Varie ed eventuali

Divertirsi con poco
Mi sono trovato a ridere da solo, rileggendo la mia vecchia lamentazione¹ pre-InterRail. Bei tempi: scrivevo cose che oggi trovo simpatiche; ma soprattutto scrivevo…

¹ In origine lamentazioni.org, traduzione direi azzeccata di “rant”.

How to easily learn a foreing language
Just kidding: there is no easy way. Natural (and programming 😉)languages can be learned in one way only: by using them. Something helpful in getting to the point of being able to actually talk using a foreing language is listening to it. Even kindergarten babies know it’s true, as you can easily see from them doing exactly this: they listen to people talking and after a while they start doing the same. As the saying goes, that’s not really rocket science. If you know english I have some pointers ([hyper]links are one type of pointer) you might find useful for the purpose of listening to someone talking in a foreing language.

  1. Foreing Service Institute Courses – They are in the Public Domain: this means they are NOT coverd by copyright. Bottom line: you can freely download, copy, print, and redistribute them. They are hosted in many places, like The Yojik Website (which has a lot of other resources). Some of the FSI courses are a bit old, e.g. the swedish one I used, but I found it useful and pleasant.
  2. <insertlanguage>pod101.com – There is a whole “constellation” of websites giving you one week of free access to a boatload of material (mp3, pdf, whatever). They are all managed by innovativelanguage.com. Again, I’ve only used the swedish one, and in a very “hit and run” fashion: I downloaded all of the mp3s for one season and I listen to them while commuting to/from work.
  3. Deutsche Welle (german only) – At dw.com/en/learn-german you can find a lot of stuff for learning german. Let me tell you, there is so much more stuff on the interwebz for learning a language with almost 100M native speakers compared to one with less than 10M… I find it funny how the recent “Radio D” podcast and the ’90 recordings of “Deutsche Warum Nicht” are more or less from the same guy :D
  4. SPECIAL Archive.org – The Internet Archive is such a beautiful project thet I want to cry from the happiness each time I think about it. It’s both a repository of free stuff (songs, recordings, audiobooks, videos, software, EVERYTHING) and a web time machine: you could use it to see an old version of a website. Sometimes it’s the only trace of something from the past, like with this old forum (in italian) where I probably wrote my first forum message. More to the point, you can find a lot of stuff in any language on archive.org and the FSI courses are hosted also there.
  5. Project Gutenberg (text only) – gutenberg.org in my personal cry-inducing websites list comes rightly after archive.org. It’s a huge repository of ebooks. Most of them are in english, but there’s also a lot of books in other languages. A similar project, but made in Italy, is liberliber.it; check it out!

Bene, ora che finalmente mi sono tolto dalla coscienza il peso di non aver mai spammato alcuni dei siti più importanti dell’internet (archive.org e gutenberg.org) torno nel buco dal quale sono uscito.