Ultralingua
For people who love languages
VOLUME 12, NEWSLETTER 5 May 2010
IN THIS ISSUE
iPad Apps
Haitian Medical Reference Guide
New Website
Canadian Supreme Court
Survey Results
Universal iPhone/iPad Apps
 
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Dear Subscriber,

Thank you for your interest in Ultralingua! You are receiving this newsletter at your request. If you would like to unsubscribe or modify your profile, please follow the links at the bottom of this page.

If you would like to contact Ultralingua, please use the Quick Links section on the left or the links at the bottom of this page. Please do not reply to this email.

 
Ultralingua's New iPad Apps

Ultralingua is proud to announce our brand-new set of iPad® apps, as well as our iPhone®/iPod touch® 1.3 update!

Ever since Apple's iPad announcement, we've been hard at work developing an interface that would give Ultralingua's outstanding language data and tools a whole new look for the iPad. We managed to bring everything you've come to expect from Ultralingua dictionaries - including the verb conjugator, number tool and search-as-you-type results - to an interface that has been redesigned to take advantage of the iPad's large, multi-touch screen.

The best part is, this new iPad interface is simply an extension of our current Ultralingua brand iPhone apps.* Together, they make what Apple calls a "universal app". That means that you buy just one product, and it works on iPhone/iPod touch and iPad. The app looks and behaves differently on the two platforms, but features the same great dictionary and language tools inside. To learn more about universal apps, go to the Spotlight section at the bottom of this newsletter.

Here are some of the changes we've made to the iPad dictionary interface:

  • Verb conjugations are listed right next to the definition or translation, so you can find the meaning of the word and a full conjugation list all in one place.
  • The interface looks and feels like a real book. You can flip forward or backward through the pages by simply swiping your finger left or right across the page.
  • You can pinch and zoom in and out of the headword list on the left side of the screen in landscape mode. Zooming in shows you specific entries, while zooming out shows you just first letters.
  • Tapping the search box brings up the iPad's keyboard interface. Type your search, and you'll see search-as-you-type results in both the headword list and the main dictionary page.

If you already own an Ultralingua app for iPhone/iPod touch and want to put it on an iPad, you will be able to just sync your iPad through iTunes on your desktop or laptop. The iPad will automatically recognize the app and run it using the new iPad interface, while the iPhone/iPod touch side of your app will get our new version 1.3 update, giving you the ability to use your dictionary in landscape mode as well.

Though these exciting new apps are not yet available, they will be very soon. If you'd like to be the first to know when they hit the app store, send us an email with the subject line "Please alert me about the new Ultralingua iPad apps," and we'll send you an email as soon as the apps are available. For a limited time after the release, we will also be offering the apps at a special discounted price, so be sure you're the first to know!

*Please note that these new iPad apps will only be available with our Ultralingua brand dictionaries, and not with Collins or Vox dictionaries. Also, the Ultralingua Latin-English dictionary will not receive the iPad update.

 
Featured Product - Haitian Medical Reference Guide

The earthquake that devastated the tiny, impoverished nation of Haiti in January has led to a difficult and prolonged relief effort. Amongst the many serious obstacles that relief workers face is the linguistic barrier. That's why Ultralingua decided to develop a free tool that could facilitate communication between Haitian Creole speakers and the English-speaking visitors that arrived to serve those in need.

With the help of Professor Bryant Freeman of the University of Kansas, an anthropological specialist who spent several years living in Haiti in the 1990's, we produced a free Haitian Medical Reference Guide app containing three tools:

  • Haitian Creole-English Medical Dictionary
    • This dictionary offers thousands of medical terms for everyday communication. It uses the same full-featured search as Ultralingua's other dictionaries.
  • Haitian Creole-English Audio Phrasebook
    • The audio phrasebook provides more than 750 phrases recorded by a native Haitian Creole speaker to help you learn key phrases. The phrases are organized by category, with some displayed on anatomical diagrams, so it is easy to find the phrase you need quickly.
  • Anthropological reference guide
    • This app includes cultural information about Haiti to help visitors better understand the beliefs and perspectives of Haitians. The data in this tool comes from Third World Folk Beliefs and Practices: Haitian Medical Anthropology by Bryant C. Freeman, Ph.D.

This app should arrive in the app store very shortly. We'll put it up on our app store page as soon as it is available, which should only be a matter of days.

This comprehensive guide is available as a free iPhone/iPod touch app. Although the Haitian earthquake tragedy no longer dominates the headlines, the relief effort is ongoing. Tell your friends and favorite relief organizations about this free tool - we know it can make a difference.

 
Our New Website is Live!

If you haven't seen it yet, our website just underwent an extensive design overhaul. The new design features:

We are very interested in hearing what you think about the new site - both good and bad - so we've created a very brief survey where you can offer some feeback. In particular, we'd really like to know which other languages you would like to be able to view the website in. Of course, you can always send us a tweet or head over to our forums, too. So be sure to let us know what you think - we're listening!

Windows Mobile 6.2 Update Now Available

If you're a user of the Ultralingua Windows Mobile software, you'll be happy to hear that, in conjunction with the launch of our new website, we've released an update that makes Ultralingua run better than ever on your device. We made some adjustments under the hood to make sure that your dictionary works the way you expect it too. We also fixed some holes in the actual data to give you more complete dictionaries.

 
Bilingualism in the Canadian Supreme Court

A bill that has passed the Canadian House of Commons and been submitted to the Senate of Canada would, if enacted, require all new members of the Canadian Supreme Court to be bilingual in English and French. This doesn't just mean conversational fluency; it means being completely fluent in the official legalistic languages of both English and French.

Bill C-232 has caused a lot of debate, and there are compelling arguments on both sides. Proponents of the bill emphasize the need for judges who can hear arguments in either language, unmediated by a third-party interpreter. Yvon Godin, the New Democrat Official Languages Critic who tabled the bill, stressed that "the interpretation of the law must never depend on simultaneous interpretation" since "the parties’ right to a fair trial is at stake." One blogger echoed these sentiments, saying, "If my case were being heard by the Supreme Court, I'd rather not depend on an intermediary for clarity - an intermediary who I might not be able to understand, so I wouldn't be able to assess the accuracy of the translation!"

Opponents of the bill, on the other hand, make two key counter-arguments. The first is that, as a writer for the National Post put it, Bill C-232 "puts the linguistic cart before the judicial horse and makes language skills more important than legal acumen." The Supreme Court should be comprised first and foremost of the nation's top legal experts, they say, regardless of linguistic knowledge. The second point is that the bilingual requirement would favor judges from specific regions of the country, effectively eliminating representation from areas where bilingualism is far less common. Lorne Gunter of the Edmonton Journal notes that the bill "will make it difficult for Canadians outside a narrow strip from Ottawa, through Montreal and Quebec City, and into Moncton, to ever be appointed to the court that has the final say over how the Charter will be interpreted and what rights we may have."

This is a tricky subject. On the one hand, it seems obvious that the nation's highest court should be fluent in both of its official languages. But on the other hand, if this requirement keeps some of the country's top legal scholars from being considered and undermines the possibility of fair regional representation, then perhaps it's doing more harm than good.

We're sure some of you have strong feelings about this topic, so please let us know what you think! We'd be especially interested to hear from our Canadian readers, to whom the issue is closer to home.

 
Survey Results

In March, we conducted a survey to find out a little more about our newsletter subscribers and their interests. Thanks to those of you that responded! Your feedback is very important to us. Here's some of the interesting stuff we found out:

  • The languages you use the most are English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian.
  • Amongst you are speakers of Catalan, Swedish, Dutch, Hebrew, Japanese, Hungarian, and Twi (A Ghanian dialect).
  • While many of you are students, educators, and language professionals, others are doctors, musicians, missionaries, fashion designers, engineers, and artists.
  • A majority of you are Mac and iPhone users, but there are plenty of Windows folks and supporters of all of our mobile platforms.

Thanks again to those who participated! We can now look for ways to make the Ultralingua newsletter more relevant to our readers.

 
Spotlight - Universal iPhone/iPad Apps

As we mentioned above, our new iPhone/iPad touch/iPad combination apps are examples of "universal apps" - single applications with similar features that work differently when used on different devices. The idea is that, if you have both an iPhone and an iPad, for example, you want to be able to use your Ultralingua French-English Dictionary on both devices. You want access to the same language data, conjugation tools, searching functions, etc., regardless of which device you are using. But at the same time, you want your experience on each device to reflect the different strengths and features of each one. You wouldn't have purchased both devices if they did exactly the same thing, the same way.

Ultralingua universal (or "hybrid") apps give you exactly that. While they feature exactly the same dictionary engine under the hood that you know and love, the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad versions let you interact with that engine in different ways, ensuring that you always have the best dictionary experience regardless of which device you are using.

For example, both versions allow you to view conjugations for verbs you find in the dictionary. On the iPhone/iPod touch, this is displayed in a separate window. The iPad's larger screen, on the other hand, allows it to show the conjugations in a scrollable box directly below the dictionary entry.

Both versions also allow you to browse through dictionary results alphabetically. The iPhone and iPod touch use a continuous vertical scrolling method for this. The iPad, being a more book-like device, uses a horizontal page-flipping animation instead. The same feature, but with two different looks and feels.

 

Thank you for your interest in our newsletter. If you have comments or suggestions regarding our newsletter please contact us here.

If you have technical support questions, please visit our support page to read our FAQ and contact customer support.

Apple, the Apple logo, iPod, and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. Palm and Pre are trademarks of Palm, Inc. Windows Mobile is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.

 
Regards,

Ultralingua, Inc.
www.ultralingua.com
1313 SE 5th Street, Suite 108, Minneapolis, MN, 55414