The Jerusalem Institute of Languages and Humanities, POLIS


Polis – The Jerusalem Institute of Languages and Humanities

The Polis Institute is an academic initiative of an international group of scholars and researchers specialized in linguistics and pedagogy, Classical and Near Eastern languages, history and ancient and medieval studies, who believe that languages act as doorkeepers for cultures. This observation is valid for modern and ancient languages alike. The Institute was founded to develop a groundbreaking methodology for teaching ancient Western languages and Near Eastern languages, both modern and ancient.
The history of the teaching of ancient languages in Europe almost amounts to a history of education in the Western world, which has focused for centuries on the knowledge of Greek and Latin language and literature, as well as on Rhetoric. The current loss of mastery of these languages makes it difficult for researchers to deeply and thoroughly understand the authors that have shaped Western culture for centuries, since most of the works of Antiquity and the Middle Ages have never been translated into any modern language.
The beginning of the 21st century has seen the birth of a movement of retour aux sources. Experiences of living Latin and ancient Greek have blossomed in North America, Europe and Jerusalem. The Polis Institute has developed its own method for teaching these and other ancient languages by full immersion, effectively bringing them and the sources of Western civilization back to life. Continue reading

Manage your breath to manage your stress

My name is Laura, and I’m professional conference interpreter and a yoga teacher. I have worked for 18 years for the European Commission (SCIC) and now I am concentrating on my yoga path. I know how stressful our profession as interpreters can be, especially when you start your career. That’s exactly why I started practicing yoga, and it has helped me immensely.

In these videos, I introduce you to some very simple tools to manage stress and anxiety, calm your mind and improve concentration.The most powerful tool we have is the breath, and by managing the breath, we can manage our emotions and get a clear and calm mind, exactly what we want in our work.

The breathing exercises I show you in the videos can be practiced anywhere, anytime, very discreetly, even in the booth before the start of the meeting, and they are guaranteed to put you in the perfect state of mind to face a day of interpreting. The techniques are safe and easy to use, even for beginners. A few minutes are enough to begin to feel calm.

Never force the breath, if dizziness or hyperventilation occurs, simply return to your normal breathing. By using this breathing techniques we are training, cleansing and quieting the mind. If you practice even a few minutes every day, you will see results in the way you handle the stress of the day. I hope it helps, and I wish you lots of joy in this amazing path of discovering the power of breath!

Laura Méndez Asbach.

SIM DEMO EN ES Obama Farewell Speech

It’s good to be home. My fellow Americans, Michelle and I have been so touched by all the well-wishes we’ve received over the past few weeks. But tonight it’s my turn to say thanks. Whether we’ve seen eye-to-eye or rarely agreed at all, my conversations with you, the American people – in living rooms and schools; at farms and on factory floors; at diners and on distant outposts – are what have kept me honest, kept me inspired, and kept me going. Every day, I learned from you. You made me a better president, and you made me a better man.

I first came to Chicago when I was in my early 20s, still trying to figure out who I was; still searching for a purpose to my life. It was in neighborhoods not far from here where I began working with church groups in the shadows of closed steel mills. It was on these streets where I witnessed the power of faith, and the quiet dignity of working people in the face of struggle and loss. This is where I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it. Continue reading

Interpreters in conflict zones



Las palabras, en cualquier conflicto, no salen bien paradas. Son moldeadas, manipuladas, adaptadas e intercambiadas para alimentar uno u otro argumento, y los informadores debemos llevar al extremo el rigor y el cuidado para tratar de que expresen la realidad de la mejor manera posible.
Un ejemplo de esto ha sido, este año, la conmemoración del 50 aniversario de la Guerra de los Seis Días (1967), que ganó Israel y que dio lugar al comienzo de la ocupación de Gaza, Cisjordania, Jerusalén Este, parte de los Altos del Golán (Siria) y parte del Sinaí egipcio (devuelto en 1979 tras un tratado de paz). Las autoridades israelíes celebraron por todo lo alto lo que denominaron “El jubileo de la liberación de Judea, Samaria, el Valle del Jordán y los Altos del Golán”, utilizando los nombres bíblicos para el territorio de Cisjordania. También se celebró, en junio, la llamada “Reunificación de Jerusalén”, una denominación que obvia que la comunidad internacional no reconoce ni la ocupación ni la anexión de la parte oriental de la ciudad. Los periodistas no podemos referirnos a sucesos con unos términos determinados sin aclarar que estos son utilizados solo por una de las partes y sin explicar cual es la posición del mundo ante ellos.

Continue reading

Remote Interpreting: The Elephant in the Room

Remote Interpreting:
 Feeling Our Way into the Future

Published by The ATA Chronicle

New communications technologies make interpreting available where it wasn’t in the past. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the way we will work remotely, because what’s going on is game changing and shaking our profession from top to bottom.

In April 2015, I published an article and video on the blog A Word in Your Ear by Lourdes de Rioja called “Technology and Interpreting: Three Questions on Every Interpreter’s Mind.”1 In that video, I addressed some of technology’s broad effects on interpreting. In this article, I’d like to address a specific technology topic that’s also on many interpreters’ minds—remote interpreting.

Remote interpreting is a vast field and one that cannot be done justice in all its depth and breadth in one relatively short article. What’s more, the growth of remote interpreting is taking place within a much broader context of radical technological change that’s affecting society as a whole. Demand for interpreting is expanding and evolving because mobile communications technology has completely changed the way we communicate. Continue reading

Adiós Juan

Pocas veces he tenido la oportunidad de conocer a gente auténtica, con carisma suficiente para moverse por la vida con la elegancia y clase de los grandes. Gente con una apertura de miras superior a su tiempo y la voluntad suficiente para hacer sus ideas prosperar.
Juan era una de esas personas: brillante, valiente y luchador.
Quizá por eso no dejaba indiferente, imposible no contagiarse de su pasión por las cosas, por la vida, por los viajes o los idiomas.
Juan era mucho más que los Beatles para todos los que tuvimos el placer de conocerlo. Era pura vida, un pura sangre de los que cada vez quedan menos.
Me quedo con lo que me enseñó, lo que compartimos, recordando que la vida la ganan siempre los valientes.
Descanse en paz.


Juan Carrión Gañán
Published by THE TIMES

Spanish teacher who tracked down John Lennon in Spain and persuaded him to include printed lyrics on the next Beatles album sleeve

Juan Carrión examining an image of John Lennon and his Rolls-Royce at an exhibition at the house in Almeria where the Beatle wrote the song Strawberry Fields Forever.

On a hot afternoon in 1966, in a dusty corner of southern Spain, a middle-aged Spanish teacher came face to face with John Lennon. Continue reading

The pure customer

Neil Munro has spent his entire professional career working as an interpreter at the European institutions and has acquired extensive experience of testing – initially as a victim (or should that be as a candidate?!) and subsequently as a speaker and selection board member. Continue reading