beenthereshippedthat: What are some good sites for learning languages? I already have duolingo but there isn't that much variety :-/

I wrote “language masterpost” on tumblr search and found a bazillion examples. ;)
this one maybe?

tjvonp: I assume that you've met a lot of polyglots. How often do you meet polyglots who also sign? Do you find that people list American Sign Language (ASL) or other sign languages alongside the spoken languages they know?

Hello!

I have met several polyglots, true, but not many seem to be polyglots because of a general interest in Language. Usually they just happened to be born to immigrant parents in the bilingual city I live in (Montreal) and learned another language in High School. 
I haven’t met anyone who is fluent in a few languages and also in another sign language; and I know this might sound weird, but I don’t think that signing people are included enough in society for me to be able to find them without actively looking for them. Right now my priority is to finish my Bachelor, and then I can get back to language studies again — and ASL is pretty high on my priority language list. :)

ryqboy7: Hey, I'm 14 and I just started a polyglot club at my high school and was wondering if you had any ideas for cool activities. I was thinking about a 6 week esperanto challenge, but thats all ive got

oh man oh man oh man. I love this. 
I can think of a learn a language in 6 months type of challenge. You chose someone who speaks a different language and that person teaches you their language, while you teach someone else your own language. 
Or maybe you guys can have theme days, like… you go to a restaurant or community centre and learn the names for stuff in the theme culture.
Or erm… movie nights? I had a class in college called Foreign Language Cinema, and I loved watching stuff in Chinese and Russian and stuff. 

I’ll publish this so that other people can give you their ideas. I’m sorry (not sorry) if your inbox gets overloaded with polyglot care. :D


losmunsters: Hi! I've been having a hard time conjugating in portuguese. How do I use Do, das and da?

Do, da, dos, das are contractions (prepositions + articles).
Do = de + o
da = de + a
dos = de + os
das = de + as.

Some places will use them before names, many won’t. So for example:

O caderno é de Rebecca. > The notebook is Rebecca’s.
O caderno é do (de + mandatory article) pai da (de + non-mandatory article) Rebecca. > The notebook is Rebecca’s father’s.
A casa é das (de + mandatory article) primas de Rebecca. > The house is Rebecca’s (female) cousins’.
O cachorro é dos primos da Rebecca. > The dog is Rebecca’s (male) cousins’. 

Where I come from we put articles before people’s names, so I can say
A Maria foi comprar carne.” > “Mary went to buy some meat.”
and no one really cares. You can choose what you prefer to use, as long as you are consistent with it. :)

You also use contractions when talking about location.
If you’re gonna say “Rebecca is from the US” you would say “Rebecca vem/é dos Estados Unidos”; when you say “____ the United States” you put an article before US if you’re speaking English — and also if you’re speaking Portuguese.
Because you have a preposition (de) and an article (os), you automatically have a contraction. I think this doesn’t happen in Spanish, but it does in French and Italian, for example. 
Most places will take only the preposition “de” or the contraction “da”. You’ll see “de Porto Rico”, “de Sao Paulo”, “de Minas Gerais”, “de Portugal”… “da Inglaterra”, “da Suíça”, “da Espanha”, “da Colombia”, “da China”… and it happens that you see “do” as well (but I think it is rare, I had trouble remembering examples): “do Japao”, “do Canadá”, “do Laos”.

This should help.

Message me again if you need it explained differently. :) 

bunny-banana:

IF YOU SERIOUSLY THINK I’M GONNA LISTEN TO YOU EXPLAINING TO ME ALL THE DIFFERENT REGIONAL ACCENTS/DIALECTS OF YOUR NATIVE LANGUAGE AND SHOWING ME THE EXACT LINGUISTIC DIFFERENCES TO RELATED LANGUAGES then you are absolutely right make yourself comfortable i’ll just bring the popcorn and then we can proceed

(via prototumblinguist)

losmunsters: How did you learn how to speak portuguese? Do you have any references?

native tongue, dear. I would suggest you start with stuff like Duolingo or Assimil and then move on to kids stuff that you could find online (seriously, dowload disney movies, a series called castelo ra-tim-bum, pokemon, you choose.), then move on to music (there’s a music masterpost here somewhere with all kinds of languages). Also, I see you’re in NY… the Brazilian community in NY is MASSIVE. It’s crazy. Look up any kind of Brazilian Cultural Centre and you’ll find teachers, friendly people in general and a lot of people who would love to teach you their language. I would say we generally feel honoured when someone wants to learn Portuguese. (: 

If you start learning, feel free to send me all the questions. :) 

quintanear:

So I decided to read a sociolinguistics textbook.
These were my reactions to the mention of Portuguese and then to the lack of proofreading. COME ON MAAAAN. COME ON RONALD, BRO!!! WE AIN’T USING NONE O THAT Ñ THING!!!! WE USE NH, BUD!!! GET.IT.TO.GE.THER!!!!

  • Satan: [appears]
  • Satan: You can have anything you wan--
  • Me: LANGUAGE.
  • Satan: What?
  • Me: GIVE ME EVERY LANGUAGE.
  • Satan: What the--?
  • Me: YOU SAID ANYTHING. GIVE ME EVERY LANGUAGE IN THE WORLD.
  • Satan: Wouldn't you rather have love or money?
  • Me: EVERY. LANGUAGE. MASTERY OF EVERY LANGUAGE. NOW.

needkpop: Hi. I'd like to just say that there's this really good app/website called memrise. Where you can do language courses and they have a lot of them it's really good you should check it out.

THANKS, BOO *_*

I’ve been doing some research […] and I’ve found some of the most amazing untranslatable words in the non-American speaking world. Here they are, in no spectacular order.

1. Mamihlapinatapei
This is one of the first words I learned about as an untranslatable word. It’s spoken by using an ancient and primitive language from Chile, in Tierra del Fuego. (Tierra del Fuego, by the way, means “Fire, Having Land/Earth/Dirt, Which Land/Earth/Dirt Is Being This Land/Earth/Dirt”.) The word, mamihlapinatapei, is unfortunately untranslatable.

2. Toska
This is a Russian word. It means… uhhh… it’s sort of like… hm. Well it’s a cool meaning, but you have to know Russian to understand it.

3. Iktsuarpok
The Inuits only have one word for this, and therefore although we can’t know what this word means, we do know that iktsuarpok is neither important nor familiar to the Inuits, otherwise they would have 231 words for it.

4. Shlimazl
This Yiddish word is often used next to schlemiel, both of them meaning something related to each other. The meaning is something close to… uhhhh… dammit this article is hard to write.

5. Friolero
No idea. Looks Spanish.

6. The
You might recognize this word, but there is no English translation of it. It is similar to a and an but it has a nuanced meaning that those two words just don’t quite capture.

7. Tartle
Scots talk funny, don’t they?

8. Torschlusspanik
Germans use this word. You might notice it has the word panik in it which is close to English panic but those other parts mean some other sorts of things.

9. Wabi-Sabi
In Japanese culture, you have… there are these… ummm… It rhymes with itself. Like that other untranslatable word Oingo Boingo.

10. Hwæt
This Old English word used to be English when English wasn’t yet old. Once it became old, hwæt became impossible to use.

11. Cafuné
Not even speakers of Portuguese from Portugal can understand this word. Only speakers of Portuguese from Brazil know what it means.

12. L’appel du vide
There’s no single English word that captures the full meaning of this French phrase. The French have one translation of it that they have shared with us (the call of the void), but they have recently given it another more interesting meaning that they are keeping from us.

13. Schadenfreude
This weird German word roughly translates into the English word, schadenfreude.

dontbesoevil: Hello, I'm a French girl speaking English (I'm going to uni in the UK in September. Hell yeah!) and learning German (let's say B1+ in the CECRL). I would like to begin to learn Hebrew this summer. There are some exercises on Livemocha but I can't begin to learn even how to ask the time if I don't know how to read the characters. Any idea of a good place to start (French -> Hebrew or English -> Hebrew)?

sorry friend, none. :(

Anonymous: Hey, probably not a q you can necessarily answer: I'm currently pretty good at french/going to continue in college, and I've done some spanish on the side... However I really want to do Arabic, farsi, or turkish as well, but I can't decide which!! Any advice??

When in doubt, toss a coin. Go with what you catch yourself expecting the coin’s result to be. 

works like a charm if you’re really unsure of what to do and the consequences aren’t catastrophic whether you choose A, B or C.