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.
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.
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 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.
Kids from around the country gather each year to test their spelling skills at the Scripps National Spelling Bee. But what does it take to make it onto that stage? We talked to 1982 winner Molly Dieveney Baker about the dedication, discipline, and community that made her a champion.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Linguist Cecile McKee explores the early stages of language development with five of the first words that English-speaking children say.