Fantastically addictive vocab learning site –

Wow – I’ve been absorbed the last week. Last Thursday night I visited a new site – It was a link from an article on learning mandarin. They have word lists which can be collaboratively edited and site users can add hints, sound, pictures, etc. You get points for correctly remembering words 20 for multiple choice, 50 for write in the blank answers. There’s a daily, weekly, and all time leaderboard and numerous word lists already there. I’ve tackled in this week 1413 words from spanish, french, italian, german, swedish, mandarin as well as the russian alphabet and greek alphabet, morse code and a few other various and sundry things.

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Campbell’s Monkey Found to Demonstrate use of Syntax

This is just fascinating to me. Apparently there is a species of monkey called Campbell’s Monkey and there are 6 different calls or sounds that it makes. Researchers have discovered that by using different combinations of these sounds they can communicate different things to their peers. So for instance… the sound they’ve labeled as “krak” means a leopard approaches, but they can add the suffix -oo to it for krak-oo as a more general “word” for predator when they hear the sounds of a predator but do not see it.

boom boom would mean gather together but boom boom followed by krak-oo krak-oo krak-oo might indicate a tree falling. Hok Hok Hok is the sound made to warn of the presence of crowned eagles. Really fascinating stuff… more research I’m sure is coming.

Learning French Podcast from Radio France International

I’ve recently got a new mp3 player and so as a result I have been searching out podcasts right and left. One that I recently found is about learning French from non other than Radio France international. The rss feed is linked to below. If you use Firefox with the down-them-all plugin you can quickly and easily pull in all the episodes and update it if/when new ones are added. It’s interesting to note that it’s available in a couple of different starting languages. The first link below is English….

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American Sign Language Flash Cards

American Sign Language can be a bit more of a challenge to learn than traditional languages. Most languages lend themselves well to written or computerized flash cards. ASL is a bit more difficult in this way because you would have to make up the images (or video/animation) yourself. Fortunately there are some good choices out there. In fact, there is one large flash card set (500) at a reasonable price that has come out since the last time I was looking for ASL flash cards.

This is put out by Barron’s and looks like a good thorough collection. From what I can see, there are some areas that aren’t addressed in the set (colors, family relationships, foods and clothing) but outside of that it seems to be fairly well reviewed. Add to that the fact that it’s 500 flash cards for under $20 and it looks like one of the best values out there right now.

Silent Night in 135 Different Languages

I was looking for an easy arrangement of silent night for some piano students when I stumbled across a site dedicated to the famous Christmas Hymn. boasts a catalog of 201 versions of the hymn in 135 different languages. I am not sure but, it may be one of the most widely translated hymns in history.

Anyway, the site has just about everything you ever may have wanted to know about the hymn silent night and I hope you enjoy digging through the many different translations of it.

Vocabulary Vocabulary Vocabulary

It’s the most important thing for a language student to acquire and make their own. Vocabulary! It should be learned in volume and then sort out the finer details grammar later. At least that’s the conclusion that I’m at. Mnemosyne is the tool I’ve been using for about a year now to further my spanish language study. It has been the best utility I’ve ever used. My vocabulary has literally exploded and I’m confident that I have greater than a 3000 word Spanish vocabulary. Every new Spanish word I run across goes into the database and I review it. Within a week or two I’ve really learned that word and any others entered around the same time. Sometimes I’ll slip and get two mixed up, but with software like mnemosyne I know eventually I will own the word.

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Sick week and Starting to Brush up with German

Well, I’ve been sick this week (h1n1 diary entry..) among just the general being sick part of things…. I wanted to read, look at things that were out of the usual routine and so I started reviewing some German. I dug out my old German textbook Deutsch Na Klar and spent some time with Rosetta Stone as well as Fokus Deutsch. It certainly has been a while (I guess 15 years(!)) Anyway… I’m adding in the words from the German book to the word list that I’ve been working in Mnemosyne. (Spanish still the predominant language in my cards….)

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Lingo Basics Review | An honest look at LingoBasics

You may not yet have heard of Lingo Basics. It’s a product being sold for $49.97 and promises many things. Does it deliver?

As I look at my shelves I have MANY language products that I’ve collected over the years. Most of these are books, dictionaries, references, but there are others, novels, dvds, audio. I’ve probably spent a couple hundred dollars in all easily. So, in some ways you could say I’m an easy sell, but these days I do try and not throw money after each and every product out there.

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Keeping up with SRS (Spaced Repetition Software) Vocabulary over a Vacation

As I mentioned in the last post we just got back from a family vacation in Surfside Beach, SC. I took my computer with me although I hesitated to do so. My primary work is finding answers to computer problems for people. I didn’t want to spend the vacation doing work, answering mail, etc. But I did want to have access to google maps and I didn’t want to fall behind in Mnemosyne with my scheduled words.

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Dialects of English and language learning

We’ve just got back from a Surfside Beach, SC Family Vacation and haven’t been doing a lot of posting lately. I think I’ll be aiming for a monthly posting (give or take a bit), which should give me more time to work on the pages, which are where the real content of the site is.

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