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One Minute Languages
November 11, 2008 3:34 AM   Subscribe

At One Minute Languages you can learn greetings, talking about names, counting, and more in Catalan, Danish, French, German, Irish, Japanese, Luxembourgish, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, and Russian.
posted by sveskemus (25 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't want to talk to most people for more than a minute, so this is perfect.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:38 AM on November 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is just crying out for a parody/supplemental site that offers one minute lessons on the unique curses and profanity of each language.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:22 AM on November 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is Irish a language? and where's English?
posted by gman at 4:29 AM on November 11, 2008


gman: "Is Irish a language?"

Yes.
posted by sveskemus at 5:13 AM on November 11, 2008


Ohio
posted by caddis at 5:17 AM on November 11, 2008


Yeah, see, I always thought it was called Gaeilge.
posted by gman at 5:22 AM on November 11, 2008


I think it's called both.
posted by sveskemus at 5:40 AM on November 11, 2008


Irish... a language? I always thought it was just extremely slurred English.

Just kidding, just kidding. For what it's worth, all of the Irish people I've met call it just "Irish".
posted by phax at 5:54 AM on November 11, 2008


phax is right, Irish people call it Irish.
posted by minifigs at 5:57 AM on November 11, 2008


...and dumb ass Canadians call it Gaeilge.
posted by gman at 5:59 AM on November 11, 2008


Yeah, we call it Irish, not "gellick".

Having learned to say that you speak a little Irish in lesson 03, the chances are that Irish speakers will be so delighted to hear you speaking Irish they'll start talking to you in fast Irish

Nah, we'll normally look at you suspiciously, and then blurt out "there's more to the bloody country than beer and pog mo thoin you know!"
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:34 AM on November 11, 2008


We're doing something like this in our office, which is a little united nations. Everyone puts the phrase of the day on their desk in their native languages - currently we have spanish, irish, welsh, french, arabic, portuguese and tamil going, with the potential for a few more if other people loosen up a bit. It's pretty fun.
posted by jamesonandwater at 6:38 AM on November 11, 2008


It's.. the bloke from Coffee Break Spanish. Why is he pretending to be French?!
posted by dickasso at 7:43 AM on November 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


How do you say "Our newest full-time moderator is/is not wearing pants" in these languages?

Nice post, thanks!
posted by lukemeister at 7:52 AM on November 11, 2008


This is awesome! Sooo cool. Knowing I'll never learn Irish, Luxembourgish, Mandarin or Russian, it's so great to be able to greet people with a few words or have a few words handy. Or just even hear the basics. It's really cool.

I love this site. Thanks.
posted by nickyskye at 7:55 AM on November 11, 2008


lukemeister: "How do you say "Our newest full-time moderator is/is not wearing pants" in these languages?"

Danish: Vores nye fuldtids-moderator har (ikke) bukser på.
posted by sveskemus at 8:00 AM on November 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Actually I believe there is a difference between Irish and Gaelic, according to family members who live in Ireland. I don't know enough about it, though.

Radio Lingua Network is indeed great. We've used One-Minute Polish to try to impress the staff at our neighborhood Polish deli. So far, I've only screwed up and said "good-bye" to everyone when I meant to say "thank you." Better run through the course a few more times...
posted by cherie72 at 8:01 AM on November 11, 2008


The language is usually referred to in English as Irish, sometimes as Gaelic or Irish Gaelic. The term Irish Gaelic is often used when English speakers discuss the relationship among the three Goidelic languages (Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx). Scottish Gaelic is often referred to in English as simply Gaelic.

(Wikipedia, the last refuge of scoundrels)
posted by lukemeister at 8:17 AM on November 11, 2008


My husband has been doggedly learning mandarin for a year -weekly private lessons with a lovely teacher and loads of homework - and has admitted progress has been a lot more painful than he hoped.

We've just been in China - the first trip back since he began the lessons, but all the business meetings were in English, as usual.

On the last day we were shopping in Shanghai, and we were being very enthusiastically shouted at in a crowded silk-and-whatnot market shop by the eager owner.

My husband started earnestly trying to communicate in Chinese with the guy. But after a few minutes, the strain of the mutual total incomprehension became too much.

My husband found himself yelling back in horrible tourist-speke "Me no understand!! Me just lookkee!! Me no buyee!!".

Which the owner definitely understood.

My husband was absolutely appalled at himself and I've been teasing him ever since. Now I've just sent him the "One Minute Mandarin" link. (Which might well be the last straw!)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 8:59 AM on November 11, 2008


I like it and I need it and I want to have it today, but it is not possible for me that way.


/OOops! Wrong language guru.
posted by RavinDave at 9:25 AM on November 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jody: tell your husband to keep at it. My father was a talented linguist who spoke a dozen languages and it took him years to learn Chinese, even working at it many hours a day, but he did eventually learn to read and write even.

OR if he wants an easier but still exotic language, might I suggest Indonesian? It's very easy, near-phonetic spelling with the "standard" alphabet, the grammar is interesting enough to be challenging and is very expressive but simple and logical. I learned it from books in a couple of years and was able to have reasonable conversations with random people when I went there - which was tremendously exciting for me.

Interestingly enough, when I woke up in the morning when I was there, it took a while to get the language going again. In the afternoon, I even found myself having long conversations with people - and then as I got tired, it'd all fall apart, just like your husband!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:30 AM on November 11, 2008


Learning basic greetings (etc) in another's mother tongue is a powerful way to show personal interest in someone from another culture (international students, etc.) even if they speak English. It is especially powerful for Americans, given their reputation in this area. (What do you call someone who can speak three languages? Trilingual. What do you call someone who can speak two languages? Bilingual. What do you call someone who can speak only one language? American.)
posted by spock at 9:50 AM on November 11, 2008 [1 favorite]



Jody: tell your husband to keep at it. My father was a talented linguist who spoke a dozen languages and it took him years to learn Chinese, even working at it many hours a day, but he did eventually learn to read and write even.

lupus_yonderboy

That's a brilliant comment, thanks - and I'm going to forward it to him.

That's even a more charmingly helpful comment than you know. I've been a bit dog in the manger about his Chinese - out of envy for his patience and determination, I guess. Time to stop and be more supportive - though the shop scene still makes me snort...
posted by Jody Tresidder at 9:55 AM on November 11, 2008


I do something similar whenever I meet someone who speaks a different language. I note down (phonetically), "hi", "my name is" "how are you?" "fine" "what's your telephone number?" "thanks" and "bye". I get some funny looks, but people are usually pleased to be asked - it works as an ice-breaker: "oh, you're from X, what language do they speak there?".

The real fun comes next time you meet a speaker of that language, assuming you actually remember. The more obscure the language, the better.

The shame comes when I realise that I know more words in Bashkir than in Welsh or Gaelic and my ancestors frown on me. So thanks for this post!
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 11:33 AM on November 11, 2008


No Cantonese :(
posted by saturnine at 1:59 PM on November 11, 2008


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