Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Oranges.

Over thirty years ago I went to Jerusalem during late November and at this time of year it is always the place I think of.  Attached to this is memory is the smell and taste of ripe bright oranges and clementines and their beautiful green leaves.  I always buy Orange and clementines at this time of the year with leaves on as a reminder of my visit to Jesus’s birth place.

What did strike me was how closely all the different religious groups live together. At the time the most popular sales for us tourists were nativity sets (I still have mine and put it out every 13th December to 6th January) made of olive wood from the Mount of Olives.

Bethlehem is the town where Jesus Christ is said to have been born. I visited the place which is marked as his birth place and remember my surprise at how small the entrance to the church was.

Find out more about Bethlehem below.

Here, Christmas Day is observed not  on a particular day. Bethlehem consists of people of different Christian  denominations – Catholics, Protestants, Greek Orthodoxes, Ethiopians, Armenians and more. While Roman Catholics and Protestants celebrate Christmas Day on  December 25, Greek, Syrian and other Orthodox Christians observe it on 6th January. For Armenian  Christians, Christmas Day is on January 18. Hence, Bethlehem witnesses longer Christmas celebrations than many other  places.

In Bethlehem, Roman Catholic services begin on December 24 and take place in  St. Catherine’s Church , a Catholic church adjacent to the Orthodox Basilica of  the Nativity. Protestants hold their services in a different way. While some of  them may attend special Christmas services in their local churches, others may  arrange excursions for special services in the Shepherd’s Fields or the Church  of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Some of the popular Jerusalem chuches such as The  Anglican Cathedral of St. George, the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer and the  YMCA organize travel to Bethlehem for  Christmas Eve celebrations. Orthodox Christians(Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox,  Coptic Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox and others) celebrate the birth of Jesus by taking out numerous religious  processions and holding special services mainly at the Basilica of the Nativity.  Most Armenian Christmas services are also held in the Basilica, albeit a little  later, on January 18. The Christmas processions usually pass through Manger Square, believed to be situated on the traditional site of Jesus’ birth.

The general Christmas traditions in Bethlehem are similar  to the Europeans and North American customs observed during the festival. From a few  days before 25th December, the town is decorated with flags and other items of adornment. Streets  are strung with Christmas lights. A Christmas market comes up and Christmas plays  are performed. A cross is painted on the doors of every Christian home and Nativity scenes are displayed in every  household.

On Christmas Eve, annual Christmas processions are taken out. Residents of  the town as well as tourists crowd the doorways and the roof of the Basilica to  get a view of the parade. Galloping horsemen and police mounted on Arabian  horses lead the procession. The procession is led by galloping horsemen and  police mounted over Arabian horses; followed by a man riding over a black steed  and carrying a cross. After him comes the churchmen and government officials.  The procession quitely enters the doors and puts an ancient effigy of the Holy  Child in the Church. The visitors are then taken through deep winding stairs  leading to a grotto where a silver star marks the site of the birth of  Jesus.

With thanks to http://www.theholidayspot.com

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Merry Christmas Everyone

In readiness for the 1st Of December.  Here is Merry Christms in lots of languages. If yours isnt included please add in the commnet box. Merry Christmas to all of my followers.

Afrikaans: Geseënde  Kersfees
Afrikander: Een  Plesierige Kerfees
African/ Eritrean/  Tigrinja : Rehus-Beal-Ledeats
Albanian : Gezur Krislinjden
Arabic: Milad  Majid
Argentine: Feliz Navidad
Armenian : Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari  Gaghand
Azeri : Tezze  Iliniz Yahsi Olsun
Bahasa Malaysia : Selamat Hari Natal
Basque : Zorionak eta Urte Berri  On!
Bohemian : Vesele Vanoce
Brazilian : Feliz Natal
Bengali : Shubho borodin
Breton : Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat
Bulgarian : Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo
Catalan : Bon  Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!
Chile : Feliz Navidad
Chinese Cantonese : Gun Tso Sun Tan’Gung Haw Sun
Chinese Mandarin : Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan  
Choctaw : Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito
Columbia : Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo
Cornish : Nadelik  looan na looan blethen noweth
Corsian : Pace e salute
Crazanian : Rot Yikji Dol La Roo
Cree : Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
Croatian : Sretan  Bozic
Czech : Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
Danish : Glædelig Jul
Duri : Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak
Dutch : Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or  Zalig Kerstfeast
English : Merry  Christmas

Eskimo : (inupik) Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame  pivdluaritlo!
Esperanto : Gajan Kristnaskon
Estonian :  Ruumsaid  juulup|hi
Ethiopian : (Amharic) Melkin Yelidet Beaal 

Eritfean/ Tigrinja : Rehus- Beal- Ledeats

Faeroese : Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar!
Farsi : Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad
Finnish : Hyvaa  joulua
Flemish : Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar
French : Joyeux Noel
Frisian : Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije  Jier!
Faeroese : Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar! 
Fyrom : Sreken Bozhik
Galician : Bo Nada
Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr!
German : Froehliche Weihnachten
Greek : Kala Christouyenna! 
Greenlandic :  Juullimi Pilluaritsi!

Haiti : (Creole)  Jwaye Nowel or to Jesus Edo Bri’cho o Rish D’Shato Brichto
Hausa : Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar  Shekara!
Hawaiian : Mele Kalikimaka
Hebrew : Mo’adim Lesimkha. Chena tova
Hindi : Baradin ki  shubh kamnaaye
Hausa : Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!
Hawaian : Mele  Kalikimaka ame Hauoli Makahiki Hou!
Hungarian : Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket

Icelandic : Gledileg Jol
Indonesian : Selamat Hari Natal
Iraqi : Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Irish: Nollaig Shona Dhuit, or Nodlaig mhaith  chugnat
Iroquois : Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut. Ojenyunyat  osrasay.
Italian : Buone Feste Natalizie
Japanese : Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto

Korean : Sung Tan Chuk Ha

Lao : souksan van Christmas
Latin : Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!
Latvian : Prieci’gus Ziemsve’tkus un Laimi’gu Jauno  Gadu!
Lausitzian : Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto
Lettish : Priecigus Ziemassvetkus
Lithuanian : Linksmu Kaledu
Maltese : IL-Milied It-tajjeb
Manx : Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa
Maori : Meri Kirihimete
Marathi : Shub Naya Varsh

Navajo : Merry Keshmish
Norwegian : God Jul, or Gledelig Jul
Occitan: Pulit nadal e bona annado

Papiamento : Bon Pasco
Papua New Guinea : Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long  yu
Pennsylvania German :  En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!
Peru : Feliz Navidad  y un Venturoso Año Nuevo
Philipines : Maligayan Pasko!
Polish : Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
Portuguese : Feliz Natal
Pushto : Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha

Rapa-Nui (Easter Island): Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi.  Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua
Rhetian : Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn
Romanche : (sursilvan dialect): Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev  onn!
Romanian :   Craciun Fericit
Russian : Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is  Novim Godom
Sami : Buorrit Juovllat

Samoan : La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Sardinian : Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou
Serbian : Hristos se rodi
Slovakian : Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce
Samoan : La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Scots Gaelic : Nollaig chridheil huibh
Serbian : Hristos se rodi.
Singhalese : Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak  Vewa
Slovak : Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok
Slovene : Vesele Bozicne Praznike Srecno Novo Leto
Spanish : Feliz Navidad
Swedish : God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År
Tagalog : Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon
Tami : Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal
Trukeese : (Micronesian) Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer  seefe feyiyeech!
Thai : Sawadee Pee Mai or souksan wan Christmas
Turkish :  Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian : Srozhdestvom Kristovym
Urdu : Naya Saal Mubarak Ho
Vietnamese : Chuc Mung Giang Sinh

Welsh : Nadolig Llawen

Yoruba : E ku odun, e ku iye’dun!
Yugoslavian : Cestitamo Bozic

With thanks to : http://www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/worldxmas/manylanguages.htm#dRYQcGLJF2DWQcep.99

 

“Language acquisition does not require extensive use of conscious grammatical rules, and does not require tedious drill.” Stephen Krashen

How many children will be glad to know that, how many of us have sat through really boring lessons?  I like Stephen Krashen’s theory because from my experiences it make sense.  Learning in context, using prior learning as a bridge to the next piece of knowledge is how we all learn, yet these building blocks are sometimes forgotten as are the age and linguistic development of the learner at times.

I agree with all of these saying attributed Krashen below and still find it amazing that I have had arguments with head teachers who cannot see the benefit of a safe environment where it is ok to make mistakes. This particular head was definite that no one was allowed to make mistakes….well… we all know no one is perfect, so lets embrace this fact and make it safe to try, with the skills and backup to make sure the mistake is made once and learnt from. I ask all language teachers whatever your situation,  Is your area safe to learn in?? I expect the knee jerk will be yes, but as reflective practitioners lets look at what our evidence tells us, if the children are cautious about trying, then you know deep inside that the ethos or atmosphere is wrong somewhere.

“Acquisition requires meaningful interaction in the target language – natural communication – in which speakers are concerned not with the form of their utterances but with the messages they are conveying and understanding.” Stephen Krashen

“The best methods are therefore those that supply ‘comprehensible input’ in low anxiety situations, containing messages that students really want to hear. These methods do not force early production in the second language, but allow students to produce when they are ‘ready’, recognizing that improvement comes from supplying communicative and comprehensible input, and not from forcing and correcting production.” Stephen Krashen

“In the real world, conversations with sympathetic native speakers who are willing to help the acquirer understand are very helpful.” Stephen Krashen 

Wishing you all Happy Language Learning

Tips for raising bilingual children – Early Years

It’s always the simple things that make you think and this story gives some good tips of raising bilingual children from ensuring if you are using childminders or childcare use those who speak the language you are introducing.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/28/living/parenting-bilingual-children/

If you’ve ever thought about raising your kid to be multilingual, now’s the
perfect time to start. “Babies are wired for language,” says Naomi Steiner M.D.

 

“The earlier they’re introduced to a second language, the easier it will be for them to pick it up.” Knowing a second (or third!) language could one day give your child an edge in an increasingly global workforce. And that isn’t the only
plus, says Dr. Steiner. “When these children get to school age, they tend to have superior reading and writing skills in both languages, as well as better analytical and academic skills,” she explains.

 

In addition to using foreign language gear, hire a babysitter who speaks another
tongue, secure bilingual daycare or arrange playdates with bilingual families.
Benton’s ex-husband worked in Spanish-speaking communities, so he asked clients
for sitter recommendations.

 

 

The Hobbit and book translations

Sometimes when trying to get a concept or idea over to children it is a good idea to start from a story or illustration to get their interest. Below is a recent article discussing the Hobbit and its various translations and also the different illustrations depending on where it was published.

That in itself is quite remarkable but also is the fact that JR Tolkien was happy to allow different illustrations from my experience of the publishing industry once they have their mind-set on a  particular picture or illustration nothing changes their mind. That is why I am offering individuals the chance to create their own book using a template allowing them to have exactly what they want and not what someone else perceives they want. It doesn’t have to be bilingual or anything specifically to do with languages just one language is fine. Please get in touch if you wish to write in a language other than English so that we can discuss the correct font.

For more info go to: http://www.languagesupportuk.com/Create-Your-Own.php

Extracts from the story are highlighted below:

The Hobbit has been translated into many different languages, and these translations have often been accompanied by fresh and interesting illustrations.

Naturally a Latin edition (popular in Latin America?), Hobbitus ille aut illuc atque rursus retrorsum, published in 2012. There are two Persian translations, one published in 2002, and another, هابيت يا آنجا و بازگشت دوباره (hābit yā ānjā va bāzgašt dobāre), published in 2004.  It’s wonderful that hobbit is almost the same word in Persian: hābit, and it may well be that Persian children are reading hābit yā ānjā va bāzgašt dobāre right now.

There are at least five Russian translations, some of them are supported by splendid illustrations by the Soviet artist Mikhail Belomlinsky, done in 1976.  He also did new maps with place names in Russian.  You can check out the 1976 Russian Hobbit here (Note that Bilbo is shown having hairy legs and not just the top of his feet — this was due to a mistake in translation.)  Our country is fortunate to have Mr. Belomlinsky, who has done many other fine illustrations, living in New York since 1989.

Czech Hobbit

       Cover for Czech edition, by Jiri Salamoun.

And here is a webpage which collects some of the cover pages and a few illustrations from the many translations.  Some of my favorites were done in 1973 by Jiri Salamoun for the Czech edition.  His work is more primative, and is disrespective of tradition proportions, but seems to fit better the mood of adventure and fantasy conveyed by the book.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/17/1162611/-The-Hobbit-in-illustration-and-translation#

How does the bilingual brain store and process two languages? Is it the same or different from how it stores and processes one?

What a lovely start to the week a story that takes me back to my roots.  Weekly readers will know that my interest in bilingualism came when I left Wales due to employment and it was strange that everything was only in 1 langauge in England as well as there were no rugby posts in the fields. Added to the fact that my child was treated as monolingual despite coming directly from a Welsh Medium school and received no support yet if children came into her classroom from abroad there was more than ample provision.

So as you can imagine this story really caught my eye and is interesting as it explores bilingualism a little more to help us all understand the process better.

Recent studies conducted both internationally and here in Wales are showing  that having two languages can impact on the child’s language development,  general abilities, and health and wellbeing in ways that are unique to the  bilingual learner.

In terms of language abilities, some of our most recent research is looking  at the effects of language structure on children’s literacy and self-esteem,  with special focus on those who are learning Welsh and English.

Other studies have looked at young German-Welsh bilinguals’ emergent  grammars, looking for examples of German influence in their Welsh, and Welsh  influence in their German.

Mapping Welsh-English bilinguals’ development of vocabulary, reading and  grammar in Welsh and in English has allowed for a better understanding of the  impact of learning a second language on children’s development of their first  language.

Our results show that learning through the medium of Irish or Welsh at school  has no detrimental effects on children’s development of English.

In fact, the act of switching between two languages and of inhibiting the use  of one language whilst using the other provides the bilingual brain with a  certain level of flexibility that the monolingual brain has to work for in other  ways.

This has led bilinguals to demonstrate superior abilities on general  cognitive tasks that require certain types of processing – an advantage that  translates well into the classroom.

Our studies here in Wales are beginning to show some interesting patterns  that contribute to these findings.

Whether this advantage is present across the life-span for all Welsh-English  bilinguals is yet to be discovered, but should it lead to the delayed onset of  dementia, as demonstrated previously for bilinguals in Canada, the  identification of how, when and where this advantage is present is all the more  worthwhile.

Enlli Thomas is a senior lecturer in Bangor University. Her research looks at  language development and bilingualism in school children in Wales. She can be  contacted at enlli.thomas@bangor.ac.uk

Read more: Wales Online http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health-news/2012/11/26/speaking-up-for-the-many-benefits-of-being-bilingual-91466-32304491/#ixzz2DJupoGQX

Keep up the research Enlli the more we understand the easier it is to help our students fit into this multilingual world.

Which is worse incompetent translators and interpreters or Statistical Machine Translation?

Following from the legal story last week here is another

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2237656/Trials-collapse-interpreter-shortage-cripples-court–reliance-Google-Translate-putting-public-safety-risk.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Well worth the debate especially if this is true.  Interestingly they say Google was used but don’t say if it achieved its objective, although they criticised it yet haven’t backed it up.

Which is worse the stories below or a comparatively crude and time-consuming online translation service?

Standards were allegedly so lax at the firm that  a director of another translation company was able to sign up his cat Masha as  an ALS translator – and the cat was offered jobs.

Magistrates have lodged more than 5,000  complaints against the firm after it failed to send interpreters to a fifth of  trials, sent people speaking the wrong language, or translators who are simply  incompetent. In one case the defendant’s wife acted as an interpreter.

In another, ALS sent a Romanian to translate  instead of a Roma speaker. The full depth of the scandal emerged in submissions  to a justice select committee inquiry.

MPs were told that a murder trial went ahead  with a beautician translating, even though she did not understand the words  ‘friction’ or ‘deterioration’.

In one case in Ipswich in March, the failure of  a Lithuanian interpreter to appear meant that Google Translate, a comparatively  crude and time-consuming online translation service, had to be used.