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Children's Publishing Blogs - buy one just one open letter book blog posts

Years and years ago, when Karl Pohrt and I were launching the Reading the World program to enable independent bookstores to promote more literature in translation, we found out that May was officially World in Translation Month. This was a pretty happy coincidence, since we had already planned all of our activities to take place in May, and since people don’t celebrate this near enough.
In fact, after Reading the World morphed into the Best Translated Book Awards and whatnot, the concept of World in Translation month sort of faded to the background . . . Which is really too bad. May is the month for the PEN World Voices Festival, and the time when everyone gets out of school and has time to read something from another culture.
So, what I’d like to propose is that for World in Translation Month—and because our book sales for this fiscal year have been rather lagging—is that everyone reading this buy just one Open Letter title this month. But it from your local independent bookstore, from B&N, or Amazon—wherever you want. As a special incentive, we’re offering free shipping on all orders this month that are placed through our website.

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UN Careers - jobs in this network (Translators, Revisers, Editors, etc.)

UN Careers -  jobs in this network (Translators, Revisers, Editors, etc.) | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

Vacancies in this network: Translators, Revisers, Editors, etc.

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The clime's speech: Data analysis supports prediction that human language is influenced by environmental factors

The clime's speech: Data analysis supports prediction that human language is influenced by environmental factors | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

Distribution of languages with complex tone (red dots) and without complex tone (blue dots) in the Phonotactics Database of the Australian National University (ANU) database. Darker shading on map corresponds to lower mean specific humidity …more
(Phys.org)—Human speech is not typically thought to adapt to the environment, and a standard assumption in linguistics is that sound systems are in fact immune to ecological effects. Recently, however, scientists at University of Miami and several Max Planck Institutes in Germany and The Netherlands have, in a single study, predicted that complex tone patterns should not evolve in arid climates by reviewing laryngology data on the negative effects of aridity on vocal cord movement, and – by analyzing climatic and phonological data on over 3,700 languages – found support for their prediction.


Specifically, the researchers identified a negative correlation between linguistic tone and characteristic rates of desiccation in ambient air. Furthermore, unlike previous studied correlating geography and phonemes, they relied on data from extensive experimental research on the human larynx – data that were until now not applied to the analysis of phonemic tonal languages. (A tonal language, such as Mandarin Chinese, uses pitch as a part of speech that can change a word's meaning.) In so doing, they were able to conclude that human language sound systems do indeed adapt to ecological factors.
Prof. Caleb Everett discussed the paper he, researcher Damián E. Blasi and Dr. Seán G. Roberts published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "In using findings from vocal fold physiology to predict that climatic factors constrain the use of phonemic tone," Everett tells Phys.org, "the main challenge was simply familiarizing myself with the research on laryngology – which is not an area most linguists or anthropologists have investigated. However, once I began reading work related to vocal fold dehydration, the prediction made in our paper came about in a pretty straightforward way."
Everett points out that their hypothesis predicted that very dry environments should, over the long haul, block the development of complex tonality – but notes that they did not predict a simple association between tonality and humidity. For that reason, he adds, the initial regression-type analyses were limited, leading Blasi and Roberts to develop more nuanced ways to test the hypothesis while controlling for the relatedness of the languages in their databases. "The results clearly support our hypothesis, and suggest the distribution of languages vis-à-vis aridity was not due to, for instance, the presence of a few language families in very dry or humid regions."
Phys.org asked Everett if regarding the study's finding that perturbations of phonation, including increased jitter and shimmer, are associated with desiccated ambient air, if the causative factor might not be the lack of humidity itself, but perhaps a derivative effect such as higher concentrations of fine particulate matter (e.g., dust or sand) circulating in the ambient environment. "This is a great point," he replied, "and in fact particulate matter does associate with dehydration and a variety of laryngeal maladies. Nevertheless, in laboratory conditions without dust or sand simple dehydration results in vocal fold perturbation – meaning that while particulates in naturally dry air may be an additional factor, we need not appeal to them in our investigation."



Empirical cumulative distribution function for languages according to the MH of their locations, World Atlas of Linguistic Structures (WALS) sample. The bottom quartile of language locales (by MH) is shaded. Credit: Everett C, Blasi DE, …more
That said, Everett stresses that the paper is not suggesting that the evolution of sound patterns is motivated entirely or even primarily by ecological factors. "There are numerous cultural and language-internal factors that shape that evolution," he explains. "We're just suggesting – in contrast to what linguists generally assume – that ambient aridity is one of them. This latter assumption is, from my perspective, not really supported by much other than traditional dogma."
Moreover, Everett notes that despite projected climate change-induced increases in aridity (desertification), humidity (rain and flooding) and temperature (global warming), the scientists do not make claims regarding time scales at which these climate changes might impact human speech systems. "In addition, the patterns we've uncovered developed primarily before industrialization and associated changes to the environments people are in – so while global warming is leading to higher temperature, it is doing so in part because many people are often in air-conditioned environments, where humidity is relatively fixed."
Moving forward, Everett says that the scientists have discussed ways of investigating the effects of ambient air conditions on the production of tones and other sound patterns by attempting a study where the same speakers are tested in different contexts. "One option would be to contrast the abilities of a given population to produce or mimic certain linguistic tones, and then test that population under different natural conditions," he illustrates." Speakers would be given certain tone-producing tasks after they spend 24 hours in an extremely dry dessert, and conversely the same tasks after 24 hours in a humid locale. "We're still thinking this through, and hopefully experimental phoneticians will engage with the work and come up with other possibilities."
In addition, he continues, "there's a hypothesis several anthropologists have put forward that languages in warmer climates tend to have higher rates of mouth opening. Linguists are quite skeptical of this hypothesis, but I think it might be supported and have a similar physiological grounding. Basically, my hypothesis is that languages in very cold climates have higher rates of mouth closure because of the ill-effects of cold and dry air – and it seems there may be support for this hypothesis."
At the same time, he notes that in laboratory conditions, perturbation effects apply independently of temperature. "Low temperatures outside rarely change the temperature at the larynx, but they seem to be able to in the case of oral breathing."
Everett tells Phys.org that other areas of research might also benefit from their study. "I would assume that, beyond linguists, at least physical anthropologists and biologists would be interested in the results, since they're concerned by the ways in which we adapt non-consciously to environments. The communication of some birds is characterized by ecological adaptability," he concludes, "so this work might also interest avian specialists and others."
Explore further: Tonal languages require humidity
More information: Climate, vocal folds, and tonal languages: Connecting the physiological and geographic dots, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published online before print January 20, 2015, doi:10.1073/pnas.1417413112
Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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The Fall of Language in the Age of English -

The Fall of Language in the Age of English - | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Award-winning Japanese novelist Minae Mizumura brings impeccable clarity to issues of identity and disappearing languages in contemporary language politics
By Peter Gordon
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At the Jaipur Festival a year ago, Chinese novelist Guo Xiaolu decried the predominance of "Anglo-Saxon mainstream" in literature:
If you write in Japanese or Vietnamese or Portuguese you have to wait … to be translated, and translated literature never really works immediately as English literature unless it wins the Nobel or some big prize... In a way the easiest and laziest way is to write in English. What a struggle to write in any other language than English.
Minae Mizumura is an award-winning Japanese novelist who explored the issue as it relates to Japanese literature in a best-selling book, Nihongo ga horobiru toki eigo no seiki no naka de, published in 2008. Perhaps proving the point, it has only just now been released in an English translation by Mari Yoshihara and Juliet Winters Carpenter as The Fall of Language in the Age of English.
The Fall of Language is not, as it might first appear, of mere specialist interest. Although Mizumura discusses Japanese literature in some detail, her analytical framework is rigorous and wide-ranging, covering everything from Latin to Chinese. Anyone with an interest in language, linguistics, language politics (the English/Cantonese/Mandarin debate in Hong Kong, for example), literature, translation or education will find it well-worth the investment of a few hours; the book isn't very long.
The larger point of English's global linguistic dominance has been made elsewhere—by for example Nicholas Ostler's The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel. Mizumura points out, as have others, that English's dominance is no longer merely the result of the Anglo-Saxon dominance of economic and geopolitical affairs, something that might evaporate once China retakes its position as the world's largest economy. English is—and seems certain to remain—dominant because it is the language that non-English speakers use to communicate with each other. Even Chinese use English for this purpose.
English, says Mizumura, is today's "universal language."
The Fall of Language stands out not least because Mizumura approaches the issue from the perspective of a non-English speaker, albeit a multilingual one: Mizumura is literate in French as well as English. Her treatise, furthermore, is on the whole tightly reasoned and analytical yet remains entirely accessible to non-specialists.
Mizumura lays out a three-part model consisting of universal, national and local languages, each of which has a specific definition. She begins by noting that reading and writing in one's own language is relatively recent:
... during most of the 6,000-odd years since the human race discovered writing, people usually have not read and written the language they spoke. More often they read and wrote an "external language" – that is, the language of an older and greater civilization that exerted its influence in the region... These are what I call universal languages.
Europeans spoke any number of vernaculars but – until a few hundred years ago – those able to read and write for the most part did so in Latin. This situation still pertains today for the great many Chinese who may speak Cantonese or another variant of Chinese, but nevertheless read and write in the "external language" of Mandarin.
Mizumura's use of the term "universal" is not entirely felicitous. Latin was only "universal" in a relatively small part of the globe. She also notes that around the 18th century, French, German and English shared the role of "universal languages" in Europe. She means, instead, a sort of intellectual lingua franca.
A "local language" is what people actually speak, as opposed to what they read and write. These will for the most part be a dialect, although Mizumura does not make great use of the term. Prior to the early modern period, that is pretty much all there was: local languages and universal languages.
What one normally thinks of as "languages" – English, French, Chinese, etc. – Mizumura calls "national languages," for which she has a specific meaning. She links national languages to the rise of the nation-state on the one hand and the advent of commercial printing on the other.
Nation states begat national languages which in turn begat national literatures not least because these allowed a market to develop. Mizumura's main interest is prose. She notes that local languages had long been written down but mostly for poetry and drama. Prose, on the other hand, was usually reserved for a universal language until national languages came along. Russian, in her formulation, developed as a "national language" relatively late: Russian prose only really began with Pushkin in the 19th century.
The lines between national languages, as a function of the nation state, do not always (or even often) correspond to linguistic ones. Minae cites Chinese and Danish/Norwegian and touches on Ukranian, of particular topicality these days. When I was learning linguistics, an illustrative example was Hindi/Urdu, a common language divided by differing alphabets.
Mizumura's objective is not so much general theory as Japanese in particular; she includes a fascinating account of the development of written Japanese and its development from Chinese characters, the introduction of katakana and hiragana and the stylistic differences between one and the other, and the interaction between these and the post-War reforms to restrict the number of Chinese characters used in writing Japanese.
The foregoing summary perhaps presents the question as more matter-of-fact than it is. One of the more interesting aspects of The Fall of Language is that the "language" in the title refers to "written language." Teasing out the significance of this takes some effort.
Mizumura takes issue with what she claims is the assumption that "written language is a mere representation of the sounds of a spoken language." Quoting Jacques Derrida, she calls this "phonocentrism:"
Phonocentrism places higher value on spoken language as being more primary and thus superior to written language...
Whether "phonocentric" or not, it was a tenet of the linguistics I studied in the late 1970s that what mattered was the spoken language. Writing seemed a bit of an embarrassment, a sort of cultural artifact that trailed the "real" spoken form, best ignored if possible (something difficult in historical linguistics, of course). There was some grudging realization that feedback went both ways and the written form could also affect what people spoke.
But from the perspective of a theoretical understanding of language, I would still accept that view as largely correct: after all, language works perfectly well without writing.
This theoretical viewpoint has some curious counterparts in the real world of English, however. Written English – its bizarre spelling apart – is probably a language in which the written forms are the closest, and increasingly close, to actual speech. The French have to contend with the passé simple, a verb form restricted to writing, and speakers of Cantonese have to read and write what is in effect a foreign language. English is also devoid of the accents and special characters – to say nothing of ideograms – that bedevilled the development of mechanical and digital devices to produce, communicate and display written language.
Perhaps as a result, when most commentators discuss the global use of English, they do not usually draw much of a distinction between writing and speaking, treating them as different manifestations of pretty much the same thing. The idea that written languages can and do have a separate life from spoken languages is something that need hardly impinge on discussions about English.
Because written language tended not to correspond well – if at all – with what people actually spoke, it therefore involved translation and some degree of bi- or even multi-linguality. The development of national languages and national literatures however meant that one could be literate in one's own language and that would suffice:
... seekers of knowledge not only wrote texts in their own languages but also read them... It was a time of the celebration of national languages of every stripe, golden years for those languages as well as for the writers and readers of national literature.
The emergence of English as not just a new universal language but as the universal language overturned the apple cart. One's own language was no longer enough.
Mizumura is of the view that "phonocentrism" is not just obliviousness, but rather a "Western ideology" and that led to the attempts to simplify and phoneticize and even, although ultimately unsuccessfully, to romanize written Japanese.
... the introduction of Western ideology into a non-Western context often does unimagined harm... The damage inflicted on the Japanese language by postwar revisions arose because belief in the superiority of phonetic notation was in fact a mark of utopianism imported from the West... [These] mindless actions ... produced a generation increasingly estranged from its rightful literary heritage.
This is hardly unique to Japan. When Ataturk ditched the Arabic alphabet for the Latin one, "estrangement" was his objective. Uzbek switched from an Arabic script to Latin in 1928, then to Cyrillic in 1940 with Latin re-introduced upon independence in the 1990s. The arguments about the merits of traditional and simplified Chinese still rumble on and one still sees the occasional claim that the use of electronic input devices will result in the decline of Chinese characters.
The Fall of Language is structured as several interlocking essays, allowing Mizumura to develop a topic – the three-part language model, the development of Japanese writing and Japanese literature, the relationship between national languages and the novel, the global dominance of English in depth – while exploring the links between them. This very effective structure does however render the book difficult to summarize.
Mizumura includes a devastating analysis of what it means to be a writer in a language other than English—and how clueless most English-language commentators are about the issue. Works in English are automatically accessible to huge numbers of literate people worldwide, a number probably larger and certainly more widely dispersed than any other language. English-speaking scientists and economists, for example, do not need to be bilingual, something practically de rigueur for everyone else.
This trend is, she argues, deleterious to literature as well:
... in the age of English we face the possibility that, depending on how people treat their national languages, some countries' literatures may witness a gradual fall. What was once a national language may be reduced to nothing more than a local language; a national literature to nothing more than a local literature that no discriminating person takes seriously.
It is not difficult to identify writers that have abandoned writing in their original language for English; very few go the other way, so few that practitioners are often treated as exotic. One is reminded of Samuel Johnson's remark about an activity being "like a dog walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."
Mizumura claims that Japanese literature has declined. I am not competent to judge, but this is the sort of thing that is said with considerable regularity about every national literature and literature in general. Mizumura at least provides some concrete analysis and explanations. And what goes for Japanese goes for French, she says, and in spades, therefore, for everyone else whose literatures circulate even less.
Is she convincing? Her analysis and descriptions of the processes underway are rigorous and enlightening; English-language readers rarely get well-articulated views on this subject from those whose perspective derives from other languages. Will the result be a decline in literature and—by extension—intellectual diversity? This sort of thing is very hard to measure at the time; it may be several decades before one really knows. However, if maximizing circulation were the driving goal of all writers, we wouldn't have poets. The literary quality of writing doesn't seem particularly well correlated to outside factors.
Along the way to this perhaps and hopefully disputable conclusion, Mizumura journeys down some fascinating byways. Here is a succinct discussion of literary translation:
As the novel continued to evolve, works became more difficult to translate... Writers began to quote from, allude to, and parody the "texts to read" written in the same national language ... and play them off against one another; they also exploited the peculiarities of their own language through dialects and wordplay. The untranslatability that had been more or less characteristic of poetry all along began to extend to novels as well...
Among the plethora of reactions to her book when it first came out in Japanese, note the translators in their Introduction, were those that called Mizumura "privileged," "an elitist" and "reactionary," epithets that in some contexts might be worn as badges of honor. But one might be forgiven for suspecting that Mizumura might be a bit of a snob. "I myself cannot imagine," she writes reading Pride and Prejudice in French with the same pleasure that I find when reading it in English, or reading Le Rouge et le noir in English with the same pleasure I find when reading it in French.
The Fall of Language is best when Mizumura sticks to an impersonal development of her thesis. The book opens with an account of her sojourn at the International Writing Program in Iowa and a subsequent chapter (entitled "From Par Avion to Via Air Mail: The Fall of French," leaving the reader in no doubt of the point she's making) about a lecture she gave in Paris. The purpose is to set up the discussion of national languages, and above all, writing in national languages, but instead one learns more than one needs to about her personal peeves and medical history. Mizumura's treatise stands on its own; the personal anecdotes are unnecessary.
One should not be put off by the first two chapters: from the third chapter on, this book is a cracker.
Peter Gordon is editor of The Asian Review of Books.
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Native American community sees Māori as beacon in language revitalisation

Native American community sees Māori as beacon in language revitalisation | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Native American leader, Pearl Means, says her people see Māori as a beacon in language revitalisation. In an effort to save their own dying language they are modelling their future total immersions schools from Māori.

The native tongue of Pearl Means and her Native American people is on the verge of extinction because of colonisation.

Means says, "We've had everything that's sacred and holy removed, we've all but lost our languages and we look to the Māori and the becaon of light with regard to language revitalisation."

She is the wife of the late Russell Means, famed Oglala Lakota activist who fought for the rights of Native Americans and indigenous peoples. He featured in the movie Last of the Mohicans and worked tirelessly to establish total immersion schools for decades.

Although there are native language programmes being taught in America, she says they are not successful. But it is a hard road forward establishing the schools as they seek private funding to do so.

Means is one of the guest speakers at the Indigenous Wellness Conference held at Waimarama, a forum for leaders to discuss and debate how to achieve indigenous well-being.
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French dissenters jailed after crackdown on speech that glorifies terrorism

French dissenters jailed after crackdown on speech that glorifies terrorism | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Lawyers and human rights groups have raised concerns over the French government’s crackdown on speech that glorifies terrorism after a series of cases rushed through the courts resulted in heavy prison sentences, including for people who had drunkenly insulted police officers.

The debate intensified this week after it emerged that an eight-year-old boy was questioned by police for saying at school “I am with the terrorists,” later admitting he didn’t know what terrorism meant.

The French justice ministry said that, between 7 January and 29 January, there had been 486 legal cases linked to the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Of these, 257 were cases of people accused of condoning or provoking terrorism. Around 41 of those cases had been instantly rushed through the courts and 18 people had been given prison sentences.


A new anti-terrorism bill which came into force last year has allowed a number of these cases to be accelerated through the courts, resulting in immediate prison sentences for the crime of “apologie du terrorisme” – in other words defending, condoning or provoking terrorism.

Amnesty International has raised concerns about some of these cases, including a man arrested for drunk-driving in the north of France who shouted at police officers: “There should be more Kouachis [the name of the gunmen brothers behind the Charlie Hebdo attack]. I hope that you’ll be next.” He was immediately brought before judges and sentenced to four years in prison.

Another man had shouted in the street, “I don’t like Charlie, they were right to do that.” A 21-year-old arrested on a tram for travelling without a ticket told the ticket inspectors: “The Kouachi brothers were just the start. I wish I’d been with them to kill more.” He was sentenced to ten months in prison.

Amnesty International warned against acting in haste and against free speech and urged “measures that protect everyone’s rights”.

The media has highlighted several cases, including a man in Isère, who a psychiatric report found had slight learning difficulties. He was sentenced to six months in prison after drunkenly shouting at police officers in the street: “They killed Charlie, I laughed.”

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A 14-year-old girl from Nantes was placed under investigation for defending terrorism after she threatened ticket inspectors she would “get out the kalashnikovs” if they asked for her ticket on public transport. A 28-year-old man was sentenced to six months in prison after he shouted his support of the Charlie Hebdo attackers while passing a police station in eastern France.

The Paris barrister and influential legal blogger, Maître Eolas, detailed in a post the court appearance of a 21-year-old man with no criminal record who had been arrested on suspicion of trying to steal a car. Those charges were dropped but the man, who was drunk, had resisted arrest. He said he had been wrestled to the ground by police. While begging them to stop hurting him, he had allegedly shouted a torrent of insults including: “You’ll see, the jihadis will put a bullet in your head. Look at the damage they’ve done. My cousin Coulibaly [the gunman who killed a police officer then four people at a kosher supermarket] didn’t kill enough of you.” The man, immediately called before judges, denied having said it. He was sentenced to eight months in prison plus eight months’ suspended sentence for glorifying terrorism.

“Not only is this repression absurd and useless, but it is dangerous,” Eolas said. “It’s the defeat of reason. And we can’t allow it to happen.”

After the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the French justice minister Christiane Taubira specifically urged prosecutors to take tough action against those who condoned terrorism, as well as clamping down on racist or anti-Semitic acts. The law on glorifying terrorism, intended to crack down on online incitement to terrorism, means that comments that constitute defending, condoning or provoking terrorism are now punishable by up to five years in prison, or seven years if made while communicating with the public online.

Michel Tubiana, a lawyer from the French human rights group, La Ligue des Droits de l’Homme, said that where drunk people were being given heavy prison sentences for verbally insulting police there was a risk of the law being used to simply to set an example, which he deemed a kind of madness that had nothing to do with condoning terrorism and risked emptying the law of all sense.

“It’s a serious infringement which risks not just the unjustified pursuit of people but also risks self-censorship in the media and in public debate.” He said the European court of human rights could be asked to pronounce on certain of the judgements.

The left-leaning magistrates’ union, Syndicat de la Magistrature, has warned the justice system must take its time over cases and resist the “wave of emotion”.

The notorious French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala is under investigation for being an apologist for terrorism after writing on Facebook that he “felt like Charlie Coulibaly” a reference to both Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket gunman, Amédy Coulibaly.
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New algorithm can separate unstructured text into topics with high accuracy and reproducibility

New algorithm can separate unstructured text into topics with high accuracy and reproducibility | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Much of our reams of data sit in large databases of unstructured text. Finding insights among emails, text documents, and websites is extremely difficult unless we can search, characterize, and classify their text data in a meaningful way.


One of the leading big data algorithms for finding related topics within unstructured text (an area called topic modeling) is latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA). But when Northwestern University professor Luis Amaral set out to test LDA, he found that it was neither as accurate nor reproducible as a leading topic modeling algorithm should be.
Using his network analysis background, Amaral, professor of chemical and biological engineering in Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, developed a new topic modeling algorithm that has shown very high accuracy and reproducibility during tests. His results, published with co-author Konrad Kording, associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, physiology, and applied mathematics at Northwestern, were published Jan. 29 in Physical Review X.
Topic modeling algorithms take unstructured text and find a set of topics that can be used to describe each document in the set. They are the workhorses of big data science, used as the foundation for recommendation systems, spam filtering, and digital image processing. The LDA topic modeling algorithm was developed in 2003 and has been widely used for academic research and for commercial applications, like search engines.
When Amaral explored how LDA worked, he found that the algorithm produced different results each time for the same set of data, and it often did so inaccurately. Amaral and his group tested LDA by running it on documents they created that were written in English, French, Spanish, and other languages. By doing this, they were able to prevent text overlap among documents.
"In this simple case, the algorithm should be able to perform at 100 percent accuracy and reproducibility," he said. But when LDA was used, it separated these documents into similar groups with only 90 percent accuracy and 80 percent reproducibility. "While these numbers may appear to be good, they are actually very poor, since they are for an exceedingly easy case," Amaral said.
To create a better algorithm, Amaral took a network approach. The result, called TopicMapping, begins by preprocessing data to replace words with their stem (so "star" and "stars" would be considered the same word). It then builds a network of connecting words and identifies a "community" of related words (just as one could look for communities of people in Facebook). The words within a given community define a topic.
The algorithm was able to perfectly separate the documents according to language and was able to reproduce its results. It also had high accuracy and reproducibility when separating 23,000 scientific papers and 1.2 million Wikipedia articles by topic.
These results show the need for more testing of big data algorithms and more research into making them more accurate and reproducible, Amaral said.
"Companies that make products must show that their products work," he said. "They must be certified. There is no such case for algorithms. We have a lot of uninformed consumers of big data algorithms that are using tools that haven't been tested for reproducibility and accuracy."
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Lost a little in the translation

Lost a little in the translation | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Lost a little in the translation
By Gretchen M.B. Pickeral Today at 3:19 p.m.
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When I began training for formal ministry as a priest in the Episcopal Church, I found I was faced with a daunting curriculum of classes, on-the-job training and a new identity as a student with professors who were younger than me. I was forced to make many decisions in a short period of time.

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One of those was easy. I knew I would never take languages - Hebrew, Greek. This was something I knew I had no interest in and I could cross them off the list!

However, I had taken a course from Dr. Walter Brueggeman before he left the campus to teach at another school. I also took the required course on the Old Testament in which I discovered many items of interest about how things are translated. I learned the ancient languages have tones and nuances that can influence meanings, that sometimes things lose a little in the translation.

One of my favorite translation tidbits is the word and the idea of peace. It's a word we speak, write and hear on a regular basis in our modern culture. It's a word used around the world. It's an idea whose time has never seemed to come.

What I learned as I studied Hebrew scriptures and began to study the Hebrew language is that Shalom, the Hebrew word for peace, doesn't mean quiet, stillness, little or no activity but rather it means balance. This is quite different from the typical Western concept I grew up with.

Shalom, in the ancient world, means holding the balance, like walking on the top of a wall, or fence, the muscles twitch, the nerves are alert and responsive to the slightest influence one way or the other. Like the body, walking on the fence, any body - family, workplace, congregation or community must stay alert, be ready, walk on the mental "balls of your feet" in order to keep the balance. It is a frame of mind that watches for any inequality, any slight misunderstanding or disagreement and negotiates to return the system to balance.

In learning this deeper meaning of Shalom I came to see that peace is much more difficult to keep than conflict. As humans we resort to conflict just to put an end to things. How simple it is to end an argument with your child by smacking him. How fast it is to end a disagreement in the local bar by throwing a slap or a punch. How efficient to end a business meeting by slamming a hand on the table and shouting "That's the way it's going to be, end of discussion."

No. Peace is not efficient. It takes extra time to hear everyone's idea on a subject. It takes patience to sort through all the ideas and come up with some combination that will be right for the people in question. It takes extra mental and emotional energy to keep an open mind about other's input. It takes grace to accept one's own ideas might not be the best for the group, whomever that group involves.

So now when I pray for peace, I pray for my own patience, my own mental and emotional energy, my own willingness to spend the time peace requires, and I pray for God's grace that the balance that is peace will someday reign.
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SOA Software Embraces Multiple API Description Languages

SOA Software Embraces Multiple API Description Languages | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
SOA SOFTWARE EMBRACES MULTIPLE API DESCRIPTION LANGUAGES
Michael Vizard
Jan. 29 2015, 06:21PM EST
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Rather than picking sides in the battle over API description languages, SOA Software has opted for the middle ground by adding support for RAML, Swagger, WSDL, and WADL to its API management platform.

Laura Heritage, director of API strategy for SOA Software, says rather than getting caught up in a religious battle, the simple fact is that organizations will wind up using different types of API description languages. In environments that are more driven from the top down, Heritage says SOA Software expects to see a lot more usage of RAML because it provides more structure. At the same time, Heritage says there are a larger number of individual developers that have embraced Swagger and it simply may not be feasible for IT organizations to mandate what API description language developers can use.

Heritage also notes that SOA Software is starting to see pockets of developers using API Blueprint to hypermedia frameworks to describe APIs.

SOA Software also supports WSDL and WADL (typically associated with legacy applications) to describe SOAP-based services. Heritage says many organizations are trying to bridge that gap between legacy applications and modern Web applications that support REST APIs using the same API management platform.

While the rise of API description languages has led to a lot more reliance on automation to generate APIs, Heritage says it is unlikely organizations will ever get to the point where 100 percent of an API is automatically generated using an API description language. There will always be some customization of the API required for a particular use case or to achieve higher levels of performance, says Heritage.

There will, however, be more automation of the API description language. SOA Software, for example, provides an AnySource Asset Adapter that integrates with its platform to generate an API description language from source code that can then be placed in the SOA Software Lifecycle Manager repository.

API description languages clearly have the potential to drive the API economy to a whole new level. Instead of having to invoke the services of developers to craft every aspect of an API, much of the core functions of the API can now be more rapidly generated. That should not only make it easier to develop more APIs faster, it should also give developers more time to customize those APIs as individual situations warrant. In fact, we may even see the rise of “citizen developers” using API description languages to generate APIs without the aid of professional developers.

In the meantime, rather than getting caught up in arguments over what API description language to use, it is starting to look like developers should simply be able to opt for the one that makes them most comfortable — regardless of what anyone else has to say about it.
 
About the author: Michael Vizard
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Creole Nature Trail App Now Available in Additional Languages – Press Release Rocket

Creole Nature Trail App Now Available in Additional Languages – Press Release Rocket | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
The Creole Nature Trail All-American Road has been brought to life with a free Smartphone application in six languages. The app can be downloaded at the iTunes App Store or Android Market and has recently been updated to include Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.

Lake Charles, La. (PRWEB) January 29, 2015

The Creole Nature Trail All-American Road, also known as Louisiana’s Outback, has been brought to life with a free Smartphone application in six languages. The free app can be downloaded at the iTunes App Store or Android Market and has recently been updated to include Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.

One of only 43 All-American Roads in the United States, the Creole Nature Trail continues to garner attention both nationally and worldwide. “With new direct flights from China and Japan into nearby airports, and with inquiries the bureau receives from the international travel trade, we decided it would be beneficial to add Mandarin Chinese and Japanese to the Creole Nature Trail personal tour app,” said Shelley Johnson, executive director of the Lake Charles Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Creole Nature Trail All-American Road is a 180-mile driving tour through fertile marshlands, several wildlife refuges and along Louisiana’s Gulf Coast. Here, outdoor adventure and abundant wildlife are waiting for visitors in their natural habitat. Using cutting-edge technology, the multi-media, self-paced tour guide system delivers content based on where users are located on the trail.

Whenever visitors enter the satellite radius of a point of interest along the Creole Nature Trail, the device will automatically provide a play button for a video about what the visitor is viewing. It’s like having a personal tour guide.

In addition to the new language translations, the app is also available in English, French, German, and Spanish.

For more information, please contact the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau at 337-436-9588 or log onto http://www.visitlakecharles.org/apps.

About The Creole Nature Trail All-American Road

The more than 180-mile Creole Nature Trail was one of the first National Scenic Byways designated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation in the Gulf South, and in 2002 that designation was upgraded to the highest category, an All-American Road. Along this distinctive natural corridor through Louisiana’s Outback — one of America’s “Last Great Wildernesses” — you have the opportunity to experience world-famous wildlife habitats and estuaries. The Creole Nature Trail is a journey through a wild and rugged terrain unique to Louisiana, America and the world . . . Louisiana’s Outback. Find out more about the Creole Nature Trail at http://www.creolenaturetrail.org.
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Mac's Blog ¤ Quelques mots de traduction et traduction de quelques mots: [Fr] 6 poèmes choisis d'Emily Dickinson ¤ [En] 6 Chosen Poems Of Emily Dickinson

Mac's Blog ¤ Quelques mots de traduction et traduction de quelques mots: [Fr] 6 poèmes choisis d'Emily Dickinson ¤ [En] 6 Chosen Poems Of Emily Dickinson | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
[Fr]

[En]

Pour faire bref, Emily Elizabeth Dickinson, dite Emily Dickinson, est l’une des poétesses américaines les plus connues du 19ème siècle et a pour ainsi dire vécu toute sa vie à Amherst, Massachusetts (10 décembre 1830 – 15 mai 1886). Cadette d’une fratrie de trois, si elle répugnait à recevoir qui que ce soit cela ne l’empêchait pas d’entretenir des amitiés par correspondance.

Pour la petite anecdote, outre son penchant pour les vêtements blancs, Emily Dickinson n’avait publié que très peu de poèmes de son vivant, moins d’une douzaine sur près de mille huit cents, autant dire une broutille.
To keep it short, Emily Elizabeth Dickinson, known as Emily Dickinson, is one of the most famous American poetesses of the 19th century and lived her whole life as it were in Amherst, Massachusetts (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886). Second of three siblings, if she was reluctant to receive anyone it didn’t prevent her from carrying out friendships by correspondence.

On a side note, besides her having a liking for white clothing, Emily Dickinson only ever published but a few of her poems in her lifetime, less than a dozen out of nearly a thousand and eight hundreds poems, that is to say a mere trifle.


Emily Dickinson's daguerreotype circa 1847
Source: Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Si dès 1890, parties de son œuvre furent publiées par deux de ses connaissances – Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823 – 1911), son mentor et Mabel Loomis Todd (1856 – 1932) – ses poèmes ont été largement modifiés voire réécrits pour correspondre aux standards de ponctuation et de majuscule de la fin 19ème siècle.

Entre 1914 et 1945, Martha Dickinson Bianchi (1866-1943) a publié plusieurs recueils en s’appuyant sur les manuscrits de sa tante conservés par sa famille, tandis que Millicent Todd Bingham (1880-1968) elle s’est basée sur les manuscrits par sa mère Mabel Loomis Todd. Cependant, les poèmes sont encore largement modifiés.

Grâce à un travail rigoureux de Thomas Herbert Johnson, c’est en 1955 que fut publiée une première édition complète et rigoureuse en trois volumes des poèmes d’Emily Dickinson : The Poems of Emily Dickinson (1775 poèmes).
Les poèmes sont quasiment sous leur forme originale et conservent ainsi les spécificités propre à la poétesse : tirets, majuscules irrégulières, style souvent extrêmement elliptique. Ils n’ont pas de titre et sont numérotés selon un ordre chronologique approximatif. Il reste toutefois quelques traces des modifications apportées par Todd et Higginson.

C’est enfin en 1998 que Ralph W. Franklin a publié l’édition la plus complète en trois volumes également de l’œuvre d’Emily Dickinson : The Poems of Emily Dickinson, Variorum Edition (1789 poèmes).
Les poèmes sont sous leur forme originale, retranscrits via fac-similés et numérotés suivant leur ordre chronologique.

If from 1890, parts of her works were published by two acquaintances of hers – Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823 – 1911), her mentor and Mabel Loomis Todd (1856 – 1932) – her poems were extensively edited if not rewritten in order to match the punctuation and capitalization standards of the late 19th century.

Between 1914 and 1945, Martha Dickinson Bianchi (1866-1943) published many collections based on the manuscripts of her aunt kept by her family, whereas Millicent Todd Bingham (1880-1968) based her collections on the manuscripts kept by her mother Mabel Loomis Todd. However, the poems are still extensively edited.

Thanks to a scholarly work of Thomas Herbert Johnson, the first complete and thorough three-volume edition of Emily Dickinson’s poems was published in 1955: The Poems of Emily Dickinson (1775 poems).
The poems were nearly in their original form and therefore held the peculiar specificities of the poetess: dashes, irregularly capitalizations, often extremely elliptical style. They have no title and are numbered in an approximate chronological order. Yet, traces of the edited version of Todd and Higginson still remain.

It’s finally in 1998 that Ralph W. Franklin published the most complete edition of Emily Dickinson’s work, also a three-volume edition: The Poems of Emily Dickinson, Variorum Edition (1789 poems).
The poems are in their original form, transcribed from facsimiles and numbered according to their chronological order.
Voici six poèmes choisis d’Emily Dickinson, chacun est précédé de la numérotation de Franklin, l’année établie par Franklin et de la numérotation de Johnson. Ils ont tous été écrits à Amhrest, Massachusetts.
La traduction française m'est entièrement propre, je n'ai lu aucune des traductions déjà existantes.

Here are six chosen poems of Emily Dickinson’s, each preceded by the Franklin numbering, the year established by Franklin and the Johnson numbering. All of them were written in Amhrest, Massachusetts.
The French translation is entirely mine, I have read none of the already existing translations.



Emily Dickinson Archives If Those I Loved Were Lost ¤ Fr20, 1858 (J29)
 partial view of the facsimile
Fr20, 1858 (J29)

Si ceux que j’aimais étaient perdus
La voix du Crieur m’alerterait —
Si ceux que j’aimais étaient retrouvés
Les cloches de Gand sonneraient —

Ceux que j’aimais seraient-ils au repos
La Pâquerette m’orienterait.
Philippe — alors que troublé
Avec lui son mystère emportait !
If those I loved were lost
The Crier's voice would tell me—
If those I loved were found
The bells of Ghent would ring—

Did those I loved repose
The Daisy would impel me.
Philip—when bewildered
Bore his riddle in!


Fr137, 1860 (J74)

Une Dame rouge — au milieu de la Colline
Son secret annuel conserve !
Une Dame blanche, au sein du Champs
Dans un Lys placide sommeille !

Les Brises ordonnées, avec leurs Genêts—
Balayent val — colline — arbre!
Fi donc, Mes belles Compagnes !
Quel attendu ce peut-il être ?

Les voisins n’ont encore nul soupçon !
Les bois échangent un sourire !
Verger, Bouton d’Or, Oiseau —
En un moment si réduit !

Pourtant, quelle paix sur le Paysage règne !
Quelle nonchalance sur la Haie !
Comme si la « Résurrection »
N’était rien de très extraordinaire !

A Lady red—amid the Hill
Her annual secret keeps!
A Lady white, within the Field
In placid Lily sleeps!

The tidy Breezes, with their Brooms—
Sweep vale—and hill—and tree!
Prithee, My pretty Housewives!
Who may expected be?

The neighbors do not yet suspect!
The woods exchange a smile!
Orchard, and Buttercup, and Bird—
In such a little while!

And yet, how still the Landscape stands!
How nonchalant the Hedge!
As if the "Resurrection"
Were nothing very strange!


Emily Dickinson Archives
A Slash of Blue! A Sweep of Gray! ¤ Fr233, 1861 (J204)

Fr233, 1861 (J204)

Balafre de Bleu ! Étendue de Gris !
Quelques macules écarlates — de passage —
Composent un Ciel à la Tombée du Jour —

Une pointe de pourpre — immiscée çà et là —
Quelques Pantalons Garance — empressés —
Vague d’Or — Berge d’une Journée —
Ceci forme juste le Ciel à la Pointe du Jour !
A slash of Blue! A sweep of Gray!
Some scarlet patches — on the way —
Compose an Evening Sky —

A little purple — slipped between —
Some Ruby Trousers — hurried on —
A Wave of Gold — A Bank of Day —
This just makes out the Morning Sky!


Fr278, 1862 (J1212)

Un mot périt une fois dit
D’aucuns disent —

Je dis que sa vie a tout juste commencé
Ce jour-là.
A word is dead when it is said
Some say —

I say it just begins to live
That day.


Fr579, 1863 (J683)

L’Âme envers elle-même
Est une impériale amie —
Ou l’Espion le plus moribond —
Que pourrait envoyer — un Ennemi —

Prémunie contre la sienne —
Nulle traîtrise elle ne saurait craindre —
Elle-même — sa Souveraine — Face à elle-même
L’Âme doit faire montre de Révérence —

The Soul unto itself
Is an imperial friend —
Or the most agonizing Spy —
An Enemy — could send —

Secure against its own —
No treason it can fear —
Itself — its Sovereign — Of itself
The Soul should stand in Awe —



Fr1109, 1866 (J1079)

Le Soleil descendit — nul Homme regarda —
La Terre et Moi, seules,
Étions présentes à la Majesté —
Il triompha, et s’en alla —

Le Soleil s’éleva — nul Homme regarda —
La Terre et Moi et Unique
Un Oiseau sans nom — un Etranger
Furent les Témoins de la Couronne —
The Sun went down — no Man looked on —
The Earth and I, alone,
Were present at the Majesty —
He triumphed, and went on —

The Sun went up — no Man looked on —
The Earth and I and One
A nameless Bird — a Stranger
Were Witness for the Crown —






Further readings:
http://www.edickinson.org/
http://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/
http://www.emilydickinson.org/
http://bloggingdickinson.blogspot.fr/
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Heavican: Nebraska needs more rural attorneys, interpreters

Heavican: Nebraska needs more rural attorneys, interpreters | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Heavican: Nebraska needs more rural attorneys, interpreters
By GRANT SCHULTE, Associated Press
Updated 9:31 am, Thursday, January 29, 2015

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Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican delivers his annual State of the Judiciary message to lawmakers in Lincoln, Neb., Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. Photo: Nati Harnik, AP

 

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska has a growing need for language interpreters in its courts and faces such a shortage of rural attorneys that more people are opting to represent themselves, the state's chief justice said Thursday.

The state has taken steps to address both problems, Nebraska Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Heavican told lawmakers, but he said more work remains. Heavican said the state faces a "major challenge" in Nebraskans who serve as their own lawyers, because many are unfamiliar with the law and court procedures.

"One factor contributing to the increase in self-represented litigation in many areas of Nebraska is a lack of attorneys," Heavican said in his annual State of the Judiciary address.

Heavican praised lawmakers for their work on a student loan repayment program for attorneys who agree to work in under-served rural areas. The program was created through a prison overhaul law last year.


A Supreme Court committee on self-represented litigants has developed forms and instructions to help non-lawyers navigate the courts, Heavican said. He also pointed to a partnership that's looking at ways to help Nebraskans who represent themselves. The committee includes legal aid groups, law schools, public libraries and the Nebraska State Bar Association.

Sen. Les Seiler of Hastings, an attorney and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said the lawyer shortage is especially severe in the northwest corner of Nebraska. Seiler said he's noticed a large number of non-lawyers trying to represent themselves in divorces and legal disputes against their neighbors, with mixed results.

"It's very frustrating for the judges," Seiler said.

Heavican said Nebraska increasingly relies on interpreters for criminal defendants, victims, witnesses and other participants in court hearings.

The state supplied interpreters in 46 different languages for 24,000 appointments last year, a 20 percent increase from the previous year, he said. Spanish interpreters are the most in demand, but court officials also requested language services for Arabic, Vietnamese, Somali, the African language Nuer and American Sign Language.

Heavican said the newest languages sought are Bengali and Telugu, spoken in India; Kirundi, which is used in central and southern Africa; and Sorani, a Kurdish dialect spoken in Iran and Iraq.

Lawmakers may address the issue this year. Gov. Pete Ricketts has recommended an additional $250,000 annually for interpreter services in his proposed budget.

Heavican also highlighted the state's recent work on juvenile justice and prison-sentencing reforms. Nebraska has roughly 1,000 fewer state wards today than in 2012, he said, while the number of service providers statewide has increased by more than 45 percent.

The state has seen a decrease in boys admitted to the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center in Kearney. Heavican said 175 boys were admitted last year, compared to 450 in 2011. About 50 girls were admitted to a similar facility in Geneva last year, compared to 140 in 2011.

"This significant reduction is a direct result of the efforts of our juvenile courts and probation staff, providing intervention and treatment services closer to home for young people and their families," Heavican said.

Heavican said the courts have identified two effective alternatives to prison sentences for some offenders, although they're not available in all parts of the state.

The first is problem-solving courts, which served more than 1,000 people last year. Nebraska has 16 such courts that focus on drug, young adult and driving-under-the-influence cases. If half of those who participated had gone to prison, Heavican said the state would have paid at least $15 million. The program focuses on education and employment, rather than incarceration.

The second program, Specialized Substance Abuse Supervision, puts drug offenders under intensive supervised probation while they receive treatment. Heavican said more than 90 percent of those who successfully finish the program do not reoffend.
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Sierra Leone's hi-tech weapon against Ebola - Telegraph

Sierra Leone's hi-tech weapon against Ebola  - Telegraph | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
For a medical facility that serves nearly 400,000 people, the Masanga Hospital is somewhat hard to find. Tucked away amid the lush green jungle of central Sierra Leone, access is via a narrow dirt road that winds through miles of bush, before opening into a dusty clearing walled in by mango and baobab trees.
Yet as a handpainted sign points out, the location is no accident: when it was first built in 1964, it was used for treating leprosy patients, whose skin lesions so frightened other Sierra Leoneans that they had to be treated in isolated clinics.
Half a century on, leprosy has largely been eradicated, but today, Masanga Hospital is facing a threat that creates much the same fear and stigma. For the last eight months, the deadly Ebola virus has been spreading through the surrounding towns and villages, with nearly 500 confirmed cases alone in Tonkolili, the district that the hospital serves.
Many of the challenges presented by Ebola would be grimly familiar to the doctors who started Masanga Hospital back in the 1960s. Just like leprosy, Ebola victims are often scared to admit that they may have become infected, leading to them remain at home where they may pass it on to family members rather than coming forward for treatment.
Just like leprosy, fears about Ebola's infectiousness tend to be exaggerated. As long as stringent precautions are observed, those suspected to have the virus can be treated relatively safely, and by carers with only a basic knowledge of medicine.
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It is with that in mind that the Masanga Mentor Ebola Initiative - a beneficiary of the Telegraph's Christmas Charity Appeal which ends tomorrow - has set up a pioneering computerised training module to train community health officials how to deal with Ebola cases should they come across them.
The officials may lack the expertise of the highly-qualified epidemiogolists who have flocked into Sierra Leone in recent months, but in many areas - including the remote jungle villages around Masanga - they are often the only people available.
The module, which can be operated via a laptop, drills health workers in the protocols for putting on the vital protective suits used for treating suspected Ebola patients. Uniquely, it comes not just in standard English but in Krio, the English dialect originally brought to Sierra Leone by descendants of freed slaves from Jamaica, America and Britain.
At Masanga Hospital in Sierra Leone, they have to generate some of their own income to fund the hospital, here, bow ties and bags are being made (WILL WINTERCROSS)
"The smallest villages round here are only accessible by foot, and some of the health workers there are now scared to work because they fear Ebola infection," said Alimamy Bangara 25, a community health official, as he showed the module to colleagues gathered in one of the hospital's corrugated iron shacks. "This module shows them what to do in very simple terms."
The module introduces users to a computer-generated nurse, who explains in a series of cartoon-style strips how to wear the uniforms, which must hermetically seal the body and is hot and uncomfortable to wear. "Make sure you have had a drink and been to the toilet, and that your hair is tied back," instructs the voice in Krio. "Wear boots that are one size bigger to make them easy to take off."
The module is already being piloted around Masanga, and may also be translated into other local dialects. While Sierra Leone's Ebola outbreak is now showing signs of stabilising, outbreaks continue to spring up in remote areas, making outreach work all the more important.
"The bigger aid organisations are very busy in the urban areas, but it's in the countryside, where people often still don't know about the risks, that Ebola may resurge again," said Geoff Eaton, one of the trustees of Masanga UK, a health charity which helps support Masanga Hospital and is a partner in the Masanga Mentor Ebola Initiative. "Computerised education programs can reach where expert trainers might not otherwise be able to get to."
Two of the mentors at Masanga Hospital in Sierra Leone, where health care workers are receiving training in how to deal with Ebola (WILL WINTERCROSS)
Like many other hospitals in Sierra Leone, Masanga itself has been a casualty of the Ebola outbreak. Since August, it has been forced to suspend its main paediatrics, maternity, general medicine and surgery operations, amid concerns that the risk to staff of exposure to the virus was simply too great. It has long enjoyed a good reputation in the area, and the fear was that it could simply be overwhelmed with patients.
The hospital is long-accustomed, however, to bouncing back from crises. During Sierra Leone's civil war, it was commandeered as a base by militiamen from the Revolutionary United Front, who looted it of drugs and killed at least 17 local people, including a medic. Plans are now underway to resume clinical services, and with Telegraph readers' help, there will also be a revamp of its facilities, most of which currently still depend on just three hours of electricity a day from a generator.
"Masanga Hospital lies at the very heart of the Masanga community, not only caring for its sick but also providing their livelihood and teaching the future generation of local health workers," said Mr Eaton. "It can be at the heart of re-building healthcare in post-Ebola Sierra Leone."
* The Masanga Mentor Ebola Initiative is one of three charities - including The Abbeyfield Society and Medical Detection Dogs - supported by the Telegraph’s 25th Annual Christmas Charity Appeal. For more information or to donate visit telegraph.co.uk/charity
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A Word, Please: Ten common usages mistaken for mistakes

A Word, Please: Ten common usages mistaken for mistakes | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Some people just love to correct others' grammar and usage. They know it rubs people the wrong way. But they justify it like this: "I'm doing the poor ignoramuses a favor. I'll endure their resentment for their own good. I'm no hero, just your average, everyday martyr."

The worst part is their advice is usually wrong. The very language points that are most nitpicked by grammar cops are almost all fictional. Here are 10 popular incorrect corrections.

1. Done. This one's a favorite of misinformed moms and dads everywhere. Little Jimmy pushes his plate away after dinner and says, "I'm done." The parent replies: "No. A roast is done. You're finished." Why? Because about 100 years ago, the authors of a book called "The Manual of Good English" took it upon themselves to ban Jimmy's standard and correct use of "done," even though it's always been acceptable. Today, the American Heritage Dictionary lists among its definitions of "done" this synonym: "finished."


2. Hopefully. Saying "Hopefully, the check will arrive tomorrow" can elicit a nasty response, but only from people who don't understand adverbs. Those who think that adverbs only modify verbs think that "hopefully" means only "in a hopeful manner," and checks can't be hopeful. But adverbs also modify sentences, as do "certainly," "previously," "unfortunately," "frankly" and many others.

3. Rob. In law and in journalism, there's an important distinction between robbery, a direct confrontation, and burglary, which takes place on the sly. But outside of those professional realms, the words overlap. If someone sneaks into your house and steals something, you can say you were robbed.

4. For free. There's a common belief that you can get something free but you can't get it "for" free. "Because 'free' itself can function as an adverb in the sense 'at no cost,' some critics reject the phrase 'for free,'" writes Garner's Modern American Usage. But the "for" is not an error. "Sometimes the syntax all but demands it."

5. Good. Contrary to popular belief, the word "good" can be a synonym of "well" when someone asks how you are. "I'm good" is synonymous with "I'm well," according to many dictionaries, though it is considered informal.

6. Between. Myth has it that "between" is for relationships between just two things and if you want to talk about something involving three or more people, you need "among." Not so. The American Heritage Dictionary says this idea is "widely repeated but unjustified." Garner's Modern American Usage and the Chicago Manual of Style agree. Even "The Elements of Style" allows it in some cases.

7. Slow. It's true that instead of saying "Drive slow" you could always opt for the more proper "Drive slowly." But the former is fine for two reasons. First, the dictionary defines "slow" as an adverb and synonym of "slowly." Second, there exist things called flat adverbs, which are words not ending in "ly" that are used adverbially.

8. Like. The popular myth is that you can't use "like" to mean "such as." So "He enjoys activities like golf and tennis," some say, should trade in its "like" for "such as." But if they just looked up the word "like," they'd see that's not so.

9. Have got. When used in place of plain, old "have," as in "I have got a lot of relatives," this term seems like a waste of a word. It is less efficient. But it's also an established idiom that at times lends better emphasis to your sentence.

10. Anxious. On this one, the sticklers have a point. But they take it too far. If you say, "I'm anxious to start my vacation," meaning you're looking forward to it, you've used a word with a negative connotation where a more positive word, "eager," would better convey your meaning. But to say this missed opportunity is an error is itself an error.

JUNE CASAGRANDE is the author of "The Best Punctuation Book, Period." She can be reached at JuneTCN@aol.com.
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What Languages Will We Speak In The Future? Ask Your Questions Now

What Languages Will We Speak In The Future? Ask Your Questions Now | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
What languages might go extinct in the future, and how can we expect the surviving ones to change? Linguist John McWhorter is here to answer our questions.

Top Image: Language Tree by Minna Sundberg / SSSScomic.

McWhorter teaches linguistics, American Studies, philosophy and music at Columbia University. He has a PhD in linguistics from Stanford University and is the author of a number of books on languages and their formation. He frequently writes for Timeand other outlets, including this recent essay on what the next century might hold for existing languages in the Wall Street Journal.


What languages will still be around in 100 years?
Over on WSJ.com there is an interesting essay on what the author, a linguist named John McWhorter,…
Read more observationdeck.io9.com
He'll be joining us from 11:00 a.m. - noon (Pacific time), so start asking your questions about dead or thriving languages and what we might expect our linguistic future to look like in the comments now.
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BOOKS - Rumi work translated into Kurdish

BOOKS - Rumi work translated into Kurdish | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Masnavi’ has been so far translated into 23 languages. Now it will be available in 10 more languages.
Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi’s epic work, the “Masnavi,” will soon be published in Kurdish and Ottoman Turkish following translation work by the Konya Metropolitan Municipality Cultural and Social Affairs Department.

Rumi, a famous 13th-century Sufi from Central Asia who made Konya his home, wrote the original work in Persian. Since 2005, when translation works began, it has been published in 23 languages. The book was recently translated into Azeri and will now be published in Ottoman Turkish and the Kurmanci dialect of Kurdish, which is spoken by most of Turkey’s Kurds.

Alphabet will be Latinized

Translated into Kurdish by Iranian Kurdish intellectual Molla Ahmet Şerefhan, the “Masnevi” will be Latinized by the municipality and put on the market in the coming months.

Konya Mayor Tahir Akyürek said works were continuing to translate the work into various languages.  He said the book was being translated into 10 languages at the moment and that their goal was to translate it into 50 languages.
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Plotting the global spread of languages on an interactive map

Plotting the global spread of languages on an interactive map | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
The map (pictured) was created by Brazil-based Easy Way Language Centre. Type a word in any language into Word Map to hear it being translated globally.
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Hanna Szenes: A hero of the Hebrew language - Books

Hanna Szenes: A hero of the Hebrew language - Books | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Hanna Szenes: A hero of the Hebrew language
The collected letters of Hanna Szenes, who was parachuted into Europe in 1944 and killed by the Nazis, is a self-portrait of an enchanting woman.
By Sharon Geva | Jan. 29, 2015 | 12:48 PM


Szenes at Kibbutz Sdot Yam. Photo by GPO

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“At Levadekh Tavini: Mikhtavei Hannah Szenes, 1935-1944” (Hannah Szenes: Letters, 1935-1944), edited and annotated by Anna Szalai; Hakibbutz Hameuchad Publishing House (Hebrew), 471 pages, 79 shekels

The last letter written by Hannah Szenes in her short life was a note, which her mother, Katharine Szenes, found in the pocket of a piece of clothing that was given to her after her daughter’s execution. “Dearest beloved mother, I have no words. All I can say is: a million thanks. Forgive me if you can. You’ll understand by yourself why there is no need for words. With endless love, Your daughter.”

This is the last in a long series of letters, most of them personal, that Szenes sent to her close friends and family, mainly her mother, from June 1935, when she was 14, to November 7, 1944, when she was executed in Budapest by the Nazis, at age 23. All the letters have now been published for the first time in Hebrew, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of her death.

The note to her mother became one of the texts that contributed to the process by which Scenes became an iconic national heroine in Israel. As the introduction to a 1946 collection of writings by and about her noted, she was “sui generis, mantled with the splendor of supreme Hebrew heroism,” and “her spirits always soared high."

Her life story was overshadowed by her brave activity, near the end of World War II, “when the idea of [undertaking such] a mission to the Diaspora, which had flickered deep with her during all her years in the Land of Israel, burst into flame.” As she wrote after being parachuted into Yugoslavia, she became the “fortunate match that burned and kindled flames."

It’s not by chance that the words “You’ll understand by yourself” were chosen as the book’s title in Hebrew. This phrase encapsulates the spirit that emanates from the letters. Though they partake of Zionist ideology, they are not steeped in it; they contain barely any pathos, certainly no glorification of heroism.

As Ruti Glick noted in a study of Szenes called "Captive in a New Land" (2003, in Hebrew), which concludes at the point of her departure on that mission, this is the story of a young woman who immigrated to Palestine from Hungary in 1939, and encountered an unknown climate, an unfamiliar language and a new culture, and never stopped longing for the two souls who were most precious to her: her mother, who remained in Budapest, and her brother, Gyorgy (Hebrew name: Giora), who was then in France. (Her father died when she was six).

“I am ashamed to tell you that I cried here next to the typewriter, although I don’t know why,” she wrote to her brother on November 7, 1939, exactly five years before her death. “I love it here, I am well and I have not been disappointed in anything, but I think you will get my drift and know what it is that I miss: Mama and you.” Almost two years later (August 1941, now from Kibbutz Sdot Yam), she wrote to her mother: “I miss nothing that I left behind – only you and Gyori."

Mastery of Hebrew

Most of the 194 letters were written during Szenes’ years in Palestine, particularly during the period she attended the agricultural school in Nahalal, the Palestine Jewish community’s first moshav, or cooperative village. Her mother survived the war and immigrated to Israel, bringing with her her daughter’s letters, along with various certificates and photographs that she’d kept in a large box.

Following her death, in 1992, the box passed to Hannah’s brother, Giora, who also made his home in Israel. His son, Eitan, inherited the box and opened it after his father’s death in 1995. His aunt’s image as a quintessential heroine and as the author of a verse, “Walk to Caesarea,” that no memorial ceremony can be without (“God, may there be no end / To sea, to sand...”) became ever more firmly entrenched.

Seventy years after the tragic events in Hungary, the book’s editor, Dr. Anna Szalai, and Hannah’s nephew Eitan have written forewords that seek to blur the heroic dimension and play up Hannah Szenes as “a human being and a creative person, a young woman, multifaceted and special.” In short: Let us remember her for the way she lived, not the way she died.

Szalai, who supplements the letters with excerpts from Szenes’ diary and with letters to her from other people (which Szenes kept), points out the book’s importance for researchers of that era: Personal letters, certainly in the Palestine-Europe context of the 1930s and 1940s, are an important historical source for understanding events of the time and their impact on everyday life. Szenes’ long, detailed letters, both heart-wrenching and jocular, are a veritable treasure. Even if she fell mute on the brink of death, in life she always found words, and surely would have written more if she could.

The letters show that she had a gift for languages. Most of them were written in Hungarian, though she chose to write a few in English, because letters sent from Palestine to Europe were subject to military censorship, and the British Mandate censorship unit had a hard time finding people who could translate from Hungarian. She spoke French with people she met on the ship that brought her to Palestine and with a girlfriend at school in Nahalal, but the main language of record was Hebrew.

“Naturally people here speak other languages as well – one often hears German, Yiddish and Hungarian – but those who live here for a longer period do not like to speak other languages,” she wrote in her first letter from Nahalal to her mother and brother, adding, “If you should speak to someone who wants to come, please tell him he must learn Hebrew."

The rules of the language dictated the culture, she observed: “The whole language is structured so that the other person is addressed in the masculine or the feminine, so the approach is far more personal, but because of that there is also less respect.” Her signature on this letter reflects her social integration: “Ani,” her original name, had metamorphosed into “Hannah."

In June 1940, she sent her mother a poem she’d written, expressing regret that she was unable to write it in Hebrew. But a few months later, she related happily that she had managed to write a poem in that language. On November 29, 1939, she reported that she had finished reading her first book in Hebrew the previous day. She accomplished the feat in part thanks to long waits in the dentist’s reception room. She went on to read poetry by icons of modern Hebrew literature such as Rachel, and afterward by Saul Tchernichovsky and Haim Nahman Bialik.

Szenes’ letters paint a portrait of life in the Yishuv, the pre-1948 Jewish community in Palestine. They’re accompanied by photographs that she sent her mother, some that she herself took. She did her best to allay her mother’s concerns, answering questions like: Is there enough time to bathe? Isn’t it too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter? What’s the food like?

Not surprisingly, that last subject occupies an important place. Szenes arrived at the agricultural school in Nahalal on Yom Kippur in 1939, and received a modest meal of tea, eggs, tomatoes, bread and butter. Subsequently, she wrote that the menu was adequate – vegetables, eggs, milk and cheese were all available, even during the war. Occasionally she discovered a new food, such as olives or grapefruit, and at Hanukkah she enjoyed the potato pancakes. In a letter to a close girlfriend she asked her to tell her mother that “she shouldn’t think we live on water and bread."
 
In fact, thanks to the food, Szenes put on weight, which didn’t especially bother her, though she knew a woman should have a good figure. “I think I’ve gained a little weight,” she wrote in April 1941. “It wouldn’t be surprising if it were so, because I’m eating huge amounts of food; but there’s no real danger: My clothes still fit. As for my looks, oh God, I don’t think they’ve been hurt much, and anyway there’s really no one here worth looking good for."

High 'moral bar'

Matters of the heart also find their way into the letters. “I have to say that when it comes to boys,” she wrote in November 1939, “there’s nothing, I mean no one serious.” In April 1940, she wrote to her brother, “I know that for all the usual reasons you would like to read an announcement of my marriage, but in this place I don’t even look at boys. Alright, that’s not true, because I look first, on top of which I smile very prettily. That melts the boys’ heart, and in the evening they start to send messages via the girls that I should come and walk with them a little.

“At first I usually respond willingly, but when it turns out that it’s a pity to waste time on this I become cold as ice, I make faces … and close myself off like a snail. If they want to go for a walk, I [say I] have to write an urgent letter, or I want to go to sleep, or I’m cold."

And that summer: “I would finally like to have a boyfriend without ‘but.’ Too bad it’s not something you can order. I would like a good friend, but I don’t want to compromise."

Her brother asked about the local women, too. Her impression, Szenes wrote back, was that “they are a great deal more honest and simple, a lot less pressured about getting married, for example, but you can’t say they are frivolous. On the contrary: In the kibbutzim, for example, the moral bar is actually very high."

What did a young woman in the Jezreel Valley in the early 1940s wear? Shorts and blouses in the summer, while in the winter, women and men alike wore boots, long pants and a leather jacket. Szenes’ mother apparently took great interest in this aspect of Yishuv life, and was not satisfied even by the considerable information and pictures her daughter sent (including, on one occasion, a painting.)

Informed by her mother that a young Hungarian woman was planning to immigrate to Palestine and had asked her what to take with her, Szenes recommended simple and washable summer apparel, a skirt, a light blouse, shorts, warm underclothing, wool clothes, flannel shirts and wool socks, a hat, sunglasses and – most crucial – plenty of footwear of all kinds: high shoes and half-shoes, flat sandals and boots. Boots were an essential – and expensive – item in Nahalal, and she repeatedly asked her mother to send her a suitable pair.

What did Hannah Szenes plan to do in her life? The question arose after she’d adjusted to the schedule and the work in Nahalal, and also in letters from her mother: She wondered, for example, whether it hadn’t been a mistake for her daughter to forgo university studies. At the outset, Szenes aspired to work in the cowshed and the dairy, and afterward in the chicken coop. In the meantime, her work assignments included the laundry, the bakery, the kitchen and dining room.
 
The latter provided her with material for a very amusing letter. Wearing an apron and a kerchief, “I harness myself to the food cart,” she wrote, in order to clear the tables, afterward washing the floor “amid groans.” Within three days she has become an expert, familiar with “all the thrills latent in the labor of floor-washing.” Her conclusion: “Despite its many good points, I will not choose floor-washing as my chief profession."

Her description of how she cleared the tables after lunch has the makings of a fine satire. “Again I wipe the tables and launch into a series of murders: I spray Flit [insecticide] all over the dining room. When I see that all the fatigued flies are lying under the windows (they don’t have antiaircraft training and don’t know how to behave in an air attack), I lay down the murder weapon and make myself ignore the fact that within half an hour all the flies will be climbing the windows vigorously again and watching me scornfully as I wash the floor once more."

Her aim was kibbutz life. “I think I am on the most important journey of my life,” she wrote to her mother and brother in September 1939. “I am certain I made the right decision.” Later letters conveyed the same message. Her mother alone understood her. “I know that you always understand me,” she wrote in June 1937 from Milan, where she was visiting cousins; in March 1944 she conveyed similar sentiments from Bari, in Italy, on the way to her fateful mission.

She and her mother think alike, Szenes wrote from Nahalal in February 1944, and even if they were far apart geographically, “our thoughts cross somewhere at the midway point, maybe over the sea. I feel how strong and flexible the invisible thread that binds us is, and I know it’s completely superfluous to write about it – after all, you know everything."

Perhaps it was the existence of this implicit bond that made it possible for the daughter to devote all her energy to describing the sights, sounds, smells and tastes around her, and to free herself of the need to explain things – her mother would understand by herself. In this sense, the last note, and the book’s Hebrew title, too, afford the book an interpretation founded on life, not death.

This wonderful collection of letters does not crack or shatter any legend, nor does it shed new light on Hanna Szenes’ character. What it does is make available, however belatedly, the original writings of a gifted and delightful young woman. We can only imagine what her contribution to Hebrew culture would have been if she had returned from that mission.

Those who seek symbolism will find it in the timing of the book’s publication, exactly when the copyright period expires under the law. From now on, then, all her writings, even the most personal, belong to us all.
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Stop saying "literally" when you mean "figuratively" and how grammar rules apply to life and society in general

Stop saying "literally" when you mean "figuratively" and how grammar rules apply to life and society in general | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Last night at a friend’s party, I had a heated discussion (heated in my mind—I'm not sure she could tell I was getting annoyed) about the word “literally.” When I mocked my friend for his misuse of the word “literally,” he dramatically took the cat toy in his hand and threw it against the wall. He wasn't actually upset, but it sparked a discussion between those who observed the scene and me.

While I argued that we need to abolish the misuse of the word literally—which means “in the literal sense,” but is now used to mean “figuratively,” the exact opposite meaning of the original meaning—another person argued that it is “beautiful” how language evolves and language is contrived anyway, so who are we to say that such meanings can’t change?

Language is beautiful, and it does evolve. What makes language so beautiful is that it allows us to convey our most indescribable feelings through words. Words carry weight. And we’ve created and assigned meaning to words so that when we use a word, everyone knows exactly what we mean. If we begin to use a word to convey the opposite of its meaning, language becomes unclear and useless.

Nicholas Clairmont from The Big Think argues this so much better than I could have done, so here you have it:

A language is better the more things it can say clearly. It should allow us to communicate what we mean. We need the primary definition of 'literally' to be left alone, because without it, we don't have any other way to say that thing.
Irony is the use of words expressing something other than their literal intention. I chose to open this article by noting that this is a moment in which irony is a cultural fixation. You might have wondered why I think that is relevant.

It's relevant because having one word, 'literally', which word is exempt from ironic usage, allows us to talk about that very obsession. It allows us to demarcate irony from non-irony. The non-literal definition of 'literal' makes English smaller.

Need proof? Simply consider how many times I have just had to employ the clunker of a phrase "the non-literal usage of "literally.'" (Tellingly, I stole the phrase from one of the articles arguing against me.)

We can see, then, that at the very best, using 'literal' figuratively needlessly complicates things. At worst, it lessens the very power of the language to describe. We can therefore see why we need to eliminate this language from our speech and from our dictionaries. Describing is all languages do!”

How does this apply to life? As a society, we have decided upon rules and laws to govern people—laws, which make people’s lives better. When a law no longer serves the people, we try to change it. But most laws do a good job at serving the majority of people. Rules are good. Laws are good. Structure, organization, observing tradition, and meaning are good, unless they oppress, instead of uplift, people.

Like Clairmont argued, “literally” serves a purpose: it is one of the few words that can express a very distinct meaning. Furthermore, its meaning is changing not because people decided it no longer serves a purpose or restricts them in some way, but because of pure ignorance of its intended meaning.

So, literally stop. Please.
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St. Joseph Health Selects Clinical Architecture's Symedical(R) for Semantic Normalization and Interoperability

St. Joseph Health Selects Clinical Architecture's Symedical(R) for Semantic Normalization and Interoperability | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
St. Joseph Health Selects Clinical Architecture's Symedical® for Semantic Normalization and Interoperability
St. Joseph Health Will Use Symedical for the Normalization of Disparate Medical Information From Across Three Regions to Present Accurate and Concise Patient Summaries
CARMEL, IN--(Marketwired - January 29, 2015) - Clinical Architecture, the leader in terminology management technology, announced that St. Joseph Health, an integrated healthcare delivery system serving patients in California, Texas and New Mexico, has selected Symedical for system-wide terminology management, semantic normalization and interoperability. St. Joseph Health will use Symedical to automate the maintenance of standard vocabularies and the mapping of local and free text terms; allowing them to efficiently normalize disparate data and remove redundancy in the system's provider and patient portal.
As a large integrated delivery network serving populations in three states, St. Joseph Health manages health information from a broad spectrum of sources. In addition to the complexities of working with data from disparate clinical applications, redundant information about a patient can also be reported from multiple venues of care. In order to make this combined data meaningful for providers, St. Joseph Health will normalize information to a common semantic meaning and reconcile redundant information into a single entry.
"Our physicians expect and deserve the information we aggregate from internal and external sources to be an accurate and complete representation of their patient's medical history, presented in a concise, actionable format," said Bill Russell, St. Joseph Health Chief Information Officer. "To accomplish that objective, we needed an efficient way to normalize data from multiple systems and remove redundant information. Symedical's terminology tooling and runtime services allow our staff to rapidly meet and maintain this standard going forward."
"Leveraging clinical patient information across venues of care is key to discovering trends, improving outcomes and enhancing the patient's experience," said Charlie Harp, Chief Executive Officer of Clinical Architecture. "We built our Symedical product to help unlock this potential. St. Joseph Health has the vision and drive to show what can be done when you turn data into knowledge and we are excited to be a part of this effort."
About St. Joseph Health
St. Joseph Health (SJH) is a $5.5 billion not-for-profit integrated Catholic health care delivery system sponsored by the St. Joseph Health Ministry. SJH's comprehensive range of services includes 16 acute care hospitals, home health agencies, hospice care, outpatient services, skilled nursing facilities, community clinics and physician organizations throughout California, Texas, and New Mexico. Collectively, the 24,000 dedicated employees and 6,000 outstanding SJH physicians deliver care to more than 137,000 inpatients and 3.6 million outpatients each year. Throughout its comprehensive regions of care, SJH strives to provide perfect care while building the healthiest communities and ensuring every encounter is sacred. These extraordinary efforts have been recognized locally and nationally, including distinctions in US News & World Report and Magnet recognition. Guided by the traditions of its founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange, SJH is committed to maintaining a continuum of care that matches the diverse needs of its communities. For more information, visit www.stjoe.org.
About Clinical Architecture
Clinical Architecture is the leading innovator in healthcare terminology management technology. While healthcare market forces and regulatory requirements have elevated the importance of managing information as coded data, or terminology; traditional tools and methods have not evolved to meet the challenge. Clinical Architecture is moving healthcare forward by providing innovative software solutions for managing the complexities of healthcare terminologies. Informative discussions on a variety of health information technology topics are available at the company's Healthcare IT Blog. For more information, please visit www.ClinicalArchitecture.com. Symedical is a registered trademark of Clinical Architecture, LLC.
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Bill Gates insists AI is a threat

Bill Gates insists AI is a threat | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Humans should be worried about the threat posed by artificial Intelligence, Bill Gates has said.

The Microsoft founder said he didn't understand people who were not troubled by the possibility that AI could grow too strong for people to control.

Mr Gates contradicted one of Microsoft Research's chiefs, Eric Horvitz, who has said he "fundamentally" did not see AI as a threat.

Mr Horvitz has said about a quarter of his team's resources are focused on AI.

During an "ask me anything" question and answer session on Reddit, Mr Gates wrote: "I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well.

"A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don't understand why some people are not concerned."

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Watch: Stephen Hawking has warned of the threat AI poses
His view was backed up by the likes of Mr Musk and Professor Stephen Hawking, who have both warned about the possibility that AI could evolve to the point that it was beyond human control. Prof Hawking said he felt that machines with AI could "spell the end of the human race".

Mr Horvitz has said: "There have been concerns about the long-term prospect that we lose control of certain kinds of intelligences. I fundamentally don't think that's going to happen."

He was giving an interview marking his acceptance of the AAAI Feigenbaum Prize for "outstanding advances" in AI research.


Ex Machina explores the relationship between humans and AI robots
"I think that we will be very proactive in terms of how we field AI systems, and that in the end we'll be able to get incredible benefits from machine intelligence in all realms of life, from science to education to economics to daily life."

Mr Horvitz runs Microsoft Research's lab at the parent company's Redmond headquarters. His division's work has already helped introduce Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant.

Despite his own reservations, Mr Gates wrote on Reddit that, had Microsoft not worked out, he would probably be a researcher on AI.

"When I started Microsoft I was worried I would miss the chance to do basic work in that field," he said.


Marvel's latest Avengers film features an AI character named Ultron
He added that he believed the firm he founded would see "more progress... than ever" over the next three decades.

"Even in the next 10 [years,] problems like vision and speech understanding and translation will be very good."

He predicted that, in that time, robots would perform tasks such as picking fruit or moving hospital patients. "Once computers/robots get to a level of capability where seeing and moving is easy for them then they will be used very extensively."

He said he was working on a project with Microsoft called "Personal Agent", which he said would "remember everything and help you go back and find things and help you pick what things to pay attention to".

He wrote: "The idea that you have to find applications and pick them and they each are trying to tell you what is new is just not the efficient model - the agent will help solve this. It will work across all your devices."


Forthcoming film CHAPPiE will feature an AI robot that needs to find its place in the world
But he admitted that he felt "pretty stupid" because he cannot speak any language other than English.

"I took Latin and Greek in High School and got As and I guess it helps my vocabulary but I wish I knew French or Arabic or Chinese.

"I keep hoping to get time to study one of these - probably French because it is the easiest... Mark Zuckerberg amazingly learned Mandarin and did a Q&A with Chinese students - incredible," he wrote.
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News, Events, Speakers and Conferences - English Literature, Languages and Linguistics - Newcastle University

Linguistic research in a challenging environment: Youth language and identity in urban Britain (Rob Drummond, Manchester Metropolitan University)
Dr Rob Drummond (Manchester Metropolitan University) will be presenting on "Linguistic research in a challenging environment: Youth language and identity in urban Britain" as part of the SELLLS-CRiLLS Language & Linguistics Speaker Series. Details are below. All are welcome.

Location: Percy Building G13 Time/Date: Wednesday 25 February 2015, 16:00 - 17:30.

This talk will report on the methodological challenges (and emotional rewards) of researching the fast-moving language and fluid identities of young people in an unpredictable and often volatile environment. The UrBEn-ID project (Drummond and Dray) aims to explore the ways in which language is used by young people in an inner-city setting who have been excluded from mainstream schools and are attending pupil referral units (PRUs). Taking an ethnographic approach, the project brings together qualitative (observation, interactional sociolinguistics and discourse analysis) and quantitative (variationist sociolinguistics) research methods to look at the role of language in the construction, performance, and negotiation of identities in the lives of these young people. Linguistically, the young people appear to share many features of Multicultural London English, albeit with a Manchester flavour. However, the ethnographic element of the project has allowed us to explore in more depth some of the influencing factors behind the use and potential social meaning of some of these language practices. Currently, we are in the process of challenging our own (Drummond's) preconceptions of the role of ethnicity in the use of language, and exploring the way in which it interacts with notions of linguistic and cultural authenticity. The talk will provide methodological insights and preliminary linguistic analysis of an exciting, challenging, and ongoing (July 2014 - July 2016) project.

published on: 29th January 2015
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Decanter 中国醇鉴 - China approves first official translation guide for wine names

Decanter 中国醇鉴 - China approves first official translation guide for wine names | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
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El TSJ ya tiene la traducción de Ecclestone

El TSJ ya tiene la traducción de Ecclestone | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
El TSJ ya tiene la traducción de Ecclestone

A. RALLO
30 enero 2015
00:04



0
1
valencia. El Tribunal Superior de Justicia (TSJ) ya dispone de una traducción oficial de la declaración que Bernie Ecclestone prestó ante la Fiscalía Anticorrupción. La Sala de lo Civil y Penal exigió disponer de este documento antes de decidir si asume la investigación al expresidente de la Generalitat Francisco Camps, a la exconsellera Lola Jonhson y al expiloto Jorge Martínez, 'Aspar' por la organización de la Fórmula 1.

Los magistrados de la Sala de lo Civil y Penal se citaron el pasado martes para deliberar si se quedaban con el conocido como caso Valmor. Durante la reunión, observaron que no existía una traducción oficial de las declaraciones del magnate del automovilismo. Se trata de un elemento clave -no es el único- a la hora de valorar si existen indicios de ilegalidad por parte del aforado. Una posibilidad hubiera sido que asumieran la causa y ordenaran durante la instrucción que se realizara la traducción. Pero los jueces optaron porque esta diligencia la completara la fiscalía al entender que era una prueba practicada durante su investigación de los hechos.

Esto ocurrió el pasado martes. Dos días más tarde, el alto tribunal ya dispone de la correspondiente traducción. La Fiscalía Anticorrupción no quiso perder ni un minuto y envió el asunto a la Fiscalía General del Estado que, en un plazo de 24 horas, devolvió el escrito. En el caso de que se hubiera recurrido a los servicios de traducción de la Conselleria de Justicia, el asunto se hubiera demorado.

Ahora, la pelota vuelve al TSJ. La instructora es la magistrada Pía Calderón, quien ya llevó la investigación del caso Cooperación, que terminó con la condena a ocho años de prisión al exconseller Rafael Blasco. No existe un plazo para que la Sala delibere de nuevo. Las fuentes consultadas dan por hecho que el TSJ terminará por encausar al expresidente de la Generalitat.

La Fiscalía Anticorrupción se querelló contra Camps por malversación y prevaricación al favorecer con sus decisiones a una empresa privada (Valmor) para la organización de la Fórmula 1. El fiscal sostiene que fue Camps quien le propuso a Ecclestone con quien contratar y luego decidió que se sufragara con fondos públicos la organización de la prueba. Posteriormente, la Generalitat compró Valmor y asumió todas sus pérdidas.
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New exhibit features New York City accents and languages that are fading away in the modern day

New exhibit features New York City accents and languages that are fading away in the modern day | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
NEW YORK (WABC) -- There are some people who think each borough has its own unique accent.

According to a new exhibit, the experts say "Forget about it!"

The city is a melting pot, a gorgeous mosaic of different races, descendants of immigrants, and those who are native born, all crowding the streets speaking many languages.

"Sometimes it's aggressive, sometimes it's fast, sometimes it sounds like trying to sell them something," a city resident said.

"They pick me out right away, 'You're from New York,'" a city resident said.

In a rare exhibition at City Lore Gallery on East 1st Street, "Mother Tongues, Endangered Languages in New York City and Beyond" explores the estimated 800 languages spoken here.

"New York is something of a linguistic Noah's ark. Where you have a ton of languages that might not survive this century," said Daniel Kaufman, the executive director at City Lore Gallery.

Interactive exhibits showcase different cultural backgrounds.

"I'm not politically correct. I've been known to say a curse or two once in a while," said Dr. Daniel Ricciardi, an Italian from Brooklyn.

"We had a spelling test and one of the words was 'idea'. So I go, 'I-D-E-A-R.' Idear," said Amy Keckerling, a Jewish woman from the Bronx.

Daniel Kaufman with the Endangered Language Alliance, a sponsor, also speaks of distinct New York accents once widely spoken but fading away.

"The most famous example is thoudy thoud and thoud dialect. That is a feature of the pronunciation or 'er' as 'ouy' which faded away a long time ago," Kaufman said.

But, not Eddie Falcon who still speaks a well-known dialect.

"We speak English and Spanish. We mix it up. (Spanglish?) Right. Right. We never pronounce the English words right. Like instead of saying 'shopping' we say 'chopping'," Falcon said.

"There's a New York accent!" said Valencia Casimir, a Haitian native.

"What does that sound like?" Eyewitness News asked.

"For me it's not very nice," Casimir said.

Others see it disappearing.

"'Dees' and 'does' and 'turlet'. That kind of stuff. But most of those people died off and young people don't talk that way anymore," said Rita Lisar, an Ohio native.

"Now it's kind of fading away, giving way to newscaster English or standard American dialect English," Kaufman said.

For more information on the exhibit please visit: http://citylore.org/the-gallery/
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Dictionary of Canadian politics aims to demystify obscure lingo

Dictionary of Canadian politics aims to demystify obscure lingo | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
A new online dictionary is seeking to demystify obscure Canadian parliamentary terms and phrases for the average civilian — or should we say the "Tim Hortons' voter?"

If you've ever wanted to know who "Premier Dad" is, or what the name of a popular orange carbonated beverage has to do with Canadian politics, look no further.

Parli is a dictionary of Canadian politics started by Campbell Strategies, a public affairs consultancy firm. It was launched earlier this week.

"I think there are a number [of entries] that are amusing," says Barry Campbell, a former Liberal MP and president of the firm.

"This is also serious history, but I think top of the list of most amusing and almost forgotten might be 'Salmon-Arm Salute,' which was a rather crude gesture that prime minister [Pierre] Trudeau made from a train car."

Here are a few other entries you can find in the dictionary:

Kitten-eater.
Little guy from Shawinigan.
Gainsburger.
Joe who?
This hour has seven days.
Corporate welfare bums.
Allophone.
The rainmaker.
Do you know any other terms that the dictionary is missing? Leave a comment below. To submit terms directly to Parli, head to their website or send a tweet to @parlidotca.

"This will live and keep on going," Campbell says. "We're adding as we go. We will of course, in a very Canadian way, try to be very serious about the definitions but have a little bit of fun, too."
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Terminology database

Terminology database | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
This database currently contains one colllection:

Terms from Statutory Instruments These terms were collected as part of the LEX project. This is a thematically varied collection; the only common link being the fact that all terms were extracted from certain Statutory Instruments. More information »
Additionally, two other collections have been made available as auxiliary glossaries:

Terms and sentences from the database of the Translation Section, Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas This material is administered by the Translation Section and is updated regularly.

Téarmaí Dlí (Oifig an tSoláthair, 1959) A bilingual dictionary of legal terms.

All collections can be searched using the search box. Téarmaí as Ionstraimí Reachtúla can be browsed according to the domains below.
Adhmadóireacht, Cearpantóireacht · Woodwork, Carpentry | Aigéaneolaíocht · Oceanography | Ailtireacht · Architecture | Amharcealaíona · Visual Arts | An Spás · Space | Anailís Uimhriúil · Numerical Analysis | Bithcheimic · Biochemistry | Bitheolaíocht · Biology | Bóithre · Roads | Bolcáneolaíocht · Volcanology | Ceimic an Bhia · Food Chemistry | Ceimic Anailíseach · Analytical Chemistry | Ceimic Neamhorgánach · Inorganic Chemistry | Ceimic Orgánach · Organic Chemistry | Ceimic · Chemistry | Ceirdeanna, Ceardaíocht, etc. · Trades, Crafts, etc. | Ceol · Music | Clíomeolaíocht · Climatology | Cócaireacht · Cookery | Cumhacht Leictreach, Leictriteicnic, Leictreonaic · Electrical Power, Electrotechnics, Electronics | Dlí · Law | Drámaíocht · Drama | Eagraíochtaí · Organisations | Ealaín & Litríocht · Art & Literature | Ealaín Mhaisiúil · Decorative Art | Ealaín · Art | Earraí Glantacháin · Cleaning Products | Earraí Maisíochta · Toiletries | Éiceolaíocht agus Comhshaol · Ecology and Environment | Eitlíocht · Aviation | Eolaíocht Shóisialta · Social Science | Eolaíochtaí Nádúrtha & Matamaitic · Natural Sciences & Mathematics | Faisean · Fashion | Fealsúnacht · Philosophy | Fearais Tí · Domestic Appliances | Féilire · Calender | Feithiclí · Vehicles | Fisic · Physics | Fóillíocht & Spóirt · Leisure & Sports | Fóillíocht · Leisure | Geo-eolaíochtaí · Geosciences | Geoiceimic · Geochemistry | Geoifisic · Geophysics | Geoiméadracht · Geometry | Geolaíocht · Geology | Ginearálta · General | Gnó · Business | Hidreolaíocht · Hydrology | Innealtóireacht Leictreach · Electrical Engineering | Innealtóireacht Mheicniúil · Mechanical Engineering | Innealtóireacht Shibhialta · Civil Engineering | Innealtóireacht · Engineering | Iompar · Transport | Leabharcheangal · Bookbinding | Leasú Bia · Food Preservation | Leigheas · Medicine | Litríocht · Literature | Loighic & Tacartheoiric · Logic & Set Theory | Lónadóireacht · Catering | Luibheolaíocht · Botany | Margaíocht · Marketing | Matamaitic · Mathematics | Meáin · Media | Meitéareolaíocht · Meteorology | Mianreolaíocht · Mineralogy | Micribhitheolaíocht · Microbiology | Míleata · Military | Muirí · Marine | Na hEalaíona | Oideachas · Education | Póilíneacht · Policing | Polaitíocht · Politics | Raidió · Radio | Réalteolaíocht · Astronomy | Reiligiún · Religion | Rialtas · Government | Ríomhairí, Ríomheolaíocht · Computers, Computer Science | Sábháilteacht · Safety | Sainchaitheamh Aimsire · Hobbies | Seandálaíocht · Archaeology | Síceolaíocht · Psychology | Socheolaíocht · Sociology | Spástaisteal · Space Travel | Spóirt · Sports | Stair · History | Staitistic · Statistics | Talmhaíocht, Iascaireacht · Agriculture, Fishing | Teangeolaíocht · Linguistics | Teicneolaíocht an Fhuinnimh · Energy Technology | Teicneolaíocht Loinge agus Longthógáil · Ship Technology and Shipbuilding | Teicneolaíocht na Tógála · Building Technology | Teicneolaíocht, Tionsclaíocht, Ceirdeanna · Technology, Industry, Trades | Teileachumarsáid · Telecommunications | Teileafónaíocht, Teileagrafaíocht, Teiléacs · Telephony, Telegraphy, Telex | Teilifís · Television | Tionscal agus Ceirdeanna, Ginearálta · Industry and Crafts, General | Tionscal an Bhia, na Dí agus an Tobac · Food, Drink and Tobacco Industry | Tionscal an Iarnróid · Railway Industry | Tionscal an Mhiotail, Bailchríochnú Miotail · Metal Industry, Metal Finishing | Tíreolaíocht · Geography | Toipeolaíocht · Topology | Tomhas · Measurement | Trealamh Eolaíochta · Scientific Equipment | Turasóireacht · Tourism | Zó-eolaíocht · Zoology
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