Author Archives: David Kamholz

Edible possession in Halmahera


April 9, 2019 ||

The island of Halmahera is a spider-shaped island located in Indonesia’s Maluku Islands. It was these islands, the so-called “spice islands”, that several European nations sought in the 15th and 16th centuries as the source of cloves, nutmeg, and mace. Along the east coast of Halmahera, the closely related Austronesian languages Patani and Sawai (among others) […]


How Lev became Leo and Leon


January 3, 2019 ||

Proper nouns (names of unique things in the world, such as Berkeley and James) can be translated in the same way as common nouns (names of classes of things, such as city and person). For example, the same city in Ukraine is known as Lviv in English, Львів (L’viv) in Ukrainian, Львов (L’vov) in Russian, Lwów in Polish, and Lemberg […]


PanLex in Yogyakarta


December 6, 2018 ||

On November 25, the PanLex team began a month-long stay in Yogyakarta, a city on the island of Java in Indonesia. Mataram, the historical region in which Yogyakarta is located, was controlled by several medieval and early modern kingdoms, and then for two centuries was part of the Dutch East Indies. The region is home to two […]


Enabling Radically Inclusive Machine Translation (part 3)


November 29, 2018 ||

In the first two posts in this series, we elaborated our belief that all people should be able to use their native language to exercise human rights and have access to opportunity. We showed that machine translation technology currently falls far short of this goal, but that there are realistic ways to make progress. In […]