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Cho luath ri seabhag

“As fast as a hawk” as they say – and indeed it is. It’s been a week – so two sessions on from last Sunday and progress is so palpable I’m fair gobsmacked. Ok so he hasn’t come out with a verb just yet although he got close today having picked up his first verbal […]

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O ghlùin gu glùin

It’s been a while since my last post but between my crazy schedule and the even crazier world at large, it’s perhaps not a huge surprise. Anyhow, recently I’ve embarked on a rather novel endeavour – for me anyway – involving the pitter-patter of tiny feet. Felt like a good topic to start blogging a […]

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When things are way, way, WAY worse than you thought they might get

You may recall that back in November last year I (and some other people) seriously questioned whether Google Translate for Gaelic was really such a great idea. Most people who came down on the side of it being a good thing cited things such as “attracting young people” (that must be the minority language equivalent […]

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Getting your locale onto mobile OS

Though I was contemplating “How to waste lifetime” as a title to be honest. If you don’t want to read through the Odyssey part, fair enough, the quick guide on what to do is at the very bottom. No, I’m not about to repeat my rant on Detect locale, tempting as that may be. This […]

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No time to discuss this as a committee

To begin with, I do not hold all the facts and I do like (or do I have to used the present-past-potential-future tense already?) the product. But there have been so many what the fuck moments it sadly is time for another Dear Developer epistle. The topic? Mozilla OS. Which judging by today’s post to […]

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The warm memories of childhood brought to you by the Terminator T-888 Cyberdyne Systems Class TOK715

Yes, I like technology. But increasingly these days, I wish we could have a global debate on where we’re going with this and how much of it we want. Not as Gaels or Basques or Chinese or Brazilians but as a species. Let me backtrack a little. We’ve just released the first ever Gaelic text-to-speech […]

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Do minority languages need machine translation?

This is an abbreviated transcript of a talk I gave at a British-Irish Council conference on language technology in indigenous, minority and lesser-used languages in Dublin earlier this month (November 2015) under the title ‘Do minority languages need the same language technology as majority languages?’ I wanted to bust the myth that machine translation is…

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Localization Scots Gaelic

How to stonewall Open Source

I seem to be posting a lot about Google these days but then they ARE turning into the digital equivalent of Nestlé. I’ve been pondering this post for a while and how to approach it without making it sound like I believe in area 52. So I’ll just say what happened and let you come […]

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Irish Language Technology Scots Gaelic

The spectre of Google Translate for Gaelic

Not the kind of pre-Christmas cheer I was hoping for, seriously. Slap bang on the 23rd, someone draws my attention to an article called Google urged to go Gaelic. In a nutshell, a left-field (most likely well-intentioned) appeal by an MSP from Central Scotland to add Scottish Gaelic to the list of languages. As the […]

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How to make headlines for the wrong reasons

Good afternoon, boys and girls, very bad language, for example, what we see in the side and at the airport these days? No, I haven’t gone insane, I’m just illustrating a point by resorting to reductio ad absurdum. In other words, I punched the sentence Hey folks, anyone up for some really truly bad language […]