laughter is the best medicine

A late-20s university grad living in the Bay Area.

Aspiring polyglot with Spanish and Japanese under my belt. My eyes are set for French, German, Italian, and Hawai'ian. I often get distracted from my language learning. You can find me as 'moon_goddess' on Memrise, or DM me for Lang-8 or Busuu contact information.

My obsessive-compulsions include stopping the microwave only when the time remaining is divisible by five and reading the fine print on commercials.

My first sip of tea was out of my baby bottle. I make one of the best cuppas you’ll ever taste.

Posts tagged "linguistics"


MultiTree: A Digital Library of Language Relationships

MultiTree is a website by Linguist List where you can browse and search related languages: just click the solid-coloured nodes to expand, and it will dynamically resize. 

It’s a lot better than traditional language family tree diagrams because you can zoom, expand and collapse nodes, pan around to different areas, and change the colours and font size. The other great part is that you choose which tree you want to see based on the author and date, which helps remind us that, although many language classifications are uncontroversial (yes, English is a Germanic language), language typology is an evolving, dynamic field where researchers are still figuring out the most accurate way of classifying them. 

Here’s a guide to using MultiTree from the Linguist List blog (note that it’s still in beta but it worked fine when I was playing around with it). 

Other online tools that you can use compare lots of languages: WALS (World Atlas of Language Structures), APiCS (Atlas of Pidgin and Creole Language Structures), and World Phonotactics Database. Another project is Wikitongues, which records video of people speaking their language(s).

Gavin annunciated an English* phoneme last night while I was reading my current book (“A Visit From The Goon Squad”) to him. I got all teary-eyed and congratulated him.

Parenthood has made me into a sap. :P At least I’m capable of crying [outside of shows or movies] again.

*I read to Gavin in Spanish and Japanese as well.*
I also let him listen to my Memrise in Mandarin, French, German, and the other two aforementioned languages. He also listens to K-Pop and French Hip Hop on Songza.

I’m all for exposure to help his linguistic plasticity.


Suuuuuper interesting!

I really like #Duolingo but their app crashed so much I had to delete it. I tried the site on my laptop instead and that keeps crashing.

I’m starting to lose the momentum from my polyglot tag exploration…


Okay internet, you really have to take a look at this website. Information and statistics on every single effing language in existence.


“Overhear conversation in language you don’t speak” “Spend next twenty minutes analyzing the hell out of it”


“Overhear conversation in language you don’t speak” “Spend next twenty minutes analyzing the hell out of it”



Which Languages Are Harder To Learn.

As a native English speaker, I would certainly have to emphasize the “each learner is different” part of this post. The “Medium” and “Hard” tables certainly do NOT apply to me. Of the “hard” ones, I would leave Arabic and Korean there, but Chinese and Japanese haven’t ever been difficult for me to pick up at all. There are certain difficult parts to the languages, but there are parts of English that are difficult with English speakers as well. I would most definitely swap Japanese and Chinese with Hindi and Suomi. (I’m leaving Arabic there, even though it hasn’t ever been terribly difficult for me.)

I guess the “motivation” aspect plays a larger role with me. I’ve given Suomi a couple of chances, but before I had even three of the fifteen or what not cases solid, FuckThisShitByeth of April arrived and I was done.

That being said, I’ll probably give Suomi a third/239847th chance at some point.

Also, I based this off of written (and not really the speaking and listening) part.

Oh, and I can’t really say I’ve ever tried हिन्दी, but I have taken my dear sweet time with the letters — probably unjustly (or something) backburning it. That’s not true, because I’m only interested in Sanskrit anyway.

For all you other lang nerds. :-*

Two years after my first round, 62 points out of 150 - only 25 questions right out of 50. I did slightly worse than before.

Japanese: 41 points/150 - 18/50 questions. Consistent considering I have placed my studies on hold. 

Meh… could have done a lot better.


Get schooled. Two, to, and too are NOT the same thing.


Get schooled. Two, to, and too are NOT the same thing.

  • [a surgeon from another specialty was checking her emails]
  • Her: Dammit [friend's name], I don't speak Italian! This is going to take me three hours to read... I wonder if she's spamming me.
  • Medical Student: You can always copy and paste it into Google Translate.
  • [Cue me choking and almost having my tea shoot out of my nose]
  • Me: [laughing] Sure, it'll give her the gist but she may end up more frustrated with the English that she's given [as a result].