Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekly Bilingual News

Dear Friends:

Hello! Welcome to the second Weekly Bilingual News of March 2011, a month now full of dramatic and conflictive news. 
Through the online communication of the Spanish-English Club you can learn about what was happening during the last few days in the perspective of our comments posted in blogs of important online publications. They are interesting subjects for a bilingual debate. The Vocabulary included will help you.

HUGE HUMAN TRAGEDY - WSJ story: "Rescuers Dig for Survivors, But Thousands Feared Dead" (March 13, 2011). The article talks about the situation in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami, and the efforts of rescuers to find survivors under the debris.
WSJ Journal Comment: "After the earthquake, the situation in Japan is critical. One key question that remains in the air is: Why God didn't stop the drama before the fury of Nature crashed against the people of a country that suffered a lot of catastrophes?"

US ENERGY POLICY - WSJ story: "U.S. Could Rethink Nuclear Reliance" (March 13, 2011). The article argues about the U.S. nuclear energy policy in the mirror of Japanese atomic catastrophe threat.
WSJ Journal Comment: "The Japanese nuclear problem can help us to build more safe nuclear plants, but we don't have to change the energy policy every day as a flip-flop."

TECHNOLOGY AFTER THE QUAKE – Barron's Online story: "Japan: Some Disruption For Semis, Says iSupple" (March 11, 2011). The article talks about the analysis of iSupple in connection with the impact of the earthquake on the technology industry of Japan. iSuppli is an organization that makes statistics about production and revenues of the technology industry across the world. Immediately, after the Japanese earthquake, iSuppli said the semiconductor sector will be impacted by the earthquake. The supply chain of Toshiba could be one of the worst affected of the disruption. This company produces 35% of the global production of NAND flash memory.
Barron's Online Comment: "Till now it is early to evaluate the complete impact of the Japan's earthquake in the technology industry, but I agree the Japanese plans will become supply chain problems."

NUCLEAR ENERGY – WSJ Journal Community question: "Is nuclear energy safe?" (March 11, 2011). The Journal Community of the Wall Street Journal launched a poll about the nuclear plants due to the Japanese emergency at one of its nuclear power plants.
Journal Community Answer: "We believe the state of art of the technology makes the nuclear power plants safe. But we can never say they are 100% safe against the nature's disasters because the man doesn't have a total control of the forces of the nature."

VENTURE CAPITAL MONEY – WSJ Journal Community Question: "- If you had venture capital money to invest, which sector would you back?" (March 11, 2010). Journal Community said venture capitalists are chasing after companies that develop Web-based software and digital services, looking to invest in what could turn out to be the next Facebook or Twitter.
Journal Community Answer: "In the technology arena, there are different kinds of sectors. Some of them are very risky because they are only bubbles that enthusiastic youngsters blow up without solid foundations. But there are other sectors built around strong platforms like Lotus Notes, Oracle Database, VMware, and Cognos that develop software tools and applications for business solutions. The start-ups of those sectors are good because they always are under the protection of big umbrellas of leaders of the industry."

DEMOCRACY CONCEPT – Wall Street Journal story: "Opinion: Is U.S. Democracy Just Talk?" (March 11, 2010). One journalist from Wall Street Journal wrote about the concept of democracy, now that Arab countries claim for democratic governments.
WSJ Journal Comment: "Yes, democracy is a wonderful concept, but the problem is the implementation of this wonderful concept in each country according to the history and culture of the country, plus the current ambitions of politicians and public people. How many politicians put their ideals first? How many politicians act according to their ideals? Today the democracies have lost important values that were the start of the democratic movements of the world. We talk more than we act."

MUSLIMS AGAINST CHRISTIANS – PBS Report: "News Wrap: At Least 13 Dead After Sectarian Violence Erupts in Egypt" (March 9, 2010). This report comments at least 13 people were killed and 140 wounded in a new sectarian violence in Egypt as Muslims attacked Christian demonstrators. The Christians were protesting the burning of a church.
PBS Comment: "The attacks of Muslims against Christians across the Arab world show the contradictions of countries that today are raising the flags of the democracy. What kind of democracy they will build while they burn the churches of the Christians?"

GUANTANAMO TRIALS – PBS Report: "Obama Reverses Course on Gitmo, Allowing Detainee Military Trials to Resume" (March 7, 2010). This report comments White House informed the detainee military trials at Guantanamo Bay will resume.
PBS Comment: "The reversing of the ban on military trials at Guantanamo is another signal of the inconsistency of some decisions of the first two years of government of the current administration of the White House."

The main indexes of Wall Street closed the week in the negative territory. Dow Jones Industrial Average went down 125.48 points or 1.03% to 12044.40. Nasdaq Composite declined 69.06 points or 2.48% in the same period, to close at 2715.61. It was the biggest weekly fall of Nasdaq from August 2010.

In summary, during the last few days, across the world, Libya dominated the headlines till Friday morning when Japan's disaster shook press agencies, TV, and the people. Before the Japanese quake, one of the news reports said France recognized Libyan rebels, while Gadhafi forces continue their advances against enemy positions, recovering the control of important cities in the country.

In the beginning of the week, the Wisconsin legislation cutting some collective-bargaining rights was the hottest subject of the US press. On Thursday evening Wisconsin's state Assembly approved limits on collective bargaining for public employee unions following a controversial vote in the Senate a day before. Democratic legislators were playing hide-and-seek during the last weeks traveling outside the state to block the voting.

Another subject of the American forums was the potential military intervention in Libya. In different press interviews, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates showed reservation about this issue. Meanwhile, other press sources confirmed China, Russia, Holland and Belgium are some of the weapon providers of the Libyan regime.

On Friday morning, the earthquake in the Asian country topped the headlines also in the United States. Since that moment, the atomic catastrophe threats are pushing a new debate about the energy power policy of the country.

Best regards,


Domingo A. Trassens
Spanish-English Club
Electronic mail:

Questions - Preguntas:

1) From your point of view, what was the worst news for the week?
1) Desde vuestro punto de vista, ¿cuál fue la peor noticia de la semana?

2) And what was the best news from the week?
2) ¿Y cuál fue la mejor noticia de la semana?

Vocabulary - Vocabulario:

- Arab = árabe
- argue = argumentar, discutir, razonar
- atomic = atómico, atómica
- ban = prohibir
- Belgium = Bélgica
- blow up = inflar
- bubble = burbuja (In both English and Spanish, this name is used to referent ideas without a solid foundation)
- catastrophe = catástrofe
- Christians = cristianos
- crash, crashed = estrellar, estrelló, estrellado 
- debris = escombros
- democracy = democracia
- detainee = detenido, preso
- dig = cavar, remover
- disaster = desastre
- disruption = trastorno, interrupción
- earthquake = terremoto
- fear, feared = temer, temió, temido
- flash memory = memoria flash (It is a special non-volatile memory used in digital devices like cameras, MP3 players, mobile-phones, data storage drivers.)
- flip-flop = cambio drástico, cambiar drásticamente.
- fury = furia
- global = mundial
- God = Dios
- hide-and-seek = juego de las escondidas, escondidas
- Holland = Holanda
- Japan = Japón
- Japanese (singular and plural) = japonés, japonesa, japoneses, japonesas
- Muslims = mulsumanes
- nature = naturaleza
- nuclear = nuclear
- platform = plataforma
- poll = encuesta, sondeo
- quake = temblar, terremoto
- reliance (on) = dependencia (de)
- relief = socorro, ayuda
- rescuer, rescuers = rescatador, rescatadora, rescatadores, rescatadoras, (Another meaning: "salvador")
- reservation = reserva
- revenues = ingresos
- Russia = Rusia
- semiconductor, semiconductors = semiconductor, semiconductores
- semis (semiconductor supplies) = suministro de semiconductores
- start-ups = empresas o compañías jóvenes (Normally, the business people uses this name to reference young companies with innovative ideas and/or projects).
- supply chain = cadena de suministro
- survive = sobrevivir
- survivor = sobreviviente, superviviente (Both Spanish names are recognized by the Real Academia Española)
- top, topped = encabezar, encabezó, encabezaron
- trial = juicio, proceso
- tsunami = tsunami (In Spanish, tsunami is a new word approved by the Real Academia Española: "ola gigantesca producida por un seísmo o una erupción volcánica en el fondo del mar.")
- venture capitalists = inversores de capital de riesgo
- volatile = volátil


Gitmo or GTMO: Guantánamo Base Naval Base.
NAND: It is one of the two flash technologies used in memory cards to store images, music and other digital data. NAND devices retain data integrity when a machine loses power or is turned off. It was introduced by Toshiba in 1989. Today, the NAND flash memory is used in the manufacturing of the new data storage drivers (SSD).  
Toshiba: Japanese corporation with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. It is one of the leaders of the segments of  flash memory devices and SSD (solid-state drive). It also produces PCs, computer peripherals, power systems, industrial and social infrastructure systems, home appliances, and more.
Thanks to Bob, Erika, John, Julie, Peter, Stephanie, and Suzanne for your messages about the previous Weekly Bilingual News.

In the north of Tokyo, you can see the city of Sendai that according to news was hit for the strong waves of the tsunami.
En el norte de Tokio, ustedes pueden ver la ciudad de Sendai que de acuerdo con las noticias fue golpeada por fuertes olas del tsunami.
(This map is courtesy of the US State Secretary)

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