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Most Recent SO News
MOTHER. There can scarcely be a more emotive word in the English language. We can imagine children howling it as they wake from nightmares, and centenarians whispering it on their death beds. A 2004 survey proclaimed it the most beautiful word in English, and artists have evoked it in countless poems and plays. Yet even though it can conjure home and hearth in a scant two syllables, mother is perhaps most remarkable for its deluge of cousins. From Dutch (moeder) to Czech (matka) to Bengali (ma), dozens of languages have words that share a common root with mother, tying English to a cobweb of tongues that straddles almost every continent.
— New Scientist (November 24) (Pocket)
Rob asks: I would love to see you write on how AI changes the value of language learning, at the margin. Two thoughts: The value of learning languages in order to “get” a culture more deeply probably doesn’t change much. On the other hand, international students probably have much less incentive to learn English — […] The post AI and language learning
— Marginal Revolution (November 26) (Pocket)
Germany-based network of websites and Facebook accounts amplify clickbait content to monetize web traffic via Google AdSense and e-commerce
SUMMARY This investigation, which took place between May and August 2022, shows that a network of German- and English-language Facebook pages are using the platform to build an online following of millions which can be financially exploited. We identified this network by analyzing various open-source information, such as Google Analytics and AdSense codes, web infrastructure, … Continued
— Health Feedback (November 24) (Pocket)
Thailand has a deserved reputation as one of the easiest places to travel in Asia. There’s an amazing amount to see, hassles are limited, English-language signs and menus are commonplace and you can get around easily, at almost any time of day or night.
— Lonely Planet (November 22) (Pocket)
One of the latest applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is to generate images from natural language descriptions. These generators are now becoming available and achieve impressive results that have been used for example in the front cover of magazines. As the input to the generators is in the form of a natural language text, a question that arises immediately is how these models behave when the input is written in different languages. In this paper we perform an initial exploration of how the performance of three popular text-to-image generators depends on the language. The results show that there is a significant performance degradation when using languages other than English, especially for languages that are not widely used.
— arXiv (November 19) (Pocket)
Wendalyn Nichols, Cambridge Dictionary publishing manager, said: “Wordle’s words, and the public’s reactions to them, illustrate how English speakers continue to be divided over differences between English language varieties, even when they’re playing a globally popular new word game that has brought people together online for friendly competition about language.
— The Independent (November 17) (Pocket)
Emergent bilingual learners—students developing proficiency in English and another language—in kindergarten through second grade saw significant loss of language-rich instruction during remote learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study by Amy Crosson, associate professor of education in the Penn State College of Education.
— Phys (November 16) (Pocket)
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