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Trip Trak Free 1.1.0 Updated to include Spanish language-driving log

Ron Boyd Design today is pleased to announce the latest update of Trip Trak, an app for iPhone and iPod touch that makes it easy to record and store mileage and more. Users can now use in Spanish language.Trip Trak also records routes traveled, expenses, and gives turn by turn driving directions all in one place.

Beat of the person awarded

Steven Marzuola writes: I am a technical translator and amateur linguist, and Language Log is part of my regular reading. So is reddit, and tonight it led me to this link, which is a set of pictures taken by a young couple living in China. They're all interesting, but the one I wanted you to […]

Machine translation of Literary Sinitic

Here on Language Log, we've often talked about the great difference between Modern Standard Mandarin (MSM) and the various other Sinitic languages (e.g., Cantonese, Taiwanese, Shanghainese, etc.).  The gap between Classical Chinese and all modern Sinitic languages is even greater than that between MSM and the other modern forms of Sinitic.  It is like the […]

Spelling bee champs

We have often discussed spelling bees and related phenomena on Language Log, e.g.: "Spelling bees and character amnesia" "Character amnesia and the emergence of digraphia" "Of toads, modernization, and simplified characters" Especially in the first post cited above, we have noticed the amazing domination of students of Indian descent in spelling bees.  Even though we […]

Steamed native

Commenting on Facebook about Ben Zimmer's Language Log post on the Iraqi "Paul is dead" buffet sign, Anne Erdmann shared this buffet sign from China: The Chinese says zh?ng t?ch?n ???, for which Google Translate gives "steamed native", while Bing Translator gives "steam products" and Baidu Fanyi gives "steamed products". But what could zh?ng t?ch?n […]


(NSFW: Language) A mercenary company’s accountant looks at the video log of a missing rookie. Ferand Peek’s riveting short plays like a series pilot. More please! Pay what you want for a 1080p stream or download here.

Another misunderestimator

From M.S., we learn that Gary Marcus has joined Lila Gleitman, Chris Matthews, Mark Aronoff, and  many others: Language Log may not need another example, but Gary Marcus' book The Birth of the Mind contains this sentence at the top of page 128:  “Whether language is a medium for thought or just for communication, its importance in […]

English or Mandarin as the World Language?

Over at Lingua Franca, fellow Language Log author Geoffrey Pullum has an excellent article entitled "There Was No Committee". Here's a key paragraph: Some people talk as if Mandarin Chinese was gaining on English. It is not, and it never will. A Tamil-speaking computer scientist explaining an algorithm to a Hungarian scientist at a Japanese-organized […]

Ask Language Log: "Niger", "Nigerian", "Nigerien"?

Email from D.D.: After reading an article in The Economist about Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorists on my subway to work today, I asked an Oxford-educated Nigerian co-worker a question: if people from Nigeria are call Nigerians, what are people from the nation of Niger, to the north, called? The guy was stumped! Wow. (I have […]

The notion that understanding the rule can save you from breaking it.

Language Log embarrasses The Wall Street Journal (European edition) by pointing at this headline which has 2 bad spelling errors:"Prosector to Oscar Pistorius: 'You're Version's a Lie'"! (By the way, I think Language Log has a punctuation...Show More Summary

The Triumphs and Challenges of Logging in PHP (and Really Most Languages Probably)

4 months agoProgramming / Open Source : Open

Jonathan Marballi explains how we developed a lightweight, flexible and useful logger class for our back end PHP framework.

I saw one thousand commenting and nobody listening

Sometimes I look at the informed and insightful comments below Mark Liberman's technical posts here on Language Log, and I find myself thinking: These people are smart, and their wisdom enhances the value of our site. Maybe I should try opening comments again myself. But then something awful happens to convince me never to click […]

Written Cantonese on a "Democracy Wall" at a University in Hong Kong

A Language Log reader in Hong Kong sent in the following photograph: Cantonese: 20?????????????????? Ji6 sap6 seoi3 gei3 nei5 zou6 gan2 me1? Toi4 wan1 daai6 hok6 sang1 zim3 ling5 gan2 lap6 faat3 jyun2. Modern Standard Mandarin (MSM) translation: 20??????????????????? Èrshí suì de n? zài zuò shénme? Táiwàn dàxuésh?ng zài zhànl?ng lìf?yuàn. English: "What is 20-year-old […]

Skim listening

Today's Zits: This strip, not for the first time, presupposes the stereotype that women talk a lot and men don't listen. If you believe that, you haven't been following Language Log, and you must not listen to much talk radio…

Barraco Barner, UK President

You would be wrong if you thought Language Log hadn't taken note of the beautician in Blackpool, UK, who unwisely ventured into the geopolitical realm with this tweet: You are also wrong if you think Language Log has decided what comment it could possibly make about an quasi-eggcorn this plangent (quasi- because "barraco" and "barner" […]

Scholar-hegemons in China

In "Nerd, geek, PK: Creeping Romanization (and Englishization), part 2" and other Language Log posts, we have delved into the terminology for nerddom.  In the course of our discussions, we seem to have arrived at a consensus that it's difficult to find a Chinese term that conveys well the notion and nuances of the English […]

Speech's trends in America's United States.

Is the United States of America on track to become America's United States?That's a question that crosses my mind after reading this Language Log discussion of the trend away from using "of" and toward using the possessive "-s" in phrases where there is no living entity to do the possessing. Show More Summary

Is Cantonese a language, or a personification of the devil?

Whether Cantonese is a language or a dialect is a subject that we have touched upon many times on Language Log, e.g., "Spoken Hong Kong Cantonese and written Cantonese" (see especially the remarks in the second half of the original post) and "English is a Dialect of Germanic; or, The Traitors to Our Common Heritage […]

Plebgate: an overdue apology

It is time for Language Log to set things straight about the Right Honourable Andrew Bower Mitchell MP. The story of what everyone thought had happened in London on 19 September 2012 was reported here (by yours truly) in this post and this follow-up. It involved (we all thought) a snooty and arrogant Conservative government […]

Open Thread – When I make a word do a lot of work like that, I always pay it extra…

I love words, despite the indignities I enforce upon them, so I relish a little bit of grammar geekery. Geoffrey K. Pullum has a wonderfully nasty post up at Lingua Franca and a wonderfully wonky post up at Language Log, both discussing an article by Washington Post blogger Alexandra Petri. Petri piles on poor old [Read more...] This space reserved for your ad.

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