• Tech is Removing Language Barriers – But will Jobs be Lost in Translation?

The Guardian – News – Education – By Martin Williams Tech is Removing Language Barriers

Swansea’s councillors must be painfully aware of the dangers of technology in the translation industry. When a translator’s email reply landed in their inbox in 2008, the Welsh sentences were duly printed on a road sign. It read: “I am not in the office at the moment.”

But recent advances in technology are now helping to break down language barriers and revolutionise the role of traditional translators.

• Emoji: The First Truly Global Language?

The Guardian – News – Technology – By Alex Clark Emoji the World's First Truly Global Language

I sent one this morning. My pal texted to say that she was in that most invidious of contemporary social tangles: someone was offering her a Kate Bush spare but she had already committed herself elsewhere. Me, I was busy thinking about emoji. I didn’t have time to deal with someone else’s heartache or their moral scruples vis-a-vis ditching an apparently iron-clad prior engagement. I scanned quickly through the available faces: there was one, all scrunched up in dismay about something or other. I decided it would do to convey a mixture of can-you-believe-it crossness and wrenching disappointment, selected it, added zilch and pressed send.

• Reading Literature on Screen: A Price for Convenience?

International New York Times – Arts – By Stephen Heyman Reading Literature on Screen, A Price for Convenience

Do people read as well on screens as they do on paper? Scientists aren’t quite sure. While the type of E Ink used in the latest generation of Kindles and other tablets has been shown to be as or even more legible than printed text, other studies have indicated that — in terms of reading comprehension — the medium doesn’t much matter.

• A New Translation App from Frommer’s

The New York Times – In Transit – By Elaine Glusac A New Translation App from Frommer’s

Perhaps you already know that “buongiorno” is the appropriate greeting in Rome. But what about the concept of “bella figura”? The new translation app from the guidebook publisher Frommer’scovers both linguistic and cultural interpretations.

 

• What’s in a Word? A Chinese Dictionary Updates

The New York Times – Sinosphere – By Amy Qin and Didi Kirsten Tatlow What's in a word? A Chinese dictionary Updates.

The revised edition of the Dictionary of Modern Standard Chinese has just been released, and with it, more than 100 new terms — many slang or online neologisms — have been granted admission to the august realm of official Chinese lexicons.

 

• Is Learning a Language Other Than English Worthwhile?

The New York Times – Room for Debate – By Multiple Authors Is Learning a Language Other Than English Worthwhile?

In a recent essay in The Times, Lawrence Summers, the former president of Harvard University, wrote about preparing American students for the future. In the essay, he said that international experience was essential, arguing that English’s emergence as the global language makes the investment in other languages less essential.

Does he have a point? Even though Americans aren’t as monolingual as you might think, is learning a language other than English a worthwhile investment?