Many of our world’s advancements can be attributed to the evolution of communication mediums and styles. Today we can tweet a message in 140 characters or less around the world in a matter of seconds. But long before the days of the radio, telephone, the fax machine, and email there was the original text message—Morse code. And Wolfram|Alpha can translate a string of characters to and from Morse code.

Morse code was introduced to the world over 160 years ago, when Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail invented a telegraph that when triggered by electrical pulses made indentions in a paper tape with a stylus. They also developed a code of short dots and long dashes to represent letters, numbers, and special characters, allowing messages to be sent via those indentions. The sounds produced when the telegraph processed the electrical pulses became so familiar that adept users could translate the code by sounds, and the code would eventually be adapted for broadcast across the radio airwaves. This system would go on to become a major form of international communication, especially for those working and traveling in the air or out at sea.

Translating "Wolfram Alpha" into Morse code

Translating Morse code

Although Morse code is no longer used for mainstream communication, many people continue to tap it out as a hobby, and industry enthusiasts have been exploring ways to incorporate the easy-to-learn code into modern devices. Go ahead and have fun tapping out your messages to and from Morse code, and then copy and paste them into the comments section below.

7 Comments

It would be nice to be able to copy the morse code translated text for pasting elsewhere, rather than just an image as a result. Otherwise, pretty cool; thanks for the heads-up!

Posted by ZPete July 24, 2009 at 6:14 pm Reply

How about linking Morse code query responses with WolframTones? It would be helpful to those that want to add an audio response to the visual translations in order to learn “ditties”.

And why don’t you give us a method to link our Feedback responses to your Blog postings explaining W|A features when applicable? It would save time having to retype them if we think others would like to see the feedback you are getting..

Posted by Bob D. July 24, 2009 at 7:53 pm Reply

    Both are great suggestions, Bob! Thank you for your feedback.

    Posted by The PR Team July 28, 2009 at 4:10 pm Reply

.–….–…..–….–.—-…–.-.—..—…..-

Posted by Andrew Breza July 25, 2009 at 10:14 am Reply

“Go ahead and have fun tapping out your messages to and from Morse code, and then copy and paste them into the comments section below.”
Unfortunately, It’s not so easy. Here’s an example.

Input:
Morse code test

Copyable output (as it is):

T | *
E | * * *
S | —
T

Oops…

Posted by Aritaborian July 26, 2009 at 1:35 pm Reply

Great, i love how wolfram can translate Morse code and out put in on the fly. Very useful indeed!

I will make a start on learning more than just … — … (sos) :D

Phill

Posted by Freelance Seo July 26, 2009 at 8:16 pm Reply

. – . – . – .- this is interesting! Most people haven’t heard of morse or know how to use it! Great work!

Posted by Carnaporto August 5, 2010 at 1:30 pm Reply
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