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Want to improve creativity? Then pursue friendships and experiences that are more diverse and cross-cultural, according to research by Van de Vyver and Crisp (“Crossing Divides: The friends who are good for your brain,” BBC).

Max Power, “The 6 Best Foreign Films for Family Movie Night,” IMB (Feb 18, 2019)

John Sommer, “Too Many Pickles (and a Few Great Books)” (Sep 25, 2018)

“Siliguri Man Dies On Wedding Day, Bride Gets New Groom,” Siliguri Times (Feb 1, 2018)

What Is Involved in Bringing Digital Texts into the World’s Languages? /

Web and ebook technology is a boon to the advancement of the written word. But it’s complex work to bring digital texts into the world’s languages. This article by Jiminy Panoz is a helpful overview: “Internationalization is fascinating: the ebook case.” It’s concise for the complexity involved. There’s even some coverage of the languages we work with in India.

At the start of my work abroad in digital technology, I felt the floor of my knowledge bottom out. So many assumptions unraveled. The flow and layout of an entire document changes for right-to-left scripts, for languages without letters, for languages with letters and half-letters that morph and seem out of order. And then to account for variations of operating systems and software that render these complex scripts differently. The work requires new vocabulary and standards to begin to address the challenges.

A digital reading system like the one in the referenced article may have it’s challenges but it already builds on advanced work in linguistics, design and technology. Here’s what it took to arrive at the current problems of international web and ebook development: language requirements research, the pioneering work of SIL, Unicode, mobile platforms, web standards, and fonts for every complex writing system. These are all monumental tasks in their own right. All for the sake of universal access to the written word.

I develop websites and digital texts in complex scripts with people in South Asia. I’m surprised every time I watch one open it on their mobile phone and read it with joy. I’m grateful for the humble technology worker that makes a way for this good reading experience.

Read Jiminy Panoz, “Internationalization is fascinating: the ebook case” (Dec 28, 2017).

Eliza Thomas, “A Conversation with Artist Makoto Fujimura on Beauty, Mission, and Culture Care,” International Mission Board (Sep 25, 2017)

Bruce Lawson, “World Wide Web, Not Wealthy Western Web (Part 2),” Smashing Magazine (Mar 13, 2017)

Bruce Lawson, “World Wide Web, Not Wealthy Western Web (Part 1),” Smashing Magazine (Mar 6, 2017)

Eat More Monkey Meat: Lessons in ASL, Heart Language and Missiology /

Who would you choose to interpret for a marriage counseling session? The one who sits on the riverbank and eats monkey meat with tribal friends, of course.

Heart language inclusive of the words I loved when I was an English teacher was rich with: inference, innuendo, implication, and insinuation (and more). The deep structure of that language was acquired only when the missionary sat on the banks of the river for an extended amount of time and ate monkey meat with his tribal friends until he knew not only what they said, but what they meant….

In a heart language situation, counseling, for example, I think I’d choose to use other ASL terms that are more familiar, indicative of strong cultural sensitivity, and I’d alert the therapist to the fact that some implications in sign language will have to be brought out in the open in order for him or her to understand. Deaf people, just like hearing people in crisis, both want to obfuscate to hide their specific problem and “get caught,” covering it up. It’s the old “test” to see if the counsellor (and probably the interpreter) can be trusted enough to really understand.

Chip Green, “Language of the Heart.”

There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only that is foreign.

—Robert Louis Stevenson, The Silverado Squatters