Author Archives: Andrew Joscelyne

Andrew Joscelyne

About Andrew Joscelyne

European, a language technology industry watcher since Electric Word was first published, sometime journalist, consultant, market analyst and animateur of projects. Interested in technologies for augmenting human intellectual endeavour, multilingual méssage, the history of language machines, the future of translation, and the life of the digital mindset.

Greeked domain names

According to Multilingual Search, quoting the Greek telecoms authority EETT, Greece is to introduce domain names expressed in the Greek alphabet in early July. The aim is apparently to boost Internet usage among Greeks who don’t always master the Latin alphabet. But it turns out to be only a half measure: Unfortunately for the Greeks,...

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Google’s translation agenda

Haven’t had time to do the proper checking, but Google invited journalists to discover what’s cooking in their development kitchen last week, in the wake of the underwhelming Personalization launch. Apparently translation automation was on the menu, according to this report: Officials from Google also announced that the company is working on a translation program....

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ABC of Kulcha

Useful review article by a US academic working in Japan of some recent books on the cultural stereotyping of Asians. Main issues dealt with: Is a population of US graduate students a suitable profile for a “Westerner” when making cultural comparison? Is it true that the use of (non-alphabetic) kanji script in Japan and China...

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Virtual keyboards for real

More in my occasional series on keyboards. French academic spin-off Sensitive Object is planning to develop an acoustics-based technology solution to the multiple and/or traveling keyboard problem. You first plug a microphone into your computer’s sound card, then draw an outline of your keyboard or stick a self-adhesive paper keyboard on your work table. You...

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Poetic license

Only just seen The Spellchecker’s Guide to Poetry, a poem by John Fuller which appeared in the Times Lit Sup for April 13 (subscribers only) The poem plays vapidly on replacing (as if generated by an automatic spellchecker) the nomini classici of the English poetic tradition with the orthographically nearest common nouns. Here are a...

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Should linguists do politics?

The French linguist Claude Hagège has called for greater diversity in European language policy, (thanks to Transblawg for the link) suggesting that a Slavic language (e.g. Polish) be used as a working language to offset the Germanic Romance (French, German and English) weighting in day to day EU operations. Especially in the current Drang nach...

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Unicode texting

If you want to send a non-Latin script text message to a mobile phone, do it via the web. The South African firm SMSWarehouse is tryng to extend market share by offering a Unicode-based texting service on its web site. You log in, select a virtual keyboard for the script of your choice (Arabic, Greek,...

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Morse vs SMS

The London Times reports on a messaging competition pitching a 93 year old telegraph typist using Morse code against a 13 year old using mobile texting. The content was a randomly chosen phrase from an advert. The dot ‘n dash guy was faster, even though his message had to be transcribed by yet another veteran...

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Open source MT workshop

OS enthusiasts should note the workshop on Open Source translation technologies at the MT summit to be held this summer in Phuket, Thailand: Open-source software is associated to a change in the business model. In the case of machine translation, it would result in a shift from license-based or charge-per-word models to a service model...

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Nations of Bloggers

Ross Mayfield, a major blogosphere commentator, recently reported on Les Blogs, an event held in Paris to scan and reflect on blogging habits in Europe. He noted that the French are great bloggers, while the Germans appear to be wiki freaks. Seems to me that cutting up the blogosphere into nations or geographies and their...

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