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Is Google becoming a hardware company?

Is Google becoming a hardware company? | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Google CEO Eric Schmidt said at the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, an annual retreat Apple CEO Tim Cook also attended, that it was always Google's...
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Metaglossia: The Translation World
News about translation, interpreting, intercultural communication, terminology and lexicography - as it happens
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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 |

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

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New Languages re-wire Brains of All Ages

New Languages re-wire Brains of All Ages | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Learning a new language can change the function and structure of your brain network, say researchers.
“Learning and practicing something, for instance a second language, strengthens the brain,” says Ping Li, professor of psychology, linguistics, and information sciences and technology at Penn State.
“Like physical exercise, the more you use specific areas of your brain, the more it grows and gets stronger.”
Li and colleagues studied 39 native English speakers’ brains over a six-week period as half of the participants learned Chinese vocabulary. Of the subjects learning the new vocabulary, those who were more successful in attaining the information showed a more connected brain network than both the less successful participants and those who did not learn the new vocabulary.
The researchers also found that the participants who were successful learners had a more connected network than the other participants even before learning took place. A better-integrated brain network is more flexible and efficient, making the task of learning a new language easier.
Li and colleagues report their results in the Journal of Neurolinguistics.
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New One Hour Translation Global Survey: 34% of Consumers in the World's Leading Economies Buy More Online in Winter

WASHINGTON, January 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

A survey conducted by One Hour Translation in eight key world markets during the latter half of January 2015, has revealed interesting statistics about the online purchasing habits of consumers in these countries in winter (January-February in seven countries, and June-August in Australia). The survey was jointly carried out with Google Consumer Surveys based on a representative sample of 800 respondents - 100 from each of the following countries: the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan.

An average of 34% of the participants answered that they buy more online in winter than at other times of the year. The country breakdown of their responses is as follows: in Canada, 44% of respondents answered that they buy online more heavily in January and February; in second place was the UK, where 43% stated that they bought more online in winter; in the US and the Netherlands, 36% of participants responded that they purchased more online in winter; in Australia, 34% buy more in the winter months followed by, in descending order, 32% in Germany, 27% in Japan, and 23% in Italy.

An average of 46% of all participants responded that their online purchasing was steady throughout the year, as follows: 48% in the US, 42% in the UK, 53% in Australia, 29% in Canada, 55% in Italy, 47% in Germany, 41% in the Netherlands, and 56% in Japan.

An average of 15% of respondents answered that they did not buy more online in winter than at other times of the year, as follows: 13% in the USA, the UK and Japan, 10% in Australia, 17% in Canada, 12% in Italy, 19% in Germany, and 20% in the Netherlands.

Only 5% of all participants said that they did not purchase online at all: 3% of participants in the US, Australia, and the Netherlands, just 2% in the UK and Germany, 10% in Canada and Italy, and 4% in Japan.

The survey results follow the results of a One Hour Translation survey completed in the fourth quarter of 2014 with 2,000 participants from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Japan and French-speaking Canadians. According to that survey, 83% of Italians prefer to buy goods and services online in their native language, compared with 80% of Germans, 65% of the Dutch, 74% of French-speaking Canadians, and no less than 90% of Japanese people.

"The results of our new survey are extremely clear: companies selling online are well advised to concentrate their efforts in increasing online sales in the first quarter of the year, immediately after the Christmas period," said Ofer Shoshan, Co-Founder and CEO of One Hour Translation. "As the world's largest online translation agency, One Hour Translation is well-equipped to advise customers on this issue and to help them increase their online sales in the peak-demand winter period, as well as at other times of year."

About One Hour Translation:

One Hour Translation is the world's largest global online translation agency, offering professional translation services to thousands of business customers worldwide, 24/7/365 - thanks to a community of over 15,000 certified translators. One Hour Translation provides translation services for 75 languages - a translation process supported by robust technology to assure top quality and speed. One Hour Translation also provides email translation services, professional human translation API, CMS translation plug-ins, e-commerce, Website Translation (WeST) and more.

For further details:
Yaron Kaufman
One Hour Translation

SOURCE One Hour Translation
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Google ne vous proposera plus de traductions homophobes

Google ne vous proposera plus de traductions homophobes | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
TECHNO - Les utilisateurs de Google Traduction qui taperont le mot "gay" dans cet outil ne verront plus s'afficher une flopée d'insultes homophobes parmi les résultats.

Exit les "tapette", "gouine" et "pédé". Le collectif international de défense des droits LGBT All Out s'est saisi du problème le 23 janvier dernier en lançant une pétition et a annoncé ce mardi avoir gagné son combat.

"Grâce à notre mobilisation, Google a corrigé ses codes ce vendredi pour retirer les insultes anti-gays de son outil de traduction", a fait savoir All Out dans un communiqué. Une information confirmée par un porte parole de Google.

Plus de 50.000 personnes ont signé la pétition d'All Out qui s'insurgeait contre les insultes qui apparaissaient sur un outil utilisé par plus de 500 millions d’individus chaque mois. "Cela fait du monde à qui apprendre des insultes", faisait remarquer l'association.

Les traductions homophobes ne concernaient pas seulement les traductions de l'anglais vers le français mais la majorité des langues de ce service de traduction. All Out prenait pour exemple les résultats d'une recherche de l'espagnol à l'anglais avec différents termes homophobes comme "Queen" ou "Faggot" dans les résultats.

"Dès que nous avons su, nous avons tout mis en œuvre pour corriger le problème. Nous présentons nos excuses à toutes celles et ceux qui se sont sentis offensés par cette erreur", s'est excusé Google quelques jours après avoir dévoilé sa nouvelle application de traduction.

L'entreprise américaine a par ailleurs précisé que ces insultes apparaissaient "automatiquement" dans son outil de traduction.

Google Traduction repose en effet sur une méthode de traduction automatique et statistique, ce qui signifie que l'outil s'appuie sur des traductions qui existent déjà en ligne et propose les équivalences les plus récurrentes parmi ses résultats.

Ca n'est pas la première fois que des associations font évoluer les outils de Google. Depuis 2012 et son accord avec plusieurs associations antiracistes françaises, Google ne propose plus le terme "juif" lorsque l'on tape le nom d'une personnalité dans son moteur de recherche.
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MHP leader harshly criticizes PM for remarks on Kurdish language

Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has harshly criticized Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who said on Sunday he wants to learn the Kurdish language while speaking in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
Speaking during his party's parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, Bahçeli said that it is political murder to pit the Kurdish language against the Turkish national language. “Putting the Kurdish language in the same equation with the Turkish language is a state of degeneration that rarely is seen.”
Addressing a cheering crowd at a congress of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in Diyarbakır, Davutoğlu said: “We came here to make our beautiful Turkish [language] a sister to our beautiful Kurdish.” Davutoğlu also told the crowd “your existence is our existence” in Kurdish. “God willing, if I can find the time, I want to learn our beautiful Kurdish like our beautiful Turkish.”
Noting that those who fought against the radical Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Kobani on the Turkish border are the same as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the MHP leader said a greeting to Kobani is actually a warm greeting to the PKK.
Describing Davutoğlu's attitude as a rotten stance, Bahçeli said the prime minister degraded himself to salute the PKK, which has fought against Turkey for decades.
Stating that the MHP is respectful to people who speak their mother tongue, Bahçeli added: “However, the language of the Turkish nation is Turkish. This fact will not change. It cannot be changed. No one has the power to change this.”
After almost 40 years of fighting in which around 40,000 people are estimated to have been killed, the government launched a settlement process with the PKK to resolve the country's Kurdish issue and terrorism problem.
Davutoğlu's remarks about Kobani may be seen as an attempt to gain the sympathy of Kurdish voters ahead of general elections on June 7.
Kurdish fighters ousted ISIL militants from Kobani on Monday after a four-month battle -- a significant victory for both the Kurds and the US-led coalition.
The Kurds raised their flag on a hill that once flew the ISIL group's black banner. On Kobani's war-ravaged streets, gunmen fired in the air in celebration, male and female fighters embraced, and troops danced in their baggy uniforms.
The failure to capture Kobani was a major blow to the extremists whose hopes for an easy victory dissolved into a costly siege under withering airstrikes by coalition forces and an assault by the Kurdish militia.
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Bilingual SF police officers cannot always be found when needed

Bilingual SF police officers cannot always be found when needed | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Bilingual police Officer Howard Chu, right, is one of eight certified Cantonese-speaking officers at the Central Police Station, which includes Chinatown.
When an elderly woman was fatally struck by a car in the heart of Chinatown in September, then-Supervisor David Chiu arrived to a disturbing scene.

Not only had 78-year-old Pui Fong Yim Lee been killed by a hit-and-run driver, but police were having trouble gathering any information from witnesses because no officers spoke Cantonese, the language of most neighborhood residents.

"There weren't any bilingual officers on scene," Chiu said late last year, months after the Sept. 22 incident, adding that staffers from his office rushed to find people who could translate for the Cantonese-speaking witnesses.

Despite those efforts, Chiu said, "there were many witnesses that walked away."

The absence of bilingual officers extends far beyond Chinatown and remains an issue for the entire city, advocates say, despite the Police Department's efforts to recruit and certify more bilingual cops. What's more, union seniority rules prevent the department from assigning the handful of bilingual officers it has to the appropriate stations, making incidents like the Chinatown hit-and-run more common than not.

Nearly half of The City's households do not speak English at home.

Nevertheless, the department's 217 certified bilingual officers and its phone-in translation service were touted at a recent Police Commission meeting as adequate for The City's needs.

The department's annual review of its Limited English Proficiency program Jan. 14 was upbeat about translation issues, noting that there were only 16 complaints made to the Office of Citizen Complaints and most were resolved.

Last year, of the 2,954 bilingual contacts, 2,699 were via phone, which advocates say represents only a small percentage of people who speak little to no English but need police assistance sometimes.

Paola Soto of Woman Inc., a domestic- violence recovery organization, said she often encounters domestic violence victims who needed translation services but did not receive them and never complained about it.

Non-English speakers, Soto said, are already vulnerable and isolated, and therefore more in need of the kind of official aid law enforcement can bring. Limited English speakers often have little contact with officials and come to the U.S. with a fear and distrust of cops due in part to previous experiences in their homelands. And they also might be afraid that calling police will impact their immigration status.

"Having negative interaction with police is the norm," Soto said. "If they have a bad interaction with police they may give up."

Such concerns prompted Police Commissioner Victor Hwang to worry aloud about the lack of face-to-face contacts that only bilingual officers can provide.

In a similar vain, Hwang questioned whether the department sends bilingual officers to the right stations.

"In a perfect world that would be great," Police Chief Greg Suhr said. "But we're a union Police Department with seniority rules, and officers have the option to go where they want to go."

One of eight bilingually certified Cantonese-speaking officers at Central Police Station, Howard Chu says he uses his language skills daily. But with three shifts working every day, even the eight bilingual officers aren't enough to communicate with community members at times, he said.

"If I take a day off, then there might not be a person here," Chu said about officers who speak Cantonese at his station.

Citywide, that appears to be an issue. Language demographics compared to bilingual officer assignments show a disconnect.

In San Francisco, according to a 2013 neighborhood profile from The City, 46 percent of households do not speak English at home.

In the handful of neighborhoods that make up the Central Police District — mostly Chinatown, North Beach, Nob Hill and the Financial District — on average, more than 30 percent of households do not speak English at home. In Chinatown, that number was 84 percent.

But the Central station, with only 12 officers of Chinese descent, has only 8 Cantonese- certified bilingual officers. The station's total staff stands at roughly 120 officers.

In the Mission, where 37 percent of households speak Spanish and 11 percent speak an Asian language at home, the police station only has seven Spanish-certified officers.

And in the Bayview, 49 percent of households do not speak English at home. But only two officers in the police station are certified Cantonese speakers even though more than 30 percent of the area's population is Asian.

These numbers and the mismatch of resources worry some.

Angela Chan, a former police commissioner who is currently with the Asian Law Caucus, applauded the Police Department for its bilingual efforts, but said more needs to be done.

"San Francisco's department general order on language access is one of the best in the country," she said, adding that there remain issues around assigning officers to the right stations. "It's an operational problem."

The head of an advocacy organization who spoke to the Police Commission agreed with Chan, noting that language access remains a major issue.

"As advocates, we know from directly serving the community that there are many other domestic violence survivors who have also experienced similar denials of language access," said Ana De Carolis of Mujeres Unidas, a support organization for Latino women. "We urge public-safety agencies to follow language access protocols at all times."

Incidents point out language deficiencies
A legal claim filed against San Francisco by the Asian Law Caucus last year gives credence to department critics when it comes to language-access issues.

When Mission district officers arrived to the scene of a domestic violence and sexual assault call in May, they found Dora Mejia and the father of her three children engaged in a fight. According to the claim, the father received a translator, but Mejia's meager English skills seemed sufficient enough to the officers so she was not given a translator even after asking for one.

Mejia, who was the one who reported the domestic violence, ended up being arrested because the officers mistook the defensive scratching on the father as evidence that Mejia attacked him. While she was eventually reunited with her children and the father moved out, she did have to spend a night in jail.

In September 2012, a similar incident occurred when a deaf woman called police to report being domestically abused by her partner. Tiara Ducksworth, who is deaf, was arrested instead of her partner when officers mistook defensive wounds on Darrell Daniels for signs of domestic violence. Ducksworth was not provided a sign language interpreter and police refused to take her hand written notes as explanation for what happened.

She was released the next day without any charges. ­
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Seminar on knowledge text translation in Kannada begins

Seminar on knowledge text translation in Kannada begins | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
A two-day seminar on ‘knowledge text translation in Kannada’ began today at Mangalore University with an expert expressing fears that if a language did not open up itself for translation it may face the threat of extinction.

Inaugurating the seminar Shivarama Padikkal, professor, Centre for Applied Linguistics and Translation Studies, University of Hyderabad said that if there was no translation such a language would become stagnant. “Hence there is a danger of such language dying,” he said.

Mr. Padikkal said that translation is like a window to the world. If a language did not accept translated works it may suffer from poverty of knowledge.

The professor said that a translator would have to transfer the power of the text and not mere its meaning.

National Translation Mission under the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysuru and S.V. Parmeshwara Bhatta Institute of Kannada Studies, Mangalore University have organised the seminar.
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Speech comes with responsibility - The Spokesman-Review

Speech comes with responsibility - The Spokesman-Review | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
The recent incident at the offices of Charlie Hebdo is truly a tragedy. I do strongly believe in the right to freedom of expression. However, we must remember that with great power comes great responsibility, and the ability to express oneself freely is nothing if not great power.

My junior high government teacher taught us something that has always stuck with me: You have the right to free speech, but that doesn’t mean you can yell “fire” in a crowded theater (if there is no fire). Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t always mean that you should.

The people at Charlie Hebdo knew that depictions of Muhammad were against Muslim law and that such images disrespect Islam and infuriate many Muslims. They also knew that there are extremist Muslims who will take severe measures to avenge such disrespect.

I think what some of the Charlie Hebdo staff did is analogous to poking a hornet’s nest with a stick. Everyone knows that doing that is bound to make the hornets mad. So why is anyone surprised that some people at Charlie Hebdo got stung?

Debra Miller

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Language Learning Leader Babbel Opens Offices in the United States | Business Wire

Language Learning Leader Babbel Opens Offices in the United States | Business Wire | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Babbel, the market-leading language learning app experiencing 100 percent revenue growth year-on-year, is now expanding, opening its first office in the United States. Co-Founder and President of Babbel, Inc., Thomas Holl, will head operations in New York.

“The United States holds enormous potential for Babbel, and we expect growth in the three-digit percentile in 2015 alone”

Although a large number of Americans are already learning with Babbel and account for a substantial portion of the company's total business, this “official” entrance into the U.S. market is an important step for the company, which was founded in 2007 in Berlin and sees more than 1,300 users registering per hour. Babbel’s service, the modern, inexpensive and easy way to learn 14 different languages, was recently tailored for the U.S. market and is now available with American English as a display language. Additionally, Babbel is considerably expanding its marketing efforts in the U.S. A double digit percentage of Babbel’s revenue is already coming from the U.S. market.

“The United States holds enormous potential for Babbel, and we expect growth in the three-digit percentile in 2015 alone,” says Thomas Holl, co-founder and president of Babbel, Inc. “Babbel features high-quality content developed by a team of language professionals and offers courses specifically created for each language. Like in Europe, this approach to language learning has been well-received in the U.S., as indicated by the widespread popularity of our premium app.”

In the United States, just 18 percent of the population is bilingual, as compared to 53 percent in Europe.1 The fact that foreign languages in the U.S. are not required in schools or in professional life is reflected in the motivation of Babbel users: just 5 percent say they learn a foreign language for work. By contrast, 26 percent are motivated by cultural interest; 23 percent are preparing for upcoming travel; and 20 percent want to keep mentally fit. Accordingly, Babbel’s service – offering mobile, independent language learning outside of a formal education environment – is falling on fertile ground.

“It is our mission to revolutionize the world of learning and establish quality standards not yet met in the industry,” adds Babbel co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Markus Witte. “Self-directed language learning was a privilege in the past. We’re changing that with Babbel, and we are fueling a current ’zeitgeist’ that we observe from our users globally.”

Babbel currently offers more than 7,000 hours of learning material in 14 languages: English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Brazilian Portuguese, Turkish, Polish, Indonesian, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Russian. The cloud-based content can be accessed with a computer, smartphone, or tablet – anytime, anywhere.

About Babbel:

Babbel’s vision, that anyone can learn languages, has driven its success through high-quality, professionally curated courses from a team of education experts, authors and language teachers, combined with modern technology. The market-leading app for online learning makes it easy for independent learners to access 14 different languages, ranging from English to Indonesian, either from home or on the go, with a smartphone or tablet.

Babbel is led by founders Markus Witte (Chief Executive Officer) and Thomas Holl (President), along with Lorenz Heine (Chief Innovation Officer) and Markus Corallo (Chief Financial Officer). The company employs a team of more than 300 at its headquarters in Berlin. The service is available worldwide at and on iOS and Android mobile devices. Corresponding to the user's mother tongue, Babbel offers its courses in 7 "reference languages", which are used as the display language on the platform.

For more information, visit

1 U.S. Department of Education, “Education and the Language Gap”

For Babbel
Samson Adepoju
Senior Public Relations Manager
Tel: 347-840-1774
Audrey Sahl
Senior Account Manager
Tel: 646-561-8508
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What does the world lose when a language dies?

What does the world lose when a language dies? | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
JUDY WOODRUFF: And finally tonight: to languages around the world at risk of being lost.

That’s the subject of a new documentary premiering on some PBS stations this week and now streaming online.

Jeffrey Brown has our look.

NARRATOR: You are listening to a song sung in a language called Amurdak, a language spoken in northern Australia. There is virtually only one person left on our planet who speaks Amurdak.

His name is Charlie Mangulda.

JEFFREY BROWN: A language nearly gone from an aboriginal community on Australia’s Goulburn Islands.

The new PBS documentary “Language Matters” explore tongues around the globe at risk of being lost forever and what is lost with them.

GWYNETH LEWIS, National Poet of Wales: We are being narrowed and homogenized by the loss of languages that we’re not even aware of.

JEFFREY BROWN: Predictions are dire that, by the end of this century, more than half of the world’s 6,000 languages will be gone.

BOB HOLMAN, Host, “Language Matters”: Every language has poetry, although it’s very different from culture to culture. And as I began to learn about how these languages are disappearing, that kind of poetry is also going. The entire inner life of a people is disappearing when their language vanishes.

Is that your language?

JEFFREY BROWN: Bob Holman, in fact, came to this project as a poet, one long interested in oral traditions, including contemporary hip-hop. He and filmmaker David Grubin traveled from Australia to Wales to Hawaii looking at languages on the brink and how some people are fighting to bring them back.

I talked with Holman recently at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington.

BOB HOLMAN: Each of these languages holds a little piece of information or a lot of information, can hold information about medicines and health, can hold information about the constellations in the sky.

And that’s information that, if you lose the language, you lose that connection with that place, with that way of thinking, with tens of thousands of years of that language’s lineage.

JEFFREY BROWN: One cause of the loss of languages, of course, lives around the globe increasingly interconnected through technology, the economy, and the dominance of a few languages, including online.

BOB HOLMAN: Everybody wants to join in on the conversation in the bully languages, but there’s no reason why you…

JEFFREY BROWN: The bully languages? Is that what you call it?

BOB HOLMAN: Well, it seems these — English and Mandarin and Spanish are gobbling up languages, as people decide they need to have this in order to assimilate into a culture.

But if you — instead of feeling awkward about speaking another language, if you were respected for who you are, and if that became part of the fabric — we talk about a multicultural fabric, but it seems that we have to have our multi cultures in English. And it just sounds so much more delightful, offers so many more opportunities if you begin to hear the real deal.

JUDY WOODRUFF: At the same time, according to anthropologist Joshua Bell of the Natural History Museum’s Recovering Voices Project, technology has opened up new ways to preserve new languages.

JOSHUA BELL, Curator, Recovering Voices Project, Smithsonian Natural History Museum: A lot of people talk about how the Internet, cell phones are reducing people’s linguistics range, et cetera.

The flip side of that is actually communities are increasingly using these tools to create spaces for themselves. So you will see specific Cherokee language, for example, Facebook, apps for smartphones where actually communities are engaging in linguistic revitalization.

JEFFREY BROWN: In the film, Holman shows how even languages seemingly vulnerable can continue to exist in the right conditions.

BOB HOLMAN: It’s extraordinary. We were on Goulburn Islands in Australia, an island that has 400 people and 10 different languages. How did this happen?

JEFFREY BROWN: Four hundred people and 10 languages?

BOB HOLMAN: Exactly.

And, in Australia, there are languages that are quite stable with only 70 speakers or 500 speakers, you know. How does this happen? This happens because it’s not a big deal for these people to learn these languages. It’s what their parents did and their parents’ parents did.

And for them, to learn the language of another people is a sign of respect. And that’s exactly what the movement now, the language movement, is trying to say. To respect the mother tongues of each other is the way that we can keep languages alive.

JEFFREY BROWN: A large-scale example of this has unfolded in Wales. Holman visited an annual Welsh language festival to see how the small country, part of the United Kingdom, has managed to create equal footing for its native language alongside English, giving it a place in schools, in bars, even in hip-hop.

Holman attempted to learn enough Welsh to recite his own people in a live competition.

What’s the key to a language surviving?

BOB HOLMAN: A language survives if you have the choice to learn it, if it’s available for you to live your life in some way with your language as part of you. In Wales, you have a choice of whether to go to an English medium school or to a Welsh medium school. And in this way, children can learn in the language that they are speaking at home.

JEFFREY BROWN: But couldn’t you make the argument that it would be better if we all spoke the same language, that we all understood each other? There would be — well, there would be more understanding in the world.

BOB HOLMAN: Well, I love that argument, and it makes so much sense, until you understand what understanding is.

You know, language is much more than communication. When we talk about it on the surface, that’s what it is. But language is the way we think. And it’s the way it’s been handed down through generations. If you begin to think in another language, that’s fine.

But if you have to lose the way that your family has been speaking, that’s not so fine. That’s losing who you are. And when we lose who we are, that’s when we become this homogenized consumer of life, rather than a citizen who comes from a place and knows who you are.

JEFFREY BROWN: And that’s a conversation this documentary wants to facilitate in any language.

I’m Jeffrey Brown for the PBS NewsHour.
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Modern languages show no trace of our African origins

Modern languages show no trace of our African origins | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
The evolution of human culture is often compared to biological evolution, and it’s easy to see why: both involve variation across a population, transmission of units from one generation to the next, and factors that ensure the survival of some variants and the death of others. However, sometimes this comparison fails. Culture, for instance, can be transmitted “horizontally” between members of the same generation, but genes can’t.

“Little is known about whether human demographic history generates patterns in linguistic data that are similar to those found in genetic data,” write the authors of a recent paper in PNAS. Both linguistic and genetic data can be used to draw conclusions about human history, but it's vital to understand how the forces affecting them differ in order to be sure that the conclusions we're drawing are accurate.

By conducting a large-scale analysis on global genetic and linguistic data, the researchers found that languages sometimes behave in ways very unlike genetics. For instance, isolated languages have more, not less, diversity, and languages don't retain the echo of a migration out of Africa—unlike our genomes.

To conduct the analysis, the researchers focused on “phonemes,” which are the smallest linguistic units of sound that can distinguish meaning. For instance, English uses “p” and “b” to distinguish between the words “pat” and “bat,” which means “p” and “b” act as phonemes. Other languages may not use these particular sounds to distinguish words—or they may make finer distinctions, basing meaning differences on subtle changes like whether or not a puff of air follows the “p.”

Every language has a certain number of phonemes, and these phoneme inventories differ in size from language to language. The researchers compared information on global phoneme inventories with data on global genetics and geographic location in order to isolate how phonemic and genetic units track each other.

Some of their results were intuitive. They found that populations with greater geographical distance between them also had larger genetic and phonemic differences. Languages that come from the same family (like French and Italian) could be expected to have similar phoneme inventories, but the finding held true even for geographically close but historically unrelated languages.

However, some of their results were not quite as intuitive. When populations migrate, genetic diversity goes down, because the group that moves takes along only a portion of the gene pool of their original population. Isolated groups of people, who have no opportunity to mingle with other groups, therefore have limited genetic diversity. Language, on the other hand, shows the opposite pattern: languages with lots of close neighbors seem to be influenced by these neighbors, leading to less phonemic diversity over time. Isolated languages, on the other hand, change over the generations to become more diverse.

The most surprising finding was that, unlike genetic data, the human migration out of Africa has not left traces on modern linguistic data. This contradicts previous work in the field suggesting that, as with genetics, language diversity declines with distance from Africa, as a result of populations breaking off and moving farther away. The authors of the new paper suggest that language changes faster than genetics, and it's less determined by the size and characteristics of a migrating population, leading to markedly different patterns in phonemic and genetic data.

“This is a very interesting and important addition to the field, not only because it uses such a large database and introduces (relatively) new methods to the field, but also because of its findings,” says Dr. Dan Dediu, who researches linguistics and genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. “If its main finding survives replication with other databases and methods, then it’s a very powerful confirmation of the idea that demographic processes are one of the main driving forces behind both linguistic and genetic diversity."

“It also highlights the fact that language and genes have different properties, especially when it comes to small, isolated communities and contact between populations,” he adds.

However, Dediu suggests that different assumptions about how sound change works could result in different results. He explains that not all phoneme changes happen with equal ease; for instance, due to their similarity, the sounds “b” and “p” can change into each other much more easily than the sounds “ee” and “k.” If two languages have sounds more similar to each other than to a third language, they are linguistically closer to each other, even if all three languages have the same size phoneme inventories. “I don’t know what the results would look like with a more realistic model of change, but they might look slightly different,” he says.
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IndiaGlitz - 'Baahubali' Tamil dubbing work started - Telugu Movie News

IndiaGlitz - 'Baahubali' Tamil dubbing work started - Telugu Movie News | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
It is well-known that 'Baahubali' is going to be released in some other Indian languages including Tamil. The dubbing work of the Tamil version of the film has commenced.
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NYC mayor's sign language interpreter steals the show yet again

NYC mayor's sign language interpreter steals the show yet again | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
The man, named Jonathan Lamberton is a Certified Deaf Interpreter. He uses a hearing interpreter in the audience who listens to the the people speaking and interprets it. Lamberton then signs it back to the audience.

"With all other languages, you'll usually see the interpreters translating into their own native language," Lamberton explained to DHN, a news agency that incorporates American Sign Language (ASL) into broadcasts.

"They're translating from their second language into their first language," he said. "However, ASL is the exception. Most interpreters are translating their first language into their second language. That's why deaf interpreters can be a big benefit."

Lamberton said ASL is interpreted more clearly if you show expressions with your face and body, but his fans on social media still comment on his exaggerated movements:
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El TSJ aplaza la decisión sobre Camps hasta tener la traducción de la declaración de Ecclestone

El TSJ aplaza la decisión sobre Camps hasta tener la traducción de la declaración de Ecclestone | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
La Sala reclama a la Fiscalía que aporte la traducción de la declaración del empresario

El informe de Anticorrupción se basa 'en gran medida' en la comparecencia de Ecclestone

Este admitió que Camps le organizó'una reunión con él y con Rita Barberá en Valencia

Francisco Camps saluda efusivamente a Ecclestone en el GP de Fórmula 1 de 2011. VICENT BOSCH
RODRIGO TERRASAValencia Actualizado: 27/01/2015 14:47 horas
La Sala Civil y Penal del Tribunal Superior de Justicia de la Comunidad Valenciana (TSJCV), reunida este martes para deliberar sobre la competencia en relación con la querella presentada por la Fiscalía Anticorrupción contra Francisco Camps por posible prevariación y malversación continuada en los contratos de la Fórmula 1 en Valencia, ha aplazado su decisión hasta disponer de la traducción de la declaración judicial de Bernie Ecclestone, ex presidente y director ejecutivo de la Fórmula 1.

El TSJ solicita a la Fiscalía que aporte "a la mayor brevedad posible" la traducción de las declaraciones de Ecclestone ya que el informe de Anticorrupción se basa "en gran medida" en la comparecencia del empresario.

Bernie Ecclestone declaró ante el fiscal el pasado mes de diciembre y manifestó que después de la carrera de GP2 que se celebró en Valencia en el año 2006, el entonces presidente Camps organizó una reunión con él y con Rita Barberá, alcaldesa de Valencia.

«El 26 de septiembre de 2006, me encontré con el presidente Camps y Rita Barberá en el Palacio Presidencial en Valencia para discutir la posibilidad de una celebración de un evento de Grand Prix en un circuito urbano en la ciudad. Me trajo un contrato de promoción proyecto carrera (RPC) a la reunión. No recuerdo la discusión sobre tasas específicas en esa reunión», declaró Ecclestone al fiscal Vicente Torres.

Anticorrupción concluye en su querella que, "como se puede observar de la declaración del Sr. Ecclestone" (en concreto las dos últimas frases), que fue Francisco Camps "la persona que propuso un contrato de promoción de la carrera de Fórmula 1, cuando el único contrato que se firmó fue el de 1 de junio de 2007 entre Fórmula 1 y Valmor Sports S.L".

La querella parte de una denuncia que presentaron los diputados socialistas Eva Martínez y Josep Moreno, a la que se adjuntó también la presentada por Ignacio Blanco, portavoz de EU, después de que el Consell de Alberto Fabra rescatará Valmor, la empresa a la que adjudicaron los derechos de las carreras, tras su quiebra. La querella también se dirige contra la ex consellera de Camps y ex secretaria autonómica de comunicación de Fabra, Lola Johnson, por firmar acuerdos en nombre del Consell que habrían supuesto un quebranto para los recursos económicos de la Generalitat y contra el ex piloto Jorge Martínez Aspar, como representante de la empresa Valmor.
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Property settlement, charter language approved by Hermiston council

Property settlement, charter language approved by Hermiston council | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
January 26, 2015 10:00PM
The Hermiston city council reached a settlement over Ridgeway Avenue Monday night.

The Hermiston city council approved a settlement Monday night that cleared the way for a portion of West Ridgeway Avenue to be turned into private property.

The 60 foot wide gravel section of road, which connects to Highway 395 between Auto Kool and the former Tum-a-Lum Lumber property, has been a point of contention after Auto Kool owner Rhonda Sallee threatened to sue the city if it gave the southern 15 feet of the road to the property owner to the south.

But Monday’s settlement agreement stipulated that Sallee would not file litigation over the street vacation. In return, according to City Manager Byron Smith, the northern five feet of road in front of Auto Kool will be turned over to Salle Properties LLC to clear up some “encroachment issues” and a 15 foot wide stretch behind the building will also transfer to Sallee.

“I’m really pleased to have this agreement and to be able to move forward,” Smith said.

He confirmed that the property to the south has changed hands from Mitco Developments LLC to a company called Hermex LLC. The limited liability company has not announced what it plans to do with the property, but Mitco owner Mitch Myers previously said he was selling the property to a hotel developer.

Mayor David Drotzmann said he was excited for the opportunities that solving the Ridgeway dispute could lead to.

“I appreciate the Sallees and new property owners for coming together,” he said. “It really was some effort on both parts.”

In other news the council also discussed public feedback on the revisions to the city’s charter, which is the municipal version of a constitution.

During the public comment section of the meeting, Perry Hawkins told the council he wanted to know who the “Bolshevik socialist” was who thought it was a good idea to change the municipal judge position from an elected position to an appointed one.

“That’s something that never should have been considered, because we are a democracy,” he said.

Hawkins said he was shocked someone would want to take away his right to elect Hermiston’s municipal judge, something that he has been doing since he was 18. He said consolidating the power to choose the judge into the hands of the eight city council members could lead to cronyism.

“You don’t want to give too little people too much power,” he said.

Drotzmann said if appointed, the municipal judge would go through a stringent recruiting and hiring process just like all of the city’s other department heads.

“I don’t know if I would look at it as an appointment,” he said.

Councilman Doug Smith said during his former law enforcement career he had seen some judges doing things he felt were “highly inappropriate.” He said the general public might not be in the know about a judge’s bad behavior, leading them to choose the name they recognize most but not necessarily the best candidate.

City Manager Smith said he presented the proposed revisions to five service clubs with about 85 people total in attendance. He also held two public meetings on the subject with about five people attending each.

He said there were a handful of people concerned about changing the judge to an appointed position but only one person who took issue with the other potentially controversial suggestion to change the mayor’s term from two years to four.

In the end the council directed staff to draw up two ballot measures — one approving the full charter with the judge as an elected position and one that would amend the new charter to make the position an appointed one. If people take issue with the idea of appointing a judge they can vote against the amendment while still approving the modernized language of the new charter.

Smith said he would bring the wording of the measures to the city council to be approved by them in February before being submitted for inclusion on ballots for the May election. Drotzmann said the council was still open to hearing feedback before approving the ballot language.
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Health News - A machine can learn to identify sign languages

Health News - A machine can learn to identify sign languages | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
While typing a message, the computer you’re working on identifies the language you use instantly. As part of his PhD project, Binyam Gebrekidan Gebre trained a computer program to perform the same trick on sign languages. Language recognition is the first step for automatic translations of videos.
To study sign languages - natural languages that use hands, facial and body movements to convey meaning - large data collections are needed. Transcription of videos is very time consuming though and therefore very expensive. The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen set up a project to automate sign language transcription.
A difficult job, Binyam explains: ‘Signers differ a lot in how they use their language. Clothes, hand size, skin colour, personal style all have to be taken into account. Differences in recordings – where does the light come from, how bright is the video, how far is the subject away – all this complicates the learning task for the computer.’ He teamed up with the machine learning group of the Institute for Computer and Information Science at Radboud University.
Machine learning
The first problem he tackled was that of automatic language recognition. ‘A machine needs to know what language it is before translation can be done.’ There are many sign languages and just like Dutch, German, and British sign languages, Ethiopia, where Binyam originally comes from, has its own sign language too. Binyam succeeded in making a program that can discriminate between six sign languages with an accuracy of 84%.
‘This is a big success rate, given the fact that the machine learned to do so from four signers per language only. This accuracy will improve when we feed the program with more data,’ the computer scientist says. 'We solved this by generating a dictionary of pixel patterns that appear in the videos and then matched that to those patterns in named languages.'
Video search engines
Other issues that Binyam addressed in his thesis are the recognition of role taking in conversations by a computer (who is signing) and the meaningful part of a gesture (is the signer ‘saying’ something or scratching his nose?) – which may be easy for a human, but not for a machine. His research will help sign language researchers in the painstaking job of transcribing videos of signed stories and can be used for a sign-based search system, or real time translation of signed languages into spoken or written languages. ‘But searching video content is of great interest to search engine makers like Google as well.’
Who is Binyam Gebrekidan Gebre?
Binyam Gebrekidan Gebre (1983, Mekelle, Ethiopia) earned a B.Sc. degree in Computer Science and Engineering at Mekelle Institute of Technology, with very great distinction. In 2008, he won an Erasmus Mundus Masters scholarship in Natural Language Processing and Human Language Technology, taught in two countries: France and the United Kingdom. Here, he wrote his thesis on part-of-speech tagging for Amharic, a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia. Currently, he is working as a data scientist for the Rechenzentrum Garching (RZG), a computing center for the Max Planck Society (MPS).
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After decades of Russian dominance, Belarus reclaims its language

After decades of Russian dominance, Belarus reclaims its language | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
In the wake of the Ukraine crisis, activists tell Katerina Barushka that aspects of Belarusian identity – especially language – are making a comeback
Пасля дзесяцігоддзяў расійскайга дамінавання, Беларусь пачынае вяртаць сваю мову
После десятилетий господства российской культуры жители Беларуси снова начинают говорить на родном языке

Belarusian women play on a swing at a Slavic “Spring welcome” festival in the village of Viazynka, about 40km northwest of Minsk. Photograph: Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters
Katerina Barushka in Minsk
Wednesday 28 January 2015 05.00 GMT
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Gallery Y is one of the very few alternative cafes in the Belarusian capital Minsk, and every Monday evening it is packed with around 200 people of all trades and ages. They sit on the floor or stand for three hours to participate in one of the most popular public events in the city – a Belarusian language class.

Belarus’ president, Alexander Lukashenko, who is widely criticised for his authoritarian rule, once said “nothing significant can be expressed” in Belarusian. He played a key role in stigmatising the language in favour of Russian, and in the years that followed, Belarusian became the language of the marginalised political opposition.

But for the first time in his two decade-long rule, Lukashenko – facing fresh concerns about Russia’s influence over the former Soviet country – he has begun to show signs that he may be changing his mind. And Belarusian speakers are excited.

No more than 10% of Belarusians say they communicate in Belarusian in their day-to-day lives

Alena Vasilyeva is one of the students at the class. A university lecturer in her forties, she was raised in a Russian-speaking household. Back in the 1980s, her parents stopped her non-obligatory Belarusian language classes at school, and a short university education in the language was not enough to start conversing.

“I came here to learn the language, but also to see how distinct we are as a nation, what Belarusian do or can do to be different from Russians,” she says.

Belarusian and Russian are both considered official languages of Belarus, but only 23% of the 9.67m population speaks the former, whereas more than 70.2% per cent speaks the latter. No more than 10% of Belarusians say they communicate in Belarusian in their day-to-day lives.

It’s hard to be distinct when you are constantly reminded your nation is Russia’s younger brother, and anything Belarusian is boring

Public courses have been run by independent Belarusian academics for decades, but the language was frowned upon at state level. It is only recently that they have seen a boost in popularity, with independent courses now conducted across Belarus.

“People want to be proud of who they are, to be distinct and original,” says Alesya Litvinouskaya, one of the founders of the most popular course Mova Nanova.

“It’s hard to be distinct when you are constantly reminded your nation is Russia’s younger brother, and anything Belarusian is boring and provincial. We aim at making the Belarusian language and culture look cool again.”

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A Belarusian language class at Gallery Y in Minsk late last year Photograph: Katerina Barushka
Valery Bulhakau, an editor-in-chief of a magazine Arche and a PhD in nationalism studies believes there is “a distinct growing interest in the Belarusian culture” and even goes as far as calling it a “national revival”. The language courses ““are not particularly educating, they rather represent a community, and that’s what important,” he says.

Analysts say the Ukraine crisis acted as a wake-up call for Lukashenko, who has long been a key Kremlin ally. For years, this relationship has not only been vital for Lukashenko’s grip on power, it is crucial for Belarus’s economy – around 10-15% of which relies on Russian subsidies. With such close ties between the two nations, when Moscow annexed Crimea, and Russian president Vladimir Putin justified the move by saying he would protect Russians or Russian-speakers across the world, Lukashenko was said to be rattled.

We aim at making the Belarusian language and culture look cool again

For the first time in his long rule, Lukashenko delivered part of a political speech in Belarusian in July, the day before Putin came to Minsk to commemorate the 70th anniversary of freeing Belarus from Nazi occupation. The symbolism was not lost on proponents of Belarusian language and culture.

Then, in November, he held a momentous meeting with both pro-government and independent intellectuals and writers to encourage them to promote national cultural and historical values.

Public support for Belarusian language has also shown signs of growing, as the language begins to shed its stigma. An on-going state social campaign ‘The taste of the Belarusian language’ posts billboards around Belarus with interesting words in Belarusian. And a month after an attempt to switch to using Russian-language signs on the Minsk metro, citizens convinced management to switch back to Belarusian.

Authorities have allowed such campaigns to exist and promote Belarusian, but in the sensitive political climate, the organisers of language classes and other initiatives have had to tread carefully. Though it is early days, some Belarusian nationalists believe real change is in the air.

Authorities have allowed such campaigns to exist and promote Belarusian, but the organisers of language classes have had to tread carefully

“I could compare present times with the end of the 1980s, when people would go crazy for different cultural events,” says Tamara Matskevich, the Deputy Head of the Belarusian School Association. “The state structures were all powerful only nominally. In March of 1991, over 82% of Belarusians voted for the preservation of the Soviet Union, and in a couple of months it was gone.”

However, not everyone believes a Belarusian-language revolution is on its way.

“Without the state support, more language classes at school and the wide usage of the language on the official level, it is too early to talk about real change,” says Andrei Yeliseyeu, a political analyst from the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies, an independent think tank.

“A slight national revival is politically convenient for the state to secure its position among the Belarusians in the light of mass propaganda of the pan-Russian nation,” says Yeliseyeu. “The state apparatus is still very strong and could smash these initiatives at any moment”.

Indeed, there is no Belarusian language university and language lessons in schools are declining. Eighty five per cent of books published in Belarus each year are published in Russian, with Belarusian books taking up 9.5% of the market, followed by those published in English taking 4%.

People long for their national identity, to be different, to be proud of who they are

However, Litvinouskaya insists that Belarusian is seeing an important revival, and not just in the cultural or political spheres.


“Right now we are working with the largest Belarusian private network of gas stations A-100, which, from January 2015, have translated all of [its] documents into Belarusian and make Belarusian the only language of their staff,” she told the Guardian. “This is business, and they develop their strategy based on what will sell best. If that is not a change in the society, then what is?”

Language is just one piece in the puzzle, and some hope that increased tolerance towards Belarusian could have a significant knock-on effect on national culture and identity as a whole.

One of the most active promoters of Belarusian culture has been the national campaign “Budzma” which organises cultural events across Belarus, and a festival of advertising in Belarusian called Ad.nak!

“Five years ago, when we’ve started Ad.nak!, we were anxious there wouldn’t be any second edition,” says Alena Makouskaya, one of the coordinators of the campaign. “Since then the amount of entries tripled. People long for their national identity, to be different, to be proud of who they are. Political is daily, cultural is eternal.”
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Standard Digital News : : The Counties - MCA in court for hearing of case he is accused of undermining President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kisii, Kenya: A member of the Kisii County Assembly appeared in court on Tuesday for the hearing of a case he is charged for allegedly undermining President Uhuru Kenyatta in public.

Kiogoro ward representative Samuel Aboko Onkwani was charged with uttering offensive words against the President.

He was charged with undermining the authority of a public officer contrary to Section 132 of the Penal Code.

The section provides that any person who, without lawful excuse utters, prints, publishes any words, or does anything calculated to bring into contempt, or to excite defiance of or disobedience to, the lawful authority of a public officer is guilty of an offense.

The accused through defense lawyers, Samson Nyagaka and Gideon Nyambati argued that the evidence given in court was misleading and meant to infringe the rights of their client.

In their cross examination of the first witness Calvin Kengara, Kerera area chief, the defense maintained that their client had not undermined the president.

Appearing before Principal Magistrate Kibet Sambu, Nyambati told the court that the words given by Kengara were not correct and chose to give the correct translation of what Mr Apoko had said.

Nyambati read to the court what he said was the correct translation of the words his client had spoken. "Those who are close to the in-charge of this world should advise him to stop taking bitter substances."

See Also: Appeal court postpones Obado's contempt case
Early on, the first witness went missing from the court premises forcing the magistrate to call for a private session with the counsel in the chambers even as the defense counsel requested for the magistrate to issue warranty of arrest against the witness.

The state counsel lead by Desmond Majale could not explain where the witness was and called for adjournment of the case, which defense lawyer Nyagaka Samson opposed.

"Am disturbed and perturbed by the occurrence of events today. We should handle these matters with the highest form of professionalism. You should respect this court," said Kibet.

Nyambati added: "It leaves a lot to be desired how the state handles its case. The witness remains the property of the court until he leaves the dock."
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Translating Rabindranath Tagore not easy, confesses Javed Akhtar | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

Translating Rabindranath Tagore not easy, confesses Javed Akhtar | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Having penned more than 1500 songs, lyricist Javed Akhtar has said that it was not easy for him to translate Tagore songs in Hindi.

The celebrated poet-writer has translated eight songs of Rabindranath Tagore to Hindi, which are featured in an album. "I have a lot of experience in writing to the tune. I have written over 1500 songs and they are to the tune. So I can tell you that writing to the tune is not that difficult for me. Translating Tagore is not as easy," Akhtar said. Stating that he has tried to keep the language as simple as possible, Akhtar said, "I have tried to be at the backseat but at the same time have kept the original tune. I have not added anything and tried to keep the simplicity of the language," he said.

Launched here last evening at the Kolkata Literary Meet, the album 'Anant' has eight songs such as 'Tum Kaisey', 'Tumhey Janoo', 'Ghanghor', 'Aisa Tumhara Prem', 'Sakhi Prem' which were originally written as part of the 'Gitanjali' collection of poems. Produced by Baithak Records, the songs are sung by Sangeeta Datta while young Sarod maestro Soumik Datta has set the tune.
"This is our tribute to Tagore on the centenary year of his Nobel prize for Gitanjali," Datta said.
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Transistent Selects KantanMT as Preferred Machine Translation Supplier | Virtual-Strategy Magazine

Transistent Selects KantanMT as Preferred Machine Translation Supplier | Virtual-Strategy Magazine | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Turkish Language Service Provider joins the KantanMT preferred Machine Translation Supplier Partner Program.

Dublin, Ireland, January 28, 2015 --( KantanMT today announced that it has been selected by Turkish Language Service Provider (LSP), Transistent to become its preferred supplier of machine translation services.

Transistent is a global language and editing service provider based in Istanbul, Turkey with a branch office in Erkelenz, Germany. The company is an affiliation of EDU Group, and is the first establishment focusing on machine translation, post-editing and quality automation services in Turkey and Middle East.

“We have the experience, Know-How, and talents required to make our clients adopt recent advances in translation technology,” said Selçuk Özcan, Co-founder of Transistent. “It’s now possible for us to implement the most convenient course of action to achieve high quality customized engines thanks to the services that KantanMT offers.”

Transistent’s clear and transparent approach to translation quality is to implement industry standards and maintain objective and standardized quality results. Its well-trained linguistic team provides clients with high quality translated output from a variety of human translation, machine translation, and hybrid production workflows. After a thorough evaluation, the team at Transistent identified the KantanMT platform to be the best solution for building high quality statistical machine translation engines.
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What a difference a speech can make | The Citizen

What a difference a speech can make | The Citizen | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
It was the day after the country celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK). The rhetoric of Dr. King’s great speeches was still fresh in my mind. Then I viewed the president’s sixth State of the Union speech last week.

Not coincidentally, this speech took place on the sixth anniversary of his historic 2009 inauguration speech that inspired a nation and gave many hope that his election marked the turning point in our nation’s history.

So, with the speeches of these great orators fresh in my mind, I asked myself, what difference can a speech make?

In his latest speech, the president reminded us of the necessity of getting past our differences, of finding common ground, and simply working together. But he also presented a laundry list of proposals that Congress and many Americans are sure to reject.

Still, whether or not one agrees with the president, it is his right to present his case, and find a place of common ground without compromising on his principles. After all, this is what great leaders like MLK did. So, was the president’s speech a step in that direction? Sadly, I would have to say no.

Reflect for a moment on when President Obama first entered office. America hoped that he would help tone down the toxic political rancor in the nation. Many thought he would lead the world towards peace and inspire a generation to give of themselves and achieve great things.

However, after being in office six years and having the opportunity to show the country what it looks like to help a nation heal from political discord and demonstrate to the world that we are a strong and noble nation, it seems the divide between political parties, races, and socio-economic classes are far worse. And our nation as whole, on the global stage, seems diminished as a super-power. Is that just my imagination?

To be sure, the president’s speech had its usual moments of rhetorical brilliance. But his words seemed hollow to me because they stood in such stark contrast to his previous promises, and more importantly, actions over these past six years.

How can you say you want political parties to work together when you have met with the opposing party’s leadership less than five times in the six years you have been in office, and whenever there is opposition to your proposals, you accuse your detractors of not caring about the citizens of this nation and threaten a veto? Is it not true that actions speak louder than word?

Unfortunately, for me, the continued, and glaring contradiction between the president’s rhetoric and his example leaves me discouraged rather than optimistic and hopeful.

And this is in stark contrast to the way I feel as I listen to the speeches of MLK. Just consider, for example, Dr. King’s 1963 “I have a dream” speech. As he stood on the Washington Monument delivering his words, one could feel the weight and the authority as he pleaded with a nation to live out the creed written in her constitution, and painted a glorious picture of what could be if we did.

Immediately, tears of hope and inspiration well up in my eyes. Dr. King’s words thunder throughout time, inspiring generation after generation, begging the question, why is Dr. King so inspirational to all. A great rhetorician he was, no doubt! But his inspiration is not simply due to his literary eloquence, but because of the truth of his message and how he embodied it.

How I wish President Obama would exam the life of MLK and recognize that it is not simply well-constructed and delivered words that changes the hearts, minds, and attitudes of a nation’s people.

It is the messenger who lives out his words and sacrifices of himself for that cause that makes us believe that we, as a nation, are better than pedestrian politics.

[Bonnie B. Willis is co-founder of The Willis Group, LLC, a Learning, Development, and Life Coaching company here in Fayette County and lives in Fayetteville along with her husband and their five children.]
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New Data on Hispanic Dual Language Learners in U.S. Early Education - EdCentral

New Data on Hispanic Dual Language Learners in U.S. Early Education - EdCentral | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
It’s still early in 2015, and early education remains politically hot. But as we at the Early Education Initiative often point out, early education is not a one-size cure-all. Different kids with different backgrounds have different academic—and linguistic—needs. Obviously.

This is particularly true as far as Hispanic dual language learners (DLLs) are concerned. A new factbook from Excelencia in Education, The Condition of Latinos in Education, makes it clear just how important it is to tailor early education programs specifically to support these students. While just over a quarter of today’s Americans younger than five years old are Hispanics, in a matter of decades, the Census estimates that that number will rise to nearly 40 percent. The factbook consolidates and updates reams of data—and provides important nuance—on a number of commonly-cited facts related to DLLs and young Hispanic students.

This is no easy task, given that DLLs are a heterogeneous group. They speak dozens of different languages, have a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, and enroll in myriad PreK–12 instructional settings. Consider: while many DLLs are immigrants, over 75 percent of them are native-born (and many of those children even have native-born parents). And while around 80 percent of DLLs are Spanish speakers, 26 percent of American Hispanics speak English exclusively at home.

All of which is to point out that not all DLLs are identical (let alone all Hispanic students, or even all Hispanic DLLs). Yet imprecise data mean that we often stage public debates about children of immigrants, Hispanic children, and DLLs as though they are all the same students. Policymakers interested in tailoring their early education investments to support these students need to know which of these students they’re trying to serve—and how their needs differ from one another.

Here are a few of the standard facts related to American Hispanic DLLs: nearly one in three 2013-2014 Head Start participants was identified as a DLL. By comparison, one in ten of all elementary and secondary public school students is classified as a language learner. Which makes it sound like DLLs are particularly heavily enrolled in early education (relative to later years).

And then we might further suppose that DLLs—and probably Hispanic students—attend Head Start at relatively high rates. Indeed, the factbook finds that 37 percent of 2012–2013 Head Start students were Hispanics, even though only Hispanics make up just 26 percent of U.S. children between zero and five years old. So far, so good.

But we also know that Hispanic children have reliably attended pre-K at far lower rates than African-American or non-Hispanic White children. The new factbook found that 56 percent of Hispanic kids are enrolled in pre-K “or kindergarten, compared to White (67%), African-American (65%), and Asian (64%).” Even more concerning, just 28 percent of low-income Hispanic children were enrolled in pre-K.

Hispanic advocacy groups have made it a priority to close those gaps. Last Congress, the National Council of La Raza and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics have both drawn attention to them and supported policies that would expand high-quality pre-K access to more American families, Hispanic or otherwise.

But it’s one thing to differentiate young Hispanic DLLs from the broader DLL subgroup (and to avoid stereotyping all Hispanics as DLLs)—and quite another to reshape early education programs to suit their needs. Fear not! We’ll be exploring new research on policies and practices that work for young Hispanic DLLs in a blog post tomorrow.


Note: This post is part of New America’s Dual Language Learner National Work Group. Click here for more information on this team’s work.
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How to translate your website

How to translate your website | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
On average, web users are four times more likely to purchase from a site that speaks their language – they’re also likely to stay on your site for twice as long. During this interactive evening course, translator and sub-editor Pauline Eloi demystifies the process of translating your website into different languages, allowing you to address an international audience and open your business to new markets. You’ll learn what a translation project entails, how long it will take and how much it will cost. Importantly, you’ll also learn how translation can have a positive impact on your business by boosting customer engagement and profitability.

The evening focuses on providing a detailed overview of the different translation providers available, and advice on how to choose the best one for your business. You’ll also have the opportunity to get involved in a practical exercise where you will draw up a brief using information from your own translation project. Whether you want to translate your website from English to Hebrew, or from French to four different languages, this course will give you the information and skills necessary to engage with users anywhere in the world.

This course is for you if…
You run a business and want to know how to set up a translation project
You – or your employer – runs a website that you would like to translate into another or multiple languages
You’re a business owner looking to expand to other regions of the world
You’re a professional blogger who would like to make your content accessible to audiences who speak a different language to you
PLEASE NOTE: In order to get involved in practical exercises, attendees should bring along as much information as they can about the translation project they have in mind – for example, information on which language(s) they want to translate their website into, and a rough idea of word count for their content.

Course description
This course aims to give you the information and skills necessary to set up a translation project for your website or business. Attendees will have the opportunity to get involved in a practical exercise where they draw up a brief based on a project they have in mind. Topics covered on the evening include:

Translating: definition and key aims
What a translation project entails
Overview of the different linguistic services available
How to assess different translation providers – and choose the best service for your business or website
How translation can increase online engagement and profits
Contacts, resources and costs
Timeframe – how long will it take?
How to write a brief
Practical exercise: assess what the best translation solution is for your website and draw up your brief during the class
Opportunity for discussion and feedback
Tutor profile
Pauline Eloi is a translator, currently heading a team of linguists at the Net-a-Porter Group. She previously worked as a freelance translator and editor for various online retailers and publications, including London 2012, Ralph Lauren Magazine, Microsoft and the Arcadia Group.

Book now
Date: Monday 16 March 2015
Times: 6.30pm-9.30pm
Location: The Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU
Price: £99 (includes VAT, booking fee and drinks)
Event capacity: 24

To contact us, click here. Terms and conditions can be found here.

Returns policy
Tickets may be refunded if you contact us at least 14 days before the course start date. Please see our terms and conditions for more information on our refund policy.
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Obama Hails a 'Defining Partnership' With India

Obama Hails a 'Defining Partnership' With India | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
“We may have different histories and speak different languages,” said U.S. President Barack Obama at New Delhi’s Siri Fort Auditorium on Tuesday morning, “but when we look at each other, we see a reflection of ourselves.”

Addressing a crowd of about 2,000 people in his last public event before flying to Saudi Arabia later that afternoon, Obama spoke at length about the historic and contemporary similarities between the U.S. and India. He linked Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., Indian thinker Swami Vivekananda and Obama’s hometown of Chicago, and, of course, in keeping with the close personal equation the two leaders made evident during his three-day visit, himself and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We live in countries where a grandson of a cook can become President and son of a tea seller can become Prime Minister,” he said, referring to their respective backgrounds.

Obama also used his address to touch on the importance of defending religious diversity. Although the majority of India’s 1.27 billion-strong population is Hindu, about a fifth of its people belong to other religions like Islam, Christianity and Sikhism, with diversity a growing subject of concern among opponents of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party that Modi chairs.
“In India and America, our diversity is our strength,” he said. “India will succeed so long as it is not splintered along the lines of religious faith.”

Meanwhile, speaking about the U.S.-India relationship on Tuesday, President Obama called it “one of the defining partnerships of the century,” and advocated a greater role for India in the Asia-Pacific, seemingly a tacit acknowledgement of China’s growing regional influence.

He also touched upon empowering women, an issue that Modi made one of the major themes of Obama’s visit and Monday’s Republic Day celebrations. “Indian women have shown that they can succeed in every field,” he said before advocating equal opportunity and safety for women. “Every woman should be able to go about her day and be safe and be treated with the respect and dignity that she deserves.”

Obama also mentioned several key issues and agreements from his visit — including a civilian nuclear deal between the two countries and climate change — before concluding with a reiteration of the new, elevated U.S.-India relations the two leaders have forged.

“I’m the first American President to come to your country twice,” he said, “but I predict I will not be the last.”
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Indraprastha College for Women to have Extended Library from February 2015

Indraprastha College for Women to have Extended Library from February 2015 | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
In order to store rare manuscripts in various languages such as Bengali, Punjabi, Hindi, Sanskrit and English, Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW) under University of Delhi, would open a translation centre, which would be an extension to the college library situated inside the campus. This would not only help students to be able to nurture their knowledge through this vast pool of information but would help research scholars as well, who are working in the area of language and translation studies. The inauguration is likely to take place in first week of February. There would be translations of Ramayana and Padmavat in Persian that the institute has acquired from the Rampur Raza Library.
Babli Moitra Saraf, principal of IPCW said that they are cataloguing the documents and books that will be housed in the centre. They also plan to add more titles in other languages. Along with the translation centre that is coming in place at the campus there would be opening of a recently built museum and archive for the people at the centenary celebrations. The college would complete its hundred years in 2023 and since 2013 the college has started its decade-long centenary celebrations with all these new and innovative initiatives.
Saraf further added that they always had an archive and the intent to formally make a museum but it was decided after the exhibition (last year) to give the project a final shape. He also said that they are working towards the digitization of the museum and there are digital kiosks with projection facilities available in the museum where people could watch films on small groups.  The museum is not only focusing on the traces of history of the college but is also trying to present a perspective of transition in education thorough the colonial to post-colonial phase.
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East Africa: Twitter Partners With Bing to Add Language Translation

East Africa: Twitter Partners With Bing to Add Language Translation | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
By Zach Miners
Twitter users will have an easier time reading tweets not in their native language thanks to a new translation feature powered by Bing.

A globe icon may now appear in the top right corner of tweets that are not in the user's selected language. For those tweets, when the user clicks to expand them, the translated text will appear underneath the original.

The feature works on iOS, Android, the desktop and TweetDeck. Users can toggle the service on and off from their account settings on the desktop or laptap, where it says "show tweet translations."

Twitter partnered with Microsoft's Bing Translator for the tool, which works for more than 40 languages pairs.

In a test, the feature worked for translating tweets between English and languages including Spanish, Dutch, French, Italian, Japanese and Russian. One language pairing it doesn't appear to work for is Filipino to English, judging by this tweet by Pope Francis, which doesn't have the globe icon.

Results will likely vary and fall below the accuracy and fluency of translations that might be provided by a professional translator, Twitter says on the support page for the service.

Still, it's a useful and fun feature that could help facilitate more cross-border conversations and activity among people on Twitter's site.

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