Tag: LanguageView All Tags
We're always on the lookout for the next travel tidbit that's going to ease our trip. If you're headed abroad for a holiday getaway in France, China or Japan, look into getting yourself some spiffy Lingolook Flashcards. The size of a passport, Lingolooks offer travelers the most useful phrases to help them get by in a language that might not necessarily be their native tongue.
The cards are double-sided and fan out neatly in your hand, making them discreet enough to carry, but easy enough to refer to if you get really stuck.
Inspired by a moment when they were lost in Japan, Lingolook's founders realized that asking strangers for help from a 10-point font guidebook on the street is, well, just awkward. The cards are easy to understand and you'll likely remember the 75+ included phrases quicker too.
Buy a set for $12, and you'll also get a free e-version, which is perfect for displaying on Blackberries, iPhones and PDAs. Italian and Spanish versions are on the way in '08. Just imagine, you'll blend right in with the locals--at least linguistically.
Quick quiz: What language do they speak in Australia? Well, English of course, but with their own special slant. Luckily the National Museum of Australia has developed an online Aussie English for the Beginner tutorial for all non-Aussies to bone up on their "Australian". You'll soon learn that the locals Down Under wear trackie daks on weekends and drive their ute to to a barbie with their tinnies in an esky.
The interactive guide's nicest feature is the "Hear the word in use" button, when you hear Croc-Dundee-like-fellows chatting with the great Aussie drawl. Perfect training for your holiday: We know it's important to be able to fit in with the locals, and it's not just travel in non-English speaking countries where you need help.
Still puzzling over our great Aussie sentence? In plain English, what we said is that the Aussies wear a jogging suit on Sundays and drive their pickup to a barbecue with their six-packs in a cooler. Why couldn't they just say what they mean?
Australian for Museum [Jaunted]
Worms for Foreign Languages [Jaunted]
Traveling in a foreign country when you can't even say hello, or thank you, is stressful, but learning new phrases for each destination isn't too easy, either. Some clever folks at a lil' company called Earworms reckon they've come up with a solution to implant handy words and phrases in your brain before you travel.
Their theory sounds logical. Think about the thousands of lines of song lyrics you've got saved in your head. With the Earworms Musical Brain Trainer, they've put language tapes to music, in a funky kind of way. So far they've covered Spanish, French, Italian, Greek, German, Mandarin, and Japanese, with Arabic and Portuguese coming soon. Coincidentally, many of these countries produce the bad house music which greatly resembles many of the language lessons.
You can check out the demos yourself on their website, and see what you think. We're not sure if it's learning made cool or music made really appalling, but if the tapes work, and you can ask that friendly Japanese guy the way to the train station without having to make "choo-choo" noises, we'd consider it a success.
[Image via ruu/Flickr]
Language / Signs / → All Tags
Now this is cool. A PDA-type device called the Sign Translator, which is now a reality, at least as a prototype, can take a picture of a sign in Chinese, recognize the characters, and then provide a translation into English. It's been developed by engineers at Karlsruhe University, in Germany. No word on how much it'll cost, when it's coming to market, anything like that. We can hardly wait for Sign Translator to tell us "Straight ahead for the Temple of the Characters Not Recognized."
· Speak It in Chinese, Hear It in English [Newsweek, via landspeednyc]
· Sign Language [Wired]
Daily Candy has rounded up some new travel phrases that maybe you've heard, or should learn. We're sure they all have applicable uses. Some of our faves:
adj. Used to describe the dried-up, greenish appearance of post-flight skin.
n. Someone who boasts incessantly about traveling to places he/she has never been.
So jot them down and use them appropriately! If you've got any originals of your own, feel free to send 'em our way.
· Travel Lexicon [Daily Candy]