Friday, September 05, 2014

English, German, or O'cock

I have had a smart phone for more than a year. I soon discovered that my phone has voice recognition software that allows me to send text messages more easily than typing them with my thumbs.

Several months ago I also discovered that my phone recognizes more languages than English. I have been trying to improve my German so I decided to test my phone's language skills. I set my preferences for "Deutsch" and said "Wie geht's, Herr Schneider. Ich bin sehr gut." (How is it going, Mr. Schneider? I am very good.") I couldn't remember the German for "question mark" (das Fragezeichen), so the translation didn't have punctuation. This is what I got:

"Wie gehts herr Schneider ich bin sehr gut."

Later on I decided to see how accurately my phone would render Ocracoke English. This is what was entered: "Mornin' Buck. The tide is high on the sound side. Let's go fishin'."

And this is what showed up on the phone's display:

I guess my phone is not so smart after all!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of late 19th century steamship traffic to Ocracoke, and the large Victorian hotel that accommodated the guests. You can read the article here:


  1. Bear MacDonald8:58 AM

    I Refuse to own a phone that is smarter than myself.

  2. Anonymous10:11 AM

    HAL open the pod bay doors.

    "I'm sorry Dave , I can't do that."

    It is called a smart phone because it uses artificial intelligence. I draws upon a data base of information programmed into it or I suppose what it gathers from the Cloud. Cloud, smart these are all touchy feel-lee words that tug at our subliminal heart strings. The words use conjure up something most acceptable to the largest common denominator of the buying public. The comments section here for instance ,alerts us to possible spelling errors This entire programming interface has many many layers some of which If the wrong key is touched half of what I type routinely dissapears before I complete my post. I choose not to retype what was lost because my thoughts flow so quickly and freely I suppose some of you out there are rejoicing if you have read this thus far. In any event I may be moved to comment on the topic lost at a later date. DD

  3. Anonymous10:21 AM

    I learn English good from your blog. Xia :)