New App Banks on the Human Element of Translation

New App Banks on the Human Element of Translation

We have countless machine translation options at our fingertips at any given moment, but many of these comically fail to capture nuance and cultural context. By bringing live, human translators right to your smartphone, the Jeenie app hopes to provide a richer language experience—with all the convenience an app offers. But how does it work? We talked to CEO and co-founder Kirsten Brecht Baker to find out.

Empathy, Art, and Telling Important Stories: Q & A with Jason Reynolds

Empathy, Art, and Telling Important Stories: Q & A with Jason Reynolds

Long Way Down—Jason Reynolds’s bestselling novel in verse—makes its way to the Kennedy Center. Reynolds, a member of Planet Word’s Advisory Board, talked to us about empathy, the theatrical adaptation of his novel, and the importance of telling stories like Long Way Down.

Visual Pun Costumes—Your Last-Minute Halloween Hacks

Visual Pun Costumes—Your Last-Minute Halloween Hacks

Wow, is it Halloween already? If you need a last-minute, low-effort costume, here are four wordplay-inspired looks you can make with easy-to-find items. Never be unprepared for a costume party again!

When Soccer and Poetry Meet, Kids Succeed: Q & A with DC SCORES

When Soccer and Poetry Meet, Kids Succeed: Q & A with DC SCORES

Soccer and poetry might not seem to have much in common, but one local non-profit unites them toward a common goal: empowering kids. DC SCORES runs free, year-round soccer programs and poetry workshops for thousands of kids in the District, fostering both teamwork and creative expression. Representatives Tony Francavilla and Charity Blackwell chatted with us about the program and shared some stories about their young poet-athletes.

Balinese, Meet Wikipedia: Revitalizing a Local Language Online

Balinese, Meet Wikipedia: Revitalizing a Local Language Online

Balinese has long been pushed to the linguistic margins. What can revitalize it for the next generation? Collaboration, flexibility, and wiki technology! So says Alissa Stern, who founded the BASAbali organization to revitalize the language. She spoke to us about the opportunities and challenges that come with digitizing a local language, and the importance of making these efforts sustainable for future generations.

Five Firework Words to Light Up Your Celebrations

Five Firework Words to Light Up Your Celebrations

At celebrations throughout the year, we ooh and ahh at mesmerizing fireworks displays. But what exactly are we seeing? This short list of firework terms will help you put the wonder into words.

Five Dance Words that Lead Double Lives

Five Dance Words that Lead Double Lives

Even if you have two left feet, you’ve probably waltzed right up to someone and introduced yourself. And you definitely don’t need dance shoes to know that it takes two to tango. What’s the story with these dance words leading double lives? Read on to find out!

Hieroglyphs: Emojis of the Ancient World? Not Quite

Hieroglyphs: Emojis of the Ancient World? Not Quite

Emojis and GIFs help us express our meaning in texts and emails, and they sometimes seem like languages of their own. Some people have wondered, then: are emojis the new hieroglyphs? To find out, we asked Georgetown professor Ruth Kramer, a specialist in Ancient Egyptian, to help us create an introduction to this ancient writing system. (Spoiler alert: hieroglyphs are way more complicated than emojis.)

Best of the Planet Word Blog 2017

Best of the Planet Word Blog 2017

Planet Word made enormous progress in 2017, from selecting an exhibit designer to finding our future home. We also launched our blog to bring you new language insights and interviews! Take a look back on our biggest hits from the past year.