The Verge about Esperanto on Duolingo!
The Verge just published quite a long article about Esperanto with prominent mentions of our Duolingo course! You can read it here: http://www.theverge.com/2015/5/29/8672371/learn-esperanto-language-duolingo-app-origin-history
Great article Chuck! I will be part of the Esperanto baby boom :)
I've been interested in the language for about 15 years now and the Duolingo course makes it too convenient to pass up this opportunity. Thank you so much!!! Here's to 200,000 others like me by the end of the year!!!
And now over 8000!
I'm glad to say that I was one of the first users to start the course :D
"This would be great for computers to learn, was the first thought that Chuck Smith had about Esperanto. It was 2001, and he was in college, taking a class called Models of Mind. With its logical structure, Smith thought Esperanto could work as a bridge language for translation, especially between two languages like Finnish and Turkish, that are unlikely to have a large overlapping dataset that a machine translation program could use. Just as Zamenhof intended, Esperanto would be the metamedium of communication across tongues."
This is actually what my senior thesis is going to be about. I was really happy to see it in this article. :D
Is your thesis about how computers learn languages or as using Esperanto as a bridge language between other languages?
About using Esperanto as a pivot language in statistical machine translation. We're on break right now, so I'm spending the summer gathering some resources and learning Esperanto. In the fall I'll be setting up my tests (so working with aligning the parallel corpora) and hopefully running some tests. I'll be writing (the rest of) the report in the spring.
I was not---thank you for that bit of history. (:
It seems that what I'm doing is a good follow-up from where that paradigm shift from more AI-based machine translation to the newer data-driven approach (the "statistical" part of statistical machine translation) left off. If you're interested in this stuff, look up a 2010 paper called "Climbing the Tower of Babel: Unsupervised Multilingual Learning" by Benjamin Snyder (and check out his PhD thesis---this is more about how computers learn languages) and then read a few papers by Phillip Koehn (who writes about statistical machine translation).
That's so cool! I would love to know more if you have any other information. :D
What an ace article, it was a great pleasure to read! This is so much better than most German journalism =)
That article also got me interested in starting this course on Duolingo. Very well written. Let's see if it catches on. :)
This article is fan-freaking-tastic (I wish there was a way to say that in Esperanto) and so well-written. I'm curious about the number of Esperanto learners on Duolingo now that we're coming to the end of the year! Will there be an update on that after the New Year?