Monday, August 3, 2015

French Vocabulary interface Updated

The interface for the French complimentary vocabulary pages have been updated. Feminine adjectives now appear in a pink rectangle to the right of the masculine adjective.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015

New Site Interface has a new more intuitive, mobile friendly interface. The changes have been progressively rolled out over the last 6 months so if you're a regular user of the site you're probably already familiar with it. 

The Welcome Page
The welcome page of the site has a completely new look. Every hour the background image changes, hopefully giving users wanderlust and more motivation to learn a language.  

Visual Vocabulary Guide

The image based pages have been refreshed. Now whenever a part of an image is referred to, for example the shell of the turtle in the Reptile & Amphibian Vocabulary, it will appear in a circle or shape that has been shaded in such a way that it appears to be floating over the page. Two red buttons appear at the top of the page - the Speaking Challenge and the Listening Challenge. Rather than trying to simply absorb the vocabulary, I encourage you to attempt each page's challenges. If you have activated game mode, you'll also have the chance to earn points and win awards.

Complementary Text Based Vocabulary
Finally the pages with verbs, adjectives and abstract nouns were updated earlier this year - at least the versions for learning  English. You hear a word when you touch or place your cursor over the table rows. As an example check out Laundry Vocabulary. In addition the images where made bigger and verbs are stored in green rectangles with curved corners and nouns in blue tables with perpendicular corners.

Translations Help Needed

With the new interface additions, we need your help with translations. Please select the language you'd like to translate to and then click on the Site interface tab.  You can login using either Facebook or language guide. Thank you. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

English Language Guide - The App

A version of the pictorial vocabulary guide for learning English is now available as a free IOS and Android app. The app includes a 'game' which will soon be integrated into and the interface has been revamped to be mobile friendly. More languages will be available as apps in the months to come.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hungarian guide

The Pictorial Hungarian vocabulary guide is now available.  Hungarian is a very unique language and according to linguists isn't related to any other European language. You certainly get that idea when you hear it spoken.

I had the pleasure of recording two Hungarian volunteers in Austin, Texas. Beata and Levi Peto here pictured with their pets Pupák (buddy in Hungarian) and Tök (pumpkin). Please visit the Hungarian vegetables page to hear the proper pronunciation of Tök and learn other veggies.

Beata first came to the USA to meet Cesar Millan, the "Dog Whisperer". She was invited to his dog dog psychology center where she ended up helping train two of Cesar's dogs: Blizzard & Junior. While Cesar's specialty is making dogs psychologically normal, Beata teaches them advanced tricks and behaviors. During her stay in Los Angeles she met her husband Levi who had come years earlier as an aspiring Rock musician.

During the recording I got the opportunity to try Mézes Puszedli, hungarian ginger cookies. Yum!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dutch Guide

The Dutch guide  has been published. Translated by volunteers, the voices are all of volunteers as well.

Anne-Marie Ozaki is a teacher at NTC Houston. NTC Houston stands for “Nederlandse Taal en Cultuur Houston” or Dutch Language and Culture Houston. You can hear her voice on Het Lichaam (The Body), Het Lichaam II (The Body II), Herenkleding (Men's Clothing), Groenten (Vegetables), Boerderijdieren (Farm Animals), and Kleuren (Colors) Her voice was recorded by her husband, Michio Ozaki, in their home recording studio. 
Anne-Marie Ozaki and Michio Ozaki
You can hear the voice of Cees van der Linden on Getallen (Numbers), Het Gezicht (The Face), Fruit (Fruit), Huisdieren (Pets), Vogels (Birds), Reptielen & Amfibieën (Reptiles & Amphibians), and Zeedieren (Sea Animals). You can hear the voice of Marion van Dijk on Zoogdieren (Mammals), Afrikaanse Dieren (African Animals), and Insecten (Insects).

Cees van der Linden is a resident of Los Angeles and Marion van Dijk is a resident of the Netherlands. They have a business together,, through which they provide translations and voice-overs in Dutch. They used their recording facilities to record the audio.

 Cees van der Linden
Marion van Dijk

Monday, July 25, 2011

English UK guide

The English UK guide has been published. I'm visiting Morelia, Mexico again and had the good fortune of sharing a room at Hostal Allende with Jonny Gannon, who recently spent a year studying and teaching in Aguascalientes. When I first arrived at the hostel I heard Jonny speaking to a friend in Spanish and his accent was so good, I asked myself whether he was Mexican. It turns out he has a knack and in turn did an amazing French, Scottish, and then an American  accent. When doing the American accent, he pretended to be Steven, a Boston red-sox fan from Massachusetts, and to my American ears it was flawless. Perhaps to make me feel better about my inferior Spanish accent, he acknowledged that it is his forte and that he's less strong in audio comprehension. (My strength is audio comprehension due to my watching telenovelas and series.) 

Jonny studies Modern Languages at the University of South Hampton and speaks fluent French, Spanish, and German. After a demo he volunteered for the project and we recruited Simran Chadha, a friend of his who was staying at the same hostel. We had a a jolly good time recording the digestive system.

Update 9/20/2012

Johnny now lives in France and is writing a funny blog on his experiences there.