Author Archives: Katie Botkin

About Katie Botkin

Katie Botkin, managing editor at MultiLingual, has a background in linguistics and journalism. She began publishing "multilingual" newsletters at the age of 15, (the linguistic variety at this early stage consisting mostly of helpful insults in Latin) and went on to invest her college and post-graduate career in language learning, teaching and writing.

Making up language

Vanity Fair, that bastion of linguistic knowledge, recently published an article on the creation of Na’vi, a constructed “alien” language used in the upcoming $400 million flick Avatar. There’s a bit of phonetic explanation, though not much, and a sound clip. I’m quite curious how linguist Paul Frommer came up with his linguistic hodge-podge; director...

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Love by any other name

A rose by any other name would be as sweet, Shakespeare tells us, but not everyone agrees. An NY Times article sent in by an alert reader tells a different tale: words in other languages just may not mean as much to everyone.  As someone who generally feels at ease in cultures not my own,...

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Microsoft Word 2010 Translation

“Learn how you can translate entire documents easily with Microsoft Word 2010 Translation features by watching this quick tutorial,” claims a recently-posted video on Windows 7 Forums. The video shows just how easy this is. You click “translate” and the pop-up notification warns (as you can see if you hit pause on this video): “Word...

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Striking a blow for idioms

A book on “novel”-sounding idioms in ten languages will save you the trouble of learning the languages yourself, according to Jag Bhalla, the author of I’m not Hanging Noodles on your Ears and other Intriguing Idioms from around the World, a collection of 1,200 idioms from National Geographic Books, illustrated by New Yorker cartoonist Julia...

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For language learning and … other learning

Two interesting resources for those interested in learning language or expanding their grasp of a particular area of language: 1. My Language Notebook, allowing users to record, download and store segments of audio or other language feedback as they attempt to master a new language. Supposedly, this tool aids in practice, and the site allows...

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Moving pictures: new tool claims to help build correct picto-translations

Edongba facilitates modern hieroglyph use. Zmnsoft has released a Windows application allowing users to create documents and messages using Dongba hieroglyphs, the only hieroglyphic writing system still in use today. This ancient language is used by the Naxi people of Lijiang City, in China’s Yunnan Province, and is expressed in a combination of Dongba hieroglyphs...

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Now Oracle has a new Sun

Update: Oracle buys Sun. Oracle is positive about the acquisition, which, I suppose, makes sense. Nobody would shell out $7.4 billion for something that was obviously a bad investment, unless bad investments themselves have become a way of getting added cash flow. Sun also appears positive, naturally. Recent commentary by a Cyber Cynic is not...

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Spring drama with Sun and the big Blue yonder

There has been much speculation on the talks that IBM and Sun Microsystems aren’t officially having, ever since word leaked out that they weren’t officially having them. Now the deal may have turned sour. If due diligence rather than just price slowed the IBM acquisition talks with Sun Microsystems, trying to sort everything out may...

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