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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New Era - There is no such thing as ‘Namlish’

MOST people in Namibia who cannot converse properly in English claim that they speak ‘Namlish’. This is ridiculous! There is only one way out here: either you can speak good English or you speak bad English. To develop ‘Namlish’, as a variety of English, one has to develop the orthography and standardisation of ‘Namlish.’ Phrases such as ‘I am coming’ (instead of ‘I will be back’) ‘My mother went for shopping’ (instead of ‘my mother went shopping’) should not be viewed as ‘Namlish’ since these sentences are grammatically wrong.

The tendency in Namibia has been that if one does not speak and pronounce English words properly, ‘Namlish’ becomes an excuse. If you cannot pronounce a certain English word properly, there is a strong possibility that language interference has taken place and not ‘Namlish.’ Let me illustrate this clearly.

Some Oshiwambo speakers may experience difficulty in enunciating some of the English words that contain the letter ‘r’ but that does not mean they speak ‘Namlish.’ Additionally, some Otjiherero speakers may find it a bit troubling to pronounce words such as ‘dangerous’ without adding the letter ‘n’ to the letter ‘d’ (likely to read ‘ndangerous’). That is why some Otjiherero speakers are likely to pronounce Ongwediva as ‘Ongwendiva.’

Damara/Nama has got its share of interference – some speakers from these language groups may find it hard to pronounce the word ‘university’ or ‘Unam’ properly. For example, the word ‘Unam’ to some Damara/Nama may sound like /ju/nam. The letter ‘u’ becomes /ju/ as in ‘June’.

Moreover, some Lozi speakers are likely to have trouble in pronouncing words such as ‘health’ and ‘against’ – these words are likely to come out as ‘heuls’ for health and ‘agenest’ for against.

In the Kavango region some Rukwangali speakers may find it hard to pronounce the word ‘the.’ The reason is because Rukwangali language does not have the dental sound /th/. The word ‘the’ for some Rukwangali speakers comes out as /ze/. Afrikaners are no exception in this conundrum. Some Afrikaans-speaking people may have trouble pronouncing the word ‘help’ – it comes out as /yelp/.

With all the above differences I hope you understand why we should not confuse pronunciation and poor grammar with ‘Namlish.’ The word ‘Namlish’ seems to have a negative connotation because it is only used when someone speaks improper English.

Furthermore, the illustration above is to show you the differences in language interference in respect of the English spoken in Namibia.!
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TIFF puts Nouchi dialect in the spotlight

TIFF puts Nouchi dialect in the spotlight
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Sep. 13 2012, 4:35 PM EDT
Last updated Thursday, Sep. 13 2012, 4:40 PM EDT

You aren’t on the cusp of current world-cinema trends unless you know about Nouchi.

The dialect, a mashup of French and regional West African languages, started among kids and the marginalized in the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan. It has become entrenched, and can even be heard among a new wave of films from the region. Burn It Up Djassa uses the dialect throughout, particularly in a monologue by a youth spinning a tale of ghetto bravado for the camera.


TIFF 2012 TIFF movie review: Burn It Up Djassa

TIFF 2012
Burn It Up Djassa: The official trailer
What’s remarkable is that the new language is helping to spur a new cinema, with West African filmmakers looking less to Europe for financing and trying less to please international audiences. This is especially the case in the Ivory Coast.

“Cinema is very new in Ivory Coast. There aren’t a lot of directors, and there is no cinema industry. So this film is like a reaction to see what kind of film we can produce here to catch a young audience in the Ivory Coast,” says Burn It Up Djassa producer Philippe Lacôte. Nigeria’s film industry is also a model, but it could be that a film like Burn It Up Djassa may get just as much exposure from travelling projectionists-for-hire as from DVD stands in local markets.

The film is very much geared toward local audiences. It tells a story of a tough young man earning a tough reputation in the vibrant and dangerous Abidjan neighbourhood of Wassakara. The collective of actors and filmmakers behind the project tried to keep the storyline as realistic as possible. All the crew and actors are from the neighbourhood.!
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Frogs Love Pee: Chinglish Explores the Hilarious Absurdities of Language - San Francisco - Arts - The Exhibitionist

Chinglish, written by David Henry Hwang and directed by Leigh Silverman, is a comedy set in modern day capitalistic...!
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Stop demonising Patois -From a semi-lingual to a bilingual Jamaica - Commentary - Jamaica Gleaner - Sunday | August 26, 2012

By Hubert Devonish, Guest Columnist

The minister of education is reported in The Gleaner of August 22, 2012 as lamenting the fact that in the CSEC English A examination, Jamaican students fell woefully short in critically assessing a passage. He suggests that too much emphasis has been placed on memorisation. Correspondingly, he feels, too little attention has been given to the higher forms of intellectual activity, analysis and critical thinking.

When one has difficulty understanding and processing information, one memorises it. In the Jamaican situation, what stands in the way of understanding and processing knowledge and information presented in English is the language barrier. Most Jamaicans, be they adults or children, are native speakers of Jamaican, a Creole language with a grammatical structure which is quite distinct from English.

In recent days, a wide range of voices, from the principal of Campion College to the president of the Jamaica Teachers' Association, are proclaiming a self-evident fact: that English is not the native language of the vast majority of Jamaicans. They state that Jamaican/Jamaican Creole/Patwa/Dialect is.

A visitor from Mars would think that these proclamations are the result of some new situation that has developed. In fact, this has been the state of affairs from the 17th century. And, for the record, the native speakers of Jamaican were never restricted to the black and oppressed masses. British visitors to the island in the 18th century bemoaned the speech of the white daughters of plantation owners, their drawl and their use of good old Jamaican words such as 'nyam' (eat) and 'bobi' (breast) at the dinner table.!
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Sandra Lizeth Bayliss Translation and Interpreting Studies MA University of Manchester

Hybrid Texts. Original works produced by bilingual or multilingual writers which show out of place\' or unusual\' features such as syntax, vocabulary or style (Schffner and Adab 2001: 327) which are experienced by the target culture.!
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Le franglais va-t-il détruire la langue française ?

François Hauter revient sur le phénomène d’"anglicisation" et sur ses conséquences désastreuses sur notre langue. Extraits de "Le bonheur d'être français" (1/2).

Le français est bel et bien grignoté par l’anglais dans les générations montantes. Dans les banlieues, le rap (c’est-à-dire la tchatche) est en franglais. Dans les entreprises multinationales comme Renault, l’anglais est devenu la langue de travail des cadres supérieurs. Les pessimistes s’en désolent : la plupart des humains sur terre sont attachés à leur langue comme à une bouée de sauvetage. C’est d’autant plus vrai que les peuples fondateurs d’empires ont toujours jugé superflu l’apprentissage d’autres idiomes.

Nous méprisons silencieusement ceux qui ne parlent pas le nôtre, à l’égal des Grecs anciens ou des Anglais encore aujourd’hui. Nos compatriotes âgés sont désorientés aujourd’hui par ce melting pot franco-anglais. Les optimistes rappellent que les langues sont le produit d’échanges très anciens, et que le dialogue ne leur nuit pas. Aucun parler n’est la création d’un seul peuple. Le nôtre se souvient d’une centaine de langues, avec une foule de mots germaniques, italiens, arabes et encore davantage de termes latins et grecs. Chacun accommode les mots. Les Italiens transforment les « os » du Grec en « us » : Homeros devient Homerus, le mont Olympos mont Olympus. Nous, nous supprimons la dernière syllabe : nous disons Homère, Alcibiade, Aristote ; Titus Livius devient Tite-Live en France, et Titos-Livios chez les Grecs. À l’époque de la Renaissance, les arts et la mode viennent (déjà) de Rome, l’italien est en vogue. Nos gardiens de la langue nationale montent sur leurs ergots : ils tentent de démontrer la suprématie du français. Ils usent d’un argument singulier : le français est incomparable, expliquent-ils, car il compte davantage de mots grecs !!
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Languages: Crowd-Sourced Online Nouchi Dictionary

Nouchi started out as a street slang used by disenfranchised youths in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan, but has since gained prominence and even given rise to a writing system.!
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Au Cameroun, Il y a les métiers et il y a les petits métiers - : l'actualité de l'Afrique noire et du Maghreb - Le quotidien panafricain

Les Camerounais exagèrent. Je vais, pour bien expliquer le phénomène que je décrie (vous pouvez mettre un s a la place du e, l’idée de fond restera puisqu’il s’agit d’une proposition incidente, mise précisément en incise), je vais donc écrire en camfranglais. Parce que c’est en camfranglais que je pense le monde, que je bâtis mes théories, que je rêve, et ça prend un temps fou de rendre tout ça en français potable, académique, châtié, en français de France quoi.

Je wanda !!
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Kenya: Sheng - Language of Empowerment or Disobedience?

Sheng, a once highly stigmatised language, is now gaining greater presence and legitimacy in Kenya's multilingual environment. It is used in music, in print, in political slogans and on television and radio. But should Sheng be celebrated as a reflection of contemporary identity or recognised as a language of disobedience?

Speaking Sheng

Sheng emerged in the 1970s from Nairobi's informal settlements, a great melting pot of languages and cultures. The name "Sheng" is a combination of (S)wahili and (Eng)lish, two of the main languages on which it is based. Sheng also borrows from other Kenyan languages - such as Kikuyu, Luyha, Dholuo and Kikamba - with its grammatical structure loosely obeying the rules of Kiswahili.

The language was originally associated with thugs, matatu (minibus) drivers and Nairobi's youth. Thugs allegedly used the language as code to evade the ears of the law, while young people living in shared and cramped conditions of Nairobi's informal settlements apparently spoke in Sheng when they didn't want their parents to understand.!
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Photos - Quand les Chinois parlent anglais : les plus belles perles du Chinglish

Le "chinglish" est cette langue issue du chinois et de l'anglais, qui fait rire le monde entier depuis des...!
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