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Yesterday, Kate Mason from Google came to visit Fairfax, mostly to talk to us about how we can use Google for news, other than just Google News. It was a pretty sweet talk, and she touched on something I had never used: Google Correlate. One of the things she brought up is something I use every day though, constant reader, but have yet to blog about, and that is the deluge of extra things you can use the Google searchbar for.

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Metaglossia: The Translation World
News about translation, interpreting, intercultural communication, terminology and lexicography - as it happens
Curated by Charles Tiayon
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UN Careers - jobs in this network (Translators, Revisers, Editors, etc.)

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

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

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Beijing Workers' Service Center Receives Smooth Translation Capabilities With HARMAN's AKG Microphones And Headphones

Beijing Workers' Service Center Receives Smooth Translation Capabilities With HARMAN's AKG Microphones And Headphones | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
MN Newswire--2014-11-24--Breaking down language barriers for international guest speakers and officials, the 300-seat roundtable conference hall at the Beijing Workers' Service Center in China was recently equipped with HARMAN's AKG CS5 Conferencing system and K99 Perception headphones. Not only did audio supplier and integrator Beijing Respectful Electronic Technology Company Ltd. enable seamless translation and interpretation capabilities, it also provided improved voice clarity during meetings.

The installed conferencing system features two AKG CS5 VU voting units, 39 CS5 DU delegate units, three CS5IU interpreter units, one CS5 BU base unit, five CS5 CU50 charging and storage units, 10 CS5 IRT1 infrared transmitters, 250 CS5 IRR7 infrared receivers and 41 GN30 and CK31 microphone capsules. In addition, 253 AKG K99 high-performance Perception headphones were provided for accurate sound output.

"When tasked with this project, we were looking for stable system performance, simultaneous translation into seven different languages and clear sound input. With the AKG CS5 conferencing system, I believe we have found what we were looking for," said Yin Wang, Technician at Beijing Respectful Electronic Technology Company Ltd. "This system really gives us great voice clarity and stability, so conferences can continue smoothly and uninterrupted."

After distributing the infrared receivers evenly across the room, Wang made sure that the IR signals were uniform and stable. The CS5 system meets the stringent requirements of international conferences, but to ensure that conference participants have no trouble hearing all communications within the room, Wang turned towards the industry leader again for high performance headphones.

"We needed multilingual translation capabilities, because the conference room is often used for international meetings, but we also needed good headphones so that voices remain clear," said Wang."The AKG K99 Perception headphones performed reliably throughout all the meetings so far."

HARMAN ( designs, manufactures and markets premier audio, visual, infotainment and enterprise automation solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. With leading brands including AKG(r), Harman Kardon(r), Infinity(r), JBL(r), Lexicon(r), Mark Levinson (r) and Revel(r), the Company is admired by audiophiles, musicians and the entertainment venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of approximately 16,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $5.6 billion for the 12 months ended September 30, 2014.
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KantanMT’s Tony O’Dowd to Present at Nordic Translation Industry Forum, Helsingør, Denmark -

KantanMT’s Tony O’Dowd to Present at Nordic Translation Industry Forum, Helsingør, Denmark - | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
KantanMT’s Tony O’Dowd to Present at Nordic Translation Industry Forum, Helsingør, Denmark

KantanMT Founder and Chief Architect Tony O’Dowd to present at the 4th edition of the Nordic Translation Industry Forum (NTIF) on the 28th November in Helsingør, Denmark.

Dublin, Ireland, November 25, 2014 --( KantanMT is pleased to announce that its Founder and Chief Architect Tony O’Dowd will present at the 4th edition of the Nordic Translation Industry Forum (NTIF) on the 28th November in Helsingør, Denmark.

The NTIF is a forum for language industry representatives from the Nordic and Baltic countries to exchange ideas, knowledge and experience that will strengthen the industry and preserve local languages.

The presentation, entitled; "How to Set Up a Business in the Cloud for 2,000 EUR," will draw on Tony’s experience starting a successful statistical machine translation business in the cloud; Tony will address the challenges facing small businesses owners, and how to overcome these challenges using the power and flexibility of the cloud. The presentation, which is aimed towards small business owners and entrepreneurs will be held from 09:30 until 10:00 on Friday, 28th November.

Key Discussion Points:
Benefits of cloud computing
Setting up a business in the cloud
Cloud-based business apps available for small businesses
Paying for cloud-based business apps

In addition to speaking at the event, KantanMT will also be sponsoring a game during the social hour to raise funds for Translators without borders, which is a not-for-profit association founded in 2010 to provide translation services for humanitarian non-profits. The social hour is a networking event for conference participants and will be held on Thursday, 27th November from 17:00 – 18:30 in the pool area of the Hotel Marienlyst.

“We are thrilled to be participating in this year’s NTIF conference,” says Tony O’Dowd, Founder and Chief Architect at “This is a great opportunity to discuss trends in language technology for the Nordic and Baltic languages, while raising money for an excellent cause; Translators without Borders.”

The NTIF, which takes place from the 27th – 28th November at the Hotel Marienlyst is organized by Anne-Marie Colliander Lind and Cecilia Enbäck. Anne-Marie is the CEO of Inkrease, a management consulting company based in Sweden, and Director of Fundraising for Translators without Borders. While, Cecilia is an owner of Translator Scandinavia and is deeply involved in the creation of the European Economic Interest Group, TextMinded. Together, Anne-Marie and Cecilia have more than 40 years in the language services industry.

Interested in speaking with Tony during the event? Please email Louise Irwin ( to arrange a meeting. Find more information on the NTIF conference website.

About KantanMT is a leading SaaS based machine translation platform that enables users to develop and manage customized machine translation engines in the cloud. The innovative technologies offered on the platform enable users to easily build MT engines in over 750 language combinations, seamlessly integrating into localization workflows and web applications. KantanMT is based in the INVENT Building, DCU Campus, Dublin 9, Ireland.
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Teneo Linguistics Company, LLC, Announces New Pricing Structure for Translation Services

Fort Worth, TX (PRWEB) November 25, 2014

Teneo Linguistics Company, LLC, has surveyed the needs of its existing and potential clients and decided to respond with a friendlier approach to the structure of its offerings and price lists.
“Our clients frequently face the reality of too much content waiting for translation,” Hana Laurenzo, the company’s CEO, said. “At the same time, turnaround times are getting shorter and the translated information, in some cases, has a short shelf life.”
“In a nutshell, we want our clients to have a choice in what the delivered level of quality should be and how much it should cost,” she said. “If someone just needs to know what is in an email received by their customer service department, they should not have to pay the same rate they pay for translation of an instruction manual that will be delivered with thousands of their products."
TLC now offers three levels of quality: Basic, Standard and Pro. The Basic level is suitable for simple documents, common formats, “for information only” documents, internal correspondence, etc. Prices start at $0.09/word. Documents sold at the Basic level will be translated by a qualified linguist but not proofread by a second professional.
The Standard level includes translation, editing, proofreading and quality control for documents in most formats. This level is suitable for externally used documents (public). Prices at this level start at $0.16/word.
The Pro level includes all features of the Standard level plus one or more of the following custom requests: multilingual desktop publishing, multiple rounds of pre-print reviews, rush delivery, 24/7 project manager support, in-country review, style guides, glossaries, non-standard formats, etc. Customers will need to request a custom quote for this format.
“We are hoping that by addressing translations on different levels of speed, quality and price we will be able to deliver the exact results the client needs,” Laurenzo said. “Products in all three levels are accompanied by our white-glove service, free use of our project management platform and many other features that save time or money. Our goal is to redefine what is possible for every one of our clients." More details can be found on our website.
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Lost in translation? Google builds Indian language online content

Lost in translation? Google builds Indian language online content | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Google seeks to herd a mass of Indian Internet users with a new platform that will provide better, targeted content for them. The search giant said it has formed the Indian Language Internet Alliance with industry partners, in addition to launching the Hindi voice search, reported The Indian Express.

Internet use here is expected to grow to about 500 million by 2017, but hitting this mark will depend on making the online service accessible to those who don't speak English, said Rajan Anandan, managing director of Google India.

There are currently 200 million Indian English speakers, most of whom are online. Anandan said that the 5 million Internet users being added daily use the mobile platform, and not all of them speak English.

The Alliance will build Indian language content in order to engage hundreds of millions of first-time Web users in their native language. With the platform, Google aims to encourage more people to post more content in Hindi, and display them via its newly-launched portal that aggregates Hindi content across the Web—
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Details Last Updated on 25 November 2014
Conference Theme:

Foreign Languages in Africa in the 21st Century: Opportunities And Challenges

Dates: 11th - 13th Feb 2015
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American Sign Language (ASL) is NOT universal

American Sign Language (ASL) is NOT universal | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
By Barbara Armistead
That’s why it’s NOT called Universal Sign Language!
ASL is used in the United States, Canada (except for the French-speaking parts) and Guatemala. It is used in varying degrees in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Madagascar and parts of Africa.
Apparently, teachers from here went to the other countries to start a school for the deaf & taught the deaf people ASL, which then mixed with what the local population was using to communicate.
American Sign Language is the 3rd- or 4th- or 12th-most used language in the United States, depending on who did the survey. But where did it come from?
Many people in history have used gestures and signs to communicate, but most of them didn’t keep records about it. Finally, about 530 A.D., Benedictine monks in Italy recorded using hand signals to function within their vows of silence. Eventually, religious groups felt the need for communication methods to educate the deaf, so they could save their souls.
Educators in Spain and France claim to have developed sign languages. Many people give credit to Abbe de l’Epee for promoting sign language through his school for the deaf in Paris.
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, a minister, lived in Connecticut in the early 1800s. He had a friend with a deaf daughter and no idea how to educate her, so Gallaudet went to Europe in 1815 on a mission to learn how. He found the answers to his questions in Paris at de l’Epee’s school. He returned home in the summer of 1816 with teacher of the deaf, Laurent Clerc, who taught him French sign language aboard the ship, Mary August.
In 1817, they started the American School for the Deaf (ASD), so named because it was the only school for the deaf in America, in Hartford, Conn. It is still operating.
The teachers at ASD combined French sign language (approximately 60 percent) with signs that the locals had invented to use among themselves (approximately 40 percent).
Like all living languages, ASL grows and evolves. Two hundred years later, about 40 percent of ASL signs have French roots, but the languages are separate; users of ASL & French Sign Language can no longer understand each other.
Some graduates of ASD went on to become teachers of the deaf and taught at various state schools as they were established, spreading ASL west and south.
As each state school incorporated signs that were used by locals, dialects began to emerge. Holiday signs, especially, vary from state to state.   But just as different American dialects use “soda,” “soda pop,” “pop” or “©Coke” to mean the same thing, it doesn’t impede communication.
No one knows how many people use ASL; the results of various surveys vary from 100,000 to 2 million in the United States.
Not all deaf people use ASL. Those who do, and are part of the culture, are referred to as Deaf, not just deaf!
— Barbara Armistead has been an instructor of Sign Language for eight years at NLC. She can be reached at
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Our language dilemma

Our language dilemma | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Our language dilemma
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
From Print Edition
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  This refers to Asna Ali’s article, ‘Language and the locals’ (November 22). In our society and especially in our education system, due consideration is not given to language. Our educational institutions promote a bilingual approach comprising English and Urdu. Our students are taught in Urdu but they are asked to express their understanding of the world in English during examinations. With such an approach, they can claim authority neither on English nor Urdu and therefore are unable to interpret their understanding of the world properly.

Our state needs to formulate a clear policy with respect to the medium of instruction in our educational institutions. Instead of promoting the diversity of languages, students should be equipped fully with one language so that they can keep alive their artistic pursuits. To learn different languages without being able to express in anyone is just like jack-of-all-trades, master of none. This is the dilemma our students are facing today.

Inam Ullah Marwat

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For Americans Fighting to Reclaim Their Culture, Thanksgiving Means More Than Food - Higher Education

For Americans Fighting to Reclaim Their Culture, Thanksgiving Means More Than Food - Higher Education | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Every fourth Thursday in November, Americans find time for family, sharing food, traditions and language. Stories of that iconic first Thanksgiving evoke images of Pilgrims and Indians, but as is so often the case with history and popular culture, some details are missing. Two of the biggest ― those Indians were the Wampanoag, and within two centuries, their language ceased to be spoken.

Today, the Wampanoag and other Native American tribes give thanks for those who fight to bring their languages home again.

Food is not the only thing humans crave. Losing your language creates a hunger for that piece to make you whole again. This hunger is seen in so many U.S. indigenous communities. It is a hunger to reconnect with heritage, to regenerate culture and traditions, and to revitalize heritage languages.

Language is a powerful badge of identity. The Wampanoag know this. The restoration of their language, powered by Jessie Little Doe Baird and the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project, includes summer language camps where children experience their tribal language ‘set within a cultural context,’ for example, learning how to plant, harvest and cook traditional foods. These foods, plants and animals are familiar to those of us who are not Native Americans. Words like squash, persimmon, hickory, chipmunk, skunk and possum made their way into English in a route that originated in different Algonquian languages, writes linguist Ives Goddard.

Native American languages have more to them than words borrowed into English. Whether the language is Norwegian or Navajo, fluent speakers weave words into tapestries that express the full range of human experience, explain the natural world and its phenomena, and preserve memories across the generations. When a language ceases to be spoken, it means that intergenerational transmission of language, culture and memories gets interrupted.

In the centuries following European contact in North America, there was a series of destructive interruptions of Native American families. Particularly tragic were Indian boarding schools, which removed children from their families and sent them to schools off the reservation. Forbidden from speaking their Native languages, even amongst themselves, many Native students vowed that they would never teach it to their children. Physical and other punishments for violating school edicts linked trauma to Native American language use for generations of young indigenous children.

UNESCO classifies a language as safe when it is ‘spoken by all generations; (and) intergenerational transmission is uninterrupted.’ Boarding schools disrupted the acquisition of Native languages in the home. Decade after decade, intergenerational transmission declined, catastrophic to Native American languages.

A reversal of fortune, however, has come for these language communities. Like the Wampanoag, tribes are reclaiming their languages.  Like the Lakota, tribes are recreating environments for their youngest citizens, language nests, to transmit language to their children. Like the Chickasaw, tribes are using an intensive method of language teaching one-on-one, pairing an elder with a younger adult to create an apprenticeship of tribal language learning.

Another language hero, Daryl Baldwin, is a member of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma. There were no fluent speakers when Daryl set out to learn his language. Among his grandfather’s belongings there was a word list of Miami words. Words led to more, learning linguistics (and a master’s degree) to learn his language, partnering with linguist David Costa to draw from documents in archives and knowledge of related language.

Now, once again, the Miami language is spoken, revitalizing traditions, culture and language. And Daryl helps those from other tribes who rely on archival documents to restore their languages and to wake them up from their hibernation, bringing language home.

Dinner blessings this Thursday will be said in many Native languages — fragile, but still surviving. Native American communities across this country will say chokma’shki, mvto, wado ― giving thanks for their languages, and for those tribal language champions who work to satiate that hunger.

There is a hunger for language. Reconnecting with tribal languages nourishes the soul.

Dr. Colleen Fitzgerald is a professor of linguistics and director of the Native American Languages Lab at The University of Texas at Arlington. She may be contacted at
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Apple to drop Google as default search engine starting next year?

Apple to drop Google as default search engine starting next year? | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
According to a new report, Apple may be ditching Google as its default search engine for the Safari browser starting next year.
Google's deal with Apple expires in 2015, and Microsoft and Yahoo have already each pitched their respective search engines to Apple SVP Eddy Cue.

Microsoft already has their Bing engine as default for Apple's personal assistant Siri, and on the new Mac OS X Yosemite, the "Spotlight" feature uses Bing results, as well.

While Yahoo doesn't have any inroads with Apple, they recently announced that Mozilla's Firefox browser would use Yahoo as default for the next five years, a major win for the world's third-largest search engine.

Of course, no matter what the default engine is, you are free to switch it right back to Google although some less tech-savvy consumers may not know or care to change it back.

The Information
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A woman of many tongues — local heroine sends her greetings in 13 languages

A woman of many tongues — local heroine sends her greetings in 13 languages
25 Nov 2014
Amanda Khoza

WITH only Grade 7 education to her name, Marietjie Bothma went from being homeless to ­being the speaker during ­President Jacob Zuma’s ­inauguration celebrations.
However, it was her appearance on an pie advert speaking fluent Zulu that got tongues wagging. This multilingual woman, whose mother tongue is Afrikaans, can now speak 13 languages including several South African languages and German. She switches between Zulu, Xhosa and Sesotho with ease.
The recently appointed KwaZulu-Natal Tourism ambassador opened up to The Witness about her tough ­upbringing at a local mission and having to learn several ­languages just to survive.
Born in Potchefstroom, ­Bothma was adopted by a ­Pretoria family at 10 months old.
When she turned two, the family moved to KwaZulu-Natal, to the KwaSizabantu Mission near KwaMaphumulo.
This is where she was forced to learn different languages. “My father had a church during the apartheid days and he wanted us to learn different languages so we could interpret for him during the service.”
He made sure the various ­people at the mission station spoke in vernacular to the ­children and Bothma built on this at the various missions where she ended up.
Bothma said life at the ­mission was “extremely hard”.
“It was so strict. If you just looked at a boy, you would be expelled from school,” she recalled.
In Grade 7. Bothma was ­expelled from the mission ­“because I was a rebel, I did not follow the rules”.
She said while living in the mission, she had little contact with the outside world.
“In 2001, I tried to commit suicide, but landed up in ­hospital. I felt like life was too much for me. I felt like the walls were caving in on me, I never felt like I had a sense of belonging,” said Bothma.
She recovered from the ordeal and began to piece her life back together.
Bothma went to Johannesburg to look for a job, but ended up homeless on the streets of Hillbrow because she did not have money to go back to Bloemfontein, her home at the time.
Fast forward to 2008 when Bothma auditioned for I Want to Sing Gospel, but she did not make it. She got her first big break last year when she auditioned for a King Pie advert.
“It was only after the advert that people started asking about me. The advert has opened so many doors for me. I am a ­positive person and I talk about what I have been through, ­because I hope it will inspire ­other people,” she said.
Bothma has since appeared on etv’s Against All Odds and she was the master of ceremonies during President Jacob Zuma’s inauguration celebrations in May this year.
“It’s been a tough road, but I have ­survived,” said Bothma.
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To Russia, With Tough Love

To Russia, With Tough Love | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Dear Moscow,

This is a “Dear John” letter. You have had so little interest in the outside world for so long that you probably don’t even know what that is. I will explain.

It begins with love. In my case, it was a desperate kind of love with overtones of a sacred bond and the aftertaste of a false note. It was a bit like Aleksandr Pushkin’s ode to you, which all Russian children memorize in the middle grades, usually oblivious to the fact that it is plucked from “Eugene Onegin”:

Moscow . . . How many strains are fusing

in that one sound, for Russian hearts!

What store of riches it imparts!

This translation by Charles H. Johnston, first published in 1977, unfortunately introduces images absent in the original Russian, which, rather than “fusing” and “strains,” contains “muchness” and “echoing.”

An 1881 English translation accurately uses the word “much,” but then:

Moscow! How much is in the phrase

For every loyal Russian breast!

How much is in that word expressed!

Here, “loyal” was absent in the original, though very much present in the way these lines have been crammed down children’s throats. This translator — the first known to complete the work of relaying “Onegin” in English — was one Henry Spalding, a lieutenant colonel in the British military, which may explain the errant “loyal.” A bigger issue with his translation is that its language is stultifyingly 19th-century British (the work first appeared in 1881 in London), while the language of the original continues to read modern today. Whether this testifies to Pushkin’s genius or to the glacial change of development of Russian language and culture, I do not know.

But if a reader wanted a literal translation of “Onegin,” she would turn to the one executed by Vladimir Nabokov, so worth reading for its footnotes — and for the review Edmund Wilson wrote of it for The New York Review of Books in 1965. Unlike the translation itself, it is full of beautiful phrases, such as: “What we get here, however, from Nabokov is an egregious example of his style at its most perversepedantic impossible.” Nabokov renders the lines as follows:

Moscow! . . . How much within that sound

is blended for the Russian heart!

How much is echoed there!

You might note that for all his literalness Nabokov took liberties with the iambic tetrameter to which Pushkin managed to bend his Russian gently and naturally. Children in Moscow schools used to learn poetry meters and rhyming patterns and could tell an iamb from an anapest, but a couple of years ago the government decided to cut the number of instruction hours devoted to Russian — and the study of feet and beats all but vanished.

Context had disappeared so much earlier. When children learned these lines in isolation from the rest of “Onegin,” they had no idea that they were from the chapter in which Tatiana, the novel’s forlorn heroine, is forced to leave her comfortable country home and travel to the “bridal fair” that is Moscow. She is crudely appraised by men and women alike, and ultimately taken by an old general. Moscow in this chapter is a messy, uncouth marketplace, which robs virgins of hope and purity.

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All that is shed when the three lines appear alone, as they do, for example, on a giant sheet of bronze on the marble wall of the Pushkinskaya metro station in the very center of the city — as though these lines were meant to celebrate the city. Moscow, you are a liar and a cheat.

At ground level at Pushkinskaya, one will find the Pushkin monument, the poetic heart of the city. It is traditional to schedule dates here. As a child, I swooned over my mother’s stories of making young men wait for hours, clutching bouquets of roses. You will, in fact, still see men in the waiting position if you pass by the Pushkin monument any time of day or night; they may well be waiting for my mother. I had just turned 14 when my family emigrated from the Soviet Union and had not yet had a single date at the Pushkin. After returning to live in the city a dozen years later I had two dates there. One was a bad blind date, and I’d rather not talk about the other one.

What we should talk about, Moscow, are the monuments. When is enough, enough? Walk down the Boulevard Ring, the misnamed three-quarters-of-a-circle road that fails to circumscribe central Moscow, and you will see, block by city block: the composer Sergei Rachmaninoff; Vladimir Vysotsky, a 1970s singer-songwriter; Nadezhda Krupskaya, the wife of Lenin; the engineer and inventor Vladimir Shukhov (while the city was erecting this unimaginative likeness of the man himself in bronze, it was letting the 1922 Shukhov Transmission Tower, a masterpiece of hyperboloid construction, fall into disrepair on the other side of town); Alexander Griboyedov, writer, diplomat and suspected revolutionary; the Kazakh poet Abai Kunanbaev (here Russia’s protest culture had its last glorious stand, nine days in May 2012 known as Occupy Abai); and finally, a cast-iron stork planted inside a fountain, sometimes referred to as the monument to a drinking stork. That’s if you start off from Pushkin’s back side. If you walk the so-called ring in the direction Russia’s greatest poet is facing, you will encounter the poet Sergei Yesenin; Pushkin again, this time dancing with his wife in a gazebo-like structure; the writer Nikolai Gogol; and the writer Mikhail Sholokhov perched unnaturally on the nose of a boat about to capsize, his back turned on a dozen horses about to drown. A casual visitor might conclude from this lineup that Moscow loves its writers. After living with you for decades, though, I know that you love only your bronze and granite figurines, and you collect them like so many tchotchkes — given your druthers, you would add them at the rate of two a month until the city is too cluttered to walk through.

There is something obstinate and deeply uncharming about this commitment to the immobilized human form. Other cities can find room in their hearts for abstract statues, symbolic monuments — but not you, Moscow: You want every single one of them looking like a giant human (stork excepted). I was once briefly involved in an effort to have a monument built to honor the human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov. At its first meeting, the group of distinguished and otherwise reasonable writers, journalists and artists took up the question of anthropomorphism. I found myself a minority of one — the rest of the group believed the population of Europe’s largest city was not ready for a piece of stone that looked like anything other than a man. Then Sakharov’s widow, Elena Bonner, put an end to the process by declaring that the city, and the country for which it stood, did not deserve a monument to the great man. She was an old cantankerous woman who had mastered the art of not compromising, a trait that you, Moscow, find least appealing in people. You demand that residents and visitors mold themselves constantly to your whims and inconveniences large and small, whether the daily four hours of gridlock, the near-­complete absence of left turns in the central part of town, or the distances between public-transport stops that could be traversed on foot only by one of those granite giants, and only in good weather.

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There is, however, a Sakharov Prospect in Moscow, a street so short it is almost a square. By contrast, Andropov Prospect, named for the Soviet leader who had also run the K.G.B., runs about four miles.

I have loved one Moscow monument. It sits near the top of Sparrow Hills, which has the dual distinction of being one of Moscow’s highest elevations and the only (tiny) piece of virtually untouched nature in the city. If one takes a small tumble down the hill from the overlook point, from which on a clear day Moscow looks deceptively like a peaceful well-lit valley, one will find an odd structure with a wooden floor and granite half-circular half-wall, plus a granite stele. A scroll-like shape is set into the wall, with the faces of two teenage boys looking tenderly at each other. It memorializes Alexander Herzen and Nikolai Ogarev, who came up here in 1827 to swear to each other, in plain view of all of Moscow, that they would spend their lives fighting for democracy. They were teenagers at the time, and they were telling the truth.

Herzen’s writing still contains some of the most accurate descriptions of Russian habits and thinking, which have apparently remained constant for nearly two centuries. Take this passage from his memoir, “My Past and Thoughts,” in which he describes his first encounter with Western Europe:

“In the evening I went to a small, dirty, inferior theater, but came back from it excited, not by the actors but by the audience, which consisted mostly of workmen and young people; in the intervals everyone talked freely and loudly, and all put on their hats (an extremely important thing, as important as the right to wear a beard, etc.). This ease and freedom, this element of greater serenity and liveliness impresses the Russian when he arrives abroad. The Petersburg government is still so coarse and unpolished, so absolutely nothing but despotism, that it positively likes to inspire fear; it wants everything to tremble before it — in short, it desires not only power but the theatrical display of it. To the Petersburg czars the ideal of public order is the anteroom and the barracks.”

In other words, the nature of the Russian regime did not change when Peter the Great made his subjects shave their beards and moved the seat of government from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Nor did it change when Lenin moved it back to Moscow. Nor has it changed since; it still “wants everything to tremble before it.” Herzen himself emigrated west, lived in Italy and in France, tried to constitute his family in a revolutionary manner to disastrous effect, lost his wife to tuberculosis, was joined by Ogarev and his wife, and promptly began an affair with her. All the while, he published revolutionary articles, journals and memoirs. But Russia remained Russia.

This odd monument was constructed in 1979. By the 1990s, it was overgrown by shrubbery, the half-wall and stele were covered with graffiti and the floor with cigarette butts. This was where I liked to bring my dates in the 1990s: It was practically a secret monument, and the homoeroticism of the image was unmistakable. Then Tom Stoppard wrote “The Coast of Utopia,” a nine-hour play about Herzen’s revolutionary struggles, both public and private, then it was translated into Russian and staged in Moscow, and when Stoppard came for the premiere, he asked to see the Sparrow Hills monument. He was apparently so taken aback by its condition that money was soon found to clean and repair the structure.

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Things went downhill from there. Sparrow Hills has now been subsumed by Gorky Park, which probably means it is about to be landscaped and commercialized. The transformation of your parks, Moscow, is a heartbreaking story all its own. A few years ago, the city government decided it needed to domesticate its young people — the sort who would have worn beards and put on their hats during intermission in Herzen’s time and now, in addition to the hats and the beards, were also wearing very tight jeans. A specially appointed person, Sergei Kapkov, was given the title of the minister of culture in the Moscow government and the task of bringing the hipsters into the fold. He started by cleaning Gorky Park of its antiquated merry-go-rounds and its rowdy drunks and instituting Wi-Fi, espresso and bike paths. Hipsters swarmed the place and deified Kapkov.

Gorky Park, however, is not just a hipster project: It is first and foremost a Soviet-nostalgia project. The revamped park’s kiosks, ice cream stands and plaster sculptures create the ambience of a 1950s Soviet movie in which well-fed laborers strolled along the Volga embankment singing songs of love and a glorious socialist future. I once had a chance to engage Kapkov in a public debate about this, produced by the city’s main hipster magazine. He wanted to know what I thought was wrong with Soviet nostalgia. I tried to explain by pointing across the street, to another park that is part of Kapkov’s domain.

Back in 1991, the place across the Garden Ring from Gorky Park was a vast untended lawn. When a number of monuments to Soviet leaders were dismantled in the wake of the failed hard-line coup, most of them were brought here and laid on the grass, where they could be stomped upon and drawn upon. There was a Stalin, a Khrushchev, a Dzerzhinsky (the founder of the secret police) and several other giant old Bolsheviks in granite. A majority of Soviet monuments in the city remained untouched and stand proud to this day — including a Lenin-centered composition the size of a small city block just up the street from this lawn.

Soon you, Moscow, seemed to experience remover’s remorse. The monuments were righted, then cleaned up, then replaced to their pedestals, then fenced in to keep the vandals away, and finally given small informational placards that contained dates, the names of the subject and the sculptor, and the cryptic phrase “protected by the state.” In addition, many other figures, most of them in white plaster, were brought and scattered around the lawn, to make it look less like the graveyard of Soviet monuments and more like a garden-variety sculpture garden; it was now called Muzeon Park of the Arts. Svetlana Boym wrote about visiting the Park of the Arts in her 2001 book “The Future of Nostalgia”:

“If an extraterrestrial or any other well-wishing and not-so-well-informed stranger landed in Moscow and took a leisurely walk in the park, he would have had the impression that he is in a stable country that values its historical heritage and has had little experience with upheavals or revolutions. What is erased between the cautious lines of the sign is the history of the coup of August 1991 and the people’s unauthorized assault of the statue. The monument’s material history is erased as well. There are traces of graffiti on the pedestal, but they are unreadable.”

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As part of the hipsterization project, the Muzeon Park of the Arts got Wi-Fi, wooden sidewalks and funding for restoring the Dzerzhinsky monument, which had apparently suffered some internal injuries in all the moving. During the debate, Kapkov asked me if I would just like to see all Soviet-era monuments destroyed — implying that that would destroy much of the city, which is plastered with hammers, sickles and other Soviet symbols encased in many architectural structures. I suggested that restoration presented an opportunity for building in some critical distance. He asked me who would know what distance is right. If there is no consensus, he seemed to say, there would be no distance between today’s Moscow and the Soviet Union.

Ever since the Dzerzhinsky monument was dismantled, some people have been demanding that it be returned to its original spot in front of the secret police headquarters. The chorus has been growing steadily stronger, and I suspect the move will happen sometime soon. Oddly, this is your thing, Moscow: You like to move your figurines around. I remember, as a child, reading Marina Tsvetaeva’s book on Pushkin and being puzzled by her description of the Pushkin monument — the one where we started.

“Always under snow and ice — oh, I see them now, those shoulders weighed down with snow, all the snow of Russia weighing down and overpowering those African shoulders!” (My translation.)

That’s classic Moscow. The great-grandson of a black man, the forefather of all of Russian poetry, to you, Moscow, Pushkin is first a black man, even if he has been standing here in stone longer than any Muscovite has been alive. In all the years I spent with you never for a minute did I forget that I was not an ethnic Russian (I was usually correctly identified as Jewish, sometimes mistaken for Armenian or Georgian, but nearly everyone I encountered found a way to acknowledge my ethnic difference). So used was I to the racism that I did not notice it when I read this book as a child, but I did notice something else: Tsvetaeva seemed to describe everything that was behind Pushkin’s back as being in front of him and vice versa. Was she turned around? As it turned out, Pushkin had been. In 1950, 70 years after the monument was placed on one side of what in Soviet times was called Gorky Street, it was moved to the opposite side. There has been a lot of this. I remember going to Pushkin Square as a child to watch a 19th-century building be placed on rails and moved; this risky operation was performed on a number of structures in order to broaden the city’s central avenue. In the last quarter-­century, though, the city has dispensed with such intricacies: Many historic buildings have been razed and later rebuilt as replicas of their former selves. This process is cheaper and faster than restoration, and allows developers to make cosmetic improvements as they see fit. Moscow, you are a fake and a fraud.

The people of good will in Moscow protest the barbaric destruction of the city’s architecture. But I find their arguments painfully simple. They want everything to stay exactly the way it was — or is now. They have no more critical distance than Kapkov. When I look at this debate in which both sides — the developers and the preservationists — seem so obviously wrong to me, I realize that they love different sides of you, Moscow, while I love a city that exists solely in my imagination.

And yet I thought I would always love you. I loved you desperately as a teenager whose parents had decided to emigrate. While we waited for an exit visa, I spent every day with you as though it were our last — I walked the center of town every afternoon, making sketches. When I returned in the early 1990s, you were alternately welcoming and mean, now gifting me with the kind of friendships Russians have exalted, now hauling me to the police precinct for looking like a teenage boy from the Caucasus. That kind of inconsistency works every time. I loved you more than ever.

Two decades passed. Things got so rough that I knew I had to leave. And yet I thought that after leaving you for New York, I would, like Onegin’s Tatiana, say to you (in Spalding’s translation),

I love you — to what end

deceive? —

But I am now another’s bride —

For ever-faithful will abide.

Then, one day last summer, I spent a night walking the center the way I used to. Everything was gone, damaged or faked. You had become a stranger. Goodbye, Moscow. I don’t love you anymore.

Masha Gessen is the author of six books, including “The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin.”
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Swahili opportunities in Burundi ‘go begging’

Swahili opportunities in Burundi ‘go begging’ | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Tanzania\'s leading online News Edition (The National Newspaper). Get access to the most current and latest authoritative news on local issues, politics, events, celebrations, editorial, columnists, features, people and business
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Scripted raises $9M for its writing services, plans to launch copy-editing service next year | VentureBeat | Deals | by Kia Kokalitcheva

Scripted raises $9M for its writing services, plans to launch copy-editing service next year | VentureBeat | Deals | by Kia Kokalitcheva | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Journalists might be struggling to make money, but marketers are shelling out big bucks for written content.

Scripted, a three-year old company, has built an entire business out of helping meet that demand, and today, it’s announcing that it has raised $9 million in new funding.

For Scripted’s customers, usually marketers and companies, the service is designed to be easy and efficient. To commission a piece of content, customers submit a request with details on the type of content they need, the length, topics, keywords, and so on. They then receive pitches from writers Scripted has deemed good matches based on expertise and track record. Once the customer has approved a pitch (or more), they receive the drafts within a few days, which they can then get revised if needed before approving the final version.

Scripted’s pricing is based on the type of content and the level of expertise required. Scripted writer can produce almost anything from social media posts to technical white papers. Right now, customers can also opt to add images to their content through Scripted’s partnership with Creative Commons, though it’s working to integrate additional services to sell images.

“Basically, for the digital marketer, we want to be the one place where they come to create any type of digital content,” said cofounder and chief executive Sunil Rajaraman in an interview with VentureBeat.

Much of the company’s new funding will go towards helping it scale, in particular, through technology. As Rajaraman explained, when content agencies scale, that normally means they hire more and more people to handle their growing customer base and all the management that requires. Scripted, on the other hand, wants to automate as much of those needs as possible, including its writer screening process, its matching process, and the monitoring of reviewers.

Scripted also plans on expanding its services. Along with adding new photography vendors, Scripted will also launch a standalone copy-editing service in the next year. Rajaraman said the service is already running internally as every piece of content is independently copy-edited by one of Scripted’s freelance editors, and will be rolling out due to the high demand for copy-editing the company has been seeing.

“The way we see the business is that content creation is the most painful part of marketing. The marketer can’t run a campaign without content,” Rajaraman said.

Rajaraman also shared some of his company’s latest numbers, including that it gets about 500 writer applications per week (it accepts only about 18 percent of applicants), that 500 new businesses register every month (though not all use the service), and that both its revenue and number of jobs have tripled since last year.

Storm Ventures led the round, with partner Tae Hea Nahm joining the board as part of the deal. Justin Moore, Auren Hoffman, and current investors Crosslink Capital and Redpoint Ventures are also participating. Scripted is also raising $200,000 of the round through angel investor Gil Penchina’s late-stage syndicate on AngelList.

Disclosure: Crosslink Capital is an investor in VentureBeat. 

Scripted was founded in 2011 by Rajaraman and Ryan Buckley and is based in San Francisco. The company previously raised a total of $5.5 million in funding.
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142 titles nominated for the 2015 IMPAC Award

142 titles nominated for the 2015 IMPAC Award | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
142 books have been nominated by libraries worldwide for the €100,000 International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award, the world's most valuable annual literary prize for a single work of fiction published in English. Nominations for the 2015 Award include 49 novels in translation with works by 37 American, 19 British, 9 Canadian, 9 Australian and 7 Italian authors.

The 142 books were nominated by libraries in 114 cities and 39 countries worldwide; noting that49 are titles in translation, spanning 16 languages and 29 are first novels.

The 2015 Judging Panel comprises Irish novelist Christine Dwyer Hickey, winner of the Irish Novel of the Year 2012 for The Cold Eye of Heaven; Valentine Cunningham , Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University; Daniel Hahn, award- winning translator, writer and editor, Chair of the Society of Authors; Kate Pullinger, winner of The Governor General's Award for Fiction and Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media at Bath Spa University; Jordi Soler, author of books of poems, story collections, and ten novels translated into several languages and a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines in Spain and Mexico. The non-voting Chairperson is Eugene R. Sullivan.

Among the novels nominated for the 2015 Award are The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, winner of the 2014 Man Booker Prize, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and The Good Lord Bird by James McBride, winner of the 2013 National Book Award.

Among the 49 translated authors are French author Andreï Makine (born in Russia), Ma Jian (Chinese), Elena Ferrante (Italian), Eugen Ruge (German) and Jón Kalman Stefánsson (Icelandic). For the first time, translated titles comprise over one third of the longlist at 34.5%.

Two previous winners have also been nominated, 2011 winner Colum McCann and 1997 winner Javier Marías.
The libraries' most popular book this year, and one of the most nominated books since the award began, is Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch, chosen by 19 libraries in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand and the USA.

The full list of 142 titles is available on The shortlist will be made public on 15th April 2015 and the Lord Mayor will announce the winner on 17th June.
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Language Barriers Persist in Affordable Care Act Enrollment

Language Barriers Persist in Affordable Care Act Enrollment | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
It took 70 community groups working across 22 states in 41 languages to help 600,00 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) navigate the first open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act in 2014. This year, experts say many of the same issues persist, and language remains their biggest obstacle.

“Even in the second enrollment cycle, Asian Americans (AAs) and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPIs) continue to face enrollment barriers to the ACA,” said Isha Weerasinghe, Senior Policy Analyst at Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), “With 32% of AAs being Limited English Proficient, and 29% of Pacific Islanders speaking a language other than English at home, the need for in-language resources and assistance is great. Additionally, some AAs and NHPIs have low health literacy, and some may not be aware of how immigration verification can affect one’s coverage.”

“In the first enrollment, we had NO support or resources in terms of bilingual navigator assistance for the Asian-American community,” says Dr. Tsu-Yin Wu, Director of Michigan’s only AHJ member Healthy Asian Americans Project (HAAP). But this year, she received a federal grant to hire additional help, and is hiring bilingual navigators who speak Mandarin/Cantonese, Bengali, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Hindi, and Gujarati.

Some of the challenges faced during the first Open Enrollment Period—such as lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate materials, insufficient and unequal distribution of resources, low health literacy, and immigration-related concerns—persist, but the learned experiences, a new best practices guide, and a new multilingual glossary help considerably as the second Open Enrollment period begins.

Still, organizations warn that it's not just language translation that's needed.

“We know that many Asian Americans immigrated from health care systems very different from the U.S.,” said Wu. “Therefore, insurance terminology makes no sense to them, for example, co-pay, deductible, et cetera...Low health literacy means we have a long way to go.”
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Asterix and Tintin break into Irish

Asterix and Tintin break into Irish | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
As well as defending their small corner of Gaul from the Roman Empire, Asterix and Obelix have also been conquering a new language.

The Asterix comics, published in 107 languages, are now also available in Irish.

Irish poet Gabriel Rosenstock teamed up with translator Antain Mac Lochlainn to translate Asterix in Gaul, and Asterix and the Golden Sickle into Irish.

Crime-fighting journalist Tintin, and his faithful dog Snowy, have also been given a Gaelic makeover in Cigars of the Pharaoh.

Asterix was first published in 1961, and the series has sold over 250 million copies around the world.

Much of the books' humour comes from word play, which makes it difficult to translate.

The publishers gave specific instructions on how names should be translated.

Dublin bus station
Mr Mac Lochlainn said: "The Roman characters, their names should end in 'us'. There was a bit of a challenge there, but we managed to come up with names that sound authentically Roman."

In the Irish version, one self-important Roman military character Labhrás Busáras shares his name with Dublin's unglamorous central bus station.

More than just the spoken text had to be changed. The sound effects that are included in the graphics needed to be translated too, and then applied to the imagery by an illustrator.

Cover version. Asterix the Gaul was the first in the Asterix series.
Alun Jones of niche publisher Dalen decided to seek permission to create the Irish language versions as part of a project to create versions in several minority languages.

Dalen already publish Asterix and Tintin titles in Scottish Gaelic, Cornish and Doric Scots, a European Union-recognised language of Scotland.

Mr Jones said that by printing several different language editions at the same time they could keep costs down and provide affordable books for the public.

He believes there is a small but important market for minority language publications.

Unexpected demand meant that a second edition of the Scottish Gaelic version of Asterix had to be printed within four months.

"There are things in the Irish edition you won't find in any other edition. They are culturally relevant references, gems that only Irish readers will find," said Mr Jones.

Less than a week after the print run of 1,000 copies went on sale, Mr Jones said sales were "doing well".

Dalen plan to add an Irish translation of another Tintin title, The Crab with the Golden Claws, in 2015, and translators are also working on a couple of other Asterix titles.
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Tiken Jah Fakoly : "Ebola menace l'image du continent africain"

Tiken Jah Fakoly : "Ebola menace l'image du continent africain" | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Des artistes africains tels que Tiken Jah Fakoly, Mory Kanté, Barbara Kanam, Kandia Kora, mais aussi Mokobé, étaient réunis, lundi, au siège de l'ONG Médecins Sans Frontières, à Paris, pour délivrer un...
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Tale of twisted tongues — a third language dilemma

Tale of twisted tongues — a third language dilemma | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
On our way to Tokyo last month for a long-desired holiday in Japan, my wife and I had to change planes in the Chinese city of Guangzhou.

Three youngish looking men and three equally young girls were manning the transit desk of China Southern airlines.

As one of them greeted us and took our boarding passes and passports for verification I could not help notice that all of them were wearing very colourful lapel pins on their jackets.

And on each one of them was written: “I CAN SPEAK ENGLISH” in bold letters.

A bit of research, or “googling” if you wish, at a later date revealed that China spends as much as $75bn every year to teach English to nearly 400mn boys and girls and young men and women.

For the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing, China gave English lessons to 600,000 people so as to prepare them to receive athletes, officials and spectators from all over the world.

China’s thirst for knowledge of English is not based on the whimsical imagination of the country’s president or any member of the ruling communist party.

Fact is, there are as many as 75 countries where English is either the official language or the second language.

Close to a billion people, or one out of every seven man, woman or child in the world speaks/understands English.

China also found that these 75 countries possessed 70% of the world’s wealth, which means that English literacy is very closely linked to your economic well-being.

So China, very possibly on way to becoming the world’s biggest economic power in the next two to three decades, is learning English even as the rest of the world is eagerly learning Chinese/Mandarin.

The rest of the world, that is, except perhaps India!

Thanks to Lord Macaulay we are okay with English. Hence we should actually be seeking new pastures on the world arena.

Instead we are looking to go back 5,000 years and resurrect and learn a language that exists only in scriptures.

So, if Smriti Irani, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s specially chosen minister for human resources development, has her way, soon you could be landing in Mumbai and Delhi’s international airports to be greeted by airline staff who could be wearing lapel pins announcing, “I CAN SPEAK SANSKRIT.”

Or whatever that may be in its translated form in the ancient Indian language.

In her eagerness to show how well tuned-in she is to her ministry’s responsibilities as the guardian of all education in the country, Irani searched high and low to come up with the discovery that India’s Constitution did not allow any foreign language to be taught in schools as the third language.

Yes, a few teachers of Sanskrit had gone to court in support of their demand to popularise Sanskrit but even they had not noticed the constitutional point.

So, on October 27 she declared that the teaching of German in schools run by the federal government, known as ‘Kendriya Vidyalaya’, must stop.

Her bureaucrats, ever eager to please their boss, ordered that German shall cease to exist in the curriculum of all such schools forthwith and that in its place Sanskrit shall be the third language.

Isn’t it strange that when the prime minister is showing his fondness for modern-day technology and tools that could gallop India to the top of an ever-shrinking world, his HRD minister is championing the cause of a language that only lives in history and can only help make India an island far removed from the rest of the world?

Yes, Irani has reiterated that she is not exactly favouring the study of Sanskrit over any other language and that any modern Indian language can be the third option.

But the question is why not a foreign language that could provide the kind of exposure for students looking for employment opportunities outside the country.

After all the economy is getting globalised by the day and physical land barriers are fast becoming irrelevant making it more attractive for young men and women to find jobs of their liking outside the country.

That will be the empowering of the youth, nearly 600mn of them, which Modi has been propounding ever since he became the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.

A budget of 1mn euros and 70,000 students may not sound too big in the Indian context but these are the figures with which the German embassy in India is directly involved through sponsorship in these ‘Kendriya Vidyalayas’.

There are hundreds of thousands of students in private schools learning languages as different as French, Russian, Spanish or Mandarin as their third language.

Now a constitutional objection has been raised, which means that the ban on study of German or other foreign languages will not be confined to government-run schools alone.

So it will be the turn of the private schools to stop teaching anything other than strictly Indian.

Modi’s “Make in India” is obviously finding new meanings!

Irani’s interpretation of the Constitution may, after all, be flawed. According to experts, although the VIII Schedule of the Constitution of India does list a number of languages, it does not say that only these languages must be taught in schools.

And if, for a moment, one were to concede that Irani is right, then, as someone supposedly responsible to bring up the future generations of Indians well suited for the challenges of an ever-competitive world, is it not incumbent on the minister to provide all such opportunities that could help these youth to accomplish that task?

The winter session of parliament, which began on Monday, is slated to discuss and pass several laws, including possibly a constitutional amendment to facilitate the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST).

If only Irani, instead of attempting to resurrect a dead language, had campaigned for another amendment to broad-base the language formula for schools!

Irani, of course, is not new to controversies. Her very first day in office saw allegations, mostly by a jealous and defeated opposition, being flung at her for having given wrong declarations about her educational qualifications.

Then came a confrontation with the Delhi University on a four-year undergraduate programme where Irani was very obviously goading her bureaucrats of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to come down heavily on the country’s premier central university.

Even before the university finally caved in, the UGC, again with tacit approval from Irani, was taking on the IITs to try and bring them under its control, an attempt that has yet to produce results but Irani, for all one knows, could have only left it for another day.

The minister was at the centre of another controversial decision to force all children in government schools to listen to Modi’s speech on September 5 which is Teacher’s Day in India.

Then there were reports of favouritism in the appointment of Vishram Jamdar, a self-proclaimed RSS member and an Irani acolyte, to the chairmanship of a central university in Nagpur.

And now this third language issue.

It is six months into the Modi regime and already several neutral analysts and columnists have started critically appraising the work done so far and they are not being very enthusiastic, so much so that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had to go on record declaring that some very important second generation reforms are being tabled in parliament soon.

(Jaitley, who is closest to Modi in the cabinet, must be hoping that a resurgent economy could hide many of the other unsettling aberrations that the government is facing from time to time. But the main opposition Congress is ambivalent while others like the Trinamool Congress and JDU have declared their hostility in no uncertain terms. So let’s wait in hope.)

Modi, however, has maintained a deafening silence over the language issue even though German Chancellor Angela Merkel found it serious enough to raise it during their brief meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Australia earlier this month.

But if the prime minister were to sit down and make a list of ministers who have been more obstructionist than helpful in achieving his dream of “less government, more governance”, Irani should rank up there.

Or is that why there is talk that Irani will soon be eased out of the ministry and asked to lead the campaign for the assembly elections in Delhi slated for early 2015?

Only time will tell what Irani will have in store for the national capital if she were to become its chief minister! For one, you, Dear Reader, may be burdened with an ‘Indraprastha Diary’!
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‘Foreign Languages are Not Cultural Invasion’

‘Foreign Languages are Not Cultural Invasion’ | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
CHENNAI: A group of students — the ‘Little Goethe’— march to the stage with lanterns, chanting in German, hosting a quiz and singing songs. The Indian audience laughs at the jokes and answers the questions in German.

As the Sanskrit versus German debate as third language goes on at the Kendriya Vidyalaya, scrapping the subject midway through the year, teachers and students celebrated 100 years of German language in India at the Chennai’s own Goethe Institut with enthusiasm.

“It is a paradoxical time for this event, with a crisis to be dealt with in the stamp of authority that has come upon our subject,” said Pramod Talgeri, president of an Indo-German teachers’ association, InDaf. With multilingualism, no Indian language could develop to a superlative extent, and Urdu remains the only language where a doctoral degree could be given.

But this multilingualism can be channelised in a good way, believes Talgeri, where languages like German become new ways of looking at ideas. Although the ‘authority’ is not keen on German, this can still be a ‘tolerable hindrance’ feels Shreesh Chowdhury, linguistics professor from IIT-Madras. 

The demand, as Goethe Institut director Helmut Schippert says, is only going up every day. “Schools and students create the demand, this could be considered a ‘market’ in terms of economy or ‘democracy’ on a social level,” says Schippert.

“Languages should be for cultural learning, and in the age of globalisation and hybridisation, why do we speak of ‘other’ cultures as if they are alien?” he asks.

Although Indians are insecure of our own languages dying out, the German enthusiasts do not believe that stamping out this ‘other’ is the way to retain what was ours.
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Translating meaning, not words, is the principal art of an interpreter | Russia & India Report

Translating meaning, not words, is the principal art of an interpreter | Russia & India Report | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Although he is best known for being a polyglot, who was an interpreter for Gorbachev, Yeltsin and Putin, Dmitri Petrov is also a scientist, professor, TV host. He spoke to RIR in a wide-ranging and animated interview.  
He says of his talent: “I am familiar with 50 languages; I can speak 30 to various degrees; I teach eight.” But he adds: “It’s impossible to know a language perfectly, even if you are a native speaker.” Dmitri Petrov, however, has the necessary knowledge to teach languages all over the country. The Polyglot reality show, which he hosted on the state Kultura (Culture) channel, had incredible ratings for an educational program. Teaching millions of viewers the tricks of English, German, Italian, French, Spanish and Hindi, Mr. Petrov did not peek into a dictionary and parried the cunning questions of studio participants with ease.
Teaching is just one of his talents. He has been an interpreter for heads of state and is an entrepreneur, having opened his own language centre. Mr Petrov also has his own publishing house, which this year published a textbook for foreigners wishing to learn Russian.
We didn’t start speaking about this immediately. “First, I would like to say that I have never been a public official,” says Mr. Petrov. “I interpreted for Gorbachev and Putin during international events. I sat in a cabin and they didn’t even see me.”
There was no visual contact between you, but there was verbal contact. You, probably, like no one else, know the way the top officials speak, the particularities of their speech. Did you ‘tune into the wave’ of each official beforehand?
It is not difficult to translate politicians because as a rule their statements, let alone their speeches, are well calculated and verified. There is hardly any improvisation. However, it is obviously very important to translate certain nuances correctly. Because a situation or political event can be interpreted from various angles, it is very important to translate the correct angle. For example, when Gorbachev spoke about the collapse of the Soviet Union he spoke about it differently than, let’s say, Yeltsin did. Gorbachev spoke with bitterness, describing the dissolution of the union as a lost opportunity to preserve a big country. He used words that in English would be translated as “disintegration” or “collapse”, while his opponents spoke of a peaceful separation. It was vital not to put the word “collapse” into Yeltsin’s speech, and vice versa, because the emotional aspect would have changed.
How do interpreters prepare for these meetings? Did you, for example, reread the history of Gorbachev’s presidency on the eve of interpreting for him?
I teach interpreting at the university and I always tell my students that it’s not enough to know and understand the language. It is also very important to have general knowledge, to know about world events. Because three-quarters of the translation’s correctness comes from knowledge of political events happening in the world. This helps avoid imprecision.
Familiarity with political realities, as I understand, is only the tip of the iceberg. If Putin, for example, uses an obscure term or a Russian proverb, knowing politics won’t help. Have you ever been in such situations?
If you remember, there was an episode in Switzerland, a conference in which Putin spoke. He was asked a question about Islamist groups and Russia’s relationship with Islam. But the interpreter couldn’t translate the word “circumcision”. He made a mistake and instead of circumcision said excision.
Were there any similar embarrassing moments in your professional experience?
If there had been any, I don’t think I would have been invited to collaborate with such important international organisations as the European Union and the European Commission. I always tried to translate the meaning, not the words. When you feel someone wants to praise or offend someone else, you must never repeat the words that are driven by the emotion or judgment. It’s important to convey the sense. That is the principal art of an interpreter.
Is your interest in foreign languages something that you’ve inherited? If I’m not mistaken, your parents also knew several languages.
First, at home we always had many books in many different languages. My grandmother, who had finished the Gymnasium in 1917, having received her education before the October Revolution, absorbed the zeitgeist of the era. It was forever preserved within her, even during the communist period. She instilled an interest in languages in me, just an interest, without the aim of learning them. It was just part of everyday life: reading fairy tales to children in the original language. She would read the Brothers Grimm in German and Charles Perrault in French. I grew up in a little town in the Moscow Region, though, where there wasn’t even a sign of a foreigner. But I felt the need to be surrounded by foreign languages. I felt that it was my natural habitat.
More about Russian society
In the USSR, English, not to mention other languages, was not used very much. There was basically no one to speak English with and there was no one who could be heard speaking it. But everyone spoke Russian – in the Baltics, in Georgia, in Ukraine. Today everyone knows English. How is the situation with Russian in today’s world?
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, some former Soviet Republics stopped using the educational system in which Russian was a mandatory subject. But then interesting things happened. First, western companies that opened their branches and established themselves in the former Soviet republics, such as the Baltics, and also Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, hired local experts. Later, knowing Russian became a requirement for landing a job with the companies in many of these countries. For example, the western company that came to Lithuania was not satisfied with a local collaborator who just spoke Lithuanian.
The aim of every business is to enter a big market, which means Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, that is, countries where Russian is the predominant language. The second factor is tourism. There was the birth of mass tourism from Russian-speaking countries, and not only to eastern European countries, but also to resort countries such as Turkey, India, Thailand and so on. And today we see the urge to learn at least the fundamentals of Russian in many of these countries.
Finally, there is another factor. Native Russian speakers actively started doing business and acquiring real estate in various parts of the world, including western Europe. A new market emerged, one related to bilateral economic ties, one that required the knowledge of Russian from a big number of people.
And that is why in the past few years we’ve seen an increase in the number of students who wish to learn Russian not only in the countries where Russian tourists come to “bask in the sun”, but also in eastern European countries, such as Poland. Therefore, even if we exclude the simple interest in the Russian language as the language of Russia and Russian culture, we will still see that its popularity is growing. No wonder last year Russian was rated second after English among languages used on the internet.
This year you published a textbook for foreigners wishing to learn Russian. Is this your attempt at conquering the ‘big market’?
Since I am connected to the education system, I know that there has always been a problem in assisting foreigners in their study of Russian. There are certain academic difficulties related precisely to the teaching of Russian. Since I have my own education centre, which has a publishing structure, I decided to assist those studying Russian in a print and electronic form.
What kind of a textbook is it?
We have already published Russian for Anglophones and Russian for German-speakers. We are preparing Russian for Francophones and for speakers of other languages. In April, I visited the London Book Fair and presented the textbook, explaining why it is different. It is not good to frighten students with complicated charts. I emphasise combinatorics, that is, I try from the very beginning to get students to develop the skill of combining. Create as many combinations as possible even from a small quantity of elements, that is, words. After the London Book Fair this textbook sold many copies in Moscow and we are now looking for a distributor in the UK. We will try to promote it for those who would be interested.
Why do you publish Russian for Anglophones and Russian for German-speakers separately? Why not create a common textbook for everyone who doesn’t know Russian?
I try to explain the theoretical part of Russian as clearly as possible. This must be done in accordance with each individual language. Each language – English, French, German and so on – has its own explanation of, let’s say, a Russian verb. For example, in German there is the category of gender, which can be useful for creating interesting examples for German-speakers, examples that are similar in their language. If the explanation is for the English, who don’t have a grammatical case, or a gender, then the explanation must be more precise: what is a gender and a grammatical case? Why do they exist? What function do they have in Russian? and so on.
Many people say that Russian is extremely difficult to learn. Do you agree?
It depends. Russian has declensions but there are no articles; Russian has conjugation, but there are fewer tenses than in English; Russian is based on the Cyrillic alphabet, yet the spelling is less different from the phonetic side of the language in respect to other European languages. For every minus there is a plus.
If you were to compare Russian with English, what conclusions would you make?
These are two great languages, which each have similar patterns of evolution. English has become a universal language, though at a cost: it is becoming more and more technical. The same fate awaits the Russian language. According to statistics, English is used about 90pc of the time when people socialise. But this happens mostly among non-native speakers. English can be spoken between a Spaniard and a Chinese, a Frenchman and an Arab. English has become a universal and a very pragmatic way to communicate among people of very different nationalities.
But pragmatism inevitably leads to simplification, even to a certain impoverishment of forms when a language stops being the weapon of culture and becomes a weapon of business. This is what is happening to English, unfortunately or not. We are seeing a similar process, though to a lesser degree, in the Russian language. It is important to understand that Russian, just like English, is not a property of the nation. In the modern world, Russian is not an attribute of the Russian Federation or of ethnic Russians.
As with the mobile phone system, which is valued for the quality of the signal and the quantity of callers, language is an instrument of communication that helps us communicate with millions. We have stopped perceiving language as cultural heritage, as a way to read Dostoevsky in the original or watch a Russian-language film. For most of us who study the language, it is a way to obtain an edge on the labour market or get access to information resources. Whether this is good or not, it is so.
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Bing and Yahoo reportedly aiming to become default iOS search engine as Google's contract runs out

Bing and Yahoo reportedly aiming to become default iOS search engine as Google's contract runs out | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Last week Mozilla announced that its Firefox browser would be dropping Google as the default search engine in favor of Yahoo. While it’s a good move for Yahoo, it won’t gain the company the exposure that comes with being the default search engine on something more widely used, such as Apple’s Safari browser on iOS devices.

That position has been held by Google since the iPhone’s launch in 2007, but the agreement that made the Mountain View-based company the default site for all of Safari’s searches will expire next year, and The Information reports that Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing are both vying for the spot.

Both Yahoo and Bing have been included as user-selectable options in Safari for years now, but with Google and Apple constantly at one another’s throats over some smartphone patent or another, the two companies now see the perfect chance to put themselves in one of the most prominent mobile browsers they can.

Apple previously has pulled the plug on Google’s other iOS integrations, such as Maps and the built-in YouTube app in iOS 6, so it makes sense that the company might want to pick a new search provider as well. With Apple holding a sizable chunk of the mobile web traffic market, becoming the default search engine on the company’s devices would be a huge boon for Google’s competitors.

We’ve known for some time that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been pushing to make her service the default search option on iOS, but Microsoft’s Bing recently gained traction on iOS devices when it became the exclusive search provider for Siri.

While Mayer may have been working on convincing Apple’s executive team for months, the company might want to unify the Safari and Siri search results by setting Bing as the default in the browser. It will certainly be interesting to see who comes out on top in the end.
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NSW state library aiming to reclaim lost Indigenous languages

NSW state library aiming to reclaim lost Indigenous languages | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
There were over 250 Indigenous languages spoken across Australia at the time of white settlement.

Only 13 remain in regular use, with around 110 spoken by a handful of people over the age of 40.

The State Library of New South Wales' Indigenous Services Branch is aiming to breathe new life into those disappearing dialects with a long-term project that has begun with the digitisation of the library's colonial-era records.

Indigenous Services manager Kirsten Thorpe said the project aimed to reconnect Indigenous Australians with word lists and vocabularies of the first Australians, while introducing the wider Australian community to these ancient languages.

"Our focus here is to connect with communities," Ms Thorpe said.

"We are the custodians of the records and our role is to facilitate access to the information."

PHOTO: A detail of some primary source material used to revive forgotten Indigenous languages (702 ABC Sydney: John Donegan)
The painstaking work of sifting through and digitising the library's vast array of language records has enabled remote communities to access the material easily for the first time.

"There is a lot of linguistic work going on in the communities and we want to make sure these lists are made available to those community workers," Ms Thorpe said.

Before the website was launched, people from remote communities had to make prior arrangements with the library, travel to Sydney and look for a needle in a haystack.

"They not only had to come here, but they had to spend significant time going through collections to find these lists which were often buried in other collection items," Ms Thorpe said.

"This project puts everything out on a much more accessible platform."

The lists, drawn in beautiful copperplate hand writing, were collected in the late 19th and early 20th century by police officers, missionaries and government workers at the behest of the Royal Anthropological Society of Australasia.

"It was a case of 19th-century crowd sourcing," Ms Thorpe said.

Some translations were sourced by missionaries in their native tongue of German, and now require a second translation from German to English.

"This project started in 2011 when we realised that a really underutilised part of the library's collection was the resources we had relating to Aboriginal languages," Ronald Briggs, from the library's Indigenous Services unit, said.

"It had been neglected because we are librarians, not linguists."

Linguist Michael Walsh was brought into the project and trawled through 12 kilometres of manuscripts where he uncovered more than 100 different languages.

"It's been great to have elders in here from different communities and to hear them discuss the nuances between the different languages," Ms Thorpe said.

The project and website was enabled with seed funding from Rio Tinto.
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Web Search, Transformed: Looking Out For You - InformationWeek

Web Search, Transformed: Looking Out For You - InformationWeek | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Microsoft Bing director and author Stefan Weitz discuses how wearables, IoT, and big data are transforming search.
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Museums may have multi-sensory translation soon

Museums may have multi-sensory  translation soon | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
DOHA: A research will begin soon to examine the possibility of introducing multi-sensory translation at museums.

Multi-sensory translation provides service, where people can smell and touch things and feel and taste them. It will give accessibility for people with special needs.

The project by the Audio Visual Faculty of Translation and Interpreting Institute (TII) at Hamad bin Khalifa University is in the process of being funded.

“In the future, we are going to have museums that are going to offer multi-sensory translation services…What has been known about museums that you never get to touch anything or contact, but this project of the audiovisual faculty team is trying to take on multisensory translation museum,” Dr Salah Basalamah, Associate Professor, Postgraduate Studies and Research Programme,  TII, told this daily. TII’s Master of Audiovisual Translation focuses on translation of audio, visual and audiovisual materials, including dubbing and subtitling of movies, TV shows and other videos.

The Peninsula
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Agence Ecofin signe un partenariat avec T4J pour traduire ses contenus en multilingue

Agence Ecofin signe un partenariat avec T4J pour traduire ses contenus en multilingue | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Media Management, qui fournit les flux d’informations sectorielles d’Ecofin, l’agence spécialisée dans les marchés africains, vient de signer un contrat d’exclusivité de traduction avec T4J, le réseau international de traducteurs pour journalistes.

Grâce à ce partenariat, les informations publiées par l'Agence Ecofin sont désormais disponibles sur la plate-forme T4J dans les différentes langues utilisées par les acteurs économiques présents sur le continent africain : anglais, arabe, chinois, français, espagnol, portugais, portugais du Brésil, et russe. Les articles quotidiens couvrent les secteurs financiers, énergétiques, agro-industriels, miniers, juridiques, et des TIC, communications et médias. Traduits par T4J, les articles du jour peuvent être achetés à l’unité ou par abonnement mensuel à des flux RSS pour s’intégrer de façon automatique dans un site web, le tout en temps réel. Les acteurs économiques ayant des opérations sur le continent africain peuvent également soumettre à T4J leurs dépêches et communiqués de presse pour traduction et/ou diffusion par le même réseau de partenaires. En traduisant le contenu de l’Agence Ecofin, par les linguistes professionnels de son réseau, T4J met ainsi à disposition des acteurs économiques du monde entier, des informations sectorielles d’une valeur commerciale et stratégique inestimable à un moment où l’Afrique apparaît comme le grand relais de croissance des prochaines décennies. A propos de Media Management : Media Management Ltd fournit quotidiennement à l’agence Ecofin des flux d’informations économiques et financières sur les principaux secteurs africains : finance, assurance, bourses, télécoms, mines, énergies, agro, communication, etc. Ses équipes de journalistes spécialisés et d’experts produisent entre 30 et 40 dépêches jour qui sont reprises par les principaux agrégateurs d'informations dont Google Actualités, ainsi que par la presse en ligne africaine et la presse internationale spécialisée. A propos de T4J : T4J est une plate-forme multilingue permettant aux médias et journalistes d’acheter du contenu nouveau à moindre coût et de rentabiliser leur contenu existant. T4J s'appuie sur un réseau international de traducteurs professionnels répartis dans 181 pays, qui assurent une veille des médias en ligne dans leur langue de travail, à la recherche d'articles susceptibles d'intéresser des médias étrangers. Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter : www.translatorsforjourn
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