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French Village Is Offering $2,250 to Whoever Can Decipher Its Centuries-Old Stone Message

Plougastel, a small village in France’s Brittany region, is offering a prize of €2,000 ($2,250) to whoever can decipher a 230-year-old inscription carved into a nearby rock-slab.

Discovered just a few years ago, the mysterious rock is located in a cove accessible only at low tide. It features 20 lines of writing in a “language” that so far no one has been able to crack, two years  – 1786 and 1787 – as well as carved images of a ship with sails and rudder, and a sacred heart. Local academics have been struggling to decipher the centuries-old images for some time now, but so far all they’ve come up with is theories. Some believe that the writing may be in old Breton or Basque, while others think that whoever carved it into the rock slab may have been semi-illiterate.

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The Curious Case of a 5-Year-Old Vietnamese Boy Who Speaks Perfect English But Not Vietnamese

Le Nguyen Bao Trung, aka ‘Bin’, is a 5-year-old Vietnamese boy who reportedly spoke his very first words in English despite never having come into contact with the language. Today, Bin speaks and reads perfectly in English, but is only just learning Vietnamese so he can communicate with his mother.

Born in Dong Van village, in Vietnam’s Ha Tinh province, Bin said his first word when he was almost two years old. You could say he too a while, but no one knows if that was when he said his first word, it was just when people noticed it. His mother, Le Thi Lien, recalls that the boy kept pointing at a calendar and saying ‘Eleven’. She didn’t speak any English and mistook the word for mere babbling, but Bin kept saying it so she asked her older daughter about it and learned that it meant 11 in English. She went back to the calendar and saw that it did in fact show the 11th of the month. But that was only the beginning of this unusual story.

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‘Magic’ Megaphone Automatically Translates Speech into Various Languages

To help Japanese companies better deal with the increasing number of foreigners visiting the country, Panasonic has created an innovative megaphone capable of automatically translating Japanese into English, Chinese and Korean.

Remember that cool universal translator the crew of the Enterprise used to break down language barriers with alien species? Such technology is not yet available in real life, but if Panasonic’s ‘Megahonyaku’ is a sign of things to come, that universal translator doesn’t seem so sci-fi anymore. Megahonyaku is a pun on the Japanese words for ‘megaphone’ and ‘translate’, which actually makes a lot of sense because it’s a megaphone that can translate Japanese into several other languages in real time. When a user speaks Japanese into the megaphone, it recognizes and translates what is being said instantly, and outputs the phrase in English, Chinese or Korean.

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Silbo Gomero – Tweeting Is an Actual Language on La Gomera Island

The Silbo Gomero language sounds as sweet as the tweeting of Nightingales. Listening to this beautiful means of communication makes me wonder if birds are actually able to talk to each other in the same manner. Because the people of La Gomera island in the Canaries certainly do one heck of a job of talking through chirp-like whistles.

Silbo Gomero is the name given to the language of whistles spoken on the small island of La Gomera, off the coast of Morocco. It is structured in such a way that the islanders are able to mimic the spoken language of the region – Castilian Spanish – through whistles. While there have been reports of other whistling languages in the world, Silbo Gomero is the only one that is fully developed and practiced by an entire community. It is so organized and thorough that every vowel and consonant can be replaced with a whistle. Depending on the pitch and the number of interruptions, the sounds can be distinguished from each other.

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