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December 2014 news

This is a brief review of translation and language news from around the world, along with the links to the relevant content. Let us know if you come across interesting online content!

The media have recently been going ‘nuts’ on the nut incident that happened on Korean Airlines last week. Victor Mair of Language Log, a blog maintained by a team based at the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science at the University of Pennsylvania, writes about nuts and peanuts, and their different meanings in American English and Korean.

Are you involved in the publishing industry? You can apply for Creative Europe’s Literary Translation fund, and get up to 100,000 euros for the translation, production and promotion of 3-10 European works of fiction.

Gizmodo had hands-on experience of Skype Translator, which aims at ‘breaking down the global language barrier’. The results don’t really meet the goal, but technology is developing very fast in that area.

Fiona Macdonald of the BBC introduces Ella Frances Sanders’s book ‘Lost in Translation’. The author illustrated 50 words that have very specific meanings in languages around the world. But are they really untranslatable?

November 2014 news

This is a brief review of translation and language news from around the world, along with the links to the relevant content. Let us know if you come across interesting online content!

Tel Aviv University launched a new programme in medical interpreting to help Eritrean refugees in Israel when they go to the hospital. Listen to the podcast on the website of Tel Aviv’s English-language internet radio station TLV1.

Apple launched the Apple Watch, for which ‘you don’t even have to use words’. Non-verbal communication is the future, or so it seems. The Intersect blogger and Washington Post journalist Caitlin Dewey wonders if we still need words.

American journalist Robert Lane Greene takes a stand against ‘zombie nouns’ in his blog Prospero. Out with nominalised verbs and in with short, clear sentences and concrete nouns.

What if the internet, TV and crowdsourcing contributed to revitalising endangered languages? Viki and the Living Tongues Institute launched an Endangered and Emerging Languages Programme, an initiative aimed at crowdsourcing subtitles for popular shows in endangered languages. The National Geographic published the official press release.

July 2014 news

This is a brief review of translation and language news from around the world, along with the links to the relevant content. Let us know if you come across interesting online content!

Time’s Abby Abrams reports on the result of recent study from MIT showing that trying harder may in fact make certain aspects of learning a new language more difficult.

Europe in the UK attended the Translating Europe Workshop organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation, the Chartered Institute of Linguists and the Institute of Translation and Interpreting at London’s Europe House on Friday 11 July. The topic was training the next generation of translators.

And the winner is… Spanish. According to data from One Hour Translation, during the first half of 2014 translations into Spanish were the most popular.

Reiji Yoshida of The Japan Times reports on Japan’s PR operation involving 80 million Yen earmarked for the translation of books into English. This is a piece of news that may be of interest to our Japanese to English translators…

Stefan

June 2014 news

With Dell making great use of machine translation and claiming a 40% cut in translation costs since 2011, Robert Lane Green, journalist for The Economist, reports on the rise of the machine translators and what the future may have in store for us. Will human translation become a mere post-editing process?

The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim and translated by Jonathan Wright won a Writers in Translation award in 2013 and the International Foreign Fiction Prize in 2014. English PEN’s Grace Hetherington talks to the translator about the difficulty of translating Blasim’s own form of Arabic, and about literary influences, and censorship, in the Arab world.

China Digital Times reports on a spat between Dong Fangyu of the China Daily who claims that a lack of competent translators is preventing Chinese literary works from reaching a wider international audience, and writer and translator Bruce Humes who questions Dong Fangyu’s claim. The literary translation market currently favours translations into, rather than translation from, Chinese.

All of you will be happy to learn that people who speak two or more languages are more likely to have healthier brain functions in old age than monolinguals. The Egypt Independent reports on the results of a recent study on bilingualism and the onset of dementia.

Elias Muhanna of The New Yorker wonders why Disney chose to dub its most recent blockbuster, Frozen, into Modern Standard Arabic rather than Egyptian Arabic or other vernaculars. MSA is as remote from Arabic vernaculars as 17th Century English is from modern-day English.

Stefan

April 2014 news

This is a brief review of translation and language news from around the world, along with the links to the relevant content. Let us know if you come across interesting online content!

Susie Allen and William Harms of phys.org, a science, research and technology news service, report on a new translation of a weather report which may change our understanding of the chronology of the Bronze Age.

Translator and blogger Marta Stelmaszak, who is also behind the awarded Business School for Translators, writes about email marketing and its potential uses for freelance translators.

Are there SDL Trados users among you? If so, translator and blogger Kristy Sakai has some tips and tricks for you. As you know TTS is looking into making greater use of SDL Studio…

I love David Sedaris so I was pretty happy to read an interview of him in World Literature Today and find out what he thinks of his humour in translation.

Do you know the project The Bright Side of Freelance Translation? Blogger Maria Kopnitsky interviews the two professional translators who are behind the project, Nicole Y. Adams and Andrew Morris.

Stefan

March 2014 news

This is a brief review of translation and language news from around the world, along with the links to the relevant content. Let us know if you come across interesting online content!

Globalme, a company specialised in technology and language, asks one of its Korean translators to review SDL Trados Studio 2014 for its Looking at CATs series on the company’s blog.

‘Translation Resources’ with translation memories and glossaries of the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control are available on Alexandria. Over time more languages and more TMs will be added and made available.

Rahim Faiez of Associated Press writes about 22-year-old Zamir Ahmadi who worked as an interpreter for German troops in Afghanistan, and fears for his life.

The Hindu’s Subha J. Rao reports on the growing awareness within the Indian film industry of the need for subtitles to reach foreign audiences.

Stefan

February 2014 news

This is a brief review of translation and language news from around the world, along with the links to the relevant content. Let us know if you come across interesting online content!

Aimee Berg of Aljazeera America talks to two Russian interpreters about the difficulties and challenges they face at the Sotchi Winter Olympic Games, especially when they have to interpret the words of an American 20-year-old snowboard gold medallist who’s just too cool for school.

Researcher Carol O’Sullivan published an interesting post on the relationship between writers and their translators, including the controversial gender issue.

Victor Mair, a contributor of the Language Log published by a team of language and linguistic experts at the University of Pennsylvania, writes about the uproar that followed an official blunder in Hong Kong stating that Cantonese was not an official language of the Special Administrative Region.

Poor Google translations may become an issue for Google Translate. Jack Clark of the Register reports on the irony of the situation.

Stefan

December 2013 news

From now on, our newsletter will contain a review of translation and language news from around the world, along with the links to the relevant content. Let us know if you come across interesting online content!

A recent study jointly conducted by the University of Edinburgh and Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences in India suggests that people who speak two or more languages are less prone to Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and fronto-temporal dementia: http://www.translatemedia.com/bilingualism-can-delay-the-effects-of-dementia.html/

Professor of language at the University of California Berkeley Leanne Hinton gives tips and tricks on how to bring an endangered language home and save it: http://www.ktoo.org/2013/12/01/how-to-save-an-endangered-language/

Claire Armitstead of the Guardian interviews Anthea Bell, who has translated 35 adventures of Asterix and Obelix into English. Her secret for successful translation is invisibility: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/nov/16/anthea-bell-asterix-translator-interview

Taipei local authorities now offer language and cultural services to new immigrants and Taiwanese individuals as international marriages between Southeast Asian women and Taiwanese men increase: http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2013/11/26/394532/Taipei-New.htm

Peter Hilton of the Freelancers Union gives some helpful advice to freelancers dealing with isolation: http://www.freelancersunion.org/blog/2013/11/21/5-tips-coping-freelance-isolation/

S.G.

January 2014 news

This is a brief review of translation and language news from around the world, along with the links to the relevant content. Let us know if you come across interesting online content!

Poet and French-English translator Pierre Joris was asked to share his rules for translation, but he replied that he’d much rather explain how he sees himself and why he translates. Why do you translate?

With the New Year, industry pundits like to reflect on the year that just ended and make predictions for the coming year. Adam Blau of Blau Consulting shares his insights about the growth of the translation industry, payment processes, machine translation, and increasing numbers of consultants and trainers.

Similar to the issue debated in New Zealand in April 2013, the Washington Post published an editorial on 3 January 2014 calling for special visas for Afghan interpreters.

Alan Yu of NPR reports on the findings of recent research on language and how it shapes one’s cognitive processes. Speakers of different languages not only see the world differently but also think differently.

S.G.

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