Computer Science and Languages

Computer Science and the study of language: at first sight they look completely different. A love of language versus a love of technology. How does that work? You might be surprised. There are simple links of course in that we make computers do our bidding by writing in programming languages. That means computer scientists need a very clear grasp of what language is all about. We increasingly need computers to understand our own languages too though and that leads to lots more links, from computers teaching themselves how to translate to humans doing puzzles to help them along. The Turing test: the ultimate test as to whether a machine deserves to be called intelligent is also really a language test…and can computers really invent their own jokes?

Here we explore these links and more, though with the usual cs4fn twist on things.

Translated Material

We (with support from Google) and our collaborators have translated a series of our computer science for fun material into a series of other languages, giving different kinds of language texts for students to read. Languages we have translated material for includes:

We will be adding links to this material over the next few months.

Activity Sheets

The following activities draw out issues on the links between language, linguistics and computer science.

  • Watch this space

Booklets and magazines to download

The following activities draw out issues on the links between philosophy and computing.

cs4fn subject portal

There are lots of fun articles on the cs4fn about computer science and lingusitics. See the portals:

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