Language News


Facebook All Geared Up for Improving Maori Translation

In agreement with the Maori Language Commission, Facebook is al geared up to improve the Maori translation.

According to Ngahiwi Apanui (Te Taura Whiri chief executive) Facebook made an approach to use the online Maori language dictionary. Not just this, the company also asked for help regarding the translation of its platform, in order to help people in using the language on Facebook.

He further adds that they need to make sure that the language is seen and also widely used where it is not being used at present.

This in turn will help the language to be promoted, i.e. main aim of the Maori language week.

Further, as per Mia Garlick – the Facebook New Zealand and Australia head of policy – the company was working with the Maori Language Commission for promoting the language through the platform.

The major discussions also encompassed the specific use of Maori language.

Garlick said that already many people have been observed to share Maori language on Facebook and they are working towards supporting the engagement in Maori language.

Working with experts such as the commission, Facebook wished to ensure that the translation was appropriate and provided through the right channels.


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Get Facebook Posts Composed and Translated into 44 Languages

Facebook has launched a multilingual composer that lets the user to compose and translate their posts into 44 languages. It is said that there are almost 1.5 billion users of Facebook. But, only half of the users speak the English language. The rest of the users speak other languages.

Reports say that the new tool lets the user translate the posts in a semi-effective way. The translated posts will automatically show up in the users’ News Feed.

Ayan (who oversees the company’s translation efforts) and team designed this multilingual composer especially for the multilingual audience. Further, the composer lets the user to edit the automatic translation. One can even provide their own translation.

But the eventual goal is to automate the process for each Facebook user. Although, machine translation is not so perfect, yet it is steadily improving.

Facebook will handle the translation task largely with traditional algorithmic models. These models rely on the language statistics. But when it comes to translating English to German, the company is majorly leaning over the deep neural networks. According to Ayan, this provides a noticeable improvement.

In recent years, the deep neural networks have been known to be adept at learning varied tasks, such as identifying spoken words, recognizing faces in photos etc. But, now, they are also improving their understanding about the natural language and machine translation.

It is said that Skype translation service also leans over the neural networks.

The users will get an option of clicking to create additional versions of the post or update in different languages. The user can either write his/her post from scratch, or edit the text generated by the Facebook’s translation software.

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2016 Māori Language Week Celebrations to Begin on 4th July

te wiki o te reo Māori, i.e. the Māori Language Week 2016 celebrations will be commencing from 4th of July to 10th of July. Māori is actually an indigenous language of New Zealand.

This language week is basically an initiative sponsored by the government that aims at encouraging the New Zealanders to promote the language and its use.

This week is celebrated since 1975.

The Māori Language Commission plans a theme for the celebration week and a wide range of events, promotions and activities that encourage the use of te reo Māori around the country.

The theme for this year is akina to reo – behind you all the way. This theme aims at using the language to support, encourage and motivate people.

Reports say that 50 phrases based on the theme have been developed by the Maori Language Commission.

Plans also suggest using the key words in connection with some major sports events, like the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio. Reports say that this will help in building interest in the language during the language week.


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English Version of Digimon Adventure Tri to Be Released in US

Theatrical launch of the Digimon Adventure tri. – Chapter 1: Reunion will soon take place in US in English version. Not just this, the screening of one-night Fathom Events is also expected to take place on September 15, in more than 300 US theaters.

Further, it will be followed by a national launch of the movie in varied cities.

This project is said to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Digimon Adventure, which was the very first entry in this series. Further, this Digimon Adventure tri. Project is reported to contain six films.

Digimon Adventure tri. Saikai (Reunion), the first film was released in Japanese theaters last November. The streaming the film by Crunchyroll began on the same day as 4 episodes.

Digimon Adventure tri. Ketsui (Determination), the second film, released in Japanese theaters on March 12. The streaming for this film began on March 11, as four episodes.

Digimon Adventure tri. Kokuhaku, the third film, will open for three weeks in Japan on 24th of September. Further, as far as paid streaming is concerned, it will be available in Japan on the same day.

Reports say that the general release on DVD and Blu-ray Disc will be held on November 2.

Update: Eleven Arts and Toei animation, the company that announced about the movie release updated their press release to inform that the screening of Fathom Events will be conducted on September 15. According to reports, the theatrical release was slated for October, but no window was given for the same in the new press release.

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Machine Translation Can Bring Businesses in Jeopardy: Report

Recent reports suggest that machine or automatic translation can bring businesses in a state of jeopardy. This is possible due to the poor quality of translations that the translation software delivers.

Many instances of poor translations have been seen that often becomes a joke. But, some translations can be very offensive for the target audience, making the businesses to lose their business and customers.

Although, the reports continue to describe that the natural language processing and machine learning will soon become error-free, yet it can’t be said that for how long the businesses will have to wait for it.

Hence, it is better to opt for native language translation by native translators; rather than using the auto translation.

Reports further say that the example of obscene translation was seen with the real-time translation software launched by Skype.

In January, Skype launched voice call translation in seven languages. On one occasion, it was found that the Mandarin words turned into obscenities.

This was actually spotted by a photographer who was shooting a commercial for Skype in China. The photographer was using the software for communicating with the people in Mandarin language.

The simple phrase ‘It’s nice to talk to you’ got translated into offensive stream of swear words.

This was one of the many instances that people may face due to the faulty translation by the auto translation software.

Thus, human translation is considered to be better than machine translation, as the translators have the language knowledge, dialect knowledge and the ability to generate translation in proper target language.

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Dispute over Ukraine’s Entry into the Oscar Race Gets Over

Finally Ukraine has ended the conflict over its entry into the Oscar race that started nearly two year back from now. This implies that the dispute over foreign-language Oscar selection process has come to an end.

This conflict is said to begin back in 2014. At that time, the procedure of selection provoked accusations over the choice of Ukraine’s foreign-language Oscar candidate (The Guide).

But, now the reports suggest that the state cinema agency, national filmmakers’ union and producers’ association have signed a memorandum. This memo states their cooperation within the country’s nomination committee.

It was due to this conflict that the state missed the submission deadline for the Academy Awards in 2016.

In line with the new rules, an announcement will be made shortly for Ukrainian Oscar committee secretary. Reports say that an open contest would be organized for the position.

There are 16 people included in the new Oscar committee and it has been approved by all parties involved.

Last year, the national filmmakers’ union introduced a new makeup of the committee. But, some individual producers and the Ukrainian producers’ association felt sidelined and thus, accused the new committee of insufficient transparency and inactivity.

Observers expect that now when all the differences are resolved, Ukraine must not have any problems submitting a film for 2017 Academy Awards.

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Use of English Should Be Discarded After Brexit, Says French Mayor

According to the French mayor, use of English language should be discarded after Brexit. This language is among the 24 official languages spoken in the EU.

But, the mayor believes that the language, no more holds legitimacy after Britain voted to exit the EU. His tweet is as follows:

La langue anglaise n’a plus aucune légitimité à Bruxelles. #Brexit

English is also one of the major languages that are used to conduct business.

Further, Jean-Luc Mélenchon (left-wing presidential candidate), said the language can no longer hold the status of the 3rd working language of the European Parliament. Jean-Luc Mélenchon also tweeted –

L’anglais ne peut plus être la troisième langue de travail du parlement européen #Brexit

As per a report, almost 51% of citizens in EU speak English as their first or second language. However, only a third could speak German language and a quarter could speak the French language.

Reports further say that despite of the vote for exit, it seems that discarding English language altogether in Brussels is not likely to happen. This is because it is the official language of Malta and Ireland.

A report in 2013 stated that English language squeezed other languages, in order to become the common language of Europe.

Further, it was also revealed that almost two out of three people have a fair working knowledge of English language.


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Students May Now Learn Tulu Language in Udupi

Students in Udupi will now learn Tulu as an optional language subject. Reports say that 14 students have showed their interest in learning the language.

Tulu is generally spoken in Kasaragod district and Karnataka.

According to the Chairperson of Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy, this language was the lingua franca of Tulunadu. She said that people are able to express themselves more precisely, when they speak in their native language.

But, to be able to write the language is also essential. Hence, learning Tulu language plays a vital role.

It was also said that the students learning Tulu have the potential to establish their career as writers in the language.

Further, Chandrahasa Rai, who is the Registrar of Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy, said that for the last three years, this language was taught in 13 schools located in the Dakshina Kannada district. Now, Tulu will also be taught in Udupi city.

It was reported that almost 25 students were learning Tulu language in 6th and 7th standard in Dakshina Kannada district. Not just this, it is also said that 541 students in Dakshina Kannada district and almost 555 students, inclusive of 14 students of Udupi were learning the language.

Further, he says that it would be possible to introduce the language in first year and second year pre-university courses, if more students get interested in choosing Tulu as the third optional language in 10th standard.

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Paytm to Add 6 Regional Languages for Seller Assistance

Reports suggest that Paytm is planning to add 6 regional languages for seller assistance and consolidating the ecommerce, seller marketplace and digital payments platform.

It is said that the local languages will help the sellers in documentation, cataloguing and loan applications.

The end-to-end seller services worked pretty well for the Flipkart and ShopClues, which launched Seller Hub and Merchant Central programme respectively.

This helped the companies to provide information to their sellers and that too in their local languages.

Talking about Paytm; the vice-president of Paytm said that they are working on the language translations in-house.

He further adds that with such a platform for regional languages, the sellers would be able to manage orders and inventory, grab payment details and even add new products in the regional language app.

Almost 20% adoption has been noticed for the regional language app that is presently available in Hindi language. In the coming future, more regional languages will be added up.

Reports say that the marketplace has joined hands with almost 150 seller services providers. This move aims at creating a centralised system for assisting the sellers.

The seller app in Hindi is reported to have 40,000 monthly active users.

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Do You Know the Language of Watermelon?

Do you know the watermelon has a unique language of its own? Reports have found a theory that states that knocking hard on the outside of the watermelon can actually help you know whether or not it is ready to eat.

The sound that you may hear after knocking the watermelon is regarded as the language of the fruit.

This theory became the hot topic of online debate in China that involved discussion about understanding the type of people who were engaged in knocking the watermelon.

Thousands of people participated in this debate.

Actually, a Chinese social media user posted the image of a sign that asked the customers to stop knocking the watermelons. This sign was placed in a watermelon crate in an Italian supermarket.

Although it was not indicated that the message was targeted at Chinese heritage customers, yet somehow it was regarded as an attack on their practice.

Further, reports also suggest that people have shared their photos while they were listening or waiting for watermelons’ response.

Some online users pointed that the watermelon knocking concept has been something that they received from their parents.

As per an online search, listening to the sound of watermelon or knocking the same for a hollow sound is almost a universal concept.

Reports say that the concept of watermelon has seldom appeared in various films and animation. Videos and blogs can also be found that provide advice on picking a good watermelon.

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