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Language, Climate, Borders And Music.

  • January 21st, 2008
  • Posted by EUEditor

eu-flag-site.pngOne Europe: Mixing the diversity of languages; working together on climate change; frontiers for a “borderless” Europe; celebrating Europe through music.

STACKING UP THE TRANSLATIONS

The huge stack of translations made in the daily life of the European Union has been thrown open to the developers of automatic translation software, in the spirit of encouraging multilingual exchanges.

It has a collection of one million sentences translated among the 22 official languages regularly traded at Brussels and other business centres of the EU.

Its policy is to foster and profit from the use of multiple languages, and to enforce that by paying for the translation of key documents into all those languages, along with more limited translations, and interpreter services at meetings.

According to the European Commission the makers of software for automated translation devices have to be able to draw on a large database of manual translations, which allows the computers to see how words and sentences get linked.

Making the collection freely available, as a set of building blocks, is seen as helping to promote more interchange among languages and cultures.

While English speakers can draw on nearly limitless material, exchanges across the set of 22 languages, for speakers of languages like Romania, Latvian or Finnish are harder to come by.

ACTION FOLLOWS UP VOWS ON CLIMATE

The package of legislation set to enact Europe’s major policy move on climate change last March is set to be made public on Wednesday (23.1.08).

It will provide details on a strengthening of the European Emissions Trading Scheme for carbon dioxide produced by industry, and set country-by-country greenhouse standards for areas of industry not covered by the scheme.

In March a summit of European leaders decided at Berlin to endorse the 20/20 target to contain global warming: a 20% reduction in the output of CO2 in the atmosphere by 2020.

ACTION ON BORDERS

The next step in tightening up border operations around the European Union is set for 13.2.08 with the release of assessments on a planned border guards service for the enlarged “Schengen” area, and a scheme for phasing in a more extensive border surveillance system.

European Ministers last year heard demands from “frontline” countries for more support, through the Frontext border protection service, as they faced large scale illegal immigration – especially in the Balkans region and along the sea coasts of Italy and Spain.

Concern over protecting external frontiers of the EU, from both illegal entry and trafficking in drugs and other prohibited goods, was renewed in December year with the expansion of Europe’s passport-free travel zone.

Nine countries joined the fifteen states under the “Schengen” agreement for free movement across frontiers, meaning 400 million people were included in the zone, and setting up new outside borders for Europe to be watched. (See EUAustralia, “More Players, More Open Borders, 20.12.07).

MUSIC MAKES EUROPE

This weekend at the Cannes Music Festival (27.1.08) ten different bands or single performers in the popular music field will be presented with European Border Breakers Awards – part of an ongoing EU promotion on themes of diversity.

EU Commissioner Ján Figeľ will present the awards, in company with renowned artists such as Abd Al Malik – performer of Congolese origin from Strasbourg..

The event will highlight the popularity of musicians throughout the European Union, working in many different cultural traditions.

Hear/ download Abd Al Malik, rap, from “Gibraltar” album, on official site, http://www2.abdalmalik.fr/

Reference:

EC, Top News from the European Commission 21.1 – 17.2.08, AGENDA1/08/3, 18.1.08.

EC, European Commission makes computer-assisted translation easier and more accessible, IP/08/60, 18.1.08.

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