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World Languages

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.

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.)