Maybe you're travelling to Nunavut, maybe you've just seen Atanarjuat, but for whatever reason, you're keen to learn some Inuktitut. Where to begin? Take a course if one is available in your area. Listen to some words and phrases. But unless you're heading to a region (PDF map) where the Inuinnaqtun dialect is spoken (it uses the Roman alphabet), you're going to need to use Inuktitut's syllabics. Download some fonts (another source, and another) -- you'll need them for many sites, including this Inuktitut language reader. Or try out this handy converter. Finally, the Living Dictionary is the definitive reference to this language.
A handheld device that translates simple spoken phrases. "American troops in Afghanistan are using a revolutionary device that instantly translates soldiers' voices into native languages.
. . . The soldier speaks into the machine, which recognizes the words and translates them into another language." Simple phrases only — and a long way from a Star Trek universal translator — but kindling for the science-fiction-addled imagination nonetheless.
The religious language used by the terrorists may suggest what they are really thinking, argues Robert Wisnovsky in Slate. His conclusions might not be what you expected: one, they're not particularly Islamic, but rather use Islamic terms to "
attempt to lend religious weight to what is basically a political ideology"; and two, their real target is not America or the West (except indirectly), but the monarchies of the Arabian peninsula. Interesting insights from a linguistic perspective.