Category Archives: Language and Linguistics


PanLex Talk on Balinese Palm-leaf Manuscripts


January 22, 2020 ||

On December 16, 2019, PanLex director David Kamholz spoke at the San Francisco Center for the Book on PanLex and the Internet Archive’s joint project to digitize Balinese palm-leaf manuscripts. You can view a recording of the presentation below, and slides are available here. The presentation introduces Balinese manuscripts, covers technical challenges in supporting Balinese […]


Celebrating “Zero to Digital”


January 21, 2020 ||

In 2019, Translations Commons published “Indigenous Languages: Zero to Digital”, a guide to creating digital infrastructure for indigenous communities. Using flowcharts and clear instructions, it explains how to create every level of the technology stack required to make a language usable online. This easy-to-understand and ground-breaking resource was co-authored with several partners in language and […]


Ferreting Out Etymologies


January 21, 2020 ||

Words for animals often have interesting histories. Some, like English mouse, have remained almost unchanged for centuries (millennia, if you go back to Indo-European). Others, like English dog, can be tracked only so far before the trail runs dry. The word for bear was altered in many Indo-European languages through a process called taboo deformation. […]


Meet the Etymology Guy


November 20, 2019 ||

Every November 5, the United Kingdom celebrates Guy Fawkes Night. Guy Fawkes was an Englishman who attempted to blow up the House of Parliament in 1605. The story is fairly well known—but why was this guy named Guy? What kind of a name is that, anyway? As it turns out, it’s kind of a long […]


Balinese lontar work underway!


September 12, 2019 ||

In the previous two updates, we described the Balinese lontar digitization project that PanLex is managing for Internet Archive. The goal is to continue the digitization of the Balinese Digital Library’s scanned lontar (palm-leaf manuscripts) by transcribing them into Unicode text, using the keyboards discussed in the last update. This work has now gotten underway […]