Just imagine this: If you were the last Chamorro speaker and you hold the experiences and knowledge of thousands of years of life here in Guam and the Mariana Islands … and there is no one that understands who and what you carry in your inner self.
The Chamorro language is a world language given [...]
Google wants Voice Search to master the Tower of Babel. So Linne Ha travels the world, gathering the language samples used to train it.
Mothers and fathers used to bring up children: now they parent. Critics used to review plays: now they critique them. Athletes podium, executives flipchart, and almost everybody Googles. Watch out—you’ve been verbed.
The idea that language influences thought is a profound, exciting and possibly disturbing one. It has often been used to exoticise other languages: in the 1930s, Benjamin Lee Whorf wrote that Hopi had no words for time (like days and months), and therefore perceived time far differently than European-language speakers do.
In today’s New Scientist:
Languages are wonderfully idiosyncratic. English puts its subject before its verb. Finnish has lots of cases. Mandarin is highly tonal.
Yet despite these differences, one of the most influential ideas in the study of language is that of universal grammar. (…) For five decades this idea has dominated work in linguistics, psychology and cognitive [...]
Already multinational in expression, English was becoming a global phenomenon with a fierce, inner multinational dynamic, an emerging lingua franca described by the historian Benedict Anderson as “a kind of global-hegemonic post-clerical Latin”.
The accuracy of computer speech recognition flat-lined in 2001, before reaching human levels. The funding plug was pulled, but no funeral, no text-to-speech eulogy followed. Words never meant very much to computers—which made them ten times more error-prone than humans. Humans expected that computer understanding of language would lead to artificially intelligent machines, inevitably [...]