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Vacancies in this network: Translators, Revisers, Editors, etc.
A long-standing back and forth between a West Quebec newspaper and the body that enforces that province’s language laws has come to a head with an injunction that compels the newspaper separate its French and English pages, the co-publisher says.
“We’ve had to completely re-organize the paper, to considerable effort,” said Lily Ryan, co-publisher of the Pontiac Journal.
On April 16, the bilingual biweekly paper with a circulation of more than 9,000, was told it had to follow Quebec’s language law rules regarding English-only advertising, which is forbidden on French-language pages. The paper serves the bilingual Pontiac region — and the paper’s motto is “unifying all of the Pontiac.”
“We go to restaurants in both languages. We make love in both languages,” Ryan quipped.
She explained that the injunction gave the newspaper 30 days to comply with the legislation or face fines as much of to $20,000 if it didn’t.
“Part of the beauty of publishing in a bilingual community is that there’s a lovely diversity, and on the other hand because these arbitrary regulations add layers of complexity to publishing in ways that go beyond the normal, I really feel like the government is getting in the way of publishing, so it’s a freedom of the press issue for me,” Ryan said.
Ryan and the Office québecois de la langue française, the body that regulates language use, began negotiations in February 2012, Ryan said. As a bilingual paper, it’s affected in particular by a section of the Charte de la langue française — which regulates publishing and signage in the province — that pertains to advertising.
“This is my up-and-down process through these three years. I thought I was conforming, and then they changed the way that they were interpreting the law,” Ryan said of the language office.
Requests for an interview from the Office de la langue française were not answered, but a statement on its website — though it does not name the Pontiac Journal specifically — explains that the law does not apply to the language or layout of articles. It says there is no obligation to create specific sections, but it also states that all advertising must be bilingual or in French, and that English-only ads would be allowed only in English sections of the paper.
As of the newspaper’s first edition in May, it now has an English section, though further rules mean the French must be dominant in the arrangement of the paper, Ryan said, pushing the English-only section to the back of the publication. That doesn’t mean that there cannot be bilingual pages. It’s just that where there is a mix of English and French stories, advertising needs to be in both languages.
Ryan said her staff have been frustrated by the changes.
“They really see this as the government telling them how to do their job,” she said. “It’s not just journalism. It affects advertising sales more than anything else, really.”
That’s mainly because advertisers are now relegated to certain parts of the paper or it would cost more to create and place the larger bilingual ads, and the paper can’t afford to give away that extra space.
The Office de la langue française’s investigations can be spontaneous but are also done on the basis of a complaint.
“It’s absurd to me that one complaint can affect a newspaper and a whole community to such a dramatic way,” Ryan said. “Anyone who is an extremist with nothing to do can put us through hell like this. It’s really not fair.”
The paper did receive a number of letters of support from readers.
“A true, free and proud Quebec is capable of dealing with two languages,” wrote Eileen Payette from Campbell’s Bay.
Richard Tardif, executive director of the Quebec Community Newspaper Association, said conflicts with the language office are rare, in part because most of the newspapers in his association are purely anglophone.
“It’s those papers that say they’re bilingual and serve a bilingual community … that have this problem,” Tardif said. “Well, it’s the [language office’s] problem. It’s not our problem.”
Le ministre responsable des langues officielles du Nouveau-Brunswdick a présenté jeudi deux projets de loi importants pour la communauté francophone de la province.
Donald Arseneault a déposé un projet de loi qui vise à ce que le découpage des circonscriptions électorales provinciales tienne davantage compte des communautés linguistiques.
L'autre projet de loi obligera les associations professionnelles à offrir des services dans les deux langues officielles. Il s'agit de deux dossiers qui étaient devant les tribunaux. Après de longues négociations, le gouvernement libéral s'entend avec les francophones.
Les deux projets de loi mettent ainsi fin à deux poursuites devant les tribunaux.
Dans le dossier des circonscriptions électorales, une commission avait tracé une nouvelle carte en 2013, qui a été contestée devant les tribunaux parce qu'elle ne tenait pas compte de plusieurs communautés d'intérêts francophones.
« On augmente le quotient de 5 % à 15 % aussi pour le niveau extraordinaire reste à 25 % plus ou moins 25 % qui inclut aussi le côté linguistique », a déclaré le ministre Arseneault.
Cela devrait permettre la création de circonscriptions plus petites, ou plus grandes, lorsqu'il s'agit de réunir dans une seule circonscription une communauté francophone.
Cette loi toutefois n'aura pas d'effet avant une dizaine d'années, lors du prochain redécoupage des circonscriptions.
Michel Doucet, directeur de l'Observatoire international des droits linguistiques de l'Université de Moncton
L'avocat Michel Doucet représente l'Association francophone des municipalités et la Société de l'Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick qui contestaient en cour le dernier redécoupage électoral.
« Le fait de reconnaître les deux communautés linguistiques comme étant une considération importante, c'est très certainement un acquis très substantiel pour la communauté francophone », a déclaré Me Doucet.
Les associations impliquées dans le litige entendent réagir dans les prochains jours. Mais par voie de communiqué, elles se disent satisfaites de la décision du gouvernement provincial.
« Les demandeurs et leurs conseillers juridiques sont d'avis qu'il va s'agir là de gains importants pour la communauté acadienne et francophone du Nouveau-Brunswick dans le dossier de la carte électorale », peut-on lire dans le communiqué de presse envoyé par la SANB et l'AFMNB.
Changement pour les ordres professionnels
L'avocat Michel Doucet représentait aussi une cliente qui avait intenté une poursuite pour que les associations professionnelles offrent des services dans les deux langues officielles.
La nouvelle loi adoptée en 2013 précisait que les associations professionnelles devaient offrir des services dans les deux langues officielles, mais à leurs membres seulement. Le gouvernement va plus loin aujourd'hui.
« On leur donne une année afin d'offrir non seulement à leurs membres, mais également au public les services dans les deux langues officielles », a déclaré le ministre Donald Arseneault.
« C'est un changement très important dans la loi. Un changement certainement qui va accroître pour la communauté francophone l'accès à l'égalité pour s'assurer qu'elle soit traitée toujours sur un pied d'égalité avec la majorité lorsque vient le temps de faire affaire avec les associations professionnelles », soutient Me Doucet.
Après avoir réglé deux dossiers linguistiques importants, Michel Doucet garde espoir que le gouvernement règlera aussi celui d'Ambulance Nouveau-Brunswick, qui traîne depuis des années.
La Romarimontaine Valérie Mallard, présidente de l’association « Didi Bahini » vient de participer à la mission menée par Medilor au Népal. Professeur d’anglais au lycée Malraux à Remiremont, elle a accompagné les équipes médicales et apporté ses compétences linguistiques, elle qui maîtrise l’anglais et le népalais. « Je suis très heureuse d’avoir pu me rendre utile et surtout, j’ai la satisfaction d’avoir pu aider un peuple que j’aime tant », raconte celle qui part chaque année au Népal. Investie auprès d’un foyer qui accueille des enfants défavorisés, Valérie Mallard a même pu intervenir directement auprès de cette structure partenaire de l’association « Didi Bahini ». Sur place, dans l’urgence, Haushala Zimba a endossé le rôle de coordinateur et envoyé les secours dans des villages reculés où les touristes ne vont pas. C’est là que s’est terminée la mission de Medilor qu’accompagnait l’enseignante romarimontaine. Les professionnels de santé ont pu ausculter les enfants. Valérie Mallard, quant à elle, accueillait les patients. « On allait dans de petits villages. Je faisais le tri et j’aiguillais les gens selon leurs pathologies. Ça leur apportait du réconfort de voir que je parlais népalais. Ils me racontaient leurs histoires. Nombreux sont ceux qui souffrent de stress. Ils ressentent des secousses lorsqu’ils sont couchés alors que ce ne sont les battements de leur cœur. » La Romarimontaine parle en connaissance de cause puisque sur place, elle a senti le sol trembler et se dérober sous ses pieds.
Générosité de 9 000 €
A Thimi Bode, là où est implanté le foyer de l’association Cyf (Children and Youth First) soutenu par l’association romarimontaine de Valérie Mallard, cette dernière a pu partager directement avec ceux qui en avaient besoin les dons recueillis pour le Népal. Pas moins de 9 000 € ont été rassemblés. « Cet argent a d’ores et déjà été investi pour le ravitaillement d’urgence des personnes sinistrées, pour trouver des logements temporaires et semi-temporaires, pour l’assistance aux enfants et l’assistance médicale » , détaille la Vosgienne. « J’ai pu voir concrètement tout ce que l’aide financière a pu apporter aux gens. Les Vosges se sont mobilisées et ce n’est pas fini. » Sur place, les Népalais se sont installés dans des tentes. Les plus chanceux ont trouvé un toit sous des dômes faits en taules et petit à petit des préfabriqués sont construits afin d’abriter les sinistrés. « Tous les namastés que j’ai pu voir en remerciement sont surtout destinés à toutes les personnes qui se sont mobilisées pour le Népal. Je n’ai été que le prolongement de cette main tendue. » L’association « Didi Bahini » reçoit encore régulièrement des dons. En argent et en matériels. D’ailleurs, de nombreuses tentes doivent être envoyées au Népal, « mais les frais de port sont astronomiques. On cherche un transporteur » , s’inquiète la Romarimontaine. Fin juin, son amie Sunita Gurung accompagnée de son fils de 10 ans, Sonam, viendra la rejoindre à Remiremont. La découverte de la vie himalayenne sera à l’ordre du jour de soirées de rencontres mais la thématique de la solidarité reviendra sans nul doute au cœur des échanges franco-népalais.
Plus de renseignements www.didibahini.sitew.fr/#Accueil_. A
À la fois lecteur et auteur, le traducteur littéraire est au cœur d’un métier qui intrigue, et sur lequel repose l’existence même d’une littérature universelle. Dépositaire de la confiance de l’auteur qu’il traduit comme de celle des lecteurs, il est un pivot essentiel des échanges culturels.
ATLAS, association qui s’est donné pour objectif de faire connaître l’importance de ce rôle, organise le Printemps de la traduction, en partenariat avec un réseau de librairies indépendantes. Cette nouvelle manifestation investit différents lieux culturels franciliens pour une série de lectures, d’ateliers, de rencontres avec les lecteurs, de conférences, de jeux traductifs, et se conclut par un pique-nique littéraire.
Pour cette première édition, les sept ouvrages sélectionnés sont :
Sara, de Stefan Agopian, traduit par Laura Hinckel (Éd. Jacqueline Chambon)
L’accident de téléportation, de Ned Bauman, traduit par Catherine Richard (Éd. Joëlle Losfeld)
Taipei, de Tao Lin, traduit par Charles Recoursé (Éd. Diable Vauvert)
Les Aventures d’Augie March, de Saul Bellow, traduit par Michel Lederer (Éd. Gallimard, Quarto)
Canevas, de Benjamin Stein, traduit par Sacha Zilberfarb (Éd. Gallimard, Du monde entier)
Tout ce qui m’est arrivé après ma mort, de Ricardo Adolfo, traduit par Elodie Dupau (Éd. Métaillé)
Americanah, de Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, traduit par Anne Damour (Éd. Gallimard, Du monde entier)
Autres temps forts : Eric Caravaca fera la lecture d’une nouvelle de Borges, Pierre Ménard auteur du « Quichotte », dans la traduction de Paul Verdevoye. À la Maison de la Poésie, Vassilis Alexakis parlera d’autotraduction, tandis qu’à l’Hôtel de Massa (SGDL), Agnès Desarthe jouera avec les missions impossibles auxquelles les traducteurs sont tenus. Le dernier jour, un final champêtre permettra à chacun de partager coups de cœur et petits plats à l’occasion d’un pique-nique littéraire sur les pelouses du parc de la mairie de Gif-sur-Yvette, et d’offrir à son voisin un livre traduit en français qui l’a marqué.
« Le Printemps de la traduction » dévoile le rôle essentiel que jouent les traducteurs dans la vie littéraire et culturelle, une vie dont ils préservent l’éclectisme et l’universalité.
RESPONSABLE : ATLAS (Association pour la promotion de la traduction littéraire)
URL DE RÉFÉRENCEhttp://www.atlas-citl.org/le-printemps-de-la-traduction/
ADRESSEParis et Ile-de-France
Henriette Walter, l'une des linguistes les plus réputées de France, professeur émérite de linguistique, a le talent de mettre cette discipline à la portée du grand public. Présidente de la Société internationale de linguistique fonctionnelle et membre du Conseil supérieur de la langue française, elle est l'auteur de nombreux ouvrages sur la langue française, dont plusieurs ont été honorés de prix prestigieux.
Le latin et sa vivante progéniture dans les langues d'aujourd'hui, son incroyable diversité, ses différentes métamorphoses. Cette langue dite "morte" garde néanmoins de nos jours une place de choix dans nos usages, sous des formes qui ont évolué et dans une quantité incroyable d'éléments lexicaux qui ont traversé les siècles. Ne dit-on pas couramment lavabo, duplicata, recto verso ... etc (et caetera) ?
De nombreux encadrés, anecdotes, devinettes et autres "récréations" facilitent la manière d'aborder ce sujet, même si l'on n'a pas étudié le latin. Quant à ceux qui l'étudient, -il en reste-, ils y trouveront intérêt et plaisir.
Sans être un manuel d'apprentissage, le latin est examiné sous toutes ses formes, classique ou tardif, juridique ou liturgique, et même... de cuisine ! Un chapitre entier est consacré aux bases latines, nombreuses, dans le lexique anglais. Henriette Walter met donc en lumière cette situation paradoxale : une langue morte (le latin classique) qui donne d'incontestables signes de survie dans les échanges contemporains, à l'écrit comme à l'oral !
On apprend bien des choses sur les langues issues du latin : de l'Italie ancienne, de l'Espagne (catalan, galicien, castillan...), sur le portugais, le français et aussi sur le roumain, son héritage slave et germanique, son influence sur le hongrois. Henriette Walter nous offre ainsi une meilleure connaissance et des remarques utiles pour tous les pays de l'Europe, y compris ceux dont la langue n'est pas romane.
Un ou deux chapitres restent un peu "pointus": la structure phonique, l'intervocalique, les systèmes consonantiques, etc...
Une petite note pour mentionner le nom de la traductrice du Petit Nicolas en latin m'aurait fait plaisir (Elizabeth Antébi, fondatrice du Festival international latin-grec...)
Henriette Walter parvient-elle à nous convaincre que le latin peut devenir la langue de la mondialisation ? Ses arguments mériteraient d'être plus développés.
EN DEUX MOTS:
Chacun des ouvrages d'Henriette Walter enrichit nos connaissances sur la langue française. Celui-ci, en plus, m'a permis de mieux connaître nos langues soeur, dont le Portugais et le Roumain. Mais c'est sans doute l'italien, à toutes ses époques, qui est ici le mieux mis en valeur, avec un joli voyage dans toutes les régions de l'Italie !
"On devrait se demander si, par son truchement, le latin, trop vite relégué au rang de langue morte, ne se trouve pas, en définitive, mais comme en filigrane, au coeur même du paysage linguistique du XXI è siècle en proie aux effets de la mondialisation."
Henriette Walter: et si le latin était au coeur de notre avenir ?
Il a fait part des travaux menés en vue de faire de la Turquie un pays éminent dans le monde pour le tourisme de santé
Le ministre de la Santé, Mehmet Muezzinoglu a fait savoir que l'Unité de soutien médical international proposait des services en 6 langues avec 26 traducteurs.
Dans un reportage exclusif à la Radio la Voix de la Turquie à Bursa, Mehmet Muezzinoglu a fait savoir que les Turcs et étrangers pouvaient contacter l'Unité de soutien médical international en composant le 444 27 28 partout dans le monde.
Mehmet Muezzinoglu a fait savoir que les services dans cette unité étaient menés avec 26 traducteurs en anglais, français, allemand, russe, arabe et persan.
Le ministre de la Santé a fait savoir que rien n'empêchait les ressortissants turcs vivant dans un autre pays de profiter des services de santé en Turquie, ajoutant qu'ils avaient seulement à faire parvenir les documents demandés aux services médicaux.
Il a fait part des travaux menés en vue de faire de la Turquie un pays éminent dans le monde pour le tourisme de santé.
Concernant les médecins de famille, M. Muezzinoglu a mis l'accent sur l'importance de répondre immédiatement au besoin de médecins en Turquie dont principalement de médecins de famille.
Mehmet Muezzinoglu a souligné que les travaux étaient en cours pour des services de dentistes de famille.
This week we celebrated Africa Day. Africa has come a long way since the founding of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963, currently known as the Africa Union (AU). The African Union, comprises of 54 member states, brought together to collectively address the challenges Africa has faced, namely, armed conflict, climate change, and poverty.
Africa has certainly transformed itself as is widely considered to be the last frontier. Over the last decade, Africa has been the second fastest growing region in the world after Asia. With over a billion people (50% below the age of 24) Africa will boast the highest proportion of working age population by 2040.
That’s more than China and India. Africa has the largest untapped natural resources in the world and over 60% of the world’s arable land. Africa’s time has come.
There is an old African proverb that says “Unless the lion has his own storyteller, the hunter will always have the best part of the story”.
Africa needs to tell its own story and it is about time that Africans tell their own story of Africa Rising.
“Africa is a place replete with possibilities”, stated Kgalema Motlanthe the vice-president of the Republic of South Africa.
It is no more a secret that Africa is fast becoming more significant in the global landscape. Even the highly-regarded Economist magazine had to acknowledge its folly when it initially referred to Africa as “The hopeless continent” on the 13th May 2000. On the 3rd March 2013, that same magazine referred to “Africa Rising: The hopeful continent” on it’s front cover.
Africa has enjoyed over two decades on uninterrupted growth. Since 1992, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), has grown steadily and even as the world went into recession post the financial crisis in 2008, Africa continued to grow.
The growth in Africa has been driven partly by commodity prices and a host of other factors. According to the world’s leading consultants Mckinsey and Company, “natural resources, and the related government spending they financed, generated just 32% of Africa’s GDP growth from 2000 through 2008. The remaining two-thirds came from other sectors, including wholesale and retail, transportation, telecommunications, and manufacturing.
Economic growth accelerated across the continent, in 27 of its 30 largest economies. Indeed, countries with and without significant resource exports had similar GDP growth rates.”
Sadly, Zimbabwe has not participated in the African growth story over the last 15 years.
In what’s been coined the “lost decade”, Zimbabwe’s GDP contracted by over 50%. Since dollarisation in 2009, growth recovered somewhat but since 2014 growth has once again stagnated.
So what does Africa look like today? According to Mckinsey and Company, Africa’s collective GDP is over US$1,6 trillion, that’s similar in size to Russia, India and Brazil. I often refer to Africa as the forgotten Bric. Consumer spending exceeds US$860 billion and is one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world. It’s little wonder why global consumer companies like Nestle have started to take Africa more seriously.
Africa has the fastest growing mobile market in the world with over 316 million subscribers since 2000.
In 2000, there were no more than 20 000 fixed line phones in Nigeria and a 10 year waiting list. Today there are over 134 million mobile phone subscribers in Nigeria. This has completely transformed the way people do business in Africa. According to leading research, a 10% increase in mobile penetration increases total Factor Productivity by 4,2% in the long run and contributes over 0,25% to per capita GDP per annum in Africa.
Africa has 60% of the world’s uncultivated land suited for crop production, but has 30% of the world’s malnourished and only 3% of global agricultural exports. Africa needs to cultivate a strategy to develop agriculture.
Smallholder farmers will be key to African efforts not only to feed itself, but also to become a major food supplier for the rest of the world. Africa’s agricultural potential is clear. Productivity can also be boosted through the use better farming methods, fertiliser and irrigation.
African cereal yields are just over one-third of the developing world average, for example, linked to the fact that as much as 80% of Africa’s agriculture still depends on rain not irrigation.
Some African governments see the efficiencies of large-scale commercial farming as a means to fulfil this potential. But Africa cannot increase its food production, create jobs, and reduce poverty on the scale required without unlocking the potential of smallholder agriculture.
Nearly two out of three Africans depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Indeed, Africa’s rapidly growing youth population makes job creation an urgent matter for many of the continent’s governments.
So what will Africa look like tomorrow?
GDP is projected to grow to US$2,6 trillion while consumer spending is expected to exceed US$1,4 trillion by 2020. Africa will have the highest proportion of working age population in the world by 2040, far exceeding China and India.
That certainly poses a challenge for many governments across Africa. Over the next three decades Africa needs to create over one billion jobs. That’s no easy task.
This transformation has not gone unnoticed and is reflected by the significant increase in FDI flows to Africa. Over the last decade FDI flows to Africa have increased over seven fold from less than US$10 billion in 2000 to over US$80 billion in 2013.
This trend is expected to continue as long as Africa’s growth story remains intact.
The recent fall in commodity prices especially oil has negatively impacted growth in a number of African countries including Nigeria and Angola.
Despite this the IMF projects SSA to grow by 4,5% in 2015, and 5,1% in 2016, making it the second fastest growing region in the world after emerging and developing Asia. Against this backdrop Zimbabwe is expected to grow by 2,8% in 2015 and 2,7% in 2016.
As we look back at the last 52 years it will be interesting to see what the next fifty years looks like. Africa has enjoyed tremendous success over the last 50 years and especially the last two decades.
Unfortunately, Zimbabwe has not participated in the African renaissance and risks being left behind as the rest of Africa continues to march ahead. Let’s hope we can get our act together and turn this economy around. Let’s hope that Zimbabwe can catch up and partake in the African renaissance.
Les services bilingues aux points d'entrée des aéroports et des frontières partout au Canada ont connu de nets progrès au cours des dix dernières années.
Et la situation devrait s'améliorer en raison des mesures prises par l'Agence des services frontaliers du Canada (ASFC), selon le commissaire aux langues officielles Graham Fraser.
Dans un rapport de vérification rendu public jeudi, le commissaire aux langues officielles fait état de la situation à la suite d'une vérification réalisée de mars à juillet 2014 afin de déterminer si l'ASFC remplit ses obligations linguistiques envers le public voyageur.
«Au cours des dix dernières années, l'Agence des services frontaliers du Canada a réalisé de nets progrès en vue de se conformer à la Loi sur les langues officielles. Maintenant que la voie est tracée, nous pouvons nous attendre à ce que le service du public s'améliore aux frontières», indique dans ce rapport le commissaire Fraser.
La langue des signes devient officielle en Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée
PORT-MORESBY, mardi 26 mai 2015 (Flash d’Océanie) – Le gouvernement de Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée a officiellement proclamé la langue des signes comme étant désormais la quatrième langue officielle de ce pays mélanésien de plus de sept millions d’habitants.
Selon la nouvelle politique entérinée par le gouvernement, sur proposition de sa ministre des religions, de la jeunesse et du développement des communautés, Delilah Gore, tout événement officiel, que ce soit une conférence de presse, une réunion ou une manifestation, devra se faire en présence de traducteurs interprètes du langage des signes, aux fons de diffusion.
Dans le même temps, les médias de ce pays devraient bénéficier de programmes de formation de manière à être en mesure de relayer correctement et intelligiblement ces messages.
Selon ma ministre, cette mesure vise en premier lieu à faire en sorte que les droits et besoins des sourds, malentendants et muets soient pris en compte
Les trois autres langues officielles de Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée sont l’Anglais, le pidgin mélanésien et le Motu.
OTTAWA | Le Commissaire aux langues officielles, Graham Fraser, demande à l’Agence des services frontaliers du Canada d’instaurer un mécanisme de surveillance formelle pour vérifier si ses employés accueillent les voyageurs dans les deux langues officielles au pays, le français et l’anglais.
«Une offre active de service en français et en anglais ainsi qu’un service de qualité égale dans les deux langues officielles sont essentiels, particulièrement en raison du rapport de force qui existe aux frontières, a déclaré M. Fraser. Lorsque les voyageurs pensent qu’ils seront redirigés et retardés s’ils demandent un service en français, ils sont moins susceptibles d’exercer leurs droits linguistiques.»
Dans un rapport de vérification publié jeudi, le commissaire fait huit recommandations après avoir examiné si les voyageurs recevaient des services de qualité égale en français et en anglais aux points d’entrée aux aéroports et aux frontières terrestres au Canada.
Le rapport indique que l’Agence des services frontaliers a réalisé de nets progrès au cours de la dernière décennie pour se conformer à la Loi sur les langues officielles.
Mais le rapport note aussi que l’Agence ne compte pas suffisamment d’agents et de surintendants bilingues pour fournir des services de qualité égale aux voyageurs partout au Canada.
Le rapport signale qu’en juillet 2014, il manquait 341 agents des services frontaliers bilingues.
Au Québec, l’Agence des services frontaliers exige que tous ses agents et surintendants soient bilingues.
Miami-Dade’s schools chief felt the push back and heard questions from skeptical media, then wisely postponed scheduled changes to the way the district teaches foreign languages, especially Spanish, to its students. He said that the district will fine-tune the curriculum first. Good move.
“This summer we’ll create a task force made up of educators, parents and stakeholders to help us come up with the best way to teach Spanish in the 21st century in a community going through a generational change,” Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told the Herald Editorial Board on Wednesday.
For now, Mr. Carvalho told the Board, he’s tabling expansion of recent changes and said he will keep the existing style of teaching Spanish in place, welcome news to those who rightly found fault with his plans to improve Spanish learning by making it more intensive, but unavailable to all.
“This has never been about getting rid of bilingualism; it’s about improving the way we teach Spanish. The old way is not working and parents let us know,” said Mr. Carvalho. He says he understands the value of bilingualism in a global economy. The district, he says, spends $20 million a year providing world languages to students.
In calling for a time-out to gather more input, Mr. Carvalho put the best interests of the students first. He said the district’s goal has been to improve the effectiveness of the Spanish instruction it now offers.
The changes began to take form three years ago, prompted by parents’ demand for a truly bilingual education for their kids. MDCPS began exploring ways to overhaul how it teaches students a second language.
The district decided to phase out traditional, 30-minute-a-day Spanish classes.
But the new approach prompted outcry from some who called the change “elitist.” They include some parents, yes, but also an association of Spanish teachers, the NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens, among them. They opposed the district’s plan to create the “extended foreign language” curriculum, a more-intensive program that would immerse students — make that some students — into Spanish.
However, those students who are not capable of keeping up in the more-rigorous program — though they would be able to learn something more than the basics — would get nothing, nada.
And there were other challenges with the new plan. Many Spanish-language teachers said that they would be forced to conduct classes in Spanish in math or others subjects in which they are not certified to teach.
Among the critics were NAACP leaders who know the value of speaking a foreign language and want to ensure that African-American and other minority students do not get shut out. And also Rosa Castro Feinberg, who, in 1988, was the first Hispanic woman elected to the Miami-Dade School Board. She told the board that she opposed the idea that all students would not receive any bilingual instruction unless they’re in the intensive program. She called the proposed plan “exclusionary” and “elitist.”
“It will have tons of economic ramifications,” she said. No one, least of all the students, can afford that.
Mr. Carvalho listened to the community’s concerns and acted. He’s right to give the proposed bilingual-education makeover more scrutiny before it’s implemented. The goal, after all, is to ensure students are served, not shortchanged.
Researchers looking at setting up an Aboriginal language Wikipedia say the site will have to change if it is to accommodate cultural differences.
Nyungar man and University of Sydney lecturer Clint Bracknell is one of a group of academics, along with others from the University of Western Australia and Curtin University tackling how to create a Wikipedia version in the language of his people.
If successful, it will become the first Wikipedia in an Indigenous Australian language.
The site is now accessible in 288 languages. Proposals for other language versions must meet certain criteria, including “a sufficient number of living native speakers to form a viable community and audience”.
Its founder, Jimmy Wales, once described Wikipedia as an attempt to “create and distribute a free encyclopedia of the highest possible quality to every single person on the planet in their own language”.
Although Wikipedia had been “supportive”, Bracknell said there were several hurdles to be overcome: “Any language that’s not predominantly written is going to require greater flexibility in terms of uploading audio and video.”
The top-down, authoritative writing style of the site also posed issues for Nyungar culture, Bracknell said, when their knowledge was so closely tied to country, family and other relationships. “Just having knowledge in text form and online, divorced from those connections, is a bit strange,” he said.
A “Nyungarpedia” would not be a direct translation of the English-version Wikipedia and could be as simple as a word list with pictures, with linked entries. A page about “yonga”, the Nyungar word for kangaroo, could then have “a story about yonga, an entry about yonga meat, and an another about hunting, for example, with audio and visuals”.
Bracknell said the legitimacy of oral accounts by community elders would have to be given greater recognition. “Wikipedia comes out of a European tradition in which a book is a significant source,” he said. “Whereas we have [journalist] Daisy Bates who has written all sorts of things in books about Aboriginal people that aren’t true.”
The Nyungar language is spoken at home by 369 people in Australia, according to the 2011 Australian Bureau of Statistics, a rise from 240 people in 2006. Their ancestral lands are in south-west Western Australia.
Despite the challenges, Bracknell said the internet posed a huge potential for maintaining the health of Aboriginal languages and other minority languages.
By connecting language users across vast distances – “a Nyungar-speaking student could be living in France and still interact with Nyungar people back at home, or cousins working elsewhere” – and prevent a language from going out of use, he said.
Have you ever thought about the word "do"? My advice is don't.
The word "do" is one of the bugbears of English that make our language incredibly difficult to master — for nonnative speakers and even for people born into the English-speaking world. Almost no one fully understands "do." The people who use it correctly do so through osmosis, not understanding.
To see what I mean, consider the formula for making questions in Latin-based languages like French. In other languages, to make a question, you often just take a statement and swap the places of the subject and verb. "Vous voulez fromage" (You want cheese) becomes a question when you switch the positions of the pronoun and the verb: "Voulez-vous fromage?" Simple.
There are exceptions, of course — situations trickier than this. But this is the basic formula. It's called inversion, because you invert the position of the subject and verb.
Try that in English. "You want cheese." "Want you cheese?" "He saw a great movie last weekend." "Saw he a great movie last weekend?" As we'll see in a minute, sometimes this process actually works in English.
But not in these examples. Examine all these questions and you can see that something is missing — a little-understood word known as a dummy operator. It's the word "do," and it's how we form questions like "Do you want cheese?" and "Did he see a great movie last weekend?"
"Do" has two main jobs. First, it's a regular old verb. "Do the dishes." "I don't do windows." "I do." In that job, it works the same as any other garden variety verb. But on top of that, it has a special job — that of dummy operator.
In grammar, an operator is an auxiliary verb that gets moved around to form questions and do a few other special jobs. It's part of a broader group called auxiliary verbs that work as helpers with other verbs.
English has a number of auxiliaries; "have" and "be" are the regular ones. We see them in sentences like "I have walked" and "I am walking." There are also modal auxiliaries like "can" and "must," as in "I can have dessert" and "He must leave."
These auxiliaries are operators, which means they can move around to do things like form questions: "Have I walked?" "Am I walking?" "Can I have dessert?" "Must he leave?"
Notice that when your sentence has an auxiliary verb, an inversion process like the one used in so many other languages works in English too. "I can leave." "Can I leave?" The problem is that not all English sentences have auxiliary verbs. "I walk." "Alex quit." "Ruby knows."
So to make these into questions, we call in a specialist — the dummy operator "do." "Do I walk?" "Did Alex quit?" "Does Ruby know?"
Here's how the Oxford English Grammar explains it: "Auxiliary 'do' is a dummy operator, since it functions as an operator in the absence of any other auxiliary when an operator is required to form questions, to make the sentence negative, or to form an abbreviated clause, as in 'My sister likes them, and I do too."
To me, the word "dummy" emphasizes how "do" doesn't have any meaning — not in these sentences, anyway. Modal auxiliaries like "can" tell us something about possibility. Basic auxiliaries like "have" change a verb's tense, telling us when something happened.
Auxiliary "do" doesn't. Like a dummy in a store window, it has no substance of its own. It's just there to help you arrange the things that actually matter.
JUNE CASAGRANDE is the author of "The Best Punctuation Book, Period." She can be reached at JuneTCN@aol.com.
Today social organizations, schools, and news portals, among others, are celebrating National Native Language Day in creative forms in Peru.
Perú21 features Yessica Sánchez, born into an Ashaninka community. (Photo: Perú21)
First Bilingual Awajún Civil Registry launches today
Run, run, as fast as you can
The rescue of a language: Speaking Jaqaru in Tupe
Throughout Peru today, a day of recognition for native languages is pervading everyday routines. Such as the homepage of local news portal, Perú21, who slyly changed headlines into the native tongue, Quechua.
Approximately 7.9 million native speakers of Quechua remain in South America in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, and Argentina. The language is spoken in more than 10 dialects across the continent that are categorized in four different branches. Despite this large population of native speakers, Quechua, similar to a large number of native languages are under threat of extinction.
Ethnologue, an active research project for the last 50 years, has recorded 104 languages in Peru. Of these 93 are living and 11 are extinct; of the living languages, 15 are dying.
As speakers of English, and Spanish, and other widely spoken languages, it is hard to imagine the significance of losing one’s native language. Therefore to promote the beauty of native language and the preservation of national native languages, Peru celebrates Native Language Day today.
News agency Perú21 has put together an entire day of features, homepage variations including multiple native languages, and informative, fun videos to promote and give life to the variety of native languages spoken in Peru.
Click HERE to see special features with native speakers of Quechua, Aymara, Shipibo, Awajún, and Ashaninka from Perú21’s series entitled, #Todaslasvoces.
This article was brought to you by Inca Rail, a rail company loyal to sustainable tourism and quality service. Inca Rail is one of the founding members of TursimoCuida, an organization devoted to preserving Peru’s heritage by way of innovative projects.
TAGS: native language day, hillary ojeda
A bilingual newspaper in West Quebec says it's being ordered to segregate its English and French sections, a charge the Office Québecois de la langue Francaise denies. The Pontiac Journal was issued an injunction to comply with the province's language law or face a fine. It is a hot-button issue for both the French and English in Quebec and one that has the tiny bi- weekly paper sandwiched in between.
Putting a newspaper together is no easy feat; add to that Quebec's complicated language laws and a small paper like the Pontiac Journal can run into trouble.
‘This is the latest edition of the Pontiac Journal,’ says the paper’s publisher Lily Ryan, ‘and it complies with the law.’
Jean-Pierre Le Blanc with L'OQLF
Ryan says the first order from Quebec's Office Québecois de la langue francaise (L’OQLF) came in 2012, telling the newspaper to comply with the province’s law that dictates how French and English advertisements and articles are placed in the paper. Under section 58 of the French Language charter, commercial advertisements must be in French. They can be in another language, providing French is the predominant language. The L’OQLF adds that an English paper can have English-only ads but if a paper publishes in both languages, advertisements must be in French only or bilingual. A business can also decide to create distinct linguistic sections. The paper thought it had complied with that last article by having various English and French “sections” throughout the paper. But last month, Ryan says they were ordered to segregate the English and French sections in their entirety or face a hefty fine, up to $20,000.
‘That threat was significant,’ says Ryan, ‘so we ripped apart the paper and put it back together again with the concept of separating out the languages.’
The paper then published its own story on the issue and support in this largely bilingual community poured in.
‘I think we have to mature in this country and stop having that problem with English and French,’ says Habib Karnouk who reads the Pontiac Journal.
Doug Arthurs adds, ‘It's been going on for years and a lot of people are sick of it.’
‘The language police, I think, should be disbanded,’ concludes John Berrigan.
The L’OQLF denies it ordered the publisher to segregate its paper but says the law on advertising is clear.
‘The law is there, it is not the office who made the law,’ says Jean-Pierre Le Blanc with L’OQLF, ‘the office is there to apply it and we try to do it the best way and in a way to cause less problem.’
Lily Ryan says the newspaper's motto is "unifying the Pontiac". She says the decision of the Office of the Language Francaise is trying to undue that.
‘Nobody separates the languages in restaurants,’ she says, ‘Nobody separates the languages in the bedroom. Why are we doing this with the newspapers? We are reflecting back to the community what the community lives.’
Ryan says re-working the paper has been costly and time-consuming. She says they have no choice but to comply or face the consequences.
Turvey & Pettorelli  present a fascinating study exploring links between biological and linguistic diversity across New Guinea. With the world's highest linguistic diversity (around 900 languages, an average of one language per 1000 km2 ), as well as the high biodiversity characteristic of a large mountainous tropical island, New Guinea is an ideal test case for investigating patterns and drivers of biocultural diversity. Turvey & Pettorelli's finding that numbers of languages and mammal species are correlated across grid cells in New Guinea is consistent with studies in other parts of the world showing similar relationships (e.g. ). Globally, languages, like species, show a latitudinal diversity gradient , and areas of high language diversity often coincide with hotspots of species diversity . In addition, Turvey & Pettorelli report a surprising negative correlation between the numbers of threatened mammal species and languages considered at risk of extinction. This finding contrasts with previous studies showing that extinction risk in languages and species are positively correlated [5,6].
Turvey & Pettorelli's study is an important contribution to our understanding of the distribution of biocultural diversity, with potential practical implications for conservation. If the spatial distributions of threatened species and threatened languages correspond, then an integrated biocultural management strategy may be possible . On the other hand, such strategies may be less effective if there is a lack of congruence in spatial patterns of diversity. Spatial congruence between total language and mammal diversity could also indicate a functional connection between the two, either a direct causal link, or an indirect link via a third factor that influences both language and species diversity independently. For example, both types of diversity may be enhanced by the same environmental factors  if geographical barriers such as mountain ranges, rivers or sea inlets impede gene flow in species as well as human communication [2,8], promoting divergence in both cases. Alternatively, human cultural groups may diversify in response to the diversity of local environments [9,10]. Similarly, spatial congruence in vulnerability to extinction of languages and species may suggest that threatening processes are similar for both human cultures and biodiversity. But Turvey & Pettorelli's negative correlation implies the factors that increase extinction risk in languages are different to those for mammal species.
Statistical tests of association, such as correlations and regressions, are used to detect relationships between variables that are unlikely to arise from random variation, thus implying a functional relationship between the variables. But these tests rely on an assumption of statistical independence between data points. In this case, each grid cell is considered to represent an independent instance of the relationship between language and species diversity. However, this assumption of independence of observations is invalid if either or both forms of diversity are spatially autocorrelated. In fact, it is likely that both language and mammal richness are spatially autocorrelated, because many of the species or languages that occur in a particular grid cell will also occur in neighbouring cells. This means that similarity in richness values for different grid cells is at least partly predictable from their spatial proximity alone, which can elevate type 1 errors (false positives) in statistical tests of association, including correlation, regression or other linear models .
Furthermore, Turvey & Pettorelli's correlations included coastal grid cells with as little as 25% land area. Because richness increases with area, a grid cell with only 25% land area may have unusually low levels of both species and language richness, which could contribute to a spurious positive association. This is important to investigate, because Turvey & Pettorelli's results could be driven by grid cells containing few languages and low species diversity, with no significant relationship between diversity and risk in grid cells of medium to high language and species diversity.
Here, we investigate whether the spatial associations between mammal richness, language richness and elevation reported by Turvey & Pettorelli are robust to these two potential artefacts. We obtained geographical distributions of mammal species from the Global Mammal Assessment (www.iucn.org) and distributions of the world's languages from the Ethnologue . We extracted all distributions that overlap with the mainland of New Guinea (217 mammal species, 898 languages). We then created a raster grid for New Guinea at a resolution of 0.5° (approx. 50 × 50 km) and calculated the total number of mammal species and languages, and the number of threatened mammal species and languages, within each grid cell. Threatened mammal species and threatened languages were defined using the same criteria as Turvey & Pettorelli . We also calculated mean elevation for each grid cell, using data from the STRM 90 m Digital Elevation Database.
To analyse spatial congruence patterns, we first fitted simple Pearson correlations among log-transformed richness and elevation values, across grid cells, to compare with the results of Turvey & Pettorelli . We then fitted a linear model that predicts log(language richness) from log(mammal richness) and tested for spatial autocorrelation in the model residuals, using Moran's I. This test indicated significant spatial structure in the residuals (Moran's I = 0.05, p < 0.0001), necessitating the use of methods that account for spatial autocorrelation to test for associations between variables. We performed two kinds of test. First, for direct comparability with the Pearson correlations used by Turvey & Pettorelli, we performed correlations with significance tested using Dutilleul's modified t-test, which uses an effective sample size computed from the spatial covariance matrix . Second, we explored multivariate models using simultaneous autoregressive (SAR) error models . We chose this method over other kinds of SAR models because its underlying assumption that spatial autocorrelation exists in both predictor and response variables seemed most appropriate for these data. Moran's I tests on model residuals confirmed that this method adequately removed the effects of spatial autocorrelation. We used SAR models to test for univariate associations between language and mammal richness, threatened language and threatened mammal richness, and between mean elevation and each richness variable. We then fitted multivariate models predicting language richness from mammal richness, mean elevation and the proportion of land area per grid cell; and threatened language richness from threatened mammal richness, mean elevation and proportion of land area. All geographic information system (GIS) procedures were done using functions in the R packages ‘sp’, ‘rgdal’, ‘rgeos’, ‘raster’, ‘fossil’ and ‘worldmap’. Dutilleul's modified t-tests were implemented in the ‘SpatialPack’ package, and SAR models in the ‘spdep’ package.
When we assume independence of observations by using Pearson correlations, we obtain similar results to Turvey & Pettorelli. Mean language richness across the 256 grid cells is 5.96 (range: 0–43, s.d. 5.22), mean mammal species richness is 36.12 (2–103, 28.15), and there is a significantly positive correlation between number of species and languages (r = 0.4, p < 0.0001), and a significant negative correlation between number of threatened species and threatened languages (r = −0.16, p = 0.01). But when we correct for the non-independence between grid cells due to spatial autocorrelation using Dutilleul's modified t-test, there are no significant correlations between language diversity and mammal species richness (r = 0.24, p = 0.22), or between number of threatened languages and threatened species (r = −0.13, p = 0.24). The same results emerge from the SAR models: there are no significant associations between language richness and mammal richness, elevation or land area per grid cell (table 1). The only significant correlate of number of threatened languages per grid cell is elevation, which remains significant when accounting for mammal species richness and land area in a multivariate model. The SAR models all provide a better fit to the data than the corresponding non-spatial regression, when compared using Akaike's information criterion (AIC) (table 1).
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Spatial autoregressive (SAR) error models for (a) log(language richness) and (b) log(threatened language richness). Results are shown for two univariate models (mammal richness and mean elevation), and one multivariate model (mammal richness + mean elevation + % land cover per grid cell). For each model, the Akaike information criterion (AIC) for the SAR model and the corresponding non-spatial ordinary least squares (OLS) regression model are given. Asterisk (*) indicates the models that provide a statistically significant fit to the data.
Turvey & Pettorelli's negative relationship between threatened languages and threatened mammal species is largely a result of their different elevational distributions—threatened language diversity is highest on lowlands of the north coast, and threatened mammal diversity is highest in the elevated central regions. Because a standard correlation assumes grid cells are statistically independent, it essentially samples this one distinct difference multiple times, resulting in pseudoreplication and elevating type 1 statistical error. When spatial autocorrelation is taken into account, the negative relationship between species and language threat disappears.
Globally, language and species diversity may show consistent trends (e.g. increasing towards the equator) but within smaller regions, local factors may operate to create finer scale patterns (e.g. mammal diversity is greater at higher elevations, while language diversity is strongly shaped by prehistoric settlement along coastal regions). Studies such as Turvey & Pettorelli's which focus on a particular region are an important addition to global-scale analyses. However, at all scales of analysis, it is critical to test whether the fundamental assumptions of the statistical analysis are met. If spatial autocorrelation is detected in the data, then appropriate methods that allow for the resulting non-independence must be used.
The accompanying reply can be viewed at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1098/rspb.2015.0591.
© 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
↵Turvey ST, Pettorelli N. 2014 Spatial congruence in language and species richness but not threat in the world's top linguistic hotspot. Proc. R. Soc. B 281, 20141644. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.1644)Abstract/FREE Full Text
↵Foley WA. 2000 The languages of New Guinea. Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 29, 357–404. (doi:10.1146/annurev.anthro.29.1.357)CrossRef
↵Moore JL, Manne L, Brooks T, Burgess ND, Davies R, Rahbek C, Williams P, Balmford A. 2002 The distribution of cultural and biological diversity in Africa. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 269, 1645–1653. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2002.2075)Abstract/FREE Full Text
↵Mace R, Pagel M. 1995 A latitudinal gradient in the density of human languages in North America. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 261, 117–121. (doi:10.1098/rspb.1995.0125)Abstract/FREE Full Text
↵Gorenflo LJ, Romaine S, Mittermeier RA, Walker-Painemilla K. 2012 Co-occurrence of linguistic and biological diversity in biodiversity hotspots and high biodiversity wilderness areas. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 109, 8032–8037. (doi:10.1073/pnas.1117511109)Abstract/FREE Full Text
↵Amano T, Sandel B, Eager H, Bulteau E, Svenning J-C, Dalsgaard B, Rahbek C, Davies RG, Sutherland WJ. 2014 Global distribution and drivers of language extinction risk. Proc. R. Soc. B 281, 20141574. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.1574)Abstract/FREE Full Text
↵Nettle D. 1998 Explaining global patterns of language diversity. J. Anthropol. Archaeol. 17, 354–374. (doi:10.1006/jaar.1998.0328)CrossRefWeb of Science
↵Axelsen JB, Manrubia S. 2014 River density and landscape roughness are universal determinants of linguistic diversity. Proc. R. Soc. B 281, 20133029. (doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.3029)Abstract/FREE Full Text
↵Harmon D. 1996 Losing species, losing languages: connections between biological and linguistic diversity. Southwest J. Linguist. 15, 89–108.
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From VOA Learning English, this is the Health and Lifestyle report.
Have you ever found yourself in this situation: You hear a song you used to sing when you were a child – a bit of nostalgia or “blast from the past,” as we say.
But it is not a distant childhood memory. The words come back to you as clearly as when you sang them all those years ago. Here is an example:
I had not heard this song in years. But when a deejay played it recently at a children’s birthday party, I sang it word for word.
“A noun’s a special kind of word. It’s any name you’ve ever heard. I find it quite interesting – a noun’s a person, place or thing.”
This is the Schoolhouse Rock song that taught me what nouns are and I never forgot it.
It seems there is a scientific reason for this.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh studied the relationship between music and remembering a foreign language. They found that remembering words in a song was the best way to remember even one of the most difficult languages.
The Hungarian experiment
Here is what they did.
Researchers took 60 adults and randomly split them into three groups of 20. Then they gave the groups three different types of “listen-and-repeat” learning conditions.
Researchers had one group simply speak the words. They had the second group speak the words to a rhythm, or beat. And they asked the third group to sing the words.
All three groups studied words from the Hungarian language for 15 minutes. Then they took part in a series of language tests to see what they remembered.
Why Hungarian, you ask? Researchers said they chose Hungarian because not many people know the language. It does not share any roots with Germanic or Romance languages, such as Italian or Spanish.
After the tests were over, the singers came out on top.
The people who learned these new Hungarian words by singing them showed a higher overall performance. They did the best in four out of five of the tests. They also performed two times better than those who simply learned the words by speaking them.
Dr. Katie Overy supervised the study at the university’s Reid School of Music. She says singing could lead to new ways to learning a foreign language. The brain, it seems, likes to remember things when they are contained in a catchy, or memorable, tune.
Dr. Overy worked with Dr. Karen Ludke and Professor Fernanda Ferreira on this study. Their findings are published in the journal Memory and Cognition.
Dr. Ludke said the findings could help those who struggle to learn foreign languages. On the University of Edinburgh’s website Dr. Ludke writes, “This study provides the first experimental evidence that a listen-and-repeat singing method can support foreign language learning, and opens the door for future research in this area.”
Language teachers know using music works
Language teachers already know the value of using music and singing.
A teacher at a Chinese language school in Washington, D.C. relies heavily on songs and chants to teach Chinese. Hua Zhu Ying teaches students who most likely have never spoken Chinese before coming to the school. Ms. Hua says she uses music all the time to teach children Chinese.
“For example, for little kids usually we will use English songs but we are teaching them the Chinese lyrics. So it’s easy for them to start because they know the music. They just need to translate into Chinese words. ”
She adds that not only does it work, but it is fun for the kids.
“So, I think they are really having fun learning Chinese songs using English music. Sometimes, I think if I were taught English like that way maybe I would speak much better English than now.”
I’m Anna Matteo.
Do you use songs to learn or teach English? Is there a song from your childhood that you remember to this day? Let us know in the comments section.
Anna Matteo wrote this story for Learning English. Anne Ball was the editor.
A NATIONAL school curriculum for Aboriginal languages and Torres Strait Islander languages is expected soon.
University of Sydney's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander director Jakelin Troy said 13 of Australia's 250 indigenous languages were spoken across all generations, but more than 100 were at risk of dying.
The curriculum's key writer said indigenous languages needed to be encouraged for everyday use, especially at school.
"If you don't support local languages you are engaging in further dissimilation and erosion of identification, often leading to serious social issues," Professor Troy said.
An Australian Council for Educational Research study in 2008 found 260 Australian schools were involved in an indigenous language program. and more than 80 different indigenous languages were taught. - APN NEWSDESK
The Académie Française, the exclusive and ancient institution tasked with safeguarding the French language, will welcome both its first Haitian and first Québécois member on Thursday in the form of novelist Dany Laferrière.
Born in Port-au-Prince, Haïti, in 1953, Laferrière moved to Canada in 1976 where he worked as a journalist before publishing his first novel, How to Make Love to a Negro Without Getting Tired, in 1985.
Laferrière, who has since authored close to 20 novels, was elected to Académie Française in December 2013 but will formally take up his seat at an inauguration ceremony at the institution’s Paris headquarters with the typical pomp.
In a nod to his roots, he will wear a suit by Montreal designer Jean-Claude Poitras, with a collar meant to resemble that worn by Haitian revolution leader Toussaint L’Ouverture.
On Tuesday, he was presented with his ceremonial sword, given to all new Académie members other than clergy, which was created by Haitian sculptor Patrick Vilaire.
Afterwards, Laferrière will officially become one of the “immortals”, the informal name given to the 40 members of the Académie Française, who are elected to the institution for life.
Founded by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII, in 1635 the institution defines its role as “to give sure and certain rules to our language” and to ensure it is kept “pure” and “eloquent”.
But over the years, it has often been the subject of ridicule both at home and abroad for its stubborn resistance to the use of English loanwords by French speakers.
FRANCE 24 MEETS DANY LAFERRIÈRE IN MONTREAL
In recent years it has, for example, dictated that the French should say “logiciel”, instead of “software”, “Courriel” instead of email and “mot-dièse” rather than “hashtag”.
This struggle against anglicisms has often been in vain, particularly among French youth and within the business world, where words borrowed from English are common.
‘Language is for everyone’
However, the election of a member with roots in both Haiti and Quebec – both francophone regions but where the influence of foreign languages is more heavily felt and accepted – is the latest sign that the Académie may be starting to take a more flexible, pragmatic approach to its functions.
In March this year, French Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin praised the contribution foreign words had made to the French language.
“Some languages – like English today, or Italian in the past – have been particularly generous in offering hundreds of new words to French,” she said at an event launching the annual French Language and Francophonie Week.
“The French language is not frozen. A language is always evolving,” she added.
Her words were welcomed by a number of linguists present, among them Laferrière himself.
“A language needs to live first of all, otherwise it’s all just ideology,” he said at the time.
Last year the Académie welcomed its first ever British member – poet and literary scholar Sir Michael Edwards.
Inducting a foreign national is nothing new for the Académie – current members include the Franco-Lebanese author Amin Maalouf and the Algerian novelist and filmmaker Assia Djebar.
But the decision to elect Edwards – a native speaker of the language the defenders of French fear most – was seen as a watershed moment.
Meanwhile, in an interview on French radio earlier this week, Laferrière insisted he would not act as a “defender of a language, a region or a way of being”, in his new role as an “immortal”.
“Language is for everyone,” he said.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
Macmillan Swaziland has partnered with the Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Services (SBIS) in the quest to improve the use of SiSwati by the radio station by presenting them with books worth over E20 000.
Macmillan Managing Director Busi Simelane said the station was involved in the education of the nation through information dissemination and the proper use of the language which would preserve and develop its use within the nation for future generations.
“The radio station has its own type of education and the books we are giving will complement this by enhancing the way the language will be used,” Simelane said.
The books presented to the station comprised of 20 English - SiSwati dictionaries as well as novels which will be stocked in the station’s library.
Simelane admitted that she at times cringed at the words used by announcers but came to understand that this was due to the different ways of growing up and exposure to use of the language.
“We want to play a role in improving our indigenous language and don’t want to appear judgemental without giving a helping hand in order to mitigate the situation,” the managing director said while noting that the role of radio in the education sector was huge hence she committed to a lifelong relationship as long as their mission remained similar, to improve SiSwati.
She said the dictionary was created in order to preserve the language and its appropriate use.
Receiving the donation, SBIS Director Martin Dlamini said they were grateful for the assistance in preserving the SiSwati language.
The director said the day signified an important development as the ministry of information communication and technology under which the station operated was involved with ensuring that information was disseminated the country over.
“The station has a long history on giving the country information to the point that government once had a programme whereby radios were given to pupils in order to improve on the subjects they learnt,” the director said adding that even though the first group of pupils to write SiSwati in the school leaving certificate, the country had come of age in the use of its indigenous language.
“UNESCO reminds us that a nation that has lost its language is already dead,” Dlamini said.
He said the station’s website as well as government should have a SiSwati page in order to grow the language from what it currently was.
He revealed that he came from a family which strove to preserve the language as his mother taught Geography and Zulu which was used in times past instead of SiSwati and she was also an author of Siswati books such as Lifa and Siswati Sami.
We represent each language within black borders and then provide the numbers of native speakers (in millions) by country. The colour of these countries shows how languages have taken root in many different regions
TEHRAN – A five-volume English-Persian dictionary compiled by scholar Bahaeddin Khorramshahi has recently been published by the three Iranian publishers Moin, Negah and Shabahang.
The dictionary named “Kara” containing over 15,000 words was introduced during a ceremony held at the Arasbaran Cultural Center on Monday, the Persian service of IRNA reported.
Speaking at the ceremony, Khorramshahi stated that dictionaries are recognized as the first modern phenomenon in the literary and cultural categories.
“The basis of compiling a dictionary is methodology and then collecting sources and later compiling,” Khorramshahi added.
He said that compiling a dictionary is not merely the translation of foreign dictionaries, it requires constant research.
“You need to carry out research to find and compare the meaning of words from a number of sources, it is not simply a matter of picking a foreign dictionary and translating it into another language,” he explained.
Kara is considered to be the most comprehensive dictionary published over the past 200 years.
Scholar Nasrollah Purjavadi, also attending the ceremony, said that one of the best activities established after the Islamic Revolution was to compile reference books.
“The Persian language is a huge treasure and we have not yet achieved what we anticipated,” he added.
Photo: Lexicographer Bahaeddin Khorramshahi (4th from left) and a number of literati attend the unveiling ceremony of Kara English-Persian Dictionary at Tehran’s Arasbaran Cultural Center on May 25, 2015.(Honaronline/Arezu Bayat)
QUEEN’S ROAD: A man who started buying dictionaries to learn English has just come out with a three-volume Kannada-English dictionary.
At its launch earlier this month, lexicography stalwart G Venkatasubbaiah described V Krishna’s dictionary, with about 1.6 lakh words, as more exhaustive than Rev Kittel’s.
Kittel’s work, published in 1894, is the definitive Kannada dictionary. Krishna’s 4,750-page dictionary is priced at Rs 3,000, and is published by the Karnataka Sahitya Parishat, headed by Dr C Veeranna.
Krishna, now in his sixties, first picked up a dictionary when he began working at the India Agricultural Research Institute’s Soil Correlation Centre in Hebbal in 1971.
“Coming from a village in Mysuru district, I wasn’t very comfortable with English,” he says. “And this was a Central government department, and almost everything was in English. So a senior officer suggested I keep a dictionary.”
As he added more and more dictionaries to his shelf — he has built up a collection of about 300 dictionaries and lexicography-related books over the years — he started thinking of a dictionary he would compile for his personal use.
“When I came across Webster’s New World Dictionary, I thought that a Kannada dictionary in that format and with that level of detail would be great,” he says. So what began as a concise dictionary became a larger project spanning 30 years. He balanced this with his day job in various government and private organisations, and also completed his graduation in commerce in an evening college.
Krishna initially took down all the words by hand. But the advent of technology aided him along, after he gained access to a computer in 1999. “In 2004, I installed Nudi, and it became easier still,” he adds. The software enables writing in Kannada.
Apart from Webster, he names Random House’s and Chambers’ 20th century dictionaries, Kannada Sahitya Parishat’s eight-volume Kannada-Kannada series, V S Apte’s and Monier Williams’ Sanskrit-English dictionaries, Madras University’s Tamil-English dictionary, Brown’s Telugu-English dictionary and a couple of Hindi ones as the dictionaries he referred to.
“I haven’t left out any Kannada word that has come to my notice, whether or not commonly used, or English words that are in common usage in Kannada,” he says. So words like ‘bus’ and ‘school’ have found their way into his compilation. “But that doesn’t mean that I’ve excluded shaale because that’s in usage too,” he says.
Of tech-related words, he says very often, it’s easier to use the English ones rather than coin Kannada equivalents.
Karnataka Sahitya Parishat, the publisher, is astounded by the response it has received.
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BARRE — You are expected to do two things when you enter Alicia Frost’s class: Keep your mouth closed and keep your hands moving.
For the past three years, Quabbin Regional High School has been offering American Sign Language as part of its foreign language curriculum, along with French, Spanish and Chinese.
The language of deaf people in the United States, American Sign Language is a linguistically complete, natural language that has its own grammatical rules and syntax, similar to other spoken languages. According to the Modern Language Association, American Sign Language is the fourth most widely used language in the United States.
And now it's becoming popular in high school.
Mrs. Frost — who originally studied at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, to become a high school English teacher — has been teaching ASL for six years.
Before coming to Quabbin, the Mineola, New York, native taught ASL in the North Middlesex Regional School District. Before she became an ASL teacher, Mrs. Frost worked at Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults in Sands Point, New York, where she learned sign language on the job.
Mrs. Frost said the best way to learn ASL is by interacting with deaf people and, to be any good in sign language, you have to get acclimated to different people who are signing.
“You've got to understand that ASL, like with any language, you have to go find different dialects and different regions,” Mrs. Frost said. “People sign different ways. Some people are very nice and fluent signers and clear. And other people are really lousy signers. Even deaf people aren’t always very smooth. There are going to be different signs for different things in different areas (of the U.S.). Overall, usually, it’s the same general language, and you can adapt.”
Mrs. Frost said she doesn’t know of many schools in Central Massachusetts that offer American Sign Language. In the Worcester public school system, the sole school that offers ASL as a foreign language is Claremont Academy, according to Dolores M. Gribouski, a manager for the school system's Doherty and North quadrants.
At Quabbin, not only is American Sign Language being taught and accepted as part of the foreign language curriculum, ASL is also one of the more popular foreign language courses in the district.
And, it turns out, most of the students taking American Sign Language in the Quabbin Regional School District are not taking it because they have a family member or friend who is deaf or suffers from hearing loss. They are taking it because they feel it has a more usable component in everyday life and are attracted to the more hands-on and visual nature of the language, Mrs. Frost said.
“There is no written component of the language, so it makes it easier to learn in a lot of ways that they don’t have to write it,” Mrs. Frost said. “People are first drawn to it because they think it looks fun.”
During one of Ms. Frost’s ASL class, students have to talk with their hands, not their mouths.
While Spanish is the most popular foreign language offered at Quabbin, ASL I students Ryan Malkowski, Olivia Amato-Hansen and Travis Lanpher found American Sign Language much easier and more enjoyable to take than Spanish.
“I found it incredibly interesting how they can communicate without using their voice. It piqued my interest,” Travis said. “It’s not necessarily a difficult language. Spanish is like repetition every day, but ASL is more visual than physical learning. It’s kind of muscle memory.”
Others ASL students saw sign language as something that would help them later in life.
“ASL is really different, and it’s one of those beneficial languages that you don’t see very often,” ASL II student Carson Brooks said. “It’s easier to learn because you’re forced to not talk. The other classes, they can still speak English, so they can work their way through the language, whereas in here, if you don’t know a word, you have to know what the sign for it is in order to get your point across.”
Showing that learning American Sign Language can be fun, Mrs. Frost’s seven prized ASL students that she assembled on this day rattled off their favorite words in sign language (including monkey, whale, squirrel, soda, bacon, seizure and potato) and favorite pop hit to sign to (including Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A.,” Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Owl City’s “Fireflies” and Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”).
Mrs. Frost said American Sign Language makes students visual learners and one’s facial expression is the “No. 1 glamour point,” she said.
“You can see who knows the language well in class,” Mrs. Frost said. “They will have discussions about things with their friends, while the one who don’t (know the language) will sit there, looking miserable. It’s all visual. It’s more concepts. It’s not words.”