Tag: tech

Could the language barrier actually fall within the next 10 years?

David Arbesú, University of South FloridaWouldn’t it be wonderful to travel to a foreign country without having to worry about the nuisance of communicating in a different language?In a Wall Street Journal article, technology policy expert Alec Ross argued that, within a decade or so, we’ll be able to communicate with one another via small earpieces with built-in microphones.No...

Semifinalists and Testing Cities Announced in $7M Adult Literacy XPRIZE

XPRIZE, the global leader in designing and operating world-changing incentive competitions, has announced the eight semifinalist teams are advancing in the $7M Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE featured in the December 2016 edition of Language Magazine. Presented by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, this is a global...

Raytheon Deploys Translation Software, Aids U.S. Army

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Raytheon BBN Technologies has been awarded $4 million to provide automatic speech recognition, machine translation, text-to-speech, and optical character-recognition software licenses for one year to the Army’s Machine Foreign Language Translation System Program Office. This is the first large-scale fielding of the system.With the Machine Foreign Language Translation System, U.S. Army personnel can converse with Iraqi Arabic and Pashto...

Indian Bilinguals Humanizing Virtual Assistants

To improve the functionality of Cortana, its voice-powered virtual assistant, Microsoft is turning to bilinguals. Of specific interest is the practice of code switching—when speakers switch back and forth between multiple languages in a single sentence or conversation. Project Mélange, run by Microsoft researchers in India, is studying the...

Teaching Tools

To coincide with this month’s annual conference of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), here is a selection of some of the most relevant and innovative tech teaching tools  Achieve3000’sAccess solutions (for grades 2–12) provide differentiated instruction for ELLs at every stage, from beginner to advanced. Along with a curriculum aligned to each state’s grade-level standards for...

Competition Launches Arabic Literacy Apps for War-Affected Syrian Children

Antura and the Letters and Feed the Monster, the two winners of the EduApp4Syria innovation competition, were announced today and then released worldwide as open-source Arabic literacy learning games. Both games are available for free download through Google Play and the App Store. The EduApp4Syria competition was launched in January 2016 as a challenge to game developers and pedagogical experts...

Apple’s Siri Learns Shanghainese in Ongoing Race to Dominate Voice-Assist

Last week we saw the release of Google Assistant, an electronic assistant that follows commands on mobile phones. While these tech super-giants are in a heated competition to close in the voice-assist market, Siri has the advantage of being able to speak 21 languages localized for 36 countries....

Lone Stars

To celebrate Language Magazine’s partnership with the TCEA (Texas Computer Education Association) at its annual convention in Austin this month, here is a selection from the wide range of products on offerCantata Learning Offers Multisensory Stories To offer a multisensory learning experience that engages a wide range of learners, educational publisher Cantata Learning has created books enhanced with music. These...

Messaging App for Language Learners

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“Tandem” is a relatively new language-learning app where language learners can chat with each other in order to improve their language skills. Users can have conversations with native speakers of languages including Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, French, English, German, Chinese and Japanese.The app links users who want to learn a target language with users who speak the language to...

Adopt an Emoji, Save a Language

The Unicode Consortium, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the computing industry standard for digital writing systems, is allowing people to adopt an emoji or any Unicode character in order to give speakers of more languages the ability to communicate online. English was the first language used online and by the mid 1990’s made up 80% of web-based content. Now 80% of the...