Monthly Archives: February 2009

When is a language extinct?

The recent publication of UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger has generated quite a few new stories and discussion. The Atlas has a list of 2,500 endangered languages ranked according to five different levels: unsafe (607), definitely endangered (632), severely endangered (502), critically endangered (538) and extinct (200). Of these languages, 199 have […]

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
Cornish, Endangered languages, Irish, Language, Manx, Scottish Gaelic Comments Off

Language quiz

Here’s a recording of part of a poem in a mystery language. Do you know or can you guess which language it’s in and where it’s spoken? Unfortunately the musical accompaniment makes it a bit tricky to hear the words clearly.

Language, Quiz questions Comments Off

Speech perception

According to a report on EurekaAlert, speech perception is not based solely on hearing, but also on sight and even touch. All these senses blend together to enable us to perceive what others say. We use clues from the movement of the lips, teeth, tongue and other facial features to help use to decipher speech. […]

Language, Linguistics Comments Off

Fabricating fonts

Last week I discovered a very useful site – Fontstruct. It has easy-to-use tools for constructing fonts; you can share your fonts in the online font gallery, though you don’t have to; and you can also download and edit fonts created by other users of the site. Once you’ve signed up to the site, which […]

Writing Comments Off

Name the language

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Do you know or can you guess which language it’s in and where it’s spoken?

Language, Quiz questions Comments Off

Listening is the key

A researcher in New Zealand has found evidence that extensive listening to a foreign language makes a big difference to your ability to learn and understand the language, according to this article. It doesn’t matter that if you don’t understand anything at first – your brain will automatically make the necessary neural connections it needs […]

Language, Language learning Comments Off

Language quiz

Here’s a recording of part of a news report in a mystery language. Do you know or can you guess which language it’s in and where it’s spoken?

Language, Quiz questions Comments Off

Learning languages – the Myngle experience

Today we have a guest post by Hala Masreya from Egypt. This post is for everyone who is interested in learning languages. My name is Hala and I am currently active as a teacher on a language e-learning platform called Myngle. I would like to share with you my experience as an online language teacher. […]

Language, Language learning Comments Off

Word of the day – thetatismus

Thetatismus is apparently a term used in speech therapy to describe the inability to pronounce one or both of the dental fricatives: /θ/ as in three, and /ð/, as in these. I came across it in Anthony Burgess’s book A Mouthful of Air – Language, Languages … Especially English. So now I know what I […]

English, Language, Words and phrases Comments Off

Language mainly a cultural phenomenon

A report I found the other day suggests that language is most likely to be mainly a cultural phenomenon and that any genetic underpinnings for language probably pre-date the emergence of human language. Researchers in the UK and USA modelled how aspects of language might have been encoded genetically and concluded that this was very […]

Evolution, Language, Language acquisition, Linguistics Comments Off