Entries by Alison Kroulek

Google adds Hawaiian Language

Web giant Google have added a Hawaiian language version of its search engine. It was done by Keola Donaghy of the Ka Haka Ula Oke’elikolani college of Hawaiian Language. Keola Donaghy campaigned for 3 years to get Google to produce a Hawaiian version of its search engine. He estimates that it took him 100 hours […]

Unlocking the Meaning of an Ancient Hieroglyphic Script

Translating ancient scripts is difficult, especially when the civilization they belonged to is long gone. We lucked out with the ancient Egyptians when we found the Rosetta Stone, which had the same passage translated into three different scripts: Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, demotic Egyptian and classical Greek. Since linguists could read classical Greek, they were able […]

5,000 New German Words

According to the BBC around 5,000 new words have been added to the German language in the latest edition of the well respected German dictionary, Duden. Most of the new words have come from the English speaking world. New terms have been added such as ‘After show party’, ‘No-go area’, ‘It girl’ and ‘Babyblues’. Twitter […]

Recording Dying Languages

Being a field linguist is a hard, if rewarding, job. You have to travel to far-off places, often isolated villages with few luxuries. Then, you spend a lot of time recording the sounds and words of endangered languages that few people still speak.

Slovakia and Hungary in Language Law Row

On the last day of June, Slovakia passed a law governing language use in their country. According to this article, posted on Euractiv.com, the law makes it illegal to use “incorrect” Slovak in Slovakia. The punishment is harsh with fines as high as 5,000 euros (£4,315). Basically, the law makes it very difficult for speakers […]

Earliest Known Example of Cherokee Alphabet Found in Cave

According to the New York Times, carvings found in a cave in Kentucky are the earliest known examples of the Cherokee alphabet. The Cherokee alphabet is a syllabary devised by Sequoyah, a well-known Cherokee silversmith and soldier. Sequoyah observed how European settlers used writing to communicate, and was inspired to devise a similar system for […]