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Vacancies in this network: Translators, Revisers, Editors, etc.
Le Conseil de l'Europe apprécie le climat positif dans lequel se déroule le dialogue avec les autorités croates en ce qui concerne la protection des langues minoritaires, a déclaré lundi l'institution européenne dans un communiqué.
Le Comité des Ministres du Conseil de l' Europe vient de publier en fait un nouveau rapport d'évaluation sur l'application de la Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires en Croatie.
Dans ce rapport, le Comité des Ministres félicite les autorités croates d'avoir étendu l'application de la Charte aux langues allemande, slovène et rom. Il salue également l'adoption par les autorités croates d' un nouveau plan d'action pour la mise en œuvre de la loi constitutionnelle relative aux droits des minorités nationales comme un cadre utile pour atteindre des objectifs concrets et mesurables dans le domaine de la promotion des langues minoritaires.
Il invite toutefois la Croatie à poursuivre ses efforts pour promouvoir la sensibilisation et la tolérance vis-à-vis des langues minoritaires et des cultures qu'elles représentent en tant que partie intégrante du patrimoine culturel croate, tant dans le cursus scolaire général à tous les niveaux d'enseignement que dans les médias.
La Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires est une convention qui vise à protéger et promouvoir les langues minoritaires utilisées traditionnellement. Elle a été ouverte à la signature des membres du Conseil de l'Europe en novembre 1992 et entrée en vigueur en mars 1998.
Une seule personne est à l’origine des langages fictifs parlés dans la série de HBO.
Alléluia, le coup d’envoi de la cinquième saison de « Game of Thrones » a été donné la nuit du dimanche 12 au lundi 13 avril 2015.
C’est le grand retour des complots, des trahisons, des décapitations, des festins… et des langues imaginaires propres à l’univers des livres de George R.R. Martin.
Une vie à inventer des mots !
Au détour d’un château, d’un bateau ou d’une forêt, on parle notamment le Dothraki et le Valyrien dans le show à succès de la chaîne HBO.
Derrière ces langages fictifs, un maître d’œuvre, révèle le site Premiere.fr : David J. Peterson.
«C'est à la fac que m'est venue l'idée d'inventer ma voire mes propres langues, vers 2000», explique ce linguiste atypique. «Et depuis je ne me suis jamais arrêté. Je savais que j'allais créer des langues pendant toute ma vie mais c'était du loisir. C'est tellement irréel d'attendre que qui que ce soit gagne sa vie en inventant un langage qui n'existe pas ! Jusqu'à ce que j'entende parler de l'offre de "Game of Thrones".»
Comment les comédiens composent-ils avec ces sonorités inconnues ?
«Les acteurs doivent juste donner l'impression qu'ils comprennent ce qu'ils disent», tranche David J. Peterson.
« Notez qu'il n'y a pas de mot pour "orange" ; les Dothraki utiliseront tantôt "veltor" ou "virzeth" pour décrire la couleur, selon qu'elle tire davantage sur le jaune ou sur le rouge. » La mention figure en petit dans la section « couleurs » de Living Language : Dothraki, un petit guide de conversation de 126 pages paru en 2014, inédit en français, et entièrement consacré à l'une des deux langues fictives du monde de Game of Thrones.
Néolangue pétrie de passion linguistique, le dothraki réunit aujourd'hui une communauté très active de passionnés, qui s'échangent des tutoriels de prononciation sur YouTube, des conseils de traduction et des poèmes en rimes, à la grande fierté du créateur de la langue, David Peterson.
Quatre mille mots
A la question « Combien de nouveaux mots dothrakis avez-vous introduit dans la cinquième saison de "Game of Thrones ?" », celui-ci répond au Monde de manière aussi laconique que satisfaite : « Aucun. » Et pour cause. Si le vocabulaire de la langue fictive qu'il a imaginé à partir des livres de George R. R. Martin ne s'étend plus, c'est qu'il a déjà atteint un niveau critique.
« J'ai travaillé pendant les six ou huit premiers mois sur la grammaire, avant d'arriver à quelque chose de stable. Ensuite, je me suis attaqué au vocabulaire. Au début, j'avais 700 mots, maintenant j'en suis à 4 000 », relève calmement ce diplômé d'une maîtrise de linguistique de 34 ans, ancien président de la Language Creation Society, une association de promotion des langues dites « construites ».
Des langues, ce Californien de naissance en a déjà créé une demi-douzaine à titre professionnel, pour le compte de séries ou de films, comme le Lishepus (pour la série Dominion), le Shiväisith (pour le film Thor : the Dark world) ou encore le haut valyrien et le dothraki, pour Game of Thrones. Et en bon linguiste, celui-ci n'a rien laissé au hasard, pas même le vocabulaire des couleurs.
Un vocabulaire chromatique
Ainsi, le dothraki sait désigner le rouge (virzeth), le jaune (veltor), le vert (dahaan), le rose (theyaven) ou encore le gris (shiqeth), mais pas la couleur orange.
« Toutes les langues d'aujourd'hui ont un vocabulaire chromatique riche, souvent de onze mots différents, le russe en a même douze. Ces langues ont évolué à partir d'un panel très limité de mots pour désigner les couleurs. Or dans le développement d'une civilisation, le vocabulaire chromatique évolue d'une manière très prévisible. Elle commence par distinguer clair et obscur, puis le rouge, puis souvent le bleu apparaît, etc. Je me suis dit qu'au niveau de développement des Dothraki, ils avaient un vocabulaire limité, environ sept ou huit termes pour les couleurs. »
L'adjectif « orange » a fait les frais de cette réflexion. En revanche, la peuplade nomade possède un riche vocabulaire pour la chasse, et comme les Mongols, dont s'est inspiré George R. R. Martin, deux termes différents pour désigner les excréments, selon qu'ils soient secs ou récents.
« Me nem nesa ! »
Ce ne sont pas les seules coquetteries du linguiste : outre son vocabulaire, la grammaire du dothraki témoigne de raisonnements complexes. Le guide de conversation permet d'apprendre qu'elle utilise des déclinaisons, comme le latin, l'allemand, ou encore le russe.
La langue créée par David Peterson repose sur cinq cas différents. Quatre sont très courants, comme le nominatif, l'accusatif, le génitif et l'ablatif, pour marquer respectivement le sujet, l'objet, la possession et l'origine. Un autre, en revanche, est bien plus rare : l'allatif, qui désigne le lieu que l'on traverse davantage que celui où l'on est, et qui ne se retrouve que dans quelques langues non indo-européennes comme le hongrois ou le finnois.
« Comme les Dothrakis chevauchent beaucoup, il me semblait que cela faisait sens, sémantiquement, qu'ils expriment davantage l'idée de traverser, le mouvement, plutôt que l'emplacement. Cela me semblait plus pertinent. »
Mais le dothraki s'inspire aussi de formes grammaticales plus classiques, comme le « It is known, Khaleesi » (« c'est connu, Khaleesi », ou « Me nem nesa, Khaleesi », en dothraki), qui utilise la voix passive pour exprimer l'insistance. « C'est commun à l'anglais et au dothraki », précise le conlanger – un néologisme bien américain pour désigner les linguistes qui conçoivent des langues.
Red envelopes are nothing new to Samantha Ubillus. The 13-year-old with sinewy limbs, a charismatic smile, and long brown hair has been learning about Chinese New Year traditions since she was a little kid. An eighth grader now, Ubillus began studying Chinese five years ago when her parents first encouraged her to take Chinese lessons.
"If I can learn Chinese, a lot of other people can," said Ubillus, who grew up in El Monte.
Ubillus is just one of approximately 150 students who attends Chinese classes at El Monte Education Center (EMEC), a nonprofit that offers extracurricular learning to local students and cultural awareness through educational activities. Established in 1993, the center offers supplemental English and math tutoring during the weekdays along with language classes on the weekends. Many of the students who attend the Chinese courses, held on Saturday at Rio Vista Elementary School, are are second-generation immigrants whose parents emigrated from countries such as China and Malaysia.
"We welcome kids from all over to come to our school," said Chang Chih Yeh, the principal of EMEC. "The more languages you know, the more ability you have to make a living. Everybody knows English but not everybody knows Chinese. For the children's future, their outlook is more positive."
While others are still sleeping in on the weekend, the students are already hard at work. They arrive bright and early to gather in the courtyard for morning instructions. In the classroom, they go over lessons in the textbook, strengthening their Chinese reading and writing skills. Some of the younger children are even taught songs and dances to help them become engaged with the language.
Ubillus first sat in at age five at the kindergarten level, learning the fundamentals such as tones and pinyin, a phonetic system for transcribing Mandarin pronunciations into the English alphabet. She even learned to write her name in Chinese. Slowly but surely, she was able to gain more knowledge on the language and could say short phrases, including "Hello," "Good morning," "Happy birthday," and "My name is Samantha" in Mandarin. She admits the classes were difficult at first.
"I'm able to pick up some words when other people talking and, even though I don't know all the words they're saying, I can pick up some and think about what they're saying," said Ubillus, who hopes to visit China one day.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the use of a language other than English at home increased by 23.4 million speakers (211 percent) between 1980 and 2007. In 2007, of 281 million people who were ages five or older, 55.4 million people (20 percent) spoke a language other than English at home. Of the people surveyed, 62 percent spoke Spanish and 15 percent spoke an Asian or Pacific Island language. After English and Spanish (34.5 million speakers), Chinese (2.5 million speakers) was the language most commonly spoken at home.
And according to an article from DANA Foundation, a private philanthropic organization focused on brain researchBilingual brains "can have better attention and task-switching capacities than the monolingual brain." In addition, bilingual children can better adjust to environmental changes. The authors noted that, along with cognitive benefits, bilingualism brings about social benefits such as exploring a culture through its native tongue, or chatting with someone with whom you normally wouldn't be able to communicate.
At EMEC, Ubillus believes meeting new friends has helped her to open up and not be as shy. Along the way, she started taking dance classes and worked with instructors from the Shining Star Dance Academy, which is under the umbrella of EMEC and offers classes such as Chinese folk dance. This fall, she'll be attending high school and plans on continuing with her Chinese education by enrolling in the Mandarin language track. She is working towards becoming trilingual, having already been fluent in Spanish and English.
Ubillus's parents are proud of her multilingual accomplishments and support her as much as possible. In the last few years, when her father couldn't drop her off at class, she and her mother would take a taxi or a bus to make sure she arrived to class on time. Her father, Wilfrido Ubillus, stresses the importance of having children learn foreign languages at a young age, and cited the economic benefits as one of the reasons his daughter chose to learn Mandarin. "I like her to take Mandarin because I know it's going to be great potential for her," said Wilifrido, whose family is originally from Ecuador.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs such as interpreters and translators are on the rise. From 2012 to 2022, the organization anticipates that the job outlook for these positions will increase by 46 percent, faster than the average change of employment for other jobs.
Patricia Gándara, research professor of education at UCLA, has also highlighted the advantages of bilingualism in her book "The Bilingual Advantage: Language, Literacy and the U.S. Labor Market." Studies cited in the book notes how multilingual fluency can be a benefit in the job market, and that "bilinguals were more likely to be hired than those who only spoke only one language." Gándara also states that an acceptance of bilingualism and/or multilingualism in the U.S. could help bring about equity and economic social mobility for those who speak other languages.
Wilfrido Ubillus fully understands how learning a foreign language can benefit her daughter. "She's going to have a lot of opportunities to travel to China," he said. "And, for me to see her in the future, I'm not worried about it because I know she's going to be doing great."
If you’re the head of a true start-up company, one with limited resources and an unproven product and/or business model, going international is probably not at the top of your agenda. Nevertheless, in the tech world, many products have international potential and undoubtedly many tech entrepreneurs dream about the possibility of international markets. And you will more likely realize that potential if you keep localization in mind from the very beginning. (This kind of long-range planning can also impress potential investors who look for indications that a business has good growth prospects.)
Even if localizing and translating your product and marketing materials seem to be things for the distant future, you may be surprised how quickly the time will come when it will start to make sense. There are steps you can take right away to get a head start by preparing for localization.
Internationalize your software
Software Internationalization is the process of designing a software application so that it can be adapted to various languages and regions without engineering changes. Internationalization means design and development that prepare software for later localization, for example, by ensuring that foreign character sets are supported and that local differences in date, time and currency formats will be accommodated, or by adding support for left-to-right or vertical text. The practices involved can have value even if the software is never actually localized, and they are invaluable when it comes time to localize. Some of the biggest problems in localizing software come from having to re-engineer code when a supposedly localized version of the software refuses to operate as needed due to a lack of internationalization.
Write and design for translation
Make sure that your documentation, website, and marketing collateral are written and designed with translation in mind. Writing for translation involves practices like simplifying vocabulary and grammar and avoiding idioms and jargon. Like internationalizing your software, writing for translation is a good practice regardless of whether the materials ever do get translated.
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As Val Swisher points out in a recent article in Intercom (“Writing for Translation: Even If Your Company Does Not Translate,” Jan 2015), many Americans don’t read well, many of them have English as a second language, and customers will translate your materials anyway using tools like Google and Bing Translate. Materials written for translation are easier to read, especially for those whose first language is not English, and will give better results when run through machine translation tools.
Materials that are designed for translation avoid complex layouts, use common fonts, leave plenty of room for text expansion, and don’t use graphics with text embedded in them—practices that are also very helpful in responsive web design.
Choose the right translation partner
We realize that, when money is very tight, as it is initially for most start-ups, you may turn initially to the cheapest possible option for any translation that needs to be done:
Using machine translation is tempting, but this is the worst option. It’s not just that the translation won’t be fluent—it may in many cases be simply wrong or totally mangled, and you won’t know it.
Another option is using bilingual employees. At least employees should know your business and its terminology well, and this may give reasonably good results as a short-term measure. This really isn’t a sound long-range strategy, though, because those employees have other work to do; translation either takes them away from that work or gets done very slowly. They are also not professional translators with all the helpful tools and writing skills that involves.
You can also contract directly with freelance translators. You may get great results this way if the translators are chosen carefully, but it does mean having someone in-house who locates and screens the translators and manages the process. This can get very burdensome, especially if you get into translating multiple languages. There is also no independent quality check.
Ultimately, the best route is to locate a reliable agency to become your language partner. A good agency will have a process in place to screen and assign the right translators; can handle translation into multiple languages at the same time; will perform quality checks; and can provide other services such as website and software localization, multilingual layout, and localization of other media such as video and audio productions. They can also ensure consistency and save you money over time through the use of translation memories and other translation technology that makes the process more efficient.
And don’t wait until the last minute to pick out your language partner. With an international network and wide experience in localization and culture, they can also provide good advice along the way.
Translation is not the end of a global strategy. It is often the beginning. For example, implementing foreign language landing pages and tracking their traffic can be one way of spotting potential overseas markets. As your business gets to the point where you get serious about an international strategy, there are all kinds of other considerations to take into account and many other resources available to help you successfully make the move.
But being prepared for localization will put you ahead of the game and save you lots of time and money in the long run.
By Brandie Maguire - State Hornet - @brandiemmag
Knowing more than one language can increase a person’s marketability and enhance their quality of life.
On Friday, April 17, a presentation called “Communicating for Success: Leveraging Language to Launch Your Career” welcomed a panel of five business professionals who attributed part of their career success to their knowledge of multiple languages.
Anne Goff, a Sacramento State French professor, led the panel discussion including speakers Andrew Bondar, Boryana Arsova, Tanya Altmann, Clarissa Laguardia and Carolyn Yohn.
Goff began the discussion by explaining the importance of languages in modern workplaces.
“Businesses are becoming increasingly international,” Goff said.
She discussed how beneficial it can be to begin learning another language but also spoke about how some tools are not as useful as others.
“Google [translate] is not there yet,” Goff said. “If you’re using it for your homework, your teacher knows.”
Arsova is an attorney with Martensen Wright PC and a native of Bulgaria. She said knowing multiple languages at a conversational level can be a useful skill in many companies.
“We use a lot of different languages in our office and we use them everyday,” Arvosa said.
She also mentioned that many of the people her company interacts with seem more comfortable and friendly being addressed in their native language.
“There’s no quicker way to connect with someone than to know their language,” Goff said.
All of the speakers wholeheartedly agreed that learning another language benefitted their lives and careers in a positive way.
Bondar is a financial adviser, CEO of Bondar & Associates, and is fluent in Russian and English.
“As a business owner, 20 percent of my clients speak the language I speak,” Bondar said. “I’m really happy with the fact that I learned a foreign language.”
Altmann said knowing different languages is especially useful in her work as a nurse.
“Knowing various languages...is just invaluable in healthcare,” Altmann said.
She talked about how crucial it is to be able to communicate regardless of language barriers, especially in emergency situations where someone’s life and health can be affected.
“If you’re getting an informed consent, you want to make sure they understand,” Altmann said.
Laguardia is a certified translator, entrepreneur, medical interpreter and is fluent in Spanish.
“Speaking Spanish has opened a lot of doors for me,” Laguardia said. “You end up working with people from all over the world and you have to be prepared, not only for the language but for the culture.”
Yohn works full-time as a translator, which includes providing translation assistance to people and translating legal and academic texts.
“I can tell you, I don’t have any lack of work in what I do,” Yohn said.
The discussion focused on the idea that there are many companies that seek out employees who have foreign language skills and many job descriptions specifically list various languages as a requirement for the job.
Being fluent in additional languages is not only a marketable skill, but can be personally fulfilling.
“It’s very important for personal growth, to know what it feels like on the other side of the equation,” Yohn said.
She described a situation where there are two sides, one being the person who is comfortable in their surroundings and the other who is not. Yohn detailed the feelings of being lost in a culture where even if someone is intelligent, that may be hard to convey because of language barriers.
“As a Spanish speaker, I often get confused as a Mexican,” Laguardia said. “For me, as a Salvadoran, I speak more the academic proper [Spanish].”
Laguardia thinks learning a language is a process that never ends, but the benefits associated with knowing another language makes the effort worthwhile.
“As an interpreter, we never stop learning new words,” Laguardia said. “I know that when I’m done and I graduate, I will be hirable material.”
Laguardia and the other panelists believe the opportunities are everywhere for those who can speak more than one language. This concept is one many students at Sac State want to hear, especially those studying the languages.
Roberta Ward is the president of the Foreign Languages Alumni Chapter at Sac State and thinks students can learn from this presentation.
“There are a lot of foreign language majors here at Sac State and they want to know what they can do with their degree,” Ward said. “People need to know there is so much to do besides teaching.”
Karina Ramos is a French major who attended the presentation because she wanted to learn and hear professionals speak about how they utilize their language skills.
“I thought it was pretty good; it is very humbling,” Ramos said. “You’ve got to immerse- be like a child learning.”
Ramos traveled and studied abroad twice. Her first trip was from 2012-13 when she studied in the southern part of France, and she spent last summer in Paris.
“My mom was the one who introduced me to speaking French,” Ramos said. “I want to be global too. The world is getting smaller and smaller.”
However, many people do not have the opportunity to study abroad for financial or family reasons. Financial aid and study abroad programs can be utilized, but not everyone qualifies and some people have commitments they cannot abandon.
“Not everyone can afford to take a year off,” Arsova said.
Arsova suggested alternatives to traveling abroad to acquire new language skills including watching foreign movies, socializing with people of different languages and cultures, and engaging with local events.
“It’s never too late to choose a language and just start learning,” Arsova said.
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In an increasingly global economy, New Jersey is right to require world language instruction. And Flemington-Raritan School District 's proposal to do more than the minimum for its youngest students is a step in the right direction.
Schools struggle to cram all that is required of students today into a roughly six-hour day. Plopping small children in front of world language tapes may be an efficient way to satisfy one more rule, but it certainly isn't making the best use of valuable time.
No one thinks a 40-minute block, every six school days, will enable students even many years into a program to communicate well in another language.
But starting at a young age reduces the fear that another language is "too hard." It breaks down walls raised in ignorance of other cultures and helps students understand how hard immigrants everywhere work to adapt. It points out the importance of language and effective communication. Done well, it encourages students to strive for mastery.
Washington State University encourages students to study a world language, saying, "Research has shown that math and verbal SAT scores climb higher with each additional year of foreign language study, which means that the longer you study a foreign language, the stronger your skills become to succeed in school. Studying a foreign language can improve your analytic and interpretive capacities."
Research has linked the knowledge of two or more languages with higher executive function in children — helping them plan, focus their attention, remember instructions, and handle multiple tasks well — and in delaying the onset of dementia in older people.
And for residents more concerned with preparing students for careers, CNN wrote in 2013 that the "Army, NYPD and State Department can't get enough workers with" bilingual skills. "Neither can Fortune 500 companies, hospitals, local courts and schools."
Studies have shown that Americans who speak more than one language earn 2-3 percent more than their counterparts. It doesn't sound like much, until you compute the math over the length of a career.
Maryland developed a World Languages Pipeline program, started in 19 schools. It combines science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with a foundation in world language.
The U.S. Department of Education says, "Although the students are only in elementary school, the lessons represent an early start on preparing them for success in college and careers later on."
It's always interesting when Americans proclaim their belief that additional languages are unnecessary because English is taught and spoken "everywhere." Travel to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico, or take a European highlights tour with an English-speaking guide and that will seem self-evident.
But take the road less traveled in a non-English speaking country, or simply step away from the tourist centers, and it's a whole new world. And, in an increasingly interconnected world, the idea that English is spoken everywhere is increasingly met with an equal expectation that other "world" languages will be as well.
Flemington-Raritan's plan is a step forward for its students, on multiple levels.
Hakan Ufuk, Fountain Magazine Freelance Writer:
Languages are actually not that different from genes. Just as you would expect events like the Barbarian Migrations of the 5th century, or the Bubonic plague of the 14th century to leave marks on the gene pools of the surviving populations, languages are influenced, in that new words, new idioms and meanings are introduced.
A study, published in November 2004 in the high-profile journal Nature, affirms this, convincingly establishing a philological tree using computational methods established for phylogeny (historical relations between species and their genes).1
When Did English and Hindi Begin to Differ?
The long-established “comparative method” of linguistics uses vocabulary, the structure of words, and the sound systems of languages to draw language family trees, depicting in what order related languages (such as, English, Hindi, and ancient Hittite) diverged from their mother languages and the relative “relatedness” of sister languages.
Dates of divergence are usually referred to dates of historical or archaeological significance. For example, the Romanian language, a relative of Italian, must have been introduced to the region between 112 and 270 AD, when Roman troops occupied Dacia.
However, the comparative method doesn’t provide any dates itself, other than those of relative chronology.
Lexicostatistics, the rival study for vocabulary change, extracts essential vocabulary from languages, such as “I, three, and hand,” which are assumed to be more resistant to change, and produces a metric of shared cognates and, hence, language kinship.
Assuming a constant rate of language change over time, one can extrapolate to pre-history dates for language evolution.
For example, one may try to estimate when the proto-Indo-European, the ancestor of English, Hindi, and Hittite, started branching into distinct new languages.
Unfortunately, the promise of lexicostatistics (and its method, called glottochronology) became doubtful quickly after its birth.
It was criticized very much in the same way as biological phylogenetic analyses were. One example to show the correspondence is that just as the mutation rates of genes (sequences of DNA) may change over time, languages may also be changing faster or slower at certain periods.
Lexicostatistics is unreliable, as the similarity between languages could be mere chance convergences, or borrowings, or on the other hand, distant relatives could be unrecognizable after a great deal of divergence. These objections have plagued biology in similar ways.
Phylogenetics and Philology Side by Side
The study by Gray and Atkinson from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, published on November 27, 2004 in Nature, uses enhanced methods developed for phylogenetic studies in language tree construction, which produces trees that are consistent with those established by the comparative method.
Most importantly, maximum-likelihood models and the Bayesian inference method were employed, both being statistical methods now established in phylogenetics, to counteract any weaknesses found in past attempts of glottochronology.
Their method makes it possible to estimate divergence times without a strict rate of change, also enabling the determination of unsubstantiated sections of the tree, and the incorporation of these uncertainties in the calculation of the trees and divergence times.
Gray and Atkinson only used fourteen age constraints to calibrate their divergence time calculations in estimating chronology, and after confirming tests eliminated some of these constraints, doubtful cognates, and other problems, they were able to come up with a date for the initial divergence of all Indo-European languages of 7,800 to 9,800 years ago.
These dates coincide beautifully with the Anatolian farmer hypothesis, which claims dispersion of Indo-Europeans from Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) with the spreading of agriculture around 8,000-9,500 years ago, a hypothesis now supported by genetic studies that report a Neolithic, Near Eastern contribution to the European gene pool as well.
An Alternative Theory
This study doesn’t extinguish one of the fiercest discussions of this century, which is favored by many linguists, that linguistic evidence favors the Kurgan expansion hypothesis, with Kurgan horsemen invading and spreading from the Asian steppes 6,000 years ago.
It is thought that Kurgan horsemen possessed certain advantages, like the knowledge of the wheel and horseback riding, just as the Anatolians knew about farming.
These linguists claim that the statistical and computational methods used in biology don’t reflect the way languages change, and these methods use only vocabulary, but ignore grammar.
This study is a shot in the arm for the supporters of the Anatolian theory and resurrects glottochronology. Obviously, the discussion is far from being over.
To reconcile the two, Gray and Atkinson note that they have observed an intense diversification period in their data at a date of 6,000 years ago, and they refer to an inclusive theory of both Anatolian origin and Kurgan expansion.2
In their article Gray and Atkinson predict the combination of computational phylogenetic methods and vocabulary data to examine archaeological hypotheses in the future, as methods developed for biology continue to establish themselves in social sciences.
As David Searls of Glaxo-Smith-Kline Pharmaceuticals concludes in his “News and Views” article in the same issue of Nature, 3 “[this work] should stimulate even more cross-fertilization of ideas among those studying the intertwined trees of life and language.”
Alexander Young is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Washington who has studied Spanish and German.
He told i100.co.uk he created these maps of how constants sound across Europe after noticing that different languages had very different ideas about what to do with the letter J.
Most language maps look at how similar the spoken languages are, or how much of the vocabulary is shared. This tells you how closely the languages are related. I wanted to do something different. The relationship between letters and the sounds is partly due to history, and partly due to convention.
Romance languages tend to have historical baggage. For example, in Portuguese, the letter x evolved from sounding like ‘ks’ to ‘sh’, like in old words like “caixa” (box). In newer words imported from Latin or Greek forms or borrowed from other languages, the ‘ks’ is reinstated ( like in ” oxigênio”, oxygen).
I have two versions of the letter C because there was a lot of debate about what is considered a “loan word”. (Dutch in particular seems to have so many loan words that it’s difficult to draw the line). The alternate version has a pattern that shows how the letter is pronounced when it is used as a burrowed letter. But the map is almost too busy and gets more difficult to read.
More: 9 maps and charts that will make you feel happier about the world
CIUDAD DE MEXICO, México. 20 Abr. 2015.- El Estado Islámico en Irak y Levante se convirtió en ISIS, (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) cuando extendió sus acciones terroristas a Siria, pero ahora quiere que se le llame Estado Islámico (ISIL) como forma de reconocer su califato en las dos naciones. De hecho, utilizar el nombre de Estado Islámico para mencionarlo es reconocerlo como califato.
Por esa razón Washington y otras naciones se refieren a los yihadistas como ISIS y no como Estado Islámico.
El grupo yihadista modificó su nombre a mediados de julio de 2014 tras autoproclamarse como califato.
La historia del grupo se remonta a 2002 cuando el jordano Abu Musab al Zarqawi, bajo el nombre de Tawhid wa al-Jihad, juró lealtad a Osama Bin Laden y un año después se convirtió en la rama de Al Qaeda en Irak.
Tras su muerte en 2006, Al Qaeda creó al Estado Islámico de Irak y fusionó a las milicias con las de Siria creando al Estado Islámico y de Levante ISIS.
En 2013 con ese nombre y todavía como una marca de Al Qaeda, extendió sus tentáculos por Siria y se autoproclamó como Estado Islámico para convertirse en otro grupo rebelde que lucha contra el régimen de Bashar al Assad con el apoyo del Frente Al Nusra, rama de Al Qaeda en Siria.
Su líder, el enemigo número uno de Estados Unidos, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi ordenó que el grupo terrorista empezara a denominarse Estado Islámico en Iraq y el Levante (ISIL) por su siglas en inglés.
Obama usa ISIS
El presidente Barack Obama, de Estados Unidos, explicó el 10 de septiembre de 2014, su estrategia para terminar con el grupo terrorista. En todo momento se refirió a los yihadistas con ese acrónimo y no como Estado Islámico, nombre con el que la organización pretende que lo mencionen. No utiliza 'estado' porque no lo es y la mayoría de los musulmanes no los consideran islámicos.
Los expertos opinan que la inclusión del Levante en su nombre "es la traducción más exacta del nombre del grupo y refleja sus aspiraciones de gobernar sobre una amplia franja del Medio Oriente".
¿De dónde viene ISIS?
La diferencia entre ISIL e ISIS hace referencia a la traducción árabe del nombre. ISIS es una traducción al inglés de las siglas en árabe para: al Dawla al Islamiya fi al Iraq wa al Sham, o el Estado Islámico en Iraq y al Sham.
Los planes de la organización son extender un califato, que se extienda desde Turquía por toda Siria hasta Egipto y que incluya los territorios palestinos, Jordania y Líbano.
Utilizar Estado Islámico implica reconocer su califato
En julio de 2014, el Estado Islámico proclamó el califato en los territorios de Siria e Irak bajo su control. A partir de ese momento, pidió ser reconocido con ese nombre. Aunque sea el nombre más usado en los medios y en las declaraciones políticas, cada vez son más los críticos y las voces que se niegan a llamarlos así para no reconocer el éxito de su califato.
Los expertos opinan que al nombrarlo así, cualquier ataque contra el Estado Islámico puede ser manipulado como una guerra contra el Islam y eso le daría más oxigeno.
Sea como sea, se les llama como se les llame, más allá de su nombre, el grupo yihadista se conoce como sus prácticas medievales que incluyen crucifixiones, decapitaciones y ejecuciones públicas para llamar la atención del mundo entero.
Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Education has signed an agreement with a Chinese provincial education department to work together to offer Mandarin in Gauteng schools, among other educational goals.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two provincial agencies was signed on Friday to carry out the goals of a similar collaboration agreement reached between the national Department of Basic Education and the Chinese government last year.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga last month announced the department’s approval of Mandarin in the curriculum.
From next January, Mandarin will be among 17 other non-official languages pupils can choose to take as their second additional language, after their home language and first additional language.
“As South Africa’s biggest trading partner, it is important for our children to become proficient in the Confucius language and develop a good understanding of Chinese culture,” Motshekga’s spokeswoman Troy Martens told The Star’s sister paper, the Cape Argus, last year.
“If people can communicate much easier (in the same language), it assists in developing relationships,” said Albert Chanee, Gauteng’s deputy director-general of education policy and planning, on Friday at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Joburg after signing the MOU with representatives from China’s Jiangsu Province Department of Education.
Offering Mandarin in public schools has drawn concerns from some teachers’ unions, which worry that teaching it will undermine indigenous African languages.
Mandarin will be optional for pupils, and the teaching of a home language is compulsory.
Unleashing your inner Shakespeare could be just a few jolts of electricity away.
Researchers in North Carolina claim that zapping the brain with a mild electric current can boost creativity by nearly eight per cent.
They tested their theory using a 10-Hertz current on the brain's of 20 volunteers to stimulate the brain's natural alpha wave oscillations.
Researchers in North Carolina claim that zapping the brain with a mild electric current can boost creativity by nearly eight per cent
As well as creativity, these oscillations - or the lack of them - are linked with depression.
Flavio Frohlich, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina said: 'If we could enhance these brain activity patterns, then we could potentially help many people.'
Alpha oscillations occur within the frequency range of eight and 12 Hertz 9 (or cycles per second). They were discovered in 1929 by Hans Berger, who invented EEG.
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Alpha oscillations happen most prominently when we close our eyes and shut out sensory stimuli – things we see, feel, taste, smell, and hear.
When alpha oscillations are active, your sensory inputs might be offline as you daydream, meditate, or conjure ideas.
When you come fully online, alpha oscillations disappear. Other oscillations at higher frequencies, such as gamma oscillations, take over.
An EEG of a naturally occurring alpha oscillation in a human brain. Enhancing these electric oscillations may help treat people with depression, scientists claim
They tested their theory using a 10-Hertz current run through electrodes attached to the scalp on 20 volunteers to stimulate the brain's natural alpha wave oscillations. They then recorded the results using EEG
Knowing this, other researchers began associating alpha oscillations with creativity.
Professor Frohlich set out to find evidence. His idea was simple. If he could enhance the rhythmic patterns of alpha oscillations to improve creativity.
For the study, Professor Frohlich's team enrolled 20 healthy adults. Researchers placed electrodes on each side of each participant's frontal scalp and a third electrode toward the back of the scalp.
BRAIN ZAPPING CAN DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD, SAY SCIENTISTS
An experimental technique used to boost brain performance with electrical pulses can actually cause people to perform less well in some tasks, scientists have found.
The technology, known as transcranial direct current stimulation, is already being marketed in commercial products as a way of helping computer game players and athletes improve their focus.
However, new research from the University of Oxford suggests that the benefits of this technique, which stimulates activity in the brain with an electrical current, may be limited by personality as it appears to only be helpful to people who are stressed about performing a task.
They found that while electrical stimulation helped those who lacked confidence or were anxious about performing a series of sums, it caused those who did not fear mathematics to decline.
A follow up study that examined how volunteers fared at spotting which way an arrow was pointing on a screen when confronted with distracting information showed that all those who received stimulation performed more poorly.
This way, the 10-Hertz alpha oscillation stimulation for each side of the cortex would be in unison.
Each participant underwent two sessions. During one session, researchers used a 10-Hertz sham stimulation for just five minutes.
Participants felt a tingle at the start of the five minutes. For the next 25 minutes, each participant continued to take the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking.
In one task, each participant was shown a small fraction of an illustration – sometimes just a bent line on a piece of paper.
Participants used the line to complete an illustration, and they wrote a title when they finished.
In the other session each participant underwent the same protocol, except they were stimulated at 10 Hertz for the entire 30 minutes while doing the Torrance test.
The tingling sensation only occurred at the start of the stimulation, ensuring that each participant did not know which session was the control session.
Then Frohlich's team compared each participant's creativity score, they found participants scored an average 7.4 percentage points higher than they did during the control sessions.
'That's a pretty big difference when it comes to creativity,' Frohlich said. 'Several participants showed incredible improvements in creativity. It was a very clear effect.'
'We don't know if there are long-term safety concerns,' he said. 'We did a well-controlled, one-time study and found an acute effect.'
'Also, I have strong ethical concerns about cognitive enhancement for healthy adults, just as sports fans might have concerns about athletic enhancement through the use of performance-enhancing drugs.'
Summer School Scholarship
Deadline: May 15
Students who are preparing a doctoral dissertation in the field of Translation Studies (which includes interpreting and localization) are invited to apply for this scholarship of 1,000 euros.
Applicants must be EST members at the time of applying.
The grant can be for any summer school organized in the field of Translation Studies for the purpose of training researchers.
The applications will be evaluated by the corresponding committee, who will base their judgement on the application as a whole, taking into account all information asked for: the technical quality of the project, the applicant's competences and needs, and the relationship between the project and the summer school programme selected.
To apply, please fill in the application form (including the attachments) and send it to the Committee Secretary Esther Torres at firstname.lastname@example.org. Along with the form, applicants are asked to send a letter of recommendation from their dissertation advisor as a PDF or scanned attachment.
Receipt of complete applications will be acknowledged by e-mail.
The name of the scholarship recipient will be announced on the Society's website in the second week of June each year and notice will also be sent (by e-mail) to each of the candidates.
Previous scholarship holders:
2005: Esther Torres-Simón (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)
2006: Cristina Valentini (Forlì)
2007: Seyda Eraslan (Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey)
2008: Elisabet Tiselius (Stockholm), Alberto Fernández Costales (Oviedo)
2009: Hanna Pięta (Lisbon), Maria Tymczyńska (Poznań), Alice Leal (Vienna)
2010: Sabina Tcaciuc (Aston)
2011: Kyriaki Kourouni (Thessaloniki). Report here.
2012: David Orrego-Carmona (Tarragona). Report here.
2013: Alenka Morel (Ljubljana). Report here.
2014: Paweł Korpal (Poznań)
The most important part of any salon visit is the consultation. Communication is key, but sometimes it can be difficult if you and your colorist are speaking two different languages. And by different languages, I mean English, and Salon Speak. And by Salon Speak, I mean that mysterious lingo where your colorist tries to explain your color process to you with words like: toners, fillers, demi-permanent, gradient, double-process, monochromatic, warm, cool, brassy, neutral, and you're not 100% sure what it all means but you nod and smile anyway and secretly pray that you are both on the same page with your hair color. So for the sake of gorgeous hair color and happy salon experiences, let's take a moment to demystify some of the most commonly thrown around terminology in the professional hair color world.
Warm and Cool:
In hair color, warm colors have a dominance of red, yellow and orange. Cool colors have a dominance of blue, green and violet. Remember that awesome day in elementary school where your art teacher gave you a paper plate with 3 globs of paint: red, yellow and blue and told you to mix them all together? And everybody in the class got a different shade of brown based on the proportions of each primary color used? Well hair color is kind of like that. For brunettes, if there is more red in the mixture, you'll have a rich chestnut tone. If there is a dominance of yellow, you'll have more of a caramel-toffee tone. A dominance of blue will result in a cool, smokey brown. Virtually every hair color is a blend of red, yellow and blue. Your colorist's job is to find the perfect balance of all three to create your desired result.
Brassy vs Warm:
This is one I get asked about a lot. "Brassy" refers to unwanted warm tones (red, orange, yellow) in hair color. "Brassy" is often mistaken for "warmth" or "gold" but it is not the same thing. Often times a brassy result is blamed on "warm colors" or "gold" thus, creating an epic fear of all things warm. Red and gold play an essential role in creating beautiful hair color. Without it, our hair would look dull, sickly, and in extreme cases, even green. In fact, many of the most frequently requested celeb hair colors include flecks of warm, rich color throughout the midhsaft and ends, even if their base is a cool or neurtal-toned color (see images below). For example, Sofia Vergara's hair depicted below is warm, but it's not brassy. So the million dollar question is: "What's the difference between a brassy blonde and a warm blonde?" The answer is simple. Placement. It's all about the where the warmth is placed. Vergara's warmth is in perfect placement - her midshaft and ends. Her root area is not quite as warm, creating a cool-to-warm effect. In nature, the sun naturally creates this same effect by brightening and adding warm tones to the midhsaft and ends of one's hair. Natural brunettes get auburn to caramel highlights in the sun. Natural blondes get ribbons of lighter, warmer blonde throughout the midshaft and ends. Nowhere in nature will you see an excess of warmth at the roots and cooler tones on the ends. That's when "brassy" happens. If you look at Jennifer Aniston's color shown below, there is a concentration of warm tones at her roots. Her cooler mid-shaft and ends only intensify the warmth at the roots. This is not a combo found in nature, so if it looks "wrong" or unnatural to you, it's because your prehistoric cave-lady instincts are telling you it is. Warmth is essential in creating gorgeous hair color when done with proper application and placement.
At least a few times per week, I overhear salon guests ask "What does a toner do?". A toner does a lot of things. In short, a toner is a translucent deposit-only color that generally has conditioning and glossing qualities. I like to describe it as the fine-tuning or finish on a color service, or as a refresher between full color services to keep one's color vibrant and glossy. It is commonly used for controlling brassy tones, but depending on the custom formula created by your colorist, it can also be used to add vibrancy to reds, add depth to brunettes, and so much more. During corrective color services, an array of different toners may be used to tweak and adjust the color until it's perfect. Methods of toning hair can vary. Some colorists apply toners while you're relaxing in the shampoo bowl, and some will apply the toner while you're sitting at the color bar. Some toners stay on for 5 minutes; some for 30 minutes. Remember that hair design is an art and a toner is simply a tool that may be used in a variety of ways.
The name says it all. Or does it? All color, whether permanent, demi/semi-permanent or temporary, eventually fades to a certain degree. The difference is that permanent color permanently alters the natural pigments in the hair even after much of the artificial pigment has faded. That is why sometimes red tones begin to appear about 4-6 weeks after a color appointment. The ammonia content in permanent color breaks down our hair's natural pigment, then deposits synthetic pigment to create the desired result. As the synthetic pigments slowly fade, we are able to see what's left of our natural pigment. Out of the three primary colors that make up our hair color (red, yellow and blue), blue is the easiest to break down, thus leaving your hair's underlying pigment rather warm, and if you're not careful, brassy. Reasons for using permanent color include maximum grey coverage, going lighter in color, or creating warmth and richness. Users should know that permanent hair color tends to create a stronger line of demarcation during the grow out period than a semi/demi-permanent or temporary color and requires more maintenance to keep visible regrowth at bay.
Semi/Demi-Permanent, and Temporary Colors:
Just like how "Not all permanent colors are permanent", not all temporary colors are temporary. Yes, I know - hair color is freakin' confusing like that, and as a professional, I'm telling you things that a box will not tell you. A demi-permanent color creates very minimal change in the hair's natural pigment. It's great for grey-blending and will leave a very minimal (if any) line of demarcation as it grows out. This means less maintenance than permanent color. A demi is sometimes translucent in comparison to an opaque permanent color, resulting in a more natural, dimensional result. Semi-permanent and "temporary" colors are deposit only. They do not alter the natural pigments in the hair. Grey coverage is very minimal and generally, semi and temporary colors are used as glazes to refresh previously colored ends, or used as a toner. On healthy, darker hair, a temporary color can gradually fade away, leaving almost no evidence that it was ever there, which means zero maintenance for the noncommittal. However with continued use and color overlap, or on porous, fine, or blonde hair, a "temporary" color can very well become permanent so be sure to address any of these concerns with your colorist and follow his or her professional advice.
The Level System is a universal guide to how light or dark a color is. Levels generally range from 1-10; 1 being jet black and 10 being platinum blonde. Levels 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 create everything in between and can even be mixed to create half levels (i.e.: Level 8.5 strawberry blonde). The more levels you are planning to jump, the more work it'll take to get you there. For example, a natural level 8 blonde will take much less work getting to a level 10 platinum than a level 3 dark brunette going for the same level 10 platinum result.
Highlights and Lowlights:
In short, highlights and lowlights add dimension to hair color. Highlights are accents of color that are lighter than the base color and creates volume, lift and draws attention to certain areas of the face depending on placement. Lowlights are accents of color that are the same level or darker than the base color and creates depth. Lighter colors tend to pop, expand, and emphasize, and darker colors recede, create depth and shadows. The combinations of both light and dark are endless and can create a multitude of looks.
All of these listed above are simply general guidelines for color terminology. When in doubt, don't be afraid to ask your colorist for guidance!
Wishing fabulous hair days for all,
Santiago de Cuba, 20 abr.- La cuarta edición del Diccionario Básico Escolar, una de las producciones científicas de mayor generalización en la educación en Cuba, será presentado aquí el próximo 23 de abril, como parte de la XXIV Feria Internacional del Libro y de la
celebración del Día del Idioma.
Este volumen, uno de los textos más “perseguidos” por la familia cubana y valiosa herramienta entre educandos, regresará al evento cultural de mayor masividad en la nación con la novedad de incluir unas mil entradas nuevas.
Según el Dr.C. Leonel Ruiz Miyares, director del Centro de Lingüística Aplicada (CLA) —institución creadora de esa maravillosa herramienta—, otra de las modificaciones es que los verbos que contiene estarán conjugados, variación que posibilitará que los estudiantes se apropien mejor del idioma español y empleen con mayor facilidad el texto.
La presentación de la cuarta edición del Diccionario Básico Escolar se realizará a las 9:30 de la mañana, en la sala "Oscar Ruiz Miyares", perteneciente a la biblioteca municipal "Abel Santamaría", de Santiago de Cuba.
El capítulo santiaguero de la 24 Feria del Libro se celebrará en esta ciudad del 22 al 26 de abril, en el Complejo Cultural Heredia, y tiene como incentivo especial estar dedicado el evento a la Doctora en Ciencias Olga Portuondo, historiadora de esta provincia.
De esta investigadora, Premio Nacional de Ciencias Sociales, se mostrará el libro Pensar y existir en cubano, un compendio de ensayos sobre personalidades e instituciones de trascendencia en la cultura cubana entre los siglos XVIII y XX, entre otros textos.
La Real Academia de la Lengua (RAE) revisará la definición de 'gitano' en el diccionario, tal y como le han pedido las organizaciones representativas de esta comunidad.
La Fundación del Secretariado Gitano informó de ello en un comunicado en el que da cuenta de la reunión mantenida el pasado 16 de abril entre representantes del Consejo Estatal del Pueblo Gitano y el Instituto de Cultura Gitana y de la Real Academia Española de la Lengua
Esta reunión la solicitaron las entidades del Consejo Estatal del Pueblo Gitano (CEPG) tras la publicación a finales de 2014 de la nueva edición (23ª) del Diccionario de la RAE en la que se incluye la acepción 5. “Trapacero” en la definición del término “Gitano,na”.
Los representantes de las entidades del CEPG y del Instituto de Cultura Gitana (ICG) han calificado como “fructífera” esta reunión, en la que expusieron la necesidad de que se modifique esa acepción en la definición de “gitano,na” teniendo en cuenta que se trata de un uso del lenguaje "que no se corresponde con la realidad heterogénea del pueblo gitano y que al asociar a las personas que lo componen con el término “trapacero” (“que con astucias, falsedad y mentiras procura engañar a alguien en un asunto", según el mismo Diccionario), se promueve y refuerza una imagen social estereotipada y negativa de esta minoría". "Una imagen o estereotipo negativo que favorece y refuerza los prejuicios hacia las personas gitanas y, con ello, los comportamientos discriminatorios hacia las mismas", sostienen.
Fruto de esta reunión, añade el comunicado, "se ha llegado a un acuerdo por el que la RAE ha mostrado su compromiso de colaboración con el Consejo Estatal del Pueblo Gitano y el Instituto de Cultura Gitana, a través de una relación coordinada con estas instituciones y algunos expertos en la materia, para revisar la definición de 'gitano,na' y avanzar en los estudios lexicográficos para mejorar el tratamiento académico del léxico relacionado con el Pueblo Gitano".
Recommended: La horma de mi zapato – on love and taxis
As a political observer, I have found living in Costa Rica to be hugely freeing. In the United States, I tend to approach politics the way I watched “The West Wing” — passionate, emotional, hugely invested in a particular outcome. I bite my nails, agonize and have nightmares (at least during campaign season). I know that some of what I’m seeing is absurd and even entertaining, but I am unable to enjoy it because there is too much at stake.
In Costa Rica, however, I approach politics the way I watch “House of Cards” — that is, able to relish the good, the bad and the ugly in a different way, evaluating the individuals more than the parties involved.
I’m not saying that I don’t care deeply about the issues facing Costa Rica. I certainly do care. Nor am I making any comparisons between TV shows and the real-life politics of either country. It’s just that when you’re in a country where you can’t vote, didn’t grow up with one party’s signs identifying your house and your room, didn’t meet candidates in your New Hampshire neighborhoods and make up campaign ditties for them in your spare time — yes, I was that kid — you don’t ride the roller coaster in the same way. You watch it from the ground.
When it comes to language, I feel something similar. In English, I’m a crotchety old-school grump. I am an editor and a former English teacher, and happily embody the worst qualities of both, brandishing a red pen and waging a warring battle against change.
I hate the use of “impact” as a verb. I correct split infinitives, even though I know that’s a nonsensical, knee-jerk reaction based on an idealization of Latin. I cringe at the word “trending.” When a common error becomes so widespread that it gets incorporated into the dictionary, I feel downright betrayed (I’d give some examples, but my blood pressure would go through the roof).
In Spanish, I have no such loyalties. I have the tone deafness of the second-language learner: I lack the linguistic radar and cultural context that allows a native speaker to understand when someone is using a current, new-fangled or old-fashioned term.
Recently, I began to wonder what terms in Costa Rica have gone out of style, but I realized I couldn’t think of one. I had to turn to friends and Facebook for ideas.
The responses flooded in as people remembered words and phrases on the lips of their grandparents. Most of them required several layers of translation by my husband or the fascinating Costa Rican dictionaries that our landlord, having seen my post, brought by for my perusal.
Here is a very random sampling, representing a topic I would love to explore much more: “Se lo llevó Candanga” — the devil took him, or, in other words, it all went wrong. “Acharita” — what a pity. “Esos son otros cien pesos,” or “Eso es arena de otro costal” are both ways to say “That’s another kettle of fish,” which, come to think of it, is pretty dated in English as well.
“Merenjunge” is any natural remedy — “I went to Doña Rosa and she gave me a merenjunge.” “Corrongo” is pretty or handsome, an outdated word that apparently was used mostly by the upper classes.
These expressions are floating away on the inevitable tides of change that any language experiences. But, of course, more systematic change is taking place as well. Observers of the Spanish language bemoan a general dumbing down of the language just as I do in English. And then there’s Spanglish, which, depending on your perspective, is either eating away at the language like a cancer, or performing a natural function of linguistic evolution.
The more I learn about linguistic history, the more I lean, reluctantly, towards the latter interpretation. I might dislike newer arrivals like “textear” or “friquear” (to freak out), but at the same time, words I use every day, such as “queque,” “carro” and “tiquete,” have already moved Costa Rican or Latin American Spanish away from its roots in Europe, where these words are “pastel,” “coche” and “boleto.”
Let’s face it — change is a part of language, and one of the most fascinating things about it. When I taught young Mexican-Americans in Arizona, we did a quick review of the history of language, especially the way Latin evolved into the Romance languages, and the varied roots of English. We also studied Spanglish, a language in which many of the students were proficient. One of the more studious kids came up to me, wide-eyed. “So we’re making a new language? Right here, right now?” It was a mind-blowing moment for him, and for me as well. I had never thought about it quite that way.
In the end, living abroad and undertaking a more cool-headed and detached view of both language and politics has taught me a great deal. I’ve become more realistic about my own political party and leaders back home, understanding that the politicians I revered growing up were flawed humans within a flawed system. And my limited observation of the changes of Spanish has showed me that really, we are all simply sticking our feet into a rushing river that started far upstream of us and will continue on long beyond our last word. Actually, a better analogy would be that while we think we’re on a solid bank, we’re actually afloat; the rules and regulations we’re fighting to preserve were once, themselves, the outliers.
Words I think of as standard, because of my limited knowledge, were included in the Diccionario of the Real Academia Española as Costa Rican upstarts within the past couple of decades. These words include purete (a significant or weak person), binear (to spy on your neighbors or stick your nose where it’s not wanted), vacilar (to make fun), or, of course, the ubiquitous ahuevar.
Does that mean we shouldn’t fight for our political party, or against prepositions at the end of sentences? Certainly not. Perspective is essential in life, to keep us from being permanently friqueados. But at some point, you’ve got to take a stand and say, “This is what I believe,” or “Up with this I will not put.”
We need detachment, but we need passion, too. Otherwise, well, se nos lleva Candanga.
(What about you? What are the rules or phrases you’d fight to preserve, or the new expressions you’d rather keep at bay? You know what to do – haga clic below to enviarme un mail.)
Read previous Maeology columns here.
Katherine Stanley Obando is The Tico Times’ arts and entertainment editor. She also is a freelance writer, translator, former teacher and academic director of JumpStart Costa Rica. She lives in San José. Read more from Katherine at “The Dictionary of You,” where she writes about Costa Rican language and culture, and raising a child abroad. “Maeology” is published twice monthly. Write to her at email@example.com.
ABU DHABI: The Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID) has announced that it will add five more languages - Malayalam, Urdu, Tagalog, Russian and Mandarin - to its website, offering information and guidance on procedures. This is in addition to the two languages already in place, Arabic and English.
The Emirates ID said the decision to add new languages to its website was part of its efforts to make its services easier and more accessible to the various nationalities residing in the country.
Abdulaziz Al Maamari, Director of Government and Social Communication at the Emirates ID, said the decision came as a result of surveys and studies on the number and types of visitors to the website, the departments and services most frequently browsed and the queries and clarifications most sought. “In the year 2014, nine millions visits from inside and outside the UAE happened on the website, by people speaking around ten languages,” he explained.
Al Maamari said the addition of the new languages would allow the customers to learn in their own languages about the procedures for registration in the population register, issuance, renewal and replacement of ID cards, necessary documents for getting the services rendered and the fee for each service. “The idea behind the initiative is to make our website and services more accessible and customer-friendly,” he added.
“This initiative came from our efforts to achieve the fourth objective in our Strategic Plan 2014-2016, which aimed at guaranteeing total satisfaction for our customers. We are introducing the new languages also as part of our corporate governance framework, which focusses on creativity and innovation in all aspects of organizational work. There are large numbers of people who are not proficient in Arabic and English and we thought it was important to reach out to these segments with information in languages they are comfortable with,” Al Maamari said.
Al Maamari said the Emirates ID had already brought about a quantum leap in its communication efforts with its customers through the 14 channels of communication, including the website, social media platforms, and the round-the-clock call centre. “This new initiative, we hope, will bring us further close to our customers,” he concluded.
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Math textbooks translated into English have attracted the attention of schools with more of them introducing immersion education (See below) programs designed to teach classes in English.
Such textbooks were initially created to inform those overseas about Japan’s education methods. The textbooks have also become popular at public schools attended by foreign students.
In the middle of March at Kyoto Seibo Gakuin Elementary School in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, a Canadian teacher said during class, “We need to measure a pen.” In response, about 20 first-graders used their rulers to measure pens illustrated in their math textbooks translated into English.
The school’s international course teaches most classes in English, except for Japanese language lessons and some other subjects.
“English skills can be acquired over time,” said Mayumi Ishigami, a teacher. “Phrases and expressions can naturally be learned by repeating the same phrases and expressions over and over.”
Textbooks translated into English are technically regarded as educational support material, since they aren’t screened by the education ministry.
Osaka publisher Shinko Shuppansha Keirinkan Co. started offering such textbooks in the 2011 school year. After expanding its product line, the firm now offers English translations of math textbooks for nine grades at primary and middle schools.
Municipal Joko Middle School purchased English translation textbooks in January. About 30 students there are non-Japanese, or had previously lived overseas. “Teaching math was difficult because there’s many technical terms,” said the principal of the school in Fukuoka.
Gakko Tosho Co., a publisher in Tokyo that has been translating math textbooks into English since the 2005 school year, also initially marketed such products as teaching aids for foreign teachers to grasp Japanese learning methods. In recent years, the publisher has increasingly received inquiries from private middle schools and other educational institutions that want their students to learn English and math at the same time.
■ Immersion education
Immersion refers to the “complete involvement” or “absorption” in some act or interest. It also refers to the method of learning a foreign language by being taught various subjects in that language.Speech
Tax official Dumitru: 50-60pct of VAT cut to translate to prices; inflation to be close to zero at year endMonday, April 20, 2015
The Value-Added Tax (VAT) cut for foods to 9 per cent as from June 1 will not be fully translated into prices, but only 50-60 per cent of it, which should lead to inflation being close to zero at year end, Chairman of the Fiscal Council Ionut Dumitru said Thursday.'The chances for the VAT cut being reflected in prices are high, but it is important to what extent. By mathematical reckoning, if the translation is 100 per cent, then prices should drop 12 per cent, which obviously will not happen. Never have the cuts in taxes been hundred per cent translated into final price cuts. When the VAT was hiked, the translation was 65 per cent. Elsewhere in Europe, VAT cuts were 30-35 per cent translated into prices. By my reckoning, the translation now should be 50-60 per cent, which would mean inflation will be close to zero at year end,' Dumitru explained.
About the recent statement of the Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis, on the package amending the Tax Code, Dumitru said the Commission was probably taken by surprise by the magnitude of the package. 'We are talking about a very magnanimous package of tax unburdening with all main taxes projected to fall in the next years; given the context, the worries obviously come from the commitments of Romania at a European level, keeping structural deficit at 1 per cent, which means an actual deficit of around 1 per cent and even smaller in the years to come, and how consistent the commitment is with the tax unburdening package. We have no answer so far to how the package will be compensated for, because it is absolutely clear that the commitments we have pledged will not allow us any budgetary slippage, such as a rise in deficit, but the data we now have, our reckonings and our data that are convergent with the data in the European Commission's possession, indicate the deficit seems to start jumping to above 3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as from 2016. And that obviously generates worries at the level of the commission because that would entail the Commission starting an excessive deficit procedure against Romania,' added Dumitru.
About the surplus in the national budget as touted by the Government, Dumitru said it is the outcome of drastic cuts in public investment. 'Last year, public investment was at its lowest in the past seven years, while this year there will be a brisk fall of 38 per cent in public investment in the first three months of the year,' he said.
He also pointed out that the implementation of the measures included in the draft of the new Tax Code will rekindle tax deficit, thus moving Romania away from its objective of joining the Eurozone. 'Our commitment to join the Eurozone in 2019 was only a political commitment. It has never been a commitment taken over that would have entailed a road to walk and a clear agenda that we would have to follow to that moment in order for us to be prepared. From my point of view, it is absolutely clear that the new tax package that cuts taxes a lot but leads us to an area were tax deficit is rekindled, would get Romania even further away from achieving the 2019 accession objective,' said he chairman of the Tax Council.
A Language of Their Own: Swahili and Its Influences
By Olivia Herrington
“Africa will write its own history, and it will be, to the north and to the south of the Sahara, a history of glory and dignity.” So wrote Patrice Lumumba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s first prime minister, in 1960. Though his leadership was unconnected to Swahili particularly, the words spoke to a new, proud pan-Africanism to which Swahili was inextricably linked.
When the Kenyan government adopted Swahili as its official language in 1970, it lauded the language for being more African than was English, the previous choice for the government and people’s affairs. As The New York Times reported then, “the governing council of the Kenya African National Union, the ruling party, decided that the widespread use of English language smacked of neo-colonialism, or at least was un-African.”
Swahili in Arabic script is inscribed on a door in Lamu, Kenya.
Or so it was said. But Swahili itself appears to be, at least somewhat, “un-African.” Jomo Kenyatta, president at the time, seemingly chose to overlook Swahili’s foreign influences. The language was born from the interactions between dwellers of the East African coast and traders from the Middle East. Those traders spread its vocabulary as they rode their ivory and slave caravans farther inland, reaching the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the west and Uganda in the north. Indeed, the very name “Swahili” stems from the Arabic for “of the coast,” sawahili. The language also incorporates pieces of English, German, Portuguese, and other tongues belonging to the merchants and colonizers who permeated the region. Yet, curiously, Swahili has come to represent pride in post-colonial identity.
This is true nowhere more than in Tanzania. English or French could serve practical purposes as well as Swahili, offering a common tongue for governmental and economic affairs. In fact, both do serve such purposes in various African regions, English still filling that role alongside Swahili in Tanzania and Kenya. But Tanzanians’ loyalty is primarily to Swahili—a language they can more easily consider African. Recent linguistic studies have supported this identification, establishing Swahili’s foreign influences as only secondary to its development as a language with deeply African roots. More importantly, the very act of identifying with the language legitimizes it. Swahili has become African.
Tanzanians accept the language’s significance more completely than Kenyans and cherish it more ardently. Their relationship with their chosen tongue began at the birth of the country itself, in 1964. From the start, Julius Nyerere, Tanzania’s first president, promoted Ujamaa, a nationalist and pan-Africanist ideology that revolved around reliance on Swahili instead of on European languages. Though Tanzanian citizens possess tribal affiliations and typically speak a tribal language in addition to Swahili, they value their allegiance to their country. This priority is rare in Africa, a continent of people whose first loyalty belongs more commonly to their tribe. That general preference is unsurprising: many country borders were drawn by European colonial powers, rulers who disregarded or intentionally opposed grouping Africans according to tribal and linguistic affiliations. Tanzanians, though, feel unified—a credit to the strength of Nyerere’s vision.
Even the Hadza, Tanzania’s only remaining hunter-gatherer tribe, identify with this bond. They have chosen Swahili as their second language—after Hadzane, their tribal language—in the years after Tanzania’s independence. (They formerly spoke Isanzu, a Bantu language, instead, in order to communicate with a tribe living south of them.) The switch testifies to Swahili’s utility, capable of being greater than that of any single tribal language while, significantly, maintaining Tanzanian pride.
Americans Join the Debate
Similarly, some African-Americans have praised the language’s authentic value, an affiliation that Dr. Maulana Karenga, the American founder of the holiday Kwanzaa and a leader of US Organization, supports wholeheartedly. “We wanted to escape Western tradition and tribalism, both. Swahili is not a tribal language—it represents a collective effort and our group does too,” he told a Life magazine reporter in 1968. As the Black Power movement gained strength in the late 1960s, the language became for the movement’s members a symbol of meaningful black identity. The timing was excellently coordinated: just as East Africans themselves were accepting Swahili as both tool and emblem of nationalism, US was offering it a place in America—extending the significance to the swelling Black nationalism in which the organization was engaged.
This approach possessed real issues, as some of Karenga’s colleagues within the Africana studies field in the States pointed out. When the William Howard Taft High School in New York City joined the trend by deciding to offer Swahili classes, a vibrant debate ensued. A New York Times editorial questioned Swahili’s importance in an American curriculum. At least two letters to the editor doubted its legitimacy as an African language.
Even beyond the tradition of Arab slave traders’ using Swahili, it was true the link between the language and African-American heritage was tenuous. Most African Americans’ ancestors came from the west coast of Africa, where Swahili is not spoken. John McWhorter, linguist and associate professor at Columbia University, has argued for the Ghanaian language Twi as a more suitable option. But Swahili felt to Karenga like an appropriate language for pan-African unity. It became Kwanzaa’s established language, providing the holiday with the roots of its name and the words for its seven principles. Karenga’s preference fit well with Nyerere’s.
Literature of the People
Swahili political literature offers more complexity than Nyerere and Karenga’s happy faith in unity, however. Fortunatus Kawegere, a Tanzanian author and translator dissatisfied with President Nyerere, made his views known subtly through language, such as the vocabulary he chose for a translation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Shamba la Wanyama, as the Swahili version is called, rejects the book’s decidedly English features—the English names, the descriptions of British farm implements—in favor of Tanzanian equivalents. Kawegere turns the book into an East African tale, situating it in Ibura, a neighborhood of a Tanzanian town, and labeling the animals’ socialism in the same precise terms by which Nyerere defined his own. To clarify even further his frustration with the president, Kawegere removes the animals’ references to the farmer’s whips as intentionally as republican Romans might have eradicated from a text the loathsome word “king.” Because whips so effectively evoke colonial rule, Kawegere is careful not to risk allowing their presence to justify the animals’—i.e., Nyerere’s—policies.
While other Swahili translators have confined themselves more faithfully to their source texts, the choice each has made to contribute to a significantly multi-ethnic literature is intentional. And Kawegere’s case is proof that the choice asserts power, not concession: the language has developed an identity entirely its own. East African culture has even embraced the Middle Eastern and Western influences indelibly wound up in it. Swahili literature comfortably mixes works written in the language originally and works translated into it, often with an East African twist. Nyerere himself translated both Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and his Merchant of Venice into Swahili.
Even the very earliest Swahili literature, dated to roughly 1652, retained foreign origins: it was a translation of the Arabic poem known as the Hamziyya, telling of the Prophet Muhammad. Since then, numerous Swahili authors have composed praise poems that draw both from Muslim prayers to Allah and from Bantu odes to political leaders or courageous animals. Some scholars have credited Islam, centuries back, with unifying the region ideologically as Swahili has linguistically. East Africans’ Swahili literature, then, reflects their culture.
Swahili identity emerged from the melding of its oddly disparate influences, and even Nyerere recognized its inability to exist in isolation. As he remarked to the sixth Pan-African Congress in 1974, “Humanity is indivisible.”
Image Credit: Justin Clements, Wikimedia Commons
Cheek by Jowl's Russian Measure for Measure is streamed live (with subtitles) on the Telegraph website on Wednesday. Artistic director Declan Donnellan tells Charlotte Runcie why you should watch it
Politics at play: Cheek by Jowl's new production of Measure for Measure focuses on the corruption of the powerful Photo: Johan Persson
By Charlotte Runcie1:40PM BST 20 Apr 2015 Comment
For the past 30 years, the theatre company Cheek by Jowl hasn't just been helping to keep Shakespearean drama alive, it has been jolting it with theatrical electric shocks. Its shows are stylised, with original settings often startlingly reconfigured, and its actors are trained, meticulously, to speak the Bard's words with particular lucidity.
• Watch Cheek by Jowl's Measure for Measure live here on April 22. In Russian with subtitles
• The Telegraph's 4 star review of Measure for Measure
The company has staged performances in 300 cities across 40 countries, and boasts a clutch of awards, including an outstanding achievement Olivier for artistic director Declan Donnellan. Spotting new talent is a forte: without Cheek by Jowl giving them an early break, we may never have discovered Daniel Craig, Michael Sheen, Matthew Macfadyen or rising superstar Tom Hiddleston. And, frequently, the company's groundbreaking Shakespeare productions aren't even in English.
Why, you may ask, should British audiences even consider watching Shakespeare in Russian? - something they are being invited to do currently, as the company's Measure for Measure is in residence at the Barbican (a production The Telegraph is live streaming, with subtitles, on Wednesday evening). The answer, according to Donnellan, is because different languages can offer a whole new perspective on Shakespeare's genius. The original language might not even be essential to understanding the plays at all - a view that is unlikely to sit well with literary academics.
"We live in a world that's dominated by the word," Donnellan tells me. "And I think that's sad. Words aren't nearly as important as we think they are."
It's courageous to stage Shakespeare, in Britain, in a language alien to most British audiences. But Donnellan believes there are excellent reasons to make the leap into the unknown. "Sometimes you can see things by being blinded partially.
"When you're not confused by the word, you can see something else": Declan Donellan believes a foreign language can reveal other dimensions in Shakespeare's plays
"Caravaggio's paintings help us see things in a certain way for the first time, and he does that by not painting half of it. Half of the painting is in darkness, and the other half is in bright light, and you see it all the more vividly because you've been blinded to that other half. Sometimes that can happen in a foreign language. When you're not confused by the word, you can see something else."
Since Cheek by Jowl was co-founded by Donnellan with Nick Ormerod in 1981, the company has produced a body of work with a central repertoire of Shakespeare ("Cheek by Jowl" is a quotation from A Midsummer Night's Dream) alongside classic European drama. They've staged 'Tis Pity She's a Whore to a hedonistic disco beat, As You Like It with an all-male cast, and The Duchess of Malfi as a modern-couture costumed, psychosexual study of the British ruling classes.
Having achieved success in the Eighties, by the Nineties the company began working with Russian actors in Moscow and expanding their repertoire. Measure for Measure was first performed in Moscow in 2013, developed with Moscow's Pushkin Theatre and using Russian actors who have worked with Cheek by Jowl for more than 16 years. After performances in Russia, Spain, Estonia and France, the production arrived here for a two-week run, receiving enthusiastic reviews when it opened last week.
Measure for Measure is one of Shakespeare's knottiest problem plays, taut with conflict, comedy and complexity as well as some explicit and morally ambiguous sexual themes. Set in the seedy underbelly of Vienna, where crime and corruption are rife, it's a play about rotten politics, intimidation and sex that has, in the past, been deemed too obscene to be performed. It was heavily adapted during the Restoration, and in 1935 the Leicester Daily Mercury reported a protest against a local production, which claimed the play "insults the respectability of Melton Mowbray people". A perfect fit, then, for Cheek by Jowl's unflinching tastes.
For Donnellan, Measure for Measure is "an extraordinary play - I think it has some of the best scenes that Shakespeare ever wrote. The big scenes between Angelo and Isabella [the antihero and heroine] are second to none."
Shakespeare's knottiest problem play: Donellan described the big scenes between Angelo and Isabella as second to none
The play isn't familiar to Russian audiences. "They don't know it off by heart like they do with Twelfth Night and Macbeth and Hamlet - they probably have as many Hamlets and Twelfth Nights and Macbeths as we do in England," says Donnellan. But the reaction so far has been "extremely positive" - in his review on these pages last week, Dominic Cavendish praised it for its "directorial daring and constant fleet-footedness" - and the abstract, sinister and speedy (100 minutes with no interval) production has received nominations in five categories for the biggest Russian theatre prize, the Golden Mask Awards.
Bringing it to Britain is still an intimidating experience. "The Russian actors always feel vulnerable coming to England with Shakespeare. They have great awe for the English tradition, and they've insisted on their statutory day out in Stratford, where they'll all go away with their souvenir mugs."
It's inescapable that focusing on the corruption of powerful officials in a modern-dress Russian production will invite questions about whether the production is a comment on current Russian governance. It's not a topic on which Donnellan will be drawn.
"The most important thing about Shakespeare is that he writes not just about politics but also, even more fundamentally, he writes about love, and you can't write about love unless you write about loss," says Donnellan.
"That's what Shakespeare articulates and that's why Shakespeare is as close to the Russian spirit, to the Hindu spirit, to anybody who's part of the human species, because it's those things we have in common."
The show runs until April 25
More and more each day, businesses rely on a wider range of languages to do, well business. That means that managers and employees alike are asked to show skills in more than one language at a bilingual level, but both groups of people deal with clients and investors in dozens of different languages, a result largely attributable to globalization. That’s where technology comes in – in the past few years, apps and software advances have allowed translating to become easier in many ways, making the process of deciphering messages and content in other languages more manageable. For some, this poses a threat to translators and interpreters (human translators and interpreters that is). To those who know the translation industry well, in and out, technology doesn’t pose a threat, but instead acts as a support tool for humans.
To give a quick albeit small idea of the growth of the need for translation services, in Europe alone the main languages usually required were always limited to French, Italian, German and Spanish. Now, however, Asian languages also play a huge role in markets in Europe and the USA, and entrepreneurs and businessmen alike have been left with ways to cope with these morphing needs. As the markets grow, so does technology: advances in translation software can be a huge help (but would not replace) to human translators. The concept of working with a Translation Memory, or TM, for example, was developed a few decades ago and allows for a quick look into databases in order to retrieve previously translated materials. Now, machine translations (or MT) exist and allow for quick translation of content. However, the human knowledge offered by human translators is irreplaceable to many and does not beat anything out there in terms of technology. The newest in tech will get you out of a quick fix, perhaps, but it won’t go a long way in preventing quality gaps between source and target documents.
This is important if we consider the rise of translations into languages other than English, Spanish, etc. Africa and Asia continue to increase their role in a wide range of markets, and this means that dominating their languages is more and more important. While apps on phones for learning languages and translating bits of text make things easier for all, an in-depth quality translation is unbeatable, and often only attributable to humans. Technology should be a friend to the linguist, and something to lean on, but perhaps a foe if clients and end-users rely on it 100%, underestimating the expertise and proficiency of a human linguist.
Ever since the Internet and social media entered our lives, the entire concept of what it is to be “famous” has changed. One no longer needs to be a great singer, a talented actor or a TV character making sensational statements to be famous. No; now there are entire categories of fame that depend on doing visible work on the Internet, or becoming a Twitter phenomenon, or even just staking out your space through original ideas run on the platform of social media.
In addition to all this, in Turkey at least, there are the subtitle translators who are suddenly so important when it comes to foreign TV series. We are talking about people who work night and day translating into Turkish the scripts from a number of American series. These are the people to whom we are indebted when it comes to being able to watch the same series -- at almost the same time -- that audiences all over the world, and especially in the US, watch. Not only this, but these are translators who often work for no pay. All of which leads to them become extremely popular people, especially in certain circles. In fact, some social media sites refer to these translators with praise like “Bless them for their work,” or “Turkish youth are eternally indebted”; there is even talk about how these translators could form their own political parties and come to power single-handedly if they wished!
We had a chance to talk to these translators, some of whom admit they started this work just to “develop their English.” Let's hear what “Nazo82” and “Pınar Batum” said.
When title sequences from a TV series start running across the screen, we can't help but notice -- and then get curious about -- the name “Nazo82,” who was apparently the translator. We noticed this name a couple, and then three times, and then got really curious. Talking with her, we learned that Nazo82 was born in 1982 and is a graduate of Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ). That's all that most people even know about her, and she herself says there's not much more to know: “I was born in İstanbul in 1982. Right now, I'm working at a temporary job. I did not study for this job. I just can't think of what else to do.” As her followers have already noted, Nazo82 has translated for almost every series that has taken off in Turkey; series like “How I Met Your Mother,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead” and so on.
‘For those who want to learn better English, my advice is translate a series!'
In answer to the question “What has changed in the series world since you first started to translate?” Nazo82 said, "Not much, actually.” Although some people are able to make some serious money from translating these sorts of things, Nazo82 still works basically for free. She is asked often, though, whether she would be willing to teach a course for those interested in doing this professionally. She says she tells people interested in learning more English to do direct translations, noting that this has contributed greatly to her own fluency.
Nazo explains why not getting paid for her work is not a big deal to her: “I love translating, and figuring out difficult dialogue that others don't get is like doing a puzzle for me. Actually, translating series and films that I love just gives me so much pleasure. And then there's the motivation of knowing that I have an audience of fans of my own out there, waiting for my translations.”
When we ask Nazo how her unique breed of fame makes her feel, she responds: “This sort of ‘fame' seems very imaginary actually, maybe because no one has ever really talked to me about it face to face. It's a confusing but I guess kind of good feeling to be ‘a little famous' in certain circles.”
My hobby has become my profession
Of course, there are some people whose TV series translations are more than just a hobby and are an actual profession. Pınar Batum is one of these people; she is largely remembered for her Turkish subtitle translations for the famous “Lost” series and for her incredible speed.
In fact, there are those who call Batum the “queen of translators.” Batum owns a business that specializes in translations. She notes that, over the years, some things have changed. She says, “Some time ago, it was just a hobby.” She notes that after doing good work, she started getting offers from very prominent companies, being known for her well-done and fast translations. When we ask Batum the key to her work, she replies: “As a translator, it's not just enough that you know foreign languages. It is probably even more important that you know your own language well, and are able to use it fluently and beautifully.”
La tradición de traducir
iene la poesía moderna mexicana una vertiente caudalosa que pocas veces se destaca, y que le da una característica peculiar en el ámbito de la escritura en lengua castellana. Nuestros poetas del XX se volcaron a trasladar versos de otras lenguas, de estos y otros tiempos. Siguen así los del XXI transcurrido. No pretenden hacer traducciones de profesionales, aunque algunos lo sean, sino de autor. Apropiaciones, aproximaciones, asedios, recreaciones, ¿hurtos? Dispersa en revistas, antologías, ediciones raras, u oculta dentro de la obra original de los poetas, la experiencia no es sistemática ni necesariamente legal. Sí una costumbre ejercida con entera libertad. Cuando Marco Antonio Montes de Oca reúne en El surco y la brasa (FCE, 1974) las traducciones de poetas en el siglo, el corpus es impresionante, en ocasiones erudito y siempre poesía lograda. En los años posteriores la traducción por los nuevos poetas creció y los sobrevivientes de Montes de Oca reincidieron. La enumeración sería amplia y seguro más incompleta que la de aquellos que nunca traducen porque no leen otra lengua o no les interesa, entre quienes se hallan las voces más arraigadas al riesgo de cantar.
Para cuando Gabriel Zaid publicó Asamblea de poetas jóvenes (Siglo XXI, 1980) los poetas habían proliferado exponencialmente. Era el punto de Zaid, pero el registro arrojó un síntoma colateral: muchos de los 160 y pico convocados habían traducido –o decían haberlo hecho– una nómina ambiciosa de autores en inglés y francés, claro, italiano, alemán, portugués. Más que confirmación, resultaba un indicio. Buena parte de estos, y muchos otros que no habían nacido o llegaron tarde, traducirían sin recato, se atreverían a versiones libres de distintos calibres con naturalidad que debemos asumir como verdadera tradición. Quién que es no traduce.
Tenemos autores que mistifican otra lengua y sus poetas hasta la médula de su trabajo, como el estupendo Francisco Cervantes con los portugueses. Pero desde las traducciones de ciertos Contemporáneos, y marcadamente de Octavio Paz (uno lee su Eluard, su Pessoa, su Basho) en adelante prevalece el personalismo. O la devoción de Salvador Elizondo por Valéry. Los caleidoscopios de Gerardo Deniz. No por inseguridad o imitación, sino un tuteo con la lírica universal. Todo un capítulo (ya estudiado) lo ofrece la trayectoria única de TS Eliot en las letras mexicanas, aunque a estas alturas de Google ya nada sea exclusivo. Existe un diálogo insistente de Rodolfo Usigli a Luis Miguel Aguilar, José Luis Rivas y Pedro Serrano y otros comentaristas y valientes traductores enfrentados a las versiones de Valverde y Gaos. Un caso extremo: José Emilio Pacheco y los Cuatro cuartetos que trabajó 35 años; maduró el gozo de su conversación con Eliot, aunque ya en el principio estaba su fin: los Cuartetos le pertenecen.
Poetas nuestros fueron grandes traductores, no se aplica el traduttore, traditore. Tomás Segovia, Rubén Bonifaz Nuño, Ramón Xirau, Jaime García Terrés e Isabel Fraire han creado con derecho propio a partir de Shakespeare, Ungaretti, Ovidio, Seferis, Mallarmé, Cummings. Tedi López Mills reunió a 33 poetas-traductores en Traslaciones (FCE, 2011). Las traducciones de Guillermo Fernández, Carlos Montemayor, Marco Antonio Campos, Pura López Colomé, Francisco Torres Córdova, Jorge Bustamante García, Francisco Segovia, José Vicente Anaya, Alberto Blanco y José Joaquín Blanco forman parte no menor de su propia escritura. Ante tal dedicación colectiva no extraña que debamos a Juan Carvajal (subestimado aún como poeta) y Lorenza Fernández del Valle las mejores Elegías de Duino en castellano, las más legibles y rilkeanas.
Aquí no existe como en España una industria de la traducción sistemática de obras completas. Ni editoriales especializadas que publiquen árabes y cristianos, negros y blancos, orientales medios y lejanos, clásicos antiguos, ídolos de la Unión Europea, premios Nobel y víctimas del estalinismo. Sin negar el contrapeso de una academia universitaria que también traduce, medio mundo va por la libre, desde los viejos suplementos a los fanzines y las páginas web, y se cuelga de los beatniks con la misma naturalidad que de Rimbaud. Ya Díaz Mirón fue un igualado con Baudelaire. Agreguemos la maestría de los no poetas Carlos Monsiváis, José María Pérez Gay, Juan Tovar, Guillermo Rousset Banda y Miguel León Portilla que tan bien nos dan poemas.
Ahora que de los pueblos indígenas llegan poetas traduciéndose del-castellano-a-su-lengua-al-castellano con método y audacia, y que los chicanos se adueñaron de las caras de Jano, podríamos postular que la poesía de México vive de traducir/traducirse. Marcada por el colonialismo del castellano sobre el náhuatl, los varios mayas o el zapoteco, como el inglés sobre el castellano, emite luz propia. ¿Qué no tradujeron de ida y vuelta Garcilaso de la Vega, Juan de la Cruz, Luis de León y Francisco de Quevedo mientras perfeccionaban nuestra lengua?
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