Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chacha Nehru or Mama Nehru!

The first prime minister of India late Jawahar Lal Nehru was called Chacha Nehru in Hindi. He used to love children so they started calling him Chacha (paternal uncle). But he was called Mama Nehru by the children of Kerela (Malyalam spoken state) as traditionally matriarchal system prevails in Kerela and so mother's brother called Mama (maternal uncle) is having more importance than father's brother. The soft drink Fresca was being promoted by a saleswoman in Mexico. She was surprised that her sales pitch was greeted with laughter, and later embarrassed when she learned that fresca is slang for lesbian. U.S. and British negotiators found themselves at a standstill when the American company proposed that they table particular key points. In the U.S. Tabling a motion means to not discuss it, while the same phrase in Great Britain means to bring it to the table for discussion. He is as wise as owl. An owl represents an wise creature in USA and UK. But in India it is referred as foolish. In Arab countries it is seen as inauspicious.

In India, there is a saying, kosa kosa par pani badle, char kosa par vaani. This means that at every one kosa, (a local measuring unit for distance slightly greater than one mile) quality of water changes and at every four kosa language changes. This saying is not an exaggeration. For example in Bengali
Shadhubhasha, language of sages, is the written language with longer verb inflections and a more Sanskrit-derived vocabulary. Indian national anthem Jana Gana Mana and the national song of India Vande Mataram were composed in a form of Shadhubhasha, but its use is rapidly declining in modern age. Choltibhasha, running language, a written Bengali style that reflects a more colloquial idiom, is increasingly the standard for written Bengali. But if we talk about spoken Bengali , spoken Bengali exhibits far more variation than written Bengali. Ancholik dialect and one or more forms of Grammo Bengali can be found different with the small changes of distance.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Translation : Art plus Craft plus Science

Many newcomers to translation believe it to be an exact science, and mistakenly assume that firmly-defined one-to-one correlations exist between words and phrases in different languages, thus rendering translations fixed and identically-reproducible, much as in cryptography. They assume that all that is needed in order to translate a text is to encode and decode between languages, using a translation dictionary as the codebook.

On the contrary, such a fixed relationship would only exist, were a new language synthesized and continually synchronized with another, existing language in such a way that each word would forever carry exactly the same scope and shades of meaning, with careful attention being given to the preservation of etymological roots and lexical "ecological niches," assuming that these were known with certainty. If the new language were then ever to take on a life of its own apart from such cryptographic use, each word would naturally begin to assume new shades of meaning and cast off previous associations, thereby vitiating any such synthetic synchronization.

There has been debate as to whether translation is an art or a craft. Literary translators, such as Gregory Rabassa in If This Be the reason, argue that translation is an art, though one that it is teachable. Other translators, mostly those who work on technical, business or legal documents, regard their métier as a craft — one that can not only be taught, but that is subject to linguistic analysis and that benefits from academic study.

Most translators will agree that the situation depends on the nature of the text being translated. A simple document, e.g. a product brochure, can often be translated quickly, using techniques familiar to advanced language-students. By contrast, a newspaper editorial, a political speech, or a book on almost any subject will require not only the craft of good language skills and research technique, but a substantial knowledge of the subject matter, a cultural sensitivity, and a mastery of the art of good writing. Translation has, indeed, served as a writing school for many recognized writers.

We cannot say translation is a art only, or craft or science only. In fact translation is the combination of all the three. As far as translation is concern it is not similar to that of fine art like things but if writing any story is creation then translating it is essentially a recreation. Art and craft are complementary to each other and for translating anything a good amount of experience is also needed. The whole process of doing any translation is fully scientific so translation is science also.

Friday, October 10, 2008

FUEL: An initiative in language standardization via collaboration


"FUEL (Frequently Used Entries for Localization) aims to solve the problem of inconsistency and lack of standardization in computer software translation in a new and unique way. Initiated by Red Hat, the project is trying to give a better experience to end users of a localized desktop by resolving the issues of standardization and inconsistency."

"FUEL is an attempt to standardize terms for the whole desktop instead of concentrating on different applications separately. At present, FUEL incorporates representative entries from the GNOME desktop, OpenOffice.org, Firefox browser, Evolution email client, and Pidgin instant messenger, so that it can have at least all the entries that a normal user uses very frequently. Later, on demand from communities, FUEL can incorporate more applications in its list from different projects."

सहभागिता आधारित भाषा मानकीकरण का एक प्रयास

लिनक्स डॉट कॉम पर मेरा आलेख हाल ही में छपा है...मानकीकरण के फ़्यूल प्रोजेक्ट के बारे में यह आलेख विस्तार से सारी स्थितियों के बारे में बताता है कि क्यों इस प्रोजेक्ट को शुरू किया गया है. सहभागी नवाचार पर आधारित इस प्रोजेक्ट के बारे में इस लेख में यह बताने की कोशिश की गई है कि कैसे सहभागिता से हम उन मानकीकरण के लक्ष्यों को हासिल कर सकते हैं जो अब तक कई कारणों से हासिल नहीं किया जा सका है.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

फ़ॉयरफ़ॉक्स आपके देश में - एक सर्वेक्षण

मोज़िला ने हाल में विभिन्न देशों में फ़ॉयरफ़ॉक्स उपयोक्ताओं के बारे में सूचना इकट्ठा करने के लिए एक सर्वेक्षण लॉन्च किया है. उनका मुख्य ध्येय भारत के उपयोक्ताओं के बारे में जानना है ताकि वे भारत के समुदाय की जरूरतों को भली-भांति समझ सके.

सर्वेक्षण में भाग आप यहाँ जाकर ले सकते हैं. यहाँ उत्तरों को अज्ञात रूप में रिकार्ड किया जाता है. यह अधिकतम पाँच मिनट ही लेता है.

Firefox in your country Survey

Mozilla has recently launched a survey to gather information from Firefox users in many different countries. The main aim of the firefox team is to learn more about users in India so they can better serve the needs of its community here in India.

Here is the survey . Here answers are being recorded anonymously. It is not taking more than 5 minutes. So I request you all to take the survey so that they can understand Indian community in better way.