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Vacancies in this network: Translators, Revisers, Editors, etc.
Smoother scrolling is coming to Chrome, as Google will integrate Microsoft's Pointer Events API into a future version of the browser. To say that Google and Microsoft haven't had the best working relationship would be an understatement. The companies have been warring on several different fronts, with browsers and the future of the web being a major sticking point. As Ars Technica reports, now that Internet Explorer (and all the legacy that comes with it) is about to be retired in favor of a sleeker, standards-friendly browser, the two companies -- or at least their browser teams -- are starting to warm to one another.
So what exactly is "Pointer Events"? It basically combines touch and mouse interactions (something currently handled separately by Chrome) into a single set of events, bringing major benefits to users and developers. Chrome has suffered from jerky scrolling across a number of platforms, while Microsoft and Mozilla's browsers, which both already utilize Pointer Events, are far smoother.
After Microsoft initially proposed the idea, Pointer Events became part of standards body W3C's recommendations back in February. That's something that likely influenced Google's decision here, as it had previously decided not to go with the standard. Regardless of how we got here, one thing's for sure: once the API is fully implemented into Google's browser engine, Chrome users should see far better scrolling and touch performance.
VIA: Ars Technica
SOURCE: Blink-dev (Google Groups)
Stratus Video Interpreting Addresses Language and Healthcare Disparities Among the 5 Million Asian Americans With Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
MARCH 25, 2015 --
Clearwater, FL (PRWEB) March 25, 2015
There is a growing need for healthcare interpretation services among Asian-American LEP patients in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau surveys estimate that of the 14.3 million Asians living in the United States, more than 5 millionor 35.2%speak English less than very well (1) a number that is only eclipsed by that of Spanish-speaking Americans who account for 65% of the Limited English Proficiency (LEP) population (2). Stratus Video Interpreting notes that a lack of English proficiency can hamper equal access to healthcare if hospitals do not provide medical interpretation services in patients' native language. With on-demand video remote interpreting (VRI), healthcare providers can immediately connect to qualified Asian-language interpreters and ensure compliance with federal regulations.
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act requires that any program receiving federal fundingincluding hospitals and other healthcare facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid paymentsmust ensure individuals with limited English proficiency have meaningful access to programs and services.(3) To maintain LEP compliance, many hospitals have recently introduced healthcare interpretation services for the countrys large Spanish-speaking population. Yet in many cases, interpretation for Asian languages remains largely overlookeddespite the fact that the LEP rate among Asian Americans is similar to the Latino rate.(4)
Part of the challenge for healthcare professionals is the linguistic diversity of the Asian American population. While 99% of the U.S. Latino population speaks Spanish (4), Asian Americans speak more than 35 different languages; and even the most commonly spoken languages Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, Hindi and Japaneseare distinctly different from each other.
Based on insurance enrollment rates following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), healthcare facilities are likely to see an increase in Asian American patients. Prior to the enactment of the ACA, Asian Americans had a 15% uninsured rate; but during the first open enrollment period of the federally facilitated marketplace (FFM), Asian Americans accounted for 5.5% of all enrollees.(4) In California, they comprised 21% of all enrollees in the state insurance exchange.(4)
Another factor that may drive more Asian Americans to seek healthcare treatment is their elevated risk for certain medical conditions. Asian Americans are three times more likely to develop liver cancer than non-Hispanic whites, and Asians account for about half of all Americans living with chronic Hepatitis B. Furthermore, Asian Indians have a higher rate of coronary artery disease than other Americans; and Filipinos, Vietnamese and South Asians all have higher than average rates of diabetes compared to the general U.S. population.(4)
While many hospitals have invested in Spanish interpreters to address LEP compliance, the needs of Asian American patients and other LEP populations are often being ignored, said Sean Belanger, CEO of Stratus Video Interpreting. Healthcare providers are already starting to see an increased demand for services now that more Americans have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, so its important for them to provide healthcare interpreter services for all LEP patients to avoid potential discrimination complaints and penalties.
Belanger cautions that inadequate interpretation access can have serious health consequences; he notes that numerous research studies have shown that language barriers contribute to a greater number of emergency room visits, more lab tests, less follow-up from health providers, a lower rate of health literacy among patients and less overall satisfaction with health services.(4)
Smaller healthcare facilities and those located outside of major urban areas may not find it feasible to maintain in-house staff or local contractors that are qualified to interpret all of the Asian languages spoken throughout the United States, acknowledged Belanger. But video remote interpreting offers a solution for any healthcare professional to immediately connect to a qualified medical interpreter, no matter where they are located, and in addition to the in-house interpreters they have extant.
Stratus employs only highly trained and certified interpreters that are proficient in more than 175 spoken and signed languages, and they are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week meaning that Asian American patients with limited English proficiency can receive equal access to language and healthcare services, and healthcare facilities can maintain LEP compliance.
For more information on Stratus and its on-demand video remote interpreting services, including medical interpretation, visit http://www.stratusvideo.com.
About Stratus Video Interpreting:
Stratus Video Interpreting provides on-demand interpreter services by using technology to connect clients with interpreters in over 175 spoken and signed languages in less than 30 seconds. Stratus cloud-based video solution delivers an array of unique features to virtually any Internet-enabled PC, Mac, smartphone or tablet. Stratus clients use the technology to connect with their own staff interpreters, as well as with Stratus interpreters, who have years of healthcare and courtroom experience and hold multiple certifications. With Stratus, state-of-the-art video remote interpreting is made available with virtually no capital investment. Stratus averages 65,000 video calls a day, up from 40,000 in mid-2013. Stratus Video is the sister company of The Z® (CSDVRS, LLC, dba ZVRS), which was established in 2006 and developed by and for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, setting the industry standard as the nations premier Video Relay Service Provider and the first VRS Provider to receive a 5-year certification from the FCC. In 2014, Stratus was recognized as one of the fastest-growing privately held companies, ranking #3,827 on Inc. magazines Inc. 5000 list. For more information, visit http://www.stratusvideo.com.
1. U.S. Census Bureau. Nativity by Language Spoken at Home by Ability to Speak English for the Population 5 Years and Over (Asian Only); 2013 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates; report generated via American FactFinder; accessed March 12, 2015. factfinder2.census.gov
2. "Limited English Proficient Population of the United States." Migrationpolicy.org. N.p., 25 July 2013. Web. 23 Mar. 2015. migrationpolicy.org/article/limited-english-proficient-population-united-states.
3. Federal Laws and Policies to Ensure Access to Health Care Services for People With Limited English Proficiency; July 1, 2009; PDF file. healthlaw.org/publications/federal-laws-and-policies-to-ensure-access-to-health-care-services-for-people-with-limited-english-proficiency
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12606117.htm.
A lingua franca is a bridge language, sometimes called a trading language, in that it is used to support communication between people who don’t share a native language. English is perhaps the best contemporary (and global) example of this phenomenon but there are many other lingua francas in use in different parts of the world, including French, Spanish, and Chinese.
“Surprisingly 75% of the world’s population actually doesn’t speak English,” says Jan Capper. Ms Capper is the Executive Director of the International Association of Language Centres (IALC), a global network of leading independent language centres that teach the language of their country, and is also the co-convenor of the Global Alliance of Education and Language Associations (GAELA).
We sat down with her recently to explore the market for teaching languages other than English and she quickly made a convincing case for why students are pursuing other foreign languages: “In a global economy, people are going to have to be communicating with more and more other countries and other markets, and English will not be the common language of most of them. If you want really good relationships with trading partners in other countries, the way to achieve that is to speak their language as well. It just gives you the edge.”
We are pleased to present a feature video excerpt from our conversation below. In it, Ms Capper makes the point that a student’s choice of language will be influenced by any number of factors, including geography, personal interest, or family connections, but that economic opportunities and career interests are often a major consideration. From that point of view, major global trends with respect to language usage, population, and economic growth are also important underlying indicators of demand for foreign language study.
Below we have also included the slides from a presentation Ms Capper gave at the ICEF Berlin Workshop last autumn on the similarities between marketing English and languages such as Spanish, Russian and Mandarin. She explained the advantages for students in learning other languages abroad, as well as the benefits for agents who want to enhance their student offering with languages other than English.
Marketing Languages other than English from ICEF Monitor
The advantages of foreign languages
As we noted recently, this is a fascinating moment in world history, one where global power is shifting away from advanced economies and toward Asia and a block of faster-growing emerging economies. You can layer on top of that unfolding power shift any number of statistics to reflect the world’s most commonly spoken languages (Mandarin, English, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic), the largest economies (US, China, Japan, Germany, France), or the most populous countries (China, India, US, Indonesia, Brazil).
In addition to economic growth and trading opportunities, how widely a language is spoken – particularly how prominently it is used in diplomacy and business – is another important consideration for language learners.
For example, along with English, the United Nations has five other official languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish. Those six languages are commonly used in UN meetings and, where budget is available, all official UN documents are written in some or all of the six as well.
In terms of popularity, Spanish is the official language of no less than 20 countries, Germany is the most widely spoken native language in the European Union, and French is the only language other than English spoken on all five continents.
Demand for English remains strong and its place as a global language of exchange, travel, and business is not in question. But seen from any of these perspectives, the case for studying languages other than English becomes more clear, and the underlying shifts in population and economic power that we are seeing in the world today provide some important indicators of where demand for foreign language study is going in the decades ahead.
The many different language programmes of IALC members will be on display next month in France at the 2015 IALC Workshop in Rouen, the historical capital of Normandy. The workshop brings together language education providers and agents, and includes business appointments, networking opportunities, and a seminar programme led by industry experts and guests.
Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Associated Press
Once again, Google Inc. tops the list of in-demand employers for undergraduate computer-science majors, according to a new survey.
Universum Global, a firm that advises companies on talent strategy, surveyed more than 3,200 computer-science majors from 275 universities and found that the Mountain View, Calif. search giant ranked highest among students’ ideal employers, followed by Microsoft Corp., Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc.
Newer tech startups such as Uber Technologies Inc. or Airbnb Inc. didn’t make the cut for the survey, since they don’t yet recruit undergraduates in sufficiently large numbers, Universum said. (The company allowed survey respondents to write in firms not listed on the survey; Universum said it will use that feedback to evaluate new employers for inclusion in future surveys.)
Google has been No. 1 for computer science majors since Universum started tracking desired undergraduate employers in 2008. A high proportion of computer-science grads associate the tech giant with “a creative and dynamic work environment,” the survey said. And the company’s popularity is on the rise: a bit over 50% of students favored the tech firm this year, up slightly from last year, Universum said.
While software firms dominated the list, airlines such as Delta Air Lines Inc. and American Airlines Group Inc. notched significant gains over last year. Retail companies like Amazon and Starbucks Corp. also had a strong showing. (Here’s the full list of the top 100 employers.)
The overall talent market for new grads has been in flux. As the economy gains steam, more employers are visiting campuses and reaching students virtually—and computer-students increasingly have their pick of jobs at graduation. A computer science major now considers an average of 34.4 employers, up from 26.4 in 2012, according to the survey, the most of any field of study.
All students are feeling less pressure to accept job offers in a hurry, suggesting they’re confident that they’ll have some options, the survey found. For example, offers from banks as well as consulting and auditing firms early in recruiting season are more likely to be met with a “maybe” response from students waiting to hear from consumer-goods, retail and technology companies, according to the survey.
Accordingly, firms are now finding so-called “pressure tactics,” such as an employer threatening to rescind an offer if a candidate does not respond within two days, to be less effective, the survey said.
Restarting a Stalled Career
Got a trip coming up to an exotic destination? Imagine how awesome it would be to understand at least a little of the local language.
5th Annual Legal Interpreting Symposium Thursday 23 April, 2015. 9:00am - 1:00pm. With participation from Hon. Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Se
In the late 1950s there were four official EU languages, today there are 24 but figures provided by the European commission reveal that 40 million people in the EU speak 60 indigenous regional or minority languages.
While language policy is a member state competence, the European commission "helps fund projects and partnerships designed to raise awareness of minority languages, promote their teaching and learning, and thereby help them survive".
The commitment to language and cultural diversity is enshrined in the European treaties and was further enhanced by the Lisbon treaty when respect for linguistic minorities became legally binding.
"Multilingualism in the EU will not be fully completed until languages such as Irish, Basque, Galician or Catalan can be used with normality in the parliament" - Josep-Maria Terricabas, Greens/EFA MEP
The issue of the EU's treatment has come to the fore recently following Irish GUE/NGL MEP Liadh Ní Riada's decision to begin a 'stailc teanga' (language strike) for the duration of seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish language week) to raise awareness of the status afforded to the Irish language within the EU institutions.
Ireland's central statistics office reports that 36,000 people live in designated Irish language regions and 485,000 use the language on a daily basis, albeit largely within an educational context.
Irish became an official working language of the EU in 2007 but was immediately granted renewable five-year derogations. This derogation exempts EU institutions from providing full translation and interpretation services, as is obligatory for all other working languages.
Ní Riada's attempts to speak Irish during a parliamentary committee were immediately halted, something she said left her "quite bewildered" by as she had brought an assistant to translate.
She felt this "undermined" her cultural right to communicate in her mother tongue. The GUE/NGL MEP noted that, "Irish MEPs are entitled to only to speak Irish in the parliament's plenary session, which is approximately one to three minutes per month."
Ní Riada, who holds the position of Irish language officer in her national Sinn Féin party, received support from across Europe for her attempts to raise the issue.
Catalan MEP Josep-Maria Terricabas offered his full support to Ní Riada and said his language confronts similar "discrimination", despite Catalan not enjoying full 'official' status.
Estimates of the number of native Catalan speakers in Andorra, France, Spain and Italy range from between four and five million people.
Terricabas told the Parliament Magazine, "Catalans have been striving for the official recognition of our language in the European institutions for years" and is clear that Spanish representatives are to blame for a lack of progress in this regard.
The Greens/EFA MEP added that, "Multilingualism in the EU will not be fully completed until languages such as Irish, Basque, Galician or Catalan can be used with normality in the parliament."
Terricabas added that the fight for language recognition was part of the reason "we are working to have our own independent state".
"It's incredible that the EU, the self-declared project on 'unity in diversity', will not support the very reasonable call for ring-fenced direct grants for endangered language development" - Davyth Hicks, ELEN
Jill Evans, a Welsh Greens/EFA MEP is keen to emphasise that, "Many so-called 'minority' languages are actually more widely spoken than some official EU languages."
Welsh is spoken by approximately 500,000 people or 19 per cent of the population of Wales and Evans notes that this is higher than the numbers that speak Irish or Maltese.
She highlights that, "Welsh is already a co-official EU language which means it can be used in meetings of the council and other EU bodies but not in the parliament. "This is a situation the parliament president Martin Schulz pledged to examine during his re-election campaign last year.
Evans acknowledges that the fight for recognition has its detractors, who "claim the cost is too high" but she has pledged to continue her fight and will shortly publish a paper making the case to the British government for Welsh recognition at European level. Ní Riada also disagrees with the cost argument and says, "We cannot put a monetary value on something as basic as our language."
Evans believes, "It is time that the thousands of young people in Wales who are bilingual have both their languages recognised in Europe."
Unity in diversity?
Davyth Hicks, secretary general of the European language equality network (ELEN), a non-governmental organisation working for the promotion, protection and revitalisation of lesser-used languages and linguistic rights, said the situation confronting Irish speakers was "absurd".
He called for "an equitable language policy throughout the EU institutions" and asked, "What better way to communicate with EU citizens than in their own languages?"
Hicks also queried the legality of the current approach to language diversity being adopted: "How can the EU and the member states ratify the Lisbon treaty and the charter of fundamental rights, which clearly states that they must "respect" linguistic diversity and that discrimination is prohibited, when we see co-official, regional, and even official languages such as Irish, are being undermined?"
ELEN notes that in Europe, "we have many examples of best practice in language revitalisation, for example in the Basque country", but Hicks adds, "it's incredible that the EU, the self-declared project on 'unity in diversity', will not support the very reasonable call for ring-fenced direct grants for endangered language development projects despite 93 per cent of MEPs calling for this in 2013".
ELEN is calling for "substantive measures" from the EU to support linguistic diversity and notes that, "many of our languages are now defined as endangered by United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organisation (Unesco)".
Hicks believes, "we have the tools to stop language endangerment, we have the means to revitalise endangered languages, but what we don't have is the political will".
He adds that Europe could be a leader in "reversing language endangerment" in what has become "a global crisis", but it must "act meaningfully to safeguard its own linguistic diversity".
While the commission officially endorses a policy of language diversity, critics have pointed out that multilingualism has gone from a dedicated portfolio in the 2007 commission, to forming part of Androulla Vassiliou's education, culture, multilingualism and youth portfolio in 2010, to being relegated to a unit within the commission's DG for employment, social affairs and inclusion in the Juncker commission.
This is something the network to promote linguistic diversity has said "gives a utilitarian, market-oriented approach to the languages of Europe, which will only prioritise big, hegemonic languages and will leave a remarkable number of lesser-used languages".
About the author
James O'Brien is a journalist and editorial assistant at the Parliament Magazine
Overview of the project
2015/03/25 | Filed under: 2015, global, Sign Language Universal Encyclopedic Dictionary, TF3 funded projects
Project leader: Dominique Proust, firstname.lastname@example.org
Project location: Global
This project proposes the dissemination of a unique language for the deaf worldwide, associated with astronomical terms.
While celestial objects are varied and the project can be expanded easily, the proposal will give special attention to the basic terms linked with the IYL2015, for example light, light year, star, Sun, among others, but as this is a general project, we propose a complete “Sign Language Universal Dictionary”
As part of a new celebration where the Light is involved, the proposal can reach more visibility and can contribute to share all the people on the Globe under the same way to name the astronomical object, instruments, and discoveries using the sign language.
The development of this universal sign language of astronomical terms, the related multimedia material and the encyclopedic dictionary will be very useful specially for OAD activities which are carried out in a variety of developing countries with different languages, making it possible to carry out the same activities anywhere without the need of them being translated.
The dissemination of a unique language for the deaf worldwide, associated with astronomical terms, through a Universal Sign Language Dictionary and multimedia material.
• Make a selection of the main astronomical terms, used globally
• Organize in an especial dictionary all the signs just created
• Contact local organization with the purpose to create a common and universal sing lenguage in Astronomy
• Create a professional Web Site on the subject
• Create multimedia material to distribute all over the world
About the project leader:
Dr Dominique Proust is an astrophysicist and research engineer at CNRS. He has given series of sign language conferences in astronomy in deaf schools and associations in France, Brazil and Chile. He organizes monthly evenings at Paris-Meudon observatory where groups of 15-20 young deaf students come in order to observe with the 1m telescope and/or, depending on the weather, follow a thematic teaching in sign language.
The German translator Moshe Kahn is the latest winner of the German-Italian translation prize. He received the award, which is endowed with 10,000 euros, on 23 March 2015.
Kahn translated Horcynus Orca, a 1,500-page novel by Stefano D’Arrigo, into German.
It was the jury’s opinion that Kahn reproduced the language invented by D’Arrigo “with relish and great imagination”. “This is a pioneering achievement that has made an important writer accessible for the first time.”
The lifetime achievement award, which likewise comes with 10,000 euros in prize money, went to the translator Ragni Maria Geschwend, who lives in Freiburg and has translated authors such as Italo Svevo, Fulvio Tomizza and Claudio Magris into German.
The prize is awarded by Germany’s Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and by the Italian Ministry of Culture. It pays tribute to the artistic achievements of literary translators and their role as intermediaries between cultures.
For those of us who aren’t too familiar with Hebrew and Yiddish, one language may be associated easily with the other when discussing either. However, the languages are very dissimilar, and it’s a more-common-that-not mistake to confuse them or believe that if a person speaks one of the languages then they must also speak the other. Hebrew is a Semitic language (think Amharic), while Yiddish makes use of German (among other languages) words with a very peculiar pronunciation (traced to the Ashkenazi Jews). Hebrew is spoken by around 10 million people around the world and is Israel’s official language, while Yiddish is only spoken by 3 million people. Despite the much lower number of speakers, though, Yiddish is spoken in many more countries than Hebrew (USA, France, UK, Russia, Germany, Poland, Belgium, etc).
Basically, Yiddish mixes biblical Hebrew with German, Aramaic, and other languages to create a language that is appropriate for everyday use. The Ashkenazi Jewish people developed Yiddish in order to only use Hebrew for religious texts, prayers and ceremonies. Modern Hebrew also developed as a result of biblical Hebrew. Despite having a similar origin, Yiddish is a bit more complicated grammatically than Hebrew due to the fact that it is a fusion language. Thus, the grammar rules from several languages are present in Yiddish, making things a bit more difficult.
It’s also interesting to note that Yiddish is present in everyday conversation in ways we may not be aware of. For example, did you know that the word “klutz” is a Yiddish term? It literally means “a block of wood” in Yiddish, making categorization appropriate for that awkward or clumsy person you’re describing.
To request a free quote for translating into Hebrew and/or Yiddish, please visit our website.
An earlier version of this article was published in May 2013. We're revisiting it in light of the interest awakened by our earlier posts on Spanish words with no direct English translation.
Warning: This article contains explicit language that some readers may find objectionable.
Aviso: Esta nota contiene palabras que podrían ofender a algunos.
As anyone who speaks more than one language knows, words don't always translate precisely.
In Spanish that's particularly true of curse words.
Many Spanish swear words and insults cover similar territory to their English counterparts. Defecation, genitalia and sex provide the basis for a lot of both languages' more taboo expressions.
But there's a lot of Spanish words out there whose literal meaning differs considerably from its figurative meaning. For Spanish speakers, it's not confusing -- the colloquial meaning of the words are clear, whether or not one reflects on the words' origins.
English speakers, on the other hand, might have a hard time understanding why some Spanish speakers refer to idiots as "pubic hairs" or others say that they "poop on the poop" when they're frustrated.
Check out 13 palabrotas that make no sense when translated into English below.
It’s a combination of an idiot and a space cadet.
Literally: “The holy host.”
It’s a meaningless intensifier used frequently in Spain, due to their Catholic devotion.
Literally: "Male goat"
Most commonly associated with Mexican slang, it's generally always understood as an insult.
Literally: “I poop on the poop.”
It means you’re angry about something.
Literally: “It touches my testicles.”
It means that something bothers you.
Literally: “Big egg/Excessively testicled.”
Also an insult.
Literally: “Pubic hair.”
It’s used to call someone a moron or a coward, depending on the region.
Literally: “Go take a poop.”
It’s an angry way to say “go away.”
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There is linguistic joy in Sweden among the transgender community and campaigners against clunkiness. After years of debate and deliberation, the editor-in-chief of the Swedish Academy's official dictionary, SAOL, has added the word "hen" to its new edition because he or sh- (oh wait, should that be "s/he", or "they…?") recognises the need for a gender-neutral pronoun.
In Swedish, "han" means he and "hon" means she. Now "hen" can be used when the gender is unknown, the hen is neither a han nor a hon (or is in transition), or the writer thinks that gender is irrelevant. "It's quite simple," Sven-Goran Malmgren, the (male, it turns out) editor, said yesterday. "It is a word which is in use and without a doubt fills a function."
Bully for Sweden, but where's our hen? And what would it be? "He" and "she" are different enough that a han-hon-hen progression is not so clear. So, if we accept that "he or she" and "s/he" are too cumbersome for words, we are stuck with the compromise of "they" (see also: "their" for his/her, and "them" for him/her). English dictionaries accept the use of the third-person-plural pronoun as a singular pronoun, but the biggest pedants don't like it, even when that makes them look silly.
In a test paper for US college students last month, the snooty Princeton Review (an educational services company) listed ungrammatical song lyrics. When they included Taylor Swift's "Somebody tells you they love you, you got to believe 'em", she responded online: "Not the right lyrics at all pssshhh. You had one job, test people. One job." The line actually ends: "…you're gonna believe them." Princeton admitted its mistake but made it worse by suggesting the plural "them" should not be used after the singular "somebody". Pedantic – and wrong.
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An English "hen" would have avoided such dispute, and the instinct among writers to build sentences around this linguistic sinkhole. Yet attempts to find one, spanning more than 150 years and 100 words, have failed. Dennis Baron, a professor of English and linguistics at the University of Illinois, details them all in a 2010 blog post. He begins with an 1884 article in the New-York Commercial Advertiser which recalls how "ne", "nis", "nir" and "hiser" had been briefly used around 1850. Later in the 19th century, "hi", "le" and "ip" were also proposed. "Thon", a blend of "that" and "one" with the same "th" sound as in "then", briefly bothered dictionaries.
More recently, science fiction has proposed: co; xie; per; and en. In real life, the list of pronoun fails also includes: hes; hem; ir; ons; e; ith; lim; ler; lers, as well as the portmanteaux: himer; hasher; shis; shim; heer; and hie. Whatever their inspiration, including more recent, progressive desires for gender-neutral language, no word in English has stuck. Why? Because they look stupid.
"Artificial coinages are rarely successful," adds Professor John Mullan, the head of English at University College London. "Language is also not very susceptible to campaigns." But it is in Sweden, where "hen" emerged in the 1960s as a feminist alternative to the default male pronoun. It then fizzled out, but transgender Swedes revived it in about 2000. Debate intensified in 2012, when a children's author published Kivi och Monsterhund (Kivi and the Monster Dog) using only "hen". As pressure on the Swedish Academy grew, sceptics downplayed the importance of language in society, pointing out that in China, a country not known for its progressive approach to gender, Mandarin has always offered the neutral "ta".
Tell that to Chelsea Manning. The imprisoned WikiLeaker – and private born as Bradley – took grammar all the way to the US Army Criminal Court of Appeals earlier this month. She won the right not only to be called Chelsea, but also to be referred to in all court proceedings using neutral or feminine pronouns. Her reaction? In Swedish: Hen var glad.
The Vault is Slate's history blog. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @slatevault, and find us on Tumblr. Find out more about what this space is all about here.
These postures and attitudes were meant for 19th-century students to use when practicing speech-giving. Presented as illustrations in Charles W. Sanders’ Sanders’ School Speaker: A Comprehensive Course of Instruction in the Principles of Oratory; With Numerous Exercises for Practice in Declamation, the figures advised students how to use their bodies to heighten the effect of their delivery.
Sanders’ 1857 book (viewable via the Internet Archive) is only one of many such elocution primers available for classroom use in the 19th century, when oratory was quite commonly included in curricula. Sanders’ compendium contains a short section on principles of elocution (how to modulate speech; when to pause) and a section on gesture, illustrated by these images. The bulk of the book is filled with “Exercises in Declamation”: texts that the student could memorize, then use to practice these principles.
Sanders protested in his introduction to the book that true eloquence was not just a matter of silver-tongued trickery: “The prime element in the constitution of the great orator is, and can be, found only in the good man.” To that end, he wrote, he had included only texts that would cultivate “high moral character” in the student speaker. Some of his choices of authors, at the time of the book’s publication the late 1850s, definitively marked the book as Northern: Charles Sumner; Cassius M. Clay; William H. Seward; Lydia Maria Child.
I first saw this book on the Tumblr of Special Collections, Archives, and Rare Books at the University of Missouri Libraries, which compiled the Sanders Postures and Attitudes from their 1863 edition of the primer into entertaining animated GIFs.
L’universitaire Jeyny Gonzalez Tabarez, de l’Université centrale du Venezuela, spécialiste des langues des « peuples natifs », a croisé , pendant son séjour au Festival CulturAmérica, son expérience avec celle des écoles en langue basque (Ikastola), et des écoles en langue occitane (Calandretas).
Photo : Gaizka Iroz/AFP
C’est la première fois que le Festival latino-américain de Pau abordait la thématique du plurilinguisme. L’identité (mot à la mode), la relation à soi-même, n’est pas statique, figée ; à la fois elle s’hérite et elle se construit tous les jours ; elle peut être la meilleure comme la pire des choses : le repli identitaire, la peur de l’autre, le communautarisme. Si les racines sont indispensables, les feuilles, les branches, les fleurs qu’elles donnent, le sont largement autant.
Le plurilinguisme s’inscrit dans ces problématiques. Et il ne s’agit pas que de racines et d’identité, mais également d’ouverture sur les autres et sur cet « autre soi en soi-même » ; au bout du bout : d’une autre culture. S’enrichir de l’autre pour être soi-même, se mélanger, se métisser, être plusieurs en même temps, c’est l’exact contraire du racisme, de l’individualisme, c’est respecter, comprendre, intégrer la(les) différence(s), c’est se délecter, se nourrir, de sons et de mots, de cosmovisions, de conceptions du monde, pluriels.
Une langue c’est aussi une fenêtre sur la biodiversité, une « occupation » spécifique de l’espace, la relation à la terre, un système de gouvernance... Aimer toutes les langues, fuir l’ethnocentrisme, l’uniformisation, le clonage, rejeter l’impérialisme culturel, c’est aussi éduquer à la citoyenneté, à une laïcité inclusive (non laïcarde), à un humanisme nouveau, à la solidarité sans frontières, au partage, au sens critique... Et, et, et... Finalement, c’est porter plus haut l’intelligence, la connaissance, l’humanité. C’est œuvrer, disait « le sous-commandant» Marcos, à un monde de tous les mondes, un monde aux couleurs de la terre...
L’universitaire Jeyny Gonzalez Tabarez, de l’Université centrale du Venezuela, spécialiste des langues des « peuples natifs », « premiers », de leurs langues « indigènes », « amérindiennes », a croisé , pendant son séjour au Festival CulturAmérica, son expérience avec celle des écoles en langue basque (Ikastola), et des écoles en langue occitane (Calandretas).
Lors du « Forum des alternatives » (à l’université de Pau), l’universitaire de Caracas a dressé avec brio la nouvelle situation de ces langues, hier « invisibilisées », ignorées, totalement marginalisées et même en voie de disparition pour plusieurs d’entre elles. La disparition d’une langue constitue une catastrophe politique, humaine et culturelle. On recense en Amérique « latine » environ 826 peuples indigènes, 85 familles de langues autochtones, parlées par 25 millions de personnes.
Là aussi, il y a un avant et un après la révolution bolivarienne, qui a contribué à dépasser la « honte ethnique », et reconnu constitutionnellement, en 1999, la diversité linguistique, qui l’a rendue visible, qui a inscrit dans les cadres légaux (un ensemble de lois), dans les textes, les « droits originels » de la quarantaine de « peuples premiers », dont les droits linguistiques, et même a créé un Ministère des peuples indigènes. « Indigène », en français, est un mot sémantiquement piégé... beaucoup moins en espagnol, les contextes historiques dans lesquels ils se sont forgés étant différents.
Le 28 juillet 2008 ; le B.O. du Vénézuéla publie la « Loi sur les langues indigènes ». Le gouvernement de Hugo Chavez entend non seulement préserver un patrimoine culturel, un véhicule de transmission culturelle, mais aussi promouvoir, revitaliser l’usage les langues indigènes; elles deviennent langues co-officielles de la République.
L’Etat a l’obligation de fournir les moyens nécessaires à la réalisation des politiques publiques, des objectifs de la loi ; il a créé à cet effet l’Institut national des langues indigènes. L’enseignement des langues amérindiennes dans tous les centres éducatifs, leur utilisation dans les médias et administrations des régions (« habitats ») de ces peuples et communautés. Les organisations indigènes sont impliquées dans ces structures et dans les politiques locales.
L’universitaire vénézuélienne a insisté sur ces avancées historiques, sur le refus de la standardisation, tout en pointant les difficultés qui restent à dépasser : l’enseignement dans la langue, le manque d’enseignants compétents et « hablantes » (locuteurs), une formation insuffisante... La volonté politique demeure forte, mais il reste à approfondir la conceptualisation, à mettre au point des stratégies adéquates, à avancer sur le terrain...
Si le cadre légal est solide, du texte à la réalité il y a la vie, les habitudes, les mentalités, les priorités, le vieux monde qui résiste... C’est pourquoi le gouvernement s’efforce de créer les conditions pour que les « peuples premiers » soient eux-mêmes les principaux acteurs de la nécessaire réappropriation linguistique. Pour « habiter le monde à partir de la langue ».
Les festivités en langue bretonne débutent aujourd'hui par une séance spéciale au Grand Bleu. Elles se poursuivront jusqu'au 4 avril alternant fest-noz, théâtre, contes, promenade, jeux, repas et veillée.
FREDERICTON – Chaque emploi bilingue engendre la création d’environ deux emplois unilingues, révèle une étude commandée par la commissaire aux langues officielles du Nouveau-Brunswick.
Le rapport réalisé par l’économiste Pierre-Marcel Desjardins et le spécialiste du développement économique David Campbell recommande la création d’un conseil pour mieux tirer profit des avantages économiques du bilinguisme.
«Le gouvernement cherche des moyens de favoriser la croissance et de diversifier l’économie. En publiant cette étude, nous nous assurons que des renseignements utiles sont mis à la disposition des intervenants du gouvernement et du secteur privé qui oeuvre au développement économique», a indiqué la commissaire Katherine d’Entremont, mercredi.
C’est bien connu, le bilinguisme de la main d’oeuvre néo-brunswickoise a convaincu bien des entreprises de s’établir dans la province pour servir leurs clients nord-américains, notamment dans les centres de contact avec la clientèle (centres d’appels).
Les employés bilingues sont cependant loin d’être les seuls à profiter de la présence de ces entreprises, apprend-on dans le rapport.
«Les gens se disent qu’elles n’embauchent que des employés bilingues, au contraire», a expliqué Mme d’Entremont.
«Pour chaque emploi “bilingue” qu’elles créent, elles créent deux emplois “unilingues”. Et c’est surtout des postes unilingues anglais, on s’entend. J’ai été surpris par ça. Je me suis dit wow, qui aurait cru. C’est quelque chose qu’il ne faut pas oublier.»
Le bilinguisme de l’État néo-brunswickois a été remis en question récemment par certains qui cherchent des façons de permettre à la province de faire des économies, elle qui fait face à un déficit structurel d’environ 450 millions $.
La commissaire a dit souhaiter que l’étude puisse aider les gens à voir le véritable visage du bilinguisme.
«Des fois, ce que l’on pense et la réalité, ce sont deux choses. J’espère que ça va commencer à encourager les gens à aller chercher de l’information (au lieu de) partir en peur avec toutes sortes d’histoires qui ne sont pas véridiques», a-t-elle dit.
En plus de faire état des avantages économiques des deux langues officielles, le rapport identifie certaines «perspectives d’avenir» en matière de bilinguisme pour la province et le secteur des affaires.
L’industrie langagière, le tourisme, l’enseignement postsecondaire et les liens économiques avec le Québec en général sont autant de secteurs au potentiel de croissance important en raison du caractère bilingue de la province, selon Pierre-Marcel Desjardins et David Campbell.
Ils suggèrent de mettre sur pied un conseil des intervenants du secteur privé et du gouvernement ayant pour mandat «de déterminer des mesures concrètes pour accroître les avantages découlant du bilinguisme».
«Le conseil pourrait collaborer au développement de secteurs où le bilinguisme est un facteur clé et à l’augmentation des exportations de la province vers les marchés francophones aux pays et à l’étranger», ont-ils indiqué.
La présidente de la Société de l’Acadie du Nouveau-Brunswick, Jeanne d’Arc Gaudet, a insisté sur l’importance de diffuser les informations contenues dans le rapport au lieu de le laisser «sur une tablette» afin de lutter contre «les idées préconçues».
La ministre responsable de la Francophonie, Francine Landry, a assuré aux journalistes que le gouvernement allait prendre le temps d’étudier le rapport, sans s’engager à mettre en oeuvre sa principale recommandation.
«Si c’est pour analyser les retombées économiques et les bénéfices du bilinguisme au Nouveau-Brunswick, c’est certainement une avenue qui va être examinée par notre gouvernement.
Comment préparer la rencontre entre les citoyens de langues et de cultures différentes ? Jean-Claude Beacco aborde une problématique commune à tous les enseignants de langues : Celle de l’intégration du développement d’une compétence interculturelle aux parcours d’apprentissage en langues étrangères.
Jean-Claude Beacco (né en 1944) est professeur émérite de linguistique et de didactique des langues et des cultures depuis 2012, spécialisé dans l’enseignement du français comme langue étrangère. Il a enseigné à l’université Paris III de 2000 à 2012 et il y a été responsable du master Didactique du français et des langues (environ 400 étudiants inscrits) et directeur de recherches (25 thèses soutenues). Il y a créé l’équipe de recherche « Grammaires et contextualisation » (GRAC/DILTEC ED 2288).
Il est agrégé de grammaire, docteur en linguistique, auteur (depuis 1975 env.) de plus de 160 ouvrages et articles (relatifs aux politiques linguistiques, aux cultures éducatives, à l’éducation plurilingue, à l’analyse de discours, aux méthodologies d’enseignement …) publiés dans les revues françaises, francophones et étrangères (par exemple, récemment : revue de l’université de Heredia, Costa Rica, de l’université Brioussov de Erevan, Lingua e Nuova didattica …) dont L’approche par compétences dans l’enseignement des langues diffusé fin 2014 à 5000 exemplaires environ. Publication récente : 2014, en col. avec J.-M. Kalmbach et J. Suso López (dir) : Les contextualisations de la description du français dans les grammaires étrangères, Langue française 181.
Il est codirecteur de la collection Langues et didactique (Didier), membre du comité scientifique/de rédaction de plusieurs revues. Il est aussi auteur de manuels d’enseignement dont, récemment, la série des Grammaires contrastives (CLE International) en col. avec M. di Giura Beacco.
Il a été volontaire du Service national actif en Tunisie (1970-72), détaché par le Ministère des Affaires Etrangères auprès des universités de Buenos Aires (1972-75), chargé d’études au Bureau pour l’Enseignement de la Langue et de la Civilisation française à l’étranger (BELC), section du Centre international d’études pédagogiques de Sèvres (CIEP) (1976-80), attaché linguistique puis attaché culturel près l’Ambassade de France à Rome…avant d’intégrer l’université (Université du Maine 1989-2000, où il a créé la filière FLE : licence, master, DESS : Politiques linguistiques).
Il a effectué d’innombrables missions auprès des ministères, des universités et des associations d’enseignants de français à l’étranger (séminaires de formation, conférences, colloques, expertise…) pour le Ministère des affaires étrangères/Ministère des affaires étrangères et européennes, le Conseil de l’Europe, l’Union latine, Paris III…dans la plupart des pays où le français est enseigné comme langue étrangère . Il a participé à l’Ecole doctorale algérienne de français (EDAF).
Il a piloté le projet de réforme des départements de français des universités irakiennes (mission à Erbil en 2009) ; il a créé le dispositif « Dialogue d’expertise » des filières universitaires de français du Mexique avec le Poste (2009)… Ces actions ont abouti en 2013 à la création, par l’Institut français et l’AUF, du protocole Dialogue d’expertise universitaire dont il est membe du Conseil de perfectionnement.
Il collabore et a collaboré avec la Fédération internationale des professeurs de français (FIPF ; avec G Géron, il constitue le comité scientifique coordonnant les 12 symposiums du Congrès mondial de Liège, 2016), l’Union latine (expert pour le projet « Coopération entre les trois espaces linguistiques (OIF, CPLP, Union latine et OEI) », 2004), la Commission européenne, Direction générale : Education et culture (consultant pour Unité : Politique pour le multilinguisme, en 2006/07). Il a été membre du Comité scientifique du DELF/DALF et du TCF.
Dans le cadre d’une action coordonnée par Délégation générale à langue française et aux langues de France (DGLFLF), il a piloté le projet « Référentiels pour le français » (réalisation en collaboration avec le Pôle DELF/DALF du CIEP) de Niveau B2 pour le français, 2004, Niveau A1… 2006, Niveau A2 2008, Niveau B1, 2011, Didier, Paris ) ; il a en particulier coordonné le niveau A1.1 destiné aux locuteurs peu ou non francophones qui a donné naissance au Diplôme d’initiation à la langue française (DILF).
Il est conseiller de programme permanent pour le Conseil de l’Europe, depuis 1998 (Division puis Unité des Politiques linguistiques). Il y a accompagné la diffusion du Cadre européen commun de référence pour les langues, créé le protocole Profil des politiques linguistiques (nationales) proposé aux Etats membres pour accroître la diversité linguistique (Profil en cours : Malte, 2014-2015) ; il est auteur et co-auteur de nombreux documents produits dans ce cadre http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/langeduc/le_platformintro_FR.asp
Il participe et a participé aux groupes d’experts européens concernés par les questions de politique linguistique relatives aux migrants adultes, à l’éducation plurilingue et interculturelle… A ce titre il est co-auteur de la dernière Recommandation du Comité des Ministres aux Etats-membres sur l’importance des langues de scolarisation.
Il est et a été consultant pour le Ministère libanais de l’éducation, pour le Ministère arménien de l’éducation, pour le Ministère roumain de l’éducation, pour Ministère français de l’Education nationale (DEGESCO), l’Inspection générale d’arabe (France) et l’Organisation de la Ligue arabe pour l’éducation, la culture et les sciences (ALECSO, Tunis) pour la réalisation des niveaux de référence pour l’arabe.
Dans cette vidéo, une française, un anglais, un italien, un mexicain et un allemand vont devoir prononcer le même mot face caméra. Le but, souligner le caractère guttural de la langue germaine par rapport aux autres, de manière humoristique.
Un airbus A320 s'est écrasé dans le sud-est de la France
The recent launch of reading app The1Book is yet another sign that e-books are the way of the future
Thais have long been criticised for their lack of interest in reading and while this is said to be improving, figures show that the majority of us get through fewer than six books a year.
The advent of e-books has gone some way towards encouraging greater intimacy with the written word and now leading bookstore B2S is making access to reading even easier with the launch of a new e-book application, The 1Book, which offers more than 10,000 titles across a variety of genres.
Thanks to wider Internet accessibility and more affordable electronic gadgets, reading no longer requires a trip to the bookstore and massive outlays of cash. E-books also help save on storage space and have the distinct advantage of allowing us to carry around multiple titles as well as e-copies of magazines and journals from any country in the world.
The age of the e-book dawned a decade or so ago when Amazon launched its e-book reader. While the Kindle, as it was called, wasn't the first dedicated e-book reader device, it didn't have much competition. Back then, it seems, those who us who liked to spend time reading preferred to flick through the pages than scroll on screen.
Although many older bookworms still prefer the written page, the e-book market is growing fast. The introduction of multifaceted smartphones and gadgets that allow us not just to read but also to write, draw and comment has made reading more interactive and even fans of the physical book are switching to e-books to read on their daily commute as well as on vacation.
Publishing houses have also followed the digital trend with many launching electronic versions of the latest books by best-selling authors in parallel with the hardcopy. And because the e-book is so much cheaper than the printed word, first books by unknown authors are mostly released as e-titles to test the market.
"E-books used to frighten me and I really hated the very idea of them," Kim Jongsatitwattana, assistant managing director of sales and marketing at Thai publishing house Nanmeebooks, told XP last week during The 1Book launch event at the Zen branch of B2S.
"I grew up with books that are made of paper, books that we can touch, feel and smell. And as a publishing house, we fear e-books will replace physical books. We don't want to lose our business; we don't want to be like Kodak.
"At first, we waited for six months to a year after releasing a book before launching the digital version at a cheaper price because we wanted the customers to buy the paper version first. But we've come to realise that paper book and e-book consumers are two distinctly separate groups. Granted, a few might enjoy both but in general terms those who buy books will continue to buy physical books while e-book readers will just download. We've invested a little bit more to adapt our files to make the e-book available. And like many publishers, we don't have our own e-book store but work with other outlets to sell content to the readers. Just recently we decided to launch physical and electronic versions at the same time, and at the same price. The big challenge now is more about how to make people want to read more rather than how to sell books.
The application that pioneered the e-book market in Thailand is Ookbee. The country's biggest e-book store, it was founded in 2012 and still maintains the biggest market share. Others include Mobile eBook (or Meb), TrueBook, Hytexts and eBook.in.th. Readers can also browse for entries directly from the e-book sections of Se-Ed, Asia Books, Nation Books other publishers, but e-book apps like Ookbee and The 1Book allow access to larger selections of books from various publishers. Many also come with discounts, promotions and special deals.
As a physical store that carries books from many different publishers, B2S has built a dedicated application to market e-books. The 1Book works on most platforms including the smartphone, tablet and PC. Initially, it's targetting holders of Central's loyalty programme.
The 1Card allows points to be redeemed for any e-books on the virtual shelf and every purchase made through the application earns points. In that sense, it differs from the existing B2S eBook Store, which only allows 1Card point redemption on some items and where purchases do not earn points.
Since 2013, physical book sales have suffered an 11-per-cent decline while those of e-books have soared by 123 per cent and are expected to expand threefold by 2018. In Thailand, where reading campaigns are aggressively targetting both children and adults, the e-book is seen as the way to go, not least because prices tend to be as much as 30-per-cent cheaper.
"I'm not really into e-books because I'm old school, but I support it. The world needs to change," says Chart Korbjitti, 2004 National Artist in Literature and two-time SeaWrite Award winner.
"In ancient times, the Greeks and Romans engraved their messages on stone and marble. When the Chinese and the Egyptians started to use paper, people were horrified because it was new and unfamiliar. Now stone engravers are limited to carving words on headstones.
"Whether it's a physical book or e-book, it's just a container. What matters most is the content - the quality and the accessibility of it. E-books great in that you can access copies of old and rare books that are out of print. And it's a good way for new writers to break through and make money. In my time writers were dependent on publishers and were often exploited," he says.
"My concern is the readiness and willingness of the National Library of Thailand to step into the digital era and give more access to readers. The French introduced electronic versions of their archived books 17 years ago. What are we waiting for?"
(March 2015) “Enriching theory, practice, and application” was the theme of the 4th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC4). The 26 February-1 March event was hosted by the University of Hawai’i, Manoa. With an attendance of nearly 450, this year’s meeting was the largest to date.
The conference organizers’ goal was to move beyond theory to practical application that will benefit the communities who speak endangered languages. The event was designed to strengthen the links between language documentation (practice), deep understanding of grammatical structure (theory), and methods for teaching endangered languages (pedagogy).
Several SIL linguists were among those who presented research through papers and poster sessions.
Jim Ellis: "Bridging the gap between linguistic resources and meaningful written material"
Bill Jancewicz: "Developing Naskapi grammatical awareness and its effect on adult literacy"
Melinda Lyons with William P. Rivers of JNCL-NCLIS*: “Documenting languages not included in the ISO language codes: The role of language documentation specialists in improving a request to code an uncoded language”
Becky Paterson: “Contribution of women to linguistic vitality in northwestern Nigeria” and “Gamification of Rapid Word Collection”
Hugh Paterson: "Assessing the difficulty of the text input task for minority languages" and "Lexical dataset archiving: An assessment of practice"
Kathleen Sackett: “Workshop design for developing picture dictionaries in the Caucasus”
SIL's SayMore software was presented by Sarah Moeller of the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (GIAL) with a presentation entitled, “Developments in SayMore: The language documentation tool for citizen scientists.” The session was attended by people from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines—linguists, mother-tongue speakers of endangered languages, archivists and software developers were all part of the standing-room-only crowd that gathered to learn more about the software. Moeller has observed that while the methods of language documentation are not difficult to learn, some technical aspects deter people from becoming involved in documenting their languages. File management, dealing with metadata and intimidating archiving processes are among the challenges faced by would-be documenters. Moeller sees great promise in SayMore as a tool for meeting the technical needs of documentation in a user-friendly way.
* Joint National Committee for Languages & National Council for Languages and International Studies
Browse ICLDC4 abstracts and presentation PDFs
4th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation
Language & Culture Docmentation in SIL
Language & Culture Resources
Additional publications from Jim Ellis, Bill Jancewicz, Melinda Lyons and Hugh Paterson in the SIL Language & Culture Archives
Ethnologue: Languages of the World
News article: “Supporting communities through language and culture documentation”
News article: “Collaborating on language documentation and conservation”
News article: “COOL 9 and the Workshop on Identifying Codes for Languages”
In 2012, the Swedish National Encyclopedia took an important step towards gender equality and incorporated a gender neutral pronoun to promote equality and make society more inclusive; now, in 2015, Sweden’s gender neutral pronoun, “hen,” has officially made its way into the official dictionary of the Swedish language! Hooray! It’s no surprise, though, seeing as Sweden ranks as the fourth best country for gender inclusion, right behind Iceland, Finland, and Norway.
In Swedish, “han” is the standard masculine pronoun, while “hon” is the feminine one. “Hen,” however, will allow people who don’t identify themselves on the gender binary to claim a pronoun that describes them more accurately. Cosmo writes that the proper times to use “hen” include when a person is transgender, when you don’t know the person’s gender, or when gender identity is irrelevant to what you’re talking about.
Though we don’t have an official dictionary version of a gender neutral word in English to replace “he” and “she,” many people use or subscribe to “they/them/theirs” as a preferred pronoun (yes, people who use it area aware it’s technically not correct grammar and no, it doesn’t matter, because identity politics are far more important than arbitrary grammar laws). Additionally, people have started to use “zi/zir” pronouns to connote the same thing.
About a quarter of the world’s languages are gendered, whether it’s through pronouns or nouns. For example, while English has “he” and “she” for people, Spanish is even more gendered, with all nouns having an “el” or “la” in front of them to let you know if they’re male or female. Some completely genderless languages include Persian, Japanese, Turkish, and Hungarian, making binary sorting less of an issue and eliminating issues that come with assuming people’s gender identities. While it’s not particularly feasible to eliminate gendered language from entire languages and cultures, it certainly is possible to change language in a way that’s more inclusive. Who needs all those restrictions, anyway?
El diccionario sueco incluirá un pronombre para el género neutro
Esta noticia ha sido leída 224 veces
Globedia Venezuela / El diccionario oficial de Suecia incluirá a partir de abril un pronombre para el género neutro, anunciaron este martes los editores de la academia sueca.
"Hay 13.000 nuevas palabras. 'Hen' es uno de ellos", explicó a la AFP Sture Berg, uno de los editores, refiriéndose al nuevo pronombre, que se añadirá a "han" (él) y "hon" (ella).
"Para quienes usen el pronombre, obviamente es un elemento de fuerza que ahora esté incluido en el diccionario", consideró Berg, recordando que la adición de pronombres a las lenguas es muy poco habitual.
La palabra "hen" fue acuñada en los años sesenta, cuando "han" (él) se hizo políticamente incorrecto y el uso corriente de la lengua empezó a tender a evitarlos. Pero la palabra no se generalizó hasta inicios del siglo XXI, cuando una pequeña comunidad transgénero retomó su uso en el país y el término ha vuelto ha ser empleado en los últimos años.
En la actualidad, se utiliza para simplificar la estructura de las frases y para referirse a una persona sin revelar su género, ya sea porque se desconoce, porque la persona es transgénero o porque quien habla o escribe considera superfluo referirse al género.
El término también es empleado en textos oficiales, legales, y en prensa y libros, empezando a perder parte de su inicial connotación de activismo feminista.
El diccionario de la academia sueca se actualiza cada 10 años. Las nuevas entradas son determinadas por su relevancia y la frecuencia de su uso. La nueva edición saldrá a la venta el 15 de abril.
Once you've learned one programming language or programming tool, it's pretty easy to get into another similar one. Sometimes, though, the fine differences are hard to remember. Hyperpolyglot is an awesome tool for looking up the differences and similarities between programming languages and tools.
In addition to comparing popular interpreted languages as shown above, Hyperpolyglot also covers C++ style languages, GUI scripting languages, Unix shells' commands, text editors, relationship databases, and more categories.
It's a good site to have bookmarked when it's the middle of the night and your brain is fried and you can't remember whether to write "String," "string," or "str."
Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has said that it is imperative that minority languages are promoted and protected in order to preserve cultural heritage.
~ Wednesday, 25 March 2015
The Minister was addressing a conference in Armagh which is exploring a bilingual approach to the use of Irish in the new Super Councils which formally come into existence next week.
The Minister said that the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages places an onus on public authorities to recognise them as an expression of cultural wealth and for them to be given due respect and tolerance.
She said: “At the end of January I published strategies for both the Irish and Ulster Scots Languages which chart a way forward for them over the next generation across a wide range of areas including education, public services, the community, media and economic life. It is important that Executive Departments know what us required of them and are not found to b e deficient in terms of delivery of expectations.
“Today’s conference is about the use of Irish in the new Super Councils. This is a new beginning for local authorities here and this presents a once in a lifetime chance for them to demonstrate from the outset that they intend to abide by the principles of the European Charter.
“Local Council’s now have a real opportunity to demonstrate their inclusivity by treating the Irish Language with the tolerance and understanding it merits.
“Our neighbours in Scotland and Wales have passed legislation which offers protection to their respective minority languages, while in the south Irish is an official language and is recognised as such by the European Union.
“I have said before and am happy to repeat now that the Irish language threatens no one, but is rather a part of our shared heritage and culture.”
The Minister also commended the organisers of the conference and said that the experience of contributors from Wales and the south would assist the new Super Councils in their efforts to embrace and support minority languages.
Notes to editors:
The conference ‘The new Super Councils; Implementing a Bilingual Approach’ was held at the City Hotel, Armagh and was organised by Conradh na Gaeilge in association with Foras na Gaeilge.
The conference included a range of speakers including Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, Environment Minister Mark H Durkin, former Minister for Community, Rural & Gaeltacht affairs Éamon Ó Cuív, development Officer with the Newport Welsh Language Initiative Elin Maher and the National Coordinator for Menter Lith Cymraeg Emily Cole.
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A first-of-its kind study in New Brunswick has determined the economic benefit of bilingualism is $1.4 billion.
The report underlines that two languages are better than one, and has been accepted by New Brunswick’s Commissioner of Official Languages.
The $1.4 billion is generated annually, mostly in customer contact or call centres, where one bilingual job brings in two unilingual jobs.
Official Languages Commissioner Katherine d’Entremont says New Brunswick is poised to capitalize on its bilingual workforce.
“That means that you have a whole lot of unilingual New Brunswickers that are actually working because of the bilingual character of our workforce,” says the report’s co-author, Pierre-Marcel Desjardins.
And it goes way beyond attracting call centres. The report says post-secondary education and tourism also share the benefits.
Languages Commissioner Katherine d’Entremont says New Brunswick is poised to capitalize on the unique nature of its workforce.
“Now that this information is out there, people can have informed discussions, not only about what has happened in the past, but more importantly, the opportunities that this information presents for the future,” says d’Entremont.
While bilingualism drives almost $1.5 billion in exports, there’s no way to measure its cost to government.
“I don’t think it’s something the government has taken into consideration at this point,” says Francine Landry, Minister Responsible for La Francoponie.
Landry says the government has yet to fully examine this report, but given their focus on job creation, any recommendation that would help with economic development will be looked at.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell