Is the language of Emoji a mirror of our personality?

Is the language of Emoji a mirror of our personality?

A decade of change in communications Can you picture yourself answering a simple “Ok.” when receiving a text? Ten years ago you certainly would have and it is likely that you didn’t even know what an Emoji looked like. With the exploding increase in use of smartphones, you won’t have missed that the language of Emoji has been added to the 7,000 languages spoken worldwide. The 7001st language During the last decade, we have seen that people don’t use their phone as a simple tool anymore. It has quickly become a second version of one’s self.  Your smartphone is your reflection in the mirror. You can easily tell whether someone likes a little colour in their life or prefers minimalism by looking at their phone case. The apps they download reveal a lot about their lifestyle. The wallpaper hints about their personal life. But what is betraying us in our way of speaking? Guess! The language of Emoji allows us to transcribe our emotions and tone much more efficiently than using words. How and when did the language of Emoji appear? It all started with the emoji’s ancestors : the emoticons. Emoticons were the very first common digital language. Combining existing characters in chatrooms allowed to insert emotions in a message. For example, if something made you happy you would write “:-)”. The first actual Emoji is born in 1999, in Japan, by Shigetaka Kurita, by request of the mobile carrier company DoCoMo. Their aim was to offer their customers a catchy and effective new way to communicate. For example, one could send an icon of a raining cloud...
Children and the importance of foreign languages

Children and the importance of foreign languages

Academic year resolutions for your children The backpack is ready, the sandwich is in the lunchbox, fall breeze starts to blow… it’s that time of year again: back to school! What resolutions have you made this year for your children? At LingoStar, we think that speaking foreign languages from a young age is an asset in every aspect of life. What is your opinion on the matter? Why is childhood the best time to learn a foreign language? Many studies prove that the best time to introduce someone to a foreign language is before the age of twelve. The language function is in development and soaks up vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation much easier than it will ever do in the future. Now, you might be wondering if it is not confusing for children to be exposed to foreign languages while they are still learning their native language. Scholars have demonstrated that bilingual children have the capacity to differentiate between two languages before even having the ability to talk. Therefore, they won’t mix them up when it is their time to talk, as changes are naturally made in their brain to assign certain words and sounds to the language they belong to. They also claim that it is totally fine to teach children two languages until the age of five. After this age, three new languages can be introduced. Is the study of a new language profitable to my children’s personal growth? Teaching different languages to your children is a very good way of providing education. It will improve their creativity, develop curiosity and give them more general knowledge. The...

Machine and Human Translation: Latest Trends

Is machine translation about to replace human translation? Translation companies have always tried to provide the best quality translations possible. So far, using human translation seems to be the best option. However, some companies have recently announced new translation systems that would bring considerable improvements to the industry. Their promise is to provide high quality and natural sounding translations through convenient devices. Recent breakthroughs in the real-time translation field After adding instant image translation to its “Google Translate” service in 2012, Google launched its first headphones in November 2017. They enable users to have direct access to Google Assistant. They can listen to music; ask for traffic information; write emails and have a conversation in another language thanks to Google Translate. Google’s earphones – the Pixel Buds – are a real-time translating device that can translate 40 languages. Although its product gathered impressive press coverage, Google wasn’t the first company to develop this kind of technology. In 2016, Waverly Labs, an American company, produced the first earpiece language translator. Since then, real-time translation has been a trend that no company wants to miss. Several companies worldwide have been developing their own devices such as LeTrans, Travis The Translator, Ili Wearable Translator and Bragi Dash Pro. How do these new technologies compare to human translations? These technologies are very easy to use. For most of them, all you need are earpieces and a smartphone. With the translating earphones, two people who speak different languages can both hear the words in their own language instantly during a conversation, and straight in their ears. These technologies aim at making international communication easier....
New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

2018 Resolutions Did you make your list of New Year’s Resolutions? New Year’s is here, and we cannot yet believe it! The magic of Christmas is still in our hearts, but we are already thinking about what we are going to accomplish in this 2018. A new year always comes with lots of wishes, opportunities and the optimism of a fresh start. Are you ready to take advantage of it? What are New Year’s Resolutions? New Year’s Resolutions are things people want to accomplish in the new year. They go from simple activities like planning a trip to more complex ones like changing a personality trait or losing weight. They are meant to help you improve your life.  Why can’t we stick to our New Year’s Resolutions? Only about 8% of people stick to their New Year’s Resolutions. There are many reasons why, but the main one might be making too many changes at the same time. For instance, a lot of people want to stop eating sugar, but they don’t start cutting it down a bit at a time so the change is progressive. It is a matter of being realistic and knowing ourselves: what we like, what we can do, and what we can achieve. To help you with this, we came up with a list of 5 popular New Year’s Resolutions and some useful tips to actually achieve them.     Losing weight: Stay focused. This is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. People always want to be in good shape but it seems to be really difficult for everybody to make it happen....
A Cock Story by a Russian Translator

A Cock Story by a Russian Translator

A Cock Story Learning a new language is always a challenge, especially when words can mean two completely different things. Here is a “cock” story by one of our Russian translators about an experience he had while learning English in college. My lifelong passion for languages began in the Soviet high school, where I was, according to my English teacher, the best student in her three-year experience. That didn’t necessarily mean I could string two words together by myself, but I would diligently do my homework and vigorously raise my hand during her classes. Little did she know that my linguistic zeal was driven, more than anything, by my being innocently mesmerized with her inner and outer beauty. More with the latter than the former. The Learning Two years on, in the summer of 1991, the Soviet Union broke apart, and I was now a college freshman in the newly independent Uzbekistan. I was studying to be a translator/interpreter between English, Russian and Uzbek. Those were not the easiest times to study a foreign language: information and materials were scarce, there was no access to communication with native speakers and, of course, no such thing as the Internet. My faculty had a modest library where you could find most classic novels and a very limited number of audio recordings spoken by BBC newscasters and such. Needless to say, there was no taking them home, so I would spend endless hours in the library practicing my listening and comprehension. One thing I had no way of knowing at the time was the fact that my decades-old textbooks and dictionaries presented...
Google Translate vs. Professional Translators

Google Translate vs. Professional Translators

Will Google Translate replace professional translators in the future? In this blog post, we look at how Google Translate tries to compete with professional translators. Google Translate is a fast and easy way to translate words and short sentences. But how accurate are these online translations? Can they match the translations done by a professional translator? Could professional translators become obsolete due to the free online translation services provided by Google? In this article, we want to show you how Google Translate works. It may be an easy and fast way to translate a text, but it is in fact unlikely to become a competitor to professional translators. The New Version of Google Translate This week, Google launched their new version of Google Translate, which reportedly translates texts as proficiently as human translators. The system is more accurate and comes closer to matching the fluency of human translators s for some languages, such as Spanish or Chinese. It uses a technique known as “deep learning”, which uses networks of mathematical functions to recognize objects and translate speech in real time. Google asked test subjects with fluency in two languages to compare the translation work of their new system with that of professional translators. There wasn’t much difference between the translation done by Google Translate and the one performed by a human translator. What does this mean for translators? Translators are worried that people will start using Google Translate to get their translations done faster and free of charge thanks to the new system. However, anyone who knows a little bit about the art of translating knows that translating a...