Category Archive: Newsletter

  1. ‘Brexit’: A Linguistic Guide

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    ‘Brexit’: A Linguistic Guide

    “Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union, known as Brexit, has brought a multitude of challenges, and now it seems to be testing the limits of the English language. Clever wording, what diplomats describe as constructive ambiguity, can bridge gaps between groups with competing interests. But lately, the language in Brexit seems only to have set off seismic shocks.”

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    Britain’s departure from the European Union has spawned a new diplomatic language. This week, one innocuous-sounding word pitched talks into crisis.
    NYTIMES.COM
  2. Lost in Translation? Pope Ponders an Update to Lord’s Prayer

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    Lost in Translation? Pope Ponders an Update to Lord’s Prayer

    “It has been a question of theological debate and liturgical interpretation for years, and now Pope Francis has joined the discussion: Does the Lord’s Prayer, Christendom’s resonant petition to the Almighty, need an update? In a new television interview, Pope Francis said the common rendering of one line in the prayer—‘lead us not into temptation’—was ‘not a good translation’ from ancient texts.”

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    “Lead us not into temptation” is not quite right, Francis said. “Do not let us fall into temptation” might be more precise.
    NYTIMES.COM
  3. Brains of Bilingual People Solve Math Problems Differently

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    Brains of Bilingual People Solve Math Problems Differently

    “For anyone who’s breezed through literature class yet struggled with algebra, it may surprise you that language and math skills are more closely intertwined than you might think. Scientists from the University of Luxembourg have found that brain regions associated with visual processing are activated in bilingual people when solving math problems in their second language—something that’s not seen in monolingual people, and which has lifetime implications.”

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    Bilingual people rely on visuo-spatial pathways when solving math problems—something not seen in monolingual people.
    PBS.ORG
  4. Google Pixel Buds vs. professional interpreters: Which is more accurate?

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    Google Pixel Buds vs. professional interpreters: Which is more accurate?

    “We brought in conference interpreters Lana Ayad and Marina Ivanova to have them judge the accuracy of the Pixel Buds’ real-time translations in three languages—Arabic, French, and Russian—and the results weren’t exactly reassuring.”

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    Google’s Pixel Buds are no match for professional interpreters
    Google is no match for humans.
    MASHABLE.COM

  5. “Full understand”: The new language of the Lesvos refugee camp

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    “Full understand”: The new language of the Lesvos refugee camp

    “[I]n the crucible of the overcrowded detention centre at Moria, English is undergoing an accelerated evolution, tentatively beginning to develop its own unique grammar and idiom. My six months working on the island were a crash course in ‘Lesvos English’—and in the remarkable ways people adapt and communicate as they attempt to survive a worsening humanitarian crisis.”

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    In the crucible of the overcrowded detention centre at Moria, English is undergoing an accelerated evolution.
    NEWSTATESMAN.COM
  6. How Long to Learn That Language? Here’s a Map for That

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    How Long to Learn That Language? Here’s a Map for That

    “For English-speakers, Romanian is easier to learn than German. And you’ll be speaking Russian sooner than Hungarian. How is that? Because the Foreign Service Institute says so….The Institute has a very practical approach to languages, dividing them into five categories, depending solely on how long it takes to learn them.”

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    How the U.S. teaches foreign languages to its diplomats.
    BIGTHINK.COM
  7. Thinking in a foreign language, we’re less prone to superstition

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    Thinking in a foreign language, we’re less prone to superstition

    “Operating in our second language can have some intriguing psychological effects. We swear more freely and linger longer on embarrassing topics than normal. We’re also less susceptible to cognitive biases. According to psychologist Constantinos Hadjichristidis at the University of Trento, this is because a second language discourages us from relying on intuitive thinking. In a new paper…, Hadjichristidis and his colleagues have shown another way that this manifests—when thinking in a foreign language, we’re less prone to superstition.”

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    Operating in our second language can have some intriguing psychological effects. By Alex Fradera
    DIGEST.BPS.ORG.UK
  8. Machine Translation vs. Human Translation

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    Machine Translation vs. Human Translation

    “Can Machine Translation (MT) replace human translators? A growing tendency in government to seek MT solutions as opposed to human translation, most often driven by cost-saving motives and ill-informed understandings of the translation process, profession, and industry, threatens the quality of mission-critical translation work.”

    Read on: http://bit.ly/MachineVsHuman

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    American Translators Association
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