Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jennifer's Language Page

I love the concept of her site.

At this site you can learn how to say several words and phrases in hundreds of different languages. My goal is to include every language, so that people will be able to say at least a few words to anyone they meet, anywhere in the world.

She explains more on her frequently asked questions page.

Sources for the translations

Many translations have come from my own research in libraries and online, from dictionaries, phrase books, travel books and Internet language resources. Other translations have come from people who have seen these pages and sent me comments, suggestions, additions, and corrections by e-mail from all over the world, as well as people I have met whom I have asked for translations. Many people have also have verified (or corrected) translations I have found from other sources.

Why do some languages have so many ways to say the same thing?

Most languages have several ways to say the phrases listed here. The same is true for English: we sometimes say "hi" (in the United States), "good morning" (in the morning), "g'day" (in Australia), etc., depending on the time of day, the place, and how well we know the person we are greeting. Many languages have greetings that should only be used during certain parts of the day, like English; others have words that are only used when speaking to children, to relatives, to women, or to elders. Words that should only be used in certain situations are indicated with an explanation in square brackets.

Additionally, many languages don't have a direct translation for the words presented at this site. For example, some of the translations for words listed on my "goodbye" page mean "go in peace", "until I see you", and "I will return". Although they each have different meanings, these words are listed as translations for "goodbye" because all these words are used when people are leaving.

She invites contributions to her site, although it doesn't appear to have been updated since 2008. I have enjoyed perusing her lists and invite you to do the same. If you can contribute any new terms, or have corrections for others, please contact her and let her know.

Jennifer's Language Page

Gadda ge [Afar], I ni ce [Bambara], Uan tabuan [Cham], Tak [Danish], Abui ngan [Ewondo], Ogiwadong [Ga], Toda [Hebrew], Barkal [Ingush], Kesuwun [Javanese], Da blu [Karen], Jule [Ladakhi], Chjóonte [Mam]... THANK YOU!

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