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23 Feb

Weekly Roundup #13

University of Toronto study uses algorithms to predict how word meanings change over time Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, Lehigh University and the University of Toronto have developed an algorithm to demonstrate how words evolve. The question is: Why is this happening? How is it happening? And whether there are computational algorithms we..

21 Feb

What does mother language mean to you?

The International Mother Language Day promotes awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity, multilingualism, and the respect of all native languages. For this occasion, I would like to talk about something that is a bit more personal than usual: not really knowing what one’s mother language is or even questioning if you have one.    ..

20 Feb

Katakana English: ナイーブ and Naïve

ナイーブ (naību): innocent, pure Naïve:  a person showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment The integration and adaptation of naïve into the Japanese language have more to do with Japanese conventional values than an evolution of the original meaning of the word, as we have seen with other cases. In the original French, naïve..

16 Feb

Weekly Roundup #12

SignAll is slowly but surely building a sign language translation platform Translating sign language puts an additional level of complexity over spoken and written languages. SignAll, the Budapest-base startup, has taken up the challenge. This long-running project is a sobering reminder of both the possibilities and limitations of technology. True, automatic translation of sign language..

14 Feb

Working in Japan: Valentine’s in the office

You might be wondering why we are discussing Valentine’s Day when it’s supposed to be about working in Japan. Truth is, as many events in Japan, even this holiday is somehow linked to work. In the West, it’s a day for giving your lover or partner a gift and showing your love. In Japan, when..

14 Feb

Ecommerce: and Silver Egg to recommend your favorite items in your language and Silver Egg are joining forces to ease cross-border ecommerce for both businesses and users. Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, Japanese ecommerce businesses are getting ready to accommodate international buyers, but making ecommerce websites available in several languages is costly and time-consuming, in addition to the necessary international market research. Silver Egg and’s..

13 Feb

Katakana English: デマ and Demagogie

  デマ (dema): unfounded rumor Demagogie: from German, political practices that seek support by appealing to emotions rather than by using rational arguments.   デマ was coined in the Showa period as an abbreviation of the German term “demagogie”. Although a political and social term at first, when integrated into the Japanese language, only the..

09 Feb

Weekly Roundup #11

IBM’s New AI Can Predict Psychosis in Your Speech Computational Psychiatry and Neuroimaging experts around the globe have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) capable of predicting with relative precision the onset of psychosis in a patient. […] demonstrating the possibility of using AI to model the differences in speech patterns of high-risk patients who later..

07 Feb
2018 and Rozetta launch ¥1 website localization and Rozetta have joined forces and are launching ¥1 website localization on February 7th, 2018. Rozetta is a Japanese translation giant. In December 2017, the company started offering an innovative combination of AI and crowd translation for faster translation, charging only ¥1 per character. is a Tokyo-based website localization service that enables users..

06 Feb

Katakana English: サービス and Service

  サービス (sabisu): free of charge or discount Service: action of helping or doing work for someone   According to a Japanese idiom, the customer is not king, the customer is god. From greetings when entering a shop, having your change counted in front of you or bowing, it’s easy to get used to incredibly..