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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Creative Translation Blog | i-iter

Eugenia Loffredo and Manuela Perteghella, who both have connections to the university where I work (the University of East Anglia), have started a new blog on translation.This is how they describe it:...!
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Mary Sidney Herbert’s Inventive Translation of Psalm 52

It's hard to imagine a modern family as prominent in as many ways as Philip Sidney and his sister, Mary Sidney Herbert, Countess of Pembroke were.!
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Creativity Is Change | Business 2 Community

New thinking, original ideas, and artistic expression are the essence of creativity.

New thinking, original ideas, and artistic expression are the essence of creativity. The ways that others see the world makes us change how we think, comprehend, behave, communicate, and act. And while not all change is produced by creativity, creativity produces change.

Throughout its history, popular music has contributed to change. Today, musicians and artists provide a palate of new creative and technological platforms through which personal ideas and ideologies that can positively influence the entire world.

There are a handful of basic, yet vital principles required to yield positive impact through change—primarily the simplicity of the message, the clarity of the ways in which anyone can participate, and the setting and common understanding of clear and realistic goals. In other words, the classic rules behind any marketing initiative. Rarely supported by governments, musicians have applied such principles to many causes, whether political, social, or environmental, each with their own level of success.

In some cases, music does not raise awareness or support causes without the support of the authorities—it actively protests government actions. From the father of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti in 1970s Nigeria, to folk artist Billy Bragg’s protest songs targeting Margaret Thatcher’s crushing of the unions in 1980s Britain, musicians have been forceful in their views and inspired millions to act, even when in danger of their lives.

The most recent example is Pussy Riot, the all-g!
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Calenda - Création, traduction et réception : Autour de l’œuvre de la romancière libanaise Hoda Barakat

Journée d'étude


Publié le lundi 22 octobre 2012 par Elsa Zotian


Cette journée d’étude, organisée à l’INALCO par le Centre d’étude et de recherche sur les littératures et les oralités du monde (CERLOM, EA 4124) dans le cadre du cycle « Paroles de créateurs », se propose de porter un regard critique sur l’œuvre de la romancière libanaise Hoda Barakat, ainsi que sur sa réception en Occident et en Orient.

Responsable scientifique


14h-16h : I- Lectures critiques

Président de séance : Christophe Balaÿ

Ouverture de la rencontre, par Stéphane Sawas, INALCO, CERLOM
Lire aujourd’hui Hoda Barakat, par Kadhim Jihad Hassan, INALCO, CERLOM
Hoda Barakat, le chant des origines, par Catherine Simon, critique littéraire au journal Le Monde
Les imperceptibles mutations dans les romans de Hoda Barakat, par Saloua Ben Abda, critique littéraire et chercheur en littérature comparée
Barakat / Pirzad: deux femmes, deux terres brûlées, un regard sur les hommes au Moyen-Orient, par Christophe Balaÿ, INALCO, CERLOM
Lectures croisées : mise en voix bilingue de quelques pages de Hoda Barakat

16h-16h30 : Pause

16h30-18h : II- Création, traduction et réception : table ronde en présence de l’auteure

Président de séance : Kadhim Jihad Hassan

Évocation de la réception de son œuvre, par Hoda Barakat, romancière
Éditer Hoda Barakat en France, par Farouk Mardam Bey, directeur de collection, Sindbad/Actes Sud
Enjeux et défis de la traduction dans Le Laboureur des eaux de Hoda Barakat : temporalité et narrateur homodiégétique, par Frédéric Lagrange, Université Paris-Sorbonne!
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Creative Thinking: Wasted ‘seeds’ | ArabNews

Imagine you want to plant some flowers in your garden. You collect the seeds and then go out and sow them. But you are distracted, you are not focusing, therefore only a few fall on the proper soil. Some end up in a thorny bush, others too near the pavement, a few fall too far. When, after some time, you go and check on the progress, what do you expect to find? Do you think that “all” the seeds have turned into flowers? Well, no, they haven’t. Not “all” of them: The ones near the pavement at first sprouted but then they dried out for lack of strong roots. The seeds that had fallen in the bush were chocked by the thorns and those thrown too far had been eaten by the birds. Only the few that had fallen on the suitable soil had bloomed into beautiful flowers.
This metaphor should make you think about the dangers hidden in the “modern” way our society is proceeding. A parent or a teacher speaks to the youngsters and tries to warn them about the many dangers they are going to face or are already facing: Drugs, the mirage of easy money, the chimera of becoming rich and famous, extreme “fun,” daring experiences… All things our youths see and hear about all the time through the images they are presented with by the TV, movies, magazines, the Internet. They are mainly nourished with pictures of excessive (often ill-earned) wealth, wild entertainment, violent actions in order to reach a goal, etc. Although the “bad guy” seems to be usually punished at the end, what remains engraved in the young mind is not the arrest and conviction or the repentance of the culprit, but rather the vision of luxurious places, of money easily obtained, of an artificial paradise that could never exist in reality. Young people sometime listen to parents and teachers, but only because they cannot avoid it. How many do actually understand how real the danger is? Some do but, unfortunately, many do not.
There are too many things ready to attract their attention and charm their minds: Fashions, opinions, current trends, reality shows, music videos, ads… It is a fascinating world gaping through luring images that capture the imagination, that shout loudly, that encourage to seek, to take, to try, to prevaricate, to attack in order to obtain what one wants. Aggressiveness and competition seem to have become the symbols of success. Those who stay behind are “losers.” This is the new creed. If you don’t show how strong and ruthless you are and reach your goal, i.e. grasp, even by force, what you believe to be your right, you fall into the mass of common, insignificant individuals who have no weight whatsoever in modern society. What is important is “to win,” to show that you are stronger and more powerful than others.!
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Sustainable Nostalgia and the Power of Creative Thinking

Sustainable Nostalgia and the Power of Creative Thinking
October 18, 2012 By Guest Blogger Leave a Comment
Sustainability isn’t a brand spanking new issue. Even ancient civilizations had to face the problem of running out of resources and having to problem-solve or face certain collapse. Some lessons are hard to swallow even thousands of years later. Somehow, post industrial revolution, the idea of sustainability didn’t really earn a name for itself until the 50’s, with the new Air Pollution Control Act of 1955, and then during the 60’s and 70’s, when environmentalism really picked up as a movement. Before then people weren’t very aware of how they were damaging the ecosystem, only aware of the nuisance that fuel production created with it’s foul smells and acrid smoke. In today’s world, people still need to see the statistics and graphs – people are always looking for veritable proof to confirm that something is really wrong – it’s heavy material to deal with, and with the upcoming elections and environmental issues being used as political tools, it’s hard to know what is truth and what is simply manipulation.
Let’s take a breather for a moment and look at something a little easier to digest.
What about the things that inspired our imagination to make a difference? I want to take the time to look back and think about some of the movies, television shows and books that challenged us to confront and picture the world fighting to protect it’s resources and the world depleted, both things that seem fantastically abstract when applying it to our own lifetime, but both totally within the realm of possibility.!
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St. Lawrence University: Human Resources

Viebranz Visiting Professor of Creative Writing

Fiction or creative non-fiction writers with significant publications and teaching experience are invited to apply for the position of Viebranz Visiting Professor of Creative Writing for the academic year 2013-2014. Publications and teaching experience in a second genre would be preferable. The individual hired will teach two genre-specific courses each semester, at the beginning and advanced level, and be an active participant in the English Department. Departmental activities will include giving a reading as part of the St. Lawrence University Writers Series; serving as a reader on a senior honors thesis, and possibly directing a senior independent project; and leading occasional workshops for senior writing majors, or giving a craft talk on writing. Evidence will be sought of a proven record of innovative pedagogy in creative writing and an enthusiasm for teaching; minimum two years of undergraduate teaching experience.

M.F.A. or Ph.D. in creative writing, with at least two books and significant additional publications, are required. We encourage applications from candidates who bring diverse cultural, ethnic, and national perspectives to bear on their writing and teaching. The successful candidate will join a department with a curricular commitment to teaching the mutuality of the study of literature and the practice of creative expression. Salary commensurate with experience. A fully-furnished house is provided as part of the compensation package.

Please send a detailed letter of application, C/V emphasizing publications and relevant teaching experience, e-mail address, sample syllabi and writing exercises, to Dr. Sidney L. Sondergard, Viebranz Search Committee, Department of English, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617. Review of applications will begin on October 31, 2012. Finalists will be asked to submit a writing sample and three letters of recommendation attesting to teaching experience.

Located in Canton, N.Y., St. Lawrence University is a coeducational, private, independent liberal arts institution of about 2,300 students. The educational opportunities at St. Lawrence inspire students and prepare them to be critical and creative thinkers, to find a compass for their lives and careers, and to pursue knowledge and understanding for the benefit of themselves, humanity and the planet. Through its focus on active engagement with ideas in and beyond the classroom, a St. Lawrence education leads students to make connections that transform lives and communities, from the local to the global. For additional information about St. Lawrence, please visit SLU’s homepage at

SLU is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer.!
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Literary Translation as Creative Practice

Literary Translation as Creative Practice
Otis College of Art and Design's MFA Writing Program promotes translation as literary art.

Otis Books | Seismicity Editions
Translation is a great way to read a literary text because it forces you to exhaust the complexities of meaning through deep reading.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) October 15, 2012

“Translation is a great way to read a literary text because it forces you to exhaust the complexities of meaning through deep reading,” says Paul Vangelisti, author of over twenty books of poetry, NEA Translation and Poetry Fellow, and Chair of Otis College of Art and Design’s MFA in Writing. The College has developed a special translation track in response to the increasing need for access to world literary traditions.
Many writers regard the practice of translation as an essential component of their craft, whether to study the work of an author they admire, to make that work available to readers in another language, or simply to inform and invigorate their own writing.
Otis graduate students consider the craft of literary translation both in the strict sense of the term, and as an independent strategy for writing. They examine three distinct types of translation: interlingual, i.e. from one language to another, intratextual, i.e. translation within a given language, and intersemiotic or intermedia translation. Students who choose the translation track will produce a book-length translation of literary prose or poetry as their thesis project.
Otis is uniquely positioned to offer a translation emphasis based on its faculty’s achievements in the field, its curricular focus on international writing, and its commitment to publishing works in translation. Graduate faculty members Guy Bennett, Jen Hofer, and Paul Vangelisti have published numerous works of literary translation, receiving major awards from PEN American Center, the Academy of American Poets, and PEN Center USA.
As the only full-residency MFA writing program in the city of Los Angeles, Otis makes the most of its location in a diverse, complex, multilingual city that has inspired writers ranging from Thomas Pynchon to Octavio Paz, Chester Himes to Thomas Mann. The program is enriched by the eclectic literary resources of L.A. -- its book festivals, reading series, galleries and museums, small presses, legendary writers’ haunts, and independent bookstores.
Biweekly literary events at Otis bring in writers, translators, and editors from around the world to discuss their work with students. Other graduate and undergraduate programs in Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Public Practice, Digital Media, Illustration, and Book Arts, offer the possibility for interdisciplinary projects and artistic collaboration.
A hallmark of Otis’ Graduate Writing Program is the press, Otis Books | Seismicity Editions. Established in 2003 as an alternative to both corporate and small press publishing, Otis Books is committed to publishing innovative works of contemporary fiction, poetry, essays, and creative non-fiction in high quality, elegantly designed editions. The press publishes four books annually, at least one of which is a work in translation. The program also publishes OR, a free-of-charge literary tabloid featuring an international array of renowned poets, prose writers, and visual artists.!
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How Bosses Accidentally Make You Less Creative

While it seems unlikely we can 'control' when we have an insight, it's now very clear that we can dramatically increase the likelihood that an insight emerges. The trouble is, we have to get used to letting our non-conscious brains do the work.!
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Transcreation: When Translation isn’t Enough | Business 2 Community

Transcreation: When Translation isn’t Enough

By Talha Fazlani, Published October 9, 2012
8 Join the discussion!

Whats Transcreation?

The term ‘transcreation’, a combination of translation and re-creation, isn’t yet a mainstream term but its significance is increasing at a fast pace owing to globalization. The term transcreation means recreating a text for a target audience in a way that is appropriate and relevant for them. It follows the same style and structure as the original text but the target text is created to reflect the emotion, feeling or sentiment of the original copy in a natural linguistic way. Transcreation requires a lot of creativity and linguists performing this task should have excellent knowledge of both the source and target language to be effective in their work.
Why use Transcreation?

Transcreation is primarily used for marketing and advertising copies. The on-going focus on targeting international consumer bases by companies has resulted in increased demand for this service. Companies are competing with local and international rivals and the added channels of marketing like online social networks have driven the need for succinct and engaging communication. Transcreation gives a company competitive edge by helping them target their customers more effectively.

Translation is not always appropriate especially when you consider the source content which is often in English. The source content is written for a specific audience and a literal translation, which is often the case for many translation projects, results in ineffective copy being created for the target audience. Trancreation allows effective rendering of content and this is very useful for certain industries, e.g. life sciences where information on medication dosage has to be concise and direct. This service allows life sciences form to ensure that the correct instructions are created that meet local regulatory requirements and practices.

Read more at!
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Double click: Speak the lingo

When George Bernard Shaw wrote ‘Pygmalion’, it was an attempt on his part to scorn class distinction and disparity prevalent in England at the time. An Irishman himself, he used the English language — and its many dialects which determine the speaker's status — as a tool to show his audience, society’s shallow standards of judging a person.

Shaw was fighting Britain’s class privileges which separated the feudal, landed gentry with the working classes and where speaking the ‘King’s English’ reflected superior lineage. Post colonial generations ended up adopting that same legacy of the British who believed that the rich notes of Urdu were heathenish compared to the simplistic sounds of English with its mere 26-letter alphabet.

And so it is that in Pakistan and India particularly, being ‘Urdu medium’ as opposed to ‘English medium’ comes with an ugly social stigma.
Fluency in English represents a higher status, a claim to good education and by default leads to the general assumption that the English spoken person would for some reason naturally possess a better intellect. Nearly all post-colonial nations still have English as the official language and the urban elite lives in a misguided sense of superiority because of their fluency in their master’s tongue.

A new Indian ‘Minglish’ movie called English Vinglish, addresses this rather thorny issue in a smart manner. It is the story of an Indian housewife, Shashi, with a successful corporate professional as a husband, who patronises her exceptional cooking and other housewifely skills. Her poor mastery of the English language turns into a critical issue with her family.!
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Creative Thinking: The ‘Faust’ in you | ArabNews

I was recently re-reading some notes about the great German writer Goethe’s (1749-1832) masterpiece “Faust.” The old, well-known folk tale narrates of Dr. Faust having made a pact with the Devil in order to gain universal knowledge and magical powers. As a consequence, he lost his soul. Goethe’s character is totally different. His Faust represents the virtue of human aspiration and is therefore highly inspiring, in spite of his many downfalls. The story is simple, although it has numberless ramifications. Faust makes a bet with Mephistopheles (the Devil) stating that the latter will not be able to make any moment so pleasurable that Faust will wish for Time to stop. And, fortunately, he wins the bet.
Faust can be viewed as a symbol of all mankind because he embodies the best and the worst in man. He has all the vices and virtues conceivable, on a grand scale. He is constantly striving to reach beyond the limits of the physical world, constantly struggling to attain an always greater understanding and fulfillment. The most important thing here is that he never gives up. His life is a series of ups and downs, like a jagged line, it is formed by rises and falls, like every man’s, like mine and yours. But he persists.
Mephistopheles, on the other hand, represents the spirit of “denial,” the negative side of creation. He could be seen as the impulse of the intellect or even, on the opposite side, the sheer passion without the wise guidance from feelings, which craves the acquisition of a coveted goal at all costs, no matter what. This reminds me of the famous saying “The aim justifies the means” (from “The Prince,” by Italian Renaissance diplomat and philosopher Niccolo’ Machiavelli (1469-1527).
Faust makes many mistakes throughout his life but, actually, he never disobeys God’s commands. Therefore he — in the end — deserves God’s forgiveness. He is worth of trust, that is why God allows him to be prey of temptation. How much or — better — what part of Faust is within yourself?
When you feel disappointed or dissatisfied, you tend to see your life less than gratifying, less than successful. You surrender to upset or even depression, you complain and feel unfairly treated by Destiny. It should not be so. When you find yourself in such a situation, the best “strategy” would be to accept and try to understand it. All negative circumstances are brought about by wrong-thinking and wrong-doing on somebody’s part. It could be “others,” but it could also be “you.” As far as “your” life is concerned, it most probably is “you.”!
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Conquer your challenges with creativity

[...] the CEOs identified creativity as the most important skill. While schools have always been good at teaching critical thinking — an important and aligned skill — creative thinking is most often absent from the curriculum.!
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Can You Be Unconsciously Creative?

Deliberate conscious thought involves both divergent and convergent processes. You are reminded of things you know about that might help you to solve the problem, and then you evaluate those ideas and focus on the ones you like.!
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Asia Writes: Asia Expressions Workshop: Translating Literary Works (Singapore)

Deadline: 1 - 2 October 2012

The best way to start translating is to simply start translating. Participants will have the chance to translate short passages immediately, rather than get bogged down with translation studies theory, and the results will serve as a springboard to discuss the finer points of translation. How do you capture the voice and register of the original work? What cultural items require special attention? All this and more will be addressed over the course of the workshop.

Pick one of the three Translation Workshops:
Chinese to English by Martin Merz & Jane Weizhen Pan
Malay to English by Haslina Haroon
Tamil to English by A.R. Venkatachal Apathy
Workshop Outline:
Reading your readership
Translating culture
Examining the text (style, voice etc)
Getting to know the author and his work
Identifying translation pitfalls
Current trends in writing in both source and target languages
Reviewing editor’s suggestions
Link: registration


For queries:

We spend 16 hours daily to find, edit, and format writing opportunities/ announcements for our readers. All we ask is that you provide a backlink/ credit our site as your source:!
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Translation as Commentary (or, Commentary as Translation?) — The League of Ordinary Gentlemen

It is September, which means—inevitably—that I find myself thinking about Paul Celan’s “Todesfugue,” this time (the first time) as a teacher. It is hardly easy, in subject matter or in style—it is credited for being the target of Adorno’s, “Poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric,” and the exception that made him back away, ever so slightly, from this rule. Discussion inevitably turns toward the fact that Celan writes his poetry in German, the language of the Nazis. What sticks in my mind, however, is the curious act of reading his German in English translation.

John Felstiner—whose translation is the only one that “feels” right to me—has also written an essay on the process of bringing the poem into English, “Translating Paul Celan’s ‘Todesfugue’: Rhythm and Repetition as Metaphor.” (Despite the academic title and its home in an academic text, it’s a fascinating piece worth reading for anyone interested in questions of translation.) The essay itself is sometimes described as a commentary to Felstiner’s translation, but what has become clearer to me is that Felstiner approaches the translation itself as, perhaps unconsciously, a kind of commentary.!
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Is technology sapping children’s creativity?

Is technology sapping children’s creativity?
By Valerie Strauss
The technology revolution has sparked a new debate about just how much parents should allow their young children to play with iPads, iPhones and other devices. Here’s a smart look at the issue by early childhood development expert Nancy Carlsson-Paige, a professor emerita of education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Ma., when she won the Embracing the Legacy Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps for work over several decades on behalf of children and families. Carlsson-Paige is author of “ Taking Back Childhood” and the mother of two artist sons, Matt and Kyle Damon.

By Nancy Carlsson-Paige

My 4-year-old grandson Jake who lives in Guatemala recently called my husband in his office on Skype. No one seems to know how Jake managed to get onto the computer and make the call. And, as I sat talking to a friend, her 3-year old somehow found her iPhone and found his way to a video of Cat in the Hat.!
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Mario Pricken Creative Techniques Workshop

This intensive two-day workshop with best-seller author and creative guru, Mario Pricken, took place in Cape Town at the end of August 2012. During the workshop, we saw the synergy of an eclectic group of 20 Creatives from all four corners of the globe.

It was a once-in-a-life time opportunity to meet the 'Godfather of Advertising' himself and participants now better understand the secret behind his highly successful career.

From identifying innovative creative thinking techniques, to understanding how pre-conditioned socioeconomic and political structures shape and limit our thought processes, the workshop introduced a new culture of creative thinking.

This culture aims to remodel, rethink and redesign the creative industry as we know it today. Mario's techniques are best used from the second one receives a brief until the start of execution.!
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Creative Thinking Techniques for an Inventor

A guest post by Joseph Benn from Ideas Mapping and author of Brilliant Business Ideas I have a fascination with inventors having helped many develop their...!
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Creativity Components

Creativity is comprised of four factors. Just remember this equation: Creativity = Surprise + Originality + Beauty + Utility.

Today I want to talk about the components of creativity or the underlying factors of the creative process. One way to approach the problem is by looking at how we measure or evaluate a creative product.

Creativity is sometimes broken up into divergent thinking and convergent thinking; though I argue that essentially same processes are involved in both.

Divergent thinking is measured using Torrance test of creative thinking (TTCT). TTCT consists of both verbal and figural parts. Divergent thinking is also measured by Guilford’s Alternate uses task in which one has to come up with as many uses as possible for a common household items (like brick).

These creativity test results are scored keeping in mind a number of different creativity criteria. The most common (common to all of the above) criteria are:

1. Flexibility: This captures the ability to cross boundaries and make remote associations. This is measured by number of different categories of ideas generated.

2. Originality: This measures how statistically different or novel the ideas are compared to a comparison group. This is measured as number of novel ideas generated.

3. Fluency: This captures the ability to come up with many diverse ideas quickly. This is measured by the total number of ideas generated.

4. Elaboration: This measures the amount of detail associated with the idea. Elaboration has more to do with focussing on each solution/idea and developing it further.

Convergent thinking is measured by tests like remote associations test or insight problems. These problems are solved when you apply one of the methods below:

1. Make unique association between parts of the problem. This looks again similar to flexibility or how fluid is your categorisation schema enabling you to think out of the box and!
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Think Creatively, Think Sideways | – Everything New Jersey

Have you ever wondered where novelists, actors or writers find inspiration for their work?

Creativity is not a predetermined way of looking at the world—you can get inspired by almost anything, anywhere, anytime. All you have to do is be receptive to inspiration.

Some people inherit a highly developed sense of creativity or come to it naturally because they were raised in a creative environment. But most of us need some form of inspiration if we want to look at the world with a different perspective.

Whatever you call it–creativity, thinking outside the box or thinking sideways, creative thinking is all about looking at the world with a different twist, in a slightly different way than you usually do.

The good news is that inspiration is all around us.

Nurturing creativity

Creativity can be used in many endeavors. In World War II it was used to save lives.

J.P. Guilford, a psychologist and father of modern creativity, came up with a game plan to test the creative thinking of bomber pilots in the U.S. Air Force in World War II. He designed a personality test to select the most creative pilots who were most likely to survive being shot down by using their creativity .

His question, “What would you do with a brick?” helped weed out pilots who weren’t good at thinking sideways or differently in dire circumstances. Try it yourself. Can you come up with 50 uses for a brick in 15 minutes or less?

Most of us fine-tune our creative side when we are exposed to new things around us. All of us are influenced by our experiences–whether they are theatrical productions, symphonies, films, TV or travel.

Look for something new to explore or learn. Then hold on to those experiences and use them to inspire you.

How did you feel when you listened to a magnificent choir or attended a concert in a park on a summer evening? Unleash those feelings to inspire your creative juices.

A mysterious process

Creativity is a complex neurological process. It’s not as easy to quantify. There’s no such thing as a light bulb over your head announcing a good idea.

But scientists have found that they can “see ideas” with a brain scanner. A few seconds before a person gets an idea, the area of the brain called the superior anterior temporal lights up.

No one path inspires creativity, but scientists have found that different parts of the creative process require different types of creative thinking. They have also learned that when we are resting, the superior anterior temporal (behind the ear) tries to send us messages of inspiration.

Albert Einstein may have summed up long naps and walks on the beach best when he said, “Creativity is the residue of wasted time.”

Read more:
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The Farafina Creative Writing Workshop

Guest Post by Yewande Omotoso
If someone told me when I was five or fifteen that at thirty-two I would sit in an air-conditioned room in Lagos, on Victoria Island, with a woman named Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and twenty other writers and I would sit for nine days and we would all talk about writing, our own writing and the writing of others, that there would grow a soft place inside me for all the participants and organisers of this strange meeting, that the meeting would come to an end but actually that things like this never end. If someone had tried to convince me of this it would all have sounded rather unlikely. I guess when I was five Chimamanda wasn’t yet Chimamanda the acclaimed author and Farafina did not have a workshop in its name; there was no Farafina, not yet.
Today I am grateful to have my own memories of what it was like to participate in the 2012 Farafina Creative Writer’s Workshop. And I struggle to write about it without using words like joy, profound, indelible. What struck me about the workshop and the manner in which Chimamanda led it was the intimacy she managed to create with us twenty-one strangers. The workshop days, eight-hour sessions, happened with plenty of humour, lengthy exchanges on the politics of writing, ethics, and what exactly is feminism. We were often asked to write true stories from our life experiences and then read them out to the class. In discussing our histories, our cultures, our prejudices and stereotypes there was sometimes offence taken. This brought with it many apologies, working through misunderstandings and always a burgeoning friendship.
There had been nine hundred applications to the workshop. Chimamanda took pains to explain how the selections were made, no one’s cousin made it through and there was no pandering to calls from big ogas who wanted their sons and daughters to be accepted.!
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The Unlimited Novelty Of Language?

What are people doing when they're speaking a language?

According to Tufts University linguist Ray Jackendoff, writing in his new book:

"They're making complex sounds that express their thoughts. Words are part of the system in people's heads that they use to build messages."

Jackendoff is quick to add:

"Speakers are constantly expressing all sorts of new thoughts by making new sounds."

He gives some examples of things his wife and daughter have said, such as "I'm all Olympic'd out," and "This is the kind of house that people sell their big houses in Belmont and downsize to." These are sentences they made up on the spot. Neither they nor (probably) you or I had ever heard them before or had ever thought those thoughts. Yet they were produced spontaneously, and you can understand them effortlessly.

Jackendoff's point — this is not original to him — is that our grip on language gives us unlimited expressive power.

This fact of linguistic creativity plays a pivotal role in an argument that, in Jackendoff's words, "serves as the foundational premise of modern linguistics." (He goes on to note that the argument is Chomsky's and that he's made it in myriad publications.) The argument in question goes roughly like this: the only way to explain our open-ended ability to cope with linguistic novelty is to suppose that "in our heads" there is a system of rules that governs the combination and recombination of words into well-formed sentences. To know a language is to have a "mental grammar."

There is something ironic in the fact that Jackendoff explains linguistic creativity by repeating what Chomsky and others have written elsewhere in myriad publications.

But is it even true? It is striking that Jackendoff doesn't offer anything more in defense of the claim about unlimited novelty than I have repeated here. Is this such a straight forward matter? Is it just self-evident that the examples of Jackendoff's wife and daughter demonstrate the existence of the linguistic creativity that plays such an important role in laying the foundations of linguistic theory?!
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Creativity Predicts a Longer Life: Scientific American

Researchers have long been studying the connection between health and the five major personality traits: agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism, openness and conscientiousness. A large body of research links neuroticism with poorer health and conscientiousness with superior health. Now openness, which measures cognitive flexibility and the willingness to entertain novel ideas, has emerged as a lifelong protective factor. The linchpin seems to be the creativity associated with the personality trait—creative thinking reduces stress and keeps the brain healthy.

A study published in the June issue of the Journal of Aging and Health found that higher openness predicted longer life, and other studies this year have linked that trait with lower metabolic risk, higher self-rated health and more appropriate stress response.

The June study sought to determine whether specific aspects of openness better predicted survival rates than overall openness, using data on more than 1,000 older men collected between 1990 and 2008. The researchers found that only creativity—not intelligence or overall openness—decreased mortality risk. One possible reason creativity is protective of health is because it draws on a variety of neural networks within the brain, says study author Nicholas Turiano, now at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “Individuals high in creativity maintain the integrity of their neural networks even into old age,” Turiano says—a notion supported by a January study from Yale University that correlated openness with the robustness of study subjects' white matter, which supports connections between neurons in different parts of the brain.

Because the brain is the command center for all bodily functions, exercising it helps all systems to continue running smoothly. “Keeping the brain healthy may be one of the most important aspects of aging successfully—a fact shown by creative persons living longer in our study,” Turiano says.!
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Creative Thinking for Transformational Problem SolvingThe Cogent Executive

Creative Thinking for Transformational Problem Solving
Posted on September 4, 2012 by E. Ann Hollier, Ph.D.
In an earlier article I talked about Strategic Intuition, the source of truly transformational business solutions.

There are four components to this type of transformational problem solving:

Expert Knowledge – often of seemingly disparate fields of expertise.
An Open Mind – willingness to set aside preconceived assumptions to play with possibilities.
The Aha! Moment – also known as the coup d’oeil, French for ”glance of the eye,” when the stroke of insight occurs. Both Napoleon and Patton, widely known as brilliant military strategists, were well known for such intuitions.
Resolve – to carry forward an untested solution in the face of uncertainties. Usually the accuracy of the coup d’oeil seems obvious only after the fact.
That’s all fine and well but how do I actually do this?, you may be thinking. You don’t “decide” to have an Aha! Moment.

Or do you?!
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