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.

a-lettristic

Thanks to Language Hat for this piece of alphabetic fun by Simon Whitechapel. It consists of a set of rotating glyphs as stand-ins for Latin alphabet letters. Where possible, the glyphs distinguish minimal pairs (p vs b, etc) by the direction of rotation for the same shape. Vowels tend to be very simple shapes, consonants...

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Pwnc: Cyfieithu peirianyddol

Among EU languages, Maltese is this year’s joker. Every time the European Commission announces a web site – such as this handy new Eurobook one-stop shop localized to 19 EU languages – they always add a rider that the Maltese version is coming soon. Yet with 400,000 speakers, Maltese is lucky to be an official...

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Lack of French language technology?

First the call from Noel Jeanneney (see my post on this, and Mark Liberman for further well-informed and useful comments) for a European search engine to counter the Googlocracy in the domain of cultural content. Now a new complaint has come up about the lack of effective Euro knowledge management tools for competitive intelligence operations...

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In memoriam Minitel

Jean Véronis has drawn attention to the fact that SMS spelling can be used to query the Yellow Pages (YP) in France. Prsone n sembl lavoir remarqué, mè dps qque tems, les paj j0nes kompren le langaj texto: on peu cherché 1 6né, alle bwar 1 Kfé, etc. He uses the example of ‘6né’ (which,...

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Beyond tomAYto and toMARto

There’s an intriguing grass roots website that allows non-native English speakers to input their pronunciation of a test sentence which is then digitized. This feeds a growing database of speech accents of English that can then be used for various teaching, testing and other projects. Steven Weinberger (SW) of the George Mason University, Washington, has...

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South Africa speaking

There’s an article in the latest MIT Technology Review on South Africa’s effort to kick-start a multilingual technology industry from scratch. The idea is to address the combined problem of radical multilinguality (11 official languages), extensive illiteracy (which makes speech more useful than text as a medium in basic education, healthcare, the administration etc.), low...

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The French disconnection

Old European holdings, New World prism. Mark Liberman of Language Log recently questioned the back story to Jean-Noël Jeanneney’s call to resist Google’s plan to digitize a number of (U.S.) library holdings. Jeanneney claimed that Google’s library capture would be partial and informed by an ‘American’ point of view. Liberman wondered about the clarity of...

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The 40 language dash

Just before Christmas last year, a French computer geek called Alex Lemaire managed to break the record for the mental arithmetical calculation of the 13th root of a 100 digit number. He did it in 3.62 seconds. He’s now set another global challenge to like-minded calculators – find the 13th root of a 200 digit...

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