Awesome visualization of differences in American dialects

10:17 PM Posted by Anita Fekete No comments
Josh Katz, a former Ph.D. student of statistics at North Carolina State University, published a group of awesome visualizations of Professor Bert Vaux and Scott Golder's linguistic survey, which looked at differences in American dialects. This image shows the different pronunciations of "been".
Click on the image to see more of these exciting maps:

Need some professional sounding bullshit?

1:26 PM Posted by Anita Fekete , 2 comments
There are times when we are required to come up with a professional sounding text in our jobs or studies, and we feel our mind is numb. No problem! Smart people have found the solution to problems like this.
Try one of the Bullshit Generator websites! I'll give you a few very good exaples here:

The Corporate Bullshit Generator
Marketing Bullshit Generator
Web Economy Bullshit Generator

How about a gem like this one: "Flexible and/or measurable solutions deepen a pyramid"
Or just try to "productize magnetic interfaces" or "empower seamless mindshare" and there you are: with a beautifully constructed phrase, the meaning of which very few people will dare to question.

What's more, it is a great vocabulary training tool to play around with!

Feeling poetic?

12:10 PM Posted by Anita Fekete , , , 2 comments
Writing poetry seems quite difficult for English learners. But here's a fun way to do it: using Google's autocomplete feature. When you start typing into the Google search box, a couple of suggestions will come up. These are based on previous searches from other people. Now the trick is: start to think of these lines as a poem. Many times it's grotesque, shockingly deep or just sounds very artistic.
It's a lot of fun to play around with, and you'll learn a lot of words and expressions unconsciously while experimenting.

When you find something you like, you can take a screenshot of your "poem" and share it.
You can also upload them to the Google Poetics page, where there is a nice collecion of the best ones.

Google's language immersion tool is fun and effective!

1:18 PM Posted by Anita Fekete , No comments
The best way to learn a foreign language is to be immersed in it. But we do not always have the option to stay in a native speaking country. Well, Google has a solution: the language immersion tool. All you have to do is have it turned on while surfing English language pages and you'll get immersed in the selected language (unfortunately it does not work the other way around). How much? You choose: there are five levels from novice to fluent. It is a Chrome extension, so it does not work with other browsers.

Here is an example: I set the language to German, intermediate level. You can see how much of the text is shown in German under these settings. The context makes it easy and natural to figure out the meaning. When clicking on a word, it will change back to Eglish. One more click and it turns into German again. You can make it speak, too!

I have found it a very effective and fun way of learning a new language.

Tea's Irregular Past Tense Spelling Game

5:09 PM Posted by Tea , 5 comments

Check out my Irregular Past Tense Spelling Game!
I made it because I had always missed something from the ones I found on the net, mainly the amount of words they make you practice. So I decided to make one myself :)
You can practise 60 irregular past tense verbs with it.
There are 5x12 verbs, each goup is set in a short story. There are 3 or 4 tasks for each group of verbs (16 tasks altogether.

Here's how it goes:
  1. You must find the present equivalent of the verb in the given sentence. If your answer is right, the verb will disappear.
  2. The same, only a bit more difficult: the verb will not disappear, you will only hear a sound if the answer is right
  3. You must complete the sentences with the proper past tense verb
I have already tested it on some of my students, it seemed to be effective :) Come on, TRY it!