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Biennale Arte 2022 and the Sami Languages

Biennale Arte 2022
59TH International Art Exhibition, Venice
"The Milk of Dreams"
23.04 - 27.11 2022

The Milk of Dreams exhibit showcases the work of over two hundred artists from 58 countries.

Out of these, more than 180 artists are participating in the Biennale for the first time.

For the first time in its 127-year history, the Biennale will be composed mainly of women and gender non-conforming artists.

This choice reflects the current global art scene, which is full of creativity and a deliberate rethinking of traditional power structures.

Cecilia Alemani is a curator who has organized many exhibitions of contemporary artists.

She is currently Director and Chief Curator of High Line Art, the programme of public art of the urban park in New York, and is the past curator of the Italian Pavilion at the Biennale Arte 2017.

“As the first Italian woman to hold this position, I intend to give voice to artists to create unique projects that reflect their visions and our society”, Alemani has declared.

Three Sámi artists at the Venice Biennale

The Nordic Countries Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale of Art will be identified as the Sámi Pavilion.

Selected to carry out an ambitious project coordinated by OCA – Office for Contemporary Art Norway, artists Pauliina Feodoroff, Máret Ánne Sara and Anders Sunna, all three belonging to the Sámi community, will be interpreters of an artistic intervention that promises to be of epochal importance.

We discussed this with Katya Garcia-Ántón , curator of the Sámi Pavilion and historical director of OCA, recently appointed as the next director of the Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum in Tromsø.

The Nordic Countries Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale of Art will be identified as the Sámi Pavilion . Selected to carry out an ambitious project coordinated by OCA - Office for Contemporary Art Norway , artists Pauliina Feodoroff, Máret Ánne Sara and Anders Sunna, all three belonging to the Sámi community, will be interpreters of an artistic intervention that promises to be of epochal importance.
Nils Aslak Valkeapää, Untitled, 1991. Photo credit Susanne Hætta - Stiftelsen Lásságámmi
Source: https://www.artribune.com/dal-mondo/2022/01/reportage-scandinavia-sami-arte-cultura/

Sámi Languages

The Sámi/Saami Languages languages are Fenno-Ugrian languages spoken from central Sweden and Mid-Southern Norway to the tip of the Kola Peninsula in Russia by 25,000-35,000 speakers.

In terms of internal relationships, the Sámi languages are divided into two groups: western and eastern.

The number of ethnic Sámi is nearly 100,000.

According to Wikipedia, the written languages and sociolinguistic situation of the Sámi languages in Fennoscandia says that there are nine of them living in the present.

The largest six of the languages have independent literary languages; the three others have no written standard, and of them, there are only a few, mainly elderly, speakers left.

The ISO 639-2 code for all Sami languages without their own code is “smi”.

The seven written languages are:

  • Northern Sami (Norway, Sweden, Finland): With an estimated 15,000 speakers, this accounts for probably more than 75% of all Sami speakers in 2002.[citation needed] ISO 639-1/ISO 639-2: se/sme
  • Lule Sami (Norway, Sweden): The second largest group with an estimated 1,500 speakers.[citation needed] ISO 639-2: smj
  • Ume Sami (Norway, Sweden): ISO 639-2: smu
  • Southern Sami (Norway, Sweden): 500 speakers (estimated).[citation needed] ISO 639-2: sma
  • Inari Sami (Enare Sami) (Inari, Finland): 500 speakers (estimated).[citation needed] SIL code: LPI, ISO 639-2: smn
  • Skolt Sami (Näätämö and the Nellim-Keväjärvi districts, Inari municipality, Finland, also spoken in Russia, previously in Norway): 400 speakers (estimated).[citation needed] SIL code: LPK, ISO 639-2: sms
  • Kildin Sami (Kola Peninsula, Russia): 608 speakers in Murmansk Oblast, 179 in other Russian regions, although 1991 persons stated their Saami ethnicity (1769 of them live in Murmansk Oblast)[22] SIL code: LPD, ISO 639-3: sjd
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lenguas_sami.png

Sámi/Saami Languages languages are in danger of becoming extinct. Pite Sami has around 30-50 speakers, and a dictionary and an official orthography are in the works.

A descriptive grammar (Wilbur 2014) has been published.

Ume Sami likely has less than 20 speakers left, and Ter Sami is known to have only 10 speakers remaining.

The last speaker of Akkala Sami died in 2003, and Kemi Sami became extinct in the 19th century.

For an in-depth information about this language, here is a comprehensive resource – The Saami Languages: the present and the future.

For the Italian-speaking audience about Sámi Culture and the Biennale

Having been a fan of international activities, it’s unavoidable not to find a resource where I can read more content, in my native language.

So, I stumbled and recommending one for the Italian-speaking audience, with a very interesting content starting with 

UN VIAGGIO IN SCANDINAVIA SULLE TRACCE ARTISTICO-CULTURALI DELL’ANTICHISSIMO POPOLO SÁMI. TRA STORIA E PROSPETTIVE FUTURE.

Getting more butterflies in your stomach when it comes to languages, art, and culture?

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DEMA Solutions Successful Visit to Tekom Conference 2019

Each year, Tekom Conference with the parallel of TCWorld and Tekom trade fair holds the world’s largest event in the field of technical communication. For the fifth time in a row, this event was again held in Stuttgart, Germany last November 12 to 14.

Our company, DEMA Solutions was one of the attendees. With a perfectly-blended team represented by Milena Spelta Parenti (Key Account Manager), Jovana Maravic (Sales Specialist), Daniele Miani (DTP Manager), and Igor Pirkovic (CAT Specialist) had a bustling yet exciting three-day conference filled with great opportunities to meet new peers, share experiences, and exchange opinions.

From booth visits to coffee and tea chats, may it be in any approach because one thing is for certain; Tekom fair is a perfect place for gaining more knowledge and unlocking new resources.

“The basic economic resource – the means of production – is no longer capital, nor natural resources, nor labor. It is and will be knowledge.” – Peter Drucker, father of modern management.

Countless doors were open to new connections and to learn fresh and innovative ideas which is why it has always been a successful yearly conference.

This year, Tekom participants were focusing on one of the most debated topics in the translation industry: MTPE (Machine Translation Post-Editing). After nearly decades of discussions and development of MT (Machine Translation) aka SMT (Statistical Machine Translation) followed by the development of NMT (Neural Machine Translation), all companies are now daily confronted with it.

Furthermore, from our point of view, MTPE doesn’t necessarily represent a low-cost and low-quality alternative to human translation. Instead, it can be a quicker and more cost-effective solution for specific projects and domains. Recently, MTPE requests are more often received from end customers, which undeniably is a good sign that we are heading in the right direction.

We have been testing different language combinations, fields, and engines. We had the opportunity to share the results with other LSCs during Tekom and tell about our successful projects as well as the failed tests which every stakeholder finds a lot valuable.

Jovana, our Sales Specialist tells about one impressive encounter, Tilde (more details https://www.tilde.com/) where they exchanged opinions regarding MT: they set up one separate company division assigned only to machine translation solutions. 

Everybody was willing to give a piece of advice out of their personal experience concerning technical integration with production tools (TMS and CAT Tools).

MTPE will not work without the help of human skills. The big challenge is now on Post-Editors: “traditional” translators have to follow a specific training on Post Editing, as it is somehow a different job.

We focus only on the bright side, so rather than overlooking what it cannot do, we embraced technology and adapted to it and see how it can help us. 

Quite recently, DEMA got SDL Certification for Post Editing. This certification covers the techniques and skills involved in Machine Translation Post-Editing. It includes the best theoretical and practical overviews that will enhance and equip our skill-set and strategies to help us succeed in every machine translation and post-editing challenge. This also prepares us as the ever-changing market in the translation field develops or moreover, becomes more demanding. 

We have worked hard to establish a strong and highly skilled group of DTP specialists, to meet the needs of the LSCs we cooperate with, as well as the quality-demanding standard of Technical Writers. Therefore, merging our proficient associates and applied technology together, results in high-quality and effective work.

In the area of Desktop Publishing, several interesting presentations were available. Our DTP Manager, Daniele, attended The Adobe tool presentation. However, most presentations were in German which we wished that it could have been more accessible if they’re in English. 

We also found one presentation which caught our attention: the Project Management software by Wordbee https://www.wordbee.com/it/. It’s a Translation Management System (TMS) that manages translation projects throughout the process such as managing translation suppliers, pricelists, invoices, and translation memories. Daniele and Igor, our CAT Specialist are looking forward to joining a live demo to learn how it works and see how it could match and benefit our practices.

We are very positive about further developments of established cooperation as well as future projects we will be dealing with, thanks to the meetings at Tekom.

Last but not least, Milena, our Key Account Manager sums up the overall experience and says that the “human side” of our visit was even more satisfying, as we realized how much wonderful connections we’ve made along the journey in the translation industry.

With great pleasure, we saw again people we’ve met at previous international conferences and exhibitions, and in some cases, we were finally able to match a face with a voice (or sometimes just a signature). Meetings represented a professional plus in understanding each other instances, on practical and more general issues.

Toasting on a booth, taking pictures together, or simple chats while queuing to ladies restrooms gave a different feeling to an industry for which distance does not interfere with professional performance, but lacks a bit of human “real” proximity.