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Vacancies in this network: Translators, Revisers, Editors, etc.
Globalisation has put indigenous languages in a precarious position.
Studies indicated that by the end of the century, 90 per cent of the world's 7000 languages could be lost.
In an effort to halt the decline and ultimate disappearance of thousands of native tongues, academics and educators have called on governments and institutions to focus attention on preserving languages through education.
During a symposium at Sydney University, looking at the status of Indigenous languages in Australia and the French Pacific, solutions to the problem of endangered languages was discussed among experts in the field.
Professor Jaky Troy,the director of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research at Sydney University, said when a language ceased to exist it had a broader cultural effect.
"It means that there is a lesser world," she said.
'So when a language disappears, in many ways the people associated with that language disappear.
"All their knowledge, everything they know about themselves and their language goes with the language."
There are around 250 languages spoken by Australia's Indigenous communities, however many experts said there was a lack of engagement with and recognition of these languages, particularly in policy and the curriculum.
According to Professor Troy, Australia was behind other parts of the world when it came to actively supporting and ensuring the existence of native tongues.
"All their knowledge, everything they know about themselves and their language goes with the language."
"None of our Indigenous languages are national languages," she said.
"We should have our [Aboriginal] languages alongside English. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Australia was the country in the world with 251 national languages - English, plus the other 250?
"It's a sad thing that a lot of the countries where the English invaded, English becomes the dominant language and is the only national language.
"But for other countries in the world, in spite of European invasion, the languages are recognised. The French recognise the languages across French Polynesia, they are national languages in their Constitutions."
Actor Richard Green speaks eight Aboriginal languages and wants more effort to be directed to preserving the vast and diverse range of Indigenous languages in the Pacific.
He said better public knowledge of local languages would help explain the world around us and its history.
"Wouldn't it be wonderful if Australia was the country in the world with 251 national languages - English, plus the other 250?"
"The whole city is covered in this very language we're speaking about, when we're concerning ourselves with the Sydney language - the Dharug, Eyora - in that it's written on all the street signs, it's written in all the suburbs,” he said.
“I mean 'Bondi' does not mean waves crashing on rocks, it's a five-letter word that's mispronounced.
“It's Boondi and it means beach. when are we going to be allowed to deal with our own language, instead of everyone else deciding what my grandmother's tongue was?”
Aboriginal actor and television presenter Ernie Dingo spoke at a public forum held as part of the symposium.
He said native languages represented a self-contained form of history and that through the quirks and idiosyncrasies of languages, we can understand something about the culture and geography of the people who speak them.
“I mean 'Bondi' does not mean waves crashing on rocks, it's a five letter word that's mispronounced."
"Language is very important for people's identity. You can tell where people come from by the sounds of the language because it reflects their environment."
Although the cultural value of language preservation is largely undisputed, there were also health and welfare benefits, according to Professor Troy.
"There are studies now that demonstrate that where people speak their languages their health is better,” she said.
“Chronic disease is reduced, youth suicide is dramatically reduced.
“If you, as an Aboriginal person know that you and your language are recognised nationally, you're one of the people of the country. You're no longer somebody who sits sideways while English and imported culture dominates.”
Being able to use different languages and thus to communicate with people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds is one of the many fascinating aspects of the expat life.
Most definitely enjoyable if seen from an adult's viewpoint but a rather daunting task for our children!
In this context, when the time has come for our youngsters to start attending school or to continue their education, a very important decision has to be made.
Technically speaking, everything is possible. You can enroll your kids at a nearby public school where Turkish is the primary language of instruction. Or, you can opt for a school where English or another foreign language is taught and used during most classes. And there is a third alternative: a school where two or even three languages are offered in similar numbers of teaching hours.
Expat parents must not only carefully evaluate their children's needs, but at the same time check their bank balance. The first option is of course the most affordable, whereas the other two carry a hefty price tag: Away from the bigger cities, the amount you would need to allocate can vary between TL 10,000 and TL 15,000, whilst in a metropolis such as Ankara or İstanbul, it is not uncommon to invest in the region of TL 25,000 or even TL 35,000.
Question time! First, does your son or daughter already speak more than one language -- think a bi-national and bi-lingual family?
Second, for how long do you plan to stay in a particular country; are you in for the long run or abroad for only one or two years?
Third, is your financial situation solid enough to spend a serious amount of money, not just for one year, but for longer?
Fourth, what about the logistics such as the distance from your workplace or home? Is there a service bus? Is the school a half-day or full-day establishment?
Fifth, consider the general structural appearance of the school, the cleanliness and the restrooms. Is there a sit-down meal option? Or, if not, a hot snack shop? Is there an adequate library?
And there is, of course, a sixth aspect -- the persons we entrust our children to, that is, the teachers. Personally speaking, I have had very positive experiences with a public school, as I found the class teacher highly motivated and caring. As our daughter was already used to speaking both Turkish and English, the fact that most classes were taught in the former did not pose any obstacle, either.
Nevertheless, assuming one day in her future she will move to a country where another language is spoken more widely, we had to find a balance between her expected linguistic ability and our more modest family budget circumstances. Eventually, we located a school where over one-third of lessons are given in English, plus, she could begin studying French as well, with just over half of all classes being offered in Turkish. And, although it is at the lower end of the fee-paying scale, quality is not compromised.
A last observation, though: The one thing that surprised me, regardless of whether the school is public or private, was the fact that the involvement of parents in how the school is run was rather limited. I had previously been used to strong input from the elected parents' committee but, figuratively speaking, was unable to throw my hat into the ring over here.
In a nutshell: there is abundant choice and, as I wrote above, going public does not mean lesser quality, and going private does not have to break the bank. What is necessary is sufficient time to find what suits your children and yourself best.
The Kingdom of Enclava, a new micronation formed in central Europe, has announced that it will adopt Chinese as one of its five official languages and will use the virtual currency dogecoin, the Hong Kong-based Phoenix Infonews reported.
According to the report, the newly formed micronation is located near the town of Metlika, between Slovenia and Croatia, and described itself as the smallest country in Europe with a land area of only 100 square meters.
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The report said that the unclaimed parcel of land was discovered by a group of Polish tourists along the Slovenia border and declared it a new kingdom on April 23, claiming it "terra nullius" (nobody's land).
"This exclave would normally be an enclave also, except that neither Slovenia nor Croatia claims the land that adjoins the exclave. If Slovenia were to claim the parcel, Croatia's exclave would become an enclave as well. As it is, the exclave is bordered by Slovenia and The Kingdom of Enclava (Ex Terra Nullius)," according to the micronation's official website.
The report added that a constitution is currently being drafted by founders of the country of the micronation. The founders also decided that the virtual currency dogecoin will be accepted in the kingdom; and five languages have been recognized and will be used as official languages, which include English, Chinese, Polish, Croatian and Slovenian. No reasons were given for the choice on the adoption of the five languages, the report said.
According to Piotr Wawrzynkiewicz, one of micronation's founders, the kingdom will not apply any distinction in terms of nationality, race and religion in the country. He added that citizens can freely exercise the freedom of speech and they will not be subject to taxation.
People from around the world have been invited to register online to become citizens of the micronation, as posted on the website.
Inclusion in prominent English dictionaries is seen by some as the first step for loanwords entering mainstream discourse. Photo: IC
Yannick Pelletier, 28, is currently fascinated by the Chinese expression yeshi zuile, a phrase that has recently become popular on the Internet, and literally means, "I'm also drunk."
"It's used when you're shocked or speechless," said Pelletier, an English teacher in New York who started learning Chinese two years ago, and who met his Chinese wife in Beijing. "I find it interesting since its word-by-word translation is not so close to its meaning. It might just be personal, but when I'm drunk, nothing can shock me and I talk a lot more than usual."
As China's cultural influence grows, more and more Chinese loanwords have come into common usage in English - from long-existing nouns like "kung fu" and "tofu," to the use of words expressing more abstract concepts like guanxi ("connections") and guanggun (literally "bare branches," used to describe bachelors). In recent years, words like tuhao ("the crass new rich") and dama ("elderly Chinese woman") have even been shortlisted for inclusion in The Oxford English Dictionary. "Chinese buzzwords often come to our attention through media," Julie Kleeman, project manager of Bilingual Dictionaries with the Oxford University Press, told Xinhua News Agency in November 2013. "In the case of Chinese words that are gaining publicity in foreign media, obviously some terms such as tuhao and dama tell us something about trends and phenomena in China that mark interesting shifts in society."
Common Chinese words in English
Pelletier runs a Facebook blog called "Learn Chinese with a laowai," on which he often shares new Chinese meme words and other Chinese phrases he finds interesting with fellow language learners.
Although he has a personal fascination with Chinese Internet memes, Pelletier was skeptical about whether they would catch on in English outside of China.
"If we look at the Chinese words actually used in English, they are not expressions or slang [words]," said Pelletier. "They are used because we don't have any English words to express [certain common] objects from China."
Pelletier listed litchi, oolong tea, dim sum, tofu, mahjong, feng shui and tai chi as examples - all of which can be found in The Oxford English Dictionary.
Both specialist terms and basic nouns of Chinese origin are included in the dictionary, such as wu wei (under the entry for Taoism, meaning "nonaction, or letting things take their natural course"), pipa ("a shallow-bodied, four-stringed Chinese lute"), chow mein ("A Chinese-style dish of fried noodles") and kowtow (to "act in an excessively subservient manner").
Linguist Zhao Ronghui said that it was natural that more Chinese words were being adopted in English as the international community pays more attention to social trends and changes in China.
Zhao works for the Institute of Linguistics at Shanghai International Studies University, which is also Research Center for Foreign Language Strategies under State Language Commission.
As Chinese cultural sway around the world grows, more loanwords are finding their way into the English language. Photos: Li Hao/GT
As Chinese cultural sway around the world grows, more loanwords are finding their way into the English language. Photos: Li Hao/GT
As Chinese cultural sway around the world grows, more loanwords are finding their way into the English language. Photos: Li Hao/GT
As Chinese cultural sway around the world grows, more loanwords are finding their way into the English language. Photos: Li Hao/GT
Don't be such a diaosi
Zhao said that there were two recent Chinese expressions that were strong candidates for coming into common usage among particular professional sectors of the English-speaking population.
The first is xin changtai - a phrase used by President Xi Jinping to describe the slower pace of economic growth in China as the "new normal." The second is yidai yilu ("One Belt, One Road") - a term also first unveiled by Xi, referring to an organizational framework for closer economic ties between China and the rest of the world.
As for linguistic expressions mainly popularized on the Internet in China, such as diaosi ("loser") and xiao xianrou (literally "little fresh meat," referring to a handsome, innocent-looking young man), Zhao was unsure about their likelihood of catching on, despite the inclusion of some such phrases on American online dictionary for slang, Urban Dictionary.
"The group of people using these words is limited to mostly younger generations who use them online," said Zhao. "Young people are creative in their language use. They challenge and play with [language conventions]. But they do not necessarily affect mainstream discourse."
Zhao said that unless a linguistic meme that originated on the Internet was published in a national newspaper like the People's Daily, it would be unlikely to enter the national consciousness.
Among the Chinese words that have been discussed in the Chinese media to be highly possible as having a strong possibility of being included in English dictionaries, are jiayou (a term used to cheer somebody on) and chengguan (urban management officers). But Hugo T. Y. Tseng, chairperson of the English department at Soochow University in Taipei, Taiwan, is less optimistic.
"Tuhao and dama haven't made any headway in the English-speaking world - they are terms that are talked about [by English speakers], rather than actually used," said Tseng. "It's like the word pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis [a lung disease caused by silica dust], which is usually considered the longest word in English. It is often discussed and analyzed. Rarely, if ever, is it actually used in conversation."
Whether Chinese words are actually adopted in English outside of academic or specialized circles, said Tseng, is dependent upon whether they resonate with English-speakers.
"Unless the English-speaking world considers these words to be universal and capable of transcending cultural barriers, or unless they are unique enough to attract interest, they'll end up like the [previously popular] word geili ['able to excite']," said Tseng. "[It was] transposed into English as "gelivable," which [Chinese people] just did for fun and to feel self-satisfied."
Criteria for a successful loanword
"The [Chinese] words that have actually entered the English language are usually unobtrusive," said Tseng. The latest of these, he said, is "Buddha's hand" ("foshougan") referring to a kind of fruit with segmented finger-like sections.
Two other recent examples, he added, are goji (a bright red berry commonly found in China) and wuxia (a genre of fiction that tells the stories of martial artists in ancient China). Both were added to The Oxford English Dictionary in 2010.
Tseng's opinions are in line with the conclusions of professor Allan Metcalf, executive secretary of the American Dialect Society, in Predicting New Words: The Secrets of Their Success (2002). In the book, Metcalf explores why some new words find favor, while others are ignored.
Whether a word endures, Metcalf concludes, is dependent on factors including its frequency of use, its unobtrusiveness (whether a word is normal-sounding enough to become a comfortable part of speech), and whether it generates new forms and the concept to which it refers persists through time.
Speaking specifically about loanwords across languages, Zhao said that a prerequisite was that the word being loaned did not already exist in the target language.
"If there are corresponding words, loanwords won't happen," said Zhao. Therefore, said Zhao, words that refers to distinctive features of a country, such as names, cultural elements and cultural phenomenon, are more likely to become loanwords. Loanwords that can be adapted in the word formation rules of the target language are also more likely to catch on, said Zhao.
Tseng said the prevalence of loanwords in other languages was ultimately dependent on the political, cultural and military clout of the nation loaning the word.
"[As China's national strength grows,] having Chinese words in the English language will be completely normal. If it happens, we'll become accustomed to it and it will no longer surprise us."
Risks of mistranslation
Pelletier said he considered some words to be completely untranslatable from Chinese to English, such as shanghuo ("rising inner heat") and zhaoliang ("catching inner cold"). Both terms refer to common concepts in traditional Chinese medicine.
"The concept of [inner] heat and [inner] coldness doesn't exist in Canada or the US," said Pelletier, who was born in Quebec. He said despite his wife's best efforts, he struggled to grasp the concepts, and that trying to import them into English might obscure their original meaning.
Pelletier is not alone in fearing that the wholesale import of Chinese words into English might confuse English-language speakers, leading to a distorted impression of what certain words and concepts actually mean, and consequently to a false understanding of Chinese culture.
Last December, the"Key concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture - Translation and Communication Project" launched by the State Council released the first batch of 81 words in English. The project is designed to more accurately define China's key cultural concepts for the rest of the world.
Zhao gave the example of long, commonly translated as dragon, as a word that might give the wrong impression when translated from Chinese to English. She pointed out that the word "dragon" usually has negative connotations in English, being associated with evil, where as in Chinese culture, long is usually a symbol of good fortune. This was why translation projects like the one were important, she said.
Tseng said the more prominent the differences between cultures, the more likely there would be unique words whose meanings would be lost in translation.
"The examples that I can immediately think of are dongshi [literally to "understand matters," but usually used to talk about whether a child is obedient or dutiful] and qingxiu [an adjective describing a woman's figure as being "delicate]" said Tseng. "Both words have corresponding English definitions in a dictionary, but these definitions do not perfectly encapsulate their meanings in Chinese."
They are resplendent in their handcrafted silk batik gowns – which, incredibly, were whipped up a mere three weeks ago – and their voices are even more glorious.
On Monday afternoon, at the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum in Carlton, 31 members of the Central Australian Aboriginal Women's Choir gave guests a preview of their upcoming "Boomerang" tour of Germany, kicking off next Saturday in Bayern.
"Australia could not have a better group of ambassadors to represent us," said the choir's musical director, Morris Stuart. "By us, I mean all of us, the beautiful rainbow of races that we are – they'll do us all proud."
This is Aboriginal singing, but not as you've heard it before. In a tradition with a 135-year history, the choir perform German baroque hymns, translated into the traditional Arrarnta language.
In 1877, German Lutheran missionaries set up a mission in Ntaria, 125km west of Alice Springs, which they called Hermannsburg. Here, with the help of Aboriginals, the missionaries drafted 53 hymns in three years in the local language, Western Arrarnta, and then taught the locals to sing in this new genre.
Today, the Central Australian Aboriginal Women's Choir spans five Aboriginal communities and they sing in six languages, including traditional Aboriginal languages, English, German and Zulu. Two honorary male members will accompany the 29 women on their trip to Germany: David Roennfeldt, the conductor of the Ntaria Women's Choir, and Nick Williams, whose sister Marjorie is also in the choir and whose grandparents sung in the choir in 1967.
The choir were invited by a Lutheran church in Bavaria to perform at the Kirchentag Festival in Stuttgart, a spiritual festival that attracts around 120,000 visitors from around the world over five days.
For most of the choir, it will be the first time they have been overseas. "We've had to get 30 passports issued," says Stuart.
"They're a bit anxious but they've thought, well, we'll get on the plane and we'll go."
On Monday afternoon, the choir sounded note-perfect, in spite of limited rehearsals. The five communities are spread out across around 1000 km, making it hard for the entire choir to get together on a regular basis.
"This year I've spent an average of four days in each of the communities and worked out the music we're going to be doing," says Stuart.
"When I'm not there, they practice hard, they are very serious about what they do."
Australia will soon have a national school curriculum for Aboriginal Languages and Torres Strait Islander languages.
Jakelin Troy, director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research at the University of Sydney and a key writer of the curriculum, currently in draft stage, said it will mark the first time in the country’s history that an Australian language will be recognised in schools nationally.
“Children were once beaten for speaking [their own] language,” said Troy. “It’s interesting that it’s come full circle. It’s a very big shift.”
The curriculum, developed in consultation with community groups across the nation, should be finalised by October, Troy said.
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Jakelin Troy, director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research at the University of Sydney. Photograph: Monica Tan for the Guardian
It will be published by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority and be available as an online resource to primary and high schools that wish to teach an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander language.
“This gives schools a model on how to introduce teaching Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander languages in the way they would teach any other language,” said Troy.
A 2009 study found only 260 schools in the country offered Indigenous Australian language classes, with more than 80 different languages taught.
Troy said one of the most important aspects of teaching an Australian language is involving the community associated with the language. “For example, if you’re in Darug country the main thing for a school is that you need to engage with the local [Darug] population and with the people who are the custodians of that land.”
Darug man Richard Green has taught his language in Sydney high schools for several years. He has witnessed first-hand the positive impact speaking language has had on Indigenous children and said it empowers them to “think along the lines” of their own culture and see the “incredible intelligence” of their own people.
“I’ve seen kids stop stealing cars to learn lingo and turn their lives around,” Green said. “It’s something they have a lot of fun with. They realise its benefits.”
Green is a key figure in the revival of the Darug language, which he began speaking as a teenager. He studies at least two hours a day, breathing new life into word lists and other studies compiled by academic linguists that are held in the State Library of New South Wales.
“Why write the bible if no one is going to read it? Why put them together if no one is going to read it?” he said.
A 10-year study released in 2008 into the mortality rates of the residents of Utopia, a pastoral station north-east of Alice Springs, linked outstation lifestyles including “connectedness to culture, family and land, and opportunities for self-determination” to positive health outcomes.
The findings reflect a 2014 report into Indigenous youth suicide called Culture is Life, which compiled interviews with Indigenous elders and outreach workers from across Australia. Many identified connection to country and culture as vital tools in the fight against a rising epidemic of Indigenous youth suicide.
Troy said while not all the community elders will be fluent, there are always some who are “language knowledgeable” and “any language teacher can teach any language, provided there are resources”.
Developing those teaching resources was the next critical step and more funding was required, Troy said. “Resourcing this curriculum is going to be an issue. But it sets a challenge: to seriously see this implemented we’re going to have to see resourcing put into it.”
Les jeunes enfants qui entendent plus d'une langue à la maison, seront de meilleurs « communicateurs », explique cette étude de l'Université de Chicago. Ses conclusions présentées dans la revue Psychological Science, montrent qu’une simple exposition à une seconde langue contraint à mieux chercher à comprendre le point de vue des autres et et permet ainsi d’acquérir de meilleures compétences sociales.
De nombreuses études ont porté sur l’effet pour le jeune enfant d’être confronté au bilinguisme ; leurs résultats sont mitigées sur l’apprentissage même des langues, mais, globalement suggèrent un impact positif sur certaines fonctions d’exécution. L’exposition même passive à une langue étrangère, par le biais de la télévision par exemple, pourrait aussi avoir des avantages, comme permettre de mieux s’approprier certaines caractéristiques d’une langue étrangère comme l’accent ou l’accent tonique. Mais ici les auteurs mettent en exergue un nouveau bénéfice de cette exposition : l’acquisition de compétences de communication sociale.
L’auteur principal, le Dr Katherine Kinzler, professeur de psychologie à l'Université de Chicago, expert en apprentissage de la langue et en développement social, explique : « Les enfants vivant dans les environnements multilingues vivent une expérience sociale particulière, avec la nécessité de suivre « qui dit quoi à qui » en observant les comportements sociaux associés à l’usage de différentes langues". Cette expérience « socio-linguistique » va les aider à mieux comprendre le point de vue d'autres personnes et leur apporter ainsi les outils d’une communication plus efficace, bien au-delà du vocabulaire et de la syntaxe.
Une expérience pour tester la compréhension de l'autre : Pour parvenir à cette conclusion, l’équipe a suivi 72 enfants âgés de 4 à 6 ans, durant une tâche de communication sociale. 24 enfants vivaient dans un contexte familial monolingue (anglais), 24 dans un contexte ayant pour langue principale l’anglais, mais avec une exposition régulière à une autre langue et, enfin, 24 enfants dans un contexte vraiment bilingue et en capacité de parler et de comprendre les deux langues.
L'expérience: Chaque enfant était assis face à un adulte, séparé par une grille et était invité à déplacer des objets dans la grille. L'enfant était en mesure de voir tous les objets, mais l'adulte de l'autre côté en raison de quelques casiers obturés ne pouvait pas voir tous les objets. Les enfants avait d’abord occupé la place de l’adulte pour bien comprendre que l'adulte ne pouvait pas tout voir.
L’enfant disposait de 3 voitures, une petite, une moyenne, une grande mais l'adulte ne pouvait voir que 2 voiture, la moyenne et la grande. Lorsque l’adulte demandait à l'enfant de déplacer « la petite voiture », l’enfant pour interpréter correctement la demande de l'adulte, devrait prendre en compte le fait que l'adulte ne pouvait pas voir la plus petite voiture, et donc déplacer la plus petite des 2 voitures visibles par l’adulte, soit la voiture de taille moyenne.
· Les enfants monolingues ne déplacent l'objet correct que dans 50% des cas,
· les enfants exposés à une seconde langue, déplacent le bon objet dans 76% des cas,
· les enfants totalement bilingues dans 77% des cas.
Les auteurs l’appellent « l’exposure advantage » : Etre exposé à de multiples langues apporte une expérience sociale très différente, qui forme à la prise de perspective (des autres) et contribue ainsi à développer des compétences de communication plus efficaces.
Sources: Communiqué APA Children Exposed to Multiple Languages May Be Better Natural Communicators et Psychological Science May 8, 2015, doi: 10.1177/0956797615574699 The Exposure Advantage: Early Exposure to a Multilingual Environment Promotes Effective Communication
Lire aussi :
Language is available in its verbal and visual forms.
Language is available in its verbal and visual forms. Verbal is that which is spoken or heard while visual is that which we read or see as in literatures of all kinds. Language could also be a set of images grouped together to generate meaning sometimes supported by words as in advertisements, or even graffiti and writings on the walls of public places such as trains, public toilets, etc. All these expressions are languages and they are rooted in specific cultures and generate specific meaning when read. They express certain opinions about people and incorporate certain attitudes towards them.
Sexism and Language has an important role to play when it comes to the construction of male and female stereotypes in a given literature and culture. It directs the understanding of roles assigned to men and women in patriarchal societies. Language is not independent of its social connotations and cannot be seen in isolation. It signifies meanings, and commands and controls the attitudes rooted in specific cultures. This, in turn, gives meaning to our understandings and perceptions. Literature is one such component that clearly demonstrates the ideas proposed by language. And if one examines literary history, it's the same story. The philosophical construct itself starts with the abasement of woman, the subordination of the feminine to the masculine order which appears to be the condition for the functioning of the system.
This is a 'man-made' world where 'mankind' thrives! Darwin's Theory of Evolution suggests that 'mankind' has evolved through time to our present form. History (his-story) documents facts and findings of the mankind. Such popular ideas offered by sexism through language show where women stand. Language also directs the logic of cultural thinking. Language loaded with sexism has either looked down upon womanhood or glorified and tailored it to suit to the convenience of patriarchy. Language demonstrates itself as a major discourse reinforcing patriarchy. It has served as a tool instrumental in establishing inequality by defining social ranking and promoting social hierarchies. Language has thus offered women a secondary status in society.
The discourse of language is loaded with images and metaphors used time and again to gain a certain meaning in specific socio-cultural contexts. These meanings define the qualities attributed to people and inscribe undertones in what is signified. What gets signified in this power game is 'femininity' against 'masculinity'. Images associated with the perception of female and femininity are always constructed as against those associated with 'male' and 'masculinity'. Languages used in the public spaces is also male oriented and generally opinionated towards women. Most of the time, language commodifies women and elevates men to a status where they own and enjoy this commodity. Sexism and language in most of the cultures in general ridicule and insult women, their body and sexuality. Sexism and language play a major role in prescribing characteristic features for women in society.
Good and bad women come into existence as consequent to their performances in relation to male counterparts.
—The writer is a poet, playwright and translator
Paru début mai, « 1940 - 1944, les fusillés » est une synthèse historique de taille. Un dictionnaire de près de 2 000 pages consacré à la biographie d’une partie des fusillés (la liste est tellement longue et les recherches se poursuivent). Christian Lescureux, de Saint-Laurent-Blangy, à collaboré à la rédaction.
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Christian Lescureux s’est attaché notamment à évoquer l’histoire des fusillés de la Citadelle, victimes de la barbarie nazie, et bien souvent d’une police collaborationniste. « C’est ce qui m’a le plus surpris dans mes recherches. Pour les fusillés de la Citadelle, ce n’est pas difficile. Les Allemands notaient tout et on trouve même les comptes-rendus d’interrogatoires aux Archives départementales. Bien sûr, il faut lire ces documents sans penser qu’ils disent toute la vérité. » Christian Lescureux tend un procès verbal de la police Lensoise. C’est celui de l’interrogatoire de Pennequin, le 24 mars 1944 à Arras. Arrété alors qu’il était en possession d’une fausse carte d’identité, il sera livré aux Allemands puis fusillés à la Citadelle. « Beaucoup ont été arrêtés par la police française notamment les communistes, le parti était interdit. Les Allemands ont aussi bénéficié des listes de communistes dressées par la police. ». Christian nous montre celle d’Arras, de Billy-Montigny. « Ce qui m’a marqué aussi c’est cette évidence : tous les fusillés de la Citadelle ou presque ont été torturés. Il y avait la maison blanche à l’angle de la préfecture, les caves de l’ancien hôtel du Commerce, rue Ronville et Bricquet-Taillandier, et une maison, rue Faidherbe où œuvrait la Gestapo. Un journaliste anglais a fait la description d’une salle découverte en 1944 : il y avait des endroits où l’on clouait les gens au mur, des presses pour écraser les têtes... » Beaucoup de ces fusillés était de jeunes garçons.
L’homme a travaillé dix ans sur la question et aura retracé la biographie de soixante-quinze des fusillés de trente des 130 éxécutés sur place dans le département. « J’avais quatorze ans en 1940. Mon école se situait près du parking du palais-Saint-Vaast, rue Albert-1er, là où l’armée avait, ces dernières années son centre de recrutement (CIRAT). Nous savions qu’il y a avait des fusillés. Il y avait les affiches et puis parfois, les cercueils de bois blanc fournis par la municipalité, entreprosés là avant les exécutions, dans ce qui devenu un parking. J’ai eu Guy-Mollet comme prof et Pierre Baudel, qui fut lui aussi fusillé. Mais à l’époque seul un correspondant du journal candestin « La Voix du Nord » affirmait avoir assisté à une exécution dans les fossés de la Citadelle. Nous avons tout découvert en 1944. ».
Du 21 août 1941 au 21 juillet 1944, 218 patriotes furent fusillés par les Allemands dans les fossés de la Citadelle d’Arras. Les fusillés appartenaient à neuf nationalités différentes. Les derniers furent enterrés à la va vite sur place, en 1944.
Au Théâtre du Rond-Point, l'ancien animateur d'Apostrophes raconte l'histoire d'un écrivain dévoré par les mots. Savoureux.
Abris de Jardin
Aménagez votre jardin !
Un pupitre et un verre d'eau: il n'en faut pas plus à Bernard Pivot pour donner un savoureux spectacle au Théâtre du Rond-Point. Il n'en faut pas plus, car ce sont les mots qui tiennent la vedette de cette lecture justement titré Au secours! Les mots m'ont mangé. Le personnage créé par l'ancien animateur d'Apostrophes, un écrivain Prix Goncourt, aurait voulu être le premier bébé au monde à parler.
Dès son plus jeune âge, il comprend la complexité de la vie à travers la subtilité de la langue: pourquoi le mot «femmes» se prononce-t-il «fam» alors qu'il contient un «e»? «J'ai tout de suite compris que ça allait être compliqué avec les femmes…», dit-il. Ensuite, Pivot déroule une histoire pleine d'humour et de finesse à travers les mots qu'il aime et même ceux qu'il voudrait changer - il tient pour ceux que cela intéresse une étonnante réforme de l'orthographe où il faudrait, par exemple, écrire «héléphant» pour que l'animal et le mot gagnent en majesté. Tout comme il faudrait enlever le «x» (lettre au caractère pornographique) au mot «pieux» (qui est animé par des sentiments de piété) et l'ajouter à celui de «pieu», plus approprié.
Ami avec les dictionnaires
Ses meilleurs amis sont les dictionnaires. Le spectacle fait l'éloge du Petit Larousse et du Petit Robert avec le Littré et Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie française et bien d'autres: «Les dictionnaires sont les plus belles agences de voyage au monde.» On connaît l'appétit de l'auteur du Dictionnaire amoureux du vin pour les choses de la table. Écriture et lecture relèvent de l'alimentation, souligne-t-il. «On déguste les phrases. On savoure les textes. On boit les paroles. On dévore des livres. On s'empiffre de mots… Mais la vérité est tout autre: ce sont les mots qui nous grignotent, ce sont les livres qui nous avalent…»
Et lui, il nous met les mots à la bouche. Il joue, il en jouit. C'est cocasse, lorsque son personnage tente de dire «Je t'aime» à la manière d'Exercices de style . Les rires fusent. Tout comme au final quand Pivot imite Patrick Modiano. Ça bégaie, mais quel superbe mot de la fin!
Bernard Pivot effectue une tournée de son autre spectacle Souvenirs d'un gratteur de tête, récit littéraire et cocasse.
Bruxelles, le 26 mai
Binche (Belgique), le 29 mai
Compiègne le juin
Thonon-les-Bains, le 5 juin
Argenteuil, le 9 juin
Les mots nouveaux de l’année : langue française et mercantilisme (1)
24 MAI 2015 | PAR ROBERT CHAUDENSON
Comme chaque année, les jonquilles fleurissent en mai, les nouveaux mots font également leur entrée dans les dictionnaires au même moment, curieux hasards de la nature.
Le Petit Larousse, fleuri de ses nouvelles entrées, sortira en librairie le 28 mai 2015 et Le Petit Robert, nouvelle mouture, sauf erreur, est paru jeudi, comme nous le précise sa pub. La promo a sorti Alain Rey de la naphtaline et s’est même risquée à recruter … Cyril Hanouna (ce qui est dire la grande misère de la lexicographie française !) qui a osé évoquer sur Europe1, le nom d’un certain Richelet, la semaine passée, après l’avoir appris dans les « éléments de langage » qu’on lui avait fournis ; pour cette édition 2016, plus d’une centaine de nouveaux items feront leur apparition dans les dictionnaires rivaux. Les termes qui trouveront désormais leur place dans les dicos sont « dans l’air du temps » : « bolos », « adulescent » ou même, Dieu seul sait pourquoi, « big data ». « Selfie » fait aussi son apparition sans qu’on lui préfère, (comme toujours car nous sommes les seuls propriétaires de la langue française), son équivalent québécois « egoportrait » où l’accent du é est inutile et fautif. La terminologie et la néologie sont pourtant, avec la poutine et de sirop d’érable, des spécialités de la "Belle Province" ! On apprendra, même en feuilletant le Larousse 2016, des choses totalement fausses comme, par exemple, que le verbe « amarrer » signifierait à la Réunion « séduire » !
Laissons ces détails ; il y a beaucoup à en dire mais je pourrais y revenir ! Nos médias s’interrogent gravement, pour le moment, sur les mystères de la lexicographie printanière : Comment ces nouveaux mots sont-ils choisis ?
Qui les a sélectionnés et comment ?
Je vous dois donc ici quelques éclaircissements indispensable sur les subtilités de la lexicographie et de la dictionnairique, car, assurément, vous ne risquez pas de les lire dans nos médias que les éditeurs et les marchands tiennent, comme partout et toujours, par la barbichette publicitaire.
Contrairement à mes habitudes et pour éviter d’apparaître comme un échappé solitaire des « Petites Maisons » (voilà un terme qui s’il figure dans nos nouveaux dictionnaires, ce dont je doute, pourrait y céder la place à un terme nouveau ; laissez-moi donc vous citer Littré pour vous éviter la recherche : « Petites-Maisons, nom donné autrefois à un hôpital de Paris où l'on renfermait les aliénés (on met un P et une M majuscules ». »), je citerai ici à l’appui de mon point de vue et pour éclairer le titre de ce billet, un expert incontesté en la matière, Jean Pruvost, dans Langue et patrimoine :
« La dictionnairique [ les soulignements des termes essentiels pour mon propos sont de moi] devient le fait d’élaborer un produit offert à la vente, avec, donc, toutes les problématiques dont relève chaque réalisation, avec ses contraintes éditoriales précises : coût, format, public ciblé, calendrier, conditions de diffusion, etc.
Une telle distinction s’avérait de fait extrêmement utile au moment où, l’informatique aidant, le matériau premier d’un dictionnaire, fruit d’une lexicographie très complète, peut être retravaillé par le seul éditeur en ajoutant ou en ôtant des informations, à la manière d’une structure à géométrie variable, pour adapter le produit à un public parfaitement évalué, le tout pouvant aboutir à des dictionnaires commerciaux sans avancée particulière dans le domaine de la lexicographie.
Pour illustrer mieux cette distinction, on se contentera de souligner que lorsqu’au moment de rédiger un dictionnaire, l’éditeur précise qu’il faudra tant de signes par page, pas plus de 1 500 pages, ou que pour les dictionnaires millésimés, entre deux refontes, il faut pour faire place à un nouveau mot sur une page, pour ne pas refaire l’ensemble du dictionnaire, enlever quelque chose, on se situe en dictionnairique. ».
« Ah! Qu’en termes galants ces choses-là sont dites! ». Je plaisante ! Jean Pruvost exprime ici , en termes à la fois précis et mesurés, ce que je dis méchamment en évoquant le mercantilisme, agacé que je suis par tant d’hypocrisie !
En effet, dans les publicités promotionnelles des éditeurs, avec la complicité manifeste de journalistes ignorants et de quelques auteurs stipendiés (« Vous êtes orfèvre, Monsieur Josse ! » comme vous, Monsieur Rey, « la figure emblématique de la rédaction des dictionnaires Le Robert et le président du jury du Festival du mot »). Foutre !
Dans le JDD, au départ, on pose à A. Rey la question qui pourrait tuer ! : » De nouveaux mots sont entrés dans le dictionnaire en début de semaine. Comment les choisissez-vous? ».
Mais on ne prend pas sans vert Alain Rey qui , à 87 ans, pratique chaque année, cet exercice ; a-t-il gardé cette expression dans le Petit Robert 2016 ? Je n'en sais rien faute de fréquenter ces lieux. Elle est en tout cas dans le Littré : « Fig. Prendre quelqu'un sans vert, le prendre au dépourvu.
Et [je] suis parmi ces gens comme un homme sans vert, [Régnier, Sat. X]
Je confesse à ce coup que je suis pris sans vert, [Th. Corneille, Amour à la mode, II, 3] »
A. Rey ne répond naturellement pas à la question, comme on pouvait le prévoir :
« Sur le plan technique, nous avons les moyens de savoir si un mot est en circulation et s'il concerne une partie notable de la population francophone. Aujourd'hui, la circulation des mots par l'intermédiaire des médias est complètement mémorisée et accessible par la numérisation. Les chiffres de Google ne sont pas forcément fiables, mais leurs ordres de grandeur oui. Quand le terme "selfie" revient à des millions d'occurrences, on ne pas faire comme s'il n'existait pas. Notre critère est donc la fréquence d'emploi, mais en dessous d'un certain seuil, il y a des choix idéologiques qui se font, autour de l'importance du concept. Le dictionnaire n'a pas le droit de passer à côté de certains termes ». Ben voyons ! Rien d’autre à en dire… ?
Laissons donc ces oiseuses et embarrassantes questions du choix des mots à admettre comme à chasser :
« Nous sommes moralement et éthiquement obligés de définir des mots nouveaux même s'ils ne plaisent pas. Maurice Druon me reprochait déjà à l'époque de "ramasser les mots dans le ruisseau", au nom du purisme du français de l'Académie française. Le dictionnaire est un observatoire, pas un conservatoire. Décrire des pratiques réelles et observables n'est pas l'expression d'un mépris, au contraire. On donne une image raisonnablement juste de la vérité de l'usage social de la langue. Que ça plaise ou pas. Je me suis battu par exemple pour qu'on garde dans Le Robert les injures racistes, tout en le spécifiant. Combattre quelque chose en le niant est la politique la plus sotte qui soit !)
L’éthique lexicographique étant au rendez vous du commerce, il n'est question que de motifs nobles et de défense ou promotion de la langue française à propos de ces nouvelles publications désormais annuelles et « millésimées », comme nos grands crus sans toutefois que leur abus soit déclaré dangereux ! Buy French !
Comme toujours, je suis long et nous verrons la suite demain !
Presiones de los autores, palabras intraducibles, subtitular a diez personas hablando al mismo tiempo... Así son los retos que el este fin de semana premia la Asociación de Traducción y Adaptación Audiovisual de España
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Día 25/05/2015 - 01.03h
«El lobo de Wall Street» es «seguramente, la película con más subtítulos de la historia, con esa afición que tiene Scorsese a meter una voz en off que te va contando lo que ves y lo que no tuvo tiempo de rodar», pero no es, sin embargo la más difícil de subtitular, ese título es para «'Toro salvaje', donde en todo momento había tres personas en pantalla hablando a gritos y no se podía meter en subtítulos lo que decían todos.».
Quien habla es Juan Manuel Ibeas, uno de los anónimos seres humano que dedica sus días a la profesión hace posible que quienes no dominen la de Shakespeare (o sufran sordera, por ejemplo) puedan ver películas en su versión original sin perder comba.
Él ha sido «finalista en la categoría mejor subtitulación de película estrenada en cine» en los galardones de la III edición de los premios Atrae. Organizados por la Asociación de Traducción y Adaptación Audiovisual de España, estos premios reconocen las mejores traducciones y adaptaciones «para dar visibilidad a todo el trabajo casi siempre desconocido que hay detrás de cada traducción audiovisual».
La obra y su autor
Una industria tan anónima como compleja, no en vano no son menores las exigencias de los autores del original, celosos de que su obra pierda matiz alguno al pasar por otras manos.
«A Wes Anderson le preocupa y le gusta seguir muy de cerca el doblaje de sus películas», cuenta Gonzalo Abril, autor de la adaptación al castellano de «El gran hotel Budapest». «Le gusta, es algo que salta a la vista, tener todo medido al milímetro. Por eso contamos con cierta supervisión del texto desde EE. UU., lo que si bien en ciertos casos suele resultar engorroso, en este caso fue fluida. Una vez traducida, ajustada y adaptada, hubo que hacer una 'back translation' a partir de la cual discutimos y llegamos a acuerdos para la adaptación de ciertos términos, por ejemplo el de 'Lobby Boy', que no era un botones en sí, sino un mozo de portería.», narra Abril.
¿Licor hecho en la cárcel?
La dificultad no estriba sólamente en lo perfeccionista que llegue a ser el dueño de la obra, sino en el lenguaje excesivamente específico. Ese fue el caso de «Orange is the new black», toda vez que Beatriz García Alcalde, finalista en la categoría Mejor subtitulación de obra estrenada en TV, y responsable de esta, nunca «había pisado una cárcel».
«Mis conocimientos de vocabulario carcelario eran nulos. Y una cosa es entender a los personajes, pero ¿cómo se llaman en castellano el licor que elaboran las presas o las armas que se fabrican? Ahí está el reto y la parte divertida del proyecto.», dice.
«¿Cómo transcribe uno el diálogo 'posible' entre dos monos o entre un mono y una persona? Y no una persona cualquiera, claro, ¡sino el rey de los monos, el mismísimo Tarzán! Cuando nos llegó el encargo de subtitular la película para persona sordas, esto fue lo primero que me vino a la mente, así como ese grito inolvidable que caracteriza al personaje desde que lo encarnara el nadador Johnny Weissmüller», cuenta Javier Gil, finalista en la categoría Mejor subtitulado para sordos.
Las anécdotas son muchas en un sector a veces duramente criticado que es tan amplio como lo es el ocio importado. Juegos, Videojuegos, cine, televisión, subtítulos, adaptación para doblaje...
El próximo fin de semana reciben el poco habitual aplauso en un trabajo muy, muy detrás de la cámara.
Africanness is not about being born in Africa, it is a mental attitude that can even be adopted by people from European, Chinese or Asian descent, writes Sandile Memela.
Johannesburg - Rumbles of discontent have exploded into violence, theft, murder and self-destruction in African communities over the definition of “Who is an African?” This demands urgent answers.
Native citizens of South Africa see themselves as the primary Africans in this land simply because they were born here and have lived here all their lives. They have not been exposed to what they refer to as Africa, except through their interactions with immigrants from the continent.
It is time to shatter the myth that indigenous people know what being an African means in the global village. It is backward and unprogressive to look at and define Africans as a homogeneous group.
In a post-Mandela, post-apartheid and non-racial society, this Africanness is accessible to everyone who lives in this country, whatever shade of black you are – creatively, socially, intellectually, philosophically and, of course, politically.
The new Africanness is a mental attitude that can be also adopted by those of European, Chinese or Asian descent.
It is not owned or connected to descendants of Robert Sobukwe’s pan-Africanist philosophy or definition of Africanness. Sobukwe’s interpretation has been distorted and narrowed to skin colour.
This is what even some contemporary intellectuals understand it to mean: those who are of a particular physical appearance and have been affected by apartheid.
But as things stand, this Africanness is a fusion of classes, backgrounds, lifestyles, languages, cultures, ethnic groups and political orientations. There is not a single ideology, philosophy or perspective that is authentically “African”. Africans have long splintered into groups that may be united, potentially, only by their commitment to giving the world a human face in implementing ubuntu.
In this Africanness you are likely to find people who question its certainty and authenticity as espoused by the father of black pan-Africanism, Sobukwe.
Today you hear young black people – Cheese Kids – say Africanness is not a monolithic experience and is varied, depending where you coming from. And they are correct!
There are millions of Africans who live in what can be called the post-African Age, that period following the demise of apartheid where blacks are so free they can define themselves in any way they want. To deny them that right would be a development that is worse that apartheid.
The South Africa we inhabit today comprises African people from all over the world, bringing not only other languages and cultures, but experiences, perspectives, values and lifestyles. Even if this elusive and essential Africanness exists, it cannot be static. It is undergoing constant change.
This 21st-century Africanness must not only connect the politics of those who want to freeze culture into an unchanging apartheid mode, but integrate the progressive generation of young people who do not necessarily speak so-called African languages or live in rural areas or townships.
We have to push its boundaries to absorb the suburban, continental and global experiences and influences of former exiles and refugees who come from all over the continent and the world.
This country has become a cultural melting pot where no single African experience or perspective is more important than others, except for the ideals that promote social cohesion and national unity.
Solidarity and unity beyond Africanness towards anti-racism is the new gospel that should influence and shape the new thinking, behaviour and attitudes of all people, including the alleged non-Africans.
In a South Africa celebrating the coming of age of freedom and democracy this year, all people must be encouraged to embrace the diversity of whatever it is that constitutes Africanness.
Africanness, whatever that is, now, is open and accessible to everyone who believes the Struggle was not only for human rights but to enable any African person to redefine himself in any way he wishes, including speaking only English or turning his back on so-called African culture and its chiefs and kings.
Africanness has gone global. Those who portray it as being homogenous and exclusive need to be warned against dictatorial tendencies, deplored and discouraged.
What this new world needs is absolute freedom for African people to express self-love, above all, in any way that promotes peace, unity and harmonious non-racial living. And this includes gays, lesbians, heterosexuals, disabled, youth, aged and every other shade. Those who feel their Africanness is threatened must accept it was destined, inevitably, to change because it is part of human progress in a changing world. The push towards a new Africanness should, rightly, be from within the evolving inclusive African community itself. The African people must continue to be at the forefront in bringing a “human face” to the world. It has to happen in these times when Europe has not only failed and betrayed Africa, but itself. The push for a new Africa is an eternal struggle.
* Memela is a journalist, author, blogger and a civil servant. He writes in his personal capacity.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
The Sunday Independent
Good news for iPhone owners in a foreign land: a crowdsourced translation app has finally landed in the App Store.
Linqapp, which was previously available only for devices running Google's Android, is now available on the App Store.
"Real people assist in situations where computer-based systems like Google Translate meet their limitations: providing translations based on audio recordings or pictures, answering cultural questions, and sharing native-speaker expertise on grammar, vocabulary and slang," Taipei-based startup One People Co. Ltd.
The app "connects" language learners to participating native speakers, and sends notifications to the learners once an answer is available.
Users build reputation within the app by helping each other learn. In the process they provide practical translation assistance that goes beyond what Google Translate can offer, the developers said.
“With Linqapp, we are making the expertise of native speakers easily accessible to anyone, anywhere,” said co-founder Sebastian Ang.
“We believe that Linqapp can fundamentally change how people get fast assistance in situations that require the skills of a native speaker. We’re helping language learners around the world make progress on their language learning adventure,” Ang added.
How it works
Language learners can snap a picture or record an audio clip, then attach a question or request for translation, and submit it to the Linqapp community.
Native speakers of the language are notified about the new question and can answer with text, audio recording or picture.
Answers can arrive in less than three minutes for popular languages like Spanish, English and Chinese. — Joel Locsin/TJD, GMA News
Kurdish community hails Quran in their langugage
12 hours ago
A translation of the Quran into Kurdish by Turkey's top religious authority, the Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB), has been lauded in Turkey's southeast, home to a large Kurdish population.
The DİB released 10,000 copies of the translation, which was prepared over five years, last month. It is the first official Kurdish translation of the holy book in a country where the Kurdish language was once a taboo.
Kurdish Muslims in the region overwhelmingly welcomed the new translation distributed to cities and towns in southeastern and eastern Turkey. Faruk Arvas, mufti for the province of Siirt, said they delivered 220 copies and said there was high demand among locals. "Everyone needs to understand the holy book in his or her own language. The Quran was translated into many languages (by the DİB) and the Kurdish language was the only one left. This new translation helps people here to understand the book better," he said. Arvas said people in the region have been waiting for the translation for years. He said that the DİB will also translate several religious works into Kurdish soon.
Taha Baran, a resident of Mardin that has a mixed population of Kurds and Arabs, says they were pleased with the new translation. "Kurds were complaining why there was no Kurdish interpretation of the Quran. We are grateful to (the DİB) for it," he said. Baran Musab, another Kurd from Mardin, said it was "a turning point" for Kurds to have a translation in their language. "It has been late but we finally have the holy book in Kurdish," he said.
Kurdish, the fourth most spoken language in the Middle East, has long remained a taboo in Turkey due to past governments' oppressive policies toward the community in response to a separatist campaign by the terrorist organization PKK. In the wake of the reconciliation process initiated to restore Kurds' rights, the language received state-level recognition. Education in Kurdish is now permitted and in 2012 Kurdish lessons were introduced in public schools.
The DİB has published 1,150 works since it was founded in 1924, the latest, apart from its version of the Quran in Kurdish, is its translation of the Quran in Armenian and Spanish.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Yüksel Salman, DİB's director-general of religious publications emphasized that the translation was performed by experts with vast knowledge of Kurdish and Arabic.
Highlighting their sensitivity while providing translations of the Quran, Salman said the Kurdish translation was first analyzed by members and experts from the religious authority, along with professors from faculties of theology at Turkish universities, before it was published.
Two sign languages classes are being taught by Chris Drummer. The first on June 8 - basic ASL, American Sign Language, will meet three Monday's beginning on June 8 at 6 p.m. in the Toledo Library.
This is described as a conceptual language, and Chris will be teaching the most useful signs for everyday life. She will give you handouts to reinforce what you learn. Please register by June 1,
The second signing class is also being taught by Chris. It is Mom and Baby Sign Language. Mothers of infants will love this skill because of its positive effects. When she and her baby sign, the baby fusses much less because the infant can communicate its needs.
Also, research has shown that babies who are able to sign speak much sooner and also do better when they go to school.
This class begins on Monday, June 9, at 6 p.m. at the Toledo Library. It will meet on June 16 and 23 as well. Please register by June 2. Handouts will be given to each participant.
Each class has tuition of $24, and Chris asks that you bring $3 payable to her to cover cost of materials.
Register by calling 800-284-4823 FREE or online at wwww.IowaValley.com. Both classes meet at the Toledo Library.
IBNA- The photo book, ‘Arba’een’ which contains 154 photographs of the trip taken by “Ahmad Masjed Jame’i” and a group of photographers and reporters to Holy Shrines has been published in three languages.
According to IBNA correspondent quoting from the public relations office of Tehran City Council, the photo book ‘Arba’een’ which is a pictorial narrative of Arba'een 2014 (1436 AH) is published in the three languages of Persian, English and Arabic with an introduction by Masjed Jame’i, on the occasion of ‘Sha’banieh Days’ which mark the birth anniversary of the 12th Shiite Imam Mahdi (AS).
This book, which is a visual narrative of a group of photographers and the mass media reporters travelling with Masjed Jame’i to the Holy Shrines in the Arba’een last year, is published in 168 pages by Khaneh ye Farhang-e-Gouya Publications.
This book presents 154 photographs of the news photographers who travelled to Iraq last Arba’een. It consists of four parts of “Chapter on Velayat and Affection”, “Clarity of the Soul and the Fragrance of the Heart “, “In the Presence of the Friend”, and “Through a Small Window”
These pictures were judged and selected by a jury consisting of Mr. Mojtaba Aqa’i, Mohammad Khoshrou, Yunes Shekarkhah(PhD), Mohammad Farnoud, Abdollah Givian (PhD) and Hossein Namakdoust (PhD).
In a move that could snowball into a major controversy, the Punjab Language department re-launched a banned book that contained objectionable remarks against the first Sikh Master Guru Nanak Dev, but fearing backlash was quick to withdraw the order.
The damage, however, has already been done as the book is available at book shops across the state. Some Sikh groups and former deputy speaker Bir Devinder Singh have demanded a criminal case against the publisher--- the language department in this case.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Chetan Singh, director (languages), said “I have marked an inquiry into the entire episode and asked officials to withdraw the book from the market. It was an illogical decision, and we will take action against those who mooted the proposal”.
The director has also briefed higher education and language department minister Surjit Singh Rakhra on the matter.
The book ‘Janam Sakhi Bhai Bala Da Paath-Parmanikaran Te Aalochnatmak Sampadan’ by Dr Gurbachan Kaur was banned by the then Punjab government in 1987 after it noticed certain objectionable remarks against the first Sikh Guru in it.
Sources said after 27 years the language department in a bid to sell the remaining stock of the first edition (1,000 total print order) floated a proposal that the book can be sold by removing the pages that have objectionable content. The proposal was accepted and the book was distributed across the state.
Slamming the language department, former Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh said: “The entire stock of this blasphemous book must be immediately confiscated and destroyed in full public view. Our religious sentiments have been deeply hurt by this sacrilegious book”.
He also demanded a case under Indian Penal Code section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) against the language department.
Polyglots are often assumed to be at an advantage in the Canadian job market, but this month Workopolis released a study that proves the advantages of knowing a second or third language – especially in Ontario.
According to Workopolis’ Thinkopolis study of bilingualism in Canada, job postings requiring a second language receive 20% fewer applications than similar jobs requiring only one. This advantage is especially noticeable in Ontario where job postings demanding bilingualism receive 39% fewer applications than other comparable positions. Of Workpolis’ list of top 10 Canadian cities for bilingual applicants, five are in Ontario and none are in B.C. - Vancouver ranks 16th on the list.
Though English and French are the usual bilingual requirements for Canadian government positions, only 8.8% of Canadian job postings require candidates to be fluent in both official languages. This figure has declined by 2% since 2007, and Tara Talbot, vice-president of HR at Workpolis, believes “we’ll start to see an increase in the ask for English and Mandarin, or French and Arabic” as employers begin to shift job requirements to better align with ethnic distributions across the country.
Of all English job postings looking for candidates with a second language other than French, 28% are seeking Mandarin or other Chinese speakers. Vancouverites may be surprised to learn that only 29% of these positions are in B.C. – the majority (53%) are in Ontario.
Currently, most jobs requiring a second language are administrative or customer-service positions, but Talbot notes that with the global economy Canadians will have more employment opportunities outside of the country where a second language is essential. When asked which languages would be most helpful for students to learn today, Talbot responded that “if English is your primary language, Hindi and the Chinese languages are absolutely more important” based on the language combination requests in job postings. Conversely, “if French is your primary language, Arabic and Italian is most useful.”
This isn’t to say that those who are fluent in English and French are currently at a disadvantage. Men and women who speak both official languages have greater earning power in Canada, making an average of 3.8% and 6.6% more than their counterparts who speak only one official language. And of course, 75% of French-speaking Canadians consider bilingualism in both official languages to be essential to career success in the Quebec.
he National Scrabble Association Club 171. (Michael DiBari Jr./The Washington Post)
Pwn (8 points, to dominate an opponent). Thanx (15 points, thanks). Bezzy (18 points, several meanings, not all of which are printable).
Do these words sound “ridic” (8 points, ridiculous)? Collins, which publishes the official dictionary for the World English-Language Scrabble Players Association, doesn’t think so. All four terms, along with about 6,500 others, are included in its updated list of Official Scrabble Words released Thursday.
Some of the additions are new because the concepts they describe are fairly new themselves, like “Facetime” (15 points, to speak with someone over video chat using the Facetime application on a phone).
Others, like “bezzy” and “thanx,” are straight up slang. You probably wouldn’t find them in a high school English essay, let alone the Oxford English Dictionary. But the Collins list includes them anyway, because people use them. And that’s actually kind of radical.
By bestowing official Scrabble legitimacy on “shizzle” and “tweep,” Collins waded into language’s longest running debate: Should language rules dictate how we speak or reflect it?
On the one side are the prescriptivists, who believe that grammar books and dictionaries determine the “right” way to speak, and everyone should follow suit. A word that’s not in the dictionary isn’t missing — it just shouldn’t be used. Prescriptivists would shudder at “shizzle” (28 points, sure) and turn up their noses at “tweep” (10 points, someone who follows you on Twitter).
Opposing them are people who believe that language rules should be descriptive, that they ought to reflect the way people speak and write. This camp argues that prescriptive language rules stigmatize those who speak differently — for example, people who use African American Vernacular English. It’s a means of “gatekeeping,” deciding who’s in and who’s out.
Noah Webster, the 19th-century creator and namesake of the tome that haunted you in grade school, would have none of it, according to linguist Rosemarie Ostler.
“Individuals who dictate to a nation the rules of speaking [have] the same imperiousness as a tyrant gives laws to his vassals,” Webster declared in 1789. He believed that fledgling democracy needed a democratic dictionary, one that reflected how Americans actually spoke.
But nearly two centuries later, that idea remained radical. In 1961, the publishers of “Websters Third,” the grandchild of his original dictionary, were excoriated for including casual terms like “ain’t” and “beatnik.”
“They have untuned the string, made a sop of the solid structure of English and encouraged the language to eat up himself,” one New Yorker critic lamented.
Doesn’t sound too different from today’s Scrabble dictionary critics, only now the prescriptivists voice their outrage on Twitter:
Remarkably, despite millennia of change in the cultural and socio-political history of the surrounding area, in this mountainous and isolated north-east corner of Asia Minor its people still speak Greek. The uniqueness of the dialect – known as Romeyka – is providing a fascinating window on language past and present, as Dr Ioanna Sitaridou, University Lecturer in Romance Philology at the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Fellow and Director of Studies in Linguistics at Queens’ College, is discovering.
On the verge of extinction
Romeyka is proving a linguistic goldmine for research because of the startling number of archaic features it shares with the Koiné (common) Greek of Hellenistic and Roman times, spoken at the height of Greek influence across Asia Minor from the 4th century BC to the 4th century AD.
‘Although Romeyka can hardly be described as anything but a Modern Greek dialect,’ explains Dr Sitaridou, ‘it preserves an impressive number of grammatical traits that add an Ancient Greek flavor to the dialect’s structure – traits that have been completely lost from other Modern Greek varieties.’
As devout Muslims, Romeyka speakers in the Trabzon area were exempt from the large-scale population exchange between Greece and Turkey following the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. Using religion as the defining criterion to re-settle Christians in Greece and Muslims in Turkey, the Treaty resulted in the exchange of some two million people between the two countries. For Pontus, the result was an exodus of Greek-speaking Christians, leaving small enclaves of Greek-speaking Muslims in Turkey.
Repeated waves of emigration from Trabzon, coupled with the influence of the dominant Turkish-speaking majority, have left the dialect vulnerable to extinction (UNESCO have designated Pontic Greek as ‘definitely endangered’). ‘With as few as 5,000 speakers left in the area, before long Romeyka could be more of a heritage language than a living vernacular,’ says Dr Sitaridou. ‘With its demise would go an unparalleled opportunity to unlock how the Greek language has evolved. ’
Dr Sitaridou’s research project is uncovering the secrets of this little-studied dialect. Her expertise is both in syntax, which is the study of a language’s grammatical rules and sentence structure, and in how and why language changes. ‘With Romeyka, I have the most wonderful opportunity to study these two things in tandem. Not only does the dialect demonstrate elements that are proving problematic for the current linguistic theory but it also presents us with a living example of an evolving language.’
In collaboration with Professor Peter Mackridge (University of Oxford), who has carried out pioneering research on Pontic dialects since the 1980s, Dr Sitaridou is also working with Dr Hakan Özkan (University of Münster), Professor Stavroula Tsiplakou (Open University of Cyprus), the European Dialect Syntax network (Meertens Institute) and three postgraduate students: Stergios Chatzikyriakidis, Petros Karatsareas and Dimitrios Michelioudakis.
At the core of her work are field trips to villages in Pontus to map the cartography of the language – how it works, how much micro-variation there exists (known as synchrony) and how the morpho-syntactic structure has changed through time (diachrony). Information is gathered through video and audio recordings of the villagers telling stories, as well as through specially structured questionnaires that Dr Sitaridou has designed to collect the complex data needed for unpicking the structure of a language.
Window on the past
Studying language change is, in general, notoriously difficult because of the lack of living speakers who can positively tell us what they think is ungrammatical or not (in contrast to texts, from which we can only recover what is grammatical). Investigating the history of Greek is no different despite the plethora of old texts.
‘Imagine if we could speak to individuals whose grammar is closer to the language of the past; not only could we map out a new grammar of a contemporary dialect but we could also understand some forms of the language of the past. This is the opportunity that Romeyka presents us with,’ says Dr Sitaridou, who is also a member of the Cambridge Group for Endangered Languages and Cultures (CELC).
Last of the infinitives
The first results of the study are already providing remarkable insights, as Dr Sitaridou announced during the first ever linguistics conference on Romeyka last March at Queens’ College, Cambridge: ‘Unlike ancient forms of Greek, use of the infinitive has been lost in all other Greek dialects known today – so speakers of Modern Greek would say “I want that I go” instead of “I want to go”. But, in Romeyka, not only is the infinitive preserved, making this essentially the last Greek infinitive of the Greek-speaking world, but we also find quirky infinitival constructions that have never been observed before – only perhaps in the Romance languages are there parallel constructions.’
All the more astonishing, the results so far seem to be indicating that Romeyka is closer to Hellenistic Koiné than all other Modern Greek dialects, which are generally considered to have emerged from the later Medieval Greek spoken in the 7th to the 13th century AD.
Change ‘in real time’
Dr Sitaridou’s research is ultimately trying to pinpoint how Pontic Greek evolved. ‘We know that Greek has been continuously spoken in Pontus since ancient times and can surmise that its geographic isolation from the rest of the Greek-speaking world is an important factor in why the language is as it is today,’ says Dr Sitaridou. ‘What we don’t yet know is whether Romeyka emerged in exactly the same way as other Greek dialects but later developed its own unique characteristics which just happen to resemble archaic Greek. Or whether it developed from an earlier version of Greek in contrast to the rest of the Greek dialects and as a result of this more direct lineage, as well as its isolation from other dialects for centuries, it maintains archaic features.’
Nevertheless, Romeyka also demonstrates considerable innovation especially as a result of contact with Turkish. In this respect, Dr Sitaridou is interested in modeling what influence the contact with Turkish and Caucasian languages has had on the evolution of the dialect. Given the linguistic and socio-historic context of Romeyka, she notes that ‘in Pontus, we have near-perfect experimental conditions to assess what may be gained and what may be lost as a result of language contact.’ It is precisely these questions she will pursue further as the recipient of the prestigious Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellowship in Hellenic Studies at Princeton University in Spring term 2011.
The implications of such research are, however, far more pervasive, since understanding how language functions could provide some insight into cultural identity and people’s sense of themselves, as well as what happens when cultures connect.
Dr Sitaridou, whose own great-grandparents were from the region, believes that the linguistic evidence will help to unravel the thread of language evolution; we have yet to see whether the thread takes us all the way back to the time of Jason and the Argonauts and whether more surprises await us.
LONDON: Selfie, named 'Word of the Year' by the Oxford dictionary in 2013, has now been officially included in the most popular French dictionary. Le Petit Larousse has announced that 150 new words will be included in its 2016 edition - and one of the most high-profile new words is 'selfie'," Telegraph reported.
"A photographic self-portrait, generally taken with a smart phone and destined to be published on social media," is what the description reads.
Other words, which are already familiar in Britain and now present in the dictionary include 'focaccia,' 'biryani,' 'goji' and 'vegan.' While 'focaccia' is a flat oven-baked Italian bread product similar in style and texture to pizza doughs, 'goji' is a bright red edible berry.
'Bitcoin' and 'community manager' have also been included. The dictionary will also include the term 'captcha' for those annoying series of numbers and letters websites demand to prove the user is human.
Le Petit Larousse, one of the most famous of all French dictionaries, is not known for moving with the times. However, in June 2012, it announced that the word 'Twitter' would also be included in the 2013 edition, the report added.
Je ne vois pas l'interet d'ajouter au dictionnaire le petit Robert et au Larousse de plus en plus de mots venant le plus souvent du jargon internet. La langue de Molière se passerait volontiers de ce genre de "mélange" qui finit par occulter la réelle signification des mots. On peut aimer les différentes langues sans pour autant en abimer les "beautés" et toutes les subtilités..et s'il vous plait ne confondons pas ce bric à brac de mots francisés avec une soit disante évolution des langues, là c'est se foutre de la gueule du monde. merci
dictionnaire le petit Robert
Atlantico : Un cas récent relayé par la BBC raconte l’histoire d’une britannique, Julie Matthias, qui, quelques mois après un accident de voiture, s’est mis à parler sa langue, l’anglais, avec un mélange d’accent français et chinois. Qu’est-ce que le syndrome de l’accent étranger ?
Michel Dib : Le cas de cette britannique qui s'est mise à parler est étonnant. Il est probable qu’elle ait activé les souvenirs liés au français, peut être lors d’un voyage de jeunesse, ou en l’ayant entendu quelque part auparavant, mais le plus probable est que le choc est changé son débit verbal et sa manière d’accentuer les mots, ce qui peut faire ressembler son nouvel accent au français, sans être du français, idem pour le chinois.
Ce phénomène survient souvent après un choc, comme un accident créant des lésions au cerveau. Comment l’expliquer d’un point de vue neurologique ?
C’est le lobe fronto-pariétal qui gère les zones liées au langage dans le cerveau. Quand il est lésé, on assiste à ce genre de phénomène. On peut expliquer sur le plan neurologique que les faits anciens et les langues anciennes sont mieux mémorisés dans la mémoire, et le fait d’avoir un accident vasculaire par exemple active des souvenirs plus anciens. Après un accident ou un choc au cerveau, certaines personnes se mettent à parler dans une langue qu’ils ont appris plus jeune, ou avec un accent qu’ils ont déjà entendu au cours de leur vie, par exemple à la télévision. C'est en fait la mémoire ancienne qui revient : le fait d’avoir un choc efface la mémoire récente au profit de l’ancienne, un peu comme la maladie d’Azheimer.
Le chercheur belge Peter Mariën a découvert deux cas de syndrome d’accent étranger “développementaux” : des patients semblent présenter cette pathologie depuis leur petite enfance, sans avoir jamais eu de traumatisme crânien, de séquelles postopératoires, ni de maladie psychiatrique qui pourraient expliquer la maladie. Ce syndrome peut-il être de l’ordre de l’inné ?
Sans choc c’est étonnant, je n’y vois pas d’explications. Pour moi, ça ne peut pas être de l’ordre de l’inné. Je ne crois pas aux choses extra-naturelles : si ce n’est pas le souvenir de connaissances linguistiques emmagasinées plus tôt, alors c’est un problème d’élocution.
Études supérieures : besoin de conseils ?
Pour vous aider, une major de l'ebs Paris vous raconte son expérience et son parcours.
Le syndrome de l’accent étranger pourrait donc être un trouble du langage, et ce serait la personne qui écoute qui projette sur ce changement de locution un accent étranger ?
Oui, puisque le choc perturbe les fonctions du langage, il peut y avoir un trouble du centre fronto-pariétal. Ainsi l’interlocuteur peut croire reconnaître un accent connu.
Il faut garder à l’esprit que ce syndrome existe vraiment, mais pas dans la dimension que l’on pense. Il s’agit simplement d’annuler les accents récents pour reprendre des connaissances linguistiques emmagasinées auparavant.
Les personnes concernées évoquent la sensation d’être un étranger chez soi. Perd-t-on une part de son identité en adoptant un nouvel accent ?
C’est un changement important pour la personne atteinte de ce syndrome car il modifie ses relations avec l'environnement. Le langage faisant partie de l’identité culturelle, on perd en effet une partie de son identité. Ces personnes ont l’impression d’avoir presque une autre nationalité. Les proches des personnes atteintes, quant à eux, peuvent avoir l’impression parfois de vivre avec une autre personne, et même une personne malade. Or le syndrome de l’accent étranger n’est pas une maladie, c’est une réaction à un choc.
Il y aurait-il des traitements ou une opération possible pour retrouver son accent d’origine ?
Pour l’instant ça reste du domaine expérimental, rien n’est validé. En revanche, une rééducation orthophonique peut être efficace pour retrouver son accent d’origine.
AS July 18 date for the official launch date of the Audio bible in 18 Nigerian languages draws near, Nollywood stars, singers and other celebrities have thrown their weight behind the novel achievement, produced by God's Servant David Ogudu, General Overseer, G.O of Christos International Worship Centre, Plot 1797 (Dome De Prestige), cad Zone C12 Kabusa District, Apo Mechanic Village, Abuja. The event is billed to hold at the Congress Hall of the Nicon Hilton, Abuja.
The stars that have endorsed the project are Nollywood veteran actors Ejike Asiegbu, Larry Koldsweat, Ibinabo Fiberisima, Zach Orji and comedian Klint D Drunk.
Gospel music stars Asu Ekiye, Panam Percy Paul Samsong and Solomon Lange have also openly identified with the project and would be performing live on stage the launch day. Dike Chukwumerije, son of late Senator Chukwumerije would be on call to dish out soul inspiring poems as well as renowned Prof. Herbert Wilson.
From July 18, Nigerians would have the opportunity to listen to bible verses from the book of Mathew to Revelation in Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Efik, Ibibio, Gbagi, Gwari, Fulani, Igala and Idoma languages.
Other languages that are in the audio bible include Tiv, Bini, Ijaw, Urhobo, Itsekiri, Igbira, Ogoni and Okrika.
Nollywood star Ejike Asiegbu in a statement congratulated Prophet Ogudu whom he described as a "spiritual father" of most Nollywood stars and entertainers. "Let me start by congratulating him (Ogudu), it is not an easy task, in fact, it is awesome. This God's servant is someone I have known for over a decade now and I know his penchant for doing things that will promote not only God's work but enrich humanity. This audio bible in 18 Nigerian languages will be promoted by us entertainers across the states in the federation as our own way of helping to propagate the gospel, and win souls for God and reawaken the consciousness in people to serve God."
Nollywood veteran and pastor Larry Koldsweat on his part was elated to be part of this project that he said would make things easier for people who cannot read the Bible written in English. "All worshipers need to do is listen to bible verses in their own languages. It is really marvelous I would say."
Gospel music star Asu Ekiye could not hide his excitement. "This is truly awesome, I am short of words. It is out of this world!"
Prophet Ogudu had a revelation last year as he got ready to climb the pulpit which led him to producing the audio bible. "I had a vision and people were helping my mum into the church auditorium. I was so troubled but my Guardian Angel that has been with me from age 19 told me not to be troubled and that my mum could not read the bible and I should go and produce an audio bible in Igbo and other languages. That was what gave birth to the audio bible in 18 Nigerian languages. Also, the word of God is life, some of these languages are dying gradually and we want to use this audio bible to revive our languages, reawaken our culture and languages as well as bring pride and dignity to the individual."
One major challenge he faced in the run up to the production of the audio bible was the ability to get the right people who speak the various languages correctly and of course, finances as well as spiritual challenges from forces against the spread of the word of God. "We overcame all challenges through the power of God."
The catch here is that, the audio bibles would be distributed free "because the sole aim is to win souls for God, but we are trusting God for partnership from government, Ministry of Education, multinational bodies and international bible societies to help in the distribution of it to all nooks and crannies because we would be holding crusades in any part of the country that speaks the particular language in the audio bible with our celebrity partners."
Ogudu got his calling at age 19 while studying Chemical Engineering at the Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State, June 11, 1994 to be precise "so I had to leave school for the All Nations For Christ Bible Institute owned by late Bishop Benson Idahosa. Coincidentally, I had a vision where I saw myself shipping bibles, so I guess God wanted me to get involved in this project since 21 years ago."
The preacher looks back 21 years ago since he began work in God's vineyard. "God's word is true; He has been faithful to and has helped me in every step I took."
On his relationship with Nollywood stars and other celebrities, Ogudu said: "They are Christians and they love to help in propagating the gospel using their stardom, so I believe they saw in me and my ministry an avenue to reach out to their fans and make them believe in God. I also counsel and pray for many of them".
The philanthropist preacher who runs the David Ogudu Mission Foundation that has renovated schools and sunk boreholes in several communities across the Abuja and the East as well giving succor to widows and scholarship to people up to the university, is a family man despite his busy schedule. "I find time out to be with my family. I have time for my family and for God's work."