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Monica Biberson
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Freelance Translator
Freelance Translator

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A new, 14-billion-word iWeb corpus (https://corpus.byu.edu/iweb/), part of the BYU suite of corpora (https://corpus.byu.edu/), has been launched.

New in iWeb is the ability to browse through the top 60,000 words in the corpus, and to search this list by word form, part of speech, rank (#1-60,000), and even pronunciation.

Most importantly, you can then see detailed information on each of the top 60,000 words in the corpus – definition, frequency information, synonyms and other related words (from WordNet, word families, MRC, etc), collocates (in a much improved format), related “topics” (perhaps much more useful than collocates), “clusters” (new in iWeb), relevant websites, and sample concordance/KWIC lines. There are extensive hyperlinks on each page, which allow you to quickly and easily move from one word to a number of related words.

In addition, for each of these 60,000 words, there are “quick links” to related data from other websites – pronunciation, additional definitions, images, videos, and translations (for more than 100 languages).

iWeb also allows you to quickly and easily create “virtual corpora” on nearly any topic, and these virtual corpora can then be searched as their own “stand-alone” corpora, or compared to other virtual corpora that you have created.

Finally, in terms of “standard” corpus searches, we note that (due to improvements in the corpus architecture) iWeb is faster than any of the other BYU corpora, and in most cases it is also much faster than other large, 10-20 billion word online corpora.

For a short overview of the corpus (in graphical format, with an emphasis on the new features), please see:

https://corpus.byu.edu/iweb/help/iweb_overview.pdf

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"Ce qui me plaît, c’est le travail sur la langue. Ou plutôt, le travail sur les langues, celle au départ et celle à l’arrivée. La traduction, c’est toujours un entre-deux, on est ni là ni ailleurs. Il ne faut jamais penser que le livre en français d’un auteur russe équivaut au livre russe. Aucune traduction n’existe d’une façon absolue, c’est à chaque fois des interprétations, des tentatives, non pas pour passer d’un monde à l’autre, mais pour faire comprendre au lecteur que l’on est entre deux mondes."

"Rather than imagine the translator as someone who stands between two languages, cultures, and nations, we would do better to cultivate an image of him as a ghost who haunts languages, cultures, and nations, existing in two worlds at once but belonging fully to neither. The translator, as a ghost, is neither wholly domestic nor wholly foreign, because he is simultaneously both foreign and domestic; she is neither entirely visible nor entirely invisible to those who stand in one world or the other, even in the finished form of her product, because she is in their world but not of it."

MICHAEL EMMERICH, "Beyond, Between: Translations, Ghosts, Metaphors" in: E. ALLEN & S. BERNOFSKY (eds.), In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What It Means (New York: Columbia University Press 2013, p. 50)

LF Aligner and TMLookup

Two very simple but powerful tools for aligning source and target texts (LF Aligner) and looking up multiple translation memories in one place, giving plenty of context if needed (TMLookup). They beat any well-known CAT software hands down both in terms of efficiency and ease of use. Hard to believe they are free though any contribution would of course get you brownie points. Kudos to Andras Farkas (www.farkastranslations.com) who designed these.
You can find them here:
LF Aligner: https://sourceforge.net/projects/aligner/
TMLookup: http://www.farkastranslations.com/tmlookup.php

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In praise of singular “they”

... at a recent meeting of the American Copy Editors Society, the “Chicago Manual of Style” and the Associated Press (AP) stylebook, both widely followed, announced a change that sent waves through the audience. In AP’s wording, “They/them/their is acceptable in limited cases as a singular and-or gender-neutral pronoun, when alternative wording is overly awkward or clumsy.”

https://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21719768-praise-singular-they-english-has-traditional-solution-gender-neutral-pronouns
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The Economist Technology Quarterly report on language
Finding a voice
Finding a voice
economist.com

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Two students from the University of Washington have invented gloves that can translate sign language into text or speech.

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Love in Translation
Love in Translation
newyorker.com

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Metamorphosis
Metamorphosis
economist.com
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