Metaglossia: The ...
194.4K views | +241 today
Scooped by Charles Tiayon
onto Metaglossia: The Translation World!

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....

No comment yet.
Metaglossia: The Translation World
News about translation, interpreting, intercultural communication, terminology and lexicography - as it happens
Curated by Charles Tiayon
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

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.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

10 Amazing Facts About Harry Potter in Translation, All Over The World

We know that the amazing phenomenon of Harry Potter has gone insanely global, but did you know the books have been translated into at least 67 languages?

It's hard to track exactly how many non-English translations have been made as there are many unofficial versions available, but official stats put it at 67, officially.

Now, it's hard to translate any novel, let alone one with the inventive and unusual names and wordy tricks that make up the fantastical Harry Potter universe...

Check out some interesting facts about Harry Potter in translation across the world...

HP has even been translated into dead languages

The cover for Peter Needham's Latin Harry Potter!
Some academics undertook the mammoth project of translating Harry Potter into Latin - Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis - and Ancient Greek - Ἅρειος Ποτὴρ καὶ ἡ τοῦ φιλοσόφου λίθος. The latter was the longest Ancient Greek text written since 3AD!


Operation Feather

When the Harry Potter books were initially released, translators were not given advance access to the text. This meant that there was always a rush to translate HP into languages other than English the second the English books hit book stores.

In Italy, fans set up 'Operation Feather,' sending a whole bunch of feathers to Italian Potter publishers Salani in protest of the late release of the Italian version.

In France, many were so desperate to read book 5 that they bought it in English: as a result, Order of the Phoenix became the first ever non-French book to top the French bestseller list.


So. Many. Harry. Potters!

Iranian Harry Potter books in Farsi.
Apparently, there are 16 different unauthorized versions of Harry Potter in Farsi, the official language in Iran. However, because Iran is not included in the Universal Copyright Convention, publishers can publish whatever foreign texts they like without being prosecuted or paying royalties.


Japanese Hagrid

Japanese Harry Potter, books 1 -3.
Accents and dialects always present a problem for translators. Hagrid's speech has a serious West Country inflection (this is a largely rural area in the South West of England). For the Japanese translation, the translator approximated this provincial, accented feel by rendering Hagrid's speech in the Tōhoku dialect.


Hebrew Sirius

Some Harry Potter books in Hebrew.
Harry Potter is not overtly religious, but being set in the UK, there are some Christian cultural references. When Sirius Black sings a parody of traditional Christmas carol 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,' the Hebrew translator changed the song to a jokey version of the Chanukah song, 'Mi Y'malel' for an Israeli audience.


Swedish N.E.W.T.s

Swedish Harry Potter, books 1 - 7.
Acronyms like N.E.W.T.s - Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Levels - are tricky in translation. For the Swedish translation, the magical exams became the F.U.T.T. - Fruktansvärt Utmattande Trollkarls-Test, which translates to Terribly Exhausting Wizard's Test. 'Futt' also works as a comic abbreviation - it means 'measly' in Swedish.


German Mirror of Erised

German Harry Potter, books 1 -3.
Obviously, the Mirror of Erised works because it's a mirror that shows your desires - 'Erised' is 'Desire' backwards. The German novel - Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen - took the simplest approach. 'Begerhren' is German for 'desire,' so the mirror was called 'Der Spiegel Nerhegeb.'


French Voldemort has a different middle name

French Harry Potter covers, books 1 -3.
When J.K. Rowling came up with the anagram 'I am Lord Voldemort', she couldn't have made it much harder for translators if she tried! In the French book - Harry Potter à l'école des sorciers - Riddle's name rearranges to say 'Je suis Voldemort' / 'I am Voldemort'... making his full name Tom Elvis Jedusor... which gives him the fabulous middle name of ELVIS.


Think Tank

The Pensieve is a lovely example of JKR's wordplay: 'Pensive' means 'thinking hard' and 'sieve' is like a kitchen colander. Here are some international attempts at replicating the cunning wordplay of the Pensieve:

German: Denkarium, from the verb 'denken' (to think) and 'aquarium.'

Swedish: Minnessåll, literally 'memory's sieve.'

Norwegian: Tanketank; 'thought-tank.'


Dumblin' across the world

Italian Harry Potter covers, books 1 -3.
J.K. Rowling revealed that she took the name Dumbledore from an old Devonian (an English dialect) word for 'bumblebee,' which was replicated in the Czech translation, calling him Professor Brumbál. However, for the Italian version, a literal translation was used - as 'dumb' can be synonymous for mute, the Italian Dumbledore is named Prof. Silente!


I don't know about you, but it gives me a warm feeling in my heart to think about kids (and grown-ups, obvs) all over the world getting to experience the magic
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Computers For Children enhancing reading for students

Computers For Children enhancing reading for students | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Tapestry Charter student Maimuna Salim from Kenya talked in her native language to her mother. Salim was showing her how the voice activated Reading Companion program assists to pronounce and read words. 

"It helps me a lot. It helped me with my vocab and spelling and the more I read, the better I get," said Salim. 

Students test out new computer program that helps in reading.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Salim and her family have been in Buffalo for 12 years. She has learned English and has improved her reading but for her mother, language remains a struggle.

"It would help my mother. Her vocab, she got better at it, but the more she reads the better we get," said Salim.

But now, thanks to Computers For Children, Tapestry students are being provided with a computer reading program they can take home and share with their families.  

"Trying to get the language to match and the tests that we have to give high school students are very real, and it's a goal, and so step by step it's all about showing the kids that it's a matter of growth incremental steps," said Tapestry principal Lynn Bass.               

Computers For Children, IBM, First Niagara and Tapestry Charter School cut the ribbon to bring in the new computer reading program at the school.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
Tapestry teacher Tiffany Fanning is finding success with her ESL students. Fanny said teachers can track     reading comprehension and vocabulary trouble spots.

"So that way as a teacher, I know what words to reinforce with my students. Some students may not know the meaning of these words," said Fanning.  "So these are words I can review in my ESL or literacy setting."

Bereshna Hashmatllah is from Afghanistan and grew up in Russia.

"My reading, I'm not saying is really good. It is okay, but my pronunciation is really different from America," said Hashmatllah.

Hashmatllah has only been in Buffalo for two years. working on her reading and learning vocabulary.

"It have like different topics, so you can learn about it. Like about a test, about any book, you know, it's different information you can learn.                

Students and some family members test out the new computer program at Tapestry Charter School in Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley
IBM donated the software and First Niagara the computers. Computers For Children refurbished about 4,000 computers with the new reading program to distribute in the community.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Sword Art Online: Lost Song Producer: Expect A Better English Translation - Siliconera

Sword Art Online: Lost Song Producer: Expect A Better English Translation - Siliconera | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
At GameStart Asia 2014 Bandai Namco Games’s Yosuke Futami, producer for Sword Art Online: Lost Song, announced that the game would be localized in English for the Asia market sometime in 2015.


After the announcement was made, Siliconera got to speak to Futami briefly. We asked him the two biggest questions that we think are on Siliconera readers’ minds: 1) Will the English version of Sword Art Online: Lost Song see a physical copy release in North American and European regions, and 2) can fans expect to see better English translations in Lost Song, since one of the chief complaints in Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment was that the localization was not very good.


Although Futami could not take any questions about a US/EU release of Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment at this moment, he did answer our second question.


"Ah, right, the English translations in Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment weren’t that good, huh? Actually, there’s a reason for that, but it’s not something that I can talk about," Futami said to us. "But we’re aware of the root of the problem and what I can say is that this time around with Lost Song, we’re doing things differently. Fans can expect much better translations as the localization process will be handled very differently. Please look forward to it."


Now all we have to do is wait for an official announcement for North American and European releases for the game. The English version of Sword Art Online: Lost Song is slated for release on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita sometime in 2015.

Read more stories about PlayStation 3 & PlayStation Vita & Sword Art Online: Lost Song on Siliconera.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Translators beware: False friends in Russian | Russia Beyond The Headlines

Translators beware: False friends in Russian | Russia Beyond The Headlines | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
can confuse the inexperienced translator.

Share by e-mail
Same words, different meanings: The best-known Russian homonyms
Intelligence officers or spies? Words as propaganda tools
City names: What associations do they conjure and what do they mean?

Chatting with Sergey Lavrov and drinking tea

The world is entering an era of practical multipolarity

[POST]Industrial Urals: Berezovsky, at the sources of Russian gold

Dead poets, autumn landscapes and potato dumplings

Click to enlarge. Drawing by Niyaz Karim
In Italian accordo means ‘consonance’. In other languages words with this root can have a broader meaning, such as ‘consent’, ‘agreement’, or ‘arrangement’. However, in Russian the word is used only as a musical term to mean "a combination of several musical sounds of different pitch perceived in harmony."
Borrowed from the French with origins in Latin. In Latin, artist means ‘craftsman, master’. In modern Russian the definition of this word is more limited than in other languages: Artists are usually actors who perform on stage (theater, opera, pop music) or in film. "You're such an artist!" can be said about someone who has done something particular, extravagant or even amazing. But unlike in English, a painter cannot be called an artist in Russian.

A question of taste: The untranslatable word 'poshlost'
Borrowed from the Greek, in which deka (dekados) meant ‘a set of ten’. The word exists in many European languages, meaning a period of ten years. In Russian, however, dekada means a period of ten days.
Borrowed from the German Klimax, which originated from the Greek, meaning ‘ladder’. In English the word ‘climax’ has a broad definition: It can mean culmination, denouement, the highest point of any process. In Russian (as in other languages) this is a medical term meaning "the cessation of a woman's reproductive ability, which is followed by disruption and then conclusion of menstruation".
Borrowed from the German Konduktor, which originated in the Latin conductor, meaning "an escort, one who accompanies". In some modern European languages the word means the director of an orchestra. But in Russian it only means "a public transportation worker who sells passengers tickets” – a meaning which still exists in English. In Russia a konduktor is usually found on buses and trolleybuses.
Borrowed from the German Magasin (or the Dutch magasijn), which originated from the Arabic makhzan, meaning storehouse. In most modern European languages the meaning of this word has changed: It means a periodical publication – though in English it is also used to describe a container for rounds of ammunition that is attached to a gun, so in this case it preserves something of its original meaning of a ‘storehouse’. In the Russian the meaning has shifted, but not so radically: A magazin is first and foremost a space for retailers.

The 10 most well-known Russian words
Borrowed from the German Prospekt, which had come from the Latin prospectus, meaning, ‘view, look’. In modern Russian the word has three meanings: "a long, wide and straight street"; "a brief summary of a publication about to be printed (for example, a scientific monograph pamphlet)"; or "an informative publication that advertises something (for example, a company prospectus). But it is not used in the meaning of ‘perspective’, ‘view’ or ‘outlook for the future’ as in modern English.
Borrowed from the German Spekulation, which had come from the Latin speculatio, meaning ‘investigating, exploring’. In modern Russian this word, meaning "buying and selling property, valuables, products, goods, etc. in order to obtain profit (usually by using various prices)" has an extremely negative connotation (this goes back to Soviet times, when prices on all goods were centrally fixed). The other meaning, ‘a philosophical conjecture’, is exceptionally rare.
Borrowed from the German Familie, which had come from the Latin familia, meaning the household. Modern European languages use this word to define the members of a household, the family. In Russian the word familiya means surname, family name; the name added to everyone's personal name.
Velvet and satin
These are names of two fabrics that are often confused in translation. The right Russian translation of the word velvet is barkhat, and of the ward satin - atlas. The Russian word velvet means corduroy; and the Russian satin means a poor type of atlas, one of the cheapest fabrics, a symbol of wretchedness (in Soviet times it was used for sewing the wide, so-called ‘family’ underwear).
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

World cultures convene at PCHS | The Troy Messenger

World cultures convene at PCHS | The Troy Messenger | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Pike County High School students took around-the-globe lessons Tuesday at the school’s annual Mix It Up day.

This year, PCHS welcomed Troy University international students to come and talk to its students about the life and culture in different parts of the world.

The event is part of the Teaching Tolerance program, according to PCHS counselor Sharon Sullivan. Various schools design their own activities to promote tolerance among students. Mix It Up day also celebrates anti-bullying awareness month.

“We need to provide knowledge and exposure to (the students who) don’t understand cultural differences,” Sullivan said. “This is about learning about tolerance. We are different but we all are people. That’s the bottom line. If somebody does something different from you, it’s not a bad thing.”

PCHS students were excited to learn about people all over the world, Sullivan said. The students had the opportunity to ask their international guests a lot of questions regarding how the foreign governments work or how people respond to teachers.

Around 11 international students from Troy University were invited to come to PCHS, according to Tatiana Parker, the graduate assistant who helped organize the event.

Some international students provided slideshow presentations and videos to PCHS students in their classrooms. The presenters came in their traditional costume or with some items from their culture to show the students first hand. PCHS students also got a chance to mingle with their guests during their lunchtime.

Parker said in addition to learning about the foreign cultures, students learned how to speak certain words in different languages including Nigerian, Chinese, and different Indonesian dialects.

“We hope to open up their mind,” Parker said. “There are a lot more out there … A lot of our students have never been out of Alabama. And most have not been out of the country.

“We want to show the students besides the differences, there are also a lot of similarities. They are not something to be scared of but to embrace and to learn from.”

Beyoncé Revels, PCHS seventh-grader said she learned the word for Saudi Arabian drums.

Disree Myhand, a twelfth-grader, said she enjoyed meeting with the international students, too.

“I think the event really helps students to accept people from different countries,” Myhand said. “I love to learn about cultures … I think it’s very interesting to learn that Saudi Arabians don’t eat pork.”
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Latvian Tilde launches new cloud services for automated translation

Latvian Tilde launches new cloud services for automated translation | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
European language technology company Tilde is launching a new set of cloud services for automated translation at the world’s largest localization conference, Localization World, in Vancouver on October 30-31, informed BC the company.

To meet the translation needs of global customers, Tilde has integrated intelligent machine translation services, next generation terminology services, and a huge library of multilingual data into a single online platform.
Users can now select from several Ready-to-Use MT systems for multiple domains and language pairs, or build their own MT system using Tilde’s online facilities. For organizations with specialized requirements, Tilde offers to develop Custom MT systems, tailored to a customer’s needs, customized with user data, and securely integrated into their platforms.
Tilde CEO Andrejs Vasiļjevs: “We are proud to provide a new breed of online services that unleash the power of the cloud for diverse translation needs. Our new services aim to satisfy the growing need for high quality automated translation, customized to specific requirements.”
Tilde MT also includes novel tools that will revolutionize terminology work, overcoming one of the major weaknesses of MT: poor translation quality for terminology. Tilde Terminology services can automatically identify terms in documents, look up relevant translation candidates, and create terminology glossaries. The addition of glossaries to MT systems can boost translation quality by more than 25%.
In addition to terminology services, Tilde MT also features a multilingual data library, one of the world’s largest MT data repositories. The data library includes 4 million terms and 2.5 billion parallel sentences in more than 125 languages. These rich resources can be used in custom solutions to boost human and machine translation capabilities.
The technology powering Tilde MT was developed by Tilde in cooperation with language researchers from the world’s leading universities, including the University of Edinburgh, University of Copenhagen, Sheffield University, and Uppsala University.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Speaking the Same Language and Understanding Hotel Owners in China. - Thursday, 30th October 2014 at 4Hoteliers

Speaking the Same Language and Understanding Hotel Owners in China. - Thursday, 30th October 2014 at 4Hoteliers | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Understanding Chinese Hotel Owners and their management style, their behavior and what motivates them to own a hotel defines literally the language they speak and is a key component to the success a Hotel Manager can bring when appointed to a hotel to manage.

In the recruitment process for this it is more important to understand the owners world and speak their business language than for example to know how many rooms a hotel has, or if the hotel building is a 4* or 5* property, or whether the hotel was built very expensively, or cheaply and with minimal investment.

And ‘language’ is not to be mistaken for linguistic skills, i.e. the ability to speak Mandarin Chinese so as to better communicate with owners in their mother tongue.

This article is not about Language Skills or the need for hotel managers in China to speak Chinese, but it’s rather about figuratively speaking the language of owners, by understanding their world of thought.

When a Hotel Management Company is experiencing a difficult & strained owner-relation, it is often blamed on a lack of communication and the common but mistaken strategic move is to replace the current General Manager & members of the Excom, and seek Chinese speaking hotel managers, as the obvious solution.

Being 10 years active in recruiting hotel managers in China we have identified generally 3 types of Chinese Hotel Owners with typical behavior, and speaking a different language.

(semi) Government
Real Estate Companies
Private individual Owners

Historically, after the Liberation and the founding of the PRC in 1949 all land and business where nationalized and therefore when China opened up for foreigners and foreign companies again in 1984, all land, building and / or the capital and ability to build hotels was a monopoly of the ‘government’.

This could be a Municipal or Provincial Government, but also semi-Government Bodies such as Ministries, Tourism Boards or Authorities, the Army, the Railways, the National Oil & Gas companies were the bodies that started to build hotels.

Originally these hotels were built because they needed to provide suitable accommodation to foreign visitors and dignitaries who started to come to China and needed to be given a pleasant and impressive stay in China.

Many of the hotels in China that are 20 years and older are owned by such (semi) government bodies and as these institutions of government, managed by politicians, party functionaries and bureaucrats, they had no in-house experience to manage a 5* hotel and this lead to the first invitations for companies like Peninsula, Starwood (then ITT Sheraton) and Holiday Inn to open the first international brand hotels in China.

Many brands & hotel companies have followed and today Government still plays a big role as hotel owner and developer although nowadays the hotels are built either as part of Urban Development or to encourage tourism, and the hotels are most often a net Revenue Earner for the government bodies, rather than a cost-factor as it was in the early years when hotels were built to facilitate foreign trade.

For a Hotel Company, these government related owners can be the more reliable partners, as they are steered by committees rather than by 1 individual, although in China a ‘Chairman’ and his wishes and directions can be all powerful.

The government owned hotels tend to stay longer and more loyal to 1 hotel brand or company. The decision making process on whatever a Hotel Manager needs approval on can however be lengthy and a rather political process. The government owned hotels tend to have a longer vision, which matches with the need for a hotel to build up its business in a 10-20 years time span, rather than going for an ROI (Return on Investment) in 5 years.

A hotel in this category would need a GM who is a Diplomat, carefully & patiently trying to manage the Board of Directors, like a politician. If the hotel runs smoothly, gains a high reputation in town, and the hotel brings in a decent return, the owners will be happy and the GM safe. To the owners the GM is the Suzerain who runs his own fiefdom, while paying respect to the Sovereign.

Real Estate Companies

More recently, starting from the Year 2000 and currently the most prominent players are the Real Estate Companies.

Although many of these Real Estate Companies have origins in government, they are quite often the result of a spin-off where a previous monopoly of the government to build houses and public buildings that went into private hands, or because enterprises with shareholders, or they can be private enterprises that found Real Estate more profitable than whatever it was they were doing originally.

These companies are in essence construction companies that have the ability to buy land and develop it with whatever they felt the market was asking for, whether is was flats, villa’s, shopping malls, office blocks and it is quite common in China to include a hotel or resort in the package of what real estate companies were all building.

Initially the hotels these Real Estate Companies were building were a sort of after-thought, or something they wanted to give a try. More recently a few Real Estate companies have specialized in hotel & resort development and are gaining more experience fast, having used many different hotel management companies to help them out in the first place to manage these ‘incidental’ hotels in the first place.

It has come in many cases to the point that the Real Estate company feel ready to set up their own Hotel Division, or even develop a hotel brand.

Currently China is washed with this sort of Real Estate Companies going into Hotel Ownership, and management. Driven as commercial enterprises, these hotel owners are often more about ROI, efficient management of resources and most of all profit.

And here’s an important clash of business cultures where Real Estate companies are used to build and then sell property with immediate cash and return of profits, but once they decide to keep a building and have it managed as a hotel, or serviced apartment, golf course etc. the ROI may take a longer time than they are used to.

A hotel in this category would need a GM who is first of all an astute business man, somebody who can maximize profits with minimal cost, lead an efficient and lean organization always keeping a eye to the bottom line.

The hotel guest experience may be less important than the owner’s satisfaction that they have invested their money well. If a hotel GM can convince the owners of the business-sense of his decisions he can win their trust, if he can deliver the results accordingly. To the owners the GM is a Business Unit Manager.

Private Individual Owners

Without calling these owners the most difficult, because it depends on the Hotel Managers ability to deal with different people, they are the ‘Wild Card’ among hotel owners.

Typically those private owners are the Nouveau Riche of China. They are the entrepreneurs (often with good connections to government) who made fortunes as China opened up. Whatever business they went into 10 -15 years ago, they did it financially successful and they did it ‘their way’.

They could have made their fortune by producing garments, or operating restaurants, or even by being the cities main garbage collector, or operating a Coal Mine. The average age of the Chinese Billionaires is 39, so they may have as well made a fortune in IT, computer parts or setting up the first online business. Whatever it was that made them rich, they did so without much advise from their own managers, consultants or foreign management companies.

Although many of them belonged to the elite that could get a University Education these owners are rather street-smart than highly intelligent people in the style of a Bill Gates. They could be as flamboyant as Richard Branson, or brash as Michael O’Leary, the owner of Ryanair. In short they now posses the wealth to build a hotel to showcase their success.

The hotel may be just another one of their toys, as would be the yacht, the Bentley, the race horse- or the race team and other rich man’s toys. These owners remain heavily involved with their pet-project, and if not themself than surely direct family members or inner-circle would be on top of the daily activities in the hotel.

Such owners would ad-hoc decide to make changes on the hotels interior, can make decisions that would affect the core business of hotel-keeping but this is to the owner of little relevance. The hotel may not be a profitable business, and is certainly not built to please the regular guests, but functions primarily to give the owner, and his friends & guest the ultimate hotel experience. It can be fun to work for such hotel owners, especially when money is not an issue and the best products and materials can be purchased to impress.

This can also mean that sometimes millions are spent on decoration, artworks and the general looks of the hotel whereas on certain back-of-the-house essentials, such as Machinery & Equipment or simply the Staff Canteen very little money is invested.

This sort of hotel would require a General Manager who has a streak of entrepreneurship himself, who is a cameleon in business and management, easily to adapt to whatever it takes to run the hotel.

This General Manager should be well-aware that he can shine in his fantastic hotel as long as the owner wants him to be there. While it is easier to build a relationship with 1 important person (the owner) and once you have his trust and friendship, everything else flows natural and easy, the GM has to realize that he is not the King of this Castle, he is just the Lord Chamberlain.

Hoteliers are champions of adaption to different cultures, markets and situations, yet many hoteliers fail when landing in China to continue their worldwide proven ability and successes.

China suffers already from a worldwide reputation of having ‘difficult owners’. General Managers and other Senior Executives often find themselves being fired by the owners, if not having resigned themselves already, putting many of the Hotel Management Companies in a difficult position to deliver to the hotel owners the next and ‘better’ managers, while at the same time needing to take care of their own people which they wish to retain and certainly do need in the long-run given most hotel companies’ expansion plans in China and Asia, therefore having to make sure that a hotel manager who is to be replaced due to strained owner relations, is at least given another posting with the same hotel group elsewhere.

When hotel management companies fail this, they are loosing their own good people fast and the internal ability to provide all the new hotels they are signing up with managers that come from the brand or hotel company with the expertise the Hotel Management Company claims to provide to owners.

As mentioned earlier, this is not an article about language skills. A modern-day hotel manager should have the ability to imagine the world of his owners and speak their language. Hospitality is a people’s business, and most hoteliers are equipped with skills do deal with people from all walks of life. Whether they interact with guests or staff of the hotel, hoteliers deal daily with a variety of people who come to stay in the hotel or work there.

Especially hoteliers who have had an international career should be used to adjusting their behavior, management styles and communication to the local environment. What’s often reported as significantly different about working in hotel in China and other fast-developing markets is the high-level of owners involvement with the daily management of the hotel.

Traditionally and in most developed countries, only the General Manager may have frequent interaction with the hotels’ owner, but the rest of the management seldom has.

Owners involvement is reputed to be intense, effecting the entire management team and sometimes beyond in emerging markets, where owners are often first-time to own a hotel and lack experience and trust to let the hotel managers run the business.

This can mean that owners come into the hotel on weekly or even daily basis, and feel entitled to make comments, address staff directly and give guidance and direction to the management, or even over the head of the management.

This goes beyond the direction in business matters and as to which direction to steer the hotel financially, but encroaches often on the hotel managers’ fiefdom including operational matters. This can be hard to stomach for hoteliers who’ve made a career out of directing the hotel as the King of their own Castle, and believe to be hired for their expertise. 

Especially those who work for a certain brand or hotel chain for many years are styled and trained as per the hotel companies Policies & Procedures and act often in a ‘this is how we do it’ way. And that can lead to clashes between the hotel owner and the hotel manager, who believes he is working in the interest of the hotel brand or hotel company and the hotel owner is or a relative less importance to the success of the hotel.

However in China, the relation between the General Manager and the owners is the key to success, especially when good relations encourage such trust that a General Manager builds up more ability to make decisions, unquestioned by the owners.

Speaking the same language as the owners does not imply a linguistic skill, in the case of China, for a Hotel Manager to be able to speak Chinese. It’s a common misunderstanding when relations between the hotel management company and the owners break down or are difficult, and ‘communications are strained, the solution is to be sought in finding a Chinese speaking General Manager.

Although many international hoteliers easily recognized the difficulties of being Lost in Translation when having to communicate via a translator, this would be not much different when talking to a hotel owner, the local authorities or a kitchen help, or a key account or hotel supplier.

Sure, hoteliers with language skills can gain points by speaking various languages, with the guests but also with the local owners and all people one deals with on a daily basis but to speak a Chinese language at the level and with the nuances to discuss the hotels business with an owner, one would have to be either a native speaker, or a scholar of Sinology, having taken Mandarin class for 2-4 years full-time at least.

This is not an option for most international career hoteliers. While 1/5th of the worlds population has Chinese as their native language, in the world of hoteliers, English is still the Lingua Franca, worldwide, and also in China. Speaking a foreign language is handy for the traveler and the international business man. But language alone is not sufficient.

Being an experienced traveler or knowing your business exceeds the ability to speak the local language fluently. Rather the management skills, experience and ability to run a tight ship should surpass the ability to speak languages.

Worldwide experienced Hoteliers are not graduates from Foreign Language Institutes but from Hotel Management Schools & Colleges who gained experienced worldwide in countries foreign to them. I it must be noted, though, that the ability to speak languages and the interest to interact with foreign cultures does draw young people to a career in hotel & tourism.

And the earliest hoteliers in China, who entered the hotel industry in the late 1980’s and 1990’s often had a University Degree in English, and with there not yet being any Chinese Hotel Education Institutes of significance, their ability to speak English was what won them their first hotel jobs, often in rank & file positions, to grow up to their current HOD and GM level status.

Since the 1990’s more & more Chinese had the ability to study overseas and those who chose Hotel Management as a major, naturally entered a Hotel Management career after graduation, In the recent 5 years, a lot of this earliest generation of Chinese hoteliers has been appointed by hotel owners as Owner Representative or Deputy GM.

Technically they possess the language skills to speak both the native Chinese, towards owners, and good English thanks to a long career working in international hotels, as well as those equipped with a Hotel Management Degree and having studied oversees.

Although many of these Chinese Owner Reps & DGM’s can speak the 2 languages well, i.e. their own native Chinese and the Hotel Business English, they fail as translators between the Hotel Management Companies language, and that of the owning company, as per the above 3 defined styles.

When hiring or appointing a General Manager, some thought should be given to his / her ability to connect with the owners. And that is not based on a language skill, as also the previous experience of this General Manager at other locations becomes irrelevant if the incoming manager does not have the ability to understand the world the owners are coming from.

As a Search Firm, TOP Hoteliers does screen hotel owners, their style, background and reputation so as to make a better match with hotel managers who have a proven success handling such type of owners, rather than past achievements running a similar size, brand or type of hotel, and a language skill.

René J.M. Schillings, a Dutch National, is the Managing Director of TOP Hoteliers, the first specialized hospitality recruitment agency to open offices in the People’s Republic of China (in 2004). Based in Hong Kong he devotes most of his time managing the 3 offices in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Beijing, where his team of consultants recruit hotel managers for all major international and some local hotel companies in China. His company was very early to recognize the need for local talent, Mandarin speaking expatriates and China experienced expatriates. His knowledge of the China Hotel Industry stems from his career as Hotelier in China that began in 1997. He has a BA in Hotel Management from Stenden University, a.k.a Hotel Management School Leeuwarden, The Netherlands and an MA in International Tourism & Leisure Studies from Metropolitan University in London, England. He is a keen observer of industry trends and has published numerous articles on HR issues in hospitality in China & Asia. Working in China, Hong Kong & Korea since the late 1990’s, René has lived in Hong Kong from 2005 to 2012 and resides since 2013 in Thailand with his wife and 2 children.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Latvian Tilde launches new cloud services for automated translation

Latvian Tilde launches new cloud services for automated translation | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
European language technology company Tilde is launching a new set of cloud services for automated translation at the world’s largest localization conference, Localization World, in Vancouver on October 30-31, informed BC the company.

To meet the translation needs of global customers, Tilde has integrated intelligent machine translation services, next generation terminology services, and a huge library of multilingual data into a single online platform.
Users can now select from several Ready-to-Use MT systems for multiple domains and language pairs, or build their own MT system using Tilde’s online facilities. For organizations with specialized requirements, Tilde offers to develop Custom MT systems, tailored to a customer’s needs, customized with user data, and securely integrated into their platforms.
Tilde CEO Andrejs Vasiļjevs: “We are proud to provide a new breed of online services that unleash the power of the cloud for diverse translation needs. Our new services aim to satisfy the growing need for high quality automated translation, customized to specific requirements.”
Tilde MT also includes novel tools that will revolutionize terminology work, overcoming one of the major weaknesses of MT: poor translation quality for terminology. Tilde Terminology services can automatically identify terms in documents, look up relevant translation candidates, and create terminology glossaries. The addition of glossaries to MT systems can boost translation quality by more than 25%.
In addition to terminology services, Tilde MT also features a multilingual data library, one of the world’s largest MT data repositories. The data library includes 4 million terms and 2.5 billion parallel sentences in more than 125 languages. These rich resources can be used in custom solutions to boost human and machine translation capabilities.
The technology powering Tilde MT was developed by Tilde in cooperation with language researchers from the world’s leading universities, including the University of Edinburgh, University of Copenhagen, Sheffield University, and Uppsala University.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

As Africa's Cities Change, so Does Youth Slang

As Africa's Cities Change, so Does Youth Slang | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
In the mid-1990s, residents of Nairobi were cautious when traveling through the city's "Rwanda" neighborhoods. Although physically far removed from the genocidal violence in central Africa, this was the area of the Kenyan capital where you were most likely to be mugged or carjacked. A few years later, these areas became known as the "Kosovo" section of the city. By the early 2000s, wandering into one of the "Baghdad" neighborhoods could be iffy.

The frequent shifts in names for areas of town are a product of Sheng, the city's increasingly popular street vernacular that combines both English and Swahili—Kenya's two official languages. A debate has been brewing about it for years: Is Sheng a language or "just" slang? Regardless, tourist translation dictionaries have essentially become useless on the streets of Nairobi because of it.

The vocabulary and meaning of words not only differ in each neighborhood, but some of their definitions change almost daily. Much like with English or any other language, certain slang words change from one generation to the next. But Sheng has completely revamped the vocabulary of an entire city. TV advertisements freely borrow phrases that ignore formal grammatical structure, and radio DJs regularly pepper broadcasts with the latest forms of words. A popular comic book called Shujaaz is written entirely in Sheng. This linguistic phenomenon isn't exclusive to East Africa, of course. Most countries have some version of code-switching, where people select or mix formal and informal languages as the environment or situation calls for—and to fit in with the many different groups they belong to.

A debate has brewed for years: Is Sheng a language or "just" slang? Regardless, tourist translation dictionaries have become useless on the streets of Nairobi because of it.
Along the streets of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire emerged a hybrid language dubbed Nouchi, which is now challenging French as the city's most popular form of speech. Young urbanites from Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, are finding favor with a pidgin language called Town Bemba. Neither of these languages can be translated on Google and are nearly impossible to teach in a traditional setting. Yet slang-influenced languages like these can be heard in nearly every market, bus terminal, and university in Africa.

According to Mokaya Bosire, a University of Oregon professor and expert on Sheng, the origin of these languages can be traced back to the early 20th century, shortly after the arrival of imperial Europeans.

"One of the things that happened with colonialism is urbanization, which wasn't there before," Bosire told CityLab. "And with urbanization you had different people who spoke different languages come together in these towns, which provided [Nairobi] with the perfect condition for Sheng to arise," he explains.

More than half of Africans will live in cities by 2040.
(United Nations)
Yet linguistic creativity—or maybe rebellion—in African cities didn't cease when the continent began to receive its independence starting in the 1950s. Modern technology has recently provided young Africans with greater access to hip-hop, African-American culture, and global fashions. Africa's cities are also disproportionately young; as of 2012, the median age of the continent is 20 years old (the median age in North America is nearly 40 years old). This combination of youthfulness and global exposure has left Africa's urban youth with a lot to work with in terms of creating their own terms of communication.

"[Urban Africans] have the knowledge of different languages and they're also exposed to what's going on in the world and how cultures are moving," says Mokaya Bosire. "And the languages that are standard languages—say, English or Swahili—they don't move as fast as these guys want," he adds.

By adopting a fluid, homegrown language, some argue that young Africans are better able to express ideas and experiences specific to their own emerging urban culture. Writing in the Journal of African Studies in 2008, scholar Mungi Mutonya highlighted this claim when analyzing the advent of slang-based advertisements.

Language serves the triple role ... of carrier of culture, as an image forming agent that provides the group with a whole conception of themselves, individually and collectively, and as a transmitter of the images of the world and reality. Thus the circumstances of the language contact environment in African cities present a variety of mixed codes that emerge to satisfy local needs.
The fusion languages springing up now in Africa's cities, however, are likely just the beginning. Africa's urbanization rate will be among the world's fastest from now until 2050. Unless some kind of national language policies are enacted, says Peter Githinji, a linguist specialist at Ohio University, slang-based languages will ultimately become the norm in Africa's burgeoning urban centers.

"[T]he more we're participating in these global cultures and the more we're having rural-to-urban migration," Githinji says, "they're actually going to transform themselves to the point where we're no longer calling them 'urban languages.'"
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Does Talk Still Matter In A Digital World?

Does Talk Still Matter In A Digital World? | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
I like to imagine that many mouths dropped when the news broke back in 2011. A sacred institution had been vandalized. Foreign agents had slipped under the radar and left their mark. Who was to blame…
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Publishing Poetry in Translation: A Conversation With Lawrence Schimel

Publishing Poetry in Translation: A Conversation With Lawrence Schimel | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Lawrence Schimel is the editor and publisher of A Midsummer Night's Press, an influential publisher of poetry. Founded by Schimel in New Haven, CT in 1991, A Midsummer Night's Press first published broadsides of poems by Nancy Willard, Joe Haldeman, and Jane Yolen, among others, in signed, limited editions of 126 copies, numbered 1-100 and lettered A-Z. In 1993, Schimel moved to New York and the press went on hiatus until 2007, when it began publishing perfect-bound, commercially-printed books. The first two imprints of A Midsummer Night's Press were Fabula Rasa, devoted to works inspired by mythology, folklore, and fairy tales, and Body Language, devoted to texts exploring questions of gender and sexual identity.

The newest imprint of A Midsummer Night's Press is Periscope, devoted to works of poetry in translation. Recently, I talked with Lawrence about this new imprint and his work as a publisher.

Julie: What prompted you to start the Periscope imprint?

Lawrence: We had published one previous book in translation, as part of our Body Language imprint, so I was familiar with the difficulties of publishing a book in translation in the US without having the poet available to help with promotion, through readings, participation in events, etc. At the same time, as a translator myself, I was aware of how little gets translated into English from other languages, especially poetry, and also of how difficult it is for works by women writers to be translated. Alison Anderson did some VIDA-like number crunching of translations published in the US, and found that only 26% (of works from all languages and in all genres, fiction, poetry and nonfiction combined) are by women writers.

So I decided that by creating an imprint devoted wholly to poetry-in-translation, and with a specific focus on women writers, I hopefully could create enough momentum and attention for these poets and their work--differently than just publishing isolated books in translation here and there, where it is too easy for them to get lost or otherwise be overlooked.

I decided that our criteria would be women writers who had published at least two books in their own country (so they are already established to some level, not just starting out) but had not yet been published with a book in English. So our mission would be to try and help introduce these writers to an English-speaking audience. (One of the first authors, Care Santos, has published over 40 books, but this poetry collection is her first to be published in English.)

A Midsummer Night's Press has always striven to create a space for voices that might otherwise be marginalized, and has also published many first collections of poetry. (Our VIDA numbers are also quite good, with a majority of women writers across all our imprints.)

One of the advantages of being such a small press is that, as long as we can stay afloat, we don't need individual titles to earn back their investment within X period of time, the way commercial presses do. So if it takes multiple years for a book to earn back, and hopefully contribute something toward publishing future titles, so be it. Meanwhile, we can be quite nimble, given our low overhead and also the small trim size of our books and their appealing (even if I do say so myself) design, allowing us to try and get more poetry into the hands of readers.

Julie: What do you see as the value of poetry in translation?

Lawrence: Just look at the value of poetry in one's own language, and then imagine all the richness that exists in the poetries of all the other languages of the world. It is thanks to translation that we can have access to and be enriched by those verses.

José Saramago once said: "Writers create national literatures, translators create universal literature." In general, translation is one of the greatest forms of empathy, I think, of showing how we are alike instead of highlighting our differences.

As the Barbadian author Karen Lord said recently: "A diet of single-worldview literature is at best boring, at worst propaganda. Without diverse books, the mind is stunted."

Julie: What is the function of poetry in translation in Europe, where the first three Periscope poets hail from, as opposed to the United States?

Lawrence: Two of the three poets are themselves translators of poetry into their languages, and all of them are polyglots. Speaking multiple languages, reading in multiple languages, can only increase and expand our own thinking and ways of expressing things. For instance, when I took part in a poetry translation workshop in Slovenia some years ago, I was fascinated to discover that Slovenian has a "dual" grammatical form, in between the first person singular and the plural. Neither of the languages I think in (English and Spanish) have that "you and I" we separate from the more-generic plural we, but ever since I've learned of the existence of this "dual" in Slovenian I am aware of it when I look at the world, even if the languages I use to think in and express myself in don't have a specific way of expressing it.

This applies not just to grammar, of course, but to how we each see the world; unquestionably language influences this worldview, but one of the things translation does is to build bridges to help others share in those experiences.

I think that in Europe there is a greater interest in this exchange of ideas and cultures; of actively trying to not just extend those bridges but to then cross over them, bearing cultural gifts, and then to return home enriched with the cultural souvenirs of the visit.

The United States is, on the other hand, quite myopic--both in how it views the world (and its relationship within the world) and especially in what it imports from the rest of the world, culturally especially. Many people are shocked to discover that there is no "official" language of the United States, even though in reality one needs to speak English, no matter how multilingual the populace actually is. And this resistance is especially strong in literature, unfortunately; as Junot Díaz famously quipped when he received criticisms for the Spanish included in one of his short stories, "Motherfuckers will read a book that's one third Elvish, but put two sentences in Spanish and they [white people] think we're taking over."
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

DARPA in search of universal translator tech -- GCN

DARPA in search of universal translator tech -- GCN | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
In their military, diplomatic and heath care roles, U.S. government representatives frequently encounter low-resource languages, which often are less-studied, less-privileged or spoken by small numbers of people such as Inuit or Sindhi.
For many such languages, no available automated language technology exists. Translation resources are expensive and tend to be focused on the most popular languages. But for more than 7,000 languages in the world, military, diplomats and health workers need a way to quickly and inexpensively communicate.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency hopes to address that challenge with its Low Resource Languages for Emergent Incidents (LORELEI) program, which aims to advance computational linguistics and language technology for low-resource languages.
According to a notice in FedBizOpps, DARPA wants to develop language technology that leverages universal language principles instead of relying on huge, manually-translated, transcribed or annotated texts. It also aims to deliver situational awareness for the low-resource foreign language sources as soon as 24 hours after a new language requirement emerges.
While LORELEI technologies may include partial or fully automated speech recognition and/or machine translation, the overall goal is not to be translating foreign languages into English. Instead, the systems  would provide  situational awareness by identifying elements of information in foreign language and English sources, such as topics, names, events, sentiment and relationships.
DARPA is holding a proposer’s day on Nov. 13 to provide information to potential responders to the anticipated LORELEI broad agency announcement.
Posted by GCN Staff on Oct 29, 2014 at 10:11 AM
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Former France coach Raymond Domenech mocks Jose Mourinho's 'inflated opinion' of himself - Telegraph

Former France coach Raymond Domenech mocks Jose Mourinho's 'inflated opinion' of himself - Telegraph | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Raymond Domenech mocks Chelsea manager in his new book and criticises the 'selfishness' of Zinedane Zidane and Franck Ribery while playing for France
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Jose Mourinho is just a translator with a big ego, says former France coach Raymond Domenech

Jose Mourinho is just a translator with a big ego, says former France coach Raymond Domenech | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Former France manager Raymond Domenech has aimed a dig at Jose Mourinho, calling the Chelsea manager a translator with a big ego.

Ads by Google

Offres de transport
Vous trouverez jusqu'à 450 000 offres sur TC Truck&Cargo®
British Expat in France?
Did You Leave a Pension in UK? Free Review & Help Finding It.
Italian Immersion TV
Video Online. Not for Beginners. Very addictive, extremely effective
Domenech, who has been without a job since his embarrassing group stage exit in the 2010 World Cup, also takes aim at former France internationals Nicolas Anelka and Franck Ribery in his new book.

In Mon dico passione du foot or 'My Passionate Dictionary of Football, Domenech openly mocks the Portuguese boss, who followed an undistinguished playing career as the translator at Barcelona under then-manager Sir Bobby Robson.

"That's the problem with translators, there comes a time when they convince themselves they wrote the text themselves," writes Domenech, who managed the French Under-21 side from 1993-2004 before taking the top job.

Anelka is described as a “Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde” character, while Ribery is one of a number of French greats to come in for huge criticism.

Domenech accuses Ribery of having "forced the national team to put up with his bad character, even his acts of stupidity, in South Africa and afterwards, but since then, Sir is in a mood because he wanted to win the Ballon d'Or". Domenech reserves praise for Thierry Henry

Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt on Marco Materazzi was selfish and costly, in comparison to Thierry Henry  who "sacrificed his image for the benefit of the France team", while Zidane "sacrificed the team's chances for the benefit of his prid
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Translator Refutes Toyota’s Contempt Motion in Leaks

Translator Refutes Toyota’s Contempt Motion in Leaks | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
A translator who allegedly leaked confidential discovery documents from litigation against Toyota Motor Corp. says she should not be found in contempt because she has removed all those materials from the public view.
U.S. District Judge James Selna of the Central District of California has ordered Betsy Benjaminson, who lives in Israel and is a self-described whistleblower, to show cause why she should not be sanctioned.

Benjaminson's attorney argues that, while working for a translation service retained by plaintiffs’ counsel, she obtained 88 documents from the Toyota’s sudden-acceleration litigation. She said she got another 1,500 documents when translating for Toyota’s criminal counsel, Debevoise & Plimpton, during investigations by the U.S. government and various state attorneys general.
The criminal investigations were not within the scope of the protective order governing the civil cases in the multidistrict litigation, so Benjaminson could not have violated the protective order by taking documents related to them, Benjaminson’s counsel, H.H. Kewalramani of Lee, Jorgensen, Plye & Kewalramani, argued in a court document.
Moreover, Benjaminson had not signed the protective order while working for Debevoise & Plimpton’s translation vendor, her counsel added.
That leaves Toyota arguing for “retroactive applicability of the protective order and expansion of this court’s authority over all things related to Toyota sudden acceleration, whether part of this MDL or not,” Kewalramani argued.
Benjaminson worked for three translation services during the litigation, according to the response.
In a separate motion, plaintiffs’ counsel opposed Toyota’s ex parte application to have one of their experts comply with the car manufacturer’s discovery request in a bid to learn how documents got to Benjaminson.
Benjaminson had obtained a PowerPoint presentation prepared by Michael Barr, a plaintiffs expert witness who concluded that Toyota's source code was defective and led to unintended acceleration in a Toyota Camry. The expert presented the information during the first trial testing whether Toyota’s throttle-control systems caused vehicles to spontaneously accelerate.
According to Toyota’s court papers, Benjaminson obtained the source-code material from another plaintiffs expert, Antony Anderson, who got it from Barr’s Dropbox account.
The plaintiffs said Toyota was “trying to bully Michael Barr, the plaintiffs expert, and exert an asymmetrical pleading burden against counsel for plaintiffs and that expert.”
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Malijet Mort anticipée des langues locales africaines; À qui la faute ? Mali Bamako

Malijet Mort anticipée des langues locales africaines; À qui la faute ? Mali Bamako | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
La polémique est là ! Une éducation extravertie ne développe jamais.
Le complexe va nous tuer ! Les imaginaires se colonisent, l’habitus s’installe partout, la colonisation par les langues est socio anthropologiquement établie, l’économie par des langues qui parle PIB et IDH (Indice de développement humain ) ou IDHA (Indice de développement humain alternatif) est au village, la ville se désolidarise du village, le villageois s’émancipe par la langue du colonisateur interne, le statut social change selon le nombre de langue parlée même  morte, une faute d’orthographe ou de grammaire en français est sanctionnée ou fait honte.
Au Mali, ils ont tout essayé sans conviction, l’alphabétisation ouverte à l’alphabétisation fonctionnelle, des CED, de la pédagogie dite convergente, les langues dans la recherche, les radios essayent, l’Académie africaine des langues à Bamako (rêve ou réalité ?)…
Les programmes d’éducation sont pensés dans des « grins » et non dans les universités ou laboratoires. Le paysan du retour de la ville divorce avec sa femme qui ne parle pas  français. La femme n’ayant pas fait l’exode au village tombe sous la vindicte de l’autre qui a séjournée en côtoyant le VIH/SIDA. La valorisation de la femme parlant une langue de la ville se voit aimée par son mari au village.
Elles ou ils ont le droit de penser ainsi. Mais au fait, qui a provoqué cette situation de catastrophe linguistique ? Le blanc ? Le cousin teint clair ? On donnait même des symboles payant pour des enfants qui n’ont même pas le petit déjeuner le matin avant de venir à l’école. Les vacanciers scolaires parlent français pour critiquer leur frères  paysans et courtisent les filles pas en fonction des valeurs culturelles positives mais juste en fonction de la langue française par exemple. Qui va arrêter ce déluge ? A quoi la négritude a servi ? Peut-être prendre conscience de notre noirceur ?
Mon cousin me dit qu’il y a trop de langues qui ne servent à rien car non parlées à la siliconvalleyni sous la tour Eiffel, ni à Hollywood peut être pas à Koulouba non plus. On n’y peut rien avec des multitudes de langues, il faut imposer le français (bientôt sourd linguistique) et l’anglais la langue de la globalisation et de l’étalon dollar.
Ils nous rassurent que la francophonie n’est pas une question de langue mais de cultures, un esprit et donc une civilisation. Même le Qatar est membre. A quand la fulfulphonie, bambaraphonie, dogonphonie, swahiliphonie…. ? On se querelle entre nous pour en être le chef en oubliant la wolofphonie. Il a sa réponse, on ne peut plus vivre en vase clos. J’oubliais il détient la vérité universelle, car compatriote de Senghor. Il faut faire appel au VGAL pour le respect des bonnes initiatives et de la dignité. Il peut vérifier le coup d’état contre nos langues par les ministères de l’éducation nationale dans les pays africains. C’est sérieux, car quand je rêve dans une autre langue, ce rêve ne reste qu’un rêve, mais quand je rêve dans ma langue maternelle, il deviendra réalité. Rêvons dans nos langues maternelles.
C’est faux ! L’utilisation des langues nationales ne coûte pas plus chère que les autres langues. Des preuves existent. Mon cousin est d’accord qu’on l’appelle Mamadou et non Niamanton, c’est une honte ! Je ne suis pas pour un repli identitaire, ni contre les autres langues du monde. Ne faisons pas semblant de parler nos langues mais vivons nos langues. La communication dirige le monde, la globalisation, le verbe s’est fait chair dit le religieux.
Le développement est défini à tort par certains comme un changement quantitatif et qualitatif d’une situation matérielle d’un être humain. Les enfants ont donné leurs réponse : « la viande du margouillat est plus bonne que celle du poulet, la différence se trouve dans la façon de cuisiner ». Manger une mangue en parlant français ou  bambara ne change pas  le goût ni la valeur nutritive de celle-ci. Nous avons déjà notre mangue pourquoi nous imposer de parler d’autres langues pour avoir droit à la même mangue. Nous avons notre coton pourquoi la cravate est la base du « sogobi » cette façon de parler comme les autres. Dire Riz ou malo ne change pas la productivité du riz à l’office du Niger au Mali.
Le développement voulu par les peuples ne décrète pas par l’augmentation du budget de l’éducation nationale si les bases sont biaisées. Les langues importées coûtent trop chères à l’investissement pour être rentable à la sortie des universités. L’armée n’appartient pas aux militaires ni l’école aux enseignants.
 Je ne crois pas qu’il soit nécessaire de faire la fin du monde quand on oublie une fois le nom de  celui qui a dit qu’en Afriki, un vieillard qui meurt, est une bibliothèque qui brûle, car celui qui l’a dit avait eu comme maître un analphabète français, Maitre Thierno Bocar. Je suis un naufragé mais l’Afrique ne doit pas se noyer à cause du complexe de valoriser nos langues.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Rogers Co. dispatchers gain access to thousands of foreign language interpreters through new service

Rogers Co. dispatchers gain access to thousands of foreign language interpreters through new service | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
CLAREMORE, Okla. - Dispatchers expect to pick up more calls to the Rogers County 911 Center since they began subscribing last week to a service called LanguageLine Solutions.

The service connects dispatchers instantly to interpreters across the world who speak more than 200 different languages, according to Rogers County 911 Director Janet Hamilton.

"I believe once the foreign-speaking community is made aware of (LanguageLine) that our call volume with them will increase," Hamilton says.

She says the dispatchers in Rogers County rarely get calls from non-English speakers because they think no one will be able to understand them. She hopes this quick, new service will make them more willing to call and report an emergency. 

"They have the mindset that there's no sense in calling because they cannot understand me," Hamilton says.

"I do believe that the community, the foreign-speaking community will feel more comfortable about being in the community knowing that there is emergency services available to them as well," she added.

As an example, if someone calls 911 and speaks only Spanish, the dispatcher will simply click on an icon on his or her computer and connect instantly with LanguageLine. An interpreter will then join the conversation and help the caller communicate with the dispatcher and vice-versa.

"It's seconds that all this transpires, so there's not a delay," Hamilton says.

The service is garnering praise especially from the local Spanish-speaking population.

"I think it's a great thing," says Norma Ochoa of Claremore, "because I think there's a lot of Hispanic people who feel that they don't have really anywhere to turn when they're in need."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics made up 4.1 percent of the population in 2013, but Ochoa says that number will only grow larger.

She and her family moved to Claremore more than 20 years ago and mostly spoke Spanish in their home. She now works at the local hospital and is often asked to be an interpreter for Spanish-speaking patients.

She says the people who speak little English are less willing to call 911 and report emergencies, so she believes LanguageLine will benefit them most.

"To know that (the interpreters) are available and that they're going to have someone who can actually communicate with them gives them a sense of stability and, I think, of security," Ochoa says.

Rogers County paid nothing to install LanguageLine, Hamilton says. The county will only have to pay for the service if it's ever used. Bringing an interpreter into a call will cost 69 cents per minute.

"So if we have no interpretation services in a month," Hamilton says, "we don't pay anything."
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

New LAMP website offers information for media, language practitioners

The South African Alliance of Language and Media Practitioners (LAMP) has launched its new website as an information hub for media and language practitioners, particularly for those member associations that make up the alliance.
Its current members are the Association of Southern African Indexers and Bibliographers (ASAIB), the Professional Editors' Group (PEG), the Professional Journalists' Association (ProJourn), the Southern African Freelancers' Association (SAFREA), the South African Science Journalists' Association and the South African Translators' Institute (SATI).

Formal communication

It hopes the website will facilitate contact with a broad-based industry that creates most of what people read, see or hear through the media, in books and in other forms of formal communication.

While each association retains its autonomy, LAMP alliance partners share resources and leadership is rotated between the different associations, with SASJA currently in that role.

"The quality of practitioners represented through their member organisations was highlighted recently when Mandi Smallhorne, the current President of SASJA was chosen by unanimous vote as the President of the African Federation of Science Journalists (AFSJ)," says spokesperson, Lia Labuschagne, who represents SASJA on LAMP.

"There is a wealth of talent, skill and experience available among the members of our constituent organisations and the Alliance's aim is to share resources and expertise, and coordinate action relating to matters of common interest. On a practical level, we exchange information about workshops and training opportunities and, through LAMP, our member organisations are represented on the South African Book Development Council. The organisations also collaborated on representations to government prior to the passing of the SA Language Practitioners' Council Act, which will have a wide-reaching effect on all LAMP members once it comes into force.

"Media and language practitioners are the interface between ideas and information - whether it is the news of the day or the text for a school book, a research journal, a novel, a website or a host of other mediums - and the public. Our members often work behind the scenes and range from those employed by corporates, universities, research bodies and publishing and broadcast houses to freelancers or people working for consultancies."

Information hub

The new LAMP website will provide a one-stop information hub about the member organisations, their membership, fees and contact details.

"Our skills range from translation and editing to various kinds of specialised writing, indexing, photography, design and more. Each member body represents an area of specialisation or special interest and our needs are varied. However, collectively our efforts go towards the effective dissemination of those ideas and information. Through LAMP, our organisations present a united front to industry players and the public when representing our members' interests," c
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

News Content Editor

News Content Editor | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the nation’s leading advocacy organization has a sensational opportunity for an individual to work on AAP News, the official news magazine of the AAP, and AAP Gateway, a new unified network of journals launching Spring 2015, that allows our membership and subscribers to personalize the content they receive and provide it to them before they even need it.

This individual will be primary coordinator/liaison of content acquisition for AAP News and AAP Gateway and includes the tasks of creating, writing, updating, and acquiring news and research content for print, as well as, audio and multimedia and managing the editorial planning of continuous online news publishing to ensure timely updates.

Qualified candidates will have a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, English, or related discipline, or an equivalent combination of relevant education and work experience required, 2-3 years experience managing online content required, including writing/editing, scheduling editorial workflow and production, and quality assurance, preferably in an online publishing or metropolitan newspaper environment. Knowledge of content managements systems, and Associate Press writing styles essential.

Must be an enthusiastic team player, pay close attention to detail, and able to manage multiple projects simultaneously under tight deadlines. Excellent writing, editing, and verbal communication skills required. Must possess excellent project management skills, including an understanding of how to scope projects, communicating with development teams, and managing projects from inception to completion. Proficiency with MS Office A willingness to learn new technologies and the ability to work closely with a variety of staff members, and external vendors. Some weekend work and travel may be required.


The AAP offers an excellent work environment, competitive salary, and an excellent comprehensive benefits package. As a reaffirmation to our employee-focused culture, the AAP has been named one of the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in the Chicagoland area for the last ten, consecutive years. Additionally, we are an Equal Opportunity Employer (Minority/Female/Disabled/Veteran) that values the strength diversity brings to our workplace.


Interested candidates should reference position HR/mjc/656 when sending your resume and cover letter with salary requirements to:   American Academy of Pediatrics, ATTN: Human Resources, 141 Northwest Point Blvd. Elk Grove Village, IL, Fax# 847-228-5099, E-Mail: resumes@aap.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

App gives global access to Bible stories and translation - Mission Network News

App gives global access to Bible stories and translation  - Mission Network News | Metaglossia: The Translation World |

International (WAS)—Wycliffe Associates, a global organization that empowers national Bible translators around the world, has launched a new, free app that makes Bible stories accessible to smartphone users worldwide.

Called translationStudio, the Android operating system app is available for download on Google Play .

“God’s Word in every language took a giant step toward reality as our translationStudio app was released for free download in the Google Play store,” says Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “This is just the beginning of developing a tool that puts Bible translation within the reach of Christians worldwide.”

Earlier this year, Wycliffe Associates tested the beta version of the app with translation teams working in some of the most difficult and dangerous regions of the world for Christians. Their feedback has been incorporated into the current release.

The translationStudio app features “Open Bible Stories,” a set of 50 fully-illustrated Bible stories. Open Bible Stories has been released under Creative Commons’ Attribution Share-Alike licensing, which allows translation into any language, anywhere, at any time, and by anyone–without copyright limitations.

(Photo courtesy of Wycliffe Associates)

Open Bible Stories currently includes a collection of 21 Old Testament stories and 29 New Testament stories, and provides a chronological overview of God’s relationship with humanity, from creation to redemption.

“In the coming months, we will haveOpen Bible Stories loaded in at least 50 gateway languages, enabling people who are bilingual in any of these languages to begin translating these Bible stories into their own language,” says Smith. “Once local translators have completed theOpen Bible Stories, they can easily make the transition into a full Bible translation program. The Open Bible Stories method actually fits perfectly into the culture of many language groups that have a tradition of storytelling handed down through generations.”

The Resource section of the app provides information on key terms and how to overcome translation challenges, intended to assist local translators in creating translations that are clear, natural, and accurate. In addition, collaboration tools enable any number of people to work together, online or offline, to draft and revise their work for the best possible result.

“We are also working to load English source text for the entire Old and New Testament that will be licensed to allow immediate translation into any language, without copyright limitations,” says Smith. “All of this is available at no cost to the local church or their translators.”

The digital format enables the Scriptures to be published immediately and at very low cost through the Internet or by sharing memory cards.

“This project is not finished. It is really just beginning,” says Smith. “We need technicians, app developers, trainers, and Bible scholars to share in maximizing the benefit of these resources to the global church. We need financial partners to include this strategy in their stewardship priorities as a blessing to the world. We need partners to lift this up in prayer, seeking God’s continuing wisdom and guidance for everyone involved.”

If you fit one of these descriptions and want to help, contact Wycliffe Associates here.

Pray that God will open the right doors and lead the right workers to help with this project.

About Wycliffe Associates:  Organized in 1967 by friends of Bible translators, Wycliffe Associates is a ministry that participates in Bible translation worldwide. Because millions of people around the world still wait to read the Scriptures in the language of their heart, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as it can to see every verse of God’s Word translated into every tongue to speak to every heart. Wycliffe Associate empowers national Bible translators to provide God’s Word in their own language; partners with the local church to direct and guard translation work, harnessing their passion and desire for God’s Word; and engages people from all around the world to provide resources, technology, training, and support for Bible translation. Last year alone, 3,145 Wycliffe Associates team members worked to speed Bible translations in 71 different countries.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Navajo president vetoes language-fluency changes in setback for candidate for tribe's top post

Navajo president vetoes language-fluency changes in setback for candidate for tribe's top post | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — The president of the nation's largest Indian reservation stood behind a tribal law that requires people seeking the top elected post to be fluent in the Navajo language, dealing what could be a final blow to a candidate who had been criticized for his speaking skills.

The issue of fluency has deeply divided Navajos on and off the vast reservation that, while known internationally for its picturesque rock formations, struggles with high rates of unemployment, poor housing and a lack of electricity and running water.

At stake is the bigger question of how tribal leaders maintain ties to the language. More than half of the Navajo Nation's estimated 300,000 members speak the language, but knowledge of it fades among younger generations.

Navajo President Ben Shelly vetoed legislation Tuesday that would let voters decide whether presidential hopefuls are proficient in the Navajo language, prompting Chris Deschene to cease his campaign. In his veto message, Shelly said the requirements for president should be addressed through a reservation-wide vote, not by tribal lawmakers in the days leading up to the Nov. 4 general election.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Calais comments and immigration 'mess'

Calais comments and immigration 'mess' | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Comments by the mayor of Calais that Britain's benefits system is a "soft touch" and a "magnet" for migrants are seized upon by the papers.

The Times says Natacha Bouchart "unleashed her attack" during evidence to a Commons committee inquiry into the work of the Home Office.

The paper says it was a serious blow to David Cameron's reputation on immigration, with the prime minister under pressure to present a tough front in the face of the threat from UKIP.

"Mon Dieu," goes Ann Treneman's Parliamentary sketch. "The home affairs select committee heard from the mayor of Calais yesterday and all hell broke loose."

In his sketch in the Telegraph, Michael Deacon says the problem is stowaways from Calais, but the solution? - "It's all Greek to me".

"Yesterday a group of MPs spent an hour interrogating the mayor of Calais about illegal immigration to Britain," he writes. "I'm afraid I didn't understand a word. Still, I don't feel too bad. Because I doubt the MPs understood a word either.

"Keith Vaz, the chairman of the home affairs select committee, had invited Natacha Bouchart to enlighten Parliament about Calais' troubles. It was a sound idea, with only one drawback. Madame Bouchart, it transpired, couldn't speak English. And the MPs couldn't speak French."

John Crace's sketch in the Guardian pokes fun at the welcome afforded by the committee's chairman: "'Ordre, ordre. Je veux te - si je peux be so bold - welcomer ici. It is not souvent que the Lady Mayor de Calais gets to meet moi,' said Keith Vaz in the pre-rehearsed speed-dating routine he usually reserves for his mirror.

"Natacha Bouchart looked startled, as much by the sound of her native language being badly mauled as by the nature of her welcome."

"As ententes go this was not madly cordiale," says Independent sketch writer Donald Macintyre. "The whole proceeding was translated by an interpreter. Which didn't deter the Tory MP Michael Ellis from applying the technique adopted by so many Brit holidaymakers addressing foreigners: speaking more loudly."

The Daily Express devotes its front page to the story, saying that she repeatedly clashed with MPs who argued it was up to France to stop the illegal migrants getting across.

In an editorial, the Express says Ms Bouchart was right to say that migrants were attracted by Britain's "hugely generous" benefits system - but wrong to ask for help from MPs in dealing with the problems in Calais.

The Sun says the mayor "sparked fury" by suggesting that a centre should be built to house those migrants waiting in Calais.

The Mirror comments: "The right-wing Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart - a French Tory - must not be allowed to get away with passing the buck on migrants in the Channel port."
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

A Guide To Writing Great Antagonists

A Guide To Writing Great Antagonists | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Are you ready for the most despicable, evil, heartless character you’ve ever met? Wonderful! You’re ready to write your story’s antagonist.

Once you’ve decided on your perfect protagonist—someone everyone will love and root for; someone inherently noble and willing to risk everything to save the day -- you need to address the flip side of the coin. Unless your story also has a wickedly good antagonist, it’s destined to be a yawn-fest.

Every great hero needs an equally great villain. If your main character easily accomplishes his or her goals without even a hint of conflict or interference looming on the next pages, the story is not going to engage your reader. Introducing a worthy adversary adds tension to the plot.

So how do you write a great arch-enemy?

Make sure your antagonist is three dimensional. Some writers spend countless hours researching and developing a detailed backstory for their protagonist. But when it’s time to write the villain, they slap together a few broad strokes to paint someone who simply functions as a reverse deus ex machina -- a character that suddenly pops up and is conveniently evil. Instead, your antihero should be just as three dimensional as your main character.

Create a villain with capabilities equal, if not superior, to the abilities of the hero. A stupid rival is too easily vanquished and offers no challenge. The best bad guys and gals are brilliant and talented. But unlike heroes, they’re also usually lacking any sense of morality.

Explore the character’s motivation. Is it fear? Revenge? Power? Greed? Or is it actually a misdirected attempt at trying to do what’s best?

Have sympathy for the devil. Don’t create an opponent who’s completely invincible. The best antagonists will also have weaknesses and experience inner conflicts. Norman Bates may be a psycho, but he definitely loves his mother.

Embrace your dark side. While your protagonist’s actions will be constrained by what’s good and right, your dastardly villain is free to chew up the scenery. And let’s face it; a morally bankrupt, no-good, rotten character is lots of fun to write.

Here are a few literary characters who are really good at being bad:

Lord Voldemort – the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. A wizard so feared, his name cannot be spoken. His plan for pure-bred dominance reeks of true evil.

The Grand Witch – The Witches by Roald Dahl. A creature without mercy, she preys on children by turning them into mice to be killed by their unknowing parents.

Professor Moriarity – The Final Problem by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This ruthless criminal mastermind is the ultimate nemesis for Sherlock Holmes.

Lady Macbeth – Macbeth by William Shakespeare. The unrelenting, power-hungry force behind her husband’s murder of the King.

Nurse Ratchet – One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kensey. Every patient’s nightmare nurse, she cruelly abuses her power over the helpless occupants of her psychiatric ward.

Sweeney Todd – The String of Pearls: A Romance by Jaymes Malcolm Ryder. The demon barber of Fleet Street gives a sinister new meaning to a close shave…and a worse reputation to meat pies.

HAL9000 – 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. This is what happens when artificial intelligence goes bad. A supercomputer’s mission conflict results in a simple, logical solution: No surviving crew, no conflict.
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

Award-Winning Instant Translation App Announces Visual Translator for Korean

Award-Winning Instant Translation App Announces Visual Translator for Korean | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
Waygo Adds Third Language, Magical Text Replacement to Mobile Translation Service
SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 29, 2014) -  Visual translation service, Waygo, today announces the addition of Korean to its instant translation app. Korean is the third language to be added to the app, and will cater to both language enthusiasts and the 12 million travelers visiting Korea each year. Waygo translates Korean, Japanese and Chinese characters into English text on menus, street signs and more with visual processing and translating technologies.
Waygo helps language learners, tourists and business travelers experience Asian culture like a local. Users can read printed materials by simply pointing their cameras to translate text instantly, without the need for an internet connection. Additionally, Waygo's new photo translation feature allows users to translate phrases and words from a photo, in addition to text. Waygo is also launching a new design for multi-line translation that magically replaces foreign text with English.
"Korea is experiencing a booming travel growth. We're thrilled that our app will now allow travelers to explore the country with new eyes," said Ryan Rogowski, CEO and co-founder of Waygo. "The addition of our image translation feature will also enhance users' experience and help travelers to Japan, China and Korea break down language barriers and travel like a local."
Now holding 1.5 million translations, Waygo launched as the only instant visual translator for Chinese in April 2013.
Waygo is available for free, offering users 10 free translations per day. Users can purchase an in-app upgrade to unlimited translations for $6.99, or a weeklong tourist package of unlimited translations for $1.99. It is available for download on Android devices at and iOS devices at
About Waygo
Waygo is the leading visual translation service that changes the way tourists, language learners and business travelers experience China, Japan and Korea. Derived from the Chinese pinyin ("wài guó"), or foreign country, Waygo uses a combination of optical character recognition and a translation piece to translate Chinese, Japanese and Korean characters into English text. The app sees images, finds relevant text and creates sensible phrases by simply holding the phone over the characters. Waygo instantly translates and does not require an Internet connection to operate. More languages are being developed and are coming soon. For additional information, visit
Lauren Bowes
Uproar PR for Waygo
321-236-0102 x232
Email Contact
No comment yet.
Scooped by Charles Tiayon!

The master linguist: the problem with translating Ibsen

The master linguist: the problem with translating Ibsen | Metaglossia: The Translation World |
From a re-imagining of The Wild Duck to differing interpretations of The Master Builder, Ibsen’s plays are challenging source material. The New Penguin Ibsen aims to get to grips with the originals
Share 38

Mark Lawson, Wednesday 29 October 2014 15.51 GMT
Jump to comments (7)

Psychological drama ... Sheridan Smith and Daniel Lapaine in Hedda Gabler at the Old Vic. Photograph: Tristram Kenton
In a letter written in 1872, the dramatist Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) fretted about how well his plays might fare outside of Norway. Putting a drama into other languages, he argued, was “not simply a matter of translating the meaning but also, to a certain extent, of re-creating the style and the images and ultimately adapting the entire form of expression to the structure and demands of the language into which one is translating.”

At that time, the fear was largely theoretical because Ibsen’s early work had not travelled much further than Sweden. But the great social and psychological dramas he wrote later – such as Hedda Gabler, An Enemy of the People, The Wild Duck, A Doll’s House and The Master Builder – are now staged and studied around the world.

And, in Britain, two contrasting approaches to Ibsen translation have appeared this month. Sydney’s Belvoir St Theatre Company has recently visited the Barbican, performing its radical re-imagining of The Wild Duck, the five acts thinned into a single 80-minute stretch, played within a modernist glass set. This coincides with the publication of the first volume of the New Penguin Ibsen, a four-book project – backed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – that contains the first English translations based on a 2005 Scandinavian historical-critical edition of the plays, featuring revised texts.

The Belvoir and Penguin approaches – theatrical practitioners trying to rethink the plays for both modern audiences, and academics aiming to represent the dramatist’s intentions – encapsulate the recurrent conflict in the presentation of foreign drama. Even when the treatment is less experimental than the Australian staging, theatre companies prefer to use versions by playwrights (such as Christopher Hampton, Mike Poulton and David Eldridge) while publishers with an eye on college bookshops turn to translators who are specialists in the source language: the Penguin project uses the university-linked Barbara J Haveland and Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife.

Any translation – for stage or page – starts with the knowledge that there will be losses and dodges: Penguin sensibly prefaces the texts with Ibsen’s fretting letter of 1872. But the jeopardy is even greater with this writer because of a historical oddity of his vocabulary. A useful trick question for cultural quiz-setters is: “In which language did the great Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen write his plays?” The answer is Danish: the tongue of Norway’s former conquerors remained its official idiom throughout the 19th century – but with increasing patriotic variations to create a vernacular usually known as Dano-Norwegian. This means that the translator (or creator of a literal translation for use by a playwright) needs two different sets of dictionaries and thesauri and a strong sense of the historical evolution of Scandinavian languages.

David Sturzaker and Cush Jumbo in A Doll’s House at the Royal Exchange Theatre. Photograph: Jonathan Keenan
Included in the first edition of the New Penguin Ibsen is The Master Builder, his 1892 play about the decline and (eventually non-metaphorical) fall of Halvard Solness, the title character. But, as the introduction and footnotes acknowledge, the problems of translation start with the name of the play. The Dano-Norwegian title is Bygmester Solness, which translates as “Master Builder Solness”, although editions in English have traditionally dropped the surname.

The complication, though, continues in the dialogue where, in the original, the protagonist is often addressed as “Master Builder Solness” or “my Master Builder”, even by loved ones. This reflects a cultural tendency towards professional identification, which perhaps has its closest parallel in modern American society where octogenarians will still be addressed as “Principal Skinner” or “Superintendent Gephardt” decades after they occupied those positions.

This is problematic in English scripts because the term Master Builder has little general currency beyond an antique schoolboy euphemism for self-abuse. The best alternatives – constructor, architect – do not quite describe what Solness did. And, even if one of them is used, there is no English tradition of people in the building business being addressed as “Architect Rogers” or “Constructor Laing”.

For this reason, the new Penguin version of The Master Builder sensibly confesses to having dropped much of this labelling, although when it is retained, with Solness’s womenfolk referring to him as “Oh, Master Builder!” or “poor Master Builder”, most modern actors would feel nudged towards an ironic or sarcastic inflection, which may or may not have been what Ibsen wanted.

Victoria Hamilton and Alan Bates in The Master Builder at Theatre Royal Haymarket.
A useful illustration of the slipperiness of translated Ibsen comes from comparing two earlier English renditions of a key Solness speech with the words in the Penguin volume. Towards the end of the play, the dying – and probably demented – Solness recalls an epiphanic argument with God after climbing to the summit of a spire he had built.

This is Michael Meyer’s version (1921-2000), the translator who did more than anyone – except Ibsen’s first Anglophone champion, William Archer – to place Norwegian in the theatrical canon:

And, as I stood high up there, right at the top, and placed the wreath over the weathercock, I said to Him: ‘Listen to me, mighty one! Henceforth, I too want to be a free master builder. Free, in my field, as You are in Yours. I never want to build churches for You again. Only homes, for people to live in’.”

And here is the equivalent speech from A Master Builder, a present-day adaptation written by the American actor-playwright Wallace Shawn for a theatre production that has not yet happened – although Shawn and his frequent collaborator Andre Gregory have made the script into a film:

I don’t know how I got up there. But, when I was up there at the top, I made a vow – I vowed that I would never build churches again – only homes where people could live. And then I came down and that was when your father had us all to tea and I met you.”

Apart from rejecting direct address to the deity for a secularised reported speech, Shawn has also incorporated a piece of back-story that seems to have no equivalent in the original. So what does Barbara Haveland, working from the new definitive Ibsen text, come up with?

And when I stood there right at the very top and hung the wreath over the weather-vane, I said to him: now you listen to me, almighty one! From now on, I’m going to be a free master builder too. In my own field. As you are in yours. I’m never going to build churches for you again. Only homes for people.”

Haveland, I suspect, may have opted for “weather-vane” rather than Meyer’s “weather-cock” to remove a hovering vulgarity, but this shows how complex the business of linguistic rendition is. Her predecessor may, consciously or subconsciously, have been more true to the Freudian phallic sub-text in a play whose main male character is obsessed with clambering up towers.

Only Scandinavian speakers are placed to judge whether Meyer or Haveland is more accurate, but Shawn’s text, though it seems to take considerable licence, is clearly the most fluently actable – a perfect presentation of the dilemma that theatrical translation raises.

Frustratingly, neither of the two most accomplished translator-playwrights of Ibsen – Hampton or Poulton – has made a version of The Master Builder that I can locate – it would be fascinating to see how they would deal with the problems of language and conversational address that it poses.

For anyone interested in the work of one of the strongest contenders to be the second-best playwright after Shakespeare, the New Penguin Ibsen is a magnificent thing to have, but the versions it contains confirm that the concept of a definitive translation is, if not necessarily moronic, definitively oxymoronic – a phrase that is, appropriately, probably impossible to render into Dano-Norwegian.

Henrik Ibsen
Mark Lawson's Theatre studies
More from Mark Lawson's Theatre studies on
Henrik Ibsen
More theatre coverage

Death, drugs and survival: DV8 Physical Theatre tells the story of John
Lloyd Newson's latest production uses movement and the spoken word to stage one man's harrowing yet extraordinary life
Camera Lucida review – haunted by spirits of recordings past
Daring directors are shaking up the classics – and making great theatre
'Tis Pity She's a Whore review – naked passion illuminated by candlelight
Sunny Afternoon review: a heady celebration of the Kinks and Ray Davies
Blank canvas: the enduring appeal of Yasmina Reza's Art
Sweeney Todd review: 'All meat and no gristle'
Camera Lucida: a truly spine-tingling experience
What's this?
More fr
No comment yet.