Butterfly: una passeggiata lungo le sponde dello Yangtze (con Julie O’Yang)

Salve a tutti miei cari follower!

Oggi vorrei presentarvi Julie O’Yang, autrice del romanzo in lingua inglese Butterfly. Alla fine del 2014, ho avuto il piacere di partecipare al progetto di pubblicazione della versione in lingua italiana del libro, collaborando come revisore del lavoro di traduzione svolto dallabio” collega Sonia Lo Conte (visitate la sua pagina “Words Abroad“).

Lascio la parola a Sonia che ha selezionato alcune delle interviste più significative fatte all’autrice di cui ha tradotto alcune domande e risposte per accompagnarci in una passeggiata lungo le sponde dello Yangtze.

Buona lettura!


Green morning a tutti!

Innanzitutto, vorrei ringraziare la collega Chiara Bartolozzi per lo spazio concessomi sul suo blog. Io e Chiara abbiamo collaborato alla traduzione di Butterfly, un romanzo di Julie O’Yang e oggi vorrei presentarvi questa eclettica autrice dalla fervida immaginazione.

Scrittrice, sceneggiatrice e artista visiva, Julie O’Yang nasce a Kunming, in Cina. Giunta nel vecchio continente negli anni ’90, ha trascorso gli ultimi decenni della sua vita viaggiando tra Europa e Giappone, studiando a Londra, all’università di Leiden (Olanda), a Tokyo e a Nagasaki. Oggi risiede in Olanda.

Il suo ultimo romanzo, Butterfly – il primo scritto in inglese – ha riscosso un immediato successo a livello mondiale, nonché tra recensori letterari e critici di tutto il mondo. Conosciamola meglio!

Il libro: Butterfly
Il libro: Butterfly

 

D: Ciao Julie! Dunque, sei nata in Cina e hai studiato a Londra… come sei finita in Olanda?
R: Oh Dio… mia madre mi ha chiamata “acqua cosmica”. Acqua è il mio nome; riscopro questo elemento purificatore nella mia vita ogni giorno di più. Il mio romanzo parla dello Yangtze, il fiume più lungo della Cina. Penso proprio che il mio destino abbia seguito la corrente e si sia poi fermato nei Paesi Bassi. Non assomiglia ad una specie di giustizia poetica? È come se le nostre vite, su questa terra, fossero migliaia di fiumi che cantano…

 

D: Tu sei un’artista visiva, oltre che scrittrice… Una forma d’arte ispira l’altra?
R: Credo che ogni forma d’arte consista nel trovare un luogo interiore in cui vi sia gioia, e per me la gioia si esprime attraverso l’inchiostro su uno schermo, sulla carta o su una tela. Tengo sempre una penna sotto il cuscino. A volte, quando mi sveglio nel cuore della notte e ho bisogno di scrivere qualcosa, la prendo e scrivo appunti sulla mia pelle: parole, segni, spezzoni che mi vengono in mente. Devo farlo o non riesco a dormire.

 

D: Cosa o chi ti ha ispirato? Uno o più scrittori in particolare?
R: Penso d’essere nata con una tastiera in mano! Non ho preferenze. Leggo qualunque cosa, anche uno scarabocchio. Trovo ispirazione in ogni cosa: me stessa, la gente, le foglie, i polli, le folli muse ispiratrici, la polvere…

 

D: In quale lingua ti senti più a tuo agio come scrittrice?
R: Cerco solo di essere pratica. Scrivo in olandese, ma è una lingua parlata da poche persone. In cinese vengo censurata. L’inglese è la lingua che amo di più. Sogno di aver vissuto in Britannia nel XVIII secolo, l’epoca dei Lumi, del Terrore e del Romanticismo…

 

D: Di cosa parla Butterfly?
R: Butterfly è una storia d’amore tra una donna cinese sposata e un giovane soldato giapponese. I loro destini s’intrecciano in una favola moderna, sullo sfondo della Seconda Guerra Mondiale. Parla di confini proibiti da oltrepassare, di sesso, del male e della speranza.

 

D: I lettori occidentali condividono una coscienza collettiva di racconti popolari e favole… Butterfly si è ispirato a qualche particolare racconto Cinese o Giapponese della tua infanzia?
R: Ho tratto ispirazione dalla storia di Zhuangzi: “Zhuangzi ha sognato di essere una farfalla svolazzante nel cielo; poi si è svegliato. Ora si domanda: Sono un uomo che ha sognato di essere una farfalla o sono una farfalla che sogna di essere un uomo”. Questo è un antico racconto cinese del IV secolo a.C.. Credo che Zhuangzi abbia dato vita al mio libro. Ad un certo punto ho anche creduto di essere lui.

 

D: Magico realismo, sensualità e storia si mescolano in questo splendido intreccio amoroso. Il romanzo è permeato dai temi della colpa, della vergogna, della passione, della trasformazione, della guerra e del perdono. Da cosa trai ispirazione? Cosa vorresti che rimanesse ai lettori dopo aver letto il tuo romanzo?
R: Se non fosse per la speranza, il nostro cuore andrebbe in pezzi. Sì, la speranza è un sogno ad occhi aperti. Buddha ha detto che migliaia di candele possono essere accese da una singola candela. Come scrittrice, penso che il mio lavoro sia intrattenere i giovani, curare i malati, tenere compagnia a chi è solo. Il nostro è un mondo di solitudine pieno di gente, e di giovani e bambini malati e poveri. Io vorrei condividere la mia gioia con loro, significare qualcosa per loro, piantare qualcosa nella loro anima. Soprattutto, penso di voler dire ciò che non si può dire, raccontare favole mai raccontate: desidero toccare i tabù.
La scrittura mi ha trasformata; alla fine, sono diventata una farfalla e ho sentito di essere superiore alle sofferenze umane di cui ho scritto.

 

D: Per me, una delle scene più forti e liberatorie è stata quando Butterfly decide di “uccidere senza uccidere”. La sua capacità di perdonare è in netto contrasto alla totale mancanza di misericordia del marito. Parlami della scena che riecheggia maggiormente in te.
R: È una domanda difficile, perché tutte le scene del mio romanzo devono riecheggiare in me, altrimenti perderei interesse nel raccontarle. Due sono le cose che mi divertono di più quando scrivo, tre in realtà. Primo, raccontare una storia imprevedibile. Secondo, AMO scrivere dialoghi, perché sono parole che danno voce alle azioni. Terzo, mi piace fare una battuta ogni volta che posso.

Ti leggo un pezzo del romanzo in cui sono presenti queste tre cose. Il mio protagonista maschile, il dottor Reigan, sta cercando di scoprire chi sia la sua paziente misteriosa, da dove venga…

***

 

— Posso raccontarti una storia, Dottore?

— Non ho dubbi che tu possa! Sono aperto a ogni evenienza, assicurati di correre dei rischi.

— Ho rubato questo. È abbastanza rischioso per te?

— Rubato a chi?

— L’acquario che mi hai portato.

Solleva l’indice affusolato e lo punta verso lo schermo del televisore. Per un attimo gli torna in mente l’immagine della mano di Alice, le sue dita che fioriscono in un’elegante orchidea sul suo membro.

Reigan si schiarisce la gola: — L’acquario? Parlamene.

— Hai notato che ho smesso di balbettare, Dottore? Ecco com’è accaduto. Dopo che te ne sei andato, non riuscivo a dormire. Allora, ho acceso l’acquario che è diventato un oceano immenso.

— Il canale del National Geographic. È anche il mio preferito quando soffro d’insonnia. Adatti il tuo ritmo a quello della natura, la cui saggezza è la pazienza. Funziona meglio delle pillole per dormire. Il sonno è l’arte della pazienza.

— Dunque, stavo guardando l’oceano, un enigmatico mosaico di esseri viventi. Poi all’improvviso, ho sentito una voce. Ho ascoltato la storia raccontata da una testuggine marina su un viaggio straordinario, attraverso l’oceano, per deporre le uova.

— Cosa vuoi dire con: raccontata?

— Sì, l’oceano ha il proprio linguaggio. E sì, lo capisco. Ma gli esseri umani? No. Gli esseri umani non capiscono nulla, non è così?

Sorride con un sorriso lascivo.

— La tartaruga di mare ha raccontato la storia a se stessa, perché quello è il suo modo per tenere la mente concentrata sul suo obbiettivo lontano 11.000 chilometri, una distanza che percorrerà in 99 giorni. Un record mondiale. Soprattutto, ogni giorno deve trovare del cibo e non è un’impresa facile. Molto spesso, deve nutrirsi di racconti per placare la fame e ha bisogno di sorprese. È una vera viaggiatrice e in fondo, una vera cantastorie. Ricorda le favole più vecchie e più strane raccontate sugli abissi, con la libertà selvaggia aborrita dalla gente.

— Perché aborrita?

— Lo sai il motivo, Dottore. La paura è un’abitudine della gente, la libertà è una dipendenza della mente. Due bisogni in opposizione, ecco perché la maggior parte di noi finisce col vivere una vita noiosa; poiché nessuno vuole essere considerato un drogato. Bene, allora ecco l’allegoria che ho origliato prima.

— Nel ventre del mare, c’è un lago che cambia colore. È un luogo venerato da tutte le creature marine, uno degli ultimi luoghi antichi che dà rifugio ad arcaici mostri, draghi, pescecani godzilla, orde di meduse urlatrici e chi sa cos’altro. Qui gli esseri spaventosi fanno il bagno tra onde delicate, solo talvolta la gente a riva li scorge: la punta di una coda, una chela spaventosa o qualche curiosa sfumatura sulla superficie dell’acqua incolore. Tuttavia, la gente che ha capito che sta accadendo qualcosa, non ha la minima idea che sotto il lago, dove i mostri gironzolano e spiano le loro vite, una volta c’era una città. Qui è dove T. V. O. è vissuta per milioni di anni.

— Tè Verde Orientale?

— No, è T.V.O. Tutta la Verità dell’Oceano. Il Dio dell’immortalità, il genio che vive nell’oscurità abissale. Nel cuore della notte, brandelli di voce si levano dallo strato di ceneri vulcaniche nel mare più profondo. Parole, gorgoglii e risolini, come se qualcuno stesse ridendo in modo perverso o annegando. Poi, un giorno, arrivò un pittore sulla riva. Alloggiava in una locanda. Ogni mattina, dopo colazione, la gente lo vedeva andare verso il mare per una nuotatina. Rimaneva in acqua molte ore. Dopo un po’, la gente iniziò a credere che il pittore fosse venuto a osservare i mostri per dipingerli.

— Un tardo pomeriggio, il sole stava tramontando come sempre; il mare era calmo come al solito. Ma tutto d’un tratto il tempo cambiò. Il mare divenne scurissimo come la notte di un uomo cieco. Eppure, a riva, tutto sembrava calmo e pacifico. Non c’era un filo di vento, era quel genere di paesaggio marino assorto, come poco prima di un tifone. Il pittore sentì un irrefrenabile stato d’ansia dentro di sé; non che avesse paura delle tempeste. Amava l’inutile passione selvaggia e distruttiva. Era irrequieto perché il locandiere, al mattino, gli aveva detto che il mare si era preso molte vite negli ultimi giorni, tutti eccellenti nuotatori come lui. Subito, pensò di aver udito qualcosa urlare, qualcosa intrappolata nelle viscere dell’oscurità. Forse un’idea imprigionata, non perduta, ma neppure libera; rifletté il pittore mentre tornava a riva. Incerto se andare o restare, si attardò. In quel momento, vide con la coda dell’occhio una figura informe che risaliva in superficie. Non era né piccola né grande. Era com’era: informe. E portava qualcosa sulle spalle o stava trasportando se stessa ferita, un peso senza peso? Si voltò per guardarla negli occhi, quando la figura senza forma si scaraventò nella sua direzione, scagliandosi in aria come una freccia bagnata. Chiuse gli occhi e aspettò. Non accadde nulla. Dopo un attimo, aprì gli occhi giusto in tempo per vedere di sfuggita un’ombra informe scomparire nel tramonto, lasciando un’elegante scia d’impronte nella sabbia.

— Scoprì cos’era?

— No.

— Ascolta, Cho Cho san, devo visitare gli altri miei pazienti. Domani alla stessa ora? — Dipendente senza speranza; la dipendenza è qualcosa che Reigan dovrebbe conoscere.

— Aveva gli occhi scuri Sheng che non era Sheng? Butta lì, mentre si prepara ad andarsene.

— Sii paziente, Dottore. Hai parlato della pazienza.

— Ok, quindi?

— Occhi marrone scuro, luminosi capelli lisci, così neri da sembrare blu. Non sembrava un soldato.

— Un soldato? Non ricordo che tu abbia detto fosse un soldato.

— Va’, dottor Reigan. Il tempismo è tutto. Devo riposare, questo tempo mi fa venire sonno. Riesco appena ad attendere l’arrivo della tempesta.

 

***

D: Verso la fine del romanzo, gli amanti decidono di incontrarsi, un giorno, a Taliesin, nel Wisconsin. Perché hai scelto la casa di Frank Lloyd Wright per questo incontro?
R: Nel romanzo, due universi paralleli stanno viaggiando uno accanto all’altro. La simmetria è lo strumento chiave della narrazione. Due mondi che si specchiano. Ho deliberatamente diviso il libro in due parti, le quali hanno una trama simile, costruita attorno a due stanze d’ospedale con gli stessi personaggi. All’inizio della storia, la mia eroina trova una casa abbandonata. L’abitazione che si trova sulle sponde curve del fiume Yangtze trova inevitabilmente eco dall’altra parte del mondo, ovvero il progetto architettonico di Frank Lloyd, su una splendida altura vicino a una cascata. Entrambe le case hanno un tetto rosa, con muri bianchi come una pagina vuota in attesa di essere scritta… Taliesin, Spring Green, nel Wisconsin. Sembra una canzone, vero? Sappiamo che sono avvenuti terribili omicidi nella villa di Frank Lloyd. In un certo senso, il mio romanzo è “ghigliottinato” in due parti. Un ricordo non è mai solo, questi sono ricordi moltiplicati nelle “scaglie” della pelle della mia eroina. È una donna-pesce.

 

D: Il dottor Reigan, il protagonista maschile, sembra stia avendo una crisi esistenziale che si risolve man mano che si arriva al termine del romanzo. Alla fine, cosa lo salva?
R: Direi i ricordi. La Cina è guidata da una spettacolare forma di amnesia.

 

D: Ho notato che il tuo libro non è disponibile in Cina… Quale consiglio daresti ai giovani scrittori che vivono oggi nel tuo paese?
R: Create castelli, prigioni, cieli e soli. Andate a cercarli nella vita reale!

 

D: La cosa migliore nella tua vita oggi?
R: Fare ciò che voglio ogni giorno, cosa che a molti potrebbe suonare noiosa. Sono legata alla scrivania. Sono una scrittrice. A volte dipingo anche, o mi occupo di illustrazioni. Mi diverte lavorare con i colori e sporcarmi le mani.

 

D: Grazie per il tuo tempo Julie. In bocca al lupo per il tuo libro.

L'autrice Julie O'Yang
L’autrice Julie O’Yang

Grazie Sonia per averci permesso di addentrarci un po’ di più nella magica atmosfera creata da Julie nel suo meraviglioso romanzo.
Speriamo di avervi un po’ incuriosito e anche divertito.

Di seguito alcuni link utili.

Potete acquistare il libro qui

–> Amazonhttp://www.amazon.it/Butterfly-Un-Romanzo-Julie-Oyang-ebook/dp/B00S5XWQSS

–> Kobobookshttps://store.kobobooks.com/it-IT/ebook/butterfly-un-romanzo-di-julie-o-yang

Interviste originali: 

https://julieoyang.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/interview-with-julie-oyang/

http://www.lelivro.com/blog/?p=461

http://www.gokunming.com/en/blog/item/1977/interview_julie_oyang

[Repost] If You’ve Never Used These English Idioms, You’re Probably Not a Native English Speaker (by Lana Winter Hébert)

If You’ve Never Used These English Idioms, You’re Probably Not a Native English Speaker

LEISURE LIFESTYLE OCTOBER 9 BY 

 Those of us who grew up with English as our first language have been exposed to idioms and idiomatic expressions for most of our lives. They may have confused us a little when we were children, but explanation and constant exposure not only increased our understanding of them, but likely drew them into our own vernacular. If you’re in the process of learning the English language, you may come across some of these and not be entirely sure what they mean. Here’s a list of 20 that you’re likely to come across fairly often:

1. A Chip on Your Shoulder

No, this doesn’t mean that you’ve dropped part of your snack. To have a chip on one’s shoulder implies that the person is carrying around some grudge or bad feelings about something that happened in the past… like having walked through the wreckage of a building, and ended up with a chip of that building stuck to them for years afterward.

2. Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Like taking a HUGE bite of a sandwich that will fill your mouth up so much that you can’t move your jaw, this idiom implies that you’ve taken on more than you can handle successfully. An example would be agreeing to build ten websites in a week when normally you can only handle five.

3. You Can’t Take It With You

You can’t take anything with you when you die, so don’t bother hoarding your stuff or not using it except for “special occasions”. Live now, because all your stuff is going to be around long after you’re gone.

4. Everything But the Kitchen Sink

This implies that nearly everything has been packed/taken/removed. For instance, if someone said: “The thieves stole everything but the kitchen sink!” it meant that they took everything they could carry; it’s damned hard to remove a sink and carry it around.

5. “Over My Dead Body”

When the only way you’ll allow something to happen is if you’re no longer alive to stop it.

6. Tie the Knot

To get married. This is left over from the old tradition of handfasting, wherein the hands of the bride and groom would be tied together with a length of ribbon to symbolize that their lives were fastened together permanently.

7. Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover

Things aren’t always what they appear to be at first glance, so it’s a good idea to give something a chance, even if its outward appearance isn’t immediately attractive.

*The exception to this might be actual books that have hideous covers: those tend to be terrible all around, and in cases such as these, it’s best to contact the author or publisher and recommend a good graphic designer.

8. When Pigs Fly

This means “never”. Pigs aren’t about to sprout wings and take flight anytime soon, so if someone says to their kid that they can get a forehead tattoo when pigs fly, it’s not gonna happen.

9. A Leopard Can’t Change His Spots

Basically: you are who you are. Just like a leopard can’t concentrate really hard and change the pattern on its skin, people can’t change who they really are at heart.

10. Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve

To freely show and express all of your emotions, as though your heart were on the outside of your body.

11. Bite Your Tongue!

Stick your tongue between your teeth (gently), and then try to speak. You can’t say a word, can you? To bite one’s tongue means to stay quiet: literally to hold the tongue still so it can’t make a sound. This goes along with:

12. Put a Sock In It

The idea behind this is that if you stuffed a sock in your mouth, you’d be quiet… so if you tell someone to “put a sock in it”, you’re telling them to shut up.

13. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

If a couple of dogs had been fighting and are now sleeping peacefully, it’s best to just leave them alone. The idea behind this one is to avoid bringing up old arguments so they’ll just be argued about again.

14. Foam at the Mouth

To hiss and snarl in anger like a rabid dog (whose mouth would be foamy as he jumps around like crazy and tries to bite people).

15. A Slap on the Wrist

A very, very mild punishment. To be slapped on the wrist doesn’t hurt much, and isn’t a deterrent from misbehaving again.

16. You Are What You Eat

This is the idea that everything you eat influences your health and well-being. If you eat nothing but junk food, you’ll end up unhealthy and malnourished, so be sure to eat a well-balanced diet.

17. “It’s a Piece of Cake!”

…meaning that it’s incredibly easy. No-one has a difficult time eating a piece of cake, do they?

18. It Takes Two to Tango

A person can’t dance the tango alone, nor can they fight by themselves either. If an argument has occurred, there were two people involved, so two were responsible.

19. Head Over Heels

To be incredibly excited and joyful, particularly with regard to being in love. Imagine someone so happy that they do cartwheels down the street: like that.

20. An Arm and a Leg

When something is so ridiculously expensive that you might have to sell your own body parts in order to afford it, it’s said to cost “an arm and a leg”.

Featured photo credit: Opened book with letters flying out of it on bright background via Shutterstock

[Repost] Clearing up the Top 10 Myths About Translation (by Nataly Kelly)

Nataly Kelly

Clearing up the Top 10 Myths About Translation

Posted: 06/13/2012 11:06 am

 

1. Translation is a small, niche market. The global market for outsourced language services is worth more than US$33 billion in 2012. The largest segment of the market is written translation, followed by on-site interpreting and software localization. The vast majority of these translation services are provided by small agencies — there are more than 26,000 of them throughout the world. These companies coordinate translation projects in multiple languages simultaneously, often involving many different file types, processes, and technology tools. The words themselves are translated and interpreted by the hundreds of thousands of language professionals scattered all across the globe. Many translators and interpreters also have direct clients, but most are freelancers whose work comes from agencies.

2. The need for translation is fading away. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsestimates that there will be 83,000 jobs for interpreters and translators by 2020 in the United States alone. This job market is expected to grow by 42 percent from 2010 to 2020, significantly higher than the average of 14 percent for all professions. Data from Common Sense Advisory shows that globally, the market has a compound annual growth rate of 12.17 percent.

3. Most translators translate books; most interpreters work at the United Nations. Literary translation and conference interpreting are two of the most visible specializations, but they actually represent very tiny segments of the market at large. Who are the biggest translation spenders? Military and defense agencies spend the most on translation, with the United States routinely spending billions on language services for defense and intelligence initiatives. On the commercial side, some of the largest segments of the translation market are manufacturing, software, health care, legal, and financial services. As a result, freelancers often work in these specialty areas — as financial translators, medical interpreters, legal translators, and court interpreters.

4. Any bilingual can be a translator or an interpreter. The ability to write in English does not make a person a professional writer. The ability to speak English does not make a person a professional speaker. Likewise, the ability to write or speak two languages does not mean that a person can translate or interpret. Plenty of people who are perfectly fluent in two languages fail professional exams for translation and interpreting. Why? Being bilingual does not guarantee that a person will be able to transport meaning from one language and culture to another without inflicting harm in the process. Most translators and interpreters are highly educated, with advanced degrees and training in either translation, linguistics, or a specialty field. Also, while not mandatory, professional certifications are widely recognized and strongly encouraged. In the U.S., translators are certified by the American Translators Association, and a variety of certifications exist for interpreters.

5. Interpreters and translators do the same thing. The all-encompassing term that the general public uses to refer to language professionals is “translators,” but the reality is that translators and interpreters have very different job skills. Translation refers to written language, while interpreting refers to spoken language. Translators must have great writing skills and training in translation, but they must also be adept at using computer-assisted translation tools and terminology databases. Interpreters, on the other hand, have to develop their short-term memory retention and note-taking skills as well as memorizing specialized terminology for instant recall.

6. Translators and interpreters work in more than two languages. One of the most common questions translators and interpreters are asked is, “How many languages do you speak?” In reality, many translators work in only one direction — from one language into another, but not in the reverse. For translators and interpreters, it is better to have in-depth knowledge of just two languages than to have surface-level knowledge of several. Why? Of approximately one million words in English, the average person uses only 4,000 to 5,000 words on a regular basis. People who are “educated” know between 8,000 and 10,000 words. The professions with the widest vocabulary, such as doctors and lawyers, use about 23,000 words. Interpreters and translators who work for these specialized professions often use this kind of advanced technical vocabulary in two languages. Some translators and interpreters do work in more than one language combination — for example, conference interpreters often have several “passive” languages that they can understand. However, translators and interpreters are not usually hyperpolyglots.

7. Translation only matters to “language people.” The need for translation crosses both the public and private sectors. In the business world, executives at companies of all sizes are beginning to recognize that translation is a pathway to enabling more revenue and entering new markets. A recent study found that Fortune 500 companies that augmented their translation budget were 1.5 times more likely than their Fortune 500 peers to report an increase in total revenue. Also, government bodies are increasingly taking an interest in translation. Indeed, even those involved in development and non-profit work need to pay attention to translation. A report on translation in Africa conducted for Translators without Borders in May 2012 showed that greater access to translated information would improve political inclusion, health care, human rights, and even save lives of citizens of African countries.

8. Crowdsourcing puts professional translators out of work. As online communities have become more popular, so has something called “crowdsourced translation.” This phenomenon typically emerges when online community members get excited about a product and want to use it in their native languages. Sometimes, these customers and fans even begin creating their own translations and posting them in user forums. Instead of leaving their customers to pontificate on the best translations amongst themselves, smart companies are giving these communities the ability to easily suggest their translations. Are companies harnessing the work of these volunteers to obtain free labor? Actually, as the research shows, saving money is not a primary motivation — setting up these kinds of platforms can cost companies more time and money than just paying for traditional human translation. They typically pay human translators and translation companies to edit the group-translated content anyway, but they believe the collective approach gives power directly to customers and users, enabling them to have a say in which translations they like best.


9. Machine translation is crushing the demand for human translation. 
The opposite is true. Machine translation is actually expanding the demand for human translation and fueling the market at large. How? Machine translation — especially the free online kind — serves as an awareness campaign, putting translation squarely in front of the average person. Translating large volumes of information is never free — it comes at a cost, even with machine translation. Machine translation technology and related services make up a tiny percentage of the total translation market. Of course, machine translation can achieve some feats that humans cannot, such as quickly scanning large bodies of text and provide summaries of the information contained within them. However, as with most technologies, humans are needed to use machine translation intelligently. As Ray Kurzweil points out, technologies typically don’t replace whole fields — rather, they more often help fields to evolve.

10. All translation will someday be free. The translation and interpreting industry adds tens of thousands of new jobs to the global economy each year and there is no slowdown in sight. Translators and interpreters are extremely important members of this industry — in fact, they are the very heart of it. However, much like other professional service industries, the translation industry also relies on countless other professionals: project managers, account managers, vendor managers, production managers, schedulers, trainers, quality assurance teams, proofreaders, desktop publishing professionals, engineers, product managers, salespeople, marketers, technicians, and even people who work in procurement, human resources, billing, and IT. Research from Common Sense Advisory shows thatdemand for translation is outpacing supply — so if anything, human translators are becoming even more important. However, they are part of a much larger ecosystem, one that keeps global business churning and international communication flowing.

Follow Nataly Kelly on Twitter: www.twitter.com/natalykelly

[Repost] Up the apples, she’s got a lovely pair of bacons – what do East Londoners mean? (by transpanish)

Up the apples, she’s got a lovely pair of bacons – what do East Londoners mean?

Cockney rhyming slang is jam-packed with references to fruit, vegetables and other kinds of foods. This East London working-class slang, structured around a simple rhyming system, was the East Londoner’s language code which prevented bosses, the police and other authority figures from understanding what was being said.

Some of the most popular food-related cockney rhyming phrases include “apples and pears,” “bacon and eggs” and “custard and jelly.” Below, we’ve compiled a fairly extensive list of food rhymes and their East London meaning…

cockney_slang

apples and pears

The phrase “apples and pears” rhymes with “stairs” and so is commonly used to refer to anything which might be going on above. You might say to someone, looking for an item they’ve lost, “It might be up the apples,” meaning it might be upstairs and therefore worth checking.

bacon and eggs

Bacon and eggs rhymes with legs and is used when you want to compliment a woman. You might say, “You’ve got a lovely pair of bacons,” meaning that she has a really good looking pair of legs.

custard and jelly

“Shall we watch a bit of custard?” might be a question someone would ask if they wanted to watch the television, as custard and jelly refers directly to the telly (television).

loaf of bread

If you’re ever told to, “use your loaf,” in the East End of London, it’s because you’re being told to “use your head” or to think/act smarter. “Head” rhymes with “bread,” and so the phrase is shortened from “use your loaf of bread (head)” to “use your loaf!”

mince pies

When a guy from the East End of London wants to chat up a lovely lady that he sets his eyes on, he might say, “You’ve got lovely mincies.” “Mince pies”, rhymes with “eyes” and… the conclusion to be drawn from the rest is quite clear.

peas in the pot

When you walk into a room and someone says, “It’s a bit peasy in here,” they mean that it’s a bit hot. “Peas in the pot” rhymes with “hot,” hence the use of the phrase, “peasy.”

plates of meat

“Plates of meat” rhymes with “feet.” You might hear someone say, “Be careful of me (my) plates,” if they’re frightened that someone else is about to stand on their feet.

potatoes in the mould

A shortened version of “potatoes” in the East End of London is the word “taters.” The phrase “potatoes (taters) in the mould” rhymes with “cold” and is used when someone is feeling a little nippy. You might hear someone say, “It’s a bit taters in here.”

rabbit and pork

If you happen to be spending a lot of time with someone who talks and talks and talks and never seems to want to just be quiet, you might want to say, “Wow! You can really rabbit, can’t you!” The phrase “rabbit and pork” rhymes with “talk” and is used to talk about the big chatterboxes in our lives.

tea leaf

“He’s a little tea leaf,” is used to accuse someone of being a “thief.”

As is made evident from the examples above, the parts of the rhymes which don’t actually match the sound of the word they are referring to is the word that is normally used in Cockney Rhyming Slang. For instance, in “bacon and eggs”, “eggs” rhymes with “legs”, but “bacon” is the part of the phrase which is used when you want to tell a woman she has a lovely pair of “bacons” (legs).

By opting for the section of the rhyme which doesn’t actually rhyme, the secret meaning of the phrase was kept even more of a secret amongst the working classes of East London. Secrecy to Cockney Rhymers means everything.

 

Cf. original: http://www.transpanish.biz/translation_blog/examples-cockney/

 

[Repost] Word histories: conscious uncoupling (by Simon Thomas)

Shared on fb by ElleDi Traduzioni

 

Word histories: conscious uncoupling

 

 Simon Thomas blogs at Stuck-in-a-Book.co.uk

Published4 April 2014

Category

Tags ,

Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin (better known as an Oscar-winning actress and the Grammy-winning lead singer of Coldplay respectively) recently announced that they would be separating. While the news of any separation is sad, we can’t deny that the report also carried some linguistic interest. In the announcement, on Paltrow’s lifestyle site Goop, the pair described the end of their marriage as a ‘conscious uncoupling’. So… what does that mean?

The phrase was picked up by journalists, commentators, and tweeters around the world. Some called it pretentious, some thought it wise, others simply didn’t know what was going on. Let’s have a look into the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and see what we can learn about these words.

Conscious is perhaps the less controversial word of the pair. A look through the Oxford Thesaurus of English brings up adjectives like awaredeliberate,intentional, and considered. But did you know that the earliest recorded use ofconscious related only to misdeeds? The OED currently dates the word to 1573, with the definition ‘having awareness of one’s own wrongdoing, affected by a feeling of guilt’. This sense is now confined to literary contexts, but it was only a few decades before the general sense ‘having knowledge or awareness; able to perceive or experience something’ became common. The idea of it being used as an adjective referring to a deliberate action came later, in 1726, according to the OED’s current research.

The verb uncouple has an intriguing history. The current earliest evidence in the OED dates to the early fourteenth century, where it means ‘to release (dogs) from being fastened together in couples; to set free for the chase’. Interestingly, this is found earlier than its opposite (‘to tie or fasten (dogs) together in pairs’), currently dated to c.1400 in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. In c.1386, in the hands of Chaucer and ‘The Monk’s Tale’, uncouple is given a figurative use: ‘He maked hym so konnyng and so sowple / That longe tyme it was er tirannye / Or any vice dorste on hym vncowple.’ The wider meaning ‘to unfasten, disconnect, detach’ arrives in the early sixteenth century, and that is where things rested for some centuries.

The twentieth century saw another couple of uncouples – one of which is applicable to the Paltrow-Martins, and one of which refers to a very different field. In 1948, a biochemical use is first recorded – which the OED defines ‘to separate the processes of (phosphorylation) from those of oxidation’. But six years earlier, an American Thesaurus of Slang includes the word as a synonym for ‘to divorce’, and this forms the earliest example found in theOED sense defined as ‘to separate at the end of a relationship’. Other instances of uncouple meaning ‘to split up’ can be found in a 1977Washington Post article and one from the Boston Globe in 1989.

So, despite all the attention given to the term ‘conscious uncoupling’, people have been uncoupling in exactly the same way as Gwyneth and Chris – and using the same word – since at least 1942. So perhaps not quite as controversial as some commentators suggested.

 

Cf. original: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2014/04/word-histories-conscious-uncoupling/

[Repost] How important are slang and idioms in language learning? (by Anne Merritt)

How important are slang and idioms in language learning?

Photo: Michael Nyika

ESL teacher Anne Merritt considers what place slang and idioms should play in the classroom.

I once had an ESL student who had spent a year working in Miami. In my upper-intermediate class, alongside peers who had studied English formally for years, did he ever stand out.

One day, we discussed celebrity worship. “I think when people gossip about celebrities, they will gossip more in their own lives, about friends,” one student shared.

The Miami transplant perked up. “Shit, man, I saw so many famous people in Miami. Listen, you know that tennis player? What’s her name? The ugly chick? I saw her, man, it was nuts!”

Man? Chick? Shit? The rest of the class started flicking through their dictionaries, baffled.

We had made a list of new vocabulary on the board. Gossip, idolize, tabloid. Now, we were adding to it, with “It was nuts!” and (to my grave discomfort) “chick.” The students were insistent though. These terms, they said, must be useful too, if their classmate picked them up.

How important is slang in language learning? I’m not just talking about the four-letter words, though heaven knows they come up often. I’m speaking more broadly than that, to colloquialisms (gimme or ain’t), idioms, (hit the road) to the pop culture bits so embedded in our way of speaking (You can’t handle the truth!).

Photo: Karl Jonsson

On one hand, slang is unavoidable, no matter what language you’re speaking. The phrase “worst movie ever” may not show up on BBC’s website anytime soon, but you’ll see constructions like these daily on Facebook and blogs. What’s more, communication mediums such as texting and Twitter are moving so far from formal language that even native speakers can have trouble figuring out messages like “word” and “big up.”

Let’s take a language student, attending daily classes. They study the grammar, the formalities, the subtle differences between look at and watch. They might produce lovely coherent sentences and conversations. Take this student out of the classroom and away from the textbooks, though, and they will encounter a world of language that breaks those rules. In advertising, online, and in conversation, language becomes far less structured. Taking the time to understand slang and informal speech might save someone a whole lot of confusion. In understanding and in speaking, it will allow that student to use language in a current way.

I can attest personally to the slang handicap. I studied French for fifteen years. Conversing with shopkeepers is a breeze, but a night out at a bar leaves me feeling like a scared student all over again, the speech is so different from the textbook stuff. I can read books in French, but can’t get through an article in French Glamour without a list of new terms; the slangy colloquialisms that are never taught in school.

Of course, there are some potential obstacles when you try to learn slang.

Slang is also ever-evolving, and terms can grow outdated.

For one thing, learning a language is hard enough! Remembering vocabulary and syntax is a job in itself, especially when elements of the language don’t exist in your native tongue. Attributes like tonality and honorific speaking, for example, can throw native English speakers into spirals of confusion, since they don’t exist in English.

With slang, there also comes a whole sliding scale of social appropriateness; one that can vary, confusingly, from person to person. I wouldn’t use “bullshit” or “asshole” with family; some native speakers might. One wouldn’t type “gimme” or “gonna” in an email to a professor, though the terms might be used orally in a class discussion.

Slang can also toe the line between casual and offensive. Personally, I loathe the terms “retarded” or “gay” when used in the pejorative sense. As a teacher, I would reprimand any ESL student using those terms, and yet that student probably hears them used quite casually by native speakers on a daily basis. What’s offensive or uncomfortable to some is just conversation filler to others. It’s a murky area; one in which even native speakers will slip up. Trying to navigate the best time and place for slang terms can bring about enormous confusion for a language learner.

Slang is also ever-evolving, and terms can grow outdated. Though “It’s raining cats and dogs” and “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse” are go-to idioms in any ESL textbook, how often do people really say them? It might be futile to memorize phrases that are rarely used, or are used only with a certain generation of people.

Photo: weeta

Slang terms can also vary regionally or nationally. In English, money can be “bucks” or “quid.” Food can be “chow” or “nosh.” Common slang in one country can be unheard of in another. I once had a German roommate who had studied in England but lived with Canadians for years. When he spoke, he would deliver British slang in the twangy Canadian accent that he had adopted. “Are you taking the piss, mate?”, spoken in an Ontario lilt, sounds hands-down ridiculous. What’s more, in some parts of the English-speaking world, that sentence would not be understood at all.

The effectiveness of slang also depends on your conversation partner. If you’re learning, say, Vietnamese or Finnish, you’ll likely converse mostly with native speakers who have a ready understanding of slang. Widespread languages like Arabic or French, though, are often conduits for communication between people who don’t speak one another’s language. A fellow language student may understand the language but not the slang. My ESL student with the ugly tennis player story is a good example; though I understood him clearly, his fellow English learners did not.

We’ve all met travellers who have picked up English exclusively through television and rap lyrics. They’re the ones who swear like sailors and talk like a Fresh Prince Mad Lib, with terms like fly and bro being emphasized unnaturally.

In the end, I think slang’s relevance depends on the language student’s goals. If you plan to attend university abroad, then formal language is what you’ll be using daily for essays and formal emails. If you’re using that foreign tongue for work, you will also need to communicate formally and properly. If, on the other hand, you’re learning a language in order to simply get by and socialize in a foreign place, you’ll encounter and use a lot more slang.

Slang will always come up in the language learning process. It’s important, yes, but not more so than the proper mechanics of a language. We’ve all met travellers who have picked up English exclusively through television and rap lyrics. They’re the ones who swear like sailors and talk like a Fresh Prince Mad Lib, with terms like fly and bro being emphasized unnaturally. It’s a bit charming, but a bit impractical too.

Slang is, I suppose, like the junk food of language. Some seem to survive on it exclusively, some abstain completely. However much or little you like it, I don’t think you’ll get far without taking in the basic sustenance first.

[Repost] 11 Confusing Words and Common Errors

11 Confusing Words and Common Errors

in Confusing WordsVocabulary

Confusing Vocabulary Words in English

Image source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

#6 – Meet / Know

Don’t say: “I knew him last year.”

Say: “I met him last year.”

Meet has two meanings:

  • When you have first contact with a person
    “I met him last year”
  • When you will encounter someone you already know. In this case, we often use “meet with” or “meet up with”
    “I’m meeting up with some friends at the bar after work.”

Know has two different meanings/uses:

  • With knowledge and skills in general
    “He knows everything about computers.”
  • With knowing people in general
    “Do you know Janet? She’s in the advanced English class.”
    “No, I don’t think I know her.”

#28 – Wait / Hope / Expect

Don’t say: “I’m waiting my friend to call.”

Say: “I’m waiting for my friend to call.”

Wait = Pass the time until something happens

  • It’s 6:45. I’m waiting for the 7:00 bus.
  • We waited in line for three hours to get tickets to the concert.
  • You need to wait for the computer to finish updating.

Don’t confuse “wait” with hope and expect:

Hope = Want something to happen

  • hope I’ll get a promotion this year!
  • I’m sorry to hear you’re sick. I hope you get better soon!
  • The traffic is very bad today. I hope I won’t be late.

Expect = Believe that something probably will happen.

  • We’re expecting a visit from some clients – they said they would come at 4:30.
  • My boss expects me to arrive on time every day.

#40 – Before / Ago / Back

Don’t say: “I sent the letter two months before.”

Say: “I sent the letter two months ago.”

Or: “I sent the letter two months back.” (informal)

Ago and back are used for past times from the present moment. Before is used for past times from another time in the past. Here are some examples of before:

  • Yesterday I missed my train. I got to the train station at 7:10, but the train had left ten minutes before.
  • I was very happy when I got this job last year, because I had lost my previous job six months before.

#92 – Raise / rise / arise

Don’t say: “The government is going to rise taxes.”

Say: “The government is going to raise taxes.”

Rise means “to go up” or “to increase” – by itself. There is only a subject; there is no object.

  • The sun rises at 6:00 AM.
  • Energy consumption rose 20% this year.

Raise means “to move something to a higher position” or “to increase something,” so there are two entities, the subject (which performs the action) and the object (the thing that is moved or increased):

  • raised my hand to answer the teacher’s question.
    (subject = I; object = my hand)
  • The state is raising the minimum age to get a driver’s license – from 16 to 18.
    (subject = the state; object = the minimum age to get a driver’s license)

Raise can also be used in a more metaphorical sense:

  • He raised some objections to the project proposal.
    (= he expressed the objections)
  • Our baseball team raised money for a local orphanage.
    (= collected money from donations)
  • My parents raised their voices during the argument.
    (= spoke louder)
  • The college is raising the bar for new applicants.
    (= increasing the standards)

Arise is similar to rise, but is more formal and abstract. It can also be used to mean “appear” or “result from”:

  • Several important questions arose during the meeting.
  • I’d like to work in Japan, if the opportunity arises.
  • A new spirit of hope has arisen among the country’s people.
  • Sorry, I’ll need to cancel our appointment. A few problems have arisen.

 

– See more at: http://espressoeng.staging.wpengine.com/english-vocabulary-11-confusing-words-and-common-errors/#sthash.gNZXyAfa.IFJ9UiSr.dpuf

Plan C as in Coffee.

My personal Plan C
My personal Plan C

“Tutti dovremmo avere un piano di riserva (un piano B).
Infatti, sono appena passata direttamente al piano C…
di caffè.”
#perlediunatraduttrice

#translatorsgonnatranslate

[Repost] «I love you an egg», traducciones literales que triunfan en la red (by Aurora Flórez de ABCEDESEVILLA)

Sono creativi. Sono bravi. Sono Nicholas Isard, inglese, laureato in Lingue Moderne; Marielle Lambrun, francese, laureata in Filologia Ispanica; e il fondatore Daniel Vivas, sivigliano ed economista
Hanno creato “Superbritánico” e traducono letteralmente i modi di dire spagnoli in lingua inglese
Un fenomeno virale che trionfa nella rete! 🙂
Enjoy!

Cfr. articolo originale: http://www.abcdesevilla.es/sevilla/20140316/sevi-traduce-literal-ingles-201403132041.html#.UygyPFhvDDw.twitter

Superbritánico

SEVILLA

«I love you an egg», traducciones literales que triunfan en la red

AURORA FLÓREZ ABCEDESEVILLA / SEVILLA
Día 16/03/2014 – 08.16h

Tres emprendedores triunfan desde Sevilla con «Superbritánico» y su idea de trasladar lo más granado de nuestras frases al inglés

«Oh pity, little pity, pity!», o lo que es lo mismo: «¡Ay pena, penita, pena!», «Life is a lottery, lot lot lotery!» («La vida es una tómbola, tom tom tombola», «Today, donŽt have the pussy for litte lanterns» -«Hoy no tengo el chichi pa farolillos», son algunas de las frases que están haciendo furor en Internet en traducciones literales al inglés de las expresiones más populares, más graciosas y más repetidas de este nuestro país.

Están en Twitter, en @superbritanico, que las planta en tazas, delantales, bolsos y otros artículos que venden desde una tienda online. «Superbritánico» es idea de tres jóvenes emprendedores en Sevillaque no llegan a los 30 años de edad: Nicholas Isard, británico, licenciado en Lenguas Modernas, Marielle Lambrun, francesa, licenciada en Filología hispánica, y el fundador, Daniel Vivas, sevillano y economista. Cuentan con más de 250.000 seguidores en las redes sociales.

En diciembre, mes en que abrieron sutienda online se agotaron las existencias en pocos días. Vidas asegura que «entre traducción y traducción surgió la idea de hacer las traducciones literales y comenzamos a compartirlas a través de las redes sociales». Nunca imaginaron que esta idea alcanzaría tal éxito. Y tampoco pensaron en que, «a nivel de vocabulario puede ser de ayuda para todas aquellas personas que están aprendiendo el idioma. Nos llama mucha gente para darnos la enhorabuena porque gacias a «Superbritánico» han aprobado su examen de inglés».

Divertido y original es, no cabe duda. Y ahí va una muestra de ello, ésta para que practiquen: «Go to fry aspargus», «You are the joy of the vegetable garden», «Female monkey painter» o «I love you an egg», de un amplio catálogo en el que no faltan frases de canciones archiconocidas, en las que hasta se recupera a las Mama Chicho:«Mum, Chicho touches me, he is touching me more and more».

Hay para elegir, además entre lo más granado del panorama musical y de su repertorio de respuestas. Raphael: «Scandal! itŽs a scandal», Lola Flores: «If you love me, go away!» (¡Si me queréis, irse!), «What’s wrong with the blackberry which cries and cries at all hours around the corners?» («¿qué tiene la zarzamora que a todas horas llora que llora por los rincones?»); Rocío Jurado: «It’s been a while since I don’t feel anything when doing it with you» («Hace tiempo que no siento nada al hacerlo contigo»); o Isabel Pantoja: «Sailor of lights, with soul of fire and tanned back» («Marinero de luces, con alma de fuego y espalda morena», «Teeth, teeth, that’s what fucks them» («Dientes, dientes, que eso es lo que les jode»)… Pues eso, en dos palabras made in Jesulín de Ubrique: «In two words: im pressive».

[Repost] Vuoi fare conversazione in una lingua straniera? (by Francesca Cosi e Alessandra Repossi)

DOMENICA 16 MARZO 2014

Articolo originale apparso su:
Studio editoriale Cosi e Repossi –> http://www.cosierepossi.com/2014/03/imparare-lingue-scambi-di-conversazione.html

Vuoi fare conversazione

in una lingua straniera?

Hai mai fatto scambi di conversazione per imparare o perfezionare una lingua straniera? Per metà del tempo parli italiano e per l’altra metà la lingua del tuo interlocutore.

Se una volta era necessario incontrarsi di persona, oggi su internet è possibile organizzare gratuitamente scambi con utenti di tutto il mondo, grazie al sito ConversationExchange.

Su ConversationExchange la procedura è semplicissima: cliccando su “Cerca un partner di conversazione” al centro della pagina, si apre un form in cui dobbiamo inserire la lingua del nostro interlocutore, la nostra e spuntare la casella “Usando un chat software“. In base a questi dati, il sito ci offre una lista di utenti che rispondono alle nostre esigenze e che potremo contattare via Skype o con uno degli altri software suggeriti.

Se poi vogliamo incontrarli di persona, è sufficiente selezionare la casella “Conversazione faccia a faccia“, il paese e la città in cui vogliamo organizzare lo scambio.

Abbiamo messo alla prova il sito cercando interlocutori madrelingua portoghesi e i risultati sono stati incoraggianti: abbiamo trovato 251 utenti disposti a scambiare online conversazioni in questa lingua con l’italiano e 2 brasiliani che accettano anche incontri face to face a Firenze.

E tra una conversazione e l’altra è possibile ampliare il nostro vocabolario con Memrise, che permette di creare e rafforzare i collegamenti mentali tra una parola italiana e il corrispettivo nella lingua scelta arrivando a memorizzare 1000 vocaboli stranieri in 22 ore. Da provare!

La foto è stata scattata nel 1973 da Charles O’Rear ed è disponibilequi.

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