Advertisement
more top stories »

Language


— Medical

Phrazer handheld communicator aims to break through the healthcare language barrier

By - February 23, 2011 4 Pictures
With over 170 languages spoken in the U.S. alone, medical personnel attending an emergency or working in a busy hospital are no doubt often faced with communication problems when trying to dispense treatment. The Phrazer offers a possible solution to this problem. It is billed as the world's first multilingual communication system, where patients provide medical background information, symptoms or complaints with the help of a virtual onscreen doctor speaking in their own native tongue. This information is then summarized into a medical record compatible with all major EMR systems. Read More
— Science

What’s in a word? Researchers say it depends how long it is

By - February 16, 2011
The idea that the length of a word is a reflection of the frequency with which it is used in order to make language more efficient is a theory that has held sway for decades. With “the”, “of” and “and” the three most commonly used words in the American English vocabulary according to the Brown Corpus, the theory seems to make sense. And just consider how long it would take to get out a sentence if “the” were as long as the name of an Icelandic volcano. Now a team of MIT cognitive scientists has used Google data to develop an alternative theory that a word’s length actually reflects the amount of information it contains. Read More
— Science

Chinese language to dominate the internet

By - December 26, 2010 2 Pictures
In the beginning, the language of the World Wide Web was English. Times change though, and the United States’ military’s gift to civilization knows no national boundaries, and growing worldwide adoption of the Internet has changed the audience make-up to such an extent that the dominant language of the internet is about to become Chinese. That’s not to say the Chinese are all that comfortable with this either. There has just been an official decree requiring the use of Chinese translations for all English words and phrases in newspapers, magazines and web sites. While all countries have watched the unregulated global nature of the internet erode traditional cultural values and the integrity of national languages, it seems the Chinese powers-that-be have concluded that the purity of the Chinese language needs to be preserved. Read More
— Good Thinking

Books used to create 'fossil record' of human culture

By - December 18, 2010
You may have Facebook friends who have done the “Here are the top words from my Facebook status messages!” thing, where it lists the words they’ve most commonly used in telling the world about their lives. Interesting as that may or may not be, imagine something similar being done with four percent of all books ever published. That’s what a team of researchers from Harvard University, Google, Encyclopaedia Britannica, and the American Heritage Dictionary have done. The resulting dataset is made up of the full text of about 5.2 million books, 72 percent of that text being in English, with French, German, Chinese, Russian, and Hebrew making up the rest. Analyzing that dataset, a practice that the researchers call “culturomics” (a play on genomics), has revealed some fascinating things about the history of our species. Read More
— Mobile Technology

New apps offer possible autism breakthroughs

By - November 9, 2010
iPad and iPod Touch application developers have recently created several programs which help aid the learning and development for children with autism. The success and usability of many of these programs has not only offered a new platform to help autistic children with their education, but can also offer much-needed relief to their parents. Autistic children are said to be adapting to these iPad programs like ducks to water, whilst the supervising parents can finally get some quiet time for a cup of coffee or to simply read the newspaper in peace. Read More
— Science

Mind reading – scientists translate brain signals into words

By - September 8, 2010 3 Pictures
Using the same technology that allowed them to accurately detect the brain signals controlling arm movements that we looked at last year, researchers at the University of Utah have gone one step further, translating brain signals into words. While the previous breakthrough was an important step towards giving amputees or people with severe paralysis a high level of control over a prosthetic limb or computer interface, this new development marks an early step toward letting severely paralyzed people speak with their thoughts. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Converse iPhone app turns your phone into a double-ended language translator

By - May 4, 2010
We've all been there - you're trying to communicate with someone who doesn't speak your language and you don't speak theirs, and no amount of charades and gesturing will do the trick. You need a toilet and he's wondering why you're telling him your brother eats flies. Converse is the name of a new app that will soon become available which is claimed to turn your iPhone into a double ended language translator – a multilingual, face-to-face instant messaging conversation. It's one of the most innovative uses of the iPhone's form factor we've yet seen, with both people able to type on a keyboard in their own language at the same time and have the words translated and displayed for the other person. If it works as advertised, Converse is set to significantly reduce communication problems on holidays and business trips. The new app enables an English speaker to communicate with people in 51 different languages and keyboards accommodate non-Latin languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Thai, Czech, Hebrew and Ukrainian scripts. Read More
— Good Thinking

Google integrates multi-language virtual keyboards into search

By - May 2, 2010 2 Pictures
If you are trying to search the web using a language other than English and you don't have the correct keyboard handy, well, there's bound to be a problem. Google has come up with a solution by integrating virtual keyboards into its search engine. Now up and running in 35 languages, the on-screen keyboards allow input in a local language script without any additional software and no matter what computer you are using. Read More
— Computers

Should ‘tweet’, ‘Twitter’ or ‘unfriend’ be the 2009 word of the year?

By - January 18, 2010
The English language is continually evolving and thanks to the technology of the 21st century – including the media and internet - new words and phrases are being created at an unprecedented rate. Increasingly, these new words result from our love affair with the internet, online social networking sites and geek-speak. This year, the American Dialect Society (ADS) has voted “tweet” – a short message sent via Twitter – as the 2009 word of the year. But two other organizations disagreed. The Global Language Monitor nominated “Twitter” as the word of the year and the New Oxford American Dictionary claimed “unfriend” – meaning to “de-friend” someone on a social networking site such as Facebook – deserved the 2009 word of the year award. Read More
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement