Thursday, January 05, 2006

InternetPolyglot keeps growing

I have added about 800 new lessons. A smart programming allowed to create various combinations of language pairs: English-Spanish, Spanish-French, French-Russian, Russian-Spanish, etc., etc.

Currently I am working on making urls more pretty. At the same time I am working on trying to find a suitable platform for the future huge community of people who are going to visit for fun and learning and exchanging their language learning experience.

Last month there were 60 unique visits, this month there are already 28 unique visits in first 5 days. Not bad process, huh? Considering that Google still keeps me in the sandbox and only search engine that has indexed me so far is MSN.

History of the English Language

The history of the English language is as fascinating and complex as that of the English people themselves. At its root, English is part of the West Germanic language group since it developed from the Anglo Saxon’s Old English tongue. Old English was spoken on the British mainland for the most part, but it quickly spread over to the rest of the British Isles.

Throughout time, nomadic invasions as well as more peaceful contact with the other nations have strongly influenced the English language. French and Latin as well as several other northern and Germanic languages have produced a strong vocabulary increase, diversifying and polishing the mainstream of the English language to what it is today.

Statistics associated with the English Language

The English language is considered today’s “lingua franca”, which means that it’s the dominating language of its era, being used in international affairs such as diplomacy or commerce. Roughly 360 million people use English as their first language and a billion more know it as a secondary language. In addition, many countries use English as their official language.

It is also estimated that over 50 million people are in the process of studying the English language each year, either through organized education, through personal study with the help of free English lessons online or by using “learn English courses” in order to improve their vocabulary, memorize words and so forth.

Learning English online

Even though most schools across the world teach English as the secondary language, organized education can often be improved through free English lessons online or other sources that can offer you a vocabulary increase and help you memorize words easier.

If your typical “learn English" course won’t cut it for you, or if you want to try a more relaxing way of learning the language, you could try out some vocabulary games found online. Playing vocabulary games is a great way to memorize words, improve vocabulary and polish your spelling and possibly your speaking skills at the same time.

In conclusion, we should state that English is one of the easiest languages to learn, not only because of its less complicated grammar, spelling and phonetic structures but also due to the media invasion, which helps us accommodate with the English language. Even in countries with completely different language rules and structures such as China or Japan, English finds its way with the help of Hollywood movies, commercials and international affairs.

Articles about English in different languages:

English Language (in English)
Historia de la lengua inglesa (in Spanish)
Anglais. (in French)
Englische Sprache (in German)
Lingua inglese (in Italian)
Engelse Taal (in Dutch)
Língua inglesa (in Portuguese)
Limba Engleza (in Romanian)
История английского языка (in Russian)
تأريخ اللغة الإنجليزية (in Arabic)

The roots of the Spanish language

Linguists consider the birthplace of the Spanish language as the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula, around the Burgos and La Rioja areas. At that time, the Peninsula was under Romanic influence, hence Latin was the tool of the trade for commerce in the area. Taking this new language and polishing it with their own specific language traits, the locals spread it throughout the entire Peninsula, eventually making it the official language of government and trade in the area.

Therefore, being a Romanic language at its roots, Spanish keeps the basic rules and structure of its parent. However, the local Iberian influence as well as several other nomadic influences in the area has given room for a vast, specific vocabulary increase. From thereon, the Spanish language was formed, which will soon become known to history as one of the most widely spread and used languages on the face of the Earth.

The modern Spanish language

During the colonization era, Spain was a global power and was one of the most powerful nations on water, with an enormous fleet and a great net of commercial routes to back up the claim. This helped spread the Spanish language, as colonists, gold seekers and explorers made their way over the oceans and established settlements in the newfound lands. The effect of this is visible today, with most of the countries in South and Central America as well as the ones in the Caribbean area having Spanish as their official language.

Tips for learning Spanish

Being one of the most widely spoken languages of today, with over 450 million speakers throughout the entire World, Spanish is becoming a learning attraction or even a necessity for more and more people. If you don’t have the chance to study the language in school or through some other form of organized education, you could always do it by yourself through a “learn Spanish” course or book. Of course, these courses usually cost quite a lot and they also have a fixed schedule that you might not be able to follow to the point. In this case, you might be better off looking for a website that offers free Spanish lessons online. These websites provide a great deal of content that can be useful in order to improve vocabulary and to memorize words in the Spanish language.

Speaking of vocabulary increase, another great way to achieve it is by playing vocabulary games. Some websites offer such vocabulary games freely and they can be an extremely fun and relaxing way to learn Spanish. If all fails and you can’t seem to memorize words and improve vocabulary through any of the above mentioned methods, you could try watching some Spanish television, especially if you’re into soap operas. Learning through media is a great way to get things started and you’ll notice a solid vocabulary increase even after a few weeks.

Articles about Spanish in different languages:

The Spanish Language (in English)
Las raíces de la lengua española (in Spanish)
Langue espagnole (in French)
Spanische Sprache (in German)
Lingua spagnola (in Italian)
Spaanse Taal (in Dutch)
Língua espanhola (in Portuguese)
Originile limbii Spaniole (in Romanian)
Корни испанского языка (in Russian)
جذور اللغة الإسبانية (in Arabic)

The francophone World

French is a language that has descended from Latin, hence its main ethnic layer is similar to other Romanic languages such as Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and so forth. Above this Latin layer, French “suffered” from a lot of influences such as the native Celtic, from the Gauls, several other Germanic languages as well as ancient Greek. Each of these influences can be easily spotted today in either pronunciation, spelling or grammar, giving the French language a unique spot among the Romanic languages.

The term “Francophonie” refers to the entirety of the French Diaspora, spread amongst over 40 countries that have French as their official language. Besides France itself, the language is spoken in several European countries such as Belgium, Luxembourg or Switzerland, in Northern America throughout Canada as well as a number of countries in Africa, namely: Algeria, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Morocco, Congo, Niger, Senegal and several others. In all these countries French is either studied as the main language throughout the local educational system, or as a secondary, “official” language right next to the native tongue. “Learn French” courses are popular in organized institutions as well as privately.

3 reasons to start learning French

1. If your mother tongue has a Romanic or Anglo-Saxon origin, learning French is extremely easy, since it shares a lot of grammatical rules and structures as any of the above mentioned languages. Memorizing words will be made easy by the fact that a lot of French words are look-alikes to their English counterparts, so if you’re reading and understanding this, you should also have it easy when you’ll try to improve vocabulary in French.

2. If you don’t have time or money to take up on the various “Learn French” courses that take place all across the World, you can easily opt for taking free French lessons online. The Internet offers a lot of these free lessons in various forms from quiz tests that help you memorize words, vocabulary games that help improve vocabulary and increase your spelling skills or the more classic grammar courses.

3. French is one of today’s 6 international languages, so it is extremely important to know it or at least understand it if you’re in a work field that has the word “international” in it. Commerce, diplomacy, media and several other fields are strongly influenced by French, so taking a few free French lessons online can get you out of a lot of tight spots as well as impress the persons you’re dealing with.

Articles about French in different languages:

The French Language (in English)
La Lengua Francesa (in Spanish)
Langue française. (in French)
Französische Sprache (in German)
Lingua francese (in Italian)
Franse Taal (in Dutch)
Три причины, чтобы начать учить французский (in Russian)
Língua francesa (in Portuguese)
Limba Franceza (in Romanian)
عالم الفرانكوفوني (in Arabic)

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