I like languages a lot because it gives you a much better insight into a country and its people if you can communicate with them in their own language. And while learning a language you also learn a lot about the people and their culture because the structure of a language and the way things are expressed tells a lot about the way of thinking of the people.
In school, I learned English and French for 12 years (I went to a Steiner School = "Waldorfschule") and I choose French as an advanced course for the final exams at school. During my stay in Norway as au-pair I learnt Norwegian and when I was studying in Norway, my vocabulary gained enormously (now it's slowly fading :-). Norwegian is quite easy for Germans because many words are quite similar and the grammar is much easier than the German one.
On Spitzbergen, I started with Finnish because I have friends in Finland and I like the sound of the language very much. Unfortunately, Finnish belongs to the finno-ugrian group of languages, i.e. the words have not the slightest relation to any language I know so far. So even learning simple words is a little tedious. Up to now, I know how to count, some phrases and some words but not very much. But it's still on my agenda. Later on, I would also like to learn Spanish and maybe Russian....On this page, I want to collect useful resources for people that are interested in languages. As always, your comments, hints or links are very welcome at "firstname.lastname@example.org".
The only thing I collected so far are links to several online dictionaries that I use when I'm in need of a quick translation of a word or a phrase. Most of the times it works quite o.k. when looking for the meaning of a single word but if I try to translate a whole sentence, the result is usually not very god. So keep this in mind when using online translatings !
|Altavista Babelfish is a service that translates single words, phrases or whole webpages between the major languages like English, French, German, Spanish, ... But be careful when using the results. Especially double words don't work out very well.|
|LOGOS is a multilingual Italian based translation portal that offers many different services about languages. The online dictionary gives examples from text but the word basis is not very large and I often entered words that were not in the database.|
|There used to be a good Finnish dictionary at www.mofile.fi which gave you a translation and also a list of words ordered by families like nouns, verbs etc. This service has now moved to "http://www.tracetech.net/cd/enfin4.htm" where it is stated that it is only a test version. So I don't know how long it will be available at this place. Drop me a note if you know more about this project, please..|