Rosetta Stone Online, conscript jokes
|From:||Yoon Ha Lee <yl112@...>|
|Date:||Monday, October 8, 2001, 1:45|
Interesting website here:
They have a free one-week "spectrum" trial of their language-learning
software. It requires the Shockwave Flash plug-in for your browser, but I
tried it with Japanese and Korean and man, it's addictive. (I was
originally looking into language-learning software but loath to
contemplate shelling out the price without seeing what it looked like.) I
don't know if anyone else will find it useful or amusing, but I figured it
was a good way to hear native speakers' pronunciations of things and learn
a little more vocabulary. I'm still not quite sure how "hon o yonde imasu"
is different from "hon o yomimasu" (?)--is the former progressive and the
other plain present, or something like that? I'll have to check my
In (written) Korean there's sort of a joke/puzzle that goes like this: a
thief is trying to escape from a closed room, but three exits are guarded
by the police and the 4th by a bear. How does he get out?
Normally you'd draw a box and label the four blocked exits. The key to
the puzzle is that:
bear is "gom"
and door is "mun"
(apologies, I *hate* trying to convey Korean characters over ASCII...)
i.e. if you turn one upside down it turns into the spelling for the other.
I remembered this because I was waxing nostalgic over a Korean playmate
from the past for no good reason, but it occurred to me: does anyone have
conscripts that lend themselves to this sort of intellectual playfulness?
Czevraqis could indeed be turned upside down for certain characters...I'll
have to see if I can find any such things. :-)
Yoon Ha Lee
A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems.--Paul Erdos