SSi Forum

Languages I'd Love To See On SSi


Italian please, for purely selfish reasons! I would love to be able to talk to my Italian family in Italian :blush:

Would also love Japanese and Scandinavian languages! Thank you!


Any updates on the SSiBorg?


This month is when we hope to get Ifan back off the new course structures and into SSiBorg work again (via a couple of ‘we’ve needed to tidy this up for a long time’ bits of work). Should be close to a new beta test by the end of the year, or before spring at least… :slight_smile:




Buddy Hackett had a hysterical show on HBO years ago that covered lots of wonderful Yiddish words in an absolutely profanity laced series of stories about growing up in New Jersey, in the United States.


Isn’t that already true everywhere? :grinning:




All right, all you fans of Scottish Gaelic and / or Harry Potter, this is a pretty good revelation from J.K. Rowling: Hogwarts had a Gaelic-medium unit

(Just so long as she doesn’t now tell us all the Cornish speakers were in Slytherin. :smiling_imp: )


So which would be the Welsh house???
Can’t see the Cornish being Slytherins at all!
Edited to add - it seems that Helga Hufflepuff hailed from the very West of Wales…
That answers that then.


I was only joking. We are, of course, all Gryffindors. :wink: (Well, I say “we” loosely, as I only have rather distant Cornish ancestry, but I do speak the language…)


I think you’re right you know - Gryffindor came from ‘the moor’. :wink:
(crouches with arms over head, waiting for a Yorkshirian onslaught)


Yes, and our house mascot has recently been changed from the griffin to the Beast of Bodmin… :grin:

(Don’t worry, you won’t get any Yorkshirian onslaught from me — I’m an Aussie, actually.)


@Courtenay - a fine beast!
I thought I might have offended anyone from Yorkshire who thought the moor that Gryffindor came from was up north, and not Exmoor/Dartmoor, which is where I think of as the proper moor! Got to be careful of your moors, you know!
I think you might be safe from these concerns over there! :joy:


What about Bodmin Moor?? :slight_smile: (Don’t worry, not being British by birth, I don’t get into the Cornwall vs Devon rivalry. But proper Cornish people might.)


Yes - Bodmin! Mustn’t forget Bodmin or I shall be in trouble! I grew up in Bath, which is the South West to most of the country, but pretty much the North if you’re from proper Cornwall.
Gryffindor is turning out to be tricky to place! :grin:


I’ve been keeping an eye on this part of the forum as I’m really looking forward to more languages being released by ‘SSI’, but it seems like there’s been a lot of comments like ‘maybe we’ll be releasing this/that language next year’ only for it not to materialise. This is just an observation, not a criticism, mind you, but I was wondering, what are the barriers that are preventing more ‘SSI’ courses being made? Is it lack of time? Money? Lack of being able to find suitable teachers to teach the material? I’m sure these things could all be solved. I’d like to see a ‘SSI Scottish Gaelic’, as well as as many other languages as is possible. I really do love the ‘SSI’ method of teaching, it really works great, so why don’t you create a whole library of languages with this method.


It’s the complexity of the algorithm we’ve built to make it possible to produce courses in other languages. We can’t just translate scripts - that breaks whenever two languages don’t map perfectly to each other.

We’re getting very close - the Manx lessons we have to date were all produced via the algorithm (it’s a combination of controlling human input, and structuring the results) - and there are only 2 or 3 issues with it that I feel need improving.

We’re hoping that it won’t be much more than 2 or 3 months of Ifan’s time to fix those 2 or 3 issues - but unfortunately all his time this year to date has gone on a whole bunch of wide-ranging changes to how the website works in order to support the 6 month and 6 minute a day courses.

He’s currently dealing with one last work package to help us overview and predict our finances a bit better, and then he’ll be back into one last arm wrestle with the algorithm.

I’m confident that we’ll produce at least Level 1 (and I hope Level 2) for 5 or 6 new languages next year, and then 20 or 30 the year after… but if the next 5 or 6 go really smoothly, we might be into a bunch of those 20 or 30 before the end of 2019… :slight_smile:


Ah great, well I’m really excited to hear about all those languages that are in the pipeline! Is there any chance you can give a list of what languages they will be, as I’m curious.

As for the algorithm, yes I understand grammatical structures, vocab, sentences (or should is say, ‘formulaic blocks’, as you discuss in your book) don’t always line up exactly between one language to the next, so things need to be adapted to suit each language. I know that in Scottish Gaelic, for example, that the perfect tenses are rarely used, though they do exist. So basically everything has to be checked over by natives or advanced speakers of the languages while the courses are being created? I would hope to - when you say ‘algorithm’, that doesn’t mean it’s being done by a machine to translate everything?


We’ve got a bunch of offers in at the moment, but I’m always a bit wary of saying anything until they’ve seen what a lot of work is involved. From our side of things, we’ve got in-house contributors (and/or a LOT of potential volunteers) for French, Italian, Dutch, Esperanto and German - I have a personal bias towards Breton, Basque, Arabic and Russian - and we’d dearly love to support Manx and Cornish better, and add Scottish and Irish Gaelic. So the next 5 or 6 will almost certainly come out of those, and then fingers crossed we’ll add the rest of them the year after… :slight_smile:

No, relax - it’s a complicated old beast that combines humans and numbers - which gives us natural human language at all points, but saves us from having to spend several years training anyone in the method, or having to check their work for the inevitable errors… :slight_smile: All translation is done by humans, all sentence construction is done by humans, all recording is done by humans, and pretty much everything else is automated.


As you know, I can’t wait for SSi German but I am SUPER excited that you mentioned Basque (Euskera) and Russian!