International Women’s Day | who needs a day off?

Today is International Women’s Day 

Each year on the 8th March since the early 1900s people around the world have joined together on this date to celebrate and appreciate women; their strength; their achievements and their history in the world.

Looking at events on this day in a timeline form running from the 1900s to the present, it is clear to see that this day has a worldwide reach and many exciting events have happened on it over the years. According to the International Women’s Day website, in 1910 “A woman named Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands.

The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result.” Then “In 1913 following discussions, International Women’s Day was transferred to 8 March”. Since that day, every year the 8th March has been marked with conferences, rallies and strikes as well as many other events in countries around the world.

The day is actually even a public holiday in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and other countries!

Languages also play an important role for International Women’s Day. Little do we realise sometimes just how important it is for women around the world to learn different languages. Knowing a foreign tongue can open up doors to new and exciting opportunities and this can be particularly important for women from poorer countries who wish to expand their horizons and travel in search of opportunities.

Here are some different expressions for the day in various languages:

Spanish: Dia De La Mujer
German: Weltfrauentag
Italian: Festa della donna
Portuguese: Dia da mulher
b: Παγκόσμια ημέρα της γυναίκας (pagosmia imera tis ɣinekas)
French: Journée internationale de la femme

International Women's Day

The Dragon’s Prayer

Wales vs England

The Dragon’s Prayer

Our Father who art in Cardiff, help us win this match. The Englishmen come – for a day out with their mum, crossing the free bridge means that more will now come.Give us this day, our Welsh boys are assembling To attack the white line, of the English team tremblingOur tvs are on, and the pints are all poured we leave it all now in the hands of our LordLead us not into half time without being in the lead My nerves will be shot, this is not what we needFor thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Xbox Kinect can translate sign language!

Xbox Kinect can translate sign language!

Well, the title of this blog doesn’t need much explaining. Some programmers from the École Supérieure d’Informatique Électronique Automatique (ESIEA), in Paris, have come up with a clever programme for the Xbox Kinect. The Xbox Kinect may be able to translate sign language.

For those who don’t know, the Kinect is a motion-detecting webcam that allows the Xbox games console to be played with the player’s own bodily movements. Rather than a traditional controller. The programme uses this technology to recognise certain body shapes and then displays the corresponding word on-screen.

Development stages

So far, this project is in the development stages, and can only recognise the words “hello” and “sorry”. But this is a huge step toward an accessible gesture recognition programme for sign language. Now that the framework of the programme has being laid out, adding words to the software should be a relatively minor task. Once the software’s vocabulary is increased, this could prove to be a very useful tool for non-signers who need to know what a specific sign means. As the word is displayed on-screen, rather than spoken, the deaf person can verify that the sign has been translated correctly. They won’t have to worry about their words being misinterpreted without their knowledge.

The applications of this software aren’t limited to translation, either. It has already been widely suggested that this could be a useful teaching tool for students of sign language. The Xbox will more than likely contain other uses as time goes on.

What do you think? As someone who often struggles to understand more complex signs, I think this could be a boon to anyone who regularly needs help with the language? Provided they have access to an Xbox with Kinect, that is. What do you think?


La Kinect Xbox

Bueno, el título de este blog no necesita mucha explicación. Algunos programadores de la École Supérieure d’Informatique Électronique Automatique (ESIEA), en París, han desarrollado un programa inteligente para la Kinect Xbox, que es capaz de traducir el lenguaje de signos.

Para los que no lo conozcan, el dispositivo Kinect consiste en una cámara web de detección de movimiento que permite jugar a los juegos de la consola Xbox mediante el movimiento del cuerpo del jugador. En lugar de a través de un controlador tradicional. El programa utiliza esta tecnología para reconocer ciertas formas del cuerpo y luego muestra en pantalla la palabra correspondiente.

las etapas de desarrollo

El proyecto se encuentra aún en las etapas de desarrollo, y sólo puede reconocer las palabras “hola” y “lo siento”, pero este es un gran paso hacia un programa de reconocimiento de gestos accesible para el lenguaje de signos. Una vez desarrollada la estructura del programa, el proceso de añadir palabras para el software debe ser una tarea relativamente más fácil. Una vez que el vocabulario del software se incremente, esto podría ser una herramienta muy útil para aquellos que no saben lengua de signos y que necesitan comprender el significado de un signo específico. Como la palabra se muestra en pantalla, en lugar de hablar, la persona sorda puede comprobar que el signo ha sido traducido correctamente, y no tendrá que preocuparse por una posible mala interpretación de sus palabras sin su conocimiento.

Pero las aplicaciones de este software no se limitan a la traducción: podría ser una útil herramienta pedagógica para los estudiantes de lengua de signos, y con el paso del tiempo, estoy segura de que se descubrirán muchos otros usos.

¿Qué te parece? Como alguien que se esfuerza a menudo por entender los signos más complejos, creo que esta podría ser una bendición para cualquier persona que necesita ayuda con el idioma con frecuencia. Siempre que tengan acceso a una consola Xbox con Kinect, claro está. ¿Qué opinas?

Signing up a birth

Signing up a birth

birthYou might’ve seen my blog a few weeks ago about an Iranian couple who required an interpreter for the birth of their child. I’m sure anyone who has given birth or been a birth partner will say it is a scary and traumatic experience. You are hoping that everything runs as smoothly as possible, so a healthy baby arrives. Imagine being surrounded by healthcare professionals and not understanding them…

Luckily, interpreters are on hand to try and reassure the mum-to-be and birth partner with translations from the doctors and midwifes around them. The interpreters can explain what the midwifes expect to happen, if there are any complications. Same with the mum-to-be. She can voice her worries, feelings, pains to the midwifes. Though some things don’t need to be translated.

When you hear that cry from your baby, whatever the language, you know that for that moment, everything is ok. The baby is awake, and out! No interpreter needs to interpret a cry. It can be heard and understood in any language.

Well…. I’ve been watching more of One Born Every Minute (I have it on series link…). And another couple were in to deliver their baby and required an interpreter… a sign language interpreter! Both mum and dad were deaf and were delivering through caesarean. I was very interested in this birth as they wouldn’t be able to hear that cry from their baby… and with caesarean, you might not actually feel the moment your baby is born.

Delivering with signs

Mum and dad, through the sign language interpreter were able to voice their thoughts and feelings about the caesarean and went off to theatre to have their baby delivered. They hadn’t found out the gender of the baby and asked for the midwife to bring the baby around to them, so they could see rather be signed the gender.

The dad made a fair point. With sign language, everything is about sight and feelings – neither would be able to feel the birth due to the aesthetic, but they would be able to see the gender if the baby was brought around to them.

The interpreter did a wonderful job helping both mum and dad in theatre, and when the interpreter heard the baby cry, she immediately signed that over to the parents, so they knew their little one was born and was awake. You could see they were both overwhelmed when they were told, so their new adventure could begin with their baby.

This was probably a very special experience for the sign language interpreter as well! It’s not every day you get to tell a couple their baby has arrived!

Without this interpreter, the experience for mum and dad would’ve been unbearable. They were not able to understand their doctors, and their doctors not understanding them… Interpreters are needed for all sorts of situations in our lives – be it medical, legal, educational… the list goes on. Without them, the bridge between language would be vast. They are the hidden heroes of the world!

I still have a few more weeks of watching One Born Every Minute before my new adventure begins, so you might see another blog on this!!