Category Archives: Fun

Play the Great Language Game!

language game logoHow many of the world’s languages can you recognize by sound?  Play the Great Language Game to test yourself!


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Explore the Languages of the World with Langscape

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!


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An Interactive Audio Map of the World’s Languages



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?

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Explore World Music Across the Decades

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Do you need to find some music that is new to you?  Try! is a new music service that lets you explore music from a wide range of countries and decades.  Choose a decade and then a country from a clickable map or vice versa and see what contributors to the site have uploaded.  There are options to upload music and to personalize your experience.  Enjoy!

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Don’t count sheep, master a new language

It’s finally here!  Use the Duolingo Pillow to master a new language in your sleep!

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For more information:

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Start Learning a New Language in January!

Join the uTalk Challenge!

Software can’t teach you to speak and understand a language, but it can certainly help you get started with essential vocabulary and practice listening and speaking.  uTalk is an iOS app available for a number of languages that is both useful and fun.  Only the most basic level, however, is free unless you join the uTalk challenge.

If you sign up at, you’ll receive on January 1, 2016, a code to unlock the uTalk Essentials level of the app in your chosen language completely free.  Eurotalk, the company that makes uTalk, will check in with you each week to see how you’re doing.  If you complete the Essesntials level by the end of January, you can receive another language for February and so on each month.

Note:  The uTalk app is only available on iOS.  However, if you don’t have an iOS device, send an email to so that an alternative can be worked out.

For more information, including a video of some competitors in the 2015 challenge, go to


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Tonight: French Mini-Series on TV5 (with English subtitles)

scene from Paris Tonight at 11 p.m., TV5 is beginning the broadcast of the French mini-series Paris with English subtitles.  Here is what The New York Times says about it:

“It’s a sad, sad, sad, sad city: A bus driver steals back his keys after being benched and holds his passengers hostage. A pregnant wife hides her husband’s gun in her bag, then loses it. A prosecutor with a gambling debt cracks a safe but leaves the money behind. And the prime minister’s son skips school to search for his mother — and, after being mugged, finds solace with a transgender nightclub chanteuse.

“And it’s not yet noon in “Paris,” a six-part French mini-series that traverses 24 hours as a dozen seemingly random residents dodge, dart and finally collide. Created by the writer Virginie Brac and the director Gilles Bannier of the labyrinthine crime drama “Spiral,” and starting Tuesday, Nov. 3, at 11 p.m. Eastern on TV5Monde, it’s a moody mashup of cool and grit featuring the César-winning actor Éric Caravaca, the Swiss model Julie Ordon and the French rapper Kool Shen; a score by the keyboardist Hervé Salters; and a graphic intro that soars through the innards of the Eiffel Tower. Oh — and subtitles.”

This is not the Paris of tourists but of people from all walks of life whose daily lives are spent there.  And the series is not something you’ll find on American TV.

The Global Studio distributes TV5 to all academic buildings via the University’s wired computer network.  Download the French playlist for VLC, open VLC with that playlist, and watch TV5.  You must be on an ethernet connection in an academic building.  You may watch TV5 on any of the Global Studio computers and on the large TVs in the Studio; ask the Studio Assistant to make TV5 available if it is not on one of the TV screens.  The Studio is open until midnight Sunday – Thursday.











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