Category Archives: technophile

Language Online: Social Media Censoring, Teaching AI and Hate Speech

Sometimes when we go on social media it can be a bit like coming face to face with all the hatred in the world at once. Be it fandom wars and celebrity arguments, or global politics and blanket discrimination, there is nowhere to escape the vitriol of self-appointed experts who comment with nothing but abuse(…)

Can AI Language Be Prone to Racial and Gender Biases, Too?

One of the more idealistic aspects of a world with AI in it, is that we’ll finally be free of petty human prejudices. Using AI would create equal opportunities, regardless of gender or race. It wouldn’t matter what your sexual orientation is or where you hail from, with the right algorithms jobs will be merit-based,(…)

Fandom Language and Their TV Origins

To the casual viewer, phrases from some of our favourite TV shows may get used in passing, or as a joke. To those in fandoms (the fans of a particular person, team, fictional series, etc., regarded collectively as a community or subculture), those same words become codes, identifiers of fellow fandom members when out there(…)

From Hieroglyphs to Emojis: Maintaining a Visual Presence

When we think of cultures using pictograms, a visual representation of a person, place, or thing, and ideograms, a visual representation of an idea, we tend to think of ancient cultures, right? Sketching on a cave wall or in the dirt to pass on information to the next generation of the tribe probably started soon after homo-sapiens(…)

Beijing: Air Pollution versus Chinese Poetry

Cancer is the number one cause of death in China and lung cancer is the leading form. The air in and around Beijing regularly tests 20 times higher for pollutant particles than deemed safe by the World Health Organization and had a reported 168 days of unsafe air in 2016. A couple of weeks ago(…)

Foreign Language Decline: Translation Tools

Given all the tools and tricks of translation that are available to us on our phones, tablets and browsers currently, it makes you wonder why would anyone go to the trouble of putting the effort in to learning a language for themselves? Yes, we know language learning is important, but when predictive text types your(…)

Foreign Language Decline: Can Technology Replace Face-to-Face Learning?

There was a time not so long ago when anything learned online was considered substandard when compared with knowledge gained in a traditional brick building in musty lecture rooms with wizard professors waxing lyrical about the things they love (and loathe). With the quality of MOOCs provided by everyone from Coursera to MIT nowadays, however, the(…)

Dubbing and Its Impact on Culturally Accepted Language

As only a bilingual English-Spanish speaker who grew up in the US, has lived in Mexico City and also Buenos Aires, Argentina, I may not be able speak to very many situations regarding dubbing. However,  I can indeed speak to how dubbing causes many to attempt to use “neutrality” in both English and Spanish, at(…)

4 Great Brazilian TV Shows To Practise Your Portuguese

It’s not just football matches that have Brazilians glued to their TV screens. On Brazilian television the telenovela reigns supreme. Telenovelas, prevalent across all of Latin America, are slightly different to traditional Western soap operas like Days of Our Lives. Brazil’s telenovelas typically run for around 8 months, and focus on a major plot line,(…)