in In The News, Translation

Bestselling Children’s Book gets Latin Translation

This week in the news, a bestselling children’s book gets Latin Translation, a new smartphone app helps North Korean refugees assimilate, and organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics boost support for translation technology development.

Bestselling Children’s Book Translated into Latin by Pope’s Twitter Manager

US bestselling young adult novel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, is hitting the shelves again— this time with an archaic twist. Monsignor Daniel B Gallagher, the linguist who manages the Pope’s Twitter feed, translated the popular children’s story into Latin. Of course, translating a modern story into an italic language had its own set of challenges. “There is no equivalent for the phrase ‘cross your fingers’ in Latin,” Gallagher explained. In order to convey the meaning of the modern practice, the translator had to use a more descriptive approach, which can be more time consuming. Then again, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  (BBC)

Smartphone App Helps N. Korean Refugees ”Speak Southern”

A new smartphone app aims to help North Korean refugees conquer one of the most challenging facets of life in the South—speaking Korean. Though the nations have the same linguistic origin, 70 years of division has shaped the language in significant ways. The app was developed by South Korea’s largest advertising agency Cheil Worlwide. “We were looking for ways to help socially marginalized people suffering from communications problems… and realized young North Korean defectors have this big language barrier when studying at school,” said Choi Jae-Young, the Cheil manager in charge of the project. The free app offers translations of 3,600 key Korean words and has been downloaded over 1,500 times since its release in mid-March. (Daily Mail)

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2020 Tokyo Olympics Accelerates Translation Software Development

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in sight, Japan is gearing up (literally) to communicate with visitors from all around the globe. Last April, Japan’s internal affairs ministry unveiled a global communications program using a real-time translation app called VoiceTra. The software, which was developed by the National Institute of Information and Communication Technology (NICT), can be installed on virtually any gadget linked to the Internet. The ministry has allocated ¥1.38 billion in fiscal 2015 to support the project and make real-time automated translation services available in 10 or more languages, including Thai, Vietnamese, and Indonesian. “You have to bear in mind that machine translation can cover only a small portion of what man can do no matter how much it develops,” said NICT’s Sumita. (The Japan Times)

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