Tag Archives: languages

November 10, 2014

Why you probably won't understand the web of the future

The giants of the connected world are finally waking up to one of the biggest obstacles in their stated missions of connecting billions more people to the internet: The language barrier.

An exceptional piece. I’ll highlight the following (something I had no idea about):

Another example is color. In the West, red is associated with danger or bad news, while in China it means good news. Any company serious about serving a global audience needs to take such subtle cues into account.

August 19, 2014

TED Talk: The birth of a word

MIT researcher Deb Roy wanted to understand how his infant son learned language — so he wired up his house with videocameras to catch every moment (with exceptions) of his son’s life, then parsed 90,000 hours of home video to watch “gaaaa” slowly turn into “water.” Astonishing, data-rich research with deep implications for how we learn.

An old one, but remarkable nonetheless.

September 3, 2013

Helsinki's tube stations, translated to English

I’ve seen a image floating around on Facebook where someone took the time to translate Stockholm’s tube stations to English, often with hilarious results. I decided to do the same with Helsinki’s tube stations. The map looks like this (the names in bold are in Finnish; below them are their Swedish equivalents):


Image: HKL Metro

The results aren’t all funny, but some are. Unfortunately, in some cases, I couldn’t find a direct translation. Without further ado, the list:

  • Ruoholahti: Grass Bay
  • Kamppi: from the Swedish word kampen, meaning  fight or battle
  • Rautatieasema: Railway Square
  • Kajsaniemi: Kajsa Peninsula
  • Hakaniemi: Hook Isthmus
  • Sörnäinen: from the Swedish word Sörnäs, meaning Sör Peninsula
  • Kalasatama: Fish Harbour
  • Kulosaari: Wildfire Island
  • Herttoniemi: Hertto Peninsula
  • Siilitie: Hedgehog Road
  • Itäkeskus: East Centre
  • Myllypuro: Mill Creek
  • Kontula: no direct translation, unfortunately
  • Mellunmäki: Mellu Hill
  • Puotila: no direct translation
  • Rastila: no direct translation
  • Vuosaari: Flow Island

Hook Isthmus has to be my favourite.

June 4, 2013
May 3, 2013
October 5, 2011

A few definitions of the word "weblog"

  • “A website that displays in chronological order the postings by one or more individuals and usually has links to comments on specific postings.” From The Free Dictionary
  • “A blog (blend of the term web log) is a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.” From Wikipedia
  • “A diary is a blog that no one reads.” Heard on the radio last week
Gues which definition I like best?
June 9, 2011
July 7, 2010

"It is my belief that Apple is definitely working on a new language"

An excellent post on waffle entertaining the idea that Apple is working on a new language to complement Objective-C. Charles Ying from satine.org thinks that a language close to JavaScript would be a good fit, due in part to extensive use of the language in iOS, iAd & iTunes.

It’s a strong theory – and one that I would like to se a reality, given the popularity of C-style syntax and garbage-collected environments. I not a big fan of low-level languages, but crying out for one that is more abstracted than Objective-C is met with a kind of resistance I’ve never really quite understood – a resistance that an Ars Technica article discussing the future of Apple’s languages and APIs explains perfectly:

And so continues one of the biggest constants in software development: the unerring sense among developers that the level of abstraction they’re current working at is exactly the right one for the task at hand. Anything lower-level is seen as barbaric, and anything higher-level is a bloated, slow waste of resources. This remains true even as the overall level of abstraction across the industry marches ever higher.

April 3, 2010

Text file dictionaries

I learned about this just last week: Linux/Unix/OSX operating systems have a built-in English dictionary text file located at /usr/share/dict/words.

December 15, 2009