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Lost in translation: The world's worst English language blunders revealed
22:53, 1 JUNE 2015
BY EMMA PIETRAS
English may be the universal language but when its translated it can mean something completely different ...
It’s a running joke that us Brits are known for only speaking English when abroad – so much so that many signs are in our mother tongue.
And while locals go above and beyond to try to indulge our lack of language skills, sometimes the divide between what is said and what is meant can be huge.
Now, in a new book called Utterly Lost in Translation: Even More Misadventures in English Abroad, comedian Charlie Croker has brought together some of the very best language howl-
ers he discovered after three years of globe-trotting.
From boarding a plane to eating out, it proves sometimes we really might be better off digging out that old phrase book…
Travelling can be a testing experience – and these very misleading signs don’t make it any easier...
An airport in China made this special request of drivers: “Please confirm your car is licked.” Surely a car wash would suffice?
Meanwhile there was this eye-catching warning on a busy stretch of road in India: “Go slow – accident porn area.” Bet there were a few rubberneckers for that one...
And you might get more than you bargain for on this Greek road, where a sign warns: “Parking is for bitten along the coastal road.” Ouch.
Though driving has its pitfalls, things don’t get much better on the trains. A notice on a toilet in China reads: “Do not use toilet while train is in stable.” Where do the horses sleep, then?
Don’t think about smoking if you are a fully fledged adult travelling in Monrovia, Liberia. There, a notice reads: “Dear passengers, please be tiny when using ashtrays.”
And at a Chinese airport you may be in for somthing painful at the baggage drop. They call it: “Luggage disembowel.” It may well be better to keep your internal organs and take hand luggage – just to be on the safe side.
Fancy a spot of shopping on your hols? Be careful what you buy...
Brits abroad don’t have the best reputation but there’s no need for this sign in Pratap Pura, India: “Anus English Academy – no problem.”
A “Take free titty” notice in a women’s clothes shop in China says is bound to attract the wrong clientele.
And someone was clearly having a bad day at work when they framed this picture of a cat with the caption, “My dog”.
A shop selling Bavarian beer mugs in Munich, Germany, boasts “We sell beer stains”. We doubt they make much of a profit.
A tailor in Dubai called The In Trend didn’t think it through – the labels on his garments read “TiT”.
One French sports shoe shop in Aix-en-Provence might need to rethink its name – Athlete’s Foot.
We may talk the same language but that hasn’t stopped one US clothes store coming up with this gem: “Wonderful bargains for men with 16 and 17 necks.”
And this Kentucky store has another pearler: “Don’t kill your
wife. Let our washing machines do the dirty work.”
A Chinese bookshop must be trying to cash in on Middle Earth in a section for “Sports and hobbits”.
A Thai hotel jeweller has “Porn gems”. For the filthy rich perhaps?
And a Thai beauty salon offers “A relaxing foot bath where you start with a special crime”. A bit of GBH before a foot rub, anyone?
Recipes for disaster...
Eating out is one of the best parts of a holiday, unless your menu includes one of these unusual treats...
A restaurant in the Czech Republic offers: “Horses douvres.” Just say neigh.
In Cadiz, Spain, “Roast Alf Partridge” is a firm favourite on the menu. Perhaps they couldn’t catch Alan Partridge.
A jar of black raspberry jam in America: “Tastes Like Grandma.” We all love our grandmas but no one wants to eat her.
One establishment in Beijing offers “Virgin chicken”. It’s pure meat.
Meanwhile, another China restaurant has “grilled sexual harassment” on its menu.
Which would go nicely with the “Lawyer Foam” that appeared on a menu in Madrid.
A shortage of plates after the traditional plate smashing means one Greek restaurant may have had to find an unusual alternative going by this: “Fish on the eyelid.”
“Please do not park in front of the sh**ter,” a sign in South Goa, India, warns. Probably sage advice as Delhi Belly can be rife among travellers.
And things don’t get much better after you check in...
A sign in a hotel bathroom in France warns guests: “Do not throw kidney in the toilet.” Does that mean a liver is allowed?
While this sign in Kazakhstan certainly isn’t going to encourage us to get our five a day: “There is a bowel of fruit in each room.” Yum.
A guest information booklet in a Thailand hotel bedroom gives some very honest advice: “If you are thinking of hiring a car please drive carefully as all Thai drivers have a death wish.”
Meanwhile, landscapers at a resort in Antigua are getting out of hand, according to this sign: “Our gardeners work delinquently."
In an Austrian skiing resort, one establishment tried to lay down the law about diners taking their meals upstairs to the restaurant: “It is not allowed to consume meals and drinks from our self-service restaurant!”
Utterly Lost In Translation, Even More Misadventures in English Abroad, by Charlie Croker, is published by John Blake and is out in hardback on June 4, priced £9.99.
Vincent A David is a pioneer of adult literacy in Pakistan. At the age of 78, his main achievement lies in different techniques used in transforming non-productive ways of learning into meaningful ways. David joined the Literacy Section of Presbyterian Church in 1961. Working for 10 years in the field in different capacities, he became the founder Director of Adult Basic Education Society (ABES), based in Gujranwala. The organisation worked as an Integrated Literacy Section of United Presbyterian Church Literacy Programme from 1960-64. The ABES has published over 200 books/booklets for the education of adults. TNS spoke to David on the issue of adult literacy in Pakistan. Excerpts follow:
The News on Sunday (TNS): Many people term ABES as mother of all NGOs on adult literacy in Pakistan. How did you get the idea of educating old people?
Vincent A David (VAD): It is true, since ABES is working for the last 42 years as an NGO. Before that, I had been working for literacy promotion along with working for the Presbyterian Church Literacy section. The spadework on literacy in Pakistan was worked out by the Church from 1950 to 1969. Later, it was handed over to ABES in 1970.
In 1958, Dr. Frank C. Laubach, a literacy expert from the US, came to Pakistan and worked with Presbyterian Church missionaries and Village Aid programme of the government of Pakistan that were involved in improving literacy rate among the Christian Community and, generally, the Pakistani population. I was never a literacy man. I got my training from BECO as a machinist and had established my business in my hometown, Gujranwala.
I had employed about sixteen labourers who were mostly illiterate. I used to pay their wages every Saturday evening through a munshi (clerk). One day it so happened that I checked the payroll and found out that a person who had worked for four days had been paid for six days. When I asked the labourer about it he told me that he was given payment for four days. I told him that he had placed his thumb impression against six days and that showed that he had received wages for six days. He replied in Punjabi language, “We illiterate people cannot recognise what amount is written.”
I realised that we should do something to help them. I was moved by this situation and did not want to just issue a warning to the clerk. That same evening, after the work hours, I began my very first adult literacy class with the workers. Turning steel wires to form alphabets the workers began to associate shapes and sounds that formed alphabets and words. They were taught how to write their names and numbers from 1-30 within two weeks.
Literacy is not meant only for old people but for people of all ages, especially the age group of 15 to 35. ABES experience shows that women are more responsive. It finds women to be far more interested and devoted to learning than men. Women are instrumental in sending their children to school.
Also read: Adult literacy from 1950 onwards
TNS: What does adult literacy mean for a developing country like Pakistan?
VAD: Literacy is essential for a country like Pakistan. You can see the figures: 25 million children are out of school. Pakistan is facing three challenges in the education sector: Access, quality and retention. Literacy rate is only 58 per cent. The basic requirement for a democracy to work is that its people must be literate. Unless a person is knowledgeable, how can he/she be able to contribute efficiently to the development of the country?
TNS: Do you think the government understands the challenge and is competent enough to cope with it?
VAD: Unfortunately, all projects in the past, and even today, only emphasised on developing a primer and never tried to see what is available and how is it functioning? They tried to invent a new wheel. Therefore, much of the energies and money is spent on these aspects and little is contributed towards the promotion of literacy. The push for enhancing literacy rate gets high after every ten years when the funds are made available.
TNS: Generally, we see very few NGOs working on adult literacy in Pakistan. What is their contribution and what more should be done?
VAD: It is because of lack of funds, policies of the government and their priorities. There is lack of understanding about literacy and, thus, they develop materials which are not relevant.
At ABES, the primer is that being used has a background of 50 years. It has been upgraded from time to time according to the need. It has a proper teaching methodology. Special teaching kit and training is given to the teachers. The whole process is highly technical. Now, we have linked literacy with skill training programme. It was implemented in 10 districts of Punjab by the literacy department and it was very successful. A total of 13400 women have benefited while the target was 12000.
TNS: Are we following good modules for adult literacy in Pakistan? What further improvements do we need?
VAD: ABES has developed a complete module, which is tested and modified accordingly. It is quite flexible and can incorporate the specific needs of the particular population. It the literacy package is not need-based, then the module won’t work. This is what is happening in different projects on literacy. Literacy programme must be run as a campaign and without discrimination. They must be backed by a strong political will that also reflects in the policies of the government. Unfortunately, this is not happening.
Related article: Not a good start of Punjab Literacy Movement
TNS: How do you see efforts for advocacy, monitoring, and pressurising government on this issue by NGOs?
VAD: As such, no advocacy is being carried out. No specific funds are available for this purpose. The NGOs are making efforts from their own limited resources.
TNS: You did a programme Nia Din about adult literacy in Pakistan in the 1970s. How was the experience? Why are we not seeing such initiatives these days?
VAD: It was a very successful experience. The programme was on national television for about six years. Tens of thousands of people benefited from that. The achievements also included a gold medal for me by the PTV for best presentation of 156 adult literacy programmes for six years 1975-1980, the International Reading Association Literacy Award in 1984, the Nadezhdak Krupskaya prize in 1991 from UNESCO on the International Literacy Day. We have not seen such initiatives because patronage is lacking.
TNS: Motivating people is seen as the biggest challenge in addressing this issue. Do you agree with this? What can be done to motivate illiterate people?
VAD: Please note that the programme is not restricted to old people only. We are focusing on people 15 to 35 years of age. For motivation, we have to see at the outcome of the programme. Literacy is about 3Rs: reading, writing, and arithmetic, which must be incorporated with functional knowledge. People want to have relevant and meaningful education. Therefore, literacy along with livelihood skills will address their economic needs.
TNS: One of the reasons behind increase in the number of adult illiterates in Pakistan is due to dropouts from schools? To what extent is this true and what is its impact on our society?
VAD: The issue of dropouts in formal schools is very complex. ABES, along with UNICEF, has been working on several initiatives, including Child Friendly Schools, Joyful Learning, Multigrade Teaching and have worked in different provinces. Illiterate parents do not see any value of education. This is having a bad impact on our society.
TNS: If Pakistan continues with this slow pace towards adult literacy, what will be the impact in future?
VAD: The number of illiterates will keep on increasing and one day it will be a total blackout.
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Our world is testament to the change that technology has brought in. Moore’s Law has stood the test of time while predicting how computing ability will improve by leaps and bounds over the years. The same applies to the building blocks of software that powers this technology, the programming languages.
Several perceptions are made when it comes to choosing a programming language. However, if anyone has a real passion towards learning and enjoying their programming job, the person can do wonders in any language they are exposed to. Choice of a programming language differs from project to project. Let me share a few examples. Building a database requires fast computation and efficient storage algorithms. e-Commerce websites like Flipkart, Facebook and AirBnB require faster response times over the internet and the ability to serve a large number of users at the same time (high concurrency). A surveillance system requires quick real-time processing using embedded systems. All these are built using different languages because of the application needs. Could the same applications be built using any language? Yes! But would all the resulting applications be equally efficient? Definitely not! That’s what differentiates the men from the boys; a professional programmer will choose the appropriate language for the task at hand but the novice would probably choose a language that he/she is comfortable with.
There are two essential aspects to learning a programming language. First, learn the syntax. Second, learn the semantics. Syntax deals with the keywords and the structure of the language. Semantics deals with the validity of the written statements. Very often, it’s the semantics of the language that determines its preference among programmers. Readability and maintainability of code are important to some programmers whereas some like brevity in code (writing code in the least number of lines possible) at the cost of code complexity. There is no right and wrong—it’s what you like or dislike. The more languages you learn, the easier it is to find your likes and dislikes in languages. You may finally settle on one that suits your need and, in the rare case of not finding any suitable language, you may end up inventing one of your own! That’s how languages evolve.
It’s safe to say that there is no such thing as the ‘best’ programming language. We can however differentiate between them. Some are higher level languages and some are lower level languages. A low-level language creates a binary or executable file that gives a series of machine instructions to a computer directly, for example the Assembly language. C is a slightly higher level language than Assembly and compiles its code into machine instructions. High-level languages generally work on most Operating Systems, like Java, PHP, Ruby, Python etc. They are designed to make programming easier for humans but at the cost of intermediate steps to convert to machine instructions, like the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and the Python or Ruby interpreters.
One language does stand out and go against the tide. It’s about going back to the seventies and starting all over again. Go is a language that makes you rethink programming and object oriented concepts. It is famous for its concurrency semantics (using CSP i.e. Communicating Sequential Processes) and it harnesses the power of multi-core processors to the maximum.
Only after learning the language thoroughly, should you venture out and learn various libraries and frameworks built in them like Django, Rails and Spring among others.
The sad part is that there is a gap in the language awareness due to a lack of teaching expertise or workshops in India. Due to this, many students from our country fall behind when it comes to learning new languages. Also, sometimes, due to the stiff market competition, salaries and personal economic situations, students tend to choose jobs and languish on older systems and mundane work, and miss out on opportunities wherein they can learn newer languages and capitalize on those skills later. This trend is thankfully changing. Slowly but steadily students are finally realizing the power of open-source and the value in learning new languages.
Authored by Gautam Rege, Co-founder and Managing Director, Josh Software Pvt. Ltd.
Text "Heeeey, what are you up to?"
Translation "I've had a few drinks, feel frisky and am making a half-hearted booty call. I'm hoping you're tipsy/frisky too. If not, I'll look back at this text in the morning and cringe"
Text "Sorry! Running slightly late. There in 10"
Translation "I'm just getting out of the shower. After applying make-up and having a minor wardrobe crisis, I'll probably only be an hour late"
Text "I feel terrible. Think it was something I ate"
Translation "It was definitely something I drank"
Text "Hi, it's been ages. How are things?"
Translation "I saw a picture of you looking hot with an unidentified member of the opposite sex on Facebook. This is just a gentle reminder that I exist"
Text "Sorry, only just seen your text"
Translation "I absolutely saw it at the time, I just couldn't be arsed to reply"
Text "Hey, did you do the washing up and get milk? Just checking!"
Translation "I know full well you didn't, so I'm trying to passively aggressively guilt trip you into doing it"
Text "You still up?"
Translation "I am and I want your body"
Text "Some work stuff came up - can't make drinks tonight. Can we rearrange?"
Translation "I'm going to keep putting this awkwardness off until it just goes away"
Text "I can't stop thinking about last night"
Translation "Bit bored, so I'm trying to initiate some low-level sexting to help the day go faster"
Text "Great, thanks Mum, just a bit crazy with work. Will call very soon"
Translation "Not now, Mother! I'm with a guy/in a noisy bar / both"
Translation "I'm not really laughing out loud, I've just lost interest in this conversation and want to wrap it up"
Text "Hello???? Slightly worried about you now, please let me know you're OK"
Translation "You haven't replied to my last few messages and I'm going a little crazed. I'm pretending I'm concerned for your safety to cover this up"
Text "Gorgeous to see you, brilliant night, love you soooo much"
Translation "I'm overcome with emotion. And alcohol. Mainly alcohol, if I'm honest"
English translator of Holy Quran Rahim Parchebaf-Dowlati honored
Tehran Times Culture Desk
TEHRAN – Iranian translator of Holy Quran into English Rahim Parchebaf-Dowlati was honored for his lifelong efforts in translating the Holy Book during a ceremony held at Tehran’s Rayzan International Conference Hall on Friday.
The ceremony was attended by Head of Iran’s Presidential Office Mohammad Nahavandian, and a number of researchers, scholars and students of the master, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Saturday.
“Several years ago when I was in the United States, I was looking for a copy of the Quran with an English translation and I found one translated by a Jew. I felt sad that a Jew had translated Quran and not me as an Iranian. So I promised myself to spend the rest of my life translating the Quran,” Parchebaf-Dowlati said at the ceremony.
He called the translation of Quran an effort to achieve the original meaning. “Following the study of different translations of the Quran in other countries, I tried to focus on producing a simple and acceptable translation of the Holy Quran.”
English is an international language and translation of the Quran into English can fulfill the need of a large number of Muslims and non-Muslims who are not familiar with Arabic or Persian but are looking for the truth, Parchebaf-Dowlati explained.
“Those Muslims familiar with Arabic or Persian can also benefit from the English translation in order to express their religious beliefs to others,” he added.
Parchebaf-Dowlati has also translated Nahj-ul-Balagha of Imam Ali (AS) into English.
In his short speech Nahavandian also said that becoming familiar with modern skills and languages to promote religion began to manifest itself in the life of master Parchebaf-Dowlati.
“We have repeatedly heard that preserving the religious spirit is the social responsibility of Muslims, and this promotion helps preserve the life of religious culture. We need to transfer culture to others and religious culture is not an exception,” Nahavandian added.
Photo: Rahim Parchebaf-Dowlati attends a meeting that literati held in Tehran on May 29, 2015 to honor the Iranian translator of Holy Quran into English.
When Ahmed Totti left Iraq after serving for almost four years as an interpreter for U.S. forces, he never expected to return to his home country.
He certainly didn't think he'd return as an American soldier.
"When the plane landed in Baghdad, I didn't expect I'd ever come back," said Totti, who is now an E-4 linguist and cultural advisor with Task Force Al Asad.
Totti also didn't expect that his deployment to Iraq, specifically to al Asad, would lead him to run into an old friend.
Spc. Ahmed Totti with his mother, who has also relocated to the United States. (Photo: Courtesy of Spc. Ahmed Totti)
"I was walking in the small chow hall we have here, I was about to sit down when I saw someone. I looked at him and I said, 'this face is familiar,' " Totti said. "I don't forget faces, especially the people I've worked with."
It was Marine Maj. Brandon Stibb, who was deployed to Iraq as a captain in 2009 and for whom Totti worked as an interpreter.
"I walked to him and said, 'sir, I just can't believe my eyes. Is that really you?' " Totti said. "He looked at me and said, 'no way, is that you, Totti?' I hugged him. It was really awesome."
Stibb, who is now back at Marine Corps Forces Pacific after his deployment as a training team leader, said he never thought he'd see Totti again.
"Linguists have come and gone during all my deployments, and this is the first time that I ever saw one again, especially years later," he said.
Stibb, an infantry officer who has now deployed four times to Iraq, saw Totti out of the corner of his eye.
"He looked familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on exactly where I saw him before," he said. "What threw me off was he was in a United States Army uniform."
When Totti came up to introduce himself, "it was like we saw each other yesterday," Stibb said.
Stibb is "one of a kind, to be honest with you," Totti said.
"When I first met Maj. Stibb in Iraq, I saw a huge person. When I'm standing next to him, I reach his hips," Totti said, laughing. "He's fearless. It's awesome to find someone like this to inspire you. He makes you so proud to be part of his team, to be rolling with him."
Stibb said Totti "got bigger" since he last saw him.
"He was a very short, very small statured young man, but he's definitely stockier now," Stibb said. "I guess the Army's feeding him well."
Marine Maj. Brandon Stibb, left, and Army Spc. Ahmed Totti, right, pose for a photo together aboard Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, on Jan. 17. (Photo: Cpl. Carson Gramley/Marine Corps)
Stibb laughed when he heard that Totti described him as a large man.
"I'm about 6' 3", 6' 4", maybe 6' 5" with my boots on," he said. "He's 5 feet nothing."
Stibb said he was pleasantly surprised to see Totti had become an American soldier.
"Every young linguist that I've ever worked with has told me they want to come to the United States, join the Marine Corps, join the Army, join the Navy," he said. "Obviously, it's not impossible, but there are a lot of things that have to happen in his favor and a lot of hard work on his part of make it come true. It was definitely good to see that he was able to better himself, get out of Iraq at a young age and continue to serve his home country via the United States."
Totti, 29, was born in Ancona, Italy, and raised in Iraq from the age of 5.
He grew up in Baghdad, and when the U.S. invasion kicked off in 2003, Totti was just starting college at Baghdad's University of Technology.
Totti began working with the U.S. military at al Asad in late 2008 after graduating from college and motivated by the loss of at least two of his uncles to the violence in the Baghdad area.
"I still remember they got boots and a uniform for me," Totti said. "I didn't even know what to do with my boots. I'd never had that in my life."
On his first mission, Totti didn't know how to work the doors to the Humvee.
"I'd never been in a military Humvee before," he said. "The [truck commander] had to close the door for me. I'd never done any missions in my life."
Totti quickly got the hang of his new life, however, eventually moving from al Asad to Basra where he worked for almost four years with U.S. troops.
It was in Basra that Totti met Stibb.
Stibb was part of a military training team, and Totti was one of the many linguists assigned to the team.
Stibb remembers Totti being "very energetic," and Stibb said he was impressed at Totti's ability to speak English.
"It was actually quite humbling for somebody who's never had any formal training in English and yet he spoke it very, very well," Stibb said. "And he also understood all the military jargon."
Totti is still energetic and passionate about his work, Stibb said.
"He has the same energy level, the same passion to make his home country better," he said. "Now he's channeling that energy serving the United States."
As someone who grew up in Iraq, Totti brings to the fight a deep understanding of the culture and how to relate to the Iraqis, Stibb said.
"You can't get that from someone who just translates," he said. "A lot of information gets lost in translation."
In 2012, the men Totti served with helped him get his visa to move to the U.S. When he arrived in Alabama, he moved in with one of the NCOs he'd worked for.
"I got introduced to southern culture, southern hospitality," Totti said.
His adopted family in Alabama, including Army Reserve Sgt. Brandon Teague and Army Staff Sgt. Tim Tingle, also helped him do the paperwork to move his mother and brother to the United States, Totti said.
Totti joined the Army in 2014 and is assigned to the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Irwin, California.
Joining the Army was an easy decision for him, Totti said.
"All of my life, I worked doing missions, being with the troops," he said. "When I came to the States, I was missing the time being back with the Marines, being with the soldiers, doing the missions."
The men he served with also were strong influences on him, Totti said.
"I was blessed because I met a lot of people who were really, really decent," he said. "They played a big part of my life. They are honorable people."
Totti, who's about a third of the way into his yearlong deployment, says he's not sure what the future holds for him.
"I see myself staying in the Army," he said. "It was a long journey for me. It was a long time for me to put on this uniform."
BY CASSIDEE MOSERIn response to fan complaints, Bandai Namco has announced Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment will have an updated English translation on PlayStation 4.
Additionally, Sword Art Online: Lost Song will have subtitles in several languages on its physical release when it comes out on PlayStation Vita this year.
"We've heard your feedback! Sword Art Online: Lost Song will come out physically with Japanese voices and English, German, Italian, Spanish & French subtitles," read Bandai Namco's announcement on Facebook." And the digital version of Re: Hollow Fragment on PS4 will have its English translation redone!"
Previously, complaints about Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment's localization centered on poor grammar and sentence structure rendering some of the dialogue confusing and unclear.
A port of the 2014 Vita game, Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment is set to release on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Network this summer. Read IGN's review to learn more.
For more on anime and anime-inspired media, check out IGN's new Anime Club podcast.
Sword Art Online Hollw Fragment Trailer - E3 2014
(Image Credit: NeoGaf user bigkrev)
Cassidee is a freelance writer for various outlets around the web. You can chat with her about all things geeky on Twitter.
Barbadians now has a viable solution for solving language communication challenges within various global industries and sectors, thanks to the opening of a Translation Bureau at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus.
Speaking during the launch yesterday, the Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, Senator Dr Esther Byer, said she strongly supported the initiative, while urging the Bureau to make its services available to all.
Dr Byer revealed that in the past, Barbados had been forced to cancel at least one international conference due to a lack of infrastructure.
However, she said with the introduction of the Bureau, it would now be possible to host future meetings.
Dr. Esther Byer
“I know that recently Barbados lost out on hosting an Organization of American States (OAS) meeting because it was felt, not by the OAS, but by our delegation, that Barbados did not have the translation capacity. But no longer . . . our ability to provide the required services contributes to our efforts to host large events which attract large numbers of participants and results in the earning of foreign exchange gained from tourist spend,” she emphasized.
“The intention of UWI to promote its Translation Bureau to the public and private sector, and indeed to the wider civil society, is fully encouraged . . . . Like tourism, the success of our international business sector depends on our ability to attract foreign investors, and facilitate and maintain business. The availability of interpretation and translation services is a critical element in the development of these services sectors.”
Dr Byer also focused on the benefits within the area of conference tourism, saying Barbados had been promoting itself as a destination of choice in this growing niche.
The minister said additional benefits of the Translation Bureau would range from the operationalization of treaties, to facilitating discussion with delegates from countries, such as Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, China and others.
She expressed hope that Barbadians would see the relevance of learning a foreign language.
“The acquisition of a second language broadens one’s scope for jobs in every region of the world, and increasingly so here in Barbados . . . . It has also been shown that employees with another language contribute to increased profits for businesses and earn higher average salaries than those who are not so skilled.”
The Translation Bureau will be offering services in Spanish, French, Portuguese, German and Mandarin.
These bazungu assume that for one to proclaim love or allegiance for an interest or cause, they must be involved or actively participate in it.
If you say you are a lover of riding bicycles, innocent queries of how often you ride or the kilometres you are able to cover in a week are going to pop up. For the traveller, people expect you to disappear now and then on your many journeys; they imagine that your passport will be full of airport entry and exit stamps.
Yet, for a born and bred Ugandan like you and I, that is not how it works. Listing one’s hobbies as swimming, touring new places, adventure and films, doesn’t mean safari tours, hitting cinema premiers and spending hot sunny days at the beach in spare time. They are just a list of things one would wish to do, did once ages ago, or wouldn’t mind doing again if the opportunity arose.
So questions of how often you do travel, what swimming gear you prefer and how many hours you swim every week are bound to draw blanks. The first time I fell prey to this kind of ‘misunderstanding’ was some years back when I got chatting with this fellow and football talk came up.
I told him I was a big supporter of West Ham United. The guy got overly excited because he happened to be a season ticket holder at the club and has been watching West Ham games with his uncle since he was eight.
He wondered how I made the time to catch West Ham matches since I also worked most weekends. And that is where the conversation began to hurt.
I was to figure it out later that having said I was a ‘big fan,’ the poor Londoner assumed I either had a season ticket or made allowance for the occasional home matches at the Boleyn ground whenever time allowed.
As it turns out, the closest I have ever gotten to the West Ham stadium is when I drive past, heading to my aunt’s flat within the neighbourhood. The urge to take even a mere tour of the facility has never arisen. And here I was proclaiming support for the club. Now that I know better, the appropriate word should have been ‘well-wisher.’
Fast forward to a couple of months back. I got talking share trading with a casual acquaintance and how complicated I thought the London stock market was. I told him I was much more comfortable with our Ugandan stock market which is relatively small and new, compared to the London Stock Exchange which has been around for close to 200 years.
The guy was intrigued by how closely I follow the Ugandan stock exchange and wanted to know how I went about being active on its scene all the way from London. This time I saw the ‘misunderstanding’ coming from a mile away. I quickly confessed to never taking the actual step to invest.
“Why then do you pay such close attention to the stock markets?” the question still came. Embarrassing!
After some research work, I have now put my money where my mind is. Today, I am the proud owner of £500 worth of shares on the London Stock Exchange market for smaller growing companies.
Quand Marc Castang a proposé à son amie, Anne Bourrel, de traduire sa nouvelle Esteban et Almeria en espagnol, la romancière montpelliéraine a dit : « Vamos » ! Rencontre avec deux amoureux de la langue de Cervantès.
Marc a rencontré Anne il y a trois ans, lors d’une représentation de la pièce de théâtre Gualicho, écrite par l’auteure héraultaise. Depuis, les deux aficionados de la culture hispanique sont devenus amis. Quand Marc a lu la dernière nouvelle d’Anne, Esteban et Almeria, il a eu le déclic : « Et si je la traduisais en espagnol ? »
Marc Castang, 53 ans, a des grands-parents espagnols, mais sa langue maternelle est le français. Cette traduction était, pour lui, un vrai défi.
Pour un Français, traduire un texte original, écrit en français, est difficile. Dans le sens inverse, c’est plus simple. Mais j’ai quand même voulu essayer.
Après une semaine de travail, et l’aide de deux amies espagnoles, Marc est satisfait du résultat. Le traducteur pense que l’esprit initial de la nouvelle a bien été conservé. Esteban et Almeria raconte l’histoire de deux Républicains barcelonais qui fuient, à pied, la Catalogne pour échapper au franquisme. La scène se passe en 1940, au moment de la Retirada, entre la cité de Gaudi et la frontière française.
Comme l’histoire se déroule en Espagne, c’est plus facile à traduire en espagnol.
Anne Bourrel cherche, maintenant, un éditeur de l’autre côté des Pyrénées, pour sa nouvelle en espagnol.
‘Language is the source of misunderstandings’–
impact of terminology on public perceptions of
health promotion messages
Christina H. Buckton, Michael E. J. Lean and Emilie Combet
Génération, transformation et dévoilement en traduction (Limoges) Information publiée le 30 mai 2015 par Marc Escola (source : Cindy Lefebvre-Scodeller)
Du 13 novembre 2015 au 13 novembre 2015
Université de Limoges, FLSH, France
Génération, transformation et dévoilement en traduction
La traduction implique le passage d’une langue à une autre, d’une culture à une autre, d’un objet textuel à un autre. Ce passage peut être conçu comme une reproduction, une transformation, une évolution, une adaptation ou une réécriture du texte de départ. Le traducteur tente de reproduire les mécanismes de signification et cet exercice met en tension trois dimensions : détermination des différents niveaux de sens du texte de départ ; restitution totale ou partielle des niveaux de sens en respectant les spécificités de la langue cible ; prise en charge d’éventuels facteurs externes ayant un poids sur la pratique et le produit de la traduction.
Ces trois dimensions soulèvent des interrogations concernant le choix des instruments d’analyse du texte source, l’approche à adopter pour décrire la saisie du sens dans le texte cible et les potentielles retombées en didactique des langues et de la traduction.
Les questions qui pourront se poser lors de cette journée d’étude sont multiples ; en voici une liste non exhaustive : en quoi la traduction révèle-t-elle le sens du texte original ? Quel retour permet-elle sur le texte de départ ? Ce retour sur l’original est-il révélateur des contraintes et des spécificités des procédés traductifs vis-à-vis des procédés de production de l’original ? Les communications pourront porter sur n’importe quelle paire de langues et pourront se faire en anglais ou en français.
Veuillez nous adresser un titre, un résumé (300 mots, bibliographie non comprise) et une bibliographie indicative (5 références maximum) de votre communication pour le 23 août 2015 au plus tard, aux adresses suivantes :
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com et firstname.lastname@example.org
Comité scientifique : Thomas Faye (Université de Limoges), Sonia Fournet-Pérot (Université de Limoges), Ramón Marti-Solano (Université de Limoges), Cindy Lefebvre-Scodeller (Université de Limoges), Olivier Polge (Université de Limoges), Rovena Troqe (Université de Genève), Freiderikos Valetopoulos (Université de Poitiers)
Invité d'honneur : Jean-René Ladmiral
RESPONSABLE : Cindy Lefebvre-Scodeller, Olivier Polge, Rovena Troqe
ADRESSEUniversité de Limoges, FLSH, France
MultiLing is a hugely global company not very well known in Utah Valley. From its office on the sixth floor of the Zions Bank Financial Center in Provo, the company provides highly accurate and scientific patent translation services for large corporations all over the world.
The company was founded in 1988 by then-Provo resident Michael Sneddon. For the first decade of the company’s operations, Sneddon drew on the natural linguistic talents of the area’s LDS returned missionaries and the many international speakers that flocked to the valley. The company translated anything and everything. That changed 17 years ago.
Sneddon, president and CEO, saw an opportunity to focus on translating technical patents for large companies. One of his first large corporation partnerships was with Proctor and Gamble. P&G, a company that holds more than 35,000 patents in personal and home care products, needed a more accurate and cost-efficient way to file its patents in multiple languages globally.
“Their partnership really innovated the way corporations translate the legal documents associated with patents,” said Lyle Ball, COO of MultiLing. “For the last 17 years, our focus has been on enabling global commerce for big corporations.”
Before MultiLing and P&G connected, large corporations went through a multi-tiered process translating sensitive patent documents. They had to personally contract with larger overseas law firms, who then in turn contracted with smaller country-specific firms, who then contracted with the patent arm of their firms, and with outside linguists to translate each document. It was an expensive, sluggish, security-weak process, Ball explained.
Through MultiLing, though, companies contract directly with MultiLing. For the same $1 million these corporations spent on translating just one patent, MultiLing is able to translate the main patent and its sister patents and related legal filings, streamlining and secure the process. For a company that is spending that much on just the patent of a product, in addition to millions spent on the research and development of the product, this is significant.
MultiLing has set up its own network using native speakers that manage and edit the patent translations from the Provo office, while utilizing native speakers living in their native countries who translate and report directly to Provo.
“Languages are changing, and the industry has shown that the best translation comes from those living their language day to day,” said Jeremy Coombs, senior vice president of operations for MultiLing. “But we need native speaking editors here, who are living the English language as well, so they can catch the nuances that might be missed. That way we have the best of both worlds.”
MultiLing currently has seven foreign offices outside the U.S. in Korea, Taiwan, China, Japan, Peru, Germany and Italy. There are now more than 2,200 employees and contractors working for MultiLing, and the company offers translation services for almost 125 different languages. The company serves large corporations who develop products in the personal care, pharmaceutical, biological, energy and software industries.
Because of the ever-changing and highly scientific nature of the products these companies are introducing and inventing these days, the MultiLing employee base has changed dramatically from its early years. The company now must search for employees who usually have a masters or doctorate in a science degree, who also have an interest in linguistics, and can speak at least two languages. It makes hiring difficult.
“We’ve specialized ourselves in highly technical patents. For example, when you pair chemical engineering with the need to translate it into Uzbeki, a very small amount of people can do that,” Coombs said. “All of our translators need to speak three languages, actually -- their native language, English, and lawyer-speak.”
To find and retain that type of highly technical and linguistic talent, MultiLing creates solid, long-term relationships with firms and freelancers. They spend a large amount of time training them on their own patent-protected translation software that allows real-time global collaboration. So, they don’t want to lose them.
The company also creates a unique work atmosphere in their Provo headquarters.
“We’ve grown very fast in the past few years, but we’ve kept our strong value system,” Ball said. The company pays the majority of its employees’ health care costs, and offers personal health coaching and training. “Our culture is generous, because we’re focused on our employee’s long-term lifestyles.”
Coombs said Ball’s addition to the staff three years ago has really boosted the culture. “He is joy. He’s genuinely interested in us enjoying what we do,” he said.
And Coombs, who’s been at MultiLing for almost 17 years, enjoys every day as he rubs shoulders with 20 to 30 cultures each day.
“Our office is a little U.N. here, but the MultiLing culture is the recipe that holds us together,” Coombs said.
Karissa Neely reports on Business & Community events, and can be reached at (801) 344-2537 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @DHKarissaNeely
More than one in 10 speak a language other than Irish or English when at home
Somali speaker Iftina Abdule with her daughters Isra (3) and Ishraq (15 months) in her home in Blanchardstown, Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley
Previous ImageNext Image
Pamela Duncan, Sorcha Pollak
Tue, Jun 2, 2015, 02:00
Tue, Jun 2, 2015, 02:00
Bonjour, kedu, xin chào . . . more than one in 10 people in Ireland speak a language other than Irish or English at home, with the diversity of language speakers differing greatly depending on where you live.
The Irish Times has analysed the spread of people whose first language is not English or Irish across the counties and in Dublin’s four council areas based on data from the Central Statistics Office.
Click on an area's name to view full list of speakers
Data from first-languages.silk.co
It found that Fingal in north Dublin has the highest percentage of non-native language speakers in the country.
More than a fifth of those living in Fingal speak a non-native language at home, with Polish, French and Lithuanian the most commonly spoken first languages in the State.
The least linguistically diverse county is Donegal, where just one in 20 people speak a non-native language as their mother tongue.
Unsurprisingly, Polish was the most commonly recorded language among non-native speakers in all but one county and Dublin council area in the 2011 census, the exception being Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, where it was French.
A total of 119,526 people speak Polish as their first language and of these 10,573 were born in Ireland.
French is the next most common first language, spoken by 56,430 people nationwide, followed by 31,635 people whose mother tongue is Lithuanian.
The next most commonly spoken first languages are German, Russian, Spanish, Romanian, Chinese, Latvian, Portuguese and Arabic.
Some lesser-known languages also feature: Shona – a Niger- Congo language and the principal language of Zimbabwe – is the first language of more than 1,000 people.
A similar number speak Akan, a language principally used in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
The 2011 census, which for the first time asked a question on language other than Irish or English, recorded a total of 182 different languages spoken across the State.
However, Dr Lorna Carson, assistant professor in applied linguistics at Trinity College Dublin, says at least 200 languages are spoken in Dublin, although many “remain invisible”.
“We don’t see them and if we hear them we’re not necessarily able to distinguish them from each other,” she said.
According to Dr Carson’s research on multilingualism in Dublin, between 2002 and 2011 there was a 143 per cent increase in foreign nationals living in Ireland. By 2011, foreign nationals represented 12 per cent of the overall population, coming from 199 countries.
She warns the Government has not made a sustained effort to encourage the development of foreign languages in Ireland.
“Speaking foreign languages is seen as threatening to some and a form of aggression. These languages will disappear within two generations if we do nothing. They will be gone within 20 years. It’s about seeing language diversity not as a deficiency but as a resource.”
According to Dr Carson, a quarter of people with a foreign first language were born in the Republic. Even though many of these children may speak English to their parents, linguistic diversity must be encouraged from an early age, she says.
“From a linguistic perspective, a child is a sponge and can manage as many languages as she or he speaks and listens to,” she says.
Dr Carson highlights the numerous benefits of multilingualism, which include higher scores in mathematics, a more creative mind and safeguarding against Alzheimer’s disease.
“We’re a small island, we’re outward-looking, the more languages there are the richer our lives. We need that attitude shift.”
Deirdre Kirwan is principal in Scoil Bhríde primary school in Blanchardstown, Dublin, where 80 per cent of students have a foreign background and speak a total of 51 languages. The school encourages parents and students to embrace their native linguistic skills alongside English and Irish.
“It is so important that a child’s first language is maintained and developed. It’s the language they have grown up with. It informs their self-concept and self-awareness and informs how they think,” she says.
“If we allow people to express themselves in terms of their language, their cultural heritage, it helps create social cohesion rather than creating dissonance.”
One of the unanticipated results of Scoil Bhríde’s linguistic diversity is that indigenous Irish students are more aware of their Irish-language skills.
“They see other children communicating in more than one language and want to be able to do that too. It’s raised the status of Irish as a language,” says Dr Kirwan.
She says the development of multilingualism in Ireland is an opportunity for native Irish people to build on their own language skills.
Somali – ‘I have to learn this language if I want to communicate. If not I’ll have to be silent’
Iftina Abdule travelled to Ireland alone from Somalia in October 2007, when she was just 15. She spent the first few years living in a hostel with other underage asylum seekers before receiving her refugee status.
While at the hostel she began to learn English and to study for her Leaving Cert. She already spoke Somali, her native language, and Swahili, and within six months she was comfortable speaking English.
“It was so exciting to learn English but the other girls, they weren’t interested,” she says. “I said: ‘I have to learn this language if I want to communicate. If not I’ll have to be silent.’”
Iftina found life in Ireland lonely at first and was relieved when she tracked down her father, who was living in Belgium. He has since moved to Ireland to be with his daughter. Iftina is now married with three young children. Her husband, Ahmed, who is also from Somalia, came to Ireland with his family in 1997.
“I knew how to say yes and no when I arrived,” he says.
“I learned English in one year just watching The Simpsons.”
When his family first arrived in the 1990s, Ahmed says, people would often stop and stare when they walked down the street.
“That mentality has changed, it’s different now. I think it depends on you, how you integrate and socialise.
“If you just keep to yourself you’re not going to integrate with the people.”
Iftina believes it’s important her two daughters, Isra and Ishraq, and son Dawdu grow up bilingual in Somali and English.
“When they are young they can learn more languages. They can still learn four different languages. I will tell them: ‘Speak my language, which is also your language, to me and then in school you can chat in English with your friends.’”
It’s important to Iftina that her children grow up with an understanding of where their parents and families came from.
“I would like if we could get some sort of Somali community together so the kids who are born here can learn. Otherwise later on they won’t be able to talk about their own culture.”
Filipino – ‘If you know three or more languages your brain is much smarter’
Annabelle de Gracia left her three children and husband in the Philippines 13 years ago in the hope of finding work and a better salary halfway across the world in Ireland.
“It was very difficult for me to come here and leave my children. I just closed my eyes and thought: ‘I will be going to nowhere and without any guarantee that I will be safe.’ It was for the future of my children.
“I sent all my salary home because at the time they were still in school. My husband was also jobless.”
Before leaving the Philippines, Annabelle, who has a degree in banking and finance, worked in commerce.
When she arrived in Ireland she began working at the Shelbourne Hotel and now works in a nursing home in Killester, Dublin.
Her husband followed her to Ireland nine years ago, and her 17-year-old daughter finally made it over two months ago.
“When she arrived she was too shy to speak. For a month I could not let her even go down and buy bits and pieces in the shop because she was afraid to talk to the man on the till.”
Annabelle speaks English at home even though her daughter prefers to speak Bisaya, the family’s native language.
“I know that English is a universal language and she has to learn. If she travels to other countries it won’t be hard for her to adjust if she has English. That is very, very important.”
Annabelle says she feels distant from her youngest daughter, whom she left in the Philippines as a four-year-old.
“When she arrived there was a detachment between us because she always talked to her older sister. Her older sister was the one who minded her when she was a kid.”
Annabelle, who was awarded Irish citizenship in 2012, speaks in Tagalog, the native language of the Philippines, when she meets other Filipinos living in Dublin.
“Everyone in the Philippines speaks two or three languages,” she says. “If you know three or more languages your brain is much smarter, you can easily catch up with what people are talking about and remember it.”
Polish – ‘When I speak Polish to my daughter she speaks two words in Polish, two in English’
Szymon Misiaszek says he hopes to travel the world when he finishes school. The 14- year-old, who was born in Wroclaw in Poland, already speaks fluent Polish and English and is learning Irish and French in school.
“I’d like to learn Italian too. Just some other languages which would allow me to travel around the world and speak differently to other people.”
Szymon’s two younger sisters, Helen and Hannah, were born in Ireland and speak English with their friends. However, their mother, Barbara, is eager for the family to continue speaking Polish at home.
“We have family in Poland who don’t speak English,” she says. “It’s our language.”
Barbara Klimecka-Misiaszek followed her husband to Ireland with Szymon in December 2006, six months after he had left their home looking for work abroad.
She says it was overwhelming when she first arrived without a word of English but, over time, she has picked up the language.
Szymon didn’t speak English when he arrived, but as a four-year-old he quickly picked up the local language.
“I didn’t speak any English at first and was miming everything,” he says. “When I started going to school, our teachers put on movies in English. Then I heard the words people were saying and I began to speak. It all just came to me.”
Although the family speaks Polish at home, Szymon worries that his ability to read and write in Polish is suffering.
“I want and need to know how to write and read and speak Polish. I need to know because I was born there and my family is from there,” he says. “Sometimes it’s harder than reading English. I’d rather read English books because it’s easier for me.”
Barbara worries about her youngest child, five-year-old Hannah, who plays with English-speaking children only and struggles to speak Polish.
“The problem with Hannah is she mixes English with Polish,” she says. “When you speak pure Polish to her she speaks two words in Polish and two words in English. Next year I would like to start teaching her Polish grammar.”
El día 8 de mayo del presente, apareció publicada en el diario caraqueño Últimas Noticias una excelente entrevista que me hiciera la periodista Jenny Ramírez M. Su título: "Diez palabras venezolanas que están en el DRAE", ha causado, de manera involuntaria, algunas contradicciones y muchas dudas sobre lo que realmente quería darse a entender sobre la presencia del léxico venezolano en la obra aludida. El primer párrafo de la nota venía a complicar más la comprensión de lo que quiso hacer la periodista, al señalar que: "El presidente de la Academia Venezolana de la Lengua, Francisco Javier Pérez, informó que diez venezolanismos fueron incluidos en la edición 2014 del diccionario de la Real Academia Española". Escrito de esta manera, se estaría diciendo que el nuevo Diccionario de la lengua española, obra de la Real Academia Española y la Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española, publicada el año pasado en su vigésima tercera edición, popularizado como DRAE, habría incorporado, apenas, diez voces venezolanas para esa edición; siendo las felices elegidas: borona, chamo, emparamar, faramallero, leche (suerte), mecate, pana, pasapalo, rasca y sócate. La intención al dar esa lista de voces a la periodista, cosa que efectivamente hice, no era otra sino que pudiera contar, en vista de que la edición 23 de este diccionario no se ha comercializado aún en Venezuela, con algunos venezolanismos existentes en esa obra y que le sirvieran para usarlos como ilustrativos ejemplos para su nota. La escueta selección, aquí, vino a sustituir abruptamente al todo, al punto de borrarlo completamente.
Nunca un disparate así ha debido quedar escrito. Nunca yo informé que esas voces eran ni las únicas que habían sido incluidas en el último DRAE (ni que todas ellas lo habían sido, tampoco), sino que esas voces estaban incluidas en el repertorio del célebre diccionario, algunas, desde hacía ya mucho tiempo. Certificar eso por mi parte habría sido a todas luces imposible, pues he dedicado toda mi carrera y todos mis esfuerzos de estudio para lograr lo contrario: enriquecer el diccionario de la lengua con el español venezolano y proponer mejores formas descriptivas para nuestras voces. En honor a la verdad, y con plena exactitud numérica, hay que señalar que el DRAE 23 consigna un total de 2.338 voces o acepciones venezolanas y que esta cifra, aumentada edición tras edición, habla del empeño de los académicos e investigadores a ambos lados del Atlántico por hacer cada vez más completa la representatividad de la lengua de nuestro país en el diccionario más importante de la lengua española.
Hecha la aclaratoria, me parece conveniente aprovechar el equívoco para ofrecer algunas reflexiones que se desprenden de la situación de confusión misma que se generó y de la naturaleza de los diccionarios. Fundamentalmente, serían dos las que quiero desarrollar: lo cuantitativo en el diccionario como argumento de representatividad y el carácter de inconclusión permanente de los diccionarios.
Sobre lo primero, habría que decir que el número de voces venezolanas en una obra como el DRAE no es nunca garantía de verdadera representatividad del léxico del país. Está claro que la cantidad cuenta, en especial cuando se trata de cifras bajas, pero cuando hablamos de más de un par de miles de voces ya debe entenderse que ellas están ofreciendo un cuadro medianamente competente para definir, al menos en sus rasgos permanentes, el léxico venezolano en los diccionarios generales (otra cosa sería si estuviéramos considerando lo cuantitativo en diccionarios regionales, pues estos deben ofrecer el mayor número de voces de una comunidad hispanohablante con la finalidad de afinar y refinar al máximo los elementos distintivos y los aportes descriptivos que ellos comporten). Sería un error de técnica pretender que en un diccionario general de la lengua, sumatoria de las muchas parcialidades que vienen a integrar ese conjunto, se dieran los detalles más locales sobre el léxico o se incluyeran voces que ni siquiera en sus países de origen tienen una significación tan general como se piensa. El exotismo léxico siempre ha pesado mucho en lexicografía regional del español. Los diccionarios generales se entienden como frescos amplios de una lengua y por ello deben reflejar lo que tiene significación para el gran conjunto y no para una de las particularidades de ese conjunto.
Sobre lo segundo, debe insistirse en la comprensión de la naturaleza inconclusa de los diccionarios. Siempre parciales y nunca totales (ideal que no alcanzan ni los diccionarios históricos ni los tesauros de una lengua), los diccionarios, tanto los generales como los regionales, adolecerán por definición de una imposibilidad de exhaustividad. La lengua misma, por su riqueza inagotable y por su infinitud, ha pautado así los límites permitidos para que pueda ser compendiada y definida en su carácter total. Contrasentido donde se lo quiera, la infinitud de la lengua se enfrenta a la finitud de los recursos posibles para que ella se nos presente plena en grado sumo. Experiencia de siglos practicada por la lingüística ha llevado a una definición de la lengua como sistema finito de recursos con infinitas posibilidades comunicativas. Así, pues, la tarea del diccionario deviene en utópica gestión. La discusión, en otro sentido, se enturbia cuando de crítica lexicográfica se trata, pues no puede invocarse el principio anterior como justificación de carencias y errores de todo tipo (recurso justificador muy manido por los malos lexicógrafos que, en cuenta de sus pobres realizaciones, muy pronto vienen a recordar la imperfección inherente a la naturaleza de este género de trabajos).
Los 2.338 venezolanismos en la última edición del diccionario académico no están queriendo decir que la lengua de Venezuela se reduce, por más amplia e importante que esa selección sea, a ese sólo y único conjunto de voces y expresiones. Indica la cifra que ese número de voces, por los momentos, han pasado al diccionario como manifestación clara de un léxico distintivo de lo venezolano frente a las formas del español general (que no es el español de España solamente, sino el de todas y cada una de las comunidades nacionales en donde la lengua española tiene arraigo y vida en el tiempo presente).
Los 2.338 venezolanismos en la última edición del diccionario académico están, por otra parte, diciéndonos a los académicos e investigadores venezolanos de estas áreas (y de esta honrosa y sucinta lista excluyo a los advenedizos, aventureros y chapuceros que no dejan de aparecer de tanto en tanto como grandes sabedores de lo que es la investigación léxica de nuestro español; disciplina seria y de altas exigencias, seriedad y exigencia que muchas veces parecen no ser necesarias frente a la aparente facilidad con que el propio diccionario deja grabada en su fachada decodificadora pulcra y sencilla), que debemos hacer cada vez mayores y mejores esfuerzos para lograr mejores y mayores aportes al DRAE; al día de hoy, la mejor y más completa imagen lexicográfica de nuestra lengua.
À Kinshasa, les Chinois sont incontournables : ouvriers, commerçants, médecins... Mais un fossé culturel et linguistique les sépare des Congolais, et la cohabitation ne se fait pas sans heurts.
Heng a bien cru que sa vie allait s’arrêter là, dans un faubourg de Kinshasa, à des milliers de kilomètres de sa Chine natale. Le 20 janvier, des pillards se sont introduits dans sa boutique et ont tout emporté. "Il ne restait même pas une feuille de papier", explique-t-il, les yeux humides, en faisant défiler les images du désastre sur son smartphone. Lui et sa femme ont été protégés par leurs employés congolais, le temps que les forces de l’ordre arrivent.
Ils s’en sont finalement tirés sans blessure. Selon les autorités chinoises, 53 commerces tenus par ses ressortissants ont été pillés au cours des trois jours d’émeutes de janvier. Les pertes représenteraient quelque 5 millions de dollars (environ 4,5 millions d’euros). Les commerçants chinois n’ont été, en réalité, que les victimes collatérales du coup de colère des quartiers sud de Kinshasa.
À l’origine : un projet de loi qui menaçait de décaler la prochaine élection présidentielle, prévue fin 2016 et à l’issue de laquelle Joseph Kabila doit quitter le pouvoir. Le désordre a été une aubaine pour les pillards. D’autant que les Chinois n’ont pas toujours bonne réputation à Kinshasa. On leur reproche, pêle-mêle, de vendre de la marchandise de mauvaise qualité, d’exploiter les Congolais, voire de leur prendre leur travail…
Mais le ciblage de cette communauté est aussi politique : depuis la signature des "contrats chinois", en 2007, Kabila est associé à Pékin dans l’esprit de nombre de ses concitoyens. Ces contrats prévoyaient notamment la construction d’infrastructures en échange de minerais congolais. Ils ont aussi ouvert la voie aux migrants chinois, pour la plupart des ouvriers de grandes entreprises.
Aujourd’hui, ils seraient environ 4 000 à Kinshasa. Ce sont eux qui, en 2014, ont rénové plusieurs routes de la capitale, dont l’axe vital qui la relie à l’aéroport. Eux, aussi, qui ont réhabilité l’ex-Centre de commerce international du Zaïre pour en faire le très huppé Fleuve Congo Hôtel. Eux, encore, qui ont construit l’imposant hôpital du Cinquantenaire qui trône en plein coeur de la ville.
Moins visible, l’hôpital de l’Amitié sino-congolaise, dans la commune périphérique et déshéritée de Ndjili, a aussi été construit par des ouvriers chinois, en 2007. Depuis, des médecins payés et envoyés par Pékin s’y affairent : 26 professionnels de santé, qui se relaient tous les deux ans, contribuent à faire tourner cet établissement de 157 lits. Longtemps, cet hôpital a été le passage obligé des Kinois désireux de se rendre en Chine : il délivrait les seuls certificats médicaux acceptés par l’ambassade, facturés 110 dollars (en plus du visa).
Cette procédure est restée en place jusqu’à ce que, en mars, un tollé médiatique force à l’abandonner. Ce jour-là, le neurologue de l’équipe se gratte la tête devant l’écran du scanner (de fabrication chinoise) qui diffuse les images de la boîte crânienne d’une patiente. Mais pour dialoguer avec Roger Kabango Kasongo, le médecin directeur de l’hôpital, il est obligé de passer par "Nicolas", ainsi qu’a été surnommé l’interprète de l’équipe chinoise.
Malgré sa bonne volonté, ce jeune homme au visage poupin a bien du mal à traduire la conversation entre les deux hommes. "C’est l’un de nos problèmes, confie le docteur Kasongo. Ce sont de très bons médecins, mais ils sont incapables de communiquer avec nos patients et nos équipes. J’ai demandé que la prochaine rotation ait au moins une formation de base en français." Jacques, le chauffeur du minibus qui fait la liaison quotidienne entre l’hôpital et le camp de base de la délégation chinoise, peut bénéficier de soins gratuits.
Mais après huit ans de service, ces médecins venus d’Extrême-Orient demeurent une énigme pour lui. "Nous ne communiquons presque jamais, à cause des problèmes de langue. Vous savez, ici, ils sont comme en prison, s’étonne-t-il. Ils ne peuvent pas sortir sans l’autorisation de leur chef !"
Ce fossé culturel, s’il paraît insurmontable, s’estompe parfois. C’est le cas dans la boutique de Zhang. Cette femme de 35 ans, qui tient un commerce dans la commune de Matete, ne parle certes pas un mot de français, mais elle maîtrise à la perfection le lingala, la langue du quotidien à Kinshasa, beaucoup plus utile pour les affaires. Elle en a même adopté la gestuelle, au point devenir une petite attraction dans son quartier.
Les habitants viennent s’y approvisionner en textile, chaussures, produits d’entretien ou bibelots en plastique, articles soigneusement rangés derrière des vitres, hors de portée de la clientèle. Zhang et son mari sont arrivés ici en 2008, rejoignant une soeur et un frère déjà installés et laissant derrière eux un enfant au pays. Elle n’y est retournée que trois fois depuis son arrivée. "Au début c’était très dur. Il y avait trop de commerçants chinois.
Ils pensaient qu’ici ils allaient devenir riches facilement, mais la concurrence était trop rude. Nous avons connu des pertes pendant trois ans, mais nous nous sommes accrochés et, aujourd’hui, cela va plus ou moins." Contrairement à Heng, Zhang n’a pas subi les pillages de janvier, qui ont largement épargné Matete. "Ici, c’est la population qui a défendu sa boutique contre les bandits parce ce qu’elle s’entend très bien avec nous !" s’enthousiasme un client. Il n’empêche, Zhang a eu peur pendant ces trois jours. "Je vous mentirais si je vous disais le contraire", avoue-t-elle.
Les incidents ont-ils déclenché un début d’exode ? Il est trop tôt pour le dire. Malgré ce qu’il a subi, Heng a fait le choix de rester. Avec l’aide de la Chambre de commerce sino-congolaise, il a reconstruit sa boutique à neuf en quelques semaines. Désormais, il a un nouveau collaborateur : un policier communal qui veille, kalachnikov au poing.
This is actually supposed to be episode 26, I wanted to publish it right away so that you listeners can learn about Marta’s new course: Next Level Business “Bootcamp” for expert translators which starts Sept. 8th through eCPD Webinars, same week as my one hour webinar The price is right – pricing strategies for your translation services via eCPD Webinars. A perfect week to kick off your continuing education for the fall.
In this episode we are talking about how to position ourselves as experts in our translation marketing, which is something Marta also discusses in her new course. Marta is a constant learner, with several degrees and currently working on her thesis in management. She practices what she teaches and has successfully worked on positioning her as an expert when marketing her translation services in the UK. This episode is packed with useful tips.
In this episode we discuss the following:
The marketing principles for expert positioning
How to become the expert, or the expert positioning process
How to create a niche for your target marketing
The importance of having a marketing platform, i.e. an expert hub (read website)
Expert marketing strategies for agencies
Expert marketing strategies for direct clients
Marta’s developments in marketing her translation services, narrowing her niche, and her favorite tool, the website
Useful links related to this episode:
Next Level Business “Bootcamp” for expert translators
Marta’s website: Want Words
Thank you for listening, sharing and all your positive feedback! Have a successful week!
Marta Stelmaszak is a Polish – English translator and interpreter specialising in law, IT, marketing, and business. She is a member of the Management Committee of the Interpreting Division at the Chartered Institute of Linguists and a Co-head of the UK Chapter of the International Association of Professional Translators and Interpreters. She is also a qualified business mentor, a member of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. She is currently studying for master’s degree in Management, Information Systems and Innovation at the London School of Economics and Political Science
S. Robert Ramsey is professor of East Asian linguistics at the University of Maryland and author of the excellent book titled The Languages of China. I often consult with Bob on matters pertaining to Korean and Japanese; he is a reliable source of information on these languages as well as on Chinese in its many varieties — both in their current circumstances and with regard to their historical evolution.
In a recent communication, Bob described a ceremony he attended in Seoul. Since it touches on a subject that we have often discussed on Language Log — digraphia — I thought that I'd share it with colleagues here.
Younghi and I went to Korea a few weeks ago on short notice because I was suddenly informed that I had been voted the winner of the Ilsuk Korean Linguistics medal. I can’t say it was a surprise, but when I entered the auditorium where the ceremony was taking place, I found lavish use of Sinitic characters—as you can see from the photos I’ve attached. All distributed documents, including the one presented to me, were the same. It just goes to show, I think, that formalities (notice, e.g., the required white gloves at the ceremony!) still call forth old traditions in some cases.
At the same time, however, I have to point out to you that Korea seems to be far less stodgy about such awards than some other countries. I was the first non-Korean ever to receive such a medal from Korean scholars, and it seemed to mark a new era for this arch-conservative organization, as was noted in some of the speeches that followed.
I really have to say I’m amazed at how Korea has moved ahead in this way—in spite of this orthographic turning back by an old-school organization!
Perhaps I should note that the awarding organization is based at Seoul National University, which has long been a center for mixed-script writing — in sharp contrast with the Hangul-only history of Yonsei University!
July 3, 2015 @ 6:07 pm · Filed by Victor Mair under Diglossia and digraphia, Writing systems
The Poetry Society’s translation prize is now open
Olivia McCannon (© Hannah Dakin) and Clare Pollard (© Hayley Madden)
We are very pleased to announce that the 2015 Popescu European Poetry Translation Prize, supported this year by the British Council, is now open for entries.
The prize has been awarded biennially by The Poetry Society for a volume of poetry translated from a European language into English and we are delighted to announce that the judges this year are Clare Pollard and Olivia McCannon. Speaking about the prize, Clare Pollard said “translation is always a form of conversation. I’ll be looking for that particular, thrilling energy you get when the right writer meets the right translator. British poetry can be inward-looking, and this prize is a very important opportunity to enlarge our sense of what poetry can do.”
Olivia McCannon added “I’m looking forward to feeling the warmth, and surprise, of these voices from abroad. At its most vital, poetry in translation overcomes what was thought impossible and finds what was unimaginable. We need it, to protect and strengthen our humanity. The Popescu Prize puts us in touch with all of this.”
A prize of £1,000 will be awarded to the translator of a volume of poetry translated from a living European language (i.e. one that is currently still being spoken) into English published between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2015. You can find full entry guidelines and all the information you need to send your work for consideration, on our website.
The full press release is available for download.
2 July 2015
Every week we share on Twitter many interesting blog posts and online articles on translation, interpreting, language, as well as freelancing, blogging, business and social media. If you missed any of the great content we shared last week, here is your chance to catch up.
The content is listed in categories based on the topic, so just scroll down to find your favorite and enjoy reading! You can read the Weekly Translation Favorites from previous weeks here.
If you read any fabulous posts that we missed, let us know in the Comments section or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add your links to next week’s list.
Just as there are a variety of Arabs in Anglo-American literature, there are a variety of Anglo-Americans in Arabic literature:
Certainly, “the American” doesn’t loom as large in Arabic literature as “the Arab” does in Anglo-American thrillers. But there are depictions, both interesting and strange, and interesting-strange. There are also dead-on, laugh-out-loud depictions, like Jack in Waguih Ghali’s Beer in the Snooker Club, a novel that was written in English.
In literary Arabic novels, Americans usually don’t get the one-dimensional treatment.
Even when they’re “bad guys,” Americans in Arabic literature are generally multi-dimensional, as with Philip Anderson, the CIA operative in Syrian novelist Khaled al-Khalifa’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction-shortlisted In Praise of Hatred (trans. Leri Price). “One autumn day some years earlier, Abdullah arrived in Peshawar from Islamabad, exhausted from the journey and a long night spent in discussions with his friend Philip Anderson. They had both quickly left off the small-talk and their conversation began to exhibit clear signs of mutual distrust, due to the nature of their mission. This didn’t, however, prevent them from exchanging some small luxury gifts.” Anderson is certainly complicit in what happens in Afghanistan, but he is not a flat character.
Military and government workers appear in other guises, such as in Libyan novelist Ibrahim al-Koni’s Bleeding of the Stone, (trans. May Jayyusi and Christopher Tingley). The American officer John Parker is a Sufi, although he also helps slaughter gazelles.
Certainly, Americans are bound to appear in some form in recent Iraqi novels and short stories. In many, however, they are peripheral — Hassan Blasim has been asked why he doesn’t put more Americans in his work; he suggested that is work for American writers. In Sinan Antoon’s The Corpse Washer (trans. Antoon), American characters are similarly peripheral, although they are present: “The driver turned the flasher on and a man wearing khaki came out of the passenger side. He approached the group which had been exchanging good wishes and congratulations and asked who had used the camera — ‘Photography is not allowed here.’ He snatched the camera away from one of the female students, took the film out and warned everyone not to do it again. He went outside, got into the car and took off. Most of us were surprised, but we later realized that the presidential palace was just across the river. Now the Americans have occupied it and surrounded it with walls and checkpoints; our new rulers can live far away from us.”
These are American characters who have traveled to Arab countries. There are also many novels that center on an Arab protagonist who has moved to the US, such as Sonallah Ibrahim’s Amrikanli (a professor in San Francisco), Ezzedine Choukri Fishere’s Embrace at Brooklyn Bridge, and Miral al-Tahawy’s Naguib Mahfouz Medal-winning Brooklyn Heights (trans. Samah Selim).
And what if these American characters don’t resonate with Americans? They might be re-shaped in translation. With Bahaa Abdelmeguid’s Sleeping with Strangers, translator Chip Rossetti describes making some “minor corrections,” while leaving other things that might feel strange or unbelievable to a US audience. Inaam Kachachi’s IPAF-shortlisted American Granddaughter — written by an Iraqi author who lives in Paris — also rings stereotypical at some points in its depictions of Americans, as well as other Arab characters.
Some books use American characters to move into larger discussions. In Yusuf Idris’s New York 80 (trans. Rasheed El-Enany), an unnamed Egyptian HE is talking to a New York prostitute SHE, who late in the novella is named as Pamela Graham. They have a long fight over the meaning of her work. Here, Pamela Graham: “What can I say to you? People grow up and yet continue to think like children. You disapprove of my job as prostitute, as if I was your mother caught sinning. My dear, sexual relations between man and woman have been a business deal since the beginning of history. It could be nothing else.”
Here, the prostitute-character is also “stereotypical,” but since she’s an archetype, leading into a discussion about sex, it hardly matters.
The final essay-story in Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Revolt of the Young, which he published in 1984, also travels to the US and follows the (fictional) trial of four young people who feigned blowing up the Statue of Liberty in order to get on trial. Although certain aspects of the way they describe their actions don’t ring true, such as when the prosecutor uses the phrase “capitalist imperialist society,” it’s nonetheless — like New York 80 — an interesting way of looking at Egyptians looking at Americans.
And, the last world on Americans from Jack:
“‘Well,’ he said, ‘we are a team of people going from one country to another, living with the people, the same way the people are living, sharing their everyday lives, and finding out what they truly think of the States, and finding out how we can foster and encourage friendship between us and you.’ He pulled up a chair and sat, his face near mine, his hand on the back of my chair; every sentence emphasized neatly and concisely. I remember a pair of American young men belonging to the Mormon sect, who rang at my door in London one day. In the same neat and earnest way, they recited the fact that God is divided into three distinct entities . . . or is it the other way around, I forget which.”
IBNA- Head of Tehran’s Union of Publishers and Booksellers Mahmoud Amouzgar stressed the importance of the presence of the Iranian publications in Frankfurt Book Fair and other international events.
In an interview with IBNA, Amouzgar said: “Tehran’s Union of Publishers and Booksellers has had a limited geographical approach to publishing in our country. They should think about their audience and try to increase the number of those interested in reading Iranian works. Should this approach be followed professionally, it can affect the income earned in the print industry of our country.”
“Countries that follow us closely in the field of publication have useful experiences of the global market and international book fairs which is beneficial for us to consider,” he stated.
Amouzgar further continued: “It was in line with this idea that Tehran’s Union of Publishers and Booksellers decided to participate in Frankfurt Book Fair in 2011, but unfortunately, this didn’t materialize due to a few problems such as financial issues, despite the preparations provided.”
“Finally in the years 2013 and 2014, the Union managed to participate in Frankfurt Book Fair in the wake of the new decision of Iran’s Cultural Exhibitions Institute to create a complex of stands on behalf of the publishers and authors who were not able to directly attend the fair,” Head of Tehran’s Union of Publishers and Booksellers said.
Alden Alayvilla - The Garden Island | 4 comments
LIHUE — Hawaiian language immersion schools received good news from lawmakers last week, as five senators introduced a measure to preserve endangered Native American languages such as olelo Hawaii.
Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jon Tester (D-Montana), Mark Heinrich (D-New Mexico), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota) and Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) introduced The Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act, which would create $25 million in grants to support Native American language immersion programs.
“This is awesome for us because just the support (is) really needed,” said Kaleimakamae Kaauwai, pookula or principal of Kawaikini New Century Public Charter School in Lihue. “There’s always need for translating because there’s still not a whole lot of resources in Hawaiian.”
The grant program totals $5 million a year for five years. According to the measure, grants can be awarded to Native American tribes, tribal organizations, tribal colleges and universities, and public or private schools to establish or expand existing immersion classes for students from preschool through post-secondary levels.
Kaauwai said including Kawaikini, there are three other Hawaii public charter schools on Kauai — Ke Kula Niihau O Kekaha, Kanaka and Kanuikapono — and 34 total in the state. Kawaikini has about 130 students from kindergarten through 12th grade, he said.
“Preserving the language helps us to know who we are, where we are in this world and our connection to other people,” Kaauwai said.
Pua Rossi-Fukino, instructor of Hawaiian language and studies at Kauai Community College, said the measure will benefit all Hawaii residents.
“It looks like something that’s going to be really positive, especially for those who want to acquire their native tongue and learn more about it,” she said. “To have an opportunity such as this that will help support people learn their language, it will be for the betterment of all — not just Native Hawaiians, everybody who lives here.”
Rossi-Fukino, who has an average of about 15 students per class per semester, said getting funding for immersion schools and Hawaiian language learning can be difficult.
“Having this bill be something that could open the doors and bring more funding, open more possibilities for people, I see it being very positive,” she said. “Any steps forward is something, even if it’s a small step, is definitely a positive.”
Schatz said the bill would build on immersion schools such as Nawahiokalaniopuu on the Big Island.
“Immersion schools in Hawaii have shown us that if we incorporate culture, traditions and language into education, we can preserve Native languages, improve student outcomes and lift Native communities,” Schatz said in a statement.
Rossi-Fukino said she finds the funding for Hawaiian language ironic since an 1896 law, which was lifted in 1987, banned the teaching of the language in public schools.
“It just caused a ripple effect: families stopped teaching it, families stopped sharing it because they were not supported,” she said. “What happened in 1896 was that (a U.S. policy) banned the practice of Hawaiian language, the teaching of Hawaiian language in public schools, and they took away the funding to the people who wanted to continue that.”
Rossi-Fukino said the incorporation of the 1896 law led to Hawaiian speakers rarely sharing the language. She added that her family is an example of that.
“My great-grandmother was a native speaker and she was an educated woman, but she was a native speaker of olelo Hawaii and a speaker of English and she refused to teach Hawaiian language to my grandmother,” she said. “My grandmother had to go and learn her own indigenous language from somebody else outside of the household. In turn, she herself didn’t teach it to my father. My father had to go to other ohana and learn his language. Luckily, I was in the era where it was a good thing to share your language.”
According to 2010 Census data, around 24,000 people speak Hawaiian in the U.S. and 16,000 speak the language in the state.
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AHMEDABAD: In order to excel in calculations, the commerce stream students have failed miserably in the Languages. Of the 5.24 lakh students who appeared for their examination a whopping 32 per cent students failed in English (second language) and this was 68,000 students more as compared to 2014.
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According to the officials not just the English Language which was turned out to be a hard nut to crack for the Gujarati medium students, but even the number of students who failed to clear the mother tongue also increased. In the year 2014 only 15954 students failed in mother tongue language Gujarati but this year this increased to only 70,914, which was a fourfold increase.
Officials said that in English last year the pass out percentage was 78.03 per cent in 2014 and this year it was 65.11 per cent. According to officials in 2014 only one lakh students failed and the number increased to 1,68,736 this year.
The officials said that even in the optional subjects that is Hindi and Sanskrit the number has increased drastically. In Hindi (second language) this year 14,213 students failed which was only 786 last year. Even in Sanskrit this year 75,686 students failed which was only 6615 students in 2014. The officials said that the low pass out percent this year could also be attributed to the languages. The officials said that this year the maximum number of students failed in two to three subject this year which was highest in one subject last year.