Linguistics

A green python ready to use HFST :-D

HFST (Helsinki Finite-State Transducer Technology) is a neat tool for modelling morphology of languages in a computational way. The problem is that currently, the Python API is under-documented. But fear not, in this post you will learn how to load optimised lookup files in Python and use them to analyse and generate word forms. 😃
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Creative thoughts on papers and a keyboard

When you are targeting an international audience and you have enough money to back your project up, the thing you have to do is to localize your application. Thinking that everyone knows English, is just naive. This is a general guide that shows how the process of localization works. (more…)

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A library full of books that could make the perfect corpus

I have compiled a list of places where one can look for corpora. This list is not limited to one language only, but rather I am listing resources that are multilingual. (more…)

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A shop full of books for language self-study

In this post, I have gathered all the important aspects you have to look at when you are buying a language study book. I base this list on my personal experiences as a language self-learner (or autodidact as we are called). And trust me, when it comes to study books, I have seen the best and worst of them. 🤓 (more…)

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A light bulb on a desk

Previously, I have blogged about meaning in language, and especially the dichotomy related to it. Now, I feel, it's the time to look at the issue from another perspective. Sure, our language models meaning in its own way, but how is it represented in the brain? This post will be about concepts and how they are understood. 🤓 (more…)

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A newspaper, eyeglasses and a phone

When we communicate, the most important thing our words seem to convey is a meaning of some sort. It's quite easy for us to intuitively understand what words such as dog 🐕 or cat 🐈 mean. But for a linguist, it's a whole different story. (more…)

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the start image of MKH soft Vocabulary Teacher

When it comes to learning a language on my own, I am a true expert. I studied Spanish entirely on my own and reached to such a high skill level that I was accepted to study the language in the University of Helsinki. How did I do it, when people having studied the language in proper courses given by professional teachers failed to get accepted? 😯

There isn't really anything magical to learning a language. The key thing that is needed is that you as a language learner have to be active in learning. If you never touch a dictionary to figure out what new words mean, you are doomed to fail. Another crucial point is to have a good study book. This post, however, focuses more on other ways to practice the language than a study book.  📗 (more…)

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An open dictionary with the word focus in focus

After taking a course in lexicography, I found it astonishing that there was people who didn't quite understand the difference between a dictionary and an encyclopaedia. Even more disturbing is that I have seen a great many scientific papers in which dictionaries have been used as though they had encyclopaedia like knowledge. 😥

Luckily, the distinction is quite easy.🙂 (more…)

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Dice with letters instead of numbers

The question that fascinates us all, at least at some point in life, is how we learn our native language. Who came up with the first language? Is it possible to fail in learning your native language? 🤔 Well, first of all, I am going to shed some light into the uniqueness of human language. (more…)

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The flag of Swedish speaking Finns

This week's post for a thing I like continues with the same "language geek" theme I established on my last post.🤓 Again it's about what a language, namely Swedish, sounds like. But I'm not discussing just any kind of Swedish on this post, but the Swedish native to Finland, aka finlandssvenska.

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