How many of the world’s languages can you recognize by sound? Play the Great Language Game to test yourself!
Category Archives: About Languages
Langscape, a project of the Maryland Language Science Center, is a set of tools to explore language diversity. The centerpiece of the project is an interactive map that lets users click on any geographic location to see the languages spoken there. Selecting a language allows users to access a growing variety of resources for that language. There is also a tool for the identification of languages based on (usually transliterated) texts.
Looking for some fun? Play the Language Familiarization Game!
A new website, Localingual, is collecting language samples from around the world. David Ding, a former Microsoft engineer, hopes that this site will become the Wikipedia of languages. Not only can the site’s visitors hear the audio files others have created but they can also record their own contributions from a computer or an Android phone. More information on this project is available in a French article from Sciences et Avenir. Why not visit the site and contribute your own examples?
This image is yet another representation of ‘family trees’ of languages, a common way of illustrating relationships among the numerous languages spoken by humans. But what are the roots of human language? Why did humans develop these complex forms of communication when other species did not? An article by Paul Ibbotson, a developmental psychologist, and Michael Tomasello, co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, argues that language developed from the human need to collaborate. What do you think?
Are you an adventurous language learner? Although the languages listed here are difficult, they are certainly not impossible to learn–and you can take classes here in Japanese, Arabic, and Mandarin. (Some other languages are available through the Global Studio’s Self-Directed Program.)
You probably know that French, Spanish, and Italian are ‘siblings’; all three developed from the Latin used throughout the Roman Empire. You may be less aware of the relationship of English to German, Dutch, and several Scandinavian languages. Eurotalk, a developer of software for language learning, has created this image to illustrate the ‘language forest’ to show the relationships among many of the 6000+ languages in the world.
Are you interested in learning a language? The Global Studio has resources, including some of the Eurotalk software, to help you. Come visit!