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El error de traducción que casi desata la tercera Guerra Mundial

El error de traducción que casi desata la tercera Guerra Mundial | Metaglossia: The Translation World |

Durante los años de la Guerra Fría, desde el final de la II Guerra Mundial hasta la caída del Muro de Berlín, cualquier hecho puntual era susceptible de malinterpretarse y generar un nuevo conflicto bélico a nivel mundial. Uno de esos hechos fue un error de traducción de las palabras del dirigente soviético Nikita Khrushchev.

En junio de 1956, y tras un golpe de estado, Nasser era elegido presidente de Egipto. Sus primeras medidas cambiaban el rumbo de Egipto: reemplazó las políticas pro-occidentales de la monarquía por una nueva política panarabista cercana al socialismo y nacionalizó el Canal de Suez. Las consecuencias fueron inmediatas… la Guerra del Sinaí que implicó militarmente a Reino Unido, Francia e Israel contra Egipto....

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News about translation, interpreting, intercultural communication, terminology and lexicography - as it happens
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UN Careers - jobs in this network (Translators, Revisers, Editors, etc.)

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

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

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How information moves between cultures

How information moves between cultures

Published: Sunday, 21 December 2014 14:46 Written by Larry Hardesty
Cambridge, Massachusetts - By analyzing data on multilingual Twitter users and Wikipedia editors and on 30 years’ worth of book translations in 150 countries, researchers at MIT, Harvard University, Northeastern University, and Aix Marseille University have developed network maps that they say represent the strength of the cultural connections between speakers of different languages.

This week, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they show that a language’s centrality in their network - as defined by both the number and the strength of its connections - better predicts the global fame of its speakers than either the population or the wealth of the countries in which it is spoken.

“The network of languages that are being translated is an aggregation of the social network of the planet,” says Cesar Hidalgo, the Asahi Broadcasting Corporation Career Development Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and senior author on the paper. “Not everybody shares a language with everyone else, and therefore the global social network is structured through these circuitous paths in which people in some language groups are by definition way more central than others. That gives them a disproportionate power and responsibility. On the one hand, they have a much easier time disseminating the content that they produce. On the other hand, as information flows through people, it gets colored by the ideas and the biases that those people have.”

Plotting polyglots

Hidalgo and his students Shahar Ronen — first author on the new paper — and Kevin Hu, together with Harvard’s Steven Pinker, Bruno Gonçalves of Aix Marseille University, and Alessandro Vespignani of Northeastern, included a given Twitter user in their data set if he or she had at least three sentence-long tweets in a language other than his or her primary language. That left them with 17 million of Twitter’s roughly 280 million users. They had similar thresholds for Wikipedia users who had edited entries in more than one language, which gave them a data set of 2.2 million Wikipedia editors.

In both cases, the strength of the connection between any two languages was determined by the number of users who had demonstrated facility with both of them.

The translation data came from UNESCO’s Index Translationum, which catalogues 2.2 million book translations, in more than 1,000 languages, published between 1979 and 2011. There, the strength of the connection between two languages was determined by the number of translations between them.

The researchers also used two different definitions of global fame. One was the measure that Hidalgo’s group had used in its earlier Pantheon project, which also looked at global cultural production. Pantheon had identified everyone with (at the time) Wikipedia entries in at least 26 languages — 11,340 people in all.

The other fame measure was inclusion among the 4,002 people profiled in the book “Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 BC to 1950,” by the American political scientist Charles Murray. Murray’s list was based on the frequency with which people’s names were mentioned in 167 reference texts — encyclopedias and historical surveys — published worldwide.

Relative correlatives

There were, naturally, differences between the networks produced from the separate data sets and their correlations with the two fame measures. For instance, in the network produced from Wikipedia data, German is much more central than Spanish; in the Twitter network, the opposite is true.

Similarly, the network produced from UNESCO’s translation data correlated better with Murray’s fame index, which, as the subtitle of his book indicates, concentrated on science and the arts. The Wikipedia and Twitter networks correlated better with the Pantheon index, which included many more pop-culture figures.

But with both fame measures, at least one of the networks, taken in isolation, provided better correlation than the number of speakers of a language and the GDPs of the countries in which it is spoken. And when the networks were combined with population and income data, the correlations were higher still.

“We have to be very clear about what we’re talking about,” Hidalgo says. “This paper is not about global languages. All three networks are representative of elites. But those elites are the ones that drive the transfer of information across cultures.”

"This thought-provoking paper expands the intersection between big-data network science and linguistics," writes Kenneth Wachter, a professor of demography and statistics at the University of California at Berkeley. "It offers reproducible criteria for a language to serve as a global hub and is likely to stimulate many alternative perspectives."
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Muere el poeta y traductor Gerardo Deniz a la edad de 80 años

Muere el poeta y traductor Gerardo Deniz a la edad de 80 años | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
El poeta y traductor Gerardo Deniz falleció la víspera en la capital de la República Mexicana, a los 80 años de edad, informó el Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (Conaculta)
Notimex - El presidente del Conaculta, Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, expresó: "Luto en las letras mexicanas por el deceso de Gerardo Deniz, extraordinario traductor y poeta. Mi pésame a sus deudos".

El poeta y traductor Gerardo Deniz había recibido el pasado 30 de septiembre la Medalla Bellas Artes y el Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes le había organizado un homenaje con motivo de su cumpleaños número 80, el 14 de agosto.

En el homenaje al poeta se dio a conocer que su libro de poemas "Visitas guiadas", publicado en el 2000, sería reeditado por el Conaculta con un poema inédito.

El autor no estuvo presente porque ya tenía problemas de salud, aunque su familia lo representó en el acto.

En esa oportunidad, recuerda el Consejo en un comunicado, el poeta David Huerta aseveró que: "Podemos decir todo lo bueno que es Gerardo Deniz como poeta y amigo, pero debo decir en voz alta que haber conocido a Deniz, conversar con él y ser su amigo, es una de las razones por las cuales vale la pena vivir".

En el homenaje también estuvo el poeta contemporáneo y amigo del homenajeado, Eduardo Lizalde, quien consideró que se trataba de un poeta de perfección literaria impresionante.

"Es un hombre muy riguroso, un disidente —describió— un enemig
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The true story of Canada's version of The Dude: Book review

The true story of Canada's version of The Dude: Book review | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Life Real Loud
Bill Reynolds

John Lefebvre is, in many ways, a real-life version of the Dude, the likeable hippie from the Coen brothers’ cult classic film, The Big Lebowski, with two notable exceptions: Lefebvre is Canadian and he is incredibly rich. When he helped start the e-money transfer system Neteller in 1999, it was a small-time operation with a modest office in Calgary, struggling to pay employee wages. But when the online gambling boom took off, Neteller became the system of choice for many poker sites. It also put Lefebvre on the FBI’s radar when it began stomping out illegal gambling.

Life Real Loud traces Lefebvre’s journey from a modest house in Calgary to his multi-multi-multi-million dollar Malibu beach home not far from Cher’s. It’s hardly a “how to” guide for getting rich. Lefebvre smoked a lot of marijuana growing up, got busted for selling acid to an undercover cop, became University of Calgary student union president, kept smoking pot, quit a good job as a lawyer to busk as a musician, and smoked up some more. Music was his passion, and money didn’t matter. Then Neteller made him wealthy.

At first, Lefebvre couldn’t spend enough on luxury cars and designer clothes to keep up with his growing net worth. Then he ditched the fancy wardrobe for jeans and T-shirts and tried to give a fortune away to charities afilliated with David Suzuki, the Dalai Lama and the like. What’s a couple of million here and there when your bank balance is nine digits long?

Reynolds draws out his subject’s own storytelling, as Lefebvre candidly opens up about failed relationships, the online gambling business, and the time the FBI arrived at his door in 2007 to arrest him on charges of money laundering and promoting illegal gambling. Sure, the publicly traded company was based in the Isle of Man, but the bulk of Neteller’s customers came from the U.S., and it was time to pay up to Uncle Sam. A plea deal cost him a good chunk of his bank account, but saved him a lengthy prison sentence. Lefebvre isn’t bitter, but he’s not exactly struggling for cash today. Online gambling helped turn him into one of Canada’s most generous—and virtually unknown—philanthropists. It’s not likely that legacy will survive him, however. Nor is he looking for fame. Instead, when he dies, Lefebvre only wants four words on his epitaph to describe him: “He never stopped tokin.’ ”

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Darío Villanueva: «La RAE no está en cuidados intensivos; la situación es grave, pero no crítica»

Darío Villanueva: «La RAE no está en cuidados intensivos; la situación es grave, pero no crítica» | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Darío Villanueva (Villalba, Lugo, 1950) toma posesión el ocho de enero como trigésimo director del la Real Academia Española ( RAE ). Conoce al dedillo la docta casa, a la que llegó en 2008 y de la que ha sido secretario. «El currito», ironiza. Su reto es hacer sostenible y refundar una institución lastrada por el déficit. Debe rentabilizar la joya de la RAE , el diccionario en línea, una «mina» con 45 millones de visitas al mes que seguirá siendo gratuito

-Con 28 de 35 votos, ¿entra en un jardín con más rosas que espinas?

-Así es. No caigo de un guindo. He sido secretario cinco años, un puesto modesto pero muy importante, por el que pasa la gestión a todos los niveles; coordina todas las comisiones y la elaboración del diccionario. El director de la RAE no es más que un 'primus inter pares'. Tiene la autoridad que otorga la voluntad de sus compañeros, que nunca es un cheque en blanco. El pleno es muy exigente, y el apoyo es fundamental.

-¿La orquesta de RAE está afinada y bien avenida o hay familias que chirrían?

-No veo que haya familias. Hay individualidades, una corporación con singularidades muy potentes. Quien llega aquí lo hace en función del mérito, el prestigio y la personalidad. No se pueden esperar fáciles unanimidades. La riqueza de los plenos está en las diversas interpretaciones que se dan. No hay agrupaciones. Sí afinidades, coincidencias fluctuantes y discrepancias. No hay ideologías ni esa polarización a la que tan proclives somos los españoles.

-¿Le han elegido por que tener mucha mano izquierda?

-No basta. Para dirigir la RAE hay que tener dos manos. Y si se tuvieran más, mejor. Es importante estar a plena disposición, esforzarse por ser eficaz. Es la casa de las palabras y hay que ser consecuente con las acciones que generan. No bastan grandes frases. El desafío de la RAE hoy es la gestión de recursos humanos, presupuestos, oportunidades y fortalezas que contrarresten debilidades y amenazas, como la crisis y el cambio de paradigma a lo digital. -Para atender a las palabras ¿está obligado a sanear los números?

-Hay que agarrar el toro por los cuernos de la gestión. Sería absurdo que el pleno tratara de balances, cuentas o presupuestos en lugar de palabras. Eso es propio de un consejo de administración y lo hará una Sociedad de Gestión que ya está acordada. Pertenece a la RAE y la dirigen los académicos, pero liberará al pleno de dedicarse a los números.

-Con un déficit es 2,5 millones, ¿está la RAE en la UCI?

-No lo está. Hay que decir alto y claro que es gracias a que la RAE no ha sido nunca manirrota. Hay un remanente de los años buenos que permite cubrir el déficit hasta 20 15. No tenemos deudas ni créditos y hay recursos para atender ese desfase en el tiempo que nos lleve aplicar el plan estratégico que haga a la Academia sostenible en cuatro años. Es una situación grave, seria, pero no crítica. Hay salida y evitaremos que empeore. Sin autonomía financiera en cuatro años sí sería crítica.

-¿Cuáles son los pilares de la refundación?

-La Sociedad de Gestión y el diccionario. El 23º DRAE ha sido el último de su estirpe, inaugurada con el diccionario de autoridades. Ha sido un libro que se transformó en 2004 en una oferta digital. Ahora se invierten los factores. Prima el digital. Pero no vamos a acabar con el diccionario en papel. Nos readaptamos e innovamos, y es ahí donde entra la Sociedad de Gestión.

Diccionario gratuito

El 'Viajando con Chester' mejor y peor pagado de los invitados

Decepción total de la Real Sociedad en el descuento

La otra cara de Mar Flores

Paloma deja 'La ruleta de la suerte'

Estebenea Jatetxea invita a cenar a quienes vayan a pasar la Nochebuena solos

El Santo Tomás más multitudinario

David Moyes: «Estoy decepcionado porque fuimos el mejor equipo y merecimos la victoria»

En Suecia relacionan a doña Sofía y Alfonso Díez

Agreden a un joven en San Sebastián para robarle un abrigo de cuero

La bici eléctrica da un salto en Navidad

lo más 50
-¿Académicos y empresarios?

-Ni somos una empresa ni lo queremos ser. Queremos ser Academia. Es absurdo que el pleno se convierta en un consejo de administración.

-Con 45 millones de visitas al mes, El DRAE digital es un diamante en bruto. Le sobrarán novias. ¿Para cuándo la boda y con quién?

-Se resolverá antes de presentar la 23ª edición del diccionario en la red, en el primer trimestre de 2015. Hay contactos muy avanzados. Pero sería una triste paradoja que la Academia muriera del éxito del diccionario en línea. No es la única causa, pero incide en la circulación del diccionario en libro. Lleva dos meses en el mercado y esperamos que mejoren las ventas. La publicidad está descartada en el digital. Su presencia 'ensuciaría' visualmente la página y le restaría inmediatez. La opción es el patrocinio.

-¿Será de pago?

-No. Lleva diez años de gratuidad y seguirá así. Eso es irreversible.

-¿El DRAE jamás satisfará a todos los hablantes?.

-No. Toda crítica al diccionario, positiva o negativa, nace de la profunda la legitimidad del hablante, como propietario de la lengua, para opinar sobre ella. Y no es una declaración retórica. Hay respeto absoluto a las críticas, pero sabemos que nunca podríamos satisfacer a todos. Hay palabras que hieren sensibilidades, pero es erróneo creer que la RAE promueve su uso y comparte sus elementos desagradables. No podemos hacer un diccionario biempensante. Es el mapa de la lengua y sirve para lo bueno y lo malo, para lo justo y lo injusto.

-¿Alguna llamada de Zarzuela, Moncloa o Cultura en estos días?

¬-El ocho de enero me reúno con el ministro Wert a solicitud suya. Él mismo me felicitó, como el secretario de Estado de Cultura y los Reyes. Le explicaré directamente al ministro, y si puedo, que creo que podré, al presidente Rajoy, cuál es la situación de la RAE y nuestra reacción. No iré a pedir que nos resuelva el problema. Explicaré cómo abordamos la solución. Ponemos los huevos en distinto cestos y hay un plan de negocio.

-¿Descarta plantear un ERE, una regulación de empleo?

-Sí. Tenemos 85 trabajadores muy cualificados, ingenieros, filólogos, periodistas, administrativos y 41 sillones ocupados de 46. Se han reducido un 10% los sueldos y las dietas de los académicos, que no tienen salario y solo perciben una dieta de 120 euros por cada sesión académica. Esa platilla nos permite hacer lo que hacemos. No podríamos asumir el reto de la sostenibilidad prescindiendo del personal. Si habrá bajas incentivadas.

-La Academia de la Historia ha hecho historia y tiene directora, Carmen Iglesias, con sillón en esta casa en la que la paridad brilla por su ausencia. ¿Habrá más académicas?

-Es un objetivo ineludible y fundamental. Hay un estado de opinión coincidente. Los académicos reconocemos ese flagrante déficit pero no somos los responsables. Es como el cura que riñe en misa a los que no van a misa. Desde que llegué en 2008 han ingresado cuatro mujeres. Tantas como en los tres siglos anteriores, y eso indica un cambio. El concepto de paridad no se maneja. Sí los de justicia y mérito.
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Book review: Manto – bridging a literary divide – The Express Tribune

It is possible that the recent celebration of Saadat Hassan Manto’s centenary revived the conversation about the quixotic, tortured writer who dealt with cultural dislocation and a personal life of abject poverty. Yet author/translator Mujahid Eshai felt compelled to introduce the ‘bad boy’ of Urdu literature — also hailed as the Maupassant of his time — to second-generation Pakistani readers who primarily relate to the English language with his translation of Manto’s works, Manto on and about Manto, into English. Although Eshai is a chartered accountant by profession, he captures Manto’s portrait with an inordinate skill which is also reflected in the passages he has chosen to translate.
Born into a Kashmiri home, Manto reluctantly migrated to Lahore at the time of Partition. Although hampered by financial insecurity, he became a superb archivist of his environment. He wore many hats. In his favoured city of Bombay, he dabbled in screen writing and wrote radio plays for All India Radio in Delhi along with writing political commentary for newspapers. But, it is his stark and explicit short stories which define an author whose unfettered genius would alter the style of expression of his day. Regretfully, his short life span reaching mid-forties left behind only the ghost of notoriety — he was repeatedly charged for writing works considered to be obscene. None of his lawsuits, however, resulted in conviction and various poets, authors, editors and public intellectuals sprung to his defence

In this simply written and highly readable book, the first 96 pages transport the reader to Lahore’s courtrooms. Manto’s fatigue rises from the pages as one reads about the interminable waits in dusty corridors for magistrates to appear, fortified with cheap cigarettes bought one at a time and quick snorts from a hip flask. The translator has chosen this section wisely for its dramatic appeal and the book becomes a page-turner.
The latter half is more personal and there is a charming inclusion of correspondence from Manto’s writer friends, Krishan Chander and Ahmad Nadeem Qasmi. This is enhanced by a comic profile of Ismat Chugtai, one of Manto’s friends by the writer himself.
Finally a short essay by Manto on writing about human sexuality — which is largely the reason for his infamy — hints at Freudian consciousness. His ability to transport the reader into a realm of possibilities, however, automatically adds another measure of success to his merit as a writer.
Postcript, what does not serve the book well is the missing dates on some of the sections of the book. Apparently Manto did not date his writings; nevertheless some chronological research could have helped address this issue. From the production point of view, the publisher Sang-e-Meel, falls short on the stock used — the blueish-white paper with uneven spacing hints at a cost-cutting mentality. The cover design is also inferior as it is overworked and looks unprofessional. Perhaps the publisher will take this into account when the second edition is printed.
Nazneen Sheikh is an author and has written several adult and young-adult fiction books.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, December 21st, 2014.
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El Congreso aprueba el dictamen del proyecto por el que se modifica la Ley de Enjuiciamiento Criminal

El Congreso aprueba el dictamen del proyecto por el que se modifica la Ley de Enjuiciamiento Criminal | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Este proyecto tiene por objeto la transposición a nuestro ordenamiento interno de la Directiva 2010/64/UE, relativa al derecho a interpretación y a traducción en los procesos penales y la Directiva 2012/13/UE, relativa al derecho a la información en los procesos penales, según explica el Gobierno.
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A. Bouillaguet & B. Rogers (dir.), Dictionnaire Marcel Proust (rééd.)

A. Bouillaguet & B. Rogers (dir.), Dictionnaire Marcel Proust (rééd.) 
Information publiée le 18 décembre 2014 par Matthieu Vernet

Dictionnaire Marcel Proust

Nouvelle édition revue et corrigée

Sous la direction d'Annick Bouillaguet et de Brian G. Rogers

Paris : Honoré Champion, coll. "Champion Classiques dictionnaire", 2014.

EAN 9782745328700.

1112 p.

Prix 30EUR

Présentation de l'éditeur :

Le Dictionnaire Marcel Proust réunit la somme des connaissances actuelles sur Proust et son œuvre. Le projet de consacrer un dictionnaire à Proust se justifie par la notoriété du plus grand romancier français du XXe siècle comme par la transformation, depuis cinquante ans, de notre savoir relatif à l’auteur de laRecherche et à l’ensemble de ses écrits.
Une équipe de trente-sept spécialistes internationaux a consacré un millier d’articles aux personnages, aux personnes réelles, aux lieux fictifs et réels qui figurent dans son œuvre.
Chaque écrit de Proust fait l’objet d’une entrée qui rappelle la date de la première publication, depuis les devoirs du lycéen ­jusqu’aux notes posthumes. D’importants articles de synthèse concernent l’homme et l’écrivain, les prédécesseurs et contem­porains, la pensée de Proust, l’œuvre, les thèmes et notions et la critique proustienne.

Médaille d’argent de l’Académie française, Prix de la critique littéraire, Émile Faguet, 2005

Vous pouvez consulter la Table des matières.

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Dearth of translators leads to shortage of Marathi law books | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

Dearth of translators leads to shortage of Marathi law books | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
The deputy director of the directorate of languages on Thursday filed an affidavit before the Bombay high court stating that there was a serious shortage of translation staff in the office, due to which it was unable to translate state and central laws from English to Marathi for the public.

The affidavit filed by Arun Gosavi states: As the enactments of laws and amendments in it is a continuous process, the directorate cannot perform its work with the help of its meagre staff. It is essential to have large number of translators, supervisors and officers having legal knowledge and a fool-proof machinery for the said work.

A division bench of Justices Anoop Mohta and N M Jamdar reminded the state government that it was responsible for providing the acts and amendments in Marathi. It said, "There is no question of a defence here, it is your obligation or not, there cannot be any contest to this petition."

The affidavit further states that on December 4, the directorate had forwarded a proposal to the government for sanctioning 33 posts of translators and other staff, which is under active consideration of the state government. It also adds that expert and experienced staff are working under the directorate of languages and therefore, the directorate is carrying out translation work in its letter and spirit.
However, if adequate staff are provided, the department would function smoothly. However, the court said, "If you have difficulty then you must point it out to the government."

The affidavit was filed during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by an NGO working towards the implementation of Marathi, seeking directions to the state to provide central and state government laws in Maharashtra's official language.

The PIL, filed by Shantaram Datar, founder-president of Marathi Bhasha Saurakshan and Vikas Sanstha, says that the state, as per its policy decision to encourage use of Marathi in government business and legislative work, created the directorate of languages in 1961, and thereafter, slowly switched over to Marathi from English for official work.

In 1964, the Maharashtra Official Language Act was enacted and Marathi was declared the official language. In 2005, HC issued a circular directing the lower court's judicial officers to transact 50 per cent of court business, including writing of judgments, in Marathi.
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ISESCO: Arabs Should Promote Arabic Language in their Education Systems

ISESCO: Arabs Should Promote Arabic Language in their Education Systems | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
On World Arabic Language Day on December 18th, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) called on the Islamic world to reinstate
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Benedict Cumberbatch has a genius for multitasking : Entertainment

Benedict Cumberbatch has a genius for multitasking : Entertainment | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
How smart is Benedict Cumberbatch? Smart enough to remember which project he’s promoting.
In a recent phone interview, the busy British actor acknowledges that it is hard to segue between publicity for the TV series “Sherlock” (on BBC since 2010), the animated film “Penguins of Madagascar” (which opened last month), the third “Hobbit” film (which opened Wednesday and for which he reprised the voice of the dragon Smaug) and the dramatic thriller “The Imitation Game” (which opens Thursday). And heaven forbid a reporter should quiz him about his rumored roles in the upcoming “Doctor Strange” and “Star Wars” movies.

“It’s been like this for a couple years,” he says. He also has to find time to plan a wedding to actress Sophie Hunter. “After this interview, I have to do a chi-chi photo shoot for Vanity Fair. It’s all so extraordinary. But I’m managing to enjoy it still, which is the main thing.”

Asked if he can name a new movie in which he is not involved, the multitasking star answers like the literal-minded computer whiz he plays in “The Imitation Game”: “Yes.”

Pressed to elaborate, Cumberbatch mentions “The Theory of Everything,” in which Eddie Redmayne stars as physicist Stephen Hawking. But that’s a trick answer. Cumberbatch portrayed Hawking in a British TV movie a decade ago.

Cumberbatch hopes that his friend Hawking will be able enough to attend the Academy Award ceremony in Hollywood on Feb. 22, where both Redmayne and Cumberbatch are likely to be nominees. “But I know Alan Turing won’t be there,” Cumberbatch says, steering the conversation back to his own new movie.

Turing was a world-class mathematician, a war hero and a gay icon. Yet in his lifetime, few people knew his name. During World War II, he was recruited as a code breaker. To crack the Nazis’ encrypted communications, he built what is considered to be the world’s first digital computer.

It’s hardly the first time that Cumberbatch, 38, has been cast as an eccentric genius. Besides Sherlock Holmes, he has played Wikileaks hacker Julian Assange in “The Fifth Estate,” an intelligence agent in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” the extraterrestrial Khan in “Star Trek: Into Darkness” and Vincent Van Gogh in a TV movie called “Van Gogh: Painted With Words.”

Yet he speaks with a special fondness for Turing, who was a socially awkward and closeted gay man in an era when homosexuality was a crime. In 1952, Turing was convicted of “indecency” and sentenced to chemical castration. Two years later he was dead, a presumed suicide at age 41.

“He basically won us the war,” says Cumberbatch. “He broke an unbreakable code, and in the process he laid the foundation for binary computing. Because of him, computers around the world can talk to each other. We should never forget that the first computers were called ‘Turing machines.’ The Internet couldn’t exist without this man.

“I’m just a layperson with an amateur interest in science, but to carry on learning is one of the great joys of my job. So now I’ve got this megaphone, and I want to shout from the rooftops about Alan Turing, because that’s something he wouldn’t have done for himself. Had he publicized his early work on algorithms, he would have been up there with Newton and Darwin. But he just wasn’t interested in personal acclaim.

“He was all about the work. And that’s a quality I admire.”
Joe Williams is the film critic of the Post-Dispatch and the author of the book “Hollywood Myths.” Follow him on Twitter @joethecritic
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How comic books impact our lives - The Times of India

How comic books impact our lives - The Times of India | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
We've laughed at them, taken lessons from them and read them into the night, and now, comic strip characters might have the last laugh on us.

Spiderman, Batman and other faves are everyhere -on foods, inspiring healthy fare and songs too. This October, singer Nicki Minaj teased her fans with a comic themed artwork for the single on Instagram and a couple abroad recently had a comic book-style wedding. Here's a look at how much comic strips influence people everywhere....

Talk about wedding themes with a difference! A couple in Texas -Ali Butrym and Ryan Jeziorski, huge fans of Batman -recently had a wedding in Fort Worth that their pals are not likely to forget in a hurry. It was an elaborate, comic-themed function, with the couple dressed as Harley Quinn and the Joker. Her father Anthony even walked her down the aisle in an Iron Man helmet. The rest of the bridal party also donned comic costumes -dressed as Wolverine, Wonder Woman, The Riddler, Catwoman and Poison Ivy. And Batman (one of their pal's actually) officiated the whole do. And it wasn't their first `comics' caper. Word has it that they first met when a friend got them together on account of their Batman tattoos.


Actor Neil Patrick Harris and his two children -Gideon and Harper -were recently seen leaving their New York home in Batman outfits. While Neil dressed as Joker, the kids were little `Batman'. Actress Maisie Willimas was also clicked in a `comic book dress' this year. The trend of doing something like this is part of Cosplay , which actually means costume-play . It refers to a person dressing up to look like a superhero or a video game, comic book, or movie character. At a recent convention in London, a few attendees came as Mistress Death -a sinister character, while others, as characters from Japanese comics.

In Mumbai, dressing up like comic superheroes rules when it comes to fancy dress ensembles. Says Nicole Alvares of a city party accessories shop, " At parties, a lot of people like to dress as Iron Man, The Joker and Bart Simpson, as well as witches and fairies, and then they improvise and add their own take to it."


Back home, we've certainly come a long way from when only few comics were available to readers. Says Jatin Varma, founder of an organisation that brings comic lovers in the country together. "It's certainly a growing community. Five years ago, there were just five comics titles in India, but we now have at least 25, so it's a leap." The convention is in its fourth year and has a a varied group in attendance."You will also be surprised at how many prized comics people have. There was an Amitabh Bachchan, series called Supremo; I have one of those comics and one signed by Stan Lee," he grins.


In Mumbai, tattoos and body paint with comic characters are extremely popular with youngsters. Says tattoo artist Vikas Malani, "This is a craze that continues to grow. Most popular among these tattoos are Batman with a backdrop of Gotham city, Betty Boo, Popeye the sailor and Beauty and the Beast. Folks also ask for Tom and Jerry, which really stands for a sign of friendship. We recently also did Calvin and Hobbes as a leg and ankle tattoo too, which was a quite a hit."


Comic-inspired fashion is also making a serious splash on the ramp. From T-shirts with Hulk and Iron Man to graphic design short tops, ties and dresses, it was seen in major fashion weeks. The trend has also jumped onto daily wear with sweaters, jackets, shoes, jeggins, tights and college backpacks and satchels. What also became popular this year are headbands with pop art sayings like `Bam' and `Pop', as well as Superman and Wonderwoman sports shoes.
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The New York Times has been translating its Cuba editorials into Spanish | Poynter.

In advance of Wednesday’s news that the United States and Cuba are establishing full relations, The New York Times was publishing Spanish versions of its editorials advocating freer diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The New York Times has written seven Cuba editorials to date, including one that explicitly called on President Barack Obama to end the embargo on Cuba, wrote Ernesto Londoño, who was hired in September by the New York Times to write editorials about foreign affairs.

All of those were translated into Spanish, Londoño said. Many were “published verbatim, or extensively quoted, in Cuba’s official press,” and were republished or covered by other outlets including the BBC, Univision, Venezuela’s Telesur and El Tiempo.

“We decided to publish the Cuba editorials in Spanish because we felt it was important to make them accessible to Cubans and readers elsewhere in Latin America,” Londoño wrote. “We’ve been pleased by how much attention and interest they have sparked on the island and among readers whose primary language is Spanish.”

Londoño wrote that the Times is translating its editorials on “a case-by-case basis when we think doing so gives them significantly broader reach.” This is part of a broader effort to attract more readers globally, he wrote.

Offering Spanish-language versions of stories isn’t new for The Times. Last year, Andrew Beaujon reported the paper had been occasionally publishing in Spanish for special projects or when it aligned with the paper’s editorial priorities.
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Baidu Deep Speech system 81% accurate in noisy environments compared to 65% for best commercial systems

DECEMBER 21, 2014

Baidu Deep Speech system 81% accurate in noisy environments compared to 65% for best commercial systems

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Arxiv - DeepSpeech: Scaling up end-to-end speech recognition

Baidu researchers present a state-of-the-art speech recognition system developed using end-to-end deep learning. Our architecture is significantly simpler than traditional speech systems, which rely on laboriously engineered processing pipelines; these traditional systems also tend to perform poorly when used in noisy environments. In contrast, our system does not need hand-designed components to model background noise, reverberation, or speaker variation, but instead directly learns a function that is robust to such effects. We do not need a phoneme dictionary, nor even the concept of a “phoneme.” Key to our approach is a well-optimized RNN training system that uses multiple GPUs, as well as a set of novel data synthesis techniques that allow us to efficiently obtain a large amount of varied data for training. Our system, called DeepSpeech, outperforms previously published results on the widely studied Switchboard Hub5’00, achieving 16.5% error on the full test set. DeepSpeech also handles challenging noisy environments better than widely used, state-of-the-art commercial speech systems.

In restaurant settings and other loud places where other commercial speech recognition systems fail, the deep learning model proved accurate nearly 81 percent of the time. Commercial speech-recognition APIs against which Deep Speech was tested, including those for Microsoft Bing, Google and Wit.AI, topped out at nearly 65 percent accuracy in noisy environments. Those results probably underestimate the difference in accuracy, said Baidu Chief Scientist Andrew Ng, who worked on Deep Speech along with colleagues at the company’s artificial intelligence lab in Palo Alto. His team could only compare accuracy where the other systems all returned results rather than empty strings.

Ng said that while the research is still just research for now, Baidu is definitely considering integrating it into its speech-recognition software for smartphones and connected devices such as Baidu Eye. The company is also working on an Amazon Echo-like home appliance called CoolBox, and even a smart bike.
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Best of the worst

Best of the worst | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
MAN OF THE YEAR?: Russian President Vladimir Putin remains popular with his constituents, if not with the rest of the world.

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'Tis the season for reflection, often packaged in the form of listicles on highlights, and lowlights, of the past year.

There's nary an awards ceremony without debate of some kind, but this piece takes a look at winners which should never have made the hat in the first place, and titles that shouldn't really exist.

Here's a list of the worst of the best of 2014:
Russian President Vladimir Putin was named Russia's "Man of the Year", according to independent polling group Public Opinion Foundation (FOM). It marks the 15th time he has won the award, with the Russian president even further ahead of other politicians and public figures in the country this year. The announcement came on December 16, just after Russia's economy dramatically imploded. Despite the hatred directed at him from the rest of the world, notably Ukraine, the former KGB officer has been popular with the Russian public.

Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro, the revolutionary and politician who in 1959 overthrew the president and imposed communism, was awarded the Confucius Peace Prize -- China's alternative to the Nobel. Castro was praised for "important contributions on eliminating nuclear war after his retirement". 

Controversial blogger Cameron Slater won the 2014 New Zealand Quote of the Year competition. The man behind Whale Oil won the Massey University-run contest with the quote: "I play politics like Fijians play rugby. My role is smashing your face into the ground." The quote received 21 per cent of the 4197 public votes cast. 

David Dinsmore, editor of the Sun, a daily tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom, was crowned "Sexist of the Year" by feminist campaign group End Violence Against Women (EVAW). He was given the award for continuing to feature photographs of topless women on page three of the paper, despite national protests. An EVAW coalition spokeswoman said: "Our warmest congratulations to David Dinsmore for his valiant persistence in peddling pornography under the guise of 'news'."

QUOTE VOTE WINNER: Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.

American middle-distance runner Will Leer won Sports Beard of the Year, from Beard Watch, a site focussed on "bringing you the best beards from the world of sport". 

Movie trailers may be glorified commercials, but from Most Adorable Robot to Best Voiceover to Best Creepy Use of a Classic Score (Jurassic World), there are plenty of awards for them, too. HitFix put together a list of admirable attributes in trailers, but named Mad Max: Fury Road as overall winner. Reviewer Donna Dickens wrote: "No. Seriously. This trailer was better than some films."

Continuing with the theme of cinematography, Slash Film put together a list of the Most Like Underproduced Screenplays of 2014. Reportedly started in 2005 by a young executive at Leonardo DiCaprio's production company Appian Way, the list reflects the hottest projects in Hollywood you haven't yet heard of. Not all scripts will get made, let alone made well, but the so-called Black List is an indication of the "best-liked" script at the time of voting. Catherine the Great, a (potential) film about one of the most famous personalities in Russian history, topped the list this year with 51 votes.

TRAILER OF THE YEAR: Mad Max: Fury Road.

Everyone loves a good German word, so much so the English language is speckled with them. Schadenfreude, anyone? The Society for German Language released their annual top words of the year, relating to media buzzwords and news stories of 2014. This year's word was "lichtgrenze", meaning "border of light". The word was used when describing the 25th anniversary celebration in Berlin that saw 15 kilometres of the former East Berlin border lit up with thousands of helium balloons. 

Among the various musical charts of 2014, one stands out: The list of Least Essential Albums of 2014. The A.V. Club says these aren't the worst records of the year -- rather, the records whose existence marks "not only the decline of the music industry but also the decline of civilisation in general". Who even knew Grumpy Cat had its own movie? Anyway, apparently there's also a soundtrack. Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever: Official Soundtrack, was labelled the Least Essential Christmas Album this year (now that must have been a tough decision). 
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Destaca TEPJF difusión y traducción de sentencias a lenguas indígenas

Destaca TEPJF difusión y traducción de sentencias a lenguas indígenas | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
El Tribunal Electoral señala que la jurisprudencia 'Comunidades indígenas' garantiza la impartición de justicia efectiva
CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, México, dic.21, 2014.- La traducción y difusión de sentencias que involucran a habitantes de pueblos originarios, facilita conocer su alcance en asuntos que los involucran, y por tanto sus derechos, afirmó el Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación (TEPJF).
Al emitir la Jurisprudencia 'Comunidades indígenas. Para garantizar el conocimiento de las sentencias resulta procedente su traducción y difusión', estableció que con esta estrategia se garantiza la impartición de justicia efectiva.
Además, se contribuye a la promoción del uso, desarrollo y reconocimiento legal de las lenguas indígenas, como parte de los fines del Estado mexicano en su carácter pluricultural, informó en un comunicado.
El texto del criterio jurisprudencial deja clara la necesidad de elaborar un resumen de las sentencias que involucren a integrantes de comunidades indígenas y traducirlo en las lenguas que correspondan a la región a la que pertenecen.
Lo anterior, para que tanto la versión en español como el resumen en lengua materna, se difundan a través de los medios más idóneos y conocidos por la comunidad para transmitir información o mensajes de interés, primordialmente de manera fonética, lo cual garantiza mayor transmisión del contenido de las resoluciones.
La jurisprudencia que se aprobó por unanimidad el 29 de octubre de 2014 se fundamenta en lo previsto en los artículos Segundo, apartado A, de la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos.
También, en el artículo 12 del Convenio 169 de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo sobre Pueblos Indígenas y Tribales en Países Independientes, y 13, numeral 2, de la Declaración de las Naciones Unidas sobre Derechos de los Pueblos Indígenas.
Otros artículos que lo sustentan son 4 y 7 de la Ley General de Derechos Lingüísticos de los Pueblos Indígenas, así como 271, párrafos 2 y 3 del Código Federal de Procedimientos Civiles, que reconocen los derechos de las poblaciones indígenas para conocer y promover sus derechos, así como su cultura en su propia lengua.
Además, y como parte del compromiso del Tribunal Electoral para tutelar de manera efectiva los derechos político-electorales de los integrantes de las poblaciones y comunidades originarias, entre el 1 de noviembre de 2013 y el 31 de octubre de este año, el organismo aprobó 14 tesis y nueve jurisprudencias en materia indígena.
Con ello, el Tribunal refrendó su interés por salvaguardar los derechos fundamentales de la ciudadanía y de los grupos que históricamente han vivido en condiciones de vulnerabilidad.
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Secret languages of twins

Secret languages of twins | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
The most famous example of cryptophasia is identical twins Ginny and Grace Kennedy from California. A documentary and many articles, including two 1970s features in Time magazine, captured the private lingo of the twins who called each other Poto and Cabengo:

“Pinit, putahtraletungay” (Finish, potato salad hungry)

“Nis, Poto?” (This, Poto?)

“Liba Cabingoat, it” (Dear Cabengo, eat)

“la moa, Poto?” (Here more, Poto?)

“Ya” (Yeah)

“What you find is that the words are approximations of adult language,” says Peter Bakker, professor of linguistics at Aarhus University in Denmark, author of what remains the deepest and widest study of cryptophasia, “Autonomous Languages,” published in Italian twins research journal Acta geneticae medicae et gemellologiae in 1987.
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Reading ‘Frankenstein’ in Baghdad

Reading ‘Frankenstein’ in Baghdad | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
On March 5, 2007, during the darkest days of the Iraqi civil war, a car bomb ripped through al-Mutanabbi Street near the old Jewish quarter in Baghdad. It killed at least 30 people and wounded more than 100.

Car bombs were frequent at the time, but hitting al-Mutanabbi Street—a winding road lined with shabby bookstalls selling pirated DVDS, medical journals, copies of the Koran, dusty issues of National Geographic and stacks and stacks of books—was a crippling blow.

The street, named after the 10th century Iraqi poet Abu at-Tayyib Ahmad ibn al-Husayn al-Mutanabbi al-Kindi, considered one of the greatest poets in the Arabic language, was a place that flourished even during the repressive Saddam Hussein years.

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Despite censorship and the prying eyes of the secret police, it remained the soul of Baghdad’s writers’ community. It is as important a monument to Arab writing as the Café Riche in Old Cairo, made famous by Naguib Mahfouz in his Cairo Trilogy.

Friday, the start of the Muslim weekend, was when people would gather at al-Mutanabbi to trade stories and buy or swap books. Most would finish their morning at the Shabandar Café at the end of the street to drink tea and smoke shisha—water pipes. It was always a smoky, noisy, fecund gathering of poets, students, dissidents, informants and radicals—a place where even with Saddam’s dreaded secret police lurking, information, as well as books, traded hands. This is where the dissidents plotting against Saddam’s regime met and distributed pamphlets about their uprising.

The 2007 bomb was not the first in the area, but it was a particularly bitter blow to morale in the city. However, it did not succeed in killing the Iraqi intellectual spirit or pride. “Literature and art is the lifeblood that keeps this city going,” said Mohammed Sadek, the rector of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq University in Baghdad and a poet, writer and scholar. Last year he began a drive to have Baghdad recognized as a UNESCO “City of Literature.”

Over coffee on a rainy Friday morning, Sadek, who returned to Iraq in 2007 after a period of exile in India, said the program joins together communities of writers to inspire shared projects, journals and books. Other UNESCO cities include Granada, Spain; Krakow, Poland; Dublin; Prague; Melbourne, Australia; and Iowa City, Iowa.

“OK—so why not Baghdad?” Sadek asked. He was encouraged in the endeavor during a sabbatical earlier this year at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, the oldest and most prestigious writers' program in America. In the middle of cornfields, Iowa has offered a respite for writers such as Tennessee Williams, Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving and Flannery O’Connor. Sadek wants to create a similar community for Iraqi writers.

Iraq has endured much death and misery since the U.S.-led invasion, but al-Mutanabbi Street was one constant. Iraqis are proud that ancient Babylon was the home of the earliest standard writing system, and that poetry is an important part of their literary fabric. But now ideology threatens literary life here. The rise of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has spread fear among Iraqi intellectuals. As they conquered Mosul in June, ISIS militants destroyed statues of poets and anything else they deemed idols. Violence has surged, and sectarian divisions are deeper than ever.

Sadek’s concern is that writers here are cut off from the international writing community and ISIS will alienate them more. “Fifty percent of the population here is under 20 years old,” he said. “We cannot isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. Baghdad produced the first literary document on this planet. I don’t want us to be lost.”

He insists that despite great adversity, Iraqis keep writing. Last year Frankenstein in Baghdad, a novel by Ahmed Saadawi, won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in Abu Dhabi, the equivalent of the Booker Prize in the Arab world. It was a proud moment for Iraq. Frankenstein in Baghdad is a modern, wartime version of Mary Shelley’s 1818 horror-fantasy, with the plot focusing on a character who stitches together body parts of those killed in explosions throughout Baghdad. The monster he creates comes to life and begins a hideous campaign of revenge against those responsible for the deaths. One review said Frankenstein in Baghdad reflected “the general feeling of helplessness toward violence witnessed in Iraq.”

There have been attempts to connect Iraqi artists to the world, including some success stories. Tamara Chalabi, daughter of former Iraqi deputy prime minister Ahmed Chalabi, triumphantly brought a group of Iraqi artists to the Venice Biennale in 2012. So why not make Baghdad a “City of Literature”?

According to Christopher Merrill, the director of the International Writing Program, the idea for Baghdad to join the UNESCO initiative took shape in 2012 when he was visiting Iraq. “Baghdad was slated to be the 2013 Arab Cultural Capital, and it occurred to me that would be a fitting way to round off the year of celebrations,” Merrill said.

He suggested that Sadek submit Baghdad’s dossier to UNESCO and began trying to convince American diplomats and Iraqi officials of its benefits. “The [Iraqi] deputy minister got very excited—he said, 'My mind is churning with ideas'—because he saw it as a way not only to bridge sectarian divisions and rebuild the city's literary infrastructure but also to connect Iraqis with the world at large,” Merrill says.

Sadek and his team tried to submit an application in the spring, but were not able to gather the required endorsements from other cities in time. They can apply again next year, but the setback left Sadek and others feeling even more cut off from the writing community. “We wanted to do something to save Baghdad’s cultural system,” he said. “We have a lot left—a new generation of writers. We need not to be isolated, lost in translation.

“We are now facing partition along ethnic lines—what is left of our society?”

Merrill said UNESCO needs to branch out. Other cities on its list are “First World cities, with a preponderance of English-speaking cities.… The network needs more cities from Africa, the Middle East and South America. Baghdad is where writing started, and for most of its history, Baghdad has been at the center of Arabic literature," he added.

“This is our chance,” said Sadek, who noted that he and his team will begin the laborious application process again.

“If we lose our sense of identity and unity, Iraq will be lost.”

Then he gathers his books together and heads over to al-Mutanabbi Street.
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Django Paris: Language, literacy and urban education

Django Paris: Language, literacy and urban education | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Django Paris is an associate professor of language and literacy in the Department of Teacher Education. He is the author of “Language across Difference: Ethnicity, Communication, and Youth Identities in Changing Urban Schools,” and co-editor of “Humanizing Research: Decolonizing Qualitative Inquiry with Youth and Communities.” He is an adviser to graduate student Raven Jones Stanbrough, recently featured in the Grad Factor. 

I have been studying language, literacy and urban education for more than 10 years now, beginning with my graduate work at Stanford in 2003 then my three years as a professor at Arizona State University and now here at MSU for the past four years. But I see my focus as much more long-term, growing from my own public school experiences as a student of color (Black/White biracial) with a White American mother and a Black Jamaican father, as well as my years as a classroom teacher.

Oral and written language are central to our identities as people and members of communities. Unfortunately, the languages and literacies of some students, particularly students of color, are not highly valued in the school curriculum or in many classrooms. Therefore important facets of these students identities, their sense of worth, is not valued and made a part of school learning. Studying the intersection of race, ethnicity, literacy and urban schools is an opportunity to show the cultural wealth of communities of color and argue for its rightful place in United States education.

I hope my research helps us foster cultural, literate and linguistic pluralism as part of the democratic project of schooling. In too many ways our urban schools ignore the rich pluralities of our young people and instead ask only for monolingual and monocultural outcomes.

The opportunity to work with Raven and other brilliant doctoral students was one of the things that brought me to MSU. One important thing to mention is that we need to diversify the racial and ethnic makeup of our K-12 teaching force and our professorate in U.S. colleges and universities to be representative of the communities we serve.

More than half of public school students nationally are students of color, compared to only 20 percent in 1970. We can't hope to teach, research or live in an equitable society if we all are not represented across that society.

Connected to this, Raven joins experiences as an urban educator, as a native Detroiter and as a Black woman to her scholarship and her practice. While Raven and every other doctoral student of color I work with at MSU (and there are many!) are of course highly qualified across a range of areas to research and teach at the graduate level, it is crucial we continue to see racial and ethnic diversity, community membership and life experiences as crucial qualifications to do this work with teachers, students and schools.

I hope our work in the department can help students strengthen their own efforts to make education for students of color more just. For Raven, I know our work has influenced her wonderful continuing collaborative research on empowerment among African American high school debaters. I know that work has also helped influence the knowledge we build in my project.

I learn as much from my students as they from me, but it is an amazing feeling to be a small part of the work students do as they move into being professors and educational leaders committed to social justice.

I study and teach and live what I care about most deeply—educational and cultural justice for communities of color. I hope my work as a teacher and researcher can be part of the long struggle for social and educational justice in the U.S, a struggle that has taken on renewed importance in the face of continued inequality for students of color in urban schools.
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Huíla: Tradução da Bíblia em Nyaneka facilita evangelização

Huíla: Tradução da Bíblia em Nyaneka facilita evangelização | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Lubango - O presidente da Igreja Evangélica Sinodal de Angola (IESA), reverendo Diniz Eurico considerou, no Lubango (Huíla), que a tradução da Bíblia na língua nacional Nyaneka, iniciada em Novembro último, está a facilitar o processo de evangelização das comunidades autóctones da província da Huíla.

Falando à imprensa, na quarta-feira, nesta cidade, para balancear as actividades da igreja no ano prestes a findar, o pastor fez saber que estaa foi uma iniciativa que há muito se aguardava e que os seus resultados já são visíveis, porque alguns livros já estão traduzidos.

Referiu que o objectivo da tradução de livro na língua nacional é aproximar ainda mais as populações que se expressam somente neste idioma, permitindo que estes interpretem com exatidão a palavra de Deus.

“Este projecto de tradução da bíblia conta igualmente com apoio de algumas igrejas instaladas na cidade do Lubango, com vista a fortificar a mensagem de evangelização junto das comunidades e terá a sua publicação no primeiro trimestre de 2015”, realçou.
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Geoscientists aim to magnify specialized Web searching

Geoscientists aim to magnify specialized Web searching | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
When oceanographer Peter Wiebe sat down recently to write a paper on findings from his January cruise to the Red Sea, he wanted to examine all data sets on plankton in the region. He knew other researchers have been sampling the organisms for years, but there was a problem: He didn’t know where to find those data sets.

“These data centers are kind of black holes,” says Wiebe, who works at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. “The data go in, but it’s very hard to figure out what’s in there and to get it out.”

That could soon change. Wiebe is working with a group of computer scientists to lay the groundwork for a smarter academic search engine that would help geoscientists find the exact data sets and publications they want in the blink of an eye, instead of spending hours scrolling through pages of irrelevant results on Google Scholar. The group officially kicked off their project, called GeoLink, yesterday at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting in San Francisco, California. The research effort is part of EarthCube, an initiative funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to upgrade cyberinfrastructure for the geosciences.

Over the next 2 years, Wiebe and colleagues will build computer programs that can extract information from AGU conference abstracts, NSF awards, and geoscience data repositories and then digitally connect these resources in ways that make them more accessible to scientists. A pilot project that concluded this year, known as OceanLink, has already developed some of the underlying design. If the new project garners sufficient community interest, the researchers could eventually turn it into a comprehensive one-stop search hub for the geosciences, says computer scientist Tom Narock of Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, another principal investigator on the project.

Projects like GeoLink are part of a growing effort by the scientific community to make literature reviews more efficient by leveraging the increasing ability of computers to process texts—a much needed service as millions of new papers come out every year. A similar initiative from the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) in Seattle, Washington, is developing an intelligent academic search engine for computer science. Called Semantic Scholar, it is expected to be fully released by the end of 2015. Eventually, the institute plans to expand Semantic Scholar’s coverage to include other subjects, says AI2 Chief Executive Officer Oren Etzioni.

Existing academic search engines boast extensive coverage of scientific literature. (Google Scholar alone indexes about 160 million documents by some calculations.) Their reliance on keyword searches, however, often means users get more junk than treasure. That frustrates scientists such as Wiebe, who wants to find papers related to specific research questions such as “growth of plankton in the Red Sea.” Search engines also don’t typically include raw data sets.

In contrast, GeoLink and Semantic Scholar attempt to build fine-grained, niche search engines catered to specific subject areas, by tapping into deeper semantic processing that helps computers establish scientifically meaningful connections between publications. When a scientist types in “plankton in the Red Sea,” for example, the search engine would not only understand it as a string of characters that show up on papers, but also know the researchers who investigated the topic, the cruises they took, the instruments they used, and the data sets and papers they published. Google has applied similar techniques to improve its main search engine, but projects like GeoLink benefit from input from scientists with extensive knowledge in the subject area, who identify meaningful links that computer scientists then translate into code.

The potential of these projects goes beyond helping scientists find the right papers quickly, says computer scientist C. Lee Giles of Pennsylvania State University, University Park. By extracting information on methods and results from a paper and pooling the data together, search engines like Semantic Scholar could automate the process of literature review and comparison.

For example, Etzioni says, it would take a talented computer science graduate student weeks of extensive reading to gain an overview of techniques used in the last 5 years to perform dependent parsing (a task in natural language processing), the data sets produced, and the accuracy rates. And they’d probably miss a few things. In contrast, Semantic Scholar could potentially compile the techniques and results into a neat table within seconds. “We are imagining techniques that go way beyond just paper recommendation, to the point where we are really generating novel insights.”

Such instant overview would especially benefit junior scientists and interdisciplinary scientists who are entering a new field of study, says computer scientist Christina Lioma of the University of Copenhagen. It would also enable scientists to identify emerging trends in a field and adjust their directions accordingly, Giles says.

Realizing the technology’s potential, however, partially depends on having publicly accessible, text-minable literature for computers to read. Although governments are increasingly pushing for such open access, allowing machines to mine the full texts of papers held behind journal paywalls remains a contentious issue. For now, the GeoLink project will mine only publicly available abstracts of studies. (Semantic Scholar receives its papers from CiteSeerx, a digital library co-founded by Giles that covers 4 million open-access computer science papers.)

Computer scientists still have a lot of work to do to improve the accuracy of text processing, Giles says. For example, machines still trip up over tasks like identifying that “P. Wiebe” and “Peter Wiebe” refer to the same person.

Nonetheless, Giles believes that the semantic Web approach “is the Web of the future.”

Posted in Scientific Community, Technology Scientific Publishing
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The French language's fixation with 'les Anglais' - The Local

The French language's fixation with 'les Anglais' - The Local | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
What does a French woman mean when she says "Les Anglais ont débarqué!"?
The French language's fixation with 'les Anglais'
Published: 18 Dec 2014 09:25 GMT+01:00

The French are known to for their stubborn attempts to keep English out of their language, but it appears they haven't done a very good job of it. The Gallic language is full of expressions containing the word “anglais” and most aren't complimentary.

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Top ten: When French translations go wrong (28 Oct 14)
Top 15 French words reinvented in English (29 Sep 14)
"Les Anglais ont débarqué!" (“The English have disembarked!”). This phrase may mean nothing in particular to an English person but it's wearily familiar to any Frenchwoman.

Confused? In this gallery, we’ve listed ten French expressions containing the word “anglais”, along with explanations – where possible – of how they came to be coined.

As you peruse the list, you may notice some common themes popping up - from sex to various types of misfortune. You’ll also detect some French prejudices about the English coming into play.

Can you think of any more examples? Let us know in the comments section below. 

The French language's obsession with 'les Anglais'
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FAIT-RELIGIEUX | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Tout ce que vous avez toujours voulu savoir sur le christianisme ! Trois volumes, 2.700 pages, plus de 1.800 illustrations en noir et en couleur ; des centaines d'entrées par personnages, événements, notions clés. Des corrélats et un répertoire-index très fouillé permettent aussi bien la lecture par thème que le suivi d'un nom ou d'une idée à travers ses développements dans le temps et l'espace.
L'auteur de cette « histoire totale » du christianisme, Jean-Pie Lapierre, est aussi discret que savant. Beaucoup d'auteurs le connaissent pourtant, puisqu'il fut pendant un gros tiers de siècle, l'un des piliers des éditions du Seuil. L'occasion ne pouvait être manquée de demander à l'éditeur devenu auteur de présenter l'oeuvre d'une vie, qui peut être aussi un exceptionnel cadeau de Noël.

Pourquoi ce titre, un peu énigmatique, de Musée chrétien ?

Jean-Pie Lapierre (photo D.R.).C'est un petit clin d'oeil au Musée imaginaire d'André Malraux. Le clin d'oeil n'est toutefois que technique. Le musée de Malraux est un musée d'oeuvres d'art. Là, je suis parti d'un constat : celui d'un christianisme devenu minoritaire dans nos sociétés, dont la culture disparaît peu à peu, mais qui a laissé une profusion de traces. J'ai eu envie de mettre dans un musée tout ce qui reste sensible et audible du christianisme, et qui peut permettre de le lire. Bien sûr, les arts sont très présents. Tous les arts, et pas seulement les arts plastiques traditionnels. Les arts de la lumière, par exemple, avec les vitraux ou la mosaïque. Les arts récents, aussi : la photographie, le cinéma, la bande dessinée.

Et pourquoi un dictionnaire ?

Parce que c'était plus commode, en particulier grâce au système des corrélats. Le dictionnaire donne davantage de liberté au lecteur qu'une encyclopédie où le savoir est déjà organisé. Ce dictionnaire n'est pas un livre d'art, pas un beau livre au sens d'objet, même si l'objet est beau, me semble-t-il. Il veut être une somme utile.

Comment s'est fait le choix des occurrences ?

Tout seul ! Je suis parti des entrées traditionnelles  : personnages et récits de l'Ancien Testament, du Nouveau Testament et de l'histoire de l'Église (en particulier la vie des saints). En parallèle, chaque fois qu'un nom commun a pris de l'importance, je l'ai extrait et traité en tant que tel (par exemple : âne, échelle, hymne, litanie, œil, psaume, vigne...). Il en est allé de même de certains objets (chapelet, croix, vase sacré). Et puis le choix des sujets a aussi été déterminé par l'iconographie.

Pourquoi préciser en sous-titre « Dictionnaire illustré des images chrétiennes occidentales et orientales » ?

En raison des problèmes spécifiques de l'orthodoxie vis-à-vis de l'image. Le deuxième commandement (« Tu ne te feras pas d'idole ! ») a été rayé par le catholicisme. D'où, dans le catholicisme, une profusion d'images ou de statues qui ont pu entraîner des formes de dévotion quasi-idolâtriques. La Réforme protestante a réagi contre cette évolution, et les croix
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L'Orient a connu de son côté les crises iconoclastes, et l'icône a acquis dans l'orthodoxie un statut sacré, mais particulier. Les chrétiens orientaux ne prient pas les images, ce sont les images qui leur parlent. Les icônes ne sont pas peintes, mais écrites, avec des archétypes non faits « de main d'homme ».

Votre iconographie emprunte beaucoup au cinéma, à la bande dessinée, à la photographie. Rien de très chrétien a priori dans ces formes d'expression ?

Alors que l'art sacré proprement dit a vu le nombre d'œuvres se réduire au XXe siècle, les arts nouveaux ont en revanche continué à beaucoup emprunter à la tradition chrétienne. Voir par exemple les innombrables allusions au christianisme, à travers l'image, dans les films de John Ford ou de Cecil B. De Mille.
"Le Fils du désert" ("Three Godfathers", 1948), un film de John Ford.Et, à titre de traces, le christianisme a continué à inspirer l'art profane. Je me permets de renvoyer sur ce point à l'entrée « assimilation », avec l'image christique de Che Guevara mort, ou les représentations de Sékou Touré en saint Georges ou de Slobodan Milosevic en saint orthodoxe.

Vanité, de Jan Sanders Van Hemessen (XVIe siècle).Qu'est-ce qui a été le plus compliqué dans votre travail ?

L'effort pour avoir un œil neuf ; pour ne pas en rester à un simple catalogue, avec titre et date des œuvres. Quand on regarde des centaines d'images, des éléments apparaissent qui suscitent l'intérêt pour ce qui se passait dans la tête d'un artiste. C'est cela qui est stimulant. J'ai été très éclairé par la lecture des textes inclus dans les images elles-mêmes, et qui sont souvent ignorés. Prenez le cas de sainte Cécile, la patronne des musiciens. Elle est en général figurée, dans les représentations anciennes, avec des instruments de musique brisés. Le sens de cette bizarrerie a été perdu. Eh bien c'est tout simplement que seul le son de la voix humaine est d'origine divine, alors que les instruments sont des créations humaines. Il a fallu du temps avant que les instruments ne participent eux-aussi à la louange de Dieu. Sainte Cécile est la patronne des chorales, pas des orphéons !

Un peu avant Noël, un tribunal est venu rappeler le caractère chrétien d'une crèche et en a donc interdit l'exposition dans un lieu public au nom de la laïcité. Après tout ce travail de recherche, de compilation, de réflexion, qu'est-ce qui vous permet de dire d'un objet qu'il est religieux ?

Rien ! Toute œuvre est matérielle. Lui attribuer un caractère religieux relève de la subjectivité culturelle. Les tribunaux connaissent le trouble à l'ordre public, à partir de critères plus ou moins objectifs. En revanche, je ne vois pas ce qui pourrait leur permettre de décider d'un objet qu'il est religieux en soi.

Le Musée chrétien. Dictionnaire illustré des images chrétiennes occidentales et orientales
Jean-Pie Lapierre.
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Making computing in Tamil easy

Making computing in Tamil easy | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
One of the challenges in introducing computer science concepts at a middle school level is that programming languages are in English.

Muthiah Annamalai, a Boston-based software engineer originally from Chennai, has developed Ezhil, a Tamil- based interpreted procedural programming language.

According to him, Ezhil facilitates coding in Tamil not just by replacing the English keywords with Tamil ones but also with a grammar, and logical sequence similar to the spoken language. “The primary motivation is that like mathematics, computing is a concept, and can be introduced through any native language. My motivation is toward creating a language to introduce children to computing. Once they know to think in these logical modes [enumeration, recursion, procedural] then writing any program is an aggregation of ideas in some order,” Muthiah said during the course of a series of Skype and e-mail interviews from Boston.

In couple of weeks, Muthiah is close to publishing a book along with co-author Tamil writer N.Chokkan, titled “Writing Code in Tamil: Ezhil Programming Language” that will be an accompanying book to the website

Several of example codes will also be published and students can try them out with only an Internet connection. This, he hopes, would encourage teachers and students to take to the project. He also hopes that Ezhil could be used in the Tamil Nadu government’s Samacheer Kalvi scheme, for students in classes VI to X.

Though Ezhil is now closer to a shape that could be taken to the classrooms, Muthiah has been working on the project since 2007. It has been an open source effort and a few volunteers have helped Muthiah with the project.

Those familiar to developments in Tamil computing say there have been several efforts in the past that have tried to achieve similar goal as Ezhil. But most efforts did not go public, and stopped at a ‘proof of concept’ level.

M. Ponavaikko, Vice-Chancellor of Bharath University, said at least two projects that were in the works several years back — Kanimozhi C and Java (Tamil). “It is surely an important requirement and several other countries like China and Japan have been coding in their own languages for several years now,” he added.

Muthiah says: “Ezhil programming system is designed like a procedural language (like BASIC/LOGO), and dynamic typed (declaration free) like Ruby/Python; that is, one can write the program on an interpreter, which is important for students to learn by immediate feedback edit-run-edit-run cycle instead of the edit-compile-re-edit-compile-execute cycle.”

Ezhil is expected to make computing easy as its language semantics follow as closely as possible what is in fashion in spoken Tamil language. Students are expected to be able to move over to other mainstream languages like Java, Python, with their knowledge of Ezhil.
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Skype lança tradutor de voz 'Star Trek' que transforma Inglês para o Espanhol. - Blog - Bonde. O seu portal

Skype lança tradutor de voz 'Star Trek' que transforma Inglês para o Espanhol. - Blog - Bonde. O seu portal | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Microsoft lançou o seu primeiro preview do Skype Translator, que permite conversas de voz em tempo real sendo faladas em Inglês e espanhol, que são traduzidas automaticamente, e em breve será estendido para mais idiomas.

O serviço foi demonstrado pela primeira vez em maio , imitando o tradutor da serie Star Trek ou o Babel Fish de O Guia do Mochileiro das Galáxias, traduzindo uma conversa entre Alemão e Inglês.

Ja está disponível para um download gratuito para o Windows 8.1, começando com Inglês e espanhol.

O Skype Tradutor vai abrir infinitas possibilidades, mas o programa depende de um aprendizado , uma espécie de inteligência artificial, o que significa que quanto mais a tecnologia é utilizada, mais o programa fica esperto.

Os usuários podem se inscrever para experimentar o serviço, mas apenas aqueles que estiverem usando a versão mais recente do Windows.

Skype Translator é parte da pesquisa de inteligência artificial da Microsoft. Ele pode entender a fala e em seguida, rapidamente traduzi-la para outro idioma .

A Microsoft espera que o sistema quebre as barreiras da língua, vamos aguardar para testar a precisão da sua tradução.

Skype Tradutor grava as conversas, a fim de analisar os roteiros e treinar o sistema para melhor aprender cada língua. Os participantes são todos claramente notificados quando a chamada começa, que a conversa será gravada e utilizada para melhorar a qualidade dos serviços de tradução e de reconhecimento de voz da Microsoft.

As chamadas são divididas em pequenos trechos, anônimos e armazenadas nos servidores da Microsoft para alimentar os modelos estatísticos que ajudam a melhorar a correspondência de palavra.

A ficção científica há muito promete a tradução perfeita entre línguas, a remoção de barreiras entre nações e espécies. Skype Translator é a primeira ferramenta de tecnologia que começa a chegar perto de um tradutor universal.

Seja o primeiro a compartilhar esta novidade com seus amigos no Facebook.

Quer saber mais sobre internet e tecnologia, curta nossa pagina do Facebook a direita.

Vera Moraes
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'I Can't Breathe' and Other Quotes of the Year

'I Can't Breathe' and Other Quotes of the Year | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Fred Shapiro had already finalized his list of the 2014’s top 10 notable quotes and sent it to the Associated Press for publication when he woke up to news that a grand jury would not indict a policeman in Eric Garner’s case.

“I can’t breathe,” Eric Garner had said in a July video that captured footage of him in an apparent choke hold by the police.

“I saw that this quotation was all over the news, and I immediately realized that this might be a very important [one],” says Shapiro, a Yale Law School librarian and author of the Yale Book of Quotations. “I already had ‘Hands up! Don’t shoot!’ but I felt that ‘I can’t breathe’ was going to keep the issue alive.”

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Every year since he published the Yale Book of Quotations in 2006, Shapiro has put together an annual list of notable quotes as part of the process of updating his book and trying to capture the spirit of the times.

“A lot of the quotes are really ridiculous quotes or deplorable quotes, racist or sexist or quotes that are really offensive because that’s where our culture is at nowadays,” says Shapiro, who explains that unlike his book, a comprehensive volume full of literary and historical quotes, the annual notable quotes list tends toward politics and celebrities. “The list is focused more on the here and now.”

Earlier this month, the AP published Shapiro’s list for 2014, which he revised to include “I can’t breathe” in the top spot, knocking Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s comments about women (“It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along.”) out of the top 10.

Sandwiched between the two quotes from Eric Garner’s and Michael Brown’s cases, Shapiro placed one about the George Washington Bridge scandal published in January of this year: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," Bridget Anne Kelly, an aide to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, wrote in an email at the time.

Shapiro keeps his eyes on the news, does research and solicits suggestions for quotes to include in his annual list. His choices are inherently subjective, he admits, but he does have a selection system that involves three main criteria: Is it famous? Is it important or influential? Does it reflect the big news stories of the year and the spirit of the times?

This year’s list included what Shapiro feels is the most important domestic issue of the year: racial controversy. The quotes from the Brown and Garner cases are representative of the issue, as is as former L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s now infamous comment to V. Stiviano, "It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people."

But Shapiro says the two largest international stories, ISIS and Ebola, didn’t make the list despite their importance because they happened not to generate the same kind of sticky sound bites.

In previous years the top quotes have included:

2006: "I'm the Decider." —George W. Bush

2008: "I can see Russia from my house.” —Tina Fey impersonating Sarah Palin

2011: “We are the 99 percent.” —Occupy Wall Street slogan

2012: "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what…who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims.… These are people who pay no income tax…and so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." —Mitt Romney

The law librarian’s list comes in the midst of announcements by dictionaries of words of the year, part of the year-end slew of lists and awards. Last month the Oxford English Dictionary announced vape as its word of the year, with bae, budtender, contactless, indyref, normcore, and slacktivism as runners-up. Just a couple days later, declared exposure as its word of the year.

Earlier this week, Merriam Webster released its word of the year: culture, along with a top 10 list that also included nostalgia, insidious, legacy, feminism, "je ne sais quoi,” innovation, surreptitious, autonomy and morbidity.

Shapiro's yearly effort to compile and distill the American zeitgeist into a list of meaningful words is born of a lifelong interest. As an undergraduate, he majored in literature at a school widely known for its engineering programs, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and edited a quotations column in the school newspaper. Later, he graduated from Harvard Law School, but instead of going on to practice law, he chose to become a law librarian, a role he’s filled at Yale for nearly three decades. A second edition of his Yale Book of Quotations is in the works.

“I have a dilettantish mind. I’m interested in a lot of areas of culture and art and history and politics and science,” he says. “Quotations appeal to that part of me. [They’re] sound bites or snippets that offer a window into culture”—which, if you ask Merriam Webster, is the word of the year.

Here’s Shapiro’s full 2014 list, first published by the AP:

1. "I can't breathe!" — Eric Garner, videotaped exclamation while being held by a policeman in New York, July 17.

2. "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." — Bridget Anne Kelly, an aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in an email to David Wildstein quoted in The New York Times, Jan. 9.

3. "Hands up! Don't shoot!" — Chant of demonstrators protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, August.

4. "Mr. Commissioner, we found out by one phone call. You guys have a whole legal department. Can you explain that?" — TMZ reporter Adam Glyn questioning NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on why the NFL had not been able to view video of the Ray Rice incident, at a news conference on Sept. 19.

5. "It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people." — Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, in a remark to V. Stiviano on an audio recording quoted in Los Angeles Times, April 27.

6. "We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt." — Hillary Clinton, ABC News interview, June 9.

7. "I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm, so when I come to Washington, I'll know how to cut pork." — Iowa Senatorial candidate Jodi Ernst, campaign advertisement quoted in National Journal, March 25.

8. "I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi (Germany's) war on its 'one percent,' namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the 'rich.' ... I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent." — Venture capitalist Tom Perkins, letter to the editor, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 24.

9. "We have always conducted our relationship privately, and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and coparent, we will be able to continue in the same manner." — Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, statement on Paltrow's website announcing their separation, March 25.

10. (tie) "Isn't it a bitch? I mean, ... this vice president thing?" — Joe Biden, response to student body vice president at Harvard College, Oct. 2.

10. (tie) "Great nations need organizing principles, and 'Don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle." — Hillary Clinton, Atlantic Online interview, Aug. 10.

10. (tie) "Every time I get an opponent — I mean, every time I get a chance — I'm home." — Kansas Senator Pat Roberts responding to questioning about whether he actually resides in Kansas, KCMO radio interview, July 3.

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