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  • Portuguese Language Reform Law Goes Global Portuguese Language Reform Law Goes Global 2015-05-30

    The Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement (NaO) became law on May 13, 2015. The agreement, which was signed in 1990, establishes new spelling and grammar rules with the goal of standardizing the Portuguese language. Implementation of the law began in 2009. Following several years of transition, the NaO changes were introduced into school systems in 2011. In 2012, all official public documents were required to follow the new rules. The NaO agreement applies to nine countries where Portuguese is the official language: Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé, Principe, and Timor Leste. However, 80% of the 261,000-million Portuguese speakers reside in Brazil, and some cite this dominance as the reason the agreement heavily favors Brazilian Portuguese. Critics on both sides of the language divide view NaO as an attack on diversity. Language Professor Marcelo Leite says, "Difference is the cool thing " in cultural heritage. Proponents, on the other hand, see the differences in pronunciation and grammar as problems that can and should be fixed. They note that it's often difficult for Brazilian- and Portuguese-speakers to understand one another, and, they add, that doesn't benefit anyone.From "Portuguese Language Reform Law Goes Global" Euronews (France) (05/14/15) Lancashire, Adrian

  • Why a New York Times Exposé Is Published in Four Languages Why a New York Times Exposé Is Published in Four Languages 2015-05-30

    New York Times reporter Sarah Maslin Nirtook an unusual approach to an investigation of the exploitation of nail salonworkers. Instead of working in English, Nir assembled a team of translators andinterpreters to investigate the story in Korean, Chinese, Spanish, andEnglish—the languages most commonly spoken by the salon workers. Over thecourse of a year, the interpreters on Nirs team interviewed 125 salon workers.Many more refused to talk. The use of interpreters, although costly, becamecrucial in establishing trust. The translators working on the project reviewedcourt cases and foreign language newspapers looking for reports of underpaymentand abusive working conditions. What Nir and her team discovered was made allthe more shocking by its ordinariness: there is a nail salon on every corner,in every mall, and never a thought that anything could be wrong. Yet, there is.Salon workers are paid as little as $1.50 per hour and often work 24-hourshifts. They frequently share small apartments with 10 to 12 co-workers. It isnot unusual for a worker to pay a $100 training fee in order to get the job,and then work without pay for months before the salon owner decides they arequalified enough to receive a salary. One unexpected finding of theinvestigation further emphasized the value of working a story in multiplelanguages. By comparing the interviews across all four languages, Nirdiscovered that ethnic discrimination plays a huge role in the nail salonindustry: Korean speakers earn 15% to 25% more and in general are treatedbetter than either Chinese or Spanish-peakers. This aspect of the story wouldnever have come to light if Nir had focused on only one language group to theexclusion of the other two. The decision to use translators and interpreters inthe investigation turned out to be invaluable. From "Why a New York Times Nail SalonExposé Is Published in Four Languages" Columbia Journalism Review (NY) (05/08/15)Bech Sillesen, Lene

  • Local Interpreter Services and the Curious Case of Boontling Local Interpreter Services and the Curious Case of Boontling 2015-05-29

    Boonville, California, a few hours north ofSan Francisco, is a small town known for its craft beer and its uniquecontribution to communication – not the high tech communication that is thestuff of Silicon Valley, but rather a more basic sort of innovation. With apopulation of just over 1,000, Boonville is the home of Boontling, which, ifyou didn’t know, is the town’s own language, developed over the past century-and-a-half,mostly so that the denizens of Boonville could communicate with one anotherwithout being understood by outsiders. To be accurate, Boontling isn’t really a‘language’ properly speaking, not the way linguists define it at least. Onecould more accurately call it a regional vernacular, a jargon perhaps. It’s avariety of spoken English that has never been spoken by more than 1,000 peopleat a time and today its population of speakers is dwindling as their offspringadopt the ways, customs, and speech of the very outsiders that Boontling wasintended to keep outside. No interpreter service can keep Boontling alive. Thesheer force of standardization is pushing it into the past.

  • Medical Interpretation: Taking the Fear out of Healthcare Medical Interpretation: Taking the Fear out of Healthcare 2015-05-29

    A doctor’s office is a scary place. Ifyou’re at the doctor’s, chances are you don’t want to be. No one ever plans adate by saying, “How about some dinner, a movie, and a visit to theoncologist?” As scary as they are for everyone ingeneral, doctor’s offices and hospitals are doubly scary if you can’tunderstand what people in scrubs are saying about you. As a non-English speakeryou might be fairly certain they’re discussing something critical to yourhealth and welfare, but how would you know if they’re getting it right?Accurate medical interpretation can be literally life-saving in thesesituations.

  • In-Person and Over-the-Phone Interpretation Let You React to Change In-Person and Over-the-Phone Interpretation Let You React to Change 2015-05-29

    Earlier this month, Pope Francis made ahistoric visit to the Philippines. Many public addresses were planned, withspeeches prepared in English. At several stops, however, Pope Francis decidedto discard his prepared speeches and speak from the heart in his nativeSpanish. While there are Spanish speakers in thePhilippines, and Spanish is closely related to that nation’s dominant nativelanguage of Tagalog, English is the Philippines' second language. The Pope’sshift to Spanish would have left hundreds of thousands of attentive Filipinoscompletely lost, creating the need for an interpreter. The Pope, it turns out,regularly travels with a priest who serves as his Spanish to Englishinterpreter, ensuring that the Holy Father can speak freely in his nativetongue and be understood nearly worldwide in the 21st Century’s lingua franca.

  • What is the Cost of Translation Services? What is the Cost of Translation Services? 2015-05-29

    How much do translation services cost? Thisis the most common question posed by representatives from businesses that Ispeak to on a regular basis. The simplest answer is that the cost oftranslation services varies based on many different factors. There is no commonformula that can be applied to any document to quickly calculate the price of atranslation. Each type of text is different, and each language pair hasdifferent demands.