Forvo.com may just be one of the coolest linguist-geek websites on the planet. Their motto is “All the words in the world. Pronounced.”
Yes, you read that right. While they still fall quite short of that goal (so far), they’re doing a pretty damn good job. There are tons of languages listed on the site that I’ve never even heard of. According to the website’s internal statistics, there are 544,917 words and 457,743 pronunciations in 236 languages (at this moment).
Even though every word in every language isn’t listed (yet), this is still a very cool idea, and a potentially very useful tool for any budding linguist involved in the study of a foreign language. Even if you’re not a linguist, but are merely interested in hearing how a foreign word is pronounced by native speakers, give this site a look-see.
This being St. Patty’s Day, why not use the website to learn how to impress your friends with a hearty Sláinte?
Warning: Don’t make any plans.
Sesquipedalian /ˌsɛskwɪpɪˈdeɪliən, -ˈdeɪlyən/ – given to or characterized by the use of long words
A big word that means “big word.” I love language.
Doof – stupid; lame; dumb
Paralepsis /ˌpærəˈlɛpsɪs/ – the suggestion, by deliberately concise treatment of a topic, that much of significance is being omitted, as in “not to mention other faults.” From the Ancient Greek παράλειψις, meaning “omission.” Also spelled paraleipsis or paralipsis.
Here’s a real-life example of political paralepsis wherein then-candidate Barack Obama addressed Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that he (Obama) was unelectable:
“And this argument is being pushed, by the way, by a candidate who starts off with a 47% disapproval rating. You know, so, I’m not going to mention names, but I mean the notion that a viability or an electability argument is being made by somebody who starts off with almost half the country not being able to vote for (pause and laughter) them doesn’t make sense.”
Cracked did a great article on words that don’t mean what most people think they mean. As usual, funny but true.
Ausgezeichnet /ˈausgətsaiçnət/ – excellent; awesome; fantastic
I love the sound of this word. Listen for it in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds” (an awesome movie for language nerds).
pleonasm /ˈpliəˌnæzəm/ – the use of more words than are necessary to express an idea; redundancy; tautology
Examples: true fact, tuna fish, ATM machine, 2 a.m. in the morning, redundant pleonasm
(Yes, I know I said it was going to be foreign words, but it’s my website and I can do whatever I want. So there.)
Склещивание (skleshchivanie) – the phenomenon wherein dogs get stuck together post-coitus
I’ve decided to share interesting (to me) foreign words for which there are no real concise equivalents in English. I’m doing this mostly for my own entertainment, but if you know of an interesting or amusing word in another language, and think the rest of us should know it too, please don’t hesitate to contact me. For Japanese words, please see my nihongo à gogo site.
And now, on with the show:
Backpfeifengesicht – a face that begs to be smacked
“Congratulations! You have been admitted into the English (MA) program for the 2010 Fall term.”
With that, it begins. And also with that, a question arises: “Now what?”
All the work I put in trying to get accepted has paid off. But the real work has yet to begin. I’ve never been in a traditional university environment (unless you count checking out the young coeds as I drive past ASU on my way to Chuck Box). I don’t even know where to start. But if I’m anything, I’m resourceful.
I’ll probably have a lot to say about grad school here in the future. Keep yer squinties peeled.