Things take a sharp, dark turn when a Japanese English student imagines being shipwrecked

June 27, 2014 | 3 comments

Redditor Robimus is an English teacher in Japan. Recently he asked his junior high students to use their burgeoning language skills to describe what they’d do if they were shipwrecked and stranded on an island.

After a few sentences that were more along the lines of the examples in his textbook, one student decided to bring his mini-essay to a close with a healthy dose of reality…

Japanese Student Imagines Being Shipwrecked

Comedian mimics 17 accents from the British Isles using celebrities from each region as examples

June 19, 2014 | 1 comment

Siobhan Thompson normally spends her time making people laugh, but the comedian also has a knack for imitating accents from around the UK and Ireland. The BBC’s Anglophenia enlisted Thompson to do a tour of accents from around the British Isles, resulting in an explanation and demonstration of 17 English accents that’s both informative and funny…

Related… A tour of accents across the British Isles performed in a single, unedited take

How a deaf and blind Brazilian soccer fan watches the World Cup games

June 18, 2014 | 1 comment

Carlos really wanted to experience the world cup and cheer for his team — Brazil — but he didn’t know how he could since he’s deaf and blind. In a wonderful coincidence, before Brazil’s last game, Carlos’s friend Helio who is also a sign language interpreter thought of some ways to adapt the televised soccer experience for Carlos.

Of course, Carlos was thrilled.

So throughout the game, Carlos held Helio’s hands and traced the ball’s action on a model field on their laps, while another friend signaled fouls, ball possession, players’ numbers and more on his back…

(The video demonstrating the whole process is fascinating but a bit long. If you just want to see a couple goals, jump ahead to 9:50.)

Ridiculous word causes spelling bee contestant and crowd to crack up

June 12, 2014 | No comments

Back in 2007 at the national spelling bee, speller Kennyi Aouad was asked to spell “sardoodledom.” What resulted was what the contest’s longtime pronouncer calls the funniest moment ever at the bee.

Of course, immediately after the giggles things get serious again…

(via Reddit)

A few guys share a laugh at how their friend says “helicopter”

June 2, 2014 | 3 comments

This gentleman’s native language doesn’t have the same sounds or rules as English, making it hard for him to replicate English words. His friends know this…so of course they have some fun with him…

(via Reddit)

For more on this type of linguistic substitution, check out why “Merry Christmas” morphs into “Mele Kalikimaka” in Hawaiian.

Deaf child stunned and overjoyed by baseball mascot speaking sign language with him

May 30, 2014 | 3 comments

The Dayton Dragons are an affiliate team of the Cincinnati Reds and are one of the most popular teams in minor league baseball. One of their biggest fans is 7-year-old Hunter Samworth, a shy kid who’s also deaf.

When he approached the mascot at a recent game, Hunter was surprised that a team employee escorting the dragon began speaking with him in ASL. Then Heater the Dragon started signing with him too…

As mom says in the background, “I think I’m gonna cry.”

Wonderfully excited spelling bee contestant cheers *before* spelling…Gets it wrong

May 30, 2014 | No comments

Jacob Williamson participated in the national spelling bee for the first time this year and quickly became a crowd favorite with his guilelessly confident exuberance. In his first round of the semi-finals, he approached the mic and asked the pronouncer to “Please give me a word I know.”

For Williamson’s next two visits to the microphone, the pronouncer complied with this unorthodox request, allowing Williamson to make it through to the finals. To say he was pleased would be an understatement…

Exuberant Jacob Williamson - 02

Exuberant Jacob Williamson - 03

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Do you know the third most common language in your state?

May 14, 2014 | 12 comments

It’s not that interesting to observe that English is the most common language in every state. And since Spanish is the second most common language in all but seven states, that isn’t very intriguing either.

But then we get to the third most common language, and things get diverse and, in some cases, rather surprising. From Russian to Korean, Navajo to Arabic, there are nearly 20 languages that take third place in at least one state…

Third Most Common Language by State

(Read more at Slate)