Language Justice Series, Localization Sprint: Psiphon for Translators and Language Justice Activists

By: Eliana Trinaistic, Social Impact Manager Several months ago, Open Mind, a weekly public affairs program designed to elicit meaningful insights into the challenges of contemporary policies, talked to Dragana Kaurin, a fellow at the Berkman Klein Centre, a human rights activist, researcher, and founder of Localization Lab, an organization that builds bridges between developers, organizations, users and communities in need, facilitating more accurate translations and  better Internet access: “Unlike 25 years ago when Bosnians…

Language Policy Hackathon: Report

By: Eliana Trinaistic, MCIS Language Solutions & Niha Shahzad, Policy Innovation Initiative Click here to read the final report. Language access is a complex topic and one that is highly volatile. On the one hand, the views on language access are constantly changing and evolving due to changes in migration patterns or technology. On the other hand, they remain fundamentally grounded in the concept of nationhood. The scope of language rights is determined by a…

Multiculturalism in Canada: Are We Doing Enough to Promote Linguistic Diversity?

By Sanah Matadar, Social Media Coordinator Most people, both inside and outside the borders of Canada, are familiar with the generalization that Canada is a very multicultural nation. At the very least, this sentiment is always brought up when discussing Canada’s major cities. Every opportunity we get, we celebrate this image of diversity and openness to multiculturalism. Take the following stories and ads as examples: https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/hockey-night-punjabi-representation/ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-raptors-inspiring-city-and-country-1.5149411 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQzxb-lU2pk Certain facts definitely reinforce this idea of…

Beyond Mogadishu: Shirin Ramzanali Fazel on Migration, Languages, and Reclaiming Her Voice

Interview by: Eliana Trinaistic, Social Impact Manager Shirin Ramzanali Fazel (1953) is an Italian writer of Somali and Pakistani origin, one of the pioneers of the movement known as Italian Migration Literature (letteratura italiana della migrazione), whose writings have been studied both in Italy and abroad. She was born in Mogadishu at the time of prosperity, tolerance and peaceful living amongst nations, including Somalis, Arabs, Sikhs and Chinese. In 1971, with her husband and young…

Zdra-vstvuy-te, Let’s Talk Russian on Russian language Day

By Victoria Radvan, Training Content Developer If you have been following our blog for some time now, you likely already know that to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as an equal use of their six official languages, the United Nations established UN Language Days. On June 6th, the world celebrates UN Russian Language Day. Currently, there are about 155 million native Russian speakers in the world. Russian is an official language in Belarus,…

English 101: The Evolution of English, from Shakespeare to Sitcom

By Alanna Quinn, RFP Coordinator Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day? By: William Shakespeare Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date. Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature’s…

Breaking down Chinese on Chinese Language Day

By: Hongyan (Jack) Xu – Marketing Manager & Conference Interpreter In 2010, the United Nations declared “Language Days at the United Nations”, to celebrate official languages used at the UN. April 20th was declared Chinese Language Day, a date taken from the Chinese lunar calendar called “Guyu”, or the “Rain of Grains”. Legend has it, a man named Cangjie on this day invented the first written Chinese characters based on animal tracks. His wisdom moved…

First, Do No Harm: How Language Plays an Essential and Life-Saving Role in Health Care

By Sanah Matadar, Social Media Coordinator I’m going to mention something and I guarantee I correctly guess what comes to your mind. Ready? Okay, here it goes: Health. You’re thinking of Doctors in some way or form, right? Perhaps you’re remembering that six-month check-up you have to schedule, or thinking back to when one of your loved ones was in the hospital, and the doctors were explaining what was happening; their reports might as well…

Becoming Storytellers for the Day: Recapping #StoriesofUs

By Sanah Matadar, Social Media Coordinator In early March MCIS partnered with the Department of Imaginary Affairs (DIA) to host newcomer interpreters and translators for the Stories of Us workshop. The goal of the workshop was three-fold: 1) Empower newcomers by providing them with an open space to share their stories. Allowing them them to do so should help participants feel that, as Canadian citizens, they have a voice 2) Create resource books from the…

Why MCIS became involved with the Stories of Us workshop

By Sanah Matadar, Social Media Coordinator & Sarah Haque, Board Administration and Communication Coordinator On Saturday, March 2nd, in collaboration with the Department of Imaginary Affairs (DIA), MCIS Language Solutions will co-host the Stories of Us workshop. The morning event will provide newcomers in the language industry, specifically translators and interpreters, an opportunity to share their personal stories of resettlement in Canada. The workshop is not simply about sharing stories, but sharing stories the authors’…