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Variety is reporting that Paramount Pictures has bought the rights to UFC fighter Ronda Rousey's autobiography, with Rousey set to star as herself in the big screen adaptation. The fighter-turned-a...
The continent of Africa has long been seen as the place where humanitarian aid and World Bank loans go — to attempt to save lives or to dictate how countries should grow.
Now there's a new movement underway — a technology movement. Young entrepreneurs from the continent are protesting the old ways by launching startups that, they say, will put Africans in the driver's seat. But not everyone agrees that technology is the solution to Africa's problems.
Gregory Rockson, 24, is definitely in the pro-tech camp. He started the tech company mPharma in his home country, Ghana, to improve health care.
Rockson had been living in San Francisco, thinking about working for giants like Google, when he learned about a problem back home: People were dying of treatable diseases because they couldn't access available medicine quickly enough.
He recounts a story: Two years ago, at the national teaching hospital in Ghana, called Korle Bu, a patient came in with heart disease. The drugs he needed were not available in the hospital.
The doctors started calling other hospitals and pharmacies. Rockson says, "By the time they identified which of them had the drugs and [the drugs were] brought to the hospital, it was two hours too late. The patient had passed away."
In this day and age, Rockson says, that makes no sense.
So mPharma aims to fix that problem with an online database. Pharmacies log the medicines they have. Doctors know where the drugs they need can be found. And they can write digital prescriptions for patients via text message, with a nine-digit code. They take this code to the pharmacy that has the drug. Because the database tracks the purchase of the drugs, doctors know when a patient has followed through.
This is not charity work; mPharma is creating a kind of Google Maps for prescription drugs and then selling the data (on the location, the quantity and the price of drugs) to multinationals — pharmaceutical companies that want to know more about demand for their drugs.
The money pays the salaries of some of his employees, says Rockson, and he reinvests some of it into hospital networks, to improve their computer infrastructure. He considers his Internet business a small part of a much bigger "revolution." That's the word he uses.
"[It's] a New Africa story whereby it is about Africans taking ownership of the problems of Africa. It's about Africans creating the solutions that help solve and lift the multitudes of Africans who are in poverty out of that," Rockson says. "It's no longer about sitting down and having Westerners come in to the continent to do charity."
Because it's so cheap to start a business based on software — it doesn't cost as much as mining diamonds or drilling oil — young entrepreneurs in Africa say their ability to take leading roles in business is growing and their continent's relationship with Western money is changing.
Though there are plenty of dollars here. Last week, the CEO of Microsoft was in Kenya to launch Windows 10. And the founder of AOL, Steve Case, was in Nigeria.
Case was visiting Andela, a startup that recruits local software developers and trains them so they can give creative input, not just cheap labor, to technology projects in Silicon Valley. Andela plans to have 100,000 high-end developers trained in a decade or so.
Fellow Pule Taukobong stepped to the mic and began to explain "a lot of the developers here are working for some fantastic clients like Google, like Microsoft." But, he continued, in the Internet of the future, where do newcomers like him fit in?
Back when AOL started, Case recalled, just 3 percent of Americans were online, and only for an hour a week on average. Then connectivity took off, followed by the mobile app generation. Now, Case said, we're in the third wave.
"The third wave, we think, will be integrating the Internet seamlessly and pervasively in every aspect of our lives," he said. And that's complicated work. It takes people who have deep local knowledge. That means big opportunities for Taukobong and his peers.
Case quoted an African proverb: "If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, you must go together."
The big question is, where do you end up? Kentaro Toyama is an award-winning computer scientist and author of Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology. And he's not so sure technology by itself is the solution.
Author: Tech Firms' Rhetoric Outpaces The Actual Good They Do
Technology projects help "a relatively well-educated elite in the developing world plug into an elite industry in the developed world," Toyama says. But he does not believe that the deeper inequalities in developing nations are addressed. If 100,000 Nigerians became software developers in the United States, "that's a small drop in the bucket, not even 1 percent" of the country's 170 million population.
What's more, the U.S. is in the midst of a "golden age of technology and innovation," and yet, he says, "the rate of poverty has increased, inequality has skyrocketed and social mobility has stagnated."
That's not to say technology can't help. But rather, as Toyama puts it: "Without something else, technology simply does not address these problems." If a car has a more powerful engine, he says, then it's all the more important that "the person behind the wheel knows where they're going and how to drive well."
While over 14 million users have already been upgraded their machines to Windows 10, Microsoft recently announced that the latest operating system will now be available in 111 languages including the two new languages versions added to Windows 10, Spanish Mexican and French Canadian.
In a blog post, Pelle Petersen from Microsoft said,
“We are in the process of uploading the final Windows 10 terminology and translations to the Terminology Search section of the Microsoft Language Portal. This will allow you to find the right translations of the new Windows 10 features in these 111 languages including terms and strings for the two new language versions that were added to Windows 10: French Canadian and Spanish – Mexican.
How to change your language in Windows 10
Go to Region & Language from the Time & Language settings of your system.
Click on ‘Add language’ and select the one according to your region.
Please note that you may need to download the language pack depending on the languages and available support.
However, Microsoft has been working on the small bugs and issues but if you’ve been trying to upgrade your Windows 7 / 8.1 PC to Windows 10 and things are getting a little tricky, do check the Windows 10 Known Issues and Solutions.
Posted by ShiwangiPeswani@TWC with Tags Windows 10
Shiwangi Peswani is a qualified writer and a blogger, who loves to dabble with and write about computers and the Internet. While focusing on and writing on technology topics, her varied skills and experience enables her to write on any topics which may interest her.
THE AFL is pleased to announce the 2015 Toyota AFL Multicultural Round, celebrating ‘Many Cultures, One Game’ will take place in Round 19 of the Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
Multicultural Round highlights the contribution multicultural communities have made to the game’s history and welcomes new communities to embrace Australian Football as fans, players, umpires or administrators.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said he is proud to announce a record number of activities will take place in Round 19 to mark the Toyota AFL Multicultural Round.
“With 27 per cent of Australians born overseas and around 200 languages spoken every day in Australian homes, the AFL is committed to reflecting Australia’s growing cultural diversity.
“As an industry we will continue to reach out to new and emerging communities not only because it’s important for the growth of our game but as the number one sporting code in the country, we have a leadership role to play in social cohesion.
“This year, we are excited to launch our first ever Multicultural Festival at the Collingwood v Carlton match at MCG and to see all games broadcast in the seven most spoken languages via the AFL app, along with in-language messages integrated at all the venues and on field during Round 19 of the Toyota ALF Premiership Season.
“Together with our inclusion partner Australia Post, we have launched the 2015 My AFL Passport Ticketing campaign which aims to welcome over 24,000 people who have never experienced Australia Football to attend an AFL game for free in Multicultural Round,” said Mr McLachlan.
Australia Post Group Managing Director and CEO, Ahmed Fahour said Australia Post’s ongoing commitment to celebrating cultural diversity was something it shared with the AFL and hoped that, through their Multicultural programs and Multicultural Round, they would encourage new fans and communities to the great game of AFL.
“Australia Post employs 37,000 people from 137 nations and almost a quarter of our employees are from non-English speaking backgrounds, so the celebration of diversity and multiculturalism is something very personal to our organisation,” said Mr Fahour.
“Footy has the power to bring neighbourhoods together and connect communities and people from different cultural backgrounds. The upcoming Multicultural Round and the Many Cultures, One Game Festival before Collingwood V Carlton at the MCG are just a few examples of the platform that footy gives us to highlight the inclusive benefits of sport”.
In 2015, 14% of AFL players listed are born overseas or have one parent who was born overseas.
Toyota AFL Multicultural Round highlights:
● The first ever AFL Multicultural Festival celebrating ‘Many Cultures, One Game’ will be held at the MCG in Yarra Park at the Collingwood v Carlton game on August 8. The festival will run from 11.30am - 5.30pm and will include loads of free and fun activities for the entire family, including live entertainment from SBS PopAsia, Hip Hop dance, African drummers, Bollywood and many others. http://www.afl.com.au/multiculturalround/festival
● All nine AFL matches during Multicultural Round will each be broadcast in the seven most spoken languages in Australia, other than English via the AFL app.
● All venues will feature in-language markings on field and in-language messages in stadium.
● The Sherrin official AFL match ball will be translated into Arabic, Hindi or Mandarin and will feature at all nine matches.
● The AFL field umpire shirts will feature the word umpire translated into one of the seven most spoken languages in Australia, other than English.
● The AFL is excited to launch its official AFL Sina Weibo account. Weibo is the largest Chinese social media network and has over 538 million users, including 1.2 million Australian Chinese users.
● The AFL and Australia Post have together launched the 2015 My AFL Passport Ticketing campaign which encourages people who have never experienced Australian Football before to attend an AFL game for free in Multicultural Round. Tickets to AFL matches at venue in Melbourne and Sydney are still available: afl.com.au/myaflpassport
● During Multicultural Round, the AFL will highlight the role of its 13 Australia Post AFL Multicultural player ambassadors and 233 community volunteers across the country who share their passion for Australian Football and connect communities through engaging in AFL.
● The Round 19 AFL Record will feature an introduction to Australian Football in the seven languages.
● The AFL has partnered with the Victorian Government on the Embrace Diversity campaign which encourages support for cultural diversity across various social media channels.
● This year marks 10 years since the AFL launched its Multicultural Program in 2005 to engage people of all ages from multicultural backgrounds in Australian Football.
● From the 14 August – 31 October 2015 The Immigration Museum will host a photographic exhibition showcasing multiculturalism in Australian Football. Highlights include rare photos of players from both private and AFL collections. Visitors to the Immigration Museum during the exhibition dates can present any game ticket from multicultural round and receive a two for one entry.
● Multicultural entertainment will feature pre-match on field at Multicultural Round matches including a Bollywood performance prior to Collingwood v Carlton and St Kilda v Fremantle, and a Chinese Dragon Procession at Melbourne v North Melbourne and a Chinese Lion dance and Arabic Drummers at the GWS Giants v Essendon match.
● A citizenship ceremony will take place prior to GWS Giants v Essendon and Adelaide Crows v Richmond matches.
●The Auburn Giants will play the UTS Shamrocks in the curtain-raiser to the GWS Giants v Essendon and the Nic Naitanui Academy will play in a curtain-raiser at Domain Stadium prior to West Coast Eagles v Hawthorn.
● AFL Queensland is hosting a World Fiesta at its headquarters at Yeronga this weekend, celebrating cultural diversity through football, food and family entertainment. Across 25 marquee junior and senior matches in Queensland, boundary umpires will wear orange socks and goal umpires will wave orange flags to symbolise harmony.
● WatchAFL (the AFL’s official global streaming service) are offering all people outside of Australia with the opportunity to watch all Round 19 matches for free wither Live or On Demand. Visit: http://watchafl.afl.com.au
● The 2015 Toyota AFL Multicultural Round marketing campaign highlights the stories of grassroots footy legends and the many wonderful cultures who all share a common passion for footy.
Traducciones de creadores nipones, textos y cartas escritas por el Premio Nobel de Literatura 1990 durante su estancia en la nación oriental contiene el libro “Japón en Octavio Paz”, de Aurelio Asiain, que fue presentado en la
Embajada de México en aquel país.
En un comunicado, la legación diplomática refirió que en esta publicación del Fondo de Cultura Económica Asiain, poeta y ensayista, revalora el viaje y la estancia en el país del Sol naciente del autor de “Libertad bajo palabra” y “El ogro filantrópico”.
Pero además, continuó, recopila las traducciones que el intelectual mexicano hizo de poetas japoneses como Matsuo Basho, así como la correspondencia que desde aquella parte del mundo intercambió con figuras de la literatura como Alfonso Reyes o Pere Gimferrer.
Indicó que Asiain, editor, traductor y crítico que fue agregado cultural de México en Japón, reúne también testimonios de intelectuales en aquel país que conocieron a Paz (1914-1998) y lo admiraron, entre ellos Donald Keene o Makoto Ooka.
Dichos personajes, añadió la embajada mexicana, “estudiaron el trabajo de traducción realizado por Paz y las formas de la poesía japonesa que incorporó en su propia poética”.
Anotó que Aurelio Asiain (Ciudad de México, 1960) ha sido presidente de Editorial Paréntesis, jefe de redacción de la revista “Vuelta”, director fundador de la revista “Paréntesis” y agregado cultural de México en Japón (2002-2007).
En la actualidad integra el consejo editorial de la revista “Letras Libres” y es catedrático de la Universidad de Kansai Gaidai.
Ha publicado textos como “Caracteres de imprenta” (1996), “Vida y muerte en la obra de Juan Soriano” (1997), “¿Has visto el viento?” (2008), “Estrofa” (2010), “Ikkyu Sojun: un puñado de poemas” (traducción, 2010), y “Urdimbre” (2012).
México, 4 ago (PL) Tras varios años de trabajo, se presentará hoy en el Senado de la República la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos en su edición bilingüe español-maya, anunció Fidencio Briceño, coordinador de la traducción.
Asistirá una representación de la LXII Legislatura de la Cámara de Diputados, así como Javier López, director del Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas (Inali), y Nicolás Ávila, titular del Instituto para el Desarrollo de la Cultura Maya.
La actualización abarca hasta las reformas realizadas el 31 de mayo de 2015, por lo que "constituye un documento de enorme valor para la integración e identidad nacional", dijo Briceño.
Esta traducción de la Carta Magna es reflejo inicial de la obligatoriedad de la difusión de ordenamientos jurídicos a las comunidades indígenas en sus dialectos maternos, agregó.
Según el Inali, el uso de lenguas indígenas en contextos más allá del ámbito cotidiano o de su cultura tradicional otorga un reconocimiento y un valor equivalente al del español, lo que posibilita la funcionalidad de las lenguas indígenas.
Briceño precisó que la utilización de las lenguas nacionales como instrumento de expresión, en este caso legal o judicial, permite también el desarrollo y ampliación del repertorio de términos especializados.
El equipo de traducción estuvo integrado por Gerónimo Ricardo Cano Tec, José Concepción Cano Sosaya, Samuel Canul Yah, Felipe de Jesús Castillo Tzec y José Alfredo Hau Caamal.
En México se reconoce que más de 60 variantes lingüísticas, de 364, están en alto riesgo, mientras las de mayor número de hablantes son el náhuatl y el maya.
Recientes datos del Inali aportan que más de un millón de personas en esta nación hablan sólo su lengua indígena y de ellas, cerca de 800 mil son mujeres.
Durante el XXI Encuentro del Foro de Sao Paulo, que se celebró en esta capital del 29 de julio al 1 de agosto, el diputado mexicano Carlos de Jesús Alejandro expresó que "15 millones representamos los pueblos indígenas desde el norte hasta el sur".
Looks like another private eye will be joining the plethora of TV detectives currently on television. However, this detective has one up on all the others: He was created by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams. Yes, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency will be adapted for TV. But this translation is set in America.
BBC America announced at the 2015 Television Critics Association press tour that the network would be adapting Dirk Gently for television, again. Chronicle writer Max Landis will be writing the adaptation produced by IDW, Circle of Confusion and Ideate.
Unlike the novel, this series will be set in America. BBC America confirmed that this series would be set in the US. This makes sense as the recent IDW comic adaptation has Dirk relocating his Detective Agency to San Diego. Quite different from Peckender St in London, where the character’s office was originally located.
The TV show is being described by BBC America (via press release) as an “anthology series set in the unexpected world of the hyper, absurd, ridiculous Dirk Gently. With an utterly fresh, comically self-aware tone, this series is equally sincere in its danger, humour, violence and drama.”
Gently is an incredibly clever character, and also clairvoyant, nevertheless he doesn’t actually believe in supernatural things like psychic powers. But that is the world that he is placed in. No word on production or anything else, but Landis (who worked on the IDW comic as well) did tell the Hollywood Reporter in August 2014 (before this was tied to BBC America), “This is any writer’s ultimate project, and in the current TV space, it fits ridiculously well. Imagine a playground where you could come with any mystery, no matter how improbable, convoluted or totally insane and then, simply by finding the right connections, you could tie it all down to one man, one private eye. If you’re familiar with the property, you know: there’s no freaking rules. Ancient gods? Sure. Larceny and petty crimes? Of course. Extra-dimensional aliens? I mean, probably; as long as you can make it funny, Dirk’s on the case. This is a dream project of mine, no joke, and I absolutely, positively couldn’t be happier.”
This is the second Dirk Gently series for the BBC. The novels were previously adapted for BBC Four starring Stephen Mangan (as the title character) and Darren Boyd. But this series will air on BBC America and will seemingly have no tie to the past series.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA (ANS - August 3, 2015) -- Wycliffe Associates has announced it will provide funding and support to Bible translators who live and work in Southeast Asia, where Christians often face persecution and even death.
Despite the potential risks, a group of local Christians has joined efforts to begin translating the Bible into their own language, even with minimal resources to carry the work forward.
They live in a nation where Christians make up less than 2 percent of the population. Even traveling within their own region can put their lives at risk.
"When Christians in desperate situations are willing to risk everything for God's Word in their language, we must help remove any and all obstacles in their path," says Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. "It's incredible to see how God has already prepared the way. He has raised up Christian leaders and churches throughout the region with a passion for Bible translation."
Wycliffe Associates has committed to helping these Christians with training, technology, and resources to translate the Scriptures into this region's 35 languages that are without any portion of the Bible. Wycliffe Associates will train national translators and provide technology, equipment, and other support, including the Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation (MAST) program.
MAST rapidly accelerates the process of Bible translation using new training and translation strategies, making it possible for mother tongue translators to draft significant portions of Scripture over a period of weeks rather than years.
"This is one of those times when I had to ask myself, 'If not us, then who?' The answer is obvious-so we have accepted the challenge," Smith says.
Describing the reaction of these Christians to the opportunity to have the Bible in their own language, one ministry partner of Wycliffe Associates said, "There is this sense of disbelief which, honestly, humbles me. It's a positive disbelief, in terms of great joy at this unexpected gift."
Wycliffe Associates is currently raising $250,000 to provide training, technology, and support services.
About Wycliffe Associates
Organized in 1967 by friends of Bible translators, Wycliffe Associates empowers national Bible translators to provide God's Word in their own language, partners with the local church to direct and guard translation work, harnessing their passion and desire for God's Word, and engages people from all around the world to provide resources, technology, training, and support for Bible translation.
Because millions of people around the world still wait to read the Scriptures in the language of their heart, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as it can to see every verse of God's Word translated into every tongue to speak to every heart. Last year, 2,544 Wycliffe Associates team members worked to speed Bible translations in 73 countries. (http://www.wycliffeassociates.org/)
For more information, please contact Donn Hallman at email@example.com
Photo captions: 1) Nepalese women waiting for a Bible translation. 2) Bruce Smith. 3) 3) Dan Wooding with Dr. Dale Kietzman, a co-founder of Wycliffe Associates.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 74, is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Along with Dr. Dale Kietzman, co-founder of Wycliffe Associates, Dan Wooding, helped to start the Open Doors News Service, and later he began the ASSIST News Service.
Note: If you would like to help support the ASSIST News Service, please go to www.assistnews.net and click on the DONATE button to make you tax-deductible gift (in the US), which will help us continue to bring you these important stories. If you prefer, you can also make a check out to ASSIST and mail it to PO Box 609, Lake Forest, CA 92609, USA. We need your help at this important time to invest in this unique service. Also, please tell your friends about us and our free subscription.
** You may republish this and any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)
One Sunday evening in January, in a high-rise apartment in the upmarket European Quarter of Brussels, Ioannis Ikonomou, who is Greek, was anxiously watching the television news. The left-wing Syriza party, which had pledged to end austerity, was poised to win the election, pushing Greece towards confrontation with its international creditors.
He was, however, more worried about the showing of the far-right Golden Dawn, which he detests. “I’m the opposite of Odysseus,” said Ikonomou, who looks younger than his 50 years, with close-cropped hair, a soul patch and a jawline beard. “He wanted to go home but I am always trying to open myself up to the world.”
Ikonomou achieves this aim in two ways. First, by travelling widely and frequently, and second, and more importantly, by using his remarkable linguistic skills. During his summer holiday in Athens last year he spoke Greek to his relatives and Bengali while eating at the restaurants run by Bangladeshi immigrants near Omonoia Square.
He then celebrated his birthday by visiting Israel for three weeks. In Jerusalem he chatted to Jewish Israelis in Hebrew, and in Ramallah to Palestinians in Arabic. He spent last Christmas in Colombia, talking Spanish in the slums and nightclubs. His next trip, he told me, was to Taiwan, to improve his already fluent Mandarin.
Had he visited Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Albania, Iran, or Kurdistan, he could have addressed the local people there in their mother tongues. There are also the languages Ikonomou uses daily in his job as a translator at the European Commission. Among the more than 2,000 full-time linguists in Brussels, only a few can operate from eight or more of the 24 official EU languages. Ikonomou works from 21 of them – Estonian, Maltese and Irish are his exceptions. In all, he speaks 32 living languages – and has studied many ancient ones, from Old Church Slavic to Sogdian. (Reading the hieroglyphics in the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo is, for him, “the closest thing possible to a mental orgasm”.)
The list keeps growing. Ikonomou told me he was interested in Korean culture and was thinking of studying the language. Perhaps Japanese, too. Neither would be easy, even for him: the more different a new tongue is from those you already know, the harder it is, he explained. But that is little deterrent to one who describes Mandarin as the “Everest of languages” because of its complexity; and then adds that his favourite pastime is reading Chinese books, making small, neat pencil notes in the margin as he goes. Restless curiosity is his defining characteristic. “The thing that killed the cat is very important to me,” he said, sipping sage tea with honey in his apartment. “If I am not learning, I am not happy.”
Polyglots have been subjects of marvel for thousands of years. Cleopatra was said to speak nine languages. The 17th-century poet John Milton knew ten and the lexicographer Noah Webster at least 20. The explorer Richard Francis Burton reportedly learned 29 languages, at least one of them while lying down: his knowledge of Somali supposedly came from prostitutes. Perhaps best-known of all was the man who Byron described as “a monster of languages”, the Vatican cardinal Giuseppe Mezzofanti, whose story is told in Michael Erard’s fascinating book Babel No More.
Born in Bologna in 1774, Mezzofanti started school at the age of three and studied Latin, ancient Greek and French. At 12 he entered a seminary, where he learned Hebrew, Arabic, Coptic and German. Around the time he was ordained in his twenties, Bologna’s hospitals overflowed with casualties as Napoleon’s army battled troops from the linguistically diverse Austrian empire. A priest’s services were in demand, and Mezzofanti’s in particular because of his exceptional ability to absorb new languages. The thin, pale confessor claimed to be able to learn a foreign tongue in 14 days. One of his methods was to ask a speaker repeatedly to recite the Lord’s Prayer in his or her mother tongue, allowing him to absorb its rhythms and sounds.
Charles William Russell, an Irish priest who knew Mezzofanti and wrote a biography of him, estimated that the Italian had “mastered” 30 languages, with lesser knowledge of another 42. Even if the standards of mastery were lower in previous centuries than today – scholars spent much more time reading and translating than on the significantly harder task of communicating with people – it was an extraordinary achievement. (Ikonomou’s definition of “knowing” a language is “being comfortable reading a newspaper, following a soap opera and news bulletin; understanding what is said by a native speaker; and being able to hold a conversation”.)
How did Mezzofanti, and others like him, do it? Was it something innate, or the result of strong motivation and determination, or a bit of both? In his book, Erard conducted a survey of polyglots, most of whom spoke at least six languages, and found that while many believed they had a special talent, they also thought they were more driven than the average person. (Among Erard’s other observations: there are more male polyglots than female, and, among their ranks, there is a disproportionate number of gay and left-handed people.)
Yet scientific studies have yet to show conclusively that talented language learners are born, not made. As Vivian Cook, professor of applied linguistics at Newcastle University, points out, there are parts of India and Africa where switching between three or four languages a day is common.
“We think of this thing [polyglotism] as a feat and an unusual thing to do,” Cook told me. “But it does not seem to be a matter of intelligence. It’s motivation – you have to be a certain type of person to do this.”
Like Mezzofanti, Ikonomou’s obsession started early. For the few years when he understood only one language (Greek) he lived in the Mediterranean city of Heraklion, in Crete. The archaeological site of Knossos was a few miles away, and because Ikonomou’s parents were friendly with the guards, he spent many weekends there, mingling with the foreign tourists.
“I listened to the Germans, Dutch, Italians, and thought: ‘What they hell are they talking about?’ These were not languages to me, just sounds.”
When he was five his family moved to Athens and he started English lessons. The following summer he returned to Crete to stay with his grandparents. A British couple walked past him on the street one afternoon talking about visiting a fish taverna in the evening. Without having to think, he understood that they would be eating seafood for dinner. To the young boy it seemed like a miracle; it was a turning point.
From a German woman in Crete he started learning his third tongue: in the mornings he read textbooks on the beach while the other children played, and when they took a siesta he took classes with Frau Rosi. “I was a nerd,” Ikonomou said.
Back at school in the capital he heard a rumour that Italian would soon be offered as a subject. By the time he realised it was false, he had worked through a “teach yourself Italian” guide. At the start of secondary school he could speak four languages.
Number five was Russian, after he discovered a translated version of Anna Karenina and decided he needed to read the original. “Also, at that time, it was cool to be a communist,” Ikonomou said. An interest in Islam led him to pursue Arabic. What he most wanted to learn was Turkish, which was not offered by language schools. “Turks were meant to be our enemies. But my family was very pacifist and I, too, hated this hatred,” he said. His mother found a Turkish political refugee who agreed to teach him.
At university in Thessaloniki, where he read classical languages, he became a vegetarian, frequented a Hare Krishna ashram and listened to the music of Egypt’s Umm Kulthum, “the greatest singer the Arab world ever produced”. His parents “started to freak out”. But he also studied intensely, for his degree and for his own amusement, adding Persian, Hebrew, Serbo-Croat and Sanskrit to his list of languages. In the university holidays, while completing his compulsory military service in the tank division of the Greek army, he made use of his sentry duties and long toilet breaks to learn classical Armenian. “Thankfully the Turks did not attack at that time,” he said.
Postgraduate work at Columbia University and Harvard followed, and Ikonomou might have stayed in academia, had he not seen an advertisement placed by the European Parliament, which was looking for interpreters (who deal with oral communication) and translators (who work with the written word). The jobs paid well. Although he had no experience he was awarded a scholarship to study interpretation at a university in Spain. “So I decided to prostitute myself and go to Tenerife,” he said.
The European Commission’s interpretation service is the biggest operation of its kind in the world, facilitating roughly 10,000 meetings a year. The director of interpretation is Brian Fox, a genial man who was raised in Newcastle and moved to Belgium to become an interpreter in 1976, when the EU had nine member states. Now there are 28 but closer integration has done little to improve the average European’s proficiency in languages.
A Eurobarometer survey in 2012 found that just 54 per cent of EU citizens could hold a conversation in at least one additional tongue. The UK fared third worst in terms of people speaking a second language, with 61 per cent of the population monolingual (only Hungary and Italy ranked lower). Fox, who speaks six languages, said the first is often the hardest.
“It’s like going to the gym,” he told me when I met him in his office. “Once you’ve got one language, the next is easier.”
A typical member of his staff can interpret four languages into her or his mother tongue. “You have to know the language inside out. You are either right immediately or wrong for ever.”
A few interpreters can work from eight languages. Fox smiled when I mentioned Ikonomou. “He is a phenomenon. Outstanding – even among us.”
When Ikonomou arrived in Brussels in 1996 the EU had 12 official languages. He decided to learn them all. On his own, he improved his Dutch, Portuguese and Norwegian. The European Commission sent him to Sweden to study, and after he spent a summer in Helsinki speaking Finnish he had achieved his goal. I asked if a few months was how long it took him to achieve fluency. Sometimes it was a shorter period and sometimes longer, he replied: the thought of keeping track seemed not to have occurred to him.
“I don’t look at my watch. It’s like when you have sex: you enjoy it rather than looking at the time,” he said.
The work could be thrilling, such as when he was interpreting the words of European leaders such as Germany’s former chancellor Helmut Kohl and Tony Blair. But after six years he needed a change, so he applied for a translation job. (Fox said that only “a few handfuls” of people have switched between the two departments in the past 20 years.) After initially being posted to Luxembourg, which he disliked – “a rich village, very boring” – Ikonomou, who is gay, was transferred back to Brussels, where he married his Polish husband.
All along he kept acquiring languages by using his wide range of linguistic skills to pick the best method: for example, using a Russian self-study course to learn Ethiopia’s official language, Amharic; a Spanish one for Quechua; and a Czech method for Assyro-Babylonian. Technology was also making it simpler to become fluent. “When I was an undergrad, I craved the opportunity to learn Kurdish or Hindi, but it was hard to find someone who knew that language [and could teach me],” he said. “Twenty or 30 years ago you could say: I cannot learn Japanese. But now there are no excuses – all you need is determination.”
Satellite television was the first transformative learning aid. Richard Simcott, a co-founder of the annual Polyglot Conference – “bring[ing] together the community’s most respected polyglots” – told me that he uses foreign channels to help maintain his French, German, Serbian and Albanian, some of the more than 40 languages he has studied. (Simcott, who grew up in Chester and now lives in Macedonia, said he uses about 25 of them regularly.)
The internet, with its countless language-learning websites, apps and podcasts, has been of even greater advantage. Duolingo, a free language-learning platform, has more than 100 million registered users. When we spoke, Simcott was using italki.com, a site that connects freelance tutors and pupils, to learn Indonesian and Slovenian from teachers in those countries. One of his most useful tools is the Euronews mobile app, which has news broadcasts in 13 languages.
If you consider that cheap air travel has made it more affordable to immerse yourself in a foreign country, it could be argued that this should be a golden age for language learning. “Today, everything is at your fingertips,” Simcott said. “I don’t know how people did it before.”
Ikonomou has been learning languages since the age of five. Photo: Ezequiel Scagnetti.
Multilingualism can be a lonely hobby, especially for someone like Ikonomou, who has no interest in conferences or internet communities for polyglots. He said he has never met anybody who can speak more than 20 languages. “I would be happy to, but it’s not important to me. I’m not in competition with anyone.”
He seems more amused by his limitations than his brilliance. When we talked about mastering a language, he used the idiom “under my knee”, which is the correct one – if you’re talking Dutch. He caught himself immediately and laughed. “I am not a machine. I do not speak languages perfectly. I have a Greek accent!” he said.
Ikonomou’s secret, if he has one, is making languages part of his daily routine. It helps that his job requires that. His work on the seventh floor of a drab building in the Brussels suburbs can be exciting, such as when he was translating documents on the official EU position on Ukraine during the Kyiv protests in 2014. But mostly it is more mundane policy translation. Even so, it’s a job he takes seriously. He was recently tasked with translating into Greek a complicated EU ruling on the rights of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Europe to play outside. His choice of wording would determine if the refugee children – of whom there are many in Greece – would get to exercise in the open air, or merely outside the rooms in which they sleep.
“That’s a big responsibility, so I am proud of what I do,” he said.
At night, after dinner, Ikonomou practises his languages (“It’s use it or lose it”) or studies new ones. This involves reading extensively; his living room is filled with scores of dictionaries, textbooks and novels. He also watches a lot of foreign television, from Russian talk shows to Turkish movies, and converses with people on the internet.
I asked him to recommend a method for someone learning a new language. He described a three-stage process that requires 15 minutes of study, six or seven days a week. First, you would assimilate the basic grammar, vocabulary and alphabet by using online aids, such as YouTube video tutorials and textbooks and CDs. (Linguaphone, Teach Yourself, Colloquial and Assimil are among his favourite “traditional” methods.)
The second step he called “taking the plunge”. Here you start to read newspapers on the web and watch news broadcasts. At first, you may understand only 10 per cent of what is being said.
“Don’t give up. Read, listen. Talk to people on Skype,” he said. “Expose yourself to language. You need self-discipline and persistence if there’s no private teacher. By being in constant contact with language, you tame it, like a wild horse, and become the master of that horse.”
The third and final step is achieving basic fluency, which requires going “far beyond the grammar and syntax and irregular verbs that are only 20 or 30 per cent of language”. At this point you eat the country’s food, watch its television programmes and films, listen to its music and read its literature. Learning about the history of the nation and language will also help. If possible, you should travel to the country. “Make friends with people who do not speak a word of English,” Ikonomou said.
And keep up those friendships. It was 10.30pm when I left his apartment but he was not ready to go to sleep. Mexican taxi drivers, Chinese students and friends he had met on his travels were logged on to Facebook, ready to chat.
Xan Rice is the features editor of the NS
Two lakh pages of rare Arabic manuscripts on medicine, health, history and religion will be translated into English in a project supported by the Union government. Photos: G. Ramakrishna
Dairatul Maarifil Osmania, a centre established in 1888 for compilation of ancient Arabic manuscripts will start a multicrore translation project this year. Two lakh pages of rare Arabic manuscripts on medicine, health, history and religion will be translated into English in a project supported by the Union government. Photo: G. Ramakrishna
The multicrore, translation and digitisation project will be undertaken by Dairutul Maarifil Osmania, a centre that the VI Nizam, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan Siddiqui, established in 1888. Photo: G. Ramakrishna
The translation of the books will help to distinctly understand the contribution that Arab medicine had made to medical science. Photo: G. Ramakrishna
Dairatul Maarifil Osmania, a centre established in 1888 for compilation of ancient Arabic manuscripts will start a multicrore translation project this year. Photo: G. Ramakrishna
As per the project, it is not just Al Razi’s work but all the two lakh pages of Arabic scholarship on medicine, history and religion will be translated into English, centre officials said. Photo: G. Ramakrishna
Al Razi’s medical textbooks details out symptom based diagnosis. Each of the 24 volumes look into one aspect of human illness. For instance, the first volume is titled, diseases of the head and the second diseases of the eye. The third volume is on diseases of the throat, ear, nose and teeth. Photo: G. Ramakrishna
The oldest compilation that the centre has dates back to 9th century AD. “Musnad Abu Yala’s Hadis or collection of Prophetic traditions was the first book that was compiled from manuscripts,” the director said. Photo: G. Ramakrishna
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The Union government which has in principle agreed to fund the project is expected to release Rs. 37.9 crore in the coming month. As per the calculation of Dairutul Maarifil Osmania, the translation work will alone cost Rs. 25 crore. Photo: G. Ramakrishna
The centre has edited and compiled 240 manuscripts that runs into 800 volumes with two lakh pages. The translation of the books will help to distinctly understand the contribution that Arab medicine had made to medical science. Photo: G. Ramakrishna
Dairatul Maarifil Osmania, a centre established in 1888 for compilation of ancient Arabic manuscripts will start a multicrore translation project this year. Two lakh pages of rare Arabic manuscripts on medicine, health, history and religion will be translated into English in a project supported by the Union government. The centre also has a collection of rare manuscripts that date back to 9th century AD. Among the works to be translated are 24 volumes, Al Hawi or encyclopaedia of medicine, in Hyderabad on Saturday. Photo: G. Ramakrishna
“Al Razi could have been the first medical theorist to state that fever is not a disease but a symptom of some other illness. He lists out a 1,000 varieties of fever that are symptoms to a 1,000 varieties of diseases,” said Md. Mubeen Iqbal, an Arabic scholar who has done translations of ancient texts. Photo: G. Ramakrishna
The instructions that seem right out of an MBBS text book was written in Arabic in 925 AD by scholar Abu Bakr Al-Razi. All of Al Razi’s medical work which runs into 24 volumes named Kutabu’l Hawi Fi’t-Tibb will soon be translated into English and converted to e-books in Hyderabad. Photo: G. Ramakrishna
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Who are these people who are going to "translate" are they official scholars/ translators with proper understanding or just some street renowned people?
BOSTON -- For years, deaf residents have been shut out of one of the most important civic duties of every citizen -- jury duty.
But Heidi Reed, commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, says the jury pool is about to expand. The state is currently in the second year of a three-year pilot program to put deaf citizens in the jury pool and, potentially, in the jury box. Reed describes it as a "milestone."
Since the pilot program began in 2013, sign-language interpreters for deaf jurors have been used for one day in eight district courts in Suffolk, Plymouth, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Bristol, Hampshire and Worcester counties.
Lowell attorney David Singer, who is legally deaf, said a sign-language interpreter, along with any mechanical devices in courtrooms, can allow deaf jurors to be "fully functional'' in a courtroom. SUN/LISA REDMOND
There are, on average, about 400 deaf residents per year who are called for jury duty but have no way to serve because sign-language interpreters have not available to jurors -- until now, said Aurora Wilber, project coordinator for the Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
"All parts of government should be fully accessible, and jury duty is an important civic duty," she said.
Lowell attorney David Singer, who is legally deaf, described the new program as "tremendous.''
Singer, who wears hearing aids in both ears, said a sign-language interpreter, along with any mechanical devices in courtrooms, can allow deaf jurors to be "fully functional'' in a courtroom.
While people who are deaf or hard of hearing rely on their other senses in their daily lives, Singer said sign-language interpreters will allow deaf people to be on juries "and not miss anything.''
As part of the $10,000 annual deaf-juror pilot program, the MCD joined forces with the state Office of the Jury Commissioner to hire 10 more sign-language interpreters to the pool, increasing the number of legal interpreters to a total of 23 statewide. Admittedly, it's not enough, Wilber said, but it is a start.
The hourly rates for legal interpreters vary from $49 to $75 per hour, depending on years of experience and types of certification.
State Jury Commissioner Pamela Wood said her office and the MCD have struggled for years with the challenge of how to provide American Sign Language, or ASL, interpretation for deaf citizens summoned for jury service. While some deaf citizens choose to be exempted from service by providing a doctor's certification, others want to serve, but the lack of interpreters has been an obstacle, she said.
"Deaf citizens are part of the community of eligible jurors and should participate in the process if they choose, in order to provide a representative jury pool," Wood said.
Through the program, the MCD and the Jury Commissioner's Office will coordinate when a sign-language interpreter is needed for a potential juror who is deaf. An interpreter will guide the potential juror through the process from the moment he walks through the courthouse door. If the deaf juror is selected as a juror, two interpreters are assigned, Wilber said. Signing is physically demanding, so the interpreters switch off, she said.
"I am happy that they are being included in the jury pool," Lowell defense attorney Ryan Sullivan said. "I think it allows for a pool of individuals with different life experiences, which, at the end of the day, is what I am looking for in a potential juror."
Veteran defense attorney Jeanne Earley added," It has always upset me to think that any person be deprived of his or her rights because it is easier (or less expensive) to do so. The deaf are as capable of being thoughtful and fair jurors as anyone else."
But fellow attorney Roland Milliard has his doubts.
"While it is admirable, is it practical?" he asked.
Deaf jurors can add a valuable perspective to the jury pool, he said, but he worries about the logistics: the cost, drawing from an already small group of sign-language interpreters, intruding on the secrecy of the jury room, and "nuances."
As a trial attorney, Milliard said a sign-language interpreter cannot relay to a deaf juror the nuances of a person's testimony, such as the inflection in a witness's voice. He also questions whether a sign-language interpreter might be distracting to other jurors.
But Wilber said sign-language interpreters use their own facial expressions and body language, and can describe, for example, if a witness's answer is sarcastic.
"They don't just interpret words," she said. "Their role is to interpret everything."
She added that the interpreter can be positioned in the courtroom in a way that is not distracting but that allows the deaf juror to have a clear view of the interpreter.
"There will be some cases where jurors are asked to listen to people's tones of voice," defense attorney Christopher Spring said, citing voice-mail recordings as an example, "which might cause difficulties. It will be incumbent on the attorneys and the witnesses to effectively convey the relevant information to all jurors, including the hearing-impaired."
Milliard said he once had a deaf criminal defendant whose case in Ayer District Court was delayed for a year and, ultimately, dismissed because court hearings kept getting rescheduled due to the fact that there weren't enough sign-language interpreters.
Earley stressed that is it "very important that any legislation that addresses the issue of deaf jurors also address the funding to provide for the use of sign interpreters."
"The interpreters should not be from the same pool that the courts use for defendants and witnesses, to avoid any possible conflict of interest," she added.
The MCD is responsible for scheduling certified legal ASL interpreters, including those needed for defendants, witnesses, victims, civil parties and jurors, said Wood, the jury commissioner.
The Jury Commission schedules deaf jurors several months in advance, by prior arrangement with MCD, to allow time for them to address competing scheduling needs, Wood said.
So far, the deaf-juror program has required the service of ASL interpreters for about four to seven days per year, which Wood describes as "a very manageable number and should have little or no impact on the ability of MCD to meet competing requests."
Wood maintains that "deaf citizens have a constitutional right to perform jury service, which we believe outweighs any minimal scheduling conflicts that may or may not arise."
Then, there is the sanctity of the jury room. Is the sign-language interpreter a breach of the super-secret deliberations of the jury room?
Such interpreters are bound by a code of ethics that confidentiality is an essential part of the job, Wilber said, adding that interpreters are not allowed to discuss or reveal what happens in the jury room.
Spring, the defense attorney, admitted that the secrecy of the jury deliberations might be a concern, added that interpreters, both sign and language, "are exposed to confidential information every day."
"If an interpreter can protect the privacy of a defendant's statement to his lawyer," he added, "then an interpreter should be able to protect the privacy of jury deliberations."
Follow Lisa Redmond on Tout and Twitter@lredmond13_lisa.
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Google has been steadily updating its Translate app over the past year or so, adding new features to both the iOS and Android versions including the ability the point your camera at a piece of text and have it translated live on screen.
Well to show off their sci-fi new feature, the team over at Google have created something rather wonderful.
Using the well-known song "La Bamba", the video shows the app translating each of the lyrics into English in real-time.
Aside from being enormously fun to watch, there's actually some pretty high-tech stuff going on in the background when it comes to real-time translation. You can find out how Google's live translate app works here:
Google isn't the only company that's hoping to conquer the language barrier. Microsoft and Skype both unveiled a real-time translation tool which should allow two people to have a live conversation with each other over video despite speaking different languages.
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The 'babel fish' tool is actually available for anyone to try now and works with English and Spanish. Of course as the technology becomes more intuitive Microsoft hopes to be able to add more languages over time.
heading back to school Monday will face a language barrier.
Around 800 students at the school are registered for class at Canton Elementary School and English is a second language for nearly half the students. It could take years before some students master the language.
We spoke to the Canton Elementary School principal on Channel 2 Action News This Morning.
“Approximately 42 percent of our students are served in our program for English as a second language,” said Canton Elementary School Principal Beth Long.
This year, teachers are depending on the older kids, or those more fluent in English, to help with classroom instructions.
Teachers are up for the challenge but it takes time and patience before a student will be able to write, read and speak the English language.
Long said she feels confident every student will get the attention they need to move on to the next grade.
Cancún. Tras varios años de trabajo se presentará en el Senado la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos en su edición bilingüe español-maya, dio a conocer el maestro Fidencio Briceño Chel.
La presentación será ante testigos de honor: los perredistas Graciela Saldaña Fraire y Luis Sánchez Jiménez, en representación de la LXII Legislatura de la Cámara de Diputados, así como Javier López Sánchez, director del Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas (Inali), y Nicolás Ávila Cervantes, titular del Instituto para el Desarrollo de la Cultura Maya.
La actualización abarca hasta las reformas realizadas el 31 de mayo de 2015, por lo que “constituye un documento de enorme valor para la integración e identidad nacional”.
La traducción de la Carta Magna a lenguas es reflejo inicial de la obligatoriedad de la difusión de ordenamientos jurídicos a las comunidades indígenas en sus dialectos maternos.
De acuerdo al Inali, el uso de lenguas indígenas en contextos más allá del ámbito cotidiano y/o de su cultura tradicional otorga un reconocimiento y un valor equivalente al del español, lo que abre la posibilidad a aumentar la funcionalidad de las lenguas indígenas.
Briceño Chel puntualizó que “la utilización de las lenguas nacionales como instrumento de expresión, en este caso legal o judicial, permite también el desarrollo y ampliación del repertorio de términos especializados.
“La utilización de esos recursos actualizan y equilibran las lenguas indígenas frente al español, orientándolas a recuperar su funcionalidad en contextos públicos".
El coordinador de los trabajos de traducción fue Fidencio Briceño y su equipo de traducción, integrado por Gerónimo Ricardo Cano Tec, José Concepción Cano Sosaya, Samuel Canul Yah, Felipe de Jesús Castillo Tzec y José Alfredo Hau Caamal.
La asesoría jurídica estuvo a cargo de Deysi Canul Hau y Santos Cosme o. Pool Canché.
La presentación se realizará este martes a las 11:00 en el auditorio Octavio Paz del Senado de la República, en la ciudad de México.
03 de agosto, 2015 17:04 - Espectáculos 0
En 2014 ganó el Premio Nacional de Literatura Drámatica en España.
Protagonizada por la actriz nacional, Liliana García, junto a José Secall y Paulo Brunetti, vuelve a la cartelera del Centro Cultural Gabriela Mistral, la obra "El Diccionario" . Luego de una exitosa temporada, las funciones se realizarán desde el 6 hasta el 30 de agosto.
La obra cuenta la historia de María Moliner, una mujer española que escribió sola el "Diccionario de Uso del Español", texto que desafió a la Real Academia Española, y a quien la arteriosclerosis cerebral le quitó lentamente sus facultades del lenguaje.
La entradas tienen un valor de 8 mil pesos y se pueden comprar a través de internet.
Voicemail is a pain in the neck, and Apple has decided to do something about it. The company is testing a new way to transcribe spoken messages and send the contents to iPhone owners via text.
Apple is prepared to use Siri and iCloud to change the voicemail experience, according to a report in Business Insider. Rather than allow calls to go to the carrier's service, Siri will answer incoming calls. Callers can leave a message as they normally would. The voice recording is sent to Apple's iCloud computers, where it is transcribed and returned to the iPhone owner as a text message.
The idea is to let people read their messages instead of dialing in and listening to them, tasks people are often loath to perform.
That's not all iCloud Voicemail will do. Users can have Siri tell select callers where they are and why they might not have been able to pick up the phone. The service is still being tested by Apple employees. It isn't expected to launch until 2016.
This won't be the first time Apple has futzed with voicemail. The original iPhone brought with it visual voicemail, a revelation at the time. Rather than force people to dial into their carrier's system and listen to each message in the order received, visual voicemail let iPhone owners see who called, who left messages, and then listen to those messages in any order they chose. Visual voicemail is now common to most smartphones.
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Apple will not, however, be the first to tackle transcribed voicemail messages. Google Voice has offered such transcription since 2009. With Google Voice, inbound callers could leave messages that were transcribed and then sent to Google Voice users through email and/or text message.
Google Voice has been the butt of jokes for years. The service is known to be notoriously inaccurate with its transcriptions. It often failed to transcribe 50% of the words in a single message. Google Voice, thankfully, also offers users the opportunity to listen to the actual audio message, rather than read the transcription as a backup. Google recently said it has taken steps to improve the accuracy of Google Voice transcriptions.
Apple's Siri isn't exactly perfect, either. Siri often mis-transcribes dictated text when users speak to their iPhones, whether for spoken commands or text/email messages. Apple is taking pains to improve Siri, which will debut new powers in iOS 9.
Business Insider said iCloud Voicemail won't be released until it works reliably enough. At the moment, that's looking like iOS 10, in September 2016.
Until then, we're going to have to suffer through using voicemail services to listen to those pesky recordings.
Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
The IBM Watson Language Translation Service moves from Beta into General Availability. New capabilities for the service and ability to customize models.
LAWRENCE, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) - The Lawrence Police Department is investigating one of their own for allegedly mishandling emergency calls.
A dispatcher is accused of turning away callers who spoke only Spanish, in a city where most residents speak that language.
Protocol here at the Lawrence police department is to help any 911 caller in any language, connecting them with one of several available translators.
But at the Lawrence police department emergency calls like this were turned away.
FOX25 obtained 911 recordings courtesy of Chief James Fitzpatrick, concerned by what a routine audit revealed.
“We came across these particular calls showing that this person was ineffective at their job so we took it upon further investigation, look into it as a personnel matter,” he said.
Fitzpatrick made it clear, when it comes to calling Lawrence Police, language should never be a barrier, especially in a city where 75 percent speak Spanish.
“You'd bring an interpreter online with through the 911 system and they'd help you walk through the call and what the issue was,” he said.
The chief wouldn't name the employee, but he said she has a history of similar violations.
“It was a matter of them not handling calls correctly, they're not getting provided with public safety services,” Fitzpatrick said.
He said it’s a past he hopes never to repeat.
“We want to make sure everybody is confident that when they call the Lawrence Police Department they're going to get the services that they need,” he said.
That employee is on leave and the chief said he would be inclined to terminate her, but is working with the union.
O Comitê Nacional para os Refugiados (Conare) anuncia abertura de chamamento público para banco de currículos de colaboradores voluntários para as atividades de pesquisa e de tradução. Os selecionados atuarão de forma voluntária, na qualidade de colaboradores, sem qualquer tipo de remuneração ou vínculo empregatício com a Administração Pública Federal, e não exercerão competências de servidores estatutários da Administração Pública.
Os colaboradores na área de pesquisa irão auxiliar nas investigações e diagnósticos dos aspectos geopolíticos contemporâneos de países de origem de solicitantes de refúgio; consolidar a base de Gestão de Conhecimento, tratando dados e produzindo estatísticas; e colaborar com a organização e gestão da informação produzida.
Já os colaboradores na área de tradução irão auxiliar o Conare na elucidação linguística de documentos e ajudar para a perfeita comunicação do entrevistador com o solicitante de refúgio ou refugiado.
Os colaboradores de pesquisa exercerão as atividades preferencialmente nos escritórios do Conare em Brasília, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro e Porto Alegre, podendo exercer suas atividades em outros locais. Os de tradução serão convidados a auxiliar os solicitantes de refúgio e refugiados em um endereço previamente acordado onde será realizada a entrevista, videoconferência ou atendimento.
Os candidatos para vagas de pesquisa deverão ter conhecimento avançado em inglês, francês ou espanhol, cursar preferencialmente Direito, Relações Internacionais, Ciências Sociais, Ciências Políticas, Serviço Social e áreas correlatas.
Para tradução, o conhecimento exigido é de qualquer língua ou dialeto estrangeiro, atestado por certificado de proficiência ou por ser nativo de país onde a língua ou dialeto é falada.
Certificado de reconhecimento
Aqueles que auxiliarem o Conare receberão certificado de reconhecimento emitido conjuntamente pelo Ministério da Justiça e o Alto Comissariado das Nações Unidas para Refugiados, em que constará a carga horária dedicada ao programa.
Os interessados devem se inscrever pelo formulário disponibilizado no endereço.
Oswego schools extended dual language application deadline after officials were contacted by the Department of
The U.S. Department of Justice contacted Oswego school officials earlier this summer expressing concerns with information the district provided about its dual language program.
School District 308 forms dual language task force
While stressing that they had not determined that Community Unit School District 308 violated federal law, representatives from the department's educational opportunities section said "it is not clear that the school district has made information regarding the program available to all parents of (English-learners) in the district, particularly Limited English Proficient families, in a manner they can access and understand with sufficient notice to apply for this educational opportunity," according to emails recently obtained from the school district.
As a result, the district took steps that included extending the program application deadline, said Judy Minor, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning.
"We just wanted to provide clarity for our (English-learner) parents to make an informed decision about the placement for their students," she said
The Department of Justice declined to comment.
District 308 creates new special education position
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District 308 offers a variety of programs for English learning students, but the dual language program is the only one that required an application, officials have said.
According to the emails, Emily McCarthy, deputy chief of the educational opportunities section in the civil rights division, emailed Superintendent Matthew Wendt and Director of English Learners Theresa Ulrich on June 2, shortly before the original application deadline for the program.
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McCarthy's section enforces a variety of federal education laws and court decisions, including the Equal Educational Opportunities Act, which addresses English-learner services and requires school districts to help students to overcome barriers to equal participation.
She said potential applicants were required to have Internet access to view in any other language announcements and the dual language application. Applicants had to use "an automated web-based translation service that produces translations of a poor quality and alters the formatting," she wrote, according to the emails provided by the district.
When parents clicked on the link that indicated they could download the application in English or Spanish, only an English version appeared, McCarthy wrote.
She requested to talk with district officials "because we have concerns that (English-learner) students and (limited English proficient) families may be denied an equal opportunity to apply for and participate in the district's dual language program," according to the emails.
District administrators talked with Department of Justice officials twice, Minor said, and then had a follow-up call after the new deadline for the program had passed.
The district extended the application deadline by almost a month – to June 30 – and took program information to an outside agency to verify the translations, Minor said.
"We just wanted to make sure that we had our translations in the most accessible (form) for our native Spanish speaking (English-learner) parents," she said.
The district's dual language program has been a topic of debate among parents. School board members voted to end the program in late February, with several saying they preferred to start a new program that would dedicate more resources to Spanish speakers.
After the spring election, a school board with three new members voted to allow the program to continue in the coming school year at Hunt Club Elementary and Plank Junior High School, and to open at least two kindergarten sections.
At the beginning of July, 44 students were selected to join the program – 22 English speakers and 22 non-native English speaking students.
Minor said working with the Department of Justice on the application process was "a very positive experience."
The job market is a battlefield, and it's about to get a lot worse. In addition to competing against other skilled job-seekers for work, you'll soon be pitted against robots as well.
Robots have been working alongside human employees in industries such as manufacturing for a long time, helping accomplish tasks quicker or more efficiently. But, as the fields of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence continue to grow, we will see many more industries -- from the food industry to customer service -- affected by automation.
A 2013 research paper out of the Oxford Martin School in the UK estimates that roughly 47 percent of the total US jobs are at risk of computerization or automation. That means almost half of the jobs in the US could end up being automated.
But, which will be the first to go? Here are 10 jobs that will be at the top of the list.
1. ASSEMBLY LINE WORKER
The conversation about automation upending the manufacturing industry has been happening for decades, and it still hasn't come to fruition. Tech, factories, and jobs have had a tricky relationship since the Industrial Revolution. Robotic technology has been used in manufacturing for decades -- especially at major operations like Ford and Toyota -- and the technology continues to advance. But there are still some hurdles in regards to fine motor skills and decision making that need to be overcome before the robots will be able to work on their own in manufacturing. Even the best robots still require humans to closely observe and orchestrate their work.
2. FIELD TECHNICIAN
Many jobs require an employee in the field to physically visit a work site or piece of machinery and check on the operations. New advances in the Internet of Things could render this work obsolete.
"Low-cost sensors combined with high availability cellular/satellite communications and cloud technology are being implemented to automate and alarm these sites, and can be checked and maintained from a desktop or mobile device," said Scott Perrin, president of mFactor Engineering.
The need for employees in the field will be there, just not solely for the collection of data. Jerry Dolinsky, CEO of Verisae, said that the role of "meter reader" will be obsolete in the future. For example, British Columbia has already implemented smart meter programs. The field technicians focused on troubleshooting and problem solving will still be in demand, however.
3. CALL CENTER WORKER
At this point, most people are familiar with automated customer service lines and telemarketing. Using natural-language processing, automated call lines are able to better understand what customers are saying and direct them to the proper resource. There's usually still an option to be routed to a 'real person', but even that could be eliminated in the next few years.
Additionally, Dolinsky said, automation could lead to fewer calls to helplines in general, at least on the customer service side of things. Smart systems, remotely monitored by sensors, could help with product maintenance and ward off potential problems.
Sorting takes a trained eye and sorters typically work in a factory, pulling damaged or imperfect products from a batch as it moves along a conveyor belt. Automated inspection technology is growing to match the human output for this job.
"Right now it's common for people to be manually sorting and inspecting every single item -- a seat belt bolt, for example," Perrin said. "Vision inspection cameras used to cost $30,000, now they cost $1000, and vision inspection systems are fast, efficient and highly accurate."
5. DATA ENTRY
Data is moving to the forefront of important assets in almost every industry. Because of this, accurate data input is essential. Changes in the way data is collected and processed could lead to faster and more fully automated data entry.
For example, Dolinsky said, data from a driver's time on the road and time on the site could be captured by an on-board sensor, combined with GPS data, and automatically fed into the backend system. That data could then be automatically compared against daily goals and plans, and processed on behalf of that driver. The data entry is more efficient and happens faster as a result.
While lots of data -- especially historical data -- still needs to be digitized, and there will be work available to scan much of this data in the short term, the long-term need for data entry will be reduced.
6. INSURANCE UNDERWRITER
Whenever you apply for insurance through a broker or agent, your application has to be vetted to determine if the risk is worth accepting for the insurance company. The work is performed by underwriters. They review the application and decide whether or not they'll provide insurance, and how much they'll offer.
The role of insurance underwriter is at risk for automation because applications can be standardized and most organizations have set rules by which they determine eligibility. Machine learning can help computer systems learn these rules and apply them to the applications they receive.
7. TAX PREPARER
Many people know the feeling of sitting across from a tax preparer as you try to figure out how much money you owe, or what you'll be getting back when taxes are due.
But, what if you simply fed your W-2 into an ATM-like machine, answered a few questions, and it automatically filed your taxes for you? Aside from a few overly complicated tax code issues, most workers will be likely be able to file their taxes without the assistance of another human. Tax forms are standardized and machines will be able to read the info and ask you a few questions to process your paperwork. We've seen this happening with software like TurboTax for years.
Of course, the tax code is complicated and where there are problems, ambiguities, and irregularities, there will still be the need for human beings with deep knowledge who can do far more than just fill out the right forms.
8. SALES REPRESENTATIVE
Intuition says that making a sale requires a human touch. But, e-commerce is changing how we make purchasing decisions, especially those where there isn't much differentiation among the major competitors.
"If you're selling a high-differentiation product and/or a high-price, low-volume product you have some job security, but if you're selling a high-volume, low-differentiation product, you better start polishing your resume," said Doug Camplejohn, CEO of Fliptop. "These kind of product sales are all moving online."
Image recognition software and voice recognition software are bringing some major advances to language translation. Applications like Google's Word Lens can translate words from signs and documents in real time and there are a plethora of translation apps that allow you to type in a word or phrase and will translate it for you. Some will even speak the phrase for you. Granted, there are still cultural cues this technology misses, but raw word-to-word translation will be fully automated soon.
So, if you're not translating high-dollar business negotiations or matters of national security, then you may find that algorithms will be good enough to handle most other translation duties.
10. FAST FOOD EMPLOYEE
Automated ordering kiosks have already made their way into a few McDonald's restaurants around the world, and cooking positions could be eliminated next. The kiosks probably can't handle customer service issues well, but televideo systems could bring in an office employee to facilitate complaints.
Automation will affect parts of casual dining restaurants as well, as tableside tablet ordering systems have already arrived at restaurants like Chili's and others.
ABP : Charte européenne des langues régionales : vers une révision constitutionnelle ?
It was the day of Pentecost. God-fearing Jews and others converted to Judaism from afar came to stay in Jerusalem for the holiday. The disciples were together in one place for prayers, waiting for the fulfilment of the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit on them.
Oftentimes, the biggest thing holding us back from accumulating wealth is ourselves.
However, there may be another significant factor — one that we can't control: the language we speak.
That's what Keith Chen, behavioral economist and economics professor at UCLA Anderson School of Management, deduced from his research and shared in his 2012 TED Talk.
He was intrigued by the radically different savings behaviors displayed by the 34 countries monitored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). While the richest and most industrialized countries in the world share many characteristics, their savings rates (shown here as percent of GDP) are surprisingly dissimilar:
On the left side, residents of countries like Luxembourg and South Korea are collectively saving well over 1/4 of their GDP per year; on the right side, residents of Greece have barely managed to save more than 10% of their GDP, and the US and UK have not done significantly better.
Language may have something to do with these differences, Chen proposes.
Languages can either be "futureless" or "futured," he explains. When speaking a futureless language, the way you express the future is similar to how you would express the present; the opposite holds true for futured languages, in which the future is expressed distinctly from the present.
For example, if you're talking about the weather in English (a futured language), you would say, "It rained yesterday," "It is raining now," or "It will rain tomorrow," depending on the context and timing of the event.
"Every time you discuss the future or any kind of future event, grammatically you're forced to cleave that from the present and treat it as if it's something viscerally different," explains Chen. You have to divide up the time spectrum in order to speak correctly in English.
A futureless language such as German or Japanese, on the other hand, would use the same verb conjugation for the past, present, and future, which, translated into English, would be "It rained tomorrow" or "It rained now."
According to Chen, this subtle difference in grammar could help explain why the US saves much less than other OECD countries.
If the future feels more distant from the present, that's going to make it harder to save money, he explains. On the other hand, if you speak a futureless language — where the present and future are spoken about the same way — you're going to feel the same way about them, making it easier to save in the present moment for the future.
Chen put his theory to test, looking at data sets from all over the world, and found evidence supporting his hypothesis.
"There are pockets of futureless language speakers situated all over the world," he explained during his TED Talk. "Interestingly enough, when you start to crank the data, these pockets of futureless language speakers all around the world turn out to be by and large some of the world's best savers."
He found an average difference of 5% of GDP saved per year. "Over 25 years, that has huge long run effects on the wealth of your nation," he said.
Countries where residents speak futureless languages save an average of 5% more of their GDP than those with futured languages.
This theory can be applied to behaviors beyond the ability to save money, such as smoking. Smoking, in a way, is negative savings, Chen explains: "If savings is current pain in exchange for future pleasure, smoking is just the opposite. It's current pleasure in exchange for future pain."
Therefore, the opposite effect should be found. As expected, Chen found that futureless language speakers are about 25% less likely to smoke.
Watch Keith Chen's full TED Talk.
The number of local language Internet users in India is growing at 47% year-on-year and has touched 127 million in June 2015, thanks to the increasing use of smartphones in rural areas of the country, says a new report by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and market research firm IMRB International released on Monday.
The report says that India has 353 million Internet users as of June 2015. Out of this, 269 million access Internet at least once a month and the survey has been conducted among them.
India has a large scope for local language Internet as non-English speaking population constitute 88% of the population. At least 50% of the population speaks Hindi, says the report.
Rural population uses Internet mainly for entertainment, followed by communication and social networking. In urban India, the pattern changes to communication first, followed by social networking and entertainment.
With increasing other language Internet users, many online marketplaces have already started displaying product features and other information in local languages such as Hindi and Tamil.
The report also cites the challenges existing in the market. It says that most of the apps currently provide only partial local language content.
The report also calls for intelligent translations instead of just mechanical processes that are in place on many websites. For example, a website selling 16MP camera literally translates MP to “Saansad” in Hindi, which means Member of Parliament.
The report also compared the medium with television which it said had on an average four out of five ads in local languages irrespective of the mode of the channel.
Even the online channels like YouTube and online broadcasting sites are producing and disseminating the ads in local languages.
The overall digital advertising spends in India will reach Rs.3,575 crore by 2015 end. The proportion of digital ads spends in the local language will be 5% of the entire market Rs.179 crore, the report said.
With the increasing availability of digital content in the local language, this share is expected to reach close to 30% of overall digital advertising spends by the year 2020, the report said.
Over 65,000 individuals among 19,000 households spread across 35 cities were surveyed for the report. The survey also interviewed various stakeholders of local language content on Internet in India, including developers and publishers.
The current edition showcases the information captured from various data sources in the years 2012, 2013 and 2014.