Language, Communication and Technology
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Language, Communication and Technology
This is a site for exploring the intersection between technology and language: teaching, learning, evolving, translating, reviving etc.
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Current post: App breakdown: Pidgin 101

Current post: App breakdown: Pidgin 101 | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
If you've grown up or have lived in the islands, chances are, you've encountered, in some way, shape or form, Pidgin English.
Allyson Eamer's insight:

I'm delighted to see this app, but I remain confused about why Hawaiian is still referred to as a Pidgin. As an inter-generationally transmitted language, it is a Creole not a pidgin. See: http://www.hawaii.edu/sls/pidgin.html I happen to have a copy of a Hawaiian New Testament ("Da Jesus Book") and it is a beautiful language that is also fairly easy to learn. WikiBooks has lessons at http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Hawaiian/Lesson_One ; Other examples of technology legitimizing Creoles include this Android App for Jamaican Patois: Jamaicanize (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.albumedia.jamaicanize)

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Translation tech gets Olympic push | The Japan Times

Translation tech gets Olympic push | The Japan Times | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
Translation tech gets Olympic push
'All-Japan' effort creating apps to instantly bridge language barrier
BY SHUSUKE MURAI
STAFF WRITER
MAR 31, 2015
ARTICLE HISTORY
PRINT SHARE
Japan may not be the best in the world when it comes to speaking English, but it remains a pioneer in developing cutting-edge translation technology.

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approaching, the nation is once again plotting to surprise the world, this time with high-quality, real-time machine translation systems.

Public and private institutions are working eagerly to develop and upgrade the technology so it can easily be used by tourists, whose numbers are growing sharply.

Below, we take a look at the current situation of the machine translation industry and what the future holds for real-time translation devices.

How does electronic translation work?

Real-time translation systems include applications that can be installed on smartphones, computers or other gadgets linked to the Internet. One merely selects the targeted language, speaks into the device and waits for it to translate the words in audio or visual form.

The words of the speaker are sent by the app to a computer server, which analyzes the voice and selects the closest translation from a vast collection of phrase pairs in its database.

The more the app is used, the more sophisticated it becomes. This is done by gradually increasing the amount of usable data on the server with the user’s consent.

Machine translation is the product of over 60 years of research and is now entering its prime thanks to advances in cloud computing and machine learning, said Eiichiro Sumita, a senior researcher at the government-funded National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) who has more than 35 years of experience in the field.

NICT’s official translation app, VoiceTra, currently covers 27 languages, including such exotics as Urdu, Sinhala and Dzongkha, for text. For speech, it is “good enough to make understandable 90 percent of what you want to say” in English, Korean, Chinese and Japanese, if short sentences are used, Sumita said.

What is the government’s aim for real-time translation?

Last April, the internal affairs ministry announced a global communication program, which, using NICT’s translation engine, is aimed at helping people around the world engage in borderless communication.

The ministry wants to provide real-time machine translation services at sightseeing, shopping and medical venues to help visitors who may feel hesitant about coming to Japan because of the language barrier.

The ministry’s vision reflects the government’s tourism goal, which is to raise the annual number of inbound travelers to 20 million by 2020, from 13 million in 2014.

It is planning to allocate ¥1.38 billion in fiscal 2015 to improve the overall quality of real-time speech translation technology and increase the available languages to 10 or more, including Thai, Vietnamese and Indonesian, to cover 90 percent of the tourists who come to Japan.

The plan to host the Olympics has no doubt increased the urgency of the project, Sumita said, because public and private entities alike have started working together on it on an “all-Japan basis.”

How exactly would the technology help foreign visitors?

Although not always grammatically perfect, the output of current real-time translation devices is practical enough to enable the simple conversations desired by sightseers, experts say.

With the 2020 Olympics in sight, VoiceTra was used on an experimental basis by volunteers at the Tokyo Marathon last month, which drew some 5,000 runners from abroad. Each volunteer was encouraged to install the app on his or her smartphone to offer support in multiple languages.

Meanwhile, NTT Docomo Inc. has developed Jspeak, an app that translates real-time phone conversations via voice recognition technology and its own original database.

The carrier aims to improve Jspeak’s output quality enough to achieve a TOEIC score of 700 for Japanese-English translators by 2016.

That means it would be able to accurately translate documents involving official announcements or the details of business meetings, said Minoru Eto, managing director of NTT Docomo’s innovation management department.

Will machine translation eventually be able to replace professional translators?

Both professional interpreters and developers of machine translation systems agree that electronic systems will never be able to replace the professionals.

Mikako Miyahara, a veteran Hiroshima-based interpreter who specializes in information technology, said machine translation will not replace humans because people are unlikely to trust machines for important work.

“If there is just a tinge of doubt in translation output, communication as a whole may end up in doubt,” she said, warning that if the Japanese government wants to promote intercultural understanding with its global communication program, using machine translation alone won’t work.

But Miyahara also expressed concern that some clients of machine translation services, who are usually monolingual, tend to depend too much on low-cost translation and disregard the quality and skills of professionals.

“More and more clients now ask translators to merely do post-edit work, which is to fix machine translation output into natural expressions, at extremely low wages,” she said.

NICT’s Sumita agreed.

“You have to bear in mind that machine translation can cover only a small portion of what man can do” no matter how much it develops, he said.

“The good thing about machine translation is you can rely on it anytime you need it in everyday situations where you don’t need professionals,” he said.

Via Charles Tiayon
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The Best Language Translation Apps

The Best Language Translation Apps | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
Try one of these simple, cheap apps and you'll no longer have to fumble through the pages of the Berlitz guide.
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Say what? Word Lens translation app is easy and free (for now)

Say what? Word Lens translation app is easy and free (for now) | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
If you're traveling beyond the land of your mother tongue, it’s smart and safe (not to mention polite) to have a grasp of the basic building blocks of a foreign language -- the simple words and phrases you'll find on road signs and restaurant menus.
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Milao Language | Welcome to Milao Language

Milao Language | Welcome to Milao Language | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
Milao Language is a chatting tool that takes you from memorizing to communicating in a language you are learning.
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Jamaican Dictionary - Android Apps on Google Play

Jamaican Dictionary - Android Apps on Google Play | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
Lookup Jamaican words and phrases wherever you are. Get instant translation, definition and examples. It's simple and fast. See search result as you type.- No A...
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Dic-Dic. Multilingual dictation to practise spelling, writing and sound-letter matching

Get Dic-Dic. Multilingual dictation to practise spelling, writing and sound-letter matching on the App Store. See screenshots and ratings, and read customer reviews.
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Kids Learn Mandarin Beginner - A Fingerprint Network App

Get Kids Learn Mandarin Beginner - A Fingerprint Network App on the App Store. See screenshots and ratings, and read customer reviews.
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Duolingo | Learn Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Italian and English for free

Learn languages completely free, without ads or hidden charges. It's fun, easy, and scientifically proven.
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Individual online lessons in English or Spanish. Private classes with Skype. Learn with AvatarLanguages.com

Individual online lessons in English or Spanish. Private classes with Skype. Learn with AvatarLanguages.com | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
Learn English or Spanish online with Skype – private classes with Skype and other programs. Individual language lessons anytime, anyplace. Flexible one-to-one classes in English or Spanish.
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Why Nigerian languages are dying –Linguists

Why Nigerian languages are dying –Linguists | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
Linguists in Ni­geria, yesterday, called on the fed­eral government to un­dertake language sur­vey, documentation and analysis of oral legisla­ture and lexicon to have a correct statistics of language
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My Resource Cloud

My Resource Cloud | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
My Resource Cloud - Offering high quality cloud based educational apps and resources with full learning platform integration.
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Foreign language vocabulary builder games for teachers, students, Parents and Ex pats | Sixty Vocab

Foreign language vocabulary builder games for teachers, students, Parents and Ex pats | Sixty Vocab | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
We separate vocabulary from grammar lessons and then keep a record of the vocabulary, so as a student you can track your progress over time.
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Making a game of learning a language - Business Monday - MiamiHerald.com

Making a game of learning a language - Business Monday - MiamiHerald.com | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
The winning plan by Haiti-born students at Miami Edison builds the English vocabulary with a gaming approach to word practice.
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Say what? Word Lens translation app is easy and free (for now)

Say what? Word Lens translation app is easy and free (for now) | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
If you're traveling beyond the land of your mother tongue, it’s smart and safe (not to mention polite) to have a grasp of the basic building blocks of a foreign language -- the simple words and phrases you'll find on road signs and restaurant menus.
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Google Glass App Teaches ASL to Parents of Hearing-Impaired Children

Google Glass App Teaches ASL to Parents of Hearing-Impaired Children | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
An application for Google Glass teaches parents of deaf children sign language through daily quizzes pushed to their device.
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Learn Arabic for Kids

Get Learn Arabic for Kids on the App Store. See screenshots and ratings, and read customer reviews.
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Gus on the Go - Gus on the Go

Gus on the Go - Gus on the Go | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
Gus on the Go is the perfect way to help kids learn Spanish, French, Chinese and more! App now available for iOS and Android devices.
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10 Apps to Help Teach Your Kid a Foreign Language

10 Apps to Help Teach Your Kid a Foreign Language | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
Learning a new language isn't always easy but foreign language learning apps can help through engaging and interactive content.
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Survey of English Dialects

Survey of English Dialects | Language, Communication and Technology | Scoop.it
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A collection of 287 recordings of dialects across England

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