Monthly Archives: September, 2011

National Coffee Day

It’s National Coffee Day, and over at Wordnik they’re celebrating by exploring the words we use for different types of coffee. According to the National Coffee Day website, there are 111 million coffee drinkers around the world who consume 440 billion cups per year. To be honest, I’m not normally one of them. However, when(…)


Bad Opinion Generator

Having a bad day? Need something to cheer you up? Try the Bad Opinion Generator. From The Week, the Generator is “a random sampling of history’s most clueless predictions — from faulty scientific forecasts to sweeping political statements”. So when you think you’re getting things wrong, you can be reassured that someone else is getting(…)


Indigenous Tweets – now with Indigenous Blogs!

A few months ago, I posted about Indigenous Tweets, a site that tracks 82 languages. The site recently celebrated turning six months old with the launch of a new service tracking blogs written in indigenous languages. Currently it only tracks blog posts on Blogger but plans are afoot to also track other popular blog services.(…)


National Punctuation Day

Today is National Punctuation Day and I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the interrobang. Whilst it’s not technically included in National Punctuation Day’s celebration of “the lowly comma, correctly used quotation marks, and other proper uses of periods, semicolons, and the ever-mysterious ellipsis”, the interrobang is nonetheless useful and should be(…)


Bilingual ability may be lost by first birthday

Research from the University of Washington suggests that babies lose their bilingual ability as early as their first birthday if they are not exposed to different sounds. The study suggests that introducing two languages before the child can speak seems to be the best way to raise bilingual babies. By around a year old, the(…)


Twitter’s new languages

Twitter is a useful language-learning tool, and now it’s available in more languages! It’s just launched in simplified and traditional Chinese, Tagalog, Malay and Hindi, bringing the total number of language available to 17. Other languages that will soon be added to Twitter’s translation center are Danish, Swedish, Polish, Hungarian, Norwegian and Finnish. Twitter relies(…)


Motivation

Everyone has a different motivation for learning a new language, whether it’s to communicate with family members, a dream to move countries or simply as a way of meeting new people. Apparently, something that isn’t motivational for a lot of people is money. The Swedish government has a programme rewarding immigrants for passing their SFI(…)


El Bloombito

Despite the dire warnings, Hurricane Irene passed through New York City barely leaving any damage. But one lasting effect of the hurricane (or rather Mayor Bloomberg’s response to it) is a Twitter account that mocks the Mayor’s attempts at Spanish. From an outsider’s point of view, Mayor Bloomberg’s willingness to learn a language spoken by(…)