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This week in the news, we spotlight the importance of cultural translation after a well-wishing Korean man offered dog meat to US Ambassador Mark Lipper. Today’s news summary also includes a story about a school in West Africa that breaks conversation barriers between hearing and non-hearing students and a mobile app that promises to improve communications between humans and cats.

Lost in Cultural Translation: Korean Man Offers Dog Meat to Injured US Ambassador

What you consider a nice gift might be considered bad taste by someone from a different culture. A few days ago, the United States Ambassador to South Korea, Mr. Mark Lippert, received a “get well soon” gift after being attacked by a knife-wielding man in Seoul last week.  An unnamed man gave Mr. Lippert dog meat and wakame seaweed soup as is the custom in Korea when wishing someone a speedy recovery. However, it’s a well-known fact that Mr. Lippert is a dog lover and can often be seen walking his dog, Grisby, near his residence in Seoul. Hopefully, Mr. Lippert understands the cultural differences and did not take offense. His staff who received the soup politely thanked the man for his gift but declined to pass it on to the ambassador. (Rocket News 24)

School in West Africa Unites Language

CEFISE  school in Burkina Faso is bringing together students who might otherwise have a language barrier. The institution teaches both hearing and hearing-impaired students together. CEFISE is a French acronym for The Integrated Education and Training Centre for Deaf and Hearing People . It is one of the few schools in the world that offers both spoken and sign language. “To make that possible, the teachers know sign language,” said Jess Blijkers, the program coordinator of Light for the World, a federation of NGOs that aims to ensure the rights of disabled people living in developing countries. “There are sign language interpreters that assist the teachers during teaching, and the hearing pupils also know sign language, as they learn it from a very young age, as well.” (Voice of America)

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Cat Translation App Backfires On Owner

Cat owners can often understand their pets by learning their gestures and interpreting vocalizations, but what if they could actually speak cats’ language using a human-to-cat translator app? In the video below, a woman downloaded what she thought would be the app to finally bring her closer to her feline friend. Sadly the app seems to have said something offensive because the response was not what you might expect. (The Huffington Post)

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