A language-learning site, Digital Dialects, “contains free to use interactive activities for learning languages and links to study resources.” The word games they offer to make use of the vocabulary and phrases are fun but on the simple-minded side, and I probably wouldn’t blog it if it were just the usual French/German/Spanish, but it has Basque, Cantonese, Cebuano, Mongolian, Maltese, all sorts of uncommon languages. Check out the list and see if any of them appeal to you. (Thanks, Trevor!)


  1. This is rad. I just aced the first Icelandic test.
    Still it would be a lot better if you could hear the phrases spoken. I am pretty skeptical of the idea that one could learn Cantonese (for instance) by seeing the transcription and sounding it out.

  2. Yeah, exactly.

  3. I guess it’s a way to refresh what you’ve already heard. Great site!

  4. Do any of them have audio compenents? I’ve checked the Cantonese ones, and they might as well be called “Chinese (standard)”, as it’s 1) only writing (non-colloquial writing in Cantonese-speaking areas is done in Standard Chinese, based on Mandarin), and 2) consistent with most of the bigger Chinese dialects. Without sound, there’s no real distinction (although one should point out that the Cantonese are more likely to use “礼拜X” rather than “星期X” for days of the week).

  5. Huh—that’s weird. I hadn’t checked Cantonese, but the ones I did check were all in transcription, so I assumed that would be as well. You’re right: as it is, it makes no sense to call it “Cantonese.” What were they thinking?

  6. The Korean activities all come in both hangeul and transliterated (McCune-Reischauer) variants.

  7. I am a believer in learning words that one has encountered in reading or listening, in other words from already familiar content and not from isolated lists. However, there is no denying the appeal of games like this were people feel a sense of satisfaction or achievement at getting things right.
    Not everyone a native speaker of English. so it would be nice if the translation was not limited to English.
    For both of these reasons I would be interested in knowing if it is possible to input my own lists of words and meanings into this interactive format.
    I am curious to know whether this approach could be used with our LingQ program. ( Who is responsible for this site?
    Any thoughts?

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