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Linguistics & Cognitive Science


Language Geek

  • 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 speedie…
    - 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…
    - 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 wat…
    - 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 reco…
    - 2 Jul 16, 11:23am -
  • Loss of Passion

    Loss of Passion

    So, it’s clearly been quite a while since I last wrote here. I’ve tweeted a few things here and there, but I’ve largely been silent on Twitter, too. What gives? If you look at my previous post, you can probably connect the dots. My trip to Germ…
    - 19 Apr 16, 5:30pm -
  • 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 G…
    - 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.
    - 17 Sep 15, 8:59am -
  • The Goldlist Method

    The Goldlist Method

    I wrote about the “Goldlist method” quite some time ago (just shy of 8 years ago, wow!), but never really gave it a fair try. (If you’re totally lost about what the Goldlist method is, it’s probably best to start with the creator’s page her…
    - 20 Jun 15, 12:33pm -
  • Spotify and Language Learning

    Spotify and Language Learning

    I’ve been a big fan of Spotify ever since it launched in the states a number of years ago, not only because it’s great for music discovery, but also because it’s a veritable treasure trove for language learners. For a long while, listening to d…
    - 7 Apr 15, 5:30pm -
  • Language Bits

    Language Bits

    Just some bits and bobs I’ve watched / read lately about language learning that I found interesting. Enjoy!   Steve Kaufmann has a nice video up about dealing with anxiety and language learning, specifically while speaking, but what he says can re…
    - 17 Nov 14, 9:40pm -

Language Magazine

  • newThe Amazing Case of El Biblioburro
    Lori Langer de Ramirez uses the world language classroom to broaden students’ knowledge of geography and introduce concepts like social justice Language study can open a student’s eyes to social issues around the world. In rural Colombia, teacher…
    - 6 hours ago, 22 Nov 17, 8:52pm -
  • Diverse Classes Boost Collaborative Skills for All
    Exposure to diversity in the classroom tends to be associated with better collaboration skills., according to the first OECD PISA assessment of collaborative problem solving, and girls are much better than boys at working together to solve problems.…
    - 1 day ago, 21 Nov 17, 4:46pm -
  • When Literacy Gets Critical
    Lina Sun provides a rationale for integrating peace education into the English curriculum through graphic novels Graphic novels, which tell real and fictional stories using a combination of words and images, are often sophisticated and involve intrig…
    - 4 days ago, 19 Nov 17, 1:27pm -
  • Arabic Honor Society
    Qatar Foundation International (QFI) has launched the Arabic Honor Society (AHS) to recognize top-performing high school students studying Arabic language and Arab culture. Benefits of the AHS will include: Exclusive awards that support summer study…
    - 5 days ago, 18 Nov 17, 1:20pm -
  • Become a Spanish Student Ambassador
    Students can now apply to be the representative of Spain and the campaign Study in Spain (SiS) in their university for the next round of the Student Ambassador Program. The program aims to strengthen relations and the image of Spain in higher learnin…
    - 6 days ago, 17 Nov 17, 1:15pm -
  • The Right to Multiple Identities
    Editorial by Dan Ward The constitutional crisis in Spain’s autonomous region of Cataluña highlights the new reality of identification in our globalized world. Although many Catalans consider themselves to be both Catalan and Spanish, speak both la…
    - 7 days ago, 15 Nov 17, 6:42pm -
  • Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Boost Study Abroad
    Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) have introduced the latest incarnation of the bipartisan Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act. This bill would establish a competitive grant program, run by the Dep…
    - 8 days ago, 14 Nov 17, 3:54pm -
  • Chinese Dialects Honored in Film
    Last month’s Zurong Dialect Film Festival, one of China’s campaigns to preserve language diversity, received 582 entries featuring various dialects in just its second year. The number of entries doubled from last year, coming from all over the co…
    - 10 days ago, 13 Nov 17, 2:15pm -
  • Florida’s ESSA Plan ‘Impedes Progress of ELLs’
    The Florida Department of Education’s implementation plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has been roundly criticized as it relates to English learner students and Latino students by experts from UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La…
    - 12 days ago, 10 Nov 17, 8:26pm -
  • EF ‘s EPI Reveals Worldwide English Skills
    Education First For the seventh year in a row, Education First (EF), has released their annual report on English proficiency. EF, an international education company that specializes in language training, educational travel, academic degree programs,…
    - 12 days ago, 10 Nov 17, 7:52pm -

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

    • 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…
      - 8 days ago, 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.
      - 45 days ago, 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…
      - 72 days ago, 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 -
    • Senator Ben Sasse doesn't understand human nature (part II)
      In my previous post, I tried to introduce the anthropological concepts of Independence Training (IT) and Dependence Training (DT).  These are contrasting parameters of enculturation that all human societies share, but to differing degrees.  All hum…
      - 6 Jun 17, 3:54pm -
    • Senator Ben Sasse does not understand human nature
      I finally got around to viewing Bill Maher's most recent edition of Real Time, in which he used the "N-word" while talking with Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE).  I think the reaction has been overblown but maybe more about that another time.More interesti…
      - 5 Jun 17, 9:16pm -
    • Purging the blackness...
      Our so-called president Trump is practically frothing at the mouth to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act; to back out of the Paris climate agreement; and to roll back the recent loosening of restrictions on Cuban and trade and travel.  Doe…
      - 1 Jun 17, 3:01pm -
    • Congressman King's precursors

      Congressman King's precursors

      As reported here and elsewhere, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) recently claimed that we owe "civilization" to the Europeans; nobody else contributed significantly.  This idea is straight out of the playbook of the 19th-century evolutionists, who claimed t…
      - 15 Mar 17, 12:06pm -
    • "The idea that every culture is equal is not objectively true"
      Rep. Steve King (Iowa): "The idea that every culture is equal is not objectively true."Well, yeah. There is a sense in which the ethnocentric Rep. King is right, but it's not the sense he was thinking of. Some years ago, in Exploring the Ways of Mank…
      - 13 Mar 17, 11:58am -
    • Denying science
      You know, I've been used to this kind of thing for many years, because being a linguist/anthropologist means having to listen to people who don't know shit tell you about language and human nature and expect you to respect their nonsense because they…
      - 10 Mar 17, 10:35am -

    The Lousy Linguist

    • 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…
      - 35 days ago, 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…
      - 69 days ago, 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 -
    • from preschool to scholar athlete
      One of the most endearing things about being a teacher is seeing former students go on to achieve great things. My sister's preschool student Jack Emanuel has been named a Subway Scholar athlete. Very cool. Congratulations Jack.
      - 23 Sep 16, 10:02am -
    Janine Just, Inc.
    Janine Just, Inc.
    Janine Just, Inc.
    Janine Just, Inc.

    Thoughts on Translation

    • Winter 2018 online courses for freelancers
      My winter 2018 online course lineup is open for registration, and I’m excited about this 13th (!) season of teaching business development classes for beginning and experienced freelancers. Here’s what’s on tap: A special quick-start session of…
      - 6 days ago, 16 Nov 17, 4:35pm -
    • Seeking guest posts: Lilt, TransferWise Borderless
      Hello, readers! I’m currently seeking authors for two guest posts: A guest post from someone who actively uses Lilt, the adaptive MT translation tool. I’d be especially interested in someone who can compare Lilt to a market-leader TM tool with an…
      - 12 days ago, 11 Nov 17, 1:59pm -
    • “I’m too old for this”: valid concern, or not?
      I hear, with some regularity, from freelance translators–or aspiring freelancers–who worry that they’re “too old for this.” Depending on the individual, “this” might mean: Starting a freelance business in general Pursuing higher-level c…
      - 16 days ago, 6 Nov 17, 3:33pm -
    • Marketing to Direct Clients: starts Wednesday
      This session is now full; thanks for your interest!   Hello everyone and welcome back from the ATA conference if you attended! It was wonderful to see so many colleagues from around the world, and to take a week out from regular work to learn and ne…
      - 24 days ago, 30 Oct 17, 2:30pm -
    • Your questions about working with direct clients?
      This year, I’m working on a series of single-topic books for freelance translators. The first one, Finding and Marketing to Translation Agencies is available now, and the second one, Finding and Marketing to Direct Clients, is in the works. I origi…
      - 29 days ago, 24 Oct 17, 11:20pm -
    • New book: Finding and Marketing to Translation Agencies
      One of my behind-the-scenes projects for this year is a series of narrow-topic books for freelance translators. The first one, Finding and Marketing to Translation Agencies, is freshly pressed and available in print, Kindle, and PDF format. I think t…
      - 40 days ago, 13 Oct 17, 6:15pm -
    • PerfectIt: a good addition to your editing arsenal
      One of my longstanding and favorite clients recently suggested that their translators and editors start using PerfectIt, an editing tool that works within MS Word. After trying it, I found its features very helpful for certain types of translations.…
      - 42 days ago, 11 Oct 17, 4:07pm -
    • Work/life balance: “I can’t” versus “I choose not to”
      The fourth quarter is upon us as of today, and along with it, the mad rush that always seems to come at the end of the year. Fourth quarter is nearly always my busiest in terms of work volume–add to that the ATA conference, planning for Thanksgivin…
      - 52 days ago, 2 Oct 17, 2:42pm -
    • Guest post: content marketing for freelancers
      This is a guest post by James Quilter. James is a digital consultant for the London-based content marketing agency FirstWord Media. James is an expert in content marketing: using informational content like blog posts, articles, infographics and video…
      - 75 days ago, 8 Sep 17, 4:46pm -
    • Getting Started as a Freelance Translator: starts next Wednesday
      The fall session of my four-week online course Getting Started as a Freelance Translator starts next Wednesday (September 6), and is open to beginning translators in any language combination. This course includes self-paced video lessons, eight live…
      - 84 days ago, 31 Aug 17, 12:26am -
    Dosha Pops

    About PopMuse

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