Blog Profiles: Language Blogs
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In the last 10 years, I’ve taken five language courses, spent countless hours on Duolingo, and at one point, converted my Facebook to Welsh to force myself to learn something. I even named my various mobile phones a series of Welsh words like “aderyn” and “cerwiden.”
After much struggle, I had a revelation: My brain lacks the ability to grasp a language other than English (which it still seems to struggle with from time to time — I frequently get made fun of at work for rapidly switching between British and American English when I type).
Such is life.
The following are some of my favourite blogs. They dissect a number of different languages so thoroughly they make me think I may have a chance at learning a language in the future (… it’s definitely not going to happen, but one can hope).
Omniglot is one of my personal favorites because it’s an intimate personal blog that shows an overwhelming interest in the pursuit of knowledge.
The blog’s writer, Simon Ager, coined the term Omniglot in 1998, when he was developing a translation business. It’s a noun that quite literally translates to someone or something having a command of all languages, derived from the Latin word for all (omnis) and the Greek word for tongue (glossa).
The posts range from simple language quizzes to glimpses into Ager’s life. Here are some I enjoyed: Slight mishap and Cold Wintry Wind.
Follow @Omniglossia on Twitter.
2. Language Log
The Language Log, first developed in 2003 on a University of Pennsylvania server, regularly is updated by a group of linguistics scholars.
Linguistics experts Kristin Denham and Anne Lobeck called the Language Log “one of the most popular language sites on the internet,” and blog creators/linguistic professors Mark Liberman and Geoffrey Pullum even have gone so far as to publish a book about it.
The blog has everything from academic discourse and total language breakdowns to a tongue-in-cheek glimpse at Google Translate’s apparent alternate universe. The Language Log also has one of my all-time favorite comment sections with well-formed and well-attributed theories and discussions.
I found the following posts (and comments) to be great: Hell of Slow and Haba: mysterious Mandarin morpheme for “pug”.
Follow @LanguageLog on Twitter.
3. 5-Minute Language
Most people have lives outside of linguistics and learning a language takes time. Agniezska, the owner of 5-Minute Language blog, recognizes this.
This blog is a quick way to get the resources you need when learning a language. Compared with other blogs, the posts are easily accessible to linguistically-challenged people.
If you’re still having trouble, Agniezska offers free webinars and online courses to help you along.
Maybe if I had been aware of this blog a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have wasted so much time.
Some of the posts I enjoyed: Jump-start your language skills by watching TV: a 4-step guide and Forgetting your native language is a thing 22.
Follow @agamurdoch on Twitter.
4. Itchy Feet
Itchy Feet isn’t really a blog, but it felt wrong to not include it on this list.
Malachi Ray Rempen captures culture and language gaps so well that it would be foolish to not include Itchy Feet here.
Itchy Feet is a weekly romp around the world, detailing embarrassing (and generally humorous experiences) encountered when you’re trying to keep it together and maintain some kind of semblance of normalcy in a foreign place.
It’s hard to choose just a couple of posts, but these are my favorite: Half O’Clock, Das Wrongword, and Cryptic Sequence.
Follow @ItchyFeetComic on Twitter.
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Savannah Tanbusch is a team lead and editor for PRWeb. She spends a lot of her free time thinking about dogs and playing video games. Follow her at @tanbusch.