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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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Guyana translates labor laws into Chinese amid surge of Asian investment

GEORGETOWN, Guyana - The South American country of Guyana has translated its labor laws into Chinese amid an influx of Asian companies and workers!
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Do Speak: Nobels and Other Literary Prizes

This week, Chinese writer Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize for literature. The reaction of much of the world was: "Who?"

A well-known and prize-winning author in China, Mo Yan (whose pen name means "Don't Speak") is not a particularly familiar author outside his own country, even to passionate readers who are interested in international literature. Only a few of his books have been translated to English and those are not necessarily widely available.

Mo Yan is the first Chinese author who lives in China to receive the award (French citizen Gao Xingjian won it a dozen years ago).

All this has led people to wonder how exactly the Nobel Prize committee chooses winners. Do they genuinely choose the best writers? What defines "talent" anyway and is the committee the best judge? Do they choose authors who they think more people should be aware of? Do they go for little-known but talented writers? Do they let themselves be influenced by politics? Are they trying to comment on or even influence countries/cultures/political situations through their choices? Are they trying to spread the fame and money that the Nobel brings to specific nations for particular reasons?

And, of course, the follow-up question is: should they be doing that?

After the announcement about Mo Yan was made, someone said to me, "If you're a writer from the US or most European countries, you will not get the prize, so forget it." Others have said that the Nobel is increasingly about politics rather than - or in addition to - literature. There are many who feel that more and more over the years, the Nobel committee - and other literary prize committees - are looking to make a statement rather than to actually reward true talent.

A Chinese-to-English translator I know pointed out that Mo Yan is a popular writer from the world's most populous country, and suggested that this should mean something, and that readers outside China should want to get to know his writing. Interestingly, though, the author is also considered to be a social critic in his works, sometimes clashing with the Communist Party. Some have wondered if it is this that the Nobel committee went for, hoping that his win might somehow help inspire regime change or a push for more democracy.

Personally, I think that if literary prizes are used to give a message about something other than literary talent, then the meaning has changed completely. There perhaps should be prizes for the best novels with political talent, or the most inspiring novels, or whatever else, but they aren't necessarily the same as the best literary works.

On the other hand, we also have to consider the fact that the best novels do touch and inspire readers in a multitude of ways, and that this may include making people reflect on their lives and try to change their political, cultural, educational, social, religious, or other situations. The issue is whether any literary prize committee can accurately judge that, and whether they do really choose literature that is both well written and meaningful.!
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It's my great pleasure to attend the joint conference of Confucius Institutes in Africa. As we have today in the audience many outstanding figures, both old and young, I wish to quote what Confucius said, that "when you have friends coming from afar, isn't that a great pleasure"!

All the officials, teachers and friends gather here have long been committed to Chinese language teaching and promotion in China and African countries and you are all witnesses of the success of Confucius Institutes in Africa. Today, we come to draw the blueprint for future development of Confucius Institutes in this Continent. Please allow me to express, on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, our heartfelt congratulations on the opening of this conference, and our warmest welcome to everyone of you, officials, teachers and friends from afar. Welcome to the beautiful country of South Africa!!
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Cross-strait Chinese dictionary published in China - CNA ENGLISH NEWS

Beijing, Sept. 4 (CNA) China's edition of a dictionary featuring the differences between the Mandarin Chinese used in Taiwan and in China was published Tuesday, part of a joint effort to promote Chinese-language reference materials between both...!
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Scholars cry foul over inclusion of 'NBA' in dictionary|Society|

A group of 120 scholars have signed a letter of complaint over the inclusion of English words in a newly revised Chinese dictionary.
The scholars, including linguists and senior reporters, said the inclusion of words such as the basketball league "NBA" and "PM2.5", a measure of air pollution, violated regulations covering the Chinese language, including the Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language.
The 239 English words take up 15 pages in the latest Contemporary Chinese Dictionary, known as the authoritative Chinese-language dictionary.
Yu Dianli, general manager of The Commercial Press, publisher of the dictionary, said English words had already become part of daily language.
"A dictionary serves language use," he said.
"It also shows that the Chinese language is tolerant and willing to absorb and borrow words from other cultures," Yu said, adding that different languages will inevitably borrow from each other as languages develop and people mingle.
But Fu Zhenguo, one of the initiators of the letter and a senior reporter and editor at People's Daily, said during an online public chat on Wednesday that Chinese is increasingly absorbing English words and he is worried about it.!
Bill Chen's comment, December 28, 2012 8:30 PM

Scholars infuriated by dictionary's use of English-

An editor has come under fire over the inclusion of 239 English words, mostly acronyms or abbreviations, in the latest edition of the Modern Chinese Dictionary.

She was accused of being disrespectful to the Chinese language and causing it "severe damage."

However, Jiang Lansheng, chief editor of the sixth edition published on July 15, said the additions were to make it easier for people to know the meaning of English words in everyday use, yesterday's Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Jiang was responding to a petition signed by more than 100 scholars from across the country saying the editors had damaged the language and might even have broken the law.

They said printing the English words was encouraging readers to replace Chinese words with English ones. "A Chinese dictionary serves as the standard for the use of the Chinese language. Now that the Chinese dictionary collected English words to replace certain Chinese words, it is a serious damage to the Chinese language," Li Minsheng, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

The scholars also said adding English violated the Law on Standard Spoken and Written Chinese.!
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Des intellectuels dénoncent l'illégalité de l'entrée d'anglicismes dans le Dictionnaire du Chinois Contemporain-Le Quotidien du Peuple en ligne

Récemment, une centaine d'intellectuels, dont la plupart sont experts de la langue chinoise, ont fait part de leur mécontentement au sujet de l'introduction d'anglicismes dans le chinois. A tel point qu'ils ont envoyé une lettre de protestation à l'Administration générale de la Presse et de l'Edition et à la Commission nationale de la Langue et de la Littérature, dans laquelle ils dénoncent la 6e édition du Dictionnaire du Chinois Contemporain, nouvellement publiée par Commercial Press, qui contient 239 anglicismes, dont NBA, ce qui constitue une violation de la Loi sur les langues parlées et écrites en usage dans la République populaire de Chine, de la Réglémentation de l'édition décrétée par le Conseil des Affaires de l'Etat et des autres lois.

C'est Fu Zhenguo, journaliste connu du Quotidien du Peuple, qui a eu l'initiative de cette révélation. « Dans la nouvelle édition du Dictionnaire du Chinois Contemporain, de la page 1750 à la page 1755, il y a au total 239 articles qui traitent des mots composés de lettres, a-t-il indiqué. Ils sont présentés comme des articles de mots chinois. Mais en fait, ce sont pour la plupart des sigles en langue anglaise qu'on rencontre souvent, comme NBA, GDP, CPI, WTO, etc. »!
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Does “NBA” Belong in Chinese Dictionaries?

More than 100 Chinese scholars have signed a letter of complaint over the inclusion of English words in the new sixth edition of Contemporary Chinese Dictionary.
The scholars believe the inclusion of 239 English words in the dictionary, including NBA and the PM2.5 measurement for air pollution, violates regulations regarding standards for the Chinese language.
The words take up 15 pages in the dictionary, which was published by the Commercial Press this year, the Beijing Evening News reported on Aug 28.
Li Minsheng, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said at an academic symposium on Aug 27 that the dictionary plays an important role in setting the standard for the Chinese language.
Li said that if English words replace Chinese characters in the dictionary, it would damage the Chinese language.
I’m a big supporter of languages raping and pillaging. You know, dynamism and all that. English, of course, is an old pro at this sort of thing. A friend of mine, who teaches English Lit in the U.S., has this in his email signature:
English doesn’t borrow from other languages. English follows other languages down dark alleys, knocks them over and rummages through their pockets for loose grammar.
Indeed. So I’m cool with putting foreign words in Chinese dictionaries if they are now part of common usage. However, there must be standards. I have a problem, for example, with “PM 2.5.” Yes, a big topic of conversation, but the thing is, it isn’t a word. How can it be in the dictionary if it isn’t even a damn word?
Similarly, “NBA” isn’t a word either. It’s an acronym. Now, I’m touchy when it comes to acronyms, and I’ve had a long-running battle with young lawyers over the past decade or so who don’t think that it’s a big deal to use acronyms in professional writing. {Sigh} For blogs, fine. For formal stuff, no way, not until you’ve introduced what the acronym stands for to your reader.
Curious, I looked up “NBA” on and was disappointed to see it there. It included several definitions, including the National Basketball Association and National Boxing Association. But I think that proves my point. There are probably a lot of other “NBA”s out there that didn’t make the cut. How fair is that?

Read more:!
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Chine : des universitaires contre les sigles en anglais dans le dictionnaire

Les sigles et acronymes en anglais, de plus en plus présents dans la langue de tous les jours en Chine où ils remplacent des idéogrammes, devraient être exclus du principal dictionnaire du pays, ont estimé des universitaires chinois cités mercredi par la presse.

Des expressions comme "NBA" (principale ligue de basket-ball aux Etats-Unis), "WTO" (Organisation mondiale du commerce) ou "CPI" (indice des prix à la consommation) sont largement usitées en Chine, même si des traductions officielles existent avec des caractères chinois.

Plus de cent universitaires ont estimé, dans une lettre ouverte, que l'inclusion de tels sigles et acronymes dans le "Xiandai hanyu cidian" (dictionnaire du chinois moderne) "violait" les règles du chinois académique.

La dernière édition de cet ouvrage, un dictionnaire en un volume très populaire et respecté en Chine, contient 239 termes en lettres latines, contre seulement 39 dans l'édition de 1996, a rapporté le journal Global Times.

"Remplacer des caractères chinois par des lettres dans un tel dictionnaire porte les plus graves atteintes à la langue chinoise depuis un siècle", a dénoncé Li Mingsheng, un des signataires cité par le quotidien.!
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Scholars to ban NBA from Chinese dictionary - The Standard

Scholars to ban NBA from Chinese dictionary - The Standard...

A group of Chinese academics has said English-language abbreviations which have become part of everyday life in China should be struck from the country's top dictionary, AFP reports.
A letter signed by more than 100 scholars condemned the inclusion of terms including NBA (National Basketball Association) and WTO (World Trade Organization) in the latest edition of China's most authoritative dictionary, the Global Times daily reported Wednesday.
Acronyms and other abbreviations derived from English are widely used in China, where millions of basketball fans refer to their favourite league as the NBA, rather than Mei Zhi Lan, the official Chinese translation.
English abbreviations for international bodies such as the WTO are also widely used, while PM2.5, a measure of air pollution, has become a familiar term among urban residents, who are increasingly concerned about air quality.
The latest edition of the Contemporary Chinese Dictionary, the country's most authoritative linguistic reference book, included more than 239 terms containing latin letters, up from 39 in 1996, the Global Times reported.
The academics say in their letter that the introduction of English abbreviations threatens the Chinese language, and their presence in the dictionary violates Chinese laws governing language usage.
"Replacing Chinese characters with letters in such a dictionary... deals the most severe damage to the Chinese language in a century,'' Li Mingsheng, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the paper.
"If we don't make standards, more and more English expressions will become part of Chinese,'' Fu Zhenguo, one of the scholars behind the protest letter, told The Beijing News.
China's state broadcaster CCTV triggered a public outcry when it banned English language abbreviations in 2010.!
Bill Chen's comment, December 28, 2012 8:30 PM

Let languages grow freely - People's Daily Online

The sixth edition of the Contemporary Chinese Dictionary has attracted much media and public attentions as previous editions did.

According to media reports, the new edition of the authoritative Chinese language dictionary keeps up with the times, and contains many new buzzwords such as the indoorsman, house of "two limits", group-oriented leasing, Beijing floater, car pool, angry young man, flash marriage, gold digging, bananaman, kindergarchy, ant tribe, and moonlight clan.

More and more Chinese people are beginning to coin and spread new words, which are a reflection of the ever-evolving folk language.

However, it remains debatable whether these new words should be included in the Contemporary Chinese Dictionary hastily. Language standardization is conducive to effective communication, but must stand the test of time and stay "a reasonable distance" away from the times.!
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China quita la palabra 'gay' del diccionario

La indignación fue la reacción de los activistas homosexuales chinos cuando no lograron encontrar en la lista de definiciones de la palabra 'tongzhi' una de sus principales definiciones: gay.!
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Xinhua Dictionary Reflects Social Change - China Digital Times (CDT)

With over 400 million copies printed since its first edition was issued in 1953, The Xinhua Dictionary (新华字典, literally “New China Dictionary”) is mainland China’s authoritative lexicon and the world’s most popular reference work. China Daily reports on the 11th edition, released earlier this month, and how its contents have been modified to reflect society. While a surplus of newly-coined terms can now be found in its pages, many sensitive words have also disappeared, displaying the social and political spirit of of the times:

The latest edition, unveiled Monday after eight years of compilation, “unprecedentedly” increased its content by about one third, “highlighting social changes over the past decade,” he said.

“Nu” or “slave” is also added with a new meaning in words such as “Fang Nu”, or “house slave,” referring to people striving to earn money in order to buy an apartment at a time when housing prices soar. The case is the same with words such as “car slaves” and “credit-card slaves.”

“The inclusion of these various types of ‘slaves’ in the dictionary shows that these new disadvantaged social groups have garnered great attention,” Zhou said.

[...]The dictionary’s 10th edition, published eight years ago, already deleted a few of such terms that contradicted social norms and other pervasive concepts. “In this new edition, we’ve deleted all improper content,” Zhou said.

The 3,000 new words come from slang spoken on the streets of China, and from the collection of Internet terms that swells along with China’s ever-growing netizen population (which reportedly just hit 538 million). The Telegraph’s Malcolm Moore explains a few more of the newly added terms, and why some have recently disappeared:!
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La Chine double le montant de ses prêts à l’Afrique

La Chine a annoncé jeudi 19 juillet un doublement de ses crédits à l'Afrique, ce qui les porte à 20 milliards de dollars, pour les trois années à venir.


20 milliards de crédits à l'Afrique sur trois ans, c'est le double de ce que l'Afrique recevait jusque-là. Un geste attendu et une enveloppe qui reflète la montée en puissance des engagements chinois en Afrique. Ces chiffres en disent plus long qu’un discours. Depuis trois ans, la Chine est le premier partenaire commercial de l’Afrique avec un nouveau record atteint l’an dernier pour un volume d’échange de 166 milliards de dollars. La Chine a contribué à former 40 000 africains. 2 000 entreprises chinoises étaient installées sur le continent fin 2011 et 29 Instituts Confucius sont aujourd’hui présents dans une vingtaine de pays. Voilà le bilan.

Pour l’avenir, le chef de l’Etat chinois s’est engagé à envoyer 1500 personnels médicaux sur le continent et à attribuer des bourses à 18 000 étudiants. Ce partenariat est l’un des meilleurs exemples de réussites de la coopération sud-sud, s’est félicité pour sa part le secrétaire général des Nations unies Ban Ki-moon.!
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Changing Times Reflected In New Chinese Dictionary : NPR


From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Audie Cornish.

The new edition of the "Modern Chinese Dictionary" contains 3,000 new words. It's been seven years since the last edition, and changing times have meant a changing vocabulary for the world's largest nation.

SIEGEL: The government runs the publishing company, so this is the official reflection of what is being said in China. Here are some words that make it to the new edition for the first time.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Foreign language spoken)


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Foreign language spoken)

CORNISH: That means living on the big money or sugar daddy.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Foreign language spoken)

SIEGEL: This is a term that would be considered offensive by U.S. standards.

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Contemporary Chinese Dictionary takes in new hot phrases - People's Daily Online

Recently, the sixth edition of the Contemporary Chinese Dictionary was published by the Commercial Press. It has taken in more than 3,000 new phrases, including the "PM2.5" and "traffic restriction."

The director of the Lexicographical Society of China Jiang Lansheng said that the sixth edition of the Contemporary Chinese Dictionary contains 13,000 Chinese characters of various kinds, has taken in more than 3,000 new phrases and more than 400 new explanations, has got rid of some old phrases and old explanations of some phrases, and contains 69,000 items in total.

Jiang said that some new phrases of the new dictionary truly reflect the current social life. For example, new phrases coming from the West, such as the "Father's Day," "Thanksgiving Day" and "Valentine's Day," reflect the exchange between and integration of the Western and Eastern cultures. Such phrases as "working and living in a foreign country" and "Schengen Agreement" are reflections of the "Going Global" of many Chinese people and enterprises. Such phrases as "low carbon" and "emission reduction" reflect that the social construction of China is moving forward steadily and the public's sense of environment protection has improved. Such phrases as "Beijing drifter" and "moonlight clan" directly reflect some new social groups and their features. Such phrases as "finding a sugar daddy" and "bribery and corruption" reflect that the market economy is also having some negative influences on the society while promoting the development of the productivity in the period of the social transformation.!
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Chine : des mots d'Internet dans un nouveau lexique

Un dictionnaire chinois nouvellement révisé a été publié dimanche, et il reflète les grands changements linguistiques survenus au cours des sept dernières années.
Certains nouveaux mots fréquemment utilisés en ligne, notamment geili (super, génial), leiren (choquant), zhainan (homme d'intérieur) et zhainu (femme d'intérieur), ont été ajoutés à la sixième édition du « Dictionnaire du chinois contemporain », un dictionnaire de la langue chinoise faisant autorité de même qu'un ouvrage de référence sur le chinois standard moderne.
La nouvelle édition contient environ 69 000 entrées, dont des caractères, mots et expressions, des expressions idiomatiques et des idiomes. Plus de 3 000 mots et expressions sont de nouvelles entrées.!
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The Chinese-Swahili Dictionary Project | Danwei

Shen Yuning is a lexicographer working on a Chinese-Swahili dictionary. He is currently studying African languages and cultures at the University of Hamburg and lives in Tanzania. Completing a comprehensive dictionary can be a tedious task, but Shen sees it as “a small personal initiative for translating knowledge.” Below he answers questions from Danwei on his project:

Can you tell us your education history?

After completing high school education at Nanjing Foreign Languages School I enrolled for the BA Program “German language and literature” at the Sun Yat-Sen University. After I graduated in 2008, I joined University of Hamburg where I currently study my second BA degree in “African languages and Cultures”.

Where has your journey in Africa taken you, where have you been?

I have been in Kenya and Tanzania.

The Swahili language expands over which countries in Africa?

Swahili is the official language in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda and one of the national languages of DR Congo. Its dialect serves as the official language of Comoro Islands. Swahili is the most important vehicle language in East Africa. In Malawi, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, Zambia and Somalia we also can find more or less Swahili speakers. Swahili is also one of the working languages of AU.

When did you decide you wanted to take on the task of writing a Swahili-Chinese dictionary?

Read more:!
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Internet words in new lexicon |Society |

A newly revised Chinese dictionary was published on Sunday, reflecting large changes in the language over the past seven years.!
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Un séminaire de traduction sino-français de haut niveau s'est tenu à Paris-Le Quotidien du Peuple en ligne

Le 26 juin, à Paris, un séminaire de traduction sino-français de haut niveau s'est tenu à la Bibliothèque nationale de France. L'activité avait été organisée par la Fondation des sciences humaines et la Bibliothèque nationale de France. Elle était également parrainée par l'ambassade de Chine en France et le ministère de l'Éducation de la Chine.

Zhu Xiaoyu, directrice du secteur de l'éducation à l'ambassade de Chine, a dit : « Au début, je ne croyais pas que ce séminaire se tiendrait à la Bibliothèque nationale de France ; c'est vraiment un très bon signe, parce que le livre symbolise la connaissance. Des jeunes traducteurs et des traducteurs expérimentés peuvent en profiter pour se rencontrer et partager leurs expériences ».!
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The New York Times launches Chinese language site, finally - Forbes

The New York Times Co. said Wednesday that it plans to launch a Chinese-language edition of the Times, providing the Grey Lady a chance to compete for a tiny piece of the quickest-growing, and potentially most-profitable media markets available.!
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La Universidad de Granada organiza este sábado el único examen oficial del mundo en lengua china - Qué.es

Un total de 244 personas se han matriculado en el examen de nivel de Lengua China del Instituto Confucio de la Universidad de Granada, la única prueba oficial que existe en el mundo para certificar el conocimiento de este idioma y que tendrá lugar...!
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China: Publicarán nueva traducción de la Biblia - El Mundo - Mundo Cristiano -

Los idiomas cambian. Sólo piense en las diferencias entre la versión Reina-Valera de la Biblia (RV) y la Nueva Versión Internacional. Algunos tienen dificultades para entender la RV.

Somporn Sirikolkarn, quien sirve con Bíblica, asegura que los cristianos en China enfrentan dificultades similares: "La Biblia que la iglesia ha estado utilizando fue traducida en 1919. Pero debido a que el idioma ha ido cambiando, especialmente en los últimos 50 años, ha habido muchos cambios en el lenguaje. La cultura ha cambiado, por lo tanto, muchas palabras han quedado obsoletas".!
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Book Special: After 20 years of work, all of Dickens' books now in Chinese|Good Weekend Guide|

To mark the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Dickens, Zhejiang Gongshang University Press published the first complete works of Charles Dickens in Chinese on May 8.!
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科学网—The ZJU Corpus of Translational Chinese (ZCTC) - 戴光荣的博文

Here enclosed the introduction of the corpus--ZCTC--which can offer us some new light on the translation studies and investigating the lingu ...!
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