Monthly Archives: February, 2012

Animated linguistics

Steven Pinker is a well-known linguist (amongst other things), with specializations in visual cognition and psycholinguistics. He’s also very good at making complex ideas seem very understandable and engaging, which is why I love this video illustrating a talk he gave to the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in(…)

Ark for endangered languages

A new hub for endangered languages has been set up on the Internet. Described as an “ark”, the site features eight “talking dictionaries” featuring dying languages from around the world. The dictionaries feature photos of cultural objects, written words and audio recordings of native speakers pronouncing words and sentences in their language. Some languages are(…)

American expressions Brits don’t understand

Whilst visiting the states last month, I discovered there’s a lot of things Americans don’t understand about the British (one being the difference between England, Britain and the UK). But there’s also a lot the British don’t understand about Americans. BBC America has compiled a list of five American expressions Brits don’t understand. Here are(…)

Goats have accents too

A new study has revealed that pygmy goats have accents. Their accent is based on the group or “crèche” they were brought up in, rather than genetics, as was previously thought. Researchers from the University of London believe that the goats are displaying the first signs of evolutionary development in language. As goat kids age,(…)

Get learning – age is no excuse

One of the most often heard excuses for not learning a new language is “I’m too old”. It’s generally accepted that children are ‘better’ at learning new languages than adults. A new study challenges this idea though, showing that adults are better than children at acquiring a new language skill. The issue may be social(…)

Learning with movies

The website Lifehacker is a fantastic place to go for tips on all sorts of things to make running your life easier. Recently a writer posted about using movies to learn Spanish. This is his method: First, watch the movie a couple times with the English subtitles. Don’t memorize the subtitles but watch it enough(…)