All Things Linguistic: Would you listen to a podcast about language/linguistics? -
Hey everyone! Some of my friends and I (all linguistic graduate students) were thinking about creating a podcast about language/linguistics. It would NOT be a “How to Learn X Language” podcast or a very technical jargon-heavy show for people that were already…
YES! Would it be anything like Lexicon Valley? More/less technical?
Italki: Learn a language online! -
Here’s another excellent site for language learning!
For formal lessons with professional teachers, you’ll have to pay, but you can always find other users from all over the world, who are eager to learn and teach you in exchange. This site is great for casual writing practice - you can write ‘notebook entries’ and people will correct your work - and you can chat/message other users. Many will ask if you’d like to exchange Skype addresses for some speaking practice as well.
- http://matadornetwork.com/abroad/10-extraordinarily-useful-italian-phrases/ -slang and idioms
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0n4Vw6twKo -Italian hand gestures
- http://italian.about.com/od/lessons/tp/italian-language-lessons.htm -Lots and lots of grammar, and if you look near the bottom, there are some fabulous links with a whole lot of information on culture
- http://www.mamalisa.com/?p=824&t=ec&c=120 -children’s rhymes and songs with English translation. (pretty cool!)
- http://www.italianlanguageguide.com/ - Tons of grammar, pronunciation help, and much more.
- http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/italy-country-profile.html -Italian culture and etiquette
- http://www.education.vic.gov.au/languagesonline/italian/italian.htm -This site has some activities for practice, and it has audio. I think it might be geared towards children, but adults might find it helpful too.
- http://twitter.com/italianlanguage -a learning italian twitter account
Russian Ebooks: Electronic Books and Literature Online
Google Books: Russian Literature in the Public Domain
A listing of public domain Russian language literature, browsable online or downloadable in image PDF format, from the Google Book initiative.
Vissarion Belinsky | Anton Chekhov | Gavriil Derzhavin | Fyodor Dostoyevsky | Denis Fonvizin | Nikolai Gogol | Ivan Goncharov | Aleksandr Griboyedov | Antioch Kantemir | Nikolaj Karamzin | Ivan Krylov | Mikhail Lermontov | Nikolai Leskov |Mikhail Lomonosov | Nikolai Nekrasov | Aleksandr Ostrovsky | Aleksandr Pushkin | Aleksandr Radishchev | Aleksandr Sumarokov | Leo Tolstoy | Ivan Turgenev
Project Gutenberg: Browse By Language: Russian
Project Gutenberg was the original ebook project and catalog on the web, starting well before the advent of the WWW, and paralleling the Free Software Foundation in its goals and values. It is still the largest collection of ebooks, all available in plain text and HTML, as well Plucker formats for handhelds, and in audiobook formats as well (MP3, Ogg, etc.) in a variety of languages.
Conradish.net: Russian Literature (NB: I’m not sure this site works any more, and this upsets me very much because it was one of the best I’d ever come across!)
Conradish.net is built for admirers of classic Russian literature in the English-speaking world who desire to read their favorite works in the original language. Over time the corpus has grown to include the works of all major authors from the Golden Era. When you encounter a word that you don’t know, position your mouse pointer over it to see its English equivalent. For a more detailed description, click on the word.
Fundamental Digital Library of Russian Literature and Folklore
The Fundamental Digital Library of Russian Literature and Folklore (FEB-web) is a full-text digital resource. FEB-web accumulates information in text, audio, visual, and other forms on 11th-20th-century Russian literature, Russian folklore, and the history of Russian literary scholarship and folklore studies.
Online full-text library of many classics of Russian literature in the public domain, including both prose and poetry; it also includes short biographies and portraits of the authors.
Kulichki Library of Russian Literature
Online collection of Russian literature, and links to other resources on Russian literature.
Library of Russian Internet Libraries: Writers’ Collections
Index of Russian writers and their works online, focusing on lesser-known authors.
Litera.ru brings together information on the best literary Russian Internet resources: digital libraries, reviews of the book news, literary competitions and much more.
Maksim Moshkov’s Library of Russian Literature Online
Contains fiction, politics, technical documentation, humor, history, poetry, the PCB, Russian rock, tourism, parachute jumping, philosophy, spirituality, the paranormal, etc.
Russian Books On-Line (In English)
Listing of classic Russian texts, all translated into English.
Russian Library of Classics
An extensive collection of Russian literature, in Russian for the most part, with some English translations.
Russian Literature Online
A collection of Russian literature, for the purpose of studying and improving knowledge of the Russian language.
Russian Virtual Library
The Russian Virtual Library (“Russkaia Virtual’naia Biblioteka”, RVB) is a non-commercial humanitarian project. RVB is an academic digital library whose aim is electronic publication of both classical and contemporary works of Russian literature on the Web and CD-ROMs. All publications are based on authentic sources and provided with academic commentaries.
University of Adelaide Library: Russian literature (in English)
Collection of online translations to English of classic Russian authors.
Making the shift from language classroom to real-life conversation can be hard, and it’s easy to panic/freeze up when you’re on the spot and you don’t know how to respond, or how to get people to stop switching to English with you. I got thinking recently about things that I do and that I’ve seen other fluent language learners do in order to manage this difficult situation, and ended up with the following 12 tips.
1. Pre-think. What kinds of situations am I going to be in? What will people say/how will I respond? Basic situation ideas include: where/how you learned the language, where you’re from/what you do (and other biographic information), what you’re doing in the area and for how long, especially if you’ve travelled there to learn the language. Also think about how to describe things you’ve done recently or are planning to do. Think about who you’re going to see and what you could say to them. If a funny thing happens to you, describe it to yourself in the language, so it will be easier to tell someone else about later. This is a great time to look up how to say essential words.
2. Re-think. When you have a conversation in the language that goes less-than-ideally, or where you had to switch languages, afterwards think about how you would have said things in the language so if the situation comes up again you are prepared. If you are trying to learn a language with few speakers around you, then you can also do this for any conversation you’ve had. This is also a good time to look stuff up.
3. Learn filler words. Every speaker hesitates sometimes, so learn the equivalent of “ummm” and “ohh” in the language. Similarly, learn transition words/expressions like “and so”, “and then”, etc. This signals that when you don’t know what to say, it’s a content issue, not a language one, so people will be less likely to switch out of the language.
After two months of classes, exercises, repetitions and a lot of writing practise, I can honestly say that Korean is, hands down, the hardest language I’ve learnt. Not that I’m finished learning it, of course, but you get my point. Anyway, it was early on, when the classes had just started, that I came to realize that, in order to really learn the language, I would have to find a lot of extra material for self-study; as good as the weekly classes I attend are, they’re just not enough.
Fortunately, nowadays it is super easy to find lessons, vocab lists and all other sorts of things in any language you may want to learn on the internet (whether this material is good or not, well, this is a whole different story), so that’s where I headed.
I have to admit that, at first, it was kinda hard to find exactly what I wanted, because that search actually began way before I started the course, so I actually didn’t really know what to look for, but, little by little, I came upon language forums and Korean blogs that put me in the right path. Now, even though my learning is in its early stages, I do have a better understanding and am able to So, below, you will find a small compilation of websites that may help you along the way.
The Sogang Korean Program is one of the most recommended all through the internet. That’s actually the main reason why it made into this sort of top 5 list, because I found the first lessons, the ones on Korean sounds and alphabet, quite bad. And since pronunciation is my biggest problem so far, you may understand why I prefer other resources for that. Still, I liked the way they structured the lessons and I can tell it’ll be quite useful as soon as I get to a higher level of understanding.
Professor Oh has a few videos on her YouTube channel in which she explains the basics of Hangul pronunciation. These videos were really helpful whenever I forgot how to say a specific character or in establishing more clearly the difference between some others. She also has a couple worksheets for download.
KBS World Radio also offers Korean lessons. The best thing here is that they have the explanations in 10 different languages! The grammar explanations are brief (I love loooong explanations that cover all rules and exceptions), but they have lots of example dialogues with audio for lots of different situations.
Korean Flashcards was one of the first sites I visited and I really liked the way they organize and present information. They focus on, surprise, surprise, flashcards and also explain basic, intermediate and advanced sentences word by word. I kinda like their layout and the way content is presented, but there are no pronunciation features.
One more vocabulary resource, the Flashcard Machine is quite useful once you already know how to read Hangul, obviously.
Now, there are some other sites I visit every once in a while, but, depending on what I am after, they are a bit deficient. I also imagine that, for intermediate and advanced students, these three below are lacking. Click on the images to go the sites and, should you know some other good learning resources, share them via e-mail!
Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.
Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.
Check out The Korea Blog!
Please give me more (Bokmål/general Norway info) links! :D
Klar Tale (news written in simple Norwegian)
Norwegian for Beginners (five short written lessons, good for starting out with)
Acapela Text to Speech (use with Google Translate speech function to get an idea of pronunciation)
NorwegianLanguage.info (loads of resources here, worth exploring; here’s their beginners’ links section)
Everyday Norwegian audio comprehension (with transcripts and exercises)
NRK internet radio (also available on iTunes; I recommend making a playlist of different stations so you can find them easily)
På Vei exercises (intended as a companion to the textbook, but the vast majority of them can be used as-is)
Links for Norwegian Learners via Apronus.com (really great site; worth checking out his Norsk Experiment diaries too)
CARLA Norwegian page (more audio as well as other stuff)
I have some more audio stuff, but most of it is saved to my computer and I’m not sure where it’s from. Will update if I find out.
Anki (really useful flashcard software; there are a few Norwegian verb lists for it and you can make your own as well)
Byki (like Anki, but with audio)
Match English Norwegian
TuneIn Radio (general internet radio app, but a really nice one)
From the Russian Transparent Language Blog (NB: it’s better if you click the source and read the fairy tale there - the author of the post has covered up the English translation):
I’ve mentioned before that I’m captivated by сказки (fairytales). So, let’s start out this week with a “short and sweet” example of Armenian origin.
This textbook from my college days features tales from all over the USSR в русском переводе (“in Russian translation”), and is the source for theармянская сказка we’re going to examine here. I’ve made some minor wording changes to the original, in order to make the story read more clearly (I hope!).
I chose this one not only because it’s so short, but also because it features an unexpected twist. The plot involves a poor person outwitting a rich and powerful person, which is very much a шаблон (cliche) in fairytales. But stories of this type are typically heavy on нравоучение (“didactic moralizing”) — the wealthy nobleman is greedy and deceptive, and rigs a contest in order to cheat the honest peasant, yet ends up “hoist by his own petard.” Sometimes, the poor-but-honest peasant is clever enough by himself to see through the rich man’s scheme and turn the tables; other times, he’s a kindly dimwit who gets help from a brilliant wife, a precocious child, a magical talking animal, or the rich man’s own mistreated servants! But in any case, there’s a blatantly obvious moral along the lines of «Не рой чужому яму, сам в неё попадёшь» — “Don’t dig a pit/trap for someone else, you’ll fall into it yourself.”
Here, however, there’s no moralizing, no magic animals, and no Disney romance — the short tale is really just a set-up for an amusing logical conundrum. In fact, if you’re a fan of that genre of logic-puzzles where “the cannibal tribes on the remote island of Oonga-Boonga always tell the truth, and the vegetarian tribes always speak falsely,” the story’s ending may seem rather familiar…
If you need some assistance with the translation, hover your cursor over the yellow lines (without clicking) for pop-up hints — or select the yellow area with your mouse to view the English translation. As added help, there’s a glossary of selected words at the bottom of the post. (Some readers might prefer to skim through the glossary first before tackling the сказка.) And one final comment: You’ll notice that the narrative rather haphazardly switches between the past and present tense; this is simply a characteristic of oral storytelling, and there are no hard-and-fast grammar rules to fret over.
Жила-была прекрасная царевна…
Once upon a time there was a beautiful Tsarevna…
Было скучно царевне во дворце. Музыканты и шуты ей давно надоели!
The Tsarevna was bored in the palace. She had long since gotten sick and tired of the musicians and jesters!
Однажды она посылает во все стороны своих слуг, которые кричают народу:
One day she sends in all directions her servants, who shout to the folk:
“Кто лучше всех солжёт, тому царевна даст золотое яблоко в награду!”
“To the one who tells the best lie, the Tsarevna shall give a solid-gold apple in reward!”
Стали приходить к царевне люди и рассказывать самые невероятные истории.
People began coming to the Tsarevna and telling the most unbelievable stories.
Приходило много людей , но их лжи не угодили царевне.
Many people came, but their lies didn’t satisfy the Tsarevna.
И вот пришёл наконец бедняк с большой кожаной сумкой в руке.
And finally there came a pauper with a large leather bag in his hand.
“Чего тебе надо?” — спросила у него царевна.
“What do you want?” — the Tsarevna asked him.
Бедный мужчина ответил: “Я пришёл получить свои деньги — ведь вымне должны сумку бриллиантов.”
The poor man answered: “I’ve come to receive my money. After all — as I need hardly remind you [cough-cough] — you owe me a bag of diamonds.”
“Лгун, я тебе ничего не должна!” — удивилась она.
“Liar, I don’t owe you anything!” — she said in surprise.
“Если я лгу, то дайте мне золотое яблоко,” — тихо отвечает бедняк.
“If I’m lying, then give me the golden apple,” replies the pauper quietly.
Царевна думает, что она поняла его хитрость: “Нет, ты не лжёшь!”
The Tsarevna thinks that she has understood his trickery: “No, you’re not lying!”
“Ну, если я не лгу, то вам надо платить долг. Наполните мою сумку бриллиантами!”
“Well, if I’m not lying, then you have to pay the debt. Fill my bag with diamonds!”
Царевна рассмеялась на это, и ей пришлось отдать бедняку золотоеяблоко!
The Tsarevna burst out laughing at this, and she was forced to hand over the gold apple to the pauper!
- бедняк [gen. бедняка ] — “pauper; a penniless person”; not to be confused with бедняга, which can be used for both males and females and basically means “oh, you poor thing!”
- ведь [unstressed particle] — introduces a fact of which speaker and listener are mutually aware, and can be translated with something like “since you and I both know…” or “let’s not forget, after all…” or “considering that…”, etc.
- должен, -жна, -жны (что-нибудь кому-нибудь) — “to owe (something to someone)”
- лгать/солгать (я лгу, ты лжёшь … они лгут) — “to tell a lie; to fib”
- ложь [gen. лжи ] — “a lie”
- надоедать/надоесть [perf. conjugates like есть , “to eat”] + кому-нибудь — “to become tiresome, boring, or annoying (for someone)” [used impersonally with dative subject]
- посылать/послать [perf. пошлю, пошлёшь… пошлют ] — “to send”
- приходиться/прийтись (кому-нибудь делать) — “to leave (someone) with no choice but (to do something)” [impersonal with dative subject, and generally in 3rd sing. or past neuter]
- сумка — “a bag”
- угождать/угодить (кому-нибудь) — “to be pleasing/satisfactory (to someone)”
amberopants:“In Russian, there are two different words for light blue and dark blue. Does this mean that Russian speakers think of these as ‘different’ colors, while having one word (blue) causes English speakers to think of them as the same? Maybe. Do you think of red and pink as different colors? If so, you may be under the influence of your language; after all, pink is really just light red.”
—”Does Language Influence The Way I Think?” | Betty Birner via The Linguistic Society of America (x)
For more information on cross-linguistic colour terms, see the WALS (word atlas of language structures) chapter on colour terms in the world’s languages. Includes cool maps like this one of how many basic colour terms are found in languages.