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Category: Writing/Literacy - Page 2

  • Mar 07, 2012
  • 01:16 AM

Mangalore: Konkani Script Controversy
At a time when the controversy over script for Konkani is weighing on its literature, Jagotik Konkani Songhotton (JKS -Global Konkani Organization) is making an earnest effort to facilitate an intellectual discussion by organizing a national seminar on ‘Scripts and Languages of Modern India, with Special Reference to Konkani’ at Kalaangann on March 10 and 11.
  • Mar 04, 2012
  • 10:50 PM

NGO working on a national literacy manifesto
”Ghana’s country report of 65 percent literacy rate is an exaggeration indeed” Prof. Aidoo said noting that Ghana lags behind other African countries whose citizens are fully literate in their first languages. Prof. Aidoo emphasized that our collective illiteracy is one of the root problems for Ghana’s underdevelopment.
  • Feb 22, 2012
  • 04:38 PM

Korean expert fears jawi script increasingly being forgotten

Broneo Post Online
KUALA LUMPUR: A Korean expert in Jawi has expressed concern that the script is increasingly being forgotten in Malaysia, especially by the younger generation. Prof Dr Kang Kyoung Seok, of the Pusan University of Foreign Studies who lectures at the Sultan Idris University of Education (UPSI), said that if such a situation continues, the script may become extinct.
  • Feb 22, 2012
  • 09:40 AM

The rise of Maltenglish

John A. Mizzi / Times of Malta
The National Council of the Maltese Language has since failed to safeguard the integrity of the Maltese language as was its remit. The decision to spell English words à la Maltaise made no distinction between the spoken word and the written language and opened a Pandora’s box in the misleading use of English words in a section of the media, especially among the sports writers.
  • Feb 15, 2012
  • 02:39 PM

UST collection of ancient scripts in ‘baybayin’ syllabary shown to public

Levine Lao /
The University Of Santo Tomas (UST) has the biggest collection of extant ancient baybayin scripts in the world, according to Christopher Miller, a Canadian linguistics scholar who has been studying the ancient Philippine syllabary at the UST Archives and UST Heritage Library.
  • Jan 13, 2012
  • 12:19 AM

Endangered Alphabets

Tim Brookes / The Platform
At its most abstract, the modernisation and globalisation of scripts removes not only evidence of a culture’s history, but also of its very humanity. Even mainstream scripts such as Chinese and Arabic, both of which were remarkable in showing their origins as brushstrokes or penstrokes, have recently been reformed to look simpler and more mechanical.
  • Jan 12, 2012
  • 12:47 AM

The History (and Future) of Braille

Oliver Lee / TakePart
After reaching its peak in popularity around the 1950s (when about half of all blind children could read it fluently), Braille's popularity has waned in recent years. Fewer than 10 percent of the 1.3 million legally blind people in the United States today can read the language, and just 10 percent of blind children are learning it, according to a report released by the National Federation of the Blind.
  • Jan 10, 2012
  • 01:47 AM

Portuguese spelling reform takes effect

Portuguese American Journal
In Portugal, while the spelling system has already been adopted by some media outlets, school textbooks and education materials have been allowed a six-year transition period. Portuguese is the sixth most spoken language in the world by an estimated 250 million speakers. There are different forms to write Portuguese among the many Portuguese speaking countries. The new Orthographic Agreement has adressed the linguistic variations by creating a single spelling system.
  • Jan 10, 2012
  • 01:39 AM

Cracking the Konkani code

Renuka Phadnis / The Hindu
Written in Kannada, Devanagari, Malayalam, Arabic and Roman scripts, the challenge for technologists is presenting the same content in multiple scripts. Now, a group of people that includes Wikipedians are fine-tuning a transliteration tool straddling the multiple scripts of Konkani. If the tool succeeds, it can be used for other multiple-script languages such as Kashmiri, Santhali and Chinese.
  • Dec 26, 2011
  • 12:14 PM

Rare Cuneiform Script Found on Island of Malta

Popular Archaeology
Excavations among what many scholars consider to be the world's oldest monumental buildings on the island of Malta continue to unveil surprises and raise new questions about the significance of these megalithic structures and the people who built them. Not least is the latest find - a small but rare, crescent-moon shaped agate stone featuring a 13th-century B.C.E. cuneiform inscription, the likes of which would normally be found much farther east in Mesopotamia.
  • Dec 22, 2011
  • 08:21 PM

Will Pakistan's Language Be Lost in Texting Translation? (audio)

Fahad Desmukh / PRI's The World
Because the first generations of mobile phones couldn’t send text messages using Pakistan’s Urdu script, Pakistanis improvised and started transliterating Urdu phrases into the Latin alphabet. Even though Urdu-capable phones are more common now, many people have become used to using the Latin script.
  • Dec 22, 2011
  • 11:16 AM

French resist new spelling rules

Sarah DiLorenzo / Associated Press
PARIS (AP) — Here's the good news for those who remember struggling through dictation in French class: French spelling has been simplified. Here's the bad news: Few have noticed, and those who have don't like it.
  • Dec 20, 2011
  • 11:17 PM

Mwangwego script gets international recognition

Madalitso Musa / The Daily Times
Typical of the age old adage that a prophet is not recognised in his land, Nolence Mwangwego's invention, the Mwangwego script is receiving international recognition while it continues to be ignored in the country. The idea of the writing system which was first conceived in 1979 as a universal writing system for all languages in Malawi and was launched in 1997 has not been accepted with enthusiasm within the borders.
  • Dec 16, 2011
  • 11:40 PM

'Common Turkic language does not mean loss of native languages by peoples'

Turkic states develop the common Turkic language and alphabet which does not however mean the loss of specifics of a native language by peoples.
  • Dec 15, 2011
  • 12:51 AM

Google Translate Updated, Now Allows For Handwriting Recognition In Seven Different Languages

Cameron Summerson / Android Police
Google Translate just got a little update that brings big functionality: the ability to recognize written words in seven different languages. The previous version allowed for text and spoken input only, so this update adds just another method to the mix.
  • Dec 09, 2011
  • 10:00 PM

Everyone Speaks Text Message

Tina Rosenberg / The New York Times
N’Ko is the standardized writing system for Mande languages, a family of closely related tongues — among them Traore’s language of Mandinka, but also Jula, Bamana, Koyaga, Marka — spoken, for the most part, in eight West African countries, by some 35 million people. N’Ko looks like a cross between Arabic and ancient Norse runes, written from right to left in a blocky script with the letters connected underneath.
  • Dec 08, 2011
  • 12:49 PM

Book Review 222: Alphabeta: How 26 Letters Shaped the Western World

Harry Eagar / Maui News
“Alphabeta” is an odd little book that does not really live up to its subtitle. That is, it does not show how the alphabet shaped the western world. It might better be described as a philosophical musing about who adopts a script and why, although John Man's hypothesis is poorly supported.
  • Dec 06, 2011
  • 01:16 PM

A First World War mystery in Fredericton is solved

Stephen Llewellyn / Daily Gleaner
A mystery dating back to the First World War has been solved in Fredericton. It started when some students were doing an inventory of artifacts that were part of a First World War exhibit at the Fredericton Region Museum on Queen Street this summer. They found some pages covered in unusual writing.
  • Dec 05, 2011
  • 01:46 PM

China to standardize sign language, Braille

China Daily
BEIJING - China has begun to create national standards for sign language and Braille to be used by more than 30 million deaf and blind people, authorities said on Friday. The standards are being jointly created by the State Language Commission (SLC) and China Disabled Persons'Federation (CDPF). Officials from the two institutions said they will make a more "scientific and user-friendly" Braille system based on the existing system.
  • Dec 01, 2011
  • 01:47 PM

Rizal hosts festival reviving ancient Filipino writing system of Baybayin

Nel B. Andrade / Manila Bulletin
ANGONO, Rizal, Philippines — This province, named after national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal, hosted the country’s first conference and symposium on our ancient writing system the other day as part of the commemoration of the birth anniversary of another hero, Andres Bonifacio.
  • Nov 30, 2011
  • 01:16 PM

Mysterious Voynich Manuscript gets digitised online

Gareth Halfacree / thinq
One of the biggest mysteries of publishing, the enigmatic Voynich Manuscript, has been digitised and made available for viewing in full online in an effort to solve its centuries-old riddle.
  • Nov 29, 2011
  • 04:30 PM

Supporting the Languages of India

Gerard M / Watching the Watchers
Many well educated people, people with a university level education are effectively illiterate in their own language. For them a Wikipedia in their own language does not tempt them to get involved. They do not have the skills even though it would not be that hard for them to learn to read and write their mother tongue. What really helps is that writing the Indic languages is helped in two ways; the scripts are really phonetic and InScript, the dominant keyboard layout for Indic languages, ensures that the same sound is always in the same place.
  • Nov 29, 2011
  • 02:23 PM

Online Activism To Save Chakma Language

Rezwan / Global Voices Online
One of the major indigenous languages in Bangladesh is the Chakma language, which is an Indo-European language spoken by approx. 310,000 people in southeast Bangladesh and another 300,000 in India in the Eastern most parts of India. It is written using the Chakma script which is dying because many Chakmas do not have the opportunity to learn their language in schools.
  • Nov 29, 2011
  • 12:25 PM

After Centuries of Oppression, a Libyan Minority Sees Hope in Qaddafi's Fall

Sarah A. Topol / The Atlantic
...Abu Sagar's family spoke Tamazight, the Amazigh language, at home, but Muammar Qaddafi's policies had forbidden teaching the script in schools or showing any Amazigh symbols in public. That day something clicked in Abu Sagar, he told me. He decided it was unacceptable for anyone not to know their own language.
  • Nov 29, 2011
  • 12:19 PM

Exposure to Misspellings Confuses Spelling Proficiency

Lesley Lanir / Decoded Science
Teachers may assume that once their students have mastered the spelling of most of the common English words, they will refrain from making errors in the future. Studies say, possibly not – reading misspelled words can destabilize memories of correct word forms, creating confusion and regression in a student’s spelling ability.
  • Nov 26, 2011
  • 11:58 PM

Panjim: Better treatment to Konkani in Roman Script demanded

Panjim, 26 November 2011: Jagotik Konknni Songhotton (JKS) – Global Konkani Organization – is an organization formed to promote unity among all Konkani people scattered in different regions of India and in different parts of the world by respecting all scripts and dialects of Konkani language.
  • Nov 25, 2011
  • 02:16 PM

Books for children launched

The Hindu
The Central Institute of Indian Languages launched its first set of multi-lingual books for children here on Thursday, with the release of various titles in Tamil-English. The colourful books, with plenty of visuals, have moral stories written by children and teachers. The books are part of an endeavour to promote reading in one's mother tongue. Speakers at the function highlighted the diminishing importance of mother tongue and other influences that are affecting the reading habit in children.
  • Nov 25, 2011
  • 02:06 PM

Startup works Arabic script into your furnishings

Emma Gatten / The Daily Star
With their new company, Kashida, Hamady and Jamra turn Arabic letters into furniture. A taa becomes a chair, an ayn inspires a coffee table. “I feel that Arabic is our mother tongue, and it’s a dying language in the sense that we’re replacing it with French and English. So I’m proud to be working in Arabic,” says Hamady.
  • Nov 24, 2011
  • 05:28 PM

Translating ancient manuscripts via crowdsourcing

Piers Kelly / Crikey
...And a recent article from Boston Globe, ‘How crowdsourcing is changing science‘, describes yet another linguistic application of the technique. A cache of 2000-year-old ancient Greek manuscripts, unearthed in Egypt over a century ago, are finally getting transcribed with assistance from the public.
  • Nov 24, 2011
  • 05:23 PM

Zambian farmers learn to write their Shanjo language

Ron Bhola / BBC News
"It's like a miracle," says Hastings Sitale, recalling how he felt when he saw a booklet written in ciShanjo, a language he had only ever spoken before. Mr Sitale, who describes himself as "just a farmer", is part of an estimated 20,000-strong Shanjo community in Zambia's remote Western Province.