#SmartReads 7/2018 – The Fall Issue

#SmartReads 7-2018 on the Language and Translation Industry

At the beginning of September, I was invited to hold a workshop at the Translation Technology Summer School, organized by the prestigious KU Leuven University (Belgium).
It was a useful experience for me because I was reminded of the state of things in the real world (=translation industry). I can only hope it was the same for the Summer School participants. I wrote a recap of the discussion here: Futurebound: Are We There Yet?

In the meantime, there is another workshop in my diary, this time about machine translation and post-editing of literary texts. This time I will hold the workshop at the Artigiani delle Parole, organized in Milan (Italy) by the good people of Langue & Parole.

And while working on my presentation for this event, I stumbled upon this piece of news on the first book translated with AIQuantmetry, a French start-up, has translated a book about Apprentissage profond (i.e. Deep Learning) in cooperation with the MT services delivered by DeepL.

To stay on the subject of machine learning, you might want to check out this article, A Gentle Introduction to Neural Networks for Machine Learning, on the Codemonitor Community’s website.

In the previous issue of #SmartReads, I mentioned that lately there are a few books complaining about the use of English words in Italian. Well, there is now a website, Dizionario delle alternative agli anglicismi (Dictionary of alternatives to anglicisms).
I am not so enthused about this new wave of linguistic purism. So, to counterbalance that, here is a recent article by Johnson: Classifying languages is about politics as much as linguistics.
I was also reminded of a passage in the book Nomadic Subjects by the Australian/Italian philosopher Rosi Braidotti:

There are no mother tongues. Only linguistic places that are taken as starting points. The polyglot does not have a native language, but many lines of transit, of trespass […] A kind of polymorphic stubbornness accompanies the ability of the polyglot to slip between the languages, stealing acoustic traces here, diphthongs there, in a continual childish mocking game. […] The best gift you can give to anyone, but above all to a polyglot? A new word, a word that she/he does not yet know.

The English translation from the Italian is mine with few corrections by an American colleague who wishes to remain incognito.

Let’s end with a bit of LOLIn this video John McWhorter, professor of linguistics at Columbia University, talks about how L.O.L. introduces a new era of communication: “It used to be that if you were going to write in any real way beyond the personal letter, there were all these rules you were afraid you were breaking—and you probably were,” he says. “It wasn’t a comfortable form. You can write comfortably now.
Complement this with Adam Gopnik’s story about how a middle-aged father learned the meaning of LOL, and finish with a golden oldie by David Crystal on how texting improves children’s writing2b or not 2B.