Posted by: Lauren Webb, Operations Manager
One of my colleagues wrote about some interesting minority languages last week, and today I saw an article that got me thinking about the subject more. It has been reported that Elcho islanders in Australia have been informed by the Place Names Committee that they are not allowed to use anything but standard English letters in their street signs. The reason given was that addresses need to be consistent and easily identifiable to emergency services, which is a fair point, but this leaves the Elcho Island community feeling alienated and frustrated. So to what degree should countries make allowances for minority languages? Where is the happy medium between clarity and inclusion?
One option would be to provide bilingual signs in the areas that speak the minority language. However, when printing maps or directions, this could become somewhat cumbersome and the option may be more well-suited to minority languages that are also a national language.
Also, the language used (like Yolngu matha, the language spoken on Elcho Island) may use a different or non-standard form of the alphabet from the country’s main language, which would make it difficult for the majority of the country to find addresses if they were provided solely in the minority language. It’s a difficult decision to make and I don’t envy the Australian Place Names Committee for having responsibility over this kind of thing! With regard to ...Continue Reading →
Today is a sad day for me, as it marks my last as Operations Manager for Veritas. I started at the company in November 2010, after graduating from Swansea University’s BA in Translation, and have enjoyed every minute since. I had met the founders of the company at university, and was incredibly excited when they invited me to Veritas for an internship.
I was initially taken on as part of a telephony project but as my role in the company grew I took on more and more Project Management, being promoted to Senior Project Manager and then to Operations Manager. After two and a half years, I have worked in every area of the business (except Finance – I prefer words to numbers!). I’ve done things I never thought I would, including meeting with Manchester United in one of the corporate boxes at Old Trafford, and even attending posh award ceremonies – and if you’ve seen the Awards page on the website you’ll know that there were a lot of them!
It fills me with pride and happiness to pass the baton to my colleague Estrella, who is one of the best Project Managers and hardest workers I have ever met. She is a mine of information and has been a lovely colleague since we started at Veritas two and a half years ago. I have no doubt in my mind that she will do ...Continue Reading →
An American non-profit organisation has recently been taken to court by a deaf former employee for failing to provide her with American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting for training and compulsory staff meetings. The woman, Homeyra Kazerounian, had worked for the company for three years and was provided with an interpreter when needed, until she moved to one of the organisation’s other locations. Her managers at the Rosewood facility of Placer ARC refused to provide sign language interpreting for staff meetings and training, leaving Homeyra feeling isolated and that resigning was her only option. The law suit was filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and regulators found that the company had violated the law in failing to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate their deaf employee.
Many companies nowadays recognise the importance of catering for the communication and accessibility needs of their staff, but unfortunately sometimes situations like the ones above still happen. In the case above, it was reported that the woman’s managers had said that interpreting was too expensive, but I think it’s safe to bet that the legal fees and bad press the company had to shoulder were much more costly!
Veritas can provide sign language interpreting and a range of other accessibility services worldwide. Please get in touch for more information or a quotation, or alternatively download our brochure.Continue Reading →
In case you’ve missed anything this week, here’s a round-up of our blog posts.
Tuesday: Pâles-tu l’Jèrriais?
Thursday: Translator of the month!
Friday: There’s nowt so queer as folkContinue Reading →
Have you ever heard of Jèrriais? As a provider of language translation, we are always interested in rare languages, and I hope that those who haven’t heard of this language before find the blog informative.
Jèrriais is the form of the Norman langage spoken in Jersey, the British Crown Dependency located just off the coast of France. It is referred to by some as ‘Jersey French’, but in order to avoid any confusion between Jèrriais and the administrative language Jersey Legal French, some prefer to call it ‘Jersey Norman’.
The language closely resembles standard French, but with some key differences in phonology, orthography, vocabulary and word order. For example, the sounds ‘tch’ and ‘dg’, which are not used in French, are used in Jèrriais, as are such letter combinations as ‘ouo’ and ‘aithe’. Adjectives can also precede nouns in Jèrriais, in contrast to French grammar norms.
Even though a study by Cambridge University last year warned that the language was set to die out completely, around 3000 people still speak Jèrriais, and the community is keen to keep its language alive. In this spirit, here are a few useful phrases for if you find yourself in Jersey:
|How are you?||Coumme est qu’ous êtes?|
|I’m fine, thanks. And you?||Jé sis d’charme, mèrcie, et vos?|
|What’s your name?||Tch’est qu’est vot’ nom|
|My name is…||Man nom est … / Jé sis … / Jé m’appelle …|
|Goodbye||À bétôt, À bi, À la préchaine, À ...Continue Reading →|