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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Speaking in tongues: Language and personality

We respond to others based on our dominant language, but when their dominant language is not congruent with ours, our understanding may not be congruent with what they intend.

Nadine Shaanta Murshid
know some words for war, all of them sharp,

But the sharpest one is jung— beyond English!

— “Beyond English”, Agha Shahid Ali

My husband writes. He writes poetry, sometimes. In English. But, he draws from several lexicons to articulate his thoughts: English, Bengali, Urdu, Hindi. In his first iteration, he uses words that most closely depict his thoughts. But those words are not always in English. For example, waqt. Urdu. And then begins the struggle to find a replacement for that word in English. It may translate into “time” but it's not really time that he means, he means it as that exact solemn moment. In that moment, he has gone from embodying one personality to another.

We are different people in different languages.

This (controversial) Sapir-Whorf idea (that was dismissed after first conceptualised by the duo in the 1930s) is in line with recent research by Osyessman and Lee that has shown that language informs values, self-concept, and cognitive ability. Others, such as Hull (1990, 1996), have found that asking the same question in different languages yield different answers from the same person quite consistently. This indicates that cross-language differences in personality traits are perhaps real.

If that's the case, there are huge implications for peoples' construction of reality.

To make sense of that idea, let's pull back to think about how each language provides different sets of information, even when the topic that is being spoken about is the same. For example, in Bangla when we speak about an uncle you know exactly what type of an uncle we're talking about without having to use additional descriptors. Similarly, when “organising time” we do so based on which language we write in. In English, time will invariably move from left to right, the direction in which we write that language, in Arabic it will be the other way round, indicating that spatial orientation is specific to language.

In a recent talk on campus, my linguist colleague, Eunhun Lee, spoke of the East-West divide in “seeing” things. Apparently, in the East, when looking at a picture of a fish in an aquarium, the first thing that people notice is the environment, and in the West, it is the object: the fish. I'm not a linguist but following the idea that spatial orientation is associated with language, I'm assuming that the structure of the language has something to do with what we see first.

What appears to be in line with Lee's observation is research from Lera Boroditsky, who shows that study participants who spoke English, Japanese, and Finnish were all equally likely to report events from an “agent” or “person” perspective until the event was an accident and the agent wasn't responsible for the act. Respondents who spoke Japanese and Finnish were less likely to identify the agent as an actor in accidents while English speakers were. This doesn't mean English speakers are more likely to have more memory power to recall who the actors are, they just construe events differently, i.e. from the standpoint of the individuals concerned in an event, while the Japanese and Finnish speakers do so based on context.

So what does that mean when we operate in two or more languages?

One answer is that, it would depend on which language we are speaking in.

In terms of “seeing” things, perhaps bilingual speakers of an Eastern and a Western language are more likely to see the object and the environment together.

Or, more likely, it would depend on which culture they're operating in. Hull had shown how individuals conform to cultural norms of the operating language, which then brings about the change in personality when the different languages are spoken. But, I would argue that it's not merely language that changes who we are, it's also the location in which we speak and the people that we are speaking to.

Specifically, because as bilingual persons we not only speak to others in single languages but in mixed-languages (with other bilingual persons), we can make the argument that there is a third personality that we embody, in addition to the two based on the two languages that we operate in.

That raises the question: is that third version of ourselves the most true and authentic? I don't know, but my sense is that in our mixed-up sentences we draw from a larger lexicon, we are able to use the exact word that reflect our thoughts and emotions, and we are able to draw upon a larger body of history with which we can explain more lucidly what we believe in, what we feel.

But it's probably not often that we're being “both” and therefore a “third” version of ourselves.

This is because it is possible that even when mixing up the languages, personality depends on what language we are speaking in, in our heads. For example, sometimes I speak in English but I'm really speaking in Bangla, particularly when speaking to other Bangla speakers who also speak in English, which is indicated through my accent and sporadic use of Bangla words even in a sentence constructed in English. In that case, I would be the version of myself that operates in Bangla, even when using both languages. In other words, that may not necessarily mean that I have a third version of who I am.

But, certainly, our ability and proficiency to operate in a particular language is central to the corresponding personality. If, for example, I am adept at speaking in Bangla more than in English, if I write better in Bangla than I do in English, if I have a wider range in terms of vocabulary in Bangla than in English, then I am more likely to display my Bangla personality more consistently.

What does this mean in real life? 1) Sometimes, these personalities may collide. 2) We respond to others based on our dominant language, but when their dominant language is not congruent with ours, our understanding may not be congruent with what they intend. For example: apologies. When apologised to in Bangla, I am never quite sure whether it is genuine. There's something about “I'm really sorry” that resonates. There is no corresponding apology in Bangla that I can internalise and accept as an apology. 3) Because in the world of bilinguals, how we see the world changes depending on which language we're speaking, so does our implicit bias, research shows, which means, who we like and dislike may depend on which language we're operating in!

And that means: we all need to learn another language, immerse in other cultures, and expand our horizons, so that we can identify our implicit biases as we straddle our different personalities.

Only then can we learn to have empathy for other peoples. Only then will the war on peace come to an end.

The writer is Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, University at Buffalo.!
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Iranian Journal of Society, Culture & Language

Iranian Journal of Society, Culture & Language (IJSCL) is a fully peer-reviewed international journal that publishes original research and review articles on the relationship between society, culture, and language. IJSCLfavors articles which have a sound theoretical base with visible practical applications that can be used by specialists in anthropology, sociology, linguistics, education, intercultural studies, and policy making. Authors from all languages and cultures are invited to submit their research and review articles to the IJSCL journal.!
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El Programa de Extensión Universitaria de la UJI elaborará un diccionario crítico de la Cultura ::

El Programa de Extensión Universitaria de la UJI elaborará un diccionario crítico de la Cultura ::!
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Language not a necessity

WHAT is the culture that Welsh language enthusiasts are so anxious to preserve? Culture is the appreciation and understanding of literature, art and music. Everybody in Wales appreciates and...!
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Polyglot teacher and author, 90, fills retirement in Midvalley by writing - News - The Times-Tribune

ESSUP - When Paulette Maggiolo moved to America from France 65 years ago, she brought her languages with her. All five of them.

After she married an American officer she had met during World War II, she built her life in the United States teaching the languages - French, English, Spanish, Italian and German - in public and private schools.

Now 90, she is spending her retirement writing novels and nonfiction books in her native and adopted tongues.

Most of her works reflect parts of her life: "The Guilty Teacher" is about an educator dealing with the prevalence of drugs in schools; "No Such Word" traces the relationships of a war bride brought to the U.S. She has written books about cooking, grammar, graduation parties and immigrants. Now she is working on a book of conversations "between two old women," inspired by her talks with her sister in France.!
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Torn between two cultures

I’m guessing that most people in the translation industry are used to this question: “Which do you like better…(insert the name of your native country) or (insert the name of your “adopted” country/ies)??” I often get asked “Which do you like better, the U.S. or Europe?” It’s not an easy question to answer, but having just spent the summer in Europe, I have a few thoughts. Mostly, I think that feeling torn between two cultures is a real joy in life: two choices of location, language, identity, you name it. But it has its complications too! Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments!

In general, I am really happy in the US and in Europe, for different reasons. In the US, I love the “anyone can do it” spirit, the wide open spaces (at least where I live in Colorado!), the multiculturalism, the comparative lack of class-consciousness and the pervasive culture of hard work and optimism. In Europe, I love the slower pace of life, the sense of history, the value placed on arts and culture, and the fact that in less time than it takes to drive across Colorado, you can take the train from Geneva to Paris. Here are a few specifics that spring to mind.

When I’m in Europe, I miss:

Let’s start with an easy one: ice cubes. In Switzerland at least, there seems to be a national collective agreement that iced drinks are bad for one’s digestion, even if, or maybe especially if, it’s incredibly hot outside.
Small talk. I know this is classically American and kind of superficial, but I like a little idle chatter. It’s no coincidence that French doesn’t have a great expression for “How’s it going?” or the equivalent, and I kind of miss that. Particularly in Switzerland, it’s considered very invasive and inappropriate to strike up a conversation with a stranger, whereas in Colorado, it’s almost considered rude *not* to make some kind of conversation with someone next to you on a bus, in a line, etc.
The non-smoking culture. The smoking situation in Europe has really improved since I first lived in France 20 years ago, but it’s still very different from the US. In general I think of Switzerland as being very health-conscious, but people smoke in lots of places that would be completely taboo in the US. For example when I was on a crowded platform in the Geneva train station (waiting for the TGV to Paris!), the person next to me lit up a cigarette and no one seemed to notice, much less say anything. We also saw people smoking in the non-smoking sections of cafes in Austria without being chastised by the staff. Compared to the almost nonexistent population of smokers here in Boulder, the smoking rate in Europe is very shocking.
American opening hours. I know, this is another lazy American thing, but it’s really hard to get into the mindset of planning the day around when the grocery store is open. In Switzerland, basically everything besides restaurants closes at 5 (including “essential” businesses like pharmacies and supermarkets) and in some of the parts of Italy we visited, the mid-day break lasted from noon to 4 PM with stores being open from about 8-12 and 4-7. Even in our city of 100,000 people in the US, there are at least three supermarkets that are open 24 hours a day. Not that I generally go grocery shopping at 3 in the morning, but having things open past 5 is very nice.!
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Why India does not have a vibrant strategic culture - The Economic Times

We must develop a strategic culture in this country.

Manmohan Singh bemoans its absence. In the halcyon days of his first term, Singh, attempting to change the strategic outlook of this giant nation, was often heard complaining, "We must develop a strategic culture in this country."

He joins a large number of Indian intellectuals who decry our apparent lack of ability to plot out India's "strategic thought" or even plan a "grand strategy".

To a casual observer, India's actions — or lack thereof — often appear to be a result of who the government spoke to last, or based on ad hoc considerations that undermine India's interests. What makes this outlook interesting is that foreign analysts writing about India, seem equally clear that India does not have a vibrant strategic culture.

So Inchoate

Many of us would agree with George Tanham who wrote in his seminal RAND study on Indian strategic thought: "[India] is an extraordinarily complex and diverse society, and Indian elites show little evidence of having thought coherently and systematically about national strategy."

Why do we seem to be an inchoate mass of chattering classes, government, national security establishment and politicians, all working at cross purposes, with the result that nobody quite knows why we do what we do or whether Indian interests are at all being advanced in the global marketplace?

India, many argue, does not have a strategic culture because it has never faced an existential threat. The burden of being around for millennia has given a sort of timelessness to its strategic outlook.!
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Afrique : Est ce un choix ou une insulte?

Symbole accompli de l’ intégration réussie et de” l’ émigration choisie”, Denise, que j aime tendrement ne saurait m’ expliquer (peut être avec autant de brio et maestria comme elle sait si bien le faire devant les caméras et microphones), qu’ elle ne sache pas dire “BONJOUR” en sa langue maternelle Mbo, parlée dans son départment du Moungo natal.
Choix ou insulte à toute une nation et à tous les africains en particulier ceux qui l’idolâtrent?

Je suis sans voix de me render compte qu‘ une aussi grande voix émérite du microphone et du monde de la communication balbutie et se taise devant un de nos vecteurs, outil et fierté culturelle, qui, sans se singulariser exclusivement reste avant tout notre identité absolue, socle sur lequel tout vient se greffer.

Est ce un choix ou une insulte? Seule l’interessé saurait nous ré moment où nous devons faire feu de tout bois pour faire rayoner le flambeau de la diaspora africaine en général en affirmant nos valeurs culturelles et linguistiques sans se dénier.

Chaque peuple, au dela de toutes les diffences perceptibles a sa langue comme facteur d’ d’identité. Refuser de parler sa langue en se targuant des qualités dans la langue de l’autre trahi une extraversion et un rejet quasi tacite de ses racines culturelles, ce sans quoi aucun être humain ne peut exister. Ceci me rappelle bien des compatriotes, avides du soi disant modernisme, qui ignorent très fierement et volontairement leur langues maternelles qu’ils taxent de tous les vocables dégradants. N’a t- on pas à cet effet vu ces derniers temps des camerounais qui ignoraient fierement les paroles de notre Hymne national et qui psalmodiaient avec une fièrté à nulle autre pareille et surtout avec un zèle indétronable les paroles de la Marsaillaise ou du God save the queen?!
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Language, Culture, and Army Culture: Failing Transformation | Small Wars Journal

Editor's Note: COL Outzen puts forth a compelling plea for the Army to pay more attention to promoting language proficiency. The other services are similarly lacking in these fields. Although individual program managers are creating some bright spots, the truth is that poor personnel management and the burden of one-size-fits-all training preclude many servicemembers from attaining true professionalism in their fields.


A decade of Counterinsurgency (COIN) and Counter-Terrorism (CT) operations have highlighted our military’s shortcomings in employing and understanding foreign languages, the people who speak them, and various types of knowledge derived from language communities. The Department of Defense had identified this critical capability gap by 2004, and by 2005 had directed the Services to treat language capabilities as a core warfighting skill akin to marksmanship[1]. This implied significant organizational and cultural change within the Army and sister Services, which have traditionally viewed foreign language skill as a niche meriting limited and episodic attention. Six years have elapsed, though, and the Services have failed to produce doctrine, organizations, or practices that can be considered transformative. Instead, they have applied band-aid approaches by contracting out language and related capabilities, while not reforming the way the fielded forces train for or employ language and related skills in any significant way[2]. Given emphatic calls from senior leaders such as the Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Chief of Staff of the Army, it is hard to understand why the Army has made such little progress[3].

That we have not successfully transformed is beyond dispute among those paying attention since the Defense Language Transformation Roadmap was published[4]. With massive cuts to the DoD budget looming, though, simply recognizing failure is insufficient; the Army and DoD must develop coherent and effective responses sooner rather than later[5]. The response must both be effective and survive budget austerity, which rules out much of the Army’s current approach[6]. This essay offers a series of observations about why and how we have failed to transform language and related capabilities, and presents several recommendations for successfully moving ahead. The observations focus on the U.S. Army’s efforts, since the Army has the preponderance of resources and responsibilities for DoD language and culture operations, but are broadly applicable for the other Services as well.!
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Nuit Blanche dans le Pôle des langues et civilisations :: BULAC

La BULAC et l'INALCO participent à la Nuit Blanche 2012, le samedi 6 octobre, de 22h à 6h du matin !

Au programme de cette Nuit sonore...

Une écoute déambulatoire ou immersive de Studio Babel, une installation sonore de Bernard Fort, produite par la Muse en circuit et mise en lumière par François Migeon de l'agence 8'18".

Bernard Fort sera présent pour diffuser simultanément un complément live à son installation sonore en enregistrant de nouvelles voix volontaires in situ durant la Nuit.

Le CROUS participe à la Nuit Blanche, en ouvrant la cafétéria du Pôle des langues et civilisations de 22h à 2h30 du matin.!
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SABC - Motlanthe calls for cultural unity:Monday 24 September 2012

Acting President, Kgalema Motlanthe has urged South Africans to embrace all the languages and cultures in order to fully experience in the richness of South Africa's collective cultural heritage.

He was speaking at the Danny K stadium in Upington, Northern Cape during the Heritage Day celebrations, where crowds gathered to hear his inspiring take on the essence of the nation’s origins.

“As we gather here to celebrate our diverse South African heritage, let us bear in mind that such heritage is not and should not be imprisoned in our ethnic or racial origins. We should not enclose what we deem to be our racial or ethnic cultural heritage within the walls of Jericho. Culture does over-flow boundaries of time, race and ethnicity since it is the totality of lived reality,” enforced Motlanthe.!
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Aportes de cuatro décadas en turismo: “Ciudad de los Poetas”

Aportes de cuatro décadas en turismo: “Ciudad de los Poetas”
Por Alberto Flejas (*)
Define el Diccionario que “aportes” es “dar o proporcionar la parte que (a uno) le corresponde, a la sociedad o comunidad de la que es miembro”.
Bajo estas premisas escribo estas líneas.
“Ciudad de los Poetas”.Así se identificaba nuestra ciudad. Esta caracterización o slogan cultural respondía a la época. Por esos años se había inaugurado el “Rincón de los Poetas” en la Plaza San Martín, en homenajes a los vates locales. También se había editado un libro titulado “Once Poetas y un Fotógrafo”, de poemas ilustrados con imágenes del prestigioso artista local Carlos Michel, que fue fotógrafo por muchos años de EL ARGENTINO.
Al asumir la Dirección de Turismo, a fines de la década del ´70, tratamos de dar una imagen más publicitaria o marketinera, implementando un primer eslogan que fue “Bienvenidos a la Amistad”, con un logo de una mano ofreciendo un mate. Pero nunca dejamos de referenciar esta circunstancia, incluyendo en la folletería como lugar a visitar el “Rincón de los Poetas”.
Tiempo después asistí a un Congreso de Turismo en Resistencia, Chaco, donde se realiza un concurso internacional de escultores, cuyas obras quedan instaladas en distintos lugares de la misma. Como en turismo tomamos ejemplos de otros lugares, adaptándolos a nuestra realidad, fue naciendo la inquietud de hacer algo referente a los poetas locales.
A partir del libro que anteriormente mencioné, surgió la idea de seleccionar poemas que hicieran referencia a distintos lugares de nuestra ciudad, algunos de los cuales están en el mismo. La idea era conformar un circuito turístico, en el que estarían reproducidos los poemas. La forma técnica de su implementación pueden ser varias, aunque sugiero hacerlo en estelas (tipo atriles) de cemento, en los que se reproducirían los textos en una placa que puede ser de distintos materiales.!
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Vassiliou: We urgently need to improve literacy skills in Europe

With one in five 15-year-olds and 75 million adults lacking basic reading and writing skills, Europe desperately needs to improve its literacy standards, says Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou.
Together with a high-level group of experts, Vassiliou, who is the EU's Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, has published a report on literacy, unveiled at a conference in Nicosia hosted by the Cyprus Presidency of the EU.

The report consists of recommendations ranging from parenting advice to setting up libraries in unconventional settings like for example shopping centres.

Vassiliou said that being illiterate makes it hard for a person to get a job and increases the risk of poverty and social exclusion.

"We are living a paradox: while reading and writing are more important and relevant than ever before in the context of our digitised world, our literacy skills are not keeping up," the Commissioner said.

"We urgently need to reverse this alarming situation. Investments to improve literacy among citizens of all ages make economic sense, producing tangible gains for individuals and for society, adding up to billions of euros in the long run."

The Cypriot Commissioner is calling for free, high-quality early childhood education and care for all, more specialist reading teachers in primary schools, and a change of mind-set on dyslexia.

She argues that almost every child can learn to read with the right support, and for more varied learning opportunities for adults, especially in the workplace.

Dutch princess leads EU literacy campaign!
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A menu in Spanish

Continuing with the “Olympic spirit”, I read recently that before the 2006 Olympic Games in Peking, the city carried out a translation and a “standardization” of food names into English. This was done to avoid confusion and mistakes that frequently appear in restaurant menus. In doing this the government wanted to make it easier for foreigners to order food.
This made me think about what a difficult task it would have been if they had tried to translate the food names into Spanish. As a translator one of the biggest challenges that I find is exactly that, translating food names. To translate peas should I use guisantes, chícharos, petit pois or arvejas? For beans should I use habas, judías, frijoles, fríjoles, porotos or habichuelas? For green beans I could use chauchas, habichuelas tiernas, vainicas, judías verdes, porotos verdes, ejotes… As you can see, translating food names can be quite time consuming.
A few months ago we discussed the importance of knowing the target market, and in this case it is fundamental. If the translation is intended for Costa Rica, for example, it doesn’t make sense to talk about batatas (sweet potatoes), patatas (potatoes), or mandiocas (cassavas). Also if our target readers are in Argentina, we wouldn’t offer them camotes (sweet potatoes), cebollinos (green onions), or fresas (strawberries).
And (just to give translators a headache) names of dishes also change. As is the case in Beijing, a dish such as chop suey means something different from country to country. Or a cake could be un queque, una torta, or un pastel.!
carmen campos's curator insight, December 16, 2012 4:05 AM

Interesting article about translating words from different spanish-speaking countries

Architecture, clichés et traductions-Les anglais

Tu le sais, ami lecteur qui vas bientôt rejoindre le mufle, on écrit « les Anglais » quand on se réfère aux habitants de l’Angleterre, mais on devrait écrire « les anglais » lorsque l’on se réfère aux multiples langues que l’on regroupe communément sous l’appellation générique « anglais » : l’américain, le canadien, l’irlandais, l’écossais, l’australien…

Tu m’objecteras peut-être qu’il s’agit de « dialectes » et non de « langues à proprement parler », et là, je te le dis honnêtement, tu me chagrineras. Je ne sais s’il existe d’usages qui soient véritablement « propres » mais je suis convaincu qu’il n’existe aucune langue « à proprement parler ». Comme le défendait le Professeur de linguistique Max Weinreich, les langues ne sont que des dialectes possédant une armée et un drapeau.

Alors, où se trouve la frontière (et ses miradors) ? Les Britanniques sont-ils les seuls à faire un usage « propre » de leur « langue » ?

Quand ils mettent de l’essence dans le réservoir de leurs voitures, les Américains utilisent le terme gas au lieu de l’anglais petrol. Les Canadiens préfèrent les termes américains (par exemple, boot au lieu de trunk pour désigner le coffre d’une voiture) mais ils préfèrent l’orthographe anglaise à l’américaine (par exemple, colour au lieu de color). Il paraît que les anglophones du Québec compliquent encore les choses, en empruntant de nombreux mots au français, comme autoroute au lieu de highway.!
No comment yet. Uganda: Are Movies Killing Reading Culture?

AS children, many were always told to concentrate on reading their books.

Television was a no-go area. But this trend has changed as students and teachers are gradually embracing watching movies as the easiest way to understand some literature novels.

As modern technology continues to evolve, lengthy books have been condensed into movies, a development that has discouraged students and teachers from reading.

Since the advent of the Internet and invention of the DVD, television shows and movies, can now tell stories in an easy manner.

In Uganda both students and teachers have embraced these inventions, especially in the study of English literature.

Forinstance, a literature teacher borrows a King Lear film, which he or she watches and later uses it as a teaching aid for his or her students.

Florence Nakanwagi, a high school teacher in Kampala, has taught literature in English this way for years and her students have been performing well.

Junior Mponye, a student of New Styles Secondary School, says he prefers watching films to reading novels.

He argues that watching a movie is more interesting than reading a novel.

"Reading is boring and sometimes when my teacher is reading a novel, I do not follow well," Mponye says.

He also says it saves time to follow a story condensed in a movie, other than reading 500 pages of a novel.

Richard Wandyaka, a book seller in Aristoc Bookshop says, book-related films are easy to memorise.

One can easily remember what he watched compared to recalling what he read in a novel.!
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Le site BnF : la page d’accueil s’élargit à d’autres langues - Blog Lecteurs de la Bibliothèque nationale de France - BnF

L’aviez-vous remarqué ? La page d’accueil du site s’ouvre en plusieurs langues. Outre l’anglais et l’espagnol, pour lesquels il existe une version traduite du site, une page de bienvenue existe désormais en allemand, italien, portugais, russe, arabe, chinois et japonais.

English - Español - Deutsch - Italiano - Português - Русский - عربي - 中文 - 日本語

The National Library in Paris has updated its Homepage and you can now found details in several languages. In English and Spanish, you will find a translated version of the French site.

In several other languages, a welcome page in German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Arabian, Chinese and Japanese languages.!
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Ivorian musician A’salfo to become UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

A celebrated Ivorian musician, A’salfo, is to become a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador in recognition of his promotion of youth empowerment and social justice, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced today.!
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Solving Intercultural Communication Problems

Are you are a manager or leader of an intercultural team? Or do you work within an intercultural company? If so, are you experiencing intercultural communication problems? Take a look at the photo — is that how you try to solve your intercultural communication problems?

Accustomed as we are, in the West at least, to cause and effect thinking, we are convinced that surely there must be a formula somewhere that we haven’t found yet. However, the flaw in this logic is that this is the wrong way to look at such problems. Intercultural communication problems are not a puzzle to be solved. That is why I prefer to use the metaphor of a dance when discussing these, this is closer to what happens when we communicate.

In a dance, such as a tango or waltz, everyone knows the basic steps. Then the dance changes slightly, according to who we dance with. This forces both partners to adapt. We prefer some partners to others. And we dance better with some people and worse with others. We also enjoy ourselves more with particular partners. There is always someone who leads and someone who follows; both roles are important and it is clear which is which in an actual dance.!
Assumpta Aneas's curator insight, December 5, 2014 6:31 AM

Un abordaje no simplista, sino más complejo y, por tanto realista, de los problemas interculturales


Intercultural Communication in TCL's Acquisition and Mergence_百度文库

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Suggestions to Improve Intercultural Communication

What is Culture?
Intercultural Communication is growing to be a vast and imperative skill to acquire since the world is on the verge to globalization in many ways: in business, in friendships, in family. All of these, of course, include communication. With different people comes different cultures and with different cultures comes with different bases of communication. What is culture, in the first place?

Culture can be defined as a tool to categorize ways of life of different people and are composed of their learned/shared behavior patterns, values, norms, and even material objects. Living in a culture and understanding your own culture can answer these questions some may have in mind:

Who am I?
How should I live my life?
Where do I fit in the world?
Of course, these questions can give a vast array of different answers and even different interpretations of the same answer. For example: "Who am I?" Answer: "I'm an American Man" Interpretations: I live a free life, I am a city boy, I am a farm boy, I'm a party boy, I dress how I dress, etc.!
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Translating ‘Foreignness’: Interview with Norman Manea and Oana Sânziana Marian, translator of ‘The Lair’

Translated into English for the first time, Norman Manea’s The Lair explores the human condition of exile, love, isolation and the disorientation of being submerged in another culture. Here we sit down with Norman Manea and Oana Sanziana Marian, the translator of the new English edition of Manea‘s novel.
Interview with Norman Manea and Oana Sanziana Marian (courtesy of Yale’s US blog).
Every good translator (and appreciator of international literature) knows that a work in translation carries more than the weight of a language’s technical nuances and abnormalities. Like an immigrant to a new nation, it grapples in a no man’s land between the culture in which it was born and the new culture it is trying to make an authentic connection with. Recently, we sat down with Romanian novelist Norman Manea and Oana Sanziana Marian, the translator of a new English edition of Manea‘s novel, The Lair, to discuss some of the ways they understand translation as a cultural encounter. Both men are emigres from Romania (albeit with very different stories), which only added to their ability to speak to translation on the levels of personal, profession, and political experience.
Yale University Press: Professor Manea, your works have been translated into over twenty languages, and The Lair is available in Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Sweden, among other countries. How do you account for the universality of your narratives? Are some languages more “fitting” than others for the translation of your prose? Are there specific challenges to translation associated with a particular language or culture? Do you find instances in which the Romanian cultural landscape is so distinct from American culture that no linguistic and contextual equivalent can be found?
Norman Manea: Of course, Latin languages (Italian, French, even Spanish and Portuguese) are closer to the language and culture of this author. The linguistical transport into Anglo-Saxon is more difficult, not to mention Hebrew, Chinese, even Estonian, Hungarian, Swedish. This an unavoidable difficulty, not only in literary matters, but in a broader sense, translating all kind of texts from or into other languages or old religious texts (Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Indian, Chinese etc.) whose translations into modern languages is still continuing, improving, with every new edition.!
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Intercultural Philosophy (Ram Adher Mall) | Intercultural Studies

The meeting of different cultures, philosophies and religions today calls for an intensive and qualified discourse on the part of all concerned. Intercultural Philosophy seeks to develop such a discourse through a new orientation of thought that will allow for a discussion of all philosophical problems from an intercultural perspective. Arguing that no conceptual or terminological system should be unnecessarily privileged, Mall perceives intercultural philosophy as a stance taken in order to prevent any particular form from assuming an absolute position. In this important work he develops a new concept of intercultural philosophy and applies it to various philosophical disciplines.


Intercultural Philosophy A Conceptual Clarification

Culture and Philosophy


The Concept of Intercultural Philosophy


Cultural Encounters


Interculturality Before Multiculturality!
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Foreign Terminology on sign boards diminishes Afghan Culture

The Ministry of Information and Culture has given a time frame of one month to all shopkeepers and other organizations to correct their sign boards containing foreign text.!
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Lawrence Venuti | Notes on the Mosquito

If you are a “China Watcher”–and if you’re reading this blog, you might be–you’re no doubt familiar with the recent trial against Gu Kailai 谷开来, accused murderer and wife of deposed Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai 薄熙来.

I try to steer clear of politics on this blog, but at some point everything is potentially political, especially translation, which I noticed when reading the New York Times‘s coverage of Gu’s trial. As part of their focus, they highlighted a selection of quotations from her book Winning a Lawsuit in the U.S. 胜诉在美国, reveling in the irony of someone who had lambasted American due process in favor of China’s swift justice coming up against the swiftness of a trial lasting less than seven hours: “In a bitter twist of fate,” the NYT reports, “Ms. Gu, herself a lawyer, once expressed an unshakable faith in her nation’s legal system.”!
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