TRIPTYCH-Apps is a series of new media projects based on multilingual alphabets. Three languages are juxtaposed in electronic interfaces inviting viewers to visually and audibly compare alphabets, their unique ordering systems, and their distinct lingual scripts. The projects lead users to playfully encounter alphabets and review differences and commonality among three languages. They allow transliteral comparisons by simultaneous views and sounds of multiple character sets and selected words.
TRIPTYCH-Apps uses new technologies for relearning the basics--with a multicultural twist. The series is designed for children ages 2-7, however it promises to be an aesthetic, intellectual and playful pursuit for older children as well as life long learners with interest in languages. It builds on children's growing interest in playing with electronic interfaces, and inflects it towards cognitive and lingual development. It creates a context for reviewing infiltrations among languages where for example, Hindi words have become English words (such as "Avatar"), or for analyzing impact of new technologies on languages (such as computation codes and its impact on character sets).
TRIPTYCH-Apps is currently a project in progress with three unique interfaces in development:
Tri-Alpha: An iPad/iPhone app with three parallel alphabets in English, Greek and Hindi with related sounds. A sliding interface shows the full character sets. Inputs of words through a text field spell the word in English and show the closest match for each character in Greek and Hindi. A word gallery leads to words that have migrated, e.g. Hindi words in English, Greek words in English, etc. (Other languages will be included in the later versions of the project).
Touch-Scribe: Interactive interfaces with a finger-touch writing game exploring orthography and the aesthetics of multilingual scripts. The alphabet is explored as embedded sets of characters where writing in one language reveal letters and sounds in two other languages. Touch-Scribe works as a physical installation or a screen-based game.
Reorder-ABC: A web interface elaborating on the alphabet ordering systems. Viewers may reorder the sequence of letters, for example, the English "A-B-C..." order may be reorganized according to the phonetic system of the Hindi Alphabet "Ka, Kha, Ga..." Users can view the reorganizations as dynamic animations, and can create their own reorder based on other things such as the New York subway train lines or the QWERTY typewriter logic.
TRIPTYCH-Apps promotes an interest not only in learning languages, but also in a kind of enriched multilingual intelligence that prepares us for a diverse world where we may cherish seeing words that look different and sound foreign. If English, to an extent, was the lingua franca embedded in computational driven environments, it is now possible not only to revisit this dominance, but also to use one language to understand the other. The word "triptych" is borrowed from the ancient greek triptychos used for a three-paneled wax tablet that was written on with a stylus. Triptych-Apps reinterprets wax tablet/stylus interface with new technologies.
Kadambari Baxi + The Cloud Lab
Marcos Garcia Rojo
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