Posts Tagged With: languages

Basque Country, Spain/France

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What comes to mind when you think of Spain? The cities of Barcelona and Madrid? Running of the bulls or tomato throwing (La Tomatina) festivals?

If you look at a map, Spain itself is quite extensive; it’s the second largest country in Europe. In saying that, you can imagine that there is just so much to see in such a large country.

Today, I’m going to share some photos of an area of North-Western Spain called the “Basque country” (Pays Basque / Pais Vasco [FR/ES]).

The history of the Basque country is so old, that the language itself cannot be traced back or connected to any modern day or any dormant/extinct languages; thus, the Basque language (Euskara) is considered an isolated language, leaving linguistic researchers baffled and confused. Some research has revealed the the roots of the language have been around for as long as 20,000 years and almost 1 million people still speak it until this day.

A majority of the Basque population has type O- blood and their genes have been heavily linked to the Neanderthals.

The Basque country is divided into seven provinces or more formerly known as “administrative districts”. Four of them are in Spain and the other three are in South-Western France, bordering Spain.

I’m proud to have strong family roots to this mystical land and hope to soon explore more of the gems it has to offer!

Disclaimer: 90% of photos/videos are taken by me, but not these ones.
Categories: Basque Country, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wikitongues – Non-profit Language Preservation and Sustainability


I’d like to announce, that I’m very excited to be part of the Wikitongues team! As a Community Organizer, I’ll be assisting by developing and contributing relevant content to the archive of information that Wikitongues has established over the last 3+ years.

What is Wikitongues and what is this archive you’re talking about? Well, listen up, cause’ I’m going to share that with you!

Wikitongues is a non-profit organization with the aim of preservation and sustainability of every language in the world. The organization has been active since 2012, and has grown activities into over forty countries, by a team of over eighty people. Our activities include the production of interview content as we build the most inclusive cultural archive ever made.

So, it basically boils down to this… Our goal is to establish the largest public informational archive of languages in the world. There are thousands of languages that are now extinct or in considerable danger of extinction. We are making positive steps to reversing this dilemma and contributing towards growth and sustainability by establishing this massive, public archive. Anyone can contribute to this meaningful cause by following the interview guidelines, which includes instructions on how to upload/share the interview afterwards. At the moment, we are generally looking for languages and dialects that are rare, near-extinct or are just simply not in our database yet. Of course, if your language is already in our database, we’ll still welcome your contribution with open arms, as it adds to the original existing content, giving readers the opportunity to learn even more about that specific language or dialect. Every bit counts!

Here is an example of a language that is on the verge of death, it’s called: “Tsakonian”.
Tsakonian is a modern Greek language, spoken in the eponymous Tsakonia region of the Peloponnese Peninsula. It is the only living descendant of old Doric, the language once spoken by the people of Ancient Sparta. Though the Tsakonian-speaking community is small, numbering no more than a couple hundred speakers, the language has three distinct dialects, ‘Northern’, ‘Southern’ and ‘Propontis’.


Interesting? Well, here’s something else impressive; Wikitongues recently reached their Kickstarter goal of $50,000 USD; actually, they surpassed the goal with $52,715 USD from people like you and I, which will help bring this project to life. Wikitongues also plans to use the collected pledges to create user-friendly technology and dictionaries to help support language learning of the content we collect around the globe. How cool is that?

If you’d like to contribute some content to this phenomenally exceptional cause, you can contact me by leaving me a comment below and we will find a way to work something out!

You can visit the Wikitongues website by clicking here: http://wikitongues.org/

Categories: Travel, Travel Tips, Wikitongues - Language Preservation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free and Fun ways to Learn a New Language!

For a lot of people, learning a new language can be very challenging and intimidating. Most people don’t know where to start and how to study, or fear that their study methods just won’t work for them. Well, I’ve got some exciting news for everyone! I’m one of those people would love to learn a new language, so I decided to scout the internet for you to find the best methods and websites to make your language-learning journey an enjoyable one! The best part of all, these options/methods are free!

These awesome websites are listed below:

1. www.duolingo.com

Choose the language you’re interested in, the rest is a game, complete with leaderboards, points and so on.

2. http://www.italki.com/?ref=1605969

A social-media website that is oriented towards those who are willing to those willing to both teach and learn. You can practice the language you wish to learn with members from all over the world for free, or, if you’re willing, you can pay as little as 4$-25$/hr to have lessons in the language you desire with a professional and structured lesson plan through Skype.

3. http://www.memrise.com/courses/english/

A flashcard-style, memory burning learning method; you are presented with words and sentences alongside with the proper pronunciation and translation of all meanings to English. Once the words have been presented to you, you are then drilled with the vocabulary through a “time-attack” if you want to call it, where you then have to quickly match up the correct English translation to the language’s translation, type it, speak it, so on. The faster you are to make correct decisions, the more points you are awarded. Any questions that you get wrong, are immediately reviewed and quizzed to you over and over until you understand. Very effective!

With a combination of these three websites, you’ll be learning a new language in no time! I’m currently learning: Norwegian, Danish and Spanish!

Enjoy and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!

Categories: Travel Tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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