Thursday, October 30, 2014

Access Board Webinar on Accessible Retail Spaces

Access Board Webinar: Accessible Retail Stores and Spaces (November 6)

The next webinar in the Board's free monthly series will take place November 6 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and will feature an advanced session on retail facilities and spaces. Presenters will review requirements in the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards covering parking, checkout aisles, sales and service counters, queues and waiting lines, and other elements. Questions can be submitted in advance of the session (total limited to 25) or can be posed during the webinar. An earlier webinar providing a basic overview of these requirements is available in the webinar archives. Participants are encouraged to review this archived webinar in advance of the upcoming session.

For more information, including registration instructions, visit

Monday, October 27, 2014

2015 NBP Print Braille calendar

Shameless unabashed product promotion!

2015 Peanuts "Love Is..." Calendar!
Print/braille calendar, $14.99
All ages!

This year, our 2015 print/braille calendar is a bit different!

The 2015 Peanuts calendar celebrates the famous "Love Is...." series, with a "love is" quote and drawing each month to illustrated the many ways that love can express itself! All your favorite Peanuts characters are here: Linus, Sally, Peppermint Patty, Pigpen, Lucy, Charlie Brown, and - of course - Snoopy!

This wall calendar is 12"x12" (hanging on the wall it's 12" wide and 24" tall). The braille is included on clear plastic labels that go right over the print pages. And as always, our calendar features a Special Bonus - a sheet of sixty full-color stickers to mark birthdays, appointments, and other important days.
Order very soon - the calendar always sells out!
To order any books, send payment to:
NBP, 88 St. Stephen Street, Boston, MA 02115-4302
Or call and charge it: toll-free (800) 548-7323 or (617) 266-6160 ext 520.
Or order any of our books online at

Saturday, October 25, 2014

When elected office has a language requirement: Navajo

Vivid illustration of issues facing many languages today.

From the LA Times:
For Navajo Nation, candidate stirs questions about saving dying language

This week the tribe's high court struck candidate Christopher Deschene from the ballot because other contenders disputed that he was fluent in Navajo, a requirement for the office under tribal law. Deschene also refused to take a language competency test.

The subject may be politics, but the underlying issue is identity:
"Our sacred language defines us as individuals and as a nation," the justices wrote in their decision.
Tsosie says that though he still speaks Navajo, he won't teach his grandkids the complicated language, which lacks clear equivalents for some English words. For example, "computer" becomes "thinking metal."

"What's the use?" Tsosie said. "We've been discouraged from using our language all our lives. Why make this an issue now when we have a bright young lawyer who wants to return to lead our tribe?

Speaking the language is not going to do him any good, other than talking to the old folks. There are translators for that."
Comments from an interpreter RantWoman greatly esteems:
What is not clear to me is why "thinking metal" is supposedly not a "clear equivalent" for "computer."  As long as Navajo speakers understand that the object to which "thinking metal" refers is a computer, it's clear.

English is full of words and phrases that were made up to name things that had not existed previously, such as "automobile," "keyboard," and "hard drive."  Sometimes older words gained new meanings, such as "tank" to refer to a special type of vehicle.

There are many languages in the world where new words have been invented for new objects or acts, or old words appropriated to name the new things.


So You Want to Live in Montana...

RantWoman is surprised that she has not already filed this item.

RantWoman is sure every word is Gospel Truth. Well, no but RantWoman laughs very hard.

RantWoman can also identify a large number of "interesting linguistic artifact" features of the dialogue and the pronunciations. RantWoman is unsure how much time she will spend analyzing these linguistic points further.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mark Zuckerberg in Chinese

RantWoman has instant respect for anyone who speaks more than one language particularly when they do so in professional settings.

Review from a Cantonese interpreter of Mark Zuckerberg's recent interview in Beijing
First the Video
Mark Zuckerberg did an entire Q&A session in Mandarin on Wednesday.
The Beijing audience was wildly entertained.  Click on the "cc" button
to watch with English subtitles.

(Interpreter goes on to say that there is some mixing of dialects; that of course never ever happens with anyone RantWoman interprets around.   ;-(  )

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Translators (HBO)

John Oliver nails a WHOLE bunch of issues for anyone thinking of becoming an interpreter / translator for the US in foreign lands.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Internet Resources for Legally Reusable Web Content

A modest but cool guide to copyright issues and content on the web

Full disclosure: RantWoman knows the librarian who originally wrote it!