Read scientific, funny and interesting articles about languages that were published on the web in the last month.
Language of Terror vs. Loving Language – Loving Language
A simple but interesting article showing how the Somali community in Minneapolis is portrayed by the media and the perception of the author on this same community. A great text showing how one approach and intent result in a different experience. The reporter only sought the affirmation of his own point of view, but the author sought to know the people, their culture and language. Continue reading
When you are a nerd polyglot, you like to learn languages, but not only that. You want to know more about the differences between languages, the effects of learning a new language, how regular people learn languages and the role of languages in the human history. Therefore, today I am presenting a list of ten books for curious polyglots.
Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners by Michael Erard
One of my favorite books. In this book, Michael Erard investigates the lives of great polyglots, from the past and present, to discover the secret of a hiperpolyglot. What makes someone learn fluently six languages or more? There is a common denominator among these great learners? What science has to say on the subject? Book available in English, Russian, Arabic, Korean, French and Chinese.
The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language by Steven Pinker
Language is a human instinct, is part of us. In this book, Steven Pinker shows us how the human language works, addressing various topics, such as the acquisition of language by children, how the brain understands it and how it evolves. The book received the William James Award of the American Association of Psychology and Public Interest Award of the Society American Linguistics. Continue reading
Those who follow my blog know I’m not a fan of studying grammar, but that does not mean that I ignore the grammar completely, I just don’t make it my priority, especially at the beginning stage.
When I think about grammar, I remember my English classes at school. I remember hating the classes and not learning anything. Twelve years of English classes and I was not able to speak it. For me, the explanation of this phenomenon so common around the world is simple: teaching methods based on grammar. A person can know all the grammar rules of a language and still not speak it. Unfortunately, this is the experience of several students around the globe.
After I started studying languages, I understood that grammar is not the first thing a student should learn, but the last one. For me, the first things that a language student must do is learn vocabulary, pronunciation and begin to understand the language. Only after that, he should start studying grammar. Of course, if you like grammar you can begin to study it before. I prefer to give priority at the beginning of the understanding of words and phrases (understand the context). Therefore, I usually choose courses that do not explain grammar explicitly or do not give priority to grammar, such as Assimil and Pimsleur. Continue reading
According to the site Ethnologe, Brazil has 236 languages, 20 of them are dead languages. Of the remaining 216 languages, 91 face the risk of extinction. Few of these languages have been documented, and in some languages, the speakers are not completely fluent. With the dispersion of the indigenous population and the lack of an educational program to keep and document these languages, most of these threatened languages will be soon dead. Today, I will show 10 languages that are not only endangered, but are considered almost extinct.
Amahuaca language is spoken by the Amahuaca ethnic group that lives in the Peruvian Amazon. The language has around 220 speakers in Brazil and 130 in Peru and it has a written version (Latin alphabet). There are dictionaries and a small documentation. To learn more about the language, go to Native Languages. Continue reading
When I write articles, I assume that people are interested in languages like me and sometimes I end up using a specific vocabulary. To resolve this problem, I made this little vocabulary compendium on the world of language learning. Of course, not everybody will agree with these definitions. If you think I should change something, write a comment below.
Accent: a characteristic pronunciation, determined by the region, country of someone. Continue reading