For people who love languages
VOLUME 13, NEWSLETTER 4 April 2011
Featured Product: Collins and Vox on iPad
What About Articles?
iPad 2 Debuts
Interview with Rob Hardy
Featured Partner: Government of Canada
Tools to Try: Wolfram|Alpha
Spotlight: Ultralingua in the Classroom
About Our Company
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Product Support
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Featured Product: Collins and Vox on iPad

We've updated all of our iOS apps this month to version 1.4, and we're excited to say the new version includes some changes you've been asking for. Read on to learn about our newest features and to find out how you could win a FREE Ultralingua app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.

Collins and Vox for iPad
With version 1.4, all of our Collins and Vox apps for iPhone and iPod touch are now available on the iPad. Bringing together high-quality Collins and Vox data with our unique Ultralingua for iPad design will allow you to take full advantage of the iPad's enhanced capabilities, giving you an even better user experience with excellent dictionary data.

Scrolling dictionary results
Ultralingua for iPad users will notice a change in navigation controls with version 1.4. You no longer have to flip through dictionary results like pages in a book to browse additional content. Instead, you can now scroll vertically to view other entries in the dictionary. Search results will load faster with scrolling display, and browsing through content should feel more natural.

Current users of Collins and Vox apps for iPhone and iPod touch can get the new iPad version for free. Simply sync your iPad with iTunes to upgrade. If you are ready to purchase one of our apps for the first time, you can do so at the iTunes App Store.

We want to thank our current Collins and Vox users for waiting so patiently for this update. We hope it was worth the wait.

Free Product Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of our Collins and Vox apps for iPad, we're giving away FREE Collins or Vox iPhone/iPad/iPod touch apps to five (5) lucky Ultralingua fans. Simply visit our Facebook page and tell us which app you want by commenting on our announcement of the new release. We'll send a Facebook message with a coupon code inside to five winners at random. Choose from any one Collins Pro or Vox dictionary for iPhone and iPad ($24.99 USD value):

Enter to win now!

What About Articles?

Are you a language lover? Would you like to help make Ultralingua dictionaries even better? Do you want a chance to win a $10 iTunes gift card?

We are conducting a short survey on the display of noun gender and articles in our dictionaries. By answering just a few simple questions, you can help us improve Ultralingua products. Plus, all participants are eligible to enter their email address for a chance to win a $10 iTunes gift card.

Please take our survey here—it'll only take a few minutes.

The iPad 2 Makes its Debut

Last month saw the release of the iPad 2, the successor to Apple's popular iPad. Following in the footsteps of one of the fastest-selling consumer electronic devices of all time, the iPad 2 has received stellar reviews from the New York Times, Engadget, and Macworld. Demand has been sky-high since launch, and supply has been limited all around the country.

The iPad 2 brings major design improvements to Apple's tablet. The new device weighs 15% less than its predecessor and is roughly two-thirds the thickness--even thinner than the iPhone 4. But Apple hasn't compromised on power: the iPad 2 is roughly twice as fast as the original yet retains the same 10-hour battery life. The increased speed of the iPad 2 should make any app, including Ultralingua dictionaries, feel faster and smoother overall.

New to the iPad 2 is the ability to mirror video: using an HDMI adapter, the iPad 2 can display a duplicate version of its screen on an external display. This is a wonderful feature for educators: by connecting the iPad 2 to a projector or HDTV, language teachers can use Ultralingua's iPad apps on the big screen for the benefit of the whole classroom.

The iPad 2 launched in the US on March 11, and in over 25 other countries on March 25. Pricing is the same as the original iPad, starting at $499 (USD) for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and going up to $829 for the top-of-the-line 64GB Wi-Fi + 3G model (with service available from AT&T or Verizon). The iPad 2 is available in both black and white models for every configuration.

Interview with Rob Hardy

A dictionary is only as good as the quality of data within it. We do our best to keep all of our dictionaries up-to-date and accurate, sometimes using specialized language editors to improve and build upon our data. This month we're talking with Rob Hardy, a research associate at Carleton College in Northfield, MN and our new Latin-English dictionary editor.

Ultralingua: Where and how did your interest in Latin begin?

Rob Hardy: In my grandmother's house, there was a room with an entire wall of books. When I would go to visit, I loved to explore them. One of the intriguing things I found was a late nineteenth-century Latin grammar book. My grandmother was a teacher, and one of the first women in Upstate New York to become a high school principal. So on the one hand, Latin became associated with my ideal of a cultured, well-educated person. On the other hand, because I was immersed in Tolkien and other fantasy novels at the time, Latin seemed like a fantasy language: a language that was found only in books, spoken by people so far removed from me in time and space that they seemed almost imaginary.

When I started college, Latin was the first class I signed up for. In college, I discovered that the real pleasure of Latin was reading the authors of late Republican and Augustan Rome, especially the poets Vergil, Catullus, and Ovid.

UL: What are you most looking forward to in your work with Ultralingua?

RH: I'm looking forward to making the Ultralingua Latin-English Dictionary the best, most reliable, most user-friendly dictionary available. At the moment, that involves a lot of meticulous and time-consuming work: making sure all the long marks on vowels are in the right place, making sure the definitions are clear and accurate, etc. It also involves writing a thorough Latin reference grammar to complement the dictionary. But I'm also looking forward to being part of the great team at Ultralingua. One of the great advantages of an Ultralingua dictionary is that there is always a smart and creative group of linguists and developers behind it, constantly supporting and improving it. I'm really looking forward to responding to feedback from users of the Latin dictionary.

UL: Other than Latin, what languages or fields of study have you pursued?

RH: I majored in both Latin and history in college. In history, I concentrated on the Renaissance and Reformation, and wrote a senior thesis analyzing Erasmus's two critical editions (1515 and 1526) of the works of Seneca the Elder. I also read ancient Greek. I took Spanish in high school (and lived in Spanish House in college), and studied enough French and German to pass the exams for graduate school in classics.

I've also published on a wide variety of topics, including a chapter in a book of essays on the nineteenth-century American nature writer Susan Fenimore Cooper, articles on Vergil, an article about Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm in a children's literature journal, another article in a political science journal called Utopian Studies, and literary essays in the New England Review on Sinclair Lewis and Theodore Roosevelt and Rose Cleveland (the lesbian sister of President Grover Cleveland).

UL: What are some of the biggest challenges Latin learners face, and what advice can you offer individuals struggling with these challenges today?

RH: Latin presents a number of challenges: it's an inflected language, which is a new concept to many students; word order is more flexible than it is in English; it doesn't offer an opportunity for immersion, which is the best way to learn languages; and learning it requires a huge amount of memorization. It helps to be disciplined, methodical, and to have a good teacher. If you can, study with other Latin students. My best Latin students have always been the ones who get together to drill each other and ask each other questions. If you can explain something to someone else, it helps you solidify your own knowledge. Don't think of working together as cheating; think of it as collaboration.

Professor John Gruber-Miller at Cornell College in Iowa has provided some sensible "Tips for Learning Latin with Less Stress." But I think the most important thing is to fall in love with Latin. You have to be motivated to work past the initial challenges to arrive at an appreciation of the real beauty and power of Latin literature.

UL: How does your work as a writer impact your work at Ultralingua?

RH: Poets are always looking for the right word. A poem stands or falls on the right words. I remember agonizing over whether to use "instinctive" or "instinctual" in one of my poems. In 33 Minnesota Poets, "instinctual" appears. In my chapbook, I changed it to "instinctive," which has more of a poetic pedigree (it was first used in a poem in the seventeenth century) as well as a scientific meaning. An obsession with the right word has to be an asset to a lexicographer.

For the Roman poets, the right word often speaks volumes about the culture in which the poet was living. Why does Catullus refer to his love for Lesbia as an aeternum foedus amicitiae ("eternal treaty of friendship")? The words foedus ("treaty") and amicitia ("friendship") are loaded with specific cultural meaning, and Catullus, genius as he was, stretches them to embrace new possibilities. A good dictionary is a window into the world of the people who spoke and wrote (or, with modern languages, speak and write) the language.

Along those lines, I recommend a book by my friend Christopher Francese, a professor at Dickinson College, called Ancient Rome in So Many Words (Hippocrene Books 2007), which looks at Roman culture through the lens of significant Latin words.

UL: How do you spend your time when you aren't working with Ultralingua?

RH: I spend all of my time on Facebook.

Actually, I spend a lot of time reading and writing. I'm usually reading two or three books at the time. Right now, I'm reading a history of World War II and Winifred Holtby's novel South Riding (1936), which will be dramatized on Masterpiece on public television in May. As for writing, at the moment I'm working on an adaptation—an abridgement and modernization—of Aeschylus's Oresteia, which will be performed at Carleton College in spring 2012.

In the winter, I cross-country ski. The rest of the year, I do a lot of walking. This summer, my wife and I are planning a trip to Scotland to walk the West Highland Way—96 miles over six days, followed by a walk up Ben Nevis, the highest peak in Great Britain. I don't much like flying on airplanes, but I love to travel.

I enjoy theatre and classical music concerts (especially the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra), and I love to cook and bake bread. I make excellent bagels. I also serve on a couple of non-profit boards and do other volunteer work in my community.

Curious about the rest of the Ultralingua staff? Check out our Staff and Editors page for more on who makes Ultralingua run.

Featured Partner: Government of Canada

We're back with Ultralingua Solutions and another Ultralingua Featured Partner. In our previous newsletter, we featured work being done by Mobile-XL that brings mobile Internet service to remote regions of Africa via SMS (text messaging), including Ultralingua translations. But while many of our clients and partners are engaged in creating new applications for the private sector, Ultralingua solutions can be found hard at work in the public sector as well. This month we're looking at how the Government of Canada uses Ultralingua APIs to address the complexities of a bilingual nation.

Error-free communication is a critical part of any organization's infrastructure, and the bilingual culture of Canada and its governing bodies presents a unique challenge. Operating in both French and English, Canadian civil servants and employees rely on the grammar and spell checking capabilities of the Grammatica API in their daily work. Integrated with internal networks and systems, Grammatica facilitates accurate and dependable communication in both French and English for three major departments of the Canadian government: Canada Forces Recruiting, the Canada Revenue Agency, and Canadian Public Works and Services.

Ultralingua is proud to be a dependable and steadfast partner of the Canadian government, and to be a key solution to the unique linguistic challenges that bilingual communications presents to Canada. Our Grammatica software is specially designed for grammar and spell checking in English, French, Spanish, and German, and can be integrated directly into most networks and applications.

Ultralingua Solutions are positioned at the intersection of technology and language. Our mission is to break through language barriers and meet the challenges of an increasingly interconnected world. We accomplish our mission by partnering with innovative companies and organizations that are set to leverage Ultralingua technology and linguistic expertise in exciting new ways. For more information about Ultralingua Solutions and to find out what Ultralingua could do for you, visit our Solutions page, or contact us directly at business@ultralingua.com.

Tools to Try: Wolfram|Alpha Words & Linguistics

Ever find yourself wondering where a word like "giraffe" comes from? Curious what languages are spoken in Belgium? Or maybe you're just stuck on that Friday crossword. Whatever your linguistic inquiry, Wolfram|Alpha's Words & Linguistics section is here to help.

Wolfram|Alpha is a special kind of calculator that strives to "make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone." Information on just about everything is collected from all over the Internet and made accessible from a single search box. No need to search around—Wolfram|Alpha does the hard part for you, giving you just the information you need.

Wolfram|Alpha's data on Words & Linguistics is especially expansive. Look up a word and you'll find such information as definition, pronunciation, hyphenation, etymology, frequency of appearance, inflections, synonyms, rhymes, lexically similar words, crossword puzzle clues, Scrabble scores, anagrams, and phone keypad digits. Check out the Word Puzzle information to find words matching a pattern or with a specific beginning/ending (perfect for crosswords) or to decode cryptograms. Search for a language to find lexical properties, family classification, and information on native speakers. You can even transliterate words into Greek and translate to and from Morse code.

Try Wolfram|Alpha for yourself here. Find any interesting information on your favorite words? Tweet us @ultralingua!

Spotlight: Ultralingua in the Classroom

A good dictionary is an important tool for students of any language, and Ultralingua software makes a wonderful addition to the classroom.

Our dictionaries and spelling/grammar checkers are reliable tools for educators and students alike. Pair Ultralingua software on Mac or Windows with a projector for an easy-to-build, interactive lesson using our full-screen flashcards, available for every language we offer. Try displaying Ultralingua definitions in class, direct from an iPad 2 using its new video mirroring capabilities, or from any Mac or Windows computer. Students can quickly see related phrases, and further definitions are only a click away.

Ultralingua software may be used by students for individual or group learning activities. Our reference section, available on Mac and Windows for certain languages, is a great resource for quick information on countless elements of language. Run Ultralingua on computers in a lab to make our dictionaries easily accessible, or encourage use of Ultralingua apps on students' own iPhones and iPads.

Do you have a cool tip on how to use Ultralingua in the classroom? Tweet us @ultralingua, write on our Facebook wall, or post in our forums! If you are an educator interested in using Ultralingua in the classroom, contact us at sales@ultralingua.com for information about volume pricing and educational discounts.


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