Hazardous Effects of Dubbing

-+*Ok, maybe not hazardous, but the effects sure are annoying. France dubs almost all foreign TV shows and movies into French instead of leaving the original spoken language and adding subtitles. I absolutely hate it because the lips don’t match the words, the voices don’t match the actors, and it’s really distracting when the French […]

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Language Learning Quotes

-+*To get back into full language learning mode, here are some quotes from scholarly journals and books to keep in mind. Citations are on the bibliography page. 1) why textbooks will not teach you to speak a language…. “Textbooks often present forms that are not commonly used, and most non-natives acquiring a language in a […]

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Videos & Subtitles are Best

-+*In my nerdy, just-for-fun independent research on language acquisition, I’ve come across several articles about using video with subtitles in the classroom and how it vastly increases the rate of vocabulary acquisition. Hearing and reading the words in context is very important – now I just wish someone would tell producers of DVDs that… Subtitles […]

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International Mother Language Day – February 21, 2009

-+*The International Mother Language Day has been observed yearly since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. Yesterday at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, the 3rd edition of the Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger was presented in an online edition and is available free of charge worldwide. It contains information […]

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Links Roundup for Learning Languages Online (Audio Version)

-+*I’ve been slowly going through my Language Links page to delete dead links and add new ones. Some new language sites that I’ve come across since my last links post include audio prominently: SWAC Audio Collections provide pronunciations for a wide range of words in 11 languages: Bielorussian, Czech, Chinese, German, English, French, Dutch, Russian, […]

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Multilingual is always better than monolingual

-+*From the New York Times: Nashville Won’t Make English Official Language By ROBBIE BROWN Published: January 22, 200 Nashville voters on Thursday rejected a proposal to make English the city’s official language and largely to prevent government workers from communicating in other languages. The proposal was introduced by Eric Crafton, a metropolitan councilman. It was […]

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A Few Ways to Say It

-+*Joyeux Noël ! Buon Natale! Feliz Navidad! Merry Christmas! Frohe Weihnachten! Zalig kerstfeest! God Jul!

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English Ad Slogans in Non-Anglophone Countries

-+*This Spiegel article is about German of course, but just replace “Germany” and “German” with “France” and “French” and the outcome is the same. How Germans Really See English Ad Slogans: English is all the rage in Germany — the height of fashion, except that many people don’t understand it. Consumer groups would like to […]

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More Free Language Resources Online

-+*Publisher Websites. A lot of publishing companies have companion websites for their foreign language textbooks. Most offer extra exercises in grammar and vocabulary, while some even offer free downloads of  mp3s and a sample chapter. McGraw-Hill World Languages: Free audio downloads to accompany textbook & workbook (in the Student Edition section) Heinle World Languages: Mostly […]

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First Semester Language

-+*We all laugh at these songs that make fun of beginning language classes and the somewhat useless words and phrases we learn. How many times in French have I ever said “Où est la bibliothèque ?” Um, probably never. But these videos also show the poor attempt at language teaching and/or the poor attempt at […]

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