Friday, 28 April 2017

Translators, couriers of diversity ?

There is no single sign language for those who cannot hear, although an international sign language does exist that borrows from different, mainly European sign languages

Translators play a vital role in saving the world's languages, their work allowing 6,000 to 7,000 spoken tongues to exist, and 3,000 rare dialects to survive. "Without translation, there is no history of mankind," says linguist Astrid Guillaume, of the Sorbonne University in Paris.

"We know histories and cultures of the world only by way of translations," she adds. The word "translate" comes from the Latin "traducere", which means "to carry across". Here are three examples of how translators serve linguistic diversity. Born to a peasant family in Brittany, western France, where they spoke Breton, Rozenn Milin could have become a translator from French to that language.

She chose instead to champion the survival of the world's rarest languages through her Sorosoro project. Sorosoro means breath, speech and language, in Araki, a nearly-extinct language now spoken by less than 10 people.  It is one of many tongues heard in the Pacific island republic of Vanuatu.

Sorosoro's goal is to preserve recordings of endangered languages by filming people who still speak them and storing the result, after translation, at France's national audiovisual institute INA.

Translators ?  or Interpreters ?  The difference ?