Main Menu
Subject: February Newsletter
From: Brendan Luecke
Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2006 11:49:50 -0600

Translations for Progress Newsletter
February, 2006

Welcome to the February Translations For Progress newsletter! We hope your 2006 is off to an excellent start, and we look forward to the new developments happening on the site this year. This month, we'll be bringing you one more volunteer opportunity to support a great cause, and a profile of a useful online resource for language lovers.

Also, in TfP site news, our Spanish and Russian pages are up! French and Russian are coming soon, as is the multi-language database (you still have to search in English in the current version). Thank you to all those who donated valuable time and energy to expanding the site!


International Campaign to Ban Landmines Needs Translation Volunteers
Amanda Collins; TfP newsletter editor

In December of 1997, 122 governments signed the Mine Ban Treaty (also referred to as the Ottawa Convention), an international agreement to outlaw antipersonnel landmines. The treaty is cited as the most comprehensive international instrument for eradicating the mines and supporting mine victim assistance.

A network of over 1400 NGOs in 90 countries is backing the agreement, which aims to uphold universal compliance of the 1997 treaty's terms. Member states are committed to stopping the casualties and immense suffering caused by landmines. The states are obligated:

∙ Never to use antipersonnel landmines
∙ To destroy all mines in their stockpiles within 4 years of the treaty becoming binding
∙ To clear mines within their territory or support the efforts to clear mines in mined countries within 10 years
∙ To conduct mine-awareness in affected countries and make certain that mine-disaster victims are well cared for, rehabilitated, and reintroduced into the community
∙ To offer mine-clearing or victim assistance to affected states
∙ To adopt national legislation to ensure treaty terms are upheld in their territory

There are many compelling reasons to ban mines, namely the human toll. Children are often victimized in these disasters-the human cost is unimaginable and the peace and security in the community is shattered. Economic growth also suffers as mine disasters slow or prevent the repatriation of refugees, impede aid and relief efforts, cut off the community's access to economically important areas like arable land, halt tourism, and increase medical treatment costs across the board. As quoted on the site, "The long term humanitarian costs of mines far outweigh any limited military utility."

By January 2005, 144 member states had signed the treaty, but 8 countries have not yet ratified the agreement. They include: China, Egypt, Finland, Israel, India, Pakistan, Russia, and the United States.

Here's how you can help: the ICBL is constantly in need of volunteer translators to aid in make campaign documents available to all members. You can view the volunteer translator application form here:
Typically you will hear back within two weeks from the ICBL regarding your application.

There are more opportunities to volunteer, which you can find on their site, This is an excellent cause that needs volunteers to donate their time and brain-power!


Brendan Luecke; Founding Director of Translations for Progress

As any language lover knows, studying less common languages, or even finding good resources for more common tongues can be a real challenge. The internet offers a wealth of free resources, but finding them presents a constant challenge, and determining which are actually useful, an endless chore. This author recently reviewed three dramatically different presentations of Bulgarian verbs online before giving up and ordering a standard, and terribly hard to understand Slavic grammar.

Fortunately, for the glossophiles (yes, it is Greek!) among us, iLoveLanguages ( presents an impressive array of language resources, from the obscure to the commonplace. iLoveLanguages's purpose is to "list, categorize, and promote Internet resources related to language learning, education, and use." Aside from the obvious online dictionaries, grammar references, and culture sites, iLoveLanguages contains links to language schools, translations services, and software as well. The site even includes a job board for those interested in teaching and translations.

In addition to the sheer mass of resources offered and organized on the site, iLoveLanguages really distinguishes itself for hard to find content. The site has information on an astounding 2400 languages. If you get a sudden hankering for Maori grammar or need to bone up for your next business trip to Malta this site is an excellent first stop (incidentally, Wikipedia is a surprisingly thorough second).

iLoveLanguage is far from a new project. Under the guise of "The Human Languages Page" the site first appeared in 1994, only to be rebuilt and relaunched as iLoveLanguages in 2001. Since then it has grown in popularity and has quietly gotten a fair amount of attention. iLoveLanguages has been mentioned in such notable publications as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, and has received a number of awards for quality of content.

So the next time you're wondering what Aramaic is really like, or if Buryatian has a subjunctive, drop by iLoveLanguages. You may well find what you're looking for.


You are receiving this newsletter because you elected to do so upon registration at