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Google Translate Now Works With 13 More Languages

Ever had the urge to translate a website written in Corsican, Pashto or Luxembourgish? Good, because Google’s now got you covered.


A New AI Can Write Convincing Political Speeches

Truly rousing political speeches are, sadly, few and far between. But those that are a little less inspiring can, it turns out, be convincingly written by an artificial intelligence system. Yes, politicians may be a little like robots.


Why Do Animals Make Different Sounds In Different Languages?

Video: All animals all over the world sound the same. It’s not like they speak different languages, they make the same noises even if they’re different countries! But why is it that different languages think animals make different sounds? It’s because we’re giving names to the sounds that animals make in the construct of language, not totally mimicking what they’re saying (different languages have different rules and some languages have more versatile phrasing). That’s how a duck can quack in English, ga ga in Japanese, coin coin in French, kyra kyra in Russian and so on.


Fun Word Origin Stories That Are Hiding In Plain Sight

Video: Why is a daisy called a daisy? Because it comes from the Old English of Day’s Eye, when the flower opens up during the day and closest in the evening. Bonfire? Started from bone fire. Month? A moon cycle, moonth. Being alone? It’s because it’s just all one. Here are some really fun word origins from Arika Okrent. The etymology is staring at us straight in the face, we just don’t know it.


This Neural Net Describes The City It Sees In Real-Time

Video: Take one neural network that describes what it sees in an image. Provide it with a webcam feed from the MacBook it’s running on. Then, wander around a city and see what happens. Here are the results of exactly that experiment.


An Online Dictionary Plans To Catalogue A Million Emerging English Words

With viral memes and hashtags sweeping the internet on the daily, language is evolving faster than conventional dictionaries can keep up. You may have been “procrastatweeting” about the “popepocalypse” last week, but the stalwart publishers of the Oxford English won’t give your neologisms official recognition for years to come, if ever. Heck, they didn’t even put hoverboard down until 2015!


How Did Language Begin?

Video: There are many theories on how human language began. Some think it may have started from imitating sounds that already exist in real life. Others think it could have started with our sounds that come from natural reactions (pain, etc.). Or it could have been grunts and noises made when needed to work together. Or maybe even out of love.


The 20 Most Common English Words Almost Form A Coherent Sentence

Despite language being an ability we use constantly, the average person’s understanding of its intricacies is, well, average at best. For example, did you know 60 per cent of the words we say and use are comprised of “the”? Or that when you concatenate the 20 most common English words, the resulting sentence is almost intelligible?


A Campaign To Bring Back Accent Marks Is Sweeping The Internet

Internet shorthand is ubiquitous, but in our desire to get words out quickly, meaning can be muddled or lost. Case in point: Accent marks, one of the foremost linguistic casualties of the digital age. Now, defenders of the Spanish language are trying to bring the neglected markings back.


Do Animals Have Their Own Language And Can They Talk To Each Other?

Can animals understand each other? And if they do, do they communicate through language? Is their language sophisticated enough to combine sounds into meaning in some grammatical sense? And can they talk about things that aren’t right in front of them? A lot of them can do some of those things!


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