Category Archives: GSTILE lecture series

Lecture on the intersection of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Human Computer Interface (HCI)

Spence GreenSpence Green is a recent Ph.D graduate in Computer Science at Stanford University. He works with Chris Manning and Jeff Heer and is a member of the Stanford NLP Group and the UW Interactive Data Lab. Spence is currently researching the intersection of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Human Computer Interface (HCI). He has also worked on syntactic parsing, machine translation, and coreference resolution. He co-organized the first Workshop on Interactive Language Learning, Visualization, and Interfaces held at ACL 2014. He is participating in building an interdisciplinary community interested in the intersection of NLP, HCI, and data visualization. Spence’s presentation will focus on the technical side of his dissertation, which is part of a machine translation research effort led by Christopher Manning, a professor of linguistics and of computer science. This presentation will be of interest to all translation students and faculty, but will be technical in nature.
 
Spence will present on Tuesday, December 9th from 12pm to 1:30pm in the Irvine Auditorium.

Former Russian Political Prisoner to Speak on Campus

Ex-Yukos manager Vladimir Pereverzin gives press conference

Vladimir Pereverzin is a former executive of the YUKOS oil company, which was forced into bankruptcy by the Putin administration for what many observers believe were political motivations.  The company’s top executives, including Mr. Pereverzin, were accused of economic crimes and sentenced to lengthy prison terms.  Mr. Pereverzin was released in February 2012 after serving seven years and two months in Russia’s notorious prison system.  He refused to testify against his former colleagues, has steadfastly maintained his innocence, and has never recognized the legitimacy of his prison sentence, which he is contesting in the European Court of Human Rights.  Since his release from prison, he has written a book (Hostage) and given numerous talks about his experiences as a Russian political prisoner.

Mr. Pereverzin will be on campus on Friday, October 4, at 1:15pm in the Irvine Auditorium to speak about his experience as a former Russian political prisoner.

Guest Lecture on SLA Research

ortegaDr. Lourdes Ortega, Linguistics Professor at Georgetown University, will be giving a lecture on “How Useful is Instructed SLA Research for Teachers, and What does Epistemological Diversity have to Do with it?” Professor Ortega will examine ways in which the blooming of cognitive, sociocultural, and sociocognitive theories of additional language learning has invigorated the capacity of SLA researchers to make meaningful contributions to knowledge about language teaching. Come join on Friday, May 17th, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm in McGowan 102.

Arab Spring Turns into Sand Storms

Guest Lecturealaa on Arab Spring, organized by the Arabic Studies Program.

Prof. Alaa Eligibali from the University of Maryland will speak        Thursday, April 4th, from 2:15pm to 1:15pm in McGowan 100.

A little more than two years ago, parts of the Arab world experienced what later came to be known as the Arab Spring. Initial world and domestic consensus of hope and optimism are turning into ambivalence and even skepticism. As chaos claims the day, many wonder if that spring has turned into a true Arab spring of sand storms and poor visibility.  Was the imagery drawn for the Arab revolutions indeed prophetic?

FOUND IN TRANSLATION: The making of a skilled interpreter: What we know about expertise development in interpreting

On February 28, 2012, Doctor Minhua Liu spoke to Monterey Institute faculty and students and scholars and interpreters from around the world who logged on to watch the presentation live, as part of the Found in Translation Lecture Series. Live web streaming of the presentation was carried out in conjunction with the Training Committee of the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC). We post the presentation in its entirety here.

Abstract:

Despite a lack of longitudinal studies of expertise development in interpreting, research in interpreting studies and cognitive science has provided empirical evidence and ideas on the manifestation and development of expertise in interpreting. We have learned from research that more-skilled interpreters differ from less-skilled interpreters in their information processing being more semantic-based, being more selective in what to interpret, being more efficient at lexical processing, having a better grasp of text structure, being more selective in listening, and having a more enhanced self-awareness of the task. Research has also informed us that more-skilled and less-skilled interpreters do not seem to differ in verbal fluency, memory capacity, or even the ability to do some forms of multi-tasking. This talk will focus on how trainers and practitioners of interpreting can learn from these research findings and apply them in the classroom or in the booth.

Spring Speaker Series starts off strong!

Barbara Sawhill gave an engaging two-hour interactive talk last Friday to TESOL/TFL students on the importance of renouncing a “multi-paged, intricately detailed, iron-clad syllabus” and replacing it with a student-centered, participatory class outline with collaborated class goals between the students and teacher. Barbara teaches Spanish at Oberlin College and is the Director of the Cooper International Language Center.

photo from: cogdogblog

Barbara renounces the old Factory Model of Education, which in her opinion lacks a context for students’ learning. This “Fordist” classoom is out of touch with the world around it and sees students as empty vessels who simply absorb and memorize, rather than experience and create.

As an educator, Barbara sees her job as “making this experience [in the classroom] as meaningful for you [the student] as possible”. She insists that as educators, we need to listen and model for students what we expect of them. As learners, we don’t need to simply find all of the answers, but learn how to create “really well-rounded, thoughtful questions”.

Four questions that Barbara asks her students at the beginning of each term are:

How do you learn?

Why are you here?

What do you want to learn?

How can we help you get there?

You can check out her work and ideas at  http://languages.oberlin.edu/lab-info/center-staff/ and http://languagelabunleashed.org/ and typical posts like http://languagelabunleashed.org/2010/03/15/the-backwards-syllabus/ Barbara introduces herself at http://vimeo.com/19050537 .You can read about her Spanish class at http://languages.oberlin.edu/courses/2010/spring/hisp205/ and http://languagelabunleashed.org/tag/hisp205/

Marciel Santos will be the next speaker this Spring, He will be talking on April 14 from 3-5 pm. Stay aware of fliers around campus for more information!

Found In Translation Lecture: The Case of Regional Culture in Japan

The 9th lecture in the Found In Translation series

When: Tuesday, November 23. 12:15 – 1:45 in McGowan 102

Speaker: Dr. Andrew Murakami-Smith, Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Language and Culture at Osaka University.

After graduating from Claremont McKenna College, Andrew Murakami-Smith worked as a translator in a lawyers office in Tokyo. A Ph.D. in Modern Japanese Literature from Princeton University was followed by a year and a half translating in-house for a patent lawyer in Osaka. Currently an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Language and Culture at Osaka University, he teaches English to Japanese undergrads, a course in modern Japanese Literature in English translation to international students, and an introductory course on translation to graduate students. His Ph.D. dissertation focused on Japanese dialects (regional varieties) in modern literary works, and he has a continuing interest in regional dialects and cultures in Japan, especially the dialect, culture, and image of Osaka.

Lecture Title: Translating Culture: The Case of Regional Culture in Japan

In literary translation, written representation of local dialects (regional varieties) in characters speech, like humor, may be something that is lost in translation. However, just as translators of Lewis Carroll cannot ignore the untranslatable bits of humor and wordplay, translators of Huckleberry Finn, for example, must somehow attempt to translate local dialects. What are some strategies that might be used? And what of other bits of local color? References to a specific region may include geographical names, names of restaurants and shops, local dishes, cultural practices or concepts, and (stereo)typical temperaments and personalities.

Photo: New York Public Library

In Japanese Literature, works set in or relating to Osaka may include (written representation of) local dialect and all or some of the above local color. What strategies have been used by translators of such works into English? Have they had some idea of translation of culture in mind as they translated the words and sentences of the source texts? Attempting a richer translation of the nuances of local color and regional culture will admittedly result in a foreignizing translation that will place a greater burden on the reader of the target text. On the other hand, what are some benefits that might justify such an attempt? These are some of the questions this talk will investigate, with specific examples of Osaka literary works and attempts at English translation.

Found In Translation Lecture: The Translation Industry and University Translation Programs in China by Benjamin Zeng

The 8th lecture in the Found in Translation series

When: Tuesday, November 16.  12:15 – 1:45 in Irvine

Speaker: Dr. Benjamin Zeng, Professor of the College of Foreign Languages at Zhejiang Normal University.

Lecture Title: The Translation Industry and University Translation Programs in China

The lecture will give an overview of the status quo of the translation industry in China (company structure, technology use, content domain, pricing, etc.), the plight of the translator, and university translation programs.

Conference Terminology and Procedures Workshop Well-Received

Thirty-three students participated in Conference Terminology and Procedures, a three-day workshop (March 5-7th 2010) giving students both an insider’s view on how an international organization such as the  United Nations navigates negotiations, discussions, debates and decisions, and providing basic materials on how to conduct and participate in meetings at a wide variety of organizations.

Students primarily from the Spanish, Chinese and Russian TI programs, as well as a Japanese TI and an IPS representative and two members of the public were most enthusiastic participants, and seemed to be having a very good time while absorbing large quantities of information.  Prior to the course they had received e-files of background and vocabulary material which reinforced the terminology and procedure lectures, and each received a thick course reader which will be of use to them in the future. The public participants in the course (a conference interpreting student from PUC, Brazil and an Arabic/English translation professional from the Bay Area) made valuable contributions.

The lecture sections of the course dealt with basic parliamentary procedure, the terminology for proceeding with agenda items, the structure of resolutions and other documents, and basic negotiating techniques.  Following the lecture section of the course the students were divided into three groups, with the task of taking three completely opposed positions on an issue of great concern to the students.

Despite the time pressures, the students seem to have successfully grasped the principles of drafting a resolution and of negotiating to consensus.

Dean Renee Jourdenais was pleased to have Dr. Lynn Visson join us to teach this workshop for the fourth year in a row, this year launching the Dean’s Lecture Series program.  Dr. Visson’s vibrant personality, humorous stories from inside the UN where she served as a staff interpreter in the English booth for French and Russian for more than twenty years, and her thorough knowledge of complex procedures make the class enjoyable and informative each year.  Dr. Visson received her Ph.D. from Harvard University, taught Russian language and literature at Columbia University, and is currently a member of the editorial board of Mosty, a Moscow-based journal on translation and interpretation, and a consulting editor of Hippocrene Books, NY.    Of Russian background, she is the author of many works on interpretation, translation, Russian-American marriages and various aspects of Russian culture, which have been published in both the US and Russia.

Thank you to Dr. Visson and students for making this workshop a success!

GSTILE Lecture Series Features Architect of Windows 7 Global Launch

Ulrike Irmler, Principal Group Manager at Microsoft, discussed the complexity of a worldwide, simultaneous software launch that involved more than 90 languages. In her presentation, Ms. Irmler talked about the different audiences the

Microsoft operating system has, and how this diversity requires multiple, customized localization strategies. This presentation also highlighted the fact that in order to participate in a large-scale localization project today, language professionals must not only have excellent translation skills but also a good understanding of localization tools and processes, as well as subject-matter expertise.

Ulrike Irmler at her lecture

Ulrike Irmler at her lecture

Ulrike Irmler’s talk, which had been advertised in the Monterey Herald and the Santa Cruz Sentinel, attracted a sizeable crowd of students, faculty, and members of the general public. Ms. Irmler’s presentation, the first half of which she gave in her native language of German (made available in English by members of the Interpretation Practicum course), focused on the difficulties of having widely different content (e.g. software user interface, marketing collateral, and forum content) translated for audiences with very different needs (e.g. private end-users vs. members of the developer community). She illustrated how the demands on her organization have grown from one release of Windows to the next: Process a growing volume of source text (Windows XP: 1 million words, Windows 7: 11 million words), in a growing number of languages (Windows XP: 77, Windows 7: 95), deliver localized versions faster (Windows XP: 120 days after English version, Windows 7: on the same day as English version) and do all of that with ever fewer people (Windows XP: staff of 250, Windows 7: staff of 100).

Ms. Irmler explained that the growing demands on her localization group are symptomatic for the entire software industry, and that these demands can only be met by constantly changing the way content for global audiences is created and localized. Microsoft fully embraces the outsourcing model, and in Ms. Irmler’s opinion, new business models like crowdsourcing (working with large groups of subject-matter experts that are lay translators) and machine translation (using automated translation tools for certain types of text) are here to stay.

About the speaker:

Ulrike Irmler has been involved in localization in different roles since 1997. Since 2008 she has been managing the Windows Localization organization. Her staff works in Redmond, Washington and 11 locations throughout the world. Her team is responsible for the localization of Windows Client and Server, all Windows family products and the international Windows Online localization, site management and publishing.