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Linguistics & Cognitive Science


Language Geek

  • #ClearTheList | Language Goals for August, 2018

    #ClearTheList | Language Goals for August, 2018

    I recently came across something cool on Twitter, #ClearTheList, a support and accountability blog group sharing monthly language learning goals. It's hosted by Shannon of Eurolinguiste and Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages. I decided to jump…
    - 47 days ago, 3 Aug 18, 2:53pm -
  • Vocabulary Myths – Myths to Look Out for when Learning a Language

    Vocabulary Myths – Myths to Look Out for when Learning a Language

      I recently read Vocabulary Myths: Applying Second Language Research to Classroom Teaching and really enjoyed it. I also see that I posted about a distilled PDF about this 8 years ago (wow, time flies!). Check that out if you'd rather not read th…
    - 96 days ago, 15 Jun 18, 1:42pm -
  • Free German Books, Audiobooks, Magazines and More

    Free German Books, Audiobooks, Magazines and More

    If you are learning German, you'll want to start digging into native materials sooner rather than later. News articles, podcasts, books, magazines, audiobooks - take your pick. You can find a lot of those things online for free, but some content - bo…
    - 1 Jun 18, 9:00am -
  • Blah, blah, blah – Speaking a foreign language when you’re an anxious perfectionist

    Blah, blah, blah – Speaking a foreign language when you’re an anxious perfectionist

    After putting it off for way, way too long (more on that in an upcoming post), I jumped into trying to speak German semi-regularly about 8 months ago. I started using the Tandem app, chatting with folks, and making fairly regular phone calls. I've si…
    - 25 May 18, 8:52am -
  • Learning with Readlang

    Learning with Readlang

    I've recently started using Readlang.com a lot more, adding it to my list of daily language learning tools. It's similar to LingQ and Learning With Texts, but ultimately, I've found that I like Readlang the most out of the three. It's speedier than L…
    - 28 May 17, 10:12am -
  • Beginning steps in Swedish

    Beginning steps in Swedish

    A few weeks ago, I received my copy of Schwedisch ohne Mühe. This was very much a spur of the moment purchase, based largely on this train of thought: I've long been interested in Viking history; I'm interested in Old Norse; I should check out a mod…
    - 3 Oct 16, 4:17pm -
  • Strange Languages in Stranger Things

    Strange Languages in Stranger Things

    Like many people, the wife and I just finished up Stranger Things a few nights ago. I ended up absolutely loving it - great story, great acting, great 80s vibe. It was just lovely. So I was very, very happy to see that Netflix actually lets you watch…
    - 11 Aug 16, 8:33am -
  • Hallo wieder (Back at it)

    Hallo wieder (Back at it)

    I mentioned this a while back on the Facebook page for my blog, but for those that missed it (why don't you like the Facebook page? ;) ): the missing passion has been found. No real secret to that, other than I did what lots of people do and recommen…
    - 2 Jul 16, 11:23am -
  • Germany and “What did they just say?”

    Germany and “What did they just say?”

    So, I mentioned previously that my wife and I were going to Germany for our honeymoon. We went in early September, and were there for a little over a week. It was a great trip, and I'm glad to have been able to go. Obviously, with my love for the Ger…
    - 28 Oct 15, 9:49am -
  • A short video overview of the Gold List vocabulary method

    A short video overview of the Gold List vocabulary method

    Reader Christopher Huff made a short video, providing a great, concise overview of the Gold List vocabulary method. If you're interested in giving the method a try, check it out! See Christopher's own site here.The post A short video overview of the…
    - 17 Sep 15, 8:59am -

Language Magazine

  • newEffective English Language Teachers
    Patricia Hanson shares practical tips for classroom success I recently observed a colleague teaching ratios in a middle school math class with several English learners (ELs). He naturally weaved in a conversation teaching the meaning of the word per.…
    - 5 hours ago, 19 Sep 18, 5:03pm -
  • Pictograms to Replace French on Quebec Roadsigns
    Quebec’s French-only roadsigns will be replaced by pictograms, making it easier for non-French speakers to navigate the road in Canada’s province. English text on roadsigns would have violated Quebec’s language laws, which left little option bu…
    - 2 days ago, 17 Sep 18, 5:15pm -
  • Scientific Explorations of Inquiry
    Inquiring Scientists, Inquiring Readers in Middle School: Using Nonfiction to Promote Science Literacy couples the Common Core Standards of middle school science with the multimodal aspects of literacy (e.g., reading, writing, speaking, viewing, and…
    - 2 days ago, 17 Sep 18, 4:23pm -
  • Building Strong Readers
    Starting Strong is a practical resource for preservice instructors and experienced professionals of early-development classrooms looking for ways to more effectively build foundational literacy skills. As an easy-to-navigate compilation of research-b…
    - 4 days ago, 15 Sep 18, 8:23pm -
  • Government of Canada announces support for the preservation of Indigenous languages in Saskatchewan
    Indigenous languages are a core part of both Canada’s cultural identity and Indigenous identity. The Government of Canada is committed to reversing the decline of Indigenous languages by working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities…
    - 6 days ago, 13 Sep 18, 2:46pm -
  • Approval of SEAL
    Sobrato Philanthropies, funded through the real estate successes of the Sobrato family in Silicon Valley, has developed an innovative pre-K to third-grade capacity-building program for teachers to address the needs of English learner (EL) students, s…
    - 8 days ago, 11 Sep 18, 4:29pm -
  • A Pedagogy of Translanguaging
    Laura Hamman, Emeline Beck, and Aubrey Donaldson have developed a framework for designing and integrating more flexible language pedagogies into the bilingual classroom   One day at recess, a distraught five-year-old approached me and proclaimed ang…
    - 9 days ago, 10 Sep 18, 6:16pm -
  • Standardized Testing Detriment to Minority Children
    Over the last year or so, the movement against high-stakes standardized testing has subsided, maybe due to educational activists focusing their attention on more pressing issues, such as funding, in the Trump era, or maybe because the Every Student S…
    - 9 days ago, 10 Sep 18, 3:02pm -
  • Unintended Consequences
    Katie Nielson asks if online collaboration may sabotage language learning Facing decreased enrollment and increasing student demand for a return on investment, higher education is under more pressure than ever to improve educational outcomes. With th…
    - 11 days ago, 8 Sep 18, 8:04pm -
  • 2019 the Year of Indigenous Languages IY2019
    The United Nations has declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages (IY2019) to help preserve indigenous languages and safeguard the rights of those who speak them. According to the IY2019 website, “Languages play a crucial role in…
    - 12 days ago, 7 Sep 18, 5:13pm -

Mr. Verb

  • You've been warned, interwebs ...
    What you thought was the cold lifeless corpus of Mr. Verb may be twitching again ... stay tuned.Bwahahaha.
    - 29 May 17, 3:29pm -
  • Ignorance, appropriation, and exoticization

    Ignorance, appropriation, and exoticization

    ... all wrapped up in one nice package in this morning's New York Times!It's a little hard to know where to start. Well, let's start with ignorance. The media never gets stuff about language right, so that's no surprise. And in some places it's hard…
    - 24 Apr 16, 11:16pm -
  • Untitled

    This was fun (well, for a language nerd, anyway). I spotted this eggcorn in an article about Wisconsin's education-destroying governor:  "... or who serve at the leisure of these appointees." I was really baffled because that only works as an eggcor…
    - 12 Aug 15, 12:58am -
  • Language Capital Project
    Some of the Wisconsin Englishes folks have talked off and on about doing maps of 'linguistic resources' in communities, figuring out where different languages are used in businesses and community organizations, for instance. Turns out that Tucson is…
    - 11 Aug 15, 9:00am -
  • LSA speaks up for tenure and academic freedom at the University of Wisconsin
    Subject line pretty much says it all. See here.
    - 23 Jun 15, 10:21am -
  • UW: Should I stay or should I go?

    UW: Should I stay or should I go?

    There’s a lot of talk now about UW faculty being poached or just looking to flee the state. The following is a real letter from a senior faculty member at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I have been saying that the first real question for…
    - 19 Jun 15, 12:29pm -
  • Open attack on academic freedom and free speech

    Open attack on academic freedom and free speech

    Look at this clip of an interview with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. The host, Mike Gousha, asks specifically about tenure, "why do changes need to be made?" Starting around 2:00, Fitzgerald responds with this:The idea that anybody should…
    - 17 Jun 15, 8:06pm -
  • Zapf and linguistics

    Zapf and linguistics

    Hermann Zapf has passed away. The NYT obit has a good sketch of his life and work, including designing Palatino and Optima fonts. In linguistics, he has a special place because his Dingbats font provided a face, so to speak, for Optimality Theory (al…
    - 10 Jun 15, 8:43am -
  • The real misperception about the politics surrounding the University of Wisconsin

    The real misperception about the politics surrounding the University of Wisconsin

    This blog has been silent about recent developments aimed at destroying the University of Wisconsin by more rapid defunding, by dismantling tenure and by forbidding shared governance.We've seen the Board of Regents decline to step up and urge the sta…
    - 9 Jun 15, 9:42am -
  • Workshop on Immigrant Languages in the Americas 6: Uppsala, Sweden

    Workshop on Immigrant Languages in the Americas 6: Uppsala, Sweden

    Various UW folks have attended this workshop and recommend it highly. Besides, it's Sweden in September.The 6th Annual Workshop on Immigrant Languages in the Americas (WILA6) will take place on September 24–26, 2015, at Uppsala University, Uppsala,…
    - 30 May 15, 11:28am -

Sci American: Language & Linguistics

    The Cranky Linguist

    • The United States of Perpetual Unpreparedness
      OK, somebody has to say it. 17 years ago close to 3,000 people died largely because the US was unprepared for an attack of that kind, or for that matter any kind. A year ago, a hurricane hit Puerto Rico and around 3,000 people died because, again, th…
      - 8 days ago, 11 Sep 18, 2:51pm -
    • Guest post: McCain and Vietnam
      From a friend:I was an undergraduate when John McCain was flying bombing missions over the Vietnamese People (yes there was “collateral damage”). As an anthropology major I was learning about the cross-cultural approach and cultural relativism. A…
      - 23 days ago, 27 Aug 18, 10:42am -
    • John McCain (1936-2018)
      I have sympathy for his family, and I wished him no suffering, ever. But I still have a hard time with the "war hero" thing. He was bombing brown people in a country that was never a threat to the US (I sense a theme in US history there). He was defe…
      - 24 days ago, 26 Aug 18, 2:17pm -
    • The Ongoing Trump Shit-Storm
      It's been hard to write about this, because it seems like whenever something happens, and I might be starting to have a coherent thought about it, something else happens before I can put anything together.There's no need at this point to go through t…
      - 37 days ago, 14 Aug 18, 9:48am -
    • Wheel of Fortune: Ebonics is "wrong"
      [I just posted this on Wheel of Fortune's contact page.]On yesterday's show one puzzle included the word "embroidered." An African American woman solved the puzzle but pronounced this word so that it sounded like "emroided."  I believe that this hap…
      - 21 Mar 18, 3:09pm -
    • Social Science at the Olympics
      Friday night, watching the Olympic opening ceremony, I was reminded of Chinese-American anthropologist Francis Hsu. The commentator described the opening ceremony (which had some very nice moments) as representing one of the differences between East…
      - 11 Feb 18, 7:43am -
    • Yesterday's email from the UNF president
      From the desk of President John Delaney:I wanted to follow up on a message I sent to the campus community earlier today, about a flurry of social media posts which included a threatening message and a disturbing image. While Federal law (FERPA) norm…
      - 15 Nov 17, 9:36am -
    • Carriacou in 1967

      Carriacou in 1967

      This is a silent video by someone named Dennis Furbush in Carriacou in February 1967.
      - 9 Oct 17, 2:13pm -
    • 9/11: Something to think about
      Osama bin Laden, quoted in The Guardian October 2004:"God knows it did not cross our minds to attack the towers but after the situation became unbearable and we witnessed the injustice and tyranny of the American-Israeli alliance against our people i…
      - 12 Sep 17, 10:19am -
    • Why anthropology needs to be taught in school (guest blog)
      Recently there has been a trend in education towards emphasizing the STEM academic disciplines while excluding the legacy disciplines of the “Social Sciences”. Recent (and continuing) news* shows the folly of moving away from the social sciences-…
      - 8 Aug 17, 3:53pm -

    The Lousy Linguist

    • Putting the Linguistics into Kaggle Competitions
      In the spirit of Dr. Emily Bender’s NAACL blog post Putting the Linguistics in Computational Linguistics, I want to apply some of her thoughts to the data from the recently opened Kaggle competition Toxic Comment Classification Challenge.Dr. Bender…
      - 28 Dec 17, 4:36pm -
    • A linguist asks some questions about word vectors
      I have at best a passing familiarity with word vectors, strictly from a 30,000 foot view. I've never directly used them outside a handful of toy tutorials (though they have been embedded in a variety of tools I use professionally). There is somethi…
      - 18 Oct 17, 8:16pm -
    • Nuts and Bolts of Applying Deep Learning (Andrew Ng)

      Nuts and Bolts of Applying Deep Learning (Andrew Ng)

      I recently watched Andrew Ng's excellent lecture from 2016 Nuts and Bolts of Applying Deep Learning and took notes. I post them as a helpful resource for anyone who wants to watch the video. I broke it into the following sectionsEnd-to-End DL for ri…
      - 14 Sep 17, 6:47pm -
    • NLPers: How would you characterize your linguistics background?

      NLPers: How would you characterize your linguistics background?

      That was the poll question my hero Professor Emily Bender posed on Twitter March 30th. 573 tweets later, a truly epic thread had been created pitting some of the most influential NLPers in the world head to head in a contest of wit and debate tha…
      - 8 Apr 17, 6:53pm -
    • Small Towns Do Tech Startups Too

      Small Towns Do Tech Startups Too

      I'm participating in the Startup Weekend event in Chico CA sponsored by Chicostart. Great first night. The 60 second pitches were awesome. So much variety and interesting problems to solve. I pitched my own idea about using Watson to identify fake…
      - 25 Mar 17, 11:01am -
    • Chico Startup Weekend

      Chico Startup Weekend

      I'm looking forward to participating in Chico Startup Weekend, sponsored by Chicostart. I can't say what the weekend holds, but it's nice to know there's this kind of energy and drive in small town America. Startups ain't just for Austin and Mountain…
      - 24 Mar 17, 5:02pm -
    • Using IBM Watson Knowledge Studio to Train Machine Learning Models

      Using IBM Watson Knowledge Studio to Train Machine Learning Models

      Using the Free Trial version of IBM's Watson Knowledge Studio, I just annotated a text and created a machine learning model in about 3 hours without writing a single line of code. The mantra of WKS is that you don't program Watson, you teach Watson.F…
      - 22 Mar 17, 3:11pm -
    • Annotate texts and create learning models

      Annotate texts and create learning models

      IBM Watson has released a free trial version of their online Watson Knowledge Studio tool. This is one of the tools I'm most excited about because it brings linguistic annotation, rule writing, dictionary creation, and machine learning together in a…
      - 9 Mar 17, 10:44am -
    • one of the best preschools in chico
      My sister's preschool, Kids First Learning Center, was voted one of the best prescools in Chico in the local News and Review Best of Chico contest. Very cool
      - 14 Oct 16, 2:43pm -
    • the value of play for preschool children
      A nice article came up in The Atlantic about the comeback of recess and play in elementary schools. My sister posted some thought about how she encourages play when she teaches her preschool kids: For our little Chico preschool, play and education a…
      - 25 Sep 16, 4:32pm -
    MyPopMuse
    MyPopMuse
    MyPopMuse
    MyPopMuse

    Thoughts on Translation

    • Survey: 2019 online courses
      I’m in the process of scheduling my 2019 online course lineup, and I’ve prepared a short survey to get a sense of what my readers are interested in. These are courses taught by other instructors with me facilitating the administrative portion. As…
      - 5 days ago, 14 Sep 18, 10:41am -
    • Blogging for business: Five questions to answer before you start
      Blogging: it’s dead! Blogging: you’ll never find clients without it! Is one of these true for translators and interpreters? Both are true? Neither? Is blogging totally 2009, or should you start blogging today, if you’re not doing so already? Ha…
      - 7 days ago, 12 Sep 18, 3:09pm -
    • New podcast: Translation memory tools and their use (or not)
      Eve Bodeux and I just released a new episode of our podcast, Speaking of Translation. In this episode, we discuss computer-assisted translation tools. What are CAT tools? What are they useful for? When are they not useful? What flavors of CAT tools a…
      - 15 days ago, 4 Sep 18, 4:25pm -
    • Upcoming online courses: English to Spanish legal translation; Organization and productivity
      I have two brand-new online courses coming up in September; after 12+ years of offering business skills courses for translators, I decided earlier this year to branch out into other areas. The inaugural course in that vein, French to English translat…
      - 22 days ago, 28 Aug 18, 6:29pm -
    • Breaking up with a client: how and when to cut the cord
      Breaking up with clients–agencies or direct clients–is sometimes painful, but it’s a necessary part of a thriving freelance business: if a client treats you poorly, a breakup is a must. If you’re ready to move on to better-paying or more inte…
      - 23 days ago, 27 Aug 18, 1:28pm -
    • Freelance money mistakes you’re probably making…and how to fix them
      I say “probably making,” because these are all mistakes that I’ve made along the freelance path–hopefully this post will save you from repeating them! Of course, everyone is at a different stage of freelance financial management; if you answe…
      - 29 days ago, 21 Aug 18, 4:51pm -
    • How much marketing is enough?
      When you’re actively looking for new clients, how much marketing is enough? I hear this question frequently, from beginning and experienced translators alike: beginners need more work, while experienced translators need better work. I’ll admit th…
      - 37 days ago, 13 Aug 18, 12:47pm -
    • How to ask clients for feedback
      Working as a freelance translator means working in a bit of a vacuum. The upside: no pointy-haired boss! The downside: no on-location colleagues off whom to bounce ideas, and very little feedback on how you’re doing. If you work as an in-house tran…
      - 44 days ago, 6 Aug 18, 12:52pm -
    • New online course: English to Spanish legal translation
      Earlier this year, I decided to expand my usual offering of online business classes for translators (going strong since 2006!) and begin offering translation skills development courses. The inaugural course in that vein was Translation Workshop: Fren…
      - 50 days ago, 31 Jul 18, 6:33pm -
    • OT: Back from Beautiful British Columbia!
      After a thoroughly relaxing month off (well, minus the day that my bike was stolen off our car in Missoula, Montana…but that’s another story!), I’m back in the office as of today. As usual, the complete break from work really cleared my head an…
      - 51 days ago, 30 Jul 18, 1:12pm -
    In The Lights

    About PopMuse

    A curated aggregation of musings from across the land and of different subject matters for the scanoholics.