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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Media: Handheld 'Phraselator' Translation Unit

Submitter: Dave Sayers

Submitter Email: dave.sayers@cantab.net
Linguistic Field(s): Translation

Media Body: This PDA-like device was developed through the US Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA) for use in Afghanistan and Iraq by American
soldiers for communicating with locals who spoke Farsi, Dari, Pashto and
other languages. It is now being used by police departments in California,
Florida, Nevada, to help with non-English speakers.

Standard police commands are translated and loaded into the unit by
bilingual police officers, then retrieved and broadcast by a simple
English-language text or voice word search.

Issue Number: 19.201
Date Posted: January 17, 2008

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