Archive for Language

Listen to Classic Babylonian and Assyrian Writings

The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) has produced this fascinating collection of recordings of excerpts of Babylonian and Assyrian classics as read by scholars in the field. You can listen to the original language renderings as well as peruse the English-language versions. You can listen to parts of Gilgamesh, explore portions of the Code of Hammurabi, and hear about Istar’s descent into the netherworld.

A helpful overview is included along with a very informative FAQ.

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“Anglo-Norman Reader”

The Anglo-Norman Reader presents both extracts and full-texts of numerous pieces, some translated into English for the first time. Anglo-Norman literature refers to the French language as it was spoken and written in medieval Great Britain primarily during the 12th – 14th centuries. Here are numerous examples of manuscripts written in this language. It may surprise people how deeply francophone medieval Britain actually was; many of the most important works of this time; i.e. Chronica Majora by Matthew Paris, were written in both Latin and French.

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Recordings of Regional American Dialects

Part of the work that went into the creation of the Dictionary of American Regional English was the compilation of thousands of field interviews from across the country between 1965 and 1970. More than 1700 of them are now available online; each one is accompanied by a breakdown of topics discussed and a reading of Arthur the Rat. We tend to forget that not everyone speaks the same way as we do; these recordings show the wonderful diversity of American English.

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“Alt” Terms Defined

This New York Times article discusses some the terms being freely tossed around of late.

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