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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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Afghan interpreters 'scared and confused'

Terrified Afghan interpreters who have worked for Kiwi troops in Bamiyan province are still unsure if they will be granted asylum in New Zealand and have now been told not to talk to media, a former translator says.

Last week, the Sunday Star-Times reported 26 Afghan interpreters working with Kiwi troops were pleading with the Government not to abandon them to "certain death" when the army withdraws next year.

Interpreters told the Star-Times they and their families would be captured, tortured and killed by insurgent forces for helping the foreigners when the Kiwis leave.

Prime Minister John Key said the interpreters' concerns had been acknowledged and were being considered by the Government but on Friday he would not comment any further on the issue.

Since the story, Christchurch-based former Afghan interpreter Diamond Kazimi, 19, told the Star-Times six interpreters had been "released" from the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) and feared they would be excluded from any asylum offer.

However, the Defence Force said: "There are still 26 interpreters on staff and there is no change we are aware of."

Kazimi insisted six translators had recently been released from the PRT and told not to speak to media about their plight.

Every winter the army cut the number of interpreters and re-hire in summer but this year, Kazimi said, the consequences of being "released" were more severe.

"They are all really scared and so confused," he said.

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Number of Afghans resettled in Canada nearly double original estimate

OTTAWA - A special program to offer a new life in Canada to people who acted as interpreters for Canadian soldiers and diplomats in Afghanistan — sometimes at the risk of their lives — has brought in nearly double the numbers expected.

Officials had planned for only 450 Afghans to eventually make the move when they began a special immigration program for interpreters and their families in 2009.

With Canada's combat mission ended and a year after the program stopped accepting applications, around 800 former interpreters and their families are now living across the country.

The original estimate was based on consultations with the military and Foreign Affairs Department about the number of interpreters or cultural advisers used by soldiers and diplomats in Kandahar, says Citizenship and Immigration.

It's unclear how many there actually were over the five years of fighting; the military has said it had more than 6,000 requests for their services.

'Terps, as they were known, were the eyes, ears and mouths for soldiers on the battlefield and diplomats in the meeting rooms of Afghanistan.

In addition to translating, they helped teach Canadians the culture and customs of the country and many were often called upon to help shore up the often-strained relationships between soldiers and locals.

But the work was risky. Between 2006 and 2011, at least six interpreters were killed alongside Canadian soldiers and many others wounded.

The risk followed them off the fighting fields and many interpreters reported being followed or harassed by the Taliban because they helped the Canadians.

Some found themselves ostracized by their families and friends, lest the Taliban come after them as well.

Allied countries set up special programs to help endangered workers leave Afghanistan as militaries began pulling out and Canada chose to follow suit in 2009, designing a policy to fast-track their entry as permanent residents.

Read more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Number+Afghans+resettled+Canada+nearly+double+original+estimate/7356514/story.html#ixzz29BSp10Pd

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More Afghan interpreters settle in Canada - Canada - CBC News

A special program to offer a new life in Canada to people who acted as interpreters for Canadian soldiers and diplomats in Afghanistan — sometimes at the risk of their lives — has brought in nearly double the numbers expected.

Officials had planned for only 450 Afghans to eventually make the move when they began a special immigration program for interpreters and their families in 2009.

With Canada's combat mission ended and a year after the program stopped accepting applications, around 800 former interpreters and their families are now living across the country.

Afghanistan interpreter Ghulam Wali Noori is shown at his home in Ottawa. As an interpreter working with the Canadian military, he was a prime target of insurgents. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)
The original estimate was based on consultations with the military and Foreign Affairs Department about the number of interpreters or cultural advisers used by soldiers and diplomats in Kandahar, says Citizenship and Immigration.

It's unclear how many there actually were over the five years of fighting; the military has said it had more than 6,000 requests for their services.

'Terps, as they were known, were the eyes, ears and mouths for soldiers on the battlefield and diplomats in the meeting rooms of Afghanistan.

In addition to translating, they helped teach Canadians the culture and customs of the country and many were often called upon to help shore up the often-strained relationships between soldiers and locals.

But the work was risky. Between 2006 and 2011, at least six interpreters were killed alongside Canadian soldiers and many others wounded.

The risk followed them off the fighting fields and many interpreters reported being followed or harassed by the Taliban because they helped the Canadians.

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'Historic day' over language bill

Language bill puts Welsh and English on 'equal footing'

The bill would make English and Welsh the official languages of the assembly, said the presiding officer
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The Welsh assembly has passed a bill designed to ensure equal treatment for Welsh and English in the institution.

The Official Languages (Wales) Bill makes Welsh and English the official languages of the assembly.

But language campaigners were disappointed AMs did not support amendments on translating the record of proceedings.

Presiding Officer Rosemary Butler said it was a "historic day in the history of devolution and of Wales".

She said the bill, which requires Royal Assent, placed a statutory duty to put both languages on an "equal footing".

"Our commitment to the Welsh language can no longer be questioned," she said.

It guarantees the right of anyone who takes part in assembly proceedings to do so in either language and outlines how the assembly will provide bilingual services to the public.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (the Welsh Language Society) welcomed the passing of the bill, but said it was disappointed AMs did not support amendments that would have "ensured bilingualism in the assembly".

Tory AM Suzy Davies called for the translation of all assembly proceedings, including committee meetings.

But AMs were told the move would cost between £400,000 and £600,000.

Currently the full record of proceedings is only published in both languages for plenary meetings in the Senedd chamber.

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UK 'betrays' Afghan interpreter

Afghan interpreter 'betrayed' as UK rejects asylum bid

By Caroline Wyatt
Defence correspondent, BBC News

The MoD said it values the contribution of local Afghans who support its military operations
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An Afghan man who was badly injured by a Taliban bomb while working as an interpreter for British forces in Afghanistan has been told he has not been granted asylum in Britain.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) told the 25-year-old that his asylum application was being rejected because he had given insufficient proof of his identity and work.

It also said that his claims of death threats to himself and his family by the Taliban were not accepted.

The man - whom the BBC has agreed not to name fully on its website in order to protect his family in Afghanistan - said he was bitterly disappointed by the decision.

Mohammed has shown the BBC pieces of evidence - including letters from several of his British Army bosses and nine identity cards - which make it clear he worked for British forces in Afghanistan for around five years and for American forces for two years prior to that.

His body still bears the scars of the Taliban bomb which blew up the unit he was working with in Sangin on 14 November 2007 - an attack that killed the British Army captain, John McDermid.

The Afghan interpreter suffered shrapnel wounds to the head, neck, arms and chest and was deaf in one ear for over a year. He still suffers from headaches and depression.

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Kenya to host Africa internet conference

Kenya will host a two-day global telecommunication conference to discuss ways of increasing Africa's role on internet freedom, organizers said on Tuesday.
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