Spence Green

التكرار يعلم الحمار

I work at Lilt. In addition to computers and languages, my interests include travel, running, and scuba diving. more...

Archive for the ‘Language’ Category

Using Humans to Translate the Web: Duolingo

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Written by Spence

May 5th, 2011 at 7:34 am

The Most Frustrating Language in the World

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I anticipate having a heart attack by at least age 35; Arabic may stop my heart well before my third decade commences. Fluency in it has become a primary ambition and I spend several hours a day studying, speaking, and writing. Before moving to the Middle East, I anticipated developing a conversational capability in about ten months. After all, how many people do you know who return from six months in Madrid saying, “Yeah, I can speak Spanish pretty well.”

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Written by Spence

February 24th, 2007 at 11:22 am

Posted in Language

On English

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The process of learning a another language has many ancillary benefits, not the least of which is the insight derived from a different mode of expression. Arabic, for example, reflects the Islam’s cultural import; many common words incorporate the word “Allah” or other religious vocabulary. Muslims also believe that a genuine Qur’an, which itself is ontologically sacred, may only be written in Arabic. Adam and Eve, they posit, also spoke in gutteral, throaty tones, a position that Christians and Jews may find sequacious. Similarly, the French protect the Gallic tongue with a maniacal zeal and take umbrage when others do not mimic their enthusiasm. They view English as a disease that has already subjugated much of the world and left local cultures in a distempered state. The incorrigable French culture, they believe, turns on the universal acceptance of French as a medium of exchange. Similar examples exist elsewhere in the world.

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Written by Spence

February 24th, 2007 at 11:21 am

Posted in Language