Saturday, January 26, 2013

Translation and culture


Have you tried to translate a movie script into Spanish? What are the main difficulties you have found? What do you think are the keys to make a good audiovisual translation? Which one is the most important when you want to make a good translation: culture or language?



If your answer to the first question was yes, you have observed there are some expressions or onomatopoeias difficult to understand or to translate.  Maybe, you have used some dictionaries or web sites you considered very good language database.  Perhaps, you have asked to your friends without finding a good answer.  If you are a very curious person, you have requested help to an expert.  But, all of this process needs a lot of time.  This is very similar to a translator work.




When we talk about a book or text translation is easier than an audiovisual one, why? Because you have to think about orality and topic change.  Believe one of them is not important could be the reason of bad adaptations in some movies and series we watch in a theater or our TV. Bilingual people can declare to watch a movie or a series episode in its original language is always better than to look for a paraphrased version.


Culture or language? If you have visited some different South American countries you have noticed how some expressions and words change their meanings or their pronunciations from one place to another.  If you don’t, it’s impossible you can use those differences for making a very good translation.  A similar situation could happen with a person who knows a lot of languages or only two but haven’t visited any place related with some of them, he or she can know the language in a perfect academic way but he or she could not be sure about some cultural aspects about the use of them in their original birthplaces.  How can this person give you a correct guidance about the meaning of some colloquial or very used expressions?  Even, It would be different if he or she has had contact, in some way, with these language native speakers.  It can help you.

What about tools as Google translator? As we have said all along this text it could be very hard for a person who doesn´t have cultural contact with any language to translate a text, movie, etc in it, even if he or she knows it, a machine could not have enough information for storing all the differences that we can find in only one expression used by people from different countries in an unique zone. What could be the reliability degree that a machine can give us?


In conclusion, if you want to have a very good knowledge about a language you need to know its culture.  The best way to do it is to talk to Native Speakers.  Think about it if you want to be an expert in any language.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Spanish and social networks


We use social networks as twitter, facebook, Myspace, etc, everyday but What languages are we using in social networks? What could be the consequences of using them in a short and a long term?


According to a last research made by “Instituto Cervantes” Spanish is the second language used in twitter.  This study was published in its book named “El espaƱol en el mundo”.  It is the title of a yearbook series which the institute tries to collect information about Spanish demography; Spanish presence in scientific and technology production, translation and international organization; Spanish in media; Spanish evolution in fixed geographic fields as United States, Brazil or Asia; or its presence in other virtual places as Internet or Information Society.


The language use has turn into Spanish in the second one more used in Twitter after English and the third one more used in the Internet after English and Chinese. The same situation is happening with Facebook where it’s possible to find 80 million of users who talk Spanish.  For that, “Real Academia de la Lengua” is adding some neologisms as “tuit”, “tuitear”, “chatear” in its dictionary.  We cannot forget that Spanish has beaten, in the last ten years, languages as Japanese, Portuguese or German in its growth in internet.  Besides, it is predicted that, in three or four generations, United States is going to overcome Mexico as the country with the most quantity of Spanish speakers in the world.


As we can notice Spanish follows gaining ground in the world.  It means more and more people are talking in this language every day. It’s important to think about it if we want to show that our skills and knowledge is update.     

x

Friday, January 11, 2013

Some Useful Steps for Learning



There are a lot of people using time for studying but: are they doing a correct thing?  Maybe yes, maybe not.  Studying or learning something as a language is a good action.  All of us couldn’t be wrong.  The right question is: are the students using good techniques for reaching their objectives? Are they going to success?


How can we improve our knowledge?  We aren’t magicians or geniuses for obtaining all we want only thinking or planning to do it.  We need to follow some basic steps.

1.  Order. It’s important to know the answers for these two questions:  What do I need for obtaining this information?, and what am I going to do with it?

2.  Move your body. Stay put for a long time can be prejudicial to learning. If you cannot stand up, move your legs and arms for reactivate blood circulation.

3.  Eat very well.  There is a link among food and the substances which make easy the nerve impulses transit.  

4. Don’t try to learn when you are sleeping. Against myth that says it’s good to use an Iphone and earphones while you sleep, some researches consider the asleep brain doesn’t learn any.

5.  Sleep very well. When you are sleeping your brain is setting everything you learned. When you get up, you are going to remember better.

6.  Stop. Some relaxation minutes per hour or a change in your activity can help you.

7.  Repeat.  It can strengthen neurons connections. In that way and after a time, you can practice all you learn almost unconsciously.

These are some pieces of advice for learning all of it you want. There aren’t enough.  One of the most important aspects is to be interested in that you try to learn.  This article shows you the simplicity of the process but it demonstrates you need a lot of perseverance.

Speaking More Than 1 Language Can Help Prevent Alzheimer's: Study


A new study published by the University of Kentucky concluded that seniors who have learned a second language as a child are more likely to suffer less symptoms typically associated to Alzheimer disease.

The experiments conducted by doctor Brian Gold, selected 2 groups of senior citizens and gave each attention-switching task which is a skill that increase in difficulty with age. Doctor Gold found that bilingual participants were better at the tasks. It is seniors had to sort colors and shapes. He then repeat it the task, this time attaching a scanner to the head of each participant.
What the scanners showed is that brains of monolingual seniors had to work harder to complete each task, while the brain activity of bilinguals was more relax and efficient.
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Researches think that having more brain skills can help preserve thinking and memory as well as many other senses likely to suffer from brain diseases like  Alzheimer's and dementia. The research was published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

In highly populated cities like New York, it is estimated that up to 60% of the population speak 2 of more languages. For the rest of America, it is believed that about 20% of the population is bilingual.

This study is another evidence against the old believe that children learning a second language had a problem learning proper English. In the past in America, speaking a second language was considered a liability.

Article by 1to1languages - Spanish Tutoring Online via Skype

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

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