Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.


Speaking French? Your Computer Can Tell

DiscoblogBy Rachel CernanskyApril 30, 2009 2:44 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Not only can a computer read lips, but it can tell what language you're speaking. Researchers in the U.K. have developed lip-reading computers that were successfully able to identify the language spoken into a video camera by 21 volunteers, each of whom was fluent in two or three languages. French speakers, it seems, tend toward rounder lip movements, while speaking Arabic requires more prominent tongue movements. The computer program uses facial recognition and statistical modeling of lip movements to detect the sequences indicating that a particular language is being spoken. Potentially, the technology could lead to automatic lip-reading systems for deaf people. Sage advice in the face of technology: Be careful where you spill your secrets, no matter what language they're in! Related Content: Discoblog: Chatting With Aliens? Researcher Aims to Create Alien Translator Discoblog: It’s Not What You Say, It’s the Order in Which You Say It

Image: Flickr / helgasm!

3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 50%


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In