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During the past two decades the education of women has been booming in practically all countries. Larger fractions of young women than young men are enrolled in universities in countries as culturally and economically diverse as Brazil, China, and Iran. In the United States, about 57% of the current graduates of four year colleges are women, while women receive 60% of all the master’s degrees. Note the radical change since 1970 when women received only 40 % of the degrees from four-year colleges. A recent report shows that American women are now even getting more PHD degrees than men, although the proportion varies a lot by field. Women receive only about one fifth of all engineering doctorates, and one quarter of all doctorates in computer science and mathematics, but they are getting a majority of the doctorates even in health sciences and biology.

Christian Nesheim

Do you have any idea of where I can find figures for worldwide enrollment in higher education? I think it's an interesting trend.

Walt Stawicki

you could find the stats by G-o-o-g-l-i-n-g!! and sorting, and sorting and s...

Problem is that all languages are not constructed equally and as a recent study has shown, how you do the language thingie is a determinant of how ytou do the cogitation thingie. An example is verbs acative or passive and what it means. English and spanish differ as does russian in the "agency" issue, as reflected in important things like legal culpability. That was the example used in the months ago WSJ article that I read. crime occured, person committed a crime, it sounds facile and stupid but it goes very deep.

Consider Hopi used in WW11 codework (no Japaneese spoke it)Physicists now understand that some "contradictions" of theory are constructs of the language. Hopi can not be phrased to even admit the "contradictions" so they can not be thought in the first place. This then that with no intermediate? In hopi its normal. In particle physics its a barnwall. Be here, then there, neve inbetween? Zeno and his paradox are a linguistic articat to the sowthwestern herders and others with similar languages.

How we experience the world, the immediate world , about us some would say "you have a smudge on your eastern cheek" or "you have a smudge on your beachside cheek" because they orient to the environment. Us? we orient to the EGO! "you have a smudge on your right/left cheek" Details eventually have consequences.......

So, we can "translate" language to language? or dictionary to dictionary with a few tricks of syntax to make it seem to work. How about the old line "there is not a word in your language.....". And that is common between our European words and phrasings.

How many ways are there to say "snow?" and what does it matter unless its an important part of life for the word user. "Give me the cutty thing" is not like "give me the xyz scalpel"

So I humbly submit, we will get a refined version or "hands up" or "you me have sex?" "another round barkeeper" but "understanding?" thats more ah, how can I say it? transcendental? elusive?


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Machine you're describing has a good chance of emerging in much less than 20 years. I wouldn't be surprised to see on in a month. After all, most of the ingredients are around in some form.

But that won't make learning different languages obsolete. Language is not just a mean of communication, but also a tool for thinking. And as there are different types of knives for different jobs, there are also different languages that shape the way each of us think. As I tried to demonstrate in how Technology Makes Us Stupid, having a pocket calculator doesn't make one mathematician. Nor a translator makes one capable of thinking in different system, i.e. language.

Sure, automatic translators will be handy and useful gadgets, but they won't be even near the real thing.

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He was clearly being provocative for its own sake, which isn't big or clever either.

Herve Leger

Well said. I appreciate your thinking

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So what have I done? You guessed it, I have enrolled at yet another university! I made a conscious decision to learn how to earn money online


The problem with this is that, while translation software are improving, they're not quite up to the task yet. I do a bit of translation in my spare time (for fun only) and the only thing Google Translate is good for is looking for individual terms. For virtually every sentence I have to go in and manually restructure the sentence so that it actually makes sense. Otherwise I get something like "Poverty leads the world" for a sentence that actually means "resulting in greater poverty rates".

Whereas I don't doubt that this sort of thing will eventually become available, don't expect it to be on sale in Future Shop tomorrow (and if it is, don't buy it, it'll be rubbish anyway).

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