A nest for growing souls

To learn a language is to gain another soul. Charlemagne is supposed to have said that, or something like it, probably in Old High German. I’ve always admired the saying, and I believe it.

F’rinstance, when I speak German (the only language besides English that I’m anything like fluent in), I often find myself acting and feeling like a different person. A younger, less knowing person, I think — possibly because my German is far less sophisticated than my English, and I can’t speak the language without thinking in it.

Today I happened on The Language Nest, a blog by Jack Martin of William & Mary College. He’s a linguist who studies “endangered languages, especially those native to the southeastern United States.” I have a copy of the dictionary he co-authored of Creek/Muskogee, the principal language of Alabama until about 1800 (and a language I’m determined to learn).

The most recent posts cover some interesting online tools I didn’t know about, and that don’t apply only to language learning: namely, an online drawing program, image editing program, T-shirt printing service, and comic strip generator for people who can’t draw.

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