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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

  • newCelebrate Adult Education and Family Literacy Week
    National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week will be celebrated September 24-30, 2017.  National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week raises public awareness about the need and value of adult education and family literacy in order to leve…
    - 17 hours ago, 25 Sep 17, 3:39pm -
  • CIA Partners with Baruch College to Recruit Top Linguists
    The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has launched its Signature School Program at Baruch College, a senior college in The City University of New York system. The program will deepen cooperation between the CIA and Baruch College by creating more op…
    - 4 days ago, 22 Sep 17, 6:50pm -
  • Melania Trump Threatens to Sue Language School in Croatia
    U.S. First Lady, Melania Trump, has threatened to sue an English language school in Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, after they used an image of her in a billboard advertisement. The billboard, which features a photo of Melania in front of a microphone a…
    - 5 days ago, 20 Sep 17, 8:52pm -
  • Reader Offer!
    Mentoring Minds is offering Language Magazine readers a special discount on its ELL Strategies Guides which are designed for all educators responsible for ELL instruction. Use the offer code FCAD473 to get the guides for just $9.95 ea. (reg. $12.95).…
    - 6 days ago, 20 Sep 17, 2:41pm -
  • Free German Classes in Mosques
    Germany has continuously been in the news for their practices of welcoming Syrian refugees and offering various programs to teach refugees German. The country has added another method of distribution with a new program that turns 30 mosques across Ge…
    - 7 days ago, 19 Sep 17, 4:19pm -
  • Survey Indicates Indian Bureau Succeeding
    Released by the National Association for Educational Progress (NAEP), the National Indian Education Study (NIES) 2015 is designed to describe the condition of education for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) students in the U.S. The study prov…
    - 7 days ago, 19 Sep 17, 4:07pm -
  • Study Abroad for All?
    How can the benefit of international education be made available to all American students, as recommended by a new Congressional report? Although last month’s news was dominated by the administration’s actions that depressed prospects for increas…
    - 7 days ago, 19 Sep 17, 3:53pm -
  • An Inspirational Guide to Arabic Design, Creativity and Culture
    When it was first published in 2005, Mourad Boutros’s classic work Arabic for Designers was the first of its kind, an authoritative guide for English-speaking designers working with the cultural and design complexities of Arabic. Extensively illust…
    - 7 days ago, 19 Sep 17, 3:42pm -
  • Libraries are as important to our health as hospitals
    Richard Lederer celebrates National Library Week with bibliophilia Just about everyone has seen the blue street signs with the big white H and an arrow pointing the way to the nearest hospital. Now our roads are fringed by a similar kind of road mark…
    - 7 days ago, 19 Sep 17, 3:28pm -
  • Bilinguals Solve Math Differently Depending on the Language
    A recent study has found that bilinguals process arithmetic problems in different ways depending on which of their languages they are using. While it is largely accepted that humans possess at least some non-verbal numerical abilities to make arithme…
    - 7 days ago, 19 Sep 17, 2:41pm -

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

    • 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…
      - 14 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-…
      - 49 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…
      - 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 -
    • 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 -

    The Lousy Linguist

    • 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…
      - 12 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 -
    • 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 -

    Thoughts on Translation

    • 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…
      - 18 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…
      - 26 days ago, 31 Aug 17, 12:26am -
    • Adding 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…
      - 40 days 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…
      - 42 days ago, 15 Aug 17, 10:34am -
    • Tom West’s Trilingual Swiss Law Dictionary

      - 43 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…
      - 53 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…
      - 56 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…
      - 64 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…
      - 76 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…
      - 90 days ago, 28 Jun 17, 11:27am -
    In The Lights

    About PopMuse

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