hawaiian material has long been beyond reach for scholars and speakers alike, a tragedy of knowledge lying dormant” said Nogelmeier. “The new institute can change that, generating access and resource people to reconnect historical knowledge for today and the future.”
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Routledge Language Family Series - Routledge

Each volume in this series contains an in-depth account of the members of some of the world's most important language families. Written by experts in each language, these accessible accounts provide detailed linguistic analysis and description. The contents are carefully structured to cover the natural system of classification: phonology, morphology, syntax, lexis, semantics, dialectology, and sociolinguistics.

Every volume contains extensive bibliographies for each language, a detailed index and tables, and maps and examples from the languages to demonstrate the linguistic features being described. The consistent format allows comparative study, not only between the languages in each volume, but also across all the volumes in the series.

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Scotland leading the world in sign language provision

SCOTLAND is setting the agenda for sign language provision internationally thanks to new graduates from the country's first degree course on the subject.

More than a dozen new sign language interpreters have become the first to qualify after completing an MA in British Sign Language (BSL) at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

The 14 graduates will go towards stemming the extreme shortage of BSL interpreters across Scotland, which currently has only 70 interpreters for a community of 6000 people.


A Masters degree in European sign language and a PhD on the subject have attracted both deaf and hearing students from across Europe, America and South Africa.

Graham Turner, chairman of Interpreting and Translation Studies, said: "We are very proud of our MA course, which attracted a full quota of 14 students in 2013, its first year.

"These graduates will now work across Scotland with deaf people who need translation services for everything from the most mundane to the most serious.

"However, we also now have students working towards an MSc in European sign language who are already qualified in their own countries but we are giving them the tools for research and how to improve the status of sign language where they live.

"This is a globally unique course and has attracted students from the EU, South Africa and the US, a cohort that will be taking what they have learned in Scotland back to their home countries and designing new policies and training.

"We are influencing sign language policy around the world."

BSL has been recognised as a minority language since March 2003 and was protected under equalities legislation by the Westminster parliament.

However, it was not until the passing of the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill in September last year that BSL and deafblind tactile BSL were given the status of languages in their own right, on a par with Gaelic in Scotland.

In 2003, then First Minister Jack McConnell set the target of doubling the number of sign language interpreters, a target never achieved.


Mr Turner plans for Heriot Watt, which places its sign language courses in the Department of Languages & Intercultural Studies, making it no different from any other modern language, to achieve this aim.

The British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill was viewed as a bold, progressive step by the Scottish Government when it was passed last year and Mr Turner believes it will make a tangible difference to the language.

He said: "Nothing like this is being done in other parts of the UK and organisations in Scotland are taking notice.

"Police Scotland is, in many respects, a model for the kind of approach we need to take.

"In the case of the recent missing woman, Kirsty Aitchison, who was deaf, Police Scotland officer Stephanie Rose was able to make appeals in BSL having been trained in sign language interpreting.

"They have sign language users on the force."

He added: "There is a worry that organisations will look to the cheapest option - that of using technology [such as using an interpreter remotely via Skype].

"But that is not appropriate in a lot of circumstances. If we are to use the example of bereavement counselling, that human touch is vital. It's not the same having someone who's really 300 miles away signing from a box in the corner.

"The difference is in quality. Most of the Deaf community know that having someone who is not well trained and fluent is potentially more damaging than having no one there at all."


Carly Brownlie, Scottish Association of Sign Language Interpreters (SASLI), Development Manager said: "It can't be underestimated how important this degree is to the improvement of sign language provision in Scotland.

"Scotland has a comparable population size to Finland but it has more than 500 sign language interpreters and they count themselves short of interpreters. The deaf community in Finland is pushing for more while we have roughly 70.
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Language requires an urgent update to reflect growing female presence in ‘male’ spheres

When Raghuram Rajan took over as governor of RBI in September 2013, he memorably said that while some actions he took would not be popular, he hoped to do the right thing, regardless of criticism, even while looking to learn from it. To illustrate what he thought were the characteristics of an ideal central banker, he quoted Rudyard Kipling’s immortal line from the poem If: “If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you/ But make allowance for their doubting too”.
In addition to his excellent taste in poetry, Rajan also demonstrated his commitment to the need for gender-neutral language by pointing out that Kipling’s reference to only “men” dated these lines — meaning clearly that we are far away from the days when the default common noun should be male.
Sadly, however, that is overwhelmingly not the case, with the old English rule of “man” including “women” and indeed, all of humankind continuing to remain in currency. This holds even in the face of semantic unreason — in fact, it is the word “woman” that includes “man” within and not vice versa.
This rule of language often gets codified in law and can sometimes lead to absurd consequences. The ludicrousness of this rule is contained in the State Bank of India Act, 1955, which only has references to a “chairman” and therefore Arundhati Bhattacharya’s business card identifies her as the chairman of the SBI.
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UK should withdraw its English language from EU, French politicians spark debate

Is the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union going to deal a fatal blow to the language of Shakespeare on the continent? English, one of the 24 official languages of the EU, is, according to an Huffingtonpost report, very much spoken in Brussels and in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. But according to certain leading French politicians, its status after Brexit should be questioned.

On Friday morning, the mayor of the southern French town of Béziers, Robert Ménard — a man with close ties to the National Front — reckoned that English no longer had “any legitimacy” in Brussels.

Left-wing presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who supports moving away from European treaties, has, for his part, said that English can no longer be “the third working language” of the European Parliament.

In various ways, they’re both wrong. The very complex operation of multilingualism in European institutions doesn’t rely on the single criterion of a member state’s membership in — or withdrawal from — the EU.

The EU’s official languages are communicative languages recognized by the institutions. At the inception of the European structure, during the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951, there were four: French, German, Italian and Dutch. Today there are 24 of these official languages, including Bulgarian, Danish, Croatian and, obviously, English. In the European Parliament, all documents and discussions must be translated simultaneously into the 24 languages.

The official language of a member state doesn’t automatically become an official language of the EU (as is notably the case with Luxembourgish). This recognition happens at the request of the state. If a state withdraws, its language might also be withdrawn, even if a case for it was never made.

Nevertheless, Great Britain’s exit should not be enough to abolish the use of English in Brussels, contrary to what Robert Ménard thinks. That is quite simply because the English language is one of the official languages of Ireland and Malta, who are still members of the EU.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s proposal is subtler because the European MP is targeting English not in its capacity as an official language, but as a working language. To enable the fluidity of exchanges within the EU, certain discussions led by certain institutions happen in a limited number of languages. Contrary to what the presidential candidate asserts, this isn’t the case during sessions of the European Parliament (except for press conferences). The European Commission, however, does have three official working languages: French, German and English.

This linguistic choice is clearly tied to member states’ influence, but it also follows practical concerns and historical traditions. Deliberation in the European Union Court of Justice takes place in French, as do the majority of discussions do in the European Court of Auditors.

So although the U.K. doesn’t use the euro and has preserved its monetary sovereignty, the European Central Bank has, since its creation, always and exclusively used the English language. And this is not for London’s sake, but for the sake of not complicating its extremely sensitive communication by multiplying the channels of translation.

Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/french-politicians-english-language-brexit_us_576ede1fe4b0dbb1bbbac730?section=
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Europe after Brexit

Walk around Berlin these days and you will find that you will hear almost as much English being spoken on the streets as German. While some describe this situation as a sign that Berlin has now become a cosmopolitan city, this very interpretation reveals precisely the attitude that has led to the rise of English in Germany. To speak English is to be cosmopolitan, and to speak German is to be provincial, and so it becomes a mark of pride to converse in English rather than one’s native German, at least for a certain segment of the population. And therein lies the problem. For it is precisely that segment of global business people, academics, and bureaucrats against whom nationalist sentiment has been rising all over Europe amongst the monolinguals who see themselves as excluded from the European project.

With the Brexit vote, Europe is now faced with the curious situation in which its default lingua franca would no longer in fact be one of its official languages. This circumstance reveals a split within the English language itself, between a global English, oriented around U.S. political power, international business, and academic discourse, and a provincial English, whose speakers, especially in regions such as Wales and the English Midlands, have emphasized that they are in fact opposed to the cosmopolitan English of London bankers. This cultural and economic divide, which is increasingly restructuring politics all over the world, will pit “provincial” languages and their monolingual and poorly employed speakers against a cosmopolitan, English-language elite, who will increasingly make the world go round economically but will gradually be losing political power. As the German and British examples illustrate, provincial languages now would include all non-English languages and even English itself, to the extent that it is a spoken dialect rather than a written, managerial language. As such, the key conflict that will drive European politics will be that between national identity and capitalist cosmopolitanism.

As a protest against both immigration and London elites, Brexit has re-established national identity as the primary basis of political unity in Europe. Even the Scottish “Remain” voters demonstrate this, as the wish to remain in the EU is for Scotland its way of being able to establish its independence from England by way of the structures of the EU. This dynamic provides a sense of the future possibilities for the EU. For the Brexit vote may have more consequences for Europe than it does for the UK. First of all, the vote will cement the idea, already being accepted in light of the refugee crisis and the end of Schengen rules, that politics in Europe has been and will continue to be organized within nation-state contexts. As much as English has become a European lingua franca, political discourse does not take place through any kind of common English-language newspapers or magazines. Rather, political discourse still takes place within each national language in each nation’s own newspapers, magazines, and broadcast systems. Without a common European public sphere, national identity will always remain the primary definer of political identity. Yet, this inability to establish such a unified European public sphere cannot be described as a particular mistake that the EU has made, but rather has been a consequence of the objective cultural and political situation of Europe. Without a history of a common linguistic public sphere, as was the case in the Germanic states before nineteenth-century German unification, nor a clearly defined geographical boundary, as has been the case for Switzerland, Europe has not had even the possibility of being able to establish itself as a political unity that can represent itself to itself as unified. Instead, such political unity has had to continue to coalesce along national lines.

A common complaint by nationalists is that the Brussels bureaucracy runs according to its own logic, oblivious to democratic sentiments. Consequently, one of the key difficulties of the EU has been its democracy deficit, even as it tries to hold onto the principle of democracy. But in fact it may be that the EU’s sole chance of survival as a multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual entity would be through a more and more imperial political structure that would deny democratic decision-making. The world’s experience of multicultural entities has not seen any examples of a combination of democracy with a truly multicultural political space (Switzerland is a special case to be discussed below). Rather, the most successful multicultural political entities have always been empires. The Ottoman Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the Roman Empire, and the Chinese Empire were all able to allow the peaceful co-existence of disparate linguistic, ethnic, and religious groups within a single overarching political system. None of these empires was organized democratically, however, but monarchically with a set of representations of imperial authority and power.

By contrast, democracies, because they are structured as the rule of the majority, automatically establish the majority as the basis of state authority and thus turn the state into the nation-state. This dynamic just as automatically forces “foreigners” into the position of being minorities. The problem of minorities is consequently a problem that is endemic to democracies. To the extent that the EU has retained democratic structures, especially in its referenda, those democratic processes have consistently moved toward an affirmation of national identity as well as a subordination of minorities to national majorities. The free movement of people within the EU has only exacerbated this tendency, leading to the English desire, expressed in Brexit, to limit immigration, not only of Syrian refugees but also of Eastern or Southern Europeans from within the EU itself. While it might make economic sense to promote such movement of labor from one part of Europe to another, culturally it feeds into the minority dynamic that leads to a negative reaction from the majority. And as the majority will always win the day in a democracy (in the case of Brexit, 52% to 48%), the mixing of cultures in the individual democratic states will always occur, not in the mode of a peaceful co-existence of disparate cultures, but as an exacerbation of the “minority problem,” which has historically (most prominently after World War I) arisen with the establishment of nation-states.

The example of Switzerland offers the only hope for the success of the European Union as a political entity. But it is unlikely that it can provide a model for Europe. Due to its combination of geographic isolation and vulnerability, Switzerland’s different groups were forced to unite because the conquest of one of its regions by an outside power would have threatened the entire Swiss mountain region. It was thus able to develop its particular federal system as a defense against external threats, allowing it to cohere together politically in spite of its cultural and linguistic diversity. The suggestion here is that the EU might be able to subordinate national identity to a federal system to the extent that it is able to harden the boundaries of Europe in order to defend against outside threats. But here it would be important for Spain, say, to feel threatened if Lithuania were to be occupied, or even voluntarily allied itself with Russia. The Swiss model has worked because all parts of Switzerland saw themselves in immediate danger if any other part of Switzerland were to be pried away from the federal unity. Not only does Europe’s geography and history not support this type of mutual interdependence, but the expansion of European borders has also undermined the sense of an indivisible European political space. If countries can be added one by one, then, as Brexit demonstrates, they can also be detached one by one, and there is no sense of a necessary political or military unity.

What then are the prospects for Europe after Brexit? First of all, its political unity, already shaken by the Greek crisis and the refugee crisis, will probably continue to unravel, with different countries moving, like the UK, to establish increasing control over borders and immigration on a national level. If stricter borders within the EU will also imply harder borders to the outside, this development will not promote EU unity but rather, because of the nationalist dynamic, create different groups of EU states that would coalesce based on their security needs. Richer, more Western nations, such as France, the Netherlands, and Germany, will have less need of a union with poorer, Eastern nations. Those Eastern countries, however, will need to figure out a new security framework, either through increasing reliance on the United States or increasing accommodations, however distasteful, with Russia. A very much less likely scenario would be that security concerns about Islamic State or Russia could exacerbate to such an extent that Europe could re-coalesce into a firmer political and military unity, along the lines of the Swiss model. But this remote possibility could only realize itself to the extent that European nations felt so threatened that they would undertake a serious military rearmament that could lay the foundations for a common European military and foreign policy. The level of insecurity coupled with U.S. disengagement required for this to happen is hard to imagine, mainly because it would entail a more imperial Europe with a martial character, not the kind of bureaucratic Europe of the current EU.

Economically, the free trade zone will most likely continue to function as before, even with the UK. However, the fault lines of the Brexit vote will reinforce a continuing realignment of political divisions into parties that represent the winners and losers of economic globalization. The divide will not be so much between “haves” and “have-nots” but between the employed and the unemployed (or underemployed), between the well-educated and the poorly educated, between cosmopolitans and nationals. This conflict will continue to drive politics all over the world. Whatever happens with Europe, the challenge will be to develop viable solutions to both address and give voice to the frustrations in the provinces, which today span the entire globe.
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SABC News - Mixed reactions to new Stellenbosch language policy:Friday 24 June 2016

A decision by the University of Stellenbosch which will see the university use English as the dominant language has been met with mixed reviews.

The words Stellenbosch University and Afrikaans have been inextricably linked for decades, but a predominantly black students presence last year broke the prominence of Afrikaans and saw the university take a closer at the language.

The university council approved a proposed new language policy which explicitly makes provision for students who prefer Afrikaans while also improving access to English.

Earlier this week council approved amendments to the language police a move management supports fully.

Rector of Stellenbosch University Professor Wim De Villiers says, ''We want to focus on the entire learning environment. That is much more than the lecture hall. It comprises lecture but it also comprises tutorials, practicals, seminars, small groups, podcasts, video casts and the entire information and communication technology network."

Students have also weighed in on the matter.

The SRC backs the decision. Stellenbosch SRC James De Villiers says, "The SRC welcomes the decision by council to accept the new language policy. We think it is a step in the right direction to ensure that all students have access to information. We also want to reiterate that this is not a step against Afrikaans."

However, some language experts and a former council member are not supportive of the move. Former Council Member Professor Herman Giolimee says, ''I am disappointed. I am shocked that Stellenbosch University can walk away from its own Afrikaans heritage. It's probably the most devasting blow to the university over the past 25 - 3o years.''

The policy was voted in by 17 council members and with only nine opposing. The decision angered some council members and saw some walking out of the room.

Rector of Paarl Roos Gymnasium Jannie van der Westhuisen who also served on the senate, has since resigned.
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