Monolingual dictionary – Phuut Thai http://phuutthai.com/ Wed, 18 May 2022 01:37:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://phuutthai.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-5-120x120.png Monolingual dictionary – Phuut Thai http://phuutthai.com/ 32 32 Jhumpa Lahiri leaves his comfort zone https://phuutthai.com/jhumpa-lahiri-leaves-his-comfort-zone/ Tue, 17 May 2022 09:00:05 +0000 https://phuutthai.com/jhumpa-lahiri-leaves-his-comfort-zone/ For the children of immigrants who speak another language, this process is inevitably more cumbersome than for the children of monolingual parents. Lahiri has always oscillated between the language of her parents, Bengali, and that of America where she grew up. It was natural for her to ponder the meaning of these different linguistic universes […]]]>

For the children of immigrants who speak another language, this process is inevitably more cumbersome than for the children of monolingual parents. Lahiri has always oscillated between the language of her parents, Bengali, and that of America where she grew up. It was natural for her to ponder the meaning of these different linguistic universes – and natural also for her to determine that she would bridge this separation. This determination could be called the first emotional requirement of any translator: “I was born with a translator’s disposition, in the sense that my primordial desire was to connect disparate worlds.”

Yet she does not dwell on what might be called the postcolonial or political aspects of her own biography. Nor is it encumbered by the pieties that often surround writing about translation. Instead, “art is not – should not – be an instrument of change of any kind,” she writes. “Once art marries itself with a social or political purpose, it is bled from its true purpose, which is not to change the world but to explore the phenomenon and consequences of change itself.” The book, instead, deals with the consequences of the seemingly simple act of choosing one’s own words.

Lahiri knows that no words are “our words”. She is skeptical about our ability to escape the trap of reflexive expression. Yet his book also contains hope for the liberating power of language. If we have to use someone else’s words, let’s at least not fool ourselves into thinking they are our own. Let us try, at the very least, to transform the involuntary process of language into a deliberate act.

We are individuals insofar as we can express ourselves in certain patterns, in accordance with specific needs and relationships. Language, like biology or social circumstances, is one such model; and as anyone who’s ever tried to lose a foreign accent knows, escaping these patterns is impossible for almost anyone.

Still, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Hidden in “Translating myself and others” hides an almost mystical project of self-creation: “Translating is looking in a mirror and seeing someone other than yourself”, writes Lahiri. What is left of us when we strip away the inherited expressive apparatus? If his project, like all extreme projects of self-invention, seems hopeless, his doomed but heroic quest for freedom brings this book to life. She knows that the illusion of freedom is An illusion. But his quest for Italian is about something far more important than synonyms, dictionaries or names. Studying this foreign language is, or can be, a liberation, says Lahiri: “I write in Italian to feel free.

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“The onset of dementia is delayed by four to nine years in people who speak more than one language” https://phuutthai.com/the-onset-of-dementia-is-delayed-by-four-to-nine-years-in-people-who-speak-more-than-one-language/ Fri, 13 May 2022 10:36:56 +0000 https://phuutthai.com/the-onset-of-dementia-is-delayed-by-four-to-nine-years-in-people-who-speak-more-than-one-language/ Although he studied medicine in his native Argentina, Marcelo Berthier came to Malaga 32 years ago, attracted by the city’s quality of life. Today, this university professor of neurology and researcher at IBIMA is internationally recognized as the pioneer of a combined treatment for aphasia (a language disorder that makes it difficult to communicate by […]]]>

Although he studied medicine in his native Argentina, Marcelo Berthier came to Malaga 32 years ago, attracted by the city’s quality of life. Today, this university professor of neurology and researcher at IBIMA is internationally recognized as the pioneer of a combined treatment for aphasia (a language disorder that makes it difficult to communicate by speaking or writing after a brain injury) which involves medication, language rehabilitation and non-intensive brain stimulation.

– What is it in the brain that has made you devote so much of your life?

– We humans are our brains. They regulate everything, and I’ve been a specialist in this since 1980, when I started working with people who had lost their language due to some type of brain injury. My interest has always been to study the biological bases of language. It’s what makes us human, what sets us apart from other primates, and it’s a fascinating and enigmatic subject, even if society pays little attention to it.

Treatment: “In cases of chronic aphasia, the role of administration could be greatly improved”

–How can we take better care of our brain?

–A stroke is one of the most common causes of aphasia, so we need to control vascular risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, etc.), but there are also has other things that a healthy person can do. For example, someone who is bilingual has a greater cognitive reserve, more capacity in their brain than a monolingual person. In fact, symptoms of dementia are delayed by four to nine years in people who speak more than one language, so using another language, reading it and understanding what you read is fundamental. The part of the brain that regulates our language must remain active, so speaking one or more others is desirable.

– After so many years of study, what has been the most revealing?

–Historically, it was believed that there was only a remote possibility of recovering language after full or partial loss as a result of brain injury; now we know that is not the case. This has been the major challenge: finding ways for people with aphasia to be able to communicate again in one way or another and regain their quality of life.

–The announcement of Bruce Willis’ retirement after being diagnosed with aphasia drew media attention to the disorder. How likely is a healthy person to have it?

– Aphasia has multiple causes: in adults, the most frequent is a cerebrovascular accident and cardiovascular accidents in general; also neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or primary progressive aphasia, which is probably that of Bruce Willis; but also, it could be tumors or head trauma. The older you are, the higher the risk of suffering from one of these conditions, and therefore the likelihood of aphasia. It is a symptom of some neurological conditions and its clinical features and long-term course are different. With a malignant tumor, it will be worse than someone who has a stroke. In general, diseases that affect the left hemisphere of the brain, which is responsible for language, are likely to cause aphasia. The vast majority of right-handers have lateralized language in the left side of the brain. Left-handed people tend to behave similarly to right-handed people, but may have more atypical locations in both cerebral hemispheres and, exceptionally, in the right hemisphere. This also happens with those who are ambidextrous.

Statistics: “In Andalusia alone, more than 7,000 people a year suffer a stroke”

– Does this mean that the risk of suffering from aphasia is linked to whether a person is right-handed or left-handed?

– Not necessarily, because we see right-handers who recover well and left-handers or ambidextrous who do not. Aphasia is a heterogeneous disorder in which many personal characteristics are involved. If an illiterate person is affected by it, it will not be the same as a high potential person. Their ability to recover is very different. An illiterate person has a very limited vocabulary, surprisingly, he only understands 300-500 words, while a university graduate can use around 30,000 words. This means that their language is broader, richer and more distributed in the brain. The margin of recovery is greater in someone who has more vocabulary, because he has more resources, more possibilities of finding alternatives to the words he cannot pronounce.

– Can aphasia happen overnight?

-It depends. Bruce Willis had time to prepare press releases announcing his retirement, which makes us think that his illness evolved slowly, like neurodegenerative diseases. On the other hand, if someone has a stroke, they go from being able to talk to not being able to talk, just like that. It is a sudden change and it indicates what could be the cause.

–And when that happens, how do people deal with the helplessness of wanting to express themselves verbally but not being able to?

–It depends on the severity of the aphasia. About 30% of secondary aphasias are severe, although that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t get better. However, aphasia is a devastating disorder. In a study done in Toronto, Canada, in 2010, they asked 65,000 seniors in nursing homes what affected their quality of life the most. Aphasia was number one, ahead of cancer and tetraplegia. When a person loses the ability to speak, they will lose their job, their finances will be affected, their relationships with family and friends will be different, they are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and frustration. They will lose their autonomy, because sometimes they will not be able to move. Aphasia is the cornerstone, but there are a number of training effects that reduce quality of life. That’s why our job is not just to treat language problems, but all the associated side effects.

– What is the darkest side of this disorder?

–The worst case is when there are a lot of side effects. There are many serious, even fatal diseases, which for a long time do not create the same disabilities. For example, a patient diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is also devastating, may live acceptably for the first few years. However, a person with aphasia loses so much from day one. The only difference with the others is that they can recover, at least partially.

–Are there any obvious signs that something is wrong?

-Yes. The first is a person’s ability to communicate as they usually do, difficulty remembering certain words, or slow communication. They also start saying words that don’t make sense, may not understand what they are reading, or be able to read aloud or write. These all indicate language impairment and are a warning sign, especially if they come on suddenly. In neurodegenerative diseases, the most common symptom is an inability to pronounce words, for example if they want to say “cup” but cannot. They know what they want to say, but cannot access the word to pronounce it.

–And do the authorities offer appropriate treatment?

–Stroke units play a vital role in early diagnosis to reverse the effects so that aphasia does not occur or, if it does occur, is less severe. Regarding chronic care, I think it could be improved. Since society does not know what aphasia is, the state does not pay much attention to it. Resources are good, but could be optimized. Remote care is one of the most used methods during the pandemic and it is more economical than in-person therapies. I hope it will continue. In fact, we have a project that aims to show that online therapy can work and is cheaper to apply. This reduces costs and does not leave patients isolated, as one of the reasons that patients with aphasia forgo their therapies is the problem of transportation.

– What role does your unit play?

–It was created in 2004 and since then the team, which is multidisciplinary, has grown in terms of researchers. There are psychologists, speech therapists, linguists, computer engineers (neuroimaging) and neurologists to treat all aspects of the disorder. We were pioneers in the drug treatment of aphasia and we use it together with intensive rehabilitation techniques and non-invasive brain stimulation. Used together, the results are more robust.

–But for the moment, your unit is still only doing research.

–This is a research unit with ongoing projects in which people who meet a certain number of criteria are invited to participate. But not all aphasics, because we are not a treatment center. We would be overwhelmed if we tried to do both: in Andalusia alone, 7,000 people a year suffer a stroke. However, as a public institution, we provide free advice and analysis.

-What happens after?

-We now know a lot about the left hemisphere and how the brain repairs itself, but one of the biggest challenges is identifying predictors. We would like to know if someone is going to be able to fully recover or not, so that we can adapt our treatment strategy with this knowledge at hand and find what will work best for them.

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Can monolinguals forget their only language? https://phuutthai.com/can-monolinguals-forget-their-only-language/ Sun, 08 May 2022 07:00:06 +0000 https://phuutthai.com/can-monolinguals-forget-their-only-language/ Can monolinguals forget their only language? The word I Columnist Sarita Rao finds trying to learn Luxembourgish and French had a serious impact on her understanding of English Columnist Sarita Rao finds trying to learn Luxembourgish and French had a serious impact on her understanding of English What happens when a monolingual can’t remember the […]]]>

Can monolinguals forget their only language?

The word I

Columnist Sarita Rao finds trying to learn Luxembourgish and French had a serious impact on her understanding of English

Columnist Sarita Rao finds trying to learn Luxembourgish and French had a serious impact on her understanding of English

What happens when a monolingual can’t remember the language he should know?

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Is it possible to lose fluency in your native language, even if you are not fluent in another language?

This monolingual discovered it.

I’m not talking here about people who can speak six languages ​​and whose families code-change to different ones at the table. This is of course the case for almost all Luxembourg families, and it is true for many foreign residents. They have the right to forget the odd word, or to get a little confused.

I’m talking here about someone who has tried, sometimes quite hard, to learn at least two other languages ​​- French and Luxembourgish – but who doesn’t speak either fluently enough to even participate in small talk. unnecessary.

However, these languages ​​invaded my brain, took out English words and replaced them. I find myself unable to remember English for everyday words.

It’s an “outlet” not an “outlet”, and a “tumble dryer” not a “tumble dryer”. It’s a “grompere” not a “potato” and “dat ass richteg” not “it’s true”.

Worse still, I’ve transposed words so that they come out in English but remain in a foreign format. My children have a lot of fun when I ask for their “lunch box”.

I’ve even started gendering articles in English, like in “give him a wash” referencing said lunch box and hoping it’s not non-binary.

Forget my mother tongue

Then there’s the point where I can’t remember a word in any language and just say ‘thing’ as in ‘pass me that thing over there’ or ‘use the thing to do that’.

My family decided that it was partly old age, but I wonder if some monolinguals should ever try to speak another language because the result is that they forget theirs.

I know we are in Luxembourg, where everyone tolerates any language you try to speak, no matter how bad. But it is not good to forget your mother tongue when your job is to write there.

I find myself googling the word for an object in English, or typing in a phrase that I know would contain a word I can’t remember just to see what the search engine will throw at me.

It works by the way. Just type “the word for the thing you use to change channels on the TV” and you’ll get the response “remote control”. Of course, you can also get zapper, doodah or doofer.

In fact, when I type “what do you call it when you can’t remember the word for something”, Google gives me the answer “ignorance and lack of knowledge”.

So a monolingual idiot?

Back in the saddle of language learning

The pandemic has given me an excuse to legitimately give up all language learning. Much to my relief, classes were canceled in 2020 and half of 2021 and somehow I never re-enrolled.


INL launches free online courses in September to help monolinguals become multilingual

INL launches free online courses in September to help monolinguals become multilingual

Photo: Serge Waldbillig

But the truth is that mastery of language comes from using it. I need to practice my foreign languages ​​more, so that they stick. I need to revise the verbs by heart in all their conjugations and listen to Luxembourgish and French spoken on the radio and on TV, to improve my understanding.

Knowing that the National Institute of Languages ​​will launch free online courses in September inspired me to open a few books now, revisit the Lupine series, and be the last person in this country to finally get around to watch Capitani.

There are plenty of opportunities to get back into the linguistic saddle. Daily shopping doesn’t have to involve starting in Luxembourgish, switching to French and then eventually resorting to English if I can put a little more effort into planning what I want to say and practicing possible conversation outcomes.

Lots of people used to be confined at home during lockdowns to learn languages, while I tried my best to forget them all. Now that we’ve come out the other side, I have no more excuses. I know it’s time to start over.

And my mother tongue? I need to stop reading Facebook posts and start reading Booker award-winning novels, otherwise “doodah” and “thing” will be the only words left in my already limited vocabulary.


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Password Setup – A Key Part of Cyber ​​Security » Cealed Carry Inc https://phuutthai.com/password-setup-a-key-part-of-cyber-security-cealed-carry-inc/ Wed, 27 Apr 2022 17:53:19 +0000 https://phuutthai.com/password-setup-a-key-part-of-cyber-security-cealed-carry-inc/ Think for a moment about all the different online accounts you have. Accounts likely cover social media, shopping, banking, and your home security cameras, to name a few. Each requires a password to access it. Now think of the horrific damage one could do if they had your passwords and sinister motives. That’s why I’ve […]]]>

Think for a moment about all the different online accounts you have. Accounts likely cover social media, shopping, banking, and your home security cameras, to name a few. Each requires a password to access it. Now think of the horrific damage one could do if they had your passwords and sinister motives. That’s why I’ve dedicated an article entirely to helping you set up strong passwords and check if hackers have compromised your current passwords.

If you missed my latest cybersecurity article titled Cybersecurity Basics You Should Be Using Right Now, remember to check. I explain the principles of managing your personally identifiable information (PII).

What about that email that looks “phished?”

Password setup —

Setting up passwords is always a fun topic because no matter how many teachers and industry experts lecture and write about it, horrible passwords are still a problem. Bad actors have several methods to obtain a password and compromise an account. Here are some methods used to steal your password:

Dictionary attacks —

A dictionary attack attempts to crack the password by guessing over and over until it cracks the password. As the name suggests, a dictionary attack works from a database containing a dictionary. It is important to note that the dictionaries used are generally not monolingual. Instead, the dictionary contains words from multiple languages ​​and usually includes slang terms or alphanumeric substitutions (eg 1=I, 2=Z, 3=E, etc.).

trauma equipment banner

Keylogger—

A type of spyware called a keylogger allows an attacker to keep track of every key pressed and makes it easier to steal passwords.

Shoulder surf —

This is the low-tech technique of looking over a user’s shoulder when entering a PIN or password. Shoulder surfing is simple yet effective.

Phishing –

Phishing emails are another common technique used by hackers to steal passwords and PII. Phishing emails may look legitimate, but most of them are easy to spot. They often contain grammatical and spelling errors and other telltale signs of fraud. If you receive an email with the subject line “verify your amazon purchase now” but you haven’t made a recent purchase there, you can be sure it’s a phishing scam. The attacker hopes that you will click on the link, attempt to log in, and in doing so, disclose your username and password. If you don’t recognize the sender or just think something seems “off”, don’t even open the email. Mark it as spam, flag it or report it, and move on.

Hackers obtained some of Hillary Clinton’s emails through a phishing scheme. Photo courtesy of WBSM News.

Never respond to an email asking for your password. Organizations will never ask you to give them your password in an email. Another thing you can do to determine if an email is legitimate or not is to hover your mouse over the link before clicking on it. Somewhere in your browser window (usually at the bottom), the URL of the website the link directs you to will become visible. If the link doesn’t seem to take you to the company’s page, don’t click on it. If in doubt, do not click on any links.

Don’t feed phishing.

This CBS News article explains a bit about how people used phishing to get emails from Hillary Clinton.

Choose a password or passphrase —

Anyone who has encountered a compromised account will tell you that it can be a nightmare. But imagine if a hacker breaks into several of your accounts. This can easily happen if you use the same password for multiple accounts.

Using the same password for your online banking services as your email could lead to more than one person blocking your access to your own email account and spamming and/or phishing your contact list . A hacker with the right credentials and a relatively minimal amount of knowledge could destroy your finances. This example alone should be enough to highlight the importance of using different passwords for different accounts and devices.

“qwerty” is a terrible password

However, just using a different password is not enough. You must choose a strong password.

And while we’re at it, let’s ditch the concept of passwords and aim for the highest. passphrase. A passphrase will be longer than a password and will require more time and resources to crack. If you disagree with the passphrase plan, observe at least some of the following things rules for creating a strong password.

  • Never use common or easy to find personal information. The dog’s name, birthday, anniversaries, your child’s name, your address, etc. These are all terrible passwords that you should avoid using at all costs.
  • Use at least one capital letter
  • Try to make the password or passphrase as long or complex as possible
  • Include special characters (#@!Q$^&*,/?/)
  • Do not use the same password or passphrase more than once
  • Test the strength of your password or passphrase (use this website to test your passwords)

“GenericPassphrase!” is much stronger and takes much longer to crack

Bad passwords have been a source of comedy (and tragedy) for decades. Here is the proof :

To finish –

If any of your passwords or phrases don’t meet the best practices mentioned above, change them as soon as possible.

Do you find these cybersecurity articles helpful? We believe online security is important as part of an overall strategy to mitigate risk and avoid trouble. As we get into the different aspects of cybersecurity, feel free to ask questions or request that we cover a specific topic.

Stay safe.

About Jason

Passionate about technology, history and criminology with over ten years of experience in digital and physical security roles. BA History/Criminal Justice and MS Information Assurance/Cybersecurity. Happy to be alive and grateful to be able to continue learning and sharing.

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Yoko Tawada captures the unique joys of having an unclassifiable identity https://phuutthai.com/yoko-tawada-captures-the-unique-joys-of-having-an-unclassifiable-identity/ Mon, 25 Apr 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://phuutthai.com/yoko-tawada-captures-the-unique-joys-of-having-an-unclassifiable-identity/ I’m half Japanese, half Korean Zainichi and have lived in the United States for over half my life. I have a green card instead of US citizenship, so it’s hard for me to identify as an Asian American. To try to understand where I fit in, I’ve read many books by and about Japanese, Japanese-Americans, […]]]>

I’m half Japanese, half Korean Zainichi and have lived in the United States for over half my life. I have a green card instead of US citizenship, so it’s hard for me to identify as an Asian American. To try to understand where I fit in, I’ve read many books by and about Japanese, Japanese-Americans, half-Japanese, Zainichi Koreans, and Asian-Americans – but this is not is that when I discovered Yoko Tawada that Me, an unclassifiable international person, I finally felt seen in a literary work.

Tawada, who lives in Berlin and writes in Japanese and German, tends to borrow fantastical premises from folk tales that delve into mind-bending hypotheses: what if a woman married a dog? What if it is the children who get sick and the elders who thrive? What if an anthropomorphic East German polar bear became a successful memoirist?

What if Japan no longer existed? This is the premise of his latest novel, Scattered all over the earth, which follows six people of diverse national, ethnic, and gender identities, who somehow come together to help a Japanese woman named Hiruko find another person who can speak to her in her native language. During this time, Hiruko invented a new language called Panska (a word combining “pan” and “Scandinavia”) which can be understood by most Scandinavians, but is so distinct that only she can speak it. The novel’s narrators rotate between the six characters as they travel together across Europe, seeking to help Hiruko but also themselves.

Since the release of the English translation of this novel in early March, critics have hailed it as “bitingly funny” or “deeply inventive” and called it “science fiction”, “dystopia” and even contrary to that, “the first great utopian novel of the 21st century.

What none of Tawada’s critics seem to consider is the realism of his stories once you get past the assumptions, and the importance of his work on people like me who don’t fit easily into a existing national or ethnic identity. People gradually losing their native language – something that is somehow considered so sacred that losing it would reveal a person’s laziness or acceptance of cultural annihilation.

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I still remember the day my brain switched from thinking in Japanese to English. I was in CM2, third year in a public elementary school in Palo Alto after growing up in Tokyo. I was arguing with my Japanese mother about something probably trivial, and as I understood what she was shouting at me in Japanese, I felt completely frozen when I tried to answer in his language. Instead, I let out my emotions in fluent English, rich in ’90s California lingo (“Oh my god, Mama, you don’t You understand”). We continued our back and forth, understanding each other well enough while almost jubilant in the language of our choice.

It wasn’t until I discovered Yoko Tawada that I, an unclassifiable international person, finally felt seen in a literary work.

My mother was the furthest thing from a “tiger mom”, never forcing me to go to Japanese school on Saturdays like other Japanese families, encouraging me to continue my education in English even if it meant that our conversations would continue to seem confusing to strangers. Over the years, my mother too started learning English as a hobby, taking the TOEIC English proficiency test for fun. She bragged about being able to watch episodes of sex and the city without using Japanese subtitles.

Later in life, she reconnected with a friend in Palo Alto and asked me to help her edit her emails. She was simultaneously undergoing chemotherapy for brain tumors, and perhaps as a result, her writing was filled with all sorts of grammatical errors and typos. But I, her daughter and somehow bilingual, could understand what she was trying so hard to communicate.

In one of my favorite mistakes, she wrote, “It was a wriggling heartworm.”

Once I corrected that to “it was heartwarming,” the choppy part didn’t make sense, and I would lose so much of what it originally intended to convey. For her, the word “comforting” was not about a warmth on the heart, but about the heart writhing like a worm. In Japanese, there is a phrase that can be translated as “heart trembles”, which could be what she had in mind. It was a phrase that only existed between the two of us, an original joke that I still carry with me more than a year after his death.

Back when I was studying at an international high school in Tokyo, my bilingual friends and I invented our own language which was both part Japanese and part English, which wouldn’t make sense to a monolingual. It was something we did out of sheer stupidity. “That’s so yabbers” was a combination of English grammar and the Japanese word for “yabai,” slang that literally means terrible but once meant awesome or amazing. My mother, always looking for a moment to listen to me talk like this with my friends, liked to call her Inter-goan abbreviation of the word “international” followed by to gothe Japanese word for language.

When I moved to New York for college, I met a 20-year-old who was just like me: a Japanese citizen who grew up in both countries, spoke both languages, and even went to the same international high school than me. fact, even though we didn’t know each other because of our age difference. He had his own version of Inter-goit turned out, influenced by Japanese internet slang where a single “w” meant “lol”.

Our text exchanges have become a hybrid of several languages, slangs and subcultures. As we fell in love, I kept wondering if our shared language was leading us to deeper connections and understanding, or if we were just two lucky people who found a connection apart or despite our shared languages.

In Nashville, where foreigners are generally friendly and chatty, I am constantly asked questions about Japan and the experience of being Japanese in the South.

We finally got married. A decade has passed. During this time we moved from New York to Nashville, and I slowly came to terms with the fact that my husband and I were on our own strange island with our own language that, especially in the South, was not shared with a larger community. In fact, a world in which Japan only exists in the popular imagination as “sushi country” – like the so-called “science fiction” premise in Scattered– is exactly where I currently live in Nashville.

While this may seem like a horrible situation to some, I’ve found being as weird as a talking polar bear has its perks. In Tokyo, my outward appearance blended in with most people around me, but inside, I was a stranger eager to hang out. In New York, where most of the people around me were also from other countries, no one bothered to ask me about Japan because they thought it was rude, or worse, they thought already know everything they need to know.

In Nashville, where foreigners are generally friendly and chatty, I am constantly asked questions about Japan and the experience of being Japanese in the South, and I can tell this often comes from a place of sheer curiosity as opposed to racist assumptions. In Scattered, an Indian character experiences the same change when he moves from London to Denmark. “Some people say that asking an Indian too many questions about India is a kind of prejudice…but that kind of prejudice doesn’t bother me at all.”

As I spend more time in Nashville, I also meet Americans who are passionate about Japan in ways that go beyond my own knowledge of the country and its customs. There is a woman who leads forest bathing excursions inspired by the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku; a ramen chef whose passion was born after hosting a Japanese exchange student; and a half-Japanese mother who can hear the subtle difference when her baby babbles with her English-speaking grandparents and her Japanese grandparents.

While I may be losing my ability to speak fluent Japanese like I used to, I find deeper connections to these Nashvillians than if I were to just walk into a room full of people who speak Japanese. A language, after all, is not just the spoken and written word. It’s also about sharing food, music, plants and art. It wasn’t until I arrived in a place where Japan was so far away from me that I realized that I’d rather be half fluent in one language but form a lasting friendship, than fluent in multiple languages ​​and n have no one to talk to. and become vulnerable with it.

*

All along Scattered, different characters provide distinct reasons why the concept of mother tongue or mother tongue is “rather childish”. When Hiruko realizes that the person she thought was Japanese was actually something else, she is surprised by her own reaction: “When I found out that we didn’t share a native language, I wasn’t disappointed. least in the world. In fact, the whole idea of ​​a mother tongue didn’t seem to matter anymore; this encounter between two unique speaking beings was much more important.

Another character named Knut, a Danish linguist, says he had long doubted the concept of “native speaker”. “Most native speakers are too busy to think about the language and tend to use the same words and phrases all the time, while non-natives, who move back and forth between two languages, are always on the lookout for new ones. words and phrases, so which one is most likely to have a larger vocabulary? »

My mother continued to write to her correspondent almost until her death. English became more difficult for her to write toward the end, her brain filling with even more tumors. It has also become more difficult for me to understand his poetic intentions. But the thing is, she kept trying.

When Hiruko speaks Panska to someone she loves, she says “although it’s spontaneous and far from perfect, as the words flow down the wrinkles of my memory, catching every twinkling thing, no matter how small- her, they take me to magical distant places. Only panska can take me there, not my mother tongue.

The idea that Panska allows Hiruko to express herself more authentically than Japanese is one that gives me hope for a future where we can be more tolerant of those who are fluent across languages, just like us let’s become more tolerant of those who are not binary with other metaphysics. borders.

When I saw how others around Hiruko accepted her as a Panska speaker, I became nostalgic for the Inter-go from my high school years, the new Inter-go dialect that continues to evolve between me and my husband, and my mother’s miraculous expressions that emerged from her non-native efforts. I like to think that if my mother had read Scattered, she would have felt as seen as me.

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The war in Ukraine sparked a new word https://phuutthai.com/the-war-in-ukraine-sparked-a-new-word/ Fri, 22 Apr 2022 22:45:49 +0000 https://phuutthai.com/the-war-in-ukraine-sparked-a-new-word/ When we say “Russia”, the double “s” is pronounced “sh”. In the middle of “fascism” we find the same sound, “sh” – although this time it is generated by “sc”, which English borrows from the original Italian “fascismo”. We can render this sound with ‘sh’ or, in these two words, ‘ss’ and ‘sc’, but very […]]]>

When we say “Russia”, the double “s” is pronounced “sh”. In the middle of “fascism” we find the same sound, “sh” – although this time it is generated by “sc”, which English borrows from the original Italian “fascismo”. We can render this sound with ‘sh’ or, in these two words, ‘ss’ and ‘sc’, but very simple Ukrainian spelling picks up this sound from any language and renders it as ‘ø. ” So “раша” + “фашизм” = “рашизм”, also thanks to this middle sound. The “sh” sound in the middle, the “ø”, refers to both Russia and fascism, but only because Ukrainians play with English. Neither in Russian nor in Ukrainian does the word “Russian” have the sound “sh”.

“Pашизм” relies on English to function, but it’s not easy for English to reclaim. When ‘Russia’ becomes ‘Pаша’, the vowels firm up and become more honest; they are no longer completely compliant with English. The same goes for “ism”, which in Ukrainian requires a more cut and disciplined sound. These honest vowels make it difficult for English speakers to pronounce “pашизм” as it’s supposed to be pronounced – and even if we were to pronounce it correctly in Ukrainian, it wouldn’t sound like anything in English.

That’s why, to claim “pашизм” for English, I have to transliterate it – as Ukrainians usually do – as “ruscism”. The mechanically correct transcription would be “rashysm”, which is unclear. We have to go back and get the “u” to indicate Russia, and we take the “ism” because we know it’s ideology. And while the Ukrainian consonant “ш” requires an “sh,” the resulting “rush” would suggest a weakness for American talk radio or Canadian classic rock. We know that “ø” doesn’t actually come from an “sh” in the first place; he came from both the “ss” of Russia and the “sc” of fascism. We choose “sc” and get “ruscism”. As in Ukrainian, a “sh” sound connects the two parts. But now in English the visible “sc” is reminiscent of the unusual spelling of fascismLike it should be.

In English, if you believe in racism, you are a racist; if you believe in fascism, you are a fascist. This lexical progression is similar in Ukrainian. “Расизм”, racism, has the associated personal form “расист”, racist. “Фашизм”, fascism, gives “фашист”, fascist. Similarly, the new word “рашизм” has “рашист”, or ruscist. (Unlike English, Ukrainian also generates feminine forms of these words.) Ukrainians sometimes refer to Russians as “Ruscists”, for example listing prominent Russian war supporters. But there is also the tendency to label all Russian soldiers in Ukraine as “Ruscists”. This comes up against certain difficulties: given the imperial character of the Russian state, a very high proportion of Russian soldiers in Ukraine belong to national minorities. This suggests a deeper problem, which is that even soldiers who die for a fascist cause need not be fascists themselves.

While Russian leaders intensified the Soviet tradition of calling contemporary enemies “fascists,” in Ukraine the word more simply refers to the horrors of World War II, which were even deeper there than in Russia. When Ukrainians speak of “Ruscism”, they accuse Russians of a profound betrayal of what should have been a common heritage and a common memory. They accuse the Russians of becoming what should have been defeated long ago.

Little beyond Ukraine seem to know that millions of Ukrainians, exercising freedom of expression in a country that allows it, have coined and are deploying a new word. “Ruscism” will seem strange at first glance. Just like ‘genocide’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’, other words that emerged from the wars in (Eastern) Europe. The concepts that clarify our world today were once strange and new. But when they point at something, they can grab it.

Russian fascism is certainly a phenomenon that requires a concept. The Russian Federation promotes the extreme right everywhere. Putin is the idol of white supremacists around the world. Prominent Russian fascists have access to mass media during wars, including this one. Members of the Russian elite, especially Putin himself, are increasingly relying on fascist concepts. Putin’s very justification of the war in Ukraine as an act of purifying violence that will bring Russia back to itself represents a Christian form of fascism. The recent publication, in an official Russian information service, of what I consider to be an openly genocidal manual, providing a plan for the elimination of the Ukrainian nation as such, confirms all this. Moscow is the center of fascism in our world.

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EEG Video and Ai-Media join forces to form a complete subtitling platform https://phuutthai.com/eeg-video-and-ai-media-join-forces-to-form-a-complete-subtitling-platform/ Mon, 11 Apr 2022 13:41:00 +0000 https://phuutthai.com/eeg-video-and-ai-media-join-forces-to-form-a-complete-subtitling-platform/ EEG Video and Ai-Media (Booth N5509) announced their debut together at NAB 2022. Since EEG was acquired by Ai-Media in April 2021, their association has created a one-stop-shop for captioning solutions, combining cloud offerings with human services. This is reflected in Ai-Media’s iCap, Falcon and Lexi Automatic Captioning EEG cloud services, available with Ai-Media’s captioning, […]]]>

EEG Video and Ai-Media (Booth N5509) announced their debut together at NAB 2022.

Since EEG was acquired by Ai-Media in April 2021, their association has created a one-stop-shop for captioning solutions, combining cloud offerings with human services. This is reflected in Ai-Media’s iCap, Falcon and Lexi Automatic Captioning EEG cloud services, available with Ai-Media’s captioning, transcription and translation technology and teams.

EEG and Ai-Media offer advanced captioning solutions that are easy to deploy and cost effective. Their combined cloud-based solutions and global network of captioning professionals benefit many types of content creators. This powerful platform streamlines broadcast and livestream captions for broadcasters, streaming content, events, businesses, municipalities, educational institutions and more.

Here’s what conference attendees will see at the EEG and Ai-Media NAB booth:

For broadcast captioning, EEG Video will highlight Alta Software’s captioning encoder for live IP video. Alta is ideal for any broadcaster planning captioning/closed captioning in IP video production environments. A cloud-based encoder for live IP video, Alta merges intelligent captioning and translation capabilities with cloud-based video workflows, and is available for MPEG-TS and SMPTE 2110 formats. Alta can be run in private VPCs (Virtual Private Cloud) or full-service short-term packages from EEG with the Alta Cloud Rentals program.

CDI Alta is the latest update from Alta, extending its support for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud Digital Interface (CDI), making it easier and more affordable than ever for content creators to caption cloud-based live video production.

The introduction of CDI Alta follows EEG’s previous announcement of support for AWS Media Intelligence (AWS MI) solutions. Through this collaboration, EEG Alta and Ai-Media’s Lexi Automatic Captioning Service have both been made available as part of AWS MI solutions.

Live video captioning solutions include the following:

The Lexi Automatic Captioning Service is the automatic captioning service. It’s now faster, simpler, and more cost-effective than ever, delivering greater control and interoperability to IP-based workflows.

Broadcasters, streaming content creators, governments, municipalities, businesses, and educational users will benefit from Lexi’s many advancements. Able to achieve over 96% accuracy, Lexi expands the usability and quality of affordable AI closed captioning for live streaming, live stream and events, video conferencing and even VOD programming.

NAB will also mark the debut of Smart Lexi. This CaaS live captioning solution combines machine learning automation with expert human curation. It leverages Lexi’s 96% accuracy to provide users with unprecedented levels of accuracy, automation, and accessibility.

Smart Lexi is designed for broadcasters, live event producers, corporate and educational users looking for live captions with greater accuracy than out-of-the-box automatic captioning solutions and with a cheaper price than live human captioning.

Smart Lexi achieves its high quality and performance by overlaying captioning techniques and technologies, including human curation, custom dictionaries, and machine learning. Its AI-powered automation delivers optimal accuracy of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) captions.

Smart Lexi provides security and logging features, as well as content teams and value-added fast turnaround services for post-event transcriptions.

Multilingual services bring international reach to content with subtitles for dozens of languages. Ai-Media’s deep expertise with top-notch human captioning teams who can provide live translations and audio interpretation will connect creators and audiences everywhere.

The iCap Translate automatic captioning translation solution is hosted in the cloud and leverages Lexi’s advanced AI to create live captioning in the spoken language of a video program. iCap Translate supports English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Danish, Maori, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, Arabic, Russian, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish. It can run from source captions in any of these languages ​​created by an expert monolingual stenographer, live text-to-speech work from the Lexi automatic captioning service, or a previously recorded and embedded caption track .

Additionally, the acclaimed Falcon Live Streaming RTMP encoder now features an HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) output mode, providing expanded support for global language web captioning.

In HLS output mode, Falcon users can add up to six segmented Video Text Track (VTT) caption tracks to a live stream. These VTT subtitle tracks are detected by the user’s media player as closed captions, appearing in most HLS players as a user-selectable option, with all closed-captions listed.

Falcon provides a fast and efficient workflow for RTMP uplink-based live captioning. The converted HLS output stream integrates with most popular HLS video players, such as JWPlayer, hls.js, Kaltura, Bitmovin, FlowPlayer, TheoPlayer, NexPlayer and Castr. With Falcon, content is efficiently captioned through a full stack of AI transcription and translation using the Lexi automatic captioning service.

Falcon, Lexi and Smart Lexi cloud services are a core offering of the CaaS platform from EEG and Ai-Media. This comprehensive set of livestream-ready cloud captioning services is seamlessly integrated, offering one-stop sign-up for easy use when creating accessible, localized content. As a result, content owners can easily tap into new markets for additional revenue streams.

NAB also marks the debut of the iCap Connect AV650. Ideal for any production studio or event space captioning in 4K resolution, the AV650 adds powerful new features to all the functionality of the HD492 iCap encoder. It provides native support for 12G-SDI UHD subtitle encoding and decoding, making it 4K compatible.

Users can now produce in a wider range of SDI workflows. Ai-Media’s EEG AV650 can easily overlay open captions on a 4K display, or in ATSC 3.0 for in-room monitor accessibility. The AV650’s SDI signal with subtitles can also be sent to a separate streaming media encoder and instantly converted to RTMP for a live workflow.

The AV650 1RU is optimized for event production companies who recognize that closed captioning and playable video can dramatically expand their audience. Ai-Media’s EEG AV650 offers the flexibility to work with broadcast, livestream and in-room spaces, with the ability to encode in 4K.

Another NAB highlight will be the first presentation of the AV610 CaptionPort™ Live Closed Captioning Display V2.1.0, giving users increased control over on-screen images, position and appearance. text in a specially designed, affordable and easy-to-use solution.

The AV610 was created to provide captioning connectivity to video conferencing and live meeting displays, with V2.1.0 making the AV610 more flexible and intuitive than ever for in-person meetings. Designed specifically for AV applications, the AV610 ensures full presentation visibility by reducing input video by 15% with the ability to place closed captioning data above or below the video. This unique feature allows the use of standard presentation templates without visual interference from subtitles, while ensuring accessibility for the hearing impaired.

Live meeting hosts can now use Scaler mode to generate a full-screen background image with text overlays. Subtitle decoder mode gives users full control over the appearance of subtitles, including standard or custom fonts, size, and color, in addition to text position. As a result, horizontal/vertical displays can be easily combined with larger text using the AV610.

Also, no upstream video generator is required to use AV610 V2.1.0. No external video source or TV converter from HDMI to SDMI is required, making the AV610 1RU a completely self-contained accessibility display solution for live meeting environments. In Background Image mode, users can simply upload a JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and SVG image such as a brand or event name and then place text on top, allowing a meeting screen to display captions in real time.

With the AV610, captions can come automatically from Ai-Media’s EEG Lexi automatic captioning service, or from thousands of live captioners through EEG’s iCap, the largest captioning network and broadcasting subtitles to the world.

“It was a pleasure to welcome the talented EEG team to Ai-Media,” says Co-founder and CEO of Ai-Media, Tony Abrahams. “Our combined strengths have led us to launch our comprehensive one-stop shop. It is an innovative ecosystem of video and subtitling services. We are happy to be together for the first time at the 2022 NAB Show.”

“EEG and Ai-Media provide a sophisticated technology stack that builds on what captioning can do,” says Bill McLaughlin, Product Manager of Ai-Media. “NAB Show 2022 is the perfect opportunity to meet content professionals from around the world, educate them about captioning as a service, and learn about their unique captioning needs.”

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Bilingual education https://phuutthai.com/bilingual-education/ Tue, 05 Apr 2022 01:18:58 +0000 https://phuutthai.com/bilingual-education/ In countries where more than one language is spoken, education systems face the challenge of deciding which language to use in schools. Learning a new language is a particularly difficult task for a child. Instead, learning in a language a child already speaks can better support academic and literacy outcomes. A common approach in multilingual […]]]>

In countries where more than one language is spoken, education systems face the challenge of deciding which language to use in schools. Learning a new language is a particularly difficult task for a child. Instead, learning in a language a child already speaks can better support academic and literacy outcomes.

A common approach in multilingual communities is bilingual education, where teaching takes place in both a mother tongue and an official language. There is ample evidence that early experience of two languages, whether at home with bilingual family members or at school as part of a bilingual education program, can be beneficial for language skills. children’s spoken languages. These skills—vocabulary and awareness of speech sounds—predict children’s early reading abilities. This evidence has been found in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

However, we wanted to learn more about how language environments at home and at school support skilled reading in multilingual communities with low literacy rates, such as in rural areas of Côte d’Ivoire. Our aim was to understand whether bilingual environments at home and at school can benefit children’s language and reading skills in this context. We also wanted to understand what factors might influence literacy outcomes in such contexts.

We conducted research in Côte d’Ivoire from 2016 to 2018. Over 70 languages ​​are spoken in Côte d’Ivoire, but French remains the language of instruction in most primary grades. The results are mediocre: only 53% of young people aged 15 to 24 are literate. We measured the children’s language and reading skills in their mother tongue and in French, and compared the results between children attending a French-only or bilingual school, who grew up in monolingual or bilingual homes.

We found, as expected, that children in bilingual homes had better language and reading skills than their monolingual peers. But unexpectedly, children in French schools performed even better on language and reading tasks. The reason seemed to be the resources available in French language schools. The implication is that efforts to use multiple languages ​​in education must also be supported by better resources such as teacher training and school materials in mother tongues.

The research

Most rural households in Côte d’Ivoire do not speak French, so many children are first exposed to the French language when they start school. This mismatch between the language spoken at home and the language spoken at school may contribute to the fact that 10% of children repeat a year, only 73% of children stay in school until the end of primary school and only 53% of those aged 15 to 24 are literate.

Côte d’Ivoire launched a nationwide program called Projet École Intégrée in 2001, offering classroom instruction in a mother tongue alongside French. Our research team investigated how children’s spoken language and reading skills differed across home and school situations in multilingual rural communities with low literacy rates.

We looked at the differences between: bilingual (mother tongue and French) and monolingual (mother tongue only) homes and bilingual schools in the Integrated School Project program and traditional French-only schools. We assessed the oral language skills of 830 children both in their mother tongue (Abidji, Attiè, Baoulè, Bètè) and in French, and tested their French reading skills.

As expected, based on previous research linking early bilingual experience to advantages in language and reading skills, children from bilingual homes outperformed their peers from monolingual mother tongue homes on all measures. language and reading tasks in both languages. But school results were not so simple.

Children in bilingual schools repeat a year less often than children in traditional French-only schools. This suggests that teaching in the mother tongue may have helped them better understand the school curriculum. But overall, children attending bilingual schools performed worse on language and reading tasks in both languages ​​than children attending traditional French-only schools. This result was the opposite of what was expected based on previous research on bilingual education.

This may have reflected differences in the quality of education children received between the two types of schools. These quality differences were related to the use of mother tongues in bilingual classes. Teachers did not have sufficient training or school materials available to teach in mother tongues. Traditional French schools have not faced the same challenges because teachers are trained in teaching French and have enough French teaching materials.

Teachers in bilingual schools faced barriers that limited their ability to deliver high quality bilingual education. They had to deal with perceptions within their communities that the mother tongue was not an effective learning tool. As a fifth-grade teacher in the village of Moapè told us, they also lacked adequate resources to teach in native languages: We don’t have a pedagogical orientation to teach in the local language. I have to prepare the lessons and write each exercise by hand in the 40 student notebooks in my class… I prefer to give my lessons in French… Also, from the start, we were not trained in bilingual teaching. We are assigned to a class based on our ethnicity, not on our proficiency in the techniques of the language of instruction.

These constraints on the quality of bilingual education may have prevented children’s early literacy skills from flourishing. Therefore, it is not enough to implement a bilingual education program and expect learning and literacy outcomes to improve. Education systems should invest in bilingual education programs to ensure teachers have the resources to deliver high quality bilingual education.

Go forward

Bilingual education deserves to be invested. It reduces repetition and dropout rates and improves literacy scores. Including a child’s native language in education enhances their culture and can improve learning outcomes by increasing a child’s confidence and self-esteem. Improving the quality of bilingual education can also convince communities of its value and reduce negative perceptions of education in the mother tongue.

Recognizing the need to improve the quality and outcomes of bilingual education programs, Côte d’Ivoire has transitioned to the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie’s School and National Languages ​​in Africa (ELAN) program, which aims to improve the quality of bilingual education. Monitoring quality improvement will be important to the success of schools.

-The conversation

Read the original article here.

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Man in Germany receives 90 injections of COVID-19 to sell fake passes https://phuutthai.com/man-in-germany-receives-90-injections-of-covid-19-to-sell-fake-passes/ Sun, 03 Apr 2022 16:52:19 +0000 https://phuutthai.com/man-in-germany-receives-90-injections-of-covid-19-to-sell-fake-passes/ The suspect has not been arrested but is being investigated for unauthorized issuance of vaccination cards and falsifying documents, dpa reported. He was caught at a vaccination center in Eilenburg in Saxony when he presented for a COVID-19 vaccine for the second day in a row. The police confiscated several blank vaccination cards from him […]]]>

The suspect has not been arrested but is being investigated for unauthorized issuance of vaccination cards and falsifying documents, dpa reported.

He was caught at a vaccination center in Eilenburg in Saxony when he presented for a COVID-19 vaccine for the second day in a row. The police confiscated several blank vaccination cards from him and initiated criminal proceedings.

It was not immediately clear what impact the roughly 90 injections of COVID-19 vaccines, which came from different brands, had on the man’s personal health.

German police have carried out numerous raids in connection with the falsification of vaccination passports in recent months. Many COVID-19 deniers refuse to be vaccinated in Germany, but at the same time wish to have the coveted COVID-19 passports which facilitate access to public life and places such as restaurants, theaters, swimming pools or workplaces.

Germany has seen a high number of infections for weeks, but many measures aimed at curbing the pandemic ended on Friday. Wearing masks is no longer required in grocery stores and most theaters, but is still required on public transportation.

In most schools in Germany, pupils are also no longer required to wear masks, which has led teachers’ associations to warn of possible conflicts in the classroom.

“There is now a danger that, on the one hand, children who wear masks will be teased by classmates as weaklings and overprotective people or, on the other hand, pressure will be put on non-wearers. masks,” Heinz-Peter Meidinger, the president of the German Teachers’ Association, told dpa. He advocated a voluntary commitment by teachers and students to continue wearing masks in the classroom and on school grounds, at least until the country goes on a two-week Easter holiday.

Health experts say the most recent spike in infections in Germany – triggered by the BA.2 omicron subvariant – may have peaked.

On Sunday, the country’s disease control agency reported 74,053 new COVID-19 infections in one day, while less than a week ago it reported 111,224 daily infections.

Overall, Germany has recorded 130,029 deaths from COVID-19.

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The languages ​​of politics: how multilingualism affects policy-making in the European Union https://phuutthai.com/the-languages-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8bof-politics-how-multilingualism-affects-policy-making-in-the-european-union/ Tue, 29 Mar 2022 08:37:14 +0000 https://phuutthai.com/the-languages-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8bof-politics-how-multilingualism-affects-policy-making-in-the-european-union/ Multilingualism is an integral part of the European integration process, with the EU currently recognizing 24 official languages. But how does the use of multiple languages ​​affect policy-making? Based on a new study, Nils Ringe shows that multilingualism has a strong depoliticizing effect on the EU political process which reduces the potential for conflict between […]]]>

Multilingualism is an integral part of the European integration process, with the EU currently recognizing 24 official languages. But how does the use of multiple languages ​​affect policy-making? Based on a new study, Nils Ringe shows that multilingualism has a strong depoliticizing effect on the EU political process which reduces the potential for conflict between actors.

Multilingualism is a pervasive feature in many political contexts around the world, including both multilingual states like India, Canada and Belgium and international organizations like the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the African Union.

It is also an increasingly important reality in a globalized world that consequential political decisions are negotiated between politicians who do not share a common mother tongue. But political scientists know surprisingly little about how multilingualism affects politics and policy-making, even though language forms the basis of all interaction, collaboration, contestation, deliberation, persuasion, negotiation and transaction among political actors.

In a new book, I use the case of the European Union to study how politicians’ use of shared foreign languages ​​and their reliance on simultaneous interpretation of oral debates and translation of written texts affect political dynamics and decision-making processes. In-depth interviews with nearly 100 policymakers and language service providers in key EU institutions, combined with quantitative and linguistic data, show that multilingualism is an inherent and pervasive feature of EU policy that influences political interactions, deliberations and negotiations. It shapes the very nature and flavor of EU politics and policy-making in ways that are both subtle and profound.

More importantly, I find that multilingualism depoliticizes policy-making, i.e. it reduces its political nature and potential for conflict. This is remarkable, in part, because one would expect multilingualism to make EU politics more confrontational. After all, language is deeply emotive, and linguistic heterogeneity is generally seen as a contributor to political division and social conflict. In addition, language barriers can lead to misunderstandings, confusion and tension between political actors. However, the use of foreign languages ​​and the recourse to translation tend to simplify, normalize and neutralize – and therefore to depoliticise – the “language(s) of politics” of the EU.

The need for effective communication between non-native speakers becomes essential and elevates the practical and communicative aspect of the language above the political or ideological aspect.

Communication in foreign languages ​​tends to be simple, utilitarian and standardized, for three reasons. Firstly, EU actors are unable to express themselves with the same fluency and competence as in their mother tongue. Their vocabulary, grammar and syntax are simpler; their ability to use idiomatic language rich in rhetoric is limited; and they rely on commonly used words, phrases, and other linguistic constructs.

Second, EU actors know that they have to make themselves understood by those who are less fluent in the language; the language is therefore kept relatively simple, even by linguistically gifted EU players. Third, EU actors anticipate the need for translation into other languages, which they facilitate by relying on plain language and commonly accepted expressions. They “speak for interpretation” and “write for translation”.

Overall, the need for effective communication between non-native speakers becomes essential and elevates the practical and communicative aspect of the language above the political or ideological one. As a result, language is not used as a tool to advance political goals in the same way as it would be in monolingual contexts.

These effects are accentuated by the predominance of “EU English” as the main shared language, which is more neutral, utilitarian, standardized, “decultured” and de-ideologized than “standard” English. Consequently, what EU actors say or write becomes less indicative of their national and political origins, preferences and priorities. They also tend to disregard ideologically charged language – terms like “austerity” or “illegal immigrant” – because it may not be used to good effect by non-native speakers. Politicized, ideological or partisan language is thus neutralized.

EU language services also simplify, standardize and neutralize language. Translators of written texts rely heavily on existing documents, shared terminology databases, and commonly accepted and widely used expressions, rather than being “creative” in their translations. This is for good reason: all language versions of EU law are equally authentic, or equally “legally valid”, which requires EU law to be drafted and translated in such a way that it can be interpreted and consistently applied in all Member States.

The surest way to ensure this equivalence is for translators to rely on terminology, phrases and formulations rooted in existing documents, which results in standardization of the target language in the translation process. Another depoliticizing effect of the principle of equality of authenticity is that it leaves little room for ambiguity in the source text, which limits the ability of political actors to use deliberately vague language when negotiating and debating. drafting legislation, thus blunting a popular tool for forging political agreement.

Simultaneous spoken language interpreters also face terminological challenges, but the main difficulty they face is having to convey – accurately and on the spot – not only the substance of what is being said, but also the intent , meaning, culture and personality of the speaker. This already extremely difficult task is further complicated by the often fast-paced speech and the wide range of highly technical issues covered. As a result, the output of simultaneous interpretation inevitably tends to be more functional, simple and standardized than the input language.

While a more deliberate and streamlined policy-making process can be a beneficial outcome of EU multilingualism, other consequences are less benign.

In sum, multilingualism implies that the language or languages ​​of EU policy tend to be utilitarian, simple, standardized, neutral, deculturalized and deideologized. This affects social and political hierarchies within EU institutions as well as EU political culture, shaping the salience of issues, perceptions of political differences, the polarization of opinions, the intensity of debates and the resonance of the arguments.

Overall, this makes the process and quality of policy-making more deliberate and streamlined – which does not mean, however, that all policy differences and contestations are suppressed or moot. EU actors have divergent ideological, partisan and national preferences, and these differences do not disappear in a multilingual environment. However, the political dynamic is different when the language serves primarily as a means of communication rather than a political tool; when decision makers are less recognizable based on what they say or write; and when their language is not so indicative of particular national and political contexts, preferences and priorities.

While a more deliberate and streamlined policy-making process can be a beneficial outcome of EU multilingualism, other consequences are less benign. For starters, genuinely divisive political issues can become unduly depoliticized, which is undesirable from a representational perspective. Moreover, a depoliticized political language is problematic for the EU as a political system and as a political project. Its functional and overly streamlined nature will likely be perceived by the general public as bland, abstract and distant, which undermines the quality of representation and weakens the bond between the EU and its citizens.

For more information, see the author’s new book, The language(s) of politics: multilingual policy-making in the European Union (University of Michigan Press, 2022). The eBook version is available for free on the publisher’s website.


Note: This article gives the author’s point of view, not the position of EUROPP – European Politics and Policy or the London School of Economics. Featured Image Credit: European Council


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