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· September, 2008

Stories about Language from September, 2008

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Blogger of the Week: Sami Ben Gharbia

  28 September 2008

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

  25 September 2008

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”.

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Deaf Awareness Week: Striving for Quality Education

  24 September 2008

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

  23 September 2008

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

  22 September 2008

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...

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Deaf Awareness Week: A different type of book signing.

  22 September 2008

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

  21 September 2008

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?

  21 September 2008

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...

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Blogger of the Week: Leonard Chien

  21 September 2008

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.

Japan: Hilarious Google translations

  17 September 2008

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...

Jamaica, U.S.A.: In Memoriam

  11 September 2008

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

  11 September 2008

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

  11 September 2008

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

  10 September 2008

“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...

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