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Microsoft develops translator bookmarklet - Technology - GMA News Online - Latest Philippine News

Microsoft develops translator bookmarklet - Technology - GMA News Online - Latest Philippine News | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Look out, Google Translate. Microsoft is coming up with an alternative translation tool of its own.
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Metaglossia: The Translation World
News about translation, interpreting, intercultural communication, terminology and lexicography - as it happens
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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 | Scoop.it

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

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Germany Just Asked Google To Do The Impossible: Reveal Its Secret Search Algorithm - Business Insider

Germany Just Asked Google To Do The Impossible: Reveal Its Secret Search Algorithm - Business Insider | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Getty/Justin SullivanGoogle founders Larry Page (L) Sergey Brin talk with members of the media at Google Press Day 2006 May 10, 2006 in Mountain View, Cali...
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German justice minister Heiko Maas is calling on Google to become more transparent by disclosing exactly how it ranks search results.

This, of course, will simply never happen. The algorithm is the heart of Google, the source of all its wealth and power as the planet’s best index of knowledge. Google is just never going to give that up. CEO Larry Page will fight to the death

Nonetheless, in an interview with the Financial Times, Maas explains that Germany is unhappy with the search engine giant’s actions in Europe, and wants it to reveal the details of its search algorithm in the interests of consumer protection.

Google Search remains the most important part of Google’s business, with advertising on the platform forming the majority of its $60 billion in annual revenue. But now, Germany’s government has escalated its antitrust case against the company by requesting that Google publishes how websites are ranked on Google Search. 

Google has apparently pushed back against the request, claiming that publishing the search engine algorithm would mean revealing its business secrets and opening up the service to exploitation by spammers. 

The European Union has been working for four years to try and break up Google’s dominance over web search in Europe. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Google handles over 90% of web searches in Europe, a larger percentage than its 68% share of the American search market. The EU has continually pushed Google to make concessions in the way it displays search results, the most notable of which is the “right to be forgotten” law that means private individuals in the EU can force Google to de-list web pages about them. Last week the EU rejected a proposed compromise from Google, meaning that the company could still face a $6 billion fine.

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ICAME 35 - The University of Nottingham

ICAME 35 - The University of Nottingham | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

Welcome to the webpage for the 35th ICAME conference hosted by CRAL (Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics)School of English at the University of Nottingham in the spring of 2014.

The Conference theme was 'Corpus Linguistics, Context and Culture'.

The main conference was opened with a talk by Professor Ronald Carter.

There was also a wine reception – sponsored by John Benjamins -  on the evening of Wednesday 30 April.

Keynote speakers

University of Heidelberg

University of Birmingham

University of Lancaster

Georgia State University 

University of Birmingham

Conference Organisers
  • Michaela Mahlberg (chair)
  • Gavin Brookes
  • Kathy Conklin
  • Rachele de Felice
  • Dave Evans
  • Kat Gupta
  • Kevin Harvey
  • Tony Fisher
  • Lorenzo Mastropierro
  • Rebecca Peck
  • Ana Pellicer-Sánchez
  • Rein Ove Sikveland
  • Viola Wiegand
 

 The conference was sup

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Welcome to the webpage for the 35th ICAME conference hosted by CRAL (Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics)School of English at the University of Nottingham in the spring of 2014.

The Conference theme was 'Corpus Linguistics, Context and Culture'.

The main conference was opened with a talk by Professor Ronald Carter.

There was also a wine reception – sponsored by John Benjamins -  on the evening of Wednesday 30 April.

Keynote speakers

University of Heidelberg

University of Birmingham

University of Lancaster

Georgia State University 

University of Birmingham

Conference Organisers
  • Michaela Mahlberg (chair)
  • Gavin Brookes
  • Kathy Conklin
  • Rachele de Felice
  • Dave Evans
  • Kat Gupta
  • Kevin Harvey
  • Tony Fisher
  • Lorenzo Mastropierro
  • Rebecca Peck
  • Ana Pellicer-Sánchez
  • Rein Ove Sikveland
  • Viola Wiegand
 

 The conference was sup

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Lake View Learning Centre opens its doors in Dawson Creek

Lake View Learning Centre opens its doors in Dawson Creek | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
The Dawson Creek Literacy Society held its annual open house on Sept. 12, welcoming the community into the Lake View Learning Centre adult education facility. “It brings awareness to the . . .
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Clients and community members were welcomed into the Lake View Learning Centre in Dawson Creek on Sept. 12 to see what programs are available for adult learning, and to celebrate International Literacy Day.   Photo By Elaine Anselmi


The Dawson Creek Literacy Society held its annual open house on Sept. 12, welcoming the community into the Lake View Learning Centre adult education facility.

“It brings awareness to the community, and also on Sept. 8 it was International Literacy Day, so it’s kind of a combination of the both, celebrating literacy and language,” said executive director Jennifer Neis.

Offering both literacy and English as a second language (ESL) programming, Neis said, the centre has been operating in the community since 1991 – she has been there for 14 of those years.

With more than 100 clients between literacy and ESL programming, Neis said the centre continues to offer the necessary services for Dawson Creek students.

“It’s the basics: math, reading comprehension, that sort of thing,” said Neis.

“It has been steady as more and more people are aware and there are opportunities to get a better job and they know they have to do the upgrading to get into college.”

Neis said Lake View works with many of its clients towards upgrading to trades programs at the Northern Lights College, or to complete the high school education that is necessary for virtually any job in the oil and gas industry.

In addition to visiting the centre as clients, Neis pointed out several visitors at the open house who also either work at the centre or sit on the board, giving them experience in other areas beyond literacy.

- See more at: http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/news/local/lake-view-learning-centre-opens-its-doors-in-dawson-creek-1.1375536#sthash.MpZHqOz2.dpuf

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Thich Nhat Hanh's New Translation of the Prajñāpāramitā (Heart Sutra)

Thich Nhat Hanh's New Translation of the Prajñāpāramitā (Heart Sutra) | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
It is not often that a great Zen master offers generations to come a radical re-translation of a sacred text. This new version of the Prajñāpāramitā is now on the Plum Village web site, along with ...
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It is not often that a great Zen master offers generations to come a radical re-translation of a sacred text.

This new version of the Prajñāpāramitā is now on the Plum Village web site, along with Thay’s explanation for why he wrote this new translation.

To appreciate the greatness of this new translation, there’s nothing quite like reading it side by side with the previous one:

Heart of the Prajñāpāramitā
(Plum Village Chanting Book, 2000)The Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
(Plum Village Web Site, 2014)The Bodhisattva Avolokita,
while moving in the deep course of
perfect understanding,
shed light on the five skandas
And found them equally empty.
After this penetration he overcame ill-being.Avalokiteshvara
while practicing deeply with
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore,
suddenly discovered that
all of the five Skandhas are equally empty,
and with this realisation
he overcame all Ill-being.Listen, Shariputra,
form is emptiness, emptiness is form.
Form is not other than emptiness,
emptiness is not other than form.
The same is true with feelings, perceptions,
mental formations and consciousness.“Listen Sariputra,
this Body itself is Emptiness
and Emptiness itself is this Body.
This Body is not other than Emptiness
and Emptiness is not other than this Body.
The same is true of Feelings,
Perceptions, Mental Formations,
and Consciousness.Listen Shariputra,
all dharmas are marked with emptiness.
They are neither produced nor destroyed,
neither defiled nor immaculate,
neither increasing nor decreasing.“Listen Sariputra,
all phenomena bear the mark of Emptiness;
their true nature is the nature of
no Birth no Death,
no Being no Non-being,
no Defilement no Immaculacy,
no Increasing no Decreasing.Therefore, in emptiness there is neither form,
nor feeling, nor perceptions, nor mental formations, nor consciousness.“That is why in Emptiness,
Body, Feelings, Perceptions,
Mental Formations and Consciousness
are not separate self entities.No eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind.
No form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch,
no objects of mind.
No realms of elements (from eyes to mind consciousness),The Eighteen Realms of Phenomena
which are the six Sense Organs,
the six Sense Objects,
and the six Consciousnesses
are also not separate self entities.no interdependent origins and no extinction of them.
(From ignorance to death and decay).The Twelve Links of Interdependent Arising
and their Extinction
are also not separate self entities.No ill-being, no cause of ill-being, no end of ill-being, and no path.
No understanding, no attainment.Ill-being, the Causes of Ill-being,
the End of Ill-being, the Path,
insight and attainment,
are also not separate self entities.Because there is no attainment,
the Bodhisattvas, grounded in perfect understanding,
Find no obstacles for their minds.
Having no obstacles, they overcome fear,
liberating themselves forever from illusion
and realizing perfect nirvana.Whoever can see this
no longer needs anything to attain.Bodhisattvas who practice
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
see no more obstacles in their mind,
and because there
are no more obstacles in their mind,
they can overcome all fear,
destroy all wrong perceptions
and realize Perfect Nirvana.All Buddhas in the past, present, and future,
thanks to this perfect understanding,
arrive at full, right, and universal enlightenment.All Buddhas in the past, present and future
by practicing
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
are all capable of attaining
Authentic and Perfect Enlightenment.Therefore one should know that perfect understanding
is the highest mantra,
the unequalled mantra,
the destroyer of ill-being,
the incorruptible truth.
A mantra of prajnaparamita should therefore be proclaimed:“Therefore Sariputra,
it should be known that
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
is a Great Mantra,
the most illuminating mantra,
the highest mantra,
a mantra beyond compare,
the True Wisdom that has the power
to put an end to all kinds of suffering.
Therefore let us proclaim
a mantra to praise
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore.Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha.
Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi, svaha.
Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi, svaha.
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Translating a Novel of Sadism - The New Yorker

Translating a Novel of Sadism - The New Yorker | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
The long gap between the French and English editions of “A Sentimental Novel” stems partly from the book’s violent, sexual content.
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LUSTRATION BY JULIANNA BRION


“A Sentimental Novel,” the final published work of the avant-garde novelist and theorist Alain Robbe-Grillet, appeared in France four months before his death, in 2008, and in English translation last spring. The content of the novel contributed to the lag in its translation: “A Sentimental Novel” (reviewed this summer in Briefly Noted) is a compendium of Robbe-Grillet’s sadistic fantasies, which, he said, he had catalogued since adolescence. The work consists of two hundred and thirty-nine numbered paragraphs that form a sort of sadist’s rhapsody about the sexual initiation of a fourteen-year-old girl, Gigi. Gigi’s travails are recounted in exacting detail, against a lushly imagined mise-en-scène, with elaborate furnishings, torture devices, and a proliferation of young companions.


There are few printable passages, but here is one:

Towards the back wall, the one on which my languorous eyes alight most easily, I distinguish, in the foreground of a picture that is quickly revealed to be a forest landscape of vertical and rectilinear trunks, a sort of basin of water so clear it becomes almost immaterial, an oblong widening of a limpid spring, deep as a bathtub or deeper even, set between gray rounded rocks, soft to the touch, welcoming. A girl is sitting there on a stone polished with age, which to her represents the ideal bench, the water’s edge where her long legs dangle in the blue mirrored swirl of this lovely nymphaeum, as natural as it is picturesque, whose temperature must be identical to the air, and to the feminine charms themselves, undulating, liquid already, above the moving mirror and its unforeseen shivers.

The violence crescendos over a hundred and forty repetitive pages, saturating the mind with savage images that steadily override any effort to maintain a protective distance. I had not read the original French, and could therefore only judge the English translation: its descriptions were rendered in highly artful prose, its metaphors elegantly drawn, with a fluidity that can be tricky to preserve when French is translated into English. The novel’s brutality was deeply disturbing, particularly in conjunction with its polished control, and yet I couldn’t deny my admiration for its craftsmanship.

I had never heard of the translator, D. E. Brooke, but felt certain that this must not be the work of an amateur. Yet a Google search turned up nothing, which seemed odd, even given the name’s somewhat generic nature. It occurred to me that D. E. Brooke might be a pen name, considering the contents of the novel, but I had a hard time believing this. The translator makes a strong case in the introduction for the literary integrity of “A Sentimental Novel,” and criticizes the American publishers who turned it down, writing that their responses came “from a comfort zone of profound and habitual moral hypocrisy.” Surely the author of these words would not shrink away from publishing under his or her own name. I wrote to the publisher that finally accepted the book, Dalkey Archive Press, to ask if it could provide any information about Brooke. Dalkey confirmed that the translator had indeed published under a pseudonym, and that, unfortunately, was all it could tell me.

I set out to uncover the true identity of Brooke, not knowing what, exactly, I would do with the information if I found it. I wrote to several people connected to the French literary world, to ask if they had any knowledge of the translator. Their speculations about the translator’s identity were intriguing—one pointed out that “D. E. Brooke” has more than a passing resemblance to the name of the heroine of “Middlemarch”—but offered little to go on. I wrote to Dalkey again to ask whether Brooke would be willing to answer some questions by e-mail, which I would send by way of Dalkey, in order to protect the translator’s anonymity. Brooke agreed.

Our correspondence (lightly edited and condensed) follows.

***

Q: Why did you feel that it was important that this book be translated and published in the English-speaking world?

A: I remember sitting in a coffee shop with a writer friend who mentioned that Robbe-Grillet’s last novel remained untranslated in English, and that this was due to the disturbing nature of the material it contained. I said immediately that I would translate it. The reasons had less to do with the book’s contents than with my own history as a reader and my encounter with “La Jalousie” at age fifteen. It was a portal that introduced notions of narrative voice, authorial choice, and the reader’s relationship to text in ways that I had not considered, as I devoured my way through more conventional fiction that served a different purpose: allowing me to escape my reality at the time. Any number of other works by twentieth-century authors might have triggered similar reflections and explorations. Only, in my case, Alain Robbe-Grillet was the instigator and, as an adolescent, I remember the excitement produced by the book’s propositions: that it purportedly granted greater agency to the reader, supposedly bared the scaffolding of writing. These claims intrigued me and gave me a first taste of something. So my reasons for translating “Un Roman Sentimental” were, you could say, purely sentimental.

Q: How long did it take you to do the translation? What made the project financially possible?

A: How long did it take me? I wish I could give you a precise answer. Probably a little over a year. It will not come as news to you that translating obscure French novels is not what pays the rent. Still, one finds ways of making a living and of working on translations at the same time.

Q: What was it like to spend so much time with this text? Did it affect your state of mind at all?

A: As far as the book itself and the material, a few times I had to walk away and return in a steelier frame of mind to take up a particularly hair-raising passage. But, as you note, the text is literary, and there were pleasures in working with it. As translator, I am a filter for material: it travels through me. As such, there’s a residue, but it is difficult to qualify. At best, you might compare the book’s effect on me to its effect on any reader: certain images—many, in fact—remain in you, and surge forth unbidden, superimposing themselves in your mind’s eye on perfectly anodyne and serene scenes of everyday life.

Q: Why did you decide to publish the translation under a pseudonym? How, if at all, do you relate that decision to the “moral opprobrium” that characterized the reaction to the novel?

A: My decision to translate the book pseudonymously was unrelated to the possible reactions it might elicit in the United States or other English-speaking countries. It was, rather, necessitated by personal reasons having to do with my travels to parts of the world where association with the material could put me at risk.

Q: There is an element of beauty to the text. Did you ever feel any tension or conflict in replicating that stylized beauty when it was being employed to give life to such extraordinarily violent ideas?

A: Once I am translating, my intentions are to convey the tone of what is before me in as precise a language as possible. My task is limited to working with words.  In this novel, even though at times the material was difficult for me to sit with, it was the intricate sentences that were the focus of my attention. The scenes almost only emerged afterward.

That said, the literary qualities of the prose did not strike me as incongruous. Instead, this language produced a comforting distance, a rarefied space in which to work, functioning a little like a sheet of stained glass beyond which the action unfolded. If anything, this is what made the translation possible and pleasurable. I would not, I daresay, have been interested in translating the “Fifty Shades” version of the same narrative.

Q: What do you like about “A Sentimental Novel”?

A: What I liked is his lack of hypocrisy and the artfulness of the prose. Robbe-Grillet admitted that, in writing “A Sentimental Novel,” he was conveying the essence of fantasies he had entertained for decades, ever since he was a very young man. I am unconvinced that the only man on the planet with horrifying fantasies was Alain Robbe-Grillet. While there is primal revulsion at the rape of innocence and the various other crimes detailed in this story, conflating act and fantasy in assessing a work of this kind seems to me to reflect a generally upheld social lie that requires the weirder and more disquieting manifestations of the human psyche to be swept under the public rug. The book’s lack of hypocrisy is in direct proportion to the rarity of similar avowals, especially in established spheres of social privilege and influence. The resulting schism of minds burdened with shameful, unspoken secrets appears to me to do more damage than what can be laid at the doorstep of this novel, which by its very existence forces us to ponder our relationship to criminal thoughts and fantasies: whether we must not think bad thoughts, not share them, not be exposed to them; whether we must condemn them in ourselves and others; and whether they can even be curtailed or eliminated by these actions. Rather than disown his darkest psyche, Robbe-Grillet erects a shrine to it.

Q: So when you refer to the “habitual moral hypocrisy” of the public in the introduction, what, exactly, do you mean?

A: There are at least four or five answers I could give you, and I fear we would find ourselves wading deep into territory that philosophers who examine good and evil write books about. Nonetheless, here is one answer: in this world, where children are dying daily, killed by weapons made by First World nations, maimed, massacred, their real blood spilled, that anyone can get themselves worked up into a froth over a fable is mystifying to me.



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As Fed meets, speculation swirls over possible change in Fed language on timing of rate hike

As Fed meets, speculation swirls over possible change in Fed language on timing of rate hike | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON — When the Federal Reserve issues a policy statement after it meets this week, the financial world will be on high alert for two words:"Considerable time
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WASHINGTON — When the Federal Reserve issues a policy statement after it meets this week, the financial world will be on high alert for two words:"Considerable time."The presence or absence of that phrase will trigger a rush to assess the likely timing of the Fed's first increase in interest rates since it cut them to record lows in 2008.The Fed's recent statements have said it expects to keep its key short-term rate near zero for a "considerable time" after it stops buying Treasurys and mortgage bonds. Those bond purchases have been intended to keep long-term rates down to support the economy.But the purchases are set to end in November, so the Fed may soon see the need to use some phrasing other than "considerable time" to signify when it might start raising rates. It could sub out that phrase in this week's statement. Or it could wait until its next meeting in October.Whatever the statement says when the Fed's two-day meeting ends Wednesday, Chair Janet Yellen will be pressed when she meets with reporters later to clarify the Fed's intentions.Most economists think the Fed will raise rates starting around mid-2015. But as the U.S. economy has strengthened, speculation has intensified about whether it might do so sooner, perhaps by March.With job growth solid, manufacturing and construction growing and unemployment at a near-normal 6.1 percent, many analysts think the Fed is edging closer to a rate increase to prevent a rising economy from igniting inflation. If so, it might send such a signal by dropping "considerable time" and substituting other language to suggest a likely rate hike by early 2015.On the other hand, the Fed could drop "considerable time" but substitute vaguer language suggesting it might wait longer to raise rates than many expect. Yellen has cautioned that the drop in unemployment may overstate the job market's improvement. She has said the Fed also takes into account the number of people unemployed for more than six months; the number of part-timers who want full-time work; and average wages. Those measures remain less than healthy.Whatever the Fed's intentions, some economists think it will make no major changes in its policy statement for now."All the trend lines for the economy look pretty good right now," said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics. "I don't think the Fed wants to upset the apple cart."Over the past several years, the Fed's ultra-low rates have helped the economy, cheered the stock market and shrunk mortgage rates. A rate increase could threaten to reverse those trends.In August, U.S. employers added just 142,000 jobs, well below the 212,000 average of the previous 12 months. The slowdown was seen as likely temporary. But some analysts say it underscored that the economic outlook may remain too hazy for the Fed to signal an earlier-than-expected rate hike.The Fed was reminded last year that markets are highly sensitive to signals about the end of a prolonged period of low rates. In June 2013, when Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested that the Fed might start slowing its bond purchases before year's end, the stock market plunged over two days. And bond rates headed up, slowing the housing recovery and jolting developing countries that had benefited from ultra-low U.S. rates."The adverse market reaction last year really did scare the Fed," said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial. "For that reason, they are treading cautiously now."Those who think the Fed will modify the "considerable time" language this week point to recent comments from some officials. For example, Charles Plosser, president of the Fed's Philadelphia regional bank, dissented at the last Fed meeting in July because he opposed the continued use of the "considerable time" phrase. He said it didn't reflect progress the economy has made toward the Fed's goals.Plosser is among the Fed's "hawks" — those who worry that super-low rates will stoke inflation or fuel asset bubbles.With some hawks as well as doves expressing unease about the Fed's use of "considerable time," some analysts say the Fed could tweak the language this week even at the risk of jolting markets.read full article12nextmore from nationalRace relations same or worse since ObamaFinancial markets awaiting any Fed signal on ratesPawlenty-led group's campaign ends in controversy
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Should there be a TV channel just for sign language users?

Should there be a TV channel just for sign language users? | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

This week a consultation by media industry regulator Ofcom comes to an end. It could lead to more funding for television programmes made in British Sign Language (BSL), if there is enough support. But should there be a dedicated sign language channel?

Other British minorities have television channels funded via government and the BBC licence fee. Gaelic speakers have BBC Alba where you can watch Gaelic versions of TV shows like Peppa Pig and the much anticipated drama Bannan, due to be broadcast later this month. In Wales, S4C delivers Welsh language television like its famous soap Pobol y Cwm and their nightly news, Newyddion.

Many are programmes created from scratch, made and presented by people who speak that language and brought up in the corresponding culture. Bar one or two exceptions, when sign appears on TV it's as a translation of a spoken English programme from an inset signer. But should there be a channel where the signing happens centre-screen, coming from the presenters and a deaf perspective?

On a dedicated BSL channel, the newsreader would sign, and half-time sports analysis would come from a sofa full of people using their hands rather than their mouths. Drama, children's programmes, and others would also be signed by the presenters or actors.

Continue reading the main storyStart Quote

Sign language recorded on camera is exactly the same as writing on paper - it is the only way of archiving our language and culture”

Brian DuffyDeaf film-maker

But Gaelic and Welsh are languages woven into the very fabric of the UK itself. They're part of its culture and its history. Is BSL on the same footing as these ancient languages?

BSL can be found in the UK's history though has only been around in force since the mid-1800s. But do we judge importance by the amount of time that's passed or in other ways?

See Hear, BBC Two's long-running sign language magazine programme gets around 200,000 weekly viewers. By way of comparison, BBC Alba and S4C together claim around 600,000 weekly viewers.

Though there are some estimates of up to 200,000, Ofcom's own research commissioned in 2006 estimates that 66,000 people understand sign language - that's more than the 58,000 who speak Scottish Gaelic. There are around 750,000 Welsh speakers in the UK.

Some say BSL is an endangered language and is being whittled away on several fronts. Cochlear implants, controversial in the deaf community, though life enhancing for some, are seen as shifting people away from being natural sign language users. The trend for closing down deaf schools is leading to deaf children being mainstreamed and learning by lip-reading English speakers, not by sign.

Though many would see medical solutions and equality in education as positives and logical progression, a large number of those in the deaf community prefer to think of themselves as a minority language community rather than disabled, and the idea that their culture might be "cured" is offensive. It's inescapably political.

Charles Tiayon's insight:

This week a consultation by media industry regulator Ofcom comes to an end. It could lead to more funding for television programmes made in British Sign Language (BSL), if there is enough support. But should there be a dedicated sign language channel?

Other British minorities have television channels funded via government and the BBC licence fee. Gaelic speakers have BBC Alba where you can watch Gaelic versions of TV shows like Peppa Pig and the much anticipated drama Bannan, due to be broadcast later this month. In Wales, S4C delivers Welsh language television like its famous soap Pobol y Cwm and their nightly news, Newyddion.

Many are programmes created from scratch, made and presented by people who speak that language and brought up in the corresponding culture. Bar one or two exceptions, when sign appears on TV it's as a translation of a spoken English programme from an inset signer. But should there be a channel where the signing happens centre-screen, coming from the presenters and a deaf perspective?

On a dedicated BSL channel, the newsreader would sign, and half-time sports analysis would come from a sofa full of people using their hands rather than their mouths. Drama, children's programmes, and others would also be signed by the presenters or actors.

Continue reading the main storyStart Quote

Sign language recorded on camera is exactly the same as writing on paper - it is the only way of archiving our language and culture”

Brian DuffyDeaf film-maker

But Gaelic and Welsh are languages woven into the very fabric of the UK itself. They're part of its culture and its history. Is BSL on the same footing as these ancient languages?

BSL can be found in the UK's history though has only been around in force since the mid-1800s. But do we judge importance by the amount of time that's passed or in other ways?

See Hear, BBC Two's long-running sign language magazine programme gets around 200,000 weekly viewers. By way of comparison, BBC Alba and S4C together claim around 600,000 weekly viewers.

Though there are some estimates of up to 200,000, Ofcom's own research commissioned in 2006 estimates that 66,000 people understand sign language - that's more than the 58,000 who speak Scottish Gaelic. There are around 750,000 Welsh speakers in the UK.

Some say BSL is an endangered language and is being whittled away on several fronts. Cochlear implants, controversial in the deaf community, though life enhancing for some, are seen as shifting people away from being natural sign language users. The trend for closing down deaf schools is leading to deaf children being mainstreamed and learning by lip-reading English speakers, not by sign.

Though many would see medical solutions and equality in education as positives and logical progression, a large number of those in the deaf community prefer to think of themselves as a minority language community rather than disabled, and the idea that their culture might be "cured" is offensive. It's inescapably political.

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Dikti scholarships lost in translation

Dikti scholarships lost in translation | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Lost in translation: A screen-grab from the website of the Developing Countries Partnership (DCP) scholarship program, provided by the Education and ...
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The Education and Culture Ministry has been criticized for a number of language problems in its promotion of Indonesia’s higher education institutions through its scholarship program, the Developing Countries Partnership (DCP), which is run by the ministry’s Directorate-General of Higher Education (Dikti).

The scholarship website, knb.dikti.go.id, is a case in point. The first sentence that greets visitors to the website reads: “Developing Countries Partnership program on Scholarship or better known as Beasiswa Kemitraan Negara Berkembang (KNB) designed to facilitate every passion of Developing Countries citizens to pursuing their dream through higher education.” 

Nafisah Ratanti Wulandari, who obtained a scholarship from Europe’s Erasmus Mundus for a Master’s degree, said on Tuesday that her view of the Education Ministry’s scholarship website was, “Although the English is understandable, the style is unattractive and informal. There are too many informal idioms […] it uses almost colloquial language.”

Marta Tintya Karunianingtyas, a Master’s graduate who was given a Rector’s Fellowship by the International Islamic University of Malaysia, concurred that the English used on the website was inelegant. “The language issues should be fixed. [If I were the applicant] I would think twice. I would be afraid of miscommunication problems,” she added.

A number of grammatical errors also appear in the letters sent to the awardees of the DCP scholarship, which has been given to individuals from developing countries since 2002.

The letters, which can be downloaded from knb.dikti.go.id/index.php, contain more than 18 grammatical mistakes. Typographical errors, such as lack of spaces, also distract the reader.

For example, on the list of the Master’s scholarship awardees in one of the letters, the scholar Galia Petkova is recorded as coming from “Bulgary” instead of Bulgaria, while Ahmad SA Hamayel is said to come from “Palestina” instead of Palestine. Sierra Leone is spelled “Sierra Leonne”, while Slovakia is “Slovak”.

The ministry’s letters also indicate that Ahmad took a Master’s in Islamic “Tought” instead of thought, while Duarte da Costa Barreto from Timor Leste is recorded as taking a Master’s course in “phylosophy” instead of philosophy.

In addition, all references to “language” in the list are spelled as “languange”, while the word “environmental” is rendered “enviromental”.

When asked how such errors could occur, a Dikti deputy, R. Purwanto Subroto, said “We will look into it.”

“We usually use a mechanism to monitor such errors,” he said, adding that the directorate-general did not have standard English names for program studies yet.

Purwanto further said that Dikti intended to discuss the matter in an upcoming coordination meeting.

Meanwhile, the ministry’s inspector general, Haryono Umar, expressed astonishment at the errors. He said that the ministry had standard operational procedures in place for writing formal statements, supposedly ruling out the possibility of mistakes.

“The letters posted should have passed through a check and re-check procedure first,” Haryono said. “There should be officials who sign and review them before they’re sent.”

Laila Sifa, the scholarship program’s coordinator at the directorate-general, said that the errors might be down to a lack of English expertise on the part of the directorate-general’s staff.

“We also do not have special proofreading staff for such purposes,” Laila added.

Haryono said that to prevent such mistakes from reoccurring, the ministry would instruct every one of its officials to implement the standard operational procedures.

“The ministry’s inspectorate-general will also evaluate the procedures to address the current situation,” Haryono added.

This year, the ministry has awarded DCP Master’s degree scholarships to 117 awardees from 44 different countries. It has also awarded Bachelor’s scholarships to four awardees from three different countries. 

Last week, Dikti made headlines after delaying the payment of scholarship funds to Indonesian students studying at overseas universities.

A number of the students are facing economic hardship and are at risk of being dismissed from their universities for failing to pay their tuition.

Some of the scholarship grantees said that the late disbursements had been a recurring problem in recent years, but the current delay was the longest yet. (ask)

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5 cool Google features you`re probably not using - Across the Atlantic | Moneyweb

5 cool Google features you`re probably not using - Across the Atlantic | Moneyweb | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Moneyweb - Breaking news, independent analysis, latest JSE share prices, exchange rates and data on investment, finance and business in South Africa
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Most of us interact with Google at least a few times a day – if you’re a Gmail user, it’s way more than that. But the bright folks at Google are constantly updating features and adding cool tweaks to various Google products, and you could probably be getting a lot more out of Google than you do.

Let’s take a look at five nifty things you can do with Google that you might not already be doing.

 

1.      Google Public Data Explorer

This can be a very handy tool, especially for people who are studying, or whose jobs involve doing research on other countries. The Google Public Data Explorer basically aggregates tons of publicly available data from places like the World Bank and various country statistical offices (including some data from Statistics South Africa). You can type in a query, like “population growth rates by country,” and then use the Explorer’s options to create your own charts. You can embed the chart you make into your website or any internet-linked document, or you could use your computer’s screenshot tools to snap a picture of it – great for school projects.

Click image to enlarge

2.      Google translations

When you live in a multilingual society, you often come across phrases that are in a language that you don’t speak. With Google’s translation utilities you can quickly translate back and forth between a large number of languages. You can visit https://translate.google.com/ for a complex translation, or you can simply translate a few words by typing “translate (the word you want translated) into (the language you want it translated into)” – for example, you might type “translate bread into Zulu.”

Google’s translation is not, I should note, flawless. It has trouble with any subtleties of grammar and meaning. However, even with fairly complex passages it usually gives you enough of an approximation to either understand or make yourself understood.

3.      Google as your diet’s best friend

If you’re watching what you eat, Google is your new best friend. Google let’s you easily and quickly compare the nutritional values of different foods. All you need to do is type the foods into the search bar like so: “compare (food) to (food)”.  Comparing your two options side by side can help motivate you to make the right choice!

4.      Google flights

When you’re planning a trip, Google’s flight search is a handy port-of-call to find the ideal price and time. Unfortunately, Google flights doesn’t yet support the rand, but you can change your currency to dollars or pounds, and you still get the convenience of comparing prices and seeing all the flight times that are available. Presumably you’ll eventually be able to search in rands.

Click image to enlarge

5.      Google is a dictionary

Heard a new word and not sure what it means? Google’s got your back. Just type “define (word)” and Google will tell you what it means, and how to pronounce it. You can even click the audio button to hear it said out loud, to make extra sure you’re saying it right.

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Les appels d'offre de la Confédération devraient à l'avenir être émis dans les 3 langues officielles

Les appels d'offre de la Confédération devraient à l'avenir être émis dans les 3 langues officielles | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
A l'avenir les appels d'offre émanant de la Confédération devraient être à l'avenir systématiquement publiés en français, en allemand et en italien. Une décision prise par le National sur fond de...
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A l'avenir les appels d'offre émanant de la Confédération devraient être à l'avenir systématiquement publiés en français, en allemand et en italien. Une décision prise par le National sur fond de l'affaire qui a opposé récemment une entreprise vaudoise aux CFF.

Les appels d'offres et les publications de la Confédération devraient être systématiquement publiés dans les trois langues officielles. Le Conseil national a accepté mardi par 149 voix contre 38 une motion de Dominique de Buman (PDC/FR) en ce sens. Le Conseil fédéral soutient la démarche.

La Confédération doit être beaucoup plus stricte et exigente par rapport à cette question linguistique, notamment dans l'attribution des marchés publics, a exigé Dominique de Buman. Et de rappeler la lettre récemment envoyée par le gouvernement vaudois aux CFF concernant un appel d'offre en allemand.

Le Conseil d'Etat vaudois estimait que cette manière de procéder discrimine les entreprises qui ne sont pas alémaniques. Une entreprise du canton a d'ailleurs renoncé à l'un des lots de l'appel en raison de la fixation de l'allemand comme langue de travail exclusive. "Ce n'est plus admissible", a tonné le Fribourgeois.

Le plurilinguisme au sein de la Confédération doit être plus fortement ancré. "Il en va de l'équilibre du pays et de la cohésion nationale", a-t-il conclu. Le Conseil des Etats doit encore se prononcer.

Dans la foulée, le National a transmis au Conseil fédéral, par 115 voix contre 69, un postulat exigeant un rapport sur le plurilinguisme dans l'administration fédérale.

Source: ATS

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El legendario \"Diccionario de símbolos\" de Cirlot se reedita en el país

El legendario Diccionario de sí­mbolos de Juan Eduardo Cirlot, la obra en prosa más importante de este poeta, mitólogo e iconógrafo se reeditó en el país con los prólogos de las publicaciones de 1958 y 1969, nuevas voces, artí­culos inéditos y un prefacio a cargo de la filóloga y especialista en cultura medieval Victoria Cirlot.
Charles Tiayon's insight:

El disco de jade chino, el muro de los lamentos de Jerusalén y el globo de fayenza de Indochina -en sus simbolismos materia en estado de transfiguración, situación impotencia y esfera de la totalidad, respectivamente- son algunas de las miles de entradas que recoge el diccionario impreso y publicado en Argentina por Siruela.

La Babel de Bruegel el Viejo, camafeos del siglo II, laberintos victorianos, detalles de "El jardín de las delicias" de El Bosco, mapas renacentistas adornados con seres mitológicos o ideogramas de Oriente ilustran las más de 500 páginas de este volumen.

Se trata del "más completo diccionario de símbolos que existe en castellano, reeditado en el país con una tirada de tres mil ejemplares que forman parte de la colección «El árbol del paraíso»", indicó a Télam Marcelo González desde Grupal Distribuidora, encargada de su distribución a nivel local.

El interés de Cirlot por los símbolos, según indicó en el prólogo de 1958, se centra en "el enfrentamiento con la imagen poética y la intuición de que, detrás de la metáfora, hay algo más que una sustitución ornamental de la realidad"; en el contacto con las imágenes del "arte del presente" donde "el misterio es un componente casi continuo" y en la historia del arte.

El mundo simbólico es "el reino intermedio entre el de los conceptos y el de los cuerpos físicos", agregó este músico y crítico artístico que nació en Barcelona en 1916 y murió en la misma ciudad 57 años después, dejando el emblemático y aún referencial Diccionario de símbolos tradicionales, según el título original, del sello Luis Miracle.

"A riesgo de percibir en ocasiones lo mítico de la empresa", Cirlot consultó obras tan disímiles como los textos de Domino Philippo Picinello, pasando por tratados de psicología profunda y antropología moderna, a libros ocultistas y análisis sobre la alquimia de Carl Gustav Jung.

Su exploración de la materia simbólica —en busca de que "ésta entregara algún oro de su caverna"— lo llevó a "avanzar en el laberinto luminoso de los símbolos", buscando en ellos "menos su interpretación que su comprensión" y "casi su contemplación", a través de enfoques culturales diversos que resumen nombres como los de los estudiosos Mircea Eliade, René Guénon y Marius Schneider.

La investigación devolvió a Cirlot a la música, el arte y la poesía; lo vareó por la filosofía, la teología, la mística y las supersticiones y hagiogafría (vida de los santos); lo hizo consultar bestiarios y lapidarios, libros de alquimia, magia y astrología; así como bucear en el folclore, las tradiciones y las ciencias de los sueños y los colores.

Juan Eduardo Cirlot

De esta manera, se suceden entradas tan dispares como arpía, narciso o el "macrocosmo-microcosmo" ilustrado con "Les tres riches heures du Duc de Berry" del siglo XV, que Cirlot define como la "relación entre el universo y el hombre, considerado como medida de todas las cosas" y acompaña con una cita del teólogo Orígenes: "Comprende que eres otro mundo en pequeño y que en tí se hallan el sol, la luna y también las estrellas".

De esta vastedad dan muestra el cuerno de la abundancia recuperado de un dibujo de Cesare Ripa (1602, Milán); y definiciones como: "El orden de la semana se relaciona con el de las siete direcciones del espacio, dos para cada una de las tres dimensiones más el centro, que, como medio invariable e imagen del motor inmóvil de Aristóteles, corresponde al día del descanso".

Este libro es, en resumen, "una compilación comparada de temas simbólicos", un impulso de Cirlot que según la responsable de su obra, su hija Victoria, "procedía de la necesidad de alcanzar 'un monismo intuitivo cósmico' frente al 'pluralismo descorazonador'".

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Quelles langues parle-t-on à Lyon ?

Quelles langues parle-t-on à Lyon ? | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Retrouvez le 21 septembre "des mots d'où" lors du Forum des langues du monde de Lyon
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EU – DG Translation – Translating Europe — Forum & Workshops

European Commission – Our annual Translating Europe Forum and workshops allow us to link up with translation professionals.
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Translating Europe Forum

When? 18-19 September 2014

This annual event aims to generate concrete projects between translation stakeholders.

The conference will be webcast worldwide, viewers can also join in.

Registration is closed. Those who have registered can join our networking group 'All about translation' on Yammer and share ideas before and after the Forum.

Translating Europe Workshops

When? Throughout the year, in several EU countries.

The workshops are designed to address skills gaps in the language industry and promote employability for translation students and graduates.

Contact: DGT-TRANSLATING-EUROPE@ec.europa.eu.

 

 

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Germany wants to peek at Google's search algorithm - Silicon Valley Business Journal

Germany wants to peek at Google's search algorithm - Silicon Valley Business Journal | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Germany has called on Google to shed more light on the ways its algorithms rank search results, effectively cracking open what is arguably one of the company's most prized secrets.
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Germany has called on Google to shed more light on the ways its algorithms rank search results, effectively cracking open what is arguably one of the company's most prized secrets.

Heiko Maas, the German minister of justice and consumer protection, said in an interview with the Financial Times that Germans should not fear Google, even though the search giant has extraordinary power over consumers and competitors.

“We have to think about what precautions are in place so that this power is not abused,” said Maas. “In the end it relates to how transparent the algorithms are that Google uses to rank its search results. When a search engine has such an impact on economic development, this is an issue we have to address.”

While Google handles about 70 percent of the searches in the U.S., in Germany and other European countries it's closer to 90 percent. Still, it's not likely that Google will reveal any secrets about the inner workings of the algorithm that the company built its search advertising empire on.

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"Master of Translation Studies" information session registration: Future Students

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How semantic Web search is changing WCM

How semantic Web search is changing WCM | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
As semantic Web search gains importance companies should consider how search engines display their business to the world and consider how to enrich their search results with linked data
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Most companies want to offer their clientele better search results through Google and other search engines. There's a virtuous cycle to locating things on the public Web: Search engines want to display the best results, and webmasters want to make it easy for search engines to find the right stuff.

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Lost in translation: Helping Eritrean refugees in Israeli hospitals

Lost in translation: Helping Eritrean refugees in Israeli hospitals | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
A new program in medical translation at Tel Aviv University is training translators to help the Eritrean refugees in Israeli hospitals.
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Seeking medical attention can be difficult enough, but it’s even harder when you don’t speak the language.

A new program in medical translation at Tel Aviv University is training translators in order to help the sizable Eritrean refugee population in central Israel communicate when they end up in hospitals and clinics.

Michal Schuster, who is with the program, tells us exactly how it works and whether there are plans to expand.

We also speak to one of the students taking the course, Daniel, who works at a clinic for uninsured people in Tel Aviv.

 

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Smartling CEO Jack Welde to Keynote VViN and ATC Annual Conferences

Smartling CEO Jack Welde to Keynote VViN and ATC Annual Conferences | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Smartling today announced that CEO Jack Welde will keynote two upcoming conferences of significant importance to translation companies and language service providers (LSPs) in Europe: the VViN Anniversary Conference, scheduled for September 18 and 19 in the Netherlands, and the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) Annual Conference, which will be held September 25 and 26 in the U.K.
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NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Smartling today announced that CEO Jack Welde will keynote two upcoming conferences of significant importance to translation companies and language service providers (LSPs) in Europe: the VViN Anniversary Conference, scheduled for September 18 and 19 in the Netherlands, and the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) Annual Conference, which will be held September 25 and 26 in the U.K.

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnvar/20140521/90260

On September 18 and 19, VViN, which aims to generate an ongoing professionalization of the translation sector in the Netherlands, will gather more than 100 translation companies from Belgium and the Netherlands at its Anniversary Conference. Welde will provide a keynote presentation on the conference's second day titled "The Translation Market Potential: How Technology Is Driving New Behaviors, Creating New Customers and Expanding the Overall Market." In this session, Welde will discuss the creation of new customers, the development of new behaviors for translation stakeholders and the true potential of the translation market.

The following week, Welde will keynote the ATC Annual Conference, which is scheduled for September 25 and 26 in Brighton, U.K. ATC is the world's longest-established professional body looking after the interests of translation companies. In his presentation, "Cleared for Takeoff: What the U.S. Air Force Taught Me About Being an Entrepreneur," Welde will share business lessons learned during his tenure in the U.S. Air Force.

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BofA Sees ‘Considerable’ Alternatives For Fed Language

The conventional wisdom is that the Federal Reserve is going to change the “considerable time” language in its policy statement when it meets later this week, but what language will the Fed put in its place? As a reminder, here’s the paragraph in question with the Fed’s current language on the eventual timing of its [...]
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By Michael Aneiro

The conventional wisdom is that the Federal Reserve is going to change the “considerable time” language in its policy statement when it meets later this week, but what language will the Fed put in its place? As a reminder, here’s the paragraph in question with the Fed’s current language on the eventual timing of its first interest-rate hike (its bond-purchase program is slated to end next month):

The Committee continues to anticipate, based on its assessment of these factors, that it likely will be appropriate to maintain the current target range for the federal funds rate for a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends, especially if projected inflation continues to run below the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run goal, and provided that longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch‘s rates research team today offers a couple of potential alternative wordings:

Some market participants have speculated that the Fed could just drop this phrase, but we think that is quite unlikely. Conversely, we do see some chance that the FOMC makes no changes to that language at this meeting. Indeed, they do not have to change that paragraph until October when tapering is likely to conclude. However, we see a benefit to revising this language at a meeting with a press conference; hence, our base case is some modest rewording of the sentence in question to make policy more explicitly data dependent.

Specifically, we expect the Fed to replace “considerable time” with “considerable improvement in economic conditions” or “considerable progress toward the dual mandate objectives” or the like. Such a change would keep with the general desire of the Committee to communicate a data-dependent policy stance, while at the same time emphasizing that the Fed does not see a rate hike as imminent.

While Fed officials across the hawk-dove spectrum have publicly suggested a language change would be appropriate, we do not expect the majority of voters to support an acceleration of the rate hiking schedule.

Meanwhile, count RBC Capital Markets among the skeptics who think any change to that part of the Fed statement language is more likely to happen later this year than later this week. From RBC economists Tom Porcelli and Jacob Oubina:

[W]e don’t expect “considerable time” will be changed at the coming meeting, but before year end, it will change. Some tweaking here cannot be completely ruled out as Plosser and others do not like that it’s time dependent. Like we said… if the market gets overzealous in their hawkish interpretation of any adjustment, we would expect Yellen to beat any moves back with a dovish slant during her press conference.

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Crowdsourcing Subtitles for Endangered Languages

Crowdsourcing Subtitles for Endangered Languages | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Viki, the crowdsourced subtitling website, teams with the Living Tongues Institute to give endangered languages new life and attractiveness for new generations.
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[This text is from an official press release by Viki and the Living Tongues Institute.]

Video Streaming Site Viki Partners With Living Tongues,
Helps Save Endangered Languages Through Subtitles and Global TV

SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 16, 2014)–Recent reports suggest that less than 5 percent of the world’s languages are online–and that for the other 95%, the Internet can be a path to extinction or revitalization. Viki, a popular video streaming site with primetime TV shows and movies from around the world, is hoping to reverse that trend with the help of its 33 million viewers. Viewers on Viki, a play on the words video and wiki, also happen to write or “crowdsource” the subtitles for the shows they watch.

Today, the company announced that it is launching an Endangered and Emerging Languages Program in partnership with Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages. Viki, a subsidiary of Rakuten, and Living Tongues will work to document endangered languages and assist communities with maintaining and revitalizing knowledge of their native tongues, like Quechua in Peru, Basque on the French-Spain border, or Cornish in the United Kingdom.

“Technology alone does not doom or save languages. But pride in a language, and willingness to creatively expand its use through technologies like Viki, can certainly help save it,” said Dr. K. David Harrison, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Swarthmore College and Director of Research for the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages.

Linguists, scholars, technologists, students, and other members of the Viki community are already using the Viki platform to help make shows available in languages on the brink of extinction. To date, shows on Viki–including Korean dramas, Japanese anime, Bollywood and US films–have been subtitled into 29 endangered and threatened and 20 emerging languages, accounting for nearly 25 percent of the 200 languages available on the site.

“In the past two years, we’ve been contacted by nearly a dozen organizations whose mission is to preserve their languages, and by extension, their rich cultural histories. They wanted us to add their language to our subtitles list so that they could help the younger generation practice and learn,” said Razmig Hovaghimian, Viki CEO and co-founder. “We want to help ensure that these languages are not forgotten or lost, but live on in a tradition that has carried them for generations–through storytelling.”

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Une Terre Culturelle: Journée européenne des langues 2014

Une Terre Culturelle: Journée européenne des langues 2014 | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Journée européenne des langues 2014
RETROUVEZ-NOUS (ET BIEN D'AUTRES ENCORE) LE 26 SEPTEMBRE POUR LA JOURNÉE EUROPÉENNE DES LANGUES!! Au CRIJPA, au kiosque de la Canebière et dans la rue!

LES TEMPS FORTS DE LA MANIFESTATION :

Vous pourrez participer aux activités sur les langues du matin (inscription auprès d'Itinéraire International pour les activités du matin uniquement), de l'après-midi et recueillir le témoignages de nombreux jeunes volontaires ayant bénéficié de programmes de mobilité internationale. Ils sont revenus changés de leur séjour à l’étranger, et dotés d’une meilleure compétence en langue, ils ont trouvé du travail une fois revenus à Marseille. 

Une conférence sera organisé à 16h30 au Palais de la Bourse, vous pourrez interviewer des experts en politique linguistique et des responsables RH d’entreprises internationales installées sur le territoire. Le thème portera sur : Parler une autre langue ? Pourquoi pas mais qu'est ce que j'y gagne ?

Un apéritif linguistique aura lieu à 18h au Kiosque, l'occasion de découvrir différentes langues. L'apéro langues sera suivi du concert des Woodman Beatbox et DJ Set de Waterproof pour clôturer cette journée !

Charles Tiayon's insight:
Journée européenne des langues 2014
RETROUVEZ-NOUS (ET BIEN D'AUTRES ENCORE) LE 26 SEPTEMBRE POUR LA JOURNÉE EUROPÉENNE DES LANGUES!! Au CRIJPA, au kiosque de la Canebière et dans la rue!

LES TEMPS FORTS DE LA MANIFESTATION :

Vous pourrez participer aux activités sur les langues du matin (inscription auprès d'Itinéraire International pour les activités du matin uniquement), de l'après-midi et recueillir le témoignages de nombreux jeunes volontaires ayant bénéficié de programmes de mobilité internationale. Ils sont revenus changés de leur séjour à l’étranger, et dotés d’une meilleure compétence en langue, ils ont trouvé du travail une fois revenus à Marseille. 

Une conférence sera organisé à 16h30 au Palais de la Bourse, vous pourrez interviewer des experts en politique linguistique et des responsables RH d’entreprises internationales installées sur le territoire. Le thème portera sur : Parler une autre langue ? Pourquoi pas mais qu'est ce que j'y gagne ?

Un apéritif linguistique aura lieu à 18h au Kiosque, l'occasion de découvrir différentes langues. L'apéro langues sera suivi du concert des Woodman Beatbox et DJ Set de Waterproof pour clôturer cette journée !

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Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat?

Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat? | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
With support from Silicon Valley, experts weigh existential risks.
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By Angela Chen

When the world ends, it may not be by fire or ice or an evil robot overlord. Our demise may come at the hands of a superintelligence that just wants more paper clips.

So says Nick Bostrom, a philosopher who founded and directs the Future of Humanity Institute, in the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford. He created the "paper-clip maximizer" thought experiment to expose flaws in how we conceive of superintelligence. We anthropomorphize such machines as particularly clever math nerds, says Bostrom, whose book Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies was released in Britain in July and arrived stateside this month. Spurred by science fiction and pop culture, we assume that the main superintelligence-gone-wrong scenario features a hostile organization programming software to conquer the world. But those assumptions fundamentally misunderstand the nature of superintelligence: The dangers come not necessarily from evil motives, says Bostrom, but from a powerful, wholly nonhuman agent that lacks common sense.

Imagine a machine programmed with the seemingly harmless, and ethically neutral, goal of getting as many paper clips as possible. First it collects them. Then. realizing that it could get more clips if it were smarter, it tries to improve its own algorithm to maximize computing power and collecting abilities. Unrestrained, its power grows by leaps and bounds, until it will do anything to reach its goal: collect paper clips, yes, but also buy paper clips, steal paper clips, perhaps transform all of earth into a paper-clip factory. "Harmless" goal, bad programming, end of the human race.

The thought experiment is, of course, exaggerated, but, according to Bostrom, the dangers of artificial intelligence and advanced technology are not. He’s made a career of studying the threats that could wipe out humankind and says the likely culprit will not be a natural disaster.

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Future of Humanity Institute

Nick Bostrom directs the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford.

"Humans have been around for over 100,000 years. During that time, we have survived earthquakes and firestorms and asteroids and all kinds of other things," he says. "It’s unlikely that any of those natural hazards will do us in within the next 100 years if we’ve already survived 100,000. By contrast, we are introducing, through human activity, entirely new types of dangers by developing powerful new technologies. We have no record of surviving those."

Bostrom, who coined the term "existential risks" for such threats, jokes that more research has been done on snowboards and dung beetles than on the question of whether we’ll survive disaster. But a movement is growing rapidly, with the help of high-profile champions and Silicon Valley money. In addition to his institute, founded in 2005, there is theCentre for the Study of Existential Risk, which Martin Rees co-founded in 2012 at the University of Cambridge, where he is an emeritus professor of cosmology and astrophysics. New York has leading members of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, which opened in 2011. And just this May, the Cambridge, Mass.-based Future of Life Institute held its inaugural event at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Max Tegmark, a professor of physics at MIT, began the Future of Life event—a panel discussion on the role of technology—by showing a slide with pictures of both Justin Bieber and Vasili Arkhipov, a Russian naval officer. He had a couple of questions for the audience. First, who is more famous? Then: "Which of these two guys should we thank for us all being alive here tonight because he single-handedly stopped a nuclear attack during the Cuban missile crisis?"

The crowd laughed, but Tegmark had made his point. We’re more aware of a 20-year-old Canadian pop star than of someone to whom we might owe our lives, and he wants to turn that around. "I’m very much a technology optimist," says Tegmark, a founder of the Future of Life Institute, in an interview. "Technology offers such amazing opportunities for making life better, but because it’s so powerful, it comes with pitfalls. So it’s really important to think in advance about what the pitfalls are, rather than bumble around and mess things up accidentally, like we almost did in the Cold War."

But because existential-risk research involves planning for very long-range scenarios, these organizations face skepticism from those who think the resources would be better spent on more-concrete, immediate problems, like global poverty and lack of access to health care.

Not quite, says Jaan Tallinn, an Estonian programmer who helped develop Skype and now funds many existential-risk organizations. Such research is important to support because the cost of not doing so is, by definition, annihilation. "It would take out not just the number of people alive now but the number of people not yet born," Tallinn says. "Compared to that, even very serious concerns like malaria—one of the biggest things that rich people seem to be acknowledging—are minuscule."

Viktoriya Krakovna, a doctoral candidate in statistics at Harvard and another founder of the Future of Life Institute, says it operates grassroots-style to recruit volunteers and younger scholars. "We wanted to create FLI as an intersection of two circles of people: more-senior scientists, like people on the advisory board, and people from the local community and universities," she says. "We're not necessarily selecting for traditional credentials and prestige, but people who are really interested in these issues."

The institute will host visiting fellows, hold public workshops and lectures, and, eventually, collaborate with policy makers. But first it must identify which techno-risk might do us in soonest.

Similarly, at Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, which counts Stephen Hawking among its advisory-board members, "we want to figure out what we should be worried about, exactly, and what can be done to ameliorate it," says Rees. He believes that biotechnology, with its potential for bioterrorism (what he terms "bio error and bio terror"), is a strong contender for the greatest techno-risk. Seth Baum, a founder and executive director of the more policy-focused Global Catastrophic Risk Institute, studies nuclear disarmament, in part because he lives near the United Nations headquarters, in New York.

When weighing different risks, he says, "the bottom-line question is, What can we do about it?" For a risk that’s "really high-probability but there’s nothing we can do in terms of regulation or prevention, the fact that it’s high-probability might not matter as much."

But as researchers evaluate biotech versus nanotech versus nuclear weapons, superintelligence has moved to the forefront of existential-risk consciousness. "I always thought superintelligence was the biggest existential risk because of the rate of progress," says Bostrom. "This might be the area where a small amount of well-directed research and effort now can have the biggest difference later on."

Concern over artificial intelligence is old news. As far back as 1847, people questioned whether machines—in that case, calculators—might one day do harm, notes Stuart Russell, a computer-science professor at the University of California at Berkeley who advises several of the existential-risk institutes. Without evidence that intelligence is limited by biology, the only obstacles to superintelligence, he says, are physics and ingenuity.

The development of machines with human-level intelligence has been heralded since the 1940s and, to listen to some people, seems to be perpetually 20 years away. Though research hit a standstill during the reduced-funding "AI Winters" of the late 1970s and early 90s, the rate of progress is accelerating, in part thanks to financial support from Silicon Valley players. Google acquired the start-up DeepMind in January. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, of SpaceX and Tesla, have each invested in Vicarious, an AI firm that wants to replicate the human brain.

The two biggest funders of the modest existential-risk ecosystem—which subsists on about $4-million annually—are Peter Thiel, a founder of PayPal, and Tallinn. Seven years ago, Tallinn met with an AI researcher named Eliezer Yudkowsky and spoke with him for four hours about the risks of artificial intelligence. As soon as they parted, Tallinn wired $4,000 to Yudkowsky’s organization, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, in Berkeley,to compensate him for his time.

"Once I identified that this is the most important thing I could do with my life, I started consciously looking for opportunities to push this X-risk ecosystem forward," says Tallinn. He has helped start the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk and the Future of Life Institute, and contributes about $500,000 each year to research.

At the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, the top donors include Peter Thiel's foundation, which has given more than $1.3-million to date, and Jed McCaleb, one of the founders of the MtGox Bitcoin exchange, who has contributed more than $500,000.

The leap from human-level machine intelligence to superintelligence is not as great as the one from where we are now to human-level machine intelligence, says Hector Levesque, a recently retired professor of computer science at the University of Toronto, who is noted for his AI research. "There are many things about human-level intelligence—how we represent and reason and understand things—that we do not yet understand at all," he says. "These are fundamental questions that we haven’t completely sorted out that are necessary to get to that level of intelligence." Turing tests, which ostensibly represent intelligence, can be "passed" by evading questions or pulling facts from a data set, but Levesque argues that a computer won’t be "intelligent" like a human until it can think in the abstract, perceive something instead of just "seeing" it, and understand things that aren’t easily Googleable.

We are already good at developing machines that are smart in one area. Think of Watson, the AI champion of Jeopardy! But "human-level" intelligence is more than speedily calling up quiz-game facts. It is general intelligence that can apply knowledge to a wide variety of tasks. And yet, as Stuart Russell notes, "the program that was able to beat [the chess grandmaster Garry] Kasparov was completely unable to play checkers."

What’s more, while there is funding for AI-risk research, there may not be funds for the machines that validate such studies. There’s a clear use (and therefore a revenue stream) for self-driving cars, robots that sweep floors, and algorithms that sift data to further personalize medicine. But the purpose of a general-intelligence machine is less clear, says Levesque. For organizations or individuals dreaming of cures for cancer or remedies for economic inequality, pouring money into a long-term effort to devise a superintelligent machine seems to fail a cost-benefit analysis.

According to Bostrom, combined results from four surveys show that experts believe human-level machine intelligence will almost certainly be achieved within the next century. Although his own predictions are more cautious, some surveys predict a 50-percent chance of machines with human-level intelligence by 2040, and a 10-percent chance within the next decade. From that milestone, it’s not a far leap to superintelligence.

"Once you reach a certain level of machine intelligence, and the machine becomes clever enough, it can start to apply its intelligence to itself and improve itself," says Bostrom, who calls the phenomenon "seed AI" or "recursively self-improving AI."

If that intelligence happens within a matter of hours or days, in what is called a "hard takeoff," people will be helpless in its wake, unable to anticipate what might happen next. It’s like the story of the genie who grants three wishes, but never quite in the way the wisher intends, says Russell, the computer scientist from Berkeley. "If what you have is a system that carries out your instructions to the letter, you’ve got to be extremely careful on what you state. Humans come with all kinds of common sense, but a superintelligence has none."

So, what is to be done? The realm of science fiction offers options like a kill switch, but no permanent solutions.

"It’s not like we’re going to keep the superintelligence bottled up forever and hope that nobody else ever develops a free-roaming superintelligence," says Bostrom. The "motivation-selection problem"—how to program a computer to have common sense—must be solved before we reach the takeoff point. One approach is to make the machine’s goals deliberately vague. Instead of asking it to "cure cancer," you tell it to "do something that benefits humanity," and let it spend a lot of time checking in with human beings to find out what everyone actually wants.

Another approach is the one pioneered by the Machine Intelligence Research Institute, which is in talks to collaborate with faculty members at Berkeley. There, researchers believe that the most effective way to prevent a nonhuman superintelligence from harming humans is to … make it more human. They are working on developing "friendly AI," with sympathy and altruism for humankind built in. The institute’s publications include papers on the theoretical effects of programming AI with various moral systems, and the extent to which an artificial general intelligence can reason about its own behavior.

If all goes well, and research progresses, we’ll have some practice building, and restraining, subintelligent machines before we try to harness superintelligence, says Russell. It’s the same process but much less risky: "If something does go wrong, a subintelligent machine is unlikely to be able to take over the world."

At the Future of Life Institute’s event, discussions ranged from the ethics of kill switches for superintelligent machines ("we absolutely should have" them), to intelligent military drones (the Nobel-laureate physicist Frank Wilczek’s fear) to last-ditch escape plans (space travel).

The first question from the audience challenged the very premise of the meeting: Why is it a good idea that we continue to exist? Given that humans have caused the extinction of others, wouldn’t it be poetic justice if advanced forms of intelligence, which could probably run the world better anyway, caused our extinction?

There’s a clear answer, even just thinking about the "hard-core economic point of view," said Wilczek. "There’s an enormous investment in human intelligence as opposed to any other kind of intelligence. It’s been developed and enhanced and enabled for many centuries in nontrivial ways. I really don’t think we want to start all over again."

There were once two major restraints to existential-risk research, says Jaan Tallinn, the Skype co-founder. One has been lifted, and the other remains.

The first was credibility. Groups like the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (once called the Singularity Institute) have been around for a while, "but few people would listen because they dismissed us as ‘crazy people in Silicon Valley,’ " he says. Now the connection of research institutes to top universities has "taken away the reputation constraint" for those who might not want to help a nonprofit group but feel comfortable taking the University of Cambridge seriously.

Martin Rees, of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, hopes that this clout can extend beyond the ivory tower. The astronomer royal, though a self-described "political pessimist," notes that as a member of the House of Lords, he is a part-time politician himself and can perhaps help the research institute in the political arena.

Yet the problem of funding remains, says Tallinn, who provides over 90 percent of the support for the University of Cambridge center and is helping to leverage donations and raise awareness of its work. He has given talks both at start-up conferences—"to get young people exposed to these ideas"—and at universities around the world.

"I used to have the very standard worldview," he says. "I can easily identify with people who see computers getting faster, and smarter, and technology getting more and more beneficial, without seeing the other side."

Max Tegmark, of the Future of Life Institute, has harsher words. "In terms of how much attention we’re giving to the future of humanity, I don’t think we’re off by a little bit," he says. "I think we’re completely bungling it. If you compare how we handle our survival as a species with how we do it in our personal lives, it’s a total disconnect." People continue to buy fire insurance for their homes despite never expecting them to burn down, Tegmark points out, because the possibility of losing everything would be devastating.

"It’s the same here," he says. "Even if the probability is tiny, it’s worth buying the fire insurance for humanity."

Correction (9/16/2014, 10:00 a.m.): This article originally included an incorrect title for Max Tegmark of MIT. He is a professor of physics, not an associate professor of physics. The text has been corrected.

Angela Chen is a journalist in New York.

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Games in the Classroom Reading List – ProfHacker - Blogs - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Last week on Twitter, I was asked for some recommendation for critical readings on games and learning. There are lots of enthusiasts for games in the classroom out there (myself included, of course) and tons of great places to start if you’re interested in learning more about bringing games into education. These are only the tip of the iceberg–there’s a particularly rich conversation in game studies surrounding serious and persuasive games, which is decidedly interwoven with educational games.

Here are a few books I suggest for getting started:

  • Games, Learning, and Society: Learning and Meaning in the Digital Age. Edited by Constance Steinkuehler, Kurt Squire, and Sasha Barab. If you’re looking for one book to get started on games and pedagogy, this is at the top of my list. The included roster of designers and scholars covers a lot of the field of games and learning, and since it’s a fairly recent volume it’s valuable for both its insight into recent practices and assessment and a sense of historical perspective on games and education. This is definitely more valuable as a critical framework than for application.

  • Video Games and Learning: Teaching and Participatory Culture in the Digital Age. Kurt Squire. As an accessible introduction to games for education, Kurt Squire’s book is helpful both for entering the general discourse and finding some ways to get started with games. It’s not a hefty read, which makes it a great starting point. His discussions of teaching with Civilization are particularly valuable for thinking about the different layers of expertise and learning that get involved when you bring complex games into the classroom.

  • What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy.James Paul Gee. It’s impossible to write a list like this without including Gee’s landmark work that dove into the world of video games and considered their potential. While it’s outdated now, the revised edition looks at some games that are still popular (like World of Warcraft) and a lot of the thoughts on games as spaces for deep learning are still quite relevant. However, the work is definitely more anecdotal than evidence-driven, and it’s certainly more theory than practice.

  • Digital Games and Learning: Research and Theory. Nicola Whitton.Whitton’s recent critical work (priced rather dauntingly in hardcover, but reasonably in paperback) is a rich exploration of the many forms games can take: experimental spaces, explorable worlds, motivational tools, learning technologies, and many more possibilities are examined. It’s particularly valuable for thinking about games not as a broad category but as a wide range of genres and mechanics with very different educational potential and value.

  • The Art of Failure. Jesper Juul. Juul’s critical works on games are all valuable, but his work on failure is particularly relevant to educators: willfully and repeatedly failing is an essential part of gaming, and one that often seems less desirable (or even impossible) in traditional learning environments. While his book isn’t particularly related to games as educational spaces, it’s a great study of why we persist in the face of frustration and incompetence.

If you’re looking for something less dense, Natalie recently collected links to a number of great ProfHacker posts on games.

Have your own favorite reads on games and learning? Share them in the comments!

Charles Tiayon's insight:

Last week on Twitter, I was asked for some recommendation for critical readings on games and learning. There are lots of enthusiasts for games in the classroom out there (myself included, of course) and tons of great places to start if you’re interested in learning more about bringing games into education. These are only the tip of the iceberg–there’s a particularly rich conversation in game studies surrounding serious and persuasive games, which is decidedly interwoven with educational games.

Here are a few books I suggest for getting started:

  • Games, Learning, and Society: Learning and Meaning in the Digital Age. Edited by Constance Steinkuehler, Kurt Squire, and Sasha Barab. If you’re looking for one book to get started on games and pedagogy, this is at the top of my list. The included roster of designers and scholars covers a lot of the field of games and learning, and since it’s a fairly recent volume it’s valuable for both its insight into recent practices and assessment and a sense of historical perspective on games and education. This is definitely more valuable as a critical framework than for application.

  • Video Games and Learning: Teaching and Participatory Culture in the Digital Age. Kurt Squire. As an accessible introduction to games for education, Kurt Squire’s book is helpful both for entering the general discourse and finding some ways to get started with games. It’s not a hefty read, which makes it a great starting point. His discussions of teaching with Civilization are particularly valuable for thinking about the different layers of expertise and learning that get involved when you bring complex games into the classroom.

  • What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy.James Paul Gee. It’s impossible to write a list like this without including Gee’s landmark work that dove into the world of video games and considered their potential. While it’s outdated now, the revised edition looks at some games that are still popular (like World of Warcraft) and a lot of the thoughts on games as spaces for deep learning are still quite relevant. However, the work is definitely more anecdotal than evidence-driven, and it’s certainly more theory than practice.

  • Digital Games and Learning: Research and Theory. Nicola Whitton.Whitton’s recent critical work (priced rather dauntingly in hardcover, but reasonably in paperback) is a rich exploration of the many forms games can take: experimental spaces, explorable worlds, motivational tools, learning technologies, and many more possibilities are examined. It’s particularly valuable for thinking about games not as a broad category but as a wide range of genres and mechanics with very different educational potential and value.

  • The Art of Failure. Jesper Juul. Juul’s critical works on games are all valuable, but his work on failure is particularly relevant to educators: willfully and repeatedly failing is an essential part of gaming, and one that often seems less desirable (or even impossible) in traditional learning environments. While his book isn’t particularly related to games as educational spaces, it’s a great study of why we persist in the face of frustration and incompetence.

If you’re looking for something less dense, Natalie recently collected links to a number of great ProfHacker posts on games.

Have your own favorite reads on games and learning? Share them in the comments!

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Un rapport destiné aux Suisses rectifie quelques mythes linguistiques

Un rapport destiné aux Suisses rectifie quelques mythes linguistiques | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Un rapport destiné aux Suisses rectifie quelques mythes linguistiques

16 SEPTEMBRE 2014 |  PAR DOMINIQUE C

Le professeur François Grin vient encore de frapper, avec un rapport destiné aux Suisses, mais dont le contenu écorne quelque peu les mythes linguistiques et la vision "dominante" (que j'appelle "Ordre Linguistique" ou "TINA").
Ce document mérite d'être lu dans son entier, mais contentons - nous de souligner ces deux points:  non, les Européens ne parlent pas tous l'anglais (seulement un tiers grand maximum, à des degrés divers de compétence, parfois médiocres) et 64% d'entre eux ne le savent pas du tout!
Par ailleurs, il n'est pas forcément indispensable pour les enfants d'apprendre très tôt une langue étrangère.  Il y a trop de facteurs entrant en ligne de compte pour qu'on puisse l'affirmer.   "L’enseignement et l’apprentissage des langues s’inscrivent donc dans un champ extraordinairement complexe dont aucune recherche n’a, à ce jour, complètement démêlé l'écheveau. En la matière, il faut absolument éviter les simplifications et les jugements à l’emporte-pièce.'" écrit-il.

"Le débat sur les langues en quinze questions: arguments, faits et chiffres" est publié sur le site de l'Université de Genève.

S'il s'agit d'une mise au point sur la question des langues dans un pays qui en compte au moins 3 (français, allemand et italien), il est cependant susceptible d'éclairer les divers débats sur l'épineuse question de l'apprentissage des langues partout dans le monde.

On me pardonnera de ne retenir ici que deux points, que je ne vais pas commenter (vous le ferez, chers lecteurs), mais qui me paraissent aller à rebours des opinions généralement répandues.
Je me contenterai donc d'extraits (citations) de ce document de 44 pages.

Question n° 9

9. L’anglais n’est-il pas la seule langue qui compte vraiment à l’international, notamment pour le commerce extérieur ? 
Oui, l’anglais est important, essentiel même, et comme on l’a dit plus haut, apprenons-le. Il n’y a aucune raison de s’en priver. Mais sa diffusion et son utilisation sont constamment surestimées. 
L’anglais serait la langue étrangère la plus répandue parmi les Européens ? Certes. Mais elle n’est pas parlée par tous les Européens, loin de là. Selon les données Eurobaromètre de 2012, 7% de ceux qui savent l’anglais comme langue étrangère le savent « très bien », et 17% le savent « bien ». Mais 12% n’ont que des bases d’anglais et 64% d’entre eux ne le savent pas du tout. Ces chiffres corroborés par l’Enquête sur l’éducation des adultes (2011) qui compte plus de 200'000 observations répartis dans 23 pays. 

L’anglais est la langue maternelle de quelque 7% de la population mondiale, et selon les estimations (ou, plus précisément, selon les critères de compétence qu’on adopte pour dire que quelqu’un « parle » une langue), on multipliera ce pourcentage par deux (au moins) ou par trois et demi (au plus) pour avoir un ordre de grandeur du pourcentage de la population mondiale qui sait l’anglais ou au moins se débrouille dans cette langue. Il reste que 70% de la population mondiale ne sait pas l’anglais. Affirmer, comme certains journalistes le répètent trop hâtivement, que « l’anglais est la langue universelle » n’est même pas une approximation ou une imprécision : c’est de l’aveuglement, ou c’est une tromperie sur la marchandise. 
Dire que l’anglais est « la langue des affaires » est un autre exemple de vision tronquée et trompeuse : oui, bien sûr, c’est une langue très utile, mais ce n’est pas la seule langue utile. On l’a noté dans le cas de la Suisse ; on peut en dire autant à l’échelle mondiale. De récentes études (qualitatives et non quantitatives, il est vrai), réalisées dans le cadre d’un vaste projet de recherche européen sur une quinzaine de pays, montrent que même dans des multinationales où l’on proclame que tout se passe en anglais car ce serait la langue « officielle » de l’entreprise, la réalité est toute autre, car les employés, dans les faits, utilisent constamment diverses langues, à commencer par leur langue maternelle autre que l’anglais. La réalité de la vie économique est plurilingue. 

En commerce international, bien des transactions peuvent avoir lieu en anglais. Mais quand la concurrence est vive pour une commande en Allemagne ou en Autriche, et même si le client germanophone comme le fournisseur romand savent tous deux l’anglais, le fournisseur romand qui peut passer à l’allemand bénéficiera, toutes autres choses égales par ailleurs, d’un petit plus par rapport au concurrent britannique, espagnol ou finnois qui n’aurait pas l’allemand dans son répertoire. Cela ne marchera évidemment pas à tous les coups, mais tendanciellement, c’est un avantage. De façon symétrique, un Alémanique qui sait le français dispose d’un atout sur les marchés français, algérien, malgache ou canadien. 
Selon une analyse économétrique des flux du commerce international publiée en 2012, les échanges entre deux pays francophones sont 22% plus élevés que ceux qu’on observe entre deux pays comparables en termes de population, de PIB par tête ou de participation à un accord commercial mais qui n’ont pas le français en commun."

Question n° 11
11. Les avis sur la question de l’âge idéal d’apprentissage des langues étrangères sont contradictoires. Est-il réellement important de les aborder dès le plus jeune âge ? 
Ce n’est pas indispensable, mais c’est souhaitable, et il y a toutes sortes d’excellentes raisons de commencer tôt. 
C’est malheureux, mais cette question est à présent instrumentalisée dans le débat public, y compris par ceux qui, jusqu’alors, n’avaient cure de ces questions pédagogiques. 
Rappelons d’abord que le succès dans l’apprentissage des langues étrangères dépend de plusieurs facteurs, qu’on peut classer en trois grands groupes. 
(...)   [ici, Pr Grin cite: environnement familial, autres facteurs (qui) relèvent du système éducatif, facteurs sociétaux... ] 
L’enseignement et l’apprentissage des langues s’inscrivent donc dans un champ extraordinairement complexe dont aucune recherche n’a, à ce jour, complètement démêlé l'écheveau. En la matière, il faut absolument éviter les simplifications et les jugements à l’emporte-pièce. 
Qu’en est-il, dès lors, d’un de ces facteurs, à savoir l’âge auquel on apprend une langue ? Limitons-nous ici à deux remarques. 
Premièrement, l’âge n’est pas déterminant : on peut apprendre une langue à tout âge, en exploitant relativement plus, ou relativement moins, différentes stratégies d’apprentissage. Il est vrai que plus les années avancent, moins on a de temps et d’espace mental à consacrer à l’apprentissage d’une langue. En outre, la difficulté, objective ou subjective, de l’apprentissage d’une langue peut évoluer avec l’âge, notamment pour ce qui a trait à ce que, pour faire simple, on appellera « l’accent ».8 Mais l’apprentissage tardif n’est nullement exclu. 
Deuxièmement, l’effet de l’âge n’est pas linéaire.  (...)

Voilà.

Charles Tiayon's insight:
Un rapport destiné aux Suisses rectifie quelques mythes linguistiques

16 SEPTEMBRE 2014 |  PAR DOMINIQUE C

Le professeur François Grin vient encore de frapper, avec un rapport destiné aux Suisses, mais dont le contenu écorne quelque peu les mythes linguistiques et la vision "dominante" (que j'appelle "Ordre Linguistique" ou "TINA").
Ce document mérite d'être lu dans son entier, mais contentons - nous de souligner ces deux points:  non, les Européens ne parlent pas tous l'anglais (seulement un tiers grand maximum, à des degrés divers de compétence, parfois médiocres) et 64% d'entre eux ne le savent pas du tout!
Par ailleurs, il n'est pas forcément indispensable pour les enfants d'apprendre très tôt une langue étrangère.  Il y a trop de facteurs entrant en ligne de compte pour qu'on puisse l'affirmer.   "L’enseignement et l’apprentissage des langues s’inscrivent donc dans un champ extraordinairement complexe dont aucune recherche n’a, à ce jour, complètement démêlé l'écheveau. En la matière, il faut absolument éviter les simplifications et les jugements à l’emporte-pièce.'" écrit-il.

"Le débat sur les langues en quinze questions: arguments, faits et chiffres" est publié sur le site de l'Université de Genève.

S'il s'agit d'une mise au point sur la question des langues dans un pays qui en compte au moins 3 (français, allemand et italien), il est cependant susceptible d'éclairer les divers débats sur l'épineuse question de l'apprentissage des langues partout dans le monde.

On me pardonnera de ne retenir ici que deux points, que je ne vais pas commenter (vous le ferez, chers lecteurs), mais qui me paraissent aller à rebours des opinions généralement répandues.
Je me contenterai donc d'extraits (citations) de ce document de 44 pages.

Question n° 9

9. L’anglais n’est-il pas la seule langue qui compte vraiment à l’international, notamment pour le commerce extérieur ? 
Oui, l’anglais est important, essentiel même, et comme on l’a dit plus haut, apprenons-le. Il n’y a aucune raison de s’en priver. Mais sa diffusion et son utilisation sont constamment surestimées. 
L’anglais serait la langue étrangère la plus répandue parmi les Européens ? Certes. Mais elle n’est pas parlée par tous les Européens, loin de là. Selon les données Eurobaromètre de 2012, 7% de ceux qui savent l’anglais comme langue étrangère le savent « très bien », et 17% le savent « bien ». Mais 12% n’ont que des bases d’anglais et 64% d’entre eux ne le savent pas du tout. Ces chiffres corroborés par l’Enquête sur l’éducation des adultes (2011) qui compte plus de 200'000 observations répartis dans 23 pays. 

L’anglais est la langue maternelle de quelque 7% de la population mondiale, et selon les estimations (ou, plus précisément, selon les critères de compétence qu’on adopte pour dire que quelqu’un « parle » une langue), on multipliera ce pourcentage par deux (au moins) ou par trois et demi (au plus) pour avoir un ordre de grandeur du pourcentage de la population mondiale qui sait l’anglais ou au moins se débrouille dans cette langue. Il reste que 70% de la population mondiale ne sait pas l’anglais. Affirmer, comme certains journalistes le répètent trop hâtivement, que « l’anglais est la langue universelle » n’est même pas une approximation ou une imprécision : c’est de l’aveuglement, ou c’est une tromperie sur la marchandise. 
Dire que l’anglais est « la langue des affaires » est un autre exemple de vision tronquée et trompeuse : oui, bien sûr, c’est une langue très utile, mais ce n’est pas la seule langue utile. On l’a noté dans le cas de la Suisse ; on peut en dire autant à l’échelle mondiale. De récentes études (qualitatives et non quantitatives, il est vrai), réalisées dans le cadre d’un vaste projet de recherche européen sur une quinzaine de pays, montrent que même dans des multinationales où l’on proclame que tout se passe en anglais car ce serait la langue « officielle » de l’entreprise, la réalité est toute autre, car les employés, dans les faits, utilisent constamment diverses langues, à commencer par leur langue maternelle autre que l’anglais. La réalité de la vie économique est plurilingue. 

En commerce international, bien des transactions peuvent avoir lieu en anglais. Mais quand la concurrence est vive pour une commande en Allemagne ou en Autriche, et même si le client germanophone comme le fournisseur romand savent tous deux l’anglais, le fournisseur romand qui peut passer à l’allemand bénéficiera, toutes autres choses égales par ailleurs, d’un petit plus par rapport au concurrent britannique, espagnol ou finnois qui n’aurait pas l’allemand dans son répertoire. Cela ne marchera évidemment pas à tous les coups, mais tendanciellement, c’est un avantage. De façon symétrique, un Alémanique qui sait le français dispose d’un atout sur les marchés français, algérien, malgache ou canadien. 
Selon une analyse économétrique des flux du commerce international publiée en 2012, les échanges entre deux pays francophones sont 22% plus élevés que ceux qu’on observe entre deux pays comparables en termes de population, de PIB par tête ou de participation à un accord commercial mais qui n’ont pas le français en commun."

Question n° 11
11. Les avis sur la question de l’âge idéal d’apprentissage des langues étrangères sont contradictoires. Est-il réellement important de les aborder dès le plus jeune âge ? 
Ce n’est pas indispensable, mais c’est souhaitable, et il y a toutes sortes d’excellentes raisons de commencer tôt. 
C’est malheureux, mais cette question est à présent instrumentalisée dans le débat public, y compris par ceux qui, jusqu’alors, n’avaient cure de ces questions pédagogiques. 
Rappelons d’abord que le succès dans l’apprentissage des langues étrangères dépend de plusieurs facteurs, qu’on peut classer en trois grands groupes. 
(...)   [ici, Pr Grin cite: environnement familial, autres facteurs (qui) relèvent du système éducatif, facteurs sociétaux... ] 
L’enseignement et l’apprentissage des langues s’inscrivent donc dans un champ extraordinairement complexe dont aucune recherche n’a, à ce jour, complètement démêlé l'écheveau. En la matière, il faut absolument éviter les simplifications et les jugements à l’emporte-pièce. 
Qu’en est-il, dès lors, d’un de ces facteurs, à savoir l’âge auquel on apprend une langue ? Limitons-nous ici à deux remarques. 
Premièrement, l’âge n’est pas déterminant : on peut apprendre une langue à tout âge, en exploitant relativement plus, ou relativement moins, différentes stratégies d’apprentissage. Il est vrai que plus les années avancent, moins on a de temps et d’espace mental à consacrer à l’apprentissage d’une langue. En outre, la difficulté, objective ou subjective, de l’apprentissage d’une langue peut évoluer avec l’âge, notamment pour ce qui a trait à ce que, pour faire simple, on appellera « l’accent ».8 Mais l’apprentissage tardif n’est nullement exclu. 
Deuxièmement, l’effet de l’âge n’est pas linéaire.  (...)

Voilà.

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Comprenez-Vous le Bamanankan ?

Comprenez-Vous le Bamanankan ? | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Le Bamanankan est l’une des principales langues du Mali. C’est sans doute la langue la plus parlée de notre pays car elle s’étend de Kayes à Tessalit. Cependant, le Bamanankan est encore une langue mal connue des Maliens qui la parlent.

Malgré le nombre élevé des linguistes et autres spécialistes des langues nationales, l’origine des mots, leur étymologie, est très mal connue. Ainsi on entend à longueur de journée des emplois fautifs des mots et une utilisation abusive des emprunts, principalement à l’Arabe et au Français.

Peu de gens savent que les mots sugu (marché), hakili (esprit, intelligence), jaama (foule)nɔrɔ (charme), duniya (le monde) etc. sont d’origine arabe. Leurs équivalents  en Bamanankan ne sont connus que de rares locuteurs ou chercheurs. Voici un exemple que m’a appris Dr Fodé Moussa SIDIBÉ.

C’est le mot yili qui a été remplacé par hakili. On le retrouve dans le nom d’un quartier de Bamako : Yilimajɔ que les gens prononcent fautivement yirimajɔ.Yilimajɔ (au lieu de Yirimajɔ, qui ne veut rien dire) signifie littéralement « reposer l’esprit ». Par ailleurs, et dans un tout autre registre, la plupart des mots du Bamanankan trouvent leur éclairage dans le Mandenkan ou Malinké (et le Khassonké) dont il est issu.

Par exemple, le mot daraka (petit déjeuner) est obscur sur le plan étymologique. Il faut recourir au Mandenkan pour le comprendre. En effet les Malinkés disent datɔƔa (datɔkha)qui signifie littéralement « ouvrir la bouche ». Le petit déjeuner est le premier repas du jour après que la bouche a été fermée toute la nuit.

Le mot caman (thiaman) signifie « beaucoup » en Bamanankan mais son origine n’est pas évidente. Là aussi le Mandenkan sert d’éclairage.

Dans cette langue, caman se dit siyaman qui est composé de siya (race) et du suffixe man. Ainsi, siyaman signifie « aussi nombreuse que la race ». Un autre mot très utilisé dont l’origine a donné lieu à plusieurs interprétations est le mot jeli (griot). Même de grands traditionnalistes pensent que jeli signifie « le sang » du corps social. En réalité il s’agit d’un mot tiré du vocabulaire guerrier.

En Mandénkan,  jéli se dit jalɔ. Il est composé de ja (dia) qui signifie « courage » et , qu’on peut traduire par « raffermir » et qui signifie littéralement « arrêter ». Du temps de l’Empire du Mali, ce sont les griots qui louaient les jeunes guerriers en rappelant les faits d’armes de leurs ancêtres pour les ragaillardir (K’u ja lajɔ) et les aider à affronter la mort.

Ainsi jalɔ a fini par désigner ceux qui étaient les laudateurs. Le Bamanankan a transformé jalɔ en jeli donnant au mot une toute autre signification.

Les exemples de ce genre sont nombreux et il appartient aux linguistes et autres spécialistes de la langue d’aller à la source pour expliquer l’étymologie des mots du Bamanankan et l’élargir aux autres langues nationales.

On pourrait alors imaginer une courte émission télé quotidienne où l’on expliquerait le Bamanankan aux Bamanans.

 

Ousmane THIÉNY KONATÉ

© maliactu.net

Charles Tiayon's insight:
Le Bamanankan est l’une des principales langues du Mali. C’est sans doute la langue la plus parlée de notre pays car elle s’étend de Kayes à Tessalit. Cependant, le Bamanankan est encore une langue mal connue des Maliens qui la parlent.

Malgré le nombre élevé des linguistes et autres spécialistes des langues nationales, l’origine des mots, leur étymologie, est très mal connue. Ainsi on entend à longueur de journée des emplois fautifs des mots et une utilisation abusive des emprunts, principalement à l’Arabe et au Français.

Peu de gens savent que les mots sugu (marché), hakili (esprit, intelligence), jaama (foule)nɔrɔ (charme), duniya (le monde) etc. sont d’origine arabe. Leurs équivalents  en Bamanankan ne sont connus que de rares locuteurs ou chercheurs. Voici un exemple que m’a appris Dr Fodé Moussa SIDIBÉ.

C’est le mot yili qui a été remplacé par hakili. On le retrouve dans le nom d’un quartier de Bamako : Yilimajɔ que les gens prononcent fautivement yirimajɔ.Yilimajɔ (au lieu de Yirimajɔ, qui ne veut rien dire) signifie littéralement « reposer l’esprit ». Par ailleurs, et dans un tout autre registre, la plupart des mots du Bamanankan trouvent leur éclairage dans le Mandenkan ou Malinké (et le Khassonké) dont il est issu.

Par exemple, le mot daraka (petit déjeuner) est obscur sur le plan étymologique. Il faut recourir au Mandenkan pour le comprendre. En effet les Malinkés disent datɔƔa (datɔkha)qui signifie littéralement « ouvrir la bouche ». Le petit déjeuner est le premier repas du jour après que la bouche a été fermée toute la nuit.

Le mot caman (thiaman) signifie « beaucoup » en Bamanankan mais son origine n’est pas évidente. Là aussi le Mandenkan sert d’éclairage.

Dans cette langue, caman se dit siyaman qui est composé de siya (race) et du suffixe man. Ainsi, siyaman signifie « aussi nombreuse que la race ». Un autre mot très utilisé dont l’origine a donné lieu à plusieurs interprétations est le mot jeli (griot). Même de grands traditionnalistes pensent que jeli signifie « le sang » du corps social. En réalité il s’agit d’un mot tiré du vocabulaire guerrier.

En Mandénkan,  jéli se dit jalɔ. Il est composé de ja (dia) qui signifie « courage » et , qu’on peut traduire par « raffermir » et qui signifie littéralement « arrêter ». Du temps de l’Empire du Mali, ce sont les griots qui louaient les jeunes guerriers en rappelant les faits d’armes de leurs ancêtres pour les ragaillardir (K’u ja lajɔ) et les aider à affronter la mort.

Ainsi jalɔ a fini par désigner ceux qui étaient les laudateurs. Le Bamanankan a transformé jalɔ en jeli donnant au mot une toute autre signification.

Les exemples de ce genre sont nombreux et il appartient aux linguistes et autres spécialistes de la langue d’aller à la source pour expliquer l’étymologie des mots du Bamanankan et l’élargir aux autres langues nationales.

On pourrait alors imaginer une courte émission télé quotidienne où l’on expliquerait le Bamanankan aux Bamanans.

 

Ousmane THIÉNY KONATÉ

© maliactu.net

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