33 posts tagged with language and languages.
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What are good charities that preserve American languages?

I am a white American from Michigan; I would like to donate money to support efforts to preserve native languages. I'm interested in pretty much any language preservation cause. [more inside]
posted by mister pointy on Sep 12, 2016 - 8 answers

"Like carrying coals to Newcastle"

I used the expression "Like carrying coals to Newcastle" with my wife, who is originally from Ecuador. There is a different version in Ecuador. What other linguistic and regional variations do we know? [more inside]
posted by quarantine on Apr 29, 2015 - 21 answers

Adult Language Re-Learning

I'm interested in learning a language, or more accurately re-learning it. Or even more accurately learning it better than I did in the first place. [more inside]
posted by jacquilynne on Jan 21, 2015 - 9 answers

English news sources for non-predominantly English countries?

Something that often frustrates me reading the newspaper or stories on the internet is that a majority of the "current serious issues" things are going to come from Western English-speaking countries. Can you recommend websites that provide English news about fairly non-English countries? (From my Australian perspective these include anywhere in Africa, Russia, India, Eastern Europe, so on.)
posted by solarion on Oct 18, 2014 - 25 answers

How can I relearn Spanish?

I studied Spanish in high school and college, and I even spent a semester abroad in Spain. At that point, I was very proficient at reading, writing, and speaking it. Sadly, in the 8 years since graduation, I feel as though I have forgotten everything. I am looking to get into a field where knowing Spanish would be very helpful, and I am trying to figure out the best way to both relearn what I knew (and possible go beyond that). Obviously for speaking, I will need to get out there and practice, but before that, should I just pick up my old textbooks and get going? Or, is there a better way?
posted by aka_anon on May 15, 2013 - 14 answers

US politicians' multilingual chops

Can you give me specific instances of US political candidates or elected officials publically speaking in a language other than English? [more inside]
posted by threeants on Mar 27, 2013 - 31 answers

Grammatical gender consistency across languages

Are grammatical genders, as a rule, consistent across the Indo-European languages which use them? [more inside]
posted by obloquy on Dec 4, 2012 - 30 answers

Quiero aprender español. Es LingQ.com un buen sitio web para eso?

Have you used LingQ.com to help you learn a language? What did you think of it? Do you have any other recommendations for paid language learning sites that cost no more than $15 per month? (I am learning Spanish.) [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Feb 9, 2012 - 8 answers

Me Talk Pretty (Japanese) Someday

Can you give me strategy and tactics for maximizing my spoken Japanese interactions, towards the goal of language ability, while in Japan? Those of you who have reached exceptional/native-level fluency speaking, can you give me some tips, and share your experiences of the things that helped the most along the way, in terms of speaking ability? [more inside]
posted by dubitable on Jul 15, 2011 - 12 answers

"satavaziru"... what does it mean!?

A guy in Tallinn pointed at me and said something that sounded like "satavaziru!" (emphasis on the "zi" syllable). What might that mean? [more inside]
posted by mokudekiru on Apr 13, 2011 - 12 answers

How do I learn French - all over again?

How does a once confident French speaker re-learn the language after six years of not using it? [more inside]
posted by schmoo on Aug 7, 2010 - 11 answers

Learning languages is fun! No, really!

What are the most interesting, fun, unusual, ridiculous, bombastic, affentoll, and/or funkadelic ways to learn a language? [more inside]
posted by ElectricBlue on May 22, 2010 - 25 answers

Why did so many (specifically) 80s computer games offer Afrikaans as a language option?

Why was Afrikaans so widely available as a language option in computer games of the late 80s and (maybe) the early 90s? [more inside]
posted by colinmarshall on May 4, 2010 - 8 answers

Learning a second language

What is a good second language to learn -- assuming you have a choice? [more inside]
posted by crapmatic on Jan 7, 2010 - 37 answers

Yeah once I ordered coffee in Chile in French, but it sounded right at the time.

I'm very seriously considering the foreign service, but I've never been any good at languages. Will I likely be able to learn a language, with the intense training the Foreign Service provides, without a natural apptitude for languages? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 18, 2009 - 7 answers

If only Bescherelle was a program

Verb conjugation tester for OSX? [more inside]
posted by djgh on Sep 10, 2009 - 3 answers

Cheap, efficient way to learn German online.

Cheap, efficient way to learn German online. [more inside]
posted by ekpyrotic on Aug 22, 2009 - 15 answers

In search of cultural grammarians!

What are some interesting blogs that touch on both the language and culture of a country? [more inside]
posted by ElectricBlue on Jun 28, 2009 - 7 answers

What are the most common 20% of words in any language?

What are the most common 20% of words in any language? [more inside]
posted by jinatrix on Jun 14, 2009 - 12 answers

Please help me find some linguistics posters!

Looking to purchase some awesome linguistics-related posters. I've searched for hours on the internet and I can't seem to find any family tree posters, IPA posters, or even anything remotely related to linguistics that is interesting and somewhat academic. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on May 28, 2009 - 8 answers

Speak this way, I do. This way do others speak, hmm?

In the English version of Star Wars, Yoda speaks using some interesting word-order. In other language translations, is this technique carried? [more inside]
posted by nikkorizz on Apr 30, 2009 - 6 answers

Help me sound like I know a lot of foreign languages.

Help me sound like I know a lot of foreign languages. [more inside]
posted by blahtsk on Dec 17, 2008 - 22 answers

Learning more Cantonese, after Pimsleur

What materials should I keep an eye out for in my quest to study Cantonese? I'm currently working my way through the Pimsleur Cantonese audio course, and I don't know what I should check out after that ends. [more inside]
posted by Xere on Nov 17, 2008 - 3 answers

Which language uses up more trees, everything else being equal?

Slightly-random-but-interesting-filter: I've noticed that French books tend to be longer than English books, and German books tend to be longer than both. If given a normally written (so no really fancy words, just sort of... average) English book of 100 pages, which language of translation (using same font and size, as well as same sized pages) would make it the longest? the shortest? Bonus points for approximate page numbers! (thanks!)
posted by Planet F on Oct 21, 2008 - 21 answers

Going beyond the textbook and the Language Lab

What are your favorite online resources for learning, practicing or getting exposure to the languages you speak? I'm looking for things that go beyond a textbook and a couple of CDs: things like interactive tools and study materials, well-written blogs written in / about the language, and especially audio, video or reading materials that people learning the language might not be able to find easily. [more inside]
posted by shirobara on Jun 4, 2008 - 8 answers

Resources for learning Polish?

What can I buy, download or find online to help me learn as much Polish as possible in the next ten days, with a budget of about £50? [more inside]
posted by Lebannen on Feb 20, 2008 - 9 answers

Please help me re-learn Russian!

I need to review Russian badly (up to the speaking/writing/listening level of a minor in Russian). I have a semester (two is doable but pushing it) to devote to this. I need some kind of structured process to go about this--while I have textbooks and some materials from years ago it's not enough. Does anyone have any suggestions for other good tutorials? Syllabi? Quick-review websites?
posted by schroedinger on Sep 6, 2007 - 9 answers

What natural languages have unusual properties?

Hawaiian has only eight consonants. Pirahã purportedly has even fewer phonemes and no numerals. What other languages have properties which would be considered unusual by Indo-European language speakers?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 16, 2006 - 33 answers

help me understand programming grammar

How do I learn what goes on "under the hood" of programming languages? [more inside]
posted by grumblebee on Aug 14, 2006 - 34 answers

Improve My Japanese

For those of you fluent in Japanese, I'd like to hear your best advice on the subject. I've studied for about 4 years, and have been living in Japan for nearly a year, but despite this, achieving true "fluency" still seems like an insurmountable task. Although I am conversationally fluent, at times I become incredibly frustrated. How long do you think it takes to become fluent? And now for the oh-so-impossible question: what should I do to speed up the process? Advice, experiences, suggestions would be welcome from any students of foreign language.
posted by dead_ on Feb 13, 2005 - 9 answers

I have a question on learning programming if you have no programming experience.

Inspired by this thread on programming languages, I have a question on learning programming if you have no programming experience. (more) [more inside]
posted by TeamBilly on Jan 30, 2005 - 30 answers

International Animal Sounds

International animal sounds : In English, dogs go 'woof', cats go 'meow' and ducks go 'quack'. Does anyone know what noises they make in other languages (or maybe other countries)? [I don't mean to limit this to those three, it just seemed like a good selection to show what I meant...]
posted by twine42 on Nov 1, 2004 - 22 answers

(who) do you ((think you)) are?

When I was in high school (91-95), I learned three computer languages -- BASIC, LOGO, and a third that I don't remember the name of.

It involved putting everything in nested parentheses, so you'd end up with some code that looked like this: (((object a)go to)object b)

I looked on google, and found something about LISP and SCHEME, but I couldn't find anything that would narrow it down a bit further. I know that we used a piece of software that would make certain we had the right amount of parentheses (by highlighting each closed parenthesis when we included it), and that the software ran on Macintoshes. We learned how to form graphics with the software -- circles within circles, that sort of thing.

Anyone know what it was? Because it's bugging me, and I kinda think learning that helped me later on in life with keeping track of nested tables and HTML in general.
posted by Katemonkey on Jan 27, 2004 - 19 answers

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