Saturday, November 1, 2014

How to fart in Korea

I happened upon this great Tumblr blog that you should check out. The owner, James Chapman, makes a weekly poster highlighting a specific theme and how it is represented in various languages around the world.

Most are onomatopoeic sounds:


Some are lists of translations:


And some are random fun things like translated tv show titles:




Beware! You might waste a lot of time on his site. Enjoy!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Our Greatest Invention

I just happened upon this article about a book called 'Shapes for Sounds: Why alphabets look like they do, what has happened to them since printing was invented, why they won't ever change, and how it might have been.'

I haven't read the book yet (I just ordered it), but some of the pictures are so fascinating.

For instance, what if we wrote in blocks of color?



Linguists commonly use charts like this:
(source)
to map sounds that happen in our face:

Extrapolating from those charts, the book shows us this:

Which is really quite cool.

I should have my book in a few days, so I'll check back in when I've had a chance to study it. In the meantime, what do you think? Have any of you read this book? Do you agree that writing is one of mankind's greatest inventions?