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.

KOD linguistics

Deutsche Welle published a curious story the other day about a German supermarket millionaire called Johann Vielberth who is funding a project to develop a new universal communication system called KOD. Like Zamenhof and others before him, Vielberth’s aim is to provide the world with a culturally neutral tongue to foster better – and cheaper...

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Multilingual keyboard

An outfit called Kợnyin – yes that’s a diacritical under the ‘o’ , not a smudge – has just launched a range of keyboards for Latin-alphabet African languages, marketed by LANCOR, a Nigerian IT company. The keyboard features a QWERTY layout modified to include all diacritical marks for languages used officially in various countries in...

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The short version

The UK text processing company Corpora Software has struck again (see here for a previous posting on their products), this time with Summarize!, a personalized document summary tool. People have been researching automatic document summarization ever since the dawn of computing, but hard facts about its actual usage and effectiveness are rare. A quick précis...

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Battles won on the playing field

Scrutinizers of the spread of international English may like to note the two part series on “The Ascent of English” in The Financial Times published today (German managers on the value of English) and tomorrow (on English usage in China). You need to subscribe or take a free trial. Advice given to aspiring Anglophones includes:...

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The ethics of grammar checkers?

Sandeep Krishnamurthy, associate professor of marketing and e-commerce at the University of Washington, has written a withering critique of the Word grammar checker as a student proofing aid: I knew Microsoft Word’s “Spelling and Grammar Check” feature was bad.  However, I never realized how bad this feature really was until a student turned in a...

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Transblogating

English first, then shock & horror: other languages don’t fit. Develop a technical fix. Which turns into a business opportunity. Until the next big digital thing starts the cycle all over again. Sound familiar? Two decades ago, English-only software suddenly had to adapt to other language communities. Ohmygod! Double byte languages, different sort systems, tangible...

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Multilingual definitions on Google

Google will now do define: operations on words in other languages than English. As an example, check this result for “rough” which has various meanings in other languages than English, especially as part of the international vocabulary of golf. However, as one of the simplified Chinese sites returned shows, you don’t always get the results...

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Doug Piranha software

Can you automatically detect affect in linguistic media such as speech and text? In December, I mentioned a Scottish company that claims to identify mood in voice and use the knowledge to power a safer driving system. Spotting affect in text as an indication of a product/company/brand/policy/person’s reputation, say, is possibly harder. You can’t just...

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