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El diccionario de Oxford acepta 'Mx' para aquellas personas que no se identifican con ningún género
El diccionario ha incluido esta palabra que ya es utilizada de forma habitual
'Mx.' se suma a Ms. Mr.
Bolsamanía Bolsamania | 28 ago, 2015 10:59 | Comenta | | |
Meneame0 0 8 Google +0 0 0
La nueva edición del Oxford English Dictionary (OED) llega con novedades. Entre ellas destaca la incursión en el diccionario de inglés británico e internacional del prefijo 'Mx', que se utiliza para definir a aquellas personas que prefieren no especificar su género o no se identifican con ninguno.
Uno de los retos de los académicos está en determinar qué palabras deben y no deben incluirse en el diccionario. Y este es un ejemplo de cómo el diccionario se va modernizando y dando cabida a aquellos términos que se utilizan de forma habitual.
"Este es un ejemplo de cómo el idioma Inglés se adapta a las necesidades de la gente", ha señalado un editor del OED
Lea también: Nueve trucos clave para mejorar la pronunciación al hablar inglés
'Mx' se añadiría así a los tradicionales Ms. Mr., en español señor y señora, y pasaría a ser utilizado por aquellas personas que no quieren determinar su género o no se sienten identificados con alguno en concreto.
"Este es un ejemplo de cómo el idioma Inglés se adapta a las necesidades de la gente. Las personas utilizan formas del lenguaje que se adaptan a ellas y dictan su identidad", ha señalado Jonathan Dent told, uno de los editores del diccionario al The Sunday Times.
ESTILO DE VIDA
Diccionario Oxford añade nuevas palabras al idioma inglés
jue 27 ago 2015 16:33
Foto propiedad de: Internet
Le hashtag "RanarHausa" prend de l’ampleur sur Twitter au Nigeria après qu’un blogueur ait encouragé les personnes parlant haoussa à n’écrire sur Twitter que dans leur langue.
Le haoussa est l'une des langues les plus parlées en Afrique.
"Ranar Hausa", qui signifie "journée du haoussa", a ete créé dans le but de célébrer la langue.
Au moins cinquante millions de personnes parlent le haoussa, ce qui en fait l'une des langues les plus parlées en Afrique.
En plus du Nigeria, elle est parlée au Niger, au Ghana, au Cameroun et dans un certain nombre d'autres pays.
Le poids des mots Le langage que nous utilisons avec les autres a un fort impact sur la façon dont nous sommes perçus et sur le succès de nos interactions. Il en va de même en finance.
« Les mots sont importants ! », criait un furieux Nanni Moretti contre une journaliste coupable d’utiliser des termes imprécis et des anglicismes inutiles, dans une scène désormais culte du film Palombella rossa.
Le langage, le choix des bons vocables et expressions, peut aussi faire la différence dans le domaine de l’investissement. C’est ce que confirme une récente analyse publiée par l’UCLA, l'Université de Los Angeles.
Selon cette étude, la façon même dont une personne parle du temps qui passe pourrait affecter son approche en matière de décisions financières. Certaines langues, comme le français, utilisent conjugeunt les verbes au futur (« demain il pleuvra »), quand d’autres ne le font pas. En chinois, on continue à utiliser la forme présente pour une action qui va se produire dans l’avenir (« demain il pleut »).
D’après Keith Chen, auteur de l’étude, les personnes dont la langue utilise plus fréquemment la conjugaison au futur ont tendance à épargner moins que celles qui parlent une langue où on utilise la forme au présent. Cela serait dû à la distance psychologique qui vient du fait d’utiliser les verbes au futur. A l’inverse, le fait de ne pas avoir des différences sémantiques entre le présent et le futur rend psychologiquement les deux actions moins distinctes, plus cohésives.
Un simple exercice permet d’illustrer cette différence subtile: au lieu de dire « je rebalancerai mon portefeuille en avril », il faut dire : « je rebalance mon portefeuille en avril ». Cet expédient mental présente l’avantage de remplacer une intention future, et donc incertaine, par la création immédiate d’un engagement mental précis.
Do you speak… ?
En confirmation que la langue affecte l’état d’esprit, l’Université de Chicago a publié plusieurs études où les sujets sont invités à prendre des décisions d'investissement basées sur un document exprimé dans une langue qu'ils parlent, mais qui n’est pas leur langue maternelle. Comparés avec ceux qui ont eu les mêmes options dans leur langue maternelle, ceux qui lisaient dans une langue étrangère ont généralement fait des choix plus prudents.
« Nous avons constaté que lors de l'utilisation d'une langue étrangère, les gens sont moins sujets à des erreurs émotionnelle », explique l'étude. « Les mots dans une autre langue ne comportent pas de la même profondeur et résonance émotionnelle, et, par conséquent, nos décisions sont moins sujettes à des réactions irrationnelles ».
Mieux vaut utiliser des mots concrets
Tout n’est pas uniquement une question de conjugaison des verbes ou de langue maternelle, mais aussi de choix des termes les plus appropriés. James Grubman, fondateur de la société de conseil Family Wealth Counseling, neuropsychologue avec plus de 20 ans d’expérience dans le domaine de la finance comportementale, a déclaré dans son dernier livre Strangers In Paradise: How Families Adapt to Wealth Across Generations que « ceux qui arrivent à arrêter de penser à l'argent seulement comme une source de revenus (income en anglais) et à commencer à le considérer comme une ressource (asset) sont ceux qui s’adaptent avec succès à la richesse et arrivent à la garder. »
Évidemment, un bon plan financier et de la discipline sont cruciaux pour investir ses économies avec succès. Cependant, cette différence sémantique est moins triviale qu’il n’y paraît à première vue. Les spécialistes des processus cognitifs commencent à s’intéresser à la manière dont les facteurs inconscients, par exemple, les subtilités de la langue, influencent la façon dont nous prenons des décisions financière.
Dans ce cas précis, Grubman explique comment income (revenu) est un mot abstrait, indiquant un mouvement, un flux d'argent qui rentre dans la poche. Inversement, assets (ressources, actifs) est un terme concret, solide. La pensée de perdre des actifs déclenche un sentiment de perte plus lourd de sens que celle d’avoir moins de revenus.
Ce n’est pas un secret : la façon de s’adresser aux autres a un fort impact sur la manière dont nous sommes perçus et sur le succès de nos interactions. Il en va de même en finance. La façon dont nous parlons et réfléchissons a également une grande importance.
Pensez-vous être un génie de l’investissement? Cliquez ici et prouvez le avec Morningstar Investing Mastermind Quiz
D’ici la fin du XXIe siècle, plus de la moitié des langues parlées aujourd’hui risquent de disparaitre. C’est ce constat alarmant auquel font face les grands linguistes : Colette Grinevald et Nicolas Tournadre. Comment s’effectue le travail sur le terrain ? En quoi consiste le travail du linguiste ? Comment faire face à la disparition des langues ? Sur quoi travaille l’association Sorosoro ?
A travers une réflexion générale sur le langage, la diversité des langues et la complexité linguistique, ces deux linguistes de terrain nous emmènent sur la trace des langues du monde.
A la UNE de la science
Aujourd’hui le manifeste de trente. Trente grands noms de la science et de la médecine française exhortent les professionnels de santé et la société savante à mettre fin dès maintenant à tous liens d'intérêts avec le laboratoire Servier qui commercialisait le médiator. Ils dénoncent le comportement ambivalent du laboratoire face aux victimes de ce médicament. Pour en parler nous recevons les porte-paroles et initiateurs de ce mouvement : la pneumologue Irene Frachon, et le médecin généraliste Dominique Dupagne.
Site pour la signature : http://www.manifestedes30.com/
Professeur associé à l’Institut d’études européennes de l’Université Paris VIII, Jacques Nikonoff explique pour RT France pourquoi la France ne doit pas ratifier la Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires.
Le 5 novembre 1992, le Conseil de l’Europe établissait la «Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires». Le motif officiel était de contribuer à «maintenir et à développer les traditions et la richesse culturelle de l'Europe», de permettre «le droit de pratiquer une langue régionale ou minoritaire dans la vie privée et publique» qui «constitue un droit imprescriptible». De telles ambitions, a priori, ne peuvent que susciter l’adhésion. À première vue, on pourrait considérer que la démarche est sympathique et qu’elle relève du folklore afin de renforcer les avantages touristiques de la France. Il n’en est rien. La Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires est en réalité, pour un pays comme la France, une machine de guerre contre la République et la démocratie. La lecture de ce document montre qu’il est probablement adapté à des pays recomposés – ou décomposés – après les grandes secousses historiques des deux guerres mondiales et de la dislocation de l’URSS et des pays du «socialisme réel», mais aussi de pays qui reconnaissent le pluralisme linguistique dans leur Constitution (Espagne, Suisse…). En revanche, la Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires est totalement inadaptée – et même dangereuse – pour la France puisqu’elle vise à constitutionnaliser le communautarisme.
Le programme de François Hollande pour l’élection présidentielle de 2012 («Mes 60 engagements pour la France»), indiquait en 56e position : «Je ferai ratifier la Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires». Il a donc fait adopter par le Conseil des ministres du 31 juillet dernier un projet de loi constitutionnelle visant à ratifier cette Charte, lors d’une réunion du Congrès (réunion des députés et sénateurs) qui devrait être convoqué en 2016, afin de modifier la Constitution. La modification consisterait en l’ajout d’un article 53-3 autorisant la ratification de la Charte signée par la France le 7 mai 1999 (mais non ratifiée). Pour l’instant, en effet, cette Charte n’est pas compatible avec la Constitution française comme l’ont confirmé à plusieurs reprises le Conseil constitutionnel et le Conseil d’État.
Le Conseil constitutionnel avait jugé, dans sa décision du 16 juin 1999, que le préambule de la Charte, notamment, était contraire à la Constitution. Il avait ainsi souligné que «les principes constitutionnels d’indivisibilité de la République, d’égalité devant la loi et d’unicité du peuple français (…) s’opposent à ce que soient reconnus des droits collectifs à quelque groupe que ce soit, défini par une communauté d’origine, de culture, de langue ou de croyance». De son côté, le Conseil d’État, en 1996 et en 2013, puis le 30 juillet 2015, aura lui aussi fait preuve de constance en rendant un avis défavorable (mais non contraignant) à la ratification de cette Charte avec les mêmes arguments car la Charte «confère des droits spécifiques» à des «groupes» de locuteurs de langues régionales ou minoritaires, à l’intérieur de «territoires» dans lesquels ces langues sont pratiquées. Par ailleurs des dispositions «tendent à reconnaître un droit à pratiquer une langue autre que le français dans la vie privée comme dans la vie publique», à laquelle la Charte rattache «la justice et les autorités administratives et services publics». Le Conseil d’État en a déduit qu’en adhérant à la Charte, «la France méconnaîtrait les principes constitutionnels d’indivisibilité de la République, d’égalité devant la loi, d’unicité du peuple français et d’usage officiel de la langue française.» L’article 2 de la Constitution française stipule en effet que «La langue de la République est le français.» Il est donc possible de permettre le développement de l’enseignement des langues régionales comme c’est déjà le cas, mais non d’en autoriser l’usage dans les rapports entre les individus et l’administration ou la justice.
Cette Charte, en réalité, introduit le communautarisme linguistique en France, cheval de Troie d’un communautarisme généralisé. Évidemment, il est souhaitable de soutenir la connaissance et l’apprentissage des langues régionales en tant qu’elles appartiennent au patrimoine culturel et qu’elles répondent à une demande d’une partie de la nation. La Déclaration des Droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen de 1789 ne stipule-t-elle pas que chaque citoyen peut en effet parler, écrire et imprimer librement ? En revanche, ratifier cette Charte au motif qu’elle confère des droits spécifiques à des «groupes» de locuteurs de ces langues à l’intérieur de «territoires» et en reconnaissant un droit à pratiquer une langue autre que le français non seulement dans la «vie privée» mais également dans la «vie publique» (justice, autorités administratives et services publics) n’est pas acceptable. La République ne peut pas reconnaître de droits spécifiques à des groupes, communautés ou minorités plus ou moins directement rattachés à des pays ou des régions. Le choix de la France est de fonder le principe d’égalité des droits sur l’égalité des citoyens et non sur celle de communautés définies par l’un ou l’ensemble des critères suivants : la culture, la langue, la religion, l’ethnie, etc. Il s’agit clairement d’une mise en cause des principes républicains qui fondent notre conception de la démocratie et de la souveraineté au profit de l’idéologie communautariste qui domine actuellement la construction de l’Union européenne, ignorant notamment, voire récusant, le service public, la laïcité et le droit du sol comme fondements de l’égalité des citoyens.
Le développement de l’ «Europe des régions» en vigueur au sein de l’Union européenne vise à encourager les nationalismes régionaux. L’usine à gaz du droit communautaire va dans le sens d’une autonomie croissante accordée aux régions (pas aux communes et même aux départements qui sont le noyau de base de la démocratie !). La liste des initiatives prises pour construire cette «Europe des régions» est impressionnante : Charte européenne d’économie locale, développement de la coopération transfrontalière, politique régionale avec le Fonds européen de développement régional (FEDER) qui, sous couvert d’atténuer les disparités économiques, vise en fait à favoriser les particularismes culturels, contribuant à l’émergence d’identités régionales. Et aux nationalismes régionaux.
C’est pourquoi, en France, il faut refuser d’inscrire dans la Constitution le principe du communautarisme et ne pas ratifier la Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires.
Si on se demande pourquoi François Hollande prend cette initiative, on peut donner deux réponses. D’une part, il cherche à récupérer les quelques pourcentages de voix de la mouvance régionaliste à l’occasion des élections régionales de décembre 2015, mais aussi en prévision de la présidentielle et des législatives de 2017. D’autre part, il y a longtemps que François Hollande considère le cadre national dépassé, tout comme les prétentions de la France à tenir un certain rang dans le concert des nations. Le régionalisme, qu’il soit administratif, économique ou linguistique lui paraît être un thème porteur pour les futures élections. Il se trompe lourdement.
Les opinions, assertions et points de vue exprimés dans cette section sont le fait de leur auteur et ne peuvent en aucun cas être imputés à RT.
The 2015 Sino-foreign literature translation workshop is held at the Asian Hotel in Beijing from Aug. 25 to 29. Dozens of renowned translators, publishers, scholars and writers from around the world attend the seminars. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Culture)
(ECNS) – China has invited dozens of renowned Sino-foreign literature translators, publishers, scholars and writers to a workshop at the Asian Hotel in Beijing from Aug. 25 to 29.
The workshop, jointly hosted by the Ministry of Culture and the China Writers Association, offers a platform to facilitate the promotion of Chinese culture to a global audience, according to Ding Wei, vice minister of the Ministry of Culture.
Chinese literature has been gaining increasing exposure on the world stage since Chinese writer Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2012. Just recently on August 23, Chinese sci-fi writer Liu Cixin was given the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel for his "The Three-Body Problem."
"Chinese literature enjoys a rich and long history, and is drawing increasing attention from around the world," Ding said, adding that he hopes the attendees could help Chinese literature go global with more quality translations.
The workshop is divided into about 10 panels on introductions of Chinese modern and contemporary literature, Chinese language and styles, and the status quo of Sino-foreign literature translation. It offers an opportunity to exchange views, expertise, and the best practices of Chinese literary translation for writers and translators from the United States, India, Egypt, Brazil, Russia, etc.
Egyptian translator Ahmed Zarif said translation works of contemporary Chinese literature act as windows for people in Arabian countries to learn about the development of modern China, and help bond people of two continents closely together.
Priyadarsi Mukherji, translator and professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India, said Chinese literature translations serve as a dialog between Chinese and Indian people.
The workshop is held along with the 2015 Beijing International Book Fair, allowing the attendees to talk with Chinese authors and poets, such as Zhou Daxin, Li Dian and Ge Fei.
Regarding "New Arabic school focus of protest" (Page B1, Tuesday), the widely publicized opening of the Houston Independent School District's new Arabic Immersion Magnet School is a welcomed opportunity to share with our many Israel supporters in Houston some interesting facts about Israel and the Arabic language. Facts, such as:
The official languages in Israel are Hebrew and Arabic. This means, very practically, road signs and other messages posted are in Arabic, as well as Hebrew (and often English).
Israeli schoolchildren often take Arabic as a second language. Also, major universities in Israel offer top, international Arabic-language programs. Additionally, Israel established an Arabic Language Academy.
There are estimated to be more than 1 million Arabic speakers in Israel, with Israeli-Arabs making up approximately 25 percent of the population.
Arab citizens of Israel are a vital part of our democracy (the only true one in the Middle East). As such, you can find Israeli-Arabs in the highest levels of government, military, business and culture. Additionally, to be an Arab in Israel does not necessarily mean practicing the Muslim faith. There are Christian Arabs and Arabs of other faiths.
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Israel, similar to America, is a diverse, pluralistic country that strives to be a beacon of democracy for all her citizens - Jewish, Islamic, Christian, Druze, and Baha'i, alike.
We welcome the students of the new Arabic Immersion School to come practice their language skills in Israel soon.
Daniel Agranov, deputy consul, Consulate General of Israel to the Southwest United States, Houston
While I applaud Houston ISD for starting an Arabic Immersion Magnet school, I am shocked and disappointed at the protesters who gathered to mar the first day of classes for these students.
By protesting the program, the protesters have displayed complete ignorance of the true nature of this initiative and how it might benefit our students.
In order for American students to become more competitive in the global economy, it is vital that we expose them to as many languages as possible. As a teacher, I cannot stress the importance of getting our students acquainted with different cultures and languages.
As a Muslim, I grew up reading the Holy Quran in Arabic, and I have never found any evidence that the language itself can lead one to extremism. It is sheer ignorance to believe that a language can radicalize our youth or lead them astray. Knowledge is a privilege and by protesting this privilege, we are only hurting our kids.
Huma Munir, Pflugerville
Those who chose to demonstrate in protest outside the Arabic immersion elementary school were putting on a display of ignorance and narrow-mindedness.
What they obviously fail to understand is that what is being taught at this school is Arabic, which is a language, not Islam, which is a religion. That would be like conflating learning Italian with being taught Catholicism.
Bill Bentley, La Porte
Dozens of Bosniak parents will send their children to a temporary educational establishment instead of regular schools in protest at the Bosnian Serb government’s renaming of the Bosnian language as ‘Bosniak’.
Denis Dzidic BIRN Sarajevo
Children from Konjevic Polje in Sarajevo during protests in 2013. Photo by Elvira M. Jukic.
Muhizin Omerovic, whose two school-age children have been studying at a primary school in Konjevic Polje after he returned to Bosnia’s Serb-dominated Republika Srpska entity which he fled during the war, told BIRN that for the third year in a row, he will be sending them to study in a temporary educational establishment in nearby Nova Kasaba to be taught with other Bosniaks.
Omerovic explained that in 2013 and 2014, parents were protesting because their children were not allowed to learn the Bosniak version of five so-called ‘national subjects’ - geography, history, nature and society, religion and mother tongue and literature - as part of the curriculum.
But this year, Omerovic said that the protest was continuing because the Republika Srpska education ministry decided to rename the Bosnian language “the language of the Bosniak people”.
“We had a meeting with the Bosnian Serb minister, and we rejected this. We will never agree to such an idea. This is insulting for us,” he said.
“The issue is that our language is our own, the language is Bosnian, and someone cannot change that. If we agree, tomorrow they might tell us our religion is not Islam, that history has changed and Srebrenica did not suffer genocide. This is a denial of our identity and this is where they start, they are telling us in essence that we are Serbs,” he added.
Dozens of families are expected to participate in the boycott.
Omerovic said that the parents also considered staging public protests, like they did in 2013 when families camped in Sarajevo in front of the offices of the High Representative, Bosnia’s top international official, but decided against it because their children might lose a school year.
The Republika Srpska education ministry told BIRN in a written statement that the decision was not discriminatory, but in line with the entity’s constitution.
“The constitution explicitly states that the official languages of Republika Srpska are the language of the Serb people, the Croat people and the Bosniak people. According to the rules of the language, the language of the Bosniak people can only be the Bosniak language. Just like the language of the Serb people is Serbian and the Croat people is Croatian, the language of Bosniaks is Bosniak and cannot be Bosnian,” the ministry said.
According to the Republika Srpska education ministry, among the 95,000 pupils who attended primary schools across the entity in the 2014-15 school year, there were some 7,000 Bosniak children, as well as 400 Croats, a similar number of Roma children and 370 from other ethnic minorities.
With the issue of language in the news at the moment, especially at institutes of higher learning, Peta Krost Maunder asks why English still dominates media after more than 20 years of a democracy with 11 official languages.
When South Africa became a democracy in 1994, South Africa’s vernacular languages were expected to come into their own, but this never happened.
In fact, there are fewer African languages published today than during apartheid, according to Mondli Makhanya, City Press editor at large, columnist and former editor of the Sunday Times. “This has a lot to do with the Anglicisation of the country since 1994 where… indigenous languages have been deemed ‘uncool’ and unable to get you ahead.”
“Government makes nonsensical noises about (the) lack of indigenous language media but has done little in terms of policy and policy enforcement to ensure that African languages are taken seriously.”
As it stands, English media is by far the most dominant, with Afrikaans a distant second and Zulu holding its own in a minor third place.
Zulu radio station Ukhozi FM is one of the most popular radio stations in the world and the most popular in South Africa. Over the last decade, it had an average listenership of more than seven million. In November 2012, Vuma FM, a 90% Zulu-speaking and 10% English radio station, launched in KwaZulu-Natal. Its listenership has more than doubled in a year from February 2014, from 121 000 to 271 000 (RAMS past 7 days listenership).
Isolezwe, the most successful Zulu newspaper, has a circulation of 107 139 (Audit Bureau of Circulations, fourth quarter of 2014). Other than the Daily Sun, this is the biggest circulation of South Africa’s dailies, according to the ABC.
Ilanga, a twice-weekly Zulu newspaper, has a circulation 90 008 (ABC 2014 Q4), while the circulation of its weekend edition, Ilanga LangeSonto, is 49 738 (2014 Q4). Isolezwe’s Saturday newspaper, Isolezwe ngoMgqibelo, has a circulation if 76 837 and Isolezwe ngeSonto on Sunday has a 85 301 (2014 Q4) circulation.
In April this year, Independent Media launched Isolezwe lesiXhosa, the only Xhosa-language daily newspaper in the country. There are unbelievably no mainstream newspapers in any other vernacular language.
Magazines are even less representative of languages. Only Bona is published in a language other than English and Afrikaans. It is published in Zulu, Sotho, Xhosa and English, and its circulation was 73 606 (2014 Q4), having fallen from 81 504 (2013 Q4).
The national broadcaster has a mandate to ensure that all South Africans get to hear their mother tongue on radio and, in some cases, on television.
But is it about the language or the quality of the specific publication or platform that entices consumers?
Sazi Hadebe, the editor of Isolezwe, says it is not just about the language of the newspaper. “Isolezwe hasn’t grown the way it has – now with three editions and selling over 700 000 copies a week – just because we publish in isiZulu.
“Our readers are demanding – our content has to be captivating, accurate and ‘fresh’. Readers are all over us if they don’t like the way we use the language, if our sports reporters hint at bias, or if we don’t demonstrate insight into the context of what’s going on in the most remote corners of our province [KwaZulu-Natal].
“Fortunately we’ve built up a talented team and know what works for our readers. When we get it right, the response is huge – that’s gratifying and it keeps us going.”
Thandeka Mapi, a former lecturer in African Language Studies and Media at Rhodes University, believes that Zulu is a spoken and literate language but most of the other vernacular languages are generally spoken and not used by people to read or write.
Also, she says Zulu people are particularly “Proud of their culture and language. Ilanga Lase Natali newspaper, the first Zulu newspaper, was established in 1904, long after Imvo Zabantsundu and other Xhosa newspapers, but if you look around, (Ilanga) is still up and running. Imvo died in the late 1990s”.
Professor Franz Krüger of Wits Journalism School says, “There are newspapers publishing in other languages, but they tend to be small local papers, often non-profit. The Media Development and Diversity Agency gives some support to these initiatives.”
Krüger says he is surprised there weren’t more publications in Xhosa because it had a strong tradition in publishing that dates back over 100 years.
Unathi Kondile, editor of Isolezwe lesiXhosa, agrees but says that Xhosa speakers today are not used to reading in Xhosa. “It is now more of a spoken language than written and we have to factor in that Xhosa people are not educated in Xhosa, but English or Afrikaans,” he says. He believes there has not been enough of a push in this country for Xhosa or other language speakers to read and write in their mother tongue. “In fact some of South Africa’s greatest writers are Xhosa first-language speakers and they write in English. Our history is of being groomed in English by the missionaries in the former Transkei.”
While Kondile says there has been “incredibly positive feedback on his newspaper”, it will take a while for people to get used to buying a Xhosa daily.
Makhanya believes the launch of Isolezwe lesiXhosa “is exhilarating news”. He hopes it will spur a renaissance in Xhosa publishing. “This was one of the first written indigenous languages and it is travesty that the richness could be allowed to wither.”
Mapi believes that building these languages, other than Zulu, in the written media won’t be easy. “Reading goes with sophistication and being literate, (which are) always attached to English.”
Mapi says that her students believed the problem was caused by the lack of pride in African languages. “A lot of people regard their languages as poor and as a result most of them do not want to be associated with (them). They find them boring and not as funky as English. If you go to schools, many learners are encouraged by their parents to do English and Afrikaans, so there really is no foundation and interest in reading or writing in these other languages.”
Makhanya agrees. “Blacks hate their languages and think they are backward. Look at how many middle class parents speak to newborns in English, even before the child can say ‘mama’.” This impacts on their choice of media.”
This obviously has an effect on magazines as well, with a number having launched in vernacular languages but failing to survive. That is, other than the 50-plus-year-old Bona.
Managing editor of Bona, Moeketsi Letsohla, says there is a big market for their magazine. “We sell thousands of copies each month of every language edition. Zulu’s circulation is a little above the others… because [it is] the biggest language group in South Africa.”
In terms of radio, everyone is catered for but, says Mapi, “The quality of language that people speak on air is mostly poor. Most people prefer to listen to their home language on the radio than to read it.”
Makhanya agrees. “It makes me mad when I switch on African stations and hear presenters mixing the mother tongue with English,” he says. “Why the hell are you on this station if you can’t finish your sentences in your language? That is just a symptom of the contempt with which African languages are treated.”
But even in radio, Zulu dominates other vernacular languages: consider the hugely successful Ukhozi FM.
Krüger explains that the size of the SABC’s African Language Stations’ (ALS) audience is related to the number of mother tongue speakers. “There are far more Zulu speakers than, for example, Venda speakers. So naturally the audience will be bigger for Ukhozi. People listen primarily to their mother tongue. The second biggest language group is Xhosa, and Umhlobo Wenene FM (a Xhosa station) is the next biggest ALS station.”
When it comes to television, says Mahkanya, there are strong vernacular soapies like Muvhango and Isibaya. “This is thanks to people like Duma ka Ndlovu, the creator of Muvhango, who takes African language television seriously,” he says. “ The success of these programmes shows that you can make excellent and exciting media in African languages.”
Research shows that English dominates on television as well. Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) monitors the SABC main news bulletins and analyses all listed programmes. They found that although English is only spoken as a first language by 8% of the population and the SABC is required to broadcast in all official languages, English dominates SABC programming and there has been a significant increase in English programming in the last three years. This year, there has been 70% English on SABC1, 64 to 70% on SABC2 and 95% on SABC3, as opposed to 2014, when SABC1 was 35% English, SABC2 49% English and SABC3, 85% English. A big portion of all locally produced content on the SABC is in English. The next biggest languages trailing far behind are Afrikaans and then Zulu.
However, says William Bird of MMA, people prefer to hear the news in their own language and this is evident from the number of people watching news on television and listening on the radio.
Can the fact that the mainstream media has for so many years been in the hands of white owners play a role in the lack of vernacular publications? Makhanya says, “It is very easy to blame white ownership but who launched Isolezwe? The Irish-owned Independent Newspapers. I think post-1994 South Africa’s falling out of love with the African language has been to blame. It is failure of the democratic government to empower and develop the African languages.”
To entrench more African language media across the board, says Makhanya, “Is going to take a heck of an effort, starting with re-orienting the minds of black consumers”. However, he believes it has to be done and it is already starting to happen online in chat groups.
What do you think the factors are that are holding back African language media? Do you agree or disagree with Peta Krost Maunder? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
This story was first published in the August 2015 issue of The Media magazine.
Paul Kingsnorth's new novel, The Wake — a grim tale of medieval conquest and revenge — became a hit against all odds in the U.K. last year, and it's about to be released here.
I met Kingsnorth at his home in the countryside of far western Ireland. He and his wife grow their own food and home school their two young kids. "I think we'll get bees and chickens, we hope, maybe something else," he told me, calling out to his daughter. "Lela, you want an alpaca, don't you? Lela wants an alpaca or a donkey or anything fluffy, really."
by Paul Kingsnorth
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Kingsnorth's novel is definitely not soft and fluffy. The Wake is set during the Norman conquest, when armies from France swept across England, crushing Anglo-Saxon civilization. It's sort of a post-apocalyptic tale, set in the 11th century. And it's also written in a slightly made-up language — more about that in a bit.
Before the book came out in Britain last year, Kingsnorth assumed it would be a flop. "I suppose I was probably halfway through it when I thought, there's no way anybody's going to publish this. I'm writing a book about a period in history no one knows about, in a language no one can understand, with a central character who's horrible. There's absolutely no way anyone's going to touch this with a bargepole, but I don't care!"
Kingsnorth used a crowd-sourcing platform called Unbound to fund the book, because he couldn't get any mainstream publishers to bite. Then, something strange happened.
"The first inkling I got that it might be successful was when the first review came out, which was in The Guardian. Which said it was a literary triumph. Which I thought, 'Blimey, no one's ever said that about my writing before!'"
Then one day, he was working in the garden when he got a phone call with some news. "It's just been long listed for the Booker Prize. And I thought, bloody hell, what? This is ridiculous!"
To top it all off, the great Shakespearean actor Mark Rylance bought the film rights. Rylance was recorded for The Telegraph newspaper, reading passages from the book, like this one:
when i woc in the mergen all was blaec though the night had gan and all wolde be blaec after and for all time. a great wind had cum in the night and all was blown then and broc. none had thought a wind lic this colde cum for all was blithe lifan as they always had and who will hiere the gleoman when the tales he tells is blaec who locs at the heofon if it brings him regn who locs in the mere when there seems no end to its deopness.
If that doesn't sound like modern English, well, it's not. But The Wake is not written in modern English. At first, Kingsnorth tried writing the book in the language you and I speak today.
"I didn't get too far, and I just thought this isn't working, it seemed strange. It made me realize why some historical novels I've read didn't work for me. I thought, I just can't have this guy doing 300 pages of contemporary English idom, and what's the alternative to that?"
I thought, I just can't have this guy doing 300 pages of contemporary English idom, and what's the alternative to that?
So he began by sprinkling a few Old English words into the text. Then, he went all the way until it was nearly incomprehensible. Finally, he pulled back on the throttle to create what he calls a "shadow tongue," a mashup of old and new.
The main character is a rebel — an insurgent, who tries to fight back against the invading French. As a reader, I found that the language starts as an obstacle and quickly pulls you deep into the world of the novel. Kingsnorth said this is because the words we use to describe our world shape our perception of it.
"So there might be ten different names in ten different languages for that willow tree over there. And they might give the people who use those names a subtly different way of understanding the tree. A subtly different relationship to it."
I asked Kingsnorth whether he began to see the land around him differently, because of the language he was using to describe it.
"Yes I think I probably did," he told me. "I think what you find when you start to look at Old English and you start to look at kind of the Anglo-Saxon relationship with the land is that it's a starker thing. Because it's possible to just pass over landscapes in the world today, you don't have to really have any relationship with the land at all, you can drive through them. And if you're living the kind of life that these people lived in the Fens 1000 years ago, you have to have a relationship with every single thing that's there."
I don't doubt that 1000 years ago there were men in England saying oh, it was better when our fathers came, it was better when their fathers came. Of course there would've been.
The Anglo-Saxon relationship to the swampy land known as the Fens is similar to Kingsnorth's relationship with his land here in western Ireland. The house is disconnected from the water grid; he and his wife plan to put up solar panels and wind turbines to get off the electrical grid, too.
There are clear parallels between Kingsnorth's writing and his lifestyle: The closeness to the land. The sense that civilization as we know it may not last. The longing for a simpler time, a longing which permeates The Wake, even though it's set 1000 years in the past.
"Well this is one of the other things I was exploring in the book actually is the idea of nostalgia, that there's always a time before your time when things were better," Kingsnorth said. "Because I can be prone to that myself, so I wanted to explore what that was like. And I don't doubt that 1000 years ago there were men in England saying oh, it was better when our fathers came, it was better when their fathers came. Of course there would've been. And maybe it would've been. But there's always a temptation to see this time before a fall when everything came apart."
Those echoes between the 11th century and the present day resonated with English readers; the U.K. booksellers' industry crowned The Wake "Book of the Year." The novel will be released here in the U.S. next week.
Who: Dr Tan Tin Wee, NUS associate professor of biochemistry and chair of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's Computational Resource Centre.
Notable achievement: Inducted into the global non-profit Internet Society's inaugural Hall of Fame in 2012; featured in American magazine Wired as one of the people who built the Internet.
Prof Tan, who is in his 50s, pioneered a slew of technologies that has made the Internet accessible to non-English speakers around the world.
In 1994, taking advantage of the fact that fonts for the Chinese language already existed, Prof Tan and his team wrote a program that would match the code for each character to its corresponding image, and then piece the images into a bigger picture that could be displayed in Internet browsers.
They extended this concept to the Tamil language, and in 1995 demonstrated their work by displaying Singapore's National Pledge online in Chinese, English, Malay and Tamil.
Keen to see how the Internet could benefit children with disabilities, he also personally wired up the Singapore School for the Deaf.
He is now pioneering the use of new technologies for computers to communicate online.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Tim
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Rajnath Singh stated Sanskrit to be Useful Language for Science and Technology
TOP PICKS: Education News, Education
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has recently said that Sanskrit is one of the most scientific languages in the world and it has even been said by foreign scholars as well. He sounded advocating the importance of language to while speaking at an event.
Rajnath Singh further stated that he would launch a ‘Mahaabhiyan’ to take Sanskrit at every doorstep. The Mahaabhiyan would be led by an educational institute in Lucknow. He said pointing towards the ‘Mahaabhiyan’ saying, “There is no other language which provides answers to complex philosophical questions like epics written in Sanskrit. Be it art, literature, science or technology, people are admitting Sanskrit is most useful.” He further get on to saying that even NASA while building a super computer said that Sanskrit was the most suitable language for doing it. “But it is irony in our country that we are getting away from it in India”, he said.
Further advocating about the language he pointed out that Sanskrit does not have issues related to spellings like other languages such as English and is pronounced in a similar tone and manner everywhere around the world. For other languages pronunciation varies from region to region, but in case of Sanskrit it is universal. He added, “Even youths in US and UK are reading Sanskrit”.
He added saying that during his tenure as Education Minister in Uttar Pradesh Government he had introduced two chapters on Vedic Mathematics at the school curriculum. The chapters were later removed by the subsequent governments. He concluded saying that if there is a will to learn the language it can be taken to each and every house of the country and given back its glory it once deserved.
Who among us hasn't been fascinated by the imagination of fantasy and science fiction writers who create their own languages for our favorite bits of fiction?
It certainly must be a lot of work, but the payoff is often enormous and it really allows us to feel like a new world is being created in front of our eyes.
The folks at Rayburn Tours recently put together a very fun infographic which lists 25 fictional languages and how to say basic things in them.
It's very entertaining, take a look:
Turkish-Arabic translations worth a million dollars
August 26, 2015
Organized in the name of the former emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, a translation competition will be held offering $1 million in prizes to its winners. Executive committee member of the Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani Translation and International Understanding Award, Mujab el-Imam, was in Istanbul to promote the translation competition.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), el-Imam said the competition, which will take place in Doha, will give away $1 million in award money to translators and institutions chosen by independent referees. Highlighting that the award will be given for the first time by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani Foundation, el-Imam said: "The competition aims to deepen the relationship between Arab culture and different cultures through translation. The award will be given in five different categories: From Arabic to English, English to Arabic, Arabic to Turkish and Turkish to Arabic as well as a special prize." Each translation will be evaluated by three independent referees and the award money will be presented to the winners on Nov. 26 in Doha.
The winners of each category will receive $100,000 while those who come in second will receive $60,000 and the third place contestants will receive $40,000. El-Imam highlighted that the awards will be given for translations concerning social sciences. Associate Professor Mehmet Hakkı Suçin of Gazi University, who is known for his Arabic translations, said the award will encourage the production of translations. He said the award will also contribute to Arabic literature, adding: "Publishing houses in Turkey are not aware of the good examples of Arabic literature. Hence, the award might increase the attention to Arabic literature." Suçin said the award will also encourage new translators, adding that the organization will contribute to the quality of the translations of Arabic literature. Those who translated a text concerning social sciences from Arabic to Turkish or Turkish to Arabic in the last five years can apply to the contest until Sept. 20.
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A Intelac Temporária é uma empresa na vertente de Recursos Humanos que atua em quatro áreas de negócio distintas: • Trabalho Temporário •Recrutamento e Seleção •Outsourcing •Jobs International Estamos localizados em Oeiras e operamos em toda a área metropolitana de Lisboa desde 1998 com o alvará nº 235 de 19/06/1998.
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Bizarrely translated airport sign has English language travellers in confused hysterics
1 COMMENT 17:15, 26 AUGUST 2015 UPDATED 17:48, 26 AUGUST 2015
BY KIRSTIE MCCRUM
The perks of long-haul travel can be few and far between, but one airport put a smile on some weary travellers faces with this gem
Ingur/Justin Ross Lee
La importancia que están recobrando nuestras lenguas originarias se ve re reflejada en distintas actividades que se lleva a cabo en la Ciudad Imperial. Es por ello que en noviembre, la Dirección Desconcentrada de Cultura de Cusco lanzará una edición de cuentos traducidos a quechua de los afamados escritores latinoamericanos Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Juan Carlos Onetti, Adolfo Bioy Casares y Clarice Lispector, informó el asesor de la entidad cultural, Luis Nieto Degregory.
La editorial independiente Estruendomundo es la encargada de las ediciones en quechua de cinco cuentos de cada uno de los afamados escritores que constará cada una de ellas de 20 a 30 páginas. Este sello es conocido por haber impulsado un fenómeno de editoriales emergentes dirigidas por jóvenes universitarios. Actualmente, tienen en su catálogo más de 60 publicaciones entre traducciones y reediciones.
TRADUCCIONES.La selección de los textos a ser traducidos a nuestra lengua originaria aún se encuentran en reserva. Estos se darán a conocer el día del lanzamiento.
El trabajo que realizó Estruendomundo para concretar este ambicioso proyecto tomó más de un año, ya que tuvieron que lidiar con la difícil tarea de lograr los derechos de autor para las ediciones en quechua.
Una vez conseguida la autorización, se realizó la traducción por renombrados maestros de la enseñanza del idioma originario. En la actualidad, el proyecto se encuentra en la fase de publicación.
"“Es de enorme importancia la traducción de estos autores de talla internacional; con ello se logra otorgar un mayor estatus de las lenguas originarias (Quechua); y se muestra con ello que están preparadas para todas las funciones que tiene un idioma en la sociedad actual"”, puntualizó Nieto Degregory .
Obras completas de Primo Levi en inglés
Por Alessandra Baldini NUEVA YORK, 26 (ANSA)- La literatura italiana vivirá el próximo 28 de septiembre un acontecimiento histórico, ya que ese día aparecerá la edición en inglés de las obras completas de Primo Levi (1919-1987), incluidos sus escritos dispersos. Ese día Levi se convertirá en el primer escritor italiano de todos los tiempos cuyas obras completas serán publicadas en inglés por la misma editorial.
Un acontecimiento cultural del que no gozaron, ni siquiera, Dante o Alessandro Manzoni.
El mérito es de la casa editorial Liveright, que el editor Robert Weil ha hecho renacer como división de W.W. Norton de Nueva York.
"Un triunfo de los valores y de la identidad humana sobre la patología de la destrucción", escribe la Premio Nobel de Literatura, la estadounidense Toni Morrison, en el prólogo de las obras completas que aparecerán con el título "The Complete Works of Primo Levi".
Las obras completas comprenden tres volúmenes y la traducción al inglés ha sido revisada y actualizada o, en el caso de "Si esto es un hombre" ("Se Questo es un uomo", sobre su persecución como judío en la Italia fascista) fue revisada la traducción original de 1959, del historiador inglés Stuart Woolf.
Woolf también tradujo al inglés un año después "La tregua", obra en la que Levi narra su experiencia en el viaje de retorno a Italia después de su permanencia en el campo de concentración de Auschwitz.
"Yo había leído una o dos de sus obras años atrás" de Levi, explicó Morrison, "pero ahora he tenido que releer todo".
"Levi fue abrumado por los seres humanos y por el lenguaje y por la forma de preservar lo que los nazis trataron de borrar", destaca Morrison en el prólogo.
Ann Goldstein, jefa de traductores del New Yorker y la traductora al inglés Elena Ferrante (responsable del último de los cuatro romances napolitanos que se publican en estos días Estados Unidos), compartieron las correcciones finales de la traducción que ha requerido 15 años de trabajo. Nueve traducciones han lidiado con la lengua de Levi, entre los cuales figuran Jonathan Galassi, el director editorial de Farrar Straus and Giroux, para la poesía, y Michael Moore, a quien se le confió su último libro "Los hundidos y los salvados" de 1986.
También han sido los revisados los títulos de los libros más famosos, modificados en su época por los editores estadounidenses por razones comerciales.
Por ejemplo, "Se questo e un uomo", apareció en Estados Unidos como "Survival in Auschwitz" y "La Tregua" fue cambiado por "The Reawakening". Desde Turín, Domenico Scarpa del Centro de Estudios Primo Levi, ha trabajado como consultor, firmando además los anexos históricos-críticos de los tres volúmenes.
El editor Weil tardó cinco años en adquirir los derechos de la obra completa de Levi, mientras que Goldstein, traductora también de Leopardi, Baricco, Bilenchi, Calasso y Piperno, se sumó al proyecto en 2004 y ha dado su contribución directa en "La tregua" y "Tabla periódica de los elementos".
"Cuando empezamos a leer las traducciones al inglés, nos dimos cuenta que, dada su naturaleza incompleta, teníamos la oportunidad de presentar a Levi como se presentaba a si mismo: presentar sus libros como salieron editados en italiano, cronológicamente y en el mismo formato", explica la introducción de la curadora Goldstein.
"Por lo tanto hemos eliminado las adaptaciones y desmembramientos que hasta el momento la obra de Levi había presentado en los Estados Unidos", explicó. La nueva edición no se rinde de frente a esos recuentos o ensayos, basados en juegos lingüísticos o que resguardan temas muy "italianos".
Algunos traductores han ofrecido sus reflexiones en un epílogo. Por ejemplo Woolf aporta un extraordinario relato del primer encuentro entre el joven historiador inglés y el químico-escritor, en el inicio de una amistad que perduró hasta que el escritor italiano se suicidó en 1987. BN-ADG/MRZ
The Goethe-Institut Athen, the Hellenic American Union, the Instituto Cervantes de Atenas and the Danish Institute in Athens, organize the Literary Translation Prizes...
In the framework of their mission to foster cross-cultural understanding and encourage international cultural exchange, the four cultural institutes continue their joint support of the Literary Translation Prizes and the work of Greek translators. The 2015 Literary Translation Prizes will be awarded to three translators for the best translation into Greek from German, English, and Spanish. Each winner will receive a cash prize.
The award ceremony will take place on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, at 19:00, at the Hellenic American Union Theater, on the occasion of International Translation Day.
As part of the ceremony, a panel discussion entitled: “Overcoming the language barrier” will also take place. Speaking at the panel will be translators: Cecile Inglessis Margellos, Leo Kalovyrnas, Yakov Schiby and Dimitris V. Triantafyllidis. The discussion will be moderated by Vassilis Manoussakis, translator and Professor, Hellenic American University.
Organizer Hellenic American Union, Goethe-Insitut Athen, Instituto Cervantes de Atenas, Danish Institute in Athens
Venue Hellenic American Union Theater
Start Date 30/09/2015
End Date 30/09/2015
Starting Time 19:00
Type Talk - Presentation
Participants Cecile Inglessis Margellos, Leo Kalovyrnas,Yakov Schiby, Dimitris V. Triantafyllidis, Vassilis Manoussakis
Interpretation Provided: No
Registration Required: No
Reservation Required: No
Admission Fee Admission is free
A creator of one of the most comprehensive web resources about Russian literature, Lizok’s Bookshelf, Russian literary translator and blogger, Lisa Hayden, discussed the American book market and her passion for Russian literature with the official site of the Year of Literature in Russia.
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Lisa Hayden: I came to love translation because it gives me the opportunity to choose words and create a literary text without having to worry about plot, character development, and the like. Source: Getty Images
Godliteratury.ru: How did you start reading Russian literature? And how did you realize you wanted to begin translating professionally?
Lisa Hayden: Everything followed a surprisingly logical progression: when I was around seven or eight, I read some stories about Baba Yaga, then in sixth grade we read a Chekhov story (The Bet), and as a senior in high school, things escalated to Crime and Punishment. I don’t remember what happened in between, but those are the key works of Russian literature from my childhood.
I started translating literature relatively recently, probably about seven years ago, though I did some small bits in grad school and for a theater, back in the 1980s and 90s. I can say for certain that I had no plans of becoming a translator when I was a college student: when one of my housemates told me that one of our neighbors was Margaret Wettlin, who translated a slew of Russian classics, I told him that literary translation had to be one of the dullest-sounding jobs on earth. I was pretty clueless back then! I came to love translation because it gives me the opportunity to choose words and create a literary text without having to worry about plot, character development, and the like. Someone else has (I hope!) already taken care of that.
Godliteratury.ru: What’s the first Russian book you translated into English?
Vladislav Otroshenko, Addendum to a Photo Album, Dalkey Archive Press, 2015. Translated by Lisa Hayden.
L.H.: Oddly enough, I can answer that question three ways! If it’s the first translation of one book that’s already been released, then it’s Vladislav Otroshenko’s Addendum to a Photo Album, a wonderful novel about a very interesting family of Cossacks. If it’s the first novel I translated, then it’s Marina Stepnova’s The Women of Lazarus; I finished the translation last spring and the book will be released this September. If it’s the first book that contains only my translations, then it’s a collection of plays by four winners of the Debut Prize: Olga Rimsha, Yaroslava Pulinovich, Ekaterina Vasilyeva, and Ksenia Stepanycheva. It’s strange, but each of those books carries a feeling of “first book” for me. Maybe I’m too sentimental, I don’t know.
Godliteratury.ru: Please speak a little bit about the market in the United States for foreign literature. Are there any trends? Is there a large interest or demand for any particular kind of literature? If so, why? What drives it?
L.H.: In speaking about general trends in the United States and England – I’m translating three books for a British publisher, Oneworld Publications, and definitely pay attention to England, too – I’d say the main thing I’m noticing now is new small publishers that publish only translations or primarily publish translations. I began noticing that two or three years ago, but when I was at BookExpo America at the end of May, I started sensing it even more than before. It makes me endlessly happy that lots of publishers – some of the new ones as well as other independent houses that have been around significantly longer and might be a little larger – give the impression of really knowing who their readers are.
Godliteratury.ru: And now a little about Russian literature. Do you choose what to translate or do you get requests from publishers you work with?
L.H.: With regard to choosing books, I’m very lucky: I write a blog about Russian literature lizoksbooks.blogspot.ru, so there’s no mystery about my tastes and opinions. People know what to offer me! I wrote (positively, of course) about some of the books that I would later translate: The Women of Lazarus, Eugene Vodolazkin’s Laurus, and Vadim Levental’s Masha Regina. I’ve just started translating Vodolazkin’s Solovyov and Larionov, which I recommended to the publisher.
Lisa Hayden in Moscow at Read Russia award ceremony. Source: Anatoli Stepanenko / Lisa Hayden facebook page
It’s difficult to answer about demand since I don’t work in marketing or public relations, but I do get the feeling that any good book is capable of finding its reader, particularly when the translated editions themselves are high-quality in all senses. As a person with a special love for contemporary Russian fiction, of course I’d like to see more interest in newer books, but I understand that will come with time. Unfortunately, I’m not always the most patient person!
Godliteratury.ru: Finally, are there a lot of translators of Russian literature? And is there a lot of competition?
L.H.: There are quite a few Russian-to-English translators, though I don’t know how many of us there are if you were to count absolutely everyone. There are certainly dozens, although there aren’t very many who are only literary translators and don’t, for example, teach full-time at a university. I think it’s a huge advantage that we’re so varied: we all have preferences and specialties, and I place tremendous value on the experience and opinions of each colleague, whether the person is an academic with a very specific focus or a professional translator who translates both contemporary literature and classics. It’s difficult for me to estimate competition, though I can say that I place tremendous importance on interaction with my colleagues – and here, I would include translators, authors, and publishers – and with the literature itself, since we all have the same goal: translating texts so they’re accessible to new readers. I feel, very keenly, the huge honor and responsibility that comes with becoming my authors’ English-language voice.
First published in Russian at godliteratury.ru
Seven schools in East Auckland have received more than $100,000 of funding to promote Asian language programmes.
The cluster of schools across Howick and Pakuranga will work collaboratively to establish new Mandarin and Japanese classes across primary, intermediate and secondary levels.
Pakuranga College, Elm Park Primary, Saint Mark's School, Sunnyhills School, Wakaaranga School, Howick Intermediate and Farm Cove Intermediate will make up the East Auckland cluster.
The funding comes from the Government's Asian Language Learning in Schools programme (ALLiS) which involves 129 schools throughout New Zealand.
It aims to increase the number of students learning Asian languages in order to support New Zealand's growing trade and international relationships.
Pakuranga College will act as the lead school for the area, co-ordinating and managing the funding for the group.
Principal Michael Williams says the project enables schools to work together and develop a pathway so students can sustain a language across all levels of schooling.
"What is really important in a project like this is that schools are working collaboratively together and work with the community to form much deeper, more meaningful connections," he says.
The college currently offers five different languages, with the addition of Mandarin at the start of this year.
Principal of Howick Intermediate Yolande Franke says the funding will serve as a great support for already established programmes.
"Within our school the teachers and students have been learning Mandarin but we realise that some of our students are already fluent speakers so we want to provide a differentiated approach so we are meeting the needs of all the students," she says.
The ALLiS funding will enable the school to add Japanese as a second language option.
Franke says the school approaches awareness about Asia as more than just learning a language.
"At primary and intermediate level we are fostering a cultural awareness, sharing customs and learning some of the language to provide a good platform for when they go off to college," she says.
The cluster will receive a total of $106,226 to be spread across three years, beginning at the start of 2016.
Applications for a second round of funding are open until September 25 and can be made on education.govt.nz
The notion among US academia that modern Sanskrit literature was dead was what sowed the seeds for a PhD dissertation on the works of Dr V Raghavan, an eminent Sanskrit scholar. Dr V Raghavan, who was in Chennai, is one of the most popular names in modern Sanskrit literature. He authored over 120 books and 1,200 articles. He was also a well-known musicologist and established Samskrita Ranga, an organisation founded for the promotion of Sanskrit dramatic activities.
American researcher Charles Preston is studying Dr Raghavan’s corpus of original Sanskrit dramas and his contribution to revive the tradition of Sanskrit drama in the 20th century.
Talking to CE, Preston, who is in the city for his research, says that he chose Dr Raghavan for the purpose of the study because he was both a scholar and creative.
Preston says, “He wrote so prolifically in English (The Indian Heritage) as well and I could triangulate his works in English and his Sanskrit poems.”
Starting his research in 2011, Preston, who was on a Fulbright grant in the city for nine months between 2013 and 2014, has been talking to Dr Raghavan’s four children, accessing sources connected to the scholar over the years and doing extensive study at the Dr V Raghavan Centre.
“I have been given access to materials that I couldn’t have found anywhere else by his daughter dancer Nandini Ramani,” he adds.
Reading his famous plays and poems and his other literary works in different languages, Preston says that the most fascinating part is that the agitation against Sanskrit didn’t deter Dr Raghavan’s literary pursuits. “Knowing the history of Sanskrit and the controversies surrounding it, it was intriguing that they were happening as he was writing. Why would someone in such a difficult situation insist on Sanskrit? In the West, modern Indian literature is about Tagore and works in Hindi, and Salman Rushdie,. No one talks about Sanskrit. Sanskrit is written in ways to speak to the modern audience, current issues and can be compared and contrasted with other works in modern literature,” he says.
Preston’s tryst with Sanskrit began almost 15 years ago, when he was pursuing his under graduation and was researching on the topic, Asian religious studies. “ I stumbled on the translations of Sanskrit materials. I found it fascinating and decided to pursue the topic,” he adds.
After a Masters, he began learning Tamil as well to complement his research in Sanskrit. He says, “It is interesting in some of Raghavan’s works you find a Tamil-like syntax. His play Vimukthi is full of them,” he adds.
Calling Raghavan’s plays Anarkali and Vimukti most interesting, Preston says, “I find Anarkali interesting, it begins with Akbar’s conference of Din-E-Illahi and the story is more of a romance more than tragedy Vimukti is a domestic farce,” he says.
Talking about Sanskrit in today’s scenario, Preston goes beyond using the word dead or alive. “People often use the metaphor dead or alive. Languages aren’t animate objects, they don’t live or die. Languages are either communicating or not communicating. For Sanskrit, the target audience is very small. There are a number of people who are trying to use it is as a medium, but I think there aren’t many. I think the creative output is there. Whether it is reaching audience is something I haven’t been able to gauge,” he says.
Updated: Thursday 5 p.m. to include comments from TCU Superintendent Teri Preisler.
Hola, guten tag, konnichi wa and ciao.
Middle school students in the Tri-City United School District will soon have many new ways to introduce themselves. This year, as part of a set of new exploratory classes offered by the district, students have one of 24 different languages to choose from.
Mary Dooley, a German teacher at TCU High School and Le Center and Montgomery middle schools, has taught the language in the district for nearly a decade. This year, the teacher will also be a student, as she helps oversees Global Studies, a new class where students learn different languages from Rosetta Stone, a global education technology software company.
This summer Dooley has sampled each of the languages offered to give her a better feel for how Rosetta Stone works. So far, she’s hooked.
“I tried samples for all 24 languages so I know which ones are more challenging,” Dooley said. “There is no translations, just pictures and the word in the (different language). It’s a complete immersion that I love. I may have to change the way I teach my classes at the high school.”
All seventh- and eighth-graders at TCU Le Center Middle School, and eighth-graders at TCU Montgomery Middle School will take the class, taught by Dooley. Each class is a quarter long, and for the first two weeks students have a chance to sample the different languages before picking one to study for the remainder of the quarter class.
“Rosetta Stone explores five of the top world languages; German, Spanish, French, Arabic and Mandarin Chinese,” TCU Le Center Principal Brian Grensteiner said. “(The program) allows kids to choose which languages they want to learn.”
Dooley said the class focuses more on different languages and ways of communicating, such as maintaining eye contact, rather than a geography course. By the end of the class students will present a research project on the a country that speaks the language each student has chosen to study, using basic vocabulary and phrases from the language.
"This is really exciting," TCU Superintendent Teri Preisler said. "I commend (Dooley) for her creation and development of the new course and the energy she'll bring to it."
The pilot program allows students to learn at their own pace, with immediate feedback after each quiz. Though she thinks it will be tough for students to complete a whole level of the language, a few high achievers students may finish after the nine weeks are up.
“Rosetta Stone is easy to follow, within 15 minutes kids will be able to start making sentences,” Dooley said.
Depending on the feedback of the Global Studies program, world language classes could increase at the high school level. Currently, only German, Spanish and American Sign Language classes are offered in high school, but depending on its popularity, Dooley may want to become fluent in a few other languages, should they be offered in the future.
“It’s incredibly impressive. I’ve taught for 22 years and it’s … wow,” Dooley said. “My 11-year-old daughter has been learning German on the free trial, and she’s clapping, totally engaged with what’s going on. I can wait to walk around the room and watch the kids using the program.”