Archivio per agosto 2008

Fuzzy o sneezy?

Riccardo Schiaffino di About Translation si è assunto l’arduo compito di individuare e capire i bug e i fuzzy match che Trados regolarmente sbaglia, contribuendo in tal modo alla cirrosi dei traduttori tecnici.

Non sarebbe bello se Trados/SDL la smettesse di vendere ogni anno a caro prezzo  i cosiddetti upgrade, che sono semplicemente il risultato ottenuto ogni volta che un programmatore starnutisce sul codice?

Postato da: IM


Top 10

Peter Austin è professore di linguistica (con particolare attenzione per le lingue africane) e autore di tantissimi libri. L’ultimo (e il più interessante, a mio modesto parere) è 1000 Languages The Worldwide HIstory of Living and Lost Tongues.

Per il Guardian, Austin ha creato una top 10 delle lingue che stanno scomparendo più rapidamente.

Each language expresses the history, culture, society and identity of the people who speak it, and each is a unique way of talking about the world. The loss of any language is a loss to both the community who use it in their daily lives, and to humankind in general. The songs, stories, words, expressions and grammatical structures of languages developed over countless generations are part of the intangible heritage of all humanity.

So how to choose a top 10 from more than 3,000 endangered languages? My selection is a personal one that tries to take into account four factors: (1) geographical coverage – if possible I wanted at least one language from each continent; (2) scientific interest – I wanted to include languages that linguists find interesting and important, because of their structural or historical significance; (3) cultural interest – if possible some information about interesting cultural and political aspects of endangered languages should be included; and (4) social impact – I wanted to include one or more situations showing why languages are endangered, as well as highlighting some of the ways communities are responding to the threat they currently face.

La classifica è qui.

Mad About English

Mad About English reveals the frenzy as English fever spreads to policemen, taxi drivers, waiters, official dignitaries, even elderly matrons involved in community services. Textbooks can be found in bookstores across Beijing, and each morning audio lessons of conversational English can be heard at the city’s supermarkets. Parents send their children to special boot camp-style English training programs where, in a unique teaching method, instructors encourage their pupils to scream out their English lessons at the top of their lungs. (Da CBS Newsworld)

A giudicare dai provini, è un riso amaro.

Aggiunta del giorno dopo: Tym Blogs Too, blogger di Singapore, ha postato alcune riflessioni interessanti su questo film. Ne riporto una parte.

No matter how many times we come back to any of these people, we never find out their full stories. Where do they come from? How do they feel spending so much time and energy to learn a language that is so historically, culturally and grammatically divorced from their own? What are the implications of learning English when China is on the ascendant? Are these people fringe elements or truly representative of English learners in Beijing (or, for that matter, the rest of China)?

So many questions, hardly any answers. There’s only so long that you can watch people stumble over learning a foreign language before it starts to feel not only trite and tired, but also mean and cheap. Stick a camera in front of anyone learning a foreign language – especially a language with such different roots from one’s native tongue – and you’d pretty much get the same result. There are signs in Paris that have just as entertaining (or apparently insipid) translation errors in English as they do in Beijing. There are Americans or Europeans learning to speak Mandarin who make just as egregious or laughable errors as these Chinese mainlanders stuttering their way through English. Mad About English doesn’t tell us anything that we don’t know already.

It was also ironic that all the Chinese interviewees largely spoke in English, whether they were being interviewed or interacting with other (Chinese) people. It felt as if they were constantly having to perform in English, with little opportunity to speak in their native tongue and say what they really thought and felt. Perhaps this was deliberate, to show exactly how “mad” about English these people are, but it only made them seem more inscrutable and kooky (ah, those inscrutable Orientals!), allowing them to be laughed at but not understood.

Impossibile darle torto.

Postato da: IM

Non c’è più religione.

Kafka faceva della pornografia

A stash of explicit pornography to which Franz Kafka subscribed has emerged for the first time after being studiously ignored by scholars anxious to preserve the iconic writer’s saintly image. Having stumbled by chance across copies in the British Library in London and the Bodleian in Oxford while doing unrelated research, James Hawes, the academic and Kafka expert, reveals some of this erotic material in Excavating Kafka, to be published this month. His book seeks to explode important myths surrounding the literary icon, a “quasi-saintly” image which hardly fits with the dark and shocking pictures contained in these banned journals.

Julia Child (che io pensavo fosse in grado di scrivere solo libri di cucina) era una spia della CIA

Famed chef Julia Child shared a secret with Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg and Chicago White Sox catcher Moe Berg at a time when the Nazis threatened the world. They served in an international spy ring managed by the Office of Strategic Services, an early version of the CIA created in World War II by President Franklin Roosevelt.

e il vanitoso Byron si pavoneggiava della sua fanmail.

The missives, which date from 1812 to 1814, show the ardour of Lord Byron’s fans, some of whom laced them with daring sexual undertones and breathless fantasies.Despite many of the writers urging him to destroy the mail immediately after reading, it is clear he preferred to collect them as “trophies”.

Più recentemente, Random House ha dovuto sostituire la parola twat in un libro della scrittrice per l’infanzia, Jacqueline Wilson. A questo proposito, segnalo l’articolo di commento del Guardian.

Per fortuna, visto che ora si scrive e si legge solo in forma di post, anche i blogger più giovani non possono più dire di non conoscere George Orwell.

Postato da: IM

Casa italiana

Casa italiana è il blog in inglese di Maurizio Baglieri (insegnante, traduttore e web editor) dedicato alla storia della lingua italiana. Il blog è ancora agli inizi, ma promette bene.

Postato da: IM

Colemanballs, contorsioni, immersione e branding.

Colemanballs (da David Coleman, giornalista sportivo della BBC) sono le sciocchezze che i cronisti dicono per commentare le diverse gare. Di Coleman si ricordano frasi come “The late start is due to the time” e “the line-up for the final of the women’s 400 metres hurdles includes three Russians, two East Germans, a Pole, a Swede and a Frenchman“. Ovviamente le Olimpiadi di Pechino hanno creato il terreno per altre stupidaggini, riportate in quest’articolo del Sydney Morning Herald.

Contorsioni linguistiche:

At the beginning of class, we stood at the front of our mats and let out a long, dirgelike moan,” the first-time yoga student recollected. “Then the teacher yelled, ‘Chili-pepper pasta,’ and everyone hit the floor.” Sanskrit, the language of yoga, is said to unite sound and meaning; that is, saying the word gives the experience of its meaning. But for the novice yogi (the word for male as well as female practitioners), whose ears need to be tuned to a new frequency, that experience can be as elusive as an overnight parking spot in Manhattan. Thus, chaturanga dandasana (four-legged staff pose, which looks like the bottom of a pushup, your body hovering inches above the floor) might become “chili-pepper pasta” if you’ve got dinner reservations at the latest outpost of the latest fusion craze. And the ear-twisters don’t end there. So let’s do some untwisting.

Hatha, Om, triconasana e altri termini vengono spiegati in quest’articolo del NY Times.

La fatica di una language immersion vacation: raccontate la vostra.

Anni fa, al ricevimento d’inizio d’anno dell’associazione olandese di traduttori e interpreti, un collega si era presentato con jeans, camicia hawaiiana, calzini da sport bianchi e mocassini. Cattivo gusto o personal branding?

Your look is your brand
If you have a distinctive enough look, it can function as your own brand. People often cringe at the notion of “branding” themselves. But your personal brand doesn’t have to be a focus-tested, genericized, rubberized simulacrum of a real person; it just has to be a concentrated version of
you. When people talk about having a “personal brand,” what they really mean is that people who are successful in business are usually also successful at being completely themselves. They don’t hesitate to express what’s important to them–their ideas, their vision, and yes, their style. Think Diana Vreeland, the fashion-magazine editor who wore kabuki-style makeup every day, or Matt Drudge in his hat, or Steve Jobs in his black turtleneck.

L’articolo Dressed to Impress è dell’inossidabile Erin McKean.

Postato da:IM

L’illusione del libero arbitrio

I find myself wondering just how many contracts I sign — explicitly or implicitly — in the course of a year. The biggest of them all is the social contract, which I renew every morning, whether I like it or not, by getting dressed and going out into the world. Nearly everything I do — every Web site I navigate to, song I download, item I purchase — comes wrapped in a contract of sorts.

Il resto dell’articolo di Verlyn Klinkenborg (nome non inventato) è qui.

Postato da: IM


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