Some people (okay, mostly linguists), consider that having a body watching over language as a cultural patrimony is a good thing. This idea has its merits, as it helps create consensus by establishing and clarifying language rules, so that we can all agree at least on standards for written language.
Beyond that, however, these “academies” are not taken very seriously. And government mandates trying to control how language is used, as Italy is now trying to do, are taken even less seriously.
Unless a government creates laws meant to provide language access for those who are not fluent in a dominant language, which is something entirely different and with a clear purpose, the notion that people can somehow be legislated into refraining from mixing their native tongue with foreign words is as ridiculous as the practice is old. People have been borrowing words from other languages for millenia.
We asked readers if they think governments should legislate against the use of loan words in national languages. A vast majority of readers think that this should not happen (69.2%). Less than a quarter of respondents said Yes (17.3%), and the smallest percentage think that it depends on the language.
A Career Change. Or Not.
As we grapple with the changes that AI for the masses will mean for all aspects of our lives, the most pressing questions are perhaps how our jobs are changing and whether some jobs will completely disappear.
The more we hear from industry leaders, the more consensus there seems to be around the idea that we simply will be able to do more with AI. Like, a lot more. What can be considered fact and not conjecture at this point is the advent of new career options for a collection of skills, language fluency included.
During our SlatorPod episode with Andrea Ballista, the Voiseed CEO and co-founder mentioned emergent business needs around prompt engineering. There can be many different types of prompt engineering, perhaps one for every domain, so we asked readers if they thought one such prompt engineering job, “Multilingual Synthetic Audio Prompt Engineer,” sounded interesting to them.
Most respondents, who represent a diverse occupational collective within the industry, said they would need to know more (42.1%). A little over a third of readers would pass on the job (31.6%), and just over a quarter said it is definitely interesting (26.3%).
Still Hyped or “Over” GPT
In our March 2023 issue of the Reader Polls, we shared the results of our poll asking readers what impact they thought ChatGPT would have on the language industry in the short term. As we followed up this month with another question about the now ubiquitous large language model, many new developments were taking place, including early adoption into multipurpose AI-enabled systems like Bureau Works.
This time we asked readers where they think we are in the ChatGPT for MT hype cycle. Most responders believe the hype is still on the increase (62.4%), with the rest split equally into two camps, one believing it has reached a peak (18.8%) and the other saying it is deflating (18.8%).