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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.)
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.
Read up on the five words that New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz thinks you should know, then try your hand at a puzzle made by the Planet Word team!
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.