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El error de traducción que casi desata la tercera Guerra Mundial

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

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

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

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

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

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

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La nota de The Economist y su pésima redacción; @AristeguiOnline manipula su traducción

La nota de The Economist y su pésima redacción; @AristeguiOnline manipula su traducción | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
The Economist, diario de origen británico publica en su página web, así como en su edición impresa una nota dedicada al Presidente de la República; no me voy a centrar en el contenido de la misma, más bien, como abogado y perito en el idioma inglés me permitiré analizar la redacción de la misma.

Un diario de tanto prestigio como aseguran lo es The Economist, dudo mucho que se permita dar el lujo de publicar notas con tantas faltas de ortografía, sí estimado lector, la nota está plagada de errores de ortografía así como de gravísimas faltas de redacción, y cualquier persona que sepa leer el idioma inglés se dará cuenta que, de una simple lectura, en la nota existen párrafos que al parecer no dicen nada, simplemente porque a la redacción no se le entiende.

Esa nota da la impresión a primera vista, de que fue escrita en español, y quien la escribió, la tradujo al idioma inglés o con la ayuda de un traductor en línea o con su precario inglés aprendido en Open-English.

Es muy sabido que el idioma inglés de la Gran Bretaña no es el mismo que se usa en Estados Unidos; el primero es más rico, más elegante, con las palabras correctas en lugar de palabras o frases acortadas y resumidas; y precisamente la forma en que está redactada la nota publicada hoy por el diario en referencia, es una redacción al inglés común y corriente que en México las escuelas enseñan, con palabras prácticamente escritas o como uno entiende o se acuerda.

Ahora bien, el escribir en inglés, por su sencillez, no se presta para que una persona adulta escriba con faltas de ortografía ya que su redacción no es tan rígida como escribir en español, donde no hay que omitir acentos, confundir Z con S o con C, la Y con la LL, o palabras con H o sin H; por lo tanto ver los errores garrafales ortográficos, de redacción y de utilización de palabras en ciertas frases que contiene la nota de un diario británico solo puede deducirse que fue una nota traducida al idioma inglés americano, no británico, y que se publicó tal cual sin haberla revisado antes. Pero pasemos a las faltas ortográficas que contiene la multicitada nota: 

En el primer párrafo escriben MEXICANS ARE INCREASINGLY, cuando lo correcto es escribir INCREASING – Creciendo, aumentando.
En el tercer párrafo refiere la palabra “COMPLICIT IN ORGANISED CRIME”, cuando lo correcto es escribir ORGANIZED - Organizado.
En ese mismo párrafo, al inicio del mismo se lee “IN THE GOVERNMENT’S DEFENCE”, cuando lo correcto es escribir DEFENSE – Defensa.
En el quinto párrafo se lee “IS SEEN AS UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOUR”, cuando lo correcto es escribir BEHAVIOR – Comportamiento, conducta.
Estos por citar algunos ejemplos.

La pésima redacción de la nota y que es un claro ejemplo de que la misma primeramente fue escrita en idioma español para luego ser traducida al inglés, viene desde el título de la misma “The Mexican morass – A president who doesn’t get that he doesn’t get it”

En inglés, tanto de Estados Unidos como en Inglaterra, si alguien hace referencia a la palabra PANTANO, usa la palabra SWAMP, que es la tradicional, incluso si uno pone en cualquier traductor en línea o busca en un diccionario, la palabra swamp es la primera. Usar “morass” es un título burlón, casi de insulto, que es lo que al parecer se proponían ya que morón en español significa tonto, y ass significa trasero, a esto habría que comentar que en Estados Unidos un insulto preferido es “asshole” y una variante de este insulto que también se usa en el vecino país es precisamente “morass”. Por lo tanto, quien escribió la nota se puede intuir que pretendía exactamente esto, hacer una mofa y el lugar de llamar a la misa El Pantano Mexicano era más bien como el (insulto) Mexicano.

Por lo que respecta al subtítulo de la nota la traducción al español de una frase que en inglés simplemente no supieron hilar significa “EL PRESIDENTE QUIEN NO TIENE QUE ÉL NO LO TIENE”; las palabras claves son GET y GET IT, lo que supone (como decía el vocero de Fox) que lo que realmente querían decir es:

EL PRESIDENTE QUE NO ENTIENDE (O NO CAPTA), LO QUE NO ENTIENDE (O NO CAPTA) que suena un poco más lógico y entendible, por lo que, en inglés, esta frase debía haberse escrito:

“THE PRESIDENT THAT DON’T GET, WHAT HE DOESN’T GET IT”O “THE PRESIDENT THAT DOESN’T UNDERSTAND, WHAT HE DOESN’T UNDERSTAND”

En inglés no tiene sentido de redacción escribir las palabras “who-doesn’t-that-he”, simplemente es como escribir “quien no que él” y no existe redacción alguna en la cual usando esas palabras se pueda elaborar una frase bien redactada.

Prosiguiendo en este mismo tenor, encontramos otras faltas de redacción en las que usaron palabras que nada tenían que ver con el sentido de la nota, además de que usaron palabras que en inglés simplemente no se usan cuando hay que referir algo:

MEXICANS ARE INCREASINGLY CYNICAL ABOUT THE MESSENGER – Los mexicanos están incrementando cínicamente respecto del mensajero.

THEIR APPARENT MURDER BY DRUG TRAFFICKERS – Aparentemente asesino por traficantes de drogas.

 THE RULE OF LAW – La regla-norma de la ley

THEY DON’T GET THAT THEY DON’T GET IT – Ellos no captan que ellos no lo están captando

THE MAIN BENEFICIARY OF THE CYNISMI THE PRESIDENT IS ENGENDERING – El principal beneficiario del cinismo el presidente está engendramiento

INSIST THAT THEY HAVE DONE NOTHING ILLEGAL – Insisten que ellos tienen hecho nada ilegal

Estas frases no es que fueran mal redactadas en inglés, más bien, fueron mal traducidas ya que, en la primera frase se asegura que los mexicanos están incrementando en cinismo, en la segunda utilizan una frase en tiempo presente para referir hechos del pasado, además que ni en Estados Unidos o en Europa utilizan literalmente drug traffickers para referirse a narcotraficantes o crimen organizado, ya que usan las palabras MOB o DRUG CARTELS; rule of law simplemente no se usa ni para términos legales, ni siquiera para referirse a reglas de algún juego de mesa; en la tercera frase debieron redactar THEY DON’T GET THAT THEY ARE NOT GETING IT para referir en español que ellos no captan lo que ellos no están captando; y en la última frase vuelven a referir la palabra cinismo pero en lugar de referir que se está engendrando, usan una palabra que significa engendramiento. Por lo concerniente a la insistencia, para dar a entender en inglés que ellos insistían en no haber hecho nada ilegal, la frase en inglés debió  haber sido redactada INSIST THAT THEY HAD NOT DONE NOTHING ILLEGAL ya que la forma en que está redactada en inglés simple y sencillamente no tiene sentido en ese idioma.

Ahora bien, tal y como en los últimos meses lo ha estado haciendo, Carmen Aristegui es la que da las notas de críticas al gobierno mexicano de The Economist, de la mano con su corresponsal Dolia Estevez, quien casualmente resulta en veces ser enlace con el WSJ y con el diario inglés siempre que hay una nota en contra del gobierno mexicano.

Lo que resulta burdo e insultante es la manipulación de Aristegui para traducir la nota de The Economist, al cambiar palabras que nunca fueron escritas por el diario inglés, así como cambiando por completo la redacción de la misma, y vamos a los ejemplos:

 

The Economist                         Traducción                         Manipulación de Aristegui

Cynical

Cínicos

Escépticos

Cabinet

Gabinete (mueble)

Gabinete (funcionarios)

Rule of law

Reglas de ley

Estado de derecho

Stained

Manchado

Marcado

Embarrassment

Vergüenza

Bochorno

This confirmed

Esto confirmado

Esto confirma

Of the cynicism the president is engendering

El cinismo que el presidente está engendramiento

El escepticismo que el presidente está engendrando

Dé una simple lectura de la nota original por The Economist

 https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDcQqQIwAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.economist.com%2Fnews%2Famericas%2F21640397-president-who-doesnt-get-he-doesnt-get-it-mexican-morass&ei=tXzCVI2xA8ahNvrlgpgO&usg=AFQjCNEDBXxwuRjOJh_Lq8Cs1mcMQX881Q&sig2=mT6_JEVg0yA_ZptC0HxqMQ&bvm=bv.84349003,d.eXY

En comparación con la “supuesta traducción” realizado por el portal de Aristegui Noticias

http://aristeguinoticias.com/2301/mexico/el-pantano-mexicano-articulo-textual-publicado-en-the-economist/

Se infiere que la nota del diario inglés fue escrita originalmente en español, pésimamente traducida al idioma inglés, entregada al citado diario para su publicación, para posteriormente hacer la traducción deseada o más bien, la nota original otra vez en español; esto queda al descubierto en el uso de frases tan trilladas como el conflicto de intereses, figura jurídica que no aparece en el léxico jurídico inglés, por lo que resulta burdo que un diario extranjero use términos legales de México.

Debe de tomarse en cuenta algo muy importante, muchos de los lectores de SDP Noticias aseguran que un artículo escrito con faltas de ortografía no merece la atención de nadie, por lo tanto, al estar plagado de errores ortográficos y de redacción la nota publicada por The Economist, esta, nada más puede ser refutada como falsa, ya que la misma no fue redactada por nadie del diario, hicieron un favor en publicar algo que alguien les mandó; alguien que se está ayudando de diarios en el extranjero que tienen algo en común, una corresponsal y un medio de noticias en México quien es quien les da la promoción de sus notas.

La tomada de pelo que se pretende dar a los lectores mexicanos con esta nota que sin duda alguna fue originada en México y exportada a fin de que fuese publicada en el extranjero viene a sumarse a los ataques que buscan mermar la figura del Presidente de México.
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Windows 10 Technical Preview now available in another 22 languages - Microsoft Language Portal Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs

Windows 10 Technical Preview now available in another 22 languages - Microsoft Language Portal Blog - Site Home - TechNet Blogs | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Windows 10 Technical Preview now available in another 22 languages

Palle Petersen 23 Jan 2015 12:47 PM 0
If you were watching the Windows 10 presentation earlier this week, you may have been wondering when you can get to try out Windows 10 in your language. Good news: the latest test build of Windows 10 was just announced on the Windows Blog and it will be available in 22 new languages (in addition to English US, English UK, Portuguese Brazilian and Chinese Simplified which were already included in the October build):

You’ve asked us to support more languages so we’re bringing you more languages: Japanese, Russian, German, French, French (Canada), Korean, Italian, Spanish, Spanish (Latin America), Traditional Chinese, Swedish, Finnish, Turkish, Arabic, Dutch, Czech, Polish, Thai, Vietnamese (Language Interface Pack), Catalan (Language Interface Pack), and Hindi (Language Interface Pack).
For Cortana, note that in this build, Cortana is available for U.S. English only, but search will work in all languages.

Also note that Persian Calendar support has now been included by popular request.

I hope you’ll join the Windows Insider program and experience Windows 10 in your language!
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The Spanish Language Version of the SOTU is Unbelievably Bad - COLORLINES

The Spanish Language Version of the SOTU is Unbelievably Bad  - COLORLINES | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it

¿Sí se puede? More like ¡No Se Puede!

The Spanish language version of the GOP’s response to Obama’s State of the Union raised some eyebrows: Carlos Curbelo (R-Florida) made some tweaks to remarks made by Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). But at least Curbelo presented it in actual Spanish—which is more than can be said for the White House’s own Spanish language subtitles of the president’s speech.

As Latino Rebels points out, it was pretty bad:

Not only was the translation of the speech clunky at times (expected), but the subtitles, oh the subtitles. Any Spanish speaker who really was looking forward to watching this speech would have been greatly disappointed and confused. Want proof? Here is an actual clip from tonight with the actual subtitles flying past the video. If you were a Spanish speed reader, you might have understood it, when the translation actually made sense. We guess. Just watch. And laugh. Then shake your head and realize that when it comes to communicating in Spanish, neither Democrats nor Republicans have gotten it.

Over at HuffPo, Roque Planas breaks down some especially terrible moments that were utterly lost in translation, which were usually made in ALL CAPS that were distracting in and of themselves.

I’d add one more:

The screen read, “FAMILIAS. POD EEMSZ HACERLO.” I’m guessing it was meant to read, “Familias. Podemos hacerlo,” which would translate to “Families. We can do it.” I’m still over here trying to figure out where EEMSZ even came from—which is a word in neither English nor Spanish. 

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Celebrate with another word

Celebrate with another word | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
The thesaurus is one of those simple, everyday things we reach for when needed, without giving a single thought to the rest of the time. Thesaurus Day is Sunday and is the day I have chosen to discuss. It is recognized each year on the birthday of the author of Roget’s Thesaurus. Peter Roget was born Jan. 18, 1779.
Why do we recognize such a day? It is a day to acknowledge the impact the thesaurus has on our lives.
The word thesaurus literally means treasure store.
The thesaurus is the go-to reference book. Because it lists synonyms, or words with similar meaning, it has become a valuable tool to most students and writers. Repeating the same words over and over again in a given document can spoil the well-read style of it. By searching for synonyms of the words, repetition can be avoided when writing. The thesaurus also is a great place to find antonyms, or words with opposite meaning.
Roget’s Thesaurus was composed in 1805, but not published until April 29, 1852. The original edition consisted of 15,000 words, and became larger with each edition. The original document is still preserved at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, located in Jacksonville, Fla.
The forewords of Dr. Roget in his thesaurus states “It is now nearly 50 years since I first projected a system of verbal classification similar to that on which the present work is founded. Conceiving that such a compilation might help to supply my own deficiencies, I had, in the year 1805, completed a classed catalogue of words on a small scale, but on the same principle, and nearly in the same form, as the Thesaurus now published.”
We can appreciate Roget’s hard work, the next time we reach for our trusted thesaurus to once again help get our point across.
“Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words, and your faith stronger than your feelings.” — Author unknown
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Des services municipaux bilingues seraient coûteux, selon des maires du N.-B. | ICI.Radio-Canada.ca

Des services municipaux bilingues seraient coûteux, selon des maires du N.-B. | ICI.Radio-Canada.ca | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
La nouvelle bataille de Mario Charlebois pour forcer toutes les municipalités de la province à offrir un service dans les deux langues officielles suscite plusieurs réactions.

Dans plusieurs communautés francophones du nord de la province, les maires estiment qu'il y a d'autres solutions. Offrir les services municipaux dans les deux langues coûterait très cher afin d'accommoder un faible pourcentage de la population qui est déjà très bien servi, selon eux.

À Bas-Caraquet par exemple, le résident anglophone Jim Shanton adore son coin de pays sur le bord de la mer même s'il ne parle pas français.

« J'aime être sur l'eau, faire du bateau, donc je suis venu vivre ici », lance-t-il dans la langue de Shakespeare.

Dans cette communauté, les services municipaux sont offerts en français seulement, mais tout le monde fait un effort pour que Jim Shanton soit à l'aise, explique-t-il. Jim Shanton ne voit pas pourquoi un service anglophone serait nécessaire.

Le « cas par cas » est plutôt de mise, selon des maires

Le maire du village de Bertrand dans la péninsule acadienne doute de l'efficacité de la proposition de Mario Charlebois.

« Ici, dans le village de Bertrand comme dans la plupart des municipalités de la péninsule acadienne, environ 99 % de la population est francophone. La solution n'est pas le bilinguisme, mais plutôt d'offrir un service personnalisé aux anglophones », explique le maire de Bertrand, Yvon Godin.

Il ajoute que la communauté fait son possible, et qu'il y a peu de plaintes d'anglophones.

« Par respect pour les 3 ou 4 % de citoyens qui sont anglophones, on traduit nos documents sur demande », dit-il.

Pour sa part, le maire de Tracadie-Sheila estime qu'il coûterait près de 500 000 $ à sa municipalité pour qu'elle offre ses services dans les deux langues.

À lire aussi : 

Un citoyen conteste les services unilingues de certaines municipalités du N.-B.
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Exploring Endangered Languages in Hawaii | Semester at Sea

Exploring Endangered Languages in Hawaii | Semester at Sea | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Spring 2015 SAS students enrolled in Anthropology 2430 – Languages of the World pay a visit to the University of Hawaii at Hilo where they learn about the University’s efforts to preserve and revitalize the Hawaiian language and get the chance to speak with native Hawaiian speakers.

Topics: Culture, Education | Leave a reply
About the Author

Greg Walsh

Gregory Walsh is a videographer and documentary filmmaker from Annapolis, Maryland. His career has included work for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the United States Naval Academy, and numerous non-profit organizations in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Gregory serves as the Technical Director and Senior Editor at Stone Soup Films in Washington, D.C. His film credits include Her Aim is True, a portrait of rock and roll photographer Jini Dellaccio, and The Way Home, which tells the story of three generations of Tibetan refugees. Gregory is a graduate of Towson University with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Media and Film.
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Netbackup concepts and terminology | Symantec Connect

Is there any documentation (preferably a single document) that describes Netbackup concepts and terminology, like there is for Veritas Cluster Server where the first chapter of the admin guide is “Clustering concepts and terminology”, so that when you read the rest of the admin guide it makes sense?

I am looking for something that covers things in reasonable detail like the VCS admin guide, which has half a page or more or each object, not a one-liner, which is mostly what I can find for Netbackup at the moment.

The sort of things I am looking for explanations for are:

NBU Master, Media, Client, EMM Server, Indexing Server
Polices, Storage Lifecycle Polices
Storage Unit, Storage Unit Groups,
Disk pools, Volume pools
So I have an end to end view of how NBU works and which parts are mandatory, best practices or optional.

The “Getting starting guides” covers the VERY basics in that NBU is a 3 tier system, but it shows a Master with a tape robot attached so does that mean it is also a Media server or is it only called a Media server if it has disk attached.  There is very little else in the Getting Starting Guide, and in the Install and Admin guide, its starts mentioning things before explaining what they are.

Thanks

Mike
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How to be an African start-up: Beads, old tyres, scrap metal, and kitenge bow ties

How to be an African start-up: Beads, old tyres, scrap metal, and kitenge bow ties | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Are there no African start-ups that require sophisticated intellectual capital, technological innovation; that are ‘thinking’ jobs?
'African' fabric. (Photo: Flickr/ AmytheNurse).
AFRICA is the hottest place to invest right now, if all the international attention it is getting is anything to go by.

Still, there’s lots of anxiety whether Africa’s recent rise is “real”, how it is trickling down – if at all it is, and whether it can be sustained. Will the real African middle class please stand up?

But let’s leave those worries for another day.

We all know that a few short years ago, the main kind of stuff that would raise a blip on the international media’s consciousness coming out of Africa, really, was war, disease and disasters – always humanitarian disasters, none of the regular kind.

Today, there’s a whole new narrative, and there’s even a dedicated programme on CNN, ‘African Start-Up’ that casts the spotlight on African entrepreneuers and the innovative things they are doing around the continent.

But just looking at the kind of stories that get covered on “African Start-Up” suggests that it is not a new day, after all.

On the programme’s homepage there are links to 23 stories, featuring upcoming businesses from all around Africa.

Sixteen involve working with the hands in one way or another – crafting fancy coffins in Ghana, recycling old bicycles into furniture in Kenya, and several stories on fashion design from “African” fabric (also known as kitenge in East and Central Africa). And its never complete without bow ties made of some traditional material in a corner somewhere.

There’s one story which is posted under three different headings. This is normal - even smart - practice done twice, but posting the same story under very different headlines that many times is quite special treatment: “Turning old tyres into stylish shoes”; “Shoe making saves street kids”; and “Ugandan street kids reinvent the wheel”.

There are three stories on bakeries – one featuring a guy who bakes spinach into cakes to get people to eat healthier, another on a “godsend” bakery in Goma which is the only place that serves fresh, proper bread in that town. The place fills up with expats, the story says.

Among the sixteen includes one guy who can take you on tours around Alexandra township on a bike. And there’s one “shoe-shine king”.

The seven-odd stories that do not feature outdoor workshops of one kind or another include a couple of online education businesses, a chocolatier in Uganda, and surfing in Dakar, Senegal.

There is really nothing terribly wrong here; these are wonderful businesses that are doing great things. But are there no African start-ups that require sophisticated intellectual capital, technological innovation; that are “thinking” jobs?

Simple African art

It reminds me of an acerbic meeting I once attended a number of years ago in Nairobi. Kalundi Serumaga, a famous and equally contrarian Ugandan writer, playwright, and cultural critic had been invited for a workshop in Nairobi, to chair a seminar on African art in the global consciousness.

The audience was full of up-and-coming painters, sculptors and artists of all kinds, and a few had already attracted quite a bit of attention both locally and internationally.

Quietly, he began the session and asked, what was the common feature of all the art one sees in curio markets in African cities, the kind that get bought up by tourists?

The room was silent, from his demeanour, it was clear that the answer was not what we were thinking.

He said, you can tell “African art” from a mile away from its simplicity. Not in the clean, minimalistic sense but simple, as in unrefined, unsophisticated and rudimentary.

The crux of his tirade that there seems to be a consensus that “African art” must have some juvenile, even undeveloped element to be authentic, i.e. the cars made from bottletops held together by bits of string, scrap metal jumbled together to fashion a giraffe, and the mandatory unvarnished wooden sculpture.

By the time he was saying that some people in the room had been getting accolades not because they were brilliant, but because there was no difference between their so-called art and that of a five-year-old child, and that this is exactly what the Western market defines as African expression, I saw grown men balancing tears.

Needless to say, the meeting ended an hour before schedule, as the participants of the seminar angrily walked away.

There is another Africa

The point is; an African start-up need not feature the mandatory colourful beads, old tyres, scrap metal and a kitenge bowtie.

For example, if one keeps to the “small” stuff, there’s MERGIMS, developed by two Rwandans, an international money transfer service that is supported by a user-friendly phone application and website allowing for swift money transfers.

There’s myAgro in Senegal is helping small-scale farmers who are far away from banks to save for seeds and fertiliser, by using the familiar “scratch card” concept – farmers buy a scratch card and top up their myAgro account on their mobile.

At planting time each account is reviewed and based on the amount saved myAgro delivers seeds and fertiliser directly to the farmer’s village. 

There’s the massively successful e-commerce firms like Jumia and Konga, which are pulling off an incredible logistical feat involving coordinating thousands of online orders and running a fleet of hundreds of motorcycles and small vans to deliver goods in from warehouses in ten African countries.

There’s incredible scientific research going on in Africa, with real life applications, for example, the Moyo Waterfront Restaurant and Urban Farm in South Africa, consisting of a market arcade covered by an array of solar panels that powers the stalls during the day, it also doubles as shading device for the space below.

The market stalls are a cluster of pre-fab modular units, and the urban farm uses an aquaponic system, offering fresh off-the-wall greens, vegetables as well as tilapia fish for the restaurant. 

There’s Faso Soap, developed by students from Burundi and Burkina Faso, an innovative mosquito repellant solution made with natural, locally available ingredients. This solution, added to locally manufactured soap, provides an accessible, low-cost anti-malarial tool; the soap is enriched with a mixture of local herbs and leaves a scent that repels mosquitoes off the skin. 

There’s even a shape-shifting wheel that enables one to drive in all kinds of terrain, a one-size-fits-all solution for load-carrying carts, bikes or vehicles in areas with poor infrastructure that uses the principle of a scissor jack, and arraying a series of them around a circle. 

The wheel can either grow shorter and wider, or taller and narrower, as the mechanism is manipulated.

There are other ways of being an African start-up.
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Say what? Half the world's languages will vanish by the end of the century | Art Beat | PBS NewsHour

Say what? Half the world's languages will vanish by the end of the century | Art Beat | PBS NewsHour | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
There are more than 6,000 languages spoken around the world today. But by the end of this century, fewer than half of them will remain.

That’s the driving concern of the new documentary “Language Matters,” from poet Bob Holman and filmmaker David Grubin. The two traveled the globe looking at endangered languages and efforts to preserve them — visiting an aboriginal community in northern Australia, the country of Wales and the Hawaiian Islands.

“Each of these languages holds a little piece of information or a lot of information, can hold the information about medicines and health, can hold information about the constellations in the sky,” Holman says. “And that’s information that if you lose the language, you lose that connection with that place, with that way of thinking, with tens of thousands of years of that language’s lineage.”

As part of our coverage of Culture at Risk, Chief arts correspondent Jeffrey Brown recently discussed the film with Holman, which premieres on some PBS stations this weekend and can be streamed online now.
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Dubbed Telugu version of ‘Pissasu’ to release soon

Dubbed Telugu version of ‘Pissasu’ to release soon | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
The 2014 Tamil sleeper hit “Pissasu”, a paranormal love story directed by Mysskin, has been dubbed in Telugu as “Pisachi” and is expected to released soon.
“The film turned out to be a hit in Tamil. It’s not just a commercial hit, but it was critically acclaimed as well. The fact that it’s not a conventional story has appealed to audiences and I think it will work in the film’s favour in Telugu too,” producer C. Kalyan, who has bagged the dubbing rights, told IANS.
“The film might release in the last week of January or early next month,” he said.
Starring newcomers Naga and Prayaga Martin, “Pisachi” is a compassionate love story of a ghost falling in love.
The film was originally produced by filmmaker Bala.
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'The Transcriptionist' Is Immersed in Words

'The Transcriptionist' Is Immersed in Words | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
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The Transcriptionist
Amy Rowland
(Algonquin; US: Jan 2015)
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'The Transcriptionist' Is Immersed in Words
By Diane Leach 21 January 2015
The Woman on the Eleventh Floor

To find Lena Respass, transcriptionist for New York newspaper The Record, ride the elevator to the building’s 11th floor. Venture down a dim hallway to a dingily painted door. Take care with the door handle; it’s easily broken.

Lena is a dying breed, her profession increasingly obsolete. She works alone, most often from taped stories, though the occasional live telephone call comes through. Either way, Lena dutifully transcribes the story, then dispatches it to the correct editor.

An uncanny memory for words and phrases makes Lena a skilled transcriptionist. At the office, her concentration divides between the work at hand and a collection of memorized passages that she silently recites to herself. Lately this habit has become a problem, as stray sentences sometimes crop up in articles. Lena must take great care to prevent her recitations from appearing in final pieces. 

After calling in a “goodnight”, after securing permission from the editors to leave for the day, Lena usually walks back to her room at the Salvation Army Parkside Residence for Women. Increasingly unable to shake her workday, with its barrage of words, Lena’s nights are plagued with recurring nightmares. At dawn: “She awakens in the morning with someone else’s words, someone else’s thoughts, ribboning around her brain.”

Amy Rowland was herself a transcriptionist for The New York Times, where she is now an editor in the books review section. Though I can find no evidence that Rowland is a migraineur, only a fellow sufferer could so aptly describe the headache afflicting Lena the day she rides the bus home. She takes a seat beside a blind woman, leading to a brief yet intense conversation. The woman, who Lena later learns is named Arlene Lebow, holds a brail copy of Ray Bradbury’s The Veldt.

Realizing Lena is in distress, Arlene takes her hand, squeezing the flesh between thumb and first finger. Though this acupressure trick sometimes alleviates migraines, it doesn’t help Lena. Arlene then makes an odd remark: “I’m looking inside your cage,” she says, adding that she sees words in there. Lena explains she is a transcriptionist. Arlene is a court reporter. Somehow she intuits Lena’s workplace difficulties. People like them are overly sensitive to other people’s words, she says. Lena must stop absorbing so much. “Be careful what you listen to,” Arlene warns.

Lena is protesting when her bus stop cuts the conversation short. Three days later, she is given a disturbing story to transcribe. A blind woman has committed suicide by breaking into the Bronx Zoo, where she climbed into the lion’s den, and died by mauling. Nobody at The Record is much interested in this bizarre story, even after Arlene Lebow is identified and her body goes missing. Nobody but Lena Respass.

Arlene Lebow’s death cracks Lena’s self-imposed isolation. Why would an otherwise sane woman break into a zoo and swim the safely moat to a shoreline of waiting lions? Lena is determined to find out.

Along the way, Rowland makes some lacerating observations about the state of newspaper journalism and those producing it. While it’s tempting to try matching The Transcriptionist’s more outrageous reporters with real people, readers are better off enjoying Rowland’s blistering portraits of wedding columnist Maggie Bradley, who mistakes Lena for a machine, war correspondent Katheryn Keel, who rhapsodizes about being embedded with Marines in the Middle East, and newt-like assistant editor Boris Hackney, who demands “Let’s see some high, high metabolism!” of his rambunctiously adolescent newsroom.

The journey from the 1th floor to the truth about Arlene’s death requires playing fast and loose with news credentials and, at times, the narrative. Rowland is a gifted writer whose memorably lovely sentences ensure that the novel’s more idiosyncratic moments work. And idiosyncratic moments there are: at times Lena’s behavior borders on irrational. She takes to leaving late-night voice messages for Arlene on the Records Room voicemail. A stop at Arlene’s now-empty apartment violates journalistic ethics, the law, and perhaps reality, while visits to Arlene’s sister Ellen are well-intentioned, yet shrouded in dishonesty. 

More realistic moments include a visit to an animal sanctuary, where Robert the lion sits silently unresponsive in his cage. He has ceased eating since Arlene’s death, prompting his keepers to move him from the zoo. Lena’s visit is fruitless; even as she gazes into Robert’s eyes, the gap between human and animal proves unbridgeable. A ferry trip to Hart Island is more productive. Here, New York City’s unclaimed and unidentified dead are buried. Lena finds herself amid a group of convicts on burial duty. The men inter the anonymous deceased with touching respect and decency.

Lena comes to realize she shares surprising commonalities with Arlene. Both work in the province of difficult words. Both are migraineurs, though Arlene’s headaches are “cured” by the meningitis which blinds her. Both women are haunted by the stories each is responsible for recording; in Arlene’s case, family court’s wrenching scenes are her undoing. And both are haunted by lions. Yet this doesn’t quite explain the unusual manner of Arlene’s death, or her decision to die.

The Transcriptionist brims with feline imagery (and, strangely, the reviewer wrote with her cat in her lap). Within hours, Arlene’s unusual manner of suicide will involve large cats. During Lena’s adolescence, a large cat ranged the countryside. Lena watched the adults around her accuse the animal of all manner of wrongdoing, even as they struggled to identify it. Mountain lion, puma, thought to be extinct Eastern cougar? After neighbors kill the animal, the cat lingers in her consciousness, a source of daylight fascination and night terrors.

Arlene’s nature will never be fully understood. Her piercing ability to sense Lena’s innermost soul in a few moments cannot be explained. Nor can it be dismissed: it can only be accepted as a necessary catalyst. As all loners know, solitude holds a dangerous appeal. 

Lena realizes she cannot return to the 11th floor, hidden down that dim hallway, where other people’s stories flow from her fingers. Her childhood, with its snake-handling father and passive mother, must be accepted. Lena’s disappointment in University must also be faced. Expecting English Literature to be a shrine to words, Lena instead finds herself appalled by literary theory and the linguistic acrobatics employed therein. Having run from the Church and the Ivory Tower, Lena found one of the last houses of words: the daily newspaper. But The Record, emphasizing readership at the expense of truth, is yet another grave disappointment.

This time, Lena does not flee. Nor does she withdraw. Some might find her actions horrifying. Others will cheer. But no reader will be left unmoved when the transcriptionist, that oft-overlooked human machine, responsible for other people’s words, finally unleashes a few of her own.
Rating:
Diane Leach has a Master's Degree in English Literature from Humboldt State University. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, New Mobility, and The Collagist. She can be reached at dianesleach@gmail.com.
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Understand, respect differences

Understand, respect differences | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Recently, Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed announced the firing of Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran because Cochran, a Christian, wrote a book that calls homosexual sex a "perversion."

The termination -- and its polarizing response across the country -- demonstrate a cultural collision in the United States, a game of thrones between two tribes. Some headlines report that Reed was fired for being "anti-gay." Others read that he was fired for his "Christian beliefs." Which one is it?

Americans are increasingly dividing into competing tribes -- the LGBT and conservative Christian tribes being two examples. Increasingly, our tribes are speaking different languages -- with different values and assumptions.

For too long, many Christians in America have viewed the country as something to be conquered and controlled. Conservative Christians held seats of power. And, with 78 percent of Americans still identifying as Christian, according to Pew Research, conservative Christians will still hold some power for a long time.

Cultural shifts
However, in my research I have found that younger evangelical Christians have abandoned politics, as have the most nationally influential evangelical leaders. Meanwhile, the LGBT movement is quickly gaining territory in politics and culture -- undeniable victory after victory in courts, schools, universities and other national outposts.

We are witnessing a change in who holds the seat of power. Such cultural shifts inevitably birth upheaval and conflict.

Americans from tribes on all sides of LGBT issues could learn from world history -- how contrary people and groups establish stable trade for their mutual benefit. We need to take the time to acknowledge that though we have different values and speak different languages, we should make an effort to actually understand each other -- to mutually respect each other's values, while also respecting our own. (Historically, insisting that the other tribe agree with you entirely, on every point, only leads to war.)

Group-think cocoon
Too often though, conflicts like this drive us deeper into our own tribe. We stereotype the "enemy" as a villain, and we insulate ourselves in a group-think cocoon where everyone agrees with us.

When Christians jump into a defensive posture -- insisting that Chief Cochran is an innocent saint and that Mayor Reed and others are "terrorists" -- it does not help Christian relations with neighboring LGBT folks.

Equally, when LGBT activists celebrate that an "anti-gay" "homophobe" has lost his income, while ignoring that the same man likely saved the lives of gay individuals and was never accused of workplace discrimination, it does little good.

It doesn't have to be this way. In 2012, LGBT activists nationally boycotted Chick-fil-A over its owner's religious beliefs about same-sex marriage. Conservatives responded by buying chicken sandwiches en masse. Customer lines snaked out hundreds of restaurants, and Chick-fil-A broke its all-time sales record.

The less-told story is what followed. Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy reached out to LGBT activist Shane Windmeyer. Instead of tweeting insults to each other, the two actually got to know each other -- get this, in real life. As the best international diplomats do, they both took personal time to understand the other's assumptions, values, and reasoning.

In the end, Windmeyer wrote a HuffingtonPost piece describing how surprised he was by Cathy in real life. The Chick-fil-A president wasn't the closed-minded, bigoted homophobe Windmeyer expected. "Dan and I shared respectful, enduring communication and built trust. His demeanor has always been one of kindness and openness," Windmeyer writes. Obviously, Windmeyer's demeanor was kind and gracious, too.

A model for us all
That has always been how foreign tribes end the bloodshed and begin to ally for mutual good. Windmeyer and Cathy's relationship is a model for all of us. Instead of cementing our stereotypes, maybe we should get to know each other.

Both sides acknowledge that they have deeply held differences in values, but both sides have come to love, appreciate, and respect each other despite those differences. Because of their deeper understanding, neither side is boycotting the other or lobbying politically against the other any longer.

The paradigm changed from combat to friendship, with acknowledged differences respected by both parties.

John S. Dickerson, an Arizona pastor and journalist, is author of "The Great Evangelical Recession: 6 Factors that will Crash the American Church ... and How to Prepare."
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Friday Round-Up: Twitter translates, Amazon wallet folds, and men are hanging out on Pinterest | Marketing Pilgrim

Friday Round-Up: Twitter translates, Amazon wallet folds, and men are hanging out on Pinterest | Marketing Pilgrim | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Another week is at an end and it’s been a week of change here at MarketingPilgrim. Out there, in the rest of the digital marketing world, not so much. Seems like everyone is caught in the January slump. . . .or worse.

eBay gave their state of the union address and it wasn’t good. They used phrases like “going to get worse before it gets better” and capped it with layoffs for 2,400 workers. Later this year, eBay will be splitting from its sister company Paypal and though Paypal is expected to grow after the split, eBay is headed into dark waters. The hope is that someone will buy the company and return it to its former, collectible auctions, glory. I hope so because I can’t go a day without eBay.

Twitter announced a few new tweaks this week. The “while you were away” feature will push important Tweets you might have missed to the top of your timeline on mobile. This goes against Twitter’s real time philosophy and makes them more like Facebook in that they’re going to decide what’s important to you and what isn’t.

Si usted puede leer esto. . . you might be using Twitter’s new translation tool. Click the globe in the corner of any foreign language Tweet and the Bing translation pops up right below it. It’s a nice feature not just for the casual user but for social media managers who need to keep an eye on what people are saying about a company.

I tested a few Tweets and the translations are pretty good, especially when they were coming from professionals. As expected, casual Tweets with a lot of slang, didn’t always make sense.

In another part of the web, Amazon shut down the Amazon Wallet app this week after a short, 6 month beta test. The digital wallet should have caught on by now but everyone’s still struggling to make the idea work. I wonder why. . .

My favorite story of the week has to be this one from Pinterest where they try to convince you that a lot of manly men hang out on the site.

More men use Pinterest in the U.S. every month than read Sports Illustrated and GQ combined.

They also say that men are the fastest growing demographic on the site – but of course they are. They’re the only demographic left that isn’t already using the photo pinning site.

That’s it for me this week. I’m off to the Lost in Space reunion convention. Hope your weekend will be just as fun. See you back here on Monday.
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Alcampo y Dia también se niegan a utilizar el catalán

Alcampo y Dia también se niegan a utilizar el catalán | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Alcampo y Dia también se niegan a utilizar el catalán
Han recibido presiones de plataformas independentistas pero no van a ceder a sus exigencias de implantarlo en la web corporativa

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Alcampo y Dia no van a ceder a las presiones independentistas para utilizar el catalán. A pesar de que varias plataformas catalanistas proclaman que estas compañías se han comprometido a implantar el idioma en sus webs corporativas, en ambas cadenas de supermercados aseguran que no hay nada previsto en este momento sobre este asunto.
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Cataluña, Banco Santander, Alcampo, Starbucks

Supermercado Alcampo.
La Plataforma per la Llengua y la asociación Webmàsters Independents en Català, de Cultura i d’Àmbits Cívics no consiguen que las cadenas de supermercados Alcampo y Dia incorporen el catalán en sus respectivas webs corporativas y en otros servicios electrónicos.

Se suma al Banco Santander, que se negó también a traducir su web, a pesar de recibir cartas postales y correos electrónicos con esa exigencia. También McDonald’s y Starbucks han sido objetivo de la Plataforma per la Llengua en su reclamación de que los sitios en Internet de estas grandes compañías tengan su versión en catalán.

Tal y cómo se contó en El Confidencial Autonómico, la Plataforma per la Llengua asegura que recibió una respuesta afirmativa a sus demandas. Afirman que el director de comercio electrónico de Alcampo les aseguró que, a finales de 2014, la cadena de distribución francesa estrenaría una nueva web corporativa, que estaría disponible también en lengua catalana.

No está prevista la traducción al catalán
Pero, hasta el momento, ninguno de estos cambios se ha producido. Según confirman, además, fuentes de la cadena de supermercados francesa, Alcampo no prevé modificaciones en su web a corto plazo.

Día tampoco planea incorporar ninguna otra versión lingüística a su web corporativa -en referencia al catalán-, a pesar de que ya ofrecen la versión en castellano y otra en inglés.

Desde la asociación catalanista se asegura que Dia les ha transmitido, en una reunión reciente, que tiene previsto “utilizar la lengua catalana en las plataformas de venta en línea, que próximamente implantarán”. Pero esta implantación no se ha producido.

En la compañía aseguran que no han recibido presiones de estas plataformas, aunque sí reconocen haber recibido esta solicitud. Defienden que en sus más de 1.500 tiendas en Cataluña se utiliza el catalán sin ningún problema. Pero admiten que no hay nada decidido en este momento para implantarlo en su web, aunque no se descarta en un futuro.

Plataformas subvencionadas por la Generalitat
En las empresas afectadas han identificado a varias organizaciones catalanistas que están detrás de estas campañas contra sus marcas. Proceden de los sectores del catalanismo más radical, y de forma indirecta por la Generalitat. Entre ellas destacan la participación de la Plataforma per la Llengua.

Esta asociación se define como una organización no gubernamental, creada en 1993, para garantizar la presencia de la lengua catalana en todos los ámbitos.

Sin embargo, en las multinacionales que sufren estas presiones no pasan por alto que esta plataforma lleva recibiendo una subvención directa de la Generalitat de 36.000 euros anuales desde 2006. Y algo semejante ocurre con otras instancias nacionalistas implicadas en la campaña.
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Climate Linked to Human Language?

Climate Linked to Human Language? | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Researchers may have finally helped solve a long-standing question among linguists, finding in a new study that climate is linked to the evolution of human language.
In order to reach this conclusion, the researchers had to discover an association between the environment and vocal sounds that is consistent throughout the world, and present in different languages.
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They found their answer by focusing on tone or pitch, which are present in languages worldwide and give words their meaning. The research team, from the University of Miami, examined more than 3,700 languages and found 629 languages with complex tones - those that use three or more tones for sound contrast.
It turns out that languages with complex tones are much more likely to occur in humid or tropical regions of the world, such as throughout Africa and Southeast Asia, and also in parts of North America, Amazonia and New Guinea. Meanwhile, languages with simple tones occur more frequently in areas that are frigid or dry.
"In my estimation, it changes a bit our understanding of how languages evolve," linguist Caleb Everett said in a press release. "It does not imply that languages are completely determined by climate, but that climate can, over the long haul, be one of the factors that helps shape languages."
Everett also suggests that because of climate, humans living in harsh environments especially have learned to adapt and evolve their language.
For example, inhaling dry air causes laryngeal dehydration and decreases vocal fold elasticity. So it's probably more difficult to achieve complex tones in arid climates, particularly very cold ones, compared to warmer and more humid climates.
"Also, there may be some health benefits to certain sound patterns in certain climates, but more research is needed to establish that in a satisfactory way," Everett added.
The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).
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Acquitted of leaking secrets, Syracuse court interpreter sues DA, judge over ban from criminal work

Acquitted of leaking secrets, Syracuse court interpreter sues DA, judge over ban from criminal work | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Syracuse, NY -- A Syracuse court interpreter acquitted of leaking grand jury secrets in a blockbuster case is suing the district attorney and area's top judge for banning her from Onondaga County criminal work.

Spanish language interpreter Nancy Rodriguez-Walker was found not guilty of leaking grand jury secrets in a murderous drug ring to crooked lawyer Ezequiel Neuman, who was later forced to leave the country.

Her acquittal was one of the last victories for longtime Syracuse lawyer James McGraw, who died of a heart attack five months later on his way to court.

But despite her vindication after an August 2013 trial, Rodriguez-Walker claims the area's top judge, Fifth Judicial District Administrative Judge James Tormey, and the Onondaga County District Attorney, William Fitzpatrick, still tried to destroy her livelihood.

Her ban from doing local criminal cases -- effectively any case handled by Fitzpatrick's office -- prevents her from making a living and was enacted in retaliation for crimes she was found not to have committed, her lawsuit claims. It has resulted in a "significant loss of income" and forced her to drive long distances for work in surrounding counties, she said.

"The actions of Defendants were intentionally malicious and retaliatory, and designed to ruin Plaintiff's career," her lawsuit states.

She claims that the longstanding relationship between Fitzpatrick and Tormey -- they were law school roommates, the lawsuit says -- contributed to their actions against her.

None of the people named in the lawsuit -- Rodriguez-Walker, Fitzpatrick, Tormey or local judicial administrator Michael Klein -- wanted to comment.


Zeke Neuman
 
Why the ban?

But Rodriguez-Walker's 33-page complaint also provides a glimpse into the rationale for excluding her from criminal cases, despite her exoneration. These arguments were made in a letter from court administrator Klein, according to the lawsuit:

• A court system Inspector General's report found that "Ms. Walker failed to adhere to professional standards" in her association with a lawyer.

That's clearly a reference to the crooked lawyer, Neuman, though the exact relationship is not specified. At trial, Rodriguez-Walker first said she never gave Neuman a ride in her car, but recanted after investigators said court cameras could capture her whereabouts. She was acquitted of leaking secret information to him.

• Walker's work in Onondaga County would create "at the very least an appearance of impropriety" given the fact the DA's office had prosecuted her (regardless of the outcome). There was also a "continuing lack of confidence" in her work on local criminal cases.

Here, the court system is arguing that Rodriguez-Walker should not work on cases that involved the same DA's office that had prosecuted her. However, Rodriguez-Walker's lawsuit disputes the "continuing lack of confidence" in her, noting that she's allowed to work on local civil cases and criminal cases elsewhere.

• Walker is expected to find just as much work elsewhere.

Tormey requested that Rodriguez-Walker receive "an equitable share" of cases elsewhere "so as not to result in an undue reduction of the work assigned to her," according to the letter quoted in the lawsuit. But the lawsuit claims that the ban has cost Rodriguez-Walker a significant amount of work.

Long delay in getting job back

In addition to the ban, Rodriguez-Walker accuses the judge and DA of trying other ways to ruin her career. For example, she accused Fitzpatrick and Tormey of asking the Inspector General to investigate her. She never received the outcome of that investigation, she said.

And her lawsuit describes a long delay in getting her back on a list of certified court interpreters. She claims that Tormey e-mailed judges in the local courts telling them not to assign her cases.

In July 2014, nearly a year after her acquittal, a court official confirmed that she had been reinstated as a Spanish interpreter without any restrictions, her lawsuit states. But that's when Tormey and Klein decided to ban her from criminal cases in Onondaga County in an Aug. 8, 2014 letter, the lawsuit states.

Court interpreters like Rodriguez-Walker are considered contracted employees, paid at $140 per morning of work, $110 per afternoon, or $250 per day, her lawsuit states. The ban has reduced her workload from four to five days a week down to one or two-and-a-half days, mostly in Oneida County, she says.

A blockbuster case

Rodriguez-Walker's acquittal was one piece of a complex murder case that nabbed the lawyer, Neuman, and sent Syracuse woman Iris Resto and her son to prison for a murderous cocaine ring.

Resto is serving a life sentence after being convicted of ordering three other men to murder a rival drug dealer. Those men are also facing long prison sentences. And her son is, too.

In addition to facing state charges, Resto also faced federal drug charges as "boss lady" of a $1 million cocaine ring.

Resto's the one who convinced Neuman to try to bribe a witness in a failed cover-up attempt. Neuman then accused Walker of leaking him secrets from grand jury testimony.

Investigators testified at Rodriguez-Walker's trial that Neuman could have only known secrets he did with Walker's help. But Walker's lawyer, McGraw, painted Neuman as a womanizer who couldn't be trusted because he promised to testify against others to avoid jail time. He also disputed that Neuman could have only known those secrets with Rodriguez-Walker's help.

"Nancy was totally innocent and the key witness was this low-life lawyer, who gives a bad name to all lawyers," McGraw said after the 2013 verdict. "We felt from the beginning that the judge would recognize that."

But Rodriguez-Walker suggested at the time that the damage had already been done.

"This has ruined my reputation, my career," she said after being acquitted. "But in my 21 years working here, I learned not to admit something if you didn't do it."


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Watch what you say

Watch what you say | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
"IF HE were proven to be malfunctioning, I wouldn't see how we'd have any choice but disconnection." In the film "2001", Frank Poole, an astronaut played by Gary Lockwood, considers what should be done with HAL, the homicidal computer in charge of the ship. HAL learns of his human masters’ plan to unplug him by lip-reading their conversation through a window—a strategy that several researchers and companies are getting closer to realising. Their goal is less about spaceship-driving robots and more about improving the performance of voice-controlled helpers such as Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana.

No matter how good voice-recognition software becomes, it will always be hostage to its sonic environment. Ask your digital assistant to dial a number in a quiet office and it might hear the right numbers. Try again near a busy road or at a noisy party and you will probably be disappointed. If only your phone could simply read your lips.

Ahmad Hassanat, an artificial-intelligence researcher at Mu’tah University, in Jordan, has been trying to teach a computer program to do just that. Previous attempts to get computers to lip-read have focused, understandably enough, on the shape and movement of the lips as they produce phonemes (individual sounds like "b", "ng" or "th"). Such shapes-of-sounds are called visemes. The problem is that there are just a dozen visemes for the 40 to 50 phonemes in English; "pan" and "banned", for example, look remarkably similar to a lip-reader. That makes it rather taxing to reconstruct words from visemes alone. Instead, Dr Hassanat has been trying for the past few years to detect the visual signature of entire words all at once, using the appearance of the tongue and teeth as well the lips.

His method has had some success. In a paper published late last year, Dr Hassanat trained his system by filming 10 women and 15 men of different ethnicities as they read passages of text. The computer first compared these recordings to a text it knew, then tried to guess what they were saying in a second video. When the computer was allowed to use the same person’s training speech, it was fairly accurate—around 75% for all subjects and up to 97% for one speaker. But when the person’s own training video was excluded from the analysis—analogously to similarly untrained digital assistants—the program's accuracy plunged to 33% on average and as poor as 15% in some cases (moustaches and beards, it seems, are particularly confusing to the system).

Another idea is not to focus on the mouth. In 2013, Yasuhiro Oikawa, an engineer at Waseda University in Japan, used a high-speed camera capable of shooting 10,000 frames a second at a speaker’s throat. The approach measures tiny, fleeting vibrations in the skin caused by the very act of speaking. The precise frequencies present in the vibrations can then, in principle, be used to reconstruct the word being spoken. So far, however, Dr Oikawa’s team has managed to map the visual vibrations of just a single Japanese word.

The best results seem to come when the approach is used in closer quarters. VocalZoom is an Israeli start-up whose idea is to use a low-power laser beam on a speaker’s cheek to measure vibrations, and from those to infer the frequencies of speech. The system combines those results with regular speech audio from a microphone, subtracting unwanted ambient noise or other talkers and leaving just the cheek-wobble frequencies.

Earlier this month, the firm took its technology to CES, a big trade show and a notoriously ear-splitting environment, and impressed the tech press. But it is not yet ready for the mass market. The prototype system is currently larger than the smartphones it is intended to be built into, and tempting manufacturers into adding components to ever-slimmer, ever-sleeker handsets will not be easy. The company may have more luck getting its technology into automobiles, another industry increasingly reliant on voice control; VocalZoom claims to be in early talks with a big carmaker. With luck and patience, they may even get their kit into space-faring vehicles.
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Darío Villanueva: "La RAE nunca hará un Diccionario políticamente correcto". Noticias de agencia, eldia.es

Darío Villanueva: "La RAE nunca hará un Diccionario políticamente correcto"
Madrid, EFE El nuevo director de la Real Academia Española, Darío Villanueva, ha dejado hoy muy claro que la RAE "no hará nunca un diccionario políticamente correcto" y no suprimirá por tanto algunas definiciones y acepciones por el mero hecho de que puedan resultar ofensivas para determinados colectivos.

Villanueva ha respondido con esas palabras a la queja que le ha transmitido la defensora del pueblo, Soledad Becerril, en un encuentro organizado por el Nuevo Foro de la Comunicación, sobre la acepción de la palabra "gitano" en el diccionario que la identifica con "trapacero" (quien "con astucias, falsedades y mentiras procura engañar a alguien en un asunto").

El director de la RAE recordó que la Academia ha aportado ya a la oficina del Defensor del Pueblo "una amplia documentación" que justifica esa acepción y otras similares, dado que las palabras "sirven para requebrar, seducir, honrar, pero sirven también para insultar, ser injustos y canallas".

"No tiene sentido un diccionario solo con las palabras bonitas, tienen que estar todas las que existen". Esa acepción de "gitano" ha sido revisada "profundamente, con todo el respeto y todo el cuidado, pero nunca haremos un diccionario políticamente correcto".

Además, "el uso ofensivo del idioma no nace del lexicógrafo que recoge lo que se dice sino de la persona que utiliza la palabra que ofende", aseguró Villanueva.
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Johns Hopkins brain researcher Lisa Feigenson honored by National Academy of Sciences

Johns Hopkins brain researcher Lisa Feigenson honored by National Academy of Sciences | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
She receives $75,000 Troland Research Award for her ongoing investigation of early brain development, number sense

Hub staff report / 11 hours ago
Posted in Health, Science+Technology
Tagged lisa feigenson, number sense, brain science

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Researchers in the Johns Hopkins Laboratory for Child Development explore the minds of infants and children / Johns Hopkins Magazine
Johns Hopkins University brain researcher Lisa Feigenson was one of four researchers honored today by the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their extraordinary scientific achievements in neuroscience and psychological and cognitive sciences.

Feigenson, a professor in the university's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, explores the fundamental processes of human cognition and memory by testing the limits on what infants and children are able to understand about numbers and the processes that underlie that understanding.

She joined Yael Niv, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Princeton University, in receive 2015 Troland Research Awards, two $75,000 awards given annually to recognize unusual achievement by young investigators and to further empirical research within the broad spectrum of experimental psychology. Feigenson was recognized "for her meticulous investigations of the origins and early development of representations of objects and numbers," NAS wrote in its announcement. "Her research on cognition in infancy illuminates the foundations of young children's mathematical reasoning and learning."

More from NAS:

Feigenson has shed light on many fundamental processes of human cognition and memory by teasing out the limits on what infants and children are able to understand about numbers and the processes that underlie that understanding. She demonstrated, for instance, that infants between 12 to 14 months of age can differentiate between one, two and three objects—but not four. Further experiments showed that the limit of three could be overcome by grouping objects in small sets, allowing infants to remember groups of up to eight objects. This is similar to what adults do to boost their memory, such as breaking up a phone number into three sets of digits. With such work, Feigenson and colleagues have illuminated some of the fundamental cognitive abilities that are in place early in life, which are subject to change as children learn through further experience.

Niv's work has focused on how the brain sorts information, effectively parsing complex environments into relevant, bite-sized chunks that can be acted upon efficiently.

Catherine G. Dulac, investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Higgins Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University, received the Pradel Research Award, a $50,000 award presented annually to recognize mid-career neuroscientists whose work is making major contributions to our understanding of the nervous system.

Scott D. Sagan, Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, received the William and Katherine Estes Award, which recognizes basic research in any field of cognitive or behavioral science that uses rigorous formal and empirical methods to advance our understanding of issues relating to the risk of nuclear war.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and—with the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council—provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

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Twitter propose des récapitulatifs d'anciens messages et des traductions

Twitter propose des récapitulatifs d'anciens messages et des traductions | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Le réseau social Twitter a indiqué mercredi qu'il va récapituler pour ses utilisateurs les publications qu'ils ont manquées quand ils n'étaient pas connectés à sa plateforme, et s'allier avec Microsoft pour une traduction automatique de certains messages.
"Beaucoup de choses peuvent se passer pendant que vous êtes en déplacement. Pour combler certains de ces trous, nous ferons ressortir quelques uns des meilleurs tweets que vous n'auriez probablement pas vu entretemps", a indiqué Paul Rosania, un responsable produit de Twitter, sur le blog officiel de l'entreprise.
"Si vous vous connectez à Twitter de temps en temps pour un aperçu rapide de ce qu'il se passe, vous verrez ce récapitulatif plus souvent; si vous passez déjà beaucoup de temps sur Twitter, vous le verrez moins", précise-t-il.
Ces récapitulatifs, précédés de la mention "pendant que vous étiez partis", ont commencé à apparaître pour les utilisateurs se connectant à Twitter depuis un iPhone ou un iPad, et suivront "bientôt" sur le site internet ainsi que sur les appareils mobiles opérant sous Android.
Pour que ses utilisateurs "ne perdent rien de ce qui se passe" sur son réseau, Twitter a annoncé séparément s'être allié avec le traducteur automatique Bing de Microsoft pour permettre des traductions automatique entre une quarantaine de couples de langues.
"Vous pouvez choisir quand voulez voir la traduction d'un tweet, et vous pouvez aussi ajuster vos réglages pour que l'option soit désactivée", détaille le post de blog.
Twitter s'efforce actuellement de se rendre plus intéressant pour ses membres, dont la croissance et les interactions avec sa plateforme sont jugées décevantes par certains analystes.
Le nombre d'utilisateurs mensuels, une variable clé pour les investisseurs, avait ainsi augmenté de seulement 13 millions au troisième trimestre pour atteindre 284 millions fin septembre, selon le dernier pointage fait par la société.
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After Mother Jones story, GOP changes tune on Spanish-language SOTU address

After Mother Jones story, GOP changes tune on Spanish-language SOTU address | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Joni Ernst practicing her State of the Union response. Susan Walsh/AP
On Tuesday morning, Mother Jones reported on an incongruity in the Republican plan to respond to President Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday night. The headliner for the GOP is Joni Ernst, the new Iowa senator and rising conservative star. The party also scheduled Rep. Carlos Curbelo—another new member joining Congress this month and a Cuban American hailing from Miami—to deliver a Spanish language translation of Ernst's response.

The problem? Republicans were not letting the Latino guy say anything of his own. And there's this: Ernst has a long record of opposing Spanish in government communications. She endorsed making English the country's official language during her 2014 campaign, and as a county auditor in 2007 she sued to prevent voter forms from being offered in any other language besides English.

Immediately following the publication of the article, Republicans tried to change course. As the Latin Post's Michael Oleaga noted (with a screenshot), the GOP scrubbed a section of its initial press release that had originally read: "Rep. Curbelo will be delivering the Spanish-Language translated address of Sen. Joni Ernst response." The new and improved release makes no mention of Ernst.

After the story was posted, Wadi Gaitan, press secretary for the House Republican Conference, emailed Mother Jones a brief statement that implied the two sets of remarks would not be identical: "As in previous years' State of the Union responses, Senator Ernst (R-IA) and Congressman Curbelo (R-FL) will deliver the same Republican message, articulating a vision of common-sense solutions and greater opportunity for everyone in this country—while sharing their unique stories and experiences to shape that narrative."

In recent days, National Review, USA Today, Slate, MSNBC, the Miami Herald, and Tampa Bay Times all reported that Curbelo's remarks would be a translation of Ernst's rebuttal. And Curbelo's office confirmed on Tuesday that the congressman would be reading a translation of Sen. Ernst's remarks.

The House Republican Conference notes that Curbelo will replace references to growing up on a small town Iowa farm with anecdotes from his own life. But, according to Curbelo's office, when it comes to policy and politics, he will be speaking Ernst's words—just in a language she doesn't want to be used by the government.
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Climate affects the development of human speech | (e) Science News

Climate affects the development of human speech | (e) Science News | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
An interesting question, one that linguists have long debated, is whether climate and geography affect language. The challenge has been to untangle the factors that cause sounds to change. To find a relationship between the climate and the evolution of language, one needs to discover an association between the environment and vocal sounds that is consistent throughout the world and present in different languages. And that is precisely what a group of researchers has done.

Many languages of the world use tone or pitch to give meaning to their words. University of Miami (UM) linguist Caleb Everett and his collaborators have uncovered that languages with complex tones --those that use three or more tones for sound contrast -- are much more likely to occur in humid regions of the world, while languages with simple tone occur more frequently in desiccated regions, whether frigid areas or dry deserts.

"In my estimation, it changes a bit our understanding of how languages evolve," said Everett, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the UM College of Arts and Sciences, and lead investigator of this project. "It does not imply that languages are completely determined by climate, but that climate can, over the long haul, be one of the factors that helps shape languages."

"More broadly, this suggests another non-conscious way in which humans have adapted to their very different and harsh environments," Everett said. "Also, there may be some health benefits to certain sound patterns in certain climates, but more research is needed to establish that in a satisfactory way."

One explanation, supported by extensive experimental data discussed in the study, is that inhaling dry air causes laryngeal dehydration and decreases vocal fold elasticity. It's probably more difficult to achieve complex tones in arid climates--particularly very cold ones--when contrasted to warmer and more humid climates. The result is that deviations of sounds, including increased jitter and shimmer, are associated with very cold or desiccated climates, the study says.

The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They provide extensive evidence that sound systems of human languages are adaptive and can be influenced by climate. The findings are supported by data relating to over half of the world's languages and to previous extensive experimental research on the properties of the human larynx that affect tonality.

The team examined more than 3,700 languages and found 629 languages with complex tones. Most were found in tropical regions, throughout Africa and Southeast Asia, but also in some humid regions of North America, Amazonia and New Guinea.
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Les Corses et leur langue : Une (petite) histoire

Les Corses et leur langue : Une (petite) histoire | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Comme l'homme moderne, toutes les langues du monde sont probablement nées en Afrique et se sont propagées au cours de diverses diasporas successives. En Méditerranée la Corse et la Sardaigne ont été peuplées de manière stable il y a au moins une dizaine de milliers d'années, à partir du continent alors beaucoup plus proche.



Avant de devenir française, la Corse a subi plusieurs dominations (Carthaginois, Romains, Vandales, Sarrasins, Pisans, Génois) dont certaines ont laissé des traces importantes et durables dans la langue.
Selon de nouvelles théories linguistiques qui prennent en compte les données de l'archéologie, les populations de la Corse ont toujours parlé la même langue, de génération en génération, depuis une dizaine de millier d'années.
Malgré le grand brassage qu'a connu la Corse comme les contrées méditerranéennes en général, l'île est donc caractérisée au plan culturel et linguistique par une remarquable continuité, depuis le néolithique jusqu'à nos jours (le site web "http://www.continuitas.com"  informe sur ce sujet).
Ensuite, entre le quatrième et le premier millénaire avant notre ère, des variations linguistiques dues à l'évolution culturelle et technique, ainsi que des particularités phonétiques d'origine extérieure s'introduisent en Corse. Enfin, à une époque plus récente, l'influence plus ou moins profonde du latin de Rome, des divers parlers italiens (notamment toscan et sarde) puis du français s'exerce sur l'île, sans jamais gommer entièrement des caractères linguistiques spécifiques forgés au cours d'une évolution spécifique plurimillénaire.
On notera qu'aujourd'hui le français est de plus en plus hégémonique dans l'île, plus qu'aucune langue dominante ne l'a été par le passé. Si la Corse conserve une physionomie culturelle propre, malgré les hybridations successives (et grâce à elles), si elle reste dans l'aire linguistique de l'ensemble italo-roman où elle a longtemps évolué, elle a cependant complètement basculé dans le champ de communication français, avec toutes les conséquences que cela comporte. Sans préjuger, bien entendu, de ce que sera le prochain bouleversement géopolitique!  

Depuis quand écrit-on en langue corse?
Les premières oeuvres (littéraires) en langue corse datent de la fin du XVIIe avec un curé d'Orezza né en 1644 mais dont les poésies ne sont publiées qu'au XIXe. Guglielmo Guglielmi est considéré comme le premier à écrire en distinguant nettement corse et italien. Faut-il pour autant penser que nous n'avons aucun moyen d'obtenir des informations sur le corse parlé avant l'époque littéraire?
Si l'on analyse attentivement les textes écrits en latin ou en italien par des Corses, on y découvre des caractéristiques imputables à l'interférence entre langue maternelle des auteurs et langue écrite de l'époque. Les auteurs écrivent dans une langue qui s'efforce de respecter la norme officielle, sans toujours y parvenir (c’est encore vrai aujourd’hui...)
Dès le XIII siècle apparaissent des traces de la langue locale, des traits linguistiques corses qui ont persisté jusqu'à nos jours. En 1220, dans un texte écrit par un Corse, on relève des formes spécifiques qui renvoient sans conteste à des emplois courants aujourd'hui dans l'île, par exemple “a fica” ("le figuier") employé au féminin (alors que le mot est masculin en toscan, langue officielle de l'époque). Chassez le naturel il revient au galop: le même genre d'interférence est encore observé aujourd'hui dans le "français régional de Corse".  

La tour de Babel et le manteau d'Arlequin
Aucune langue ne vit en vase clos. Les langues "pures" n'existent pas, ni les races pures. Si on compare les différentes langues qui se sont développées sur le territoire autrefois dominé par la langue des Romains, on y trouve à la fois beaucoup de points communs et beaucoup de spécificités. On a dit (mais c'est vrai à notre avis de toutes les langues romanes) que l'originalité du corse est d'être fait d'éléments multiples et divers, qu'on pourrait retrouver ailleurs, mais jamais tous ensemble réunis sur le même "manteau d'Arlequin".Le latin, lui même influencé par le grec, a influencé les langues (romanes et autres) qui se sont influencées entre elles. Cela produit un capharnaüm joyeux et multicolore, qui fonctionne comme par miracle!Plagiats, innovations et bricolages se retrouvent aussi dans le code oral et écrit de chaque langue.  
(D’après Chiorboli J. 2010:"Le corse pour les nuls", Paris, Editions Générales First)
 
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List of US imports for Cuba in the works

List of US imports for Cuba in the works | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Among the items on the list are professional translation services, programming and construction enterprises, said the source, adding that the State Department is "anticipating a little ahead."

Some Cuba observers said the approach is positive.
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Facebook Introduces Auto-Transcripts For Voice Messages

Facebook Introduces Auto-Transcripts For Voice Messages | Metaglossia: The Translation World | Scoop.it
Not unlike the way in which Apple operates its iMessage app, or Google with its Google Voice, Facebook has just announced that its independent Messanger mobile app will soon support the transcription of short audio messages sent by your friends.

Limited to a test phase for the time being, the feature has only been rolled out to a select few users of the app. The test phase allows Facebook to first correct potential design errors, to improve its voice recognition software and to avoid burdening the servers which take care of the transcribing.

According to David Marcus, the man in charge of the Facebook messaging app, this should enable users "to read instead of listening to a received message—if you're at a concert or in a meeting, for example." He also points out that the app will be released for the general public following initial feedback.

Transcribing audio messages is often a complicated discipline, which can produce significant grammatical or lexical errors. The systems used by Google and Apple have made considerable progress over the years. It remains to be seen whether Facebook will be able to challenge the competition.
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