Computers may help recover lost languages

In a major language science breakthrough, computers are showing that they may be able to recover lost languages.  Previously, computers were only used to save languages as they were at risk of being lost.  The computers would record fragments of the language from the remaining speakers in order to help recreate the entire language.

Now, it's a whole new ball game.  A team consisting of Alexandre Bouchard-Cote from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and researchers at the University of California Berkeley have developed a new way to build extinct languages.   They do this first by predicting how a language will develop in the future.  Then they instruct the computer to do the reverse!

The researchers give the example of the so called "Canadian Shift" where people in Canada now say "aboot" instead of "about".  The computer predicts these changes in languages.

As a proof of concept, the research team reconstructed 142,000 words from 637 Austronesian languages in the Southeast Asia region.  The computer was able to accurately predict changes in the language.

How awesome is that?  The research can be found in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences".



And that's what's good,
Jon
The Good World News

Reference: http://www.sciencerecorder.com/news/could-a-computer-save-lost-languages-of-the-ancient-world/

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Google launches endangered language project

Did your high school teacher tell you that you could only learn English, Spanish, French, Mandarin, or German?  Well Good World News is showing you that there are MANY more options :)

There are roughly 7000 languages spoken throughout the world!!  Unfortunately, if nothing is done, 50% of these are expected to disappear within 100 years.  Thankfully Google has launch the Endangered Language Project to help - http://www.endangeredlanguages.com/.

The Endangered Language Project allows individuals which speak an language at risk to upload documents, images, and video which detail how to speak the language.  This incredible project will allow these languages to be preserved in a central location where anyone around the world can view and learn the language!  Many of these languages are unwritten languages so the videos will really capture the language allowing others to learn.

This fascinating project is really doing something special for the world and that is why Good World News rates this as the top story of the day!

 

Peace & Love,

Jon

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