Archive for the ‘Near-Native’ Category

Advanced language learners can test their English, German or Spanish proficiency in 3.5 minutes here using Exhale

2014/05/23 4 comments

Update: A new version of the Spanish vocabulary test is here, and the English vocabulary test has been updated here.

Go here and click English or German, or  (also requiring only 3.5 minutes to take, but more for  manually grading your test with this answer key) go here for Spanish, if you want to to take a simple quick vocabulary test that has been shown to correlate well with general proficiency.  You can find more info here on English and German, and here on Spanish.

Phonetic Russian character input on US-keyboards with Google IME in the LRC

  1. To write Russian phonetically in Cyrillic:
    1. Since “input methods”are specific to each window (and automatically switch to that of the window you make active), first open the application you want to write in, preferably MS-Word (has proofing tools for Russian).
    2. In the language bar on the lower right, click on “EN”, select “Russian” insteadimage
    3. Click on the keyboard symbol and select “Google”: google-russian-ime1
      1. You first may have to right-click on the language bar on the lower right of your desktop and select “Adjust” to show the keyboard symbol: google-russian-ime2
    4. If you now type in MS-Word Russian (your selection did not “stick” in MS-Word? do the above steps again, eventually it will…) phonetically on a US-keyboard, you will be able to select from suggestions in Cyrillicimage
    5. Click the desired suggestion to have it entered into MS-Word: image
  2. To go back to writing temporarily in English (without changing the entire input method back to English), click the (Cyrillic/Latin) letter symbol on the Google Russian IME menu: image and you can enter English (Latin alphabet) without the popup suggesting you Russian equivalents: image
  3. To switch from the phonetic input to a floating Cyrillic keyboard,
    1. click on the keyboard symbol in the Google Russian IME. image
    2. Or from the Language bar, switch to the other (Microsoft) keyboard layout for  "Russian" (see #4 above), and go to "Start" / "Run" / type OSK, click "OK".

How to display Furigana phonetic guide for Japanese Kanji in MS-Word 2010

2012/02/21 1 comment
  1. Furigana uses Kana (usually Hiragana) to phonetically transcribe Kanji, above (for horizontally written Kanji) or to the right (if in vertical writing mode), for special characters or audiences (children and second language learners).
  2. In MS-Office, if you have a Japanese Input Method Editor selected in MS-Windows, select some Kanji and in the ribbon, under tab: home, section: font; click on the Phonetic guide, to bring up a dialogue that attempts to auto detect the furigana.
  3. You can make adjustments there, click “OK “to insert. Like so:
  4. japanese-furigana

How to use a drawing tablet and Windows XP writing pad IME to write Japanese and Mandarin characters with autosuggest

2012/02/04 2 comments
  1. Our small group work spaces each now have a Wacom Bamboo drawing tablet installed.
  2. You can use these tablets in conjunction with the Windows XP writing pad IME to input Mandarin/Kanji character strokes and receive autosuggest options you can pick you character from which make not only writing faster, but also reward you for remembering your characters, expose you to more and help you identify the correct one from a list of options.
  3. Here is what the Windows XP writing pad IME and Wacom tablet looks like in action: (behind the pen: our Japanese tutor).
  4. Here is how to access Windows XP Japanese IME keyboard and handwriting:
    1. Open the application you want to write in, e.g. MS Word (the language input option is specific to the current window and defaults to”English-US international”  in the LRC if you open a new window).
    2. In the taskbar, in the language toolbar section, select Japanese or Chinese or Korean.
    3. If only the language identifier is showing in the language toolbar, right-click on it and choose “Show additional icons”
    4. Select as input method for the chosen language from icon “Options” or “Tools”” , the “IME pad” / “Handwriting”
    5. Prerequisites
        1. you need to have the handwriting IME installed for Japanese or  Chinese or Korean in Control Panel / Regional and Language Options / Text Input, and East Asian language support).
        2. For simplified Chinese, the IME Pad may not be checked to be displayed by default. Access the Tools icon menu to check it.
        3. For both simplified and traditional Chinese, if checked, the IME Pad becomes a separate top-level ion in the language bar.
        4. Some screenshots may help:

      korean-ime-pad-enable  chinese-simplified-ime-pad-enablechinese-simplified-ime-pad chinese-traditional-ime-pad

Chinese newspapers

  1. China Daily is the largest Chinese newspaper available in English. It has a variety of versions: here is the version for the US, for cross-cultural learning, while the English version for speakers of Chinese is valuable both for learners of Mandarin and English.
  2. The government-run newspaper People’s Daily has an English version, also with language learner glossing.

Film-and-media-collection.xlsx online database under construction

2011/10/13 1 comment

Sneak preview (larger view here) of the searchable online database with internet background information lookup (Note: work in progress, hard-“head” area!):

Friends of the UNCC-LRC can open this link in Excel-web-app (in your web browser, internet explorer or Firefox):

More than one LRC assistant can edit the sheet at the same time, just not the same cell. so: if there is more than 1 lab assistant on duty, the one whose first name is closer to the end of the alphabet starts from the bottom row of the spreadsheet and works her way up

Click on the link “try UPC lookup”,

On the page that opens, if there is a picture of the movie with “buy from amazon”, right click on the link to, select “copy shortcut”, and paste the shortcut into the column “buy from amazon”

Find the original movie title on the page, copy it into spreadsheet  column “UPC title original”,

If there is title English translation, copy it into “UPC title English translation”

Click on link “try worldcat”,  do the same as above with the spreadsheet columns “ISBN title original” and “translation”,

News TV on the internet: Politics and Legislatures
”On-demand consultation of any event or subject during the week following its transmission on satellite. All products become accessible to any connected media or individual anywhere in the world through the Internet portal of the audiovisual service.  On the site you will find EbS permanently updated transmission schedule, as well as shotlists detailing the content of pictures and links to complementary information sources and photos. Pictures and sound may be downloaded in broadcast quality formats: MPEG2 for video, MP3 for sound and JPEG for photos. This news material is published during or soon after the events, remains available *for at least one month* and is easy to download, process and file.”

French TV on the internet

TV5 seems still in the satellite/per-per-view phase. But it offers free video learning resources: