Welcome to the August issue of The Monthly View.

In this issue, we look at some of the religious festivals taking place in August: Lughnasadh, a Wiccan celebration of summer, and Paryushana, a Jain festival of fasting and prayer. Read about how to make the most of the summer weather and get on your bike for Cycle to Work Day. In our rare language fact file, you can learn some bite sized facts about the Tuha language of Mongolia, and prepare to party with our focus on Notting Hill Carnival at the end of the month.

We also offer advice on our translation service, look at some specialist training our linguists have undertaken and introduce you to a linguistics podcast.

If you would like to share news on upcoming religious or cultural celebrations or health campaigns with us, please get in touch with Amy Soutter at amy.soutter@newham.gov.uk or 020 3373 8771. We also welcome any feedback on this newsletter. 
Get best value from your booking: translation
Translation is taking a written document in one language and converting it into another. It is a vital tool for communicating effectively with your service user in order to improve health outcomes and reduce missed appointments. To get the best from your translation booking, let us know who the target audience is and check that your document is legible.

Using a network of over 15,000 industry-specialised linguists and secure technology, The Language Shop works with all our clients to translate:

• Appointment templates

• Leaflets

• Access Forms

• Posters

• Website Pages

We are happy to advise you on the translation of any document, from any language into any other.
If you are interested in finding out more or booking a translation, please email translations@newham.gov.uk
1 August: Lughnasadh
Lughnasadh, also sometimes called Lammas, is the Celtic name given to this summer harvest festival, celebrated across the world by Pagans, Wiccans and polytheists (people who believe in multiple gods). The festival honours Lugh, the Celtic god of light, and falls at the approximate mid-point between the summer solstice and autumn equinox.

In Irish tradition, it is said that Lugh created the festival to honour his mother, Tailtiu, who died of exhaustion after clearing Ireland’s land for farming.

Celebrations vary from country to country but focus either on worshipping Lugh or welcoming the first harvests of grains, apples and grapes. In America, corn dolls are made to celebrate the corn harvest, while in Norway, bread is baked and those who share from the same loaf are said to be destined to marry. In Ireland, it was considered bad luck to pick fruits or grains until Lughnasadh, so harvests are carried out during this time. According to Wiccan mythology, the sun god’s power infuses the grain through light. When the grain is harvested, it is seen as a kind of sacrifice of the god. The grain is then made into bread and blessed.

Lugh was also the god of skills, so in some cultures this festival is a celebration of a community’s diverse abilities. People produce handmade crafts and display them.

Whatever the culture celebrating Lughnasadh, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest, have a good party and welcome the next few months of warmth before the winter draws in.
Interested in learning more? Find out about Lughnasadh here.

The Language Shop can provide support in any language, even the rarer ones such as Irish Gaelic. Please contact us on 020 3373 4000 for more information, or speak to your account manager.
Specialist training for linguists with NewDAy
Last month, in collaboration with London Borough of Newham’s NewDAy service, we ran a specialist training session for their most commonly booked linguists.

NewDAy is an innovative service for families who have experienced domestic abuse, providing support and opportunities for change. The sessions can be difficult, and interpreters are often required to relay traumatic and upsetting details for the service users.

The training session taught the interpreters the importance of the service, how they can use the tone and pace of their voice effectively in sessions and the importance of self-care after these sessions.

It was also an excellent opportunity for the service to make suggestions to interpreters, and vice versa. The outcome of this learning is a working agreement that enables each stakeholder to get the most out of the sessions.
If you are a professional that would like to run a session with our interpreters to improve outcomes for your service users, please get in touch with amy.soutter@newham.gov.uk to discuss.
8 August: Cycle to Work Day
Every year, thousands pledge on this day to make their daily commute to work by bike, instead of using a car or public transport.

Cycle to Work Day aims to get people to take the plunge and cycle to work for just one day, to help banish any fears or preconceptions they may have about it, and to show them how fun, freeing and energising cycling can be.

According to Sustrans, the UK sustainable transport charity, cycling can not only save you money on fares or parking and petrol, it gives your body an energy boost which will help you to arrive at work feeling ready to take on the day. You can also feel good about your carbon footprint, as the only fuel you will burn on your commute will be your breakfast!

The organisers, cycletoworkday.org, are offering prizes every day to those taking part, up until 16 August. Go to https://www.cycletoworkday.org/promo to find out more. Employers can also encourage their staff to get involved by downloading free resources here.
Find out more about Cycle to Work Day by visiting the organisers’ site here.

Interested in reducing your carbon footprint? Cut down on your language professionals’ travel by using our video interpreting service. Find out more by talking to your account manager.
27 August: Paryushana
Paryushana is the most important holy festival for Jains. It falls during the Hindu calendar month of Bhadra, which corresponds to August and September.

The Jain religion is divided into Svetambaras and Digambaras. For Svetambaras, the festival lasts for eight days, so will run from 27 August to 3 September this year. For the Digambara sect, it is two days longer and runs from 3 until 12 September.

Paryushana means ‘abiding’ and ‘coming together’. For this reason, Jains use this festival to get together and strengthen their belief through study and fasting.

The fast for Paryushana is intense: it can last from a day to 30 days or even more, and during this time Digambaras do not take food or water more than once a day, while Svetambaras survive on water alone throughout the fasting period.

The festival ends with a day of forgiveness, where believers ask to be pardoned for their sins of the previous year. They say ‘micchami dukkadam’ or ‘utam kshama’ to each other, which translates as "If I have caused you offence in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or deed, then I seek your forgiveness".

No matter the language or day of the year, The Language Shop can provide communication support. If you have specialist requirements, please contact your account manager to discuss how we can help you.
Rare language fact file: Tuha/Dukha
In the UN Year of Indigenous Languages, we continue our look at the minority languages that are threatened by an increasingly globalised world and the growth of ‘super’ languages such as English and Spanish.

The third rare language profile in our series looks at Tuha, or Dukha, a Mongolian language.


Native to: Mongolia, the region east of Lake Khövsgöl

Number of native speakers: less than 20

Spoken by: the Uighur Uryangkhai people living in the region

Learn some Tuha: greet people by saying ‘ekii!’

Interesting facts: 

•   Tuha is the name given to a group of five Turkic languages of the region (a group of languages spanning Eastern Europe and parts of eastern, western and northern Asia), which only exist in spoken form. Its remaining speakers are all also fluent in Mongolian, and Tuha has never been taught in schools, something thought to be both a result and cause of its low status

•    Nowadays, Tuha is mainly spoken by the 30-32 nomadic households that live on the taiga with their reindeer. More settled families in nearby villages speak Mongolian
 
•    Tuha speakers are the only remaining nomadic reindeer herders in the world. Their lives revolve around their herds, who are fully domesticated. The reindeer are used primarily for their milk and cheese or transportation, and are hardly ever slaughtered for their meat or pelts
The Language Shop provides support in any language you may need, including many of the rarer ones. Please speak to your account manager about your requirements.
Tune in to Superlinguists
Looking for a new podcast? The fascinating Superlinguists on the BBC World Service explores subjects such as why and how people speak many languages, and how people get by in multilingual societies.

Visit the BBC website to download the episodes.
25/26: Notting Hill Carnival
Held every year on August bank holiday weekend, the London Notting Hill Carnival is one of the world’s biggest street parties. Approximately one million revellers come from across the globe to celebrate all things Caribbean in this two-day festival.

Carnival, as the celebration is known locally, can be traced back to 1959, when an indoor carnival was held in St Pancras, in an attempt to calm recent race riots and tensions between some members of the black and white communities of London. In the 1960s, a festival in Notting Hill for local children picked up the idea of holding a Caribbean style carnival in London, and by 1970 it had become the procession of floats it is now, with the intricate costumes, loud music and dancing that are the hallmarks of Carnival. Visitors to the street party can expect to hear steel bands, traditional reggae, meringue, calypso, rumba and zouk music, and eat Caribbean street food including jerk chicken, curry goat and callaloo.

In 1984, the London School of Samba were welcomed into the Carnival family, bringing a South American flavour to the party.

Despite several attempts to police it more heavily, to shut it down or to move it away from the area, Carnival has survived and in 2006 was voted as one of England’s icons.

Did you know?

There are six official languages of the Caribbean: Haitian Creole, Papiamento, Spanish, English, French and Dutch. However, there are many more languages, including a language evolved from Hindi and Urdu, called Caribbean Hindustani, and many indigenous languages. If you have a service user who needs support in any of these, please speak to your account manager.
Are you planning to visit Carnival this year? Panorama, a steel band competition, acts as the unofficial launch and takes place on Saturday 24 August, 6-11pm, Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park.

Sunday 25 August is the children’s carnival. With smaller crowds and a calmer atmosphere, Sunday is traditionally the day to bring children to Carnival.

Monday 26 August is the grand finale. This is a much busier and more lively day than the Sunday
This Month's dates at a glance