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Chatting in six languages

an international group is developing some new technology to help you converse spontaneously in any of six tongues - and to clean up your grammar in the process. The Consortium for Speech Translation Advanced Research device consists of a headset, a backpack with a laptop, and a smaller computer for your forearm that's about the size of a paperback book. If a few mistakes occur, they're reportedly easy to correct before transmission, because a screen displays your converted speech before it's heard.

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Meanwhile, for Germans, help is already there for folks wanting to use foreign words but unsure exactly how to spell them. The officially binding new orthographies Germanize imported terms. "Ketchup" is to be rendered "Ketschup"; "mayonnaise" is "Majonse." But - now wouldn't you know it! - a recent survey indicates only 16 percent of the public plans to adhere to the new rules.

US states that already have restrictions on water use

The American Water Works Association reported recently that 10 states are already restricting water use - and four others are likely to impose limits soon if widespread drought conditions persist. The trade group says homeowners can cut indoor consumption by about 30 percent by taking several simple steps. These include: using washing machines and dishwashers only when they're full, not running the faucet while brushing one's teeth, and cutting the use of garbage disposals whenever possible. The 10 states that have already established at-least temporary limits on the use of water:

1. Delaware

2. Georgia

3. Maryland

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4. New Jersey

5. New York

6. North Carolina

7. Pennsylvania

8 South Carolina

9. Virginia

10. West Virginia

- Reuters

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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