This week in languages: 22 Jan, 2016

by on January 22, 2016



Microsoft has finally released Skype for Windows, enabling users to have their speech translated in 7 languages—English, Chinese Mandarin, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish—in real time! Meanwhile, text-to-text translations can be translated to more than 50 languages.

The Russian search engine Yandex added J.R.R. Tolkien’s constructed language Sindarin to its online translation offerings on January 3 in commemoration of what would have been the author’s 124th birthday. Among other things, Yandex was quoted as saying that it was “reaching out to Sindarin specialists and Tolkien fans to enrich their data”.

Turkish might soon be heard in the hallowed halls of Brussels if the lobbying efforts of Greek-Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades to make it an official EU language bear fruit. This comes as talks to reunify Greek-speaking Cyprus with Turkish-speaking Northern Cyprus intensify, with an outcome expected at the end of the year.

There’s hope for the Squamish language! Simon Fraser University and a non-profit called Kwi Awt Stelmexw are collaborating to launch a two-year, full-time Squamish language immersion programme for adults—admissions are now open for the 2016/2017 academic year, until March 18, 2016.  The language is spoken by people in southwestern British Columbia, Canada, and had just 10 speakers about a decade ago.

For the first time, nurses and midwives from the EU looking to work in the UK will now be tested for their fluency in English. Previously, only nurses from outside the EU had to take such tests to ensure their ability to communicate with patients. The move comes as the National Health Service (NHS) faces a shortage of health professionals and the UK government has since last October, “temporarily lifted restrictions on recruiting nurses from overseas.”

Commentaries and Features

Is there a concrete difference between languages and dialects? Writing for The Atlantic, John McWhorter clarifies and answers this age-old question—using eye-opening examples of linguistic situations from around the globe.

The Wall Street Journal examined how the languages of Star Wars: The Force Awakens were developed, especially the language employed by the Kanjiklub gang, and compared them to other, ‘established’ science fiction languages like Na’vi from James Cameron’s Avatar and Dothraki from Game of Thrones.

Shēng rì kuài lè! The father of the hanyupinyin—a transliteration of Chinese sounds in the Roman alphabet—Zhou Yougang, celebrated his 110th birthday on January 13, reported in Shanghaiist.

Over in the UK, Prime Minister David Cameron has drawn flak for his plans to help migrant Muslim women learn English so that they are less “susceptible” to extremist messages—the rationale being that learning English would help immigrants (particularly those who are isolated and struggle with the language) with social integration and therefore counter radicalisation. Critics, however, argue that by focusing on Muslim women and linking the language classes to extremism, an entire community has been inadvertently stigmatised as radicals.


2 Responses to “This week in languages: 22 Jan, 2016”

  1. بالإضافة إلى الطُّرق الطبيعية المُتّبعة للتخلّص من العناكب، هناك بعض الطُّرق الكيميائية الموصى بها، منها: المبيدات الحشرية: تُعدّ المبيدات الحشرية من الطُّرق الكيميائية التي تُساهم في التخلّص من العناكب، وذلك من خلال مهاجمة أنظمتها العصبية، لذا لا بد من أخذ الحيطة والحذر عند استخد구례출장샵امها ومراعاة قواعد السلامة واتباع الإرشادات العامة. تتوافر المبيدات الحشرية في الأسواق والمتاجر المختلفة على عدّة أشكال، وهي: المبيدات الحشرية السائلة: تساهم المبيدات السائلة في الحدّ من تواجد العناكب خاصةً في حال كانت مساحة المنزل واسعة. المساحيق: يُعدّ هذا النوع من المبيدات الأكثر فعاليةً للاستخدام سواء داخل المنزل، أو في الساحة الخارجية، ممّا يحدّ من تواجد العناكب في المنزل. مساحيق التعفير: يتمّ استخدام مساحيق التعفيرعلى الشقوق والفراغات الموجودة في المنزل، التي يُمكن أن يعتبرها العنكبوت مخبئاً له.

  2. Your article gave me a lot of inspiration, I hope you can explain your point of view in more detail, because I have some doubts, thank you.


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