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editing  language  france 
7 weeks ago by juliusbeezer
[FR] Les mensonges de l'anglais (Société québécoise d'espéranto)
L'anglais compte 45 sons. Le français, 36. Le russe et l'allemand, pourtant réputés difficiles à prononcer, ne comptent chacun que 44 sons! En ne tenant pas compte des sons pareils dans les deux langues, les francophones doivent assimiler 23 nouveaux sons, quand ils apprennent l'anglais. Par exemple, savez-vous vraiment prononcer toutes ces voyelles différentes? bead, see / calm / born, cork / fool / burn, fern, work / sit / set / sat / fun, come / fond, wash / full, soot / composer, above / bay, fate / buy, lie / boy, voice / no / now, plough / tier, beer / tare, fair / tour.

De plus, l'accent tonique de l'anglais est irrégulier. Il peut être sur n'importe quelle syllabe du mot et il faut l'apprendre, avant de reproduire le mot sans faute. Dit-on concert ou concert? computer ou computer? information ou information? De plus, dans certains cas, le déplacement de l'accent amène un changement de sens! Prononcé record, le mot signifie «enregistrer». Prononcé record, le sens devient «disque»!
language  english  français  esperanto 
7 weeks ago by juliusbeezer
Ranto (JBR Anti-Zamenhofism)
WARNING: BAD LANGUAGE
This was intended as an opinion piece, not an objective guide to a Victorian constructed international auxiliary language (the clue's in the URL), but people have nonetheless ended up linking to it as one of the few available information sources on the topic that isn't an advert. As far as the web is concerned, Esperantism is rather like phrenology or spiritualism: forgotten and ignored by everybody except a few diehard zealots and even fewer debunkers.
language  esperanto 
7 weeks ago by juliusbeezer
The rise of ‘accent softening’: why more and more people are changing their voices | Society | The Guardian
often it is not the accent that is the problem, says Chapman. “An employer might send somebody for accent softening, and actually what they mean is that the employee’s voice doesn’t quite sound formal.” The difference between sounding formal and informal, he explains, lies in speaking too quickly, mumbling or reductions in speech such as the glottal stop – an abrupt silence that replaces T and, occasionally, other consonants at the end of words. “If you drop a T at the end of a word just before a pause like this: Do you see my poin …? Or: Do you see my poinT? Which of those two sounds like I value it more?” Chapman asks. “It’s the second one, because I’m completing it,” Chapman confirms. “You can have a fairly strong regional accent, but you’re putting in Ts at the end of words. You’re being careful – enunciating clearly. So that’s about being careful with the speech, valuing what you say, not mumbling. That’s distinct, I think, from accent.”
language  english 
march 2019 by juliusbeezer
Angela Smith's Funny Tinge. | Practical Ethics
On a BBC politics program, she described people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds as having a “funny tinge”. Angela Smith’s remark was widely condemned. Of course, such talk is unacceptable. However, it’s a mistake to condemn her on its basis.

When someone uses words like that, they may do so deliberately, and endorse the language. In such a case, we are entitled to make inferences about the person’s attitudes from her language. But that’s not what happened in this case. As soon as Smith heard the words leave her mouth, she changed tack. She knew immediately that she had made a gaffe and attempted to move on, apparently hoping it went unnoticed (that might have been a mistake).

Our gaffes need not reveal anything deep about ourselves.
racism  ethics  language  dccomment 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
How to write about addiction without promoting stigma and bias: 4 tips for journalists - HealthNewsReview.org
if journalists are to cover addiction in an accurate way, we need to be extremely careful that the language we use does not reflect the history of moralizing, racism and bias that has marked the war on some drugs. Here are some tips that can help:
drugs  language  journalism  psychology 
january 2019 by juliusbeezer
Brexit psychology: cognitive styles and their relationship to nationalistic attitudes | LSE BREXIT
Furthermore, Structural Equation Modelling analysis demonstrated that cognitive flexibility and intolerance of ambiguity predicted individuals’ endorsement of authoritarianism, conservatism, and nationalism to a substantial degree (see Figure 3). Individuals who exhibited greater cognitive flexibility and were more tolerant of uncertainty were less likely to support authoritarian, conservative, and nationalistic attitudes. These ideological orientations in turn predicted participants’ attitudes towards Brexit, immigration, and free movement of labour, accounting for 47.6% of the variance in support for Brexit. The results suggest that cognitive thinking styles associated with processing perceptual and linguistic stimuli may also be drawn upon when individuals evaluate political and ideological arguments.
authoritarianism  psychology  uk  politics  Brexit  language 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Amazing Rise of Bilingualism in the United States | Psychology Today
there is a steady increase of the percentage of bilinguals between 1980 and 2016. Back in 1980, the percentage of bilinguals was 10.68% whereas in 2016, the last ACS survey for which we have data, it was 20.14%, practically a doubling of the number. If we add a few percentage points to take into account those not included in the survey, the proportion of bilinguals today is probably around 22% of the total population.
language  us 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
From hijabs to pretzels – what makes an emoji? | Technology | The Guardian
The Unicode Consortium, which oversees the introduction of new emojis, considers a number of factors for inclusion. “We look at how visually distinctive the item is, how in demand it is, and does it have longevity,” says Lee. The consortium also considers whether proposals are appropriate for a variety of cultures: in 2016, a proposal for a sauna emoji tabled by the Finnish government was approved on condition that the modesty of the naked sauna users was preserved with a towel...
Such decisions matter because Unicode only approves between 50 and 70 emojis every year. “It’s less important if you’re in the UK or the US,” says Lee, “because we’ve got fancy, high-end phones – but if you have a $15 Android phone in Uganda, the drain on resources is a much bigger deal.” Rendering and storing a large amount of emojis can sap the memory of weaker-powered phones.
language  technology  telephony  code 
september 2018 by juliusbeezer
Signs o’ the times – some/any invariant meanings and COCA – EFL Notes
The table percentages and significance test supports the claim that there is one message feature that motivates use of both some and others. Note that the meaning hypothesis itself is not directly tested; it is only indirectly tested via the counts in COCA. Sabar goes onto to test both qualitatively and quantitatively other signals that contribute to the meaning hypothesis of some – RESTRICTED and any – UNRESTRICTED.
corpus  language  english 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
Article use: from cognitive salience to discourse differentiation – EFL Notes
a description of final state article use that was formulated by William Diver – the founder of Columbia School linguistics which is a sign-based functional linguistics account. A sign is a pairing of a signal with its meaning.

In Diver’s account the/a signals a need to differentiate referents in a piece of discourse while the Ø zero article signals no such need. The signal is used when there is enough information available to differentiate referents and a/an signal is used when there is insufficient information available to differentiate referents. For the Ø zero article four communicative reasons are given:
english  grammar  editing  français  fren  teaching  language  jbcomment 
june 2018 by juliusbeezer
Why speaking Spanish is becoming dangerous in America | US news | The Guardian
In the last few months, a constant stream of race-related attacks, physical and verbal, have peppered the North American landscape like a feral pest. Last January, a woman was kicked out of a Florida UPS for speaking Spanish, the month prior an adult physically attacked legal South American immigrants – including a child – at a Canadian mall, and a few days ago a border agent in Montana arrested two women for the same thing, leaving them shaking with anger and crying at the unfairness of it all. Then there’s the case of the rich Manhattan lawyer who berated young workers at a deli for daring to communicate in the second most spoken language in the world in his presence.
language  exclusion  spanish  us 
may 2018 by juliusbeezer
'Be Best': does Melania Trump's oddly named initiative break the laws of grammar? | Media | The Guardian
“Be Best” just so plainly doesn’t hold up to the laws of English grammar, which require that a superlative adjective following an imperative verb be preceded by the definite article “the”. Be good – be better – be the best: that’s the rule. In the 1990s, the British military ran a TV ad campaign that ended with the slogan: “Army soldier: be the best.” Try it without the the. “Army soldier: be best.” It sounds like you’re translating from the Sanskrit.
english  grammar  language  funny  us  politics 
may 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Yojik Website
This site is dedicated to language learners. You will find here the FSI, DLI and Peace-Corps courses. I wrote some tutorials to help learners to import vocabulary lists, to digitalize documents into modifiable content, to record lists of words/phrases. I rebuilt the defunt Shtooka website, so the content is not lost. A copy of the shtooka collections and programs is also kept here.

The FSI and the Peace-Corps parts are finished, and DLI is on the way, other parts too. Don't forget to report bad links. Thank you.

The translation of the site in French, Russian and German is on the way. French is pretty advanced. Translation of the first page in German done (thanks yabbes!)
language  learning 
may 2018 by juliusbeezer
How to write a headline about drivers who kill : TreeHugger
"Auto user" is a new way to put it. In the article, he uses the more common term, with an active driver hitting a person walking, rather than a passive person being hit by a car.

The Portland Police Bureau is investigating a collision that happened just after midnight this morning at SE Stark and 148th. A driver hit and killed a person crossing the street on foot; then the driver fled the scene.

Then there is a variation on the theme, with a bit of passive but another variation.

Just three months ago a 40-year-old man walking on Stark was hit and killed by someone using a car.
driving  road_safety  language 
february 2018 by juliusbeezer
Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment - Wikipedia
the Chernobyl disaster, and 2004 reflect 985,000 premature deaths as a result of the radioactivity released. The authors suggest that most of the deaths were in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, though others occurred worldwide throughout the many countries that were struck by radioactive fallout from Chernobyl.[1] The literature analysis draws on over 1,000 published titles and over 5,000 internet and printed publications, primarily in Slavic languages (i.e. not translated in English), discussing the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. The authors contend that those publications and papers were written by leading Eastern European authorities and have largely been downplayed or ignored by the IAEA and UNSCEAR...
Charles agrees with the importance of making eastern research more available in the west, he states that he cannot tell which of the publications referred to by the book would sustain critical peer-review in western scientific literature, and that verifying these sources would require considerable effort. Charles sees the book as representing one end of a spectrum of views, and believes that works from the entire spectrum must be critically evaluated in order to develop an informed opinion.
sciencepublishing  reviews  language  translation  russian  peerreview 
january 2018 by juliusbeezer
The refugees who brought hope to a Scottish island | UK news | The Guardian
Mounzer al-Darsani was a barber for 15 years in Damascus before fleeing with his family to Bute. He was a well-known character in the city, and his shop, the Orient Salon, was always busy. Earlier this year the Orient Salon rose from the ashes of Damascus and was born again under the same name on Bute.

It seems his Rothesay business is now thriving as much as his Damascus one did. It was his dream to be open for business again in Bute, but he knew he first had to conquer the English language.

“Immediately after I came here I studied English for five hours every night in my own home, and after six months I felt I was beginning to pick it up,” he says. “The locals have been very helpful. They sensed I was keen to learn and were very patient and helped me out when I got words or sentences wrong.
language  learning  arabic  english 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
Foreign Service Institute Language Difficulty Rankings | Atlas & Boots
The Foreign Service Institute language difficulty rankings are an indication of how long a native English speaker would need to reach proficiency in a number of different languages.

There five are categories ranked from easiest to the hardest based on how many classroom hours a learner would need to complete ‘Speaking 3: General Professional Proficiency in Speaking (S3)’ and ‘Reading 3: General Professional Proficiency in Reading (R3)’.

["the CIA language difficulty ranking"]
language  learning  teaching 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
Authentic or graded? Is there a middle way? | elt-resourceful
It’s also important that students are exposed to different genres of texts, and, especially for the teacher creating materials for their own class, authentic texts provide a relatively easy way to bring something up to date and topical into the classroom. They can provide us with the opportunity to look at the same topic reported in different ways, or give students a starting point from which to follow the news topic as it unfolds, in their own time.

However, in recent years I have been moving away from using unadapted authentic texts. The most obvious problem is the level of the language. When I was first trained, we were taught, ‘grade the task not the text’, but, while this is usually possible, I’m no longer sure that it’s always in the students’ best interests.

Taking this kind of approach is intended to help students develop strategies to deal with texts where a lot of the language is unknown. There is certainly a value in this, but is it as valuable as giving them a text from which they can get so much more? Hu and Nation (2000) concluded that most learners needed to comprehend 98% of words in a text in order to gain ‘adequate comprehension’
language  learning  writing  teaching  text 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
'Would you be willing?': words to turn a conversation around (and those to avoid) | Science | The Guardian
try listening out for how often you both use the phrase “Yes, but”.

“We all know the phrase ‘Yes, but’ really means ‘No, and here’s why you’re wrong’,” says Rob Kendall, author of Workstorming. A conversation expert, Kendall sits in on other people’s meetings as an observer. The phrase “Yes, but” is one of the classic warning signs that you’re in an unwinnable conversation, he says. “If you hear it three or more times in one discussion, it’s a sign that you’re going nowhere.”

What to say Kendall advises shifting the conversation by asking the other person “What’s needed here?” or, even better, “What do you need?” “It takes you from what I call ‘blamestorming’ to a solution-focused outcome.”
psychology  communication  language  english 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
A Reply to A. Holliday’s “Why we should stop using native-non-native speaker labels” | CriticElt
3 To paraphrase Long (2007, 2015), the psychological reality of native speakerness is easily demonstrated by the fact that we know one, and who isn’t one, when we meet them, often on the basis of just a few utterances. When monolingual speakers are presented with recorded stretches of speech by a large pool of NSs and NNSs and asked to say which are which, the judges are always very good at distinguishing them, with inter-rater reliability typically above .9. How do they do this, and why is there so much agreement if there is no such thing as a NS?

4 For the last 60 years, the term “native speaker” has been used in the literature concerning studies of language learning, and one of the most studied phenomenon of all is the failure of the vast majority of post adolescent L2 learners to achieve what Birdsong (2009) refers to as “native like attainment”.
language  exclusion 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
Django signals are evil | Graeme’s
I hardly need say that monkey patching is evil (i.e. a last resort), but one of the things I needed to check along the way was that there was no code being triggered by a (Django) signal, and the problems it causes are very similar to monkey patching.
coding  language  funny  webdesign  web  internet 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Quotation Marks and Direct Quotations : Quotations
Which view should we prefer? I certainly prefer the logical view, and, in a perfect world, I would simply advise you to stick to this view. However, it is a fact that very many people have been taught the conventional view and adhere to it rigorously. Many of these people occupy influential positions — for example, quite a few of them are copy-editors for major publishers. Consequently, if you try to adhere to the logical view, you are likely to encounter a good deal of resistance. The linguist Geoff Pullum, a fervent advocate of the logical view, once got so angry at copy-editors who insisted on reshuffling his carefully placed punctuation that he wrote an article called `Punctuation and human freedom' (Pullum 1984). Here is one of his examples, first with logical punctuation:
english  grammar  editing  language  writing 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Language Log » Learning languages is so much easier now
Do not use flashcards! Do not emphasize memorization of the characters (bùyào sǐbèi dānzì 不要死背单字). Learn words in their proper grammatical and syntactic context. Learn grammatical patterns and practice them in substitution drills (that was one of the best ways Chang Li-ching used to train her students, and she was extremely successful in getting them up to an impressive level of fluency in a short period of time).
language  learning  chinois 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Language Log » How to learn to read Chinese
all students in China begin to read and write through pinyin. During the 80s and 90s (and it still lingers on) there was also a remarkable, large-scale experiment in China called ZHUYIN SHIZI, TIQIAN DUXIE 注音識字提前讀寫 (Phonetically Annotated Character Recognition Speeds Up Reading and Writing) that was carried out in scattered locations across the country (but mostly in the Northeast [Dongbei; Manchuria]). The ZT experiment (as it is called after the first two letters of its constituent clauses) encouraged students to read and write in pinyin for longer periods than was stipulated by the conventional curriculum. In addition, even in higher grades, students were permitted to write words in pinyin when they couldn’t remember how to write something in characters (e.g., the devilishly difficult DA3PEN1TI4 [“sneeze”]). The well-documented results of the experiment demonstrate that students enrolled in the ZT curriculum actually learned to read and write characters better and faster than students enrolled in the standard curriculum.
language  learning  chinois 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Media Lens - Racing Towards The Abyss: The U.S. Atomic Bombing of Japan
A stumbling block until recently has been that no historian has been sufficiently fluent in English, Japanese and Russian to investigate the primary archival material – including internal government documents, military reports and intelligence intercepts - in all three languages. This partly explains why historical debate in the West has been so focused on the Truman administration’s motives and policy-making: this, after all, could be pursued on the basis of English-language material...

In 2005, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, professor of history at the University of California at Santa Barbara, published a landmark study, ‘Racing The Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan.’[4] Hasegawa, born and raised in Japan but now a U.S. citizen, appraised seriously the trilateral wartime relationships between the United States, the Soviet Union and Japan. His study has been critically acclaimed and has generated considerable scholarly, as well as journalistic, debate. Barton Bernstein, professor of history at Stanford University and one of the world’s foremost commentators on A-bomb issues, warmly praised the book as “formidable”, “a major volume in international history” and “a truly impressive accomplishment, meriting prizes and accolades.”[5] The book has also delivered a huge jolt to anti-revisionists.
history  language  japan  russia  us  war  nukes 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Language, Thought, Culture: A Reassessment - Languages Of The World
what would be the evolutionary advantage of hiding rather than transmitting information between individuals and groups? Baker’s answer is that the sheer possibility of defining human groups on the basis of such easily recognizable factor as language has an evolutionary advantage. Linguistic groups (which we often think of in terms of ethnic or tribal groups) serve to define who one mates with and who one fights with. In other words, language is an easily identifiable marker of who is or is not “our people”.
language  culture  exclusion  dccomment 
july 2017 by juliusbeezer
Technique: The calculus of translation | The translation business
In mathematics, the reverse process of differentiation, anti-differentiation, is called integration. When you integrate acceleration you get velocity and when you integrate velocity you get position. But integration is not as easy as differentiation because you have to restore the lost information.

This was the approach taken by the French translator in the Mercedes book. He recognised that “connection” was a derivative of “phone” and “functions” was a derivative of “rings” and so he integrated the phrase, restoring the original missing information.

The English translator didn’t recognise that “the connection functions” was a derivative and he rendered the surface, literal meaning in his translation. There is no way that “The link is OK” can be interpreted in English as “The phone rings”.
translation  language  mathematics 
june 2017 by juliusbeezer
Loftus and Palmer | Simply Psychology
7 films of traffic accidents, ranging in duration from 5 to 30 seconds, were presented in a random order to each group.

After watching the film participants were asked to describe what had happened as if they were eyewitnesses. They were then asked specific questions, including the question “About how fast were the cars going when they (smashed / collided / bumped / hit / contacted) each other?”

Thus, the IV was the wording of the question and the DV was the speed reported by the participants.

Findings: The estimated speed was affected by the verb used.
road_safety  crash_report  language  psychology 
june 2017 by juliusbeezer
‘A Nasty Name for a Nasty Thing’: A History of Cunt - Whores of Yore
Let’s turn to the etymology first. Cunt is old. It’s so old that its exact origins are lost in the folds of time and etymologists continue to debate where in the cunt cunt comes from. It’s several thousand years old at least, and can be traced to the old Norse ‘kunta’ and Proto-Germanic ‘kuntō’; but before that cunt proves quite elusive. There are medieval cunty cognates in most Germanic languages; kutte, kotze and kott all appear in German. The Swedish have kunta; the Dutch have conte, kut and kont, and the English once has Cot (which I quite like and think is due a revival). Here’s where the debate comes in; no one is quite sure what it actually means. Some etymologists have argued cunt has a root in the Proto-Indo-European sound ‘gen/gon’, which means to "create, become".
language  english 
june 2017 by juliusbeezer
Progresser en orthographe, c’est devenir meilleur dans toutes les matières
« Faut-il encourager les étudiants à améliorer leur orthographe ? ». « Le résultat est clair : l’amélioration de la maîtrise de la langue peut produire des effets sensibles sur les résultats et peut être un vecteur de lutte contre l’échec », explique-t-il.

Un échantillon de quelque 849 étudiants a participé à cette « expérience contrôlée », en étant d’abord informés en début d’année universitaire de la possibilité d’utiliser la plate-forme en ligne du Projet Voltaire pour améliorer leurs compétences orthographiques, et en les incitant à le faire. Ensuite, les étudiants ont été divisés en deux groupes tirés au sort : seulement la moitié d’entre eux a été fortement encouragée à utiliser le logiciel de perfectionnement en orthographe, grammaire et syntaxe, par des rappels réguliers de leurs enseignants sur l’importance d’une bonne maîtrise de la langue et en mettant en exergue que les notes obtenues sur la plate-forme seraient prises en compte pour l’évaluation finale.

Lire aussi : Trop d’étudiants fâchés avec l’o
français  education  orthographe  language  research 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
There is a difference between Native Speakers and Non Native Speakers | CriticElt
The psychological reality of native speakerness is easily demonstrated by the fact that we know one, and who isn’t one, when we meet them, often on the basis of just a few utterances. On a more objective level, when monolingual speakers are presented with (even very short) recorded stretches of speech by a large pool of NSs and NNs and asked to say which are which, the judges are always very good at distinguishing them, with inter-rater reliability typically above .9. How do they do this, and why is there so much agreement if there is no such thing as a NS?
language  learning  exclusion 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
Violences policières « en marge » des manifestations : les mots pour (ne pas) le dire - Acrimed | Action Critique Médias
Une partie de la réponse à cette délicate question se loge dans l’emploi du verbe devoir, dans une tournure récurrente en pareil cas – mais beaucoup moins quand il s’agit d’évoquer les agissements des manifestants :

« Les forces de l’ordre ont dû utiliser des lacrymogènes. » (ouest-france.fr, 12 mai 2016)...

Et si l’on en est réduit à devoir malgré tout appeler les choses par leur nom et à évoquer crûment des « violences policières », il reste un dernier recours, l’usage de guillemets, hautement déontologiques (mais dont on peut se passer pour évoquer les « violences » des manifestants – qu’on peut parfois évoquer, puisqu’on les redoute, avant même qu’elles aient eu lieu) :

« Ce qui inquiète les autorités, c’est surtout le rassemblement annoncé samedi et censé dénoncer “les violences policières”. » (20minutes.fr, 12 mai 2016)
police  france  journalism  language 
may 2017 by juliusbeezer
The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Recurrent Neural Networks
Neural network generates something looking like English with little training
learning  tools  language  attention  agnotology 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Foreign language vocabulary: Effective practices for learning and teaching | CriticElt
One of the most influential models of bilingual memory within a FL learning context is the Revised Hierarchical Model proposed by Kroll and colleagues (Kroll & deGroot, 1997; Kroll & Stewart, 1994; Kroll & Sunderman, 2003; Kroll & Van Hell, 2010). This model attempts to capture the findings from many empirical studies to explain how the relationship of the L1 lexicon and FL lexicon change in relation to one another, and to the conceptual system, as FL proficiency develops. As shown in Figure 4.3, this model of the development of the mental lexicon incorporates a level of lexical information that is connected to, but separable from, conceptual knowledge, which is argued to be universal in its basic architecture.
language  learning  education 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Foreign Press Center: Wikipedia in a Post-Fact World: Reliable Sources, Transparency, and Open Knowledge – ForeignAffairs.co.nz
I wanted to clarify on the language issue. Because I work with Russian all the time; I work for a Russian-language publication. I obviously look for information in English and Russian. And the Wikipedia entry for a certain public figure —
MS MAHER: Will be very different.
QUESTION: — will be very different in Russian and in English. So there’s basically – unless somebody from the community puts those – makes them sort of similar or equivalent, there’s nobody at the Wikipedia itself that will —
MS MAHER: That’s correct. There’s nobody —
QUESTION: — make any changes?
MS MAHER: No. The Wikimedia Foundation, as I said, we don’t actually edit the content at all. We’re here to support the sites, make sure they run, make sure they’re fast, make sure they’re accessible, make sure that the people who edit the sites have the time and resources that they need in order to contribute. Some community members are interested in doing language-to-language consistency and translation, but the reality of the matter is that they are going to be different. The interests of different language communities are different, and we actually see that as a strength rather than a weakness. It does mean that on certain topics where there are differing political perspectives, you may see those biases emerge.
I’m very interested, as technology continues to improve and advance, the ability of machine translation to perhaps provide us more insight into that. I think that that will be part of our continued evolution is trying to understand what exists in one language versus another. I think that is a very interesting journey for us to take. As I said earlier, we’re constantly in the process of improving, and that might be an interesting area for our community to focus on.
wikipedia  language  translation  editing 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Bilingualism in the Sky | Psychology Today
Flying is the, or one of the, safest ways of traveling so communication in English, even though it is in a foreign language for many, seems to work very well. What are the procedures that are in place to make it so efficient?

The most important aspect is the strictly regulated phraseology and communication procedures that aim at avoiding misunderstandings. That is why it is so critical that all pilots and air traffic controllers adhere to these procedures, which afford multiple occasions to catch errors.

One procedural requirement, for instance, is careful “readback” by the pilot of what the controller has said, and “hearback” by the controller. The latter is supposed to listen to the pilot’s readback and catch any readback errors.
english  aviation  safety  language  terminology  communication 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Foreign pilots are failing at English — but so are the Brits
Native English speakers think they speak the language well enough not to need any lessons in it. In the aviation industry, that is dangerously complacent. The CAA report says that British pilots and air traffic controllers are causing misunderstandings by using slang and everyday conversational English, rather than the established terms of English as an aviation lingua franca...
native English speakers need to undergo a perceptual shift many will find hard. The report says the airline industry needs to “emphasise to native English-speaking pilots and controllers that they are not the ‘owners’ of English”.

But it is a reality. Language experts calculate that for every person speaking English as a mother tongue, there are now four speaking it as a second or additional language. Most English conversations around the world, whether in aviation, business or tourism, take place between non-native speakers.

It is not just in the airline industry that non-native speakers often find it difficult to understand Brits, Americans or Australians. Business people tell researchers that their English language conference call was going fine until a Canadian or New Zealander came on to the line.

The problem is the same one identified in the CAA report: native English speakers talk too fast, use too many metaphorical expressions and, because so many of them these days are monolingual, have no idea what it is like to operate in another language.
english  aviation  language  learning  imperialism 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Bad language: why being bilingual makes swearing easier | Science | The Guardian
To investigate these questions, my project uses eye-tracker technology in order to measure bilinguals’ pupil responses to emotional words in English. Typically, when shown highly emotional words or pictures, people’s pupils dilate as a non-controllable, emotional reaction. Previous research has shown the effect is smaller in bilinguals’ second language, which suggests reduced emotional resonance. Understanding the reasons for why this happens can, in turn, help us explain how you experience a foreign language community, and how this could be taken into account in acculturation and adaptation.
language  emotion  bilingualism 
march 2017 by juliusbeezer
Pink Trombone
speech synthesis browser app
language  cool  phonetics 
march 2017 by juliusbeezer
Diamant sur canapé (1) | ARTE Radio
De sa cité à Saint-Tropez, des boîtes des Champs-Elysées à un dîner avec Madame Trump, « Sarah » raconte son ascension sociale grâce au désir des hommes. Dans la lignée de « Crackopolis » et de « Flicopolis », un récit vrai et captivant sur l’univers des « michetonneuses » qui se louent pour une soirée, un sac à main, des bijoux... Un parcours qui résonne étrangement comme un manifeste féministe !
sex  radio  france  français  business  language 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Cardinal Sins of Translation #4: Translating Without Knowing the Source Language - Intralingo
Having a working knowledge of a foreign language is generally assumed to be the most basic requirement for literary translators. But is it ever possible to translate from a language you don’t know?

First of all, how does translating work? Most often, the translators work with someone, either the author or another native speaker of the source language, who brings the text into English or a bridge language for the translator to work with. This is usually followed by a back-and-forth dialogue, either in person or over e-mail, in which the translator asks questions and tries out different options.

It should be noted that all my interviewees are also literary translators in the traditional sense; that is, they translate from languages they do know. This meant that they were already familiar with the myriad of issues that arise in all kinds of translation and the various ways in which they could find creative solutions...

“the ability to write (in the target language) is far and away the most important skill a translator could have.”
translation  language  literature  agnotology 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Muqattaʿat - Wikipedia
The Muqattaʿāt (Arabic: حروف مقطعات ‎‎ ḥurūf muqaṭṭaʿāt "disjoined letters" or "disconnected letters";[1] also "mysterious letters") are combinations of between one and five Arabic letters figuring at the beginning of 29 out of the 114 surahs (chapters) of the Quran just after the basmala.[2] The letters are also known as fawātih (فواتح) or "openers" as they form the opening verse of their respective suras .

Four surahs are named for their muqatta'at, Ṭāʾ-Hāʾ, Yāʾ-Sīn , Ṣād and Qāf.

The original significance of the letters is unknown. Tafsir (exegesis) has interpreted them as abbreviations for either names or qualities of God or for the names or content of the respective surahs.
religion  language 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
أَلِف-لَام-مِيم "Alif, Lam, Mim", c'est quoi ? : Dialogue islamo-chrétien
L’importance et la signification de ces lettres mystérieuses ne sont pas connues avec certitude.
Selon certains chercheurs, ces lettres sont des abréviations de certains mots. Par exemple :

Alif lam mim signifie « anallaho a’lamo » = ??? Je suis Allah, l’Omniscient
Alif lam ra signifie « anallaho ara » = ??? Je suis Allah, Celui Qui Voit tout
religion  language 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Alif Lam Mim | Martel en Tête
S’il est notoire que l’alphabet arabe procède de l’hébreu et de l’araméen, il n’échappe non plus à personne que les lettres arabes « alif, lam, mim » correspondent aux lettres « alef, lamed, mem », de l’alphabet hébreu; une évidence même pour un non linguiste. Or ces 3 lettres sont en hébreu un sigle abréviatif de “El Lemashaot” – le Dieu des délivrances (psaume 68,21) selon le Professeur Kurt Hruby, abréviation citée par Édouard Marie Gallez dans sa thèse “le Messie et son Prophète”, et aussi par Bruno Eymard Bonnet et par Sami Awad dans leurs traductions respectives du Coran. Il se trouve que ces linguistes sont de fins connaisseurs de l’arabe, de l’hébreu et de l’araméen. La puissance de leur raisonnement s’appuie sur des connaissances approfondies des textes anciens y compris de la Bible, du nouveau testament et du Coran. La crédibilité de leurs conclusions et de leurs sources est au-dessus de tout soupçon.
religion  language 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
When Cars Collide, Safety Advocates Say It's No 'Accident' : NPR
So a lot like the industrial safety people invented this cartoon character called Otto Know Better (ph), who was careless and getting injured, the pro-automobile people - manufacturers, auto clubs, auto dealers - invented caricatures of careless pedestrians because most of the people cars were killing then were pedestrians, not other people in cars.
walking  road_safety  language  driving 
january 2017 by juliusbeezer
Now or never: translation of a poem and other things I don´t know – That elusive pair of jeans
I started learning Portuguese when we arrived here as emigrants in October 2008. People assume that because I am a translator, and already know a couple of other languages that it is easier for me than a garden variety English monolingual. I do not think so.

While it may be easier from the point of view that I am genuinely interested in all the possible uses of the subjunctive, for example, and can identify the relics of this mood in English with ease, what many non linguists fail to grasp is that another language is not simply another functional word list to employ when you find yourself surrounded by Continentals.

Another language is another world. It is a new and different mentality with its own history and culture and methods of food preparation, and types of vegetation for which you have hitherto had no need for a name. In this world, too, there are countless social strata quite different from the ones to which you may be accustomed.
translation  language  learning 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Does ELF Have a Role in EAP Writing? – ELT Research Bites
Tribble sees EAPWI based on genre analysis situated within a expert/apprentice dichotomy in which native language plays absolutely no role. Tribble claims that native academic English does not really exist. Rather, what does exist is a set of conventions developed by experts and writers with expertise within a particular discipline regardless of first language.

Study

To demonstrate this, Tribble built a corpus of research articles from international journals. This was chosen, as the writers and editorial board would likely be those whose mother tongues were not all English. He then focused on a single journal from the corpus (a biology journal called Acta Tropica). Through random sampling of 10 articles, he investigated errors (or what he called “non-canonocial” uses, or deviations from “textbook norms”) in order to determine whether these authors were forced to conform to native speaker norms of language usage. He found that errors were common, about once every 60 words. He found these errors at the clause level but noted that all of the writings stayed consistent at the stage and moves level. ...ELFA really has no role in academic writing, as academic writing has nothing to do with conformity to nativeness but rather “expertise that is required for acceptance by specific discourse communities”
editing  english  medicine  sciencepublishing  language 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
(1) Expressions érotiques : cachez ce sens que je ne saurais voir - Culture / Next
Nous souhaitons agacer le sous-préfet ? Gaffe, le sous-préfet sera sans doute ravi, mais est-on bien certain(e) de vouloir se livrer à une fellation ? On a la puce à l’oreille ? Grand dieu, voilà une façon on ne peut plus clair pour une femme de confesser qu’elle est sexuellement excitée. On ne se mouche pas du pied ? Tant mieux. Mais encore faut-il savoir que se moucher, c’est aussi éjaculer.

De quoi rougir a posteriori de toutes ces expressions dont nous usons avec une pathétique candeur et sans même déconner (soit littéralement «baiser sans sortir du con»). Chance, l’antidote à ces dérapages incontrôlés vient de paraître. Son titre, 200 Drôles d’Expressions érotiques que l’on utilise tous les jours sans le savoir (1).

L’auteure, la linguiste docteure ès lettres Agnès Pierron, taquine depuis des années déjà le coquin de notre langue. On lui doit le Bouquin des mots du sexe ou les Bagatelles de la porte (précis des préliminaires amoureux).
français  sex  funny  language 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
Pourquoi Cohn-Bendit ne peut plus tutoyer Mélenchon
le présentateur propose à Cohn-Bendit d'interpeller Mélenchon. Il ne se fait pas prier : "Jean-Luc ! Si tu te présentes à la primaire, tu peux la gagn…" Il n'a même pas terminé sa phrase que la riposte de Mélenchon fuse, sèche :

"Monsieur Cohn-Bendit, est-ce que vous pouvez m'appeler par mon nom et pas par mon prénom, s'il vous plaît ? Nous ne sommes pas amis, vous le savez. Ne jouons pas la comédie."
français  language 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Quatre Arabes dans une voiture | Le Club de Mediapart
Pourtant, depuis le début, nous avons obtempéré. Nous n’avons insulté personne. L’un d’entre nous a simplement demandé, avec fermeté, à ne pas être tutoyés. C’est peut-être vain. C’est peut-être un détail. Mais c’est important. Nous méritons comme tout citoyen le respect élémentaire.
police  language  driving 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
The surprising origins of 'post-truth' – and how it was spawned by the liberal left
More than 30 years ago, academics started to discredit “truth” as one of the “grand narratives” which clever people could no longer bring themselves to believe in. Instead of “the truth”, which was to be rejected as naïve and/or repressive, a new intellectual orthodoxy permitted only “truths” – always plural, frequently personalised, inevitably relativised.

Under the terms of this outlook, all claims on truth are relative to the particular person making them; there is no position outside our own particulars from which to establish universal truth. This was one of the key tenets of postmodernism, a concept which first caught on in the 1980s after publication of Jean-Francois Lyotard’s The Postmodern Condition: A Report On Knowledge in 1979. In this respect, for as long as we have been postmodern, we have been setting the scene for a “post-truth” era.
theory  politics  language 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Alan Sokal's writings on science, philosophy and culture
Other useful Web sites on the "Social Text Affair"

Jason Walsh site NOTE NEW LOCATION!!!
Gen Kuroki site
"The Science Wars Homepage" Please note that I do not endorse the title of this page; in my opinion this is an intellectual debate, not a "war"! But this page does contain much useful material.
Sokal et Bricmont dans la presse francophone (bibliographie, en français) NOTE NEW LOCATION!!!
Vittorio Bertolini site (sito in italiano) NOTE NEW LOCATION!!!
Jukka-Pekka Takala site (site in Finnish and Scandinavian languages)

Postmodern essay generator (courtesy of Andrew Bulhak, see description and source code)
Postmodern sentence generator
SCIgen, a program for generating random computer-science research papers (courtesy of Jeremy Stribling, Max Krohn and Dan Aguayo, three computer-science grad students at MIT)
Mathgen, a program for generating random mathematics research papers (courtesy of Nate Eldredge, incorporating code from SCIgen). And see also the delicious story of the Mathgen paper accepted at a (pseudo-)journal: here and here.
snarXiv, an archive of randomly generated titles/abstracts of papers in high-energy physics (courtesy of David Simmons-Duffin). Also, play the arXiv vs. snarXiv game: guess which paper titles are real and which are fake! (My own score is a lousy 83%)
Theorem Generator, a generator of random "theorems" and "proofs" (also courtesy of David Simmons-Duffin).
agnotology  language  editing  sokal  coding 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Randall M. Hasson Blog: The ADLaM Story – How Alphabet Changes Culture - Part Two
In 1987, Ibrahim and Abdoulaye shut themselves up in their room and began to make marks. Sometimes they would close their eyes and recite “un deux trois” as they moved their pencils, then open their eyes to see what they had made. As these marks developed, they picked out marks that looked like the sounds of their language. These signs were refined to individual glyphs, which then in turn formed the letters of the alphabet. The writing system developed and they decided to try to teach this new system to their sister; once that worked they knew they could teach people to read and they moved on to teach their mother. As the alphabet matured they settled on 28 individual letters(17) and then began to teach the town women and children at home. The image from 1994 at left is the first table of the “ADLaM” alphabet as it is today(18).
language  coding 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Adlam: “The Alphabet That Will Save a People From Disappearing” - The Atlantic
Like Cherokee during the four-year lull between its induction in Unicode 3.0 and the first official support for its alphabet on Macs, Adlam is in purgatory. Neither Windows, nor Apple, nor Google supports it on their operating systems yet, and although Facebook recently added an option to use the network in Fulani, it used the Latin script rather than Adlam.

Last month, some hope came in the form of an enormous font family called “Noto,” the culmination of a five-year collaboration between Google and Monotype that aims to create a typeface that supports more than 800 languages, all in a unified style. It already covers more than 30 alphabets—every single one released in Unicode 6.1, including Cherokee—and in its next phase of development, Google says it will cover 100 percent of Unicode 9.0, which includes Adlam. The Google font is an important step, but it doesn’t yet mean Adlam will be supported on an operating system anytime soon.
language  coding 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Do You Speak Emoji? - The New Yorker
I scrolled through the options—thumbs-up, shooting star, pink bow—and began to understand the appeal: when language poses risk, employ a playful image whose interpretation may be negotiated upon receipt.
language  internet 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
How Donald Trump Lost His Mojo - Rolling Stone
Last October, when Trump was an ascendant circus act whose every move mesmerized the global media, the Boston Globe did a linguistic analysis of the GOP field. The paper discovered that loserific hopefuls like Jim Gilmore and Mike Huckabee were speaking above the 10th-grade level. But Trump was crushing the competition using the language of a fourth-grader, below all of his competitors, including Ben Carson (sixth grade) and Ted Cruz (ninth grade).

It was a key to his success. In an era when the public above all hates professional politicians, Trump came off as un- rehearsed and genuine. He was a lout and a monster, but at least he was ad-libbed.
language  politics  us  authoritarianism 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
What's the only word that means mandatory? Here's what law and policy say about "shall, will, may and must."
We call "must" and "must not" words of obligation. "Must" is the only word that imposes a legal obligation on your readers to tell them something is mandatory. Also, "must not" are the only words you can use to say something is prohibited. Who says so and why?

Nearly every jurisdiction has held that the word "shall" is confusing because it can also mean "may, will or must." Legal reference books like the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure no longer use the word "shall."
english  language 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
What is anger? 2. Jean Briggs | The History of Emotions Blog
Let me make four quick points about this. First, and most obviously, as I have said, there is no Inuit word for “anger”. Secondly, it is notable that there is no reference anywhere to the idea that any of these Inuit words includes a necessary reference to revenge or pay-back (which is considered a defining feature of orge – the Ancient Greek philosophical concept of anger adopted by Nussbaum and others). Thirdly these words are primarily, though not exclusively, terms for outward actions – such things as shouting, scolding, threatening, and physically attacking. The Inuit vocabulary as translated by Briggs (and this is reinforced also by another recent linguistic study) is primarily a behavioural one.2 So, whatever it is that is standing in the place of “anger” or “bad temper” in the worldview of the Utku seems to have been more a set of behaviours than a set of feelings. Finally, Inuit languages do not seem to have an equivalent category to the English ‘emotion’ at all, so their second-order moral and psychological beliefs about shouting, attacking, and hostility will not be based on the same model of the mind as is familiar in modern academic psychology.
psychology  anthropology  language  emotion  canada 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Bilinguals are more attractive, say 71% of Americans - CNN.com
French was considered the "sexiest" language by respondents on both sides of the Atlantic (US 40%, UK 32%) and the hottest foreign accent in which to hear English (US 38%, UK 40%).
So being multilingual can make you more appealing, more successful and more compassionate. And it's also good for your health.
language  bilingualism 
august 2016 by juliusbeezer
Theresa May’s hidden British value -- monolingualism
David Jones, a GP, has argued that translation services are a good use of money. Writing back in 2007 in the British Medical Journal he argued:

In my practice in Tottenham, a deprived inner-city area of London with a diverse population of new migrants to the UK, like all GPs, I often care for three generations. It seems completely unrealistic to expect, for example, a 76-year-old Somali woman, often with no previous formal education, to attend English classes and acquire English. Such patients, who may expect to live for 20 years, will always need an interpreter. Her daughter struggles a bit, and we often use an interpreter, usually via the telephone. Her granddaughter, aged 10, is of course effortlessly bilingual. We need to take a long view sometimes.
language  medicine  interpreting 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
How not to journalism | Dr Claire Hardaker
Hmmm, I think I may be as unforthcoming as all your other interviewees. The first thing I’d say is that we need to take a step back. Mainly we don’t know for a fact that trolls are primarily male. There’s lots of anecdotal evidence out there but nothing (as far as I’m aware) that gives us a concrete, empirical insight into the demographics of abusive online users. Remember that profiles are extremely easy to populate with fake information, automated procedures for “detecting” the gender of online accounts can be highly problematic, and when questioned particularly about socially stigmatised behaviours, people can and do lie. One option is to look purely at those convicted for abusive online behaviour to see what kinds of people they are, and this already tells us that trolls can be male or female, old or young, working class, university educated, parents, kids, and anything in between. However, we don’t know how well those people reflect the abusive online population in general. They are, after all, people who didn’t hide their offline identity well enough to prevent themselves from being prosecuted. It’s certainly tempting to just take it as given that trolls are primarily male but without tracking at least a decent sample of trolling accounts back to the people who operate them, we’re just speculating. If someone is ever able to conduct that kind of research (and I’d be very surprised if they manage it) then we could start to paint a better picture of the average troll.
internet  forensic  language  sex  journalism 
june 2016 by juliusbeezer
Language Log » Stigmatized varieties of Gaelic
She, somewhat contrarily, taught herself the Gaelic and used it in all her dealings with the locals, though they always thought her dialect and her accent stuck-up and affected. The thought of her speaking a pure and correct Gaelic in a Glasgow accent is amusing; her neighbours' attitude towards her well-meant efforts less so, being an example of the the characteristic Highland inferiority complex so often mistaken for class or national consciousness. The Lewis accent itself is one of the ugliest under heaven, a perpetual weary resentful whine — the Scottish equivalent of Cockney — and the dialect thickly corrupted with English words Gaelicized by the simple expedient of mispronouncing them in the aforementioned accent.

This attitude towards the Gaelic of Lewis reminded me of the attitude that George Bernard Shaw puts in the mouth of his hero Henry Higgins in Pygmalion, addressing the Cockney flower-peddler Eliza Doolittle
gaelic  scots  language  exclusion 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Language Log » Another victim of oversimplified rules
But number, in the sequence a number of, is nearly always transparent. We say A number of people are unhappy about it ; the singular agreement form *A number of people is unhappy about it  strikes me as plangently ungrammatical...
The observation is not a new one: the Oxford Dictionaries site gives the correct advice, as I found simply by Google-searching the phrase a number of people are to see what might come up. The Metro journalist didn't think to do any of this to check on normal usage, but just plumped for singular because that's what a number would take.

How could any working journalist or editor be so blind to the natural patterns of their native language?

The question is not just rhetorical; I have an answer to it: nervous cluelessness. I've discussed it here and here among other places. Dogmatic style sheets and don't-do-this books of rules are making people write worse, by making them too nervous to remain securely in touch with their own sense of how their language works.
grammar  english  language  editing 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Wired Style: A Linguist Explains Vintage Internet Slang - The Toast - The Toast
in the early 2000s. I was the type of teenager who read help documentation and tech blogs and anything that seemed vaguely linguistics-related, and I was already reading the articles on Wired‘s website, so of course when I stumbled upon its style guide, I read that too.

The thing that stuck in my mind about the Wired style guide was the attitude. I’d read other usage guides — well-meaning gifts from people who thought that having an interest in linguistics was the same as having an interest in the mechanics of writing — but they tended towards the curmudgeonly. But while Strunk & White and their inheritors considered themselves the last thing standing between The English Language and Mortal Peril, Wired Style said, essentially, No. We’re not the guardians of tradition, we’re a forward-facing tech publication, and it’s essential for us to be on the vanguard of linguistic change. Hyphens will drop eventually, so let’s drop them now; capitals will eventually de-capitalize, so let’s lowercase as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

To my teenage self, it was like being handed a crystal ball and a lever with which to move the world at the same time. You mean that I could anticipate the direction that language change would happen in, and help push it there even faster? The power was intoxicating. I was sold — and I’ve written email and internet ever since, with the security of knowing that, if my choices were ever questioned, I could calmly reply “You see, it’s because I follow the Wired style guide.”
language  grammar  internet  editing 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Larsen Freeman’s IATEFL 2016 Plenary: Shifting metaphors from computer input to ecological affordances | CriticElt
There’s no single, complete and generally agreed-upon theory of SLA, but there’s a widespread view that second language learning is a process whereby learners gradually develop their own autonomous grammatical system with its own internal organising principles. This system is referred to as “interlanguage”. Note that “interlanguage” is a theoretical construct (not a fact and not a metaphor) which has proved useful in developing a theory of some of the phenomena associated with SLA; the construct itself needs further study and the theory which it’s part of is incomplete, and possibly false.

Support for the hypothesis of interlanguages comes from observations of U-shaped behaviour in SLA, which indicate that learners’ interlanguage development is not linear.
language  learning 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
I called Sweden’s new national number to talk to a random Swedish person | The Verge
On April 6th, the Swedish Tourist Association launched "The Swedish Number" an actual phone number people from all over the world can dial to speak with a random Swedish person. The marketing gimmick is meant to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the country's abolishment of censorship and to educate foreigners about the Scandinavian country and the people who live there. So far, over 17,000 people from across the globe have called the hotline, expecting to speak to Swedish people who, without any training or instructions, have agreed to talk to strangers about their homeland. This afternoon, I called the number as well...

While I only called The Swedish Number once and Ddida was the only person I spoke with, in a strange way I felt like I got a better sense of Sweden — a country I've never visited — than I would ever had speaking to an actual Swedish person. I got to see Sweden close up through the eyes of an outsider. Ddida was my surrogate, sunken deep into a culture deeply different from his own and fascinated by it.
culture  language  sweden 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Gently introducing teachers to Corpus Linguistics | Corpus Linguistics 4 EFL
There are several resources for teachers that offer gentler, practical introductions to what Corpus Linguistics can do for them. And I think that that framing is key for introducing teachers to CL: you don’t have to be doing CL, but there are things CL can do for you (and your students). Focusing on what things can be done, and using accessible language while doing so, is a gentle way for teachers to dip their toes in the CL waters, and avoids feelings of academic deficit some teachers might feel when they first come across some of those specialized terms and concepts.

This is my long-winded way of introducing two items that I felt helped me a lot when I was just getting interested in CL because they gently and clearly explained things in ways that a non-specialist could grasp without too much heavy lifting. The first is this introduction of CL for teachers that I think lays out many of the key ideas of using CL in language teaching in very accessible language: definitions are clear, examples are relevant, and the writing avoids a ‘too-academic’ tone.

The other item was this video of Randi Reppen explaining ways corpora can be used by teachers (link starts the video at the 7:53 mark)
teaching  language  corpus 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
The real problem with linguistic shirkers | Language on the Move
those who point the finger at migrant language shirkers vastly underestimate the effort involved in language learning. The consensus in applied linguistics is that language learning takes a long time and that the precise duration and final outcome as measured in proficiency level are almost impossible to predict as they depend on many factors, most of which are outside of the control of an individual language learner, such as age, level of education, aptitude, teaching program, language proximity or access to interactional opportunities.

Language learning is not at all a simple task and most people readily forget that it takes about twelve years to learn your first language. The first five or six years from birth are devoted to acquiring oral fluency and then another six years or so are needed to learn how to read and write, to acquire the academic and textual conventions of a language and also to extend grammatical structures, expand vocabulary and refine pragmatic conventions.
language  learning  immigration  germany  London  exclusion 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Denying language privilege in academic publishing | linguistic pulse
“international” is more or less a euphemism for journals published in English. Faced with this requirement, academics from outside English-speaking countries like the US, the UK, Canada, or Australia have commonly reported that writing for publication in English is a source of disadvantage for them. Furthermore, they have been shown to be less successful at having their work published in these journals than those scholars residing in English-speaking countries.

This has led some critics to point out the inherent advantages and disadvantages of such a system, especially that ‘nonnative’ English users tend to be at a grave disadvantage particularly when compared to those who have acquired English from childhood, that is ‘native’ English users.

In a recent article titled “Academic publishing and the myth of linguistic injustice“, Ken Hyland (applied linguist at the University of Hong Kong) tries to argue, as the title makes clear, that the disadvantages facing ‘nonnative’ English users in the domain of academic publishing are overstated or that they are a “myth”.
scholarly  sciencepublishing  language  english  exclusion 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Monolingual ways of seeing multilingualism - Journal of Multicultural Discourses - Volume 11, Issue 1
Tony Liddicoat shows that English-language research publications about multilingualism are by and large a monolingual affair. Only 7% of the references cited in his corpus of multilingualism research articles refer to work in languages other than English. In this commentary, I expand on Liddicoat's quantitative findings by sketching out a qualitative examination of monolingual ways of seeing multilingualism. In speaking of ‘ways of seeing’ I draw on Berger (1972), who argues that what we see is constrained by what we expect to see based on our beliefs and knowledge. English monolingualism undergirds contemporary ways of seeing multilingualism, including, and perhaps particularly, academic research into multilingualism. Specific aspects of these English-monolingual ways of seeing multilingualism that I address here include perceptions of multilingualism as generic and context-free; as characteristic of the present; and as constituted in textual products rather than processes of production and reception. I conclude by asking how multilingual ways of seeing could be fostered in the field.
language  corpus 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
PLOS ONE: If You’re House Is Still Available, Send Me an Email: Personality Influences Reactions to Written Errors in Email Messages
The primary contribution of the current study is the finding that personality traits influence our reactions to written errors. Participants were told to imagine that the writers of staged email messages were potential housemates; participants evaluated the writers in terms of perceived intelligence, friendliness, and so forth on our Housemate Scale. Ratings were negatively impacted by the presence of either typos or grammos, and ratings were also modulated by personality traits. Although personality traits have been linked to variation in production, particularly the use of specific lexical items [14,16], this is the first study to show that the personality traits of listeners/readers have an effect on the overall assessment—what we might think of as the social processing—of variable language. Different sets of personality traits were relevant for the two types of errors. More extraverted people were likely to overlook written errors that would cause introverted people to judge the person who makes such errors more negatively. Less agreeable people were more sensitive to grammos, while more conscientious and less open people were sensitive to typos...
Although the effect sizes in our study were relatively small—typos trials were rated only .47 points lower, overall, on the Housemate Scale and grammos were rated only .22 points lower, the effect size is likely modulated by the density of errors, with bigger effects for larger error/word ratios [20]. Furthermore, small effects still have real-world consequences. For example, Hucks found that typos negatively impacted fulfillment of real-world loan requests [50], while Ghose and Ipeirotis found real-world impacts of written errors on consumer behavior [9]. What is new in the current results is our finding that the personality traits of the reader influence the impact of typos and grammos. As we discuss above, these findings have implications for theories accounting for individual variation in language processing. They also add to the growing literature on the relationship between personality and language [11–16], which until now, has examined only certain aspects of language production, without considering any aspects of language interpretation.
psychology  grammar  error  language 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
BMJ Blogs: The BMJ » Blog Archive » Jeffrey Aronson: When I use a word . . . Naming biologics—principles and practice
Last week I discussed how drugs get their International Nonproprietary Names (INNs). The World Health Organization’s expert panel that assigns INNs has nine principles to guide its decisions, two primary and seven secondary. Here they are in abbreviated form:

1. The names should be distinctive in sound and spelling. They should not be inconveniently long and should not be liable to confusion with names in common use.
language  medicine  drugs  science 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Cunty, Cuntish, Cunted and Cunting Added to Oxford English Dictionary
Four different forms of the word 'cunt' have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary, and they're all spectacular.
But the crown jewels in the new additions (and the words I'm most likely to use in my day-to-day life) are the Four Cunts — cunty, cuntish, cunted, and cunting. "Cunty" is a word with which uses a naughty word to mean "highly objectionable or unpleasant." "Cuntish" is a word that can be used to describe an "objectionable person or behavior." "Cunted" is slang for being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And "cunting," like its cousins "fucking" or "motherfucking" is an intensifier that means "very much."
language  english 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
A Verb for the Act of Providing Open Access | SPARC
For example, here some of the nominated terms that I find I already use on occasion:

* "Open" and "open up" (Dave Puplett, David Solomon, Tom Wilson)

Tom Wilson: "I suggest that simply using 'open' will do fine: e.g., 'Cambridge UP has announced that it will open the Journal of Fuzzy Thinking...' or 'Elsevier will open 40% of its journals...' It is short, sweet, to the point and probably uses many fewer letters than any reasonable alternative." Dave Puplett: "I agree that it's best not to look too far afield for the right word. We have it already - 'open' is the most important part of 'open access' anyway. I'm sure you'll get more detailed suggestions, but just this word alone carries enough weight now I think, and would make perfect sense in every context relating to disseminating research." Douglas Carnall: " 'open up' is probably the most colloquial solution."
openaccess  language  dccomment 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Leoxicon: What corpora HAVE done for us
That was before I discovered the British National Corpus hosted on the Brigham Young University website. Had I discovered it earlier I would have searched for Hints + Preposition and found that hints on something is actually more common than the other two options we were vehemently debating.

In his recent article Whathave corpora ever done for us, Hugh Dellar raises doubts about the usefulness of corpora to the ELT field. While not completely dismissive of corpus research and its value, Hugh basically argues that its effect on the language teaching profession has been enslaving rather than liberating. I find Hugh's polemic surprising considering the fact that corpus linguistics is what gave impetus to the Lexical approach, of which Hugh is a staunch advocate (used the corpus here to look up a "juicy" adjective for "advocate"!)
corpus  english  language  learning 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Context-Free GenGen
A context-free text generator uses a "grammar" to generate strings. You can use this tool to make your own online context-free text generator—all you need to do is put some rows in a Google spreadsheet.

Probably the best way to show you is by example. Let's say you wanted to make a simple generator, that does: "I am the [adjective] [animal] in the [adjective] [place]." You'd make this spreadsheet:
language  grammar  funny  corpus 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
SOLE – does it work with adult language learners? | ELTjam
SOLE stands for Self Organised Learning Environment. In a SOLE teachers attempt to spark curiosity by asking children to explore a big question, using the Internet and working together in small groups. Towards the end of the session each group is then invited to present their findings to the rest of the class.

There are a number important features of SOLE that have emerged that help to maximise its effectiveness. Firstly, the ‘big question’ plays a prominent role and when a relevant and challenging question is posed many children do respond positively and engage in the lesson. Secondly, the SOLE approach enables teachers to integrate the use of the internet into the lesson in a safe and constructive manner
language  learning 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
The reason you discriminate against foreign accents starts with what they do to your brain - Quartz
“We’re less likely to believe something if it’s said with a foreign accent,” says Lev-Ari. In her view, negative judgments are the result of the additional effort that our brains must make to process foreign speech. Our brains then shift the blame for this effort onto the veracity of the speaker.

In another experiment, Lev-Ari showed that native speakers remember less accurately what non-native speakers say. This is because “we expect non-native speakers to be less proficient speakers, so we rely on our expectations about what they’re going to say, rather than what they actually do say,” she explains.
language  exclusion 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Some things I have learnt while using corpus methods to study health communication | ESRC Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS)
I expected that it would be difficult to get audiences outside (corpus) linguistics to understand and appreciate our methods. I was wrong. I have consistently found that people generally, and healthcare professionals in particular, quickly become interested in corpus methods and appreciative of what can be learnt from them. After all, healthcare professionals are used to large-scale quantitative studies and statistical analyses, and therefore do not find corpus-based research at all alien. The dissemination of our findings has therefore been much better received than I would ever have imagined.

A paper we published in BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care has been the most read in that journal from February 2015 to January 2016. In that paper we provide evidence from our patient data of the potential negative, disempowering effects of Violence metaphors (e.g. when a patient says: ‘I feel such a failure for not winning this battle’). However, we also show that those same metaphors are motivating and empowering for some people, who proudly embrace the identity of ‘fighters’ (e.g. when another patient says: ‘cancer and the fighting of it is something to be proud of’). Our paper shows a similar pattern for Journey metaphors, which are used in preference to Violence metaphors in policy documents and guidelines on cancer and end-of-life in the UK’s National Health System (e.g. ‘my cancer journey’). In our patient data, Journey metaphors are used in positive and empowering ways by some people, and in negative and disempowering ways by others. From a healthcare professional’s point of view, this means that there is no easy one-size-fits-all approach to communication about cancer.
healthcare  language  metaphor  corpus 
february 2016 by juliusbeezer
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