Submitted by: opal myth
Sat, 06/02/2007 - 01:04 Logo

Just ran across a nice resource for learning the Afrikaans language.

From the site:

"It is easier to start learning Afrikaans, or any other language, than it is to become good at it. It can also be more fun, because when beginning you can make rapid progress without learning grammar or trying to learn words which only occur infrequently.

Submitted by: polyglot
Fri, 06/01/2007 - 14:15

Just wanted to unofficially announce that starting soon we will be posting commercial resources through the front page of the site. There will continue to be a steady flow of free resources interspersed with these commercial resources.

We are doing this in order to create more revenue in order to improve site features, look and feel and organization.

As always, you will still be able to access "free only" resources from the Learn a Language page or in the top right block while viewing resources for a given language.

Submitted by: opal myth
Fri, 06/01/2007 - 11:34

Free Language Courses Logo

Wow... this is a nice site with great downloads for free language courses for multiple languages.

From the site:

"This site offers free language learning products. Most of the material is either public domain or under a Creative Commons- or similar license (see relevant article or product archive for details)."

Submitted by: opal myth
Thu, 05/31/2007 - 22:20

I am interested in traveling to Madagascar one day with a good friend... so I looked in to the language of the country and found these two links:

Malagasy on Wikipedia
Madagascar on Country Studies

Submitted by: opal myth
Thu, 05/31/2007 - 03:03

I just ran across iTalki, a website that facilitates finding language partners for learning foreign languages.

I haven't tried it yet, but I think I will.

Here is some info from their site:

"What's italki?

italki is a language learning community. It's main goal is to help people learn languages.

At italki you can:

* Find language partners (language exchange, study buddies, teachers)
* Communicated with them (using Skype, MSN, Yahoo, Talkbox, etc.)
* Find language resources (podcasts, websites, videos, dictionaries, books, etc.)
* Participate in language forums

By creating a profile, you can find and be found by other people who are interested in helping you learn languages. Along the way, we're sure you'll make some friends and learn about foreign cultures. By voting on language resources, you can give recommendations and find out the best tools to help you learn a language. By participating in the learning community, you can also join discussions, ask questions, and help people trying to learn your language.

italki was developed by a company called Talk da Talk. Talk da Talk is based in Shanghai, China, and is dedicated to teaching English experientially.? They believe using a foreign language is the only way to really learn it.
We hope italki helps you learn a foreign language and make new friends!
What is language exchange?
Language exchange is when two people take turns speaking the other person's native language. By doing this, both sides get a chance to practice speaking the language they want to learn. We recommend dividing the time between the languages evenly.

For example:

* John speaks English and wants to learn Chinese
* John does a search to find Lily, a Chinese woman who wants to study English
* John and Lily decide to do a language exchange for 30 minutes
* For 15 minutes John and Lily only speak Chinese
* For 15 minutes John and Lily only speak English

There are many ways to arrange a language exchange, and there is no one right way to do it. Here are our final recommendations:

* be respectful
* don't be afraid of making mistakes
* have fun!

What is a language learning community?

A language learning community is a group of people that are dedicated to learning languages. When you study in a language school, you can rely on your classmates and your teacher to help you learn the language.

* You can ask questions of your teacher about "how do you say...".
* You can ask your classmates "which dictionary or textbook or CD is the best?"
* You also can ask them if they know anyone who can help with language practice

Unfortunately, not everybody has time, money, or chance to enroll in a language school.

Luckily, with the internet now the whole world can be your language learning community.Now it doesn't matter where you live. It doesn't matter if there is no language school and there are no foreigners living in your city. Now if you have an internet connection, you can find a native speaker of almost any language and talk with them for free. With internet phone programs like Skype, and chat programs like MSN, Yahoo messenger, you can communicate with people living on the other side of the world. Join our forum and discuss with other community members your experiences learning languages.
If you're interested in learning languages, try joining italki's language learning community. We hope you'll learn as well as contribute to it.
What are language resources?

Language resources are the tools you need to learn a language. That includes:

* Podcasts
* Videos
* Websites
* Books
* CD / MP3
* Dictionaries ... and more

Every language student needs these tools to learn a language. But did you ever wonder if there were better materials? Did you ever wonder if there was a better textbook? Or if there was a better electronic dictionary??
In addition, with the internet, there are many new and useful sites. There are amazing new podcasts, and websites with flashcards, or software programs, that have made learning much easier than even a few years ago. We hope this part of the website allows you to find the best tools, and gives you a chance to share your knowledge of resources that you found useful."


Submitted by: polyglot
Wed, 05/30/2007 - 21:40

Here is a quick tip:

Check out the tag cloud for all content for a given language and click on the language (or sub-variety, i.e. swiss german) you are interested in.

Submitted by: polyglot
Wed, 05/30/2007 - 20:22

Traffic has been soaring lately. It is quite amazing. Tomorrow, I will post all of the stats for the site since it launched, but I wanted to give another visual view of the locations visitors are tapping in from worldwide.

Here is an image capture of the Geovisitors worldwide:

Geovisitors Map Screenshot

Thanks to everyone for visiting the site!

Submitted by: Anonymous
Mon, 05/28/2007 - 19:20

There are about 6,800 mutually unintelligible languages spoken in the world today. Since the beginning of Homo Sapiens, new languages have been constantly emerging while others vanish forever. This is why many linguists say that the total number of actual languages spoken in the world at a given time of human history is but an fragment of the infinite total of possible human languages.

It might seem as though the death of one language is not a particularly serious event but, in fact, each loss is a terrible tragedy. A language is a repository of riches containing highly specialized cultural experiences. When a language is lost, all of us lose the knowledge contained in that language's words and grammar, knowledge that can never be recovered if the language has not been studied or recorded.

Remembering that plants speak a language too and that their contributions offer alternative ways of viewing our existence and interconnectedness to all living things. Not all of this knowledge is of immediate practical benefit, of course, but all of it is vital in teaching us different ways of thinking about life, of approaching our day-to-day existence on planet earth.


Submitted by: Anonymous
Thu, 05/24/2007 - 16:17

Maya, the language of the great Maya civilization that flourished more than a thousand years ago, is still spoken in various forms by several million people in present-day Mexico, Guatemala, and British Honduras.

Maya proper, sometimes called Yucatec, is spoken by about 450,000 people on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

The Popul Vuh, the sacred book of the Mayas, is a informative account of Maya history and traditions, beginning with their creation story of the Mayan world. This sacred book is an important example of native American literature that has survived the passing of centuries, it was first translated into writing in the middle of the 16th century.

The Mayas possessed a fully developed system of writing, using symbols or hieroglyphs. They appear to be a combination of ideographs, phonetic signs, and also rebus writing, in which an ideograph is used to represent another word which happens to have the same pronunciation. For example, in English the sign for "eye" could be used to represent the pronoun "I".

The first signs to be deciphered were those dealing with the calendar and astronomy.


Submitted by: Anonymous
Wed, 05/23/2007 - 14:05

The natural wonders of the Yucatan are innumerable, some of the most important and unusual are the sink holes or caves.
The Maya called them dzonot (ZO-note), which the conquering Spaniards translated as cenote (say– NO–tay.)

Cenotes are magical, enigmatic and unique in the world and were once the only resource for fresh, sweet water for the local Yucatecans.

They were considered the sacred places of the Maya for that reason, but also because they represented the entrance to the underworld. Which adds to the mystery and beauty of this Mexican state.

Submitted by: opal myth
Mon, 05/21/2007 - 23:22

I just ran across a really great resource for phrases in many languages.

Available languages are:

Submitted by: polyglot
Mon, 05/21/2007 - 22:01

Here is the latest screenshot of the Geovisitors to Free Language:

Geovisitors for May 21, 2007

Submitted by: Anonymous
Mon, 05/21/2007 - 15:57

I traveled to Uxmal, one of the Mayan sacred sites known for its wonders from the ancient world. Uxmal is located in the Yucatan region in Mexico. The name Uxmal ( pronounced: "osh mal" )means that which was built three times or place of abundant harvest.

The archaeological zone is surrounded by an ancient landscape of hills that creates a beautiful framework for a series of settlements. The quality of these sites is complimented by the geometric proportions of the buildings and their facades with ornate decorations,carved in a limestone filigree style. The intricate stonework is truly incredible.

The Mayan's channeled their social energy into their works of art by creating this fabulous site of Uxmal. The architecture in this region is distinct from other sites in the Yucatan and is known as the Puuc style.


Submitted by: opal myth
Sun, 05/20/2007 - 20:24

These days Mandarin Chinese is growing more and more popular as a second language for people all over the world. This is true mainly because of the evident booming Chinese economy and the current and future market that is growing at a breathtaking pace.

Here are some of the free resources I have come across:

Chinese has four (or five - depending on how you look at it) tones. Here is a page that explains some basic information about the tones in Mandarin Chinese. Also, a link to a Mandarin tone exercise game.

Here is an Audio Tutorial of Survival Chinese

This site has free Chinese lessons.

A fabulous and free online Chinese dictionary.

An assortment of basic Mandarin lessons.

General info about the Chinese language and lots of links to other aspects of Chinese culture, art and more.

Wikipedia info on Mandarin Chinese.

Wikibook on Mandarin Chinese with lessons and information.

I had a synchronous encounter (thanks to a good friend) with someone here in Beijing who is working on a most astounding and incredibly useful project called adsotrans.

From adsotrans read me:

"To use this website simply copy Chinese text into the submission box and click "Adsotate". The text will be automatically annotated -- mouseover any word for a popup with pinyin and english. More control over annotation options and full webpage translation is possible through the advanced interface. If you're simply looking for freshly annotated Chinese texts to read, why not check out our sister site page, which is also open to the public. Students looking for study material should visit News in Chinese."

Indeed, this is a worthy, user-edited and -driven project that is quite impressive.

Their News in Chinese website is a great place for more advanced learners to experience their intuitive user translation interface for reading the latest RSS news feeds in Simplified Chinese from Xinhua. If you are very knowledgable about the Mandarin language, you can contribute greatly to the project with your expertise. Volunteer info is here.

And finally, here are a couple more links for learning Mandarin starting from the basics:

Sinosplice Chinese Language Study Resources

Sinosplice Chinese Study Book Reviews (Great help for choosing a text to use.)

Basic Chinese Phonetics with Pinyin Voice Recordings

Chinese Pronunciation Guide (Requires RealAudio)

There is obviously a lot more info out there, so I encourage you to search around. These links will give a good intro and link to a lot of other sites, but there is so much more out there.

In the words of Mao Zedong himself: "Study hard and make progress everyday." :)

Submitted by: opal myth
Fri, 05/18/2007 - 23:56

I just ran across Hello World, a great site for children learning French, Spanish, English, Indonesian, German and Russian.

They have lots of interactive stuff, and clickable audio for alphabets in all those languages. Plus more, of course.

Check out Hello World.

Submitted by: polyglot
Tue, 05/15/2007 - 01:54

We have recently been contact by CantonesePod! They wanted to let us know that there are now new episodes of the podcast available.

Have a look!

Submitted by: opal myth
Tue, 05/15/2007 - 01:43

Just ran across a resource for finding vegetarian phrases in many world languages and wanted to share it here.

Submitted by: deXta
Mon, 05/14/2007 - 20:53

Submitted by: deXta
Mon, 05/14/2007 - 19:32

Yamada Language Center

From the site:

University of OREGON Yamada Language Center. A resource-rich learning environment.Courses, audio clips,and a vast array of links to other information rich sites.

Visit Yamada Language Center

Submitted by: polyglot
Sun, 05/13/2007 - 14:53

I wanted to let the blog folks know that the Indonesian language (Bahasa Indonesia) has been added to the site and we already have four resources.

This is the second language of 12 new ones that we are going to add to the site over the next month or two. The first was Afrikaans.

Submitted by: deXta
Sat, 05/12/2007 - 19:34

Learning Thai

From the site:

# VDict (Vietnamese Dictionary) is the best and totally free Vietnamese-English-French Online Dictionary
# You can perform lookup for a word in all dictionaries simultaneously. VDict currently supports 8 dictionaries:

* Vietnamese-English dictionary
* English-Vietnamese dictionary
* Vietnamese-French dictionary
* French-Vietnamese dictionary
* Vietnamese dictionary (Vietnamese to Vietnamese)
* English-English dictionary (Wordnet)
* Free Online Dictionary Of Computing (FOLDOC)
* Chinese Vietnamese dictionary

Visit Vdict Online Vietnamese Dicionary

Submitted by: deXta
Sat, 05/12/2007 - 16:26

Learning Thai

From the site:

Sawatdee Khrab!" That is how we say hello in Thai. If you are a girl you will say "Sawatdee Kaa". When you are on holiday in Thailand, you will find many young people like me who can speak English. Most places you go to you won't have a problem. However, we like it a lot when we meet a foreigner who has tried to learn some Thai phrases. Most web sites and phrase books just write down the Thai words using Roman letters for you to try and read. That is a waste of time because Thai is a tonal language. You need to listen to native speakers. That is me, my teacher and friends! On every page you will be able to listen to us speaking Thai.

Visit Learning Thai

Submitted by: deXta
Sat, 05/12/2007 - 15:43

Harets Hebrew News

From the site:

השבח שחלקו לו בעדותו לבין המסקנות בדו"ח
מאת אלוף בן ומזל מועלם
המלצה להדיח את הקצין שהיכה מפגינים. חייליו: צה"ל לא מגבה
חיילי הפלוגה בכינוס חירום: יידו בנו אבנים המלצה בצה"ל להדיח את המ"פ. חייליו: האנרכיסטים קראו לנו נאצים ויידו בנו אבנים

Vist Haaretz Hebrew News

Submitted by: deXta
Thu, 05/10/2007 - 17:56

Lear Korean Language

Submitted by: deXta
Thu, 05/10/2007 - 15:44

Hungarian Language & Culture

From the site:

Face it--whether you are in Indonesia for one week or for 10 years, it is not only polite and useful to know a little of the language, in many cases, it is outright necessary. If you don't want to be trapped at the Hotel Borobudur or restricted to traveling with a translator, you need to be able to communicate with that cheerful, friendly, curious populace out there. This booklet provides one approach to learning a very basic level of the Indonesian language, Bahasa Indonesia, with no strain.

Visit Bahasa Indonesion in 7 days

Submitted by: deXta
Wed, 05/09/2007 - 22:09

Hungarian Language & CultureVisit Hungarian Language & Culture

From the site:

Magyar (pronounced /Mawdyar/), as the Hungarians call their language, is spoken by the approximately 11 million inhabitants of Hungary, as well as another 4 million people in neighboring countries and a million others scattered around the world. It belongs to the Finno-Ugric language family, which includes Finnish and Estonian, but its closest relatives are several obscure languages spoken in Siberia. Hungarian is not at all related to the Indo-European languages which surround it, and is very different both in vocabulary and in grammar. Hungarian is an agglutinative language, meaning that it relies heavily on suffixes and prefixes. The grammar is seemingly complex, yet there is no gender, a feature that most English speakers grapple with when learning other European languages. Hungarian does use the Roman alphabet however, and after learning a few simple rules one can easily read Hungarian. Pronunciation is also very easy, especially compared to other neighbouring languages like Czech, German, and Russian.
This course was designed for beginners and no previous knowledge of Hungarian is assumed. However, the lessons may also be helpful for those people who have had previous experience and would like to improve their grammar or just simply brush up.

Visit Hungarian Language & Culture

Submitted by: deXta
Tue, 05/08/2007 - 16:14

Vietnamese Language & Culture

From the site:

This Overview of the Vietnamese Web pages is intended to give you some idea of its contents so that you know how to find what you need or what might interest you - a kind of navigation guide. The core of this site is a series of 20 Lessons for teaching you Spoken Vietnamese. A Guide To Pronunciation is an interactive resource that lets you hear all of the sounds of the language: consonants, vowels, and tones. If you want to learn just enough language for travel, you can click on Quick Vietnamese for Tourists. If you need information on travel or currency, follow those links;and much more.

Visit Learn Vietnamese

Submitted by: deXta
Tue, 05/08/2007 - 15:57

Learn Swahili

From the site:

This site is presented to help you to learn Kiswahili online. You are welcomed with your comments and suggestions to improve the site. Even though I created this site, my knowledge of Kiswahili is very poor. Any corrections in the presented matter will be greatly appreciated.

Visit Learn Swahili

Submitted by: deXta
Tue, 05/08/2007 - 15:13

Learn Thai

From the site:

Thai Language and Culture [] is an information-rich, multimedia, interactive web site that is being developed for a very wide audience. Because of the complexity of the site, a few words on how to use the site are in order. In addition to this narrative overview, an alternative assist is found in a navigational outline of the contents of this site. The newcomer should welcome some guidance on where to begin in order to avoid getting needlessly lost in a web of pages. On subsequent visits to the site, simply go to the angel-decorated door, and open it - after downloading
the Thai fonts from the fonts link placed on the Thai Language and Culture Homepage or the SEAsite Homepage.

Visit Learn Thai