October 2006 Archives
The software developed during the Cold War to translate English to and from Russian is said to have turned the English phrase our of sight, out of mind into blind lunatic in Russian. The software is, however, used today in the EU to translate documents, and is highly regarded, though it takes a while to get used to its idiosyncrasies. There's a new Tower of Babel device that allows user to silently mouth a word, which will then be translated into another language.
A few weeks ago, I contacted Leon Robinson from Kingston, Jamaica, who writes a blog called My thoughts...on stuff, and asked him if he would write something about Jamaican English as I have found his blog interesting and wanted to know his ideas about Jamaican English, which I hoped would add to the range of our view of English. We have contributors from many varieties of English, but little about the Caribbean. He agreed to do it and his thoughts can be read here.
While I think that Jack Straw is wrong over his wishes for veiled Muslim women to remove their veils before speaking to him- it's his job to represent people as they are and not as he would like them to be- I am troubled by the latest issue with a woman being suspended for refusing to remove her veil in English language support classes in a primary school.
We have a TV channel here that seems to specialise in playing DVDs on air; you can see the DVD screens with options before and after a film. The other day they had Pirates of the Caribbean 2 on, which I watched as I had heard so much about it. They show the English language version along with English subtitles, which I presume is to give as much help as possible to their viewers as there isn't a Khmer language subtitle option. However, the subtitles for this film were so full of errors and weird English that I can only hope it was a pirate DVD.