Livre: Breaking the Language Barrier: A Game-Changing (ebook)

Thierry Hamon thierry.hamon at UNIV-PARIS13.FR
Sun Mar 4 16:54:33 UTC 2012

Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2012 08:57:47 +0800
From: Ziyuan Yao <yaoziyuan at>
Message-ID: <CACQF6MJ+ZgkZy65mwcN9iU14o2ck3CzFw6M3bZRij0hiPW300w at>

Dear All,

I'm pleased to announce my free ebook "Breaking the Language Barrier: A
Game-Changing Approach", version 0.18. The ebook has undergone
significant updates since its initial release (version 0.09 in April
2010). Almost every part has significant new developments, so I suggest
existing readers take it anew.

Perhaps nothing can explain this ebook better than its own Overview and
Table of Contents, which are attached below.

View or download it (free) from:

Best Regards,
Ziyuan Yao

# # # # #


In today's world, the goal of breaking the language barrier is pursued
on two fronts: language teachers teaching students a second language,
thus enabling humans to manually break the language barrier, and
computational linguists building increasingly better machine translation
systems to automatically break the language barrier.

However, I see important, unfulfilled opportunities on both fronts:

In second language teaching, amazingly efficient teaching methods have
not gone mainstream and not drawn enough attention from computational
linguists (so that these methods could be automated and truly
powerful). For example, imagine if you're browsing a Web page in your
native language, and a Web browser extension automatically detects the
topic of this page and inserts relevant foreign language micro-lessons
in it, so that you can incidentally learn a foreign language while
browsing interesting native language information :-) This AdSense-like
"L1-driven L2 teaching" will be the future of second language teaching.

In machine translation, computational linguists only pay attention to
computer capabilities to process natural language (known as natural
language processing, NLP), and totally ignore human capabilities to
share some burden from the computer in language processing, which can
lead to significantly better results. For example, theory and practice
have proven that syntax disambiguation is a much harder task than word
sense disambiguation, and therefore machine translation tends to screw
up the word order of the translation result if the language pair has
disparate word orders; but what if machine translation preserves the
source language's word order in the translation result, and teaches the
end user about the source language's word order so that he can manually
figure out the logic of the translation result? If the end user is
willing to commit some of his own natural intelligence in the
man-machine joint effort to break the language barrier, he will get the
job done better.

Therefore this ebook presents emerging ideas and implementations in
computer-assisted language learning (CALL), reading, writing and machine
translation (MT) that strive to leverage both human and machine language
processing potential and capabilities, and will redefine the way people
break the language barrier.

Approaches whose titles have an exclamation mark (!) are stirring
game-changing technologies which are the driving forces behind this

# # # # #

Table of Contents

Overview    3
Chapter 1: Breaking the Language Barrier with Language Learning    4
1.1. Foreign Language Acquisition    4
1.1.1. L1-Driven L2 Teaching! (L1DL2T)    4 The Idea    4 Historical Developments    6 An Example System Design    8 Overview    8 ATLAS Mission Profiles    9 ATLAS User Profiles    15 Data Acquisition Strategies    16
1.1.2. Word Mnemonics    17 Essential Mnemonics    17 Phonetically Intuitive English! (PIE)    18 Etymology and Free Association    21 Why Are They Essential? A Proof    22 Other Mnemonics    23 Orthographically Intuitive English (OIE)    23 Progressive Word Acquisition (PWA)    24 Principles Learned    25
1.2. Foreign Language Writing Aids    26
1.2.1. Predictive vs. Corrective Writing Aids    26
1.2.2. Input-Driven Syntax Aid! (IDSA)    26
1.2.3. Input-Driven Ontology Aid! (IDOA)    27
1.3. Foreign Language Reading Aids    27
Chapter 2: Breaking the Language Barrier with Little Learning    29
2.1. Foreign Language Understanding    29
2.1.1. Syntax-Preserving Machine Translation! (SPMT)    29
2.2. Foreign Language Generation    31
2.2.1. Formal Language Machine Translation! (FLMT)    32

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