Like films by the Marx brothers, Airplane! creates a feeling of giddy, exuberant anarchy by hurling a non-stop barrage of jokes at you. It is the sort of movie that viewers risk hyperventilating from laughing so much. Yet among the all gags and one-liners — “I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.[...]
You may never have heard much Yiddish, but we can’t call it a dead language. The tongue of the Ashkenazi Jews, one referred to in the 19th and part of the 20th century as simply “Jewish,” certainly did, however, have a near-death experience.[...]
Say the name “Yan-san” to anyone who’s studied Japanese in the last thirty years, and you’ll probably get a reaction of delighted recognition. It means that, inside or outside the classroom, they studied with Let’s Learn Japanese, a series of educational videos produced by the Japan Foundation.[...]
There are some words out there that are brilliantly evocative and at the same time impossible to fully translate. Yiddish has the word shlimazl, which basically means a perpetually unlucky person. German has the word Backpfeifengesicht, which roughly means a face that is badly in need of a fist.[...]
I spent this afternoon chatting with a travel writer about how we first allowed ourselves to start learning foreign languages. That notion may sound a bit odd, especially to those of you living in countries where everyone grows up trilingual.[...]
For only $269, you can learn to speak Klingon with Rosetta Stone.
Our big collection of Free Language Lessons offers tutorials in Bambara, Bulgarian, Icelandic, Yiddish and more. But Klingon? That, sadly, you can only get at Rosetta Stone.
Are you ready to play The Great Language Game? This online game “challenges you to distinguish between some eighty or so languages [see a list here] based on their sound alone. In each game you’re allowed three mistakes, which are kept for you to study at the end.[...]
I receive weekly reminders of my linguistic ignorance whenever I read anything by authors fluent in Latin.[...]
For all of the free literature and essays available online, a surprisingly small amount is geared toward children. Even less is aimed at children who speak foreign languages.
The International Children’s Digital Library offers children ages 3-13 free access to the best available children’s literature in more than 40 languages.
At MIT, Dr. Paola Rebusco usually teaches physics to freshmen. But, on behalf of the MIT Experimental Study Group, Rebusco has devised an appealing course — Speak Italian with Your Mouth Full — where she combines teaching two things many people love: learning to speak Italian and cooking Italian food.[...]