Mondial dictionary progress, major exoplanet announcement, Canada aerospace under par

Monday, September 12, 2011

Three things to share today:

1) The French - Mondial dictionary is going well, and I it has now surpassed 4000 entries. The most recent one is miroir (mirror, specle in Mondial) and being at the halfway point that means the final number of words should be on the order of 7000 or 8000, a bit more than I had originally estimated. It should be complete in about a week then, hopefully by next Sunday or so.

Robert Winter also wrote an interesting post the other day on how IAL promotion should be done, especially on how the promise of ease is a mistake when promoting a language. I agree to a certain extent in that exaggerating is always a mistake (no language can be learned to fluency in a few weeks), but since without ease of learning IALs have few selling points, it still needs to be mentioned and mentioned often. Relative terms are better: "language X can be learned X times faster than a natural language" is better than "language X can be learned in just a few days".

2) There is going to be a major exoplanet announcement tomorrow. Sometimes these announcements turn out to be a disappointment (that "major announcement on extrasolar life" or something that turned out to be an announcement on a type of life that lives in arsenic) but since this is HARPS, I think it's going to turn out to be quite good. Whether it will be gamechangingly good (a planet so similar and close to ours that humanity itself can't help but change its view on space) or not is impossible to tell until they announce it.

3) No surprise here - Canada is falling behind on aerospace competitiveness. India is now ahead of Canada in the index, and next up to possibly replace it are Brazil, Israel and Korea. Canada could double its space agency's budget and hardly notice.

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