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Improving your Writing Skills

Improving your Writing Skills | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
We all know that good contents is very important for effective communications. Especially these days when the social media tools are irreplacable ones when it comes to connecting with your audience.
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Metaglossia: The Translation World
News about translation, interpreting, intercultural communication, terminology and lexicography - as it happens
Curated by Charles Tiayon
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UN Careers - jobs in this network (Translators, Revisers, Editors, etc.)

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

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

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Skype Translator is the most futuristic thing I’ve ever used

Skype Translator is the most futuristic thing I’ve ever used | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
We have become blasé about technology.

The modern smartphone, for example, is in so many ways a remarkable feat of engineering: computing power that not so long ago would have cost millions of dollars and filled entire rooms is now available to fit in your hand for a few hundred bucks. But smartphones are so widespread and normal that they no longer have the power to astonish us. Of course they're tremendously powerful pocket computers. So what?

This phenomenon is perhaps even more acute for those of us who work in the field in some capacity. A steady stream of new gadgets and gizmos passes across our desks, we get briefed and pitched all manner of new "cutting edge" pieces of hardware and software, and they all start to seem a little bit the same and a little bit boring.

Even news that really might be the start of something remarkable, such as HP's plans to launch a computer using memristors for both longterm and working memory and silicon photonics interconnects, is viewed with a kind of weary cynicism. Yes, it might usher in a new generation of revolutionary products. But it probably won't.

But this week I've been using the preview version of Microsoft's Skype Translator. And it's breathtaking. It's like science fiction has come to life.

The experience wasn't always easy; this is preview software, and as luck would have it, my initial attempts to use it to talk to a colleague failed due to hitherto undiscovered bugs, so in the end, I had to talk to a Microsoft-supplied consultant living in Barranquilla, Colombia. But when we got the issues ironed out and made the thing work, it was magical. This thing really works.


Enlarge / In video calls, you can both see the translation and hear it.
Microsoft
I don't speak a word of Spanish—I took German at school instead—but with Skype Translator I was able to have a spoken conversation with a Spanish speaker as if I were in an episode of Star Trek (as long as that episode isn't Darmok, amirite?). I spoke English. A moment later, an English language transcription would appear, along with a Spanish translation. Then a Spanish voice would read that translation.

It took a moment to get used to the pacing of the conversation—the brief delay for the translation means that if you understand the language of the other person, there's a temptation to respond immediately, without waiting for the voice to read the translation—but once this rhythm was learned, the conversation was fluent and continuous.

In this preview, Spanish and English are the only spoken languages on offer. It also handles text conversations, and there are some 40 different languages on offer for text.

Intellectually, I understand that all the different parts have been done before—Microsoft has shipped speech-to-text and text-to-speech technology for the better part of 20 years now, and robotranslation of Web content is relatively commonplace, if a little haphazard. But tying these pieces together has turned them into something magical and awe-inspiring.


Enlarge / There are many more languages available for text-only translation.
Microsoft
The technology powering this opens up so many possibilities. Translation is, of course, significant, and one can easily see how this will find value in the business world. I can also imagine that it will open up new possibilities in mixed language families where, for example, grandparents and grandchildren may not have a common tongue.

I can also see the same technology having a ton of value beyond the translation use case. I use Skype for telephone interviews; automatic transcription of those interviews would be very neat. Skype is widely used by podcasters, and, similarly, automatic transcriptions could be a valuable addition—while the automatic robo-transcription won't be perfect, given that the alternative is usually no transcription at all, the robot's effort will still be welcome.

With minor modifications, this might even find utility in the deaf community, by allowing hard of hearing Skype users to read and type to hearing users.

Truly, this is transformational technology. It's not often that I use something that leaves me excited, something that makes me say "wow" not out of cynical sarcasm but because I'm genuinely impressed. But Skype Translator did it. Whether you call it a Star Trek Universal Translator or Babel fish, Microsoft is building it, and it's incredible.

Listing image by Francisco Gonzalez
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Pakistan author Bilal Tanweer won Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2014 : News Digest

Pakistan author Bilal Tanweer won Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2014 : News Digest | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Bilal Tanweer, a Pakistan-based author won the 2014 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for his novel 'The Scatter Here Is Too Great.' The award function was held in New Delhi on December 2, 2014. 

Bilal, who up a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh along with the award, was selected by a jury comprising the 2009 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize winner Mridula Koshy, Aatish Taseer and Amit Chaudhuri. The award is usually given to encourage authors from the subcontinent. 

The other works shortlisted for this year's Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize were, A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor, Prawin Adhikari's The Vanishing Act, Shovon Chowdhury's, The Competent Authority, and The Smoke Is Rising by Mahesh Rao. 

All the books, including Tanweer's, were published by Indian publishing houses. 

The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize was instituted in 2008.

Tanweer, was born and raised in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, is a fiction writer, poet and translator. He teaches creative writing at Lahore University of Management Sciences.

Bilal's short stories, essays and poetry have been published by Granta, Critical Muslim, Life's Too Short Literary Review: New Writing From Pakistan, Vallum, Dawn, The Express Tribune, The News on Sunday and The Caravan (India); his translations from the Urdu have appeared in Words Without Borders and The Annual of Urdu Studies.

In 2010 he received the PEN Translation Fund Grant for Chakiwara Chronicles by Muhammad Khalid Akhtar;  in 2011 he was selected as a Granta New Voice. He participates thanks to a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
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When Working In Mixed Groups, Staying PC Boosts Productivity

When Working In Mixed Groups, Staying PC Boosts Productivity | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Here's some advice for your next office meeting: Hold your tongue. Total freedom of speech, recent research showed, has the potential to squash
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They’re Talking In 2 Different Languages, But With This New Tool They Understand Each Other Perfectly

They’re Talking In 2 Different Languages, But With This New Tool They Understand Each Other Perfectly | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Skype has changed the way we can communicate with the people that we love. It makes the long miles disappear and creates a world with many possibilities.

But there has been a border that Skype couldn’t pass until now — language.

Recently, Skype created “Skype Translator.” This technology creates the ability to speak one language into a microphone and have it translated into the language of your speaking partner. The translator is currently available in English and Spanish, but the company said more languages are coming soon.

In this video, Skype Translator was tested two elementary school classes — one in Washington and one in Mexico City. During their talk, these students discovered the potential of the translator to break down language barriers and bring people together.
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Untying tongues: Why right now is a good time to read in translation

Untying tongues: Why right now is a good time to read in translation | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
When Patrick Modiano won the Nobel Prize earlier this fall, the general response in the English-speaking world was a resounding, “Who?” Most of the novelist’s 20-odd books are unavailable in our widest-spoken official language — some out of print but most simply untranslated. How can this be, in our theoretically global village?

The likes of Google Translate are supposedly making the planet’s first-world culture, and much beyond, available at the click of the mouse, from masterpieces to 15-minute memes. But for all the benefits of databases and algorithms, flesh-and-blood people remain essential to the process. “I don’t think we’ll ever be replaceable,” says Toronto translator Jessica Moore, the vice-president (Ontario) of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada. And translators are subject to editors, who are subject to publishers, who are subject to the market. Outside of prizewinners such as Modiano and big bestsellers, the books that are available in translation can seem random — and their contents sometimes altered in surprising ways.

Charles Bukowski became a hit in Serbia when his raw books were rendered in a baroque style.
This year’s International Festival of Authors in Toronto hosted “Found in Translation” panels for writers from Quebec to Myanmar, who discussed the joy of finding new markets and the compromises they’ve had to make to do so. Slovenian writer Andrej Blatnik noted that his English translators often leave out his most highbrow language; in contrast, he recalls hearing how Charles Bukowski became a hit in Serbia when his raw books were rendered in a baroque style. Sometimes content is an issue: Spanish novelist Andres Barba laughingly recounted how a freelance Syrian translator, for the Arabic market, changed a prostitute giving oral sex in one of his books to a tailor playing cards.

However much style or content may change through translation, it’s good for an author to find new readership. Not that the English-speaking market is as vast as it should be, unless you’re a phenomenon like Haruki Murakami: it’s an oft-cited statistic that only 3% of books published in the United States every year are translations; figures from the United Kingdom are similar, despite its proximity to the cultural richness of continental Europe. In Canada, Moore says, there’s a growing interest in translated works (with the Canada Council funding nearly 50% more per year from French to English than it did five years ago), although her recent chats with publishers at the IFOA revealed to her that “when something stands out as a translation, that’s actually a detriment in terms of sales.”

Perhaps, then, this is why so few translators are credited on book covers. Even in reviews, they’re mentioned only when reviewers need to hedge their bets: for instance, in The New York Times, Janet Maslin writes of Murakami’s No. 1 bestseller Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, “either Mr. Murakami or his translator, Philip Gabriel, likes to bludgeon each new thought with brutal repetition.”


Where translators are visible in our culture, they’re on television, attempting to help people understand each other easily. But facility isn’t always ideal. When translating Maylis de Kerangal’s hit French novel Naissance d’un pont (Birth of a Bridge), Moore looked for a style analogous to the original’s densely packed, fluid prose, trying “to recreate the same kind of challenge or surprise.” And just as translators are bound to be faithful to the original, they’re also directed by editors: Moore was asked by Talonbooks to change the original’s almost jarringly matter-of-fact first sentence to something more emphatic and suggestive. She wasn’t able to show de Kerangal her solution until the book was published; thankfully, says Moore, the author “liked it when she saw it.”

An author may suggest a translator, but ultimately selling foreign rights is like selling film rights — you don’t get to pick your movie adaptation’s director either.
Moore is now starting work on de Kerangal’s latest book, the bestselling Réparer les vivants, which, oddly, is being translated simultaneously by someone else for the U.S . market. An author may suggest a translator, but ultimately selling foreign rights is like selling film rights — you don’t get to pick your movie adaptation’s director either. De Kerangal was lucky to have Moore as an advocate in the first place: she was the one who pitched Talonbooks the translation. The French government then stepped in to help with the cost. But what of writers in countries that actively suppress their writing?

In Myanmar, for instance, from the start of military rule in 1962 until the dissolution of the country’s censorship board in 2012, the only writing that could be published — and thence translated — was approved by the government. Writer and physician Ma Thida was imprisoned from 1993 to 1999 for, in her words, “reading the monthly journals published by the national coalition government abroad.” Her own manuscripts were often lost, either by publishers or even by friends of the family who agreed to keep them safe but ended up burning them out of fear. She was released from prison at the urging of organizations such as the writers’ group PEN International and years later secured a passport. In 2011, on a writing fellowship to Brown University, she started work on The Roadmap, a short novel detailing the Burmese people’s struggle from the mid-1980s. In order to reach a non-Burmese audience, she felt she should write in English herself.

Related
More from Mike Doherty
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, by Haruki Murakami: Review
She made this decision also, she says, because if she wrote in her native tongue, she would be tempted to practice the internalized “self-censorship”
she obtained in Myanmar, whereby writers would refer only indirectly to sensitive political issues. Where Burmese literature under British colonial rule had been chiefly preoccupied with the struggle for independence, Thida now found herself using the language of the oppressors to express herself freely.

“It’s quite ironic,” she says with a laugh. “If I knew another language, I might use it! Political progress, diversity among minorities — it’s always rooted in colonial days. For us, [the English language] is another way to learn [about] each other, because some minorities don’t even have their own characters in their own language — they just use English characters to spell phonetically.”

And the prevalence of English can be a boon to translators, too: often English translations are used as bridges between two languages. Thida, for instance, plans to translate work by French Nobel Prize winner Claude Simon into Burmese, via English translations. As the president of PEN Myanmar, she’s also looking to promote Burmese writing abroad at a time when in her home country, there’s still a climate of fear among authors and declining interest in fiction; outside, there isn’t an established market. What she needs to find right now, more than anything, are a few good translators. She has, she says, “not very brilliant hope — but there is a hope.”

***

Mike Doherty is a frequent contributor to these pages.
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Public Assistance Eligibility App Launches Food Stamp Offerings in Spanish

Public Assistance Eligibility App Launches Food Stamp Offerings in Spanish | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Spanish Speakers Can Now Easily Pre-screen Food Stamp Eligibility
CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)—December 19, 2014. On the heels of President Obama’s executive order on immigration, mRelief, an app that helps Chicagoans determine their eligibility for government benefits -- and local community resources through Purple Binder -- has launched mRelief español. The web application’s latest version provides a custom Spanish translation of the site and the food stamps eligibility screener.



Census Data shows that out of the people who “speak English less than very well” in Chicago, 62 percent are Hispanics according to analysis in the Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project. The Chicago metropolitan area is home to the 5th largest Latino population in the US at 1.9 million. Further, Hispanics -- both foreign born and native -- have the lowest Median Annual Personal Earnings in the city at $29,600. “As income is a primary indicator of food stamps eligibility, empowering Hispanics about their eligibility for benefits is critical,” said Rose Afriyie project manager of mRelief. 

Through mRelief’s partnership with LAF (Legal Assistance Foundation), the team behind mRelief first started integrating Spanish by providing users who qualified for food stamps, rental assistance, and other programs with information about when Spanish was spoken at community service centers. Now, the vibrant open source community has helped them expand their reach. 

mRelief is a success story of the Open Government Hack Night at 1871. mRelief reaped the benefits of being an open source application when the all-woman team connected one Tuesday night with Spanish translator Rene M. Paccha. As the application progressed, Paccha, who is also a ruby developer followed the updates on Github. Making use of the open source translation tool R81N, created by developer Andrey Sitnik, Paccha completed translation for tabs on the main website, the food stamps screener, and all food stamps response pages. Manuela Sifuentes, startup founder of Malinalli Language Consultants, also contributed to the Spanish translation. 

“I have found that machine translations tend to make things more confusing,” said Paccha about his decision to pitch in and manually translate key pages on the web application. Paccha who is a native Spanish speaker of Chilean and Ecuadorian descent and formally taught continued, “I wanted to correct for that mistake by using my trade as a translator to do something for my community.”

The web application is currently awaiting decisions from grantmakers that would help finance the translation of the remaining 11 web programs and the 4 programs on SMS. Supporters can donate to mRelief at bit.ly/mrelief-form.

Source: www.mrelief.com
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Xi's speeches on reform published in foreign languages

BEIJING, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- The book on selected remarks by President Xi Jinping on deepening Chinese reforms has been published in six foreign languages.

The book is now available in English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Russian and Arabic languages, according to an announcement by publisher Foreign Languages Press on Thursday.

The book, divided into 12 sections, collects Xi's comments from more than 70 speeches, written instructions and comments between Nov. 15, 2012 and April 1, 2014.

The Chinese version was published in May.

Another book gathering Xi's important remarks organized by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee has sold more than 15 million copies to date.

The publishers announced total sales have reached 15.11 million, including 95,000 copies in ethnic minority languages.

Source:English.news.cn
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Xi's speeches on reform published in foreign languages - Headlines, features, photo and videos from ecns.cn|china|news|chinanews|ecns|cns

Xi's speeches on reform published in foreign languages - Headlines, features, photo and videos from ecns.cn|china|news|chinanews|ecns|cns | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
The book on selected remarks by President Xi Jinping on deepening Chinese reforms has been published in six foreign languages.

The book is now available in English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Russian and Arabic languages, according to an announcement by publisher Foreign Languages Press on Thursday.

The book, divided into 12 sections, collects Xi's comments from more than 70 speeches, written instructions and comments between Nov. 15, 2012 and April 1, 2014.

The Chinese version was published in May.

Another book gathering Xi's important remarks organized by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee has sold more than 15 million copies to date.

The publishers announced total sales have reached 15.11 million, including 95,000 copies in ethnic minority languages.
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NI firms 'need more language skills'

NI firms 'need more language skills' | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
800 international companies have bases in Northern Ireland
The University of Ulster says a serious shortage of language graduates is forcing international companies with bases in Northern Ireland to look abroad for employees

The fact that languages are no longer compulsory at GCSE has led to the problem, says the university's head of modern languages Dr David Barr.

Around 800 global firms have bases in Belfast, employing about 75,000 people.

But Dr Barr says there's now a shortage of supply to meet the demand.
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MassAHEC Network, Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing collaborating on new program for sign language interpreters

MassAHEC Network, Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing collaborating on new program for sign language interpreters | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
The rising demand for American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters who have the proficiency and comfort to perform in a health care setting led to the development of a new training program offered by UMass Medical School, MassHealth, and the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

The 16-hour program, An Introduction to Medical Interpreting, debuted this fall and will be offered again next spring. The program teaches American Sign Language interpreters with little to no medical training how to work with medical terminology, clinical procedures and ethical issues in health care settings.

“The demand for ASL interpreters with extensive knowledge of health care situations is higher than the commission can supply,” said Lisa Morris, MS, director of Cross-Cultural Initiatives at UMass Medical School’s Massachusetts Area Health Education Center (MassAHEC) Network. MassAHEC is a unit within the Commonwealth Medicine division.

Finding a doctor who uses communication supports such as ASL interpreters, CART reporters and other aids was reported as a big problem by more than 50 percent of those who responded to a health needs assessment of people with disabilities in Massachusetts. The assessment, the results of which were released in April, wasconducted by researchers at UMass Medical School’s Disability, Health and Employment Unit and the Health and Disability Program at the state Department of Public Health.

The idea for the new training program was conceived about two years ago after the commission received complaints that interpretations for deaf patients weren’t consistently accurate, and that many interpreters themselves felt unqualified to accept medical assignments, Morris said. Some sign language symbols, for example, don’t mean the same thing when taken literally. For example, the trunk of the body needs to be interpreted differently from the trunk of a car. If the interpreter doesn’t question the information, “you may not get the appropriate interpretation,” Morris said.

The new program comprises four components of training. ASL interpreters receive an overview of the office visit that explains how health care providers diagnose and treat patients; are trained in legal and ethical issues; are introduced to typical medical terms; and learn how to handle stressful incidents. Sections of the class were also co-taught by two native American Sign Language experts so that terminology that is difficult to visually interpret could be explored.

“We received overwhelmingly positive reviews from the interpreters who attended the training. We will do a follow-up assessment in three to four months to see how they are using what they learned in the field. We plan to collaborate with MassAHEC to repeat the course and to develop new ones, including an intensive training in behavioral health,” said Tricia Ford, deputy commissioner for Programs and Policy for the commission. “We will collaborate with MassAHEC to invite ASL interpreters to their annual medical interpreter conference, Paving the Way, on June 19. This will continue to increase the health care knowledge of ASL interpreters.”

MassAHEC has run a statewide training program for speaking medical interpreters in partnership with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services for the past 15 years. Fundamentals of Medical Interpreting is a 60-hour course offered at six regional MassAHEC offices in the fall and spring, and occasionally summer. It is geared to staff at health care facilities that serve patients enrolled in MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid program. 
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Disney-Pixar to translate Finding Nemo into Navajo

Disney-Pixar to translate Finding Nemo into Navajo | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Hollywood is paying a tribute of sorts to the largest American Indian-speaking population in the United States by translating the wildly popular children’s film Finding Nemo into Navajo. Advocates of the tribal language say it is slowly dying, and that the move by Disney-Pixar could help it find a new generation of speakers by reaching out directly to children. Marilyn Reeves, a Navajo grandmothe from Albuquerque, said her two grandchildren already watch the 2003 movie about the loveable clownfish every day. “I think translating it will give them a chance to catch on to Navajo faster because they can see how it is used,” she said.
Reeves said her family occasionally speaks Navajo at home, in part because she can see that each generation uses it less as children grow up and leave the reservation. “This translation helps legitimize our language,” she said. The Navajo Finding Nemo will be released next spring, and will be the second movie translated into the language after Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope was translated in 2013. “After dubbing Star Wars in Navajo and seeing the audience’s reaction, I knew we needed to do more for the kids,” said Manuelito Wheeler, director of the Navajo Nation Museum in a statement. “This movie is a true classic and we will work hard to uphold the Disney and Pixar standard while giving our Navajo kids an engaging and imaginative way to learn their language,” said Wheeler.
Navajo is a language that often employs a description of what the word does to relay its meaning. Therefore, a single English word can require several words in Navajo.
Tribal member Anita Yazzie said she was amused by how much the dialogue was changed in last year’s Star Wars translation. “It made me laugh, hearing R2D2 speak Navajo,” said Yazzie, adding, “Sometimes it made it hard to follow the movie.”
The most famous exponents of the Navajo language were the 29 “code talkers” who developed an unbreakable cipher based on their language that helped Allied forces win World War Two.
The Navajo are not the only American Indian tribe to have a feature film translated into their language. In the mid-1990s, Disney translated another animated classic, Bambi, into Arapaho.
U.S. Census data shows there are 286,000 Navajo living off and on the sprawling reservation in Arizona and New Mexico.
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Minuum Keyboard makes it easier to be a bilingual user with multiple-language support

Minuum Keyboard makes it easier to be a bilingual user with multiple-language support | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Bilingual kids, I know how it is: You’re trying to text your mom in both English and her native language, but the keyboard app you’ve got installed can’t recognize the word you’re typing out. What's worse: It'll start auto-correcting to something completely different, which makes typing in other languages an exasperating experience.

Minuum Keyboard’s latest update can alleviate some of this annoyance with a new feature that lets you install more than one language pack at a time, and use both in tandem. For instance, if you tend to throw around Spanish slang words, you won’t have to suffer through auto-correct attempts to decipher what you’re typing.


Minuum's Settings panel.

Thus far, Minuum supports only the following languages: English, German, Russian, Italian, French, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Polish, and Brazilian Portuguese. Because Minuum doesn't support Romanian, my family's native language, I tried the feature with my limited Spanish.


Minuum's language packs are easy to install. The hard part is still getting a hang of Minuum.

The app cherry-picks words from both the Spanish and English dictionaries as you type, and it inserts special characters, too. You don’t have to switch language packs actively, either, though you can force the app to default to another dictionary by long-pressing the spacebar.

Why this matters: Android is a global operating system, used by many who speak more than one language. Switching between languages in apps like Google Keyboard has always been a hassle. My mom and I text in Romanian slang, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just given up on typing out jokes or other references because the app would default to an English word I wasn't trying to use. It's even worse with voice dictation. 

You can tweet a request to add another language via the developers' website. Maybe if enough of us ask for Romanian, they’ll finally come through. 



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Alakhbar | Mariem Derwich : «La langue française est presque clandestine en Mauritanie»

Alakhbar | Mariem Derwich : «La langue française est presque clandestine en Mauritanie» | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
ALAKHBAR (Nouakchott)-La chroniqueuse et poétesse franco-mauritanienne Mariem Derwich a regretté que le Français soit en "perte de vitesse en Mauritanie" à point qu’il est devenu "une langue presque clandestine".

La littérature mauritanienne souffre de cette situation selon Mariem Derwich qui était interrogée par Alakhbar à l’occasion de la 5e édition du festival littéraire Traversée Mauritanides. « Écrire ou intervenir en Français nous (écrivains) coupe automatiquement d’une grosse majorité de la population mauritanienne.  Et puis nous sommes inaudibles; les arabisants ne nous lisent pas mais nous ne lisons pas aussi les arabisants, parce qu’il n’y a pas de traduction des œuvres.»
 
«J’essaye d’être optimiste. On n’a eu de très grands auteurs francophones depuis les tous premiers comme Ousmane Moussa Diagana qui ne sont pas enseignés dans les écoles et d’autres auteurs modernes comme Djibril Zakaria Sall. Malheureusement la langue française est en perte de vitesse, c’est une question d’histoire et d’idéologie: comment en tant que Mauritaniens nous nous percevons dans le monde ? Dans quelle langue peut-on être aujourd’hui Mauritanien?»
 
« C’est vrai, le Français est la langue du colon. Mais elle fait maintenant partie de notre histoire autant que l’Arabe est aussi une langue des colonisateurs  Baní Hassan qui sont venus en Mauritanie au 15e et 16e siècle (...) Le Français est aujourd’hui une langue africaine elle n’appartient plus à la France et aux Français elle fait partie de l’histoire africaine et nous sommes en train de créer nous une nouvelle langue française qui nous est spécifiquement propre», a-t-elle précisé. 
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Interpreter Speaks for Muslims in Maine: A Day's Work

Interpreter Speaks for Muslims in Maine: A Day's Work | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Qamar Ahmed, a 31-year-old professional interpreter in Portland, Maine, talks about her job assisting Arabic-speaking refuges who moved to the region to escape their war-torn countries. Interpreters are one of the fastest-growing jobs in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Bloomberg's Tom Moroney profiles Ahmed's pursuit of the American dream in the series, "A Day's Work." (Source: Bloomberg)
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The Peculiar New Words Added by Oxford Dictionaries - Translation Blog

The Peculiar New Words Added by Oxford Dictionaries - Translation Blog | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
The editors at OxfordDictionaries.com don’t want to get left behind with all the advances in the English language and so they decided to add a thousand new words to their online dictionary. It’s worth noting that here we’re referring to the popular online dictionary of Oxford University, which is not related to the highly regarded dictionary by the same name. The website The Week decided to publish an article with a list of those that were, in their opinion, the most peculiar.

Some of them are phrases that are not particularly new (for example, five-second rule) and others are quite recent (duckface, Obamacare). And though the list involves words that are beginning to take hold in Great Britain and Australia, it just may happen that they arrive on U.S. shores.

The list is as follows:

AL DESKO
Just like “al fresco” means eating outdoors, al desko is to eat at one’s desk. That’s pretty common these days: your hand on the fork and your eyes on the monitor.

MAHOOSIVE
This means a level above “massive,” similar to “descomunal” in Spanish.

MAMIL
This means “middle aged man in Lycra” and refers to the current obsession with cycling. It’s easy to recognize a MAMIL in their natural habitat. Their bike is expensive and their outfit is more professional than it need be.

MARMITE
Marmite is an English edible spread that tastes a bit like yeast and is a little salty. People either love it or they hate it. And that’s why it is now used to condense into just one word “something that tends to provoke strongly positive or negative reactions, rather than indifference.”

SHINY BUM
It speaks for itself. It is an Australian term for office workers or bureaucrats. How the term came about doesn’t require much explaining.

STICKER LICKER
This is the way Australians refer to officials who issue traffic tickets.

THE ANT’S PANTS
It can be used as a joking take on “the bee’s knees,” a somewhat outdated expression to mean that someone is cool.

TIKI-TAKA
In South America it’s known as Tiki-tiki. A soccer term referring to a specific style of play.

TOMOZ
Abbreviated form of “Tomorrow,” to help one save on ink.

Tagged with: al desko mahoosive mamil marmite Oxford shiny bum sticker licker the ant's pants tiki-taka tomoz
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'How are you?' 'Bien' - Skype Translator opens up language barriers

'How are you?' 'Bien' - Skype Translator opens up language barriers | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Washington-based Microsoft has released a preview of Skype Translator
It lets people of different languages talk to each other on video calls
The software translates one language into text and speech of another
For now only Spanish and English are available - and you need to have a Windows 8.1 device
But eventually more than 40 languages will be supported - including even Klingon from Star Trek
By JONATHAN O'CALLAGHAN FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 11:38 GMT, 19 December 2014 | UPDATED: 13:05 GMT, 19 December 2014


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A world where there are no more language barriers might not be too far away - online, at least.

Skype has now released the beta version of its live translation tool, allowing people to speak to others in another language - even if they don’t know what they’re saying.

The tool translates speech instantly, providing both text and spoken translations.

Scroll down for videos 


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Washington-based Microsoft has released a preview of Skype Translator (shown). It lets people of different languages talk to each other on video calls. The software translates one language into text and speech of another. For now only Spanish and English are available - and you need to have a Windows 8.1 device

You can sign up for the beta version of Skype Translator now on their website.

For now the public version is only able to translate between English and Spanish - and you need a Windows 8.1 device to use it.

But it will eventually have more than 40 languages available letting people of many countries speak to one another with ease.

There's no news yet, though, on when the full version will be available. 
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Instant translation – no longer sci-fi

Instant translation – no longer sci-fi | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Testing Skype's real-time translator
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The idea that you could speak into a device in one language and it would emerge in another has long been a sci-fi fantasy. But this week that kind of automated translation came a step closer to reality when Skype launched the beta version of its Translator service.

For now it's an invitation-only trial and the only languages that it can handle are English and Spanish. I tried it out, talking to Maria Romero Garcia, a Spanish professor in Seville, who works with Skype.

What I found is that you have to use a good quality microphone and speak clearly in full sentences without pauses - otherwise the machine translation will kick in and interrupt you.

But the results were not bad at all. I asked Maria what she had been up to that morning. She replied in Spanish: "Esta manana ha estado trabajando un poco poco y concertando citas para ver a mis amigos esta tarde."

That came out in English as this: "This morning has been working a little bit and arranging appointments to see my friends this afternoon."

The technology does struggle at times - when Maria's cat wandered in front of the camera I asked what it was called and Translator decided I'd asked whether it was cold.

But there is a lot going on here, as Vikram Dendi, Microsoft's lead engineer on the project, explained on the line from the US. Live translation involves speech synthesis, voice recognition and machine translation - "each technology on its own is pretty complex, putting them together is a very difficult problem."

As someone who studied languages at university, spending many hours toiling my way through translation - and seeing friends go into the interpreting profession - I could see that teaching a computer a language was a huge challenge.

But it seems it is not a question of getting the machine to learn like a human. "It's not like someone who goes to school and learns a language by learning the rules," Vikram explains. "Computers use a different approach. They take large amounts of parallel texts - high-quality translated texts - and then use that text to build a probability base language model."

Computers, then, are living off the work of human linguists, scouring the web for examples of translated text. If this blogpost is translated into other languages, for instance, it could help feed translation engines of the future. That means the poor old human translators are helping to build the robots that could take their jobs, doesn't it?


Vikram Dendi says that is much too pessimistic a view - he believes that the explosion in internet use by people whose first language is not English will lead to a surge in demand for translation. "This will increase the amount of translation that will happen in the world - a portion of that will be done by technology and a portion by technology in conjunction with human translators."

In any case, Skype's Translator and its rivals have some way to go before they can match the abilities of a skilled human linguist. You would not want them involved in vital negotiations between world leaders for example. But over the next decade, you can expect to chat to friends whose language you don't share without stopping to flick through a dictionary.
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NEW YORK: UK translation experts thebigword benefit from US-Cuba deal | Business Wire | Rock Hill Herald Online

NEW YORK: UK translation experts thebigword benefit from US-Cuba deal | Business Wire | Rock Hill Herald Online | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
NEW YORK — The restoration of diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba has led to a surge in demand for translation services from New York-based thebigword.

Within hours of President Obama’s dramatic announcement in Washington — seconded by Cuban President Raul Castro in Havana – thebigword received a deluge of requests from international businesses for Cuban translation services.

The highest level of demand came from US-based technology firms located in Silicon Valley, which are keen to tap into the Cuban market.

It has been predicted that the trade embargo has cost the US economy $1.1 billion a year.

Josh Gould, Chief Commercial Officer at thebigword said:

“Businesses ar
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S. Amadori, Yves Bonnefoy. Père et fils de son Shakespeare

S. Amadori, Yves Bonnefoy. Père et fils de son Shakespeare 
 
Information publiée le 18 décembre 2014 par Matthieu Vernet(source : Deborah Boltz)

Sara Amadori, Yves Bonnefoy. Père et fils de son Shakespeare

Paris : Hermann, coll. "Savoir Lettres", 2015.

EAN 9782705689261

370 p.

35EUR

Présentation :

Dans l’univers protéiforme de l’œuvre d’Yves Bonnefoy, le dialogue poétique avec Shakespeare joue un rôle essentiel. C’est un échange continu, ponctué d’une riche activité traduisante, que Bonnefoy conçoit comme un acte de poésie à part entière, une quête du vrai qui demande de s’ouvrir à la vérité de l’Autre et qui est en même temps l’occasion de féconder le texte traduit. Créateur de "son" Shakespeare, Bonnefoy en est aussi le disciple, car c’est au contact de la pensée poétique et philosophique du grand auteur élisabéthain que mûrit son art poétique. Ainsi, parler de l’expérience traduisante du poète français signifie parler de la destinée de deux œuvres, du rapport entre le Propre et l’Étranger, de la voix du Je s’accordant avec celle de l’Autre pour « cherche[r] ensemble, en avant, dans une présence du monde qui se ranime ».

L'auteur :

Sara Amadori est post-doctorante au département d’interprétation et de traduction de l’université de Bologne (campus de Forlì). Elle est l’auteure de plusieurs études consacrées à la traduction poétique. Elle enseigne la traduction entre le français et l'italien à l’université de Bologne.

Responsable : Deborah Boltz
Adresse : Hermann, 6 rue Labrouste 75015 Paris
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Nécrologie : Adieu monsieur l’abbé Emmanuel DOUAMBA - leFaso.net, l'actualité au Burkina Faso

Nécrologie : Adieu monsieur l’abbé Emmanuel DOUAMBA - leFaso.net, l'actualité au Burkina Faso | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Monsieur l’abbé Emmanuel DOUAMBA, qui a servi le Christ comme prêtre pendant 62 ans, a connu un ministère sacerdotal fructueux, particulièrement exercé dans la traduction de la Bible en langue Moore. Cet ancien pensionnaire de l’institut catholique de Lyon, de l’école missionnaire d’action sociale de Lille, ainsi que de la Sorbonne à Paris, a passé le plus clair de sa vie sacerdotale, à rendre accessible la parole de Dieu aux auditeurs et aux lecteurs de la langue Moore. Si pour certains textes de la Bible, il n’a joué que le rôle de metteur à jour des traductions précédemment réalisées par les missionnaires occidentaux, pour la plupart des autres livres de la Bible, il en est le traducteur direct. Une œuvre intégrale, accomplie avec maestria selon les témoignages des uns et des autres, dont les éloges ont crépité à l’endroit de celui qui a su imiter le Christ jusque dans son dépouillement matériel.

Ce fou du Christ, a aiguisé sa vocation de traducteur de l’Ancien et du Nouveau Testament dans la langue Moore, en étant d’abord formateur au centre linguistique de Guilongou. Il a ainsi permis, à de nombreux Pères Blancs de s’initier à la langue Moore, avant de sillonner le moogo pour répandre la Bonne Nouvelle du Christ. « Ce génie des langues et surtout de sa langue maternelle le Moore », comme le qualifiait le Père RANZINI qu’il a enseigné à Guilongou, aura rappelé à tous les chrétiens que « l’histoire sacrée de notre vie, trouve sa beauté dans la manière dont chacun l’écrit » selon les mots de l’abbé Gabriel NIKIEMA, prédicateur à la messe d’enterrement. L’ancien curé de la paroisse de Manga et de celle de Pô, fin pratiquant de la rhétorique, grâce à qui l’on peut arguer avec justesse que « Dieu nous parle en Moore », était également amoureux du parler en parabole. Dans cet art qu’il affectionnait et à la suite du grand prêtre Jésus-Christ, il a enseigné que la différence entre les hommes, les appelle à se compléter. Pour la cause de l’évangile, celui dont la note de testament tient en une phrase, n’a rien économisé de son avoir et de son être, lui qui au travers des longs temps passés à scruter les écritures en vue de leur donner la traduction la plus juste, aura usé ses yeux et ses méninges.

A la fin de la messe des obsèques, le délégué de la fraternité sacerdotale nationale, monsieur l’abbé André TOE, a rendu homme au doyen des 132 prêtres de l’archidiocèse de Ouagadougou, en relevant son courage, sa discrétion, sa simplicité que n’a jamais trahis sa grande intelligence. Le cardinal dans son dernier adieu à cet ancien élève de la 8è promotion du petit séminaire, a conclu les discours en ces termes : « Au delà des limites humaines, il a généreusement donné sa part de construction de notre Eglise Famille de Dieu à Ouagadougou et au Burkina Faso ; il a contribué à nous faire connaître, aimer et ressembler davantage à Jésus ». Requiescat in pace, humble prêtre de Jésus-Christ.

Abbé Joseph KINDA
www.egliseduburkina.org
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Job offer Chargé de projets linguistique - La Marque Rose (December 2014)

Job offer Chargé de projets linguistique - La Marque Rose (December 2014) | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
18 Dec 2014 : La Marque Rose hires Chargé de projets linguistique in Paris (75017). Nous vous proposons, rattaché au responsable du département localisation de jeux vidéo, un CDD de 8 mois au sein du pôle de coordination linguistique.
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Termes médicaux : Google traduction souvent « lost in translation »

Royaume-Uni — Peut-on utiliser Google Traduction à l’hôpital ou au cabinet médical pour expliquer des termes médicaux à un patient qui ne parle pas la langue des soignants ? Deux chercheurs anglais ont fait le test. Avec un taux de précision de 58%, il en ressort que la confiance que l’on peut avoir en ce traducteur électronique est toute relative [1]. Une attention particulière doit être portée à la traduction vers une langue rare (non européenne) et sur des sujets délicats (question de vie ou de mort, procédures légales) où un traducteur « humain » sera préféré.

Mots médicaux : communiquer avec un étranger reste un challenge

Comme chaque année, le BMJ nous livre son lot d’articles décalés dans son édition de Noël. Celui proposé par les anglais Sumant Patil et Patrick Davies n’est pas sans intérêt car il s’intéresse au langage et plus spécifiquement aux mots et aux expressions du domaine médical. Comme le précisent les auteurs, la communication dans le domaine médical est essentielle et, selon les bonnes pratiques, « le médecin doit écouter attentivement son patient, prendre en compte son point de vue et répondre honnêtement à ses questions ». Déjà pas évident quand les différents interlocuteurs parlent la même langue, mais on imagine quand le patient ne maitrise pas le langage du pays où il est soigné !

« Au Royaume-Uni, la plupart des hôpitaux disposent de services de traducteurs, mais c’est cher et contraignant. De fait, discuter d’un sujet médical, éthique et thérapeutique complexe avec les nuances que cela suppose avec un patient dont les connaissances de la langue sont limitées reste un challenge. » Et l’auteur de citer, l’exemple d’un enfant du service, très malade, et dont les parents ne parlaient pas anglais, qui l’a conduit à se rabattre sur Google traduction pour expliquer la situation. Le personnel médical a dû faire confiance au traducteur électronique en espérant que le logiciel rendrait compte fidèlement de leurs explications médicales complexes. L’enfant a fort heureusement retrouvé la santé et les soignants se sont assurés par la suite, grâce à un traducteur « humain », que les explications avaient bien été comprises par la famille. Cette histoire a donné l’idée aux auteurs de se pencher sur l’adéquation des traductions de « Google translate » pour les termes médicaux.

10 phrases en 26 langues

Pour ce faire, les auteurs se sont mis d’accord sur 10 phrases prononcées couramment dans le milieu médical et les ont passées à la moulinette de Google Trad pour 26 langues différentes (8 langues d’Europe de l’Ouest, 5 langues d’Europe de l’Est, 11 langues asiatiques et 2 langues africaines). Chacune des phrases traduites a ensuite été envoyée à un locuteur natif pour chacune des langues en lui demandant sa retraduction en anglais. Ces dernières versions ont ensuite été comparées aux phrases originales. Si le sens initial était absent ou incorrect, les phrases étaient considérées comme fausses, de petites erreurs grammaticales étaient en revanche tolérées.

L’étude porte sur 260 traductions (10 phrases médicales traduites en 26 langues). Après analyse, 150 d’entre elles (57,7%) ont été considérées comme correctes et 110 fausses. Les langues africaines ont conduit au taux d’erreurs le plus élevé (55 %), suivies par les langues asiatiques (54%), les langues d’Europe de l’Est (38%), les langues d’Europe de l’Ouest ayant été les plus précises avec seulement 26% d’erreurs. La phrase qui a été la plus correctement traduite dans les différentes langues était « Your husband has the opportunity to donate his organs »* (88,5%) alors que « Your child has been fitting » n’a été correctement traduite que dans 7,7% des cas. Le Swahili a conduit aux plus mauvais résultats (10% d’adéquation), et le portugais aux meilleurs (90%).

En termes d’erreurs, les auteurs rapportent de sérieux « misfits », allant du contresens total : « your child is fitting » est traduit en Swahili par « Your child is dead » à des choses plus drôles, voire poétiques. En polonais, «Your husband has the opportunity to donate his organs» a été traduit par «Your husband can donate his tools. » En Marathi «Your husband had a cardiac arrest» a donné «Your husband had an imprisonment of heart» et en Bengali «Your wife needs to be ventilated» a été traduit par «Your wife wind movement needed. »

Google traduction : en dernier recours et pas pour des informations subtiles et essentielles

Conclusion des auteurs : même si Google traduction est un outil de traduction bien pratique (et gratuit) avec ses 80 possibilités de traduction, difficile de lui faire confiance quand il s’agit de termes médicaux, sous peine de tomber dans de l’approximatif, du contresens (aux conséquences parfois terribles comme avec le Swahili), voire un charabia totalement incompréhensible.

Comme le disent avec humour les auteurs anglais, le « just google it » qui laisse penser que l’on peut tout simplifier à outrance ne vaut pas pour le domaine médical. Pour les procédures les plus délicates, celles impliquant un consentement (avant chirurgie, par exemple), le traducteur de Google ne devrait, selon eux, être utilisé qu’avec beaucoup de précautions, quand toutes les autres solutions ont été épuisées, autrement dit en dernière ligne.

* Pour que le lecteur ne soit pas totalement « lost in translation », les phrases choisies ont été conservées dans la langue originale de l’article, soit l’anglais, mais pourront être traduite par tout un chacun dans Google traduction.

What about France ?

« En France, l'AP-HP met à la disposition des médecins sur le site intranet un lexique dans pas mal de langues qui permet de faire un interrogatoire sommaire en montrant aux patients la question écrite en français et la ligne dans leur langue, explique le Dr Isabelle Catala, collaboratrice pour Medscape France et par ailleurs urgentiste à l’hôpital Foch (Suresnes). Dans la plupart des hôpitaux de grande taille (plus de 500 lits), ce type d'outil est disponible auprès des ressources humaines. Sur les sites intranet des établissements, il y a aussi ce que l'on appelle les ressources internes, c'est-à-dire un répertoire précisant quelles langues sont parlées par les agents hospitaliers (par exemple, une manipulatrice radio qui parle roumain). Parfois, on fait appel à un proche traducteur que l'on garde pour l'interrogatoire et parfois pour l'examen clinique (au minimum par téléphone). Quant à Google traduction, dans mon service, on l’utilise surtout pour poser des questions en chinois. »

Pour ce qui est des médicaments, « on se fie à la DCI, un système qui fonctionne de façon quasiment universelle sauf en Chine ».

« A Paris, les langues les plus traduites dépendent aussi des spécialités : chinois et japonais en psychiatrie (syndrome de la jeune fille en formation à Paris qui décompense), chinois en traumatologie (l’entorse du touriste), mais aussi le polonais et le tamoul aux Urgences, ou encore l’arabe et le portugais. En province, les langues
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Skype Translator Cracks Language Barrier

Skype Translator Cracks Language Barrier | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Programming book reviews, programming tutorials,programming news, C#, Ruby, Python,C, C++, PHP, Visual Basic, Computer book reviews, computer history, programming history, joomla, theory, spreadsheets and more.
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News Wales > Education > Research in Welsh and Modern Languages put Cardiff in top place in UK

News Wales > Education > Research in Welsh and Modern Languages put Cardiff in top place in UK | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Cardiff’s University's commitment to advancing language research has been recognised for its outstanding quality and has achieved top marks for its impact in the Research Excellence Framework (REF), a national exercise that assesses the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

The REF 2014 results published today (18 December) reveal that research by the School of Modern Languages and the School of Welsh in the Modern Languages and Linguistics unit of assessment is ranked 7th in the UK for research quality with 100 per cent of the research submitted achieving the highest possible 4* rating for impact, demonstrating outstanding reach and significance.

This places Cardiff first in the UK for the impact of its research in this area. Additionally, the quality of the research submitted is above the sector average with a GPA (grade point average) score of 3.21 and 84 per cent of the research rated as world-leading and internationally excellent, achieving top 4* and 3* rankings.

Research at the School of Welsh combines Welsh literature and language with a clear focus on policy application. The REF results confirm the School’s position as a top destination for Welsh and Celtic studies in the UK.

Among the research recognised to have had field-leading impact according to the REF assessors was Professor Sioned Davies’ acclaimed translation of the mythical Mabinogion into English. Her detailed re-examination of the text has enabled modern audiences to understand how it would have been performed and understood by medieval listeners, leading to a revival of the practice of telling the Mabinogion by contemporary storytellers.

In addition, the translation has been used to develop tourism trails such as the Twrch Trwyth Trail and a Mabinogion web portal and mobile app is being created to guide users to designated Mabinogion sites

.Professor Davies, Chair of Welsh and Head of School, said: "These results demonstrate that Welsh at Cardiff is a discipline that is flourishing and producing cutting-edge research in areas that have long been at the heart of the discipline as well as opening up fresh areas of activity at the highest level. Our impact on the Mabinogion and on Welsh language policy and planning demonstrates that clearly."

Research at the School of Modern Languages is multidisciplinary and encompasses fields such as critical theory and philosophy, cultural memory and conflict, film, adaptation and translation studies and disability studies. Research is global in reach and ranges from the literature and visual cultures of the Hispanic-speaking world to European popular culture and graphic novels and the role of translation in contemporary theatre and story-telling.

Researchers at the School work with organisations, such as the Imperial War Museum, Literature Wales, and international cultural and media programming organisations in order to inform and shape exhibitions, campaigns and media activity.

Head of School, Professor Claire Gorrara, said: "We are the only School of Modern Languages in the UK to be launched in recent years, demonstrating the University’s commitment to teaching, scholarship and research in modern languages. We are absolutely delighted with these exceptional REF results which reflect the vibrant and innovative research community within the School and its ambitions and aspirations for future development."

Picture right shows part of the Twrc hTrwyth Trail.
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If ‘Selfie’ Was The Word Of The Year In 2013, Selfie Stick Is Top Christmas Gift In 2014

If ‘Selfie’ Was The Word Of The Year In 2013, Selfie Stick Is Top Christmas Gift In 2014 | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
It's not really a very high-tech product, but the selfie stick is tipped to become the top-selling Christmas gift of 2014 in Australia, retail experts said, beating other electronic gadgets such as fitness wristbands, cameras and game consoles.
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