Saturday, October 18, 2008

Moving my blog ...

Well, since places are getting too many for me, I decided to not go ahead writing my blog here. All new posts in English will be posted on eng.i-iter.org, German will be on deu.i-iter.org, Neapolitan on nap.i-iter.org, and as for Italian I will write on Positanonews. I am on all these websites anyway, so this blog was just one more to care about.

Cu there then :-)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Luna and the broom ...

Luna has been sick for some days and still is not a 100% back to normal, but she cannot stay still for a moment. So the broom was still not put away and she started to play with it. With the feet on the lower large part she had it move forth and back ... until the moment when she found it too fun ... well at a certain stage the stick of the broom hit her on her front ... it did not hurt all too much ... but her face ... don't know if you can imagine that ... I started to laugh like mad when I saw her face ... and she got veeeeeeery angry with me :-D

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Valentin ... or when a tumor grows for the second time ...

There's not much on the blog. Our main article is published in an online newspaper and it makes more sense to link to it.

So if you are interested to know what we are doing these days, just go to Positanonews:
http://positanonews.it/dettaglio.php?sez=Valentin+%C3%82%E2%80%93+or+when+a+tumor+grows+for+the+second+time+...&id=16920

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Computer sciences and elementary school

Today my two had another computer sciences lesson and had to "learn by heart" how a computer is built ... but: in their schoolbook only a normal computer (tower) is considered, no laptop. Only Windows is explained in there, no Linux. Now they started to read that stuff where it says that "the mouse moves the cursor" Marco comes up with "well, but we don't have a mouse, we use a touchpad" and when the book talks about "floppy disk, CD-ROM and DVD" she comes up with: but we don't have any floppy disks ... and so I had to explain they whys and whats. The fun thing was when they started, looking ahead in the pages, well, we had Windows some years ago (they started very soon with computers - Marco broke the first keyboard veeery sooon, he was not even one year old and they had their first working play laptop with 2 years) but today we have Edubuntu which is Linux, so that stuff in the book is old :-D

We started to talk a bit about the differences between Windows and Linux, proprietary vs. free software ... well it's fun ... I suppose their teacher will have a nice talk with them next Wendesday about desktops, towers and laptops, Windows and Linux and why quite a bunch of Windows software runs also on Linux (using Wine) but Linux software normally does not work with Windows ... and therefore it is clear enough what is more interesting for them :-)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Quando una stella non c'è più ...

Quando una stella non c'è più ...

Una storia dedicata a tutti i bambini nel mondo.

Ho pensato a lungo come raccontare gli ultimi giorni e ho scelto la forma di una storia nella quale non usero nomi, eccetto quello del bambino: Ilya. Molti particolari non li posso purtroppo pubblicare qui. Quindi leggerete solo la punta del iceberg, tutto il resto della montagna rimarrà nascosto.

11 settembre 2008



La settimana scorsa arriva un messaggio di un amico nel chat nel quale mi dice che c'è un bambino che ha urgentemente bisogno di un trapianto di una parte dell'intestino. Il bambino ha appena due mesi ed gli estato esportato una parte dell'intestino. Il nome non l'abbiamo usato allora. La situazione era grave e non c'era tempo da perdere. Quindi abbiamo attivato dei contatti e vorrei ringraziare in modo molto particolare la persona che ha creato il contatto con un'ospedale ben noto a Roma. È andato tutto molto veloce, davvero. I medici a Roma si sono dimostrati molto disponibili, altro che quello che sempre si sente nelle notizie: ricordatevi, i medici qui sono in gamba e fanno quel che possono per salvare le vite e ricordatevi anche che sono in primo luogo esseri umani che hanno un'enorme responsabilità ogni giorno, ogni minuto, ogni secondo.

Abbiamo anche contattato un ospedale in Germania che ha risposto qualche giorno dopo quando il contatto con Roma già c'era. Ambedue i medici, in Italia e in Germania, hanno detto la stessa cosa: il bambino era in una condizione molto grave e in pericolo di vita. Il prossimo passo quindi era creare la communicazione tra i due ospedali. Non sapevamo se fosse stato possibile avere la communicazione in inglese o meno e quindi ho chiesto alcuni colleghi se conoscevano interpreti per medicina che lavorano con la combinazione russo o ucraino e italiano. Molti hanno aiutato dandoci contatti e abbiamo conservato tutti, perché serviranno anche in futuro e quindi: grazie ai colleghi traduttori che ci hanno aiutato.

Lunedì mattina, l'8 settembre 2008, c'era poi il primo colloquio tra vari dottori e abbiamo capito che cosa ci voleva per il trasporto. Dall'incubatrice con respiratore, all'aereo militare ... insomma: era una montagna da scalare. Di nuovo abbiamo avuto aiuto da molte persone e mancava solo il colloquio con il primario dell'ospedale mercoledì mattina alle ore 9:30 ore italiane e il procedimento per il trasporto che andava avviato tramite l'ambasciata italiana. Cioè davvero poco ... eravamo molto vicino e speravamo tanto che il primario dava l'ok per il trasporto che per noi significava il via per concludere tutto.

In questi giorni abbiamo imparato tanto, davvero tanto. Non solo su livello "tecnico", ma anche su livello umano.

Era arrivato mercoledì mattina e per la prima volta quel bambino ha avuto un nome per me: Ilya. In pochi giorni anche non conoscendo personalmente molte delle persone coinvolte nasce qualcosa come una relazione personale. Eravamo un po' nervosi perché il colloquio doveva decidere su molte cose.

Alle nove ca. arriva la notizia: Ilya ci ha lasciato alle 8:30 ore italiane.

Ilya non è l'unico bambino in queste condizioni, ce ne sono altri che hanno bisogno di cure ed attenzione. Una cosa per noi è chiaro: la morte di lui non deve essere stata invana. Deve servire per dare un futuro migliore ad altri bambini.

Ancora grazie a tutti quelli che ci hanno aiutato, anche a quelli che come segretari/e o ai centralini hanno accolto le nostre telefonate: avete aiutato a tentare l'impossibile. Quando vedo questo con tutto il mondo che ci viene sempre è soltanto presentato come negativo posso dire: c'è tanta forza positiva negli uomini, basta tirarla fuori.

Grazie!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

City, Am Fenster

Well the following song shall be the last one for today.




Einmal wissen dies bleibt für immer
Ist nicht Rausch der schon die Nacht verklagt
Ist nicht Farbenschmelz noch Kerzenschimmer
Von dem Grau des Morgens längst verjagt

Einmal fassen tief im Blute fühlen
Dies ist mein und es ist nur durch dich
Nicht die Stirne mehr am Fenster kühlen
Dran ein Nebel schwer vorüber strich

Einmal fassen tief im Blute fühlen
Dies ist mein und es ist nur durch dich
Klagt ein Vogel, ach auch mein Gefieder
Näßt der Regen flieg ich durch die Welt

Flieg ich durch die Welt

Ludwig Hirsch, 1928

Jetzt bist du weg, Nena + Udo Lindenberg

Yes, you are right :-) I am listening to quite some music today :-)

Ganz unten, Saitenwynd

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A person I would have liked to meet ...

There are days when you realize that history repeats ... that the way people do things repeat.

Some weeks ago Anneliese Hübner mentioned a book to me "Die Coburger Mundart" (The Dialect of Coburg) by Eduard Hermann. The history of that book is as unique as its author ... something I did not expect in a first place. I mean Eduard Hermann is well known as a linguist and what I expected from this book is just a study of the dialect of the region I come from, but then I found it by chance in a shop which sells antique books in Coburg and so I ordered it. It arrived this morning and up to now I had a short overview and I read some 40 pages of it.

There are quite some very particular parts in it. The writer of the book died in 1950 and his book was published with the help of a protestant priest in 1957. A good part of the author's life is in that book. Like me Eduard Hermann wanted to do something for his language, but was not able to speak and write it himself, so he did what his job was, he studied his own language. With one difference: while in his job he did great work, in this very particular one you read his feelings between the lines. I tried to translate a paragraph to Italian today, and I had to note that all the feelings drop away, because those fine differences you have in sentence construction are not possible in Italian, at least not the same way, not without completely re-writing the paragraph.

There is one sentence I will never forget: "Und darum darf die MA (Mundart) auch nicht aussterben: nicht die Schriftsprache ist der lebendige Quell der Sprache, sondern die dem Volke fest verbundene Mundart, der noch der kräftige Erdgeruch enströmt."

I am trying to translate: "And therefore the dialect may not dye for it is not the high language which is the living source of the language, but the dialect which is closely attached to the people and which still exhales the strong aroma of the earth."

I could go on and on with quotes and translations ... Eduard Hermann did a really great job and I would have very much liked to meet him, talk to him and learn from him. Well: now there's only the written word left ...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Having a really old resource at hand ... DIWA and Itzgründisch



Well yes, I am working on a Windows computer right now and it feels really strange. But there is that project called DIWA at the university of Marburg. That is the digitalization of the Wenker sentences which were translated into all German local dialects/languages/variations. Now the sentences are from over 100 years ago. The latest and definitive version of the 40 sentences is from 1880. The firefox plugin does not work properly (well all is Windows based on the website as it seems) and so I pulled out this veeery (well relatively) old computer and I am on Windows. Above is a screenshot of a first part of the Wenker sentences in one variation of Itzgründisch. As you might note the script used to write in these days is very different, but well: like so often coincidence (?) helps me. I learnt to read that script when I was a little girl, because my grandma wrote that way and just some weeks ago I took it up again trying to write some short notes. Now the good news is: I can read that stuff. It is for now quite tiring, because it is a different handwriting than the one I am used to and it is written in Itzgründisch, that is one very local variety. But getting all those 40 sentences in all its variations of Itzgründisch will help to find proper terminology. For who is interested in that stuff: I am going to publish it bit by bit on the I-iter for Mainfränkisch in the books section.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Neapolitan and Itzgründisch ... what a difference ...

I am known for my working with Neapolitan, writing articles, even newspaper articles, translating stories ... something I would have never expected when I came to the region where I live approximately 20 years ago (actually in April 1988). I then was somewhat forced to learn to talk in Neapolitan, because I lived up in the mountains in a very, very small place – so small that there was not even a shop and the next bus station was quite some walk. I learnt that language and at a certain point it happened to me that I got translations from "Italian to German" where the text turned out to be Neapolitan (Pulcinella and various songs and theatre plays). From that moment on Neapolitan became part of my job and I found it fun that I was one of the very few to be able to translate from Neapolitan to German being a German mother tongue. During the last four years I started to write, from articles about Maiori, music groups to actual news like Batman who was on holiday in Ravello and about the Italian parliament complaining that they could not get any ice cream after lunch to news about computer games which were localised into less resourced languages. Neapolitan is a language, it has no real standard, because there is no law that defines it, but there is somewhat a standard with some variations and once you know that, in most part of Southern Italy you will be able to write what you say using exactly these words.

Growing up (no, I am still not grown up even if I should be :-) several quite strong changes happened to my life and I started to become interested in my own language around the beginning of this year, just having had some look at it. I found a writer in Sonneberg, Karl-Heinz Großman who writes Itzgründisch, the variation of Sonneberg and when I read it, it is very familiar to me, because my grandparents were from Sonneberg, so that is what I heard from then when I was at home. After some time I found other texts written by people from Coburg and surroundings and Neustadt, one text from Rodach. All of them, except Neustadt which has stronger vowel differences, are familiar and all of them are written in a different spelling ... uhmmmmm ...

When I was a little girl I was not allowed to speak my mother tongue and my grandparents and parents only spoke German with me, but among themselves they spoke their language. This means that Itzgründisch is well present in my head, but I am not able to express me in that language, that is that door is still closed. It is starting to open a bit, but still not enough, I feel.

In June I was in Bamberg and came back home with quite some literature in regional languages – from Itzgründisch (Coburg) to the Mainfränkisch of Bamberg to some Bavarian. So I started to read and create terminology lists ... and hell ... I found that the same words are written in a different way by writes which are even of the same town.

That made me come into mind my first talk with Karl-Heinz Grossman, who then told me that the writers in their association decided to write everybody as he/she likes, just like they perceive the language. No spelling rules. Well the same seems to be true for the region around Coburg.

Now: how can one learn to write if there is no real standard? My father sent me a dictionary which includes terminology from Rodach – and yes, you imagine correctly ... comparing it with the books I bought in Bamberg: it is different again.

I asked Anneliese Hübner, one of the writers I seem to read easily, because it is a kind of the language that is near to what I heard when I was a little girl. She told me about a dictionary by Eduard Hermann which strictly deals with the version of Coburg. I ordered it through a shop which sells old books and it should arrive during the next days. But anyway ... just these are so many variations ...

The next thought of mine was: hell, I need some means to learn the language and something that can correct my grammar and spelling, and so I contacted Kevin Scannell, passed him all the texts I have in an electronic format and gave him some links. After some days he sent me his files with word lists which now need cleaning. All these texts refer to the centres of Itzgründisch only, so no border regions, no small villages ... only the bigger ones. When I received these files it was like Christmas and birthday in one for me ... I could start to work on my own language and get things done and hopefully help to have the whole culture of that region survive. I mean: language is only part of the culture and culture cannot be kept alive without language.

During the last days I was also working each day a bit on my own word list, extracting terminology from the books I bought in Bamberg ... then I opened the file and then ... there was one word "bloß" it had 4 variations

blos
bloß
blouß
bluoß

I looked at my list and there I had further variations:

bluuß
blueß
bluueß

Uhmmmmm 7 ... that was a real shock, I mean 7 variations out of 4 places which are all along a line of 40 kms. (btw. this is just one example of many)

Then I went and looked at the texts ... when I see all these variations in their position in the sentence, I don't note the difference, but I note it when I have that list there ... so why don't they try to use one way of writing one word at least in that restricted area so that at least one who wants to learn the language can REALLY learn how to read and maybe write?

Even if young people wanted to create for example some fun theatre play for the party you normally have around Christmas or at the end of the school year, how can they ever try to write a text, even just a few lines?

I spoke to some linguists ... the funny situation with Itzgründisch is that it seems nobody has studied the whole region of it "as one", because after World War II it was split – one part went to East Germany and one to West Germany. I remember one remark by Karl-Heinz Großmann, who, after the opening of East Germany in 1989 went to Neustadt with his pupils which were really astonished to find that people in that city in West Germany talked "like them". So the part speaking Itzgründisch in Turinga was studied in Turinga and the part speaking Itzgründisch in Bavaria was studied in Bavaria ... now you have different studies, but nobody is connecting them (as it seems, well I will go ahead searching, maybe someone did it or is doing it right now). Why do political borders have to influence on a language? In such a strong way? I mean: all want to maintain the culture, the beauty of the region, the way to do things like once upon a time: well that is ONLY possible when you also care about the language.

When you talk to authors (various) some work with universities, others completely refuse them, each one writes like he/she finds best ... but if they want to maintain their culture and by writing in their language, they show me that they want to do exactly that, why don't they put all misunderstandings apart, sit at a table and start to find a way on how to unify the way of writing? That is standardise it as much as possible? Not all will be possible, some specific expressions are of some very specific places, but 95% of what is written could be standardised.

You believe not? Well whatever language you speak: look at it and the various places where people speak it. Have them read the same text and then compare: the big languages do that all the time.

Now the next question is: but how to do it without giving too much weight to one variation, well we have examples about that: one of it is Occitan – they use an old way of writing which is pronounced in each part of the region a bit different. But now anyone, even a foreigner, can learn that language, can learn how to read it and the culture which is connected to it can survive. Piedmontese underwent a similar process in the 1920s already: today it is alive and people use it every day. Even I am able to learn it (yes, some sentences I can write).

Now when I compare this to my culture and mother tongue it makes me really sad. The more you cut a language down in pieces the easier you can delete it from the landscape of cultures and languages ... and that is happening with Itzgründisch.

When I started to work with Neapolitan and there were all those stupid political fights among people from the actual regions of the South of Italy if they wanted to belong to Neapolitan or not (sic) I thought I was standing in front of some of the highest mountains of the Alps and I knew that in one or the other way I could get up there.

But this ... Itzgründisch ... takes me to a very different place ... in the deepest valley, just before you can start to go up the Kilimanjaro ... and if I look at myself I understand in so many ways that MANY things have to change to make it possible to reach the top.

Like I so often say: it is only a matter of time to reach things if you really want ... and this here will take loads of time and patience.

If you are from the region where Itzgründisch is spoken, if you love your culture and want to maintain it for the future, please consider very much every pace you make ... and then choose the one that goes into the right direction: doing things together, finding ways together ... not everybody as he/she wishes ...

If you are a linguist and you are interested in this very particular language which has been divided by a war and still remained the same, even if people could not talk to each other, then you can help by doing the "inventory" from where we all together can help to get it done.

I am really sad about this situation ... no, more than sad, but as long as there are people left who write and speak the language, as long as the recipes and the food remains the same, as long as you want the beauty of the landscape to survive: there is a chance ... because having all that is closely connected to "language".

Let me close with a quote by David Crystal, Florence Devouard used in her speech for our conference in Cherasco:

"The world is a mosaic of visions and each vision is encapsulated by a language. Every time a language is lost one vision of the world disappears."




p.s I will translate this into Itzgründisch just in the way I perceive my language, Itzgründisch ... just to show that it will be different again and anyway: who cares, right? It's just another version ... it will take some time ...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Streets in Venice ...


I was just talking with my son Marco about Venice ... tanks to St. Marcus, the patron of Venice, and so we looked a many pictures and I explained about about gondolas, ships etc. and that there are no streets with cars. For him who loves cars, motor sports, formula 1, 2 etc. and whatever deals with that, having a city without streets and cars ... well no ... so he asked "But why don't they build roads" and for simplicity reasons "I said they cannot do this because of the sea". The he: "No mommy, that's not true, they can put these long colums in the sea and then simply build the streets on it and then they would have streets - and cars - ". Well ... what could I say to that logic? :-D

Btw. the picture is public domain and taken from Wikimedia Commons.

We could not deliver your mail because it contains a Virus

... that was the answer when I tried to send a message to napulitano@yahoogroups.com - I was really wondering ... I work with Ubuntu, use a antivirus ... well ... it meant I had to scan my computer, so I did - no result, everything fine.

Then I tried to send the message with the yahoo.it web interface: same result, I was told I had a virus. That sounded really weird ...

Then I looked at my message, the subject was "Photos" because I wanted to thank people for sending me photos. And I thought ... let me send a test message. So I sent a message to the group using "Test" as subject. That one went through without any complaints.

Therefore the yahoo server considered my first e-mail(s) to have a virus because in the subject line I only used the word "Photo". Weird, right? ... So don't do what I did :-D

Sunday, August 10, 2008

When google docs crashes and you loose your data

Well, most people probably think: this will not happen ... it happened to me today. Over 300 terms in Itzgründisch together with their German translation ... all of a sudden I got:

Wir bitten um Verzeihung.

Ein Serverfehler ist aufgetreten. Warten Sie einen Moment und versuchen Sie es dann erneut.

Weitere Informationen finden Sie in der Hilfe zu Google Text & Tabellen.

That is: they are sorry, there is a server error and please wait a moment and then retry. You will find further info under Goolge Text & Tables ...

Well that moment now has been some hours ago. The funny thing is, just a few moments before I thought: well let me download the file. Like so often I feel things before they happen, but if I had not done that ... what then?

So this is to tell you: keep copies of your google documents somewhere ... data loss is always just around the corner.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

U96 - Das Boot

Music ....

I am just listening to some "old" music together with Outi - so this is one I remember from when I went to work in the morning ... it was on each day.



Be prepared for some more today :-)

Monday, July 21, 2008

A new inhabitant ...























Such a nice little friend is living behind the clock in the kitchen ... I remember a story from over 10 years ago. At that time there was another family living downstairs and one evening I heard someone shouting "Sabine" - a kind of a call that sounded like an emergency ... so I went out on the balcony to see what was going on and Patrizia who lived downstairs was gesticulating heavily indicating me such a nice animal and telling me "close your window in the kitchen or it will enter". Something I never understood is why so many people here are afraid of lizzards ... I have them around on the roof, the balcony and now one in the kitchen ... they are just fun to see and in the worst case they eat some insects that are around ... considering that I don't like mosquitos ... I love lizzards :-)

My coast ... yes, it's mine :-)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Itzgründisch ... or German?

It is a strange feeling when you start to realize that you actually "translate" when you write your so-called mother tongue. The other day I wrote a personal message for a friend and I noted something really strange: the way what I wanted to say formed in my head was different from the way I wrote - this means that subconsciously I was translating from what I had in mind to what I actually wrote. The funny thing is that when you consider some terms to be translated from German to Italian you cannot do it because these don't exist in Italian ... and this seems to be quite normal, but that you cannot express what you have in mind in the language you grew up with, that is really weird ... yes, I am trying to get my language back ... that is my real mother tongue which is Itzgründisch which is considered to be a dialect of Mainfränkisch. A language I know from my gand parents listening to it, but which I was not allowed to speak and learn ... time to learn it I would say.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Meeting a jelly fish ... not much fun ...

So this is what it looks like when a jelly fish touches you ... when? At around 7 'o clock in the morning (strange time for this region ... at least I was told so) after almost one hour of swimming ... it was the other day that I saw one for the first time here in the sea. This is a link to commons where you can see how it looked like. Then yesterday morning, while swimming I thought it might be a good idea not to get with my face under water like I so often do and so I decided to swim my approx. 2400 meters almost only on the back. I still had that image of the jelly fish in mind. Well: it was a good idea - at approx. 1600 meters, the distance I used to swim last year, something got my leg ... and it burnt ... so I had my first meeting with one of these not so nice creatures .... well they look nice, but actually meeting one personally ... that's not so much of a good idea. I suppose I never swam as fast to reach the beach like yesterday.

What was a bit particular was that I did not know you could have allergic reactions, but being allergic to all sorts of plants I have always some emergency stuff at home and I needed it. So you can get anything from breathing difficulties to fever - uhmmm ... the night was ... particular as well. Now the leg is not as red anymore as it was yesterday, there are just these stripes, but I am not going to swim for some days until the jelly fish moved away. Normally they don't stay too long here and I am really not keen on having more trouble, in particular because this was only a "slight touch" I got, so no tentacles attached ... what would have happened if I got more of that stuff into my bloodstream?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

One of those things ...

Gerard is coming to Naples ... and I was sure he would arrive on Monday, don't ask me why, but for me the 15th was Monday. Now I received an e-mail at 16:30 approx that he was taking the bus since he had arrived at the airport ... uhmmmmmmmmm ... where was my brain? Then I looked at our conversation and he actually said cu today at 14:00 and for some reason I did not realize that today. Now he's coming with the bus - but which way ... so I don't know if leaving the house and go to the city centre or remain here. But one thing will remain in history: the "Gerard effect". When my kids heard that he already arrived and not tomorrow they immediately started to clean and put away all their stuff ... and I in the meanwhile decided that it made sense to get most of the housework done so that I will have more time ... now ... well what to do ... probably I will wait some more time until the next bus stops here on the street and then I will go to the centre of Maiori ... probably it is the wisest thing to do. Well I am really sorry that things went this way ... now the only thing is make the best out of it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Open Nursery - Slideshows to learn languages

How to get languages to kids (and not only).

Well when my kids were approx. 3 years old I wanted them to be exposed to a certain kind of terminology in German, because many of the "kid's words" were not part of our daily language. They are twins and therefore of course prefer to play one with the other and mom was was called when it was about eating, drinking, going to the bathroom etc. Then I created slideshows with all kinds of words that were interesting to them and I noted that this worked really well. The photos I then used cannot easily be published in a slide show (because of the licenses that others used – GFDL is not suited at all for photos) and therefore I now just took what my two produce(d) at school.

I created a slide show where the intro still needs to change, but I already wanted to show you an example and ask you to help with the translation and the recording of the words. It is really not much: just 10 objects, some colours and 10 short sentences. They can be recorded in "one rush" using audacity (I can cut them) and you need to use OpenOffice.org since I use a presentation I then transfer into single jpg files from where I create the slide shows.

The contents are available under cc-by-sa which means that also your translations will be under that license.

I already talked with SJ from the OLPC project and yes: the videos will be available for OLPC.

You can have a look at the sample slideshow here:

http://www.youtube.com/iiterinternational

I did not upload the file to be translated since I would like to avoid that maybe two of you do the same language (so I will send it to you by e-mail). Btw.: it would be nice to get the recording of the English terms from a native speaker – I did it myself in that trial part. Over time I would like to see American, European, Australian etc. English, because indeed there is a difference.

For now, since this video is part of the Open Nursery project which will be introduced during our conference about less resourced languages in Cherasco, Piedmont, Italy, I am concentrating on less resourced languages, but: all languages are welcome. I will just create the ones that belong to the less resourced languages first.

During the next days I will create a second slide show which shall include the numbers from 1 to 10 in combination with the words I used for the first slide show.

Like I already said: the introduction will be different, I just added it so that one sees that there will be an introduction.

As for the programme of our conferece, you can find it here:
http://gopiedmont.i-iter.org/contn%C3%B9/programme-international-day-31st-may-english-language

Some notes on the Open Nursery project can be found here:
http://eng.i-iter.org/content/open-nursery

Anybody is welcome to join us. Besides that the event will be also available via web-tv.

Well, so now I hope you will help to translate these videos. They will be made available in various places – so if you wish to host them as well: that would be really great.

This is being posted in various groups and sent through various mailing lists, so sorry if you get it more than once.

Thank you for your attention and I hope to read you soon!

Cheers, Sabine
*****
Sabine Cretella
CCO – Vox Humanitatis
s.cretella [at] voxhumanitatis.org
skype: sabinecretella

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Anaprhaseus version 1.16

I just noted that Anaphraseus 1.16 is out and downloaded it.

These are the news:

2008-04-06 17:25 [1.16b] ole_yansen

* Unicode UTF16 support for TM files

* Fixed "Segment are not opened in end of document" bug

And I am now going to test it whith a short Sicilian-Neapolitan translation :-)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Agricantus ...

I almost forgot about them ...

The Logos Conjugator

From now on you can also download the Logos conjugator which is available in various languages. For further info please refer to the Logos website.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Anaphraseus - the manual

Well, we had a look on where would be the best place to publish the manual. One of the possibilities was Floss Manuals. So I had a talk with Adam Hyde and he created the section for the manual for us. This means that during the next days you will find what is already present from that manual there.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Anaphraseus a CAT-Tool supporting ISO 639-3

I got my first Easter Egg from a colleague and I would like to say to Urs Wolffers: thank you Urs, you made my day :-)

Why? Well he asked if I knew something about a CAT-Tool which did not work well with him and I did not know about it. So I had a look and downloaded Anaphraseus and tried it out. I had some minor problems, because having a new tool and trying to do immediately "all you need" is not really the best way to start off with.

I am really happy that I found that tool because it solves at least two really relevant issues I had with OmegaT and one of these issues is only covered by Anaphraseus as much as I know.

ISO 639-3 support: yes, Anaphraseus supports ISO 639-3 language tags for its translation memories and that is really something special. Ahhh ... you are a programmer and say that it is quite easy to implement, well: maybe it is easy, but it is probably not interesting enough since I have been asking for it being implemented for approximately one and half a year. Now I have it and I don't need to fake to translate to whatever language anymore, but I can insert for example "EN" for the source language and "NAP" for the target language. THAT IS INDEED SOMETHING!

The second issue I always had was proofreading. I am working with a person who knows Neapolitan well for proof reading, but he is NOT a translator and therefore does not know CAT-Tools. I tried to give him the OmegaT TMX files for proofreading, but for some reason his Operating System mixed up the codes and I got a corrupted TM back. We could not figure out why this happened. So another time I copied and pasted the whole of the TMX file into a .doc document, but even that was somewhat troublesome. The solution in the end was to export the translation and send him the source and target files and then, when they came back, I had to copy and paste the changed sentences back into my project to have the translation memory with the changes. I believe you can imagine that this was quite time consuming.

Now with Anaprhaseus I have a Trados-like or Wordfast-like segmentation and even if it is not the nicest layout (a bilingual table would be the best one, but one cannot have all :-) it will save me loads of time and therefore I will be able to create more contents in Neapolitan. I mean considering how many people do actually write in Neapolitan this makes a really huge difference.

Here is an example of how such a segmented text looks like (this one is without proof reading – I just did some sentences to show you how it looks like):

{0>Questo libro è dedicato a mia figlia Luna che ama tanto i cavalli.<}4{>Chesto libbro è dedecato 'a figlia mia Luna ca ama tanto 'e cavalle.<0}>Visto che non esistono storie di cavalli multilingue sono passata a scriverle io.<}9{>Mo sto scrivenno io cheste storie pecché nun ce stanno 'e storie 'e cavalle in cchiù lengue.<0}

The glossary function is like with OmegaT: you have to work on it manually, so anyway there is no difference for me.

I did a complete translation of the first chapter of a book for my daughter from German to Italian (which I sent this evening to a colleague for proof reading) and I did it all with Anaprhaseus. Everything worked fine. The few issues which I had were solved quite fast and the reason for them was mainly me not knowing what to do and Ubuntu behaving a bit different then expected. But now: everything works fine from the very beginning to the clean-up at the end. There is already a short manual by Dmitri Gabinski, but it is for now not available online. I will let you know as soon as it is.

Thanks to Oleg Tsygany for the work already done and to Oleg and Dimitri for the time they took to answer all my questions.

A quote ... but really funny

"Ein Zahnrad è quella cosa che fa funzionare i clock." - origin: my daughter Luna ... mixing three languages in one sentence ... :-D

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ladin Wikipedia on the incubator

A week ago I received the following post (in German):

Hallo Sabine,

da Du Dich ja mit "less resourced languages" befasst, wollte ich fragen,
ob Du vielleicht ein paar Leute aus Südtirol, dem Trentino, der Provinz
Belluno oder sonstwoher kennst, die gerne Artikel auf ladinisch
Schreiben würden. Die Wikipedia liegt schon seit einiger Zeit im
Inkubator, aber keiner will dieses Ei ausbrüten.

Da die Ladiner in vielen Vereinen organisiert sind, habe ich mir
überlegt, in nächster Zeit eine davon Anzuschreiben, so z. B. die
ladinischen Feuerwehren und die Grupa per la defendura di uciei
(Vogelschutzbund). Falls Du auch ein bisschen Werbung machen kannst,
währe ich Dir dankbar :)

Liebe Grüße
Andi

Actually Andi asks me if I can help with recruiting people who help with the Ladin Wikipedia which is still on the incubator. Well, I am on one hand part of the LangCom and I am not sure if I should do this ... but on the other hand I am the CCO of Vox Humanitatis which actively promotes less resourced languages and the related projects. Well, Wikipedias in these languages are projects to be promoted and helped. Therefore I would like to ask anyone who is reading this to help to connect me/us to people speaking/writing Ladin so that I can connect them with the right people from my side. I am also going to write a number of associations that maybe can help. (E-Mail: s.cretella [at] voxhumanitatis.org).

Please note that we will actively support your help requests, but please consider that we only have a certain amount of time, so whatever needs to be done is going to be done even often it will take some days until we actually can move. Our to-do list is quite long :-)

Thanks for helping to spread the word!

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Blogger's code of conduct

Actually I wanted to write this blog some 10 days ago, but like so often things just get crazy around you and time just gets too short ... but maybe it is good that there is some time in between, just to make people aware of it again.

Approx. two weeks ago there were some people who IMHO did not behave correctly. I mean: by blogging and by being connected to various organizations we also have a certain responsibility. What we need to be aware of is that often a simple statement, sometimes maybe joking around with friends, can be misunderstood and lead to really ... ehm ... not so nice results.

On Wikia the Blogger's Code of Conduct was published (as much as I understood it came about thanks to the co-operation of Jimmy Wales and Tim O'Reilly). I would like to ask you all, of the various foundations, associations and of course also all individuals who read this, to have a closer look and to adopt the Blogger's Code of Conduct when writing your blogs.

Thank you!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Cooking and languages???


There is one strange thing that lately happens to me and I am wondering why that is. Up to some time ago I mainly cooked Neapolitan style, that is the way I learnt to cook when I came to the Amalfi Coast. Then you simply could not find many ingredients, but anyway: I had never learnt to cook how my mom and my grandma did. The strange thing is that it is some time now that I am considering my original language, the one spoken in Rodach, that is Mainfränkisch (well, a dialect of it). And its some weeks now that I am changing way to cook ... without even knowing what I do, I mean it is automatic. And the taste, well my family confirms this, is exactly the same the things my mom and my grandma cooked. Well yes, I saw my grandma hundreds of times doing things and in the past I already did some stuff I learnt from her like marmelades, peas in glasses (don't really know how you call this in English - well: vegetables that are treated to be there in winter when you don't have other stuff).


Now I am wondering why I am changing my way of doing things. Yes, I am changing myself, that's true as well, but: is it the dealing with that language that brings things back? Or could the reason be another one: it's almost two years now that I saw my mom for the last time - well this Saturday it is two years now. Now: there's nobody around anymore who can cook that stuff in my family. Do I automatically do it? Or maybe is it a combination of both, my mom not being here anymore and the language?

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Ravello ... concerts ... once upon a time ...

it was really difficult to get a ticket for one of the concerts in Ravello ... today it seems as if they were an everyday mass product: 84 concerts in one season starting on 1st of March ... don't know when they will stop, but let's say the end of October. This means 8 month, that is approx. 240 days ... this means approx. each third day a concert ... uhmmmmmm .... and they had difficulties to get the message out last year (at least as much as I understood).

Now when it comes to tourism marketing in that town they work with elite guests. But 84 concerts is not "elite production" but "mass production". This simply doesn't match. You can have the best artists for the whole of the year, but this concept simply cannot work with high level customers. They want the extraordinary, they want stuff nobody can easily have. That's why they are the elite. They can afford to pay high prices and they don't care about paying as long as they get premium service. Premium services are rare and not mass products. I mean 84 concerts like these in a city like Las Vegas (yes, I know what I talk about, I was there even if only for two days and over 25 years ago) can work, but not in such a small tourism centre on the Amalfi Coast in Italy .... I am really wondering how this season will work out for them ... in the end: or they will have to change their program for the future or they will need to change their tourism ... and in the worst case: they will loose both and that would be really sad.

Uhmmmm .....

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ketten ...


Ich habe heute einer Freundin auf eine Mail geantwortet ... bei Ihr sieht's im Moment nicht so toll aus ... vor kurzer Zeit habe ich über ähnliches mit demjenigen gesprochen, der mir am nächsten steht. Ich möchte beiden dieses Gedicht widmen – ihr, weil ich hoffe, dass das Gesagte hift, ihm, weil es ihn gibt.

Es ist seltsam: auch hier muss ich jede Zeile mit dem "Gegenstand" beginnen – es geht nicht anders ...

Ketten

Ketten ... wir alle haben sie
Ketten ... sie binden und doch lassen sie frei
Ketten ... machmal werden sie schwer
Ketten ... und dann sind sie wieder ganz leicht
Ketten ... können die Seele zerstören
Ketten ... können sie retten
Ketten ... sind nichts anders als Bänder
Ketten ... sind Beziehungen
Ketten ... sind Leidenschaft
Ketten ... bedeuten Vertauen
Ketten ... bedeuten sich aufgeben
Ketten ... bedeuten sich festzulegen
Ketten ... versperren uns manchmal die Sicht
Ketten ... kann man sprengen
Ketten ... sind Geborgenheit
Ketten ... haben Schlösser

Ketten ... an dem Tag, an dem wir sie als Last empfinden, sie uns weh tun, dann sollten wir daran denken, dass wir selbst sie sprengen können

Ketten ... solange sie Geborgenheit und Sicherheit geben, dürfen sie auch verlangen, oft mehr als sie zugeben vermögen

Ketten ... sind Teil unseres Lebens, wir müssen nur lernen, richtig mit ihnen umzugehen

Ketten ... wir sollten den Schlüssel zum Schloss unserer Ketten, nur denjenigen geben, die sorgsam damit umzugehen wissen, denn sie sind es, die Einfluss auf unser Leben selbst haben

Ketten ... ich habe meine kennengelrnt – und Du, kennst Du Deine?

Friday, February 22, 2008

African Music

Well, for now I call it African Music ... it is just: we don't know enough about this huge continent here in Europe and I suppose also in the rest of the world and so it is hard for us to feel the differences ... why don't they tell us more about the rest of the world???

It's been some weeks now that I met Outi who is Finnish and married with Ismaila Sané who is from Senegal. What I still find so strange is that I chose some people to contact by chance and ... well ... she's another one wanting to change the world :-)

We believe in local languages, in local culture and that they need to be maintained. We want our kids to learn the languages of the various families, simply because it is the only way to really connect them with their original cultures and give them their very own identity.

How many of us are out there? I mean: are you, who are reading another one like us? If so: just join us :-)

For now I would like to have you listen to the song Outi sent me today - I like it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Wasser ...


Ich schreibe eigentlich nie Gedichte ... nur irgendwo muss ich es doch von meiner Großmutter geerbt haben, denn manchmal muss ich einfach schreiben.

Dieses hier habe ich vor ca. 10 Tagen geschrieben - ob es gut zum Veröffentlichen ist, weiss ich nicht ... aber es ist für jemand ganz besonderes ...

Wasser

So wie Wasser sein

Die Räume ausfüllen, die man ausfüllen kann, die sich öffnen

So wie Wasser sein

Die Räume verlassen, wenn sie sich mit anderem füllen

So wie Wasser sein

Wasser ... Unendlichkeit ...

Wasser ... kann Felsen sprengen
Wasser ... kann Flächen glätten
Wasser ... kann einen tragen
Wasser ... spendet Leben
Wasser ... kann es nehmen
Wasser ... ist der Ursprung allen Lebens
Wasser ... umgibt uns
Wasser ... ist in uns
Wasser ... ist wie ein Spiegel
Wasser ... und doch sieht man hindurch

Wasser ... kann einen untergehen lassen
wenn man nicht gelernt hat, damit umzugehen

Wasser ... sich treiben zu lassen
Wasser ... darin schwimmen lernen
Wasser ... Deine Wellen ...
Wasser ... Du streichelst mich

So wie Wasser sein

Die Räume ausfüllen, die man ausfüllen kann, die sich öffnen

So wie Wasser sein

Die Räume verlassen, wenn sie sich mit anderem füllen

Doch ist es nicht so, dass wir nicht mehr sind, wenn das Wasser, die Essenz des Lebens nicht mehr da ist?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Apertium ... three lines to localize ...

Hi Apertium is a MT (machine translation) tool which is particularly strong in translating similar languages. It is also used for pre-translation of Wikipedia articles for certain language pairs (Spanish-Catalan, Spanish-Occitan etc.) and shall be included in the Ubuntu distribution. Therefore it would be nice to have the three needed sentences localized in as many languages as possible.

To see which languages are actually there please have a look at

http://apertium.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/apertium/trunk/apertium-tolk/po/

From there you can create the .po file for your language. Once you translated the file please send it to: apertium-stuff@lists.sourceforge.net maybe sending also a copy to me s.cretella (at) voxhumanitatis.org (just to make sure the file goes through - you never know).

Of course, I understand if you don't know how to work with .po files.
In that case please indicate the language code (and language) you are translating in in the subject of your e-mail and send the lines below translated to the apertium-stuff list above and a copy to me. Please note that only the lines starting with msgstr need translation, the rest remains untouched.

If you work with particular languages that could create utf-8 coding problems in e-mails, pleas just copy and paste the text into a file and send us the file with the translated lines.

#: main_window.glade.h:2
msgid "Mark unknown words"
msgstr "Mark unknown words"

#: main_window.glade.h:3
msgid "This program is licensed under the GPL."
msgstr "This program is licensed under the GPL."

msgid "Translator"
msgstr "Translator"

An example of the screenshot can be seen here.

Thank you in advance for your help :-)

Friday, February 08, 2008

(Not even close to) Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about ... Sicilian ... Neapolitan

Thanks to Pat for having me sent the link - I am adding a first part and the link to the original article here, so that whoever reads this blog can find them.
*****
(Not even close to) Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Sicilian School, the ritmo cassinese, and the beginnings of vernacular literature in Italy, including Neapolitan.


Between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and about the year 1000, there existed in Europe a kind of “universal Catholic culture” (a phrase used by a number of sources); it was sustained by the official and scholarly use of Latin, even in the face of vernacular (meaning “of the people”) languages which were developing throughout the territories of the former Empire. These vernacular tongues would one day be known as Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, etc.—i.e., the large family of modern “Romance” languages. It is not surprising that residual Latin should have remained strongest in Italy, at the center of the empire, even as that empire disintegrated. Even the Lombards, the “barbarian” invaders who had invaded Italy many centuries earlier (569 b.c.) quickly absorbed both the religion (Christianity) and the language (Latin) of the territory they had subjugated. Thus, in Italy, the appearance of literature recognizable as early Italian comes about a century later than similar literature in early French or early Spanish (here, using for comparison the years 1150-1200, when both La Chanson de Roland for French and El Cantar de Mio Cid for Spanish appeared).

Read the complete article
.

Copyright: Jeff Matthews

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Afrophonewikis and localzations of Mediawiki

I just learnt from the afrophonewikis list that three African languages finished the first localisation milestone, that is: Swahili, Sesotho sa Leboa and Amharic. That is really wonderful. Thanks Gerard for letting us know.

Well at this stage I also would like to thank those who actually did all the localization work and in particular Siebrand who is doing the organizational work, which is mainly done in the background and is key to whatever is done in terms of translation on Betawiki. Knowing how time consuming the organizational part is a special thanks to him.

Of course: whoever feels to be able to contribute, please do so and should you know people who could eventually help: tell them. The more the message gets out the better it is for all of your communities. Something that people often forget: the communities' work is their very own success - so please: write your very own success story by contributing to your community's projects.

Friday, February 01, 2008

OmegaWiki and licenses ... a thought

There are many dictionaries around and there is no real central place for them because they are under different licenses and some are proprietary.

There is an approach to so called authoritative databases which get connected to OmegaWiki, but in some way that is problematic since you don't see the whole stuff "together" - you need to go from the community "place" to the other one and vice versa to see if there are contents.

Like always when I do things in the house I have ideas and often can see things like a picture in my mind.

Bèrto is changing the architecture of the Database and we will have a new version, that is OmegaWiki 2.0.

The database design I saw is really easy to understand and so it is also easy to "imagine" new stuff.

Now the data within the community database is licensed under CC-BY and GFDL license - Francis (Apertium) just told me in the chat that there is a really good Friulan dictionary under GPL license. So why not include this into OW? I already hear you know: but that is GPL and with that not compatible ....

Well if I look at an expression page right now we have the lemma + the definition and sometimes various different definitions that are defined meanings. IMHO it would make sense to be able to see the contents that refer to that very same lemma from other dictionaries. The only thing needed is "tagging the entries as being part of this or that license" and therefore they are shown under a different header. You would have some thing:

Contents available under CC-BY and GFDL double license
Contents available under GFDL license
Contents available under GPL license

As long as we don't allow for the export of mixed licensed lists I don't see a problem, because the contents show up one after the other, like book titles. I am wondering if this fits in the actual database without the need to have separate ones where you then need to connect to ...

It is just a thought not really thought out well ... but there is something in there
...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Facebook ...

... sometimes there's really crazy stuff. Just going through all invites I have ... and sending out invites ... :-)

A quote I came accross by chance

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out. (Roy Croft)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Music ... never say never :-)

Had you asked me some time ago, I would have said: no, I don't like that and I will never like it. But now, after some talk, listening and reading I am starting to appreciate music I would have never listened to before. Well: not anything really, because some songs are still too far away from what I really can listen to, but at this stage doors have been opened and sooner or later it could well be that I dig deeper into this. And what does this mean? Well: never say never ;-)

The song I was proposed to listen to today is the following one :-)