Language Industry News and Events

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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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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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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Report on the European Language Tech Industry

Under government auspices, a new report has been published by French information and language industry bodies on “Automatic Language Processing in the Information Industry”, researched by the Paris office of Bureau Van Dijk. Well, maybe not such a new report: the data comes from a 2002 survey and I believe was first presented at LangTech...

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Updating Kanji

Useful item from Burritt Sabin on a recent Japanese Language Subcommittee report on kanji, calling for an overhaul of the joyo kanji (the official 1,945 characters used in administrative life and education). …personal computers, cell phones, and other IT devices may be encoded with as many as 6,355 characters, the total of the first and...

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