Translation as news, source linking as obligation

Sinologistical Violincellist does a fine job, as usual, of digging into what might have been said by North Korea recently. It has shown up in Business Week, for example, as “unprecedented nuclear strikes” — their quotation marks.

But where’s the original source? Missing in action, so far. So SV takes the indirect approach and translates a Chinese report on the same incident as:

strengthen the power of [our] self-defensive nuclear deterrent

He notes that this milder version doesn’t prove any case that North Korea wasn’t as provocative as reports suggest. It may just as well be Chinese media oversight directing writers to tone down the rhetoric. In either case it clearly shows the need for some original sourcing. Continue…

New database of China’s languages?

This recent article by Ben Blanchard at Reuters states:

This week the government launched a new project to develop a vocal database of all China’s dialects and languages, to assist with preservation efforts.

I’ve written to Ben to see if I can find out more. In the meantime, if anyone knows about this, please comment! [UPDATE: he did write back and I’ve updated the story on this post] The rest of the article is a depressing but familiar read about the societal and family pressures that are resulting in parents not speaking to their children in their own native language. While the article is about China it could as well be almost anywhere in the world. Continue…

Shelha & Language Endangerment

Lameen Souag has a post up at his blog Jabal al-Lughat* (hosted on Blogspot and thus blocked in China. Apologies to the proxiless) on efforts to preserve a Berber dialect called Tabeldit or in Arabic Shelha شلحة. One method was the creation of an Arabic-Shelha dictionary. I highly recommend taking a look at the post which bring to the front a common debate on the topic of dialect preservation. Namely, the resistance of protection by the very speakers of the endangered language/dialect.