Rosetta Stone Now Teaches Inupiaq

Popular language-learning software maker Rosetta Stone is all set to unveil its newest offering: the  Alaskan dialect of Inupiaq.  Inupiaq is an Inuit language spoken by Native Americans in Alaska. According to Wikipedia, there are 4 main dialects of Inupiaq and several sub-dialects.

According to the Seattle Times, Rosetta Stone has been working on the project as part of its endangered language program. The company works with native speakers of disappearing languages to create software that can be used to teach both adults and children alike.

Currently, Inupiaq is one of the stronger Native languages in Alaska, but that doesn’t mean it’s in very good shape.  Including all the different dialects and sub-dialects, the language is spoken by somewhere between 2,420 and 1,500 people. Read more

Gaelic Translator

Gaelic Translator

Planning a trip over to Ireland? Don’t forget to bring your guide and your Gaelic dictionary with you. For those who are not a big fan of dictionaries like me, here are some helpful websites that will help you translate any word you have in mind into Gaelic. Quick, easy and free, they are the perfect travel companion… you are just one click away to be able to be understood by the locals!

Lexilogos

Irish Dictionary Online

Omniglot

However, if you have important text and want something a lot more accurate, give our document translation service a try and we will find a 100% human superhero Gaelic translator or interpreter. 🙂

Bon voyage!

Translation to Spanish, Holidays and Robbery

Travelling is great, it offers you the opportunity to see something else, explore a different country than yours, be open to another culture and overall try new things. Food, people, landscapes, habits, animals, nature, clothes…everything can be completely different from what you have experienced before. Landing in a new country is like landing on a new planet where some changes can affect you for the rest of your life, you even might want to stay there forever because you feel that you fit better in this new land than your home country. Who knows!?

However, for the majority of us, this is just a stopover in our daily life, break the habits for 1 week or 2 and escape the reality thanks to a change of scene. Leave the routine to come back fresher, relaxed and happy. I think we all need that from time to time and I’m definitely always up for a trip abroad. However, there are always few rules to keep in mind when travelling to a foreign land: get a medical insurance, check that you have all your ID and important documents with you, make sure you have enough money to survive over there (plus put some cash in your pocket in the local currency), buy a guide, book an hotel or a backpack, bring a dictionary and learn few basics in the local language if you can.

Last one is very important because if you want to be able to understand and be understood, it’s always handy to know few expressions in the language your hosts are speaking. What happens if you don’t? Well, let me tell you the story about a Spanish couple who was in holidays in France… Read more

Shakespeare at the 2012 Olympics

Next year, athletes from every sport from every corner of the world will reunite in London to participate in one of the most anticipated event of the year. Swimmers, basketballers, boxers, tennismen and many others are going to meet at the 2012 Olympics Games in the British Capital to compete against each other in their respective disciplines in the hope of getting the “so – desired” gold medal. I can predict that 2012 is going to be a very electric year!

But the real star of the show is going to be William Shakespeare… Surprised? I was too when I discovered that the 38 plays he produced are all going to be performed in a different language to mark the 2012 London Olympics. From Italian to Lithuanian, Stagings of Julius Caesar to King Lear, sport to theatre, there is just one step. For all the Shakespeare’s lovers out there, the six-week theatre season (part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad) will start on 23 April at the Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, so don’t be late… Read more

Translation of Visa Application

If you are planning on coming to the UK then you’ll need to sort out your visa beforehand.

One thing that has changed recently is that on both the points based and non points based system you will need to provide certified translations of any support documents you submit with your application. In brief these need to be;

  • translated into English
  • dated
  • include the translator’s name and signature; and
  • include confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document.

If you don’t supply them then your application may be refused. Read more

Translation Issues Between Presidents

Chinese President Hu Jintao spent four days in America last week, meeting with US government officials and business leaders. Unfortunately, his visit was dogged by multiple translation issues.

First, both President Hu and President Obama held a joint press conference. Instead of having the questions from the press and the responses from the presidents translated simultaneously, the Chinese leader’s team preferred to have them translated consecutively. Technical issues with the consecutive translation led to President Hu believing that a question about China’s human rights record was directed solely at President Obama, when in fact the reporter wanted him to answer as well. Read more

Twitter Now Speaks Korean

Popular microblogging service Twitter just learned a new language: Korean. As of Wednesday, January 19th, Korean users can now send and receive tweets in their native Hangul alphabet from the Twitter website itself, instead of having to resort to a third-party application to translate the site.

In a Korean-language press release translated in the San Francisco Chronicle, Twitter wrote:

“With this launch, Twitter is now available in seven languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Korean. With 70 percent of Twitter accounts belonging to users outside the U.S., it’s important for us to make Twitter available in as many languages as possible, and we hope to support even more by the end of this year.”

Why Korea? At a press conference, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams says that the decision was a result of increased demand. Read more

Poetry is what gets lost in translation

Google Translate to Tackle Poetry

Robert Frost once said, “Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” However, according to NPR, that hasn’t stopped Google from attempting to translate poetry using their Google Translate machine translation service.

Google research scientist  Dmitriy Genzel told NPR that he considers effectively translating poetry to be the ultimate challenge, saying the attempt is “what we call AI complete. Which means it’s as difficult as anything we can attempt in artificial intelligence.”

What makes it so difficult? According to Carl Sandburg, “Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.” How do you translate that? It’s a challenge even for knowledgeable human translators to create a translation that captures both the rhythm of a poem and the layers of meaning it contains. Read more

How to Text in 4 Languages

OMG, BRB TTY…does that make sense to you? If you text message or use instant messaging, you probably didn’t even have to think twice about it. Texting has its own language, kind of like a secret code. Make that languages, actually. The desire to say as much as possible in as few letters as possible is universal, and each language has its own version of abbreviations for use when sending IM’s and text messages. Here are some examples (via Wikipedia, Matador Travel and David Crystal’s Txting: the Gr8 Db8):

Spanish

  • Jajaja / jejeje / jijiji: LOL or “laughing out loud”
  • X: Short for “por,” means “for” in English
  • Muak / muac / bs / besi2 / bx : Short for “besitos,” means “kisses”
  • Grax / gr: Short for “gracias,” means “Thanks”
  • Ktal: Short for “Que tál?,” means “what’s up?”
  • A2: Short for “Adios,” means “goodbye”
  • Hl: Short for “hola,” means “hello”

Read more

UK Government Encourages Foreign Language Learning

Note: K International hold an OJEU compliant contract to supply the UK Government with Language Translation and associated services. For more info click here >> Government Translation Services.

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In an effort to encourage more students to study foreign languages along with other challenging subjects, the UK government is changing how it ranks schools to give more weight to the number of students who do well on foreign language exams at each school.

Encouraging students to learn a new language is definitely a worthy goal. However, the new performance tables have upset many educators, who feel that changing the criteria without any advance notice is unfair.

For example, Christine Blower,  head of the National Union of Teachers, told Reuters:

“You can’t have schools judged against criteria that were not previously in place. This will significantly disadvantage some schools, as they will not have been geared up to doing, for instance, a modern language.”

Read more

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