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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…
    - 81 days ago, 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

  • newStudy Abroad Video Blog, Day 1, Cuzco Peru
    Creative Director of Language Magazine, Leanna Robinson, is currently in Cuzco, Peru to take Spanish classes at a school, Academia Latinoamerica. She will be documenting her travels along the way, and as you watch the vlog you can follow along with h…
    - 5 hours ago, 17 Aug 17, 2:50pm -
  • Drop in U.S. English Enrollments
    IIE announced steep declines in U.S. intensive English enrollments during a presentation at the recent NAFSA conference in Los Angeles. In the 2016 calendar year, 108,433 international students studied in U.S. intensive English programs (IEPs) for a…
    - 1 day ago, 16 Aug 17, 3:35pm -
  • Reward for Translating Ancient Chinese
    The National Museum of Chinese Writing in Anyang, in the province of Henan, is offering 100,000 yuan (about $15,000) to anyone who can definitively translate a mysterious ancient Chinese character. The museum has issued a worldwide appeal for help to…
    - 1 day ago, 16 Aug 17, 2:52pm -
  • Target Language
    AIM (Accelerative Integrated Methodology) is a compete language-teaching system that uses the following strategies: Gesture Approach: Through a kinesthetic technique called the gesture approach, the teacher is able to maintain all communication in th…
    - 1 day ago, 16 Aug 17, 12:21pm -
  • Kids Discover Launch New Titles for School Year
    Kids Discover is releasing 25 new Social Studies titles in time for the new school year. Ten of the new titles have been created for grades K–3, and focus on topics like Rules and Laws, People and the Environment, and U.S. Geography. The remaining…
    - 2 days ago, 15 Aug 17, 5:03pm -
  • Tutoring App Bridges Gap for Language Learners
    For many students, having a personal tutor to help them learn new languages, while a fantastic opportunity, may seem out of reach due to financial, geographical, or a myriad of other difficulties. Star Tutors falls in line with the current trend of v…
    - 2 days ago, 15 Aug 17, 4:39pm -
  • Teaching in the Zone
    Sara Davila uses theory and research to hit the learning sweet spot You walk into your classroom ready with a full selection of lesson plans for the week, excited to deliver some compelling learning to your students. You’ve worked hard to put toge…
    - 7 days ago, 10 Aug 17, 9:41pm -
  • NEH & First Nations Combine to Revitalize Native American Languages
    Despite being threatened with elimination under the proposed federal budget, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has announced a three-year partnership with First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) to foster the revitalization…
    - 7 days ago, 10 Aug 17, 9:26pm -
  • Florida Seeks Funds for Puerto Rican English Learners
    With backing from a slew of Florida lawmakers, bipartisan legislation has been proposed to ensure that the state receives a greater share of federal funding for English-language learning programs due to the growing influx of Puerto Ricans. The Ensur…
    - 9 days ago, 8 Aug 17, 8:47pm -
  • Interpreting and Translating
    Not all linguists make great teachers, so a career in translating or interpreting may be the right move, especially since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 42% increase in translating and interpreting jobs between 2012 and 2022 Although…
    - 10 days ago, 7 Aug 17, 6:14pm -

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.
    - 80 days ago, 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

    • 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-…
      - 9 days ago, 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…
      - 72 days ago, 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…
      - 73 days ago, 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…
      - 77 days ago, 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 -
    • Who's surprised?
      It's been a while.  So much has been going on, so much has happened, so much of it positively depressing and angering at the same time, that it has been hard if not impossible to focus the anger.And frustration.  But what I wonder about is why anyo…
      - 28 Jan 17, 3:24pm -
    • Human rights hypocrisy
      The other day, the US abstained from voting on a UN resolution condemning our decades-long trade embargo on Cuba.  The US ambassador to the UN (I think) commented after the vote while we didn't veto the resolution, we are necessarily still concerned…
      - 28 Oct 16, 3:09pm -
    • August 6th, again

      August 6th, again

      So, it's that day of the year again. On August 6, 1945, about a month after I was born, my country committed what has to be by any logic or reckoning the most egregious single-event war crime of all time. And then, a couple days later, we did it agai…
      - 22 Oct 16, 11:01am -

    The Lousy Linguist

    • 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 -
    • some thoughts on data analytics for a micro business

      some thoughts on data analytics for a micro business

      My first thought as a new business owner trying to utilize data analytics is this: how empty this all seems. I don't need to understand my market right now, I need to break into it. How can I use data analytics to open doors? I don't have time for n…
      - 23 Sep 16, 9:50am -
    • Newest and Greatest Preschool in Chico

      Newest and Greatest Preschool in Chico

      My sister has just re-located her preschool to Chico, CA. Kids First Learning Center.
      - 1 Sep 16, 3:17pm -
    Janine Just, Inc.
    Janine Just, Inc.
    Janine Just, Inc.
    Janine Just, Inc.

    Thoughts on Translation

    • newAdding value with client-specific style sheets
      Especially if you work with direct clients–although this could definitely work with agencies too–client-specific style sheets are a great way to improve the quality and consistency of your translations, while adding value for your clients. Style…
      - 3 hours ago, 17 Aug 17, 4:13pm -
    • GSFT: Early Bird deadline is today
      “Your course was a major turning point in my freelance business, where I felt like a professional translator instead of a dabbler.” “The course was fantastic, full of lots of interesting materials and useful tips and tricks on how to move forwa…
      - 2 days ago, 15 Aug 17, 10:34am -
    • Tom West’s Trilingual Swiss Law Dictionary

      - 3 days ago, 14 Aug 17, 10:25am -
    • ATA58 is open for registration!
      Who’s in the mood for some good news out of Washington? Well, here you go: the American Translators Association’s 58th annual conference, October 25-28 in Washington, DC, is open for registration. This year, we reviewed over 425 proposals to come…
      - 13 days ago, 4 Aug 17, 7:55pm -
    • How to move up in the translation market
      This post originally appeared as a newsletter to my mailing list; I’m reprinting it here while taking some time off from blogging this summer! Lots of us have heard the advice that “it’s time to move up in the translation market,” in response…
      - 16 days ago, 1 Aug 17, 11:44am -
    • Next session of Getting Started as a Freelance Translator
      The next session of my online course Getting Started as a Freelance Translator starts on September 6, and the Early Bird rate ($380) is  coming up on August 15. Like all of my courses, GSFT runs for four weeks, is fully online, and includes lots of…
      - 24 days ago, 24 Jul 17, 11:16am -
    • Tips for frustrated literary translators
      This post was originally published as a newsletter to my mailing list. An unusually large number of readers told me that they benefited from it, so I’m re-publishing it here while I’m on vacation. It’s book prize season, the time of year when m…
      - 37 days ago, 12 Jul 17, 12:37am -
    • Health insurance for freelancers–regardless of your political views
      If you’re a US-based freelancer, you’ve probably been tracking the congressional health insurance negotiations fairly closely. Regardless of your political views, health insurance is a huge issue for freelancers in the US. The reality is that the…
      - 50 days ago, 28 Jun 17, 11:27am -
    • Babelcube: One translator’s experience
      This is a guest post by Ligia Ribeiro. Ligia is Brazilian, lives in in São Paulo and is a freelance translator working from English and Spanish into Brazilian Portuguese. In this post, Ligia describes her experience working as a literary translator…
      - 55 days ago, 23 Jun 17, 3:15pm -
    • Podcast: IT tips and tricks for translators
      Eve Bodeux and I released a new episode of Speaking of Translation last week. With both of us having survived major IT disasters in the past couple of months, we thought that an IT-focused episode might be helpful to our listeners. Here it is for you…
      - 58 days ago, 20 Jun 17, 4:32pm -
    MyPopMuse

    About PopMuse

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