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Researching your own language from your own remote NT community? Kah-mon!

Researching your own language from your own remote NT community? Kah-mon!

Greg Dickson writes: ...kangu actually means ‘belly’ in Dalabon and wokarrun literally means something like 'telling yourself a story'. But kangu wokarrun means much more than 'telling yourself a story in your belly'

Ass vs Arse

Ass vs Arse

Piers Kelly writes: ...let me explain why I like ‘arse’. For me it’s all about the ‘r’. It leaps off the page with a meaty trill, evoking at once the hairy bum of a commando-kilted highlander and the war cry of a Cornish pirate.

To catch a thief’s voice

To catch a thief’s voice

Will Steed writes: ...On CSI/NCIS/SVU and the other acronym cop shows, you can compare a voice sample with the voice of a criminal. The sound waves match up perfectly, and the geeky, yet still somehow spunky technician says “The voiceprints match. We’ve got our perp!” Easy as that.

Too cool for pool (but not for school)

Piers Kelly writes: ...We at Fully (sic) wholeheartedly endorse Ian Thorpe's decision to take this interest further by studying linguistics, an area that's as glamorous as competitive swimming but with much hotter bodies.

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Beyond monomedia

Claire Bowern writes: We can now easily link sound recordings to a transcript, we can create sound and video clips so that online dictionaries have auditory pronunciation guides, and we can make dictionaries in lots of different formats (like the mobile phone dictionary for the Kaurna language of the Adelaide Plains).

Competition winners

The announcement of our Ruddbot translation competition winners was never likely to contain anything in terms of detailed programmatic specificity. Let me just say that we narrowed the field down to 11, then to four, formed a committee, initiated a review, assigned a taskforce, consulted the entrails and decided to crown Michael Nolan for ‘It’s […]

On the rudeness of foreigners

On the rudeness of foreigners

Aung Si writes: ...If people from other parts of the world come to live in an English-speaking country like Australia, and they are in a social situation with monolingual, English-speaking Australians (lets call them MESAs for short), the polite thing to do would be to stick exclusively to English, so that everyone gets to participate in the conversation.

Pronouncing Foreign Names in English

William Steed writes: The recent problems encountered by reporters attempting to pronounce Eyjafjallajökull, the name of the Icelandic volcano causing a whole different set of problems, has caused a flurry of guides to pronunciation. On youtube: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jq-sMZtSww&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1] On Wikipedia: Eyjafjallajökull And a comprehensive post on Language Log, describing the difficulty of Anglicising a difficult and […]

A quixotic debate

Aidan Wilson writes: Last week, an argument was waged in the Opinion section of the Sydney Morning Herald about the effect of the internet on language. It started with an article on Tuesday about Australian author Cate Kennedy, who fears literature is being threatened by the internet. She’s referring specifically to writers who become addicted […]

COMPETITION: The RuddBot Detailed Programmatic Specificity Translator™

COMPETITION: The RuddBot Detailed Programmatic Specificity Translator™

It probably comes as no shock to learn that most members of the Crikey crew are total word nerds. We love a good pun, inventing stupid haikus and are fully paid-up members of the Subeditorial Antics Appreciation Society. But our all-time favourite office word game is the “DetailedProgrammaticSpecificityTranslator™” — also known as “RuddSpeak”. Everything is […]