Paul Makepeace ;-)

November 7, 2004

The Language Show

Posted in: Language

Spent a pleasant albeit brisk afternoon checking out The Language Show at Olympia. Picked up a French language DVD, met some Esperantists, and got some hints on internationalisation...

The state of language learning tools impressed me. I picked up an interactive DVD of a famous French movie, Au Coeur de la Loi: apart from being subtitled with clickable reviews of phrases, guess-the-word and spelling quizzes, there is a feature where you can play any of the parts, recording your voice and starring in the movie! Hilarious. Looking forward to movie karaoke, en français.

My fantasy foreign language learning experience is a huge pile of graded audio with hyperlinked subtitles tooltipped with translations linking to idiom discussions and grammar lessons. Graded in vocab, speed, and grammar complexity. The closest I've found is the great-looking (sounding?) Linguaphone's Second Stage courses. Problem is they're pretty expensive, and not on ebay right now. They're also in printed + CD form, which is OK, but I'd rather a DVD format for all the modern assistance in learning that can provide.

"Esperanto is catching on!"

(So says the sticker I picked up.)

It was reassuring to see the UK Esperantists (EAB) present. My passion for Esperanto and its ideals just grows despite the almost completely pervasive misunderstandings about the point (la ideo) of the language as an easier-to-learn second language of international communication. Incidental congrats to the EAB on creating a non-hideous looking website. (For some inexplicable reason many Esperanto websites, even the highly trafficked ones, are utterly ghastly affairs. Thank goodness for at least some design sense.)

More on Esperanto:

UK Trade and Investment

One of the relatively few non-language learning exhibits was the UK Trade & Investment governmental org which is all about getting UK companies out of the monolingual tarpit and raising awareness of the issues of international commerce. Apart from the amusing stories of cultural confusions like an early phonetic translation of Coca-Cola into Chinese which came out as "biting the wax tadpole" but with a minor phonemic shift became "happiness in the mouth" - genius, the whole beautifully produced brochure read like an Esperanto manifesto. Fact: nearly 1% of the entire EU budget (40% of the its administrative budget), €800m, is spent on translation services for the EU's 2,500 elite translators. :-(. I really look forward to being able to spend some time using what skills I have to further the Esperanto cause, and save us all a pile of money and provide us with a great time and some amazing experiences.

Posted by Paul Makepeace at November 7, 2004 21:43 | TrackBack
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