Saturday, July 23, 2011

Learn Punjabi

I have learned that Punjabi is one of the most spoken languages in the world, 12th in fact. This comes as a surprise to me, but considering the massive population of south Asia, I suppose it shouldn't. Anyway, in my quest to add pages for more non-European languages, I have added one for Punjabi. I was not surprised to discover that there aren't many courses for learning Punjabi, but there are enough to get going for the motivated student, and the internet provides the means to keep it going via language exchanges and communities, chats etc.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holiday Discounts on Language Products

Holiday gift-giving season is upon us again. The great part about that is the discounts and sales the publishers offer. I remember last year they had some great sales, especially 1-day sales for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the official start of the holiday shopping season, and Cyber Monday which, I guess, they just made up. Fine with me. The sales (20% off and more) are great if you are looking to buy a software or audio language product for yourself, but they may also make a great gift for the right person. I have updated the Language Product Coupons page with some of these current and upcoming sales. Keep an eye out for more in December.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Where Are Your Keys

I read an article or two on this new language learning method. Some are touting it as revolutionary, so I had to check it out a little. It is called Where Are Your Keys and employs a structured set of basic dialogues. It is clearly engaging for the right group of people, but I don't see how it is revolutionary in any way. I have an old Berlitz French book that employs pretty-much the same techniques. Except for the sign language, that is. Sign language? Yeah, they actually employ sign language as a sort of medium or reinforcement of the spoken language. I find it a little distracting. Maybe I have it wrong (I only viewed a few demo videos for a few minutes) but it's not for me.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

National French Week

It is national French Week here in the US. Since I am studying French, I suppose it is important to me, but then again, I'm studying French every day and every week, so I don't think I'll be doing anything different or special. Someday (when I have time, whenever that is) maybe I will do something special.

Why do we have a National French Week in the US? Don't forget that there is a significant population of French speakers in the US. And I don't mean of the visiting variety. Louisiana has a French speaking community in the hundreds of thousands, and there are also a number in New England (near Quebec, of course). It is one of the significant second languages in the US and a very large number of people are of French lineage to some extent (myself included).

Anyway, celebrate the Frenchness and eat lots of croissants. Salut.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Online Language Communities

In my recent article on language communities I wrote about how easy they are to use, how they are often free and how you can get lots of content and access to a great learning community with the same goals as yourself. What I could only touch on in the short article, however, is just how may of these sites there are on the internet. There really are dozens of them, with such a wide variety of features that virtually anyone can find one (or more) that helps them to achieve their language learning goals. I encourage anyone to investigate a few of them for yourself to see if you can fit them into your learning plan. You may find exactly what you need. See a short list of language communities and other sites.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Learning Turkish

Turkish is one of those really interesting languages that can draw you in before you realize it. Exotic and foreign with interesting sounds and strange ways, but lots of fun. Unlike more popular languages like French, German or Chinese, people will not believe that you are learning Turkish. They will ask you "why are you learning Turkish?" and whatever answer you give them will keep them wondering or just incite more suspicious questions. Also unlike those more popular languages, there aren't a whole lot of published products to learn Turkish. But, if you're motivated, that won't slow you down one bit. I recently added a page on learning Turkish.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Learning a Language in School

I recently wrote an article on learning languages in school. The subject is on my mind because I'll be doing exactly that this year. I'm finally going (back) to school to get some kind of degree in languages. I've been studying languages on my own for a number of years, but I thought that since I enjoy it so much I would start to actually put that to use. First, I want the piece of paper (some call a degree or diploma) that says that I know some languages, or have some linguistics experience, (having a website doesn't really count in the academic world). I'm not sure what I'll be doing after that, but I'll be actively adding to the website the whole time.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Top 100 Language Blogs results

The voting is over, the votes are tallied and the Top 100 Language Blogs results have been posted. This blog is not in the list, it wasn't even nominated :( Actually I doubt it even qualifies. There are too many things I would need to do on this blog for it to qualify, and that time is better spent on my site. Anyway, do check out the list, there are so many good resources there, I'm sure you will find several that would benefit you no matter what your particular language interests are!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Review of Daniel Tammets book Born on a Blue Day

I've mentioned Daniel Tammet in a few blog posts before. He is an autistic savant with some extraordinary abilities with language. Although he has recently released a second book, I realized I haven't posted a proper review of his first one! So here is a review of Daniels first book Born on a Blue Day.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In his book How to Learn Any Language, Barry Farber calls Indonesian the easiest language in the world. Nothing resembling real grammar, verbs don't change, to make something plural just say it twice etc. I haven't yet had a chance to wade into Indonesian, but I bet I would find it interesting to learn someday. If Indoesian interests you, I have put up a page for learning Indonesian with some possible resources for you to check out.