Stories about Language from September, 2008
Afghanistan: Students on Hunger Strike
Azar Balkhi reports that following the language dispute in the Balkh province of Afghanistan, in which students of the local university entered into a clash with the police, the protesters went on a hunger strike.
Blogger of the Week: Sami Ben Gharbia
This week's Blogger of the Week is none other than Global Voices Advocacy Director Sami Ben Gharbia, known for his dedication to the fight against oppression and censorship. Sami is originally from Tunisia, but has been based in The Netherlands since 1998. He blogs at fikra.
Japan: Name of new PM poses challenge for Canadians
At Canada de Nihongo (カナダde日本語), a Japanese blogger living in Canada describes how she can't stop laughing [ja] when people mention the name of Japan's new Prime Minister: although they try to say “Taro Aso”, what comes out inevitably sounds like “Taro Asshole”.
Russian Blog explains the usage of the Russian word trezvost’ (“sobriety”).
Jamaica, Guyana: New Book
Jamaican litblogger Geoffrey Philp focuses on a new book by Guyanese author Sasenarine Persaud.
Deaf Awareness Week: Striving for Quality Education
On this second part of the Deaf Awareness Week posts (part one), we bring you a perspective on education for the deaf, and the different challenges it implies. First, from the Central African Republic, a school that after funds stopped, has continued fueled only by love. Second, from the Philippines,...
Japan: The changing value of knowledge
Japanese Hatena user id:TomoMachi argues that now that everything on the Internet is so easily accessible to everyone, the value of simply “knowing something” is disappearing [ja]. User id:aureliano follows with a post pointing out that while rote memorization is becoming meaningless, the same is not true of writing an...
Ukraine: Critique of a Text on NATO Membership
The 8th Circle posts a detailed critique of Jeffrey Tayler’s piece in The Atlantic: “[…] in the process of attempting to make the case against Ukraine’s membership in NATO, Tayler resorts (consciously or not) to claims that are either: misleading or factually inaccurate and/or are highly improbable to be true...
Deaf Awareness Week: A different type of book signing.
Did you know that most deaf people who sign, consider sign language their first language and the written language as their second? I didn't, but thanks to the dozens of videos uploaded by members of the deaf community from all over the world, I've learned about this and many other things. International Deaf Awareness Week takes place during the last week of September, so I'll be showcasing different videos from or about the deaf communities around the world.
Taiwan: the need for mother tongue education
Talking Taiwanese has written a long essay on the importance of mother tongue education. He discusses how the Taiwanese language is neglected in the education system and the implications this has for students’ academic achievement and the future survival of the language.
Ukraine, EU: A Closer Relationship?
The EU's plan to finalize an Association Agreement with Ukraine in 2009 was made public at the EU-Ukraine Summit in Paris on Sept. 9. The media and bloggers greeted it with mixed reactions. “EU offers reassurance to Ukraine,” read a BBC headline. “EU offers no promises to hopeful Ukraine,” wrote...
Blogger of the Week: Leonard Chien
Today's Blogger of the Week series introduces us to Leonard Chien, English-Chinese translator and interpreter from Taiwan, and a Lingua powerhouse for Global Voices. When asked what he would chose for a superpower he said “May I increase my translation rates?” So what more can we learn about Leonard than his love for translating? Read more to find out.
Slovakia: Common Phrases in Slovak
The Foreigner's Guide to Living in Slovakia shares and explains some common Slovak phrases and even provides a test at the end of the post.
Japan: Hilarious Google translations
Blogger Cozy Ozy picks up a few simple sentences and compares English-to-Japanese machine translations [ja] from Google Translate, Yahoo, Excite and Korya Eiwa 2009. While translations by other services are understandable, Google Translate produces bizarre results: “We played baseball” becomes “This is our baseball” (私たちの野球です), “Lucy has no friends to...
Turkey: “Armenian Istanbul”
Sundry Translations and Other Tangentialia translates Mark Grigorian's LJ entries (RUS – here, here, here) on Istanbul's Armenian dimension.
Japan: Idiomatic Expressions
You can pick up some Japan idiomatic expressions at Yuki Sakuma's blog post.
Russia: Getting the Message Through
Kosmopolit comments on the difficulties for Russian leaders to get their message through internationally, when their political language does not come across to their audience.
Jamaica, U.S.A.: In Memoriam
Jamaican litblogger Geoffrey Philp is saddened over the passing of American poet Reginald Shepherd and also posts a poem in memory of the 9-11 firefighters, who lost their lives seven years ago today.
Bahrain: Lost in translation
Coolred, an American living in Bahrain, reflects on the difficulty of not knowing the language her children are being educated in: “As she quickly dug a book from her bag and proudly showed it of to me…all I could think of was the fact that it was written in Arabic…and...
China: 2008 Internet Buzz Words Video
My mother doesn't know how to go online She looks very busy everyday She says the internet is no good Everything inside is very yellow and very violent Oh mama, who tells you so? Oh mama, what you say thunder-shocks me Oh mama, let your son tell you I go online to buy sauce (majority onlookers)
Jamaica: Soon Come
“For me, this was like staring into a mirror and recognizing myself for the first time”: Jamaican litblogger Geoffrey Philp reviews Hugh Hodges’ Soon Come, which he says “provides a useful context for understanding Jamaican religions such as Myal, Kumina, Revivalism, and Rastafari and their connection with the work of...