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Blog Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

Eunoia: The Internet’s Dictionary of Untranslatable Words

by Alice Riddell on February 12th, 02020

Created in just 24 hours by Steph Smith, Eunoia offers hundreds of untranslatable words in a useful and accessible online dictionary. Eunoia is itself an untranslatable word meaning a “well-mind” or “beautiful thinking.” The user can search Eunoia’s database by “language, tag, or the word itself. There are over 500 words in . . .   Read More

Digital Repatriations: Historic Recordings Returned to Passamaquoddy Tribe

by Alice Riddell on December 5th, 02019

In 01890, anthropologist Jesse Walter Fewkes traveled to Eastern Maine to document the Passamaquoddy Tribe. By then, war, disease, and unhonored treaties by local and federal authorities had reduced the tribe to a few hundred members. Fewkes brought with . . .   Read More

Translating the Big Bang into Blackfoot

by Ahmed Kabil - Twitter: @ahmedkabil on May 13th, 02019

Meet Corey Gray and Sharon Yellowfly, a mother-son duo translating astrophysics into the Native American language Siksika (Blackfoot).

On April 1, scientists will officially restart their search for gravitational waves after a year spent making improvements to massive twin detectors. Discoveries should soon start rolling in, and when they do, there’s. . .   Read More

PanLex: Overcoming Language Barriers with the World’s Largest Lexical Translation Database

by Ahmed Kabil - Twitter: @ahmedkabil on October 25th, 02017

In an unassuming office on the fourth floor of Downtown Berkeley’s historic Chamber of Commerce high rise, three linguists are at work building the world’s largest lexical translation database. The mission of PanLex, a project of The Long Now Foundation, is to overcome language barriers to human rights, information, and opportunities. After ten. . .   Read More

PanLex Looking for Endangered Language Digital Detectives

by Julie Anderson on January 14th, 02016

Every word
The PanLex project aims to translate every word from every language into every other language. We already have solid groundwork with 10,000 language varieties and 22 million expressions in the PanLex database, but we still have a long way to go, especially with the more obscure and under-documented languages of the. . .   Read More

Getting Wiktionary into PanLex

by David Kamholz on December 4th, 02015

If we want to achieve the miracle of translation from any language into any other language, it would be enormously helpful to have a machine that can translate any word, or word-like phrase, from any language into any other language. The PanLex project aims to build exactly that machine. It is documenting all known. . .   Read More

10,000 Years of Oral Narrative

by Charlotte Hajer on October 29th, 02015

Just off the coast of Australia, a few miles west of Perth, lie three small limestone islands. Today they’re a popular destination for boat trips and air taxis, but a local Aboriginal tribe tells stories of a time when these three isles were connected to the mainland by lush forest. One day, the stories. . .   Read More

Marie’s Dictionary

by Andrew Warner on August 27th, 02015

This short documentary tells the story of Marie Wilcox, the last fluent speaker of the Wukchumni language and the dictionary she created in an effort to keep her language alive. Long Now’s PanLex project collects dictionaries such as these with the goal of creating a universal translation engine and fighting language extinction. . .   Read More

The World’s Languages, Visualized

by Charlotte Hajer on August 11th, 02015

The South China Morning Post recently published an infographic that colorfully illustrates the distribution of the world’s most commonly spoken languages.
With data taken from Ethnologue and UNESCO, among other sources, the graphic offers a variety of ways to understand global language patterns – from visualizing which languages have the largest number of native speakers. . .   Read More

The Front Line of Language Extinction

by Andrew Warner on April 17th, 02015

We live in an era of mass extinction of linguistic heritage. Thousands of years of ancestral knowledge and stories are vanishing with the last speakers of hundreds of languages. Come and find out how mobile devices and social media are being used to preserve the “wisdom of the tribe” for generations far into the future. . .   Read More

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