Oct 22, 2008

Learning Languages with Nintendo DS

Hello everyone. I'm just wondering if people can suggest some Nintendo DS games/software for learning. I know there's a ton of them for Japanese, but I was wondering if anyone knows any games for learning Mandarin and Korean or any other language for that matter. For Mandarin, I'm looking for something marketed towards native speakers, if any (such as Kanken DS for Japanese).

Oct 12, 2008

learn Korean in Korean

Here are some useful phrases that you can say in Korean when learning Korean ^^

You can download the video by clicking the little 'download' button on the screen.


Oct 8, 2008

Japanese Reading Practice #1

I couldn't come up with something more creative, so here I am reading a section of the "Emergency Shelter Operation Manual."

Oct 7, 2008

Tagalog Lesson #2 - "Po"

Here is Tagalog Lesson #2

There're and There's

Hey everyone! Nice to see everyone posting again. I was wondering where everyone was for a while.

This will just be a short post about something I've noticed. Also, this is the first post about English for this blog, isn't it? It's not a foreign language to me, and not one that I "learnt" (learned) but this is something that I've noticed.

Languages change. If not for the changes of language, there probably wouldn't be any 'foreign' languages for us to learn, just one language that everyone spoke. And sometimes languages change in our own lifetimes.

We were always taught that "there is" (or "there's") is singular, and "there are" (there're) is plural. But more and more in modern spoken English, the more difficult-to-pronounce "there're" is changed to "there's".

I haven't heard anyone say "there're" for years and years. Even when it is grammatically correct. Hang on, no, that's a lie, I heard a non-native speaker use it and it is because it stuck out at me so much that I took note of it. Since then I've noticed "there's" used more and more where it is grammatically incorrect. It has come to the point that I've started writing down whenever I hear it so that I can reassure myself that it's not just me!

Is it just me? I'm going to try and write down and reply to this post every time I hear a native speaker use "there's" when it's not grammatically correct. I'll do the same for every time I hear "there're". As scientist always say, a conclusion can only be made when data is collected. (And as linguists always say, 'data' is a plural, so that sentence should have actually been "data are collected"... ah well, what did I say about language changing!!!)

I invite everyone else to do the same! Maybe we can get to the bottom of this.

UC Berkeley linguists studying Ki-Nzadi, a previously undescribed language

This is really exciting!

One of my linguistics professors at UC Berkeley (where I did my undergraduate work), Prof Larry Hyman, is currently conducting a field methods class with a speaker of Ki-Nzadi, a language that has never been studied before from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

And here's the article that goes along with the video.

And yes, there are around 7,000 languages spoken in the world today - don't believe people who tell you that there are around 70-80!

Oct 6, 2008

一石二鳥 Japanese Reading Comprehension + Korean Vocabulary

Apparently my Tagalog Language Blog is blocked because "it possesses the characteristics of a spam blog." LOL I hope this gets fixed soon.

Now that I'm in Japan, I'm exposed to authentic material that can help me on my road to Japanese fluency. As I wrote in a post on my personal blog, I'll be concentrating on Japanese and will try to learn some Korean while I'm here in Japan, and so I'm trying to come up with ways to acquire some Korean vocabulary while at the same time not taking too much time away from Japanese study.

One of the materials I'm using now is the "Refuge Operation Manual" that was given during a staff meeting at the school I'm working at.
This is great because I get to read authentic Japanese, and the content is very useful. As everyone knows Japan is prone to earthquakes and you'll never know when one will strike. What I've done is basically highlighted all the Japanese words I didn't know, look up the meaning and try to make sense of the sentences and absorb the style of writing in a document such as this.

Luckily, I know most of the vocabulary, so I decided to use this as an opportunity to learn some Sino-Korean words. I love learning various pronunciations for Chinese characters, and learning Sino-Korean words will be useful in the future when I study Korean more seriously. Anyway, all I did was use the a dictionary to look for the Korean pronunciation for each Sino-Japanese word (熟語)and wrote it on top of them.

Oct 5, 2008

Korean/English expressions about frequency

This is a video about some expressions in Korean and English about frequency ^^

Tayo'y Magtagalog Lesson # 1

Hello Everyone! It's been so long since I posted an article here because I was net-less for over month! Now that I'm online again, there will be more posts and videos from me coming your way.
I also noticed that there are 2 new members to this blog (Takeshi and Fanykity)... can't wait for your posts! I'm especially thrilled that we have a native Japanese speaker on board now.

Now without further ado, here is my first Tagalog video lesson. It's very basic, but I hope you like it.

I also made a blog to accompany this video lesson series: tagalog-online.blogspot.com.

Oct 4, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya!!!

I don't really know exactly how to translate the title.

It was the first day of Hari Raya on Wednesday, so all Singaporeans get a day off that day for our Muslim friends to celebrate the special day. I don't exactly know the meaning or the origin of the occasion but it's something like the Lunar New Year for us Chinese. :)

I went to my Muslim friend's place for dinner on the second day of Hari Raya. My friend is Malay but her husband is Chinese so her 8-year-old son is well-versed in English, Mandarin and Melayu. Effectively tri-lingual huh? Haha.

The dinner was really awesome as we got to taste the wonderful flavours of Peranakan cuisine. We had

- achar; a refreshing salad made from pineapples, onions, green chillies, red chillies and cucumbers

- rendang chicken; something like curry, but richer

- fried noodle; with crabsticks, prawns and vegetables, an awesome dish whipped up by my friend's husband, who is a chef

- nasi byrani or bryani or brani (I have no idea how to spell); a kind of rice mixed with probably tumeric powder and chicken rendang

- kueh!; special must-have cookies during Hari Raya.

I would post pictures of the food if I had them but unfortunately I didn't get to take shots of them. But reading the description of the food itself makes everything sound so yummy, right? ;)

If any of you happen to be in Singapore for a trip, be it for business trip or a short holiday or a long one, make sure you try some of the food I mentioned above. After all, Singapore's a food haven so .. who cares about THE DIET?. ;)

Oct 2, 2008

Foreign languages are great...

Except when people mistake you for being fluent.

I am a semi-tutor at my school for the korean people so when they have problems or questions with their english homework, they come to me. I try my best to explain it using every resource I have and I don't end my "lesson" until they understand and can use what I taught them. Maybe that is being too thorough and nice.

I'm saying this because for the past two weeks, all the new korean friends that I have made do some things that aggrivate me. They ONLY speak to me in Korean and they do so at a native level speed so I can catch maybe one or two words. They abbreviate the phrases they are using, speak using different dialects, and talk rather quickly. The thing that gets me is that no matter how many times I tell them I can't understand what they are saying, they continue to speak it to me the same way using the same expressions. Then, they get upset with me because I don't understand and instead of returning the same courtesy I give to them, they just say "Anyway. Don't worry about it." and move on...leaving me behind.

I don't appreciate that.

Can anyone relate to this?