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The Links of the Language Supply Chain

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First published in Multilingual Magazine, by Jeannette Stewart. If you want to translate this or other Multilingual articles, please click here.

Imagine connecting all the elements of life from the Creator to the dust of the earth in a single hierarchical structure. That’s what classical and mediaeval philosophers sought to do. They termed it ‘The Great Chain of Being.’ This idea dominated scientific and theological thinking for centuries. However, as method-based scientific investigation along with new paradigms of structuring nature began to revolutionize knowledge in the Renaissance and Enlightenment, the Great Chain of Being became little more than an historical curiosity.

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Mojito

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First published in Multilingual Magazine, by Jeannette Stewart. If you want to translate this or other Multilingual articles, please click here.

Communities don’t just spring into life with thousands of members and well-defined goals and the resources to implement them. Communities grow from modest beginnings, morphing and taking on their own identity as they evolve. There are no end of communities out there in the world in many divergent forms. We could examine any of them, but our findings would be retrospective. Fortunately, however, in our language community, we have a newly-formed community that makes an ideal case study to help us understand just how the processes of development can start and take shape.

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Is a Universal Language Possible?

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First published in Multilingual Magazine, by Jeannette Stewart. If you want to translate this or other Multilingual articles, please click here.

According to Noam Chomsky, linguist and political thinker, “A language is not just words. It’s a culture, a tradition, a unification of a community, a whole history that creates what a community is. It’s all embodied in a language.” So, what does language mean for a global community?

Apertium

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First published in Multilingual Magazine, by Jeannette Stewart. If you want to translate this or other Multilingual articles, please click here.

We all know what it is to learn a language. We, of course, acquire our native language as we grow up. Then comes the joy, challenge or chore (depending on our capabilities) of learning languages in education. There are many ways in which languages are taught and learned, but the end result is the same in giving us the ability to communicate beyond our native language group members. It enlarges our community. Now we live in the digital age and are grappling with ways to best facilitate multilingual global communications.

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TED Community

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First published in Multilingual Magazine, by Jeannette Stewart. If you want to translate this or other Multilingual articles, please click here.

If Wikipedia is collecting the world’s knowledge and Mozilla is defending a free and open internet, TED is giving voice to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” What started over 30 years ago as a one-off conference bringing together the already-converging elements of technology, education and design, has mushroomed into a world-wide phenomenon that attracts some of the top thinkers, luminaries and influencers across the entire spectrum of human endeavors. TED has come a long way from its original concept but its mission has remained the same: make great ideas accessible and spark conversation.

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Localization Volunteer Communities

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First published in Multilingual Magazine, by Jeannette Stewart. If you want to translate this or other Multilingual articles, please click here.

Wikipedia is closing in on the landmark figure of 40 million articles spread across 292 language editions. It is one of the top most popular sites on the internet and looks to be its most visited reference resource. One aspect of its existence that is indisputable is that it is the product of a global volunteer community effort to create, edit and maintain content that is un-matched.

Red T

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First published in Multilingual Magazine, by Jeannette Stewart. If you want to translate this or other Multilingual articles, please click here.

“Our vision is a world in which translators and interpreters can work free from fear of persecution, prosecution, imprisonment, abduction, torture and assassination.” Communications are a critical component in modern warfare. Neither intelligence gathering nor logistics nor multinational armed forces can operate unless lines of communication are open and functioning reliably and safely.

The Open Source Way

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First published in Multilingual Magazine, by Jeannette Stewart. If you want to translate this or other Multilingual articles, please click here.

In March 2013, a struggling start-up announced that they were open-sourcing their core-technology, which enables developers to move software easily between different machines by enclosing it in “containers”. What started then arguably has no precedence as Docker has become a phenomenon in the open-source community. With over a billion downloads, nearly two thousand contributors, and $150M funding, Docker has become a main player in the software landscape. But none of this would have happened if they had not bravely open-sourced their technology.

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Endangered Languages

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First published in Multilingual Magazine, by Jeannette Stewart. If you want to translate this or other Multilingual articles, please click here.

Endangered languages are an issue of urgent concern these days, involving efforts by academia, corporate business and countless individuals across the globe. When we look at the staggering number of results returned on almost any search argument containing the words ‘language,’ ‘culture’ or ‘communication,’ it is clear just how important these aspects of life are to humanity.