Archive: Feb 2018

  1. USC ISI to Develop Translation and Information-Retrieval System for Uncommon Languages

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    USC ISI to Develop Translation and Information-Retrieval System for Uncommon Languages

    “Since we don’t have a lot of written data in these languages, we have to do more with less….Ideally, we would use about 300 million words to train a machine translation system—and in this case, we have around 800,000 words. There are about 100,000 words per novel, so we have only eight novels’ worth of words to work from.”

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  2. The Political Power of Translation

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    The Political Power of Translation

    “It never occurred to me that my work as a literary translator—from Italian, among other languages, into English—might have anything to do with the political causes about which I cared so deeply. Then I received an email from an editor: would I like to translate a book written by an Italian doctor running a clinic on the island of Lampedusa, on the frontline of the humanitarian effort to rescue refugees on the dangerous sea route to Europe?”

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    When Angela Merkel opened Germany’s borders to refugees in August 2015, I happened to be spending the summer in Berlin. For days, I did little but watch the news and read about Syrian families and …
    LITHUB.COM
  3. Scientists are working on a pet translator, so you can Dr. Dolittle it up 🙂

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    Scientists are working on a pet translator, so you can Dr. Dolittle it up 🙂

    “Thanks to the beauty of technology, we may be inching ever-closer to a world where you can tell Fido all about your day—and have him respond in kind. According to NBC News, scientists are using artificial intelligence to try to market a pet translator. Wild, right?”

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  4. ‘Countries that are dirty like toilets,’ and other ways Trump’s profanity was translated abroad

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    ‘Countries that are dirty like toilets,’ and other ways Trump’s profanity was translated abroad

    “Deciding what to do with the remarks—and whether to censor them in news reports—was tough enough for the press in the United States. It was, after all, a vulgar phrase not usually fit for a newspaper or television. But imagine trying to make sense of it in a different language. Every culture has its profanities, to be sure, but they do not always translate well.”

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    About this article

    Trump’s profane words Thursday created yet another translating headache around the world.
    WASHINGTONPOST.COM
  5. Why Do Cartoon Villains Speak in Foreign Accents?

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    Why Do Cartoon Villains Speak in Foreign Accents?

    “Language tropes can have far-reaching consequences, both for kids’ perceptions of those around them and their understandings of themselves. Research has shown that kids use TV as a key source of information about other ethnic groups, as well as about their own ethnic and racial identities.”

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    Children’s shows often use non-standard dialects to voice the “bad guys,” sending a dangerous message to kids about diversity.
    THEATLANTIC.COM
  6. Han Kang and the Complexity of Translation

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    Han Kang and the Complexity of Translation

    “How literal must a literary translation be? Nabokov, who was fluent in three languages and wrote in two of them, believed that ‘the clumsiest literal translation is a thousand times more useful than the prettiest paraphrase.’ Borges, on the other hand, maintained that a translator should seek not to copy a text but to transform and enrich it.”

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    About this article

    The English-language versions of Han’s work have won wide acclaim. Are they faithful to the original?
    NEWYORKER.COM
  7. 10 tongue twisters by TED Translators

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    10 tongue twisters by TED Translators

    “We all know that TED Translators work hard—but they love having fun, too. In the spirit of the latter, each of the 10 translators attending TED2017 recorded a tongue twister in his or her native language for this short video….Enjoy these tricky linguistic treats—and try them yourself!”

    Listen in—

    We all know that TED Translators work hard—but they love having fun, too. In the spirit of the latter, each of the 10 translators attending TED2017 recorded a tongue twister in his or her native la…
    TEDTRANSLATORS.COM
  8. Translators as Bridge Builders: A Dispatch from the Guadalajara International Book Fair

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    Translators as Bridge Builders: A Dispatch from the Guadalajara International Book Fair

    “Our discussion ranged from the purely mechanical to the more creative. We began with the people involved in the process of translation and their roles…underscoring the importance of translators as bridge builders, not just via the translation of the work itself, but also as intermediaries, and sometimes even as ‘scouts’ to find projects and promote them to editors in their target language.”

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  9. ‘A special place for Luxembourgish’: Grand Duchy’s native language enjoys renaissance

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    ‘A special place for Luxembourgish’: Grand Duchy’s native language enjoys renaissance

    “Now Luxembourg’s government wants to boost the status of the language further with a 40-point action plan that aims to promote it in schools, libraries, government offices and embassies. Luxembourgish will be codified, with an academy, nationwide spelling campaigns and the completion of an online dictionary. Schoolchildren will be able to do poetry slam, creative writing and theatre in the language.”

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    Luxembourg’s government has a 40-point action plan to build on the renewed popularity of its national tongue, traditionally spoken at home
    THEGUARDIAN.COM
  10. Learning a language in VR is less embarrassing than IRL

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    Learning a language in VR is less embarrassing than IRL

    “Will virtual reality help you learn a language more quickly? Or will it simply replace your memory?”

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    As you’re talking with a responsive character that looks like a human, it feels like an actual conversation, but without any of the jitters that come with thinking you’re sounding stupid.
    QZ.COM