Dr. Joan Palmiter Bajorek CEO of Women in Voice on Linguistics and its Place in Voice
Know that's now I. I. Kinda WanNa. Go back a little bit because you're a linguist. And I mean I don't know how you characterize yourself to characterize yourself as a linguist. Yeah. Usually when people ask me say I consider myself primarily a linguist and researcher those are the two core identities that I inhabit most of the time. Okay. Great. So What originally got you interested in linguistics Yeah, I mean I think. I. Consider Myself as being linguist when I was little I like played with code things and you know babbling around I started taking French quote unquote foreign language. In Middle School, I would have been like eleven and. I just thought an unlocked, the coolest world's travel and culture, and you know my parents have always really prioritize travel instead of like buying a big screen TV's let's run off to Thailand So that kind of interesting language culture has always been there for me. Actually, my mom found his old document of mine working career stuff for high schoolers where you like plan out potential career directions. Apparently on this document, I circled linguistics French, and photography as the three things I was interested in which ended up being my undergraduate degrees, my master's degree. Topics right there. In my teenage years, I knew. That's perfect. Yeah. Well, maybe maybe we do. I. Say there's a sense that we ask college students to make decisions about the rest of their lives. You know it's such a young age but maybe we know at least some of us know much younger. I feel like I got really lucky I feel like. I. Don't necessarily know the names of the topics but I feel like there's a light at the end of the horizon that I'm walking towards at all times sometimes running a mostly walking in just knowing that directionality and honestly the privileged to be able to pursue the things that I'm so passionate about. Now given the you've spent so much time. Going into linguistics study research have you had time to keep up with your French photography? My I I taught French previously to pay the bills in my graduate studies and I worked in France between UNDERGRAD and graduate school. So I'm was very proficient I mean, my dad hopes one day become famous photographer. You know as a retirement career but no, I have A. Busy schedule today and those things take away backburner. Got It. Okay. So you started out French in photography you moved into linguistics and why don't you share with listeners? What some of the areas of study you focused initially and then how that evolved. Yes. So I don't masters in linguistics from UC Davis. And they did a really phenomenal job of forcing you to take all the courses. In the range of things I was always really interested in phonetics and sociolinguistics, but taking morphology and Syntax and typology natural language processing was of course it was very new at that time. And really. It's when I started actually studying to a link goes interfaces from a LP phonetics standpoint that I felt like I had a moment of like wait a minute. This is a big data multi-lingual back end. Used by millions of users worldwide. Like who is deciding what good enough means for the Audio You know At that time I focused a lot on ed tech but I think the multi lingual multi modal interfaces that I was looking at Babbel Rosetta. Stone presented at Rosetta Stone really thinking about the research that space blew my mind that was back in two, thousand, fourteen, two, thousand, fifteen. Yeah. So When you think about those systems because they've been around for a while and some of them very good is that a stone has been doing this a pretty high level for a long time before we had cloud computing to new redoing this office CDs. Because I remember. At least one of my daughters maybe both of them took a couple of full programs you know through. through his stump Are there elements of that that of of the language learning process? You think that help move the industry forward or was that always just sort of a fork in on its own I think. Educational Technology has such power especially in twenty twenty. You know anyone who has kids I don't finds this stuff wonderful I think Rosetta stone you're right I think back in the day was really innovative software I haven't seen significant innovation in the last decade I can't I'm under NDA can't tell you what I told her engineering team but my research that is public I mean the. The back end with they're doing the acoustics in the visuals that they show users and most users aren't linguists. An most users aren't fun additions like me. Or mostly incomprehensible. So I felt like there was a huge mismatch between what the back end was doing in the educational pieces of it. Could you actually learn and get better at your pronunciation from these tools? Right. So that's that's a critique on the application of the technology though correct? Yeah. Is opposed to the core technology in terms of being. Listen and. and. That's what I. Mike Critique is the scaffolding or like how it's structured could be significantly rated and their companies like Elsa and blue canoe that are doing the work to make it interpreted. Because we do have back ends that should be able to do this very well.