Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fanny ... what, this is for me?

It's fairly cold outside, just a bit above zero ... Fanny, our family cat, went out this morning without even eating, because the air was fairly fine. Now, around noon, the postman brought a parcel for the neighbours and I went downstaris ... Fanny was already waiting and ran in as if the devil was behind her. I had already cut the remains of the noodles with cream sauce from yesterday which I wanted to mix with some meat for her and the bowl was near the kitchen sink. Well ... while I took over the parcel and got back upstairs, my dear cat already was over her food (which she probably supposed to be ours). As soon as she heard me coming in, she jumped down and looked at me with her big eyes as if she wanted to say "no, I did not touch your food, I am still wating for mine". Well done, dear Fanny ... and so I took only the noodles she already had eaten half and put them in her bowel on the floor ... Ooooo ... I got one of those glances like: "you mean I should really eat that stuff? That's not really food for real cats ... " ... LOLOL ... isn't it the same everywhere? Best is what is not yours :-D

Friday, November 08, 2013

Scrapbook Designs for Education ...

Well, my daughter is starting to help. I suppose we will see quite some of her pictures used for educational purposes. One day she would like to become a painter and every now and then, nowadays, she draws all sorts of black and white pictures, which are indeed easy to print, easy to handle etc. for students, no matter if in terms of photocopies or in terms of printing books: keeping all black and white is much easier and cheaper for all - and there is another plus: children can color the designs ... so yes, she may go ahead and she does already have her very own style.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Why do projects reach an end? Is this really necessary?

In Italy like in Germany ... and I suppose also in many other parts of the world ... it seems that starting something is always easy, but then maintaining an activity gets worse day by day for the simple fact that people around, that should help, think that others working for free for the community is a "given thing".
The ones who should care prefer to look at "new stuff", because what is there is there and of course those people investing their time, simply have to ... but nope, you are wrong, really wrong ... each time someone gives you his/her time this needs to be considered properly.
People working for free for the good of the community need to be helped as much as possible, you need to talk to them when they need it, keep them continuously updated, not just pretend them to do what they did for quite some time and pretend from them to hurry after whoever, because it is so much fun to work for free.
May it be a crèche to be created once a year or may it be a cinema kept alive, may it be a dictionary project to go ahead ... it's always the same: people who work there, do it because they love to do it.
The funny part is then: once those working stop doing what they did for so many years for free they are the "bad guys" ...
Those of you who would like to run projects, who would like to get ahead, who would like others to work for free on whatever ... think about how to keep things alive.
This year I saw two situations like these: in one I was directly involved. The responsible people for economical matters were asked for an appointment and there was no answer for three weeks - well a: "sorry, but we are down under right now, we can only talk in two months from now" would have been enough ... but it did not come. In particular one person receiving already old age pension, invested almost a full time job in that project and she did not even receive a "thank you" but was criticized for doing the work which nobody else wanted to do. She did it well, to her best.
Not good guys ... not really good ...
And as to the second one: an association that each year cares about the same event, that each year needs funds to be able to build things ... well they get the answer late, or better there is no definite answer yet, just a "we want to help you", but even this is already too late ...
Being it a yearly event and almost 20 years that that project was kept alive ... why was a timely response not possible?
Why do people then wonder when those who work say "stop, we don't see a way to go ahead"?
No, it's not only these two projects. There are many more I could cite. It's just a pity that such moments have to happen over and over again.
At this stage I would like to say: thank you to all volunteers in the world - you are great people, do great stuff. Without you many things around the world could not happen. Keep up the good work you do as much as possible and be aware that there are always people who see what you reach by just uniting forces and do. Thank you so much!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How my dictionary odyssee started and goes on …

Having to tell how I started my dictionary and language career, well I just use the occasion to do this publicly.

Many years back in time, when I was sixteen, I started to go to a school for foreign correspondents. There I studied English, French and Spanish. I took lessons in various other languages in the evening. When going to school I always had to carry 6 dictionaries with me: three monolingual ones and three bilingual ones, plus the “normal“ books. Back then no computers were around and I started to create tables on paper with the corresponding terminology. Then I thought “why isn’t there something easy to carry where all you need is in” … some years later I took a nonspecialist in computer sciences. This dates back to DOS 2.11, green font on black screen, software like dBase, Wordstar etc. The mouse was not there at the beginning, only after some time … and when we had our dBase lessons, I got back to my thought on a multilingual dictionary: I still had my tables and I started to create a first database with them, but still: it was only for my own use and it was hard to share data. Not many working with languages having the same ideas were around. I was too much ahead of time.
Around the year 2000 I had a first online dictionary created with LinksSQL, but still my colleagues were not ready for that step. I had a translation agency and shared glossaries that way, but it was too soon.
In 2004 I took over Adminship at the Italian Wiktionary, which was developing and needed some work to be done. At a certain stage someone added templates to it.wiktionary and there I started to talk with Gerard. All work was done more than once … it was done over and over again on so many open content Wiktionaries around. This was then the moment when the idea of an Ultimate Wiktionary, in a second moment called WiktionaryZ came up. But: no way to get this into the minds of people – probably again it was too soon. 
We talked days and nights and my thoughts from a translator's POV were very different from what non translators would expect. All these talks led to "we do need a database" and for those who cannot deal without it: we also need Wiki functionality. Gerard found funds and so a dictionary project, based on Mediawiki software, called OmegaWiki was programmed. Well much of the functionality of course was adapted to the sponsor's needs. 
For some very precise reason, which I am not going to explain, I left the project. At that time I already had many, many contacts in the field of less resourced languages and we went ahead making those dictionary plans even more detailed and perfect. Ambaradan started it's way. We tested a pre-alpha release during the KDE Multimedia Education Sprint in Randa 2010 with Agrovoc, which is really a lot of data and the engine went fine. It was taken offline again to add further functionality.
At the End of 2010 I went back to Germany and Bèrto, the programmer of Ambaradan went to the UK at the Beginning of 2011. Full time work slowed down development a lot and there is for now no chance to see the software live.
During the years from 2008 to 2010 we collected quite some data for two dictionaries, one of which is a Children's Dictionary. The data was collected in an offline excel table and loaded into a MySQL-Database. It was then released for vocabulary learning for Parley and other software.
Now, some weeks ago, I noted that OmegaWiki changed quite some into the direction I wished. Well: time to care about the project and add the data, try to create connections so that the data can be re-used ...
And at this point: there is more to come ... 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Auf dem Haus steht geschrieben:
1632 Wallenstein Verbrannt mich
1633 neu erstand ich
1914 Fridolin Hoffman erneuerte mich
Vaterland Gott beschütze mich

Ob es überhaupt möglich war, das Haus innerhalb nur eines Jahres wieder aufzubauen ist sehr zweifelhaft, aber die Legende erzählt es eben so.
Ein Zusatz in der Stadtchronik besagt, dass bei dem Brand im Jahr 1632 außer der Kirche und der Ratsdienerwohnung über dem Elsaer Tor kein einziges Haus stehen geblieben war. Dies wird durch andere Berichte bestätigt. Außerdem wurden viele Rodacher an jenem Schicksalstag getötet und die Vorräte wurden geplündert. Viele mussten sich, um sich zu schützen, in die Wälder zurückziehen. Warum Wallenstein mit seinen Truppe Bad Rodach dem Erdboden gleich machte, das wird demnächst in einem anderen Blog erzählt.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Dar Gensbroten

Dar dürrscht Balwierarschdoktar
Zu Coborg in dar Stadt,
Dar hot zwa Unga immar
In Lähr und Kost gahot.
Die hatten zu artrogen
Es ganza Jahr viel Not.
Mähr Knuff hot's gam und Laschen
Wie fläsch und Bissen Brot.
Es hot dar dürra Doktar
Kan annern wos gagünnt.
Zumol wenn's gab Gensbroten
Do war ar su g'sinnt.
Und als am Sunntog wiedar
Es Assen stadn bareit,
Macht sich dar Doktar drübar
Und will di Gans zarschneid.
Dar Doktar sticht und fabelt
In dan Gensbroten nei.
"Ganz har is noch es Ludar,"
Ruft ar entsetzt dobei.
"Gött's Zeug, su fest wie Lader
"Verdaat dar Mogen schwär,
"Hör, Frah, die Gans muß morgen
"Nochmol gabroten wär."
Su schimpf dar dürra Doktar,
Ma hört's im ganzen Haus,
Und tregt dan Broten salber
Gleich in die Kuchen naus.
Und Lährbum, Frah und Kinnar
Mit org atrübtem Blick,
Die soßen da und mußten
Die Klöß halt su vadrück.
 Mittags rückt aus dar Doktar
Mit Kinnar und mit Frah.
Die Lährbum obar mußten
Es G'schäft daham vasah.
"Du, Auchust,! mahr dar aha
Beim fünften Glockenschlog
"Ich krieg ahn fazzen Hunger,
"Und des helt aus war mog!
"DanSchwittenhund, dan Mastar,
"Dan spiel'n mar jetzt an Sträch.
"Tut uns die Gans forttragen
"Und segt, sie wär ned wäch!
"Ich steig' dorchs Kuchenfanstar,
"Des Gensla führ' ich aus!"
Ball war ar in dar Küchen
Und brengt dan Broten raus.
Nu ging's a gleich ans Assen
Und net lang hot's gawährt,
Do war bis auf die Knochen
Des Gensla aufgazährt.
Des Mastarsch schwarzen Kater
Hot ma im Hof entdeckt.
Und schwuppdich in die Düchen
Dorchs Fanstar neigasteckt.
Vom Gensla ölla Knöchla
Zum Kater hiegabracht
Und dann es Küchenfanstar
Von außen zugamacht. -
Um Siema mit Familja,
Mit Hugar wie noch nie,
Do künnt zurück dar Doktar
Von seindar Landpartie.
Es hot dar dürra Doktar
Scho seit Mittag gafast't,
Ar rennt gleich noch dar Küchen
Und schließt sa auf mit Hast.
Kaum war ar eigatreten
Harrgott, wos müßt ar sah:
Die Katz hock mitten drinna
Zaust Knächla und zaust Bah.
"Du elends Katzenludar
"Wie kümmst denn du do rei?"
Ar nimmt ahn Küchenbasen,
Schwart' auf dan Kater nei.
"Mein Broten wagzufrassen -
"Is des für dich a Fraß?
"Die Gens, die aß' ich selbar:
"Fang dir doch Müus, du Aas!"
Autor: Georg Eckerlein, aka Schursch - Text in der Public Domain

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Die Lauterburg

Heute ist sie ein beliebter Ort, um die Vergangenheit wieder aufleben zu lassen, zum Beispiel während des jährlichen Mittelalterfests, und während verschiedener Feste über das ganze Jahr verteilt. Nur noch ein Raum besteht und ein Teil der Mauern ist vorhanden, aber vielleicht ist es gerade dieses „Fehlen“ von sichtbaren geschichtlichen Merkmalen, was die Fantasie der Menschen anregt …
Harry Ehrlicher erzählt in seinem Buch über die Lauterburg, dass die Grafen von Wolfeswac (daher übrigens auch die Namen von Oberwohlsbach und Unterwohlsbach) um das Jahr 1000 eine Platz suchten, um eine Burg zum Schutz ihres Besitzes zu bauen. Weit und breit war kein besserer Platz zu entdecken und so fiel ihre Entscheidung: die Lauterburg wurde auf dem Berg über dem heutigen Oberwohlsbach gebaut.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Was machen die Bohnen unter den Rebstöcken?

Wir sind wieder einmal bei Monte di Grazia in Tramonti, in den Bergen der Amalfiküste zu Gast - und auch diesmal schreibe ich nicht direkt über den Wein, sondern um das, was um ihn herum wächst ... unter den Rebstöcken wachsen Bohnen und ganz links auf dem Bild sieht man inetwa wo die Terasse zu Ende ist, dort wachsen Zucchini.
Also: was machen die Bohnen unter den Rebstöcken? Die Rebstöcke haben ja eine besondere "Form", ihr Laub bildet eine Art Dach und das heißt eigentlich "a tendone". Unter diesem Dach wachsen die Bohnen geschützt vor der starken Sonneneinstrahlung und trocknen so nicht aus. Sie haben genug Feuchtigkeit und Nahrung, um eine reiche Ernte zu bescheren und gleichzeitig geben Sie Stickstoff an die Erde zurück, Stickstoff, den die Rebstöcke wiederum benötigen um gut wachsen zu können und den einzigartigen Wein zu erzeugen, den wir von Monte di Grazia kennen. Ganz gleich ob weiß, rosato oder rot ... er hat es in sich - das Terrorir, das Territorium, in dem er wächst - ganz und gar ... man hat es dann im Glas ... und man schmeckt es wirklich Smile
Also auch bei Rebstöcken und Bohnen gilt: Teamwork in bestimmten Bereichen bringt die besten Resultate und das seit Jahrhunderten ... 

Saturday, July 06, 2013


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