Category Archives: technophile

Twitter tribes

If you think Twitter is all people talking about what they just had for lunch, think again. Although food can be a feature of the social network, analysis of millions of tweets has shown that Twitter users form ‘tribes’. These tribes have their own language, and are often based around a community of interest –(…)


Do we still need email signatures?

An interesting article in Slate explores whether we still need email signatures. The author argues that signatures are a hangover from writing letters, and have no place in the modern world. But in 2013, when bots outnumber benefactors by a wide margin, the continued and consistent use of antiquated signoffs in email is impossible to(…)


Ancient languages helped by modern technology

Ancient languages are being reconstructed with the aid of new software. The software can rebuild protolanguages, the original languages which our languages have developed from. Researchers hope this will allow them to reconstruct many languages, which would otherwise take a human linguist many lifetimes to complete. The scientists demonstrated their system by looking at a(…)


Learn and browse with Flewent

If you use Chrome as your browser, you could kill two birds with one stone and learn a language while perusing your favourite websites. Flewent is a plugin for Chrome that will translate words on a webpage into a different language, meaning you can pick up new words in your target language as you read.(…)


How to laugh online

If you’re starting to understand humour in a different language, you’re likely making pretty good progress with that language. When you’re chatting online, how do you show you’re laughing? In English we might say ‘hahahaha’ or ‘hah’ or ‘LOL’. Perhaps we’d even include a smiley face 🙂 Using ‘hahahaha’ as a starting point, a Reddit(…)


Speak Google

Google is one of the most widely used search engines in the world. It’s so popular, that “google” (as in “google it”) became an dictionary-recognised verb in 2006. But what about if you’re overseas and want to tell someone to “just google it already?” If they speak English, you’re in luck. If they don’t, you(…)


LinkedIn profile buzzwords

Many people now have LinkedIn profiles – and there are many ways to describe yourself and your skills. It seems that “creative” is the most popular way though. LinkedIn has released its list of top 10 buzzwords on the site, with “creative” topping the list. 1. Creative 2. Organizational 3. Effective 4. Motivated 5. Extensive(…)


Gmail – now in Cherokee

Google search in Cherokee has been around for a while. Now Cherokee is available in Gmail too! Both include a virtual keyboard that you can use to type the writing system invented by Sequoyah. The project arose when the Oklahoma Cherokee population found that no one under 40 spoke conversational Cherokee. The Cherokee Nation decided(…)


Visualising London’s Twitter languages

London is a very diverse city, as showcased during this year’s Olympic Games. Just how diverse is shown by a visualisation of language communities, as revealed by Twitter. There are limitations to this as it is a selective sample, but is interesting nonetheless. The top five languages represented (other than English) are Spanish, French, Turkish,(…)