Language Acquisition

On WordChamp’s embedded reader/translator

I believe the future of language learning methods is with the web. The standalone language packages (like Rosetta Stone) take too long to develop, are limited in the amount of material they can package and do not leverage community effort (which WordChamp does with user translations). The biggest challenge with the web based services is to convince people to pay for them. As with many web 2.0 companies (e.g., MySpace, YouTube), WordChamp is currently free, but obviously this cannot continue forever.

Best language learning site for me: WordChamp

I really like WordChamp to help me with learning foreign languages. It was good for me when I was learning French. It is good to me now that I am learning Spanish. And the last couple of months it was getting better nearly on a weekly basis. That did not used to be the case. I looked at them just over a year ago and they had some interesting ideas, but the best features (like Web Reader) were for paying customers only.

International Mother Language Day

Сегодня - Международный день родного языка. Мой родной язык - Русский! Я горд моим родным языком даже если я не использую его каждый день. Today - 21st of February - is the International Mother Language Day. My mother language is Russian! I am proud of my mother language, even if I do not get to use it every day. Apart from Russian, I know reasonably good English and have dabbled in French, Esperanto and - now - Spanish.

Is it a crime to learn a foreign language?

These days, learning a foreign language is considered a useful thing. The advantages are many: from travelling to foreign countries to getting a preferential treatment in the ethnic restaurants of your own to keeping the dementia away. This was not always a case though, at least for China. Until 1844, it was illegal for a foreigner to learn Chinese. That changed for America, when Caleb Cushing had negotiated the Treaty of Wanghia, which made it possible for Americans - and Americans only - to learn Chenese.

Speed learn a language through Esperanto

When I speak to other people about Esperanto, they often ask whether there are any practical uses to knowing the language beyond the language itself. I used to talk about Pasporta Servo, ability to listen to other countries’ radio and global community. Now I just go straight for the big guns. I ask them whether they ever tried learning another language. Usually the answer is yes and usually the language was never learned well.