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Top Bible Translations Remain NIV, KJV and NKJV

Top Bible Translations Remain NIV, KJV and NKJV | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
The New International Version, the King James Version and the New King James Version continue to enjoy popularity among Bible readers, according to the Association for Christian Retail (CBA) and the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association...
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UN Careers - jobs in this network (Translators, Revisers, Editors, etc.)

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

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

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Call for action to save ethnic language - Headlines, features, photo and videos from|china|news|chinanews|ecns|cns

Call for action to save ethnic language - Headlines, features, photo and videos from|china|news|chinanews|ecns|cns | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Wang Jichao's first language is Yi, but when he was 13 a teacher taught him to say a few words in Mandarin, including Beijing and Tian'anmen. He struggled to pronounce them, and had no idea what they meant.[Special coverage]

On Monday, as a National People's Congress deputy representing Guizhou province, he arrived in Beijing for the two sessions at the Great Hall of the People on Tian'anmen Square.

Wang, a member of the Yi ethnic group, was born and raised in a remote mountain village in the province.

"In order to study science and other subjects, we had to learn Mandarin," said Wang, 58, who is now the director of a Yi language translation and research center at Bijie in Guizhou.

"Now the situation has changed: We need to preserve our ethnic language, as it is disappearing."

Wang said the number of people who speak Yi has declined sharply.

"In a county with 100,000 people, less than 1 percent speak Yi, let alone read and write the language," he said.

"Language is the spirit of our culture. It carries the history of our group. To preserve our ethnic culture, we have to save our language first."

Since 1982, Wang has been involved in researching and translating ancient texts written in the Yi language. He has published more than 30 books and translated Yi literature, including epic poetry, history and documents, into Chinese.

The texts were carved on rocks, bamboo sticks and bones, or written on leather, clothes and paper. Many have rotted and become blurred.

"If nobody saves them, then a language that is thousands of years old will eventually die," Wang said.

"The young generation feels it doesn't have to learn the Yi language to find a job and communicate. Mandarin is very easy to learn, because it is everywhere. Children learn Mandarin in cartoons and textbooks, but where can they learn the Yi language? Nowhere."

Yi characters, like those used in Mandarin, are square. Wang read out a poem, and though the pronunciation seemed strange, the rhymes were familiar-they are in fact similar to those used in ancient Chinese literature.

Wang said the poem was a prayer sent by the ancient Yi people to the god of knowledge.

"The Yi people admired literature. They worshipped the god of poetry and the god of books on special days," he said.

Wang has suggested to the NPC that elementary schools in areas where people of the Yi ethnic group live should provide Yi language classes.
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Naguib Mahfouz’s Japanese-translated works shortlisted for UAE award | Egypt Independent

Naguib Mahfouz’s Japanese-translated works shortlisted for UAE award | Egypt Independent | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
The Japanese translation of Naguib Mahfouz’s famous trilogy has been shortlisted for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in the translation category, the Sheikh Zayed Foundation said in a statement to Reuters.
Naguib Mahfouz was awarded the 1988 Nobel Prize for the so-called "Cairo Trilogy", which includes "Palace Walk", "Palace of Desire" and "Sugar Street". He was the only Arab writer to have won the award. 
Besides the translation of Mahfouz’s trilogy by Hanawa Haruo, the list includes "Historic Typography of Medieval and Ancient Syria", authored by Rene Dessaud, translated by Issam Chehadat from Syria and 
"A History of Anthropology" by Thomas Hylland Eriksen, translated by Abdou El Rayess from Egypt.
This is the ninth edition of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award competition.
The financial prizes’ aggregate stands at AED7 million, to be divided equally among winners in all nine categories on 11 May during the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
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Book review: Mahabharata Volume 9 translated by Bibek Debroy | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

Book review: Mahabharata Volume 9 translated by Bibek Debroy | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Book: Mahabharata: Volume 9. Translated by Bibek Debroy
Publisher: Penguin Books India
Pages: 720

After the 17-day war was over, the battlefield at Kurukshetra littered with bodies of the millions who had died, Hastinapura was under the control of the Pandavas, the survivors no more than what could be counted on one's fingertips, what was left? When all had been said and done, or so one thought, it turns out that there was still a lot left to be said. If you believe that the Mahabharata at one point consisted only of a small and relatively short core of approximately 20,000 verses, then its current size of a hundred thousand shlokas is sure to baffle (though it must be pointed out that the Critical Edition, including Hari Vamsha, is a shade less than 80,000 shlokas). Among the many questions that may arise, the principal one is likely to be - where did the epic become an epic, in a literal manner of speaking? When did "Jaya" become "Bharata" and then "Mahabharata"? The short answer, and I use the word 'short' deliberately, is in the Shanti and Anushasan Parvas - the twelfth and thirteenth parvas respectively. The long answer is nineteen-and-a-half thousand verses. If you take the 73,000 shlokas that constitute the Critical Edition of the Mahabharata - as compiled over nearly half a century by the scholars at Pune's Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, and not counting the approximately six-and-a-half thousand shlokas of Hari Vamsha, which is considered a kheel (appendix) to the epic -  then 26 percent - a full quarter and then some - of the epic is contained in these two parvas.

If you have not heard of these two parvas, then the fault is not really yours. Almost all retellings, adaptations, abridgments have given these two parvas short shrift. C Rajagopalachari's timeless retelling does not devote much space to these two parvas. Devdutt Pattanaik's recent bestseller, Jaya, also devotes no more than half a chapter - out of one hundred chapters in the book. Even John Smith's very novel semi-abridged translation summarises the Shanti and Anushasan Parvas in a little over a hundred pages - out of the nearly 800 pages in the book, and with no translation, just abridged chapter-wise summaries! Why these two parvas got the short end of the stick in abridgments and retellings is not difficult to decipher. Pretty much the story is all but over by the time the Shanti Parva begins. Bhishma lays dying on the battlefield, waiting for Uttarayana to commence so he can leave his mortal body. What little is left to be told will be told with brutal brevity in the Ashramavasika, Mousala, Mahaprasthanika, and Svargarohana Parvas. The destruction of Dwarka will take place only in Mousala Parva, and it is dealt with in less than 300 shlokas of densely-packed action. Even the Pandavas' journey heavenwards and Yudhishthira's reconciliation to heaven takes up less than 200 shlokas of Svargarohana Parva. Most of what is recounted in the Shanti and Anushasan Parvas is then really Bhishma's advice to Yudhishthira on statecraft, on dharma, donations, interspersed with countless stories.
It is in these stories that the reader is likely to find the maximum interest as well as frustration. Yes, the plot is not really moving anywhere, and there is hair-tearing meandering at times, along with several passages that seem very out of place, what Dr. Debroy calls "later insertions", and what John Smith called "densely didactic" (in the introduction to his abridged translation). But that is not the point. If you do not care for these parvas, then any number of abridged retellings will do. To truly understand the Mahabharata it is, in my opinion, vital to read it in its entirety. Ideally in its Sanskrit form. If not, then in whatever language you are most comfortable with.  
Volume 8 had the Raja-dharma, Apad-dharma, and a little less than a thousand shlokas from Moksha-dharma parvas within Shanti Parva. Volume 9 contains the rest of the approximately six thousand shlokas of Moksha-dharma Parva, as well as two-and-a-half thousand shlokas from Dana-dharma Parva of Anusasan Parva - all about attaining salvation.
In Volume 9 we get to read how Shiva's bow came to be known as Pinaka, how Shukra got his name - he who used to be known as Kavya Ushanas, how Vritra was killed by Indra using the power of yoga, or several stories concerning creation, including one where Brahma, after being asked by Narayana to create "different categories of subjects", worries where he would get the strength to do so, thereby laying the need for Narayana to express himself on earth in various avatars. Or that the demons Madhu and Kaitabh were created on Narayana's instructions himself, invested with tamas-ic and rajas-ic qualities. These two demons are mentioned countless times in the epic, mostly when referring to Krishna or Vishnu. It is in Moksha Dharma Parva that we actually get to read in some detail about Madhu and Kaitabh. Then there is the oft-heard story of how the moon came to wax and wane, and there are several variations there - this time on account of Daksha's curse. Perhaps the most fantastical tale is that of the people of Shvetadvipa - massive beings with more than 60 teeth and who have been cleansed of all sin. Or the story of Shuka, Vyasa's son, born from the rubbing together of kindling sticks - it makes for an interesting read for sure!
The thousand names of Vishnu figure in the Anushasan Parva - but they are to be found only in volume 10. However, this ninth volume does reward the reader with the thousand names of Siva, in chapter 17 of Dana-dharma Parva (within Anushasan parva). As is the tradition in the Mahabharata, not only is the content important - in this case the thousand names of Siva - but also equally important is to establish how this knowledge came to be in the possession of the narrator. In this case, starting with Brahma, this knowledge passed through more than 10 people before being recited to Yudhishthira. Even the thousand names represent the "essence" of the more than 10,000 names of Siva that Brahma had first revealed! 
Among the innumerable stories contained within this volume, perhaps the most fascinating is told as a response to a question from Yudhishthira to Bhishma. The story of Bhangashvana and Shakra (Indra) is well worth reading, and I will leave it at that!
In any translation, a critical measure of its success is in its fidelity to the original. In this case, since the original is in Sanskrit, Sanskrit scholars can best opine on that. Since I do not know the language, I have nothing to add on that topic. In some ways, what a translation does achieve is normalisation - the better and inferior passages are all normalised during the course of the translation, with the result that the reader can focus more on the plot than the style. This has its merits as well as demerits. For example, there is little of the beauty of the passages in the Gita that come across as a result. On the other hand, some of the frustrations faced by the translator, Dr. Debroy in this case, are only hinted at - as in Chapter 303, where the title of the chapter itself is footnoted as being "extremely difficult to understand" and therefore which necessitated "liberties"! 
This then is Volume 9 of Bibek Debroy's unabdridged translation of the Mahabharata, based on the Critical Edition from Pune's Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. The tenth and concluding volume in this humongous translation was released concurrently with ninth volume, so the latest unabridged English translation of the Mahabharata is now complete.
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Pa. Minor Courts Lost in Translation

Pa. Minor Courts Lost in Translation | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Pennsylvania's minor courts are ill-equipped to help non-English-speaking litigants understand court proceedings, a recent study said.
The study, conducted by the Sheller Center for Social Justice at Temple University's Beasley School of Law, identified several barriers facing people with what it calls LEP, or limited English proficiency, in the courts.
As part of the study, 79 magisterial district courts and 18 district court administrator offices statewide in areas with high LEP populations were surveyed. The most common proceedings at that level include protection from abuse orders, landlord/tenant disputes, small-claims disputes, traffic citations and criminal arraignments.
Sandra Mazer Moss, executive director of the Sheller Center and a retired Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge, said the lowest courts have the greatest demand for translation services.
"Those courts are truly the people's courts, and from what I know from judges around the state ... they are the courts where the need for interpreters is most crucial," Moss said.
According to the study, there are limited translation options available for the roughly 460,000 LEP individuals in Pennsylvania. The study cited a 2003 state Supreme Court report that noted while some courts use interpreter agencies or appoint interpreters on an ad hoc basis, others do nothing at all.
One reason for the lack of available interpreters for magisterial district courts, Moss said, is that cases at the common pleas level, such as homicide or catastrophic injury cases, take precedence as far as translation services are concerned.
The study noted Pennsylvania's Act 172 was created to secure the constitutional rights of non-English speakers in all courts.
"Legal advocates, however, observed that both the legislation and implementing regulations are not always followed and that they fall short of addressing many of the issues that LEP individuals face when accessing courts," the study said.
The first issue highlighted was courts' use of non-certified interpreters, which the study said raises concerns about the quality and accuracy of the translations.
One-third of the courts surveyed reported a reliance on LEP litigants' friends and families to interpret court proceedings. Some allow bilingual court staff to help translate.
The study also found that the courts had inconsistent policies for providing interpreters in civil proceedings. Furthermore, the study said most court staff did not have the means to communicate with LEP individuals, with only a handful using tools such as telephonic interpretation when a non-English-speaking litigant calls in.
"One court reported using a list of Spanish vocabulary words such as 'guilty' and 'not guilty' to help LEP individuals plead, without mentioning how or if they would actually explain the charges in Spanish," the study said. "Another court reported that they instruct LEP individuals to wait in the lobby until another person who speaks their language happens to come in."
It is Moss' desire that the study serve as an impetus for more regulation of courtroom language services, she said.
Moss said, "What I hope is that it will encourage the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, which has already started to look at this problem, to establish protocols to ensure that anyone who needs an interpreter gets one."
Mary Vilter, coordinator of court access for the AOPC, said efforts are currently under way to address the issue of the language barrier in the minor courts. Last year, the AOPC requested magisterial district courts and administrators to submit language access plans, which are currently under review.
Other measures include providing judicial CLE classes on the state's legislation requiring equal access to the courts for non-English speakers, as well as how to work with and find interpreters.
Vilter said the AOPC recognized the language barrier was an issue for some time and pushed for legislation addressing the issue in 2006.
However, even with the passage of an act mandating courtroom interpreters, the problem persists because of practical concerns that the over 500 magisterial district courts face, from the breadth of proceedings dealt with to limited resources, according to Vilter.
Last year, the AOPC unsuccessfully petitioned the legislature for $1.5 million to subsidize translation services—Vilter said each county pays for interpreters out of its own budget.
Another attempt to secure the $1.5 million will be made this year. "I hope to assist the judicial districts with resources," Vilter said.
The most widely utilized languages in the minor courts other than English, Vilter said, are Spanish, American Sign Language, Mandarin Chinese and Russian.
Counties with large urban areas, such as Philadelphia and Allegheny counties, tend to have the most language diversity and volume of non-English speakers. But Vilter said less-densely-populated counties such as Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Luzerne and Erie also have substantial non-English-speaking populations.
P.J. D'Annunzio can be contacted at 215-557-2315 or Follow him on Twitter @PJDannunzioTLI.
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Lost In Translation

Lost In Translation | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Lost In Translation
Chompsky at 7:08 am March 4, 2015

Of this footage of Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada highlighting Irish Language derogation in the the European Parliament while on language strike in Brussels, Munkifisht writes:
…there’s something lovely and ironic about Irish (an official language of the EU since its founding for basic texts and an official language of the European Parliament since 2007 and is supposed to be translated) being unofficially unrecognised at the almost centenary celebration of the events which led to independence. I do not think any of the other 24 official languages would ever be treated with such a lack of respect or disregard.
(The official languages are Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian,   Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish)
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MIS-Asia - Fuji Xerox introduces scan translation service to boost translation work efficiency

MIS-Asia - Fuji Xerox introduces scan translation service to boost translation work efficiency | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Fuji Xerox introduces scan translation service to boost translation work efficiency
Zafirah Salim | March 3, 2015

Fuji Xerox Singapore unveiled yesterday (March 2) its latest cloud-based machine translation service, called the Scan Translation Service, to help achieve easier translation process and increase work efficiency for businesses.
This new service now links to DocuWorks Desk - the interface for the company's document handling software DocuWorks - as well as providing translation of Microsoft Office documents.
According to a media statement, the DocuWorks Desk will function as an access window to the Scan Translation Service. Users can send through translation requests and view the translated results on their DocuWorks Desk with a simple drag-and-drop operation.
Users are also able to translate multiple documents in batches via DocuWorks Desk from their computer. This seamless integration between a user's PC desktop to the cloud facilitates direct access to the Scan Translation Service.
Additionally, Word and PowerPoint documents can now be translated via the Scan Translation Service aside from PDF and DocuWorks documents, through interfaces such as Web browsers and DocuWorks Desk.
All translated documents can be received in the same file format, allowing users to make edits directly. This helps to boost efficiency by making more precise translations.      
Overall, Fuji Xerox's Scan Translation Service facilitates global communications and drives productivity by providing instant-on-demand translation services in multiple languages.
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"A LION IN WINTER" - SHAKESPEARE Lite? - Marilyn Sands - Open Salon

"A LION IN WINTER" - SHAKESPEARE Lite? - Marilyn Sands - Open Salon | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
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An epiphany came to me recently when I shook my Fear of Shakespeare after watching the 1968 Award-Winning Movie "A Lion in Winter" with Peter O'Toole & Katherine Hepburn - written not by Shakespeare; but brilliant Playwright & Screenwriter James Goldman. 


You see - it could only happen after I had "Lived Life" & experienced love/pain/loss, wife/mother/widow - that I could finally comprehend the story line relishing the wit & nuances of the time period in which Shakespeare wrote his famous body of work. 


    But now, it's such a gift that I can actually follow an Elizabethan subject I once tossed aside as a failure & join in the merriment & cadence of the Bard's voice.

It wasn't an overnight job; but I am a Late Bloomer! 

It's like waking up smarter than you were yesterday - without the Homework!

But in High School; that was a different story.

I clearly remember my eyes glazed over as Shakespeare was dissected in terms that were as foreign to me as outer space aliens.

Getting past the "Thy's  Thou's" was a roadblock; but not even the problem - I clearly wasn't ready to grasp this ancient language & couldn't wait for the Bell for "Lunch" where I could feed my situation.

Only in retrospect; do I realize the big obstruction was that I had worse things at home to contend with that dulled my mind; putting a lot of the Present on hold. 

But, I was happily carried away with this Movie; as the bitingly tart dialogue came from the lips of  fiesty Katherine Hepburn & delicious Peter O'Toole - just a few out-of -context humorous gems:

Eleanor of Aquataine:  "What Famiy doesn't have it's ups & downs"?

Henry II:  "A King?  Because you put your Ass on Purple Cushions"?

Henry II:  "When the King is off his Ass, nobody sleeps"!

Henry II:  "My finest angle.  It's on all the Coins"!

Eleanor:  "Oh Henry, we mangled everything we touch"!

Henry II:  "What shall we hang first?  The Holly or each other"?

Hey, I know Goldman is no Shakespeare - heck; now they even say "Shakespeare" is no Shakespeare - but as Joe E. Brown once said in "Some Like It Hot".....

"Well...Nobody's Perfect"! 


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Urdu translation of Brazilian books launched

Urdu translation of Brazilian books launched | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Urdu translation of Brazilian books launched
By Our CorrespondentPublished: March 5, 2015

Two books of classic Brazilian literature, which have been translated into Urdu and English, were launched at the National Library on Wednesday.
The 19th century “Iracema” by José de Alencar and posthumous memoirs of Brás Cubas by Machado de Assis have been published in Urdu by the Brazilian embassy to make Pakistanis familiar with Brazilian literature.
National Library Director-General Chaudhry Nazir described the books as an important tool to understand the South American country and its people.
First published in 1865, Iracema is one of the most important books of Brazilian romanticism, but also of Brazilian literature as a whole. While the memoirs created an impact in the literature scene of Brazil in the end of 19th century. Narrated by the title character, a single, rich, empty man decides to narrate his life after he has died. At a Q&A session later, outgoing Brazilian Ambassador Alfredo Leoni said the two books were pillars of Brazilian literature.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2015.
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The Left Side Of Your Brain Is More Gender-Biased

We English speakers read from left to right, a directional bias which has been found to influence some of our perceptions. Might our everyday use of language influence how we see gender?  Researchers from the University of Surrey unhesitatingly say "yes." Their new study finds the left hemisphere of the brain, which is specialized for language, processes an ambiguous face as ‘male’ more quickly than the right hemisphere.

“When children learn color words they move from using the right side of the brain to using the left side of the brain,” Sapphira R. Thorne, a PhD candidate in Psychology at the University of Surrey, told Medical Daily in an email. “I became interested in extending this line of research into a more social domain to see if we can find similar results when using social categories (i.e. gender).”

Studies in the field of psychology often become controversial simply because most of us have some experience in the matter at hand and a definite opinion about it, too. For instance, the current study notes that among English-speaking people, androcentrism — a feminist concept suggesting there is a general tendency to see men as the 'default' gender — is socialized through language learning. When we say ‘mankind’ instead of ‘humankind’ or use ‘he’ to refer to an individual of either sex, we are demonstrating this.

Previous research from the University of Surrey takes language-linked androcentrism one step further with evidence that English language speakers tend to place males ahead of females in sentences. Describing romantic couples, people likely name the masculine partner first. “Romeo and Juliet,” anyone? Can you say “Adam and Eve?” This even applies to same sex couples, the previous research asserts, where the person perceived to be more masculine will be named first.

The Personal Is Political

Now some (including this reporter) would argue most people, when referring to a couple, name the person they know better first. So you’d most likely name your sister first, rather than your brother-in-law. You’d also say the name of your college roommate before his same-sex partner, even if the latter clearly prefers the role of ‘husband.’ Familiarity and loyalty trump gender issues for most of us, this reporter believes.

Returning to the current study, the experiment worked like this: 42 English or English-speaking volunteers performed a simple task of face categorization. Asked to focus on a cross in the center of a computer screen, they watched as faces appeared before them on the screen and then, as quickly as possible, they named the face as either male or female (whoops — female or male). And so the participants gazed and categorized faces for 280 total trials, while the researchers, tweaked the computer faces so that they morphed into a more female or more male appearance.

The team verified its hypothesis. An image presented to the left side of the brain was generally and more quickly considered ‘male.’ Thorne noted, “Our study clearly found that people are much more likely to make a quick decision that a face is male when it is shown to the left-hand side of the brain.”

Asked whether the results might be reversed in languages that read from right to left, Thorne commented only “in languages emphasizing males as more dominant” would ambiguous faces likely be seen quickly and readily as male by the left hemisphere of the brain.

“I am hoping to repeat the study in different languages, particularly languages that read from right to left (i.e. Arabic),” she told Medical Daily. “This will provide me with further evidence that the way we use language may influence the split second decisions we make when trying to determine someone’s gender.” Planning farther into the future, she’d also like to design an experiment around understanding how language may influence perceptions of social groups, including race.

Source: Thorne S, Hegarty P, Catmur C. Is the Left Hemisphere Androcentric? Evidence of the Learned Categorical Perception of Gender. Laterality. 2015.
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Provost Groves announces passing of former Dean of the School of Languages and Linguistics

Provost Groves announces passing of former Dean of the School of Languages and Linguistics | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Provost Groves announces passing of former Dean of the School of Languages and Linguistics
Today in an email to the Georgetown University community, Provost Robert Groves announced the passing of Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the School of Languages and Linguistics, Dr. James Alatis.
He also served as Distinguished Professor of Linguistics and Modern Greek and Senior Advisor to the Dean of Georgetown College for International Language Programs and Research.
Alatis was appointed Associate Dean of the School of Language and Linguistics (SLL) in 1966, and he served as Dean of the School from 1973 to 1994 when he retired from the position to focus on his role as Professor of Linguistics and Modern Greek.
He was also known for his support and leadership with the Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics (GURT), a prominent international conference which continues to this day. He retired in 2012.
Outside of Georgetown in the earlier part of his career as Associate Dean, Alatis was the founder and first executive director of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). The mission of the association is “to advance professional expertise in English language teaching and learning for speakers of other languages worldwide”.
Under Alatis’s leadership, the organization grew from fewer than 400 members in 1968 to over 12,000 members when he stepped down two decades later.
In addition to serving as the President of the TESOL International Research Foundation (TIRF) Board, he also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Joint National Committee for Languages and National Council for Languages and International Studies.
Assistant of Academic Affairs and fellow colleage Sonia Jacobson praised Alatis’s committment to language education in the Provost’s email.
“Throughout a long and distinguished career at the University spanning forty-six years, his passion and advocacy for greater prominence for and the benefits of language education were unwavering,” she wrote. “Thousands in the academic community and generations of students are indebted to him for his generosity of spirit and innumerable kindnesses of one of Georgetown’s true giants.”
Alatis has been recognized for his many contributions to Georgetown with the President’s Medal in 1994 and the Patrick Healy Award in 1995.
He passed away this past Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at the age of 88.
Photo: Georgetown University Archives
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Berlin School of Mind and Brain: Reciprocity and social cognition

Berlin School of Mind and Brain: Reciprocity and social cognition | Metaglossia: The Translation World |

Reciprocity and social cognition

Reciprocity is a common feature of much social cognition. For example, when two people attend to the same object simultaneously they can do so merely in parallel or jointly; only the latter of which involves reciprocity. However, traditional accounts of the foundations of social cognition have largely ignored the existence of reciprocity and treated social cognition as a process that rests on observation rather than genuine interaction (e.g., Dennett, 1982; Davidson, 1994; Stich & Nicholls, 2003; Goldman 2006; Rizzolatti & Sinigaglia, 2008). Notable exceptions highlight reciprocity as a key feature of social cognition and joint action (Tomasello et al., 2005; Bratman, 2014). However, the precise nature of this concept has not always been clear, and debates across adjacent fields have remained somewhat disconnected.
In this three-day workshop we will try to clarify the concept of reciprocity and to explore for the first time how the notion of reciprocity can be used to illuminate debates in adjacent fields of cognitive science. In the process we hope to provide answers to a number of important questions such as:

What kinds of reciprocity are involved in different forms of communication and joint action?
How does reciprocity interact with knowledge, learning, and cognitive development?
What can we learn from studying social interaction in non-human primates and humans with psychiatric disorders that involve dysfunctional social interaction?
What role does reciprocity have in social interaction impairments?
How can reciprocity be studied with neuroscientific methods?
This symposium will be organized around six distinct but closely related sessions, each devoted to the role of reciprocity in social cognition:

(1) Intentional communication
(2) Neuroscience of dialogue
(3) Socio-cognitive disorders
(4) Social exchange: insights from computational neuroscience
(5) Perspective-taking
(6) Joint action


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Monday, 23 March 2015
KEY LECTURE: Richard Moran
Chair: Richard Moore
Matthews / Moore
(I) Intentional communication
KEY LECTURE: Julia Fischer
Tuesday, 24 March 2015
Chair: Anna Kuhlen
(II) Neuroscience of dialog
Chair: Anna Strasser
Crone / Strasser
(III) Disorders
Chair: Isabel Dziobek
(IV) Social exchange: insights from computational  neuroscience 
KEY LECTURE: Natalie Sebanz
Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Chair: Steve Butterfill
(V) Perspective-taking
Chair: Olle Blomberg
(VI) Joint action
Blomberg / Butterfill
14:00 - 15:00
Abstracts of all sessions

(1) Intentional communication

Reciprocity in intentional communication: addressing and acknowledging communicative acts
Recent work on intentional communication has devoted much time to the way in which communicative acts are addressed to an intended recipient. The nature of this address, which is typically performed using ostensive cues, has been supposed to be significant both because it marks a uniquely Gricean feature of human communication (Tomasello, 2008), which distinguishes it from non-human communication, and because some argue that it has been ritualised into an adaptive mechanism for human social learning (Gergely & Csibra, 2006).
Against this consensus, some authors (Moore, 2014; submitted) have sought to show that there is nothing uniquely human about the ways in which communicative acts are addressed to interlocutors; and indeed that such acts of addressing may be a functional pre-requisite of successful communication. However, a rarely noted but correlated feature of communicative acts may be unique to humans: the act of acknowledging that one has been addressed. In this act, which is suppressed in the act of ignoring, one acknowledges and makes oneself culpable for responding to the speaker’s communicative intention. If one acknowledges that one has been addressed by another, and that one has understood this address, then one’s interlocutor may feel entitled to be aggrieved by any subsequent failure to respond appropriately.
In this workshop, we aim to better understand this act of acknowledging communicative intent and its role in the performance of certain illocutionary acts, and to discuss its possible development in ontogeny and phylogeny. We will also discuss the possible ways in which the act of acknowledgement transforms the act of communication from the act of an individual into a species of joint action.

(2) Neuroscience of dialogue

In this session we will consider dialogue as a form of joint activity and the most basic form of language use. One central motivation for investigating language in the context of dialogue is the assumption that language processing is adapted to and shaped by the conversational context. Many aspects of utterances produced in dialog can only be understood when taking into account the context in which they are used (for discussion see e.g., Tanenhaus & Brown-Schmidt, 2007). This includes the actions and characteristics of the participating individuals (for a discussion see e.g., Brennan, Galati, & Kuhlen, 2010). Speaking and listening in a realistic communicative context is likely to engage a special kind of neuro-cognitive processes: Behavioral and neuroscientific studies suggest profound differences in cognitive and neural processing in response to differences in social context (e.g., Brown-Schmidt, 2009; Lockridge & Brennan, 2002; Kourtis, Sebanz & Knoblich, 2013; Kuhlen & Brennan, 2013; Pickering & Garrod, 2004; Rueschemeyer, Gardner & Stoner, 2014; Schilbach et al., 2013). In order to gain a complete understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying language processing in dialog it will be important to investigate language in experimental settings in which actual inter-personal communication takes place.

(3) Socio-cognitive disorders

What can we learn from unsuccessful social interaction?
Many psychopathological disorders lead to general problems in social interaction. Patients seek medical assistance not only because their environment cannot cope with their behaviour, but also because they cannot get on with their environment themselves.
In this session paradigmatic examples of malfunctioning social interaction will be analysed to shed light on the question of when and in what social breakdowns occur. This might, in turn, provide us with a better understanding of certain requirements of social understanding.
A paradigmatic case of a socio-cognitive disorder is autism. However, deficits in social interaction can be shown in many psychiatric illnesses. In such cases  of malfunctioning, it may not be only cognitive deficits (like the absence of a 'Theory of Mind') that lead to those problems. Empirical findings suggest that more basic processes like eye movement behaviour and emotional processes also play a foundational role in successful reciprocal interaction.
In a successful social interaction the protagonists understand each other as a social agents and they feel understood as social agents by the other. In this session we want to examine how the ability to take the other one as a social partner and to experience a reciprocal interaction can be undermined.

Discussion points
- In what processes does our recognition of others as social agents consist? And what is missing in cases where this recognition is absent?
- Are the processes involved in attributing mental states to others mainly highly reflective, or do ‘low-level’ processes also play a role?
- What kinds or ‘low-level’ processes play a role in enabling the smooth functioning of our socio-cognitive interactions, and what roles do these processes play?

(4) Social exchange through the lens of computational neuroscience

Reciprocity requires individuals to represent others’ complex minds, specifically their unfolding beliefs and preferences over the course of dynamic social interaction.  The neuronal underpinnings during social exchange with another mind are, however, only beginning to be understood. Through computational approaches these processes can be quantified in order to specify how sophisticated mental operations are implemented in the brain, and how these neural computations are linked to social behavior. Most notably, modeling hierarchical levels of Theory of Mind during repeated economic exchange and strategic cooperation games has advanced our understanding of how (impaired) social cognition relates to (dysfunctional) reciprocity in healthy individuals and psychiatric
conditions such as borderline personality disorder and autism (e.g. Xiang, Ray, Lohrenz, Dayan, & Montague, 2012; Yoshida, Dziobek, Heekeren, Friston, & Dolan, 2010).
In this session, we aim to discuss the opportunities offered by a computational approach in studying the neurocognitive mechanisms of social reciprocity.

(5) Perspective-taking

The ability to adopt or understand another's perspective---whether spatial, visual or cognitive perspective---is fundamental for many kinds of mindreading and an ingredient in a diverse range of behaviours including navigation, communication, deception and joint action. Theoretically we can distinguish an ability to switch perspectives from an ability to confront perspectives (Perner et al 2002; Moll & Meltzoff 2011). There is also evidence that, when asked explicitly at least, children are able to switch perspectives some time before they can confront perspectives (Moll & Tomasello 2011; Moll et al 2013). By contrast, 18-month-olds appear able to confront perspectives on some measures involving spontaneous responses (e.g. Knudsen & Liszkowski 2012). The distinction between switching and confronting perspectives raises many questions that have hardly been considered. Does reciprocal interaction foster either or both kinds of perspective taking? Does the distinction between switching and confronting perspectives shed light on discrepancies in performance on false belief tasks using different measures (e.g. Low et al 2014)?  When if at all is confronting perspectives automatic?

(6) Joint action

In the study of action, common coding theories of perception and action and the discovery of mirror neurons suggest that action perception and action planning draw on shared representational resources (see e.g. Prinz 1997; Hommel et al. 2001; Hurley 2008). Traditionally, the dominant view of the human cognitive system has been quite different, with perception and action as input and output systems kept apart by cognition proper. This traditional view suggest a certain picture of joint action: Two people who intentionally do something together, such as carry a table for example, must coordinate their individual actions by way of cognition proper in the form of coordinated planning. Several agents’ actions could the count as a joint action in virtue of being the outcome of, for example, a plan that each is committed to “that they carry the table” (Bratman 2014). However, if perception and action share representational resources, then joint actions could be coordinated more directly via perception-action links, unmediated by high-level cognition and planning (Knoblich and Sebanz 2006; 2008). Recent research in cognitive psychology suggest that this is indeed the case (Sebanz, Knoblich, and Prinz 2003; Tsai, Sebanz, and Knoblich 2011; Vesper et al. 2010; Knoblich, Butterfill, and Sebanz 2011). Perhaps capacities for such low-level joint action coordination ought to be expected if specifically human cognition has been deeply shaped for the purpose of cooperation and joint action (as argued by e.g. Sterelny 2012; Tomasello 2014).
In the joint action session, we will consider what joint action might be in the light of recent empirical and theoretical work in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, as well as look at some potential philosophical implications of this work.

•    In what way can common coding of perception and action facilitate or obstruct coordination of joint action?
•    What specific socio-cognitive challenges do agents who act together face?
•    Are there ways of predicting, understanding or influencing the actions of others that are only available in the context of joint action (or more readily available than in non-joint action contexts)?
•    Does engagement in joint action rely on dedicated cognitive processes? Or does it rather mainly rely on the recruitment of cognitive processes that are really ‘for’ individual cognition, perception and action?
•    Do results from psychological research on joint action have implications for social ontology (for the question of whether an action proper can really be joint for example)?
•    Philosophers have tended to think of (intentional) joint actions as outcomes appropriately caused by ‘shared intentions’—is this is helpful way in which to frame theorising and empirical research about joint action?

Hong Yu Wong (speaker), Elisabeth Pacherie (respondent), Olle Blomberg (discussant), Steve Butterfill (discussant)

Bratman, Michael. 2014. Shared Agency: A Planning Theory of Acting Together. Oxford University Press.
Hommel, Bernhard, Jochen Müsseler, Gisa Aschersleben, and Wolfgang Prinz. 2001. “The Theory of Event Coding (TEC): A Framework for Perception and Action Planning.” Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (05): 849–78.
Hurley, Susan. 2008. “The Shared Circuits Model (SCM): How Control, Mirroring, and Simulation Can Enable Imitation, Deliberation, and Mindreading.” Edited by Julian Kiverstein and Andy Clark. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (1): 1–+.
Knoblich, G, S Butterfill, and N Sebanz. 2011. “Psychological Research on Joint Action: Theory and Data”, February, 1–44.
Knoblich, G, and N Sebanz. 2006. “The Social Nature of Perception and Action.” Current Directions in Psychological Science 15 (3): 99.
Knoblich, Günther, and Natalie Sebanz. 2008. “Evolving Intentions for Social Interaction: From Entrainment to Joint Action.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 363 (1499): 2021–31.
Prinz, Wolfgang. 1997. “Perception and Action Planning.” European Journal of Cognitive Psychology 9 (2): 129–54.
Sebanz, Natalie, Günther Knoblich, and Wolfgang Prinz. 2003. “Representing Others’ Actions: Just like One’s Own?” Cognition 88 (3): B11–B21.
Sterelny, Kim. 2012. The Evolved Apprentice. MIT Press.
Tomasello, Michael. 2014. A Natural History of Human Thinking. Harvard University Press.
Tsai, JC, N Sebanz, and G Knoblich. 2011. “The GROOP Effect: Groups Mimic Group Actions.” Cognition 118 (1): 135–40.
Vesper, Cordula, Stephen A. Butterfill, Günther Knoblich, and Natalie Sebanz. 2010. “A Minimal Architecture for Joint Action”, February, 1–27.

This page last updated on: 12 February 2015
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Pinker's 'Sense of Style' - A window onto the world

Pinker's 'Sense of Style' - A window onto the world | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
The second chapter of Steven Pinker's "The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century" (Viking Penguin, 2014) is titled "A window onto the world."

The chapter, as its subtitle says, describes "Classic style as an antidote for academese, bureaucratese, corporatese, legalese and other kinds of stuffy prose."

(For more on Pinker's prologue and first chapter, see previous posts.)

Pinker points out that "Speaking and writing involve very different kinds of human relationship, and only the one associated with speech comes naturally to us."

After describing the immediate reactions we get from spoken communication, Pinker writes:

"We enjoy none of this give-and-take when we cast our bread upon the waters by sending a written missive out into the world. The recipients are invisible and inscrutable, and we have to get through to them without knowing much about them or seeing their reactions. At the time that we write, the reader exists only in our imaginations. Writing is above all an act of pretense."

That's daunting, Prof. Pinker. But reading on helps:

"The key to good style, far more than observing any list of commandments, is to have a clear conception of the make-believe world in which you're pretending to communicate."

He gives examples including a college student "pretending he knows more about his subject than the reader" and "an activist composing a manifesto" to engage an audience's emotions.

Pinker notes that "literary scholars Francis-Noel Thomas and Mark Turner have singled out one model for a simulation while writing for general readers -- essays, articles, reviews, editorials, even blog posts." (Aha!)

Thomas and Turner call this style "classic style," and Pinker suggests that writers should aspire to it.

"The guiding metaphor of classic style," writes Pinker, "is seeing the world. The writer can see something that the reader has not yet noticed, and he orients the reader's gaze so that she can see it for herself. The purpose of writing is presentation, and its motive is disinterested truth."

The reader is competent, Pinker asserts, so the reader does not need to argue. The writer of classic prose needs only present the truth for it to be recognized.

"A writer of classic prose must simulate two experiences," writes Pinker: "showing the reader something in the world and engaging her in conversation."

I'll note here -- conversationally -- that Pinker avoids constructions such as "he or she" by representing the writer and the reader by one gender or the other, changing their jobs (so to speak) regularly.

Pinker points out that showing, as a metaphor, implies something concrete being there to see. That means classic style is not contemplative or romantic, nor prophetic, "in which the reader has the gift of being able to see things that no one else can, and uses the music of language to unite an audience."

Pinker doesn't denigrate those styles. Nor does he disparage "practical style," the plain language of traditional stylebooks such as Strunk & White. There are  uses for all. As Pinker puts it, in practical style "the writer's goal is to satisfy the reader's need."

Classic style, on the other hand, conveys an interesting truth.

"What classic style does," says Pinker, "is explain" (abstractions) "as if they were objects and forces that would be recognizable to anyone standing in a position to see them."


 For more fun with words, stop by the Margaret Serious page on Facebook.
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Judge's fury at £23,000 to translate notes into Slovenian

Judge's fury at £23,000 to translate notes into Slovenian | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
An absent father in Slovenia was awarded£23,000 in legal aid to have British court documents translated from English, it emerged yesterday.

A judge ordered that the man had the right to read 591 pages of reports about the case that will decide the future of his eight-year-old daughter – who lives 1,000 miles away from him in England.

The cost of translating the papers, said by a district judge to be ‘essential’, amounted to just over 10p a word or £38 a page.

The bill for the father – who speaks no English – was condemned yesterday by the country’s most senior family judge. Sir James Munby said it was ‘impossible to justify’.

He warned lawyers who protest about cuts to legal aid that it was ‘no good complaining that public funds are available only for X and not for Y if money available for X is being squandered’.

Sir James, president of the High Court’s Family Division, said it was only necessary for the father to be able to read 51 pages of documents. But translating even the slimmed-down bundle of legal and social work papers is still likely to cost taxpayers around £2,000.

The case will decide the future of three children of a Warwickshire woman who are in state care.

The oldest is the daughter of the Slovenian man, but Sir James said ‘little of the documentation relates to or refers to him’.

However, a district judge in Coventry, who was not named in Sir James’s ruling, decided in a hearing in November that the father could not make his views known in court ‘until he has had the opportunity of considering the papers’.


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The district judge ruled that the father should be able to read more than half of the nearly 1,000 pages. But Sir James said the 591 pages to be translated included 23 pages of Warwickshire council’s legal applications; 16 of court orders; 17 of immigration reports on another person; 32 of transcripts of recordings of the children; 131 of statements by the mother; and an index.

‘I could go on,’ he said, adding: ‘Why are these pages in the bundle at all?’ He criticised lawyers who let files of court documents grow to the length of a novel, and said they should be no longer than 350 pages.

The High Court judge warned lawyers who put bigger files before the court that they may have their fees docked, their papers destroyed, or be ordered to start the work again.

‘Public funds, whether those under the control of the Legal Aid Agency or those under the control of other public bodies are limited,’ he said.

‘It is essential that such public funds as are available are carefully husbanded and properly applied.’

Last month, Sir James attacked the failure of the legal aid system to provide a lawyer for two parents with learning difficulties from Swindon trying to stop their three-year-old son being adopted.

He said the refusal to grant aid, on grounds of the father’s £800-a-month earnings, was ‘neither compassionate nor even humane’.
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Want to be a better freelancer in 2015? Start with these eight habit-forming tips

Want to be a better freelancer in 2015? Start with these eight habit-forming tips | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
The worst part about being a freelancer is that it’s virtually impossible to know whether you’re doing it right.

Well, that and the unpredictable, bone-dry weeks on end, staring at the mail slot wondering whether you will ever receive a paycheck again or will just have to go on shooting follow-up emails into the void and racking up credit card debt and eating oatmeal and saltines for the rest of your life. And the feeling when a big project is about to end and you are going to lose a massive chunk of your income and you have absolutely no clue where your rent is going to come from next month and maybe you will finally have to give up and take a desk job.

Also: tax season.

But that feeling of drifting in the void with no benchmarks to hit, no comprehensive mentorship situations or yearly reviews – that is a special sort of torture I have heard described, in some form or another, by almost every freelancer I have ever met.

Of course, after a while, a freelancer bangs around in her professional tin can long enough that habits start congealing into a legible, self-sustaining business plan. But that takes a long time.

Figuring stuff out on your own is a long, stupid, existential path that attracts awful, self-sabotaging habits that are often hard to spot, let alone break – because who is going to point it out, and how are you supposed to know how to work smarter?

Recent years have produced a certain degree of organization among our kind, from Facebook groups and co-working meet-ups to straight-up unionization, but that’s only a very generalized beginning.

We need details.

Because our numbers are growing – by one estimate, independent workers will be 40% of the American workforce by 2020.

A proposal, then: let’s make 2015 the year independent contractors pool our experiences and stop wondering if we’re doing something to deserve this $12,000 income when it’s clear that plenty of others are making much more doing exactly the same thing.

Having consulted a handful of full-time freelancers – thanks, Chris-Rachael Oseland, Jennie Worden, Mara Wilson, Laura Hudson and Guardian contributor Anne T Donahue – here’s a checklist of some of the worst blunders, habits and rookie moves you probably made last year. It’s time to trash all this self-sabotaging rot immediately and start building a smarter operation. (Unfortunately, Jay Z was correct: you’re a business, man.) Let’s start with the easiest ones and work our way up to the biggest challenges.

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Take your inspiration from Jay Z: you’re not a businessman; you’re a business, man. Photograph: Startraks Photo/REX
8. Forgetting about invoices

Look, I get it. You’re juggling a billionty-seven projects right now. Or maybe you’ve got a side hustle, or a full-time job. But there’s no excuse for fudging it. Say it with me: organization. Figure out a ledger system that makes sense in your brain. Color-code your business files, and regularly keep track of when you filed your invoices. Follow up often. If the delay gets nuts (like, two months or more), become annoying. It’s your money; your clients are not doing you a favor by giving you work. The more you allow even the small stuff to fall through the cracks, the easier it is for clients (who sometimes are big corporations who don’t give a damn about you, you miserable, insignificant content worm) to pay you at their leisure.

And for the love of god, save your stuff in the cloud. I’ve heard and experienced way too many computer-crash horror stories to allow us to continue this way.

7. Asking to ‘pick [another freelancer’s] brain’
Starting out as a freelancer is utterly terrifying. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to have the courage to quit the comfort of your full-time job to do this traumatizing thing. (My own entry into our profession was, shall we say, less voluntary.) However. This sounds harsh, but it needs to be said: stop emailing other freelancers with vague or general requests for advice. Unlike staffers with salaries and 401(k)s, these freelancers – like you! – measure time as directly proportional to their income, and as much as they likely want to help you, the more they do this for baby freelancers, the less time they have to make a living. It’s painful and awkward, and you don’t want to be put in this position later on, either, so let’s realign now.

When you’re floundering and you need help and you absolutely cannot find it elsewhere first, it’s best to make your requests specific, brief and few. If you have to, ask questions that show you’re doing the work on your own and simply need a tiny, itty-bitty bird’s-leg up from someone who has been doing it longer than you. Like with any job interview, coming to this person prepared and minimizing the amount of work he or she has to do to help you will maximize both your own takeaways and – even better – your relationship with that person.

6. Accepting these two words: ‘for exposure’
I know the dilemma you’re facing painfully well, first-timer. Do you work for free or for low pay, thus devaluing your work and incurring the scorn of your fellow freelancers for cheapening your profession’s worth, in the service of getting your byline out there? Or do you flop around like a flounder, trying desperately to get paid work and kickstarting your career without much professional clout? It’s a painful catch-22.

Luckily, there’s a happy medium. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if a client is asking you to work “for exposure”, he or she is probably a horrible person to work for, and the client or publication you’re pitching is probably not one that will actually do much for you. There are exceptions to this rule, of course, but if you’re going to go down that road, do so extremely sparingly. Believe it or not, there’s plenty of paid work out there; maybe it doesn’t pay more than, say, 25 bucks a pop, but it’s better than nothing.

The more you let yourself be exploited, the more employers will exploit you, and it will leave you wasting away in Baristaville forever.

5. Doing work without first hammering out the details
This is one I had to learn the hard way (repeatedly, I might add), so I’m hoping you will fare better by taking heed and maybe avoiding this nightmare altogether. Always, always, always nail down exactly what will be expected of you and exactly what you will be paid in return for your services before you take on a new freelance project. Get it in writing – don’t take a rate over the phone.

If parameters seem vague, Murphy’s Law will definitely come into play and you are probably (definitely) going to get screwed down the line. Ask for clarification immediately. If you’re a writer, or you’re in a similar industry where the clients name their own prices, a quick “What are your rates like?” email shows you mean business. By the same token, if you’re naming your own rate, make sure your client knows exactly what they will be receiving from you – how many hours you will spend on this project, how many edits you will field and, most importantly, where the project has to end.

4. Sinking into your hobbit hole
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert – nothing maims a freelancer’s career (and, by proxy, her spirit) like hibernation. Holing up, as nice as it is to work from home and mainline X Files episodes while you type (and never having to brush your hair), means you’re estranging yourself from the working world and, eventually, losing touch with reality. As obnoxious as it sounds, you have to be in it in order to keep working.

Get yourself to a cafe once a week. Go outside – adopt a dog or, if you can’t, look into dog-sitting or volunteering. Take drinks meetings with your clients. (I can’t stress that last one enough – putting a face to your emails is one of the only ways employers will remember you over someone else when new work comes up.) I’m not a doctor, but I would bet that seasonal affective disorder is five times as bad if you don’t leave the house. As a friend of mine put it recently: “If you hide in a cabin in the woods, it turns out more like Joss Whedon’s movie than great American literature.”

3. Pitching like a masochist
Depending on where a freelancer is in his or her career, and depending on what level of neurotic he has become since he decided to hitch a ride on this crazy train, he has one of two problems: either he is not pitching enough, or he doesn’t know when to quit.

If you’re the former, keep a notebook on you at all times (or Evernote on your phone if you’re fancy) to jot down snippets of ideas for new projects big and small that you can come back to when you’re freaking out about having no pitches. Come up with ideas that have staying power, ones out of which you can churn more than one assignment. Home in on your expertise, and make sure you’re exploiting that to the fullest.

If you’re the latter (like me), let’s use this year to identify our limits, shall we? Assess your style – how fast you work, what kinds of projects take you more or less time and, most importantly, how much time you usually take to recover from a project or to procrastinate up against a deadline – and give yourself a per-month project ceiling.

Don’t let it get to the point where you have seven assignments in the air in a span of two weeks and you suddenly feel like Hermione Granger without a Time-Turner. We all need to pay our bills, but we also need to sleep and eat and enjoy life.

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Leave time to rest. Photograph: Alamy
2. Taking whatever work you can get
Here’s a secret: it may sound totally ridiculous, and maybe even a little entitled, but I swear to you, the best way to step up your freelance game is to start turning stuff down. You know that whole “dress for the job you want” thing? That Poor Richard’s proverb isn’t too helpful for the self-employed contractor.

Instead of dwelling on attire, independent contractors should internalize this instead: “Work and negotiate for the job you’re trying to build.”

Don’t limit yourself to small-potatoes pitches because you think that’s what you deserve. (More on that self-esteem thing in a minute.) Reasonably assess where you’re at this year: how much freelance work do you have to show for yourself? Enough to send a handful of relevant $75 project clips to a client who will pay you $150 for the same kind of work? If so, do it.

In conversations with other freelancers, I have recently started referring to this concept as “monkey-barring”: using the clips or projects you have already accomplished to gradually sell yourself up the food chain. (OK, technically, a more accurate image would be rock-climbing, but “monkey-barring” just sounds so great, doesn’t it?) If you get that $150 work, it’s time to wean yourself off of those $75 clients (or ask them for more).

Writers, if you keep selling your pitches to publications that pay $50, you will only ever make $50 per piece. Designers and musicians: if you keep underquoting your rates, you’re going to be stuck in that tax bracket forever. The goal is to establish a floor rate.

If you’re still here, alive in the freelance game, by definition you are worth more than that. So at some point you’ve got to stop settling for less.

1. Being awful to yourself
Not to get all Eat, Pray, Love on you, but seriously, make a plan to be nicer to yourself this year. Trust me when I say that I know all about the various forms of self-loathing that come with freelancing: from pre-emptive self-loathing that keeps you from pitching the clients you really want to work for, to the fear-induced self-loathing that sends you spiraling into panic attacks, depressive comas and other various oblivions that arise when you think you’re not doing this right, that you’ll never make ends meet or get anywhere you want and will just be a penniless scrub for all eternity. They will all show up, and they will show up often, possibly forever. Especially, studies show, if you’re a woman and/or person of color.

The trick is to account for that inevitability and fight it. Assemble a freelance posse to gripe to about this stuff. See a therapist as regularly as you can. Spare the expense of a transcriber or an ergonomic chair or a meal out if it allows you to work smarter and with less stress. Treat. Yo. Self. Seriously, give yourself a break. Give yourself many breaks. And try your best not to forget that if you’re doing this full-time, you’re responsible for having acquired every single cent that enters your bank account. You know that every time you write your rent check or pay a credit card bill, you worked your ass off for every dollar. And that is one of the coolest things about this profession. (Also one of the most exhausting, but you know, cool.)
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5 Ways to Translate Text on Your iPhone or iPad

5 Ways to Translate Text on Your iPhone or iPad | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
As someone whose first language is not English, I often find myself wishing for built-in translation on Safari. While it would be rather nice if Apple added native translation to iOS, there are many super-quick ways to convert pour la plupart to for the most part.
I must warn you against blindly trusting the translations you receive using these tools. These translations are based on algorithms that know very little about grammar or context. You will be able to understand a paragraph or what a person is trying to say, but these tools won’t work as well as Star Trek’s universal translator or the Babel fish from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
But until science fiction becomes reality, these are the best ways to translate text on your iPhone and iPad.
Bing (iPhone, iPad)

If you are browsing the Web via Safari, Bing (iPhone or iPad) is the probably best way to translate text in a flash. By adding one of our favourite iOS extensions, Bing allows you to translate websites on Safari without opening a separate app.
First you’ll need to install Bing for your device, then open Safari and tap the Share icon. Swipe left on the row just above the Cancel button, tap More and enable “Bing Translator” from the list. You should drag it to any of the top four positions in this list for quicker access.
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Now open any non-English website, tap the Share icon and tap Bing Translator. The website you are looking at will be translated instantly. This is the fastest method of translating websites on your mobile device. If you use Google Chrome on iOS, you don’t need an extension – the browser automatically prompts you to translate the page using Google Translate.

Workflow ($4.99) is a powerful app that lets you create your own iOS extensions. If you’re feeling nerdy you can create an extension for translation or do it the easy way by downloading this Google Translate workflow. It opens the translated page in a new tab whereas Bing’s extension instantly changes the content in the same tab to English. This extension is not as fast as Bing Translator, but it’s the easiest way to use Google’s translation engine with Safari.
iTranslate (free)

The extensions mentioned above work very well when you want to translate webpages, but they don’t allow you to quickly translate text you’ve selected or copied. That’s where iTranslate comes in, with its handy Notification Centre widget.
Once you have downloaded the app, swipe down from the top of the screen reveal Notification Centre. Tap Today at the top, scroll to the bottom and tap Edit. Hit the green plus “+” next to iTranslate. This will add it to the Today view in the Notification Centre.
Now select text you want to translate from any app and copy it. Pull down the Notification Centre and tap Translate Clipboard in the iTranslate widget you just added. The widget will now show you the translation.
Slated Keyboard ($4.99)

Extensions or widgets are not the best translation tools if you’re trying to have a conversation. To converse with someone who doesn’t speak English, you need third-party keyboards. Mark has previously covered Slated Keyboard ($4.99), which works very well. Head over to his article for step-by-step instructions for setting up the keyboard on your iOS device. Slated uses Google Translate for translation. It’s good enough for short texts, but not much more.
Google Translate

I saved the best iOS translation app for last because Google Translate does everything you could ever want from a translation app. It can translate text, speech, and text in photos too. The latest update to Google Translate’s iOS app added two cool features – automatic language detection in speech mode and the ability to translate text from photos.
If you love writing by hand, it has a handwriting mode for you. I was very impressed by the app’s ability to recognise cursive handwriting even though Google’s translation algorithms are not quite perfect. It also makes copying text really easy – just tap and hold to copy. Given how well the app works, it’s a shame that it doesn’t (yet) have a Today widget or Bing-like extension.
Speaking Your Language

Each of these methods will allow you to translate text on your iPhone or iPad, but there isn’t one single method that will suit every situation. If you find yourself visiting a foreign country, living abroad or regularly in need of translation services, then you might want to consider setting a few of these up so they’re ready to go when you need them.
What do you use to translate text on your iPhone or iPad?
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No Translation - The Heights

No Translation - The Heights | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
“My question is for the women in the group.”
We were sitting in a large circle in La Casa de Migrantes, a migrant shelter in Arriaga, Chiapas, Mexico, having a conversation with a group of 30 migrants or so, discussing the experience of traveling illegally through Central America and Mexico. The people we sat alongside were at most two days into their journey north. Many of them were not even sure the route they were going to take, or even where they would stay after their night in the shelter. Several people had just joined the circle, including two women in their mid-20s.

“My question is for the women in the group. How is the experience different for you as women?” The question came as a refreshing splash of recognition, and the women’s faces lit up with excitement at the unexpected acknowledgement of their presence in the room. The relief, however, was brief—a drop of cool water falling on an unknowably large hot plate of pain and suffering, quickly fizzling and reducing to nothing but vapor.

“The journey,” she responded over a growing lump in her throat, “The journey is hard. Very hard.”

That’s all she could muster before she broke down crying, her stream of tears forcing its way through eyes clenched in agonizing remembrance. The 60 seconds of deafening, heart wrenching silence that followed spoke volumes, each of us could feel the weight of her suffering without hearing a word of the details. The words of our in-country liaison, Julio, rang in my head. “There is no translation for a smile, nor is there for pain.”

Each of us in that room felt her distress, shared in her sorrow. We saw our own tears in her eyes, our own difficult memories written in her furrowed brow. The woman across from us was no longer a migrant. She was no longer Honduran. She no longer wore a different skin tone or spoke with a different native tongue. In this still, silent moment, we saw a glimpse of what she really was: a mother, a daughter, a sister, a miracle of biochemistry, a living, breathing human being with hopes and fears who has experienced love and anguish, laughter and confusion, just as each person inevitably has.

Suddenly, migration was no longer an abstraction. It was nothing to be conceptualized and analyzed in some ivory tower. It was this woman’s, these people’s reality. And it was damn hard. In sharing their stories, these migrants allowed us to enter into their narrative, just as they had entered our own. This kind of cross-cultural encounter of humanity is at the core of the Arrupe mission. We don’t go to Latin America to be saviors to poor children or to build houses and feel good about ourselves. We go to recognize our shared humanity with those in incomprehensibly different situations from our own, and recognize our collective responsibility to build a society where that humanity can be acknowledged without having to fly halfway across the globe.

Why is it that the woman in the migrant shelter was a migrant before she was anything else in our minds? It’s the same reason Michael Brown and Eric Garner were black criminals before they were anything else, before they were fathers, sons, before they were even individuals. It’s the reason we need to be reminded that black lives matter rather than it being understood in the first place. It’s our societal inability to see even an iota deeper than the surface of someone’s skin, or the language on their tongue. It’s the deep, subconscious fear of the so-called “other,” bred from little but assumptions and a refusal to see past them. It’s a fear that still lives parasitically in our modern society. I don’t think I’ll soon forget the young woman’s face, both the elation at being acknowledged as an equal, and the wounds that the acknowledgement reopened. It will serve as a constant reminder of the universality of human experience. Despite any difference, there is always common ground. When reaching that common ground is an instinct rather than an afterthought, hands will grasp each other before triggers, and lips will split in laughter before clenching in anger.

Seeing through the stories we create about each other and listening to the ones we tell about ourselves creates a new starting point for where we interact with each other. It respects,  dignifies,  and prevents mindless violence. Sharing our stories rejects the parasitic fear of the other and values human connection above all else. As novelist Colum McCann writes, “You become who you are by telling each other your stories. The bloodstream of the stories becomes the bloodstream of your life.”

More than anything, the woman in the shelter will be a constant reminder to vulnerably share my story in all places, and perhaps more importantly, to listen lovingly to those who share their own.

Featured Image by Breck Wil
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Laxmi Narayan Tripathi bares her hijra soul in the first English translation of her Marathi autobiography

Laxmi Narayan Tripathi bares her hijra soul in the first English translation of her Marathi autobiography | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Written by Anushree Majumdar | New Delhi | March 1, 2015 1:00 am
The cover of Laxmi Narayan Tripathi’s Me Hijra, Me Laxmi, the English translation of her bestselling autobiography in Marathi, comes with an axiom: “When you read this, you’ll still remain you. Laxmi’s not just in this book; she’s much more than what’s there between two covers…” Even before the first page is turned, Tripathi, a popular transgender rights activist, actor-dancer and television celebrity, wants to ensure that every part of the book is an extension of her personality: tantalising, colourful and direct. At the launch of the English translation of her autobiography at the recently-concluded New Delhi World Book Fair, Tripathi, 35, towers over everybody in her silk saree, her lips filled in with a shade in deep red, her eyes taking in the crowd of mostly eager, curious men gathered at the Oxford University Press stall to watch her.
“How did you find my autobiography?” Tripathi asks me brusquely. “The first few chapters are difficult to read,” I say and she nods. “Well, that’s life, isn’t it? When we look back on our childhood, we want to remember the good bits. I can’t do that. I was sexually abused when I was seven, because I was so feminine,” she says. “But my life isn’t a tragedy. I was born into an upper-caste Brahmin home, I was treated like a son, I went to college, I’ve had many jobs. I’m not going to sit and cry about what happened, like some Meena Kumari. I’m like Cleopatra — crown yourself honey, don’t wait for the world to do it for you,” Tripathi says, breaking into peals of laughter.
Me Hijra, Me Laxmi is a riotous account of Tripathi’s life. It charts her journey from a young boy confused about his sexuality to his decision to become a hijra and the activism that has formed the basis of her work and socio-political identity. After an abusive childhood and adolescence, a mercurial Tripathi decided to put her foot down against any kind of injustice — whether it is harassment by the police, lecherous men or older hijras who preached against safe sex. She is brutally honest in chronicling the days spent chasing men, fame and money, and the price she had to pay. She becomes a jetsetting advocate for hijras abroad, speaking at conferences that get her “thunderous claps”, working tirelessly and bypassing all temptations. All through to the very end of her memoir, Tripathi is undaunted by fate, unapologetic about her choices, and simply fabulous by nature.
The idea of an autobiography came in 2009 when a Mumbai journalist, Vaishali Rode, met Tripathi for an interview and later proposed to help her write the book. “She lived with me for nearly two-and-a-half years, we talked every day, she got to know the ‘real’ Laxmi,” says Tripathi. The Marathi version was published in 2012 and has now gone into its fifth reprint.
Translated from the Marathi continued…
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Works In Translation: If They Publish Them, Will They Buy Them?

Works In Translation: If They Publish Them, Will They Buy Them? | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Works In Translation: If They Publish Them, Will They Buy Them?

By Tom Chalmers |
Feb 24, 2015
Anecdotal evidence and internal discussions continue to suggest that increasing numbers of international publishers are eager to put out works in translation that cross many cultural boundaries. But it’s also evident from the number of actual translations which have sold well that this isn’t always easy.

The topic of how to get more foreign language works translated and published into English was cited as being the "holy grail" for international publishers at IPR's Global Licensing: The Bigger Picture conference late last year. This illustrates the scale of the task facing many territories without English as their first language.

On the other side of the coin, the sales of translation rights for English language books remain a prominent source of revenue for many publishing houses. And in the midst of producing a White Paper around this aforementioned event I thought I’d offer a few sneak extracts from it, referring specifically to translation rights and emerging new markets.

Western Europe was cited as being a key market for the majority of U.K. publishers. Latin America, as a region, was viewed as experiencing the largest increase in the sales of translation rights in recent times, with Brazil being the major player. As the most vibrant market for translation rights outside of Europe, advances were reported to be reaching six figures for the right books.

Nigeria was also highlighted as a market to watch, even though the level of advances paid continued to be relatively modest. In addition the Arab world was said to be growing in prominence with many new initiatives and trade events helping to facilitate rights sales. In Asia – Indonesia and China were referred to as territories generating increased interest. And when considering China, although there were obvious restrictions and censorship to take into account, business, history and self-help books, as well as some romance titles, continued to sell well.

The consensus was that the strongest market for translation rights continued to be Germany. Mainly due to strong long-term readership levels, good infrastructure and the fact that it had remained a buying market even throughout the economic crisis of recent years. In stark contrast to other European countries, in particular Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece. Staying in Europe, although sales were said to have picked up in Italy in 2014, Holland was cited as still being ‘a difficult market’ and Poland ‘not as strong as it used to be’. However, the current Turkish translations market was described as ‘phenomenal’ and ‘one to watch’.

It’s clear that works in translation are still big business and knowing how and where to market translation rights, or knowing someone that does, is the key to unlocking this potentially lucrative sector. And here at IPR License, we have a fantastic selection of foreign language titles with rights available for translation now.

Tom Chalmers is the managing director of IPR License.
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Canada Immigration News - Quebec Releases New Areas Of Training List For Skilled Worker Program

Canada Immigration News - Quebec Releases New Areas Of Training List For Skilled Worker Program | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Candidates with degrees in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Accounting, Translation, Banking and Financial Operations to be targeted by Quebec
The Canadian province of Quebec has released its new areas of training list in anticipation of the approaching application cycle for its Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP).
The QSWP is a points-based Canadian immigration program. Points are awarded for various human capital factors, including an applicant’s area of training. From time to time, the government of Quebec revises the points awarded for each area of training in keeping with changes in the provincial labour market. The new list is good news for individuals who have degrees in areas such as Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Accounting, Translation, Banking and Financial Operations, as these areas of training will be awarded significantly more points than was previously the case.
Up to 16 points may be awarded for a candidate’s area of training. Given that under the most recent version of the program a single applicant required only 49 points in order to be eligible (applicants with an accompanying spouse or common-law partner require 57 points), the area of training may provide up to around 30 per cent of a potential applicant’s points total.
The current regulations governing the program are set to expire on March 31, 2015. The cap of 6,500 applications for the most recent application cycle was filled within four months, though individuals with a validated employment offer from an employer in Quebec may still apply. The government of Quebec has stated that procedures and regulations that will be in place for the QSWP will be announced on April 1, 2015.
Destination Quebec
Though successful applicants to the QSWP become permanent residents of Canada, which entails the  freedom of movement and labour rights within Canada that comes with permanent resident status, candidates are required from the outset to have the intention to reside in Quebec. Many, if not most, successful QSWP applicants choose to remain in Quebec in any case. Those who do so become residents of one of Canada’s most populous, diverse, and dynamic provinces.
The majority of newcomers to Quebec settle in the Greater Montreal Area. Montreal, which was recently named by The Economist magazine as the second-best city in the world to live in, is also Canada’s second-largest city. While French is the predominant language in Quebec, English is also widely spoken, particularly in and around Montreal. Immigrants who wish to learn French and integrate into Quebec’s society more actively can do so for free, thanks to a well-organized system of government-sponsored language courses.
Immigration to Quebec
“The government of Quebec is within its rights to modify the program as it sees fit,” says Attorney David Cohen. “However, the fact that the maximum number of points to be awarded for a candidate’s area of training remains 16 points suggests that radical changes to the program may be unlikely.
“The government could reopen the program under the same regulations that have been in place since April, 2014, or the regulations could be altered. One thing we do know is that the government of Quebec has said it will not be moving to an Express Entry-style system — like the one launched by the federal government — this year, though it may do so down the line.
“The areas of training list gives a glimpse into the types of immigrant that Quebec is seeking. Information Technology occupations have been given a clear boost in points, which is great news for potential applicants with training and experience in those jobs. I have lived in Quebec for most of my life, and would most certainly recommend this province to potential newcomers to Canada.”
To find out if you are eligible for the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, or any of Canada’s over 60 immigration programs, please fill out a free assessment today. 

© 2015 CICnews All Rights Reserved
Tagged as: Quebec immigration, Quebec Skilled Worker
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Translation issues suspend African ministers conference in Cairo | Egypt Independent

Translation issues suspend African ministers conference in Cairo | Egypt Independent | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Translation issues suspend African ministers conference in Cairo
Wed, 04/03/2015 - 13:05
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Al-Masry Al-Youm

The African Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) held in Cairo has been temporarily suspended due to translation issues concerning the documents and decisions that were discussed during the meetings of experts, said head of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency Ahmed Soud.
There is a problem in the translation of the French-language decisions, he added.
Soud mentioned that a group of specialists will solve this problem, and discussions regarding the documents will be postponed to Thursday.
The sessions will resume normally and attendants will reach a unified vision to solve the problems facing the African continent, Soud assured.
Egypt is hosting AMCEN's 15th session, "Managing Africa's Natural Capital for Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication", between 2 and 6 March. It will preside over the conference for two years, succeeding Tanzania. 
Three preparatory meetings were held ahead of the conference in Cairo for African environment experts on 28 February and 1 March.
Edited translation from MENA
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Joshua Fishman, Yiddishist and Linguistics Pioneer, Dies at 88 – The Arty Semite

Joshua Fishman, Yiddishist and Linguistics Pioneer, Dies at 88 – The Arty Semite | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Joshua Fishman, Yiddishist and Linguistics Pioneer, Dies at 88
By Jordan Kutzik


A version of this piece appeared in Yiddish here.

Sociolinguist, Yiddish scholar and advocate for endangered languages Joshua (Shikl) Fishman died March 1 in New York. He leaves behind his wife of more than 60 years Gella Schweid-Fishman, three sons, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his sister, the Yiddish poet Rukhl Fishman (1935-1984).

Fishman was born on July 18, 1926 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine and Bessarabia. His father Aaron Fishman was a staunch Yiddishist who would ask the young Shikl every evening: “What did you do today for Yiddish?” At the age of four he began his Yiddish education in the Workmen’s Circle schools of Philadelphia. He would often accompany his father when he went knocking on the doors of nearby houses in an effort to convince Jewish neighbors to send their children to Yiddish afternoon schools. While a student at Olney High School in Philadelphia he also studied at the city’s Yiddish high school and ran the Peretz Youth Club, which published the first version of the youth-oriented Yiddish-language magazine Yugntruf, which is still published today.

As a teenager Fishman befriended the future linguist and Yiddish scholar Uriel Weinreich and his brother Gabriel, who were then recent arrivals from Vilna. During a visit to the Weinreichs’ home in New York their father Max Weinreich, then director of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, invited Fishman to attend a YIVO conference. It would mark the beginning of Fishman’s decades-long association with YIVO and he would remain close to Uriel and Max Weinreich personally and professionally for the rest of their lives.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in history and an master’s degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, Fishman studied Yiddish with Max Weinreich at YIVO. In 1951 he began working as a psychologist for the Jewish Educational Committee of New York. That same year he married his wife Gella (née Schweid). In 1953 he received a doctorate in social psychology from Columbia University, at which point several prominent Yiddishist organizations tried to recruit him to be their education director. Fishman, however, set his sights on wider horizons and would soon blaze his own trail in academia. In 1958 he taught the very first class in sociology of language at the City Universy of New York. The field, which today is so closely associated with Fishman’s work that he is often referred to as its “father,” investigates the influences of language on a society. (The closely related field of Sociolinguistics investigates the influences of a society on its languages.)

That same year Fishman began working as a professor of human relations and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1960 until 1988 he was professor of psychology and sociology at Yeshiva University, as well dean of the university’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities. After becoming professor Emeritus in 1988 he regularly taught at Stanford University as a visiting professor of education and linguistics as well as at many other universities throughout the United States, Israel, the Philippines and Holland.

Fishman’s output was famously prodigious: He published more than 100 books and 1,000 articles throughout his long career, among them important collections of groundbreaking research and theoretical monographs which laid the foundation for several subfields of sociolinguistics. His work on endangered and minority languages was especially close to his heart: He formulated a series of step-by-step guides to help speakers of endangered languages conserve and revive their mother tongues. He received the Linguapax prize in 2004 in recognition of his work on behalf of threatened languages and was an honorary member of the Royal Academy of the Basque Language.

Despite his myriad academic activities as a professor, author and the editor of numerous scholarly publications, Fishman always remained active in the field of Yiddish Studies. In 1965 he published a pioneering work on Yiddish in America and in 1981 the massive 800-page collection of scholarly articles in Yiddish and English on Yiddish sociolinguistics, “Never Say Die” appeared under his editorship. He wrote a decades-long column on sociolinguistics for the Yiddish-language journal Afn Shvel and published a large number of articles in the Forverts on minority languages, the sociolinguistic state of Yiddish and bilingualism, and other topics. Fishman, along with his wife Gella, also directed the Aaron and Sonia Fishman Foundation for Yiddish Culture which supports programs that teach Yiddish to young people.
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Writing Is My Passion – Author Of Twisted

Writing Is My Passion – Author Of Twisted | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Writing Is My Passion – Author Of Twisted
— Mar 5, 2015 | 0 Comments
When bestselling author Mofe Esiri fell victim to the sensual lures and snares of a sexy Nollywood diva, all hell was let loose. An extremely complex web of events began to unfold amidst discovery of several scandalous family secrets. Matters came to a head when an unidentified cold-blooded killer surfaced, with mafia roots and links to a secret international organisation backed by the highest tier of government.

Compelling, provocative, this masterful thriller will leave you spell-bound with its suspense-filled intrigue and nail-biting finishes!

Opening your novel, you give a short background of Nigeria’s more recent pop culture history. Can you explain how this creates a sense of relevance for readers?

Nigeria is a country with rich cultural heritage. There are over 520 languages and over 250 dialects and ethnic groups. My novel portrays that uniqueness. It was my intention to let readers know the origins of the major characters. The opening pages give readers a taste of what is to come.
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I Have Seen The New Face of Search and It Is Not Google

I Have Seen The New Face of Search and It Is Not Google | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
I Have Seen The New Face of Search and It Is Not Google


I’ve seen the new face of Search, and it ain’t Google. What is it you ask?

It is a text message.

Wait, what? A text message?! Alex, this really makes no sense?! Ah, but it does. Read on, and you will see why…

The Rise of Mobile

The rapid rise of mobile is wiping out desktop. At least for consumers, their phones have become the way they experience Internet. Mobile is not the new web: it is the only web. And it is very different.

Mobile is beautiful precisely because it affords so little. It already gave us the simplicity of scroll, and the swipe, but its biggest gift to us, a whole new way to search is just around the corner.

The Google Standard

We are so used to Google search, its interface and format, that we rarely question it these days. After all, it always gives us the answer, right? Whatever thing you are looking for, just type it into browser bar (you don’t even need to go to and voila — 10 links, or so called the answer.

But why is it 10 links, and how can an answer to every single question be found in 10 links?

Imagine if, in real life, someone would ask you a question, and your reply would be — here, the answer would be inside these 10 links. Absurd!

When people talk to each other, they arrive at “the answer” by means of a conversation. I ask you a question, you reply, you clarify, I might follow up, and then you reply again.

A question in real life is a conversation that leads to an answer.

The Text Messaging

The email has long being hailed to be the killer app for the web, but on mobile, there is a new king. It is Text Messaging, and we are all addicted to it. We love the form, we love the speed, we love our emoji.

Lets face it, the feeling that we get when typing a text message – that silly, quick, fun and instantly gratifying thing – is the feeling that we never had typing on regular computer keyboard.

Email is always work; text messaging is always fun.

But beneath all the fun and emoji silliness, we’ve been evolving something groundbreaking and profound. We’ve created a simple format for quick conversations. We created a new way to ask questions, and receive an answer via computer that is a lot closer to how people do it in real life.

By using Text Messaging, we have been playing an iterative Q&A game. And this is a pretty big deal.

Enter the New Kind of Search

Now imagine that instead of a Google text field or browser bar, you get a familiar Text Messaging interface and you can ask questions. Here is what happens next:

You will ask questions in the natural form, like you do in real life.
Your questions will be naturally compact, because you are used to compact forms of text messaging, but they won’t be one word or one phrase, like we type into Google. You still can have typos, and missing punctuation.
This format naturally lends itself to the conversation. That is, you don’t expect 10 links – you expect a human response. And you expect to respond in response to this response, and so on.That is, you expect a conversation.
‘The answer’ will be things/objects/places, and links will become secondary. The answer will be one or two or three things, but not 10 things. The choice will be naturally added via a conversation and iteration, not by pushing 10 links on the user upfront.
You won’t be able to tell the difference between a person or machine replying to you. This is where all the amazing AI stuff (looking at you, Amy) is going to come handy and will really shine.
You won’t think of this as search anymore, but as your command and control for all the things you need – tasks, purchases and of course, good old search. It will be like Siri, except it will be based on text, and have a lot more capabilities. And it will actually work great. (No offense Siri, but you have a ways to go.)
Once this new world order is in place, you will quickly forget how Google worked. Phrase based search and 10 links will become the things of the past. You will quickly get used to, and will love the human way to search. Via a Text Message.

For early hints of what is to come, check out Magic and Cloe.

What do you think? Do you believe that Search will stay the same on Mobile or change?
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Low blood pressure linked to faster cognitive decline

Low blood pressure linked to faster cognitive decline | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
For older people with mild cognitive impairment or dementia, low blood pressure might be linked to faster mental decline, according to a study.

There is not much data on blood pressure in people with cognitive impairment, said lead author Dr. Enrico Mossello of the University of Florence in Italy. This study is the first to suggest that cognitive declines might happen faster in older people on blood pressure medicine whose systolic pressure – the top number – is low, he said.


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Between 2009 and 2012, Mossello and his co-authors analyzed 172 older people. Most had dementia; about a third had only mild cognitive impairment. Almost 70 per cent were taking medication for high blood pressure.

The researchers recorded participants’ blood pressure and their performance on a mental test. They repeated all the measurements six to 18 months later – by which time mental function had declined for the whole group, on average, and disability had increased.

The researchers divided participants into three groups based on daytime readings of systolic blood pressure, which is the “120” of a healthy “120 over 80 millimeters of Mercury” blood pressure reading.

People in the lowest third of systolic blood pressure scores (below 128 mm Hg) had bigger decreases on their mental performance tests than those in the middle and high blood pressure groups, according to results in JAMA Internal Medicine.

When the researchers took blood pressure medications into account, only those on the medications who also had lower blood pressure experienced more cognitive decline.

Naturally low blood pressure may not be harmful, but these results suggest that excessive lowering of blood pressure with antihypertensive drugs seems to affect cognition negatively, Mossello said.

“The idea has crystallized that all high blood pressure is bad,” said Dr. Rudolf Westendorp of the faculty of health and medical sciences at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

“The dogma is that blood pressure should always be below 140/85, but that is simply not true,” said Westendorp, who co-authored an editorial accompanying the new research.

Frail older people experience more dizziness on standing because blood pressure drops below a minimum that keeps the brain oxygenated, he said.

“Many have tripped or collapsed with often fatal consequences,” he said. “That’s why doctors should taper blood pressure lowering medication when older patients develop this type of symptoms and prevent these unwanted side effects.”

This does not mean that high blood pressure is better, Mossello stressed. He said patients should never stop their blood pressure medication until a doctor orders it.

“There are many dementia patients with high blood pressure, hopefully treated, who will experience blood pressure decrease in the course of the disease and need attention to have their therapy adjusted and avoid overtreatment,” Mossello said.

He emphasized that daytime blood pressure readings were more predictive than office readings. People may get nervous at doctors’ offices, which falsely increases their blood pressure readings.

“Probably systolic blood pressure values between 130 and 145 are fine for most older patients with dementia,” he added.
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Audiencia contra capitán del Da Dan Xia no ha iniciado por falta de traductor

Audiencia contra capitán del Da Dan Xia no ha iniciado por falta de traductor | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
A pesar de que Wu Hong, capitán del buque Da Dan Xia, ingresó a las 9 de la mañana a la sala 10 del complejo judicial de la Plazoleta Benkos Biohó, donde fue presentado ante el juez 12 penal de control de garantías para la legalización de su captura, la audiencia no ha iniciado por falta de un traductor luego de que un representante del consulado chino no fuera autorizado para cumplir esta función. (Lea aquí: Avanza audiencia en contra del capitán del barco Da Dan Xia de China)

Wu Hong, que fue detenido luego de un allanamiento en la embarcación de bandera china donde se encontraron 100 toneladas de pólvora, 99 bases de proyectiles y 3.000 cajas con cartuchos de artillería sin su respectiva documentación; podría quedar en libertad en las próximas horas por vencimiento de términos si no se legaliza su captura.

De presentarse esta situación, el capitán podría pedir refugio en el Consulado de China o abandonar el país sin responder por los presuntos delitos de tráfico de armas, al menos de que se profiriera una nueva orden de captura en su contra para volver a iniciar el proceso jurídico en su contra. (Lea aquí: Capturan al capitán del barco chino que transportaba material bélico)

Según informó la Fiscalía, se trabaja para lograr la incautación del material bélico que se encontró en el buque Da Dan Xia, que se encuentra en la bahía de Cartagena, al igual que su inmovilización para que no abandone aguas nacionales.

A esta hora, las autoridades judiciales continúan en la búsqueda de un intérprete para llevar a cabo la audiencia; supuestamente, un estudiante asiático que habla mandarín a la perfección se presentó ante el juez para servir de traductor, pero no fue aceptado por no llevar consigo ningún tipo de documentación.

El Universal conoció que, en los últimos minutos, un nuevo intérprete llegó a la audiencia pero esta volvió a ser suspendida luego de que informara que desconoce la traducción de algunas palabras técnicas y términos legales.

Sobre el tema, el Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores de China afirmó que "la nave llevaba suministros militares ordinarios para Cuba; no había materiales sensibles a bordo. La cooperación no viola las leyes y regulaciones chinas, y tampoco las obligaciones internacionales con las que China está comprometida". (Lea aquí: China dice que el barco detenido en Cartagena llevaba material militar ordinario)
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