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March 2009

Written By: Youki on March 10, 2009 No Comment

New York Times article on metaphor problems and suggestions on fixing them (examples taken from actual published NYT articles):

Nip That Metaphor in Its Tracks

My colleague Adam Bryant, an editor in Business, notes that business writers tend to reach for metaphors to try to make complicated aspects of finance and economic policy more accessible. It’s […]

Written By: Yoko Hasegawa on March 9, 2009 No Comment

Professor Sige-Yuki Kuroda, a great thinker and peerless linguist, left us on February 25, 2009.

I first communicated with Prof. Kuroda when I was a graduate student at UC Berkeley. I wanted to read one of his then-newly written papers, and I asked him if he would send it to me. He did so immediately. The […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 9, 2009 1 Comment

An article by Neelabh Mishra entitled “An Awadhi Lilt For Obama: Let’s realise that language bridges make for creative cohesion,” appearing in this fortnight’s issue of Outlook, an Indian news magazine, caught my attention today. The title was immediately interesting to me: I was curious about how Awadhi (अवधी), a dialect of Hindi […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 8, 2009 2 Comments

The video “The Child,” by French disc jockey Alex Gopher, created by Antoine Bardou-Jacquet (H5), is one of the most incredible videos I have ever seen. The world is visualized in words…skylines, taxis, people, elevators, roads, buildings…everything.

I have often thought about how texts mediate my world…and this video realizes that […]

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Written By: richardkhang on March 8, 2009 1 Comment

Those who have taken taken Asian American Studies 20A with Professor Choy should recall learning about a particular concept called Orientalism. Orientalism, as Professor Choy defines it, “is a system of thought that constructs the image of the Orient in opposition to the west in terms of backward vs. forward, uncivilized vs. civilized, feminine vs. […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 7, 2009 38 Comments

A recent post on Lexiblog has a list of the top ten languages hardest to learn, according to “language enthusiasts”:

1. Icelandic
2. Russian or Mandarin
3. Arabic
4. Mandarin
5. Hungarian
6. English
7. Hindi
8. Cantonese
9. Chinese
10. Tamil

What are some of the hardest languages YOU have acquired? What made them hard?

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 7, 2009 No Comment
Funky Azerbaijani

I found this interesting website linked to on Reddit.com: Funky Azerbaijani. The tag line is: “Get the gist of Azerbaijani: not more, not less than you need.” You can find “Azerbaijani to impress,” which is “a powerful language tool that gives you a head start in real, conversational Azerbaijani,” whereas “Azerbaijani to love” […]

Written By: daveski on March 7, 2009 No Comment

LinguistList announced today that there’s a new book coming out on translation that looks REALLY interesting:

Agents of Translation contains thirteen case studies by internationally recognized scholars in which translation has been used as a way of influencing the target culture and furthering literary, political and personal interests.

Maybe a partial answer to […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 5, 2009 3 Comments

It’s been two years to the day since the first post appeared on FIT (author=2, Dave) entitled “Looking for international television or radio on the web?” As I look over the first post, I think of what Dave was thinking, as he typed up that first sentence:

You might try http://wwitv.com for […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 5, 2009 2 Comments

A new study published in Science, by a team of researchers from Exeter University, UK, speculates that horses may have been responsible for the spread of Indo-European languages across different parts of the world.

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 5, 2009 No Comment

Or does he? According to the Canadian Globe and Mail,

Barack Obama’s supposed grammatical gaffes have stirred up the hornet’s nest of disagreement between grammarians and historians, and we’re back to arguing about an old topic: I and me.”

Shall we stand by the president? Between you and I, or…err…you and me, I think […]

Written By: daveski on March 4, 2009 6 Comments


Today’s word is “入口” (iri-guchi), which means “entrance”. I remember being struck the first time I was in Japan by the simplicity of the lines in these characters–the 2 smooth strokes of the “入” meaning “to go into” and ”口” literally meaning “mouth”, or “opening”.

最近、ランゲージログという、言語学にかかわって人気のあるブログで、ジェフリープラム教授の記事(ブログ?)を読みました。その見出し(タイトル?題名?)は、私のと一緒、”The Horrror of Ideograms“, つまり、「漢字の恐ろしさについて」です(訳が合っていますか。皆さん助けて下さい:)。プラム教授はもちろん、他の言語学者のように言語に興味プラス才能がたっぷりで、何カ国語ができるようですが、漢字がつかわれているアジアの言葉が一切もできないと、ブログで書いています。そして先週、香港の学会で発表することに当たって、「恐ろしい漢字の国」に入ることになるのがきっかけで、ランゲージログの読者にアドバイスを頼んでいます。

What got me motivated to […]

Written By: kernrg on March 3, 2009 1 Comment

For a rehearsal of the economic arguments for studying foreign languages, see this commentary which just appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education: http://chronicle.com/weekly/v55/i26/26a03301.htm

Written By: Youki on March 3, 2009 1 Comment

Short article from the New York Times suggesting a link between forward-facing strollers and babies’ language development:

ARE forward-facing strollers having a negative effect on babies’ language development? British teachers have for some time been observing a decline in the linguistic abilities of many children, and some have wondered whether this might be one contributing factor.

There […]

Written By: daveski on March 2, 2009 No Comment

A few sites have jumped out at me recently for learning about all things blogging — this list from Howard Rheingold’s Social Media Classroom and Collaboratory, and this site, called “Into the Blogosphere”. Enough to keep us busy for months, I’m sure. Any others out there???

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 2, 2009 2 Comments

Is anything ever found in translation?

Written By: daveski on March 1, 2009 No Comment

Tomorrow night the Berkeley Center for New Media will host artist Ray Beldner for a talk called “Flickr, Flarfing and Babelfish: The Internet and Art Practice“, part of the long-time Art, Technology and Culture series. The talk/performance sounds intriguing, featuring how objects, databases, images, and other treasures ‘found’ on the web […]

Written By: Youki on March 1, 2009 1 Comment
FIT in Review: February

Be sure to check out “FIT in Review: January” if you missed it.

Found in Translation is an open community and we welcome posts from new people!  Not sure how to make a post?  Visit our FAQ.

March 5th marks FIT’s 3rd anniversary, and we’ve just hit 300 posts!  Congratulations to the FIT community and […]

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