- Website: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/ealc/mair
Posts by Victor Mair:
In all tech considered (8/24/16), Arrti Shahani has an article titled "Voice Recognition Software Finally Beats Humans At Typing, Study Finds".
Turns out voice recognition software has improved to the point where it is significantly faster and more accurate at producing text on a mobile device than we are at typing on its keyboard. That's according to a new study by Stanford University, the University of Washington and Baidu, the Chinese Internet giant. The study ran tests in English and Mandarin Chinese.
Baidu chief scientist Andrew Ng says this should not feel like defeat. "Humanity was never designed to communicate by using our fingers to poke at a tiny little keyboard on a mobile phone. Speech has always been a much more natural way for humans to communicate with each other," he says.
On her way back from Cornwall in April, Janet (Geok Hoon) Williams saw this sign, put up by Great Western Railway, at the train station:
Germán Renedo recently noticed that the government has installed bilingual street signs in the Belgrano neighborhood of Buenos Aires, where Chinatown is located. The signs transcribe the sounds of the Spanish words rather than translate their meanings. Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
Katie Odhner asks:
I have lately been teaching myself Korean and have become quite interested in Sino-Korean vocabulary. Recently two words in particular caught my attention: samchon 삼촌 ("paternal uncle"), from Chinese s ān cùn 三寸 ("three inches"), and sachon 사촌 ("cousin"), from Chinese sì cùn 四寸 ("four inches"). I wondered how "three inches" and "four inches" could turn into family members. According to one website I found, chon 寸 can refer to "degree (of kinship)", which makes some sense. But when I looked on ctext.org (Chinese Text Project), I couldn't find classical Chinese examples of this usage, so I'm thinking maybe it's a Korean invention.
Have you ever encountered cùn 寸 ("inch") in Classical Chinese to refer to degree of kinship? Do you think it's a Korean invention? And does "third degree of kinship" for uncle and "fourth degree of kinship" for cousin have any roots that you can think of in the Confucian tradition, or is that also a native Korean concept?
Stuart Luppescu writes:
I recently ate at a yakiniku 焼肉 ("grilled meat") place in Kyoto that serves only chicken and pork — rather atypical. One menu item was kokoronokori 心残り. I asked the server what that was, and was told it was the flesh, blood vessels, and fat around the heart that is left over when they prepare the heart to be served. Since I am a gaijin 外人 ("foreigner"), they gave me a menu that had the entries with English glosses. For this one they wrote "regret" — they had obviously relied on Google Translate for their rendering. After I left I realized I should have taken a picture and sent it to you, but this message will have to do.
[This is a guest post by Nathan Hopson]
Every once in a very long time, machine translation does something sublime. Usually ridiculous, but just occasionally sublime.
Here's what happened to me the other day.
First, let me begin with a mea culpa: I posted a cat video to the internet. Yes, I finally gave in and committed that gravest of sins. Here's the video:
Michael Rank took this photograph earlier today (8/16/16) and posted it on flickr:
On 8/13/16, the Editorial Board of the New York Times published an editorial titled "China's Defiance in the South China Sea" that began with this colorful photograph:
Jason Cox sent in the following very brief video from the USA-China basketball game at the Rio Olympics, showing a man holding a sign that says "Go USA".
Pīnyīn Rìjì Duǎnwén (Pinyin Diary Essays).
Li-ching specifically did NOT want her memoirs published in hanzi (Chinese characters). She was passionately devoted to farmers and workers — like John DeFrancis — and she wrote her memoirs in Pinyin as a testimony of her devotion to them.
Now she has struck paydirt again with "Mo Ri River Spengler" for Mòrìgélè hé 莫日格勒河 in the Baidu encyclopedia.
On Language Log, we have often touched upon the use of furigana ruby to gloss kanji (Chinese characters) for various purposes, most recently in the comments to "Roman-letter Mandarin pronoun of indeterminate gender " (8/9/16).