robertogreco + spanish   161

Spanish has never been a foreign language in the United States - Los Angeles Times
"Video recordings in very different settings caught two incidents of Spanish speakers being harassed or detained as perceived undocumented immigrants this month.

In midtown Manhattan, an attorney, Aaron Schlossberg, berated a restaurant owner after he heard workers speaking in Spanish. He ranted that they should speak English in “his country” and threatened to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

A world away in Montana, two American citizens, Ana Suda and Mimi Hernández, recorded as they confronted a U.S. Border Patrol agent about why he asked for their identifications. He responded plainly that he wanted their IDs when he “saw that you guys are speaking Spanish, which is very unheard of up here.” He detained them for 40 minutes in a parking lot.

The call to “speak English” in America has a long history that often drowns out our even longer history of diverse language use. Spanish especially is a language with deep roots in the United States.

The Southwest was originally part of Mexico. When the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the U.S.-Mexican War in 1848, it also granted the remaining Mexican settlers citizenship. The treaty did not require that they learn English.

Quite the opposite is true: Over the decades that followed, the federal government permitted local governments in the Southwest to use Spanish in official capacities.

California’s first state Constitution required that “all laws, decrees, regulations, and provisions, which from their nature require publication, shall be published in English and Spanish.” Some California counties received session laws and operated their courts in Spanish.

The use of Spanish in New Mexico was especially widespread. Just five years after taking over the territory, the United States recognized that it needed to pay for translators in the legislative chambers. Federal officials embraced Spanish as a necessary way to fairly govern this new group of citizens.

In some parts of New Mexico, election results, loyalty oaths, session laws, letters to elected officials, speeches by both political parties, court transcripts and many other official documents were written in Spanish. These are merely the recorded uses of Spanish and don’t include its widespread oral use.

Senators visiting New Mexico in 1902 concluded that they could not conduct their official business without an interpreter. They encountered school teachers, judges and a census supervisor who were monolingual Spanish speakers.

When the senators asked a former justice of the peace, José María García, why he continued to use Spanish, he replied: “I like my own language better than any other, the same as I like the United States better than any other country in the world.” For García, there was no contradiction in being both an American and a Spanish speaker.

Spanish remained an official language of politics and government in much of the Southwest throughout the 19th century, but that changed in the first decades of the 20th century. Increasing immigration from Mexico, a push for school segregation and other “Americanization” efforts helped turn the tide. As the historian Paul J. Ramsey has shown, 26 states, including California, had outlawed the teaching of languages other than English in public primary schools by 1921. California outlawed it in private schools that year.

Anti-Mexican sentiment peaked in the early 1930s, coinciding with cruel repatriation campaigns that forced hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens and Mexican Americans over the border into Mexico. Los Angeles County was especially effective at these tactics. Nevertheless, Spanish remained the preferred language in many parts of the Southwest during this period, and more than a thousand civic organizations promoted Spanish in the interest of Pan-Americanism.

Spanish speakers also settled well beyond the Southwest, of course. As early as 1891, the Cuban poet and journalist José Martí, then living in New York City, was writing of “Nuestra América,” or “Our America,” in an effort to unite Spanish speakers across the hemisphere. Tens of thousands more Cubans arrived in the early 20th century, well before the Cuban Revolution.

Congress created many Spanish-speaking Americans when it gave Puerto Ricans their citizenship in 1917 through the Jones Act, which also did not have an English-language provision. By the 1950s, nearly 200,000 Puerto Ricans had moved to New York City. Spanish has now been a part of everyday life in New York for over a century.

Forty-one million native Spanish speakers reside in the U.S. today, and this figure does not include the millions more who have learned Spanish by choice. In fact, the U.S. has the second-largest number of Spanish speakers in the world, outnumbered only by Mexico, according to the Instituto Cervantes.

Not only does the U.S. have no official language, but Spanish is not a fringe language here. It plays a much deeper role in this country than either of this month’s news-making videos suggest. Its use is neither new nor an anomaly. Spanish is an American language.

Lozano is an assistant professor of history at Princeton University and the author of “An American Language: The History of Spanish in the United States.”"
rosinalozano  spanish  español  us  2018  language  english  history  newmexico  california  mexico  spain  españa  law 
july 2019 by robertogreco
Language Is Migrant - South Magazine Issue #8 [documenta 14 #3] - documenta 14
"Language is migrant. Words move from language to language, from culture to culture, from mouth to mouth. Our bodies are migrants; cells and bacteria are migrants too. Even galaxies migrate.

What is then this talk against migrants? It can only be talk against ourselves, against life itself.

Twenty years ago, I opened up the word “migrant,” seeing in it a dangerous mix of Latin and Germanic roots. I imagined “migrant” was probably composed of mei, Latin for “to change or move,” and gra, “heart” from the Germanic kerd. Thus, “migrant” became “changed heart,”
a heart in pain,
changing the heart of the earth.

The word “immigrant” says, “grant me life.”

“Grant” means “to allow, to have,” and is related to an ancient Proto-Indo-European root: dhe, the mother of “deed” and “law.” So too, sacerdos, performer of sacred rites.

What is the rite performed by millions of people displaced and seeking safe haven around the world? Letting us see our own indifference, our complicity in the ongoing wars?

Is their pain powerful enough to allow us to change our hearts? To see our part in it?

I “wounder,” said Margarita, my immigrant friend, mixing up wondering and wounding, a perfect embodiment of our true condition!

Vicente Huidobro said, “Open your mouth to receive the host of the wounded word.”

The wound is an eye. Can we look into its eyes?
my specialty is not feeling, just
looking, so I say:
(the word is a hard look.)
—Rosario Castellanos

I don’t see with my eyes: words
are my eyes.
—Octavio Paz

In l980, I was in exile in Bogotá, where I was working on my “Palabrarmas” project, a way of opening words to see what they have to say. My early life as a poet was guided by a line from Novalis: “Poetry is the original religion of mankind.” Living in the violent city of Bogotá, I wanted to see if anybody shared this view, so I set out with a camera and a team of volunteers to interview people in the street. I asked everybody I met, “What is Poetry to you?” and I got great answers from beggars, prostitutes, and policemen alike. But the best was, “Que prosiga,” “That it may go on”—how can I translate the subjunctive, the most beautiful tiempo verbal (time inside the verb) of the Spanish language? “Subjunctive” means “next to” but under the power of the unknown. It is a future potential subjected to unforeseen conditions, and that matches exactly the quantum definition of emergent properties.

If you google the subjunctive you will find it described as a “mood,” as if a verbal tense could feel: “The subjunctive mood is the verb form used to express a wish, a suggestion, a command, or a condition that is contrary to fact.” Or “the ‘present’ subjunctive is the bare form of a verb (that is, a verb with no ending).”

I loved that! A never-ending image of a naked verb! The man who passed by as a shadow in my film saying “Que prosiga” was on camera only for a second, yet he expressed in two words the utter precision of Indigenous oral culture.

People watching the film today can’t believe it was not scripted, because in thirty-six years we seem to have forgotten the art of complex conversation. In the film people in the street improvise responses on the spot, displaying an awareness of language that seems to be missing today. I wounder, how did it change? And my heart says it must be fear, the ocean of lies we live in, under a continuous stream of doublespeak by the violent powers that rule us. Living under dictatorship, the first thing that disappears is playful speech, the fun and freedom of saying what you really think. Complex public conversation goes extinct, and along with it, the many species we are causing to disappear as we speak.

The word “species” comes from the Latin speciēs, “a seeing.” Maybe we are losing species and languages, our joy, because we don’t wish to see what we are doing.

Not seeing the seeing in words, we numb our senses.

I hear a “low continuous humming sound” of “unmanned aerial vehicles,” the drones we send out into the world carrying our killing thoughts.

Drones are the ultimate expression of our disconnect with words, our ability to speak without feeling the effect or consequences of our words.

“Words are acts,” said Paz.

Our words are becoming drones, flying robots. Are we becoming desensitized by not feeling them as acts? I am thinking not just of the victims but also of the perpetrators, the drone operators. Tonje Hessen Schei, director of the film Drone, speaks of how children are being trained to kill by video games: “War is made to look fun, killing is made to look cool. ... I think this ‘militainment’ has a huge cost,” not just for the young soldiers who operate them but for society as a whole. Her trailer opens with these words by a former aide to Colin Powell in the Bush/Cheney administration:
OUR POTENTIAL COLLECTIVE FUTURE. WATCH IT AND WEEP FOR US. OR WATCH IT AND DETERMINE TO CHANGE THAT FUTURE
—Lawrence Wilkerson, Colonel U.S. Army (retired)


In Astro Noise, the exhibition by Laura Poitras at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the language of surveillance migrates into poetry and art. We lie in a collective bed watching the night sky crisscrossed by drones. The search for matching patterns, the algorithms used to liquidate humanity with drones, is turned around to reveal the workings of the system. And, we are being surveyed as we survey the show! A new kind of visual poetry connecting our bodies to the real fight for the soul of this Earth emerges, and we come out woundering: Are we going to dehumanize ourselves to the point where Earth itself will dream our end?

The fight is on everywhere, and this may be the only beauty of our times. The Quechua speakers of Peru say, “beauty is the struggle.”

Maybe darkness will become the source of light. (Life regenerates in the dark.)

I see the poet/translator as the person who goes into the dark, seeking the “other” in him/herself, what we don’t wish to see, as if this act could reveal what the world keeps hidden.

Eduardo Kohn, in his book How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human notes the creation of a new verb by the Quichua speakers of Ecuador: riparana means “darse cuenta,” “to realize or to be aware.” The verb is a Quichuan transfiguration of the Spanish reparar, “to observe, sense, and repair.” As if awareness itself, the simple act of observing, had the power to heal.

I see the invention of such verbs as true poetry, as a possible path or a way out of the destruction we are causing.

When I am asked about the role of the poet in our times, I only question: Are we a “listening post,” composing an impossible “survival guide,” as Paul Chan has said? Or are we going silent in the face of our own destruction?

Subcomandante Marcos, the Zapatista guerrilla, transcribes the words of El Viejo Antonio, an Indian sage: “The gods went looking for silence to reorient themselves, but found it nowhere.” That nowhere is our place now, that’s why we need to translate language into itself so that IT sees our awareness.

Language is the translator. Could it translate us to a place within where we cease to tolerate injustice and the destruction of life?

Life is language. “When we speak, life speaks,” says the Kaushitaki Upanishad.

Awareness creates itself looking at itself.

It is transient and eternal at the same time.

Todo migra. Let’s migrate to the “wounderment” of our lives, to poetry itself."
ceciliavicuña  language  languages  words  migration  immigration  life  subcomandantemarcos  elviejoantonio  lawrencewilkerson  octaviopaz  exile  rosariocastellanos  poetry  spanish  español  subjunctive  oral  orality  conversation  complexity  seeing  species  joy  tonjehessenschei  war  colinpowell  laurapoitras  art  visual  translation  eduoardokohn  quechua  quichua  healing  repair  verbs  invention  listening  kaushitakiupanishad  awareness  noticing  wondering  vicentehuidobro  wounds  woundering  migrants  unknown  future  potential  unpredictability  emergent  drones  morethanhuman  multispecies  paulchan  destruction  displacement  refugees  extinction  others  tolerance  injustice  justice  transience  ephemerality  ephemeral  canon  eternal  surveillance  patterns  algorithms  earth  sustainability  environment  indifference  complicity  dictatorship  documenta14  2017  classideas 
march 2019 by robertogreco
David Bowles – Medium
[via: Mexican X Part X: What the Hex a ‘Latinx’?
https://blog.usejournal.com/mexican-x-part-x-what-the-hex-a-latinx-706b64dafe22 ]

[some of the contents:

Mexican X Part I: Why Is México Pronounced Méjico?
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/why-is-m%C3%A9xico-pronounced-m%C3%A9jico-266278c73e11

Mexican X Part II: ¡Hijo de su Mexica Equis!
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-part-ii-hijo-de-su-mexica-equis-76342d845176

Mexican X Part III: Dude, Where’s My Xocolate?
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-part-iii-dude-wheres-my-xocolate-b7998439b111

Mexican X Part IV: You Say “Tomato,” I Say You’re Missing a Syllable, Bro!
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-part-iv-you-say-tomato-i-say-youre-missing-a-syllable-bro-1f002f4f110c

Mexican X Part V: Rise of the Bruxa
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-part-v-rise-of-the-bruxa-df3d2b2abc4f

Mexican X Part VI: And the Xicanos, Ese?
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-part-vi-and-the-xicanos-ese-91534614ad1c

Mexican X Part VII: The Curse of Malinalxochitl
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-part-vii-the-curse-of-malinalxochitl-71be0cde6e95

Mexican X Part VIII: ¿Qué Onda, Xavo?
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-part-viii-qu%C3%A9-onda-xavo-4f46c7ad674c

Mexican X Part IX: True Chiefs and False Friends in Texas
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-part-ix-true-chiefs-and-false-friends-in-texas-5e8763b10db9

Mexican X Part X: What the Hex a ‘Latinx’?
https://blog.usejournal.com/mexican-x-part-x-what-the-hex-a-latinx-706b64dafe22

Mexican X Part XI: Rise of a New X
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-part-xi-rise-of-a-new-x-4c30c0f74ad8

Mexican X Part XII: Xochihuah and Queer Aztecs
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-part-xii-what-did-a-xochihuah-possess-3784532d8023



Mexican X-plainer: Tolkien, Sephardim, and Northern Mexican Spanish
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-plainer-tolkien-sephardim-and-northern-mexican-spanish-e7235c0f9585

Mexican X-plainer: Tacos, Not Tlahcos
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-plainer-tacos-not-tlahcos-62f7a72826fb

Mexican X-plainer: Al-Andalus & the Flour Tortilla
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-plainer-al-andalus-and-the-flour-tortil-5a7d10346b8f

Mexican X-plainer: Is “Cigarette” Mayan?
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-plainer-is-cigarette-mayan-771475b58dce

Mexican X-plainer: The Aztec Calendar(s)
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-plainer-the-aztec-calendar-s-8a7757bf8389

Mexican X-Plainer: Mustachioed Racists?
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-plainer-mustachioed-racists-800644589804

Mexican X-plainer: Balls, Nuts & Avocados
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-plainer-balls-nuts-avocados-6611eab0a64f

Mexican X-plainer: Chiclets & Aztecs
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/mexican-x-plainer-chiclets-smacking-gum-cf204c6d9c67



Nahuatl, the Past, and the Future
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/nahuatl-the-past-and-the-future-9e54bc1f6586

Nahuatl’s Lack of Grammatical Gender
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/nahuatls-lack-of-grammatical-gender-5896ed54f2d7

Feminist Nahuatl Lexicon, Part I
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/feminist-nahuatl-lexicon-part-i-85207604f796

Anti-Trump Nahuatl Lexicon
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/anti-trump-nahuatl-lexicon-c13cacfc0978




Retranslating Nezahualcoyotl
https://medium.com/@davidbowles/retranslating-nezahualcoyotl-3a868eeb4424 ]
davidbowles  x  latinx  mexico  language  spanish  nahuatl  español  2017  2018  2019  history  etymology  aztec  linguistics 
march 2019 by robertogreco
Why the Spanish Dialogue in 'Spider-Verse' Doesn't Have Subtitles
"While watching the new animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – featuring Miles Morales’ big screen debut as the arachnid superhero – it’s reassuring to notice the subtle, yet transcendent details through which the creators ensured both parts of his cultural identity are present.

Miles (voiced by Shameik Moore), an Afro-Latino teen who lives in Brooklyn and first appeared in Marvel’s comics back in 2011, is the son of a Puerto Rican mother and an African-American father. The protagonist’s significance – when it comes to representation – cannot be overstated, making the fact that he and his mother (Rio Morales who’s voiced by Nuyorican actress Luna Lauren Velez) speak Spanish throughout the action-packed narrative truly momentous.

Although brief, the Spanish phrases and words we hear connote the genuine colloquialisms that arise in bilingual homes as opposed to the artificiality that sometimes peppers US-produced movies and feels like the result of lines being fed through Google Translate. It might come as a surprise for some that Phil Lord, known for writing and directing The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street with his close collaborator Christopher Miller, was not only one of the main scribes and a producer on Spider-Verse, but also the person in charge of the Spanish-language dialogue.

“I grew up in a bilingual household in the bilingual city of Miami where you hear Spanish all over the place, and it’s not particularly remarkable,” he told Remezcla at the film’s premiere in Los Angeles. Lord’s mother is from Cuba and his father is from the States. As part of a Cuban-American family, the filmmaker empathized with Miles’ duality: “I certainly understand what it’s like to feel like you’re half one thing and half something else,” he noted.

[image]

Despite the massive success of Pixar’s Coco, including Spanish-language dialogue in a major studio’s animated release is still rare – doing so without adding subtitles, even for some of the longer lines, is outright daring. “It was important for us to hear Spanish and not necessarily have it subtitled,” said Lord. “It’s just part of the fabric of Miles’ community and family life.”

For Luna Lauren Velez, whose character speaks mostly in Spanish to Miles, Lord and the directors’ decision to not translate her text in any way helped validate the Latino experience on screen. “That was really bold, because if you use subtitles all of a sudden we are outside, and we are not part of this world anymore. It was brilliant that they just allowed for it to exist,” she told Remezcla. Her role as Rio Morales also benefited from the production’s adherence to specificity in the source material, she is not portrayed as just generically Latina but as a Puerto Rican woman from Brooklyn.

With the help of a dialect coach, Velez and Lord were also partially responsible for getting Shameik Moore (who has roots in Jamaica) to learn the handful of Spanish-language expressions Miles uses during the opening sequence were he walks around his neighborhood. “[Luna] has been getting on me! I need to go to Puerto Rico, and really learn Spanish for real,” Moore candidly told Remezcla on the red carpet.

Aside from Rio and Miles, the only other Spanish-speaking character is a villain named Scorpion. The insect-like bad guy who speaks only in Spanish is voiced by famed Mexican performer Joaquín Cosio. “He is an actor from Mexico City who was using slang that we had to look up because we didn’t understand it! I had never heard some of the words he used,” explained Lord.

[video: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse - "Gotta Go" Clip"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q9foLtQidk ]

For Lord, having different Spanish accents represented is one of the parts of Into the Spider-Verse he’s the most proud of. He wanted to make sure Miles and Rio didn’t sound alike to indicate how language changes through different generations. Being himself the child of a Cuban immigrant, the parallels were very direct. “Miles is second-generation, so he speaks different than his mother.”

Velez, who like Miles is born in New York, identifies with what it’s like to communicate in both tongues. “Growing my parents spoke to us in Spanish and we responded in English. Now this happens with my nieces and nephews,” she said. “You want to make sure kids remember their culture and where they come from.” In playing Rio, she thought of her mother who instilled in her not only the language but appreciation for her Latinidad.

Clearly, casting Velez was essential to upholding the diversity and authenticity embedded into Miles Morales’ heroic adventure since not doing so would have been a disservice to an iteration of an iconic figure that is so meaningful for many. “If Spider-Man’s Puerto Rican mom had been played by somebody who isn’t Latino I’d have a problem with that,” Velez stated emphatically."
language  translation  spanish  español  bilingualism  bilingual  srg  edg  glvo  carlosaguilar  2018  spider-verse  spiderman  miami  losangeles  nyc  coco  subtitles  specificity  puertorico  cuba  immigration  via:tealtan  accents  change  adaptation  latinidad 
february 2019 by robertogreco
How many Bay Area place names have you been mispronouncing? | KALW
"Accent marks are missing all over the Bay Area. Many neighborhoods and streets are named after Spanish explorers. Some of those names once had accent marks. But now, without them, we don’t know if we’re saying them right. Listen to the different ways these residents pronounce the name of their neighborhood in San Francisco.

“The Portola,” said one person who placed the stress on the POR. “I call it Portola district,” said another, who placed the stress on the TO. “Portola,” said another who stressed the POR. “The Portola district,” said another woman who stressed the TO.

This name once had an accent mark. Once it disappeared, the original pronunciation went with it. And so did its history.

“I guess that’s the traditional Italian name?” suggested one resident. “Um, Portola, what's his, I forget his first name?” wondered another. “I didn't know it was named after a person?” mused another resident.

“The people in the 1920s that came to this neighborhood pronounced it Portola,” said Rayna Garibaldi, putting the stress on the POR.

Garibaldi is a San Francisco native, born and raised here. You know the slim history book with the old photo on the cover that you see in a lot of neighborhoods? She wrote it and it’s called, San Francisco’s Portola.

According to the book, immigrants from Italy and Malta and Jews from Europe settled here in the 1920s. Their pronunciation, Portola, with the stress on the POR, caught on. That’s what Garibaldi grew up with. She says that in her lifetime she’s seen the neighborhood change. That pronunciation is now fading away.

“Now people who come here new from other parts of the city or other countries say Portola,” with stress on the TO, she said.

Garibaldi is talking about people like me. I stress the TO in Portola. That’s how I’ve always heard it pronounced. But after talking to Garibaldi, I started to wonder about Portola and how it should be pronounced. To find out, we need to look into our California history.

Don Gaspar de Portola was a Spanish explorer. Historians believe he discovered the San Francisco Bay in the 1700s. He was also the first Governor of Spanish-ruled California, before it was a state. After the miners struck gold and San Francisco rapidly grew, most people living here didn’t know about Portola. And those that did, forgot about him.

“This piece of California history was a little bit obscure. The back pages in the history books, so to speak,” explained local historian John Freeman.

Freeman said that in 1909, San Francisco quickly rebuilt itself after the big earthquake and fires. It wanted to throw a 5-day carnival to relaunch the city as a destination for business and tourism.

“They were searching around for a theme, a set of colors, and something to hang their festival on,” he said. They settled on the 140th anniversary of Portola’s discovery of the San Francisco Bay and called it the Portola Festival.

Suddenly, San Francisco was enamored with Portola. In postcards advertising the event, he looked rugged, with wavy hair spilling out from under a plumed hat, a sash over his shoulder and a long sword by his side. But as talk of the festival spread, a vexing question emerged. According to Freeman, the chair of the festival committee was giving a speech when he pronounced Portola three different ways.

“One of the principals of this particular meeting says, `excuse me sir, how do we pronounce the name?’” Freeman said, “`We need to officially decide how we should pronounce the name.’”

The organizers began an extensive search for Portola’s signature. Dispatches were sent to Spain and Mexico. They wanted to know if, and where, he put the accent mark in his name, so they could pronounce it right. In the meantime, how to say Portola went viral, in a 1909 way. Letters poured into the The San Francisco Call. One of them suggested that the pronunciation be decided by a game of dice. Another newspaper joked that it should be pronounced “Porthole.” Then there was the verse, like this excerpt from Lost Accent, published in the San Francisco Chronicle:
For my nerves were racked to pieces

and I felt an awful jar

When I heard the Mispronouncer

Say my name was Portola.

Oh, but there was more. Like this selection from What’s In a Name?
We’ll sing his blows ‘gainst craven foes,

His parry, thrust and sortie;

And when we come to speak his name,

Oh, well — let’s call him Porty!

Only days before the festival was to officially open, a Stanford academic discovered a cache of Portola’s letters in Mexico City. He said, I have looked at the documents, there is an accent on the end of his name, it should be pronounced Portolà.

Finally, how he would have pronounced it. The long, lost accent! Portolahhh. But just as quickly as it was discovered, it was gone. Newspapers couldn’t print the accent mark.

“You would sometimes see it accented. A lot of it had to do with the printer and the type of font they were using. Having a font with the "a" accented was a rarity in anybody's print box,” said Freeman.

In a short time, the correct pronunciation of Portolà disappeared. Today, in the Bay Area, there’s no accent mark on any of the signs that bear his name. Not on neighborhoods, streets, schools or even the city named after him, Portola Valley.

Today’s young explorers can speak their names into voice recorders. But unlike Portolà, they will never have official papers to show where their accent marks should be. So, if we can learn anything from Portolà, it’s to put your accent mark wherever you can. You just don’t know if you’ll wind up in the history books.

A note on the accent on Portolà: Gaspar de Portolà was Catalan, so we are using the Catalan closed accent, not the Spanish accent grave."
names  naming  california  sanfrancisco  accents  pronunciation  spanish  español  portola  neighborhoods  italian  accentmarks  history 
january 2019 by robertogreco
Tentacle | And Other Stories
"Plucked from her life on the streets of post-apocalyptic Santo Domingo, young maid Acilde Figueroa finds herself at the heart of a Santería prophecy: only she can travel back in time and save the ocean – and humanity – from disaster. But first she must become the man she always was – with the help of a sacred anemone. Tentacle is an electric novel with a big appetite and a brave vision, plunging headfirst into questions of climate change, technology, Yoruba ritual, queer politics, poverty, sex, colonialism and contemporary art. Bursting with punk energy and lyricism, it’s a restless, addictive trip: The Tempest meets the telenovela."

[See also:
https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/little-book-with-big-ambitions-rita-indianas-tentacle/
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/jan/02/tentacle-by-rita-indiana-review
http://chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.7208/chicago/9780226405636.001.0001/upso-9780226405322-chapter-007
https://1streading.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/tentacle/ ]

[The original, in Spanish:

La mucama de Omicunlé
http://www.editorialperiferica.com/?s=catalogo&l=147
https://www.zonadeobras.com/apuestas/2015/05/04/la-mucama-de-omicunle-rita-indiana-203300/
https://soundsandcolours.com/articles/dominican-republic/rita-indiana-la-mucama-de-omicunle-40561/
http://remezcla.com/culture/rita-indiana-la-mucama-de-omicunle/ ]

[More on/by Rita Indiana:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rita_Indiana
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vI4Gj2w0Z0Q
https://www.pri.org/programs/radio-ambulante-unscripted/rita-indiana-taking-caribbean-music-and-literature-new-heights
https://gozamos.com/2013/12/interview-rita-indiana-hernandez/
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=RITA+INDIANA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBVLvIjBFko
https://granta.com/on-cardi-b/http://remezcla.com/releases/music/rita-indiana-el-castigador-video/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-J_n1H2qT4 ]
books  toread  sciencefiction  sicfi  ritaindiana  andotherstories  spanish  español  srg  fiction  domincanrepublic  colonialism  santodomingo  novels  technology 
january 2019 by robertogreco
Yo-Yo Boing! - Wikipedia
"Yo-Yo Boing! is a Spanglish novel by Puerto Rican poet and novelist Giannina Braschi. Braschi is the author of the postmodern poetry trilogy "El imperio de los sueños/Empire of Dreams" (1988) and the postcolonial dramatic novel United States of Banana (2011). Published in 1998 as the first full-length Spanglish novel, Yo-Yo Boing! is a linguistic hybrid of literary Spanish, American English, and Spanglish.[1] The book mixes elements of poetry, fiction, essay, musical, manifesto, treatise, bastinado, memoir, and drama. The New York Daily News called it an "in your-face-assertion of the vitality of Latino culture in the United States".[2] The book dramatizes the tensions between Anglo-American and Hispanic-American cultures in New York City.[3]"



"Yo-Yo Boing! has many examples of the linguistic phenomena of code-switching between English and Spanish, as spoken by millions of Latinos and Hispanic-Americans in the United States and in Puerto Rico.[12] Through dramatic dialogues and conversations among a nameless chorus of voices, the work treats subjects as diverse as racial, ethnic, and sexual prejudice, discrimination, colonialism, Puerto Rican independence, revolution, domestic violence, and writer's block. In the book, intellectuals and artists debate English-only laws, ethnic cleansing campaigns, and the corporate censorship.[13][14]

The dialogue also features references to popular culture, books, films, sex, poetry, inspiration, and Puerto Rican artistic expression in New York. Artists and celebrities such as Woody Allen, Almodovar, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Pavarotti, Martin Scorsese, Fellini, Pee-Wee Herman, and Nabokov are celebrated and derided.[15] Scenes cross-cut throughout New York City from the Upper West Side literary soiree to the Lower East Side tertulia at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, "from the diner booth to the subway platform, from the movie theater line to the unemployment line, and from the bathroom to the bedroom".[16]"
books  toread  gianninavraschi  puertorico  code-switching  intertextuality  codeswitching  english  spanish  spanglish  español 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Maintenance — Cultural Anthropology
"Designed worlds are produced and maintained by human labor. As such, maintenance labor is a key site through which ethnographers might rethink the design of our own research.

* * *

Living in Ladera Heights
The black Beverly Hills
Domesticated paradise
Palm trees and pools
The water’s blue
Swallow a pill
Keepin’ it surreal

—Frank Ocean

In “Sweet Life,” the artist Frank Ocean sings of the affluent Los Angeles black enclave of Ladera Heights. He describes life for the city’s young middle-class black inhabitants as insulated and undisturbed: the sweet life.

A meter shift in Ocean’s vocals and music encroaches on the fiction of this “domesticated paradise.” The veneer of an unblemished pool and of svelte skirted Mexican palms is undone by the song’s chorus: “You’ve had a landscaper and a housekeeper since you were born.” Ocean’s analysis of a black middle-class subject works to make visible immigrant maintenance labor.

In Ramiro Gomez’s acclaimed series of artworks Happy Hills, the serenity of affluent West Los Angeles is similarly recast by making visible the unmarked labor of Latina and Latino immigrant laborers. Gomez, who worked as a nanny, plants life-sized cardboard cutouts of gardeners on the sidewalk hedges of Beverly Hills mansions and inserts domestic workers into the immaculate kitchens shown in the pages of magazines like Better Homes and Gardens.

Gomez and Ocean make palpable the relationship across Los Angeles’s suburbs between affluent and working-class, leisured and laboring subjects. In their works, disparate social and material worlds overlap by making explicit the maintenance labor performed by workers who are themselves alienated from the very places they enrich.

* * *

How is maintenance work, which is to say life-creating and time-freeing labor (such as the domestic and gardening labor of Latina and Latino immigrant workers), a site from which to theorize ethnography and design?

Maintenance, as Ocean and Gomez highlight, is the work of fiction. It is the repeated labor that creates a neat story about the way things naturally appear to be. Ethnography—as the practice of approaching material reality—is itself a practice of repetition, from repeated travels to the field and reconsulting with field notes to the writing and rewriting of a supposed reality. Maintenance labor, like ethnographic narratives, produce an image of the way things supposedly are by erasing the trace of its constant reworking; that is to say, it makes invisible the labor necessary for its construction. In the case of maintenance work, as Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo (2014) argues, labor is made invisible through its gendering and racialization. In the case of ethnography, on the other hand, the author works to remove their labor from the frame so as to represent an unvarnished texture of cultural difference. Or, as Kamala Visweswaran (1994, 1) puts it, the supposed division between fiction and ethnography “breaks down if we consider that ethnography, like fiction, constructs existing or possible worlds, all the while retaining the idea of an alternate ‘made’ world.”

Maintenance, for gardeners and domestic workers, involves the constant reworking of a lawn or the repeated wiping down of a kitchen counter—week after week, sometimes day after day. Conceiving of maintenance as the material accumulation of labor, resulting in well-fed plants or well-fed children, echoes what Keith Murphy and George Marcus (2013, 258) identify as “the complex processes” that designers and ethnographers undertake, which are “almost entirely obscured by the form of their products.” For maintenance, as for design and ethnography, the final products “receive most of the attention from those who consume them” (Murphy and Marcus 2013, 258). Yet there is a surplus contained in the seemingly invisible labor of maintenance.

For Latina and Latino immigrant gardeners, maintenance also means mantenimiento, a practice of organizing days into routes (rutas) and labor sites into divisions of labor shaped by differences in legal status, ethnicity, age, and ability between gardening company owners and their ayudantes or peónes (hired helpers). Mantenimiento reveals a practice of working around the designs of affluent gated neighborhoods, congested Southern California highways, imperatives of state exclusion, and the demands of homeowners and their plants. Mantenimiento challenges the naturalization of racialized and gendered labor, which forecloses the possibility of certain subjects being represented and casts laborers’ repeated reworkings as exacting and skilled labor.

Maintenance is the constant repetition of life-creating labor. As Kalindi Vora (2015) notes, reproductive and affective labor also contains traces of workers’ life activity that, although alienated from the laborers’ social world in order to enrich the lives of others, may retain a collection of stories and affective connections that happen in the service of others’ needs and that, for gardeners and domestic workers, occur in homes designed for others. Sometimes laborers take in excess of the demands of their labor, whether this occurs in the form of a gardener taking a botón of a succulent to reshape the landscape of their own or a domestic worker building a bond with an employer’s child; mantenimiento is attuned to the life that occurs in places where it is said not to exist.

* * *

My interest in maintenance as a concept that raises questions about ethnography and design arises from my experiences as a gardener and longtime manager of a small gardening company in Orange County. As a researcher, the parallels between my own repeated practices of maintenance labor and the repeated practices I employ in representing gardening laborers’ sociality are tethered to laborers’ careful design of their labor and lives."
maintenance  salvadorzárate  ethnography  design  anthropology  2018  via:shannon_mattern  labor  work  domesticworkers  gardening  gardeners  latinos  us  california  frankocean  laderaheights  losangeles  beverlyhills  westlosangeles  fiction  spanish  español  kalindivora  kamalavisweswaran  keithmurphy  georgemarcus  pierrettehondahneu-sotelo  socal 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Harvest of Empire – Harvest of Empire
[Available on YouTube, for now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyncOYTZfHE ]

[See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvest_of_Empire:_A_History_of_Latinos_in_America ]

"The Untold Story of Latinos in America

“We are all Americans of the New World, and our most dangerous enemies 
are not each other, but the great wall of ignorance between us.”
Juan González, Harvest of Empire

At a time of heated and divisive debate over immigration, Onyx Films is proud to present Harvest of Empire, a feature-length documentary that reveals the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis we face today.

Based on the groundbreaking book by award-winning journalist and Democracy Now! Co-host Juan González, Harvest of Empire takes an unflinching look at the role that U.S. economic and military interests played in triggering an unprecedented wave of migration that is transforming our nation’s cultural and economic landscape.

From the wars for territorial expansion that gave the U.S. control of Puerto Rico, Cuba and more than half of Mexico, to the covert operations that imposed oppressive military regimes in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador, Harvest of Empire unveils a moving human story that is largely unknown to the great majority of citizens in the U.S.

As Juan González says at the beginning of the film “They never teach us in school that the huge Latino presence here is a direct result of our own government’s actions in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America over many decades — actions that forced millions from that region to leave their homeland and journey north.”

Harvest of Empire provides a rare and powerful glimpse into the enormous sacrifices and rarely-noted triumphs of our nation’s growing Latino community. The film features present day immigrant stories, rarely seen archival material, as well as interviews with such respected figures as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchú, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Díaz, Mexican historian Dr. Lorenzo Meyer, journalists María Hinojosa and Geraldo Rivera, Grammy award-winning singer Luis Enrique, and poet Martín Espada."
film  documentary  us  history  immigration  latinamerica  puertorico  mexico  guatemala  honduras  juangonzález  cuba  nicaragua  elsalvador  rigobertamenchú  jessejackson  anthonyromero  junotdíaz  lorenzomeyer  maríahinojosa  geraldorivera  2011  martínespada  luisenrique  dominicanrepublic  latinos  imperialism  politics  policy  foreignpolicy  braceros  wwii  ww2  civilrights  race  racism  migration  communism  redscare  centralamerica  caribbean  colonialism  socialism  capitalism  fidelcastro  rafaeltrujillo  spanish-americanwar  inequality  exploitation  sugar  cotton  revolution  resistance  fulgenciobatista  dictatorships  oppression  deportation  texas  california  newmexico  arizona  mexican-americanwar  nevada  colorado  florida  nyc  óscarromero  harrytruman  democracy  jacoboárbenz  unitedfruitcompany  eisenhower  cia  intervention  maya  ethniccleansing  land  ownership  civilwar  iran-contraaffair  ronaldreagan  sandinistas  contras  war  bayofpigs  refugees  marielboatlift  1980  jimmycarter  language  spanish  español  miami  joaquínbalaguer  hectortruji 
july 2018 by robertogreco
HemiPress –
"HemiPress is the Hemispheric Institute’s digital publications imprint, created to house and centralize our diverse publication initiatives. Using a variety of customized open-source digital humanities platforms, HemiPress includes the Gesture short works series, the Duke U.P./HemiPress digital books, stand-alone essays, and the Institute’s peer-reviewed journal emisférica, alongside interviews, Cuadernos, and other online teaching resources. It also provides state-of-the-art multilingual publication capacities and immersive formats for capturing the “live” of performance, as well as a digital “bookshelf”—the interface that houses all of the Institute’s publications and connects communities of readers across the Americas."

[Digital Books:
https://hemi.press/digital-books/

"The Hemispheric Institute's focus on embodied practice requires both methodological and technological innovation. Through our Digital Books initiative, which utilizes both the Scalar and Tome publication platforms, we seek to create media-rich scholarly publications in order to produce and disseminate knowledge across geographic, linguistic, disciplinary, and mediatic borders. Staging a unique intervention in the field of academic publishing, Digital Books allows authors to utilize not only images and video, but also multilingual subtitles, maps and geotags, audio recordings, slideshows, and photo-essays, alongside other interactive features. Whether solo-authored, collaboratively written, or compiled as an edited volume, this critical initiative invites scholars, artists, activists, and students to explore the expansive possibilities of digital publishing in a hemispheric context."



"Tome [http://tome.press/ ] is an online authoring tool that facilitates long-form publishing in an immersive, media-rich environment. Built on the WordPress framework and in collaboration with the Hemispheric Institute, Tome features a suite of custom plugins that empowers scholars, students, and artists to create innovative born-digital work. Recent Tome publications include El Ciervo Encantado: An Altar in the Mangroves (Lillian Manzor and Jaime Gómez Triana), Art, Migration, and Human Rights: A collaborative dossier by artists, scholars, and activists on the issue of migration in southern Mexico, Villa Grimaldi (Diana Taylor), and six gestures (peter kulchyski)."



"Scalar [https://scalar.me/anvc/ ] is a free, open source authoring and publishing platform that’s designed to make it easy for authors to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online. Scalar enables users to assemble media from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own writing in a variety of ways, with minimal technical expertise required. Scalar also gives authors tools to structure essay- and book-length works in ways that take advantage of the unique capabilities of digital writing, including nested, recursive, and non-linear formats. The platform also supports collaborative authoring and reader commentary."]

[See also: emisférica
https://hemi.press/emisferica/

"emisférica is the Hemispheric Institute’s peer-reviewed, online, trilingual scholarly journal. Published biannually, journal issues focus on specific areas of inquiry in the study of performance and politics in the Americas. The journal publishes academic essays, multimedia artist presentations, activist interventions, and translations, as well as book, performance, and film reviews. Its languages are English, Spanish, and Portuguese."



"Dossier: Our dossiers are organized around a given theme and feature short texts, interviews, artworks, poetry, and video."



"Essays: We publish invited essays, essays submitted through our open calls, and translations of significant previously published works."



"Reviews: We review books, films, and performances from throughout the Americas"



"Multimedios: Multimedios are digital modules that feature the work of individual artists, artist collectives, curatorial projects, and activists movements. These video and photography, interviews, catalogue texts, essays, and critical reviews."]
publishing  americas  latinamerica  ebooks  epublishing  opensource  español  spanish  portugués  portuguese  digital  digitalpublishing  books  journals  multimedia  photography  poetry  video  art  wordpress  webdev  onlinetoolkit  scalar  hemipress 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Street Naming Controversy--1909 - FoundSF
"The commission sought to address the confusion of numbered streets in the established area of the city versus the numbered avenues in the growing sections west of the cemeteries and the sparsely populated southern section of the city designated as "avenues, south." They worked at finding distinct names for all the numbered or lettered streets. In the Richmond and Sunset districts they devised a full set of Spanish names to conform to an alphabetical pattern for each of the numbered avenues. The scheme called for First Avenue to become Arguello, Second Avenue to become Borcia, Third Avenue to become Coronado, continuing for all 26 letters of the alphabet. Starting with Twenty-seventh Avenue, the streets would be designated by male or female saints, starting with San Antonio and ending with Santa Ynez at Forty-Seventh Avenue. Unable to find Spanish saints with names beginning with K, Q, W, X or Z, they chose first Alcatraz, then Ayala for Forty-eighth Avenue and La Playa for Forty-ninth Avenue.

For the east-west streets in these neighborhoods that were lettered, two breaks in the alphabetical pattern were already in place. "D" Street had already been made an extension of Fulton Street from downtown and the development of Golden Gate Park had eliminated streets bearing the letters E, F and G over thirty years previously. Since there were three minor streets named for Lincoln, the commission wanted to change the names of those streets and rename "H" Street to honor President Lincoln with the more prestigious thoroughfare that bordered the park. The commission then chose eight names for the remaining streets in the Sunset District as Ignacio, Joaquin, Kaweah, Linares, Moncado, Noriega, Ortega and Pacheco. They had only to name the first eight streets, because the Parkside Realty Company had already been using the last eight names, Quintara, Rivera, Santiago, Taraval, Ulloa, Vicente, Wawona and Xavier streets for the area it was developing. In the Bayview District in the southeast corner of the city, an alphabetical sequence of names commemorating patriotic military or civic heroes were suggested for both the numbered avenues and lettered streets.

When the San Francisco Chronicle first published Charles Murdock's ideas of changing the numbered avenues to names a year earlier on October 4, 1908, there was no notice taken by the neighborhood newspapers. The suggestion was speculative and suggested names of explorers, generals or statesmen for avenues in the Richmond, Sunset and Bayview. On November 8, 1909, the Commission on the Changing of Street Names submitted its suggested changes to the Board of Supervisors for first reading and it got an immediate reaction. All the daily newspapers showed full support for the changes. The Examiner published the entire list for all the public to read. The Call's editorial said, "some of the suggested Spanish names may be a little difficult of negotiation by the American tongue" but suggested that the city schools could address that problem as part of the history curriculum.

Topsy-Turvy Town

The Chronicle showed its support with the argument that "if we are ever to emulate our enterprising neighbor, Los Angeles, in attractiveness" employing "musical Spanish names which our history entitles us to appropriate" might even bring in tourist dollars to San Francisco. Despite the positive spin given by the newspapers, the idea of changing all the numbered avenues in the Richmond and Sunset Districts to Spanish names brought immediate negative reaction from the residents of those neighborhoods. Yet when the Board of Supervisors met one week later to address the street-naming issue, the two offended western neighborhoods argued that the names were so repugnant that if approved the "avenues" would forever be known as "Spanish Town." The Spanish "heroes" were vilified as robbers and freebooters and Spain was called "one of the worst nations that ever tyrannized over the human race." There were comical attempts at saying the "unpronounceable" names of Xavier and Ximenes.

Despite the heated rhetoric, the Board voted twelve to five in favor of the changes, and over 250 street names were altered as recommended. When this news got back to the Richmond and Sunset districts, action was immediate. The Richmond had the oldest continuously operating neighborhood improvement club in the city and had been fighting the downtown bureaucracy for years to get services. They were politically savvy and would not tolerate being treated like squatters out in the sand dunes. Since the earthquake and fire, the district had experienced tremendous growth, and most of the new residents were homeowners. They were a force to be reckoned with. The neighborhood newspaper, The Richmond Banner, editorialized on November 19: "If the wishes of the twelve of our "patriotic" supervisors are carried out, our Sunset and Richmond districts will soon be known as the Spanish Town of San Francisco, and 'The Spanish will then have taken San Francisco' notwithstanding Dewey's victory at Manila Bay several years ago."

The editorial contrasted the twelve who voted for the name changes against the five "true Americans" who resisted the proposal to "Spaniardize" the districts. "The people of Sunset and Richmond are fully aroused and will never submit to the insult and injustice heaped upon them by the majority of the Board of Supervisors." In closing, the editor pledged, "Sunset and Richmond districts will stand together and fight this miserable surrender of American names to a finish." The districts didn't have much time to "fight." The commission was to decide quickly, since it faced dissolution at the end of December and the new P. H. McCarthy administration, which would take office in January, had a labor agenda and may not want to waste time on frivolous street-naming. A week of public and private meetings in the Richmond and Sunset districts brought results. Lobbying and pressuring of public officials brought the naming commissioners to a special Saturday meeting to hear the concerns of the neighborhoods.

The following morning the Examiner reported that "thirty-five thousand residents of the Richmond and Sunset districts arose en masse yesterday and voiced such a protest against having the names of their avenues and cross streets changed, that the commission was forced to capitulate." Bowing to the pressure, the Commission agreed that the avenues could remain unchanged except for First Avenue and Forty-ninth Avenue and the alphabetical cross-streets would be the only other western district streets to be renamed, except for the Geary Street extension. The name of Point Lobos was removed from most of the Richmond, but would be given to the curving road that extended from Fortieth Avenue to the Cliff House.

The indignation rally scheduled for the next afternoon at Richmond Hall was turned into a huge victory party for the Richmond, but was bittersweet for the Sunset. Neither neighborhood would lose its numbered avenues, but there was still the issue of the un-American streets to deal with. The Sunset District felt it wasn't getting a fair shake, since it had sixteen streets to be renamed while the Richmond only had three. At the Board of Supervisors' meeting on the next day, the spokesmen for the Sunset Improvement Club presented the argument and pleaded for names of Americans "that reflect glory and luster upon our civilization." Additional speakers made it clear that the two western neighborhoods, through their efforts in fighting the attempt to make wholesale changes to their numerical avenues, were now unified and supporting each other for the next round.

The Board essentially had thrown the street naming to the neighborhoods. The historian from the commission, who had championed and researched the names of Spanish explorers and pioneers, was so incensed by the compromise that he resigned to protest the capitulation. Now the horse-trading for street names was on. Anza had true historical significance to San Francisco's origins and was agreed to by all. "B" Street became an extension of Turk Street. "C" Street was Starr King for a while, but they kept alphabetical order and settled on Custer, for the "hero" killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Lincoln Way met with everyone's approval. Ignacio remained on the list at first reading, rejecting Irving for fear of confusion with Irwin Street.

John Jay, statesmen and first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was decided upon for the next street in the alphabetical sequence. Two American generals, Kirkham and Lawton, were chosen next. Moraga seemed acceptable to the residents because he'd been Anza's lieutenant and first commander of the Presidio. Noriega had been a commander of the Monterey Presidio so that seemed close enough to stave off local opposition. Ortega, as a scout who was credited with the discovery of San Francisco Bay, relaying the news to Portola, made him a logical choice for a street name. Pacheco, while only a foot soldier in the Anza expedition, at least had stayed on as an early settler in the area.

The remaining names had been chosen by the powerful Parkside Realty Company and were already in use, but one name was objected to. Xavier had been a source of pronunciation controversy, so it was decided to break the alphabetical pattern and move to the next letter. Yorba had been a sergeant in Portola's expedition of 1769, and with those credentials, was a better choice to be honored with a street name. First Avenue's new name was unsettled between Arguello and St. Francis Boulevard. La Playa, Spanish for "the beach," was adopted without "avenue." Before the Board met on November 29 for final reading, some negotiation had taken place in the commission because Balboa and Cabrillo had been restored and Irving and Judah, originally proposed for the Bayview District, were substituted now for Sunset District streets. The Sunset had stood its ground and settled for Lincoln Way and four "American" names for streets "I" through "L."

There was no more … [more]
sanfrancisco  1909  streets  names  naming  richmonddistrict  sunsetdistrict  spanish  español  roads  bayview  hunter'spoint  religion  nationalism  classideas 
december 2017 by robertogreco
Jay Owens en Instagram: “Book 11 completed of 2016 is a guidebook, and I wouldn't normally count these in the year's reading tally except this one's Atlas Obscura…”
""hautepop: Book 11 completed of 2016 is a guidebook, and I wouldn't normally count these in the year's reading tally except this one's Atlas Obscura good. 111 one-page stories about the city's buildings, history & development - from the stones from a C12th Spanish monastery that lie, "like quiet odes to Ozymandias", in the Golden Gate Park arboretum, to the first European settlement of the city at Mission Dolores, and the graves of the Miwok & Ohlone people they enslaved. The Grace Cathedral labyrinths, the parrots on Telegraph Hill, the Tenderloin National Forest.

This series - from a German publisher - covers a number of Western European cities, Istanbul and NY. Worth checking out.

Background: spoils of the Christopher Kane menswear/tees sample sale I stumbled upon on Friday.

I saw... #8 the Armory, #13 Bay Lights, #37 Fog Bridge at the Exploratorium, #40 Frank Lloyd Wright Building, #47 the green roof of the Academy of Sciences, Renzo Piano, #55 Interval at the Long Now, #63 the Malloch Building, #75 de Young Museum, Herzog & de Meuron (but not up the observation tower), #79 Telegraph Hill (but not parrots), #110 Wave Organ. Evidently need to go back...

zerosociety: "...from the stones from a C12th Spanish monastery that lie..." There's a second location where stones form that monastery can be found -- the semi-hidden "Monarch Bear Grove." The grove stands on the spot where the old Monarch bear enclosure once stood, not too far from the AIDS Memorial Grove. It's not as hidden as it was even a few years ago thanks to park construction, but it's been a sacred site for Bay Area Druids and Pagans, allegedly going back to the 40's.""
jayowens  books  sanfrancisco  toread  2017  history  ohlone  miwok  spanish  telegraphhill  deyoung  californiaacademyofsciences  rnezopiano  franklloydwright  exploratorium  architecture  culture 
may 2017 by robertogreco
What is the future of Spanish in the United States? | Pew Research Center
"With more than 37 million speakers, Spanish is by far the most spoken non-English language in the U.S. today among people ages 5 and older. It is also one of the fastest-growing, with the number of speakers up 233% since 1980, when there were 11 million Spanish speakers. (The number of Vietnamese speakers grew faster, up 599% over the same period).

As Spanish use has grown, driven primarily by Hispanic immigration and population growth, it has become a part of many aspects of life in the U.S. For example, Spanish is spoken by more non-Hispanics in U.S. homes than any other non-English language and Spanish language television networks frequently beat their English counterparts in television ratings.

But what’s the future of Spanish?

According to a 2011 paper by U.S. Census Bureau Demographers Jennifer Ortman and Hyon B. Shin, the number of Spanish speakers is projected to rise through 2020 to anywhere between 39 million and 43 million, depending on the assumption one makes about immigration. Most of these Spanish speakers will be Hispanic, with Ortman and Shin projecting between 37.5 million and 41 million Hispanic Spanish speakers by 2020.

Ortman and Shin provide two other projections, both of which highlight the changing demographics of the nation’s Hispanic population and the rising importance of U.S. births rather than the arrival of new immigrants to Hispanic population growth.

Today, three-fourths of all Hispanics ages 5 and older speak Spanish. However, that share is projected to fall to about two-thirds in 2020. The share of Hispanics that speak Spanish reached 78% in the 2000s.

As the share of Hispanics who speak Spanish falls, the share that speaks only English at home is expected to rise. About a third (34%) of Hispanics will speak only English at home by 2020, up from 25% in 2010, according to Ortman and Shin.

The story of the Spanish language in the U.S. is still unfolding. Whether it follows the same pattern of decline in use as other non-English languages, such as Italian, German or Polish, remains to be seen. (The number of Italian, German and Polish speakers in the U.S. declined 55.2%, 32.7% and 25.9% between 1980 and 2010, even though the number of Americans who trace their ancestry to Germany, Poland or Italy grew over the same period.)

Nonetheless, the path that Spanish takes could be different. A 2012 Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project report showed 95% of Hispanic adults—including those born in the U.S.—said it is important that future generations of Hispanic speak Spanish. And today’s young Hispanics are more likely than their parents to say they hear messages about the importance of speaking Spanish. But among Hispanics, use of English when consuming news media, television entertainment, music or speaking it is on the rise."
spanish  us  español  language  languages  demographics  2016 
july 2016 by robertogreco
The 'Not Face' Is Universally Understood - D-brief
"When your boss strolls up to your desk at 5 p.m. on a Friday and asks you to work on Saturday, your facial expression tells the whole story. And, according to a new study from researchers at Ohio State University, no matter if your boss comes from Nigeria, Nepal or Nebraska, the look on your face will still come across loud and universally clear.

How Many Ways to Say No?

The study, led by Aleix Martinez, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at OSU, looked at the facial expressions of 158 students with a range of native languages as they expressed “I don’t want to.”

Speakers of English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and American Sign Language (ASL) were filmed while reciting a sentence with a negative valence, or responding to a question that they were likely to disagree with. The researchers manually selected the telltale signs of what they called the “Not Face” — furrowed brows, raised chin and compressed lips — from the images and set a computer algorithm to work sorting out “Not Faces” from others. They published their results Monday in the journal Cognition.

The Universally Understood ‘Not Face’

They found that the “Not Faces” appeared with the same frequency as spoken syllables, indicating that it was a genuine mode of communication, as opposed to a random occurrence. What’s more, the expression translated almost perfectly across languages, implying that the genesis of this particular expression extends far back into the past. While our words may differentiate us, our expressions remain a global unifier.

Martinez has done research into facial expressions before. In a 2014 study, he categorized 21 unique emotions, including “happily disgusted,” and “sadly angry,” for use in cognitive analysis. The new research builds on his previous findings by definitively linking a facial expression to language. While most of us recognize nonverbal modifiers with ease, proving that one of these modifiers exists across cultures and languages will allow for more accurate facial recognition software, as well as insights into the beginnings of communication and language.

Words and sentences make up only a part of human communication — anyone who has ever succeeded in obtaining directions in a foreign country by sole use of hand movements can attest. These arm-flailing conversations may look ridiculous, but they nevertheless succeed in getting the basic concept across. Even in normal conversation, our faces and bodies convey subtle shades of nuance that can add up to distinctly alter the meaning of a sentence.

Crucial for Sign Language

In certain languages, the unspoken cues hold much more significance. Sign language, for example, is based off of hand and body movements, but also relies heavily on a diverse array of facial expressions. For proof, look no further than ASL translator Lydia Callis, who became an Internet sensation during Hurricane Sandy for her virtuosic use of facial expressions while signing about the impending storm.

In his study, Martinez found that ASL users also deploy the “Not Face,” but do so to even greater effect than verbal language users. While those speaking English, Spanish and Chinese used the expression to strengthen the stated emotion, ASL users would replace the sign for “not” entirely, using only the “Not Face” to convey the same statement.

Martinez says that this is the first documented instance of ASL speakers completely replacing a word with a facial expression. Such a discovery highlights the crucial role facial expressions play in fully communicating how we feel to others.

Martinez hopes to expand his library of faces by teaching computer algorithms to recognize different expressions without the need for manual selection. Once they have that ability, he plans to use thousands of hours of YouTube videos to train them and hopefully compile a database of human expressions.

Such a database of expressions might be of interest to robots like Sophia, whose accurate but still creepy impressions made headlines at this year’s SXSW."
asl  expression  communication  via:anne  2016  disagreement  aleixmartinez  spanish  español  mandarin  negativevalence  notface  translation  universality  signlanguage  signing 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Translation and the news—crossing languages in the age of networked journalism - FOLD
[See site for references relating to each of the different notes.]

"As my time as a Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow winds down, I wanted to reflect a bit on what I’ve learned about journalism, translation and the importance of the network in contemporary digital journalism. Much of this applies more broadly—language is going to be and already is a critical issue for technologists concerned about supporting the increased range of people online—, but I’ll focus on the specifics of journalism in this post.

It’s been an incredible few weeks of interviews, conversations, seminars, workshops, historical research (especially at the beautiful Widener Library), Hacks/Hackers, a conference on comments and going beyond them. We also managed to squeeze in a few pilot projects with Bridge, our platform for translating social media. I’ll be writing a longer, more thoughtful version of my time for Nieman Lab in coming weeks, so I’ll not try to craft too much of a logical narrative in this post.

Instead, some notes to jot down:

We’re moving toward a majority internet population. With 3.3 billion online and a 832% growth rate, the internet is incredibly diverse.

The “next billIon” have arrived, and already, language diversity is steadily increasing. I’ve written before about how ostensibly “offline”communities like in rural northern Uganda, North Korea and Cuba are impacted by the internet, and it’s important to keep in mind that the internet has ripple effects far beyond those who are formally online. As we crossed into a majority urban population, even rural areas have now oriented toward cities, providing raw and manufactured materials and serving as dumping grounds.

A similar effect will no doubt take place with the internet—even if not everyone is officially connected with a single user account, they will be pressured to find creative solutions to get connected. (Zachary Hyman and I have a piece coming out soon in Makeshift to this effect, and you can read what Julia Ticona and I discussed in the US context for Civicist.)

With regards to language, the sheer diversity of speakers online is stunning. From 2000 to 2015, we’ve seen 6592% growth amongst Arabic speakers, 2080% amongst Chinese speakers and 3227% amongst Russian speakers, to name a few. Even more striking is the fact that English speakers will soon be the minority online, and the growth of non-Top Ten language continues apace. If the news is breaking, it’s almost always going to happen online too. And more importantly, it will be happening in many more languages than English.

Multilingual content hasn’t caught up with multilingual users.

This is both a challenge and an opportunity. According to the IDN World Report, English content is vastly overrepresented on the web. Part of this, of course, can be explained by the fact that many people speak English as a second language. But other languages, like Arabic, Chinese and Spanish, are severely underrepresented.

This sounds like an opportunity for content creators to make relevant content for language speakers, whose experience of the internet is much more limited than that of English speakers. At the same time, adapting the current business models—advertising and pay to read—for these new markets will be a challenge. As Buzzfeed’s Greg Coleman pointed out, global advertising presents unique challenges. If so many people speak English, why bother with other languages?

As came through in many interviews I’ve done, readers tend to prefer their own language, even if they do speak English. I’d like to dive into this with more rigorous research, but it generally makes sense. As digital journalist and Nieman Fellow Tim de Gier described it to me, the internet is full of road bumps. Our job as journalists is to reduce those road bumps and point people to our articles. If it’s in another language, even one we speak, that’s just one more bump in access.

Networked journalism is here to stay. And it’s an opportunity for more diverse stories.

In 2006, Jeff Jarvis defined networked journalism as a field where "the public can get involved in a story before it is reported, contributing facts, questions, and suggestions. The journalists can rely on the public to help report the story; we’ll see more and more of that, I trust. The journalists can and should link to other work on the same story, to source material, and perhaps blog posts from the sources.... After the story is published — online, in print, wherever — the public can continue to contribute corrections, questions, facts, and perspective … not to mention promotion via links."

He added that he hoped it would be a sort of self-fulling prophecy, as more newsrooms turned to networks to both source and distribute the news. Journalists are shifting from simply manufacturers of news to moderators of conversations.

This month, at the Beyond Comments conference hosted by MIT Media Lab and the Coral Project, it became increasingly clear that major news outlets are striving for an alternative. In a terrific panel moderated by Anika Gupta, journalists like Amanda Zamora, Joseph Reagle, Monica Guzmán and Emily Goligoski pointed out that we need to make a shift from thinking of the audience as an audience to thinking of them more as a community.

To meet both speed and accuracy, translators need better tech and better processes.

In a breaking news environment, both speed and accuracy are critical. Indeed, translation and technology have always worked closely together. There are two examples that stick in my mind. The first is the Filene-Finlay simultaneous translator, developed at IBM and used in the Nuremberg trials. The second is the printing press: in Western Europe, it wasn't until books were translated from Latin to vernacular languages that they started to have an impact.

What does this look like in the digital context? It's something we're exploring at Meedan with Bridge, our platform for social media translation. Other great examples include Yeeyan, a Chinese platform for crowdsourcing news translation; Amara, for subtitling videos on platforms like TED; and Wikipedia.

But just as importantly as the tech, we need better systems and processes. The rigorous training of UN interpreters has made simultaneous interpretation at scale possible today. Glossaries, keeping up to date with the news, pairing interpreters together--this is the stuff that makes the tech powerful, because the humans behind it are more effective.

These processes can be supplemented with new tools in the digital context. Machine translation, translation memories, dynamic and shared glossaries can all help, as can fostering a collaborative mindset. What's most striking to me is the fact that interpretation at the UN is collaborative, with at least two interpreters per language pair. As we do away with the myth that translation is a one-to-one matter (i.e., one translator to one text), we can generate a stronger body of translations made possible through collaboration.

....And that's it for now - I'll be working on a much longer report, complete with case studies and examples, for the Nieman Lab in coming weeks. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned!"
journalism  translation  socialmedia  anxiaomina  2016  networkedjournalism  netowrks  diversity  world  languages  inclusion  inclusivity  news  meedan  yeeyan  amara  wikipedia  ted  anikagupta  amandazamora  josephreagle  monicaguzmán  emilygoligoski  jeffjarvis  timdegier  internet  web  online  gregcoleman  spanish  español  chinese  arabic  russian  zacharyhyman  juliaticona 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Unless you speak English, the Internet doesn’t care about you | Fusion
"The internet is global but it is also regional. Cats are to the U.S. and Japan what goats are to Brazil and Uganda. If you speak an uncommon language, the internet can feel downright rural. The problem isn’t just getting online, but whether there will be anything for people who get online to actually do.

“What’s critical to understand is that, with the next billion users coming online, we’re going to see a wide variety of new languages represented online,” said An Xiao Mina, a co-founder of the Civic Beat and a technologist at Meedan working to build a platform to translate social media. “We live in a world of many internets, where even if you reduce the limits of geography, censorship and connectivity, language prevents large swaths of people from connecting with each other.”

But it’s not just ‘obscure’ languages that are discriminated against on the web.

Even use of Arabic—the sixth most commonly spoken language in the world and the fourth most common language among internet users—was until recently limited on many mobile phones. In some places on the internet, it still is. To cope, Arabic speak­ers developed “Arabizi”, a combination of Roman letters and numbers that make it easier to chat. Arabizi is a essentially a transliteration of Arabic into English characters, using numbers to stand in for some of the letters that don’t have direct counterparts in sound, like 7 for ح (ha), which sounds a bit like a guttural “h.”

It’s an ingenious solution, but one that shouldn’t have to exist. When emoji exploded in popularity, developers across all platforms worked quickly to make it easily usable on their devices. Why so slow with Arabic?

Arabic Wikipedia, by the way, has just 400,000 articles. A language spoken by more than 400 million people is less represented than Swedish, a language spoken by just 9 million. The demographics of the internet have historically been very different from that of the offline world, and those colonization effects are dramatic.

Recent research has shown that speaking English is a significant factor in determining whether someone adopts use of the web. Some languages are not well represented online, but others, like Tibetan, are completely invisible, unusable on browsers, operating systems, and keyboards.

The Tibetan blogger Dechen Pemba recently wrote about the frustrations of not being able to access the Tibetan language on a phone. Google, he wrote, failed to develop a Tibetan language interface and only recently incorporated the Tibetan language font on some Android phones. (That’s one way for Apple, which does support Tibetan, to win customers from Android.)

“Given that the Tibetan literary tradition goes back to the 7th century … my pet hate is when Tibetan language is described as ‘obscure,'” he wrote. “I wonder how it is possible that the language of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhists, comprising of as many as 60 million people, can be wilfully left behind in terms of modern technology?”

Facebook’s Free Basics program was controversial in India in large part because it limited the internet resources the digitally disadvantaged would have access to. Would it include access to domestic violence protection programs, or would it be a walled ghetto devoted to social media and online shopping? Language barriers can also force internet users into digital ghettos, or force them to forsake their mother tongue (and its culture) to escape them.

“The fact that a lot of groups have very little local-language content is problematic because it can contribute to a global homogenization of ideas and culture, and perhaps even knowledge itself,” said Mark Graham, a research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute.

Graham predicts negative impacts on cultural diversity if the Internet’s language is predominantly English, Chinese, and Spanish. A version of this, for example, is happening right now in Iceland, where the packaging on so many imported goods is in English that it’s becoming more common than Icelandic in every day life.

A linguistically divided internet can also lead to the creation of monocultural bubbles. Wikipedia provides a good example: one study showed that most content on Wikipedia is available in exclusively one language. Even English Wikipedia only has articles that correspond with about half the topics of German Wikipedia.

“The Chinese internet is a good example of this,” Graham said. “There are more Chinese internet users online than internet users from any other country. So, this has meant that there is a lot of content out there in Chinese. Which, in turn, means that it is easy for Chinese internet users to exist in their own ‘filter bubble’—not really exposed to different content on the broader Web.”

Mina pointed out that the web’s prioritization of mainstream languages also leaves many tools for political organization and speaking out off-limits to marginalized groups.

“If you don’t speak a top ten language, the internet you have access to is extremely limited,” Mina told me. “Imagine going to a Chinese restaurant and just trying to order based on pictures.”

Graham told me he’d like to see more online spaces like Wikipedia that are digital commons where users can contribute content in any language they like, allowing local internet users to essential built their own web. But getting those digital commons filled with content first requires creating incentives to get people online in the first place. And part of that means making content that is already out there accessible across the boundaries of language. Mina is interested in chipping away at those boundaries by creating technology that translates social media content from one language to another. Scott Hale, a data scientist focused on bilingualism at the Oxford Internet Institute, told me that user interfaces could help break down language barriers by allowing users to interact with them in multiple languages at once. Most online interfaces—Google and Facebook among them— are designed with monolingual users in mind, only surfacing content in one language at a time. Allowing people to easily toggle between languages is one way to break down the linguistic silos that online life creates.

“You can’t just put a bunch of people in the network and expect that they connect,” Mina said.

The internet was supposed to be the thing that made all of our differences irrelevant, that erased borders and boundaries by translating everything into 1s and 0s. But online borders definitely exist with language boundaries that can be impenetrable."
internet  language  languages  web  online  anxiaomina  kristenbrown  wikipedia  arabic  english  translation  homogenization  culture  swedish  freebasics  arabizi  india  iceland  technology  socialmedia  politics  chinese  spanish  español  diversity 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Connecting a City with “Chinese Twitter” | USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
[See also: http://www.psmag.com/books-and-culture/alhambra-source-citizen-journalism-55541 ]

"In a conference room packed with 17 members of Chinese ethnic media and Los Angeles-based foreign correspondents, Alhambra Police Chief Mark Yokoyama announced last December that he was launching the country’s first municipal Sina Weibo — or “Chinese Twitter” — account.

The move was an effort in conjunction with USC Annenberg to engage the suburban Los Angeles community’s large immigrant population. L.A.-born Yokoyama was not prepared for the response. Scores of questions from Chinese-speakers from Alhambra to the Midwest to Beijing eager to better understand American policing overwhelmed him. In just five days, the account attracted more than 5,000 followers, about five times the “likes” for the Facebook account the police department had spent more than a year building.

The Weibo frenzy slowed after the first week, but interest remained strong, and within four months followers were more than 11,000. The immediate impact is clear: Chinese or Mandarin calls to the department requiring translation increased 64 percent since launching. Police departments from New York to Seattle to Monterey Park have inquired about how to create their own accounts, the initiative won the California Police Chief’s Excellence in Technology Award, and Yokoyama is convinced Weibo has transformed his force’s relationship with Alhambra’s Chinese immigrant population. “We’re answering those questions that have probably been on the minds of people for a long time.

They just didn’t know how to ask or who to ask,” Yokoyama said. “It tells me people have some sense of trust in at least asking the question of the police. That’s the outcome that I’ve most enjoyed.”

Weibo has proven an innovative way to fortify the city’s communication infrastructure, according to Annenberg Professor Sandra Ball-Rokeach. She teamed up with Journalism Professor Michael Parks in 2008, in an effort to investigate how local news in a multiethnic community can impact civic engagement and cross linguistic and ethnic barriers. The result was Alhambra Source, a multilingual community news web site with more than 80 local contributors who speak 10 languages. Weibo was a serendipitous outcome of the project that resulted from bridges forged between local media, immigrant residents and policy makers.

“The fact that now there is increased communication between the police and the ethnic Chinese community is critically important,” Ball-Rokeach said. “Weibo is kind of a mobile community relations department. It’s a way in which new technologies can actually facilitate police community relations, particularly with hard-to-reach populations.”

Indeed, Alhambra’s venture into Weibo added a cultural and linguistic layer to a growing trend toward social media in policing. For the past four years, the International Association of Chiefs of Police has been monitoring social media use among departments. The growth has been “exponential,” according to Senior Program Manager of Community Safety Initiatives Nancy Kolb. Word reached Kolb about the Alhambra Weibo account earlier this year.

While other cities have created Twitter and Facebook accounts in Spanish, this was the first time she knew of a U.S. police department using an international social media platform to reach residents. But she does not think it will be the last, based upon how social media is growing. “There is a nexus of social media with just about everything that law enforcement does today,” Kolb said. In many ways, police departments are following in the steps of media and private companies that were initially concerned about the ability of the masses to talk back and now are embracing it.

“Just this year alone so many agencies have come on board,” said Captain Chris Hsiung of the Mountain View, California Police Department. Located down the street from LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google, the agency has championed the idea that police need to embrace social media to engage with residents and promote community safety.

“We have nothing to really fear. Occasionally you get egg on your face like New York did,” Hsiung said, referring to a recent incident when the New York Police Department asked residents to pose with police officers and their initiative backfired when residents posted negative pictures instead with police arresting them that went viral. “But if you’re human, transparent, people really like you. A lot of our approach mirrors private sector PR strategies. People are out there and if you’re not part of the conversation you have no control over it. But if you’re part of it you can help control it.”

When Yokoyama signed on as chief in 2011, he quickly realized that finding a way to create that sort of conversation with the Chinese population that is roughly a third of Alhambra’s population would be a challenge. More than a quarter of the city’s residents live in linguistically isolated households where no adult spoke English well. As such, the language barrier was clearly the first hurdle: Just 6 percent of his force, or 5 out of 85 sworn officers, spoke Mandarin or Cantonese. At events most of the people who came were white and Hispanic, which better reflected the demographics of the force.

The idea for the Weibo account was generated after Yokoyama read an article in Alhambra Source on engagement techniques to reach the Chinese community. The chief asked for a meeting with Alhambra Source editorial staff and the author, courts interpreter and Alhambra Source community contributor Walter Yu. To reach younger, more highly educated and affluent recentimmigrants like himself, Yu suggested the department develop Weibo. He also offered to help make it happen, adapting his significant social media skills to help Alhambra become a presence on the Beijing-based social media site. While immigrants once would send letters back to relatives or flock to call centers, today they tend to hold onto social media ties from their home countries. In China, unlike most of the rest of the world, the government has banned Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

“The Chinese are afraid these will become mechanisms for discontent to build and they don’t want that,” said Clayton Dube, director of Annenberg’s USC U.S.-China Institute. But Beijing has let homegrown social media companies grow, among them two Weibo — or microblogging — firms and another one similar to the texting service Whatsapp with social attributes that is growing rapidly.

“The China-based services perform two important functions,” according to Dube. “First is they give Chinese netizens tools that give them similar sort of functionality without setting them free basically. They use these as a way of moderating the public temperature. ... They also censor them and use them to put out their own messages.”

So far, at least, Alhambra Police Department’s Weibo is not seen as worth censoring and Dube does not think it would raise concern in Beijing. “I think the Alhambra Police Department was smart to do this,” Dube said, “And I think other communities with large numbers of Chinese speaking residents of whatever nationality should be mindful that it would be of their benefit to inform residents via this tool.”

The Alhambra Source, Yu and the police chief developed a system for taking in questions, translating them, and sharing them with the public. Yu created an #AskAmericanPolice campaign on the Alhambra Police Department Weibo account. When questions arrive, often as many as dozens a day, Yu translates them into English and sends them to the police chief. Yokoyama responds and sends them to Alhambra Source staff for a copy edit.

Once approved, Yu translates them back into Chinese for Weibo. He also sends the Chinese version to Alhambra Source, which is posted along with English and Spanish versions. The questions come from immigrants living in the Los Angeles area, across the country, and even from people in China curious about how American policing works. One parent wrote in from Missouri, “I have an 8-year-old—may I ask if I can leave my child at home legally?” Various local residents asked how to report incidents of fraud and stalking. And others just expressed relief to learn that they could actually call the police and not get in trouble.

“I believe sometimes people are just afraid to report to the police because of repercussions,” Yu said. In addition, immigrant residents are learning that the role of police in the United States is different than in China. For example, the idea that police will actually help out with a noise complaint or protect a lost pet is foreign to many immigrants. “In China police don’t do anything about pets,” Yu said. “Now they actually see them helping them and they get really curious.”

Along with the dialogue, came tips, as the police realized this was a key segment of their population that could be activated to help solve crimes. When there was a faux Southern California Edison phone call scam, the police department put out a warning on Weibo. Soon people were reporting that they’d been scammed. Others reported prostitution and drug sales.

Also contributing to the success of the Weibo account was that it coincided with the police department investing in its English-language Facebook account. In the past, the city used it the same way it would use a press release, essentially a one-way fax machine to the public. Officials would post a heavily vetted, and rather dry, print report once every couple of weeks. But then the department started posting pictures, and officers were encouraged to post on Facebook. The numbers started to take off, and so did the discussions on Facebook. For Yokoyama, the only frustration is that he still cannot be as fully integrated a part of the conversation as he would like.

“On Facebook I’m there all the time, but this is the unknown,” he said, explaining the challenges … [more]
weibo  2016  socialmedia  facebook  twitter  language  languages  chinese  mandarin  police  lawenforcement  spanish  español  journalism  media  alhambra  losangeles  alhambrasource  sandraball-rokeach  culture  communication  news  communicationecologies  sociology  danielagerson 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Why asking for a lime isn't so easy in Spanish-speaking countries | Public Radio International
"Almost every Spanish-speaking country has a different set of definitions. In Spain, historically people have called limes limones verdes, or green lemons; in Mexico the term is limon or lima, depending on the person.

In Chile there is no word for lime: "The word for lemon is limon, as it is in most other varieties of Spanish. The word for lime doesn't exist really," said Scott Sadowsky, a professor of Chilean linguistics at Universidad de La Frontera, in Temuco, Chile. "That's due to the fact that there really is nothing like a lime here. Every once in a while, someone will download a recipe from the Internet and you will see it translated as lima, which is more or less a literal translation from English, and people will normally shrug and just use lemons."

Some Spanish speakers even flip the English definitions of lemon and lime: "A Bolivian and an Ecuadorian and a Venezualan and a Salvidoran all said to me that in their experience limones are sour and green and smaller than our lemons. And that lima for them is a larger fruit that is sweet and yellow." explained Terrell Morgan, a professor of Hispanic linguistics at Ohio State University. "And so it's as if the colors are completely opposite from what they are in English."

And what about the famous capital of Peru, Lima? In fact the name has nothing to do with limes, but comes from an oracle or limaq that used to live in the area.

This all makes sense, considering that lemons and limes are not native to any Spanish-speaking country, or even their own species of fruit.

"Citrus appears to have originated in southeast Asia — China and northern India — and then citrus has been moved around the world." explained Tracy Kahn, a specialist in citrus at the University of California, Riverside. Originally there were four basic species that were cross-bred, creating the many kinds of lemons and limes that exist today.

"Lemons and limes are actually hybrids. So a citron, which is one of the basic species, was crossed with a small flowered pepita, and that generated what we think of now as small fruited limes, things like the Mexican lime or key lime."

The variety called the Mexican lime, that is now an intergral part of South American cuisine, was brought from southeast Asia to Spain by the crusaders, and then to South America by the conquistadors.

Though they traveled far, historically, these citrus varieties weren't all sold in the same place, so Spanish-speakers didn't need different words. Today they do. When Spanish-speakers go to the grocery store there are a host of citrus options and American-based brands that boast lima-limon flavors, and it seems more and more speakers are shifting to lima.

"I think it's a recent phenomenon in the Spanish-speaking world that now there are both green and yellow fruits. And so in some places they have given it the name lima even though it may not have existed a while back," explained Morgan.

There's now even a song about limas y limones that is popular in Mexico:"
fruit  citrus  language  spanish  español  2015  limes  lemons  chile  venezuela  elsalvador  ecuador  spain  españa 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Adapting to a more global, more diverse Internet » Nieman Journalism Lab
"“Thanks to denser networks that foster better pipelines for attention, the Internet gives communities a pathway directly to newsrooms.”

According to Quartz’s Next Billion vertical, Internet use is projected to double — from 2.5 billion to 5 billion — between 2012 and 2016. That’s next year, and already, the global diversity of the netizenry and how they use the Internet is starting to change people’s relationship with the news. Much of this growth is expected to occur in Asia, while the fastest growth will be in Africa. These so-called “next billion” Internet users are often different from the first 2.5 billion in their background and lifestyles, representing a plethora of languages, cultures, incomes, and methods of technological access. And the implications, I think, will reach many different aspects of journalism.

The news will break on many networks, and these networks won’t be open.

After the explosions in Tianjin this year, GIFs, photos, and videos circulated on Twitter, Facebook and Sina Weibo. But the first person to break the news did so through a private messaging group on WeChat, posting video of fire outside the chemical plant just minutes before the explosion. For minutes afterward, the mobile-first, private platform was the primary place for sharing and discussing.

Increasingly, eyewitness media is discussed and disseminated on private networks like WhatsApp, Line, KakaoTalk, Snapchat, Viber, and Facebook Messenger. This is already having significant effects on newsgathering. At the recent TechRaking conference at MIT, journalist Andy Carvin and others pointed out that, when media do surface on the open web, it’s incredibly difficult to find and source the originator, as the images are often stripped of metadata, compressed, and of indeterminate provenance.

Digital journalism, so accustomed to APIs and tools that aid discovery and aggregation, will likely have to adapt. Partnership and advocacy efforts are likely right — platforms can do more to facilitate journalists’ efforts, and newsrooms can build better tech for these platforms. As well, the technological approach to digital journalism will need be supplemented by the traditional relational skills of newsgathering: cultivating sources, building relationships, and fostering trust.

It won’t be enough to speak just one language, or even three.

As news and reports of the Paris attacks rippled through social media, journalists captured and reported on eyewitness media shared in both French and English. Just a day before, a flurry of tweets and Facebook posts in Arabic, French and English discussed the worst bombing in Beirut since 1990.

News reports of the Paris attacks in French were translated to English:

[tweed embeds]

To Chinese:

[tweet embed]

To Arabic:

[tweet embed]

From French to English and then to Italian:

[tweet embed]

Meanwhile, false reports of a tsunami heading for Japan triggered the trending topic #PrayForJapan. An earthquake had indeed happened, but the Japanese-language reports clearly stated it wasn’t strong enough to trigger a tsunami:

[tweed embeds]

In the hecticness of the day, Spanish newspapers picked up a selfie of a Canadian Sikh man Photoshopped to look like he was wearing a suicide bomber’s vest. In Baghdad, a real suicide bomber killed 18 people. It was a day for hashtag prayers for multiple corners of the world:

[tweet embed]

Every day, global trending topics on Twitter alone appear in multiple languages and scripts — when I glance at them at different times of the day, they frequently appear in Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Arabic, Korean, and French, often outnumbering the English-language trending topics. English speakers, once the dominant group on the Internet, will soon become just one of many language speakers online.

Global communities will be talking back to media — and demanding better representation.

In recent years, we saw the transformation of #BlackLivesMatter from a hashtag and a nascent movement to a core question in the presidential primary debates. This year also saw #SomeoneTellCNN re-emerge as a satirical hashtag in Kenya in response to the network calling the country a “terror hotbed.” In the past, these tweets yielded minor changes in coverage; this year, a senior executive personally flew to Nairobi to apologize for the statements. And after Facebook turned on Safety Check for citizens of Paris, Beirutis asked why they didn’t get a Safety Check feature, even though their city had just been bombed a day before.

We can expect more of this. Geographically far from most media outlets, people in many regions of the world have historically had few avenues to attempt to improve global reportage of their issues. Thanks to denser networks that foster better pipelines for attention, the Internet gives communities a pathway directly to newsrooms. At its worst, call-out culture can be destructive and foster a herd mentality against the less privileged in society. But at its best, when people organize and amplify their voices to punch up rather than down, they can make real changes in media and media representation. What can we do to listen more effectively?

GIFs won’t be icing: they’ll be the cake.

[gif embed]

Let’s go back to Tianjin. Some of the most powerful images that circulated on WeChat were, in fact, GIFs. While livestreaming video tools like Periscope will push the boundaries of high-bandwidth, high-resolution video, the humble GIF is also on the rise, with built-in tools on sites like Tumblr and Instagram and autoplay features on Twitter now making it easier than ever for people to generate and share compelling moving images.

This matters for global Internet users because GIFs, in addition to being eminently shareable, consume less data — and less data charges. They also work well with smaller screens, whether that’s a low-cost smartphone or an Apple Watch. While cats and dogs will always have a special home on animated media, so will the mews, er, news."
anxiaomina  journalism  2015  messaging  internet  web  socialmedia  language  languages  news  translation  gifs  kakaotalksnapchat  viber  facebook  whatsapp  lineapp  andycarvin  digital  digitaljournalism  online  twitter  arabic  french  english  chinese  mandarin  italian  portuguese  japanese  spanish  portugués  español 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Bill DeRouchey - This is the most clever linguistic...
"This is the most clever linguistic evolution I've seen in a long time. No idea if this is widespread or a one-off.

The @ symbol gets yet another use.

This is a gorgeous old carousel in Jerez, Spain. Both adults and kids likely want to ride it. Let's look closely at the motorcycle, too small for adults to ride.

The sign says it's exclusively for niñ@s to ride. I believe they are using the @ to be an a and o simultaneously, creating a clever all-encompassing plural for "boys and girls".

That is genius."

[via: http://interconnected.org/home/2015/10/12/filtered ]
spanish  gender  language  español 
october 2015 by robertogreco
Johnson: Bilingualism in America: "Speak American". What about speaking something else too? | The Economist
"ARRIBA, ándale. America’s conversation about the country’s second-biggest language is as drearily predictable as the catch-phrase of Speedy Gonzalez, a cartoon mouse, is silly. The country has not quite figured how to think about the fact that it is home to millions of people who speak Spanish.

Three recent stories encapsulate the tone-deaf nature of the dialogue happening between English and Spanish in America. First is that of Vanessa Ruiz, a newscaster in Arizona. Apparently many Anglophones in her audience are annoyed by her overly Spanish pronunciation of Spanish names and place-names during her English broadcast. (One tweeted at her “You are a newscaster. Not a mariachi. Speak English.”) Ms Ruiz replied in a cheerful on-air commentary: she was “lucky” to grow up bilingual, and that she had faith that her viewers would get used to hearing the words in question pronounced “they way they are meant to be pronounced.”

This is slightly confused; there is not a single way that anything is “meant” to be pronounced: tomato, tomahto, “park the car in Harvard Yard” and “pahk the cah in Hahvahd yahd.” Mexico is pronounced meks-ick-o in English, and meh-hee-ko in Mexico. What about a name like “Rodríguez”: the rhotic burr of an American "r" twice, or a trilled “r” to start the name and a quick tap for the second r, as in Spanish?

There is not a simple answer. One may not be authentically Spanish, but a Rodriguez in Cleveland may not care, or may even prefer the red-white-and-blue pronunciation. Ms Ruiz should not be criticised for her pronunciation; neither should she assume that Americans who do otherwise are doing anything wrong. If America can handle both Harvard Yard and Hahvahd Yahd, it can manage this.

But Spanish is not just another accent; it is a language. People’s confusion quickly leads to irritation when they cannot understand the speech of those around them, and many monolingual English-speakers don’t like the growth of Spanish in America. This became more than obvious when the second Spanish controversy broke recently. Jeb Bush, a contender for the Republican nomination for the presidency, is married to a Mexican-American, and occasionally addresses an impressively fluent string of Spanish to his supporters. This was too much for Donald Trump, the current Republican frontrunner, who said said that Mr Bush "should really set the example by speaking English while in the United States". Joining the chorus was Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee in 2008, who said that while it was great that Mr Bush is bilingual, Latinos in America should “speak American”.

Never mind that she corrected this to “speak English” a sentence later. After disappearing from the national stage for a time, Ms Palin’s reputation for talking entertaining nonsense was quickly revived. She is, however, on a slightly better historical footing than her critics think: the state of Illinois declared its official language to be “American” in 1923, before quietly revoking the law in 1969, and one congressman introduced a failed bill to make “American” the national language in the 1920s as well. American English is quite obviously a dialect of English, not a separate language from that spoken in England, but in quite a lot of places, two mutually intelligible varieties of speech get different names for political reasons: Serbian and Croatian, Hindi and Urdu, and so forth.

Ms Palin did her best to be generous, calling America’s Hispanic population “large and wonderful” and praising Mr Bush’s connection to Hispanics through his wife and her language. But she went on to say “I think, you know, when you’re here, let’s speak American.” The territoriality of it all seems to be at issue: foreign languages are great, so long as they’re only spoken abroad.

But the territory of the United States has never been anything resembling monolingual. It was founded on the territory of speakers of the many native American languages. It bought and conquered big territories from France, Spain and Mexico. It has received wave after wave of immigrants, and contrary to popular belief, yesterday’s waves were no faster than today’s to learn English (and in many cases, quite a lot slower). Contrary to another popular belief, Spanish is not the first language with large groups of speakers living in big sections of the country, with media and local life in their language; German-speakers made up a huge and mostly unassimilated bloc a century ago, dominating cities across the midwest like Milwaukee, Cincinnati and St. Louis.

This history is easily forgotten because America is very good at turning immigrants into monoglot English-speakers. Yes, American English is the crucial language to know in the United States. But Ms Ruiz in Arizona and Mr Bush on the campaign trail merely highlight an obvious corollary: there is nothing wrong at all—in fact, there is a lot to celebrate—in speaking a second language alongside English, whether you are an Arizonan named Ruiz or the Anglo-Saxon son and brother of former presidents named Bush. Barack Obama can chat a bit in Indonesian, Herbert Hoover was fluent in Mandarin, and Martin van Buren’s first language was Dutch. America is never going to elect someone who doesn’t speak “American”, but it should be proud, not nervous, when it picks someone who speaks more than a single language."
spanish  español  english  us  language  languages  politics  2015  bilingualism 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Aljamiado - Wikipedia
Aljamiado (Spanish: [alxaˈmjaðo]; Arabic: عَجَمِيَة‎ trans. ʿajamiyah) or Aljamía texts are manuscripts that use the Arabic script for transcribing European languages, especially Romance languages such as Mozarabic, Portuguese, Spanish or Ladino.

According to Anwar G. Chejne,[2] Aljamiado or Aljamía is "a corruption of the Arabic word ʿajamiyah (in this case it means foreign language) and, generally, the Arabic expression ʿajam and its derivative ʿajamiyah are applicable to peoples whose ancestry is not of Arabian origin". In linguistic terms, the Aljamía is the use of the Arabic alphabet to transcribe the Romance language, which was used by some people in some areas of Al-Andalus as an everyday communication vehicle, while Arabic was reserved as the language of science, high culture and religion.

The systematic writing of Romance-language texts in Arabic scripts appears to have begun in the fifteenth century, and the overwhelming majority of such texts that can be dated belong to the sixteenth century.[3] A key aljamiado text was the mufti of Segovia's compilation Suma de los principales mandamientos y devediamentos de nuestra santa ley y sunna, of 1462.[4]

In later times, Moriscos were banned from using Arabic as a religious language, and wrote in Spanish on Islamic subjects. Examples are the Coplas del alhichante de Puey Monzón, narrating a Hajj,[5] or the Poema de Yuçuf on the Biblical Joseph (written in Aragonese[6])."

[via https://twitter.com/Ballandalus/status/614554279093923840
http://www.arauco.org/SAPEREAUDE/terraaustralisincognita/historiasdealandalus/literaturaljamiada.html ]
arabic  spanish  español  portugués  portuguese  ladino  language  languages  aljamiado  aljamía 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Why the Book I'm About to Publish Will Be Ignored — Partisan
"Given that English speakers share a country with such a vital and little understood literary market, and given how rarely these translations occur—and given that the poetry collections being rendered into English are some of the most outstanding and representative books from that territory—you would think their appearance would be regarded as a cause for celebration (or at least cause for copy). But beyond the staples of Émile Nelligan and, maybe, Saint-Denys Garneau, and outside of living poets like Nicole Brossard, Québécois poetry barely registers. And Quebec isn’t alone. There are Francophone poetry communities throughout the country—in Manitoba or New Brunswick—that exist in almost total isolation from English-Canadian reviewers, critics, and academics. I often joke that the easiest way to confound an English-Canadian poet is to tell them there are major Canadian poets who don’t write in English."



"One group gets it—Quebec’s English poets. Almost everything Canada knows about Québécois poetry is thanks to them. The McGill Movement is where it started. Led by F.R. Scott,, and active during the forties and fifties, this group was the first to demonstrate an interest in contemporary French-language verse. It was a period, according to Scott, when many “lively interchanges” were struck up among the French and English poets he invited to his home. (“I remember Louis Portugais,” Scott writes, “then editor of Hexagone publications, after reading T.S. Eliot’s translation of Saint-John Perse’s Anabase, looking up and saying to me, ‘It’s very bad’”). The McGill Movement’s importance, however, resides chiefly in its belief that translation wasn’t merely bridge-gapping tokenism but creative opportunity. Scott and his coterie sought authoritative and adventurous English equivalents—high-quality renditions that were poems in their own right."



"Anglo-Quebec poets are the only group that still seek out the invigorating surplus of these exchanges. Not surprisingly, they also appear to have harvested its considerable linguistic benefits—they write English, as Gail Scott has said of herself, “with the sound of French” in their ear. As a result, their best work not only carries a percentage of the genius of Québécois poetry, but something new: a Babelian sense of living between competing origins and tongues. For Eric Ormsby, this can lead to a phenomenon called a “shadow language.” Using the example of Basil Bunting’s familiarity with Latin or Geoffrey Hill’s knowledge of German, Ormsby argues that foreign idioms and phrases lurking below native speech can compel poets to “nuance and complicate the sound-patterns of their verse.” 

This shadow language enriches many of the English poems written in Montreal, poems marked by doubletalk and euphemism, polyphonic wordplay and impurities of diction. A. M. Klein was the first Anglo-Quebec poet to idiomatically emulsify his phrasings, to allow French to infiltrate and float inside his lines (“Mollified by the parle of French / Bilinguefact your air!”). But moments just as mesmerizing occur in poems by John Glassco, D.G. Jones, and Peter Van Toorn, as well as younger figures like Bruce Taylor, Asa Boxer, Oana Avasilichioaei, and Linda Besner.

A shadow language’s impact isn’t just linguisitic. Among Montreal poets, it can create the feeling of being set apart or cut adrift, of existing as an outsider. “I am nobody: / that is how I will enter you” is the way Michael Harris once addressed a room of imaginary readers. Or take Robyn Sarah: “I am the blip on the screen, / the cold spot, the dark area you see / with indefinite borders.” More exhilaratingly, it can contribute to a “several selves” state: life defined not only by the reality it inhabits, but also the potential—and sometimes fantastical—existences it did not fulfill. David Solway’s most notorious book, Saracen Island, features faux translations from a fictional Greek poet (he has since tried his hand at “Englishing” poems from Turkish and Domenican). And Asa Boxer’s long poem “Primer to the New World” reinvents Canada’s discovery as a Medieval travel narrative, packed with fabulous beasts and holy objects.

Anglo-Quebec poets are also the only group to successfully reconcile the century-old bicultural quarrel. The “two solitudes” have become what Solway calls the “two solicitudes.” What was once a sense of division is now a feeling of concern for the other’s well-being. Solway—who once declared Québécois poetry “the most powerful, the most interesting and the most vital poetic tradition in all of Canada”—has himself been an excellent conduit for that concern. He used to contribute a monthly translation of a French poem to the now-defunct Books in Canada (since gathered into a lovely anthology called Demilunes: Little Windows on Quebec), enjoys a fervent relationship with many francophone poets, and is the first English writer to win the Grand Prix du livre de Montréal.

It should be said such transactions aren’t exclusively between English and French. In her study Translating Montreal, Sherry Simon calls the city one of the world’s few “contact zones,” a place where languages mingle and intersect. This means poets can avail themselves of shadowy accents from a large palette of foreign vernaculars. Antonio D'Alfonso’s early collections sometimes mixed English, French, and Italian. Erin Mouré has creatively repurposed (or "transelated") Portuguese and Spanish poems into outrightly exotic dialects. Nonetheless, the shift of solitudes into solicitudes is the tale of an exploited double heritage, of poets embracing the acoustic advantage of living inside the French language and taking pleasure from its music. The self-centeredness of English dissolves in such a climate, forcing poets to acknowledge that larger soundscape.

Of course, that also means acknowledging the existence of singular talents like Nepveu. And that, in turn, means acknowledging a version of Canadian poetry found only in translation, in the sympathetic resonances between foreign words. Those of us committed to engaging with—and making available—literary worlds not our own can feel like that English radio station, discussed in Translating Montreal, that advertised delivering the “news to nous.” But “news to nous” isn’t always news that stays news. Fact is, it’s news to which Canada is now deaf."
poems  poetry  translation  french  english  canada  2015  language  languages  carminestarnino  quebec  spanish  español  portuguese  italian  mcgillmovement  ericormsby  amklein  johnglassco  dgjones  petervantoorn  brucetaylor  asaboxer  ooanaavasilichioaei  lindabesner  robynsarah  davidsolway  sherrysimon  erinmouré  pierrenepveu  gastonmiron  robertmelançon  pierremorency  michelgarneau  yvesboisvert  michaelhofmann  pashamalla  donaldwinkler  raymondbock  nellaarcan  hélènedorion  paulmuldoon  marcplourde  jacquesbrault  saint-denys-garneau 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Storylines TJ/SD
"Storylines TJ/SD maps subjective narratives from the past century that mark, trace, and challenge the transborder condition of Tijuana/San Diego, by highlighting bilingual stories of place-based resistance that have often gone underrepresented and bringing first person narrative to a region that is often interpreted through dehumanizing ideologies.

Organized by a binational editorial board of artists, art historians, and activists, Storylines: TJ/SD serves as a living narrative archive, manifesting as both live programming + public events accessible on both sides of the border, and as an interactive website and podcast released serially.

Storylines TJ/SD is:

Kate Clark (SD)

Misael Diaz (TJ)

Amy Sanchez (TJ)

Emily Sevier (SD)

Sara Solaimani (SD)

Adriana Trujillo (TJ)"
sandiego  tijuana  border  borders  stories  storytelling  bilingual  spanish  english  español  via:publichistorian  kateclark  misaeldiaz  amysanchez  emilysevier  srasolaimani  adrianatrujillo  art  history  events  mexico  us  activism  resistance  place 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Yuri Herrera’s <br><i>Signs Preceding the End of the World</i> — Music & Literature
[Other reviews of note:
http://thequietus.com/articles/17625-yuri-herrera-signs-preceding-the-end-of-the-world-novel-review-mccarthy-breaking-bad-border-fiction
http://www.themillions.com/2015/03/the-book-report-episode-13-signs-preceding-the-end-of-the-world-by-yuri-herrera.html
http://www.bookslut.com/fiction/2015_03_021144.php
http://www.theliteraryreview.org/book-review/a-review-of-signs-preceding-the-end-of-the-world-by-yuri-herrera/

Plus a note from the translator:
http://andotherstoriespublishing.tumblr.com/post/89747240811/translator-lisa-dillman-on-yuri-herreras-signs ]

"Things are different on the other side. What jumps out is an almost biblical bleakness, as though the world itself were beginning anew. “First there was nothing,” that section begins. The unfamiliar land itself presents an ample canvas for invention. But for Herrera, the crossing is as much about the construction of myth as it is about its deconstruction. Herrera plays with this idea most directly when Makina encounters “homegrowns,” Mexicans like herself, who have immigrated to “anglo” territory. They have become servers, dishwashers, maids, “playing it sly so as not to let on to any shared objective, and instead just, just, just: just there to take orders.” They are standing members of the underclass in a segregated, consumerist country. But it is their language above all that embodies the contradiction inherent to their condition:
They speak an intermediary tongue that Makina instantly warms to because it’s like her: malleable, erasable, permeable; a hinge pivoting between two like but distant souls, and then two more, and then two more, never exactly the same ones; something that serves as a link. . . . More than the midpoint between homegrown and anglo their tongue is a nebulous territory between what is dying out and what is not yet born. . . . In it brims nostalgia for the land they left or never knew when they use the words with which they name objects; while actions are alluded to with an anglo verb conjugated latin-style, pinning on a sonorous tail from back there.

It is hard not to quote from this section at greater length. Really, it’s one of the most necessary in the novel, because it suggests that it is only from this intermediary place, between languages, between worlds, that the old stories can be rewritten—and Signs Preceding the End of the World is an attempt to do just that.

For Lisa Dillman, the book’s translator, Herrera’s linguistic call to arms to poses a host of interesting problems. The novel itself is written in language rooted on both sides of the border, the “nebulous territory for what is dying out and what is not yet born.” In practice, this means finding a way to convey Herrera’s invented Spanish in intelligible English. A handful of such anglo-latinisms recur in the book. The most frequent is to verse, which functions like to leave or go. (As Dillman notes in her translator’s afterword, the original Spanish neologism, jarchar, refers, by way of Arabic, to couplets that were added to Arabic or Hebrew poems, intended to bridge culture and language, in Al-Andalus, present-day Spain.) Dillman also verbs nouns and “pins sonorous tails from back there” so that root, as a verb, for example, cleverly becomes rootle, making it seem as though the woman digging through Makina’s purse has been invited to have a look around. At a broader level, the diction is a playful mix of high and low, with frequent poetry-slam–like assonances, as though the book were meant to be read aloud to a quiet beat; it is at times slangy, at times arch, at times an odd confusion of both: “I’m going for my bro,” Makina says. “He’s the stupid sap who went over for a little land.”

When it works and when it doesn’t, though it usually does, Herrera’s language teaches the reader how to inhabit the text’s dislocated geography, and Dillman should be commended for arriving at this distant target. It would be hard to pin a word or phrase to a place without finding one to contradict that verdict on the next page. Her translation does what the best translations should do, namely, grow the bounds of English so that it feels larger than before, more lexically and syntactically diverse, strange, unexpected. That her prose is often striking and beautiful makes it all the richer.

Transference across borders and between languages can be marked by a beginning and an end: the moment when something stops being one thing and becomes another. In Signs Preceding the End of the World, Herrera interrogates the nature of that change, its inevitability, its often brutish force, as it sweeps through a time and a place and a people. It is a force that Makina, now beyond the border, sees acting on her and the world around her:
[The snowflake] looked like a stack of crosses or the map of a place, a solid and intricate marvel at any rate, and when it dissolved a few seconds later she wondered how it was that some things in the world—some countries, some people—could seem eternal when everything was actually like that miniature ice palace: one-of-a-kind, precious, fragile.

The reader wonders what this dissolution will mean for Makina. But here, despite its best intentions, the novel does not dig deep enough into the dirt of human consequence, even if we understand her fate. Her fear is described but not adequately felt; the slow change that we expect in her is lost in a hurried conclusion, underground. In its hundred-odd pages, Signs Preceding the End of the World manages to be many things at once: an allegory, a dark myth, an epic, a compelling meditation on language. In the end, however, Makina and the reader are left with the darkness."

[My notes on Twitter:

While AFK this weekend, I read Yuri Herrera’s *Signs Preceding the End of the World* as translated (no access to original) by Lisa Dillman.
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/587452905139138560

For more info on the book, see Adam Z. Levy’s review. http://www.musicandliterature.org/reviews/2015/4/3/yuri-herreras-signs-preceding-the-end-of-the-world … I esp. like this line on translation. http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/115788956338/her-translation-does-what-the-best-translations
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/587453584444366849

What follows are a few lines I copied to a notebook from the book (*Signs Preceding the End of the World*) itself. To give you a taste
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/587453956428800000

“Makina spoke all three [tongues], and knew how to keep quiet in all three, too.”

“Makina thought she could hear all the water in her body making its way through her skin to the surface.”

“All cooking is Mexican cooking, she said to herself.”

“And how on versing out to the street, they sought to make amends for their momentary one-up by becoming wooden again so as not to offend…”

I’ll stop there. A short, powerful book that follows this lead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24gCI3Ur7FM … (ht @vruba + @aredridel) https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:86c4daf20acf
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/587457312341778432

And I really like what @andothertweets is doing with publishing, as I stated previously. https://twitter.com/rogre/status/571201423548899328
https://twitter.com/rogre/status/587457679586684928 ]
yuriherrera  lisadillman  adamlevy  translation  books  mexico  us  borders  crossings  border  literature  language  spanish  español  english 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Why We Don't Italicize Spanish - YouTube
[See also: http://killingdenouement.tumblr.com/post/91126268644/i-dont-explain-cultural-things-with-italics-or

""I don’t explain cultural things, with italics or with exclamation or with side bars or asides. I was aggressive about that because I had so many negative models, so many Latinos and black writers who are writing to white audiences, who are not writing to their own people. If you are not writing to your own people, I’m disturbed because of what that says to your relationship to the community you are in one way or another indebted to. You are only there to loot them of ideas, and words, and images so that you can coon them to the dominant group. That disturbs me tremendously." —Junot Díaz, with Diógenes Céspedes and Silvio Torres-Saillant (1996)

this is why we stopped using italics-to-connote-foreignness at THE STATE. junot diaz is why we do a lot of things."

and

http://blog.pshares.org/index.php/the-borderlands-of-language-using-italics-for-foreign-words-part-i/

"Junot Díaz once told me that he writes for his six best friends and the rest of the world. This was a few summers ago in a VONA fiction workshop in San Francisco. We had been discussing the meaty issue of how much to explain in our short stories and novels. For example, would the reader understand the meaning of chiltepe without having to look it up? How much did I gain from including details that may feel welcoming to some, alienating to others? I wondered if I should italicize certain words, and by that I meant words in Spanish.

Junot answered my questions with a question: “Who is your audience?”

My audience? Other than the folks sitting around that rectangular table, I didn’t have an audience. This was the first short story I had ever written, save for three failed attempts at stories that were really scenes in an undergraduate fiction course. It was 2006. All of us seated at the table were writers of color. All of us had confronted the barbed wire fence in our writing—italics. When was it appropriate to use them? By using italics were we signaling to readers—foreign word alert, foreign word alert? Were we pushing some readers out? Which readers? Or, was the use of italics actually helpful to all readers?

For Junot, if his six best friends understood what asqueroso meant, then there was no need to italicize the word. As for the rest of the world? Well, the rest of the world could get the word’s meaning from context, or they could look it up. He knew what he was doing. After all, if a writer from the majority culture uses specific terminology from polo or tennis, the reader is expected to look it up. He wanted to flip this and change the identity of the privileged reader. So he would never explain what a platano was, much less a morena. You’ll notice I did italicize these words in Spanish. More on that later."]
danieljoséolder  language  spanish  español  bilingualism  spanglish  formatting  italics  writing  communication  grammar  rules  junotdíaz  jenniferdeleon 
april 2015 by robertogreco
Palabras y expresiones en chileno que debe conocer si va a Chile - Paperblog
"Si quiere viajar a Chile debe conocer algunas palabras y expresiones que frecuentemente utilizan los chilenos. Si bien es cierto que en Chile se habla castellano, como en todos los países surgen palabras que pueden llevar de cabeza a un turista de vacaciones.

El chilenismo por excelencia es huevón
Sin lugar a dudas, la palabra que más escuchará es huevón (weón) y es también la más difícil de explicar. Si bien en sus orígenes, era un insulto, con el paso de los años ha adquirido diversos y diferentes significados. Es así que el significado que se le dé a weón, dependerá de cómo se lo digan y en qué contexto. Puede ir desde una manera amigable de referirse a los amigos o por el contrario, un insulto a las capacidades intelectuales. Para algunas personas es simplemente una palabra muletilla, con la que terminar la frase.

La Polla chilena de Beneficencia
Si va caminando por el centro de Santiago y se encuentra con un edificio que reza “Polla chilena de Beneficencia” no piense nada extraño. Lo que está viendo no es otra cosa que la casa central de la empresa estatal chilena encargada de la administración de los juegos de azar. Muchos son los turistas, sobre todo españoles, que se hacen una foto con este edificio de fondo. Algunos, también comprar un boleto de la Polla como souvenir de su viaje.

Chilenismos todo terreno
Cuando un chileno le quiere decir la verdad, le dice la dura o la pulenta y lo dice sin dar rodeos o vueltas. Si por el contrario, le está mintiendo, le estará vendiendo la “pomá”. Cuando se enoja, se apesta o chorea. Si tienen una relación de pareja medianamente estable, es un pololeo –él, pololo; ella, polola-. Cuando ya es más serio y se van a casar, son novios y no prometidos. En Chile, no se alquilan ni coches ni carros, son autos. Y los autobuses, se llaman micros. Es posible que también oiga que alguien se cree la muerte o la última chupá del mate, que no es otra cosa que creerse el mejor en algo, o en todo.

Chilenismos de fiesta
Un chileno no se va de fiesta, va a un carrete y cuando vuelve a casa, no tiene resaca, está con caña o anda con el hachazo. En Chile no se toma un cubata, se toma un trago o un copete y si se toman muchos, el “curao” – borracho- se transforma en un florero, o lo que es lo mismo, en el centro de atención. Cuando va a la botillería, se compra una promo, botella de pisco y botella de cola, todo junto, generalmente por un módico precio. Cuando se reúnen alrededor de una barbacoa, están “parrillando” o haciendo un asado. Si un chileno le dice que harta sed y que quiere piscolear, lo que le está diciendo que tiene mucha sed y que quiere tomarse unas piscolas, conjugándolo como si fuera un verbo. Si se junta un grupo de chilenos y hacen una vaca, lo que están haciendo es juntar dinero para hacer una compra entre todos. Y si tienen chipe libre quiere decir que tendrán permiso para hacer lo que quieran.

El puro chileno
Un hispanoparlante puede pensar que habla castellano perfectamente. Sin embargo, al llegar a Chile se puede llevar una sorpresa. En Chile oirá de manera constante la palabra puro. Sin embargo, no estarán hablando de ni habanos cubanos ni de pureza. Si un chileno quiere puro comer, dormir, salir o lo que sea, le está diciendo que lo único que quiere es hacer eso.

Más chilenismos que debe conocer
Si está tomando un fanshop (gaseosa de naranja con cerveza) o paseando por alguna de las ciudades de Chile, le explicaremos el significado de algunas palabras que seguramente oirá durante su estadía. Si el mozo (camarero) le dice que le trae su consumición “al tiro” quiere decir que se la traerá de inmediato, enseguida. Hace muchos años el en el campo, cuando el dueño del fundo quería reunir a sus obreros con rapidez, hacia un disparo al aire, de esta forma todos los peones dejaban de hacer sus labores al instante y acudían al llamado “al tiro”. Fíjese bien en quienes le rodean, a su lado puede haber dos personas que han salido de la “pega” o del trabajo a tomar algo. Sin embargo, si van en polera (camiseta) pueden ser dos amigos que han quedado para irse de carrete (fiesta).

Más expresiones chilenas
Una expresión muy típica chilena es “más perdido que el teniente Bello”. Alejandro Bello era un aviador chileno que desapareció con su avión en 1914 y nunca se han encontrado rastros de él ni de su avión. De ahí entonces que cuando alguien está perdido, se le dice que está más perdido que el Teniente Bello. Si conoce en Chile a una persona tacaña, tendrá delante suyo a una manito de guagua. Se le dice guaguas a los bebes y los tacaños reciben este apelativo, por lo apretada que tienen la mano, igual que las guaguas. Si está pidiendo indicaciones sobre cómo llegar a algún sitio, puede que le digan que está donde el diablo perdió el poncho, lo que quiere decir que está muy lejos.

Algunas otras particularidades del chileno
El chileno es conocido por su forma, muy particular, de conjugar la segunda persona del singular. Si está en un entorno de confianza, un chileno en lugar de decir entiendes, le dirá “entendí” o directamente utilizara la palabra “cachai”, que viene del inglés “catch” (agarrar, atrapar). También son muy comunes el “po” y el vos. El primero viene de pues que deriva en pos y luego en po. Es una muletilla muy utilizada para finalizar las frases, por ejemplo “cómo estai po”. El vos, conocido mundialmente gracias a los argentinos, en Chile se pronuncia sin la s final (vo) y es también muy usado, sobre todo cuando se está en ambientes más distendidos. Muchas otras expresiones o palabras podríamos enseñarle, pero quizás la mejor manera de aprender a hablar chileno, es visitando el país andino. Ah, y si no escucha la S al final de las palabras, no se preocupe, no es usted... Somos nosotros, casi siempre, "nos la comemo"."
chile  language  castellano  español  spanish  modismos  via:lizettegreco 
august 2014 by robertogreco
¿Cómo entender a los chilenos? 10 de las formas más raras con que se comunican | Rankings
"Los chilenos tenemos una forma de hablar muy característica, que llama profundamente la atención de los extranjeros."




2. Diminutivos: todo lo llevamos a pequeño. “Vamos a un asadito”, “tomémonos una cervecita o un vinito”, “espérame un chiquitito

3. La contradicción: empezamos con una negación, frente a una afirmación.
“Cómo estás?” - “No, igual bien”.
Vas a ir al cine? – No, si ya salimos.
“Cómo está tu pega? – Nada, ahí trabajando




5. Usamos los animales como formas de expresión.

Hagamos una vaca
Te fuiste al chancho
Te echaste el pollo
Estoy pa’l gato.

6. Abordamos los temas serios de forma jocosa.

“Mi abuela está súper enferma, está pedida. Se está probando el pijama de palo”.
“A ella la van a despedir de la pega. Ya huele a gladiolo”.



Bonus Track: Transformar las palabras en personajes o situaciones que suenen parecido

Y boston? (Y Voh’)
Iturra (y tú?)
Estoy Jennifer (estoy llena)
Cómo andamio? (cómo andamos)
Estoy Liz Taylor (estoy lista)"
chile  language  spanish  español  2014  modismos  castellano  via:lizettegreco 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Computational Linguistics of Twitter Reveals the Existence of Global Superdialects | MIT Technology Review
"Gonçalves and Sánchez begin by sampling all of the tweets written in Spanish over two years and that also contain geolocation information. That gave them a database of 50 million geolocated tweets, with most from Spain, Spanish America, and the United States.

They then searched these tweets for word variations that are indicative of specific dialects. For example, the word for car in Spanish can be auto, automóvil, carro, coche, concho, or movi, with each being more common in different dialects. Different words for bra include ajustador, ajustadores, brasiel, brassiere, corpiño, portaseno, sostén, soutien, sutién, sujetador, and tallador while variations on computer include computador, computadora, microcomputador, microcomputadora, ordenador, PC, and so on.

They then plotted where in the world these different words were being used, producing a map of their distribution. This map clearly shows how different words are commonly used in certain parts of the world.

However, they also looked at the environments in which the words were used, whether in large cities or in rural locations. And that revealed a major surprise.

It turns out that Spanish dialects falls into two major groups which Gonçalves and Sánchez call superdialects. The first of these is used more or less exclusively in major Spanish and American cities. This is an international variety of Spanish that is similar across continents. Gonçalves and Sánchez speculate that this is the result of an increasing homogenization of language caused by global communication systems like Twitter.

The second superdialect is used almost exclusively in rural areas. Gonçalves and Sánchez used a machine learning algorithm to find subclusters within this group and discovered three different variations. These correspond to a dialect used in Spain, a Caribbean and Latin American dialect and another variation used exclusively in South America.

The researchers say these regions reflect the settlement patterns of Spanish immigrants dating back many centuries. “Conquerors and settlers occupied first the territories of Mexico, Peru and the Caribbean, and only much later colonists established permanent residence in [South America], which stayed away from prestigious linguistic norms,” they say.

The fact that patterns of language have preserved this history is fascinating. “This strong cultural heritage that can still be observed, centuries later, in our datasets deserves to be further analyzed in future works,” say Gonçalves and Sánchez."

[Study: http://arxiv.org/abs/1407.7094 ]
spanish  linguistics  twitter  language  expañol  dialects  superdialects  rural  urban  urbanism  history 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 69, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
"When García Márquez speaks, his body often rocks back and forth. His hands too are often in motion making small but decisive gestures to emphasize a point, or to indicate a shift of direction in his thinking. He alternates between leaning forward towards his listener, and sitting far back with his legs crossed when speaking reflectively."



INTERVIEWER How do you feel about using the tape recorder?

GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ The problem is that the moment you know the interview is being taped, your attitude changes. In my case I immediately take a defensive attitude. As a journalist, I feel that we still haven’t learned how to use a tape recorder to do an interview. The best way, I feel, is to have a long conversation without the journalist taking any notes. Then afterward he should reminisce about the conversation and write it down as an impression of what he felt, not necessarily using the exact words expressed. Another useful method is to take notes and then interpret them with a certain loyalty to the person interviewed. What ticks you off about the tape recording everything is that it is not loyal to the person who is being interviewed, because it even records and remembers when you make an ass of yourself. That’s why when there is a tape recorder, I am conscious that I’m being interviewed; when there isn’t a tape recorder, I talk in an unconscious and completely natural way.



GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ I’ve always been convinced that my true profession is that of a journalist. What I didn’t like about journalism before were the working conditions. Besides, I had to condition my thoughts and ideas to the interests of the newspaper. Now, after having worked as a novelist, and having achieved financial independence as a novelist, I can really choose the themes that interest me and correspond to my ideas. In any case, I always very much enjoy the chance of doing a great piece of journalism.



INTERVIEWER Do you think the novel can do certain things that journalism can’t?

GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ Nothing. I don’t think there is any difference. The sources are the same, the material is the same, the resources and the language are the same. The Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe is a great novel and Hiroshima is a great work of journalism.

INTERVIEWER Do the journalist and the novelist have different responsibilities in balancing truth versus the imagination?

GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ In journalism just one fact that is false prejudices the entire work. In contrast, in fiction one single fact that is true gives legitimacy to the entire work. That’s the only difference, and it lies in the commitment of the writer. A novelist can do anything he wants so long as he makes people believe in it.



INTERVIEWER How did you start writing?

GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ By drawing. By drawing cartoons. Before I could read or write I used to draw comics at school and at home. The funny thing is that I now realize that when I was in high school I had the reputation of being a writer, though I never in fact wrote anything. If there was a pamphlet to be written or a letter of petition, I was the one to do it because I was supposedly the writer. When I entered college I happened to have a very good literary background in general, considerably above the average of my friends. At the university in Bogotá, I started making new friends and acquaintances, who introduced me to contemporary writers. One night a friend lent me a book of short stories by Franz Kafka. I went back to the pension where I was staying and began to read The Metamorphosis. The first line almost knocked me off the bed. I was so surprised. The first line reads, “As Gregor Samsa awoke that morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. . . .” When I read the line I thought to myself that I didn’t know anyone was allowed to write things like that. If I had known, I would have started writing a long time ago. So I immediately started writing short stories. They are totally intellectual short stories because I was writing them on the basis of my literary experience and had not yet found the link between literature and life. The stories were published in the literary supplement of the newspaper El Espectador in Bogotá and they did have a certain success at the time—probably because nobody in Colombia was writing intellectual short stories. What was being written then was mostly about life in the countryside and social life. When I wrote my first short stories I was told they had Joycean influences.



INTERVIEWER Can you name some of your early influences?

GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ The people who really helped me to get rid of my intellectual attitude towards the short story were the writers of the American Lost Generation. I realized that their literature had a relationship with life that my short stories didn’t. And then an event took place which was very important with respect to this attitude. It was the Bogotazo, on the ninth of April, 1948, when a political leader, Gaitan, was shot and the people of Bogotá went raving mad in the streets. I was in my pension ready to have lunch when I heard the news. I ran towards the place, but Gaitan had just been put into a taxi and was being taken to a hospital. On my way back to the pension, the people had already taken to the streets and they were demonstrating, looting stores and burning buildings. I joined them. That afternoon and evening, I became aware of the kind of country I was living in, and how little my short stories had to do with any of that. When I was later forced to go back to Barranquilla on the Caribbean, where I had spent my childhood, I realized that that was the type of life I had lived, knew, and wanted to write about.

Around 1950 or ’51 another event happened that influenced my literary tendencies. My mother asked me to accompany her to Aracataca, where I was born, and to sell the house where I spent my first years. When I got there it was at first quite shocking because I was now twenty-two and hadn’t been there since the age of eight. Nothing had really changed, but I felt that I wasn’t really looking at the village, but I was experiencing it as if I were reading it. It was as if everything I saw had already been written, and all I had to do was to sit down and copy what was already there and what I was just reading. For all practical purposes everything had evolved into literature: the houses, the people, and the memories. I’m not sure whether I had already read Faulkner or not, but I know now that only a technique like Faulkner’s could have enabled me to write down what I was seeing. The atmosphere, the decadence, the heat in the village were roughly the same as what I had felt in Faulkner. It was a banana-plantation region inhabited by a lot of Americans from the fruit companies which gave it the same sort of atmosphere I had found in the writers of the Deep South. Critics have spoken of the literary influence of Faulkner, but I see it as a coincidence: I had simply found material that had to be dealt with in the same way that Faulkner had treated similar material.

From that trip to the village I came back to write Leaf Storm, my first novel. What really happened to me in that trip to Aracataca was that I realized that everything that had occurred in my childhood had a literary value that I was only now appreciating. From the moment I wrote Leaf Storm I realized I wanted to be a writer and that nobody could stop me and that the only thing left for me to do was to try to be the best writer in the world. That was in 1953, but it wasn’t until 1967 that I got my first royalties after having written five of my eight books.



INTERVIEWER What about the banana fever in One Hundred Years of Solitude? How much of that is based on what the United Fruit Company did?

GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ The banana fever is modeled closely on reality. Of course, I’ve used literary tricks on things which have not been proved historically. For example, the massacre in the square is completely true, but while I wrote it on the basis of testimony and documents, it was never known exactly how many people were killed. I used the figure three thousand, which is obviously an exaggeration. But one of my childhood memories was watching a very, very long train leave the plantation supposedly full of bananas. There could have been three thousand dead on it, eventually to be dumped in the sea. What’s really surprising is that now they speak very naturally in the Congress and the newspapers about the “three thousand dead.” I suspect that half of all our history is made in this fashion. In The Autumn of the Patriarch, the dictator says it doesn’t matter if it’s not true now, because sometime in the future it will be true. Sooner or later people believe writers rather than the government.

INTERVIEWER That makes the writer pretty powerful, doesn’t it?

GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ Yes, and I can feel it too. It gives me a great sense of responsibility. What I would really like to do is a piece of journalism which is completely true and real, but which sounds as fantastic as One Hundred Years of Solitude. The more I live and remember things from the past, the more I think that literature and journalism are closely related.



INTERVIEWER Are dreams ever important as a source of inspiration?

GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ In the very beginning I paid a good deal of attention to them. But then I realized that life itself is the greatest source of inspiration and that dreams are only a very small part of that torrent that is life. What is very true about my writing is that I’m quite interested in different concepts of dreams and interpretations of them. I see dreams as part of life in general, but reality is much richer. But maybe I just have very poor dreams.

INTERVIEWER Can you distinguish between inspiration and intuition?

GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ Inspiration is when you find the right theme, one which you really like; that makes the work much easier. Intuition, which is … [more]
gabrielgarcíamárquez  1981  interviews  colombia  writing  journalism  truth  reality  fiction  literature  latinamerica  drawing  kafka  jamesjoyce  stories  storytelling  everyday  williamfaulkner  imagination  biography  autobiography  politics  childhood  fantasy  magicrealism  credibility  detail  details  belief  believability  responsibility  history  bricolage  collage  power  solitude  flow  dreams  dreaming  inspiration  intuition  intellectualism  translation  mexico  spanish  español  gregoryrabassa  borders  frontiers  miguelángelasturias  cuba  fame  friendship  film  filmmaking  relationships  consumption  language  languages  reading  howweread  howwewrite  routine  familiarity  habits 
april 2014 by robertogreco
BORDERLAND : NPR
"We Took A 2,428-Mile Road Trip Along The Mexico Border: Here's What We Saw"



"For now the party was bound for a Border Patrol station, though it was held up while agents awaited the arrival of a child’s car seat. That seat represented the ironies we found along the whole length of the border: how a child could make a perilous journey, possibly thousands of miles, finally to be held up for want of safety equipment. How the Border Patrol would carefully watch the safety of children before sending them back to some desperate situation."

[See also: Special Series: Borderland: Dispatches from the US-Mexico Boundary:
http://www.npr.org/series/291397809/borderland-dispatches-from-the-u-s-mexico-boundary ]
mexico  npr  journalism  storytelling  us  border  borders  photography  california  sandiego  tijuana  texas  newmexico  arizona  ethiopia  migration  immigration  immigrants  politics  geopolitics  food  culture  families  language  anthropology  law  tostilocos  spanish  español  english  spanglish 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Palabra de Chile
"Soy español, casado con una chilena. Este blog surge de los numerosos malentendidos y anécdotas por los distintos usos del idioma. Me gustaría rendir un pequeño homenaje a la cultura chilena. Me gustaría aclarar que no soy lingüista. De hecho soy de ciencias, así que agradeceré cualquier información adicional que puedan facilitar."
language  blogs  spanish  español  words  chile  chilenismos  modismos 
march 2014 by robertogreco
STET | Speaking in tongues
"A counterpoint (or sometimes complement) to Jakobson’s “referential function” of language is what he calls the “poetic function” of language. They aren’t mutually exclusive, but the poetic function of language is not about communication. It’s about language as a pure material. Perhaps this is why poets are among the most notorious code-switchers. The Cantos of Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot’s “The Waste Land” are good examples, frustrating and bewildering undergraduates for decades with their seemingly snobbish hodgepodge of languages alive and dead. But language isn’t always about clarity of expression. It’s about magic. That feeling of recognition you get, when someone says something you might not exactly understand or feel able to paraphrase, and yet it makes perfect sense. (These, by the way, are the kinds of thoughts I have while I’m in a boat on a river zooming towards what I can only assume is yet another bad decision.)"



"And this is where it gets a little tricky. Because even though linguists are fairly strict with their definition of code-switching, there are anthropologists and sociologists and philosophers and theorists who persuasively suggest that you can code-switch within a language depending on who you happen to be talking with, or your intention, based on relationships and personal and communal identities. Some recent sociolinguistic studies suggested that people have a few basic reasons for code-switching. For one thing, we want to fit in, so we often code-switch as a way of showing solidarity. We sometimes code-switch subconsciously in this kind of situation. I’d intuitively choose the word “try,” for instance, when I’m sitting on the Greyhound bus out of Salt Lake City, talking to the friendly trucker next to me who’s deadheading back from LA to Indianapolis. We talked for, like, two hours about how to make the perfect Bolognese, and disagreed only about whether or not the milk was really important. But I’d probably intuitively go with “attempt” if I were asking a question of a panelist at an academic conference. Well, depending on the panel. People code-switch for all kinds of contexts, including social class, age, race, and other kinds of origin. A lot of us have identities that belong to more than one discourse. Of course, the darker side of solidarity is less about belonging and more about hiding. Or perhaps more aptly, passing."
culture  german  identity  language  languages  codeswitching  2014  spanish  portuguese  español  portugués  juncen  rebeccalindenberg  conversation  onomotopoeia  romanjakobson  brasil  brazil  argentina  germany  poetry  poeticfunction  words 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Botella al mar para el dios de las palabras - Gabriel García Márquez - Ciudad Seva
"A mis 12 años de edad estuve a punto de ser atropellado por una bicicleta. Un señor cura que pasaba me salvó con un grito: «¡Cuidado!»

El ciclista cayó a tierra. El señor cura, sin detenerse, me dijo: «¿Ya vio lo que es el poder de la palabra?» Ese día lo supe. Ahora sabemos, además, que los mayas lo sabían desde los tiempos de Cristo, y con tanto rigor que tenían un dios especial para las palabras.

Nunca como hoy ha sido tan grande ese poder. La humanidad entrará en el tercer milenio bajo el imperio de las palabras. No es cierto que la imagen esté desplazándolas ni que pueda extinguirlas. Al contrario, está potenciándolas: nunca hubo en el mundo tantas palabras con tanto alcance, autoridad y albedrío como en la inmensa Babel de la vida actual. Palabras inventadas, maltratadas o sacralizadas por la prensa, por los libros desechables, por los carteles de publicidad; habladas y cantadas por la radio, la televisión, el cine, el teléfono, los altavoces públicos; gritadas a brocha gorda en las paredes de la calle o susurradas al oído en las penumbras del amor. No: el gran derrotado es el silencio. Las cosas tienen ahora tantos nombres en tantas lenguas que ya no es fácil saber cómo se llaman en ninguna. Los idiomas se dispersan sueltos de madrina, se mezclan y confunden, disparados hacia el destino ineluctable de un lenguaje global.

La lengua española tiene que prepararse para un oficio grande en ese porvenir sin fronteras. Es un derecho histórico. No por su prepotencia económica, como otras lenguas hasta hoy, sino por su vitalidad, su dinámica creativa, su vasta experiencia cultural, su rapidez y su fuerza de expansión, en un ámbito propio de 19 millones de kilómetros cuadrados y 400 millones de hablantes al terminar este siglo. Con razón un maestro de letras hispánicas en Estados Unidos ha dicho que sus horas de clase se le van en servir de intérprete entre latinoamericanos de distintos países. Llama la atención que el verbo pasar tenga 54 significados, mientras en la República de Ecuador tienen 105 nombres para el órgano sexual masculino, y en cambio la palabra condoliente, que se explica por sí sola, y que tanta falta nos hace, aún no se ha inventado. A un joven periodista francés lo deslumbran los hallazgos poéticos que encuentra a cada paso en nuestra vida doméstica. Que un niño desvelado por el balido intermitente y triste de un cordero dijo: «Parece un faro». Que una vivandera de la Guajira colombiana rechazó un cocimiento de toronjil porque le supo a Viernes Santo. Que don Sebastián de Covarrubias, en su diccionario memorable, nos dejó escrito de su puño y letra que el amarillo es «la color» de los enamorados. ¿Cuántas veces no hemos probado nosotros mismos un café que sabe a ventana, un pan que sabe a rincón, una cerveza que sabe a beso?

Son pruebas al canto de la inteligencia de una lengua que desde hace tiempo no cabe en su pellejo. Pero nuestra contribución no debería ser la de meterla en cintura, sino al contrario, liberarla de sus fierros normativos para que entre en el siglo venturo como Pedro por su casa. En ese sentido me atrevería a sugerir ante esta sabia audiencia que simplifiquemos la gramática antes de que la gramática termine por simplificarnos a nosotros. Humanicemos sus leyes, aprendamos de las lenguas indígenas a las que tanto debemos lo mucho que tienen todavía para enseñarnos y enriquecernos, asimilemos pronto y bien los neologismos técnicos y científicos antes de que se nos infiltren sin digerir, negociemos de buen corazón con los gerundios bárbaros, los qués endémicos, el dequeísmo parasitario, y devuélvamos al subjuntivo presente el esplendor de sus esdrújulas: váyamos en vez de vayamos, cántemos en vez de cantemos, o el armonioso muéramos en vez del siniestro muramos. Jubilemos la ortografía, terror del ser humano desde la cuna: enterremos las haches rupestres, firmemos un tratado de límites entre la ge y jota, y pongamos más uso de razón en los acentos escritos, que al fin y al cabo nadie ha de leer lagrima donde diga lágrima ni confundirá revólver con revolver. ¿Y qué de nuestra be de burro y nuestra ve de vaca, que los abuelos españoles nos trajeron como si fueran dos y siempre sobra una?

Son preguntas al azar, por supuesto, como botellas arrojadas a la mar con la esperanza de que le lleguen al dios de las palabras. A no ser que por estas osadías y desatinos, tanto él como todos nosotros terminemos por lamentar, con razón y derecho, que no me hubiera atropellado a tiempo aquella bicicleta providencial de mis 12 años."
via:anne  gabrielgarcíamárquez  language  spanish  español  words  meaning  communication  spelling  ortografía  grammar 
august 2013 by robertogreco
The Saxifrage School - Higher Ed Innovation Laboratory
"The Saxifrage School is a higher education laboratory working to lower costs, re-think the campus, and reconcile disciplines."

"While we continue our work as a laboratory for new ideas, we are dreaming big about the future. This video describes our early concept for founding a full-fledged college here in Pittsburgh."

"At the core of the Saxifrage School model is our nomadic campus. We're re-thinking the traditional campus model to better serve students, the economy, and our neighborhoods."

"Deconstructing higher education is a large and complex undertaking, but we have a great sense of urgency for our work. Here are a few of the reasons why we are working to change the future of higher education."

"Extending the liberal arts to include technical skills, the academic philosophy of The Saxifrage School is centered on productive inquiry. Our goal is to educate the full person by reuniting the making of things and the judging of ideas into one educative process that closely attends to the real problems of today’s world. We strive to reconcile theory and practice and preserve their integrity by valuing the creative utility of each. The Saxifrage School will host a tight academic community that weaves into local organizations, creating a dynamic resource network that will serve students and neighbors alike. Graduates of the Saxifrage School will leave as seasoned thinkers, skilled producers, engaged citizens, and capable agents of change."

[Video: https://vimeo.com/34760137 ]
[Blog: http://saxifrageschool.tumblr.com/ ]
[Via: http://saxifrageschool.tumblr.com/post/31061581933/deep-springs-college-and-the-liberal-arts-ideal via Randall Szott ]
saxifrage  pittsburgh  pennsylvania  education  highereducation  cityasclassroom  learning  schools  spanish  lcproject  well-being  purpose  liberalarts  via:randallszott  local  nomadiccampus  highered  deepspringscollege 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Radio Ambulante
"Radio Ambulante es un programa de radio que cuenta historias latinoamericanas provenientes de todos los países de habla hispana, incluyendo Estados Unidos. Buscamos llevar la estética de la buena crónica de prensa escrita a la radio.

Nuestro podcast pronto podrá escucharse en nuestra web o descargarse a través de iTunes desde cualquier parte del mundo.

Además, estamos creando alianzas con emisoras de Latinoamérica y Estados Unidos, para así alcanzar una audiencia de habla hispana en todo el continente.

Una de nuestras metas es formar una comunidad de cronistas de radio en distintos países, aprovechando los avances tecnológicos para producir, distribuir e intercambiar historias."

[via http://99percentinvisible.org/post/43419720763/episode-73-the-zanzibar-and-other-building-poems

"Our reporter this week is Daniel Alarcón, host and executive producer of Radio Ambulante, a new podcast which has been called “This American Life en Español” (though some stories are in English)." ]
podcasts  spanish  radio  radioambulante  tolisten 
february 2013 by robertogreco
Brevity: Twtr | The Economist
"THIS 78-character tweet in English would be only 24 characters long in Chinese: [image]

That makes Chinese ideal for micro-blogs, which typically restrict messages to 140 symbols. Though Twitter, with 140m active users the world's best-known microblogging service, is blocked in China, Sina Weibo, a local variant, has over 250m users. Chinese is so succinct that most messages never reach that limit, says Shuo Tang, who studies social media at the University of Indiana.

Japanese is concise too: fans of haiku, poems in 17 syllables, can tweet them readily. Though Korean and Arabic require a little more space, tweeters routinely omit syllables in Korean words; written Arabic routinely omits vowels anyway…

Romance tongues, among others, generally tend to be more verbose (see chart)…

Kevin Scannell, a professor at St Louis University, Missouri, has found 500 languages in use on Twitter and has set up a website to track them."
charactercounts  characters  wordcounts  words  kevinscannell  semiocast  weibo  arabic  urdu  farsi  microblogs  efficiency  2012  romancelanguages  portuguese  spanish  english  chinese  language  twitter 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Gabriel Garcia Marquez Meets Ernest Hemingway (and how I learned of Marquez's Nobel) - David Dobbs's Somatic Marker
"Somehow this completes a circle: Hemingway, Garcia commenting on Hemingway's bullfighter Spanish, and the Colombian wine steward, beaming, bringing me the news of Garcia's own triumph."
hemingway  gabrielgarcíamárquez  writers  idols  spanish  español  encounters  literature  virginiawoolf  williamfaulkner  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Learn 40 Languages for Free with Free Audio Lessons | Open Culture
"How to learn languages for free? This collection features lessons in 40 languages, including Spanish, French, English, Mandarin, Italian, Russian and more. Download audio lessons to your computer or mp3 player and you’re good to go."
languages  language  learning  arabic  spanish  bulgarian  catalan  chinese  mandarin  danish  dutch  english  esperanto  finnish  french  free  gaelic  german  greek  hebrew  hindi  hungarian  indonesian  irish  italian  japanese  korean  latin  lithuanian  luxembourgish  maori  norwegian  polish  portuguese  romanian  russian  swedish  tagalog  thai  ukranian  urdu  vietnamese  yiddish  lessons  māori  catalán  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Destinos [now online]
"Travel the world with lawyer Raquel Rodríguez as she solves a mystery for a dying man. Watch the complete Destinos series, practice your Spanish, and find new resources for learning and teaching Spanish."
spanish  destinos  soapoperas  language  destinos!  toshare  telenovelas  from delicious
november 2011 by robertogreco
Mobile Media Toolkit
"The Mobile Media Toolkit shows you how to record audio, from finding a good recording environment to recording phone calls, editing audio, and listening to and sharing reports with others."
mobile  media  tools  audio  video  mobilemedia  onlinetoolkit  recording  journalism  editing  via:danielsinker  english  español  spanish  arabic  from delicious
july 2011 by robertogreco
Primero Hay Que Aprender Español. Ranhou Zai Xue Zhongwen. - NYTimes.com
"rush to Chinese is missing something closer to home: the paramount importance for our children of learning Spanish.

…I’m a fervent believer in more American kids learning Chinese. But the language that will be essential for Americans & has far more day-to-day applications is Spanish. Every child in US should learn Spanish, beginning in elementary school; Chinese makes a terrific addition to Spanish, but not a substitute.

Spanish may not be as prestigious as Mandarin, but it’s an everyday presence in US — & will become even more so. Hispanics made up 16% of America’s population in 2009, but that is forecast to surge to 29% by 2050, according to estimates by the Pew Research Center.

As the United States increasingly integrates economically with Latin America, Spanish will become more crucial in our lives. More Americans will take vacations in Latin America, do business in Spanish, and eventually move south to retire in countries where the cost of living is far cheaper."
language  spanish  chinese  china  learning  education  schools  tcsnmy  teaching  business  economics  nicholaskristof  from delicious
january 2011 by robertogreco
Academia Semillas del Pueblo - Wikipedia
"…public charter school of LAUSD. It offers instruction in grades Kindergarten through eighth, and is located in the community of El Sereno, on the east side of Los Angeles. The school. which opened in 2002, was founded by Marcos Aguilar, a former teacher at Garfield Senior High School.

Academia Semillas del Pueblo offers an unusual multi-language curriculum aimed at the community's large population of recent immigrants from Mexico and Central America. Students are taught Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and the Aztec/Mexica Nahuatl language, as well as English. The curriculum emphasizes Pre-Columbian cultural traditions. The interior of the school has no walls separating classes, and multiple grades are taught the same material simultaneously. The school's official press release describes it as "dedicated to providing urban children of immigrant families an excellent education founded upon native and maternal languages, global values, and cultural realities.""

[See also: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/1550006804/seed-booklet-handbuilt ]
losangeles  language  spanish  español  learning  education  schools  lcproject  alternative  race  mandarin  chinese  culture  immigration  elsereno  marcosaguilar  multilingual  nahuatl  precolumbian  charterschools  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
Granta 113: The Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists | Magazine | Granta Magazine
"From Borges to Bolaño, Spanish has given us some of most beloved writers of 20th & 21st centuries. But as reach of Spanish-language culture extends far beyond Spain & Latin America, & as US tilts towards majority Hispanic population, it is time to ask who is next…22 literary stars of future.

Andrés Barba –Spain, 1975
Oliverio Coelho –Argentina, 1977
Andrés Ressia Colino –Uruguay, 1977
Federico Falco –Argentina, 1977
Pablo Gutiérrez –Spain, 1978
Rodrigo Hasbún –Bolivia, 1981
Sònia Hernández –Spain, 1976
Carlos Labbé –Chile, 1977
Javier Montes –Spain, 1976
Elvira Navarro –Spain, 1978
Matías Néspolo –Argentina, 1975
Andrés Neuman –Argentina, 1977
Alberto Olmos –Spain, 1975
Pola Oloixarac –Argentina, 1977
Antonio Ortuño –Mexico, 1976
Patricio Pron –Argentina, 1975
Lucía Puenzo –Argentina, 1976
Santiago Roncagliolo –Peru, 1975
Andrés Felipe Solano –Colombia, 1977
Samanta Schweblin –Argentina, 1978
Carlos Yushimito –Peru, 1977
Alejandro Zambra –Chile, 1975"
literature  chile  argentina  spain  españa  español  bolivia  mexico  colombia  perú  uruguay  spanish  literatura  novelists  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words from Around the World
[via: http://caterina.net/wp-archives/39 ]

"1. Toska [Russian]: At deepest & most painful…sensation of great spiritual anguish, often w/out any specific cause. At less morbid levels…dull ache of soul, longing w/ nothing to long for…

2. Mamihlapinatapei [Yagan (indigenous to Tierra del Fuego]: wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start

3. Jayus

4. Iktsuarpok [Inuit]: “To go outside to check if anyone is coming.”

5. Litost 6. Kyoikumama 7. Tartle 8. Ilunga 9. Prozvonit 10. Cafuné 11. Schadenfreude

12. Torschlusspanik [German]: means “gate-closing panic,” but…refers to “the fear of diminishing opportunities as one ages."

13. Wabi-Sabi 14. Dépaysement

15. Tingo [Pasquense]: “act of taking objects one desires from house of a friend by gradually borrowing all of them.”

16. Hyggelig 17. L'appel du vide 18. Ya'aburnee

19. Duende: “the mysterious power that a work of art has to deeply move a person.”

20. Saudade"
language  translation  culture  linguistics  words  hyggelig  duende  saudade  tingo  wabi-sabi  schadenfreude  Mamihlapinatapei  toska  litost  tartle  cafuné  portugués  portuguese  español  spanish  russian  german  french  danish  arabic  time  age  precision  art  glvo  scottish  japanese  czech  inuit  yagan  milankundera  vladmirnavakov  from delicious
december 2010 by robertogreco
New Spanish spelling guide to modernize language when new rules adopted in Mexico - latimes.com
"Spanish speakers will have to get used to a host of new spelling rules, including writing Irak instead of Iraq & Catar instead of Qatar, under proposals to modernize the language expected to be adopted this month…

The Spanish Royal Language Academy said Friday the new orthographic guide for world's second-most spoken tongue is to be ratified by the language's 22 international academies when they meet Nov. 28 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

"It's the fruit of detailed & very reasoned research," said Salvador Gutierrez, a Spanish academic who helped coordinate the work. "The aim is to have coherent spelling & avoid linguistic dispersion."

The proposals include referring to the letter "y'' as "ye" instead of the Greek "i'' as it's been known for as long as anyone can recall.

The guardians of the language also decided that speakers in Latin America should no longer refer to "b''s & "v''s as long & short "b''s, respectively, but instead call them "'beys" & "ubeys" as Spaniards do."
language  spanish  español  spelling  conventions  writing  alphabet  2010  realacademiaespañola  from delicious
november 2010 by robertogreco
Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 120, Mario Vargas Llosa ["I realized then that we [Latin Americans] have extremely interesting writers—the novelists perhaps less so than the essayists or poets.…]
"…Sarmiento, for example, who never wrote a novel, is in my opinion one of the greatest storytellers Latin America has produced; his Facundo is a masterwork. But if I were forced to choose one name, I would have to say Borges, because the world he creates seems to me to be absolutely original. Aside from his enormous originality, he is also endowed with a tremendous imagination and culture that are expressly his own. And then of course there is the language of Borges, which in a sense broke with our tradition and opened a new one. Spanish is a language that tends toward exuberance, proliferation, profusion. Our great writers have all been prolix, from Cervantes to Ortega y Gasset, Valle-Inclán, or Alfonso Reyes. Borges is the opposite—all concision, economy, and precision. He is the only writer in the Spanish language who has almost as many ideas as he has words. He’s one of the great writers of our time." [That's just a snip. There's lots more inside.]
mariovargasllosa  latinamerica  literature  borges  sarmiento  facundo  interviews  fscottfitzgerald  dospassos  writing  reading  perú  victorhugo  floratristan  guimarãesrosa  sartre  dostoyevsky  balzac  flaubert  tolstoy  nathanielhawthorne  charlesdickens  hermanmelville  gabrielgarcíamárquez  gabo  cervantes  spain  spanish  español  language  history  politics  ideology  happiness  unhappiness  parisreview  depression  josélezamalima  hemingway  joãoguimarãesrosa  españa  williamfaulkner  jean-paulsartre  from delicious
october 2010 by robertogreco
Global Voices in English » Getting to Know the Global Voices Latin America Team
"As outgoing Editor for Latin America, I have seen the Global Voices team from Latin America grow tremendously over the past three years. Each of the volunteer authors has dedicated time and energy to serve the mission of Global Voices, and to share their part of the world with a global audience. At any given time, each of the countries that make up the Latin American region has been represented by a talented blogger tasked with the challenge of presenting a wide range of issues in a balanced and fair manner. Now that I am moving on to take the helm at Rising Voices, I am eager to see how the team will take the coverage of such a diverse region to greater heights under the leadership of the new Latin America Editor, Silvia Viñas. Continuing a recent tradition, let's meet some of these amazing people that have been part of the Latin American team (in alphabetical order by first name)."
globalvoices  blogs  blogging  chile  argentina  mexico  uruguay  colombia  perú  paraguay  costarica  guatemala  venezuela  latinamerica  dominicanrepublic  ecuador  honduras  panamá  nicaragua  bolivia  elsalvador  cuba  spanish  español  portuguese  from delicious
september 2010 by robertogreco
Stevedore - Wikipedia
"Stevedore, dockworker, docker, dock labourer and longshoreman can have various waterfront-related meanings concerning loading and unloading ships, according to place and country.

The word stevedore originated in Portugal or Spain, and entered the English language through its use by sailors. It started as a phonetic spelling of estivador (Portuguese) or estibador (Spanish), meaning a man who stuffs, here in the sense of a man who loads ships, which was the original meaning of stevedore; compare Latin stīpāre meaning to stuff, as in to fill with stuffing. … Stevedore has also become common as an appellation for a person who is over-muscular or foulmouthed."

[Follow-up to: http://www.waywordradio.org/spendthrift-snollygosters/ ]
stevedore  etymology  words  dockworkers  longshoremen  spanish  portuguese  estibador  estivador  packing  loading  foulmouthed  over-musculat  language  english  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
CALL TO ACTION AT MEMORIAL POOL: The City continues its rampage of vengeance against the Memorial Pool ["As those of you know who read the article in La Prensa March 4 [2005], there are serious problems going on at Memorial Pool.]
"[T]he City Aquatics Director, Marilyn Stern, undertook a series of actions against parent volunteers & children there that were clearly discriminatory. She did this in order to retaliate against them for seeking help because Ms. Stern was obstructing their access to a $5000 donation the city was supposed to be managing for them. Ms. Stern was angry that a member of Park & Rec Board had intervened on their behalf w/ City Manager’s office. With no authority, Ms. Stern ordered children & parents not to speak Spanish during practices & during swim meets. She refused to approve a design for team shirts because it was too Mexican, & “We aren’t living in Mexico.” When parents went ahead & paid for shirts themselves, Ms. Stern ordered that no one could wear those shirts during official events. She threatened team coach, Fernando Gonzalez, when she found that he had worn a shirt to pool, & he was continually being written up & threatened that he “could lose his job over this.”"
sandiego  spanish  citypools  discrimination  language  2005  fernandogonzalez  swimming  memorialpool  marilynstern  racism  from delicious
august 2010 by robertogreco
What the Media is Saying About Bilingualism « SpanglishBaby
"The El País article starts by mentioning words like “carpeta” and “rufo,” the type of sounds that make me cringe whenever I hear them, especially when they come from my daughter’s own mouth – as I’ve written about in the past. And then goes on to explain what Spanglish means, according to sociolinguist David Divita: “It’s not making up words like rufo or adapting bad translations because you don’t know the original term. More and more, the argument is getting stronger that Spanglish comes from being bilingual, from the knowledge of two languages, and not from the lack of command of one of them.”"

[via: http://twitter.com/thepolyglot/status/18948185200 ]
language  spanish  english  spanglish  languages  bilingualism  srg 
july 2010 by robertogreco
a m l - on translation [great piece by Ana María León that meanders back and forth between English y español]
"for the past few days i’ve been doing research at the cca, as part of a month’s long grant. already living in montreal becomes an constant bilingual challenge, but working at the cca brings the task of translation to another level. with italian, brazilian, spanish, mexican, and french (and one ecuadorian!) scholars doing research in the same place, our conversations constantly switch from language to language. politeness often makes us change language with the arrival of a new colleague—often at the expense of the flow of conversation. it is, of course, extremely fun and stimulating, but it foregrounds the bumps and wrinkles that translation involves, not only between languages, but also between disciplines and even research schools."
anamaríaleón  translation  aldorossi  english  language  spanish  languages  conversation  flow  manfredotafuri  marinawaisman  tone  meaning 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Capicúa - Wikipedia
"La palabra capicúa (en matemáticas, número palíndromo) se refiere a cualquier número que se lee igual de izquierda a derecha y de derecha a izquierda (Ejemplos: 212, 7.540.550.457). El término se origina en la expresión catalana cap i cua (cabeza y cola)."
palindromes  numbers  math  mathematics  español  definitions  words  spanish 
april 2010 by robertogreco
The Project « The Entryway
"The Entryway is the story of two reporters who move in with a family from Mexico, now in MacArthur Park, to learn a foreign language so that they may better report on their native city and country. They (we) are here to explore the storefront churches, panaderias, telenovelas, mobile dental clinics, bilingual classrooms, fake ID mills, and so many other details that define their America. Along the way, we are forced to reconsider our own."
spanish  journalism  losangeles  mexico  language  immigration  us  learning  tcsnmy 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Official Google Docs Blog: Day in the Life of a Docs Student
"The Google Docs team is getting ready for back to school. We've been doing our homework this summer to make your school year go a little smoother. Today we're launching a handful of features that will benefit both students and teachers. Speaking from experience, as students ourselves, we know that these features will come in handy on any given day. Check out the schedule below to see how."
spanish  googledocs  tcsnmy  cloudcomputing  education  learning  technology  teaching  google  edtech  writing  footnotes  googleapps  examples  students  scheduling  googlesites 
september 2009 by robertogreco
WORDOID - Creative Naming Service
"Wordoid.com is a webapp that strives to help you invent a good name. It makes up new words. Automagically. It knows how to create words in English or Spanish. It even knows how to create words in an imaginary language, constructed by blending two or more real languages together."
names  naming  branding  brainstorming  domainnames  domains  words  generator  marketing  language  english  spanish  español  french 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Incan Empire Aided by Global Warming: Discovery News
"A 400-year warm spell helped the ancient Inca to build the largest empire ever to exist in the Americas, a new study has established.
inca  history  climate  climatechange  science  environment  world  spanish  archaeology  spain  perú  españa 
july 2009 by robertogreco
In Argentina, Pepsi Logo Acquires Local Flavor : NPR
"Billboards have gone up in the past few days in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the familiar red, white and blue Pepsi logo, but under it is the word "Pecsi."
argentina  language  pronunciation  spanish  español  pepsi 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Las Caticrónicas: 225-Teoría y práctica del ñoqui rioplatense
"Pero… ¡cuidado! porque si la idea multiplicadora se trasladara a otra acepción del vocablo “ñoqui”, nos veríamos rodeados de inútiles, zánganos o parásitos. Me refiero al hecho de que por estos pagos, a ciertos “empleados públicos” que obtuvieron un cargo merced a prebendas políticas y concurren a su lugar de trabajo para cobrar solamente una vez al mes, los días veintinueve, también se los conoce como “ñoquis”, en referencia a la costumbre alimenticia que nos caracteriza."
ñoquis  argentina  language  food  spanish  español  glvo  vocabulary  tradition 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Arroba - Wikipedia
"The word arroba has its origin in Arabic ar-rubʿ (الربع), the fourth part (of a quintal). Arroba was a Spanish and Portuguese unit of weight, mass or volume. Its symbol is @. In weight it is equal to about 25 pounds in Spain, and 32 pounds in Portugal. An Italian academic claims to have traced the @ symbol to the Italian Renaissance, in a Venetian mercantile document signed by Francesco Lapi on May 4, sent from Seville to Rome, describing the goods and treasures arriving on a ship from the Americas to Spain 1537. The Aragonese historian Jorge Romance located the appearance of the @ symbol at the "taula de Ariza" registry from 1448, to denote a wheat shipment from Castile to the Kingdom of Aragon. The unit is still used in Portugal by cork merchants, and in Brazil by cattle traders, defined as 15 kg. In the Spanish language and Portuguese language, the term arroba has now become synonymous with the symbol due to its use in e-mail addresses."
arroba  signs  symbols  email  spanish  portuguese  español  renaissance  italian  arabic  measure  volume 
july 2009 by robertogreco
Mind Your Language
"The difficulty applies the other way round too. English-speakers are keen to say please politely in other languages, even if those languages do not express politeness by constantly saying please. So English tourists say ‘por favor’ to waiters and barmen in a way that sounds too insistent to a Spaniard. It is as if someone were to say: ‘A glass of wine, if you please, my good man.’ If you want the butter passed in Spanish, you say, ‘Pass the butter.’ To add por favor can smack of impatience."
language  english  spanish  español  linguistics  translation  culture  travel  speaking  convention 
march 2009 by robertogreco
busuu.com | the language learning community | Learn Spanish, Learn German, Learn French
"Connect with native speakers and learn directly from other members of the busuu.com community! Be completely flexible and learn only what you really need! Have fun by experiencing a new way of learning languages and forget those boring grammar books!"
languages  learning  english  spanish  french  german  socialnetworking  community  socialsoftware  education 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Una palabra | Blog de Viajes
"Me gusta descubrir palabras nuevas. En particular, aquellas que resumen de manera muy sintética un concepto para el cual antes necesitaba usar varias palabras. En Perú hay al menos dos ejemplos que siempre me han parecido muy interesantes. La primera es “caleta“. Denomina a algo “difícil de encontrar”, o “poco conocido”, o “que no llama la atención”. Muchas veces asociado, por ejemplo, a grupos de rock que no conoce todo el mundo. A tal punto que en los 90’s había una revista de rock en Perú que se llamaba “Caleta“, y que hoy es continuada en otra publicación llamada 69.
words  definitions  language  spanish  español  caleta  brichero  peruanismos  perú 
march 2009 by robertogreco
eduFire - Live Video Learning
"We have a simple (but not easy) mission: Revolution education.

Our goal is to create a platform to allow live learning to take place over the Internet anytime from anywhere.

Most importantly...for anyone. We’re the first people (we know) to create something that’s totally open and community-driven (rather than closed and transaction-driven).

We’re excited to create tools for people to teach and learn what they love in ways they never imagined possible.

If changing the world is your thing and you’re as passionate about education and learning as we are, please get in touch."
education  learning  technology  online  teaching  tutoring  elearning  languages  videos  translation  tutorials  socialnetworking  communication  e-learning  spanish  italian  german  french  english 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Livemocha: Learn Languages Online - English, Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, 学会英语
"ivemocha is an exciting e-learning Web 2.0 startup founded by a group of experienced and successful entrepreneurs based in the Seattle area. Livemocha addresses a $20 billion worldwide language learning market fueled by rapid globalization, immigration and travel. Livemocha is a first of its kind web based language learning solution integrating online instructional content with a global community of language learners. Livemocha is a venture funded company backed by Maveron, a leading Seattle based venture firm with tremendous consumer and e-learning expertise."
languages  learning  online  elearning  spanish  italian  french  mandarin  english  lessons  tutorials  language  socialnetworking  collaboration  e-learning  chinese  education 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Wired: Q&A: John Hodgman on Perfecting the Illusion of Expertise [Borges, writing, film, geekdom, comics...]
"[Chose Spanish as second language for his degree in literature at Yale]...primarily to read Latin American literature. And then that quickly became a focus on Argentine literature. And that quickly became a maniacal focus on Borges only. Who himself had to learn Spanish in order to become literate...He never read or wrote in Spanish when he was growing up, or at least if you are to believe his fable of his own life that he told. Spanish was considered to be — that was a house language that you would speak, you know, among your family. But the written languages were English or German. Wired: Oh, so he was — so Borges thought he was writing in the, in the — what do you call it? Hodgman: The vernacular." ... Borges discussion continues a bit further, but that is only part of the interview.
borges  johnhodgman  literature  language  spanish  humor  writing  comics  geek  watchmen  darkknightreturns  books  film 
october 2008 by robertogreco
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