Monthly Archives: October 2018


Enabling Radically Inclusive Machine Translation (part 2)


October 25, 2018 ||

In the first post in this series, we discussed the importance of bringing machine translation to all of the world’s languages and some of the economic and technical challenges in doing so. In this post, we will explore in more detail the current status of technological support for machine translation in under-served languages. Along the […]



Palindrome reflections


October 11, 2018 ||

There are 54,270 palindromes within the 5,691 languages contained in the PanLex database. A sampling: ʻuhū ʻuhūʻuhū meaning “moan” in Hawaiian gilibilig meaning “soft” in Umbugarla (Australia) àyáyáyáyá meaning “low light” in Perge Tegu (Mali) eibohphobie meaning “fear of palindromes” in French بی عیب ـ بیعیب  or ba’eab ba’eab meaning “faultless” in Persian ibikíbiníbikíbi meaning “wherever” in Yoruba (Nigeria) aawalawaa meaning “get better” in Wayuu (Colombia) апоко́па or apokopa meaning “apocope” in […]


Enabling Radically Inclusive Machine Translation (part 1)


October 3, 2018 ||

Could you ask your doctor about your sprained ankle in French or Indonesian? Would you understand your bus schedule in Mandarin or Arabic? Could you take your biology exam in Hindi or Vietnamese? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to access health care, education, legal services, and technology. Nearly 3 […]


How Bamboo Shaped the Batak Script


October 1, 2018 ||

Don’t crane your neck In the late 18th century, European travelers first began to penetrate the dense forests of the interior of northern Sumatra. From earlier reports, they expected to find tribes of headhunters and cannibals. What they found were highly literate cultures with centuries-old writing traditions and vast collections of books (and yes, a […]