Language

Indian or Native American?

Indian or Native American?

In the first episode of his series “Reservations”, CGP Grey explains how the Europeans who took over America slapped a label on its indigenous people that would later be thought of as offensive, yet is still commonly used within tribes. Plus, the term selected to replace it has stirred controversy for other reasons.

HelloTalk VIP: Lifetime Subscription

An important part of learning a new language is conversation. HelloTalk is a chat app that pairs you up with partners around the globe, and includes tools for translation, pronunciation, transliteration, and corrections. VIP members can learn three languages at a time, and get improved visibility in the community.

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Casually Explained: English

Casually Explained: English

(PG-13: Language) If you’re reading this, there’s an overwhelming chance that you can speak English. In this casual explanation, we learn what makes our language different than others, and why in some ways it’s easier to learn, and in others, much harder. Then there are the local accents and dialects…

Learn Languages with Mondly

Learn new languages quickly and easily with Mondly. The mobile app uses speech recognition tech to help you train your pronunciations, and lets you take part in virtual conversations. There are 33 languages to choose from, and you can grab a 1-, 3-, or 5-language lifetime subscription in The Awesomer Shop.

Rosetta Stone Lifetime Subscription

With its intuitive, immersive training method, Rosetta Stone will have you reading, writing, and speaking a new language in no time. Choose from Spanish, French, Italian, German, Mandarin, or Japanese, and save 33% in on a lifetime subscription in The Awesomer Shop.

Earworms Language Training

With the right rhythm and melody, a good song can easily get stuck in your head. Earworms takes advantage of this phenomenon to help you learn another language. Choose from Spanish, Italian, German, or French lessons, and save 50% in The Awesomer Shop.

Origins of Common Phrases

Origins of Common Phrases

Did you know the phrase “balls to the wall” got its start as a term pilots used because their throttle controls had balls on the end of them? See, you already learned something today. Sam O’Nella Academy is here to school us on the etymology of a few other phrases as well.

WT2 Plus Translating Earphones

WT2 Plus Translating Earphones

The WT2 Plus is a pair of language translation earphones. In automatic mode, you and another person speak directly to each other by each wearing an earphone. It also has an ask mode that uses an app to translate what you’re saying to someone who doesn’t have the unit on.

Words That Changed Meanings

Words That Changed Meanings

Did you know that “doom” used to refer to a judgment handed down in court? John Green of Mental Floss schools us about 27 words we use today, and their very different meanings back in the day. We love how Elmer Fudd had an influence on our vocabulary.

Why We Say “OK”

Why We Say “OK”

It’s a word we hear every day – “O.K.”, “OK”, or “Okay” is an acknowledgement that we understand something. But most of us have no idea why we say it. Vox delves into the history of the word, and how it became the nearly universal affirmation it is today.

English in Japan

English in Japan

When we were in Tokyo, we were fascinated that when we wanted some “vanilla ice cream,” we had to ask for “BaniraaisukurÄ«mu.” Double Yolk looks at how Japan incorporates English words and deeper meanings into their language in some truly wonderful ways.

The Similarity Trap

The Similarity Trap

While certain words, objects, and even animals have similar traits, it turns out that they didn’t always evolve from the same origin, and sometimes just organically arrived at a similar point. MinuteEarth explains how likenesses between things aren’t always what they seem.

A Few Facts About Language

A Few Facts About Language

Mental Floss explores a bunch of tidbits and trivia about language, including some of the many quirks of English, how dictionaries work, and a serious polyglot – a man who claims to speak over fifty languages. That “whether” or “if” thing always trips us up.

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The Indian Alphabet Song

The Indian Alphabet Song

It’s time for today’s dose of politically incorrect humor. This Is Barry presents a rundown of the complete English alphabet, as interpreted by folks in India. We’re so singing this instead of the old Alphabet Song from now on.

Korean in 5 Minutes

Korean in 5 Minutes

For those of us who primarily speak English, languages without Latin characters in them are generally pretty daunting to learn. But Sam Gellman shows us a way to understand basic concepts of the Korean alphabet in a snap. We already feel so much smarter.

The Linguistics of AAVE

The Linguistics of AAVE

YouTuber xidnaf presents two theories behind the origin of African American Vernacular English. More importantly he points out that it’s not “broken English”, but a dialect with a set of rules that are also found in other languages.

Words Invented by Authors

Words Invented by Authors

Mental Floss’ John Green takes a look at 43 words and terms that have made our way into our lexicon, after being made up by authors who decided think outside of the dictionary. That Samuel Taylor Coleridge sure was prolific.

Grammar Lessons with Food

Grammar Lessons with Food

With the help of Pleated Jeans, we now know the difference between a man eating chicken and a man-eating chicken, thanks to this amusing and educational grammar lesson.

Words We Don’t Have in English

Words We Don’t Have in English

You’d think that the English language had one of the more colorful vocabularies around, but after watching this clip from BuzzFeed, we really need to start making up some new words of our own. Thank goodness for Urban Dictionary.

History of English (in 10 Minutes)

History of English (in 10 Minutes)

If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty decent chance you speak English. So stop playing Skyrim for a few minutes, and learn a little something about where all of these silly words came from.

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