Language

Linguistic Paranoia

Kudos to Nataly Kelly of Common Sense Advisory, whose recent editorial submission to the Boston Globe, Caught in the grips of linguistic paranoia, was picked up by The Week. Why are other languages so threatening to us monolingual Americans? I think it is a testament to the power of language. I lived in South Africa...

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No way to treat our friends, indeed

If we thought the situation was improving for interpreters helping US forces in Iraq, Malou Innocent reports otherwise at Tampa Bay Online. It’s not just the forms, the fees, the outside-Iraq interview, the array of bureaucratic obstacles the applicant has to overcome—some of which might be reduced by legislation that’s not exactly rushing through Congress....

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Learning and growing local languages

The Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana is the newest community to begin development of a language-learning program in partnership with Rosetta Stone, Inc., helping to revive use of the Sitimaxa language, which had been thought to be lost. Working with the Endangered Language Program (ELP), the tribe will own distribution and sales rights to their version...

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Happy Translators Day!

September 30, St. Jerome’s Day, was International Translation Day. Some of the translation companies and associations that celebrate the occasion scheduled their programs for today — the European Translation Center (EKEMEL) meeting on “Translating Europe” in Athens, Greece, for one, and a series of “powwows” arranged by members of ProZ.com. “Translation is a risky business,”...

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Back to school: New rules for German

Grammar reform is now official in Germany. Andrew D. Blechman writes in The Christian Science Monitor that the reforms are at best unpopular among Germans, but at least adults won’t be penalized for not following them. The changes will be incorporated into school textbooks, and students will be strictly graded on their grammar. The first...

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Encouraging news

Social networking sites are doing more than we thought for language! Language expert and author David Crystal says that the internet “through blogs, instant messaging, chat rooms and sites such as Wikipedia, MySpace and YouTube, is making less-common languages cool. This means that teenagers texting in Welsh or Cherokee may pass their languages along to...

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Studying Irish at Cambridge

Modern Irish is now on the curriculum at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, along with the medieval version of the language. IrishExaminer.com reports that Cambridge has become “the first English university to teach both modern and medieval forms of the language” and to allow study of Irish in its regional context. The Irish government...

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MYOOPS and OCW

A recent New York Times story contained this startling statement: “Lucifer Chu, a 31-year-old from Taipei, Taiwan . . . has become a millionaire by creating Chinese translations of fantasy novels. Using much of the $1 million in royalties from his versions of The Lord of the Rings, Mr. Chu says he devotes himself to...

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