October 26th, 2007

software for learning chinese

Hi everyone! I wonder if anyone here uses any chinese software that functions like a word document. You can type in chinese and it provides definition/pinyin/phrases for the words in the document so I don't have to scramble for a dictionary every time I see an unknown word.
Before, I used njstar but the 90 day trial passed. Can anyone recommend anything similar to it or can upload it for me? If you have the full version of njstar, that would be even better. Thanks!

x-posted to linguaphiles, zhongwen, chineselanguage, learn_mandarin


For the languages you all speak/know something about, what does plural marking look like?

Is it a suffix, prefix, stem change, clitic, what have you. Does the language really make a big deal out of plural/singular(/dual?/paucal?!) distinctions? If there are none, or there are things that could only be rarely used to be plurals, that's worth mentioning also!

I have an idea I want to test, but I need lots of data. IPA transcriptions would also be really awesome, but don't fret if you can't provide it! Thanks!

Name question

When I was a kid, I had an imaginary friend. I'm not quite sure where he got his name from, and while I'm sure I just made up some nonsense syllables, I'm curious if it's a name in other languages.

The name never had a spelling that I can remember, but it was pronounced /'biː.goʊ/, like the words "bee" and "go" in English.

A bit of googling has found some info, but since I'm not quite sure how to represent the sounds and there isn't an IPA input in google, I thought I'd check here. Is "Beego" (or something that sounds reasonably close) a personal or familial name in any language you know? If it's not a name, is it a word? What does it mean?


Arabic Recommendations


Which books / cds would you recommend for an introduction to the Arabic language and writing system?? I just got to learn a bunch of Arabic in Tunisia and it gave me the final kick that I needed to start learning it for real like I always wanted to. I would like some books and such to get a basic idea of the structure, pronunciation, etc. before I start classes. Software recommendations would be nice as well. :)



x-posted in "arabic"