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Released a new version of Stilus: semantic technology for automatic proofreading

Released a new version of Stilus: semantic technology for automatic proofreading | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
The Spanish company Daedalus has released a new version of Stilus, a tool for multilingual proofreading that applies semantic technologies and operates in the cloud to facilitate the task of spelling, grammar and style checking.
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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 | Scoop.it

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

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What makes writing reader-friendly? - The Sun News

What makes writing reader-friendly? - The Sun News | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
This is the foundational point—every other thing rests on it. What is the capacity of your vocabulary? Do you have a rich store of words? Is your pool of phrases and expressions deep? How is your mastery of com­munication principles? Can you read at least one book in a month? Can you write a clini­calRead More
Charles Tiayon's insight:

This is the foundational point—every other thing rests on it. What is the capacity of your vocabulary? Do you have a rich store of words? Is your pool of phrases and expressions deep? How is your mastery of com­munication principles? Can you read at least one book in a month? Can you write a clini­cal 1,000-word analysis or edi­torial on any given topic within 60 minutes? When and where can colleagues of yours bank on your professional capabili­ties and skills? The only way to measure your competency in information gathering, man­agement and dissemination is to score at least 50 per cent in each of the foregoing posers. Anything short of that margin is sub-standard and demands improvement.

There are six categories of readers: (A): Those who read at least a book in a month; (B): Those who read at least a book in three months; (C): Those who read at least a book in six months; (D): Those who read at least a book in nine months; (E): Those who read at least a book in a year; and (F): Those who do not read at all! Where do you belong? This is at the heart of vocabulary build-up. For instance, if you need to be a referential fellow in journalism, you must read—it is not optional. Otherwise, you are con­fined to journalistic arti­sanship! Writing is not mechanis­tic. It is architectural in nature: it must be planned, organised and systematically presented.

You must have a mini-library at home and in the office indispens­ably containing at least a current dictionary, thesaurus, Bible/Quran (for spiritual regeneration), and a modern book of quotations. These are companionable materials. You must study (peruse)—not just read—them daily, morning and night. Learn at least a new word (and its synonyms) or phrase or idiomatic expression each day x 7 x 30 x12 = work it yourself! Fa­miliarize yourself with each addi­tion: as much as possible scarcely employ those you have internal­ized over time. Let your writings exude novelties and freshness (the difference should be that between crisp and worn-out notes).

Listen to good speakers on radio and TV. Attend colloquia, confer­ences, symposia, seminars, work­shops, short-term courses and any other cerebral meeting. Participa­tion in these sessions adds immea­surable value to your overall scope and knowledge base. Do not wait for your employers to send you or depend on external interven­tion (sponsorship). No, invest in yourself, periodically!Network reasonably and leverage all its concomitants. Good writing skill is a function of self-development and commitment to cerebral mat­ters. Nobody can do it for you.

For inexplicable reasons, some expressions have become institu­tionalized in this part of the world and rabidly known as Nigerian English.

This is unacceptable in any formal/standard writing. Some­what, these informal collocations creep into the print and electronic media. In fact, it is so bad that at times purists begin to doubt them­selves because of the ubiquity of these informal creations! News­paper language is elevated, for­mal and standard. Any other entry outside this is colloquialism and should not be allowed in a soar-away market leaders like DAILY SUN or even provincial publica­tions, for that matter. The audienc­es of your racy medium comprise the elite in business, governance, politics and the academia. You cannot afford to be like the floun­dering, ragtag media outlets on the fringes. I have an attachment of some of the ‘Nigerian English’ oddities. The list is inexhaustive—you should be able to add as many as possible!

You must develop yourself in such way that you become critical of any written work, no matter the author or the apparent perfection. Once you attain this level, it be­comes easier to spot blunders and improve on even well-written ma­terials. To reach this height will re­quire compliance with the forego­ing and other germane issues that are not captured here.We must be conversant with new media tech­nologies and their usages: Google, Yahoo, Dictionary.com, Answers.com, social network sites and oth­er online portals too numerous to be mentioned here. Conventional communication methodology is giving way to this latest techno­logical onslaught.

Your choice of words, their organization and your style de­termine your sentence and para­graphs and ultimately what are cumulatively known as syntax, lexis and structure in grammar. Once the foundational collaterals (parts of speech, word usage, sen­tence construction, paragraph har­monization, spelling, punctuation and sequence) are faulty at any point in the lexical equity chain, communicative dysfunction sets in. So, instead of ‘big words,’ use simple ones. Clarity is critical to writing—don’t write to impress anyone with verbosity. Needless or worthless verbiage is antitheti­cal to good writing. Always re­member that simplicity is the soul of writing.

Any of the above sub-heads is the greatest enemy of classical writing and fine prose that flour­ishes.

They diminish the flow of read­ing and quality of output. Avoid them as much as you can—in fact, as the bible says, flee from them lest they lead you into poor crafts­manship and ruin you irredeem­ably! You will not be there with the reader of your work to explain the inevitability of the blunder. Overall, cultivate tight writing—it forecloses errors.

If you do not understand the foregoing basic principles, rules and grammar of the English lan­guage, you may not go far profes­sionally in this business of writ­ing. Even if you circumstantially (or, as they say, accidentally!) do, the quality of your work will inev­itably underscore people’s percep­tion of you and your reputational reckoning. As Dr. Adidi Uyo of Unilag would say, if you must write, write it right!

To my Muslim pals

AS Muslim faithful world­wide round off this year’s Sal­lah, I wish all Muslim friends of mine namely, but not limited to the short list herein, Governor Sule Lamido, IGP Mohammed Abubakar, Ismail Omipidan, Mukhtar Sirajo, Abdulfatah Oladeinde, Alao Salimon, Kun­le Gbadamosi, Kunle Oyewumi, Lateef Raji, Shu’aibu Usman Leman, Waheed Odusile, Tunde Rahman and Zakari Adamu more rewarding and fulfilling years ahead.

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Democracia lanza el Diccionario Multilingüe Larousse - Diario Democracia - Noticias - Junín - Buenos Aires - Argentina

Democracia lanza el Diccionario Multilingüe Larousse - Diario Democracia - Noticias - Junín - Buenos Aires - Argentina | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
El Diccionario Larousse Multilingüe Ilustrado permite encontrar en un solo lugar la traducción de las palabras más frecuentes en los idiomas que más usamos los argentinos: inglés, italiano y portugués. 
La colección está integrada por 20 tomos. Cada uno consta de 72 páginas a color con letras grandes y legibles, ilustraciones en todas las páginas y una diagramación ágil que facilita el proceso de aprendizaje. 
El próximo domingo, los lectores de Democracia recibirán en forma gratuita el primer libro de la colección. Para completar la misma, podrán adquirir los siguientes libros a sólo $29.90, con el cupón que aparecerá con el diario Democracia de los días sábados.
Charles Tiayon's insight:
El Diccionario Larousse Multilingüe Ilustrado permite encontrar en un solo lugar la traducción de las palabras más frecuentes en los idiomas que más usamos los argentinos: inglés, italiano y portugués. 
La colección está integrada por 20 tomos. Cada uno consta de 72 páginas a color con letras grandes y legibles, ilustraciones en todas las páginas y una diagramación ágil que facilita el proceso de aprendizaje. 
El próximo domingo, los lectores de Democracia recibirán en forma gratuita el primer libro de la colección. Para completar la misma, podrán adquirir los siguientes libros a sólo $29.90, con el cupón que aparecerá con el diario Democracia de los días sábados.
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Abbala kill Unamid translator in North Darfur | Radio Dabanga

Abbala kill Unamid translator in North Darfur | Radio Dabanga | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

 

The translator of the Unamid team in Kabkabiya, North Darfur, was killed on Friday, his companion abducted, and a protection commander injured by Abbala gunmen.

 “On Friday, Abbala militiamen in a Land cruiser accosted Hamid and another man, who were on their way from Saraf Umra to El Sareif Beni Hussein on a motorcycle,” an eyewitness reported to Radio Dabanga from El Sareif town.

“The Abbala just ran over the motor cycle, killing the translator instantly. They seized his companion, and took him to an unknown destination.”

Charles Tiayon's insight:

The translator of the Unamid team in Kabkabiya, North Darfur, was killed on Friday, his companion abducted, and a protection commander injured by Abbala gunmen.

 “On Friday, Abbala militiamen in a Land cruiser accosted Hamid and another man, who were on their way from Saraf Umra to El Sareif Beni Hussein on a motorcycle,” an eyewitness reported to Radio Dabanga from El Sareif town.

“The Abbala just ran over the motor cycle, killing the translator instantly. They seized his companion, and took him to an unknown destination.”

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Have you been paying attention?

Have you been paying attention? | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
PLENTY of programs teach ­people to speak — but few train them to listen.
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Even before the age of digital distractions, people could remember only about 10 per cent of what was said in a face-to-face conversation after a brief distraction, ­according to a 1987 study that ­remains a key gauge of conversational recall.

Researchers believe listening skills have since fallen amid more multitasking and interruptions. Most people can think more than twice as fast as the average person talks, allowing minds to wander.

The failure to listen well not only prolongs meetings and discussions, but also can hurt relationships and damage careers.

However, it is possible to improve your listening skills — first, by ­becoming aware of the ways you might tune others out.

Some people are busy thinking about what they want to say next. Others listen only long enough to figure out whether the speaker’s views conform to their own, says Bernard Ferrari, author of Power Listening and dean of the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School.

Still others interrupt to spout solutions, often before the problem has been fully identified.

According to Julian Treasure, an author and speaker on conscious listening, a major obstacle is a common tendency to filter and judge others’ talk based on­ ­assumptions, expectations and ­intentions. Many people listen in a critical way, brushing off information from those they think have little to offer, adds Treasure, chairman of British firm Sound Agency, which helps companies link their brands with sounds or music.

A 2011 study in organisational behaviour and human decision processes found that the more powerful the listener the more likely they were to judge or dismiss advice from others.

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Relevance Theory and translation: Translating puns in Spanish film titles into English

Relevance Theory and translation: Translating puns in Spanish film titles into English | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

The present paper aims to analyse the translation of puns from a Relevance-Theory perspective. Relevance Theory is a cognitive-pragmatic approach to communication proposed by Sperber and Wilson in the mid-1980s (Sperber and Wilson, 1986). According to such theoretical framework, the relation between a translation and its source text is considered to be based on interpretive resemblance, rather than on equivalence (see 0145 and 0150). The translator would try to seek optimal relevance, in such a way that s/he would use different strategies to try to recreate the cognitive effects intended by the source communicator with the lowest possible processing effort on the part of the target addressee. The analysis carried out in this study is based on one hundred and ninety titles of Spanish and Latin American film titles containing puns and their translations for the Anglo-Saxon or international market. The strategies used by the translators to render puns in the translated titles have been analysed. The selection of strategy is determined, among other factors, by the principle of relevance. In those cases in which there is a coincidence in the relation between the levels of signifier and signified across source and target language, translators normally opt to translate literally and reproduce a pun based on the same linguistic phenomenon as the source pun and semantically equivalent to it. In the rest of the cases, the translator will have to assess what is more relevant, either content or the effect produced by the pun.

Keywords
  • Relevance Theory
  • Translation
  • Puns
  • Film titles
  • Spanish
  • English
Charles Tiayon's insight:

The present paper aims to analyse the translation of puns from a Relevance-Theory perspective. Relevance Theory is a cognitive-pragmatic approach to communication proposed by Sperber and Wilson in the mid-1980s (Sperber and Wilson, 1986). According to such theoretical framework, the relation between a translation and its source text is considered to be based on interpretive resemblance, rather than on equivalence (see 0145 and 0150). The translator would try to seek optimal relevance, in such a way that s/he would use different strategies to try to recreate the cognitive effects intended by the source communicator with the lowest possible processing effort on the part of the target addressee. The analysis carried out in this study is based on one hundred and ninety titles of Spanish and Latin American film titles containing puns and their translations for the Anglo-Saxon or international market. The strategies used by the translators to render puns in the translated titles have been analysed. The selection of strategy is determined, among other factors, by the principle of relevance. In those cases in which there is a coincidence in the relation between the levels of signifier and signified across source and target language, translators normally opt to translate literally and reproduce a pun based on the same linguistic phenomenon as the source pun and semantically equivalent to it. In the rest of the cases, the translator will have to assess what is more relevant, either content or the effect produced by the pun.

Keywords
  • Relevance Theory
  • Translation
  • Puns
  • Film titles
  • Spanish
  • English
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The Marietta Daily Journal - Mourning the end of cursive writing

The Marietta Daily Journal - Mourning the end of cursive writing | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

I’ve been writing to my granddaughter, Kathryn, who’s at summer camp. Kathryn is named for my mother, so it’s fitting to put pen to paper, remembering a woman who kept in touch. 

My mother was a postcard writer. Filling the back of a card, she turned it on its side and kept writing, adding one more sentence before signing her name.

When I tell friends she wrote to me daily during my college years, they roll their eyes. They’re skeptical, and no wonder! We have become people of the “tweet,” of Facebook, emails, of texting. Unless we are tourists, browsing in a gift shop, who buys postcards today?

I dread asking, but the question looms: Who will write letters or postcards by the time Kathryn’s children are in college?

Letter writing is fast becoming a lost art. My favorite paper goods store has reduced its stock of stationery to one section of shelves. Half of the note cards are sale-priced.

Still, I hold fast to the words of a Yale psychologist who believes “with handwriting, the very act of putting words down on paper forces you to focus on what’s important.”

In most schools today, printing the alphabet is taught in kindergarten and in the first grade, then computers reign in classrooms, the keyboard taking the place of cursive writing, that dinosaur skill from the days of mastering fine penmanship.

Even as we give up the pads of paper with blue lines, those fat pencils guiding fingers to capital and lower case letter formations, research has found students learn better if they take notes by hand. Somehow, growing bodies with busy brains process information, say, from a lecture, with more clarity if the teacher’s words are written rather than typed on a keyboard.

Studies shore up cursive writing as a factor in teaching self-control. Maybe it’s the rhythm of holding a pen or pencil and learning to follow through, to take time to add a tail to a letter or conquer the domain of a capital “D,” over, under, up, ending with the flourish of a crown.

As the teaching of cursive writing disappears from curriculum after curriculum, surely we will feel its loss in literature, in play writing. No longer will a serious drama concern itself with the reading of personal letters, their words spoken from the stage. How can a novel tie a plot to secret information, sent by hand-written notes, passed from courier to spy?

I have just finished a book, its spine thick with letters from Japan, carried by the force of a tsunami, washed ashore on a beach in British Columbia. In the packet, letters wrapped in oiled paper speak to a novelist’s image of a Japanese pilot forced to train as a suicide bomber in World War II.

His history is preserved on paper, in ink, smudged and faded by time, connecting his diary to the young pilot’s nieces and nephews, yet unborn. He writes he will nose dive into the sea rather than crash his plane on the deck of an American ship. His superiors will call his fatal accident a “miscalculation,” but his letters reveal the truth. He refuses to kill young men, caught up in a war, those, who, in another life, might have been his friends.

God willing, generations still to come will not send letters from war zones, but without the angles and curves of legible penmanship, won’t declarations of love and promises of friendship come through cyberspace as emails, missives wedged between advertisements for Canadian prescription services and sales on designer shoes?

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Mourning the end of cursive writing 

Charles Tiayon's insight:

I’ve been writing to my granddaughter, Kathryn, who’s at summer camp. Kathryn is named for my mother, so it’s fitting to put pen to paper, remembering a woman who kept in touch. 

My mother was a postcard writer. Filling the back of a card, she turned it on its side and kept writing, adding one more sentence before signing her name.

When I tell friends she wrote to me daily during my college years, they roll their eyes. They’re skeptical, and no wonder! We have become people of the “tweet,” of Facebook, emails, of texting. Unless we are tourists, browsing in a gift shop, who buys postcards today?

I dread asking, but the question looms: Who will write letters or postcards by the time Kathryn’s children are in college?

Letter writing is fast becoming a lost art. My favorite paper goods store has reduced its stock of stationery to one section of shelves. Half of the note cards are sale-priced.

Still, I hold fast to the words of a Yale psychologist who believes “with handwriting, the very act of putting words down on paper forces you to focus on what’s important.”

In most schools today, printing the alphabet is taught in kindergarten and in the first grade, then computers reign in classrooms, the keyboard taking the place of cursive writing, that dinosaur skill from the days of mastering fine penmanship.

Even as we give up the pads of paper with blue lines, those fat pencils guiding fingers to capital and lower case letter formations, research has found students learn better if they take notes by hand. Somehow, growing bodies with busy brains process information, say, from a lecture, with more clarity if the teacher’s words are written rather than typed on a keyboard.

Studies shore up cursive writing as a factor in teaching self-control. Maybe it’s the rhythm of holding a pen or pencil and learning to follow through, to take time to add a tail to a letter or conquer the domain of a capital “D,” over, under, up, ending with the flourish of a crown.

As the teaching of cursive writing disappears from curriculum after curriculum, surely we will feel its loss in literature, in play writing. No longer will a serious drama concern itself with the reading of personal letters, their words spoken from the stage. How can a novel tie a plot to secret information, sent by hand-written notes, passed from courier to spy?

I have just finished a book, its spine thick with letters from Japan, carried by the force of a tsunami, washed ashore on a beach in British Columbia. In the packet, letters wrapped in oiled paper speak to a novelist’s image of a Japanese pilot forced to train as a suicide bomber in World War II.

His history is preserved on paper, in ink, smudged and faded by time, connecting his diary to the young pilot’s nieces and nephews, yet unborn. He writes he will nose dive into the sea rather than crash his plane on the deck of an American ship. His superiors will call his fatal accident a “miscalculation,” but his letters reveal the truth. He refuses to kill young men, caught up in a war, those, who, in another life, might have been his friends.

God willing, generations still to come will not send letters from war zones, but without the angles and curves of legible penmanship, won’t declarations of love and promises of friendship come through cyberspace as emails, missives wedged between advertisements for Canadian prescription services and sales on designer shoes?

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Mourning the end of cursive writing 

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Herencia en el ‘Diccionario biográfico de España (1808-1833)’ | Herencia (Ciudad Real). Diario de información en el corazón de la mancha

Herencia en el ‘Diccionario biográfico de España (1808-1833)’ | Herencia (Ciudad Real). Diario de información en el corazón de la mancha | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

Recientemente la FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE ha puesto a disposición de los investigadores e internautas, la versión digital del Diccionario biográfico de España (1808-1833). De los orígenes del liberalismo a la reacción absolutista, una obra de referencia elaborada por el historiador Alberto Gil Novales durante más de treinta y cinco años de trabajo. La obra incluye las biografías de todos aquellos que tuvieron un papel relevante, por pequeño que fuera, (mas de 25.000 entradas biográficas ordenadas alfabéticamente) en los hechos acaecidos durante el reinado de Fernando VII, en el cual se sucedieron acontecimientos tan importantes como la Guerra de la Independencia, las constituciones de Cádiz y Bayona, la independencia americana y el Trienio liberal.

Por supuesto, en el mismo existen referencias a la localidad de Herencia (Ciudad Real) y a personajes que pasaron durante el primer tercio del siglo XIX por la localidad. Estudios más modernos podrían completar las referencias que aparecen en este diccionario con figuras como laa investigadas por Ángel Martín-Fontecha de Manuel González de Salcedo, Luis González o Román González-Román Gómez-Calcerrada, por citar solo algunade ellos. No obstante la información existente en este diccionario es de lo más interesante con 6 referencias a Herencia (alguna de ellas, como veremos, de nombres “ficticios”): Eugenio María Abengoza Fernández, Francisco Abad Moreno “Chaleco”, Juan Bacas, Juan Manuel Herreros, Rafael Moreno y Cosme del Mármol.

Transcribo a continuación las referencias a estos personajes citados por Alberto Gil Novales:

  • Abengoza Fernández, Eugenio María

(Herencia, Ciudad Real, 15 noviembre 1790 – ?). Hijo de Ángel Tomás Abengoza, alférez retirado y labrador, y de Francisca Isabel Fernández Cano, ingresó en Guardias de Corps en 1815. Garzón, primer escuadrón, plana mayor del ejército en 1819, 1820 y 1821. En 1826 vuelve a figurar como garzón del segundo escuadrón, pero su nombre ya no figura en 1827. (AGMS).

Seguir leyendo en: historiadeherencia.es

Charles Tiayon's insight:

Recientemente la FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE ha puesto a disposición de los investigadores e internautas, la versión digital del Diccionario biográfico de España (1808-1833). De los orígenes del liberalismo a la reacción absolutista, una obra de referencia elaborada por el historiador Alberto Gil Novales durante más de treinta y cinco años de trabajo. La obra incluye las biografías de todos aquellos que tuvieron un papel relevante, por pequeño que fuera, (mas de 25.000 entradas biográficas ordenadas alfabéticamente) en los hechos acaecidos durante el reinado de Fernando VII, en el cual se sucedieron acontecimientos tan importantes como la Guerra de la Independencia, las constituciones de Cádiz y Bayona, la independencia americana y el Trienio liberal.

Por supuesto, en el mismo existen referencias a la localidad de Herencia (Ciudad Real) y a personajes que pasaron durante el primer tercio del siglo XIX por la localidad. Estudios más modernos podrían completar las referencias que aparecen en este diccionario con figuras como laa investigadas por Ángel Martín-Fontecha de Manuel González de Salcedo, Luis González o Román González-Román Gómez-Calcerrada, por citar solo algunade ellos. No obstante la información existente en este diccionario es de lo más interesante con 6 referencias a Herencia (alguna de ellas, como veremos, de nombres “ficticios”): Eugenio María Abengoza Fernández, Francisco Abad Moreno “Chaleco”, Juan Bacas, Juan Manuel Herreros, Rafael Moreno y Cosme del Mármol.

Transcribo a continuación las referencias a estos personajes citados por Alberto Gil Novales:

  • Abengoza Fernández, Eugenio María

(Herencia, Ciudad Real, 15 noviembre 1790 – ?). Hijo de Ángel Tomás Abengoza, alférez retirado y labrador, y de Francisca Isabel Fernández Cano, ingresó en Guardias de Corps en 1815. Garzón, primer escuadrón, plana mayor del ejército en 1819, 1820 y 1821. En 1826 vuelve a figurar como garzón del segundo escuadrón, pero su nombre ya no figura en 1827. (AGMS).

Seguir leyendo en: historiadeherencia.es

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Baidu profit up 34% as mobile service grows

Baidu profit up 34% as mobile service grows | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Baidu and other internet companies are building mobile e-commerce and other services as Chinese users shift rapidly to going online using smartphones and tablet computers
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Strong Early Reading Predict High IQ Later

Strong Early Reading Predict High IQ Later | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
TEHRAN (FNA)- A new study of identical twins has found that early reading skill might positively affect later intellectual abilities. The study, in the journal Child Development, was conducted by researchers at the University of Edinburgh and King's College London.

"Since reading is an ability that can be improved, our findings have implications for reading instruction," according to Stuart J. Ritchie, research fellow in psychology at the University of Edinburgh, who led the study. "Early remediation of reading problems might aid not only the growth of literacy, but also more general cognitive abilities that are of critical importance across the lifespan."

Researchers looked at 1,890 identical twins who were part of the Twins Early Development Study, an ongoing longitudinal study in the United Kingdom whose participants were representative of the population as a whole. They examined scores from tests of reading and intelligence taken when the twins were 7, 9, 10, 12, and 16. Using a statistical model, they tested whether differences in reading ability between each pair of twins were linked to later differences in intelligence, taking into account earlier differences in intelligence. Because each pair of identical twins shared all their genes as well as a home environment, any differences between them had to be because of experiences that the twins didn't share, such as a particularly effective teacher or a group of friends that encouraged reading.

The researchers found that earlier differences in reading between the twins were linked to later differences in intelligence. Reading was associated not only with measures of verbal intelligence (such as vocabulary tests) but with measures of nonverbal intelligence as well (such as reasoning tests). The differences in reading that were linked to differences in later intelligence were present by age 7, which may indicate that even early reading skills affect intellectual development.

"If, as our results imply, reading causally influences intelligence, the implications for educators are clear," suggests Ritchie. "Children who don't receive enough assistance in learning to read may also be missing out on the important, intelligence-boosting properties of literacy."

Besides having implications for educational intervention, the study may address the question of why individual children from one family can score differently on intelligence tests, despite sharing genes, socioeconomic status, and the educational level and personality of parents with their siblings.

Charles Tiayon's insight:
TEHRAN (FNA)- A new study of identical twins has found that early reading skill might positively affect later intellectual abilities. The study, in the journal Child Development, was conducted by researchers at the University of Edinburgh and King's College London.

"Since reading is an ability that can be improved, our findings have implications for reading instruction," according to Stuart J. Ritchie, research fellow in psychology at the University of Edinburgh, who led the study. "Early remediation of reading problems might aid not only the growth of literacy, but also more general cognitive abilities that are of critical importance across the lifespan."

Researchers looked at 1,890 identical twins who were part of the Twins Early Development Study, an ongoing longitudinal study in the United Kingdom whose participants were representative of the population as a whole. They examined scores from tests of reading and intelligence taken when the twins were 7, 9, 10, 12, and 16. Using a statistical model, they tested whether differences in reading ability between each pair of twins were linked to later differences in intelligence, taking into account earlier differences in intelligence. Because each pair of identical twins shared all their genes as well as a home environment, any differences between them had to be because of experiences that the twins didn't share, such as a particularly effective teacher or a group of friends that encouraged reading.

The researchers found that earlier differences in reading between the twins were linked to later differences in intelligence. Reading was associated not only with measures of verbal intelligence (such as vocabulary tests) but with measures of nonverbal intelligence as well (such as reasoning tests). The differences in reading that were linked to differences in later intelligence were present by age 7, which may indicate that even early reading skills affect intellectual development.

"If, as our results imply, reading causally influences intelligence, the implications for educators are clear," suggests Ritchie. "Children who don't receive enough assistance in learning to read may also be missing out on the important, intelligence-boosting properties of literacy."

Besides having implications for educational intervention, the study may address the question of why individual children from one family can score differently on intelligence tests, despite sharing genes, socioeconomic status, and the educational level and personality of parents with their siblings.

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New Quran Translation in Chinese

New Quran Translation in Chinese | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
12 translations of the Holy Quran in the Chinese language have been published so far.
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There are also two renderings of the Holy Book published in China in the Uyghur and Kazakh languages.

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Doctors and Translators Are Working Together to Bridge Wikipedia’s Medical Language Gap · Global Voices

Doctors and Translators Are Working Together to Bridge Wikipedia’s Medical Language Gap · Global Voices | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
A new project that aims to enrich Wikipedia articles related to medical subjects in many world languages has been given a $10,000 grant from the Wikimedia Foundation.
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Recently, the Wikimedia Foundation’s Individual Engagement Grant (IEG), a microgrant supporting work on Wikipedia-related activities, granted 10,000 US dollars to the Medicine Translation Project Community Organizing project, which aims to enhance communication and coordination among the team. 

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How I created the languages of Dothraki and Valyrian for Game of Thrones - OUPblog

How I created the languages of Dothraki and Valyrian for Game of Thrones - OUPblog | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
By David J. Peterson My name is David Peterson, and I’m a conlanger. “What’s a conlanger,” you may ask? Thanks to the recent addition of the word “conlang” to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), I can now say, “Look it up!” But to save you the trouble, a conlanger is a constructed language (or conlang) maker—i.e. one who creates languages.
Charles Tiayon's insight:

Language creation has been around since at least the 12th century, when the German abbess Hildegard von Bingen created her Lingua Ignota — Latin for “hidden language” — an invented vocabulary she used for writing hymns. In the centuries that followed, philosophers like Leibniz and John Wilkins would create languages that were intended to serve as grand classification systems, and idealists like L. L. Zamenhof would create languages intended to simplify international communication. All these systems focused on the basic utility of language — its ability to encode and convey meaning. That would change in the 20th century.

- See more at: http://blog.oup.com/2014/07/dothraki-valyrian-language-game-of-thrones/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=oupblog#sthash.ZHmfuMDh.dpuf

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Writing Job Vacancies | Kenyan Jobs Blogspot :: A Collection of Jobs in Kenya

Jobs in Kenya :- Exciting career Opportunities and the best up-to-date vacancies for all Kenyan Jobs seekers daily
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Essays in English yield information about other languages

Essays in English yield information about other languages | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

Cambridge, Massachusetts - Computer scientists at MIT and Israel’s Technion have discovered an unexpected source of information about the world’s languages: the habits of native speakers of those languages when writing in English.

The work could enable computers chewing through relatively accessible documents to approximate data that might take trained linguists months in the field to collect. But that data could in turn lead to better computational tools.

“These [linguistic] features that our system is learning are of course, on one hand, of nice theoretical interest for linguists,” says Boris Katz, a principal research scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and one of the leaders of the new work. “But on the other, they’re beginning to be used more and more often in applications. Everybody’s very interested in building computational tools for world languages, but in order to build them, you need these features. So we may be able to do much more than just learn linguistic features. … These features could be extremely valuable for creating better parsers, better speech-recognizers, better natural-language translators, and so forth.”

In fact, Katz explains, the researchers’ theoretical discovery resulted from their work on a practical application: About a year ago, Katz proposed to one of his students, Yevgeni Berzak, that he try to write an algorithm that could automatically determine the native language of someone writing in English. The hope was to develop grammar-correcting software that could be tailored to a user’s specific linguistic background.

Family resemblance

With help from Katz and from Roi Reichart, an engineering professor at the Technion who was a postdoc at MIT, Berzak built a system that combed through more than 1,000 English-language essays written by native speakers of 14 different languages. First, it analyzed the parts of speech of the words in every sentence of every essay and the relationships between them. Then it looked for patterns in those relationships that correlated with the writers’ native languages.

Like most machine-learning classification algorithms, Berzak’s assigned probabilities to its inferences. It might conclude, for instance, that a particular essay had a 51 percent chance of having been written by a native Russian speaker, a 33 percent chance of having been written by a native Polish speaker, and only a 16 percent chance of having been written by a native Japanese speaker.

Charles Tiayon's insight:

Cambridge, Massachusetts - Computer scientists at MIT and Israel’s Technion have discovered an unexpected source of information about the world’s languages: the habits of native speakers of those languages when writing in English.

The work could enable computers chewing through relatively accessible documents to approximate data that might take trained linguists months in the field to collect. But that data could in turn lead to better computational tools.

“These [linguistic] features that our system is learning are of course, on one hand, of nice theoretical interest for linguists,” says Boris Katz, a principal research scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and one of the leaders of the new work. “But on the other, they’re beginning to be used more and more often in applications. Everybody’s very interested in building computational tools for world languages, but in order to build them, you need these features. So we may be able to do much more than just learn linguistic features. … These features could be extremely valuable for creating better parsers, better speech-recognizers, better natural-language translators, and so forth.”

In fact, Katz explains, the researchers’ theoretical discovery resulted from their work on a practical application: About a year ago, Katz proposed to one of his students, Yevgeni Berzak, that he try to write an algorithm that could automatically determine the native language of someone writing in English. The hope was to develop grammar-correcting software that could be tailored to a user’s specific linguistic background.

Family resemblance

With help from Katz and from Roi Reichart, an engineering professor at the Technion who was a postdoc at MIT, Berzak built a system that combed through more than 1,000 English-language essays written by native speakers of 14 different languages. First, it analyzed the parts of speech of the words in every sentence of every essay and the relationships between them. Then it looked for patterns in those relationships that correlated with the writers’ native languages.

Like most machine-learning classification algorithms, Berzak’s assigned probabilities to its inferences. It might conclude, for instance, that a particular essay had a 51 percent chance of having been written by a native Russian speaker, a 33 percent chance of having been written by a native Polish speaker, and only a 16 percent chance of having been written by a native Japanese speaker.

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Truces, terror and terminology

Truces, terror and terminology | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

Secretary of State John Kerry is in the wrong place, talking to the wrong people about the wrong thing. Last week he had already dragged Qatar, a Hamas backer, into the picture rather than support Egypt and Israel’s attempt for a no-conditions cease-fire. He then offered a proposal that in essence betrayed our ally Israel before jetting off to talk to European Union diplomats, presumably to attempt to foist his Hamas-friendly deal on Israel.

Let’s start with the subject of negotiations. Kerry is obsessed with brokering a permanent truce that would freeze the status quo. But that is an impossibility for Israel, as the Jerusalem Post reports:

Hamas built a network of tunnels that begin a few kilometers away from the Israeli border, and pass under the frontier, the source said, in a bid to enable dozens of terrorists to infiltrate the country. In response, the IDF has used a wide array of firepower and ground units to tackle the challenge, employing a rapid maneuver to “shatter the enemy and deny it freedom of operation in closed areas, where it is based,” he stated.

“We move in as quickly as possible, engage in close combat, and prevent the enemy from using its tunnels to enter our territory,” the source said.  He recalled seizing large numbers of weapons, suicide bomb belts, and projectile launchers in recent raids.

“Hamas has turned tunneling into a national profession. They lean on highly-skilled engineers to do this. We’re dealing with all of these threats through close-range combat,” the source added. . . . “We understand that if we do not deal with these threats, they will come to our home front. If you talk to members of our unit, it is clear to all of us that if we don’t take care of this, if we don’t destroy these threats and thwart them, they will reach us in a much more aggressive way, and they will harm Israeli civilians and soldiers.”

This is why during the humanitarian truce begun on Saturday, and then temporarily extended, Israel continued to track down and destroy these tunnels. Rather than work on a “truce.” Kerry should set his sights on a plan for demolishing the tunnels. The Israeli Defense Forces can do so without continuing combat, but only if Hamas permits soldiers complete access to all of Gaza. Israel has no interest in reoccupying Gaza, but only with destruction of the tunnels can hostilities end and reconstruction of Gaza continue.

The Times of Israel explains the problem:

Israel’s Communications Minister Gilad Erdan, a former member of the security cabinet, tells Channel 2 that Israel “will not end this operation and leave Gaza until the tunnels are dealt with.”

Israel is also intent on harming Hamas’s terrorist infrastructure, he says. “The international community needs to understand that we are very open to the economic rehabilitation of Gaza… but Hamas is our enemy.” If Hamas continues to build rockets and tunnels, Israel won’t be able to tolerate that.

Erdan says that, when the time comes, Abbas “can certainly be an address” for a security role at the Gaza border crossings.

But what does Kerry do? He adopts Hamas’s position, undermining both Israel and Egypt, in putting out a proposal that would let Hamas keep its remaining missiles and tunnels. The Israeli government decried this as a “capitulation” to Hamas and was understandably “outraged.” In a tenure filled with gaffes, missteps and blinding vanity this is a new low for Kerry.

This certainly moves to center stage the problem of de-militarizing Gaza. It is proving much harder than anyone imagined because the dividing line between civilian and terrorist has been virtually eliminated by Hamas. The Post explains:

The source said the unit is operating in a heavily built-up area, characterized by residential buildings, orchards surrounded by buildings, and tunnels. Hamas has planted its military assets deep inside the very fabric of Gazan civilian life, he said. “Hamas operatives and area commanders, as well as their rocket cell members, keep one part of their home for normal family life. A second part of the home is the command center, or the start of a tunnel. Daily life and military infrastructure are totally interwoven,” the source said.

“This is the source of the complexity we face in our combat. We must overcome the challenge of differentiating between Hamas and the civilian population,” he added. The Maglan unit is meeting the challenge, detecting a series of Hamas assets, he said.

It is not merely that weaponry is placed near homes; homes have becomemilitary garrisons:

Hamas has planted its military assets deep inside the very fabric of Gazan civilian life, [a military source] said. “Hamas operatives and area commanders, as well as their rocket cell members, keeps one part of their home for normal family life. A second part of the home is the command center, or the start of a tunnel. Daily life and military infrastructure are totally interwoven,” the source said. . . . “I have not entered one civilian home that did not have weapons, suicide belts, or booby traps in it. You can see the booby traps from the outside,” the source said. Any home found to be containing women and children leads to an immediate halt of the raid, he added. “We hold our fire, there’s no question. We don’t take chances with children and women. We allow them to leave, and then continue the raid. That’s who we are, and this is the source of our strength,” he added.

The administration might at least comprehend the extent of the problem before mouthing off about the need for Israel to exercise “greater caution” with civilians or, worse, allowing Hamas to keep its arsenal. Indeed whom does the Obama administration consider a “civilian”?

Then there is the matter of Kerry’s choice of diplomats and locale: TheTimes of Israel reports, “Channel 2′s Ehud Ya’ari, one of Israel’s most respected Middle East commentators, lambastes Kerry for having jetted off to Paris to meet with the Europeans, Turks and Qatar, with no Egyptians, no representatives of Mahmoud Abbas’s PA, and no Israelis present.” He sure seems anxious to undercut the people (primarily the Egyptians) who are most likely to hold the line against Hamas and who are trying to put into place conditions that Israel desperately needs to secure its population from daily assault. If selling out Israel is Kerry’s goal, there is no better group to enlist than the Europeans.

If the Israelis can continue to dis-entangle missiles, suicide vests and rockets from the civilian population and to destroy the tunnels, then an end to hostilities can take place. But for now the essential work to destroy Hamas’s terrorist apparatus continues in a state of war. Apparently the Israelis will need to accomplish their objective despite Kerry’s meddling. And, by the way, Hamas, in embedding itself in civilian homes, is guilty of massive war crimes, responsible for each civilian casualty in those quasi-military sites and should be held to account. Kerry might bring up that unpleasant reality when chit-chatting with his European pals.

Charles Tiayon's insight:

Secretary of State John Kerry is in the wrong place, talking to the wrong people about the wrong thing. Last week he had already dragged Qatar, a Hamas backer, into the picture rather than support Egypt and Israel’s attempt for a no-conditions cease-fire. He then offered a proposal that in essence betrayed our ally Israel before jetting off to talk to European Union diplomats, presumably to attempt to foist his Hamas-friendly deal on Israel.

Let’s start with the subject of negotiations. Kerry is obsessed with brokering a permanent truce that would freeze the status quo. But that is an impossibility for Israel, as the Jerusalem Post reports:

Hamas built a network of tunnels that begin a few kilometers away from the Israeli border, and pass under the frontier, the source said, in a bid to enable dozens of terrorists to infiltrate the country. In response, the IDF has used a wide array of firepower and ground units to tackle the challenge, employing a rapid maneuver to “shatter the enemy and deny it freedom of operation in closed areas, where it is based,” he stated.

“We move in as quickly as possible, engage in close combat, and prevent the enemy from using its tunnels to enter our territory,” the source said.  He recalled seizing large numbers of weapons, suicide bomb belts, and projectile launchers in recent raids.

“Hamas has turned tunneling into a national profession. They lean on highly-skilled engineers to do this. We’re dealing with all of these threats through close-range combat,” the source added. . . . “We understand that if we do not deal with these threats, they will come to our home front. If you talk to members of our unit, it is clear to all of us that if we don’t take care of this, if we don’t destroy these threats and thwart them, they will reach us in a much more aggressive way, and they will harm Israeli civilians and soldiers.”

This is why during the humanitarian truce begun on Saturday, and then temporarily extended, Israel continued to track down and destroy these tunnels. Rather than work on a “truce.” Kerry should set his sights on a plan for demolishing the tunnels. The Israeli Defense Forces can do so without continuing combat, but only if Hamas permits soldiers complete access to all of Gaza. Israel has no interest in reoccupying Gaza, but only with destruction of the tunnels can hostilities end and reconstruction of Gaza continue.

The Times of Israel explains the problem:

Israel’s Communications Minister Gilad Erdan, a former member of the security cabinet, tells Channel 2 that Israel “will not end this operation and leave Gaza until the tunnels are dealt with.”

Israel is also intent on harming Hamas’s terrorist infrastructure, he says. “The international community needs to understand that we are very open to the economic rehabilitation of Gaza… but Hamas is our enemy.” If Hamas continues to build rockets and tunnels, Israel won’t be able to tolerate that.

Erdan says that, when the time comes, Abbas “can certainly be an address” for a security role at the Gaza border crossings.

But what does Kerry do? He adopts Hamas’s position, undermining both Israel and Egypt, in putting out a proposal that would let Hamas keep its remaining missiles and tunnels. The Israeli government decried this as a “capitulation” to Hamas and was understandably “outraged.” In a tenure filled with gaffes, missteps and blinding vanity this is a new low for Kerry.

This certainly moves to center stage the problem of de-militarizing Gaza. It is proving much harder than anyone imagined because the dividing line between civilian and terrorist has been virtually eliminated by Hamas. The Post explains:

The source said the unit is operating in a heavily built-up area, characterized by residential buildings, orchards surrounded by buildings, and tunnels. Hamas has planted its military assets deep inside the very fabric of Gazan civilian life, he said. “Hamas operatives and area commanders, as well as their rocket cell members, keep one part of their home for normal family life. A second part of the home is the command center, or the start of a tunnel. Daily life and military infrastructure are totally interwoven,” the source said.

“This is the source of the complexity we face in our combat. We must overcome the challenge of differentiating between Hamas and the civilian population,” he added. The Maglan unit is meeting the challenge, detecting a series of Hamas assets, he said.

It is not merely that weaponry is placed near homes; homes have becomemilitary garrisons:

Hamas has planted its military assets deep inside the very fabric of Gazan civilian life, [a military source] said. “Hamas operatives and area commanders, as well as their rocket cell members, keeps one part of their home for normal family life. A second part of the home is the command center, or the start of a tunnel. Daily life and military infrastructure are totally interwoven,” the source said. . . . “I have not entered one civilian home that did not have weapons, suicide belts, or booby traps in it. You can see the booby traps from the outside,” the source said. Any home found to be containing women and children leads to an immediate halt of the raid, he added. “We hold our fire, there’s no question. We don’t take chances with children and women. We allow them to leave, and then continue the raid. That’s who we are, and this is the source of our strength,” he added.

The administration might at least comprehend the extent of the problem before mouthing off about the need for Israel to exercise “greater caution” with civilians or, worse, allowing Hamas to keep its arsenal. Indeed whom does the Obama administration consider a “civilian”?

Then there is the matter of Kerry’s choice of diplomats and locale: TheTimes of Israel reports, “Channel 2′s Ehud Ya’ari, one of Israel’s most respected Middle East commentators, lambastes Kerry for having jetted off to Paris to meet with the Europeans, Turks and Qatar, with no Egyptians, no representatives of Mahmoud Abbas’s PA, and no Israelis present.” He sure seems anxious to undercut the people (primarily the Egyptians) who are most likely to hold the line against Hamas and who are trying to put into place conditions that Israel desperately needs to secure its population from daily assault. If selling out Israel is Kerry’s goal, there is no better group to enlist than the Europeans.

If the Israelis can continue to dis-entangle missiles, suicide vests and rockets from the civilian population and to destroy the tunnels, then an end to hostilities can take place. But for now the essential work to destroy Hamas’s terrorist apparatus continues in a state of war. Apparently the Israelis will need to accomplish their objective despite Kerry’s meddling. And, by the way, Hamas, in embedding itself in civilian homes, is guilty of massive war crimes, responsible for each civilian casualty in those quasi-military sites and should be held to account. Kerry might bring up that unpleasant reality when chit-chatting with his European pals.

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UCLA Campus Report: A Communication Breakthrough for Children w Autism, More

UCLA Campus Report: A Communication Breakthrough for Children w Autism, More | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
This week’s post includes a study re: communication with children with autism, good news for California’s commercial real estate sector, news of a pop star who recorded a performance in Royce Hall and a look at Real Madrid’s annual visit to campus.
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An occasional report from around campus that recognizes that UCLA is a school with a world-class reputation for research and innovation and whose people make real impact on the real world:

This week’s post includes a study regarding communication with children with autism, good news for California’s commercial real estate sector, news of a pop star who recorded a performance in Royce Hall and a look at Real Madrid’s annual visit to campus.

UCLA-led study finds personalized approach enhances communication skills in children with autism


Computer tablets play key role in the blended therapy


A UCLA-led study has found that the communication skills of minimally verbal children with autism can be greatly improved through personalized interventions that are combined with the use of computer tablets.


The three-year study examined different approaches to improving communication abilities among children with autism spectrum disorder and minimal verbal skills. Approximately 30 percent of children with ASD overall remain minimally verbal even after years of intervention.


UCLA professor Connie Kasari, the paper's senior author, worked with researchers at Vanderbilt University and the Kennedy Krieger Institute. They found that children's language skills greatly improved when spoken- and social-communication therapy was tailored based on their individual progress and delivered using computer tablets.


The trial involved 61 children with ASD, ages 5 to 8. For six months, each child received communication therapy focusing on social communication gestures, such as pointing, as well as play skills and spoken language.


Half of the children were randomly selected to also use speech-generating applications on computer tablets for at least half of the time during their sessions. The tablets were programmed with audio clips of words the children were learning about during their therapy sessions and images of the corresponding objects. Working with a therapist, the child could tap a picture of a block, for example, and the tablet would play audio of the word "block."


The researchers found that children who had access to the tablets during therapy were more likely to use language spontaneously and socially than the children who received the communication intervention alone — and that incorporating the tablets at the beginning of the treatment was more effective than introducing it later in the therapy.


"It was remarkable how well the tablet worked in providing access to communication for these children," said Kasari, professor of human development and psychology in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and professor of psychiatry at UCLA's Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. "Children who received the behavioral intervention along with the tablet to support their communication attempts made much faster progress in learning to communicate, and especially in using spoken language."


Researchers also conducted follow-up visits with the children three months after the initial study period and found that their improvement had been maintained during that time.

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NEWS: Marriage now gender-neutral in Chambers Dictionary

NEWS: Marriage now gender-neutral in Chambers Dictionary | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Marriage has been redefined to be gender-neutral in the 13th edition of Chambers Dictionary. The dictionary now describes the institution as, “the ceremony, act or contract by which two people...
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Marriage has been redefined to be gender-neutral in the 13th edition of Chambers Dictionary.

The dictionary now describes the institution as, “the ceremony, act or contract by which two people become married to each other”.

The dictionary, first published in 1872, has also changed its definitions of husband and wife in order to reflect the change in the law.

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For Rare Languages, Social Media Provide New Hope

For Rare Languages, Social Media Provide New Hope | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
At a time when social media users, for no particularly good reason, are trading in fully formed words for abbreviations ("defs" instead of "
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Early life experiences are important for cognitive abilities later in life

Early life experiences are important for cognitive abilities later in life | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Join the discussion with Steven Sussman, Ph.D, child & adolescent psychologist, about the different stages of child cognitive development.
Charles Tiayon's insight:

Initiatives to avoid cognitive decline later in life generally include a commitment to good nutrition and exercise. New research shows early life experiences have also been found to contribute to cognitive abilities in old age reported Science Daily on July 25, 2014. There appears to be a greater influence on the risk of cognitive impairment late in life from early life experiences such as childhood socioeconomic status and literacy than on such demographic characteristics as race and ethnicity.

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In fact researchers have found experiences at every stage of life contribute to cognitive abilities later in life reports UC Davis Health System. Dr. Bruce Reed, a professor of neurology and associate director of the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center, points out that declining cognitive function in older adults is a serious personal and public health concern. However, not all people lose cognitive function as they age. Therefore, clearly an understanding the remarkable variability in cognitive trajectories as people age is of vital importance for prevention, treatment and planning to nurture successful cognitive aging.

Dr. Dan Mungas, who is also a professor of neurology and associate director of the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, says this study is unusual because it examines how many different life experiences affect cognitive decline as people age. This study shows that variables such as ethnicity and years of education that influence cognitive test scores in a single evaluation are not actually associated with rates of cognitive decline. Instead specific life experiences such as level of reading attainment and intellectually stimulating activities serve as predictors of the rate of cognitive decline later in life. What this suggests is that intellectual stimulation throughout the entire life span of a person can decrease cognitive decline in old age.

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A Gaping Hole in the Curriculum for Translation Studies

A Gaping Hole in the Curriculum for Translation Studies | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
  When I was a university student, many, many years ago, I thought that the approach to teaching of foreign languages at my university was skewed too much toward the endless study of somewhat ...
Charles Tiayon's insight:

When I was a university student, many, many years ago, I thought that the approach to teaching of foreign languages at my university was skewed too much toward the endless study of somewhat ephemeral and apparently useless subjects. For example, if your major was the French language, you needed to memorize first a lot of facts about French literature from middle ages to 18th century, if your language was English, you would have to deliver a seminar work on Beowulf, and if you were majoring in Japanese, you would need to study also the basics of classical Chinese and the complicated grammar of classical Japanese language called bungo.

Most of this knowledge will be completely forgotten within a few years after graduation, with the exception of a few of these students who eventually became teachers of the same subjects again, generally as university professors.

I knew even then that these were worthwhile and interesting subjects to study (especially classical Chinese was really interesting). My main objection was that the kids who were studying these languages, including myself, did not speak very good French, English, or Japanese, which to me meant that the university had the priorities completely wrong. When I said as much all those years ago to one of my favorite teachers, he told me:”You will have the rest of your life to try to learn a foreign language and become really fluent in it. But the only time when you can learn all of these seemingly less important things is while you are still studying here”.

I know now that he was mostly right, and I was mostly wrong. But I did have a point too. A few years after graduation, 5 to be exact, I was working as an in-house translator in Tokyo for a small Japanese company that was importing BMWs to Japan. One of my Japanese colleagues at the company majored in German language at Waseda University, one of the most prestigious universities in Japan. But when I tried to have a conversation with him in German, I found out that he did not understand even very simple German sentences. He told me that most of the time they were just analyzing German grammar at Waseda (in Japanese) instead of learning the actual language. I had the same experience also with a Japanese friend of mine whom I met in San Francisco and who majored in German studies at Kyoto University, also a prestigious Japanese university. He could not speak German at all.

The approach to teaching of foreign languages at many universities, probably most of them in any country, has always been heavy on theory (grammar, history, literature), and light on practical knowledge (mastery of the language). And it may even be for the best, provided that the graduates eventually do learn the languages from which they are supposed to be expertly translating after graduation.

But I think that a practical approach to teaching of foreign languages at the university level should also include advice and counseling about career choices for students who are about to graduate. There are many things that one can with do with a degree in languages. And one of them is working as a specialized, self-employed translator.

Most young people who study languages probably do not give much thought to their eventual career after graduation. They study languages because it is something that they are really passionate about. If they were equally passionate about making a good living, they would probably have chosen dentistry, accounting, or law instead of languages.

It is possible to make a good living as a self-employed translator, depending on your language combination and specialization – if you know how to go about it. But is this a subject that is included in the curriculum at colleges and universities? When I Googled it, there was no shortage of advice offered from a number of source, some of the very questionable. But I did not see any links to this kind of “career planning” offered as a course at a university.

The job market and career choices that new foreign language majors are facing now must be very confusing in these turbulent times. The traditional employment model, based on the employer/employee relationship, is becoming so diluted in the brave, newly globalized world that it may even be on its way out after about two centuries during which it this was the predominant employment pattern.

There are many things that inexperienced translators who are armed only with a brand new diploma should know about.

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Learning To Read May Take Longer Than We Thought

Learning To Read May Take Longer Than We Thought | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
A Dartmouth study suggests that fifth-graders are still "learning to read," not just "reading to learn."
Charles Tiayon's insight:

"The theory of the fourth-grade shift had been based on behavioral data," says the lead author of the study, Donna Coch. She heads the Reading Brains Lab at Dartmouth College.

The assumption teachers make: "In a nutshell," Coch says, "by fourth grade you stop learning to read and start reading to learn. We're done teaching the basic skills in third grade, and you go use them starting in the fourth."

But, Coch's team found, that assumption may not be true. The study involved 96 participants, divided among third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders as well as college students. All average readers, the subjects wore noninvasive electrode caps that could swiftly pick up electrical activity in the brain.

They were shown strings of letters/symbols that fell into four different categories: words ("bed"); pseudo-words ("bem"); strings of letters ("mbe") and finally, strings of meaningless symbols (@#*). The researchers then observed the subjects' brains as they reacted, within milliseconds, to each kind of stimulus.

The children in the study handled the first three categories roughly as well as the college students, meaning their brains responded at a speed that suggested their word processing was automatic. The difference came with the fourth category, meaningless symbols. As late as fifth grade, children needed to use their conscious minds to decide whether the symbols were a word.

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Grants:IEG/Medicine Translation Project Community Organizing - Meta

Grants:IEG/Medicine Translation Project Community Organizing - Meta | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

The aim of the project is to accelerate the translation and integration of medical articles into as many languages as possible. This includes both ones where we have translated content before and languages in which we have nearly no medical content as of yet. As it stands there is considerable enthusiasm in the work, and we have many volunteer translators and Wikipedians working on the effort. What is currently lacking is sufficient coordination between the different aspects of the project. By receiving a grant we will be able to contact further individuals and organizations, as well as coordinate between the different aspects of the process.

Charles Tiayon's insight:

The aim of the project is to accelerate the translation and integration of medical articles into as many languages as possible. This includes both ones where we have translated content before and languages in which we have nearly no medical content as of yet. As it stands there is considerable enthusiasm in the work, and we have many volunteer translators and Wikipedians working on the effort. What is currently lacking is sufficient coordination between the different aspects of the project. By receiving a grant we will be able to contact further individuals and organizations, as well as coordinate between the different aspects of the process.

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Some teachers haven't written off cursive yet

Some teachers haven't written off cursive yet | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
PHOENIX — Cursive script is at the center of a national education debate: Should schools continue teaching it? Many Phoenix-area schools say
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PHOENIX — With eyebrows furrowed and fingers holding pencils in clawlike grips, third graders at Lowell Elementary School in Mesa were tackling an assignment involving one of the most controversial topics in American education: cursive writing.

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Must language be spoken to be heard? - Education | The Star Online

Must language be spoken to be heard? - Education | The Star Online | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Often mistaken as a rudimentary version of spoken language, sign language is really a highly-evolved code with its own system and structure.
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“Sign language is a visual language, which is actually equal to any spoken languages because this visual language has its own grammar, structure and meaning,” says advocate for the deaf, Anthony Chong.

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Is English getting dissed?

Is English getting dissed? | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Is the English language being massacred by the young, the linguistically untidy and anyone who uses the Internet? Absolutely.
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