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Vacancies in this network: Translators, Revisers, Editors, etc.
Cristina Kirchner tradujo al inglés la acusación que publicó ayer en su página web, en la que relacionó al fiscal Alberto Nisman con los tenedores de bonos de deuda.
En el texto, difundido hoy, denuncia una operación política internacional que incluiría como actores también a las entidades judías en la Argentina, la DAIA y a la AMIA. De acuerdo a la Presidenta, habría existido un plan para dar por tierra con el memorándum de entendimiento con Irán que promovió el Gobierno.
Según la mandataria, los holdouts habrían brindado financiamiento a interesados locales para frenar el memorándum. Entre ellos Nisman, el fiscal que denunció a la mandataria por supuesto encubrimiento de responsabilidades en el caso AMIA. "Todo hace juego con todo", dijo la mandataria ayer en un extenso texto que publicó en su página web y en su cuenta de Twitter.
Hoy volvió con la misma idea, pero en inglés: "Everything has to do with everything (when it comes to geopolitics and international power) (Todo tiene que ver con todo (cuando se trata de geopolítica y poder internacional).
En el post publicado en su página web, Cristina Kirchner retoma una nota del diario Página/12 en la que se vincula a los "holdouts" Paul Singer y Mark Dubowitz en forma personal con el fallecido fiscal. Y asegura que Nisman sugirió pedir ayuda económica a Singer para detener el memorándum. Involucra a su vez a la DAIA (Delgación de Asociaciones Israelitas Argentinas), y a la AMIA (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina) como instituciones que formaron parte de esas negociaciones con los holdouts en contra del acuerdo.
In DeKalb County schools, teachers who need to speak with parents who don’t understand English well are getting a little help from technology.
The district bought 200 translation devices that can translate up to 180 languages.
Sara Lawson teaches sixth-graders at Freedom Middle School in Stone Mountain. She demonstrated how to use the ELSA ("Enabling Language Service Anywhere") device.
She hits a button on what looks like a small remote, which connects her to an Amharic translator. Amharic is a language spoken in Ethiopia.
Since signing up for the service, teachers are noticing that more parents are showing up to school meetings and parent-teacher conferences because they can finally understand what teachers are saying, said Lillie Clark. Clark is an ESOL (English to speakers of other languages) teacher at Freedom Middle School.
“We’ve had a large number of parents to be more involved this year,” Clark said.
Freedom Middle School teachers Diana Oliver, Sara Lawson and Lillie Clark (pictured left to right) say the ELSA device has helped them communicate with parents.
Credit Tasnim Shamma / WABE
The devices cost the district $395 each and about $2 per minute to operate.
The school’s principal, Corey Davidson, says the translation service has been invaluable for his school of 1,200 students.
“A third of our population is made up of students not born in the United States,” Davidson says.
The top two foreign languages spoken at the school are Nepali and Burmese.
The Fulbright grant pays for soon-to-be graduated students, as well as young professionals, to travel the world and give back through research, volunteer work and teaching.
Three Colorado State University students were awarded Fulbright grants and will now work as teaching assistants and conduct research in various countries
Moriah Kent, one recipient, is a graduate student in the Teaching English as a Foreign Language/Teaching English as a Second Language program and also works as an instructor for INTO CSU. Kent will be spending 10 months teaching English at a Bulgarian secondary school.
“English education is a really good way to promote understanding, exchange, global community and friendship,” Kent said. “I’ve found in my personal experience that English education does open a lot of doors for people.”
Kent encourages people to apply for the Fulbright grant because it is a prestigious honor and an opportunity of a lifetime.
“I think it’s something that more people should aspire to (apply), because I think that this grant allows you to go to places in the world that a regular job wouldn’t take you to,” Kent said. “You’ll never know if you don’t try.”
Rob Musci is a teaching assistant for the Health and Exercise Science department. He was awarded the Fulbright grant in order to conduct research. He will go to Italy to measure and compare the physical activity of approximately 170 older adults living in either Venice or Mestre. He plans to compare the levels of disability and leg strength in each city. Venice requires more physical activity because there is no motorized transportation, but Mestre is more of a modern city, according to Musci.
Musci said he has already spent time in Italy and is eager to go back and continue his research.
“I was ecstatic (when finding out about the grant),” Musci said. “Getting to live in Italy and have that cultural experience is exciting. It’s a good opportunity to get to collaborate with professors, not just in the United States, but in Italy.”
Leigha Bohn, a senior studying cultural anthropology, also received the grant and will spend eight months in Argentina helping train English teachers.
Bohn said studying abroad in Buenos Aires is what sparked her interest in this program. She said studying abroad did not quite satisfy her need to understand that country because it was only for four months.
“I’m really excited to go back and really jump in and have that second chance (at getting to understand the Argentinian people),” Bohn said. “That’s why I want to focus my community project on cultural fluency.”
In her application for the grant, Bohn proposed a project about how cultural translation can go beyond linguistic translation. She said she hopes she can immerse herself in the culture.
“I worked with Latino immigrants and I want to be an immigrant in another country,” Bohn said. “I want to feel those hardships. I want to take that understanding and work with immigrants when I get back.”
She said she considers being a Fulbright recipient a big honor.
“I’ve never applied for something this big and gotten it before,” Bohn said. “It showed me that if I really work hard and have a goal in mind, it’s achievable. It’s a great opportunity for students who are unsure about a career path and are looking for direction.”
Collegian Reporter Pamela Shapiro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @pb_shapiro.
Sixteen days after its April 3, 2015 release, the new American action film “Furious 7” made a whopping $858.3 million in international markets, compared to a more modest $294.4 million in North America. Movie and television programs companies have taken notice and are aggressively marketing their products to a wide international audience.
But reaching an international audience means the film’s dialog must often be dubbed by actors speaking local languages.
Current methods of dubbing dialogue to match the on screen facial movements of the person talking as closely as possible often come across as terribly disjointed. That makes for an unpleasant movie viewing experience for the audience.
Given such a lucrative international market, filmmakers are taking extraordinary steps to ensure that the translated version’s sound matches the facial movements of onscreen actors as closely to as possible.
Disney Research, Pittsburgh and the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia have conducted studies that they said will help in the development an automated dialogue re-dubbing system that will make movies more enjoyable for people who speak the languages spoken by international audiences.
This is a movie dubbing studio where dialogue is translated and revoiced into other languages and then dubbed into movies set for international release. (arceus555 via Creative Commons)
The new system, developed by a team led by Sarah Taylor at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, automatically analyzes the on screen actor’s speech. It then allows film producers to reduce or in some cases eliminate even the most subtle differences between words spoken on screen and what the audience hears.
The system is based on something called “dynamic visemes,” which are facial movements that are connected with certain sounds produced in speech.
“The method using dynamic visemes produces many more plausible alternative word sequences that are perceivably better than those produced using a static viseme approaches,” Taylor said in a press release.
The system will provide filmmakers with a wider variety of word sequences that match facial movements. This will allow producers to write local language dialogue that not only corresponds with the movie’s script, but also ensures that on-screen facial movements are more in synchronization with what the audience hears.
As an example, the researchers found that when an actor says a phrase like “clean swatches,” his facial movements are the same as those for other phrases, such as “likes swats,” “then swine,” or “need no pots.”
Taylor and her research team will present their findings on April 23 at the 40th International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), that’s being held from April 19-24, 2015, in Brisbane, Australia.
How the new technique will affect international revenues remains unclear. While Furious 7 has performed well at the international box office so far, it still needs to earn at least another $1.17 to beat out James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster Avatar – the all-time international money-making film that has earned nearly $2.03 in international receipts.
Video demonstrates new dubbing method developed by Disney Research (Disney Research)
When academics, legislators, media outlets, and the general public raise concerns about women’s underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, they often describe the issue in generalities. This tendency can be deceptive, as there are vast differences among the many STEM disciplines. In more nuanced discussions, engineering and computer science often are derided for having the lowest rates of participation by women (possibly even declining from 1980s participation levels). Although it may be tempting to point fingers at other fields, psychological scientists should resist the urge to be smug about the gender balance in our own field. Despite psychology often being touted as the model STEM field for gender parity, a closer examination reveals that academic and research institutions employ disproportionately fewer female than male PhDs in in the subfields best represented by the National Science Foundation’s Perception, Action, and Cognition (PAC) Program.
So what exactly is the current level of gender equity in the PAC research community? Are women and men equally successful at having grant proposals awarded in the PAC program? To answer this, we can’t simply compare the number of proposals awarded but also need to relate these numbers to the distribution of men and women in academic and research positions in relevant areas of psychology. Are we performing better than, worse than, or the same as the field as a whole?
The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) at NSF provided useful data. We first looked at their Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) and determined that its “cognitive” and “experimental” subfields of psychology are closest to those areas funded by PAC (although the SED omits other PAC-funded areas of study, such as motor control and coordination). We included both “cognitive” and “experimental” psychology because the latter term progressively morphed into the former in the early 1980s. Figure 1 shows the percentage of men versus women receiving PhDs in cognitive and experimental psychology at US institutions over time.
Figure 1, from the NCSES Survey of Earned Doctorates: PhDs graduated in cognitive/experimental psychology by gender over time.
Although few women received doctorates in these fields in the 1960s, the proportion of women in cognitive and experimental psychology has steadily increased since then. Women earned a mere 8% of the doctoral degrees granted in 1962 but earned nearly 56% of doctorates in cognitive/experimental psychology granted in 2012. This increase reflects the trend in many fields, where women now outnumber men in graduate studies. But receiving a PhD is only the first step in a research career. How do women fare once they leave graduate school?
Table 1, from the NCSES Survey of Earned Doctorates. Data were not collected for the intervening years.
To answer this question, we again used data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates (from US institutions) to determine where cognitive psychologists were employed after they left graduate school. We found that women are greatly underrepresented in academic research institutions relative to the number of earned doctorates. “Academic research institutions” include 4-year colleges and universities, medical schools, and university-affiliated research institutes — the places where most submissions to PAC originate. In the most current year for which data are available, 2010, only 33% of the cognitive/experimental psychologists employed in academic research institutes were women, as shown in Table 1.
This large gender discrepancy has troubling implications for the PAC program, as it raises the question of whether or not men and women are submitting research proposals to the program at equal rates. A study conducted at Harvard Medical School reported that women faculty members submit research grants at a far lower rate than do male faculty members (Waisbren, 2008). A report issued in 2009 concluded that from 2006 to 2009, women submitted less than half as many applications to the PAC program as did men. Although current submission data to PAC are not publicly available, this discrepancy in submissions by male and female principal investigators has likely continued.
As there is usually a gap between when researchers receive their degrees and when they begin submitting research proposals, and as the proportion of doctorates earned by women in cognitive psychology is increasing, we may expect that the number of women in the PAC research community will continue to increase. This expectation is consistent with the findings of the Harvard study, in which the imbalance in grant submissions by female and male faculty decreased as faculty members moved up the ranks.
In addition to looking at submission rates, it is important to examine proposal success rate by gender and by year (Table 2) to assess whether funding rates are equitable. The small number of awards made on a yearly basis means that success rate by gender varies from year to year. Despite the variable yearly success rate, only 2003 showed a statistically significant difference between success of men and women. This is extremely important to us at NSF, as we strive to fund studies with the highest intellectual merit and broadest impact while recognizing the importance of broadening participation of all groups underrepresented in science.
Table 2: Percent of PAC proposals awarded by principal investigator gender and year.
We now know that although women are receiving more doctorates in cognitive psychology, and are receiving NSF funding with a success rate equivalent to that of men, women lag behind men in research grant submissions. Why is this? And how can we fix the problem?
Research has attributed women’s underrepresentation in STEM to a variety of causes (Valian, 1999), including discrimination, implicit bias, the impostor syndrome (women being unable to internalize their accomplishments), lack of mentorship and resources, and lifestyle constraints (such as being the primary caregiver to young children and having responsibility for the lion’s share of household chores). With such a complex issue, it’s most likely a constellation of factors that influence which women end up in STEM fields, which ones thrive, and how they do so.
One reason women may be less apt to apply for grant funds may be related to lack of confidence (Young, 2011) and a by-product of low confidence: inaction. For example, women typically score worse than men on spatial puzzles, in part because women only provide answers when they feel relatively confident they are correct. When women are told that all of the puzzles have to be answered, correctly or not, their scores increase sharply and match the men’s scores. But when the subjects are asked to report how certain they are of their answer, women’s scores significantly worsen, whereas men’s scores increase (Estes & Felker, 2012). Over the past few years, there have been frequent reports concerning possible cuts in funding to the social and behavioral sciences and consequent decreases in success rates for proposals. These reports may differentially affect women scientists’ confidence in their proposals, leading to inaction (e.g., not submitting the proposals in the first place).
Table 3: Expenditures for PAC sciences, 2012–2014.
Perhaps the following statistics will help increase women’s confidence and actions. Although the base budget of the PAC program has remained flat over the past few years (slightly less than $7 million per year), the program directors have successfully leveraged other sources of funding within NSF to support our sciences. Table 3 shows funds spent on PAC awards from all NSF sources over the past 3 years. The numbers were extracted from the awards database available on the NSF.gov website and provide only a rough picture of PAC spending. Nevertheless, they give a good sense of funding levels for our sciences, over and above what the PAC program can provide on its own. The amounts include co-funding from other programs (reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of much of our science), funds expended in related areas of emphasis (e.g., “Dear Colleague” letters for forensic sciences and for computational cognition), and cross-cutting initiatives such as INSPIRE (www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf14106). The funding situation will likely improve with our field’s participation in the Understanding the Brain Initiative at NSF (e.g., “Integrative Strategies for Understanding Neural and Cognitive Systems” at nsf.gov/ncs).
One avenue by which NSF contributes to our understanding of gender and STEM is through the Science of Broadening Participation (SBP) — an investment in research that draws heavily from social and cognitive psychology (along with numerous other fields) to investigate the influences on an individual’s participation in STEM (see www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14038/nsf14038.pdf). In essence, SBP funding may encourage researchers to draw on some of the theoretical and methodological advances of psychology and turn the lens back on the field itself.
As the SBP program specifically addresses the potential causes of gender imbalance, the NSF also strives to provide relevant mentorship and support through our outreach efforts. Many professional societies also have websites, interest groups, and special networking opportunities aimed at women and other underrepresented groups. Perhaps the data presented here will act as a catalyst for other efforts to facilitate gender equity in the funding process and in the professoriate. For our part, we can encourage all scientists to submit their best ideas to NSF. The only way to ensure that you will not be funded is to fail to submit a proposal.
Acknowledgments: The authors would like to give great thanks to John Finamore of the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics for providing data used in this article.
Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Estes, Z., & Felker, S. (2012). Confidence mediates the sex difference in mental rotation performance. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 557–570. doi: 10.1007/s10508-011-9875-5
National Science Foundation, N. C. (2015). Women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering: 2015. Arlington, VA: Author. Retrieved from http://nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd/
Valian, V. (1999).Why so slow? The advancement of women. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Waisbren, S. (2008). Gender differences in research grant applications and funding outcomes for medical school faculty. Journal of Womens Health, 17, 207–214. doi:10.1089/jwh.2007.0412
Young, V. (2011). The secret thoughts of successful women: Why capable people suffer from the impostor syndrome and how to thrive in spite of it. New York, NY: Random House.
<< Previous Observation
Published April 20, 2015
San Cristóbal de Las Casas.- En la reciente asamblea del episcopado mexicano, en el que participaron 125 obispos del país, se aprobó la traducción del nuevo testamento en el idioma indígena tzotzil, así lo dio a conocer Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, Obispo de la Diócesis de esta ciudad.
La traducción de la biblia al idioma indígena tzotzil, propio de la parroquia de Huixtán, fue analizada por Monseñor Armando Colín, obispo auxiliar de México y responsable de la dimensión de pastoral bíblica en la conferencia episcopal y su equipo de expertos, calificándola como bien hecha y concorde con la fe católica.
El Prelado, informó que con esta aprobación se procederá a la edición de cinco mil ejemplares, en una primera impresión, que se elaborará en una imprenta de San Cristóbal de Las Casas, el idioma tzotzil se habla sólo en Chiapas, en algunas poblaciones de la arquidiócesis de Tuxtla Gutiérrez y en muchas comunidades de la Diócesis, según el censo de 2010 hay más de 300 mil hablantes de este idioma en todo Chiapas.
Los tzotziles de Huixtán, deseaban tener una traducción propia de su parroquia, donde los primeros pasos para esta traducción inició en 1971, los emprendió un sacerdote chiapaneco, el padre Marcelo Rodríguez Solórzano, de la congregación de misioneros del Sagrado Corazón y Santa María de Guadalupe, fue hasta 1980 en que se empezó el trabajo propiamente de traducción del nuevo testamento.
Cabe destacar que los principales traductores han sido los propios indígenas, catequistas y demás servidores de la iglesia, pero siempre con el apoyo de sacerdotes tanto indígenas como mestizos, es importante resaltar que los catequistas revisaban las traducciones para ver si el texto se entendía y lo llevaban luego a sus comunidades para que éstas dijeran su palabra.
Le Conseil de l'Europe apprécie le climat positif dans lequel se déroule le dialogue avec les autorités croates en ce qui concerne la protection des langues minoritaires, a déclaré lundi l'institution européenne dans un communiqué.
Le Comité des Ministres du Conseil de l' Europe vient de publier en fait un nouveau rapport d'évaluation sur l'application de la Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires en Croatie.
Dans ce rapport, le Comité des Ministres félicite les autorités croates d'avoir étendu l'application de la Charte aux langues allemande, slovène et rom. Il salue également l'adoption par les autorités croates d' un nouveau plan d'action pour la mise en œuvre de la loi constitutionnelle relative aux droits des minorités nationales comme un cadre utile pour atteindre des objectifs concrets et mesurables dans le domaine de la promotion des langues minoritaires.
Il invite toutefois la Croatie à poursuivre ses efforts pour promouvoir la sensibilisation et la tolérance vis-à-vis des langues minoritaires et des cultures qu'elles représentent en tant que partie intégrante du patrimoine culturel croate, tant dans le cursus scolaire général à tous les niveaux d'enseignement que dans les médias.
La Charte européenne des langues régionales ou minoritaires est une convention qui vise à protéger et promouvoir les langues minoritaires utilisées traditionnellement. Elle a été ouverte à la signature des membres du Conseil de l'Europe en novembre 1992 et entrée en vigueur en mars 1998.
Une seule personne est à l’origine des langages fictifs parlés dans la série de HBO.
Alléluia, le coup d’envoi de la cinquième saison de « Game of Thrones » a été donné la nuit du dimanche 12 au lundi 13 avril 2015.
C’est le grand retour des complots, des trahisons, des décapitations, des festins… et des langues imaginaires propres à l’univers des livres de George R.R. Martin.
Une vie à inventer des mots !
Au détour d’un château, d’un bateau ou d’une forêt, on parle notamment le Dothraki et le Valyrien dans le show à succès de la chaîne HBO.
Derrière ces langages fictifs, un maître d’œuvre, révèle le site Premiere.fr : David J. Peterson.
«C'est à la fac que m'est venue l'idée d'inventer ma voire mes propres langues, vers 2000», explique ce linguiste atypique. «Et depuis je ne me suis jamais arrêté. Je savais que j'allais créer des langues pendant toute ma vie mais c'était du loisir. C'est tellement irréel d'attendre que qui que ce soit gagne sa vie en inventant un langage qui n'existe pas ! Jusqu'à ce que j'entende parler de l'offre de "Game of Thrones".»
Comment les comédiens composent-ils avec ces sonorités inconnues ?
«Les acteurs doivent juste donner l'impression qu'ils comprennent ce qu'ils disent», tranche David J. Peterson.
« Notez qu'il n'y a pas de mot pour "orange" ; les Dothraki utiliseront tantôt "veltor" ou "virzeth" pour décrire la couleur, selon qu'elle tire davantage sur le jaune ou sur le rouge. » La mention figure en petit dans la section « couleurs » de Living Language : Dothraki, un petit guide de conversation de 126 pages paru en 2014, inédit en français, et entièrement consacré à l'une des deux langues fictives du monde de Game of Thrones.
Néolangue pétrie de passion linguistique, le dothraki réunit aujourd'hui une communauté très active de passionnés, qui s'échangent des tutoriels de prononciation sur YouTube, des conseils de traduction et des poèmes en rimes, à la grande fierté du créateur de la langue, David Peterson.
Quatre mille mots
A la question « Combien de nouveaux mots dothrakis avez-vous introduit dans la cinquième saison de "Game of Thrones ?" », celui-ci répond au Monde de manière aussi laconique que satisfaite : « Aucun. » Et pour cause. Si le vocabulaire de la langue fictive qu'il a imaginé à partir des livres de George R. R. Martin ne s'étend plus, c'est qu'il a déjà atteint un niveau critique.
« J'ai travaillé pendant les six ou huit premiers mois sur la grammaire, avant d'arriver à quelque chose de stable. Ensuite, je me suis attaqué au vocabulaire. Au début, j'avais 700 mots, maintenant j'en suis à 4 000 », relève calmement ce diplômé d'une maîtrise de linguistique de 34 ans, ancien président de la Language Creation Society, une association de promotion des langues dites « construites ».
Des langues, ce Californien de naissance en a déjà créé une demi-douzaine à titre professionnel, pour le compte de séries ou de films, comme le Lishepus (pour la série Dominion), le Shiväisith (pour le film Thor : the Dark world) ou encore le haut valyrien et le dothraki, pour Game of Thrones. Et en bon linguiste, celui-ci n'a rien laissé au hasard, pas même le vocabulaire des couleurs.
Un vocabulaire chromatique
Ainsi, le dothraki sait désigner le rouge (virzeth), le jaune (veltor), le vert (dahaan), le rose (theyaven) ou encore le gris (shiqeth), mais pas la couleur orange.
« Toutes les langues d'aujourd'hui ont un vocabulaire chromatique riche, souvent de onze mots différents, le russe en a même douze. Ces langues ont évolué à partir d'un panel très limité de mots pour désigner les couleurs. Or dans le développement d'une civilisation, le vocabulaire chromatique évolue d'une manière très prévisible. Elle commence par distinguer clair et obscur, puis le rouge, puis souvent le bleu apparaît, etc. Je me suis dit qu'au niveau de développement des Dothraki, ils avaient un vocabulaire limité, environ sept ou huit termes pour les couleurs. »
L'adjectif « orange » a fait les frais de cette réflexion. En revanche, la peuplade nomade possède un riche vocabulaire pour la chasse, et comme les Mongols, dont s'est inspiré George R. R. Martin, deux termes différents pour désigner les excréments, selon qu'ils soient secs ou récents.
« Me nem nesa ! »
Ce ne sont pas les seules coquetteries du linguiste : outre son vocabulaire, la grammaire du dothraki témoigne de raisonnements complexes. Le guide de conversation permet d'apprendre qu'elle utilise des déclinaisons, comme le latin, l'allemand, ou encore le russe.
La langue créée par David Peterson repose sur cinq cas différents. Quatre sont très courants, comme le nominatif, l'accusatif, le génitif et l'ablatif, pour marquer respectivement le sujet, l'objet, la possession et l'origine. Un autre, en revanche, est bien plus rare : l'allatif, qui désigne le lieu que l'on traverse davantage que celui où l'on est, et qui ne se retrouve que dans quelques langues non indo-européennes comme le hongrois ou le finnois.
« Comme les Dothrakis chevauchent beaucoup, il me semblait que cela faisait sens, sémantiquement, qu'ils expriment davantage l'idée de traverser, le mouvement, plutôt que l'emplacement. Cela me semblait plus pertinent. »
Mais le dothraki s'inspire aussi de formes grammaticales plus classiques, comme le « It is known, Khaleesi » (« c'est connu, Khaleesi », ou « Me nem nesa, Khaleesi », en dothraki), qui utilise la voix passive pour exprimer l'insistance. « C'est commun à l'anglais et au dothraki », précise le conlanger – un néologisme bien américain pour désigner les linguistes qui conçoivent des langues.
Red envelopes are nothing new to Samantha Ubillus. The 13-year-old with sinewy limbs, a charismatic smile, and long brown hair has been learning about Chinese New Year traditions since she was a little kid. An eighth grader now, Ubillus began studying Chinese five years ago when her parents first encouraged her to take Chinese lessons.
"If I can learn Chinese, a lot of other people can," said Ubillus, who grew up in El Monte.
Ubillus is just one of approximately 150 students who attends Chinese classes at El Monte Education Center (EMEC), a nonprofit that offers extracurricular learning to local students and cultural awareness through educational activities. Established in 1993, the center offers supplemental English and math tutoring during the weekdays along with language classes on the weekends. Many of the students who attend the Chinese courses, held on Saturday at Rio Vista Elementary School, are are second-generation immigrants whose parents emigrated from countries such as China and Malaysia.
"We welcome kids from all over to come to our school," said Chang Chih Yeh, the principal of EMEC. "The more languages you know, the more ability you have to make a living. Everybody knows English but not everybody knows Chinese. For the children's future, their outlook is more positive."
While others are still sleeping in on the weekend, the students are already hard at work. They arrive bright and early to gather in the courtyard for morning instructions. In the classroom, they go over lessons in the textbook, strengthening their Chinese reading and writing skills. Some of the younger children are even taught songs and dances to help them become engaged with the language.
Ubillus first sat in at age five at the kindergarten level, learning the fundamentals such as tones and pinyin, a phonetic system for transcribing Mandarin pronunciations into the English alphabet. She even learned to write her name in Chinese. Slowly but surely, she was able to gain more knowledge on the language and could say short phrases, including "Hello," "Good morning," "Happy birthday," and "My name is Samantha" in Mandarin. She admits the classes were difficult at first.
"I'm able to pick up some words when other people talking and, even though I don't know all the words they're saying, I can pick up some and think about what they're saying," said Ubillus, who hopes to visit China one day.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the use of a language other than English at home increased by 23.4 million speakers (211 percent) between 1980 and 2007. In 2007, of 281 million people who were ages five or older, 55.4 million people (20 percent) spoke a language other than English at home. Of the people surveyed, 62 percent spoke Spanish and 15 percent spoke an Asian or Pacific Island language. After English and Spanish (34.5 million speakers), Chinese (2.5 million speakers) was the language most commonly spoken at home.
And according to an article from DANA Foundation, a private philanthropic organization focused on brain researchBilingual brains "can have better attention and task-switching capacities than the monolingual brain." In addition, bilingual children can better adjust to environmental changes. The authors noted that, along with cognitive benefits, bilingualism brings about social benefits such as exploring a culture through its native tongue, or chatting with someone with whom you normally wouldn't be able to communicate.
At EMEC, Ubillus believes meeting new friends has helped her to open up and not be as shy. Along the way, she started taking dance classes and worked with instructors from the Shining Star Dance Academy, which is under the umbrella of EMEC and offers classes such as Chinese folk dance. This fall, she'll be attending high school and plans on continuing with her Chinese education by enrolling in the Mandarin language track. She is working towards becoming trilingual, having already been fluent in Spanish and English.
Ubillus's parents are proud of her multilingual accomplishments and support her as much as possible. In the last few years, when her father couldn't drop her off at class, she and her mother would take a taxi or a bus to make sure she arrived to class on time. Her father, Wilfrido Ubillus, stresses the importance of having children learn foreign languages at a young age, and cited the economic benefits as one of the reasons his daughter chose to learn Mandarin. "I like her to take Mandarin because I know it's going to be great potential for her," said Wilifrido, whose family is originally from Ecuador.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs such as interpreters and translators are on the rise. From 2012 to 2022, the organization anticipates that the job outlook for these positions will increase by 46 percent, faster than the average change of employment for other jobs.
Patricia Gándara, research professor of education at UCLA, has also highlighted the advantages of bilingualism in her book "The Bilingual Advantage: Language, Literacy and the U.S. Labor Market." Studies cited in the book notes how multilingual fluency can be a benefit in the job market, and that "bilinguals were more likely to be hired than those who only spoke only one language." Gándara also states that an acceptance of bilingualism and/or multilingualism in the U.S. could help bring about equity and economic social mobility for those who speak other languages.
Wilfrido Ubillus fully understands how learning a foreign language can benefit her daughter. "She's going to have a lot of opportunities to travel to China," he said. "And, for me to see her in the future, I'm not worried about it because I know she's going to be doing great."
If you’re the head of a true start-up company, one with limited resources and an unproven product and/or business model, going international is probably not at the top of your agenda. Nevertheless, in the tech world, many products have international potential and undoubtedly many tech entrepreneurs dream about the possibility of international markets. And you will more likely realize that potential if you keep localization in mind from the very beginning. (This kind of long-range planning can also impress potential investors who look for indications that a business has good growth prospects.)
Even if localizing and translating your product and marketing materials seem to be things for the distant future, you may be surprised how quickly the time will come when it will start to make sense. There are steps you can take right away to get a head start by preparing for localization.
Internationalize your software
Software Internationalization is the process of designing a software application so that it can be adapted to various languages and regions without engineering changes. Internationalization means design and development that prepare software for later localization, for example, by ensuring that foreign character sets are supported and that local differences in date, time and currency formats will be accommodated, or by adding support for left-to-right or vertical text. The practices involved can have value even if the software is never actually localized, and they are invaluable when it comes time to localize. Some of the biggest problems in localizing software come from having to re-engineer code when a supposedly localized version of the software refuses to operate as needed due to a lack of internationalization.
Write and design for translation
Make sure that your documentation, website, and marketing collateral are written and designed with translation in mind. Writing for translation involves practices like simplifying vocabulary and grammar and avoiding idioms and jargon. Like internationalizing your software, writing for translation is a good practice regardless of whether the materials ever do get translated.
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As Val Swisher points out in a recent article in Intercom (“Writing for Translation: Even If Your Company Does Not Translate,” Jan 2015), many Americans don’t read well, many of them have English as a second language, and customers will translate your materials anyway using tools like Google and Bing Translate. Materials written for translation are easier to read, especially for those whose first language is not English, and will give better results when run through machine translation tools.
Materials that are designed for translation avoid complex layouts, use common fonts, leave plenty of room for text expansion, and don’t use graphics with text embedded in them—practices that are also very helpful in responsive web design.
Choose the right translation partner
We realize that, when money is very tight, as it is initially for most start-ups, you may turn initially to the cheapest possible option for any translation that needs to be done:
Using machine translation is tempting, but this is the worst option. It’s not just that the translation won’t be fluent—it may in many cases be simply wrong or totally mangled, and you won’t know it.
Another option is using bilingual employees. At least employees should know your business and its terminology well, and this may give reasonably good results as a short-term measure. This really isn’t a sound long-range strategy, though, because those employees have other work to do; translation either takes them away from that work or gets done very slowly. They are also not professional translators with all the helpful tools and writing skills that involves.
You can also contract directly with freelance translators. You may get great results this way if the translators are chosen carefully, but it does mean having someone in-house who locates and screens the translators and manages the process. This can get very burdensome, especially if you get into translating multiple languages. There is also no independent quality check.
Ultimately, the best route is to locate a reliable agency to become your language partner. A good agency will have a process in place to screen and assign the right translators; can handle translation into multiple languages at the same time; will perform quality checks; and can provide other services such as website and software localization, multilingual layout, and localization of other media such as video and audio productions. They can also ensure consistency and save you money over time through the use of translation memories and other translation technology that makes the process more efficient.
And don’t wait until the last minute to pick out your language partner. With an international network and wide experience in localization and culture, they can also provide good advice along the way.
Translation is not the end of a global strategy. It is often the beginning. For example, implementing foreign language landing pages and tracking their traffic can be one way of spotting potential overseas markets. As your business gets to the point where you get serious about an international strategy, there are all kinds of other considerations to take into account and many other resources available to help you successfully make the move.
But being prepared for localization will put you ahead of the game and save you lots of time and money in the long run.
By Brandie Maguire - State Hornet - @brandiemmag
Knowing more than one language can increase a person’s marketability and enhance their quality of life.
On Friday, April 17, a presentation called “Communicating for Success: Leveraging Language to Launch Your Career” welcomed a panel of five business professionals who attributed part of their career success to their knowledge of multiple languages.
Anne Goff, a Sacramento State French professor, led the panel discussion including speakers Andrew Bondar, Boryana Arsova, Tanya Altmann, Clarissa Laguardia and Carolyn Yohn.
Goff began the discussion by explaining the importance of languages in modern workplaces.
“Businesses are becoming increasingly international,” Goff said.
She discussed how beneficial it can be to begin learning another language but also spoke about how some tools are not as useful as others.
“Google [translate] is not there yet,” Goff said. “If you’re using it for your homework, your teacher knows.”
Arsova is an attorney with Martensen Wright PC and a native of Bulgaria. She said knowing multiple languages at a conversational level can be a useful skill in many companies.
“We use a lot of different languages in our office and we use them everyday,” Arvosa said.
She also mentioned that many of the people her company interacts with seem more comfortable and friendly being addressed in their native language.
“There’s no quicker way to connect with someone than to know their language,” Goff said.
All of the speakers wholeheartedly agreed that learning another language benefitted their lives and careers in a positive way.
Bondar is a financial adviser, CEO of Bondar & Associates, and is fluent in Russian and English.
“As a business owner, 20 percent of my clients speak the language I speak,” Bondar said. “I’m really happy with the fact that I learned a foreign language.”
Altmann said knowing different languages is especially useful in her work as a nurse.
“Knowing various languages...is just invaluable in healthcare,” Altmann said.
She talked about how crucial it is to be able to communicate regardless of language barriers, especially in emergency situations where someone’s life and health can be affected.
“If you’re getting an informed consent, you want to make sure they understand,” Altmann said.
Laguardia is a certified translator, entrepreneur, medical interpreter and is fluent in Spanish.
“Speaking Spanish has opened a lot of doors for me,” Laguardia said. “You end up working with people from all over the world and you have to be prepared, not only for the language but for the culture.”
Yohn works full-time as a translator, which includes providing translation assistance to people and translating legal and academic texts.
“I can tell you, I don’t have any lack of work in what I do,” Yohn said.
The discussion focused on the idea that there are many companies that seek out employees who have foreign language skills and many job descriptions specifically list various languages as a requirement for the job.
Being fluent in additional languages is not only a marketable skill, but can be personally fulfilling.
“It’s very important for personal growth, to know what it feels like on the other side of the equation,” Yohn said.
She described a situation where there are two sides, one being the person who is comfortable in their surroundings and the other who is not. Yohn detailed the feelings of being lost in a culture where even if someone is intelligent, that may be hard to convey because of language barriers.
“As a Spanish speaker, I often get confused as a Mexican,” Laguardia said. “For me, as a Salvadoran, I speak more the academic proper [Spanish].”
Laguardia thinks learning a language is a process that never ends, but the benefits associated with knowing another language makes the effort worthwhile.
“As an interpreter, we never stop learning new words,” Laguardia said. “I know that when I’m done and I graduate, I will be hirable material.”
Laguardia and the other panelists believe the opportunities are everywhere for those who can speak more than one language. This concept is one many students at Sac State want to hear, especially those studying the languages.
Roberta Ward is the president of the Foreign Languages Alumni Chapter at Sac State and thinks students can learn from this presentation.
“There are a lot of foreign language majors here at Sac State and they want to know what they can do with their degree,” Ward said. “People need to know there is so much to do besides teaching.”
Karina Ramos is a French major who attended the presentation because she wanted to learn and hear professionals speak about how they utilize their language skills.
“I thought it was pretty good; it is very humbling,” Ramos said. “You’ve got to immerse- be like a child learning.”
Ramos traveled and studied abroad twice. Her first trip was from 2012-13 when she studied in the southern part of France, and she spent last summer in Paris.
“My mom was the one who introduced me to speaking French,” Ramos said. “I want to be global too. The world is getting smaller and smaller.”
However, many people do not have the opportunity to study abroad for financial or family reasons. Financial aid and study abroad programs can be utilized, but not everyone qualifies and some people have commitments they cannot abandon.
“Not everyone can afford to take a year off,” Arsova said.
Arsova suggested alternatives to traveling abroad to acquire new language skills including watching foreign movies, socializing with people of different languages and cultures, and engaging with local events.
“It’s never too late to choose a language and just start learning,” Arsova said.
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In an increasingly global economy, New Jersey is right to require world language instruction. And Flemington-Raritan School District 's proposal to do more than the minimum for its youngest students is a step in the right direction.
Schools struggle to cram all that is required of students today into a roughly six-hour day. Plopping small children in front of world language tapes may be an efficient way to satisfy one more rule, but it certainly isn't making the best use of valuable time.
No one thinks a 40-minute block, every six school days, will enable students even many years into a program to communicate well in another language.
But starting at a young age reduces the fear that another language is "too hard." It breaks down walls raised in ignorance of other cultures and helps students understand how hard immigrants everywhere work to adapt. It points out the importance of language and effective communication. Done well, it encourages students to strive for mastery.
Washington State University encourages students to study a world language, saying, "Research has shown that math and verbal SAT scores climb higher with each additional year of foreign language study, which means that the longer you study a foreign language, the stronger your skills become to succeed in school. Studying a foreign language can improve your analytic and interpretive capacities."
Research has linked the knowledge of two or more languages with higher executive function in children — helping them plan, focus their attention, remember instructions, and handle multiple tasks well — and in delaying the onset of dementia in older people.
And for residents more concerned with preparing students for careers, CNN wrote in 2013 that the "Army, NYPD and State Department can't get enough workers with" bilingual skills. "Neither can Fortune 500 companies, hospitals, local courts and schools."
Studies have shown that Americans who speak more than one language earn 2-3 percent more than their counterparts. It doesn't sound like much, until you compute the math over the length of a career.
Maryland developed a World Languages Pipeline program, started in 19 schools. It combines science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with a foundation in world language.
The U.S. Department of Education says, "Although the students are only in elementary school, the lessons represent an early start on preparing them for success in college and careers later on."
It's always interesting when Americans proclaim their belief that additional languages are unnecessary because English is taught and spoken "everywhere." Travel to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico, or take a European highlights tour with an English-speaking guide and that will seem self-evident.
But take the road less traveled in a non-English speaking country, or simply step away from the tourist centers, and it's a whole new world. And, in an increasingly interconnected world, the idea that English is spoken everywhere is increasingly met with an equal expectation that other "world" languages will be as well.
Flemington-Raritan's plan is a step forward for its students, on multiple levels.
Hakan Ufuk, Fountain Magazine Freelance Writer:
Languages are actually not that different from genes. Just as you would expect events like the Barbarian Migrations of the 5th century, or the Bubonic plague of the 14th century to leave marks on the gene pools of the surviving populations, languages are influenced, in that new words, new idioms and meanings are introduced.
A study, published in November 2004 in the high-profile journal Nature, affirms this, convincingly establishing a philological tree using computational methods established for phylogeny (historical relations between species and their genes).1
When Did English and Hindi Begin to Differ?
The long-established “comparative method” of linguistics uses vocabulary, the structure of words, and the sound systems of languages to draw language family trees, depicting in what order related languages (such as, English, Hindi, and ancient Hittite) diverged from their mother languages and the relative “relatedness” of sister languages.
Dates of divergence are usually referred to dates of historical or archaeological significance. For example, the Romanian language, a relative of Italian, must have been introduced to the region between 112 and 270 AD, when Roman troops occupied Dacia.
However, the comparative method doesn’t provide any dates itself, other than those of relative chronology.
Lexicostatistics, the rival study for vocabulary change, extracts essential vocabulary from languages, such as “I, three, and hand,” which are assumed to be more resistant to change, and produces a metric of shared cognates and, hence, language kinship.
Assuming a constant rate of language change over time, one can extrapolate to pre-history dates for language evolution.
For example, one may try to estimate when the proto-Indo-European, the ancestor of English, Hindi, and Hittite, started branching into distinct new languages.
Unfortunately, the promise of lexicostatistics (and its method, called glottochronology) became doubtful quickly after its birth.
It was criticized very much in the same way as biological phylogenetic analyses were. One example to show the correspondence is that just as the mutation rates of genes (sequences of DNA) may change over time, languages may also be changing faster or slower at certain periods.
Lexicostatistics is unreliable, as the similarity between languages could be mere chance convergences, or borrowings, or on the other hand, distant relatives could be unrecognizable after a great deal of divergence. These objections have plagued biology in similar ways.
Phylogenetics and Philology Side by Side
The study by Gray and Atkinson from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, published on November 27, 2004 in Nature, uses enhanced methods developed for phylogenetic studies in language tree construction, which produces trees that are consistent with those established by the comparative method.
Most importantly, maximum-likelihood models and the Bayesian inference method were employed, both being statistical methods now established in phylogenetics, to counteract any weaknesses found in past attempts of glottochronology.
Their method makes it possible to estimate divergence times without a strict rate of change, also enabling the determination of unsubstantiated sections of the tree, and the incorporation of these uncertainties in the calculation of the trees and divergence times.
Gray and Atkinson only used fourteen age constraints to calibrate their divergence time calculations in estimating chronology, and after confirming tests eliminated some of these constraints, doubtful cognates, and other problems, they were able to come up with a date for the initial divergence of all Indo-European languages of 7,800 to 9,800 years ago.
These dates coincide beautifully with the Anatolian farmer hypothesis, which claims dispersion of Indo-Europeans from Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) with the spreading of agriculture around 8,000-9,500 years ago, a hypothesis now supported by genetic studies that report a Neolithic, Near Eastern contribution to the European gene pool as well.
An Alternative Theory
This study doesn’t extinguish one of the fiercest discussions of this century, which is favored by many linguists, that linguistic evidence favors the Kurgan expansion hypothesis, with Kurgan horsemen invading and spreading from the Asian steppes 6,000 years ago.
It is thought that Kurgan horsemen possessed certain advantages, like the knowledge of the wheel and horseback riding, just as the Anatolians knew about farming.
These linguists claim that the statistical and computational methods used in biology don’t reflect the way languages change, and these methods use only vocabulary, but ignore grammar.
This study is a shot in the arm for the supporters of the Anatolian theory and resurrects glottochronology. Obviously, the discussion is far from being over.
To reconcile the two, Gray and Atkinson note that they have observed an intense diversification period in their data at a date of 6,000 years ago, and they refer to an inclusive theory of both Anatolian origin and Kurgan expansion.2
In their article Gray and Atkinson predict the combination of computational phylogenetic methods and vocabulary data to examine archaeological hypotheses in the future, as methods developed for biology continue to establish themselves in social sciences.
As David Searls of Glaxo-Smith-Kline Pharmaceuticals concludes in his “News and Views” article in the same issue of Nature, 3 “[this work] should stimulate even more cross-fertilization of ideas among those studying the intertwined trees of life and language.”
Alexander Young is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Washington who has studied Spanish and German.
He told i100.co.uk he created these maps of how constants sound across Europe after noticing that different languages had very different ideas about what to do with the letter J.
Most language maps look at how similar the spoken languages are, or how much of the vocabulary is shared. This tells you how closely the languages are related. I wanted to do something different. The relationship between letters and the sounds is partly due to history, and partly due to convention.
Romance languages tend to have historical baggage. For example, in Portuguese, the letter x evolved from sounding like ‘ks’ to ‘sh’, like in old words like “caixa” (box). In newer words imported from Latin or Greek forms or borrowed from other languages, the ‘ks’ is reinstated ( like in ” oxigênio”, oxygen).
I have two versions of the letter C because there was a lot of debate about what is considered a “loan word”. (Dutch in particular seems to have so many loan words that it’s difficult to draw the line). The alternate version has a pattern that shows how the letter is pronounced when it is used as a burrowed letter. But the map is almost too busy and gets more difficult to read.
More: 9 maps and charts that will make you feel happier about the world
CIUDAD DE MEXICO, México. 20 Abr. 2015.- El Estado Islámico en Irak y Levante se convirtió en ISIS, (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) cuando extendió sus acciones terroristas a Siria, pero ahora quiere que se le llame Estado Islámico (ISIL) como forma de reconocer su califato en las dos naciones. De hecho, utilizar el nombre de Estado Islámico para mencionarlo es reconocerlo como califato.
Por esa razón Washington y otras naciones se refieren a los yihadistas como ISIS y no como Estado Islámico.
El grupo yihadista modificó su nombre a mediados de julio de 2014 tras autoproclamarse como califato.
La historia del grupo se remonta a 2002 cuando el jordano Abu Musab al Zarqawi, bajo el nombre de Tawhid wa al-Jihad, juró lealtad a Osama Bin Laden y un año después se convirtió en la rama de Al Qaeda en Irak.
Tras su muerte en 2006, Al Qaeda creó al Estado Islámico de Irak y fusionó a las milicias con las de Siria creando al Estado Islámico y de Levante ISIS.
En 2013 con ese nombre y todavía como una marca de Al Qaeda, extendió sus tentáculos por Siria y se autoproclamó como Estado Islámico para convertirse en otro grupo rebelde que lucha contra el régimen de Bashar al Assad con el apoyo del Frente Al Nusra, rama de Al Qaeda en Siria.
Su líder, el enemigo número uno de Estados Unidos, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi ordenó que el grupo terrorista empezara a denominarse Estado Islámico en Iraq y el Levante (ISIL) por su siglas en inglés.
Obama usa ISIS
El presidente Barack Obama, de Estados Unidos, explicó el 10 de septiembre de 2014, su estrategia para terminar con el grupo terrorista. En todo momento se refirió a los yihadistas con ese acrónimo y no como Estado Islámico, nombre con el que la organización pretende que lo mencionen. No utiliza 'estado' porque no lo es y la mayoría de los musulmanes no los consideran islámicos.
Los expertos opinan que la inclusión del Levante en su nombre "es la traducción más exacta del nombre del grupo y refleja sus aspiraciones de gobernar sobre una amplia franja del Medio Oriente".
¿De dónde viene ISIS?
La diferencia entre ISIL e ISIS hace referencia a la traducción árabe del nombre. ISIS es una traducción al inglés de las siglas en árabe para: al Dawla al Islamiya fi al Iraq wa al Sham, o el Estado Islámico en Iraq y al Sham.
Los planes de la organización son extender un califato, que se extienda desde Turquía por toda Siria hasta Egipto y que incluya los territorios palestinos, Jordania y Líbano.
Utilizar Estado Islámico implica reconocer su califato
En julio de 2014, el Estado Islámico proclamó el califato en los territorios de Siria e Irak bajo su control. A partir de ese momento, pidió ser reconocido con ese nombre. Aunque sea el nombre más usado en los medios y en las declaraciones políticas, cada vez son más los críticos y las voces que se niegan a llamarlos así para no reconocer el éxito de su califato.
Los expertos opinan que al nombrarlo así, cualquier ataque contra el Estado Islámico puede ser manipulado como una guerra contra el Islam y eso le daría más oxigeno.
Sea como sea, se les llama como se les llame, más allá de su nombre, el grupo yihadista se conoce como sus prácticas medievales que incluyen crucifixiones, decapitaciones y ejecuciones públicas para llamar la atención del mundo entero.
Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Education has signed an agreement with a Chinese provincial education department to work together to offer Mandarin in Gauteng schools, among other educational goals.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two provincial agencies was signed on Friday to carry out the goals of a similar collaboration agreement reached between the national Department of Basic Education and the Chinese government last year.
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga last month announced the department’s approval of Mandarin in the curriculum.
From next January, Mandarin will be among 17 other non-official languages pupils can choose to take as their second additional language, after their home language and first additional language.
“As South Africa’s biggest trading partner, it is important for our children to become proficient in the Confucius language and develop a good understanding of Chinese culture,” Motshekga’s spokeswoman Troy Martens told The Star’s sister paper, the Cape Argus, last year.
“If people can communicate much easier (in the same language), it assists in developing relationships,” said Albert Chanee, Gauteng’s deputy director-general of education policy and planning, on Friday at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Joburg after signing the MOU with representatives from China’s Jiangsu Province Department of Education.
Offering Mandarin in public schools has drawn concerns from some teachers’ unions, which worry that teaching it will undermine indigenous African languages.
Mandarin will be optional for pupils, and the teaching of a home language is compulsory.
Unleashing your inner Shakespeare could be just a few jolts of electricity away.
Researchers in North Carolina claim that zapping the brain with a mild electric current can boost creativity by nearly eight per cent.
They tested their theory using a 10-Hertz current on the brain's of 20 volunteers to stimulate the brain's natural alpha wave oscillations.
Researchers in North Carolina claim that zapping the brain with a mild electric current can boost creativity by nearly eight per cent
As well as creativity, these oscillations - or the lack of them - are linked with depression.
Flavio Frohlich, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina said: 'If we could enhance these brain activity patterns, then we could potentially help many people.'
Alpha oscillations occur within the frequency range of eight and 12 Hertz 9 (or cycles per second). They were discovered in 1929 by Hans Berger, who invented EEG.
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Alpha oscillations happen most prominently when we close our eyes and shut out sensory stimuli – things we see, feel, taste, smell, and hear.
When alpha oscillations are active, your sensory inputs might be offline as you daydream, meditate, or conjure ideas.
When you come fully online, alpha oscillations disappear. Other oscillations at higher frequencies, such as gamma oscillations, take over.
An EEG of a naturally occurring alpha oscillation in a human brain. Enhancing these electric oscillations may help treat people with depression, scientists claim
They tested their theory using a 10-Hertz current run through electrodes attached to the scalp on 20 volunteers to stimulate the brain's natural alpha wave oscillations. They then recorded the results using EEG
Knowing this, other researchers began associating alpha oscillations with creativity.
Professor Frohlich set out to find evidence. His idea was simple. If he could enhance the rhythmic patterns of alpha oscillations to improve creativity.
For the study, Professor Frohlich's team enrolled 20 healthy adults. Researchers placed electrodes on each side of each participant's frontal scalp and a third electrode toward the back of the scalp.
BRAIN ZAPPING CAN DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD, SAY SCIENTISTS
An experimental technique used to boost brain performance with electrical pulses can actually cause people to perform less well in some tasks, scientists have found.
The technology, known as transcranial direct current stimulation, is already being marketed in commercial products as a way of helping computer game players and athletes improve their focus.
However, new research from the University of Oxford suggests that the benefits of this technique, which stimulates activity in the brain with an electrical current, may be limited by personality as it appears to only be helpful to people who are stressed about performing a task.
They found that while electrical stimulation helped those who lacked confidence or were anxious about performing a series of sums, it caused those who did not fear mathematics to decline.
A follow up study that examined how volunteers fared at spotting which way an arrow was pointing on a screen when confronted with distracting information showed that all those who received stimulation performed more poorly.
This way, the 10-Hertz alpha oscillation stimulation for each side of the cortex would be in unison.
Each participant underwent two sessions. During one session, researchers used a 10-Hertz sham stimulation for just five minutes.
Participants felt a tingle at the start of the five minutes. For the next 25 minutes, each participant continued to take the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking.
In one task, each participant was shown a small fraction of an illustration – sometimes just a bent line on a piece of paper.
Participants used the line to complete an illustration, and they wrote a title when they finished.
In the other session each participant underwent the same protocol, except they were stimulated at 10 Hertz for the entire 30 minutes while doing the Torrance test.
The tingling sensation only occurred at the start of the stimulation, ensuring that each participant did not know which session was the control session.
Then Frohlich's team compared each participant's creativity score, they found participants scored an average 7.4 percentage points higher than they did during the control sessions.
'That's a pretty big difference when it comes to creativity,' Frohlich said. 'Several participants showed incredible improvements in creativity. It was a very clear effect.'
'We don't know if there are long-term safety concerns,' he said. 'We did a well-controlled, one-time study and found an acute effect.'
'Also, I have strong ethical concerns about cognitive enhancement for healthy adults, just as sports fans might have concerns about athletic enhancement through the use of performance-enhancing drugs.'
Summer School Scholarship
Deadline: May 15
Students who are preparing a doctoral dissertation in the field of Translation Studies (which includes interpreting and localization) are invited to apply for this scholarship of 1,000 euros.
Applicants must be EST members at the time of applying.
The grant can be for any summer school organized in the field of Translation Studies for the purpose of training researchers.
The applications will be evaluated by the corresponding committee, who will base their judgement on the application as a whole, taking into account all information asked for: the technical quality of the project, the applicant's competences and needs, and the relationship between the project and the summer school programme selected.
To apply, please fill in the application form (including the attachments) and send it to the Committee Secretary Esther Torres at email@example.com. Along with the form, applicants are asked to send a letter of recommendation from their dissertation advisor as a PDF or scanned attachment.
Receipt of complete applications will be acknowledged by e-mail.
The name of the scholarship recipient will be announced on the Society's website in the second week of June each year and notice will also be sent (by e-mail) to each of the candidates.
Previous scholarship holders:
2005: Esther Torres-Simón (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)
2006: Cristina Valentini (Forlì)
2007: Seyda Eraslan (Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey)
2008: Elisabet Tiselius (Stockholm), Alberto Fernández Costales (Oviedo)
2009: Hanna Pięta (Lisbon), Maria Tymczyńska (Poznań), Alice Leal (Vienna)
2010: Sabina Tcaciuc (Aston)
2011: Kyriaki Kourouni (Thessaloniki). Report here.
2012: David Orrego-Carmona (Tarragona). Report here.
2013: Alenka Morel (Ljubljana). Report here.
2014: Paweł Korpal (Poznań)
The most important part of any salon visit is the consultation. Communication is key, but sometimes it can be difficult if you and your colorist are speaking two different languages. And by different languages, I mean English, and Salon Speak. And by Salon Speak, I mean that mysterious lingo where your colorist tries to explain your color process to you with words like: toners, fillers, demi-permanent, gradient, double-process, monochromatic, warm, cool, brassy, neutral, and you're not 100% sure what it all means but you nod and smile anyway and secretly pray that you are both on the same page with your hair color. So for the sake of gorgeous hair color and happy salon experiences, let's take a moment to demystify some of the most commonly thrown around terminology in the professional hair color world.
Warm and Cool:
In hair color, warm colors have a dominance of red, yellow and orange. Cool colors have a dominance of blue, green and violet. Remember that awesome day in elementary school where your art teacher gave you a paper plate with 3 globs of paint: red, yellow and blue and told you to mix them all together? And everybody in the class got a different shade of brown based on the proportions of each primary color used? Well hair color is kind of like that. For brunettes, if there is more red in the mixture, you'll have a rich chestnut tone. If there is a dominance of yellow, you'll have more of a caramel-toffee tone. A dominance of blue will result in a cool, smokey brown. Virtually every hair color is a blend of red, yellow and blue. Your colorist's job is to find the perfect balance of all three to create your desired result.
Brassy vs Warm:
This is one I get asked about a lot. "Brassy" refers to unwanted warm tones (red, orange, yellow) in hair color. "Brassy" is often mistaken for "warmth" or "gold" but it is not the same thing. Often times a brassy result is blamed on "warm colors" or "gold" thus, creating an epic fear of all things warm. Red and gold play an essential role in creating beautiful hair color. Without it, our hair would look dull, sickly, and in extreme cases, even green. In fact, many of the most frequently requested celeb hair colors include flecks of warm, rich color throughout the midhsaft and ends, even if their base is a cool or neurtal-toned color (see images below). For example, Sofia Vergara's hair depicted below is warm, but it's not brassy. So the million dollar question is: "What's the difference between a brassy blonde and a warm blonde?" The answer is simple. Placement. It's all about the where the warmth is placed. Vergara's warmth is in perfect placement - her midshaft and ends. Her root area is not quite as warm, creating a cool-to-warm effect. In nature, the sun naturally creates this same effect by brightening and adding warm tones to the midhsaft and ends of one's hair. Natural brunettes get auburn to caramel highlights in the sun. Natural blondes get ribbons of lighter, warmer blonde throughout the midshaft and ends. Nowhere in nature will you see an excess of warmth at the roots and cooler tones on the ends. That's when "brassy" happens. If you look at Jennifer Aniston's color shown below, there is a concentration of warm tones at her roots. Her cooler mid-shaft and ends only intensify the warmth at the roots. This is not a combo found in nature, so if it looks "wrong" or unnatural to you, it's because your prehistoric cave-lady instincts are telling you it is. Warmth is essential in creating gorgeous hair color when done with proper application and placement.
At least a few times per week, I overhear salon guests ask "What does a toner do?". A toner does a lot of things. In short, a toner is a translucent deposit-only color that generally has conditioning and glossing qualities. I like to describe it as the fine-tuning or finish on a color service, or as a refresher between full color services to keep one's color vibrant and glossy. It is commonly used for controlling brassy tones, but depending on the custom formula created by your colorist, it can also be used to add vibrancy to reds, add depth to brunettes, and so much more. During corrective color services, an array of different toners may be used to tweak and adjust the color until it's perfect. Methods of toning hair can vary. Some colorists apply toners while you're relaxing in the shampoo bowl, and some will apply the toner while you're sitting at the color bar. Some toners stay on for 5 minutes; some for 30 minutes. Remember that hair design is an art and a toner is simply a tool that may be used in a variety of ways.
The name says it all. Or does it? All color, whether permanent, demi/semi-permanent or temporary, eventually fades to a certain degree. The difference is that permanent color permanently alters the natural pigments in the hair even after much of the artificial pigment has faded. That is why sometimes red tones begin to appear about 4-6 weeks after a color appointment. The ammonia content in permanent color breaks down our hair's natural pigment, then deposits synthetic pigment to create the desired result. As the synthetic pigments slowly fade, we are able to see what's left of our natural pigment. Out of the three primary colors that make up our hair color (red, yellow and blue), blue is the easiest to break down, thus leaving your hair's underlying pigment rather warm, and if you're not careful, brassy. Reasons for using permanent color include maximum grey coverage, going lighter in color, or creating warmth and richness. Users should know that permanent hair color tends to create a stronger line of demarcation during the grow out period than a semi/demi-permanent or temporary color and requires more maintenance to keep visible regrowth at bay.
Semi/Demi-Permanent, and Temporary Colors:
Just like how "Not all permanent colors are permanent", not all temporary colors are temporary. Yes, I know - hair color is freakin' confusing like that, and as a professional, I'm telling you things that a box will not tell you. A demi-permanent color creates very minimal change in the hair's natural pigment. It's great for grey-blending and will leave a very minimal (if any) line of demarcation as it grows out. This means less maintenance than permanent color. A demi is sometimes translucent in comparison to an opaque permanent color, resulting in a more natural, dimensional result. Semi-permanent and "temporary" colors are deposit only. They do not alter the natural pigments in the hair. Grey coverage is very minimal and generally, semi and temporary colors are used as glazes to refresh previously colored ends, or used as a toner. On healthy, darker hair, a temporary color can gradually fade away, leaving almost no evidence that it was ever there, which means zero maintenance for the noncommittal. However with continued use and color overlap, or on porous, fine, or blonde hair, a "temporary" color can very well become permanent so be sure to address any of these concerns with your colorist and follow his or her professional advice.
The Level System is a universal guide to how light or dark a color is. Levels generally range from 1-10; 1 being jet black and 10 being platinum blonde. Levels 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 create everything in between and can even be mixed to create half levels (i.e.: Level 8.5 strawberry blonde). The more levels you are planning to jump, the more work it'll take to get you there. For example, a natural level 8 blonde will take much less work getting to a level 10 platinum than a level 3 dark brunette going for the same level 10 platinum result.
Highlights and Lowlights:
In short, highlights and lowlights add dimension to hair color. Highlights are accents of color that are lighter than the base color and creates volume, lift and draws attention to certain areas of the face depending on placement. Lowlights are accents of color that are the same level or darker than the base color and creates depth. Lighter colors tend to pop, expand, and emphasize, and darker colors recede, create depth and shadows. The combinations of both light and dark are endless and can create a multitude of looks.
All of these listed above are simply general guidelines for color terminology. When in doubt, don't be afraid to ask your colorist for guidance!
Wishing fabulous hair days for all,
Santiago de Cuba, 20 abr.- La cuarta edición del Diccionario Básico Escolar, una de las producciones científicas de mayor generalización en la educación en Cuba, será presentado aquí el próximo 23 de abril, como parte de la XXIV Feria Internacional del Libro y de la
celebración del Día del Idioma.
Este volumen, uno de los textos más “perseguidos” por la familia cubana y valiosa herramienta entre educandos, regresará al evento cultural de mayor masividad en la nación con la novedad de incluir unas mil entradas nuevas.
Según el Dr.C. Leonel Ruiz Miyares, director del Centro de Lingüística Aplicada (CLA) —institución creadora de esa maravillosa herramienta—, otra de las modificaciones es que los verbos que contiene estarán conjugados, variación que posibilitará que los estudiantes se apropien mejor del idioma español y empleen con mayor facilidad el texto.
La presentación de la cuarta edición del Diccionario Básico Escolar se realizará a las 9:30 de la mañana, en la sala "Oscar Ruiz Miyares", perteneciente a la biblioteca municipal "Abel Santamaría", de Santiago de Cuba.
El capítulo santiaguero de la 24 Feria del Libro se celebrará en esta ciudad del 22 al 26 de abril, en el Complejo Cultural Heredia, y tiene como incentivo especial estar dedicado el evento a la Doctora en Ciencias Olga Portuondo, historiadora de esta provincia.
De esta investigadora, Premio Nacional de Ciencias Sociales, se mostrará el libro Pensar y existir en cubano, un compendio de ensayos sobre personalidades e instituciones de trascendencia en la cultura cubana entre los siglos XVIII y XX, entre otros textos.
La Real Academia de la Lengua (RAE) revisará la definición de 'gitano' en el diccionario, tal y como le han pedido las organizaciones representativas de esta comunidad.
La Fundación del Secretariado Gitano informó de ello en un comunicado en el que da cuenta de la reunión mantenida el pasado 16 de abril entre representantes del Consejo Estatal del Pueblo Gitano y el Instituto de Cultura Gitana y de la Real Academia Española de la Lengua
Esta reunión la solicitaron las entidades del Consejo Estatal del Pueblo Gitano (CEPG) tras la publicación a finales de 2014 de la nueva edición (23ª) del Diccionario de la RAE en la que se incluye la acepción 5. “Trapacero” en la definición del término “Gitano,na”.
Los representantes de las entidades del CEPG y del Instituto de Cultura Gitana (ICG) han calificado como “fructífera” esta reunión, en la que expusieron la necesidad de que se modifique esa acepción en la definición de “gitano,na” teniendo en cuenta que se trata de un uso del lenguaje "que no se corresponde con la realidad heterogénea del pueblo gitano y que al asociar a las personas que lo componen con el término “trapacero” (“que con astucias, falsedad y mentiras procura engañar a alguien en un asunto", según el mismo Diccionario), se promueve y refuerza una imagen social estereotipada y negativa de esta minoría". "Una imagen o estereotipo negativo que favorece y refuerza los prejuicios hacia las personas gitanas y, con ello, los comportamientos discriminatorios hacia las mismas", sostienen.
Fruto de esta reunión, añade el comunicado, "se ha llegado a un acuerdo por el que la RAE ha mostrado su compromiso de colaboración con el Consejo Estatal del Pueblo Gitano y el Instituto de Cultura Gitana, a través de una relación coordinada con estas instituciones y algunos expertos en la materia, para revisar la definición de 'gitano,na' y avanzar en los estudios lexicográficos para mejorar el tratamiento académico del léxico relacionado con el Pueblo Gitano".
Recommended: La horma de mi zapato – on love and taxis
As a political observer, I have found living in Costa Rica to be hugely freeing. In the United States, I tend to approach politics the way I watched “The West Wing” — passionate, emotional, hugely invested in a particular outcome. I bite my nails, agonize and have nightmares (at least during campaign season). I know that some of what I’m seeing is absurd and even entertaining, but I am unable to enjoy it because there is too much at stake.
In Costa Rica, however, I approach politics the way I watch “House of Cards” — that is, able to relish the good, the bad and the ugly in a different way, evaluating the individuals more than the parties involved.
I’m not saying that I don’t care deeply about the issues facing Costa Rica. I certainly do care. Nor am I making any comparisons between TV shows and the real-life politics of either country. It’s just that when you’re in a country where you can’t vote, didn’t grow up with one party’s signs identifying your house and your room, didn’t meet candidates in your New Hampshire neighborhoods and make up campaign ditties for them in your spare time — yes, I was that kid — you don’t ride the roller coaster in the same way. You watch it from the ground.
When it comes to language, I feel something similar. In English, I’m a crotchety old-school grump. I am an editor and a former English teacher, and happily embody the worst qualities of both, brandishing a red pen and waging a warring battle against change.
I hate the use of “impact” as a verb. I correct split infinitives, even though I know that’s a nonsensical, knee-jerk reaction based on an idealization of Latin. I cringe at the word “trending.” When a common error becomes so widespread that it gets incorporated into the dictionary, I feel downright betrayed (I’d give some examples, but my blood pressure would go through the roof).
In Spanish, I have no such loyalties. I have the tone deafness of the second-language learner: I lack the linguistic radar and cultural context that allows a native speaker to understand when someone is using a current, new-fangled or old-fashioned term.
Recently, I began to wonder what terms in Costa Rica have gone out of style, but I realized I couldn’t think of one. I had to turn to friends and Facebook for ideas.
The responses flooded in as people remembered words and phrases on the lips of their grandparents. Most of them required several layers of translation by my husband or the fascinating Costa Rican dictionaries that our landlord, having seen my post, brought by for my perusal.
Here is a very random sampling, representing a topic I would love to explore much more: “Se lo llevó Candanga” — the devil took him, or, in other words, it all went wrong. “Acharita” — what a pity. “Esos son otros cien pesos,” or “Eso es arena de otro costal” are both ways to say “That’s another kettle of fish,” which, come to think of it, is pretty dated in English as well.
“Merenjunge” is any natural remedy — “I went to Doña Rosa and she gave me a merenjunge.” “Corrongo” is pretty or handsome, an outdated word that apparently was used mostly by the upper classes.
These expressions are floating away on the inevitable tides of change that any language experiences. But, of course, more systematic change is taking place as well. Observers of the Spanish language bemoan a general dumbing down of the language just as I do in English. And then there’s Spanglish, which, depending on your perspective, is either eating away at the language like a cancer, or performing a natural function of linguistic evolution.
The more I learn about linguistic history, the more I lean, reluctantly, towards the latter interpretation. I might dislike newer arrivals like “textear” or “friquear” (to freak out), but at the same time, words I use every day, such as “queque,” “carro” and “tiquete,” have already moved Costa Rican or Latin American Spanish away from its roots in Europe, where these words are “pastel,” “coche” and “boleto.”
Let’s face it — change is a part of language, and one of the most fascinating things about it. When I taught young Mexican-Americans in Arizona, we did a quick review of the history of language, especially the way Latin evolved into the Romance languages, and the varied roots of English. We also studied Spanglish, a language in which many of the students were proficient. One of the more studious kids came up to me, wide-eyed. “So we’re making a new language? Right here, right now?” It was a mind-blowing moment for him, and for me as well. I had never thought about it quite that way.
In the end, living abroad and undertaking a more cool-headed and detached view of both language and politics has taught me a great deal. I’ve become more realistic about my own political party and leaders back home, understanding that the politicians I revered growing up were flawed humans within a flawed system. And my limited observation of the changes of Spanish has showed me that really, we are all simply sticking our feet into a rushing river that started far upstream of us and will continue on long beyond our last word. Actually, a better analogy would be that while we think we’re on a solid bank, we’re actually afloat; the rules and regulations we’re fighting to preserve were once, themselves, the outliers.
Words I think of as standard, because of my limited knowledge, were included in the Diccionario of the Real Academia Española as Costa Rican upstarts within the past couple of decades. These words include purete (a significant or weak person), binear (to spy on your neighbors or stick your nose where it’s not wanted), vacilar (to make fun), or, of course, the ubiquitous ahuevar.
Does that mean we shouldn’t fight for our political party, or against prepositions at the end of sentences? Certainly not. Perspective is essential in life, to keep us from being permanently friqueados. But at some point, you’ve got to take a stand and say, “This is what I believe,” or “Up with this I will not put.”
We need detachment, but we need passion, too. Otherwise, well, se nos lleva Candanga.
(What about you? What are the rules or phrases you’d fight to preserve, or the new expressions you’d rather keep at bay? You know what to do – haga clic below to enviarme un mail.)
Read previous Maeology columns here.
Katherine Stanley Obando is The Tico Times’ arts and entertainment editor. She also is a freelance writer, translator, former teacher and academic director of JumpStart Costa Rica. She lives in San José. Read more from Katherine at “The Dictionary of You,” where she writes about Costa Rican language and culture, and raising a child abroad. “Maeology” is published twice monthly. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABU DHABI: The Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID) has announced that it will add five more languages - Malayalam, Urdu, Tagalog, Russian and Mandarin - to its website, offering information and guidance on procedures. This is in addition to the two languages already in place, Arabic and English.
The Emirates ID said the decision to add new languages to its website was part of its efforts to make its services easier and more accessible to the various nationalities residing in the country.
Abdulaziz Al Maamari, Director of Government and Social Communication at the Emirates ID, said the decision came as a result of surveys and studies on the number and types of visitors to the website, the departments and services most frequently browsed and the queries and clarifications most sought. “In the year 2014, nine millions visits from inside and outside the UAE happened on the website, by people speaking around ten languages,” he explained.
Al Maamari said the addition of the new languages would allow the customers to learn in their own languages about the procedures for registration in the population register, issuance, renewal and replacement of ID cards, necessary documents for getting the services rendered and the fee for each service. “The idea behind the initiative is to make our website and services more accessible and customer-friendly,” he added.
“This initiative came from our efforts to achieve the fourth objective in our Strategic Plan 2014-2016, which aimed at guaranteeing total satisfaction for our customers. We are introducing the new languages also as part of our corporate governance framework, which focusses on creativity and innovation in all aspects of organizational work. There are large numbers of people who are not proficient in Arabic and English and we thought it was important to reach out to these segments with information in languages they are comfortable with,” Al Maamari said.
Al Maamari said the Emirates ID had already brought about a quantum leap in its communication efforts with its customers through the 14 channels of communication, including the website, social media platforms, and the round-the-clock call centre. “This new initiative, we hope, will bring us further close to our customers,” he concluded.
The Yomiuri Shimbun
Math textbooks translated into English have attracted the attention of schools with more of them introducing immersion education (See below) programs designed to teach classes in English.
Such textbooks were initially created to inform those overseas about Japan’s education methods. The textbooks have also become popular at public schools attended by foreign students.
In the middle of March at Kyoto Seibo Gakuin Elementary School in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, a Canadian teacher said during class, “We need to measure a pen.” In response, about 20 first-graders used their rulers to measure pens illustrated in their math textbooks translated into English.
The school’s international course teaches most classes in English, except for Japanese language lessons and some other subjects.
“English skills can be acquired over time,” said Mayumi Ishigami, a teacher. “Phrases and expressions can naturally be learned by repeating the same phrases and expressions over and over.”
Textbooks translated into English are technically regarded as educational support material, since they aren’t screened by the education ministry.
Osaka publisher Shinko Shuppansha Keirinkan Co. started offering such textbooks in the 2011 school year. After expanding its product line, the firm now offers English translations of math textbooks for nine grades at primary and middle schools.
Municipal Joko Middle School purchased English translation textbooks in January. About 30 students there are non-Japanese, or had previously lived overseas. “Teaching math was difficult because there’s many technical terms,” said the principal of the school in Fukuoka.
Gakko Tosho Co., a publisher in Tokyo that has been translating math textbooks into English since the 2005 school year, also initially marketed such products as teaching aids for foreign teachers to grasp Japanese learning methods. In recent years, the publisher has increasingly received inquiries from private middle schools and other educational institutions that want their students to learn English and math at the same time.
■ Immersion education
Immersion refers to the “complete involvement” or “absorption” in some act or interest. It also refers to the method of learning a foreign language by being taught various subjects in that language.Speech