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insight by wfx

Welcome to Wordwide FX's new enterprise!

Insight by WFX is a synthesis of our passion for languages and the financial markets. Here you will find technical and fundamental analyses from our clients, media partners and contributors in different languages, as well as discussions on languages and translation. And of course we will keep you updated on what is happening inside Wordwide FX Financial Translations. Hope you enjoy it! Greetings from the Wordwide FX team!

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El EURUSD cae y rompe niveles técnicos


By Greg Michalowski @GregMikeFX, Director of Client Education at ForexLive. Translated by Wordwide FX Financial Translations

El EURUSD lleva todo el día operándose en ambos sentidos. Durante la sesión asiática, el precio cayó bajo la MM de 100 horas, luego cayó a la MM de 100 sesiones en el gráfico de 4 horas en 1,23855 (ver línea azul pronunciada), luego rebotó para atacar la MM de 100 horas (línea azul, ahora mismo en 1,24298).

Esta parada en la MM de 100 horas en la sesión de Londres, ha impreso más impulso bajista y ha conducido a una ruptura bajo la MM de 100 sesiones en el gráfico de 4 horas y el 50% de la subida que partió del mínimo del 9 de febrero en 1,23799. Sigue el tono bajista. EL precio ha registrado ahora un nuevo máximo de sesión en 1,23692.

¿Y ahora qué?

La zona de riesgo más cercana para los cortos es el nivel de 1,23855 (MM de 100 sesiones en el gráfico de 4 horas), una antigua zona de soporte que es ahora resistencia.

La MM de 200 horas (línea verde en el gráfico superior) es un objetivo bajista, ahora en 1,23519. Si se produce un ataque sobre esta zona, yo esperaría que el precio se estancara (stops por debajo).


Modern Hebrew: "To create a new language which is completely old"


By Wordwide FX Financial Translations

By Aysa Pereltsvag

Via Languages of the World

According to the official story, Hebrew has been “revived” in the late 19th century and early 20th century until it once again became the national language of Israel. But some scholars — such as Paul Wexler and Gil’ad Zuckermann — have challenged this narrative, proposing instead that Modern Hebrew is a new language with little or no roots in a Semitic past. So which is it, old or new?

A bit of historical background first. The “old”, Biblical (or Classical) Hebrew was spoken (yes, spoken!) some 3,500-3,000 years ago. The core of the Hebrew Bible, the Torah, traditionally believed to have been first recorded 3,300 years ago, is written in Biblical Hebrew (obviously, hence the name). This language is undoubtedly a member of the Semitic language family. It was a living, spoken language and it kept changing through time.

But for external reasons to do with the Bar Kohba war of 135 CE, exile and diaspora, Hebrew gradually became extinct as a spoken language around 200 CE. Yet, it continued to be used as a liturgical and written language for many centuries thereafter. It was used for prayer and to write books and documents in a variety of fields, including not just religion, but also law, business, philosophy, literature and medicine. Furthermore, it was spoken by Jewish traders as a second language, a lingua franca for communication between Jews from different lands (more on this below). But crucially, it was not spoken by anyone as a native language, a mother tongue. This is what makes us analyze it as a dead language. Whether Modern Hebrew was “revived from the dead” or “created from scratch”, it is now spoken by some 5 million people natively and serves as the national language of the State of Israel. It is now once again a living, spoken language and it keeps changing. So what exactly happened in those early “revival” years and how did Hebrew once again become a living language?

If we need to put a date on the beginning of the process of the Hebrew language “revival” (a term I will use for now), it must be October 13th 1881, when a man called Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and his friends agreed to exclusively speak Hebrew in their conversations. Thus, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda is usually credited with the feat of “reviving” Hebrew. Who was he and what did he do?

He was born Eliezer Yitzhak Perelman in 1858 in that part of the Russian Empire where Russians, Belarusians, Poles and Lithuanians lived side by side with a large Jewish population. At the age of three, he started learning in a xeder, a school for young children, where he learned Biblical Hebrew. By the time he was twelve, Ben-Yehuda was familiar with large portions of Torah, Mishna and Talmud. Hoping he would become a rabbi, his parents sent him to a yeshiva where he continued studying Torah and Biblical Hebrew. In addition to Biblical Hebrew, he studied Lithuanian, Yiddish, Hebrew and Aramaic, and in the following years, he also learned French, German and Russian (from his first wife, Deborah) and traveled to Dunaburg, Latvia and later to Paris for further education.

With the rise of Jewish nationalism in 19th century Europe, Ben-Yehuda was captivated by the innovative ideas of Zionism. While reading the Hebrew language newspaper HaShahar, he became acquainted with Zionism and other political ideas of the day. Among those ideas was the belief that one of the criteria needed to define a nation worthy of national rights was its use of a common language spoken by both the society and the individual. This made Ben-Yehuda conclude that the reviving the Hebrew language in the Land of Israel would unite all Jews worldwide. In fact, Ben-Yehuda regarded Hebrew and Zionism as one and the same, writing that

"The Hebrew langage can live only if we revive the nation and return it to the fatherland".

And so, in 1881, Ben-Yehuda moved to Palestine, then ruled by the Ottoman Empire, where he settled in Jerusalem and on October 13th made that fateful decision to speak only Hebrew, both in the home, with his wife Deborah, and outside the home as well, with his like-minded Hebrew-revivalist friends. Thus, he set out to achieve his self-proclaimed goal, which he later formulated as

"to create a new language which is completely old..."

To this end, Ben-Yehuda (who by then had adopted this Hebrew name) became a major figure in the establishment of the Committee of the Hebrew Language (Va’ad HaLaschon), later the Academy of the Hebrew Language, an organization that still exists today. It was also Ben-Yehuda who wrote the first Modern Hebrew dictionary and invented a word for it, milon (from mila ‘word’). Many of the words he coined have become part and parcel of the language but others — some 2,000 words — never caught on. His word for ‘tomato’, for instance, was badura, but Hebrew speakers today use the word agvania.

But these efforts would have had little effect if it were not for another fateful decision he and his wife have made: to speak only in Hebrew to their first-born son Ben-Zion (“the son of Zion”) Ben-Yehuda (born in 1882; later he will adopt the name Itamar Ben-Avi, “the son of my father”) and to the other four children to follow. He refused to let his son be exposed to other languages during childhood, so much so that it is said he once reprimanded his wife for singing a Russian lullaby to the child. As a result, Ben-Zion became the first native speaker of Modern Hebrew. According to the story, he started speaking only at the age of 4, and his first words were Lo l’hit’lachem ‘Don’t fight’ (was it in response to his parents quarreling over language use in the home?).

Soon, Ben-Yehuda was not the only one to speak to his children in Hebrew. The idea of Hebrew “revival” caught on: the first Hebrew schools were established; Hebrew increasingly became a spoken language of daily affairs; in 1922 it became an official language of British Palestine; and in 1925 it became the first “indigenous” language to be used as the medium of university instruction with the founding of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, my alma mater.

Ben-Yehuda’s tireless work to raise awareness and to fight his opponents (and they were many) made him a symbol of the Hebrew revival and a part of the contemporary Israeli self-narrative. Here’s how Cecil Roth summed up Ben-Yehuda’s contribution to the Hebrew language:

"Before Ben-Yehuda, Jews could speak Hebrew; after him, the did."

But as symbolic as Ben-Yehuda has become to the process of Hebrew’s return to regular usage, his role in this process of turning a dead but sacred language into a national language with millions of first language speakers should not be overestimated.

As research shows, in the fifty years preceding Ben-Yehuda’s arrival to Palestine and the start of the revival process, a version of spoken Hebrew already existed in the markets of Jerusalem. The Sephardic Jews who spoke Ladino or Arabic and the Ashkenazi Jews who spoke Yiddish needed a common language for commercial purposes, a lingua franca, and the most obvious choice was Hebrew. It should be noted that it was not a native tongue for anyone, but it was not a pidgin of the sort that would arise between English and Chinese traders or between Russian and Norwegian fishermen and merchants. It did not combine bits and pieces of simplified versions of two languages. Rather, it was a modified version of Hebrew that these people knew from their studies of ancient and medieval religious texts, their prayer books and other literature.

The connection to the Biblical Hebrew of yesteryear was perceived as strong enough to ruffle the feathers of the very religious Jews (the haredim): how dare these “revivalists” use a sacred language for mundane topics of everyday life?! They denounced Ben-Yehuda to the British mandate authorities. As a result, he was imprisonned, which didn’t do much good to his health or his spirit and must have precipitated his death from tuberculosis (from which he had suffered for many years) at the age of 64.

Below, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda while working on the Hebrew dictionary, 1912. The David B. Keidan Collection of Digital Images from the Central Zionist Archives (via Harvard University Library)



Wordwide FX partners with AxiTrader


By Wordwide FX Financial Translations

At Wordwide FX we are happy and proud to be AxiTrader's choice for translation services.

We have been working for AxiTrader since early this year on translations of their documentation and communications releases into a wide range of target languages, and we are now honored to be their stable partner for language services.

We are aware that the brokerage industry requires quick, efficient, quality information in a broad scope of languages, and they count on us to supply them with what they call for, when they call for it. We work together with AxiTrader to transmit exactly what they need for their always urgent communications requirements.

Marketing Manager for the UK and Europe Mihai Milea says of Wordwide FX's services:

"In almost 10 years of experience in the forex industry, I have never come across a better translation agency. Wordwide FX are for me the gold standard in terms of translation services. They are professional, highly reliable, and the quality of their work has always been excellent in all the languages we support. I am delighted to work with a translations agency that understands very well the urgency forex brokerages face every day and the high standards of quality we require".

Thank so much for your kind words and your trust, Mihai. You know you can count on us, and we're looking forward to being AXiTraders' translation partners for many years to come!

The Wordwide FX Team

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La GBPUSD se opera otra vez bajo la MM de 100 días


By Greg Michalowski @GregMikeFX, Director of Client Education at ForexLive. Translated by Wordwide FX Financial Translations

El cable se opera arriba y abajo hoy, en un estrecho rango de 62 pips. La media de los últimos 22 días es de 89 pips.


Durante las primeras horas de la sesión de Londres, la acción ha llevado al precio de nuevo bajo el mínimo de ayer, que alcanzó 1,12840. El mínimo de ayer llegó a 1,2846. El mínimo de hoy es el más bajo desde el 12 de julio y arrastró al precio bajo la MM de 100 días en 1,28598, el soporte de la línea de tendencia en el mismo nivel y el 61,8% de la subida que partió de mínimo de junio en 1,2847. ¿El problema? Al igual que ayer, el impulso ha terminado por disiparse. Los vendedores se han visto obligados a retomar sus compras y a regresar sobre el clúster de soporte.

Tras una acción al máximo intradía de 1,2902 (alrededor del nivel de resistencia natural de 1,2900), volvemos a bajar y caemos otra vez bajo los niveles técnicos.


Esta es la 3ª vez, ¿será la de la buena suerte, o caerá y hallará otra vez compradores en caídas?

El sesgo es más negativo bajo este nivel, pero también es cierto que el precio tiene que descender bajo los mínimos y confirmarlos y mostrar un ambiente bajista más propicio. Si esto sucede, los niveles incluirán el mínimo de julio en 1,2812 y 1,2768.


The World’s Most Efficient Languages


By Wordwide FX Financial Translations

Via The

By John McWhorter

How much do you really need to say to put a sentence together?

Just as fish presumably don’t know they’re wet, many English speakers don’t know that the way their language works is just one of endless ways it could have come out. It’s easy to think that what one’s native language puts words to, and how, reflects the fundamentals of reality.

But languages are strikingly different in the level of detail they require a speaker to provide in order to put a sentence together. In English, for example, here’s a simple sentence that comes to my mind for rather specific reasons related to having small children: “The father said ‘Come here!’” This statement specifies that there is a father, that he conducted the action of speaking in the past, and that he indicated the child should approach him at the location “here.” What else would a language need to do?

Well, for a German speaker, more. In “Der Vater sagte ‘Komm her!’”, although it just seems like a variation on the English sentence, more is happening. “Der,” the word for “the,” is a choice among other possibilities: It’s the one used for masculine nouns only. If the sentence were about a mother, it would have to use the feminine die, or if about a girl, the neuter das (for reasons unnecessary to broach here!). The word for “said,” sagte, is marked with a suffix for the third-person singular; if it were “you said,” then it would be sagtest—in English, those forms don’t vary in the past tense. Then, her for “here” means “to here”: In German one must become what feels to an English speaker rather Shakespearean and say “hither” when that’s what is meant. “Here” in the sense of just sitting “here” is a different word, hier.

This German sentence, then, requires you to pay more attention to the genders of people and things, to whether it’s me, you, her, him, us, y’all, or them driving the action. It also requires specifying not just where someone is but whether that person is moving closer or farther away. German is, overall, busier than English, and yet Germans feel their way of putting things is as normal as English speakers feel their way is.

Other languages occupy still other places on the linguistic axis of “busyness,” from prolix to laconic, and it’s surprising what a language can do without. In Mandarin Chinese, a way of saying “The father said ‘Come here!’” is “Fùqīn shuō ‘Guò lái zhè lǐ!’” Just as in English, there is no marker for the father’s gender, nor does the form of the word shuō for “said” indicate whether the speaker is me, you, or him. The word for “here,” zhè lǐ, can mean either “right here” or “to here,” just like in English. But Mandarin is even more telegraphic. There is no definite article like “the.” The word for “said” lacks not only a suffix for person, but is also not marked for tense; it just means “say.” It is assumed that context will indicate that this event happened in the past. Much of learning Mandarin involves getting a sense of how much one can not say in an acceptable sentence.

Moreover, anyone who has sampled Chinese, or Persian, or Finnish, knows that a language can get along just fine with the same word for “he” and “she.”* And whereas Mandarin can mark tense but often doesn’t, in the Maybrat language of New Guinea, there’s pretty much no way to mark it at all—context takes care of it and no one bats an eye.
If there were a prize for the busiest language, then a language like Kabardian, also known as Circassian and spoken in the Caucasus, would win. In the simple sentence “The men saw me,” the word for “saw” is sǝq’ayǝƛaaɣwǝaɣhaś (pronounced roughly “suck-a-LAGH-a-HESH”). This seems like a majestic monster of a word, and yet despite its air of “supercalifragilisticexpealidocious,” the word for “saw” is every bit as ordinary for Karbadian-speakers as English-speakers’ “saw” is for them. It’s just that Karbadian-speakers have to pack so much more into their version. In sǝq’ayǝƛaaɣwǝaɣhaś, other than the part meaning “see,” there is a bit that reiterates that it’s me who was seen, even though the sentence would include a separate word for “me” elsewhere. Then there are other bits that show that the seeing was most significant to “me” rather than to the men or anyone else; that the seeing was done by more than one person (despite the sentence spelling out elsewhere that it was plural “men” who did the seeing); that this event did not happen in the present; that on top of this, the event happened specifically in the past rather than the future; and finally a bit indicating that the speaker really means what he’s saying.

The prize for most economical language could go to certain colloquial dialects of Indonesian that are rarely written but represent the daily reality of Indonesian in millions of mouths. For example, in the Riau dialect spoken in Sumatra, ayam means chicken and makan means eat, but “Ayam makan” doesn’t mean only “The chicken is eating.” Depending on context, “Ayam makan” can mean the “chickens are eating,” “a chicken is eating,” “the chicken is eating,” “the chicken will be eating,” “the chicken eats,” “the chicken has eaten,” “someone is eating the chicken,” “someone is eating for the chicken,” “someone is eating with the chicken,” “the chicken that is eating,” “where the chicken is eating,” and “when the chicken is eating.” If chickens and eating are à propos, the assumption is that everybody in the conversation knows what’s what. Thus for a wide variety of situations the equivalent of “chicken eat” will do—and does.

So does the contrast between Riau Indonesian’s “chicken eat” and Kabardian’s “they saw me and it affected me, not now, and I really mean it” mean that each language gives its speakers a different way of looking at the world? It’s an intriguing idea, first formulated by anthropologist and linguist Edward Sapir and amateur linguist (and fire inspector!) Benjamin Whorf. If it were correct, an English-speaker would generally think about the past more than a Chinese-speaker would, while Germans would think more about movement than Americans or Brits.

Experiments have shown that this is often true to a faint, flickering degree a psychologist can detect in the artifice of experimental conditions. But does this mean a different way of experiencing life? Is a Kabardian shopkeeper in the Caucasus more exquisitely attuned to the nuances of experience than a Riau Indonesian-speaking fisherman in Sumatra? If that Kabardian shopkeeper’s jam-packed verbs mean that he vibrates in tune to the jots and tittles of life, then doesn’t one have to say that the Riau Indonesian speaker, whose grammar directs his attention to so few details, is something of a limp string on the guitar? We would run into similarly hopeless comparisons around the world. The Zulu speaker would be hypervigilant given the complexities of his language, the Samoan speaker inattendant given the less obsessively complicated nature of hers.

If thought and culture aren’t why some languages pile it on while others take it light, then what is the reason? Part of the answer is unsatisfying but powerful: chance. Time and repetition wear words out, and what wears away is often a nugget of meaning. This happens in some languages more than others. Think of the French song “Alouette, gentille alouette …” (“lark, nice lark”) in which one sings “ahh-loo-eh-tuh.” In running speech the word has long been pronounced just “ah-loo-ett” with no -uh at the end. That –uh in the song today is a leftover from the way the word actually was once pronounced normally, and it indicated the word’s feminine gender to the listener. Today, beyond marginal contexts like that song, only the final e in the spelling of alouette indicates its gender; hearing it in a sentence we’d have to rely on the definite article la alone to know that the word is feminine.
In a language where final sounds take the accent, such sounds tend to hold on longer because they are so loud and clear—you’re less likely to mumble it and people listening are more likely to hear it. In Hebrew, “Thank you very much,” is “Toda raba,” pronounced “toe-DAH rah-BAH.” The sounds at the end of the word mark gender in Hebrew, too, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon because they are enunciated with force.

When a language seems especially telegraphic, usually another factor has come into play: Enough adults learned it at a certain stage in its history that, given the difficulty of learning a new language after childhood, it became a kind of stripped-down “schoolroom” version of itself. Because all languages, are, to some extent, busier than they need to be, this streamlining leaves the language thoroughly complex and nuanced, just lighter on the bric-a-brac that so many languages pant under. Even today, Indonesian is a first language to only one in four of its speakers; the language has been used for many centuries as a lingua franca in a vast region, imposed on speakers of several hundred languages. This means that while other languages can be like overgrown lawns, Indonesian’s grammar has been regularly mowed, such that especially the colloquial forms are tidier. Lots of adult learning over long periods of time is also why, for example, the colloquial forms of Arabic like Egyptian and Moroccan are somewhat less elaborated than Modern Standard Arabic—they were imposed on new people as Islam spread after the seventh century.

In contrast, one cannot help suspecting that not too many adults have been tackling the likes of sǝq’ayǝƛaaɣwǝaɣhaś. Kabardian has been left to its own devices, and my, has it hoarded a lot of them. This is, as languages go, normal, even if Kabardian is rather extreme. By contrast, only a few languages have been taken up as vehicles of empire and imposed on millions of unsuspecting and underqualified adults. Long-dominant Mandarin, then, is less “busy” than Cantonese and Taiwanese, which have been imposed on fewer people. English came out the way it did because Vikings, who in the first millennium forged something of an empire of their own in northern and western Europe, imposed themselves on the Old English of the people they invaded and, as it were, mowed it. German, meanwhile, stayed “normal.”

Even if languages’ differences in busyness can’t be taken as windows on psychological alertness, the differences remain awesome. In a Native American language of California called Atsugewi (now extinct), if a tree was burned and we found the ashes in a creek afterward, we would have said that soot w’oqhputíc’ta into the creek. W’oqhputíc’ta is a conglomeration of bits that mean “it moved like dirt, in a falling fashion, into liquid, and for real.” In English, we would just say “flowed.”


Can Facebook save endangered languages?


By Wordwide FX Financial Translations

Via CNN Money

The future of a dying language depended on translating the word "poke."

For three weeks, about half a dozen defenders of the Corsican language worked together to translate some of the most common English terms used on Facebook: "friend," "like," "invite" and, of course, "poke."

The word they settled on for poke, "stuzzicà," roughly means to alert or tease someone. It's like saying "yoo-hoo or cuckoo," according to Vannina Bernard-Leoni, who helped spearhead the translation effort.

"It was good to try to find not only a literal translation, but really a very vernacular translation, very close to popular expression in Corsican," she said. "It was beautiful work."

The unusual linguistic exercise was the first step in a two-year campaign that involved an estimated 2,000 participants collaborating to translate everyday words, symbols and Facebook phrases into Corsican.

The goal was to convince Facebook (FB, Tech30) to recognize Corsican as an option for users, thereby giving the endangered language a home on the world's largest social network -- and perhaps a firmer place in the 21st century.

On Thursday, Facebook announced that it is now available in Corsican and two other additional languages, bringing its total number of language options to 101.

Corsican, a romance language similar to Italian, has been classified as "definitely endangered" by UNESCO, which means "children no longer learn the language as mother tongue in the home."

To date, Facebook has added translation options for nine of these endangered languages, including Basque, Welsh and Tamazight. Another nine endangered languages, including Cherokee and Yiddish, are in the process of being translated.

The translations are largely put together by crowdsourcing from local communities through a Facebook translate app. But Facebook does have to dedicate engineers to work with the communities and write code to support variations of each language.

"This isn't a ROI type part of the business," says Iris Orriss, director of internationalization and localization at Facebook, using the acronym for return on investment. "The mission for Facebook is to enable people to share and make the world more open and connected. Language is such a vital part of connectivity."

Orriss says Facebook may be able to help endangered languages stay relevant for the next generation.

"Often ... the younger generation speaks the language, but doesn't care about it as much because the broad language of communication is often another one like English," Orriss says. By bringing it to Facebook, it shows the language "can be fun and can be exciting," she adds. "It's not just old books."

Bernard-Leoni, 35, first became interested in bringing Corsican to Facebook in late 2014 after she heard the social network had recognized Breton, another endangered language.

She was born in Corsica, a small French island in the Mediterranean, but left at the age of 18 to study abroad and travel. She returned a decade later for a position at the University of Corsica -- with renewed conviction for the future of her culture.

"I'm convinced that in Corsica we can be very attached to our past, our values, our culture and our language and at the same time be absolutely open to the world," she says. "I think this Facebook translation is a perfect illustration of this vision."

Bernard-Leoni helped organize a small team, coordinating mostly through a Facebook Groups page, to translate an initial batch of keywords to submit to Facebook. The company then gave the green light for a broader crowdsourced effort.

The hope from Thursday's launch, she adds, is that "all Corsican people understand that there is a language for everybody."

Facebook isn't the first tech company to offer support to endangered languages. Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) and Google (GOOGL, Tech30) have launched projects to research, record and translate regional dialects -- with mixed success.

"It looks impressive to an outsider, but if you sit down with a native speaker they will tell you the translation quality is laughable," says K. David Harrison, a linguistics professor at Swarthmore College who has worked with businesses like Microsoft on these efforts.

Some communities are embarrassed by the translations online, while others see it as a positive for the language, flawed as it may be, according to Harrison.

"Just seeing your language on a drop-down menu on Facebook is encouraging," he says. "They want to cross the digital divide with their language and they don't want to have to leave it behind."