This book addresses the meanings and implications of multilingualism and its uses in a context of rapid changes, in Europe and around the world. All types of organisations, including the political institutions of the European Union, universities and private-sector companies must rise to the many challenges posed by operating in a multilingual environment. This requires them, in particular, to make the best use of speakers’ very diverse linguistic repertoires. The contributions in this volume, which stem from the DYLAN research project financed by the European Commission as part of its Sixth Framework Programme, examine at close range how these repertoires develop, how they change and how actors adapt skilfully the use of their repertoires to different objectives and conditions. These different strategies are also examined in terms of their capacity to ensure efficient and fair communication in a multilingual Europe. Careful observation of actors’ multilingual practices reveals finely tuned communicational strategies drawing on a wide range of different languages, including national languages, minority languages and lingue franche. Understanding these practices, their meaning and their implications, helps to show in what way and under what conditions they are not merely a response to a problem, but an asset for political institutions, universities and business.
The Routledge Handbook of Multilingualism provides a comprehensive survey of the field of multilingualism for a global readership, and an overview of the research which situates multilingualism in its social, cultural and political context. The handbook includes an introduction and five sections with thirty two chapters by leading international contributors. The introduction charts the changing landscape of social and ethnographic research on multilingualism (theory, methods and research sites) and it foregrounds key contemporary debates. Chapters are structured around sub-headings such as: early developments, key issues related to theory and method, new research directions. This handbook offers an authoritative guide to shifts over time in thinking about multilingualism as well as providing an overview of the range of contemporary themes, debates and research sites. The Routledge Handbook of Multilingualism is the ideal resource for postgraduate students of multilingualism, as well as those studying education and anthropology.
Increases in the stock of ideas possessed by societies are central to modern economic growth. The implications of idea flows are striking: Klenow and Rodriguez-Clare (2005) estimate world production would be just 6% of its current level if countries did not share ideas. Yet, although theoretical economists have studied ideas and their diffusion extensively, empirical studies are scarce because ideas are inherently difficult to measure. Previous empirical studies of idea flows have tended to use proxies such as trade flows, foreign direct investment, migration, and patent citations. However, with the exception of the latter, these measures are not pure idea flows, and do not capture the key properties of ideas, namely non-rivalry and disembodiedness. My research proposes a novel measure of idea flows, namely book translations, and uses it to study the factors that affect the international diffusion of ideas. Book translations are an attractive way to quantify idea flows because they are both non-rival and disembodied; they are a pure measure of idea flows rather than a by-product of a process such as trade or migration, and their key purpose is to make the ideas contained in the book accessible to speakers of another language. In chapter 2, I outline the economics literature on ideas and their diffusion. I motivate and discuss book translations as a measure of idea flows, and provide a framework for thinking about when translations are likely to occur. I describe the translation data in chapter 3. The source of the data is an international bibliography of translations collected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. From this bibliography, I compile a data set of over 2 million translations published in 80 countries since the 1949, including detailed information on each title translated. I then document the main patterns of translation flows. In chapter 4, I employ a gravity framework to study how distance affects translation flows between countries. This sheds light both on the barriers to international idea diffusion and on the underlying causes of the negative relationship between distance and trade. Translations differ from trade in that they have zero transportation costs, but they are subject to similar search and information costs and costs of forming contracts. I estimate a gravity model where bilateral translation flows vary with the sizes of the countries and the distance between them, and find the elasticity of translations with respect to distance to be between -0.3 and -0.5 for the 1990s; these values are significantly smaller than the equivalent elasticity for trade found in the literature, suggesting a significant role for transportation costs in the distance effect on trade. In addition, I present several pieces of evidence that suggest supply-side frictions play a larger role in the distance effect on translations than do consumer preferences. For instance, the speed with which titles are translated, which is likely to largely capture supply frictions as opposed to demand factors, decreases significantly with distance. Finally, in joint work with Ran Abramitzky (chapter 5), I study how the collapse of the Communist regime in Eastern Europe at the close of the 1980s affected the international diffusion of ideas. We show that while translations between Communist languages decreased by two thirds with the collapse, Western-to-Communist translations increased by a factor of seven and reached Western levels. Convergence was full in economically-beneficial fields such as sciences and only partial in culturally-beneficial fields such as history. The effects were larger for more Western-oriented countries. These findings help us understand how institutions shape the international diffusion of knowledge and demonstrate the importance of preferences in determining the type of ideas that diffuse into a country.
This book presents a comprehensive set of tools for assessing the linguistic abilities of bilingual children. It aims to disentangle effects of bilingualism from those of Specific Language Impairment (SLI), making use of both models of bilingualism and models of language impairment.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE SOCIOLOGY OF LANGUAGE brings to students, researchers and practitioners in all of the social and language-related sciences carefully selected book-length publications dealing with sociolinguistic theory, methods, findings and applications. It approaches the study of language in society in its broadest sense, as a truly international and interdisciplinary field in which various approaches, theoretical and empirical, supplement and complement each other. The series invites the attention of linguists, language teachers of all interests, sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists, historians etc. to the development of the sociology of language.
The institutions of the European Union employ hundreds of translators. Why? What do they do? What sort of translation problems do they have to tackle? Has the language policy of the European Union been affected by the recent inclusion of new Member States? This book answers all those questions. Written by three experienced translators from the European Commission, it aims to help general readers, translation students and freelance translators to understand the European Union institutions and their work. Although it deals with written rather than spoken translation, much of the information it gives will be of interest to interpreters too. This second edition has been updated to reflect the new composition of the EU and changes to recruitment procedures.
Presents a fresh look at the 'native speaker' by situating him/her in wider sociopolitical contexts. Using anthropological frameworks and ethnographic data from around the world, this book addresses the questions of who qualifies as a 'native speaker' and his/her social relations in the regime of standardization in multilingual situations.
This innovative collection examines key questions on language diversity and multilingualism running through contemporary debates in psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics. Reinforcing interdisciplinary conversations on these themes, each chapter is co-authored by two different researchers, often those who have not written together before. The combined effect is a volume showcasing unique and dynamic perspectives on such topics as multilingualism across the lifespan, bilingual acquisition, family language policy, language and ageing, language shift, language and identity, and multilingualism and language impairment. The book builds on Elizabeth Lanza’s pioneering work on multilingualism across the lifespan, bringing together cutting-edge research exploring multilingualism as an evolving phenomenon at landmarks in individuals’, families’, and communities’ lives. Taken together, the book offers a rich portrait of the different facets of multilingualism as a lived reality for individuals, families, and communities. This ground-breaking volume will be of particular interest to students and scholars in multilingualism, applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, and psycholinguistics.
How can the European Union create laws that are uniform in a multitude of languages? Specifically, how can it attain both legal integration and language diversity simultaneously, without the latter compromising the former? C.J.W. Baaij argues that the answer lies in the domain of translation. A uniform interpretation and application of EU law begins with the ways in which translators and jurist-linguists of the EU legislative bodies translate the original legislative draft texts into the various language versions. In the European Union, law and language are inherently connected. The EU pursues legal integration, i.e. the incremental harmonization and unification of its Member States' laws, for the purpose of reducing national regulatory differences between Member States. However, in its commitment to the diversity of European languages, its legislative institutions enact legislative instruments in 24 languages. Language Diversity and Legal Integration assesses these seemingly incompatible policy objectives and contemporary translation practices in the EU legislative procedure, and proposes an alternative, source-oriented approach that better serves EU policy objectives. Contrary to the orthodox view in academic literature and to the current policies of the EU, this book suggests that the English language version should serve as the original and only authentic legislative text. Translation into the other language versions should furthermore avoid prioritizing clarity and fluency over syntactic correspondence and employ neologisms for distinctly EU legal concepts. Ultimately, Baaij provides practical solutions to the conflict between the equality of all language versions, and the need for uniform interpretation and application of EU law.