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IEC 60050 - International Electrotechnical Vocabulary - Welcome

IEC 60050 - International Electrotechnical Vocabulary - Welcome | Metaglossia: The Translation World |

Electropedia (also known as the "IEV Online") is the world's most comprehensive online electrical and electronic terminology database containing more than 20 000 terms and definitions in English and French organized by subject area, with equivalent terms in various other languages: Arabic, Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Spanish and Swedish (coverage varies by subject area).

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

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

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

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Ventures Africa | First a Reader, Then a Leader

Ventures Africa | First a Reader, Then a Leader | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” – Haruki Murakami


VENTURES AFRICA – “Each employee is required to read one recommended book per year.” Here is what Chinese business tycoon Wang Jianlin, who leads the Dalian Wanda Group, asks his entire staff to do (The ‘Read One Book Per Year’ requirement is part of the company’s official mission statement).

At Ventures Africa, one of the things we really got to understand throughout 2014 is that fresh ideas, actionable insights, and imaginative solutions to a range of pressing challenges face current and future leaders of Africa.

From Ventures Africa, we would like to leave you with some of the most inspirational books that business leaders from around the world have managed to read and recommend for your intellectual stimulation.

For this publication, I like to start out with a book that has really inspired my mind around creativity and innovation development, especially for emerging markets like Africa.

The Opposable Mind by Roger Martin. The book deals with integrative thinking that is much needed by professionals, future leaders and current leaders of today. It’s a new dimension that intrigued me when the CEO of LEGO, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp introduced the book as one of his reads in 2014.



Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration – Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace,

Catmull, co-founder and President of Pixar Animation Studios, one of the world’s most admired creative businesses, shares insights and profitable techniques for harnessing talent, using teams and structuring organizations to produce unique and original creative work.

A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger

Earlier this year I wrote an article that spoke to the content of this book indirectly. Remember don’t ask your kids what they learnt at school for the day. Instead ask them if they asked a good question. Most people believe great leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs, and activists are distinguished by their ability to give compelling answers. This assumption is shattered, proving that asking the right question make the real difference.

The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun

With an Ivy League degree and a coveted consulting job at Bain, and a gaping hole where passion ought to fit in, Adam Braun’s knew something was amiss. With age (24) and $25, he started Fast-forward five years, and Pencils of Promise, since then building more than 200 schools worldwide.

Business Adventures by John Brooks. “Warren Buffett recommended this book to me back in 1991, and it’s still the best business book I’ve ever read. Even though Brooks wrote more than four decades ago, he offers sharp insights into timeless fundamentals of business, like the challenge of building a large organization, hiring people with the right skills, and listening to customers’ feedback.”

Stress Test by Timothy F. Geithner. (Another that I have read) The central irony of Stress Test is that a guy who was accused of being a lousy communicator as U.S. Treasury Secretary has penned a great book that details the juxtapose between business lie and family in some parts.

The Rise: Creativity, The Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery

In this multi-layered and wide-ranging meditation, the writer takes on the increasingly over-simplified notion of failure as a central driver of creative work. “The gift of failure is a riddle,’ concludes the art critic and curator, even suggesting in passing another term, ‘blankness,’ to emphasize the necessary dynamic, of those who persevere, of wiping clean provided by experience and then looking to what’s next.”

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

A must read for anyone considering managing themselves, not time, in different way. The book holds a set of instrumental keys to solving one of the great puzzles of life: how can we do less but accomplish more?

The Art of War, Sun Tzu

Simply because I have a personal interest in lots of Chess and military strategy, this is a brilliant read for anyone moving in the strategic direction. Written more than two thousand years ago in China, it’s a cunning depiction of military strategies and operations of brilliantly executed manoeuvres in Asian warfare.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert.

It’s on everyone’s lips – Climate Change. It is a big problem. Humans are exerting massive amounts of pavement, displacing species around the planet, over-fishing and acidifying the oceans, changing the chemical composition of rivers, removing ancient tribes from the only form of living they know – without learning the intricacies of human and nature – not to mention the remedies that exist and used by these tribes…..a fascinating read.


Books to read in 2015

Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead

By Laszlo Bock

“Heads of human resources typically aren’t known outside the companies where they work. Enter Laszlo Bock, The head of Google’s “People Operations,” Bock runs a department that’s been described as “more like a rigorous science lab than the pesky hall monitor most of us picture when we think of H.R.” The book clinically depicts what Bock learnt managing H.R. at one of the most generous — and also most data-driven — creative and innovative centres in the world.

A Curious Mind, By Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman

By Brian Grazer, the producer behind “Apollo 13,” “Arrested Development” and “A Beautiful Mind,” scheduled weekly “curiosity conversations” with outstanding achievers he doesn’t know: scientists, spies, CEOs and anyone else who sparks his interest and is willing to spend a few hours with him. Certainly for the inquisitive mind.

Their Own Sweet Time: How Successful Women Build Lives That Work , by Laura Vanderkam

How does she do it – at all? This book endeavours to answer that perpetual question, examining how highly paid professional women manage themselves hours Laura Vanderkam explores the “time-logs” from 1001 days by these women unpacking the vault of time management by successful women.

Resilience by Zolli and Healy

Recommend for anyone interested in Social Innovation dealing with the implications of system failure that remain inevitable.

Keeping up with the Quants, by Davenport and Kim

A definite read for the CIO and CTO. A firm grasp to data mining and quantitative analyses for non-mathematicians.

We do hope that 2015 will usher in a new reader and so, a new leader!

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Our View: ‘Culture’ needs ‘clash’ to be word of year

Our View: ‘Culture’ needs ‘clash’ to be word of year | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
While not new to 2014, the frequency, intensity and violence associated with these culture clashes, especially at the domestic level, are indeed new — at least to many among younger generations.

(Photo: AP)
‘Culture’ selected based on number of look-ups this year compared with 2013
World, national and local events involving ‘culture’ rooted in clashes
cul·ture noun: the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time.

: a particular society that has its own beliefs, ways of life, art, etc.

: a way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization (such as a business).


Merriam-Webster’s recent choice of “culture” as its Word of the Year certainly seems appropriate given the challenges facing not just Central Minnesota, but all of America as 2014 ends and a new year begins.

Merriam-Webster cited “culture” after analyzing the top look-ups in its online dictionary and focusing on the words that showed the greatest increases in searches this year as compared with last year. The results, based on about 100 million look-ups a month, “shed light on topics and ideas that sparked the nation’s interest in 2014.”

The public relations folks at Merriam-Webster added: “In years past, look-ups for the word culture spiked in the fall, as students encountered the word in titles and descriptions of courses and books, but this year look-ups have moved from seasonal to persistent, as culture has become a term frequently used in discussions of social phenomena.”

Realistically, they should replace “phenomena” with “clash.”

Think about “culture” when it comes to polarizing events this year such as Michael Brown and Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, Eric Garner in New York and — tragically this past weekend — New York police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in Brooklyn, New York.

Think about “culture” when it comes to North Korea, Russia, the Ukraine and the Islamic State.

Think about “culture” when it comes to federal lawmakers we elected. In 2014, leaders of the U.S. House announced plans to sue the president over the Affordable Care Act, which, by the way, passed four years ago. Meanwhile, the president used executive orders, most recently to accomplish major policy changes involving immigration.

And think “culture” when it comes to St. Cloud and two local places of worship for Muslims. Combined, they suffered at least a half-dozen incidents of vandalism in the past six weeks.

At their core, those “phenomena” made and retained headlines in 2014 because cultures clashed — and continue to do so.

While that’s not something new to 2014, the frequency, intensity and violence associated with these culture clashes, especially at the domestic level, are indeed new — at least to many among younger generations.

Here’s hoping 2015 will be a tie between “acceptance” and “compromise.”
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Changing Faces: McHenry County schools adapt to English-language learners

Changing Faces: McHenry County schools adapt to English-language learners | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Demographic shifts over the last 14 years provide clues to what McHenry County is going to look like in the future. We should expect to be older and more diverse. How well are we situated for the gradually changing population?

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Changing Faces: McHenry County becoming more diverse, older
This is the fourth part in our five-part Changing Faces series looking at U.S. Census and other data and an examination of how the housing industry, social services, education and local government is adjusting to changing demographics.

JOHNSBURG – Carmen Terselic jumped from her chair and mimed heading out the door.

She was trying to trigger the word "went" for third-grader Charlyn Rodriguez, one of the few vocabulary words that the girl stumbled over during the review that started her break-out session with Terselic.

Terselic started at Johnsburg District 12 in July as its first full-time, in-house English Language Learner teacher, a position created to address the growing number of students in its program.

The program only had two students, both Spanish speakers, in its ELL program during the 2011-12 school year, the last time the district submitted its number to the state.

This year, the district has 30 students, 21 of them Spanish speakers, Terselic said.

She's responsible for all but one of them, splitting her time among the district's three elementary schools and one junior high. The special education department at Johnsburg High School provides services to the one ELL student there.

Johnsburg isn't the only school district to see changes though Johnsburg's jump could have been artificially marked, Assistant Director of Student Services Fran Milewski said. The survey sent out to parents asking what language was spoken at home — the survey that triggers testing to determine whether placement in an ELL program is appropriate — wasn't very clear.

The number of students with limited English has grown nearly across the board; only three school districts that serve parts of McHenry County saw their populations as percent of total enrollment drop in the last decade.

In Harvard District 50, the number of students with limited English proficiency climbed to 26.9 percent from 14.6 percent as its white population fell to 36.9 percent of students from 54.1 percent, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

'Bilingual, bi-literate and bi-cultural'

Dual-language programs were developed as a way to meet the needs of these students, said Gregorio Arellano, the Harvard district's bilingual and dual-language coordinator. But the side benefit is that English-language students also can take advantage of the enrichment program.
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Google Traduction : un 'easter egg' pour Noël

Google Traduction : un 'easter egg' pour Noël | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Google adore planquer des « easter eggs » dans ses produits histoire de surprendre les internautes. Il vient précisément de remettre le couvert avec son service de traduction, et donc avec le bien nommé Google Traduction. Et devinez quoi ? Cette fois, c’est le vieux barbu aux bottes rouges qui est à l’honneur.

Qui ça ? Le Père Noël, bien sûr et il s’agit finalement d’un choix très judicieux puisque ce dernier est très à la mode en ce moment. Enfin, il l’a surtout été hier et avant-hier. Là, en l’occurrence, son e-réputation devrait fondre comme la neige en plein soleil.

Oh le joli Père Noël.

Quoi qu’il en soit, si vous avez envie d’amuser la galerie et de passer pour un héros – ou une héroïne – auprès de vos enfants, eh bien ce n’est pas très compliqué.

Un raccourci direct vers le Santa Tracker
Pour commencer, vous allez vous rendre sur le service en cliquant sur ce lien : Une fois que vous serez là bas, vous devrez choisir la langue anglaise comme langue source ou sélectionner l’option « détecter la langue ». Si tout est bon, alors il ne vous restera plus qu’à taper l’expression « Happy holidays » dans le champ de gauche. Là, normalement, un Père Noël stylisé devrait apparaître un peu plus bas sur la page.

Si vous cliquez dessus, alors vous serez dirigés vers le fameux Santa Tracker évoqué dans cet article. Fantastique, non ? Certes, et ça marche aussi avec l’expression « Santa Claus » si vous voulez tout savoir, et rien ne vous empêche de tester d’autres combinaisons aussi fun.

Ah et sinon, je profite de cet article pour vous souhaiter… un joyeux Noël avec un peu de retard. D’habitude, je m’arrange pour programmer un article et j’avais prévu de le faire le 24 décembre, mais j’ai du faire face à quelques contretemps.
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‘Heritage speakers’ need classes to be truly bilingual

‘Heritage speakers’ need classes to be truly bilingual | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Many students in Los Angeles, from kindergarten through college, speak a language other than English because they grew up hearing it. They are “heritage speakers,” the children of immigrants who communicate at home in their parents’ native language. Yet many of these students have no literacy in the language they speak. And that is a problem.

Although heritage speakers have a good head start, they need classes targeted to their needs if they are to be truly bilingual. The urban landscape of Los Angeles is multilingual - and an ideal place to implement a far-reaching policy devoted to maintaining and developing the skills of heritage speakers.

According to a survey conducted by the Census Bureau, the number of people in the US who speak a language other than English is almost 21%. In California it’s more than double that, with almost 44% of residents speaking a language other than English at home. In Los Angeles County, that figure climbs to almost 57%.

A significant percentage of the more than 12mn residents in the metropolitan Los Angeles region speak a language other than English at home. While about 4.4mn are Spanish speakers, the survey found that other languages are amply represented. About 415,000 speak Chinese, 272,000 Tagalog and 258,000 Korean. Another 103,000 speak Persian and 55,000 Russian.

Although Spanish is offered at all public high schools, most of the other languages are taught at only a handful of schools. Russian is taught at one high school, and several languages, such as Tagalog and Persian, are not taught at all, according to my research.

By not teaching the languages that many students often only half-know, we are missing an opportunity to expand the number of Americans completely comfortable with other languages and cultures - a tremendous asset in today’s increasingly globalised world. This loss of potential fluent speakers has long-term consequences for national security (remember the lack of Arabic speakers after 9/11?), business (it’s not all about English anymore), family relations (what if parents don’t speak English well, and children don’t speak the home language well?) and social services (professionals speaking multiple languages are in high demand).

We need to embrace and advance homegrown bilingualism, but that can happen only if we offer these languages in our educational system. And, of course, it should not be done at the expense of learning English, which remains the sine qua non to function in the world.

A recent survey conducted by the National Heritage Language Resource Center at UCLA showed that many college students would elect to formally study their home language to gain literacy, discover more about their heritage culture and linguistic roots, and better communicate better with relatives. That can happen only if the language is offered as part of a curriculum for heritage speakers that takes their existing proficiencies into account. They won’t be served well by a beginning language class because they arrive with considerable skills - and a beginning class assumes zero knowledge.

A smattering of schools offer instruction in languages spoken in their local communities. For example, Chinese is offered in Alhambra, Armenian in Glendale, Khmer in Long Beach and Vietnamese in Orange County. Some offer programs for heritage students. For example, Chinese, Korean and Arabic are taught as part of a heritage-language curriculum at Granada Hills Charter High School. Most schools do not teach the languages of their local communities, and if they do, they don’t differentiate between the curriculum for foreign-language and heritage-language learners.

While Vietnamese immigrants first settled the city of Westminster in the mid-1970s, Westminster High did not offer its first Vietnamese language course until 1999. Now Vietnamese is taught in several schools in the Garden Grove School District, and there are plans to expand the curriculum to more schools.

Schools that want to introduce a local heritage-language programme must overcome multiple roadblocks: Finding credentialled teachers of less-commonly taught languages and ensuring the teachers know how to teach heritage-language learners. Schools of education, university language departments and school districts need to come together to prepare teachers to implement a curriculum that takes students’ home-based competencies into account and allows them to progress at a faster rate.

Language skills need to be nurtured at home - and in the classroom. The dozens of languages spoken in Los Angeles make it the ideal place to lead the charge. – Tribune News Service
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What The Sony And Xbox Hacks Mean For You

What The Sony And Xbox Hacks Mean For You | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
What The Sony And Xbox Hacks Mean For You

Movie goers wait in line for the 4:00 pm showing of Sony Pictures’ “The Interview” at the Plaza Theatre on, Christmas Day, December 25, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Sony hackers have been releasing stolen information and threatened attacks on theaters that screened the film. (Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)

Microsoft’s Xbox Live and Sony’s Playstation online gaming networks were shut down for Christmas by a denial-of-service cyber attack.

A group calling themselves “Lizard Squad” took credit for the Grinchy blitz that left many without the ability to power up their new games or stream movies.

One of those movies was “The Interview,” the Sony Pictures comedy that allegedly provoked a different hacking attack for its portrayal of the assassination of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un. The F.B.I. believes North Korea is behind that attack.

The film, despite being initally pulled by Sony, was released in 300 mostly sold-out theaters and online, however those hoping to watch it on Xbox or Playstation were blocked by this most recent attack.

So, with all of this top-level corporate and governmental cyber drama, Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson asked cyber security expert Cynthia Dion-Schwarz what this means for personal cyber safety.

Dion-Schwarz’s 5 Tips for Protecting Yourself Online

1. Use “strong” passwords: A long strings of random characters, with a mixture of letters and numbers that are different for every website, but especially for sensitive banking sites, for example, LeTters @nd N^m6ers. Since it is so hard to remember all those passwords, consider using a free password manager such as LastPass or find others here.

2. Use a firewall and virus checker for your computers: There are several good free or low-cost packages. You can find recommended by reputable organizations such as PCWorld Magazine or Consumer Reports.

3. Make sure your home wireless network requires a strong password: But also consider registering your devices with your router to disallow rogue devices from joining your home network. See your router’s owner’s manual for how to do this.

4. Consider using privacy protecting technologies when surfing the Web: You can use non-tracking search engines such as DuckDuckGo and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that are available for free or at low cost.

5. Be aware of your surroundings: Avoid shady sites that can download malware; do not click links in your emails but rather navigate to the site instead using a search engine. And make sure to use a credit card for online transactions that guarantees zero liability.
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How machine learning and image recognition could revolutionise search

How machine learning and image recognition could revolutionise search | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Text in documents is easy to search, but there is a lot of details in other formats. Voice recognition turns audio – and video soundtracks – into text you can index and search. But what about the video itself, or other images?Searching for images...Share

Text in documents is easy to search, but there is a lot of details in other formats. Voice recognition turns audio – and video soundtracks – into text you can index and search. But what about the video itself, or other images?
Searching for images on the web would be a lot extra correct if instead of just looking for text on the web page or in the caption that suggests a picture is relevant, the search engine could basically recognise what was in the image. Thanks to machine finding out methods employing neural networks and deep mastering, that is becoming extra achievable.
Caption competitors
When a team of Microsoft and Facebook researchers developed a enormous information dump of over 300,000 photos with two.five million objects labelled by persons (called Frequent Objects in Context), they mentioned all those objects are things a 4-year-old kid could recognise. So a team of Microsoft researchers operating on machine understanding decided to see how well their systems could do with the very same photos – not just recognising them, but breaking them up into diverse objects, putting a name to each object and writing a caption to describe the entire image.
To measure the outcomes, they asked 1 set of men and women to write their own captions and a further set to examine the two and say which they preferred.
"That is what the true measure of good quality is," explains distinguished scientist John Platt from Microsoft Research. "How very good do individuals feel these captions are? 23% of the time they thought ours were at least as good as what persons wrote for the caption. That signifies a quarter of the time that machine has reached as superior a level as the human."
Part of the dilemma was the visual recogniser. Sometimes it would error a cat for a dog, or consider that extended hair was a cat, or decide that there was a football in a photograph of folks gesticulating at a sculpture. This is just what a modest group was capable to create in four months more than the summer, and it really is the 1st time they had a labelled a set of images this huge to train and test against.
"We can do a much better job," Platt says confidently.
Machine strengths
Machine mastering currently does significantly greater on straightforward images that only have 1 issue in the frame. "The systems are getting to be as excellent as an untrained human," Platt claims. That is testing against a set of photos named ImageNet, which are labelled to show how they match into 22,000 distinctive categories.
"That contains some very fine distinctions an untrained human would not know," he explains. "Like Pembroke Welsh corgis and Cardigan Welsh corgis – one of which has a longer tail. A individual can look at a series of corgis and find out to inform the distinction, but a priori they wouldn't know. If there are objects you're familiar with you can recognise them pretty easily but if I show you 22,000 strange objects you might get them all mixed up." Humans are incorrect about five% of the time with the ImageNet tests and machine understanding systems are down to about six%.
That indicates machine learning systems could do far better at recognising issues like dog breeds or poisonous plants than ordinary individuals. A different recognition technique named Project Adam, that MSR head Peter Lee showed off earlier this year, tries to do that from your phone.
Project Adam
Project Adam was hunting at irrespective of whether you can make image recognition more quickly by distributing the system across numerous computers rather than running it on a single fast pc (so it can run in the cloud and function with your telephone). Nonetheless, it was trained on pictures with just a single thing in them.
"They ask 'what object is in this image?'" explains Platt. "We broke the image into boxes and we had been evaluating distinctive sub-pieces of the image, detecting widespread words. What are the objects in the scene? These are the nouns. What are they undertaking? Those are verbs like flying or seeking.
"Then there are the relationships like subsequent to and on major of, and the attributes of the objects, adjectives like red or purple or stunning. The organic next step just after complete image recognition is to place with each other multiple objects in a scene and attempt to come up with a coherent explanation. It really is quite fascinating that you can look in the image and detect verbs and adjectives."
Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.
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Usuarios extranjeros consultan diccionario cubano

Usuarios extranjeros consultan diccionario cubano | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.- El Diccionario Básico Escolar en su versión en internet se consolida como una de las producciones científicas del Centro de Lingüística Aplicada de Santiago de Cuba que amplía su utilización en países como México, Perú, Estados Unidos y Alemania.

El doctor Leonel Ruiz Miyares, director del centro, explicó que con todos los recursos que posee -videos, imágenes y textos-, la plataforma es la herramienta que más impacto genera en el mundo.

Agregó que tienen la intención de colocarlo lo más pronto posible en la intranet de Cuba, ya que actualmente está ubicado en un servidor del país Vasco.

El Diccionario Básico Escolar es de gran utilidad para el estudio del idioma español, pues abarca, sinónimos, antónimos, aumentativos, diminutivos y fraseologismo; además, posee términos de otras áreas del conocimiento como la física, anatomía, gramática, música y zoología.
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Book review: ‘Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography’ edited by Pamela Smith Hill - The Boston Globe

Book review: ‘Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography’ edited by Pamela Smith Hill - The Boston Globe | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Eight years ago, Pamela Smith Hill sat at a research table in the reading room of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch, Iowa. She overheard an archivist taking an order for a photocopy of “Pioneer Girl,” the unpublished memoir of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

“I was surprised,” Hill said, “and filled with admiration for readers who were so devoted that they would conduct their own research on Wilder. Not only did they know about Wilder’s unpublished autobiography, but they knew where to go to get their own Xeroxed copies.”

In the more than eight decades since the “Little House” books based on Wilder’s life first were published, millions of fans have found courage in the stories about covered wagons and huddling around the cookstove while blizzards or wolves raged outside. And the fans always have yearned to know more about Wilder’s life. Now they are getting their wish. The South Dakota Historical Society Press has published the earliest known version of Wilder’s memoir, “Pioneer Girl,” in a paperback volume heavily annotated by Hill, who wrote a short biography of Wilder seven years ago.

The “Little House” books codified a particularly sunny brand of optimism amid difficulty. “Pioneer Girl” brings to light a somewhat darker story: The Ingalls family was poor, had to keep leaving their farms, and encountered many threatening people in their quest to find the right home. The memoir includes stories that would be considered too grim for young readers — dead children, predatory teachers, and innkeepers who killed their guests and buried them in the backyard. Wilder penciled her story on cheap lined tablets and delivered them to her daughter and collaborator, Rose Wilder Lane on a May day in 1930. Both were living on the Wilder farm in Missouri.

Lane, an accomplished and published writer, edited and typed “Pioneer Girl” and offered three versions of it to magazine and book editors through two agents. But those Depression-era editors weren’t gripped enough by the story.

The rejections pushed Lane into a new direction. She secretly extracted a section from “Pioneer Girl” and sent a draft of a children’s book to an editor. Soon, the editor asked Wilder to expand on that; it became “Little House in the Big Woods,” the first of the eight original books. In subsequent volumes, Wilder and Lane always started with sections from “Pioneer Girl.” This is the major reason fans were so drawn to the photocopied “Pioneer Girl” — it offers a sort of road map to the series. Hill’s annotations are detailed and a helpful addition to the developing scholarship on Wilder.

In this newly published “Pioneer Girl,” Hill and a team of scholars transcribed Wilder’s handwritten tablets, so presumably this shows the world the closest thing to Wilder’s prose without the major editing her daughter did for her later books. Hill’s annotations often talk about changes in later versions peddled to the magazines.

It seems wrong, then, that Hill’s annotations attribute every edit and change in later versions of the “Little House” books to Wilder. The papers clearly reveal that Lane made many of those revisions or decisions. In her introduction, Hill tells only some of the story of Lane’s work with Wilder, a partnership that left them both drained and caused a dramatic falling-out.

When she does talk of the collaboration, Hill seems to pit Wilder against her daughter, especially when she says Lane betrayed her mother when she wrote her own books using “Pioneer Girl” episodes (“Let the Hurricane Roar” and “Free Land”). In fact, Lane had used family stories in her own writing for many years, going back to the early 1920s.

Hill also perpetuates an idea that I think caters to a mistaken notion of fans, that Wilder was more in control of the “Little House” project than all of the evidence suggests. “Some critics have charged that Wilder could not write and that Lane was the creative genius behind the ‘Little House’ books,” Hill writes in her introduction. “The transcription of the handwritten ‘Pioneer Girl’ illustrates instead that Wilder possessed raw talent and descriptive genius.” She then quotes one of Wilder’s beautiful sentences, a description of a sunset. To be sure, several sentences in “Pioneer Girl” will jump out at diehard “Little House” fans because those sentences went into the final books unchanged.

But individual sentences do not a book make. Reading “Pioneer Girl” proves how far Wilder’s memoir lies from the narrative structure and technique of the “Little House” books. This publication of “Pioneer Girl” strongly suggests that without Lane, Wilder was a much different writer.

Finally, a word of thanks to Hill for bringing this manuscript to the public. Until now, Wilder’s earliest version was only available in an eye-straining microfilm (white lettering on black background). With the creation of this volume, the Hoover library will be fielding requests for photocopies of “Pioneer Girl” only from the loyal few who want to read all the typed and edited versions that show Lane’s hand. Now those people are real die-hards.

Christine Woodside is the editor of Appalachia journal and is writing a book about the Wilder-Lane collaboration on the “Little House” books.
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10 years after Tsunami: Tribes survived disaster, but their languages are doomed - Firstpost

10 years after Tsunami: Tribes survived disaster, but their languages are doomed - Firstpost | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
10 years ago when the Boxing Day tsunami swept across the Indian Ocean many feared for the aboriginal people tucked away in the forests of the Andaman and Nicobar islands. They did not access weather satellite information. They did not have emergency radios or the latest hi-tech communication devices. But when the waves receded it told a different story says Anvita Abbi who led the Vanishing Voices of the Great Andamanese project.
“Not a single tribal, Sentinelese not Jarwa, not Onge faced death while we lost 7000 people like you and me,” says Abbi.
One of those survivors was Boa Senior, the last native speaker of the Bo language. She told Abbi later the elders had advised that when the earth stopped shaking, you needed to get up and make your bed. And that’s what she did.
Abbi says the tribals all had their own stories of survival. Boro, a Great Andamanese tribal climbed up a particular tree which he knew would not be swept away by the waters unlike many other trees around him. “The Onge were fishing in the morning,” says Abbi. “The moment they saw the first wave, they knew some havoc was coming and ran into the forest.”
File photo of Lakshmi, center, Selvi, right, and Ariamala, rear with mask, grieve as earthmovers clear debris of their damaged house at a fishermen's colony which was hit by a tsunami, in Nagappattinam. AP
She says while we think of the tribals and their ways as “primitive” the tsunami show us vividly the power of their knowledge base.
“The Andamanese have six different names for distance from the seashore. Water touching the sand has one name. Water six inches away from it has one name. Water up to your ankles has another name and so on and so forth until the faraway distant sea.”
But when you take those same tribals and “re-settle” them in a faraway landlocked place like Delhi, all those words start to become meaningless. And the knowledge base starts fading away as well. “The Great Andamanese are so amalgamated they did not realize what was happening and the water came up to their huts,” says Abbi. “Then they ran. But they knew swimming. Some swam for seven hours and survived.”
Their ancient knowledge about nature, hardwired into their brains, helped them ride that tsunami. It proves, says Abbi, that when a tribe like the Jarawas want to be left alone, it’s better that they be left alone.
For other tribes it’s too late. Their languages are being lost because they want to learn Hindi to get government jobs. There is nothing wrong with learning Hindi per se but it is coming at the expense of their own language. When Abbi met Bo Senior, she had noone to talk to in her own language. “She was very depressed. Once I saw her talking to birds. Being childless she would try to interact with children but they were not interested in learning her language. So she would talk to herself.”
Abbi says for the tribes that are already some 50 years removed from their heritage living and language, thanks in part to government projects of outreach and assimilation, might as well learn Hindi and move on. “They have to survive,” she acknowledges.
The tsunami in a way laid bare a sophisticated knowledge base of languages that date back perhaps 20,000 years or more. These tribes are the last survivors of a pre-Neolithic population, descended from a migration from Africa that took place over 70,000 years ago. Now there are just a handful left in many of them. The present day Great Andamanese language that Abbi documented is a mixture of 3-4 languages once spoken on the island.

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The tribes might have survived the tsunami but the languages are doomed says Abbi. Bo is already gone. Boa Senior died in 2010. And when each language goes it will take with it a cognitive aspect of perceiving the world. Abbi says the uniqueness of the Great Andamanese language is their grammar, which has no counterpart in aboriginal Australian languages or African languages or Indian ones.
“They perceive the whole world through their bodies,” she says. “So they divide the body into seven divisions and each division is represented by a mono-syllable. And they prefix these elements to every grammatical category. For example, they will say er-nose or er-eyes or er-muffler.”
That uniqueness has little value in the world outside their tribe. The last speakers are anxious to save the language, or at least document it. Abbi says the government would often deny her permission to go to islands like Strait Islands. So she would send letters there via ship and then the tribals would come to Port Blair on their own and sit for hours to give her the data, the names of trees and birds, to record songs.
She knows that some of it will only be a fragmentary documentation of a knowledge base, with no hope of saving the language. At the time she was documenting their language, there were only 55 Great Andamanese left. “Onge is another language that will die, not now but in 30-40 years. Onge should be documented next,” she says.
The tsunami showed us the resiliency of these tribals whose languages reflected their understanding of nature in a way most of modern civilization has long forgotten. But it also demonstrated the fragility of those languages and cultures, hanging on by a thread in these little dots on the map. Many were afraid the tsunami would wipe them out not realizing the far greater threat to them comes from the modern world outside.
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The death of native languages

The death of native languages | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Sir: Thousands of languages have come and gone. Linguists have estimated that at one time, more than 20,000 languages existed but today the number of languages stands at 6,909. It is expected that by the end of this century half of these languages will be lost as well. Pakistan is said to be home to around 72 languages but most of them face an uncertain future. Out of these 72 languages, half are in danger of extinction while some other tongues are already in their death throes. Who is responsible for this? I believe our government is responsible.

It is the basic right of children to be taught their mother tongue but in Pakistan, most children are deprived of this basic right. In Balochistan, Balochi is not even a subject in any government school. If this is the condition, how can a language progress? I am a native class seven speaker of Balochi but, despite this, I do not know how to write Balochi because we were never taught our mother tongue. I humbly request our government and other international organisations to do their utmost for the protection of these languages.


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2014: A lackluster year for Bengali films | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

2014: A lackluster year for Bengali films | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
With the death of screen goddess Suchitra Sen in January, 2014 began on a sad note for the Bengali film industry which hardly had anything to look forward rest of the year. Although around 120 films were released during the year, hardly few of them made a mark as most theatres screening Bengali films remained empty.

The saddest part of the year was the demise of legendary actress Suchitra Sen who stole hearts with both her Bengali and Hindi films for three decades till the seventies. In Bengal, she was best known for her unbeatable romantic pairing with Bengali cinema legend Uttam Kumar. Director Srijit Mukherji, whose earlier works like 'Autograph' had pleased both critics and audiences alike, disappointed box office this time.

The Prosenjit starrer 'Jaatishwar' won four national awards in the categories of best male playback singer, best costume design, best music direction and best makeup artist. The film, which failed to excite the audience, revolved around the life of Hensman Anthony, a 19th-century Bengali language folk poet of Portuguese origin, as the script crisscrosses between 19th and 21st centuries. 

A report by CII and IMRB said the regional industry delivers only 5-6 hits as theatres recorded a dismal 30 per cent occupancy on weekends and around 20 per cent on weekdays. A survey of Bengali film viewers in Kolkata revealed that a majority (54 per cent) have not been in theatres in the last one year to watch a Bengali film despite proliferation of multiplexes. Hit by the dominance of Bollywood, Tollywood was also scared of dubbing of Hindi films and television soaps in Bengali.

The industry called for boycott of dubbed films in the wake of the Bengali dubbed versions of Yash Raj Film production 'Gunday' releasing simultaneously with the Hindi one in the state. The film was shot extensively in the city and other parts of West Bengal and had the star cast of Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra capturing the flavour of the state in the 1970s and 1980s. 
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10 words and terms we discovered in 2014 | Toronto Star

10 words and terms we discovered in 2014 | Toronto Star | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Prominent words and terms from 2014 including vaping, rape culture, Mare Nostrum, conscious uncoupling, ice-bucket challenge, bitcoin, normcore.
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The practice of vaping or puffing on an e-cigarette, has become highly contentious, with proponents saying it's a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes and opponents arguing it will draw in generations of new addicts.

Published on Fri Dec 26 2014
1. Vape:
The word aptly describes the results — a fleeting puff of near odourless mist, with maybe a hint of cherry.
Vape is the term electronic cigarette users have adopted for their flavourful nicotine habit, and it appears to have staying power: in November, “vape” was declared the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year.
And the mist of vaping has proven anything but vaporous as a social and legal issue.
No, 2014 saw two sides clearly massing on the vaping front, with the first shots in the confrontation being fired.
On the one side, proponents of so called e-cigarettes point to their myriad advantages over tobacco counterparts.
They say the devices, which use small heating elements to vaporize nicotine-laden propylene glycol liquids, can deliver a cigarette’s addictive kick with few, if any, of its toxic health effects.

Though it’s the addictive component of cigarettes, nicotine is no more dangerous than caffeine on its own. It’s the carcinogenic and heart-destroying products created in the combustion of tobacco that pose true health risks.
Thus, proponents say, there are also no second-hand-smoke issues with e-cigarettes — the devices produce nothing more harmful than the same, foggy mists that waft out from rock concert stages.
And this e-cigarette-as-health-alternative argument has gained some notable support.
Dr. Peter Selby, head of addictions at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, has come out as a strong proponent.
“If this is part of a bigger plan to figure out a way to get rid of combustible cigarettes and ban them, then it’s a fantastic opportunity,” Selby told the Star this year.
“It will be revolutionary, similar to when we decided to get rid of leaded gasoline.”
But far from safe tobacco alternatives, opponents say, e-cigarettes are simply a new gateway to nicotine addiction, especially among young people.
Detractors say the devices, which can vaporize nicotine-bearing liquids in hundreds of appealing flavours — can hold candy-like attraction for youth and could draw in generations of new addicts.
This belief was given ample credence this month with the release of a U.S. survey showing e-cigarette use has now surpassed smoking among teenagers in that country.
The survey, conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, canvassed more than 40,000 students. It found that 17 per cent of Grade 12 pupils said they’d used an e-cigarette in the prior month. Just 13.6 per cent said they’d smoked a cigarette, the New York Times reported.
And the e-cigarettes’ cause has not been helped by Big Tobacco’s new interest. Major cigarette manufacturers, broadly assigned social pariah status, have embraced their fledgling rival with gusto and are poised to dominate an industry now valued in the billions of dollars.
Vaping’s opponents appear to be gaining the upper hand in many jurisdictions across the continent, most of which now have few if any regulations governing e-cigarettes’ sale or use.
Many local, state and provincial governments are now debating or enacting laws placing age and location restrictions on e-cigarette usage.
In November, Ontario proposed sweeping new rules for the products. These would place essentially the same restrictions on electronic cigarettes that currently govern the tobacco variety in the province.
— Joseph Hall
2. Rape culture:

Allegations and charges against former CBC Q host Jian Ghomeshi, along with other cases involving accusations of sexual abuse or harassment, made "rape culture" a prominent term in the 2014 lexicon.

It isn’t a new term. But 2014 was the year when the general public seemed to grasp its meaning and its scope: that violence against women so rarely manifests itself as the stranger-in-the-night attacks of TV crime dramas. It’s more like a thick, silencing fog that envelops all women — yes, all of them — under the cover of which intimate-partner rapists, workplace harassers and everyday misogynists operate with impunity. It feels wrong to say there was an “upside” to the crimes (actual and alleged) of Elliot Rodger, Ray Rice, Jian Ghomeshi, Bill Cosby and innumerable campus rapists. But this year, popular thinking about sexual violence seemed to move from the realm of magical thinking into the cold, clear light of day.
— Kate Allen
3. Mare Nostrum:

More than 400 Syrian refugees aboard a fishing vessel are rescued by the Italian navy in June as part of Italy's Mare Nostrum campaign, launched after two refugee-carrying boats sunk in 2013 and hundreds drowned.

The term entered the international lexicon in a big way in 2014. The Italian words mean “our sea” and refer to Italy’s search and rescue efforts to save the lives of migrants fleeing North Africa via the Mediterranean. The program was triggered following a horrific disaster near the small Italian island of Lampedusa. There, in October 2013, a smuggler’s boat jammed with women, men and children caught fire and capsized. Some 366 people died within sight of land. The tragedy prompted an effective but expensive humanitarian effort that rescued more than 150,000 people.
— Scott Simmie
4. Conscious uncoupling:

When actress Gwyneth Paltrow and husband Chris Martin, lead singer of the band Coldplay, separated after 10 years of marriage, they announced it on Paltrow’s lifestyle website,, in a post entitled: “Conscious Uncoupling.”

A previous generation might have simply called this divorcing or splitting up. When actress Gwyneth Paltrow and husband Chris Martin, lead singer of the band Coldplay, separated after 10 years of marriage, they announced it on Paltrow’s lifestyle website,, in a post entitled: “Conscious Uncoupling.” And apparently it’s not just a pretentious way of stating the obvious. It’s a real thing describing how partners in a failing relationship look inside themselves and each other and, without blame, try to find a deeper truths and understanding as to why they’ve come to detest each other. The upside is that when the couple works through their differences without creating more animosity, it makes a co-parenting situation easier post-split. At least until the lawyers get involved.
— Paul Hunter
5. Ice-bucket challenge:

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle is dumped with a Zamboni full of ice water as part of the ice-bucket challenge, which raised raised $16.2 million for ALS Canada.

It was cute, goofy fun — people getting buckets of ice water dumped on their heads in the name of charity — and it became hugely popular on social media, raising awareness and millions for the ALS Association. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neuromuscular illness without a cure. In the ice-bucket challenge, people poured an icy bath on themselves and then dared others to do the same. A recipient of the challenge had 24 hours to either undertake the big chill or make a donation. It became so popular during the summer that many did both. The fundraiser, contributed to by more than 260,000 Canadians, raised $16.2 million for ALS Canada, with $10 million going to research and $6 million to programs for those with ALS. Ottawa said it would match the research funds dollar for dollar.
— Paul Hunter
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67 Bizarre But Useful Words You Should Start Using Immediately

67 Bizarre But Useful Words You Should Start Using Immediately | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
In vocabulary, English is the richest modern language. It is constantly surprising even to those word gatherers among us who spend much time exploring dictionaries, especially the larger and older lexicons that harbor thousands of neglected words -- words that may be a bit dusty but are none the worse for disuse.

"Shaped like a stirrup" -- could there possibly be a word for that?

There is: stapediform. Or for having the sides reversed, as in a mirror image? (Haven't many of us wondered about this left-right reversal while applying makeup or shaving?) The answer is heterochiral. (Specular is the adjective for pertaining to a mirror or mirrors.) Then there are words for various shapes, like ovoid for egg-shaped, which is fairly common in usage. But what if the object is egg-shaped with the wider end up? Then it's obovoid. Similarly, obconic means conical with the pointed end down and pear-shaped upside down is obpyriform.

There is actually a word, griffinage, that is defined as the state of being a white person newly arrived in the Far East! (Griffonage -- one letter different in spelling -- means a scribble or illegible handwriting.) There's even a word, amphoric, meaning like the sound made when blowing across the lip of an empty bottle; and a term, spanipelagic, describing creatures dwelling in deep water but coming at times to the surface.

Other improbable but actual, dictionary-certified words worthy of mention are adoxography, good writing on a minor subject; bardocucullated, wearing a cowled cloak; perfuncturate, to do halfheartedly; scaff, to beg for food in a contemptible way; tacenda, matters or things that shouldn't be mentioned; ventifact, a stone rounded off by the wind; agathism, the belief that things tend to work out for the better; assentation, rote or insincere agreement; quomodocunquize, to make money in any conceivable way; naufrageous, in danger of shipwreck (naufragous is causing shipwreck); macarism or confelicity, joy or pleasure in another's happiness; borborygm, a growling in the stomach; laquearian, armed with a noose; filipendulous, hanging by a thread; eumoirous, lucky in being happily innocent and good; tarassis, male hysteria; and charientism, an insult that is artfully veiled.

In politics, couldn't we use the rarely heard or seen words empleomania, a craving for holding public office; and emptitious, corruptible or capable of being bought?

Do you ever feel a bit put off at attending an event or going to a museum where there is a "suggested contribution"? There is the term dation, which means giving that is not voluntary.

If you had to guess what lateritious, infuscate, and murrey mean, you'd probably be wrong. They're all particular colors: brick red, having a brownish tinge, and purplish black or mulberry, respectively.

Out for a hike in your local woods? What does one call the material on a forest floor? The simple, useful word for decaying leaves, twigs, and other organic matter underfoot is duff. Two terms that seem straight out of J.R.R. Tolkien (but are not) are krummholz and its synonym, elfinwood: an alpine forest having stunted trees.

We all know the word hill, but, more specifically, a narrow or oval hill is a drumlin; a small and rounded hill is a knoll, hillock, hummock, monticule, monticle, mound, or (British) barrow; a rounded solitary hill usually with steep sides is a knob; a hill with a broad top is a loma; and a hill steep on one side but with a gentle slope on the other is a cuesta. Who says a hill is just a hill?

A chasm formed by receding ice is a randkluft. An oddly shaped (by erosion) rock column is a hoodoo -- think Monument Valley -- and a single rock or boulder carried by a glacier to where it lies is an erratic.

English also has an abundance of synonyms, many not so familiar. (A relatively unknown synonym for the word synonym is poecilonym). To sunbathe, for example, is to apricate. A synonym for kissing is suaviation. We all know the word swastika. (The swastika was a positive symbol -- of good luck -- before the advent of Germany's infamous Third Reich.) But how many know it's also called a gammadion, fylfot, or crux gammata? Or that for the medical symbol called a caduceus (a winged staff with two entwined snakes) there is a far less known synonym -- kerykeion?

When it comes to beards and hair, a more obscure synonym for a Vandyke is pickdevant; and an old word for hairpiece is postiche.

But more obscure terms can be handy when one wants to be discreet (not to say deceptive or veiled) or somewhat droll in what one means.

Take the case of a guy on a dating website describing himself as being unconventionally handsome and stating that he is ventripotent, exophthalmic, and trochocephalic as well as opisthognathic. Don't be surprised when he turns out to be pot-bellied and bug-eyed with a huge round head and a projecting upper jaw.

David Grambs and Ellen S. Levine are co-authors of The Describer's Dictionary: A Treasury of Terms & Literary Quotations (expanded second edition).
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Afghan Interpreter Finds Refuge at Marine's Home

Afghan Interpreter Finds Refuge at Marine's Home | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Every morning, Dinar sits in a folding chair in a second floor bedroom of a house in this university town and Skypes with his family a world away.
This is likely as close as he will ever be to them again.
Dinar, a 30-year-old Afghan man, was an interpreter for the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan and his service on behalf of the U.S. has cost him dearly.
He was targeted by death threats. He had to cut all visible ties to his family to protect them; for the same reason, he asked that his last name not be used here. And, in the end, he had to leave his country.
He is now starting over in an unfamiliar land. But he is not making the journey alone.
At his back -- and often downstairs at breakfast while Dinar is Skyping -- is Maj. Christopher Bourbeau, head of the Marine Corps subdivision of the Navy ROTC program at the University of Illinois.
In 2012-13, when Bourbeau was second in command of a Marine unit advising the Afghan national army, Dinar was one of his interpreters.
In gratitude for Dinar's decision to risk his life working with the Marines, Bourbeau has stepped forward to help him build a new one.
When Dinar got a special immigrant visa for Afghans and Iraqis whose service to the U.S. put them in danger in their homelands, Bourbeau volunteered to take him into his home and be his guide to America.
Working with Heartland Alliance, the Chicago resettlement agency that brought Dinar to the U.S., Bourbeau picked up Dinar at O'Hare International Airport on Sept. 17.
He drove Dinar to Champaign, where he and his wife, Katie, set up Dinar in a bedroom in their home in a quiet neighborhood.
Bourbeau helped Dinar through the paperwork of applying for a Social Security card and for temporary government assistance. He took him to the secretary of state's facility to start the process of getting a driver's license.

He bought Dinar $900 worth of clothes for job interviews -- a suit, shirts and a tie, socks and dress shoes. He is trying to help Dinar get a civil service job at the university, which would offer educational benefits that could lead to an American college degree.
Bourbeau sees his actions as paying back a debt.
"He's done more for this country than a lot of people that live in this country," he said. "He's as much a Marine as I am."
Dinar sees Bourbeau's help as a crucial introduction to a new life.
"To find a person that guides you in a country where you know nobody ... that was quite helpful," he said.
The Bourbeaus are teaching him how to live in America, he said.
"They help me out about culture and people and society," he said. "They're, right now, everyone to me."
It is not uncommon for U.S. military personnel to step forward to help their former interpreters in some way when they come to this country, said Darwensi Clark, associate director of refugee family services at Heartland Alliance. About 30 percent of holders of special immigrant visas move into the house or the community of someone they knew in the U.S. military, he said.
But most people aren't able to take refugees into their homes and commit the substantial amount of time involved in resettling them.
"I find it so admirable that Chris is able to make that sacrifice," Clark said. "Immediately when I called him, it was very clear that ... he was going to be responsible for anything that was necessary or anything that was asked of him. And that is very rare."
Indeed, Bourbeau's offer was unconditional.
"It's a completely open-ended invitation, without any stipulations whatever -- whatever it takes to help him to get on his feet," Bourbeau said. "I'm prepared that he could live with us for years."
Dinar spent five years with the Marines, working, eating and living with them in his role as interpreter with the U.S.-led coalition.
He believed in its mission, he said. His father, an engineer for a software company in Germany, was killed by the Taliban on one of his visits home, Dinar said. The family, including Dinar, fled to Pakistan.
When Dinar returned to Kabul 11 years later, he found it much improved by the coalition forces. "Females were going to school; people could live normally," he said. "So I wanted to be part of the changes."
Raised in a well-educated family -- his mother is a university professor -- Dinar spoke seven languages, had completed teachers training and a culture and linguistics program at the Pakistan American Cultural Center, and had taught English to Afghan refugees in Pakistan.
He became one of the Marines' top interpreters.
"His linguistic capabilities and 24/7 attitude proved to be one of the underlying factors leading to Afghan national security forces' development in Helmand province," wrote a commanding officer in 2010.
"Dinar was one of the best that I've seen," as well as one of the bravest, said Bourbeau, an attack-helicopter pilot who did five tours of duty in direct support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He routinely volunteered for dangerous missions "outside the wire," as going off base is called, Bourbeau said.
"A lot of (interpreters) didn't want to do it. They were afraid. They didn't want to get hurt or killed," he said. "Dinar was always willing to go."
Bourbeau and Dinar rode together in armored vehicles along roads studded with improvised explosive devices. Dinar was Bourbeau's interpreter in his conversations with Afghan commanders, when Bourbeau monitored Afghan army battle operations and when he sat on the ground in tribal villages drinking tea with elders.
He translated more than just the languages.
"He was responsible for reading the emotions and the situation of whoever we were meeting with," Bourbeau said. "We put a lot of trust in him."
The work put Dinar in grave danger.
The Taliban target interpreters working for the U.S., said Becca Heller, director of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, which resettles Afghan and Iraqi interpreters.
"We have numerous clients who have been shot, kidnapped and tortured," she wrote in an email. "A number of clients have had a parent or relative killed in retaliation for their work with the U.S. We have female clients who have been threatened with rape."
And Dinar was highly visible. He was often called upon to work for visiting dignitaries, including then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. Photos and videos of him with Panetta and other American officials were widely disseminated in news media.
"I was exposed," he said.
He got death threats in letters tossed over the base fence overnight -- the much-feared "night letters" in which the Taliban mark someone they considered a traitor.
"At that point I decided there's no more future in Afghanistan. I must leave," he said.
A U.S. commander started a special immigrant visa application for Dinar as soon as he started working as an interpreter, but Dinar had not taken the prospect seriously. Now, however, he initiated another application, and pursued it with rigor.
Marine commanders gave their support. One wrote a letter describing how Dinar was in his vehicle when it was hit by a 200-pound IED and, despite sustaining some injuries, helped the Marines recover the vehicle and stayed to complete the dangerous mission.
Bourbeau added his voice:
"I have been witness to ongoing death threats directed at Dinar and his family," he wrote. "We as a nation and a U.S. Military owe a debt of gratitude to Dinar and must take responsibility for the current dire situation he now faces."
Five years after filing the first application, Dinar's visa was approved.
Meanwhile, Bourbeau began to consider doing more to help.
"I just felt like Dinar was very trustworthy. He was hardworking. His values are very similar to my values," he said in an interview at his home. "I wouldn't have any issue doing everything I could to help him out."
Bourbeau didn't make the decision lightly. He talked it over with Katie, a former Marine who now works as a project manager.
"I met Dinar on FaceTime," she said. "The next day Chris said, 'I'm thinking of asking him to live with us.'"
She agreed.
"How do you say no to giving someone a chance?" she said.
Dinar arrived at their home with a backpack, one bag -- and a new name
Because the way names are written on Afghan passports does not match U.S. consular guidelines, many visa holders find that their visas turn their first names into their last names and omit their real last names.
Dinar's first name, like that of a number of other interpreters, is, officially anyway, Fnu -- for First Name Unknown.
There have been other bumps in the road. On his first full day in America, Dinar boarded a bus ne
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Windows Phone : importante mise à jour pour Microsoft Translator - CNET France

Windows Phone : importante mise à jour pour Microsoft Translator - CNET France | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
L’application Microsoft Translation pour Windows Phone peut désormais traduire jusqu’à 45 langues. L’outil peut même interpréter les inscriptions présentes sur une affiche ou une photo filmées avec l'appareil du smartphone.
Par L'agence EP
@zdnetfr vendredi 26 décembre 2014 à 09:29



Microsoft vient de mettre à jour en version 3.2 son application de traduction Microsoft Translator pour Windows Phone. Elle se concentre essentiellement sur l’ajout des variantes australienne, indienne et canadienne de la langue anglaise, ainsi que le français du Canada. Le japonais, le coréen, le portugais et le russe sont également pris en charge. En tout, 45 langues sont gérées par Microsoft Translator.

L’outil est même capable de traduire les inscriptions présentes sur une photo réalisée à partir du mobile. L’application ne se limite pas aux textes et peut aussi traduire ce qu’une personne dit. Elle peut aussi lire les textes avec un accent de natif.

Après avoir brisé la barrière de la langue dans Skype, Microsoft semble se concentrer très sérieusement sur ses outils de traduction. (EP)
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A marketing strategy for translators?

A marketing strategy for translators? | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
First there was the degree in languages, then translation, CAT tools courses, business notions and then marketing. Wait. Do we need a marketing strategy?

The mistake most translators do is to think marketing it is easy. They approach it very casually only to find out a marketing strategy requires data, ideas and research that if are not organised can lead to more thinking and stress.

A marketing strategy should make our life easier, not more complicated.

Another issue often regards this idea about marketing as an activity managed by in-house resources belonging to big companies. Yes marketing requires skills, time and money but with the variety of tools available to small businesses and freelancers the traditional gigantic strategy of The International Corporate Ltd is no more the only available option. Actually, there is no fixed rule, scope or strategy if not that one dictated by data and results. And math can be very subjective when it comes to setting personal goals.

So, yes we need a marketing strategy.

Do we need a marketing strategy?

When I started out I had a to-do list, a small amount of money and a goal.

My goal was to print out 50 business cards + 50 CVs, contact 50-80 clients between agencies and direct clients so to (a) cover the expenses of the cards + printing services and (b) make a small profit of XXX £ out of translations.

A small % of this profit would then have covered my next promotional tool, specifically a new business blog. Indeed, I was planning to buy a domain name and transfer the blog there – and of course I needed money. Despite being a very simple one, that was my initial marketing strategy. I wrote everything down in a paper to-do list and tracked progress with simple ticks. Not that fun, I know.

Anyway, it took me about 10 days to have and print the business cards + the CV (I asked a native English copywriter to edit it) and about a month to distribute them all. I didn’t have a specific target but I wanted to find clients so I tried to contact different people and organisations from friends to managers, professionals, etc.

The money I made out of that first attempt covered the cost of the printing services and left me with a small amount I could use to register a domain name, but could not cover my design ambitions to ask a professional to help me with the layout, so I had to do by myself and wait a bit more.

Of about 68 people I contacted (some received both card & CV), I worked with 5 (3 agencies and 2 direct clients) but I managed to establish a continuous collaboration only with one. Not that bad, but it could have been better. So what was the problem? I didn’t have a marketing strategy. I had an idea and a very nice smile but not a plan or a strategy, so elements like targeting, research, branding, marketing mix, follow up, customer service were all missing out and I actually didn’t make the most of the potential of my message.

It is a bit like buying a vintage car for its design and keep it in the garage because one does not know how to drive it and where to meet other people with the same passion. I drove it, but it could have been better. That was when I learned that I needed a marketing strategy.

We need a marketing strategy because it will help to set clear goals, avoid wasting money, spot limits and opportunities.

Think about that: targeted business cards or general business cards? Differentiate website and blog or not? Promote myself or wait a bit? Where are my clients? Is that specialisation worth? What is my real budget?

A marketing strategy put into a marketing plan should make our life easier, not be another piece of paper on the desk.

So how can we create a marketing strategy?

I am not a big planner, that’s for sure. I like to keep things simple and my idea of a marketing plan or strategy is quite minimal and focused.

On the plus, I am also quite convinced that too much planning will kill all the fun that there is in creative brainstorming and promotional ideas. However I did a lot of research, tried different plans and tips and then decided to create something that would work for me, a marketing strategy created for a freelance translator (if you want to know more about these articles and resources, read here and here).

Start with a question (…well, four!)

To keep it simple I usually start with 3-4 questions:

What do I do?

How does my market look like?

Where do I want to go?

How will I get there?

What do I do?

To create a marketing strategy you need to understand what makes you unique (these characteristics will be useful to create a personal brand as well as a unique professional profile), where are you in term of business development (are you an experienced or a young professional? How many clients do you have? Can you cover expenses? Is freelancing a part-time activity or a full-time job? What will you need to make it a full time activity in terms of money and number of clients?) and what is your specialisation (who are your clients?)?

 Describe your actual business size, number of clients, services offered, specialisation, target market.

The purpose of this initial analysis is to:

• learn how your business is organised and understand what are its limits and potentialities

• understand what are your clients’ needs in terms of what will work and will not work to catch their attention, but also to help you define how your services could help them

How does my market look like?

Translates as: what are my competitors doing to get to their clients? What are their weaknesses and strengths? What are my weaknesses and strength? What is that differentiate me from my competitors?

The purpose of this analysis is to:

• understand what are the differences between you and your competitors so to learn also how to differentiate yourself and create a promotional strategy that will work

 Where do I want to go?

This is the real core of your approach: understand who is the target of your next promotional move. A marketing strategy should take into account every detail about the target because you don’t want to waste money on activities that will not bring a profit (not all industries are worth trying and some clients are out of our reach because of their size, our experience or simply because it’s a very difficult niche).

So where do you want to go with your marketing plan? Do you want to target again an industry you already work with to find more clients or re-connect with old clients? Do you want to try and knock a new door? Maybe an emerging market?

First identify the target, then do a research to learn more about its structure, dynamics and its people. Evaluate your profitability potential: would translation services be beneficial for these people? Decide who to target within this segment because not all companies have the same role: getting a job from one-two influential clients will help you build a portfolio that is valuable enough to be considered buy other companies working in the same industry.

Depending on the target market, also working with emerging or small but innovative brands/companies/professionals might help you to give extra value to your profile and portfolio.

Much depends on your specialisation, target market and – as we were saying – where do you want to go?

How will I get there?

With the development of communications and tools for small business or freelancers, promotional activities have completely changed. So creating a balanced marketing mix including all possible useful channels and activities is key.

Don’t exclude social media without a research, don’t be scared to dare and go for a different approach.

I don’t think promotion per se is wrong at all. Marketing is a very fascinating field and when you run a small business every little detail become a potential promotional tool: your CV, your emails, your email signature, even your invoice!

What is wrong is the attitude. As I have said here, some people often take a marketing strategy as a mass destructions weapon aimed at shooting down other translators in the name of personal frustration or an imaginary competition.

Marketing is not something we should avoid, it’s about letting people know that you are a good translator, find new clients, establish a rapport with the client and create a win-win relation. Most of these people will recommend your services if they are happy about your translation services.

So there is nothing wrong in building a network of supportive clients you like to work with that are actually contributing to develop your professional reputation in a good way. Institutions and companies of all sizes and scopes know that getting out there is important as much as knowing that they are providing excellent services and products.

A marketing strategy is essential to help you get out there, make new connections and create winning teams.

As usual, thanks for liking and sharing!


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Google Is Putting Song Lyrics Right in Search Results Now

Google Is Putting Song Lyrics Right in Search Results Now | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
In yet another shot at lyrics websites Looking up those really, really incomprehensible but sexy D'Angelo lyrics is about to get one click easier. Google has added a feature that displays song lyrics at the top of its search results when you type “lyrics” into the search bar.
Editor : David JACKMAN
24 Aralık  2014 Çarşamba - 19:53

Remember the days of MetroLyrics and AZLyrics, when you'd search for a song and links to those sites would likely appear right below the YouTube video? You probably do because they lasted until, well, very early Tuesday morning. Now, within the link to a song's official YouTube video, beneath the title and release date, are lyrics, which can be viewed in full on Google Play.

"The hammer has fallen," wrote Glenn Gabe, founder of online marketing consulting service G-Squared Interactive, in a Google+ post about Kings of Leon's "Molly's Chambers." "Google now displaying lyrics in the SERPs." (That last word stands for "search engine results page.")

On the eve of Christmas Eve, Google showed the fruits of a labor that's been long in the works, according to industry sources. "They're creating the database themselves," says someone familiar with the matter. "They've done direct licensing deals with the major publishers to enable the service, and they're doing it internally at the moment. The data isn't crowd-sourced; there's a team of people working to create the database."

Billboard's source adds that the mechanism at work (which is to say, manpower) is likely very similar to the one used by LyricFind, which has amassed a fully-licensed database of songs from 2,000 publishers, including the majors. Their service has partnered with the Echo Nest and has been utilized by WinAmp, Yahoo!, and In 2013, the company merged with Gracenote Inc., a metadatabase and music recognition technology company that in November unveiled a new platform to synchronize lyrics across multiple devices in dashboard streaming.

"The latest move to put lyrics in search results makes a lot of sense for Google," adds Massimo Ciociola, founder of Musixmatch, the world's largest lyrics database that adds a crowd-sourcing element, much like Wikipedia's public editors. "The company needs to produce a continuously high search experience, and they have to make it work properly for users. Adding lyrics is an essential and long-overdue move when you consider lyrics are the seventh-most searched-for term on Google ever."

Google's move is a step forward in the business of legal lyrics, which has been developing since the mid-2000s. In those "Wild West days," according to another industry source, many unlicensed lyrics sites (including MetroLyrics) were essentially platforms for users to acquire ringtones. Users would visit the site to view pirated lyrics and from there would be shown a link to create ringtones of the songs listed. "Sketchy lyrics sites were essentially affiliate link farms for confused people to buy ringtones," says Billboard's source.

The most famous offender was probably RapGenius, which fielded take-down notices from the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) in November of 2013 for hosting unlicensed lyrics. Google has also been targeted in the past for placing ads on illegal lyrics sites.

When asked for comment, a Google spokesperson said, "There's a feeling you get when you turn to a song and you know that the words have two meanings. Well it's whispered that now if you go search the tune, maybe Google will lead you to reason. Ooh, it makes you wonder..."
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Don't miss this mind-blowing Google-Year in Search 2014 video that squeezes the entire year into just 1.32 minutes : World, News - India Today

Don't miss this mind-blowing Google-Year in Search 2014 video that squeezes the entire year into just 1.32 minutes : World, News - India Today | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Google has just squeezed the whole of 2014 into a mind-blowing video clip of 1.32 minutes.

Called 'Google-Year in Search 2014', the video shows with smart clips and crisp editing what internet users across the world searched for on the world's biggest search engine.

In the video, Google asks: "In 2014 we searched trillions of times. What do these searches say about us?"

The cool video, made much like last year's, plays the soundtrack of Porter Robinson's 'Divinity', amid a flurry of photos and videos of all the major events that made news this year.

It ends with these two words: "Search on."
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The voice that brought Hollywood films to communist Romania’s TV screens

The voice that brought Hollywood films to communist Romania’s TV screens | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
The voice that brought Hollywood films to communist Romania’s TV screens
Secret videos of movies from the west were a solace for many under Nicolae Ceausescu’s rule – and Irina Margareta Nistor dubbed 1,000 of them

Kit Gillet in Bucharest
The Guardian, Thursday 25 December 2014 13.30 GMT
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Irina Margareta Nistor worked in fear of the Securitate – the Romanian secret police – and says she had little idea of her enduring fame. Photograph: Kit Gillet/the Guardian
In the last years of communist rule in Romania, which came to a bloody end 25 years ago this December, an underground trade in bootleg foreign movies allowed a glimpse into life in the west.

VHS tapes were smuggled into Romania by pilots, cargo ship workers and lorry drivers, some of the few Romanians allowed to travel abroad regularly, then copied, sold and passed around in secret. Nearly all were dubbed by a single voice, a young female translator from Romanian state television. Some have labelled her the most well-known voice in communist Romania after Nicolae Ceausescu, yet at the time no one knew her identity.

“My family didn’t have a video player so we would gather at my neighbours’ on the first floor and binge-watch these movies, maybe 20 people at a time,” said Gabriel Dobre, a journalist in his 30s. “It was always the same lady speaking in place of Van Damme, Schwarzenegger.”

Speaking in her home in Bucharest, 57-year-old Irina Margareta Nistor said she had no idea of the impact she was having. “I was just watching and dubbing the films, I didn’t really know what was happening afterwards,” she said. “From time to time people would say ‘I’ve heard you’ but I didn’t know people were gathering in blocks of apartments to watch, selling tickets.”

After graduating in foreign languages in 1980, Nistor worked for Romanian national television. In 1985 she was approached by a colleague who asked if she would be interested in dubbing foreign films. She was introduced to another man, and after passing a test-run – Dr Zhivago – she began dubbing nearly all the smuggled movies from French and English to Romanian.

Nistor estimates she dubbed more than 1,000 movies in the four years between 1985 and the revolution, sometimes as many as eight a day. She would do her official job from 8.30am to 3.30pm, censoring content for television broadcast, and then walk two blocks to the man’s apartment to dub films until midnight in an improvised studio in his basement. Since there wasn’t time to watch the movies first, she had to dub them in real time on first viewing.

This was happening at a time when the average Romanian was living in fear of the Securitate, the Romanian secret police, and its network of informers – roughly one in every 30 Romanians. “I can’t say that I wasn’t afraid, but for me I was just seeing the films and dubbing them,” she said.

It was tough for her family. “My parents and grandmother knew. I was 28, so there was no question of them saying no,” she said. “My mum was proud, I think – she wouldn’t have liked to have a coward daughter – but she was afraid.”

For most Romanians, the films were a gateway to the outside world. They were able to glimpse people’s lives in the west by watching movies from the 70s and 80s including Taxi Driver and The Godfather, the works of Woody Allen, and action films starring Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris and Sylvester Stallone.

“I grew up in Romania in the 1980s. My first film experiences I owe to Irina,” said Ilinca Calugareanu, a London-based Romanian film-maker who is in post-production on a documentary titled Chuck Norris vs Communism, which focuses on Nistor and that period in Romanian history. “When I met Irina at a film festival in 2011 the memories all came back to me. Her voice. I realised it was an amazing story.” The documentary will premier at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

The late 80s in Romania were a time of food and medicine shortages and repression. Nistor believes the authorities knew what the film dubbers were doing, but let them continue as a way to distract people. “I think people were so unhappy at that time that the state left them a little bit alone; like a pressure valve, otherwise they would have stopped us the next day. But I didn’t realise this at that time.

“I didn’t know people even in the countryside were watching. I heard after the revolution that the national theatre in Craiova, in order to get funds because they couldn’t get money from the state to pay salaries, they were organising cinema nights.”

Since the end of communism in Romania in 1989 Nistor has become a well-known film critic in her home country and in 2012 helped to launch a film festival in Bucharest. But for people of a certain generation her voice will always take them back to the final years of the oppressive communist regime.

“I’m completely amazed people are still remembering after almost 30 years,” said Nistor, surrounded by shelves filled with books and DVDs. “It is interesting listening to people talk about the impact of those films, hearing people say it made their lives a little bit better during those years.”
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Books for teens, kids top librarians’ best-of list

Books for teens, kids top librarians’ best-of list | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
One of the best things about the end of the year is the slew of annual “best of” lists that comes with it. It’s fun to read others’ choices of must-have movies, books and music. We wanted to create our own list of favorites and share our top picks among the year’s literary offerings for kids and teens. Here are the books we enjoyed reading most in 2014.

God Got a Dog

by Cynthia Rylant

Beach Lane Books, 2013

For age 10 and older

If God feels guilty when he sees a lonely, hungry, abandoned dog, what might he do about it? Told in verse, this humorous and reflective book considers what God would do if he lived a human existence. God gets sick, drinks coffee, finds a desk job (survivable only by eating 30 Snicker bars in one sitting) and discovers roller blading, among other instantly relatable human experiences.

This volume is a compilation of 16 poems pulled from Rylant’s longer book God Went to Beauty School, and God is portrayed through Marla Frazee’s gorgeous and detailed illustrations as being every race, age and gender — truly one of all of us.

Grasshopper Jungle

by Andrew Smith

Dutton Juvenile, 2014

For age 13 and older

This may be the strangest book you’ve ever read. The bizarre and twisty tale, set in rural Iowa, seems like a series of outlandish occurrences that have nothing to do with each other — but they do, and the outcome will blow your socks off (and make you forever obsessive about corn).

Austin struggles to find his place with his girlfriend, Shann, and his best friend, Robbie, whom he also has feelings for. And throughout the book he relates the trio’s present adventures to the stories of his Polish ancestors.

When man-eating, sex-obsessed, giant, mutant praying mantises are unleashed on the world (Yes! Really!), the trio fights to stop the impending destruction. Along the way, they also encounter secret messages, underground bunkers and a genetically engineered plague safely encased in a glass vial that is accidentally shattered.

If all of that isn’t enough to deal with, Austin also has to confront his own teen sex drive, a dog that doesn’t bark, paintball guns full of sacred human blood and his own conflicted feelings about love, societal norms and what it means to be one of only a few human beings left on the planet.

Told in a hilarious style that is both apocalyptic and hysterical, this is a book worth sticking with all the way to its end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it conclusion. We’re not surprised that a movie version of the book is in development.

Hooray for Hat

by Brian Won

Houghton Mifflin, 2014

For ages 3-6

A fun and repetitive book about friendship, this will have your favorite reader chanting “Hooray for hat.” When grumpy Elephant receives a surprise gift of a stack of silly and festive hats on his doorstep, he has a hard time staying in a bad mood. He decides to share his silly hat stack with his friends and the good cheer spreads.

But, Giraffe is a little harder to convince: Will a hat be able to bring him out of his grumpy mood like it did for Zebra, Turtle, Owl and Lion? Happy and colorful illustrations make this an inviting picture book about how a simple act of kindness can turn around your day.

In the After

by Demitria Lunetta

HarperTeen, 2013

For age 13 and older

Amy Harris’ life changed forever on the day They arrived — the deadly beings that took over everything, blindly killing most of life on Earth. Her parents are gone and both the government and society are demolished. Amy manages to survive using only her wits and her one advantage: a heavily secured house designed by her super-paranoid scientist parents.

While out on a supply run, she discovers an injured toddler, and bringing Baby into her life changes everything. Suddenly, Amy has a new reason to survive. After years of living in isolation and silence, Amy and Baby are rescued and taken to a human refuge called New Hope. At first it seems to be the answer to everything, but dark secrets lurk within the community.

The book’s sequel, In the End, is just as heart-stoppingly thrilling. Just go ahead and get it, too, so you can read straight through to the story’s end.

The Iridescence of Birds, a book about Henri Matisse

by Patricia MacLachlan; illustrated by Hadley Hooper

Roaring Book Press, 2014

For ages 6-10

This was a year of great picture book biographies, especially about some of our favorite artists (Viva Frida, by Yuyi Morales, and Hello, I’m Johnny Cash, by G. Neri, were published this year, as was The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus, by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet). But MacLachlan magically captures the childhood of Henri Matisse, who loved his mother’s patterned red rugs and beautifully painted plates, as well as the way she encouraged him to explore his amazing artistic eye.

His book is simple and magical and conveys the love of color, light and movement that Matisse was exposed to at an early age. Little artists will understand and be inspired by the words and beautiful illustrations that pay homage to Matisse’s works.

Once Upon an Alphabet

by Oliver Jeffers

Philomel Books, 2014

For ages 8-12

Oliver Jeffers (author of one of our faves, The Incredible Book Eating Boy, and illustrator of seemingly everyone’s fave, The Day the Crayons Quit) has created a quirky collection of short stories about all the letters in the alphabet. This is not your ordinary alphabet book that introduces the letters to little ones.

Instead Jeffers uses the letters as inspiration for imaginative stories about an astronaut for the letter A, a jelly door for J and a puzzled parsnip for P, of course. Older kids who are writing on their own will enjoy the short-story concept as well as the goofiness that Jeffers’ writing brings.

Jeffers is both author and illustrator of this collection.

The Pigeon Needs a Bath

by Mo Willems

Disney-Hyperion, 2014

For age 3 and older

Pigeon just had a bath last month, and he doesn’t want another one. Told in Willems’ unique and recognizable style, Pigeon sets out to convince the reader that bathing is unnecessary. Parents will recognize every excuse: There aren’t enough toys and then there are too many, and the water is too hot, too cold and too hot again.

When Pigeon finally is forced into the tub, what will happen? Parents and kids alike will sympathize with (and enjoy) the outcome.

Wendy Dunn is a teen programming librarian and Lisa Smant is a children’s librarian with the Fort Worth Public Library.
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BURAK BEKDİL - The master linguist(s)

BURAK BEKDİL - The master linguist(s) | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
“[Y]ou possess all the attributes of a demagogue; a screeching, horrible voice, a perverse, cross-grained nature and the language of the market-place. In you all is united which is needful for governing.”

- Aristophanes, The Knights

It is truly fascinating that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan keeps on lecturing on a language that he does not understand, speak, read or write. “We once had a language [Ottoman] perfectly suitable for science,” Mr. Erdoğan lamented, “Then it disappeared overnight [referring to Atatürk’s alphabet revolution].” How sad. In 1923, only 2.5 percent of Turks were literate, and only a fraction of them could speak Ottoman.

Mr. Erdoğan’s passionate longing for a dead language is both ideological and Orwellian: “The revolution will be complete when the language is perfect,” (George Orwell, 1984). He must be dreaming of the days when Ottoman will be a lingua franca, not only in Turkey, but also throughout the world.

In his most recent lecture, Mr. Erdoğan, the master linguist, who unfortunately does not speak a language other than his native Turkish, said that it was impossible to “do philosophy” with the Turkish vocabulary. Only Ottoman, English, German and French are suitable for philosophy, he argued.

Ironically, the few people in the Ottoman bureaucracy who were fluent in Ottoman are not mentioned in the history of science for any notable achievement, although Mr. Erdoğan thinks “Ottoman is perfectly suitable to science.” In his ideological blindness, Mr. Erdoğan in unable to see that scientific achievement is almost totally irrelevant to language and alphabets.

In the medieval times, Arab scientists were noted for their creative studies in a number of disciplines. They produced scientific works in Arabic, the same language that has not produced any notable scientific achievements in the last several centuries. Meanwhile, in the last century, countless Russian, Japanese, Israeli and Korean (and lately Chinese) scientists whose native languages are structured on non-Latin scripts have been universally acknowledged for their impressive work.

The Ottoman language was a bizarre blend of Arabic, Persian and (a few words of) Turkish, and was based on the Arabic script. If he so much adores the idea, Mr. Erdoğan can always learn the language and thus “do philosophy,” although this columnist would bet the president will never fluently speak Ottoman in his life. It is perfectly understandable that Mr. Erdoğan has a passion for anything “Arabic.”

The language of the holy book is no exception. The fact that “Turkish” names and vocabulary are overwhelmingly Arabic and Persian does not satisfy him. And he does not understand that if Turkey will have to undergo a language challenge in the near future it will not be about Ottoman, but Kurdish.
But there is an alternative language that Turks can adopt and augment their foreign policy victories. That language does not have a name yet, but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has christened it “the language of the heart.”

In a recent public speech, Mr. Davutoğlu narrated an anecdote. One day, he was speaking to a public audience in fraternal Bosnia. According to Mr. Davutoğlu’s narrative, he spoke to a big crowd in Turkish, but noticed that the Bosnian audience understood him perfectly well without any need for interpretation into Bosnian. How did the miracle happen? Because, Mr. Davutoğlu claimed, he spoke to them in the language of the heart! Thundering applause, but curtains not down.

Introducing the language of the heart as the official language of the Turkish Republic can be a better idea than introducing Ottoman. Imagine; the Turks will not have to learn foreign languages when they travel abroad or host a foreign guest at home. They’d just speak the language of the heart and their Bolivian, Papua New Guinean, American, Arab, Persian, Chinese and other counterparts would understand them without the need for an interpreter! What else could be nicer?

The Ottomans failed to teach the Ottoman language to the residents of the lands they conquered. They even failed to teach the Ottoman language to their Turkish citizens. The New Ottomans have a chance to teach the language of the heart to the residents of the lands they spiritually wish to conquer.
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Purists alarmed at increasing popularity of Franco-Arabic

Purists alarmed at increasing popularity of Franco-Arabic | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Franco-Arabic, the popular language of communication for conversations and chats on social media sites, is increasingly being seen as a threat to the Arabic language, culture and identity.
While the language is commonly used in Egypt and several other Arab countries, it faces resistance from lovers of Arab identity and culture with campaigns such as "Write Arabic" and ‘Enough Franco."
A heady cocktail of Arabic and English written in the Latin script, Franco-Arabic or Franco has gained huge popularity among the youth who relate to it because of its symbols which they can adopt to Arabic. So for example, the symbol ‘3’ is used to represent the Arabic letter ‘Ayn,’ 5 for the letter ‘kha,’ 7 for ‘Ha’ and 8 for ‘Ghain’.
Discussing the reasons for the popularity of Franco-Arabic among the Arab youth, computer expert Ziyad Ata said the the youth who depend on the Latin script to learn computer techniques, become more familiar and feel at home with English keyboards which is one of the major reasons for Franco becoming popular on social media. Another reason is that in most private schools and universities English and European languages are used as the first language and the computer applications and other topics are also taught in those languages. A third reason is the availability of non-Arabic keypads which compels the students to use the Latin script even if they prefer the Arabic language.
A writer in Al-Riyadh Daily Mariam Al-Jaber warns of the risk to the Arabic language which stands in danger of large scale erosion if Franco continues to be widely used. She says that in the long run, Arabic may suffer the same plight as that of Hebrew and Persian.
She pointed out that boys and girls under 18 who are in their formative years, would find it hard to shake off the habit of using the foreign language instead of their mother tongue.
‘’There is hardly any justification for abandoning Arabic. If they find the literary language difficult, they have the option of adopting the slang which is far easier than Franco,’’ Mariam said.
Shedding more light on the issue, Family and Community Medicine Consultant and Vice president at King Khaled University Dr. Khaled Jalban said he noted with concern the increasing trend of writing Franco-Arabic or using the slang with Latin script as the means of quick communication on Facebook, SMS and mobile phones which is fast becoming popular among the young.
"Adopting Latin letters in the place of Arabic threatens our identity and culture. Using Arabic slang is a thousand times better than losing our cultural identity,’’ Jalban said, adding that a number of Muslim countries have replaced the Arabic script with Latin and even those who love to use Arabic are forced to use Latin script because they do not get keyboards with Arabic or because they communicate with people who do not like or are not familiar with the Arabic script.
He attributed the acceptance of Franco as the favorite language online because Latin is more user friendly on various computer systems than the Arabic script. Leading information technology companies such as Microsoft and Google provide translations of Franco texts into Arabic which helps the fast spread of Franco making it a threat to Arabic.
"The solution is to find ways to stop the influence of the Western culture on the youth who are weak in asserting their cultural identity. So the Arabic script should be incorporated on all computer systems and be made part of the curriculum,’’ he said.
Faculty member of Arabic Language at the King Khaled University Ahmed Al-Tihani said the use of Latin instead of Arabic is a threat to the Arab cultural identity. Arabic language is the incubator of values that developed the Muslim Ummah’s identity and it is one of the oldest living languages on earth.
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In Chinese Characters, Designers Seek to Marry Text and Image

In Chinese Characters, Designers Seek to Marry Text and Image | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
BEIJING — Senior designers from the Dutch design agency LAVA Céline Lamée and Johan Nijhoff explored the origins of visual communication by designing a new set of symbols.
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The first things you should do with that new Android phone

The first things you should do with that new Android phone | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
So Santa came through and answered your wish for a new Android phone. We’re a bit partial to Android here, so obviously we think you’ve (or, the guy in the red suit) made a great choice.

Before you get lost in playing all those cool games, there are some housekeeping details to tend to. Carriers and phone makers do funny things, loading your phone up with bloatware or making odd decisions about default apps. 

By taking a little bit of time to make a few tweaks, you’ll make sure you’re tapping into all the best features of Android. Thanks to its bevy of apps in the Play Store, you can get most of these cool features even if you’re not running the latest version of Lollipop.

Get the Google Now Launcher

A lot of phone manufacturers modify Android with a custom interface that is busy, complicated, or just a poor use of space. The first step towards a cleaner interface is the Google Now Launcher. It puts a persistent Google search bar on the home screen (tap the mic to do a voice search!) and Google Now one swipe away. Not only is it useful, but the Google Now Launcher looks great and provides a nice clean canvas to put your apps and widgets on. 

Just swipe to the right to go right into Google Now with the official Android launcher.
It also puts travel, sports, and even bill reminders right in front of you. Making one swipe to the right to check Google Now has become an essential part of managing the details of my day.

Use Hangouts for better messaging

Some people actually still leave voicemail messages. Fortunately, you don’t have to listen to them if you use Google Voice. It can transcribe all your voicemails (it’s mostly accurate) and store them all in Hangouts or in the Google Voice web interface.

The tools and services inside of Voice have moved inside of Hangouts, which keeps getting new features as part of Google’s effort to make it your central communications hub.

Use Google Voice for all your voicemail or other messaging needs.
Hangouts of course does instant messaging, and is a nice way to sync up your communications if you want to chat across the desktop and your mobile device. However, it’s still a little clunky when it comes to SMS and MMS messages. So if you’d rather keep those chats separate, go with another texting app like the great-looking Google Messenger or the equally slick QKSMS.

Back up your photos with Google+

All it takes is an unexpected drop or some other catastrophe and your phone is toast, along with all those irreplaceable photos you had on it.

For a little peace of mind, enable automatic backup through Google+ Photos. Updates to the Photos app come through the Google+ app, though Photos has its own icon and functions independantly.

Keep all your photos nice and safe in Google+ Photos.
Select to back up at full resolution so you don’t miss anything from the quality of the original picture. Photo backups do count against your 15GB of free Google Drive store, but extra space is cheap enough at $2 a month for 100GB.

It also will automatically merge some of your photos with its Auto Awesome feature, creating some fun mashups. Don't worry, the original photos are there, too.

Browse smarter with Chrome

Believe it or not, some phones still include a terrible default browser. You should be using Chrome - sign in to your Google account and then sync up your bookmarks and open tabs on other devices. 

Sync up your tabs and bookmarks by signing in to Chrome.
If you want to live on the edge a little, there is a beta version that you can run side-by-side on your Android device. When opening a link, be sure to pick the version of Chrome you want to use as your default browser. 

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If you’re a Firefox fan, the same applies: there is a stable and beta version of Mozilla’s browser. It also gets regular updates, with the team hard at work at giving Chrome a run for its money.

Set up your music player

All the major music streaming services offer an Android app - Spotify, Rdio, Beats, Pandora, and Google Play Music. So in one sense, moving ecosystems has never been easier for your music collection. Just download your favorite app, sign in, and start listening to your music.

Instead of just listening to that song, play its video from YouTube instead.
If you're coming over from the Apple ecosystem, you might want to take a look at Google Play Music. It has a rather simple method for importing all your music from iTunes through its desktop interface. 
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