Viewing entries tagged
Q & A

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.

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.

New Words in the Digital Age: Q & A with Grant Barrett

New Words in the Digital Age: Q & A with Grant Barrett

Has the internet changed the way new words enter our collective vocabulary? How do dictionary makers figure out what words having staying power and which will be obsolete in a month? How does a modern dictionary function in this ever-changing language landscape? Lexicographer and radio host Grant Barrett weighs in.

Language Entrepreneurship: Q & A with Kathleen Diamond

Language Entrepreneurship: Q & A with Kathleen Diamond

Kathleen Diamond is a trailblazer in the multibillion-dollar language services industry. Here, she describes her experience as an entrepreneur in the 1980s and offers some advice to today's students and language professionals.

New Experiments on Language Learning: Q & A with Elissa Newport

New Experiments on Language Learning: Q & A with Elissa Newport

Linguists can tell us a lot about how we learn languages, but they don't have all the answers. Elissa Newport, head of Georgetown University's Learning and Development Lab, talks us through some of her lab's cutting-edge research on the topic.

Language and National Security: Q & A with Bill Rivers

Language and National Security: Q & A with Bill Rivers

When national security threats appear, we need to be equipped to handle them with more than just manpower — we need language experts too. Bill Rivers, executive director of the Joint National Committee for Languages, explains how proper language training is vital to national defense efforts.

Pronunciation, Prestige, and Punchlines: Q & A with David Crystal

Pronunciation, Prestige, and Punchlines: Q & A with David Crystal

Pronunciation can be a minefield of silent letters and tricky vowels — and a signal of social hierarchy. But accents and pronunciation also provide endless fodder for jokes. Linguist and author David Crystal discusses diction, accents, social class, and how people from the Victorian era to modern day have found humor in it all.

Talking Black in America: Q & A with Walt Wolfram

Talking Black in America: Q & A with Walt Wolfram

A new documentary, Talking Black in America, explores African American English through interviews with linguists, speakers, and educators. Walt Wolfram, director of the Language and Life Project and the film's executive producer, discusses the project.