LJL is very excited to share some exciting news in this newsletter! LJL volunteers have been working hard to building mobile apps.
PuzzLing App has absorbed a new LJL project to soon offer speech and listening skills practice!
The creators of the PuzzLing app are now working with other LJL volunteers in. order to expand the services of our apps in order to give our users a well rounded language education.
PuzzLing will begin to offer practice involving transcription, translation, and pronunciation. Also in the works is a series of lessons designed to help students improve in their practice.
The program is also developing a series of avatars designed after animals in order to make learning as fun as possible for kids!
The Puzzling Team 🧩 has been hard at work in building the scoring system and dashboard for users to get feedback on their translations! Recently,Yanbo Fang added a spelling score and Xiao Zhang and Aditya Parashar have been hard at work on updating the dashboard 🎯 interface with login and signup components. New team members Humayoon Rafei and Tanisha Mahajan are also getting acquainted with the project! Thank you puzzling team for your hard work!
Aaron Rasin, is earning a Bachelor’s at UCSD in linguistics and data science.
As one the most dedicated volunteers, Aaron has been spending several hours each week volunteering at LJL! We would like to thank Aaron for all the wonderful contributions such as writing editorials, innovative project ideas, building newsletters etc.
New Team Members
LJL family is growing and we are excited to announce our new team members!
- Humayoon Rafei
- Sally Ahmed
- Sahil Sinha
- Jacquie Rowe
AFL Center is an organization based out of Accra, Ghana. They offer many educational and college readiness after school programs to kids.
LJL and AFL Center are planning to work on a few projects together such as reading, writing and language workshops.
The Importance of Low-Resource Languages
by Aaron Rasin
Developing Natural Language Processing (NLP) for Low Resource Languages (LRLs) is an obstacle in the way of linguists’ journey toward machine translation of all natural languages. Basically, NLP is the collection of data and machine understanding of languages that we speak. Processing natural languages is what allows us to create machine translation tools such as google translate. However, as many probably know, the accuracy of these types of tools varies widely, especially for lesser-known languages. These kinds of languages, ones that have limited available data (dictionaries, books, news/media, etc.), are often referred to as Low Resource Languages (LRLs). Creating accurate translations alone is difficult enough without sufficient references, but designing a system to translate between languages becomes exponentially more difficult. Today, most of the NLP research available is for just about 20 of the thousands of languages spoken in the world, which is why it is so important to study, record, and understand as many languages as possible, before they have the chance to become dormant.
Now that communication across the globe has become so much easier and more accessible, translation is beginning to hold us back. When natural disasters strike, we should be able to effortlessly communicate with places that are far away and need help. When earthquakes happen in places with few resources that are available after the disaster, they should be able to rely on other countries and places to be able to communicate effectively and provide assistance. However, time is running out to save all the languages we have today since a language is lost to dormancy more than once every two weeks. Using this approximation, nearly half of Earth’s 7000 languages are expected to become dormant within the next 100 years.
We at the Linguistics Justice League (LJL) are dedicating our time to highlighting the value of certain LRLs and promoting their use and connection to English. Subha Vadlamannati formed the LJL in order to assist young speakers of low-resource languages in learning English in order to have the same career and life benefits as native English speakers. That’s why we’re developing apps and programs that allow children with few ways of learning English the chance to get a head start. All of our projects are in the pursuit of turning language diversity from a problem into an opportunity
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