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English-language version of Luistxo Fernandez's blog

Challenges of Minority Languages in the Globalization Age

Luistxo Fernandez 2008/09/29 10:58

Next week there will be a Congress in Bilbao: Challenges of Minority Languages in the Globalization Age. Basque and foreign speakers will exchange our views, and I will by one of those on the Basque side, as the organizers, the Basque branch of Unesco (part of the World Languages Network), offered me a spot to talk about Basque presence in Internet. So, my talk will be on October 10th: The highs and the lows of Basque on the Internet. There will be simultaneous translation between Basque, Spanish and English, so I'll talk in Basque but probably I'll use a powerpoint presentation written in English.

Participation in the congress is open, until the 220 places available are filled. You can apply in this website. The venue is the Euskalduna Palace of Bilbao.

This is the program:

9th October

9.30 - 10.00 PRESENTATION:
Basque government, Provincial Administration, EUDEL (Association of Basque Municipalities)
10.00 - 11.00 Talk: “Euskaltzaindia, a minority language academy and its challenges in a globalized world”. Andres Urrutia, President of Euskaltzaindia, Royal Academy of the Basque Language
11.00 - 12.00. Talk: “Language Rights. Human Development and Linguistic Diversity in a Globalizing World”. Suzanne Romaine, Merton College at the University of Oxford
12.30 - 13.30 Talk: "More rather than Less: Minority Language Rights in the Age of Globalisation?”. Fernand de Varennes. Murdoch University (Australia)
16.00 - 17.00. Talk: “Using Electronic Technology for Language Revitalization”. Delyth Prys, Bangor University (Wales)
17.00 - 18.00 Talk:  “ The Catalan on the Internet and Internet in Catalan. Difficulties (and opportunities) of Minority Languages in Cyberspace”. Amadeu Abril, ESADE Law School, Universitat Ramon Llull de Barcelona

10th October

09.30 - 10.30. Talk: “UNESCO and Multilingualism in Cyberspace”.  Misako Ito. UNESCO – Information Society Division – Universal Access and Preservation Section
10.30 - 11.30. Talk: “The highs and the lows of Basque on the Internet”, Luistxo Fernandez, CodeSyntax and Tagzania founder.
12.00 - 13.00. Talk: “Oral Tradition Teaching: What Kind of Education? The Case of Griots in Mali”. Simon Toulou, University of Geneva
13.00 - 14.00 Talk: "Towards a multilingual society: issues and practices, some examples". Marielle Rispail, IUFM Nice
14.00 - 14.15 CLOSING CEREMONY

Public bird's eye

Luistxo Fernandez 2008/09/18 11:36

Bird's eye is a phrase that I first found in Virtual Earth, the mapping app from Microsoft. But the term is caching in other mapping platforms, and now, for the 1st time, I've seen it in a public administration mapping site. The departamental public mapping app B5M has introduced Bird's eye views for Gipuzkoa, the Basque region where I live and work. Txoribistan is the Basque term chosen for the app.

This is my workplace, for instance. As usual, 4 cardinal viewpoints are available for each area covered.

The flights over Gipuzkoa were commanded by these regional authorities to Blom Pictometry. And it seems that Blom has retained the right to re-license it to others. So, the same views are present in B5M and in Virtual Earth. Compare the links (b5m /,com) and screenshots. blica. | Txoribista b5m © cc-by-sa: codesyntax | Txoribista Virtual Earth Eibar © cc-by-sa: codesyntax

Spanish electronics firm Blusens is another customer of Blom Pictometry: they use these oblique views in their GPS navigation system. Among all those users of Blom bird's eye views, it seems B5M has the newest data. Donostia, see of a film festival these days, is visible in b5m txoribista (the main exhibition hall, the Kursaal of Donostia), but not in Virtual Earth.

International Exposition in Zaragoza

Luistxo Fernandez 2008/09/03 07:57

I had never been in an International Expo, but as it was not that far away from home, we went to Expo Zaragoza with our children, to spend three days there. Water and sustainability, that was the motive of the Expo, and we took a sustainable approach, going there by train. But I was totally disappointed. Perhaps all expos are the same, a succession of anecdotical, conceptual or shop-like (sellers of tourism or souvenirs at large) pavilions, I don't know, but I felt this one was particularly boring, and too much crowded as well.

I noticed as well that it was just an exclusively Spanish act. No foreigners, which is striking in any part of Spain in summer: lots of locals do tourism here and there, but always accompanied by similar crowds of guiris. Well, there were almost none of these in Expo Zaragoza. I guess that very few BoingBoing readers noticed the isometrically pixelated eBoy mosaic in one of the few slightly interesting pavilions: | eBoy Expo Zaragoza © cc-by-sa: Luistxo.F

The expo is open until september 14.


Luistxo works in CodeSyntax, tweets as @Luistxo and tries to manage the automated newssite Niagarank. This Cemetery is part of a distributed multilingual blog (?!). These are the Basque and Spanish versions:

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