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IBM has announced an investment of USD 60 million over three years to develop the next generation of technical talent in Africa. As part of the initiative, IBM is expanding the Africa Technical Academy and the company's Africa University Programme to over 20 African countries.
IBM said IT professionals across the continent are set to benefit with advanced skills in analytics, cloud and big data technologies which are crucial to the next phase of Africa's economic and social development.
In Kenya - home to IBM's Africa Research lab and a state-of-the-art Innovation Center - IBM is partnering with the Kenya Education Network (KENET) to deliver advanced hands-on certification courses to faculty and students of 50 Kenyan universities over KENET's broadband network. The certification courses will develop and enhance job market readiness among university students by providing the technical expertise that both employers and entrepreneurs require in order to succeed in a fast paced growth market like Kenya. The courses are available at no cost and are facilitated by both IBM online trainers and certified faculty in the participating universities.
IBM Technical Academy runs in parallel with IBM Africa University Programme, in which 80 Universities across the continent currently participate to enhance their curriculum. These universities provide their final year students with a range of business analytics, cyber security, data management, cloud and mobile technology training via the technical role based model applied in the IBM Technical Academy. Academic staff and students are supported by IBM's team of experts, cloud-based resources and an IBM training and information portal.
Course are currently delivered in English. This will soon expand to French and later include other African languages.
Ten years after Tamazight—the language of the Amazigh, the country’s Berber population— began being taught in schools here, and four after it was constitutionally recognized as an official language, it remains unclear how it will be incorporated into education.
The recognition of Tamazight has been very meaningful, a redefinition of Moroccan identity, says Paul Silverstein, an anthropologist at Reed College who has studied the issue.
Tamazight is the standardized version of the Amazigh languages. An estimated 25 to 30 million speakers of Tamazight and other Berber dialects are spread throughout the North African countries, from the Atlantic Ocean to Egypt. (See related story “In Algeria, the Berber Language Can’t Get an Educational Foothold.”)
In Morocco, a host of questions surround the place of the Berber language in schools: “What language is being taught? For whom? For what purpose? Is it purely a gesture?” asks Silverstein.
Amazigh languages (there are three main regional variants) are spoken by an estimated 35 to 40 percent of Morocco’s population. But North African political discourse, whether nationalist or Islamist, has long been hostile to the Amazigh language, perceived as a threat to national cohesion. For decades, giving children Amazigh names was forbidden in Morocco. Not recognizing the language spoken in the country’s poor rural interior was an effective means of discrimination that shut the Berbers out from participating politically, socially and economically in Moroccan society.
In 1994, King Hassan II came out in favor of teaching Tamazight in schools, partly due to a larger political opening and partly in response to the pressure of Amazigh-rights activists. In 2003, his son, now King Mohamed VI, put the initiative into practice. In the new constitution he helped create in 2011, Tamazight was recognized as one of Morocco’s official languages. Tamazight writing now adorns the facades of most public buildings.
But “there isn’t a real language policy yet,” says Abdeslem Khalafi, a researcher at the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture (Institut Royale de la Culture Amazigh du Maroc, IRCAM). “There’s hesitation. Mentalities aren’t ready to integrate Tamazight and give it a chance. There’s a change in discourse, but not yet in practice.”
The king created the institute in 2003, and its researchers came up with a standardized written alphabet for a language that has many dialects and has been transmitted orally for millennia. Khalafi worked on the development of the new alphabet and new textbooks to teach the language. Creating a new alphabet was controversial in and of itself. Tamazight has historically more often been written in Arabic or the Roman alphabet. Tamazight is now only taught to about 12 percent of Moroccan students. Because of this, thousands of children whose first language is Tamazight flunk out of school, he says.
Khalafi and his colleagues at the Royal Institute believe that students should begin their education in their native languages—the Moroccan dialect of Arabic or whatever Amazigh dialect they speak—and then learn the standardized version. They are calling for six hours a week of Tamazight throughout primary and secondary education.
A Berber girl in Morocco (credit: Justin Clemens, Flickr)
Those opposed to the addition of Tamazight to the curriculum argue that it muddles an already complicated linguistic landscape, and that students are better served by learning languages that can benefit them in the global economy.
“It’s not the language of instruction that is an obstacle for students,” replies Khalafi, “but the [poor] training of teachers. Integrating Tamazight is a gain even for the other languages,” he argues, because studies have shown that “a child who is welcomed to school in his native language learns other languages more easily.”
Five thousand Tamazight teachers who trained at the Royal Institute are in the field today. Fatima Ibrahimi, who teaches Tamazight in a school in the capital city of Rabat, is one of them. Ibrahimi was trained as an Arabic teacher, but as a native speaker of Tamazight, she volunteered to be re-trained to teach that language.
Arabic, French and other foreign languages may be openings on the region and the rest of the world and carry professional advantages, says the teacher. But to teach those languages alone is a “materialist way of thinking,” she says. She believes Moroccans should learn Tamazight because it is part of their heritage. Pointing to an Arabic-speaking friend who sat with her during an interview, Ibrahimi said: “We’re both Moroccan. Why is his language taught in school and not mine?”
For many speakers of Tamazight, teaching their language is a question of social justice. His mother and grandmother only spoke Tamazight, says Khalafi. “It was their only opening on the world. Their whole life they couldn’t watch TV, listen to the radio, or make themselves understood if they went to a hospital.” Today there are some media in the Amazigh language. But courts, hospitals and other parts of the public administration still operate exclusively in Arabic.
When Khalafi was a university student, he had to argue with his advisor to be allowed to do research on Amazigh folk tales. University departments of Amazigh language and culture exist at the universities of Fez, Oujda, Rabat and Agadir, each with several thousand graduates.
Abdellah Bounfour is a researcher at the Centre de Recherche Berbere (Berber Research Center), which is part of the historic Institut National des Langues et Civilizations Orientales (National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations) in Paris. The center is the oldest and one of the very few to focus on Berber culture, linguistics and language; it cooperates with IRCAM and the programs at Moroccan universities.
Bounfour suggests it would have been better to focus on introducing Tamazight at the university level first. The introduction of Tamazight has largely failed, he wrote in an e-mail, due to general problems with Morocco’s underperforming education, the poor training of teachers, and the creation of standardized Tamazight that doesn’t correspond to any spoken language. “Teaching a language is a political, not a pedagogical decision,” says Bounfour.
One of Bounfour’s colleagues, Salem Chaker, has written that “the Berber language presents an inarguable scientific interest. It constitutes a veritable ‘laboratory situation’: a ‘stateless’ language, marginalized for the last two thousand years, in close and permanent contact with other languages, extremely rich in dialect but also homogenous over an enormous geographic area, presenting many original features.”
The decision to include Tamazight in the curriculum is important symbolically, says Silverstein, as “a recognition that being Berber is not something you should hide.” But “there’s a gap between the symbolic value of Tamazight and the pragmatic way in which Tamazight will be actually, functionally important for people,” he says. Even Amazigh activists and intellectuals do not generally work and write in the language. According to the Royal Institute, only 250 books have been written in Tamazight.
Silverstein doubts that the new education policy will stem the ongoing decline in Tamazight speakers. The language competes with English, French and Arabic, and when young people think about what they will need in the future, Tamazight often takes second place, he says.
Berber identity is more recognized than ever before in the country’s history, but this recognition is unlikely to stem the language’s decline.
Gathering sufficient evidence, such as independent examples of the use of a word from a variety of sources over a reasonable period, is among the key factors in the selection process.
Since 1978 the Oxford University Press dictionary project has been compiling a list of new words for inclusion in its English dictionary.
Some of the interesting words include izinyoka (Zulu name for electricity thieves and snakes), and gees ("spirit" in Afrikaans).
Dictionaries have evolved over the years, with lexicographers now using virtual databases to track the usage of words.
The manager for content development of Southern Africa's Oxford University Press, Phillip Louw, said the top 100 most frequently used words in the Oxford database accounted for more than half of the written English language.
"With the software we can determine how often a word is used in everyday writing," said Louw.
The software enables lexicographers to decide which words to put into different dictionaries.
Dictionary experts have found evidence of the use of words and phrases such as a "Marikana moment", which describes a "strong and angry public reaction" to a catastrophe.
But as new words make it into the dictionaries others have become endangered, such as "gallimaufry" and "aerodrome".
"A word that might surprise people with its longevity is imbongi (praise poet), the earliest English use of which was in 1836," Louw said.
Louw will be take part in a discussion at the SA Book Fair, at the Turbine Hall, Newtown, Johannesburg, this weekend.
If our ancestors had been afraid of language change, we would still be talking in Arabic, according to a Maltese linguistics academic.
“Take the word baqqun [pick axe], a Sicilian word. If our forefathers had not been open to keeping the language alive, they would have stuck to the Arabic word,” said Albert Borg, professor of Maltese linguistics and member of the National Council for the Maltese Language.
The council has just issued a new list of official Maltese translations for countries, nationalities and currencies, part of the style guide issued to Maltese translators in European institutions. This was unfavourably met by translators. “There is a certain dishonesty by translators because they asked for a revision of some terms,” Prof. Borg said.
“We are giving more choice not to fossilise the language. Many are afraid Maltese will die out... the members of the council are doing their utmost to counter such tendencies and allay irrational fears. Maltese is a live language and the council has no right to kill it.”
He said that about 300 people had attend a consultation seminar before the style guide was issued. “Do you know what that means? Usually only 30 people attend if you’re lucky,” he said of the interest the issue generated.
If you have something to tell me, say it to my face and not hide behind the minister
The consultative body was made up of people from all walks of life but also included academics, journalists and representatives of the government. “We consulted everyone but somewhere you have to draw a line,” he said.
Prof. Borg criticised an article in the Times of Malta entitled ‘Maltese language: what future?’ penned by historian Henry Frendo, which he said was “very similar” to the arguments raised in the consultation document on Maltese language issued by the Education Ministry.
“It merely instils the fear many people experience in the face of language change,” he said.
The document, which he described as a two-and-a-half-page ministerial document riddled with orthographical errors, calls for a re-evaluation of the existence, role and composition of the National Council for the Maltese Language.
The author of the document is unknown.
“On a personal level, it bothers me that the ministerial document is anonymous. If you have something to tell me, say it to my face and not hide behind the minister,” Prof. Borg said.
The council was set up in 2005 with orthography as its responsibility. It is made up of 11 members, five of whom are qualified linguists. “This guarantees that decisions are made after the issues involved are carefully evaluated,” Prof. Borg said. He fears the ministerial document wants to sow doubt on the credibility of the council.
He emphasised that, contrary to the impression given in Prof. Frendo’s article, the council had not yet published its recommendations about the spelling of English loanwords because it felt the need to have a wide consultation process and a diligent assessment of the issues at stake.
“We are not advocating the ‘phonetic’ writing of words like sordfixx (for swordfish) and xawer (for shower). We are still revising the 1984 rules, which had sanctioned the writing of English loanwords,” he said.
Karl Scicluna, from the Għaqda Qarrejja tal-Provi tal-Malti, said the association was in full agreement with the council. “The style guide would have gone through a very thorough sieve. Things cannot be debated on forever,” Mr Scicluna said.
With reference to Prof. Frendo’s article he said. “Prof. Frendo is the director of the Institute of Maltese Studies and that is not about Maltese language.”
The consultation period on the ministerial document, available on the Education Ministry website, closes on August 6.
Council’s reason for change
• Netherlandiż not Olandiż.
“Dutch do not like their country to be referred to as Holland. Holland for them is a region. Up till now we were using Pajjiżi l-Baxxi. But how many people think that when they think of Holland? We opted for the second closest, which is Netherlands,” Prof. Borg said.
• Ċina but Chad.
“Ċina has been in used in the Maltese language for a long time. The reference to Chad is relatively new. But would you write that as Ċed or Ċad? If you had to write it that way, no one would understand it when reading.”
• San Mariniż
“In our guidelines to translators we are saying that if someone is from San Marino we can say either ‘minn San Marino’ or ‘San Mariniż’ just like we say ‘dak mill-Ingilterra’ or ‘dak Ingliż’.
The Yomiuri Shimbun
All certified guide interpreters will need to undergo additional training under an envisaged plan that calls for renewal of their professional licenses every five years, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.
As part of wider efforts to increase satisfaction among foreign travelers and encourage repeat visits, the government plans to strengthen the job skills of interpreters by requiring them to renew their licenses and attend a training workshop. The government will submit bills to revise related laws at the ordinary Diet session next year, aiming to implement the system in 2017.
Under current regulations, national guide interpreters do not need to update their status once they have attained certification.
But according to interviews conducted by the Japan Tourism Agency, foreign tourists have been giving their guide interpreters mixed reviews.
In one case, a traveler complained that the interpreter had an “overbearing attitude.” In another instance, a foreign visitor expressed disappointment that the guide was “inflexible” when it came to providing the information that was requested.
As a result, the government plans to institute a mandatory two-hour training workshop on customer service as one of the conditions that must be fulfilled for license renewal.
The JTA panel that operates the guide interpreter system aims to include the plan in its forthcoming final report.
The government has set a target of 20 million inbound tourists per year by 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Summer Olympics and Paralympics.Speech
Paris, vendredi 31 juillet 2015, au nom de « l ‘indivisibilité de la République, d’égalité devant la loi, d’unicité du peuple français et d’usage officiel de la langue française », le Conseil d’Etat a fait savoir qu’ il s’opposait à l’insertion de la charte européenne des langues régionales et minoritaires dans la Constitution.
Le Gouvernement a décidé de rendre public l’avis rendu par le Conseil d’État sur le projet de loi constitutionnelle autorisant la ratification de la Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires. Retrouvez ci-dessous l’analyse juridique que le Conseil d’État a faite du projet qui lui était soumis.
CONSEIL D ’ ÉTAT
Section de l’intérieur
Séance du jeudi 30 juillet 2015
EXTRAIT DU REGISTRES DES DÉLIBÉRATIONS
AVIS SUR LE PROJET DE LOI CONSTITUTIONNELLE autorisant la ratification de la Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires
1. Le Conseil d’État a été saisi le 24 juin 2015 d’un projet de loi constitutionnelle autorisant la ratification de la Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires. Le projet comporte un article unique insérant dans la Constitution un article 53-3 autorisant la ratification de la Charte européenne des langues régionales et minoritaires adoptée à Strasbourg le 5 novembre 1992 et signée par la France le 7 mai 1999.
2. Le Conseil d’État n’a pu donner un avis favorable à ce texte pour les raisons suivantes.
3. Le Conseil constitutionnel a jugé dans sa décision n° 99-412 DC du 15 juin 1999 que la partie II de la Charte européenne des langues régionales et minoritaires, rapprochée de son préambule, « confère des droits spécifiques à des « groupes » de locuteurs de langues régionales ou minoritaires, à l’intérieur de « territoires » dans lesquels ces langues sont pratiquées et que ses dispositions « tendent à reconnaître un droit à pratiquer une langue autre que le français » dans la « vie privée » comme dans la « vie publique », à laquelle la Charte rattache la justice et les « autorités administratives et services publics ». Il en a déduit qu’en adhérant à la Charte, la France méconnaîtrait les principes constitutionnels d’indivisibilité de la République, d’égalité devant la loi, d’unicité du peuple français et d’usage officiel de la langue française.
4. Saisi d’une modification de la Constitution permettant la ratification de la Charte, qui figurait dans le projet de loi constitutionnelle portant renouveau de la vie démocratique, le Conseil d’État s’est fondé dans son avis du 7 mars 2013 sur le fait que, loin de déroger ponctuellement, comme le constituant a pu le faire dans le passé, à telle règle ou tel principe faisant obstacle à l’application d’un engagement de la France, la faculté de ratifier la Charte donnée par la nouvelle disposition constitutionnelle aurait introduit dans la Constitution une incohérence entre, d’une part, les articles 1er, 2 et 3 qui affirment les principes constitutionnels mentionnés dans la décision du Conseil constitutionnel du 15 juin 1999 et sont un fondement du pacte social dans notre pays et, d’autre part, la disposition nouvelle qui aurait permis la ratification de la Charte.
5 Le Conseil d’État a vérifié si le projet de loi constitutionnelle autorisant la ratification de la Charte européenne des langues régionales et minoritaires dont le Gouvernement l’a saisi permettait de lever ces objections en précisant, dans l’article 53-3 que le projet propose d’insérer dans la Constitution, que l’autorisation de ratification s’applique à la Charte européenne des langues régionales et minoritaires « complétée par la déclaration interprétative du 7 mai 1999 ».
6. En signant la Charte, le 7 mai 1999, la France a annoncé « envisager de formuler dans son instrument de ratification », une déclaration affirmant notamment qu’elle interprétait ce texte comme ne conférant pas de droits collectifs aux locuteurs des langues régionales et minoritaires et n’allant pas à l’encontre du principe d’usage officiel du français énoncé par l’article 2 de la Constitution. Cette déclaration contredit l’objet de la Charte qui vise, dans des stipulations qui, en vertu de l’article 21 de ce traité, ne peuvent faire l’objet de réserves, à donner des droits aux groupes de locuteurs de langues régionales ou minoritaires et à permettre à ces locuteurs d’utiliser leur langue dans la sphère publique. Sa mention dans la Constitution aurait une double conséquence. En premier lieu, la référence à deux textes, la Charte et la déclaration, difficilement compatibles entre eux, y introduirait une contradiction interne génératrice d’insécurité juridique. En second lieu, elle produirait une contradiction entre l’ordre juridique interne et l’ordre juridique international, exposant tant à des incertitudes dans les procédures contentieuses nationales qu’à des critiques émanant des organes du Conseil de l’Europe chargés du contrôle de l’application de la Charte en application de sa partie IV.
7. Tout en rappelant qu’il n’existe pas de principes de niveau supra-constitutionnel au regard desquels pourrait être appréciée une révision de la Constitution, le Conseil d’État ne peut que constater que le projet qui lui est soumis ne permet pas d’atteindre l’objectif que le Gouvernement s’est fixé.
Cet avis a été délibéré par l’assemblée générale du Conseil d’État dans sa séance du jeudi 30 juillet 2015.
La ministre de l'éducation, Nouria Benghabrit a vivement dénoncé, dimanche, au lycée Hassiba, à Kouba, Alger, lors d'une rencontre régionale (wilaya de nord et haut-plateaux) d’évaluation des examens officiels, les attaques dont elle a fait l'objet de la part de parlementaires, des politiques et de syndicalistes.
"Nul n'a le droit de mettre en doute le patriotisme des autres ou de le menacer" a-t-elle déclaré sur un ton vif. Sur le fond, la ministre a voulu fermer définitivement le débat qu’elle juge "vide", des "paroles pour de la parole", au sujet de l'enseignement en dialectal durant les premières années du primaire.
"Ce sont des rumeurs propagées par des parties qui haïssent le secteur. La langue arabe est protégée par la Constitution et les lois de république" a-t-elle déclaré en appelant à recentrer le débat sur la manière de "maîtriser la langue arabe enseignée".
"L'enseignement en langue arabe est incontestable. La Constitution est et la loi d'orientation sont claires à ce sujet et donc il ne faut pas tromper la société" a-t-elle déclaré.
La conférence nationale sur l'évaluation de la mise en œuvre de la réforme de l'école qui a été le point de départ de la polémique, s'est contentée de préconiser "la maîtrise des compétences des langues dont celles de la langue arabe enseignée et la promotion de l'enseignement préscolaire en vue de permettre à l'enfant d'acquérir un bon bagage linguistique".
Ces recommandations, a-t-elle indiqué, sont issus des "résultats d'examens en langue arabe et le problème qui se pose est comment améliorer la maîtrise de la langue arabe enseignée citant le cas d'une wilaya dont les "résultats des examens en langue arabe sont faibles bien que l'environnement soit arabophone".
"Il ne faut pas tromper la société concernant cette problématique et nous devons ouvrir un débat sur l'optimisation de l'enseignement des langues de base dont la langue arabe enseignée", a indiqué Mme Benghabrit.
La ministre a assuré qu'il n'y a "aucun problème" pour l'enseignement de la langue amazighe dans 20 wilayas du pays prévu pour la prochaine rentrée scolaire 2015/2016.
Aprender Inglés -o algo que se le parezca- siempre será más fácil si se emplea el sentido del humor. Ésa podría ser 'una verdad como un templo', o 'A truth as a temple', que es el nombre de una especie de manual o cuaderno de actividades con el que sus autores pretenden que el lector se aplique haciendo un repaso de su propia vida... si es posible, en Inglés. Y siempre con mucha gracia.
Nunca una autobiografía exigió tantas verdades absolutas sobre uno mismo, y menos aún te obligó a escribirla en otro idioma. Dos de las mentes responsables del fenómeno 'Superbritánico', nacido en las redes sociales en 2013, hacen que este handicap se haga más ameno y llevadero, a ritmo de la verdadera 'guasa' con denominación de origen.
De paso nos muestran algunos de los entresijos de la idiosincrasia propia de aquel país donde los autobuses tienen dos plantas y conducir por la izquierda es la norma. Todo con la fórmula que les ha hecho brillar en las redes y que trasladan al papel: las traducciones literales de frases archiconocidas por el español medio.
Daniel Vivas, sevillano de cuna y Nicholas Isard, natural de Liverpool, son los padres de la criatura llamada 'As thruth as a temple', y dos de las patas que conforman el tridente multilingüista 'Superbritánico' desde sus inicios. Marielle Lambrun, la tercera en cuestión, se halla preparando 'Superfrancesa'.
Con su segundo título desde que se produjo el salto de Superbritánico al mercado editorial después del exitoso The Lemony Pear, ofrecen un cuaderno didáctico en el que mediante una serie de actividades acompañadas por sus particulares gags, el lector irá perfilando su propia biografía, en la que, como señala el título, primarán las 'verdades como templos'.
No obstante, y aunque la marca puede tener cuerda para rato y seguir cosechando éxitos en un futuro próximo, ambos autores continúan simultaneando este proyecto con 'Molmola', la agencia de traducción que desarrollan y en la que, paradójicamente, realizan traducciones al español para empresas.
Y como es común en gran parte de los éxitos de la era 2.0, la comunidad de fans que han reunido se distribuye indistintamente por toda la geografía española gracias a las redes sociales. "Podemos tener una presentación del libro en Valencia y que venga más gente que a una en Sevilla", afirma Daniel Vivas. Así mismo, Nicholas destaca la disparidad de público que poseen, aunque de entre los consumidores destaquen arquetipos como el profesor de inglés que usa su humor para condimentar las clases.
Éxito a nivel nacional
Lo que empezó con un 'What a heat my weapon!" (¡qué calor, miarma!), cuando uno de ellos salió a la calle y comprobó por sí mismo los cuarentaitantos grados del verano en la capital hispalense, se ha ido expandiendo en dos años de actividad. Ahora no solo traducen las frases más castizas y arraigadas de nuestro inventario, también frases hechas, letras de canciones bandera o citas de actualidad, ya que como bromea Vivas, "las sevillanadas se acaban".
Entre las posibles líneas de evolución de Superbritánico se encuentra una vertiente especial para el público infantil, con distintos niveles a modo de imitación de los first o advanced de una academia de idiomas convencional.
Así mismo se atreven a ampliar sus fronteras, creando una versión alemana o portuguesa bajo su sello particular en un futuro, aunque se muestran cautos. "Cuando dijimos por primera vez que haríamos un Superfrancesa fuimos corriendo a registrarlo para no llevarnos un disgusto".
A truth as a temple se presenta oficialmente en Málaga en el mes de septiembre, aunque ya se encuentra disponible en las tiendas.
Télécharger la brochure de la Délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France : l'intercompréhension (uniquement disponible en français).
PHILIPPINE schools line up activities to celebrate August as “Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa.”
This year, the theme that the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) set for the celebration is Filipino: Wika ng Pambansang Kaunlaran.
It was only in 1997, through Proclamation No. 1041, that the Linggo ng Wika was expanded to Buwan ng Wikang Pambansa. It is observed in August as a tribute to former President Manuel L. Quezon, who was born on August 19, 1878. That is also why August 19 is a holiday in Quezon City even if it is not the city’s founding day.
This is the time of the year for nationalistic and patriotic Filipinos to show their love and concern for the country, not just in words but also in deed. It is the time for fitting activities to showcase Philippine language and culture.
However, we have a serious problem with our national language. I believe that the confusion between Filipino and Pilipino is widespread. I am not talking about regional languages and dialects here yet, but just the difference between the use of F and P.
I used to think that Filipino refers to the people; Pilipino refers to the language. But when I checked the Official Gazette, Filipino refers to the national language, as shown in the name of the agency mandated to develop the Philippine national language.
The Commission on the Filipino Language came from the Institute of Philippine Languages (IPL) that was set up in 1987. The IPL came from the Institute of National Language established in 1937 through Commonwealth Act No. 184.
Upon further reading, I found out that Pilipino refers to Tagalog, the dominant of 185 or so local languages spoken mostly in several Luzon provinces, particularly in Central and Southern Luzon. Filipino encompasses other regional languages such as Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Ilokano, Kapampangan, and Bikolano.
Other readings said that Filipino is the standard register of the Tagalog language and the national language of the Philippines, sharing official status with the English language.
Officially, the KWF defines Filipino as “the native language, spoken and written, in Metro Manila, the National Capital Region, and in other urban centers of the archipelago.”
If people get confused in the name of the KWF, which is sometimes referred as Komisyon ng Wikang Pilipino (note the use of the preposition “ng” and letter “P”), the agency ought to make its presence felt not only in schools during the observance of the Buwan ng Pambansang Wika but also among the older generations who were already out of school when the annual celebration was mandated.
On the part of Malacañang and Congress, KWF must be given adequate budget to be able to propagate the Philippine language. While English is the global language, Filipino should be given as much importance by Filipinos.
It is enviable how Americans promote the English language, and how the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans ignore other languages than their own in their official dealings. Even if they understand and speak English, they choose to use their language and have an interpreter translate what they say to English.
I have yet to see a Philippine official or business leader speak in Filipino and have a translator to communicate with a foreigner. I don’t think this is just a cost-saving measure. Hiring a translator would mean additional expense for travel, accommodation, and other perks.
I believe that it is all about not having enough love for our national language.
I remember a time during my early years in field reporting when Malacañang came out with an executive order requiring all official communications to be in Filipino. Many offices had a difficult time complying with the order because they could not express in Filipino what they wanted to say.
For us journalists, it was equally difficult to translate in English several words in official communications because those were either archaic or not conversational.
Filipinos may have the advantage over other nationalities on our knowledge of the English language, regardless of the grammatical mistakes, but shouldn’t Filipino leaders speak our language in order to be widely understood by Filipinos?
What I don’t like is the use of gutter language or street lingo in public speeches. We should care being understood by Filipinos, and not by foreign dignitaries and others who understand Tagalog less than their regional or ethnic language. They can have the translation later, if not at the same time that a speech is delivered.
We are Filipinos. We should be proud of our own language!
Last week, I was invited to an event “Celebrating English Language Programs and Resources” at the US Embassy in Manila. It showcased the English language programs the embassy has in the Philippines at the same time that Dawn Rogier, the Regional English Language Officer, bid farewell after two years of helping promote the teaching of American English in various Philippine schools and communities.
It dawned on me that while we take pains learning the English language, we don’t give as much attention to our own Filipino language.
In my short stint as a journalism instructor and trainer, I devote more time teaching English grammar than news writing styles. But when I try asking a student who is poor in English to write in Filipino, the result is equally depressing.
What is worse is when the student uses “jejemon” words. Oh my!
Part-way through completing a translation of Gregor Hens’ Nicotine, our resident translation columnist Jen Calleja finds herself asking questions about authenticity and exactitude and whether or not translation is creation. (Illustration by Richard Phœnix)
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I have just sent off the final draft of the book I’ve been translating for the last three months. It feels like a good time and a healthy idea to reflect upon and celebrate something so intense, all-consuming and satisfying as my second ever book-length translation. If I were a smoker, this is where I’d light up a cigarette.
In Nicotine, German author Gregor Hens has written both a highly-personal memoir where he considers his actions and relationships connected to his smoking habit and a long-form essay on the socio-cultural significance of smoking, tobacco, cigarettes, addiction and quitting. Encouraged by his mother to smoke his first cigarette at the age of five or six, Hens considers this a mind-opening moment – when he truly came into existence. Some of his most formative and traumatic experiences are linked directly and indirectly to smoking, and in quitting he both loses a part of his self and gains the distance to clearly consider his lifelong habit. Hens unpicks the concepts of willpower and compulsive behaviour, challenges smoking myths and medical certainties, while searching for the private story of his addiction, all in calm, subtle and unembellished prose. It is mind-bending, suffocating and darkly funny, and I’d actually read and loved it three years before Fitzcarraldo Editions asked me to translate it.
As well as being a novelist, Hens is also a translator himself. He’s translated, among others, Leonard Cohen, Marlon Brando and Jonathan Lethem into German. Most recently he’s become Will Self’s translator and will soon start work on translating Shark.
Self is writing the introduction to the book and is the first person other than myself to have read a first full draft of my translation. If my fifteen-year-old self knew this I think they’d be horrified. The sardonic, Snapey slenderman from Shooting Stars reading a piece of my unfinished written work is almost too much to bear.
I also got the fear a bit when I looked up Hens before starting the translation. He was a linguistics professor for twenty years in America. I bet he could do a pretty good translation of his own book if he tried. When Hens interviewed Will Self at a British Council event earlier in the year in Berlin, the latter told an anecdote about their exchanges while Hens was translating him: “My books have been translated into many languages and each time I’ve tried to help the translators, but Gregor’s queries were nothing to do with any of the obscure cultural references and linguistic turns…but were almost always corrections of my text”.
We met for coffee while he was over in London for a few days. I had almost finished the first draft. He’d only slept a few hours. He’d been on a night walk around a large part of London with Self and a couple of other writers, but he seemed far sprightlier than I do after a full night’s sleep. He spoke gently and slowly, he came across as serene and relaxed, which I think put me at ease for the rest of the translation process.
He had some encouraging words about translation, he would, after all, understand what I’d be going through and the pressure I’d be under, though in a more extreme way in his case: “I lost 10lbs translating [Self’s] Umbrella,” he told me, still smiling. He also put my worries to rest about reams of corrections: “I won’t meddle. I’ll let you do your thing”. Near the end of the coffee he repeated “I think it’s quite a straightforward book to translate”, something he’d said in an email before I began, which I kind of took up as a sort of dare to myself, perhaps an unfair yard stick to work against.
The first draft isn’t really a text. It’s something like a number of possible texts merged into one: a bit of a mess to anyone that’s not me. It presumes every noun, adjective and verb could end up being in a different form once the text’s all there and the tone’s been established. I try and translate quite literally, not straying from the text too much from the start, I either go for the most common word or I put two or three words that spring to mind in that moment separated by forward slashes. This text is the placeholder for the book, for every line and word of the book, but it’s not yet a book.
The second draft is where the text is double-checked, line-by-line. Decisions are made, and the multiples are removed. You could read it, but I don’t imagine you’d enjoy it. It’s like a cold-hearted robot has written it: it’s a dead text rather than having a life of its own.
It then goes through redraft after redraft where sentences are rearranged, merged together, split up. “It should be pretty straightforward” would resurrect itself from time to time to haunt and to mock me whenever I untied long sentences into component parts then got stuck knotting, untying and reknotting them.
I spent long days working on it, preferring to keep going if I felt I could. Other days I just couldn’t let it go, and would work for twelve hours on it or more.
I read and re-read sections, like pressing play-rewind-play on a tape player to make out what’s being said and to hear the real voice again. It’s like in Inception when Leonardo Di Caprio goes up and down in the lift to relive the same scenarios in the same spaces that are slightly different each time. When Hens is crying in his tracksuit in a bar smoking his first cigarette in eight years. Hens chain-smoking in a hotel room in New York. Hens’ former chain-smoking fire expert father screaming at Hens’ brother for being caught smoking on the roof of the boarding school. Hens dissecting a cigarette on a piece of white paper in his apartment. Hens tensely gripped in his armchair in a hypnotherapist’s study.
I had around twenty-five questions for Gregor after the first draft (the mess draft), things ranging from whether he went to a ‘boarding school’ or a ‘reformatory’, to if a term was supposed to have right-wing connotations, to if I’d understood correctly that politicians were knitting in parliament in one part of a book. There’s almost always a power hierarchy between the author and the translator, even when there’s an attempt to stand on equal ground in what could be seen as a collaborative enterprise. It felt like I was doing my dissertation again, awaiting feedback, being deflated by tiny mistakes and euphoric from the most casual words of praise.
A strange moment was Googling ‘Gregor Hens Jen Calleja Nicotine’ out of curiosity and seeing the book’s mocked-up cover appear for the first time in a line of small, blurred, pixelated images and seeing a string of links to Amazon, Rough Trade, Waterstones for a book that didn’t yet exist. That I was at that moment bringing into existence. It was like it was watching me.
In between the first and second draft, and between the second and third, and the fourth and the fifth I went away on a couple of short tours, only ten days in all. It was a welcome break from the translation, but replacing a desk chair with a seat in a van and prolonged days of intense concentration and introversion with performing and having to be social wasn’t what I’d call a holiday. I tried to leave the book behind, but of course you can’t. Immediately before going away I worked on it, the moment I got back I worked on it.
I knew I was putting pressure on myself, but working on your own so intensely can do that. A couple of conversations I had with people in the other bands we were playing with while we were away – one with GF in Sheffield and one with MJD in Glasgow – resurrected me from the obsessive cycle of thoughts and reminded me of why translation is so important, why it’s important to me – and why you have to fall into the void of madness simply due to its very nature.
I had got pretty frazzled. I started to doubt whether I could even speak English. But eventually the book changed from a stream of contained lines that I almost feared disturbing to becoming a broken-in narrative spoken by one consistent voice.
It’s read over and over. Am I convinced by this sentence? Is this an English sentence? Do I believe this is a book? Because I am writing a book, with opening lines, tension, humour, but always referring to a book that already exists. Sleeping on it works like a dream; you’re suddenly able to see the text again, things jump out at you. Richard, who draws the portraits for my column, had just read On Immunity by Eula Biss, also published by Fitzcarraldo Editions, so he gave it a read to see if it was feeling right too.
When translating you have to do constant research, look up cultural references, people, specific objects you’ve never come across before, turns of phrase. I’d look up the different cigarette brands and see a multitude of sophisticated, attractive-looking packs come up on Google images. But the one thing that the internet couldn’t really tell me was how to speak like a smoker. I’m translating a book about smoking addiction but I’ve never been a smoker. There’s part of the book where Gregor talks about knowing immediately when an actor isn’t a smoker in real life. “You can’t fool me”. I sent a questionnaire to ten of my good friends who smoke, five got back to me immediately.
What’s the difference between a manufactured cigarette and a roll up?
PF: Craftsmanship in itself is also a substantial difference, as the 'art of rolling' is a substantial part of the experience and what a lot of ex-smokers miss the most within their routine, meaning I have had many ex-smokers requesting to roll cigarettes for me that they will not smoke etc.
What sensation do you feel in your mouth/nose/lungs when you smoke?
JL: You breathe in or suck and then inhale and the taste is at the back of the mouth, it's like a harsh whiskey and a little dirty. Imagine being in a steam room but the air is grey. Then there's a gravelly burn on the back of the throat which you take to mean you should stop breathing and close the throat. You hold it in and feel it whispy and tickling in your chest. light gets a little brighter, the head becomes a little lighter and you become calmer. If it's the first of the day or after a big meal, you become a little giddy. Then you let the smoke out, maybe through your nose and it's the same experience in reverse.
What’s your favourite bit of smoking slang?
In a later part of the book, having talked about how smoking helped his writing process, Hens proclaims: “I no longer smoke and I can only hope that it doesn’t affect the book. Actually, I no longer smoke and I can only hope that you can see it in every line of the book.” Will you be able to tell that I’m not smoker? Will you be able to tell that Gregor no longer smokes via my text?
Can I translate a book about smoking having never been a smoker? Well, firstly, I have, which I suppose voids the question. But I would say I can for the same reasons that a non-smoker can and should read the book. I may not be or have ever been a smoker, but smoking has featured heavily in my life, like a lot of non-smokers; parents, boyfriends, friends.
I consider the book as being about compulsive behaviour, growing up, the fallibility of and your alienation from your parents. But, as Hens told me in the café, it’s intended to be a positive book. It’s supposed to bring hope, to bring about a revelation, to help you lift a cloud and consider your day-to-day actions, and it certainly achieves that. It did for me. Over and over again.
Nicotine is published November 2015 by Fitzcarraldo Editions
Jen Calleja is a writer, literary translator and musician based in London. Her short fiction, poetry, articles and reviews have been published by the TLS, Structo, Asymptote and Modern Poetry in Translation, and she has translated prose and poetry from German for Fitzcarraldo Editions, Bloomsbury, PEN International and the Goethe-Institut. She edits the Anglo-German arts journal Verfreundungseffekt. She plays in the bands Sauna Youth, Feature and Monotony
DEHRADUN: Garhwali, considered the first language amongst natives, is fast vanishing from the hill state.
Blame it on rampant migration, lack of interest in learning the dialect, more Hindi and English-speaking population, the current generation seems to have less knowledge about its own dialect.
As figures of Garhwali-speaking people continue to diminish rapidly, the vulnerable language has been listed as endangered by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Even as the older Garhwali-speaking generation continues to revel in the pride of one's culture, there are hardly any takers among the younger lot. This presents a frightening scenario as the dialect could be on its path to extinction.
Lack of well-written Garhwali literature also seems to have contributed to its fading identity.
"There is dearth of written literature in Garhwali. The younger generation would not know about the language and its culture. Migration has also added to the problem. As scores of people migrate from Garhwal for education and jobs, they end up losing the connection," said Manmohan Rawat, a teacher in a government school.
Discussing the shift in ideology, Rawat said, "There is a perception among people that the educated and well-off don't speak Garhwali. It is considered the language of illiterate and underdeveloped natives."
The fact that Garhwali is not the official language of the state and not mandatory in schools has further added to its diminishing status.
Though occasional seminars are organized to propagate the language, these are a mere reminder of the dialect's existence.
However, on the brighter side, there are some who have made zealous efforts to stay connected to their roots.
Reminiscing the time when reality dawned on her, Sonu Arya, pursuing psychology honours in Delhi, said, "When I moved here a year ago, I was exposed to an environment where I met people from varied cultures. That's when I made efforts to stay connected to my roots and learnt the dialect."
For Mayank Rauthan, migration did the trick.
After moving to Pune and Bangalore from Dehradun, Rauthan said he came across several people who conversed in their native language like Marathi or Kannada. "That's when I realized how crucial language is to one's identity. I decided to improve my fluency in Garhwali," he added.
Going by the present state of affairs, the endangered language needs to be conserved with long-term plans. Unlike other regional languages, which are ingrained in the society and become a part of family traditions from generation to generation, the flow of Garhwali down the family lineage seems to have become static.
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The National Theatre of Wales are using their new translation App at the National Eisteddfod for the first time in a bid to engage non-Welsh speakers in their productions.
The Welsh-language theatre company launched the Sibrwd (Whisper) App earlier this year and have used it in a number of their productions.
But this is the first time they will be using it at the National Eisteddfod.
The App, which can be downloaded on to any smart phone, gives the audience the ability to listen to the performances in any language and to read the subtitles on their phone screen.
2015 National Eisteddfod - Maldwyn ar Gororau Sunday service on the maes on sunday. Aelwyd Penllys taking part in the service
It was researched and developed alongside Welsh digital creative agency Galactig, with the support of a number of other organisations.
MORE: National Eisteddfod 2015: 'Fantastic opening day' in Meifod hailed... despite the rain
The National Theatre of Wales are using the App in an attempt to reflect the dynamic culture of Wales to other nations and cultures throughout the world and have recently used it in Germany.
First time app is being used at National Eisteddfod
Throughout the week, the company will be using it in their productions for the first time in the National Eisteddfod.
DIRECTIONS: How to get to the 2015 National Eisteddfod
They have a number of events planned, including La Primera Cena (The Last Supper) and their main production Nansi - a new play by Angharad Price which tells the story, to the sound of the harp, of Welsh harpist Nansi Richards.
'Response to the App so far has been fantastic'
Nansi, which is being performed outside of the Maes in the Llanfair Caereinion Institute, was designed especially for that hall and uses the space to tell the story.
Tickets for the production have sold out but tickets for La Primera Cena, which will be shown at Y Cwt Drama (The Drama Shed), are still available.
Arwel Gruffydd, Artistic Director at the National Theatre of Wales, said: “The response we have had to the App so far has been fantastic. It allows us to translate our productions into any language and also allows people to turn the volume down and read the text on the screen, live as it is happening.
“Whereas before we worked on a subtitle only basis, people now have a choice as to what method of translation they prefer.
“We are using the App to include non-Welsh speakers in our productions and to help us tour beyond Wales.”
The Sibrwd App is available to download on the App Store and through the Google Play Store.
Results from Sunday:
Unawd Telyn dan 16 oed
1. Aisha Palmer, Caerffili
2. Jasmine Lewis, Abertawe
3. Hannah Megan Griffiths, Treuddyn, Sir y Fflint
Unawd Llinynnau dan 16 oed
1. Rhys Wynn Newton, Caerdydd
Bandiau Pres Pencampwriaeth/Dosbarth 1
1. Band Pres Porth Tywyn
2. Seindorf Llanrug
Unawd Piano dan 16 oed
1. Julian Gonzales, Corwen, Sir Ddinbych
2. Tomos Boyles, Caerdydd
3. Bill Atkins, Rhaeadr, Powys
Unawd Cerdd Dant dan 12 oed
1. Llyr Ifan Eirug, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
2. Ynyr Lewis Rogers, Rhuthun, Sir Ddinbych
3. Lwsi Roberts, Meifod, Powys
Unawd Alaw Werin dan 12 oed
1. Osian Trefor Hughes, Deiniolen, Gwynedd
2. Gwenan Mars Lloyd, Llanynys, Sir Ddinbych
3. Cadi Gwen Williams, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Dawns Greadigol / Cyfoes Unigol
1. Lois Glain Postle , Caergybi, Ynys Môn
2. Eurgain Sara Lloyd, Gwalchmai, Ynys Môn
3. Freya Murray, Sir Ddinbych
Dawns Greadigol / Cyfoes i Grwp
1. Grwp Adran Amlwch Amlwch, Ynys Môn
2. Canolfan y Celfyddydau, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Côr hyd at 35 o leisiau
1. Hogia Llanbobman, Ynys Môn
2. Côr Sbarc, Caernarfon, Gwynedd
3. Côr Dyffryn Dyfi, Machynlleth, Powys
Llefaru Unigol dan 12 oed
1. Eban Siôn Pari, Pwllheli, Gwynedd
2. Llyr Ifan Eirug, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
3. Zara Evans, Tregaron, Ceredigion
Unawd dan 12 oed
1. Lili Beth Mohammad, Caerdydd
2. Lwsi Roberts,Meifod, Powys
3. Zara Evans, Tregaron, Ceredigion
Dawns Disgo, Hip Hop neu Stryd i Grwp
1. Sothach - Angylion Kelly, Caernarfon, Gwynedd
2. Perlau, Amlwch, Ynys Môn
3. Grwp Cerddorion, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
2015 National Eisteddfod in pictures
Une ville devrait-elle pouvoir bannir l’usage de l’anglais dans l’enceinte d’un conseil municipal? C’est la question linguisto-dynamite de l’été lancée par la mairesse de Longueuil, Caroline St-Hilaire. Lasse d’entendre le chef de l’opposition Robert Myles traduire ses déclarations en assemblée, elle demande à Québec de renforcer la loi 101 pour mettre fin à cette situation.
La Ville de Longueuil ne compte que 3 % de gens qui ne comprennent que le français, selon les données de Statistique Canada repris en chœur par tous ceux qui appuient Mme St-Hilaire. À eux de l’apprendre, statut sans nuance Jean-Paul Perreault, président du Mouvement Impératif français.
Les statistiques, on le sait, sont polyvalentes en ce sens qu’elles peuvent appuyer des argumentaires contraires. On cite celles qui font notre affaire et on oublie les autres. Pourtant, certaines tendent à démontrer que M. Myles ne parle pas dans le vide : 6,2 % des Longueuillois ont l’anglais comme langue maternelle. Et 33,8 % de ceux qui habitent dans l’arrondissement de Greenfield Park, où l’élu est conseiller municipal, sont des anglos-québécois.
Il est clair que la langue commune doit être le français dans la conduite des affaires publiques au Québec. C’est vrai à l’Assemblée nationale, ça doit aussi être vrai dans les municipalités québécoises. Mais langue commune ne veut pas dire bannissement de l’anglais dans les salles de conseil.
Comment peut-on clamer, comme le font des nationalistes dans le présent débat, être ouvert à la communauté anglophone tout en interdisant à des élus de leur parler dans leur langue lors d’assemblées publiques? On est donc ouvert à leur différence linguistique en autant qu’on ne les entende pas. C’est bien ça? N’est-ce pas de l’intolérance?
Une tournée dans les municipalités des Cantons-de-l’Est serait bénéfique à bien des militants de la protection de la langue française. Ils verraient comment des communautés composées de francophones et d’anglophones ont réussi, au fil des décennies, à se modeler une cohabitation respectueuse.
Dans les villes de Lac-Brome (population de 47,2 % d’anglophones) et de Sutton (33,5 %), les séances du conseil se déroulent en français. Des maires et des conseillers de langue anglophone s’expriment parfois dans leur langue maternelle. Les citoyens peuvent poser des questions en anglais. Les maires, patiemment, les traduisent.
Certes, ici et là, des critiques sont entendues de la part de citoyens anglophones qui souhaitent que tout soit traduit. Ça suscite parfois de gros yeux et des murmures de la part de francophones. Les quelques frictions suscitées sont rapidement désamorcées par les élus et les fonctionnaires qui traduisent les bouts manquants.
Ce n’est pas tout. Les procès verbaux de ces villes sont dans les deux langues, ainsi que les ordres du jour, les avis publics et les communiqués. Idem pour leur site internet.
Et tout le monde se porte bien, thank you very much!
Si une telle ouverture d’esprit entre francophones et anglophones est possible dans les terres des loyalistes, comment ne peut-elle l’être ailleurs au Québec?
Des problèmes plus criants affligent les conseils municipaux. Par exemple, trop de points abordés lors des assemblées sont incompréhensibles du grand public — autant des francophones que des anglophones. Aussi, rarement entend-t-on les conseillers — qu’ils soient francos ou anglos — se prononcer sur des sujets importants. Et trop de séances extraordinaires des conseils sont appelés sans que les citoyens — peu importe leur langue maternelle — ne puissent y assister.
Sur ces problèmes, les élus municipaux semblent avoir perdu leur… langue.
Suivez-moi sur twitter: @Grand_parleur
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The French city's deputy mayor said he "just can't accept" David Cameron's language towards migrants, which has provoked outrage on social media.
It comes after the Prime Minister earlier this week said Britain is threatened by a “swarm” of foreigners and likened the migrant crisis to a “warzone".
When asked if Cameron's use of the word "swarm" was extremist and racist, Philippe Mignonet replied "yes, or a proof of ignorance of the situation".
Calais goes UP IN FLAMES: Migrants fight to get into UK as ferry...
UN bureaucrat accuses Britain of being XENOPHOBIC and EXAGGERATING...
Twitter users were furious after he made the remark in a television interview about the worsening situation on the French side of the Channel Tunnel.
One said: “Cameron continues to embarrass over his use of language describing migrants as a 'swarm' We need a statesman not a shallow prat.”
Yesterday, a UN official accused Britain of being "xenophobic" and exaggerating the extent of the crisis.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS
Philippe Mignonet was speaking to Channel 5 News
Peter Sutherland, 69, said he was "amazed by demands for economic migrants to be kept out of the UK.
He also claimed that the situation has been "exaggerated beyond belief" and has been "calculated to inflame tensions".
The Prime Minister yesterday pledged fresh measures to boost security in the French port - including extra sniffer dogs and fencing - but critics claimed they were a "sticking plaster".
Options to relieve chronic traffic back-ups on the M20 motorway are being considered but specific locations to hold trucks unable to pass through the Tunnel are yet to be confirmed.
Laws including new powers to tackle illegal working will be fast-tracked, while Britain and France plan to put on flights to return migrants to their home countries.
Some estimates predict that there are as many as 5,000 migrants in Calais.
When we talk about international football, we generally mean national teams organized by the official football associations of sovereign states. They’re affiliated with FIFA and their continent’s confederation, and through those associations they’re eligible to compete in various sanctioned international tournaments, including the FIFA World Cup. Pretty uncontroversial, right? Except that’s not the whole story.
On Friday night, a small but enthusiastic crowd at the Stadium Lille-Métropole in Lille, France, were treated to an international friendly between two nations that do not, strictly speaking, exist.
The home side (so to speak): the Tutmonda Esperanto Futbala Asocio, or Esperanto National Team. For the uninitiated: Esperanto is a constructed language conceived in the late 19th century by the Polish linguist L. L. Zamenhof. It was developed to be a universal second language, one that was easy to learn and politically neutral, with the hope that Esperanto would advance the cause of world peace by transcending nationalism and cultural barriers. There are about 2 million speakers worldwide, 1000-2000 of which are native speakers. Esperanto speakers are a fascinating cohort— the sense of identity they’ve cultivated around the language is so strong that they’ve essentially evolved into a stateless people.
Their opponents: Western Sahara, as represented by the Sahrawi National Team. Western Sahara, also known as Sahara Occidental and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic- is a disputed territory in the Maghreb in Northern Africa. After Spain relinquished sovereignty over the area in 1975, Morocco and Mauritania tried to establish control of the region but were met with a fierce independence movement. Today, Western Sahara is essentially an unrecognized state, with its legal and political standing in the international community remaining ambiguous for almost five decades.
The match was scheduled in conjunction with the 100th World Congress Of Esperanto, which is being held in Lille through this weekend. While this isn’t the first football match to kickoff during the annual Esperanto convention- last year’s meeting in Buenos Aires saw a team of Esperanto speakers face off against an Armenian XI- this is the first game held under the auspices of the newly-formed TEFA (the Esperanto FA, essentially). One of the criticisms about Esperanto and the mission of the community is that the language doesn’t belong to a living culture. One way to address that problem is to build that culture— and few things in this world bring people together like football.
The game itself provided plenty of excitement for the first 45 minutes, as Western Sahara capitalized on some crucial defensive errors to jump out to a 4-0 lead. Sadly, the Esperanto XI never got the opportunity to redeem themselves in the second half.
KANPUR: The inspector general of police helpline 'Ek number bharose ka' (a number to trust on) launch an interpretation service on WhatsApp no:704020202 for deaf and dumb people to help them to report crime and lodge police complaints.
People in distress often dial control room no: 100 or contact nearby, picket, outpost or station to seek immediate police assistance. Police personnel then reach the spot and launch an investigation. But, if the person cannot hear or speak, then in such a situation, how does he/she inform or seek police help?
Through the WhatsApp no: 704020202, the deaf and dumb complainants can send a video or text message and get help.
IG Ashutosh Pandey said that the idea came after the parents of a deaf and dumb girl hailing from Bharthna block in Etawah district complained that their daughter had been raped by a village goon.
The rape survivor was illiterate. It was difficult for a person like her to communicate her ordeal at the local police station which also does not have interpretation service. So it was decided to launch the interpretation service on WhatsApp to help deaf and dumb people.
"If a deaf and dumb person wants to lodge a complaint, he/she should send the video on WhatsApp mobile no: 7704020202 using sign language or text a message they can express themselves against an offence committed against them. The staff at the interpretation centre will rush a police team to assist the person in trouble. Our staff at the interpretation centre of the Helpline 'Ek number bharose ka' cell, after examining the sign language or video, re-convert it into a formal complaint and apprised the staff of the police station concerned for proper investigation and immediate registration of FIR and action into the case," an officer manning the cell said.
A trial run was started a few days ago. A deaf and dumb girl and her brother from Rajasthan's Bundi district approached 'Ek number bharose ka' interpretation centre complained against a local goon and sought police help.
In a typical case, a dispute between a normal man from the city and his dumb wife was solved with the help of counsellor, when the couple approached the cell.
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Amid surging numbers of foreign vets working in Britain, government officials have warned that "animals and members of the public may be put at risk" because they don't understand labels on drugs they are prescribing to animals.
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) would test the language skills of EU migrants seeking work with animals under the new plans – using exams similar to those for foreign doctors and nurses.
RCVS chief executive Nick Stace revealed that his organisation is obliged to register European vets – even if they can't speak English.
Some 15 applicants have tried to bring interpreters while registering and on one occasion a Bulgarian couldn't answer the question "What is your name?".
He told The Telegraph: “The problem is that if we identify there is a problem with language, there is nothing we can do other than register them.
"If you are going to consult with a vet who can’t speak English, that’s a serious problem.”
Under the plans, RCVS would be legally entitled to examine applicants if it had “serious and concrete” doubts about their language ability.
MALOLOS, Philippines – Three Czech books will be translated and published in Filipino, and three books by Filipino writers will be translated into the Czech language.
This is contained in a memorandum of agreement between the Czech embassy and the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino signed by Ambassador Jaroslav Olsa Jr. and chairman Virgilio Almario.
Under the agreement, the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino is set to publish a selection of the best poems by Nobel Prize winning Czech poet Jaroslav Seifert, the second ever translation of a Czech writer published in the Philippines, following the Tagalog edition of the drama “Memorandum” (Ang Memorandum) by late Czech president Václav Havel published in Manila in 1990.
In turn, a selection of short fiction and poems by Filipino writers will be published under the title Literatura ng Pilipinas by Czech literary monthly Plav to be published in mid-August.
A special issue of Plav will present the two Philippine classics, as well as brand new talents, to Czech readers.
These will be followed by another anthology presenting modern and contemporary Filipino fiction writers sometime next year.
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The agreement is recognized as a significant development, the first of its kind in the course of bilateral relations between the Philippines and the Czech Republic.
It is seen to strengthen the two countries’ ties in the field of culture and the arts.
VENTURA, Calif. - While plans are underway to meet the growing need of language translation in courtrooms in Ventura County and across the state, officials say finding funding and qualified interpreters remain challenges as they push to meet compliance deadlines in the next five years.
A UK based multinational company that creates a unique blend of circus and theatre is to make its Edinburgh Fringe debut at The Underbelly Circus Hub.
The Hogwallops by Lost in Translation Circus is slapstick fun for all the family from a multi skilled circus and physical theatre troupe. Thrillingly spectacular circus skills blend seamlessly with physical comedy, clowning, juggling, theatrical storytelling and slapstick in this colourful, loud and funny dramatisation of the domestic adventures of a chaotic, dysfunctional family of misfits.
Inspired by Roahl Dahl's The Misfits and Ettora Scola's film Bruti, Sporchi e Cattivi (Ugly, Dirty and Bad), this is a treat for the eyes and ears. The Hogwallops are a vulgar, grotesque family who constantly bicker, scheme and play practical jokes on each other. Their crazy home is more like an adventure playground where the ordinary inevitably becomes extraordinary! Everyday activities take on extreme forms, simple tasks like hanging out the washing become a clothes fight of swinging, flying bodies and fabric. Dinner time becomes a teasing game of animalistic juggling and a cooking lesson takes on dangerous proportions as household furniture stacks to the roof in a precariously balanced fashion.
Fast rising UK based contemporary circus company Lost in Translation display heart stopping virtuosic skilful aerial and floor acrobatics and a specially composed live score contributes to the mix creating a dysfunctional, quirky and comic family show in the true sense. With thrills, gasps, laughs and drama there's plenty for both adults and children to enjoy.
Lost in Translation are UK based company but with a multi-cultural membership and strong links to Belgium, Italy and Australia featuring performers originating from Italy, France, Ireland and Australia. Founded by Circus Space graduates in 2006 as an acrobatic duo, the company has toured widely throughout the UK and Europe ever since. Transformed into a full-blown ensemble in 2011 the company moved to Norfolk in 2013 to become company in residence with Seachange Arts where they run the circus education program.
Now they are especially keen to share their vision of a world of fun, acrobatics and laughter with everyone!
While Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama do their best to paper over the brutality of the Iranian regime and force through a nuclear agreement, Iran’s religious leader has another issue on his mind: The destruction of Israel.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has published a new book called “Palestine,” a 416-page screed against the Jewish state. A blurb on the back cover credits Khamenei as “The flagbearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem.”
A friend sent me a copy from Iran, the only place the book is currently available, though an Arabic translation is promised soon.
Obama administration officials likely hope that no American even hears about it.
‘Reclaiming Muslim lands’
An Iranian man holds up a banner above Israeli flags before setting them on fire during a demonstration in Tehran July, 2014. Iranians rallied to mark the Quds (Jerusalem) Day in a show of support for Palestinians, and to protest against Israel
Photo: Getty Images
Khamenei makes his position clear from the start: Israel has no right to exist as a state.
He uses three words. One is “nabudi” which means “annihilation.” The other is “imha” which means “fading out,” and, finally, there is “zaval” meaning “effacement.”
Khamenei claims that his strategy for the destruction of Israel is not based on anti-Semitism, which he describes as a European phenomenon. His position is instead based on “well-established Islamic principles.”
One such principle is that a land that falls under Muslim rule, even briefly, can never again be ceded to non-Muslims. What matters in Islam is ownership of a land’s government, even if the majority of inhabitants are non-Muslims.
Khomeinists are not alone in this belief.
Dozens of maps circulate in the Muslim world showing the extent of Muslim territories lost to the Infidel that must be recovered.
These include large parts of Russia and Europe, almost a third of China, the whole of India and parts of The Philippines and Thailand.
However, according to Khamenei, Israel, which he labels as “adou” and “doshman,” meaning “enemy” and “foe,” is a special case for three reasons.
The first is that it is a loyal “ally of the American Great Satan” and a key element in its “evil scheme” to dominate “the heartland of the Ummah.”
The second reason is that Israel has waged war on Muslims on a number of occasions, thus becoming “a hostile infidel,” or “kaffir al-harbi.”
Finally, Israel is a special case because it occupies Jerusalem, which Khamenei describes as “Islam’s third Holy City.”
He intimates that one of his “most cherished wishes” is to one day pray in Jerusalem.
Iranians hold a demonstration in November, 2013 in Tehran in mark the 34th anniversary of the 1979 US embassy takeover, when Iranian students held 52 American diplomats hostage for 444 days.
Photo: Getty Images
Khamenei insists that he is not recommending “classical wars” to wipe Israel off the map. Nor does he want to “massacre the Jews.” What he recommends is a long period of low-intensity warfare designed to make life unpleasant if not impossible for a majority of Israeli Jews so that they leave the country.
His calculation is based on the assumption that large numbers of Israelis have double-nationality and would prefer emigration to the United States and Europe to daily threats of death.
Khamenei makes no reference to Iran’s nuclear program. But the subtext is that a nuclear-armed Iran would make Israel think twice before trying to counter Khamenei’s strategy by taking military action against the Islamic Republic.
In Khamenei’s analysis, once the cost of staying in Israel has become too high for many Jews, Western powers, notably the US, which have supported the Jewish state for decades, might decide that the cost of doing so is higher than possible benefits.
Thanks to President Obama, the US has already distanced itself from Israel to a degree unimaginable a decade ago.
Khamenei counts on what he sees as “Israel fatigue.” The international community would start looking for what he calls “a practical and logical mechanism” to end the old conflict.
Khamenei’s “practical and logical mechanism” excludes the two-state formula in any form.
“The solution is a one-state formula,” he declares. That state, to be called Palestine, would be under Muslim rule but would allow non-Muslims, including some Israeli Jews who could prove “genuine roots” in the region to stay as “protected minorities.”
Under Khamenei’s scheme, Israel, plus the West Bank and Gaza, would revert to a United Nations mandate for a brief period during which a referendum is held to create the new state of Palestine.
All Palestinians and their descendants, wherever they are, would be able to vote, while Jews “who have come from other places” would be excluded.
Khamenei does not mention any figures for possible voters in his dream referendum. But studies by the Islamic Foreign Ministry in Tehran suggest that at least eight million Palestinians across the globe would be able to vote against 2.2 million Jews “acceptable” as future second-class citizens of new Palestine. Thus, the “Supreme Guide” is certain of the results of his proposed referendum.
He does not make clear whether the Kingdom of Jordan, which is located in 80% of historic Palestine, would be included in his one-state scheme. However, a majority of Jordanians are of Palestinian extraction and would be able to vote in the referendum and, logically, become citizens of the new Palestine.
‘The Tale of Genji,” written by Murasaki Shikibu around 1,000 A.D., is regarded by many as the world’s first novel and is arguably the most influential work of Japanese literature ever written, inspiring countless other works of drama, fiction and fine art.
The Tale of Genji, by Murasaki Shikibu, Translated by Dennis Washburn.
W. W. Norton, Fiction.
This titanic tome, coming in at well over 1,000 pages in English translation, is the ultimate challenge for any literary translator of Japanese novels.
“It took me 15 years of steady, almost daily, work,” says Dennis Washburn, a professor at Dartmouth College in the U.S. who recently joined the elite corps of translators that have produced English-language versions of Murasaki’s classic. It’s a novel that relates the life story of Prince Genji — an illegitimate but beloved son of the Emperor — and his many love affairs. Unusually, the novel also continues to follow the intrigues and disappointments of a second generation of characters close to the Imperial throne.
English researcher of China and Japan Arthur Waley made the first complete translation of the novel, which was published in the mid-1920s, and there have been subsequent translations by Edward Seidensticker in 1976 and Royall Tyler in 2001.
And now there is Washburn. He first read the novel in translation in the late 1970s and then studied the original work in graduate school a decade later. He was approached by the publisher W. W. Norton with the idea of producing a new translation in 1998, but couldn’t begin work on it until 2000.
“I had never considered doing a translation of it before then,” he says. “And to be honest, I had to think a long time before undertaking the work. It was a daunting prospect and I wasn’t confident.”
Each new translation of “The Tale of Genji” differs greatly from those that precede it. Waley’s interest in the Orient — delivered in the ornate Bloomsbury Set English of the early 20th century — contrasted with Seidensticker’s plain presentation of court politics, which he produced in the ’70s, the age of Watergate. Meanwhile, Tyler attempted to restore the poetic flavor to the text, making his sentences longer, more complicated and allusive, and studded his translation with footnotes and scholarly exegesis, though he occasionally abbreviated the meaning to fit with his style.
“I genuinely respect all of these translations,” Washburn says. “They each do different things well. However, there can never be a definitive translation of an important work like the ‘Genji,’ and so I had a couple of key aims for my version.”
Washburn wanted his translation to read with the same immediacy that the work had for readers when it was first published during the Heian Period (794-1185), while also reproducing the richness of language and allusion that makes Murasaki such an extraordinary stylist.
Where Seidensticker writes in a single sentence, “The autumn tempests blew and suddenly the evenings were chilly,” with Tyler this becomes a brief introductory clause to a much longer sentence: “At dusk one blustery and suddenly chilly day.” Washburn’s version occupies half the sentence — “The winds of autumn were stirring, the dusk air suddenly began to chill the skin … ” — his Genji rests between Seidensticker’s and Tyler’s as he attempts to balance textual clarity and sumptuousness.
A further difficulty is rendering the text in a way that modern readers can relate to.
“As alien as the world of the Heian court seems to us now, characters such as Genji, Ukifune and Kaoru are remarkably complex and complicated,” he says. “Kaoru in particular strikes me as an especially great literary creation. The narrative as a whole shows a similar complexity. It celebrates court values while offering a sharp critique of the foibles and contradictions of the society — especially the tendency of male courtiers to idolize women while exerting extreme control over them.
“The emotional and moral stakes represented in the fictional world are as recognizable and relevant now as they were when the tale was written,” Washburn says, when asked how the book connects to the world in 2015.
My eye was caught in particular by a line in his scholarly 30-page introduction where he observes that the characters are “torn between the fleeting appeal of material, secular culture and a religiously motivated desire to escape worldly attachments.” The same could be said of some of the great ideological conflicts in the world today.
“The fundamental struggle between spiritual and worldly goods and values in the text has real resonance with the kinds of ideological struggles that have roiled the modern world,” he says. Washburn sounds particularly informed by the concerns of our own multicultural world, emphasizing his focus on “the presence of multiple perspectives (in ‘The Tale of Genji’) and voices that are often introspective and self-aware.”
Regardless of how informed he was, no background knowledge could have prepared Washburn for the immensity of the 15-year project.
“I started with a literal translation,” he says, “which took about six years to complete. Of course, that was laughably unreadable, but I wanted something of the original language to distort or ‘flavor’ my English.”
The “literal” version allowed Washburn time to figure out what his aims were. During the next four years he produced a second translation that formed the basis of the current version, which he then spent a further five years editing and honing with more research.
For one to spend 15 years on a translation project, they must have an sense of the secret to the eternal appeal of Murasaki’s tale.
“The beauty of the prose, the outrageousness of some of the affairs chronicled — sometimes comic in nature — and the poetic content,” Washburn says. “It can be read and reread on so many levels.”
And being read and reread is exactly the honor he hopes his translation can receive — that it will become as widely read by people around the world as the great Western classics.
“Yes, I really do,” he says. “For that reason I hope that readers will at least enjoy my version of the text. Translating is too humbling a task to hope for anything more than that.”
A prestigious publishing house in Japan, the Ashahi Shoten Publishers, has published “The Unfinished Memoirs” of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Japanese language.
The 600-page Japanese version of the memoirs of Bangabandhu was translated by Kazuhiro Watanabe of NHK Bangla Department, says a press release of the Foreign Ministry.
Watanabe arrived in Dhaka on Friday to handover the Japanese version of the memoirs to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a formal meeting Sunday at the Prime Minister’s Office.
Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali and Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan Masud Bin Momen are expected to be present at the programme of handing over of the publication to the prime minister.
The translation of “The Unfinished Memoirs” into Japanese language would provide an opportunity to the Japanese people to understand the Bangali people through the life and thoughts of Bangabandhu, the greatest Bangali of all time.
This will also act as a tool of connectivity between the peoples of Bangladesh and Japan and eventually enhance understanding and friendship.