Metaglossia: The Translation World
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Metaglossia: The Translation World
News about translation, interpreting, intercultural communication, terminology and lexicography - as it happens
Curated by Charles Tiayon
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Google is testing Google Drive presentation support for Chromecast

Chromecast may soon be able to run presentations straight from Google Drive, which is great news for teachers and company meetings.
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The translation of God | theSundaily

I REFER to the letter on the Allah impasse published in theSun on Oct 18 which did not go down well with some readers who were unhappy with the compromise suggested. I was privately taken to task on email and publicly chided on Facebook for supporting the court decision.

Having been accused of insincerity and pandering to the powers that be, may I say that my comments are consistent with what I wrote more than three years ago, that is the issue is caused primarily by a poor cross-lingual translation of "God". The following letter was published in a couple of mainstream newspapers in 2010.

"BEING trained in linguistics, in particular translation theory, I see the "Allah" issue as one involving semantics and the translation of a key religious concept – God.

The word for the Muslim concept of God (Allah) has been transposed or borrowed to represent the Christian God in the Bahasa Indonesia translation of the Bible.

Cultural and religious concepts are the hardest to translate. Many words are culturally loaded and have evolved in the holy books and its teachings among the multilingual community of followers. They are often embellished and reinforced by their distinctive sociolinguistic environment and have acquired specialised contextual meanings.

In the lexicon of a language some words have a direct referential or denotative meaning – the most obvious being a name.

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49 Writers: Amy O'Neill Houck: On Deadlines and Risk Taking

This past weekend, I participated in the Juneau Douglas Little Theatre’s 24-Hour Miracle. It’s a mini theatre festival where four plays are written and produced in the space of twenty-four hours. The playwrights each meet their cast and their director at 8 pm on Friday evening. A theme is chosen from a hat, and off we go. A script is due by 8 am the next morning. Saturday night, at 8 pm, the plays are performed.

A few months ago, when I was first asked to be one of the writers, I told Geoff, the producer, that while I was thrilled to be asked, I didn’t think I could be productive in the middle of the night. Truthfully, the idea of letting down a director and cast if I ended up staring at a blank page all evening was terrifying. But he asked again. And again. And I got to thinking: maybe this is one of those things that I’m just supposed to say yes to. So I did.

What is it about deadlines that can often help, rather than hinder creativity? Again and again, I’ve found that writing with a limited amount of time is an opportunity to produce work that wouldn’t happen otherwise. Maybe it’s similar to sitting in a workshop or a class—you’re given a prompt, and you only have ten minutes to write a poem. Out comes something you didn’t know was in you. 

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DSC Prize 2013 longlist announced - The Times of India

Fifteen titles, including three translated works and four debut works, are in the race for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2013 vying for a $50,000 prize money.
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6 Writers' Apps for NaNoWriMo Weekly Smartphone App Roundup

National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo) is just around the corner and wordsmiths everywhere are in preparation for a productive month of writing.
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Un diccionario para entender la jerga de las periferias

Por Manuel Dueñas

Abdelkarim Tengour, un informático de 45 años, publica un diccionario con unas 2.600 definiciones de palabras de la ‘banlieue’, la periferia francesa. En Tout l’argot des banlieues, Tengour da cuenta de un gran patrimonio lexicográfico, reflejo de las formas y las variantes que un idioma como el francés adquirió en zonas marginadas.

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Lutte franco-américaine à Madagascar | Dossier | DW.DE | 23.10.2013

Depuis des années, Français et Américains se livrent une guerre en sourdine en vue du contrôle de Madagascar. Pour le Président qui sera élu le 25 octobre, il s'agira aussi de contenter ces deux partenaires.
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Can Google Remain the Advertising King?

In the online advertising world, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) reigns supreme. With a dominant share of the U.S. search market, Google is the primary way of finding relevant information on the Internet. Bing, from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) , is a distant second, posing no real threat to Google's dominance. Social networking company Facebook(NASDAQ: FB  ) has the potential to become a significant force in the advertising world, but Google has some big advantages.

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What Do Gestures and Body Language Tell Us?

Both body language in general as well as its core element,gestures, represent a form of communication that is just as important as verbal language. For this reason, they must be taken into account when conversing with others, as it is very important to be able to know how to read the body language of people we are interacting with.

Those elements to be taken into account as non-verbal communication include, among other aspects, personal distance, physical contact, emotional expression, visual contact, voice tone and volume, and periods of silence.

Communication through body language is easy to understand and employ when dealing with speakers of the same language who come from the same culture and have similar personal characteristics. However, there are large differences between our normal gestures and those of another person from a distant geographic area that is culturally and/or linguistically distinct from our own.

In the case of interpreters, for example, it is very important for them to take into account these characteristics when performing their work, as the body language of each person can vary according to their language or where they live. They not only have to pay attention to the words of the person speaking, but also to their body language. This is important for interpreters at conferences, but it is even more so for interpreters who perform simultaneous or consecutive interpretations next to the speaker. A poor interpretation of a gesture could generate misunderstandings that result in listeners not comprehending the original message.

 
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Who is an 'English-language learner'?

If a U.S. student learning English were to drive across the country, he would find that in some states he would be classified an "English-language learner," eligible to receive extra support. In other states, the same student would not qualify for the special designation—or the additional help.

In California, for example, English-language learners spend part of the day focused on learning English. The rest of the day, teachers help them learn the same material as native English speakers, with some modifications. For example, they might be divided into smaller groups with other limited English speakers, or receive a preview or review of the lesson in their native tongue.

The label matters, because under the federal Civil Rights Act, schools are required to provide English-language learners with additional services to ensure they master English as well as the material other students are learning.

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'Paribhashika' puts Malayalam in hi-tech world - The New Indian Express

The State Institute of Languages is all set to script a new chapter in the modernisation of Malayalam language with the institute all set to launch new technologies, including an English-to-Malayalam translator ‘Paribhashika’.

M R Thampan, director of the institute, said that as part of its efforts to popularise Malayalam the new initiatives would be launched on November 1, the state formation day, by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. “They include a spelling and grammar checking system, new Malayalam fonts and a complete translation system,” he said.

The software ‘Paribhashika’ has been developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). The translator is a pattern directed, rulebased English-to-Malayalam machine-aided translation (MAT) system.

Badran V K, associate director, Language Technology, C-DAC, said the software is the first attempt to customise AnglaBharati MAT engine for a Dravidian language and Paribhashika is the first-of-its-kind for Malayalam.

“The key feature of the software is that the socalled intelligible translation can be carried out and it works out all possible translation. Text input and file input facilities are provided, besides post editing option,” he said.

He said that for translating a chapter from English to Malayalam, usually it takes three months but if the Paribhashika is used, it will help to speed up the entire process and finish the work within a month.

The post manual editing can also be carried out making the entire translation hassle-free, he said.

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DSC Prize 2013 longlist announced - The New Indian Express

Fifteen titles, including three translated works and four debut works, are in the race for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2013 vying for a $50,000 prize money.

Translated works of two Malayalam authors, Anand and Benyamin have been chosen for their works "Book of Destruction" and "Goat Days", respectively, while the translation of Marathi filmmaker Sachin Kundalkar's debut book "Cobalt Blue" is also in the list.

There were over 65 entries for the coveted prize. Out of the 15 names in the longlist, three authors from the subcontinent have also been included.

Pakistan's Mohsin Hamid and Nadeem Aslam are in the list for "How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia" and "The Blind Man's Garden", respectively. Sri Lankan authors Nayomi Munaweera and Ru Freeman have been chosen for their respective works "Island of a Thousand Mirrors" and "On Sal Mal Lane".

According to Antara Dev Sen, chair of the jury, the longlist offers a wonderful variety of experiences from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"The list reflects much of the exhilarating and bewildering diversity that is the hallmark of South Asian fiction," she said in a statement.

"I am particularly happy that it includes novels in translation from other Indian languages," she added.

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Agenda culturel - Macbeth (Théâtre, Spectacles vivants) Limoges

De William Shakespeare, mise en scène Anne-Laure Liégeois traduction Yves Bonnefoy 
Avec Sébastien Bravard, Olivier Dutilloy, Anne Girouard & 11 comédiens issus de différentes écoles supérieures d’art dramatique françaises et belges (distribution en cours) 

De retour victorieux d’une bataille contre l’armée norvégienne, le chevalier Macbeth, chef des armées d’Écosse, croise la route de trois sorcières qui lui prédisent qu’il sera seigneur, puis roi. Poussé par sa femme, il fait assassiner le roi d’Écosse et lui succède sur le trône. Dès lors l’ambition fait place à la culpabilité, et, peu à peu, le couple infernal sombre dans la paranoïa et la folie. Jusqu’à l’issue fatale. À l’âge de la maturité, Macbeth a forgé dans son esprit l’idée que sa puissance méritait d’être couronnée. Sa femme, son double féminin, croit en cette puissance par intérêt pour lui et pour elle-même. C’est un monstre à quatre bras et quatre jambes qui va courir vers le trône. Dégageant de son chemin tout ce qui l’encombre. Pour Anne-Laure Liégeois, Macbeth se joue dans le crâne de Macbeth. Tout dans la tête. C’est le cauchemar d’un homme dévoré par le désir, épuisé par des passions qui tuent son sommeil. Ce qu’il perçoit n’est que la projection de ses désirs exacerbés. De cet aveuglement, de ces déformations, Shakespeare joue. 

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Un débat à bas débit

Le système éducatif marocain et sa faillite sont au centre d’un débat plutôt timoré pour ne pas dire confidentiel ( un débat à bas débit, en quelque sorte), même si, et depuis peu, la société civile s’en est emparé afin de mieux communiquer sur le caractère urgent des réformes à entreprendre et alerter sur les lourdes conséquences des atermoiements et de l’attentisme des véritables acteurs du changement. Mais si les uns veulent d’emblée jeter le pavé dans la mare et entamer le débat par les sujets qui fâchent, d’autres, pour des raisons politiques, idéologiques ou autres, anticipent déjà sur ces sujets et avancent leurs arguments sur l’échiquier. Le premier sujet qui fâche est, pourquoi le cacher, celui de la langue d’enseignement. Il est tout à fait primordial de commencer par celui-ci si l’on ne veut pas tourner autour du pot afin de noyer le débat dans les discussions byzantines et  sur le sexe des anges. En effet, on ne voit pas comment on peut escamoter la question de la langue lorsqu’on veut réformer un système éducatif quels que soient le pays, la langue, le dialecte ou les langues en usage. Car au-delà du contenu de l’enseignement, des programmes, des méthodes , de la formation et des moyens alloués à ce secteur, la langue, en tant que vecteur de transmission des savoirs et des connaissances, demeure au Maroc le facteur essentiel dans cette équation à plusieurs inconnues. 

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L'arabe dialectal à l'honneur

Il est toujours plaisant de voir se concrétiser des projets qui ont pour but la promotion d'une langue étrangère ou la mise en valeur d'une langue considérée comme secondaire. La langue arabe est sujette à moult discussions à propos de sa dualité entre arabe littéraire et arabe dialectal, leur structure linguistique et leur place culturelle étant différente. Ainsi, il est admis que l'arabe dialectal, l'arabe parlé, ne peut pas s'écrire. Or, il y a une reconnaissance de plus en plus affirmée sur la place à donner à cette langue. Des publications récentes en littérature jeunesse montrent que les ouvrages en arabe tunisien, marocain ou algérien ont aussi leur place sur les rayons de nos bibliothèques. Exemples.

Le petit Nicolas, Hamid et Ziyad

Le petit Nicolas est né sous la plume de René Goscinny et le coup de crayon de Sempé en 1959. On plonge alors dans son univers, sa ville, sa cour de récréation, ses copains de toujours. Ce petit bonhomme nous devient indispensable avec ses aventures et ses interrogations sur le monde adulte. Malgré son demi-siècle, il ne vieillit pas et il est même de nouveau d'actualité avec sa traduction en arabe dialectal (trois histoires en arabe tunisien, trois en marocain, trois en algérien, sous la direction de Dominique Caubet, professeur à l'Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales de Paris) et retranscrites en écriture latine.

En effet, la Délégation générale à la langue française et aux langues de France (DGLFLF) a établi une liste de 75 langues de l'Hexagone dont l'arabe dialectal fait partie. Le but est de valoriser ce patrimoine linguistique et de faire découvrir aux arabophones à travers leur langue maternelle des classiques de la littérature. Ainsi, le petit Nicolas habite Hammamet, il a comme copains de classe Hamid et Ziyad, et il nous emmène dans ses aventures ensoleillées. Après une édition en corse et en yiddish, le petit Nicolas se transpose dans cette ville tunisienne et démontre ainsi que certaines histoires sont intemporelles et communes à toutes les cultures.

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L’ailleurs commence ici

Les 18 et 19 octobre s’est tenue au Palais des congrès la première édition du salon des langues et cultures Expo Lugha. L’organisation de l’événement a mobilisé un grand nombre de partenaires, dont le ministère de la Formation professionnelle et de l’Emploi, le réseau EUNIC des centres culturels des pays européens, et différentes associations culturelles. Ces partenaires ont été présents grâce à leurs stands pendant les deux jours d’Expo Lugha. Ils occupaient les bords de l’espace devenu, le temps d’un week-end, un globe en miniature, lieu de rencontre  et d’échange  autour des cultures des uns et des autres. Au milieu, le lieu était une véritable ruche d’abeilles où jeunes et moins jeunes visiteurs prenaient part aux activités du salon.  La découverte de soi et de l’autre
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Does Literature Get "Un-Censored" When Translating From Chinese?

The New York Times has an interesting article on how books being translated into Chinese are becoming censored as they get published in that country. So, for instance, this biography of Deng Xiaoping has apparently had all sorts of cuts made in order to be palatable to Chinese bureaucrats:

Chinese readers of Ezra F. Vogel’s sprawling biography of China’s reformist leader Deng Xiaoping may have missed a few details that appeared in the original English edition.

The Chinese version did not mention that Chinese newspapers had been ordered to ignore the Communist implosion across Eastern Europe in the late 1980s. Nor that General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, purged during the Tiananmen Square crackdown, wept when he was placed under house arrest. Gone was the tense state dinner with the Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev when Deng, preoccupied by the throngs of students then occupying the square, let a dumpling tumble from his chopsticks.

So if works being translated into Chinese are getting more censored, does that mean books being translated from Chinese are getting less censored? That’s kind of the case with our spring title, Running Through Beijing. This is a very racy, transgressive title; as our inimitable catalog copy has it,

In Running Through Beijing, leading young Chinese author Xu Zechen draws on his actual experiences and real-life friends to guide us through an underworld of constant thievery, hard-core porn, cops (both real and impostors), prison, bribery, crazy landladies, rampant drinking, and the smothering, bone-dry dust storms that blanket one of the world’s largest cities in thick layers of grime.

 
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De l’écriture manuscrite dans Gmail et Google Docs | Fredzone

Certains d’entre vous l’ont peut-être remarqué, l’écriture manuscrite est désormais disponible dans Gmail, et dans Google Docs. Si vous le souhaitez, vous pourrez donc troquer votre clavier contre un bon vieux stylo virtuel, un peu à la manière de ce que l’on trouve sur certaines surcouches Android, ou sur certains claviers virtuels disponibles sur le Play Store. Pas mal, d’autant plus que ce module supporte pas moins de 20 langues différentes, dont le français. Les inconditionnels de la plume d’oie devraient apprécier, les autres un peu moins.

 
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The Writers Alley: Favorite writing quotes

Good writing is like a windowpane. ~ George Orwell   There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. ~ W. Somerset Maugham If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it. ~ Anais Nin    When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature. ~ Ernest Hemingway  Easy reading is hard writing. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne   To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music that words make. ~ Truman Capote   The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary. ~ J. K. Rowling  
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PhD Talk: Writer's Lab: Why writing is (not) like sculpting

Today, I have the pleasure of hosting Koen Van den Eeckhout for a guest post in the Writers' Lab. Koen has recently obtained his PhD in physics at Ghent University, on the subject of glow-in-the-dark materials. In the following years he will be focusing on how to improve the currently available LED lighting.

Besides science, he's curious about everything related to scientific communication, personal development, graphic design and photography. 

He only recently entered the world of social media, you can find out more on his blog or follow him on twitter: @Koen_VdE.

I was not born a writer. When I was younger, I had to struggle a lot to get my ideas onto paper. Not that I did not know what I wanted to say, but after a few sentences, or even a few words, I would get stuck and start doubting my word choice, or the structure of the sentence I just wrote down. Obviously, this frightened me at the start of my PhD, since I knew I would have to write reports, papers, and ultimately my thesis. Indeed, writing is the most important skill of a PhD student. How would I ever manage to finish all that writing?

Things changed in November 2011, when I decided to step out of my comfort zone and subscribed for the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. Despite its name, NaNoWriMo is an international project open to anyone. The goal? Writing a novel of at least 50,000 words in a period of 30 days, from November 1 until November 30. This means that I would have to write on average 1,667 words a day, the equivalent of 3 A4 pages.

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Microsoft working on gadget similar to Google Glass

SEATTLE -- Microsoft is testing out a wearable gadget similar to Google Glass, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.
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Microsoft has a Google Glass clone in the works too

Google Glass has proven pretty popular with the man on the street, and Microsoft is planning to get in on the smart headgear action with a prototype supposedly already in testing.

"People familiar with the matter" reported to WSJ that the internet-friendly spectacles are being tested right now.

That's not much to go on, let's face it. So why not have another rumour to keep you going:

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Microsoft reportedly working on prototypes for Google Glass-styled wearable

With the advent of a bunch of wearable tech, such as Nike's FuelBand, Sony's SmartWatch and Samsung's Galaxy Gear, it's easy to see that Microsoft has been looking at the market with its ears perked. It also helps that quite analysts from market research firm ABI Research has predicted the sale of wearable devices to spike up by quite a bit; they will apparently reach 485 million units by 2018.

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Iranian center translates Islamic works into different languages

For many centuries, Iran was the intellectual Center of the Islamic World. The great Iranian philosophers wrote dozens of works, some of which are still globally referred to in philosophy. Besides, there are books on theology, Shiism and Islamic culture which have not been properly introduced to the rest of the world. In Iran, a center has been founded with a mission to organize, translate, and publish books on Islamic Knowledge and Humanities.



The Center translates distinguished Islamic works into different languages such as English, French, Russian, Italian, Arabic, Armenian, and Korean. 

The center has uploaded all its translated books in digital formats on their website Islamica-dot-ir. The digital library has managed to attract as many as three million visitors in a short period of time. 

The center for organizing and translating Islamic knowledge and humanities has focused on translating the part of Islam and Iran which are new to people around the world. 

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Translationista: ALTA Translation Prizes 2013

The 2013 Lycien Stryk Prize, which promotes the translation of Asian works into English, was awarded to Lucas Klein for his translation ofNotes on the Mosquito: Selected Poems by Xi Chuan (New Directions, 2012).

The 2013National Translation Award, which celebrates a book-length translated work in any genre, was awarded to Philip Boehm for his translation of Nobel laureate Herta Müller's great novelThe Hunger Angel (Picador, 2012).

Congratulations to both the winners!

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