For people who love languages
VOLUME 11, NEWSLETTER 11 November 2009
Vox for Windows and iPhone
Interview with Arika Okrent
Windows 7.1: Free Update
Esperanto-English for Palm Pre and Pixi
Language Learning Begins Before Birth
November Spotlight
About Our Company
View Our Products
Product Support
Have You Visited Our Forums?
Head to the Forums section on our website to get ask technical questions, start cultural and linguistic discussions, or join language-specific conversations.

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30% Off Your Entire Purchase!

We are having a Cyber Monday sale on November 30th and December 1st. Enter the coupon code ULTRACM30 at your point of purchase to receive 30% off your entire purchase at Ultralingua.com.

Also, on November 30th only, our iPhone products will be 30% off! No coupon code is necessary for this offer.

Happy Holidays from Ultralingua!

Vox for Windows and iPhone Are Now Available

Learn more about getting 25% off your purchase of Vox for Windows below!

If you've been keeping up with our monthly newsletters, you know that the Vox Comprehensive Spanish Dictionary for Mac is already available. We are proud to announce that, in additon to Mac, this incredibly thorough Spanish monolingual dictionary is now available for Windows and iPhone. The dictionary is made possible through Ultralingua's partnership with the popular Vox brand.

No Internet connection is required when using the dictionary so you can access it anywhere. It includes both Latin American and Peninsular varieties of Spanish. To help users keep track of regional differences, the dictionary clearly indicates variations within the definitions.

Other features of the Vox Comprehensive Spanish Dictionary for Windows and iPhone include:

  • A function that allows you to search as you type in case you don't know the exact spelling of a Spanish word
  • Spanish verb conjugation in all standard forms
  • Number-to-text translation
  • Flashcards that can be organized and reviewed in full-screen study mode on Windows

Ultralingua 7 for Windows Users

As this month's featured product, we're offering you 25% off your purchase of the Vox Comprehensive Spanish Dictionary for Windows. To take advantage of this special offer, enter the coupon code: VOXWIN25 at your point of purchase. This offer is valid through December 3rd. You can only use one coupon code in your purchase so if you are purchasing this dictionary on Monday or Tuesday, use the Cyber Monday coupon code instead (ULTRACM30).

In order to download and install the Vox Comprehensive Spanish Dictionary, you must first update your Ultralingua for Windows application to version 7.1. If you are a current Ultralingua 7 user, your update is free! To get the free update, simply choose Check for Updates under your Ultralingua menu. A new window titled Ultralingua Software Update will appear. Inside, you will find a description of the new version.

Once you have version 7.1, click on Download Additional Dictionaries under the Tools menu (as seen below) to download the Vox Comprehensive Spanish Dictionary.

Add more tools icon

iPhone Users

To get the Vox Comprehensive Spanish Dictionary on your iPhone, click here .

Interview with Author and Linguist, Arika Okrent

Arika Okrent's latest book, In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rockstars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers, and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language, tells the fascinating and highly entertaining history of over 900 invented languages. We got the chance to talk to Arika about why people invent languages, what determines the success of a language, and why in the world should we learn Klingon, anyway?

UL: What drew you to the study of invented languages?

AO: I used to get distracted in the library with the little self-published books and pamphlets I found by people who thought they could make the world a better place by making a better language. It seemed obvious to me that these projects were doomed, but I realized it was hard for me to articulate why. The book came about as an attempt to articulate the basis for my reaction to these languages, and to explore the backstories of the language inventors, many of whom turned out to have memorable personalities.

UL: What can the study of a language like Esperanto or Klingon teach us?

AO: The study of any language other than your own is a good thing – even an artificial one. Esperanto, with its relatively simple and regular grammar can be a good way to start if you've never studied a foreign language before. It can introduce you to the idea of speaking in another language. But Klingon, with its terribly difficult and complicated grammar can also be a good place to start. It can introduce you to features that many of the world's languages use, such as prefixes for verb agreement and the use of endings for common verb functions. If an artificial language gets you speaking a language other than your own, you will learn about language and be better off for it.

UL: You explored many interesting stories about language inventors for your book, In the Land of Invented Languages. Does one in particular stick out to you as especially inspiring?

AO: I think the stories of the language inventors are more often infuriating than inspiring. Many of them sabotaged any success they gained by refusing to make compromises or relinquish control, and they managed to hurt people, including themselves. Yet good things still blossomed here and there. Though Charles Bliss, the inventor of Blissymbolics, was probably the most infuriating of all, the kids [with severe cerebral palsy] who figured out how to use his system to communicate – despite the obstacles he put in their way – were extremely inspiring.

UL: In your book, you draw attention to the existence of nearly 900 invented languages. Is there a key characteristic that seems to determine the success or failure of a constructed language?

AO: A language is nothing without a community of speakers. The features of the language – the vocabulary, grammar, sound system – are less important than whether anyone can be convinced to use the language. The most successful languages didn't just offer a tool. They created a community for people to join.

UL: What do you believe drives people to create a language?

AO: Through most of history it has been the same thing that drives people to try their hand at alchemy or the perpetual motion machine: a desire to solve an unsolvable problem, in this case, the problem of the messiness of natural language. Visions of fame and fortune usually go along with that desire. These days, however, people do it in order to fulfill artistic visions of what a language should look like. They aren't out to cure language, but to honor it by using it for artistic inspiration.

UL: What would someone who has no prior interest in constructed language appreciate about the book?

AO: The story of constructed languages is a story of natural languages – why they work the way they do, why they don't want to be cured. It is also a story of how people have thought about language over the centuries. We have all shared the complaints of the language inventors in fleeting ways – couldn't language be more logical? more regular? more closely aligned with our thoughts? less ambiguous? The language inventors force these ideas to their logical conclusions and in doing so demonstrate what is so wonderful about our gloriously imperfect languages.

Give us your thoughts about this interview or the book itself in our Forums. To learn more about In the Land of Invented Languages, go to Arika Okrent's website.

Windows 7.1: Free Update

We recently released an update for our popular Ultralingua 7 dictionaries for Windows. If you are a current Ultralingua 7 user, your update is free!

Download Windows 7.1 to experience these improvements:

  • The ability to transfer a complete phrase from the dictionary directly to the Flashcard Tool and auto-complete the phrase
  • A tool for Ultralingua newsletter subscription
  • Added support for the new Vox Comprehensive Spanish dictionary
  • Added support for the œ ligature in the French dictionary search tool
  • Increased stability in the software update process

To get the free update, simply choose Check for Updates under your Ultralingua menu. A new window titled Ultralingua Software Update will appear. Inside, you will find a description of the new version.

If you are using Ultralingua version 6 or earlier, you can upgrade your current titles for only $19.95 each at the Ultralingua website .

Esperanto-English for Palm Pre and Pixi Now Available

The origins of the Esperanto language reach all the way back to 1887. The creators hoped that Esperanto would serve as a universal second language to foster peace and international understanding. The word esperanto means "one who hopes" in the language itself.

You can now have access to this amazing language on your Palm Pre and Palm Pixi device wherever an Internet connection is available. By using an Internet connection, the app is not saved on your phone's hard drive, thereby saving you space. The Palm Pixi, which was released by Palm this month, is priced at just $25 on Amazon.com! This is an incredible value, considering all of the quality webOS apps that can be downloaded to the phone.

Features of our Palm webOS Esperanto-English dictionary include:

  • A history interface that saves you time by providing you with quick access to words you look up often
  • Number-to-text translation, which allows you to search-as-you-type
  • The ability to tap any word to reverse translations and Google search
  • User-friendly navigation

The Esperanto-English dictionary is available through the App Catalog on your device for just $14.99. Like most webOS apps, it requires an Internet connection. To get the app on your device:

  1. Visit the App Catalog from your phone
  2. Search for Ultralingua to browse our full product list


Click Explore, then Reference. Our Esperanto-English app is listed in the Dictionary/Thesaurus and Translation categories.

Language Learning Begins Before Birth

We recently came across a fascinating study that shows the early impact of exposure to native language. By analyzing the melody of newborns' cries, researchers concluded that infants begin picking up elements of their first language in the womb.

Learn more on ScienceDaily's website.

If you're interested in the learning process or just can't get enough of "all things language," you will find this study very compelling. Let us know what you thought about it in the Linguistics section of the forums.

November Spotlight: Updating Your Ultralingua 7 Dictionaries

Some users of the Ultralingua 7 French-English Dictionary for Mac have reported that some common words are missing from their dictionary. If you think this is happening to you, you may not have the most up-to-date dictionary that is available. To download the most recent version of the French-English dictionary for Ultralingua 7, click here. This will resolve any issues with missing words.

All the most recent data files for our Mac and Windows users can be downloaded and installed from our website.

We are available to answer your questions and assist you with other problems in the Support section of our website.


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.

Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. Apple, the Apple logo, iPod, and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. iPhone is a trademark of Apple Inc. Palm and Pre are trademarks of Palm, Inc. Vox is a registered trademark of Larousse Editorial ©2009, Larousse Editorial, S.L.

Wrench icon by Everaldo Coelho licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License.


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