English Language (1) Link and Resources

I'm a big link collector, using my delicious account. These are some of the link I tagged with english keyword:

Quick intro to Anglish, Angel's English (first minutes, first video)
http://www.codeandbeyond.org/2010/12/videos-de-smalltalk-2010-disponibles.html

Allison's English Tidbits
http://allisonsenglishtidbits.blogspot.com/

El Blog para aprender inglés: Cómo hablar inglés con nativos gratis y de forma instantánea, ¡Verbling!
Verbling
http://verbling.com/
http://elblogdelingles.blogspot.com/2011/07/como-hablar-ingles-con-nativos-gratis-y.html

Netspeak - Common Language Search
http://www.netspeak.org/

Blooming English
http://www.scribd.com/doc/48414068/BLOOMING-ENGLISH

The History of English [Video]
http://www.geeksaresexy.net/2011/06/30/the-history-of-english-video/

Uruguay pioneers mobile phone English language teaching
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2008/jan/15/tefl-uruguay?INTCMP=SRCH

Logical punctuation: Should we start placing commas outside quotation marks? - By Ben Yagoda - Slate Magazine
http://www.slate.com/id/2293056/

Learning English - Exercises, Grammar, Vocabulary, Exams
http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/index.htm

SCG: Common Writing Errors
http://scg.unibe.ch/wiki/howtos/commonwritingerrors

The future of English: English as she was spoke | The Economist
http://www.economist.com/node/17730434?fsrc=scn/fb/wl/mc/englishasshewasspoke

World Wide Words: Copacetic
http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-cop1.htm
International English from a British viewpoint

English Page
http://www.englishpage.com

Present Continuous
http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/presentcontinuous.html

Verb Tense Tutorial
http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/verbtenseintro.html

La relación entre el dominio del inglés y la riqueza
http://www.ensilicio.com/2009/08/la-relacion-entre-el-dominio-del-ingles-y-la-riqueza.html

A demonstration of the non-commutativity of the English language
http://terrytao.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/a-demonstration-of-the-non-commutativity-of-the-english-language/

Difficult languages: Tongue twisters | The Economist
http://www.economist.com/world/international/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15108609

One stop English
http://www.onestopenglish.com/

The DumbLittleMan Guide to Comma Use
http://www.dumblittleman.com/2009/10/dumblittleman-guide-to-comma-use.html

Tools to Improve Your English Grammar For Bloggers
http://www.shoutmeloud.com/tools-to-improve-your-english-grammar-for-bloggers.html

18 Great Sites to Learn a New Language
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/18-great-sites-to-learn-a-new-language/

Learn a language online
http://www.linkua.com/

Serendipidad - El profesional de la información
http://www.elprofesionaldelainformacion.com/contenidos/1994/mayo/serendipidad.html

Scientists discover oldest words in the English language
http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/26806.wss

Common Errors in English
http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/errors.html
 
My links:
http://www.delicious.com/ajlopez/english

More links are coming.

Keep tuned!

Angel "Anglish" Lopez
http://www.ajlopez.com
http://twitter.com/ajlopez

Reading English (1) Harry Potter, an unusual boy

This is my first post here, after some years. I want to write in English about some non-technical topics, like the ones I wrote in my Spanish blog: science, philosophy, mathematics and more. But before that, I should improve English. So, I will write about English, too. Writing down a topic helps me to understand it. Let's start with some comments about reading English.

To learn more words and expression in English, I was reading "Harry Potter and the Prisioner of Azkaban" by J.K.Rowling, the third book in the series. (I have the first and second book in English, too, but there are stored in boxes, after my last move). The book starts with these paragraphs:

Harry Potter was a highly unusual boy in many ways. For one thing, he hated the summer holidays more than any other time of year. For another, he really wanted to do his homework, but was forced to do it in secret, in the dead of night. And he also happened to be a wizard.

It was nearly midnight, and he was lying on his front in bed, the blankets drawn right over his head like a tent, a torch in one hand and a large leather-bound book (A History of Magic, by Bathilda Bagshot) propped open against the pillow. Harry moved the tip of his eagle-feather quill down the page, frownin as he looked for something that would help him write his essay, "Witch-Burning in the Fourteenth Century Was Completely Pointless - discuss".

The quill paused at the top of a likely-looking paragraph. Harry pushed his round glasses up his nose, moved his torch closer to the book and read:

Non-magic people (more commonly known as Muggles) were particularly afraid of magic in medieval times, but not very good at recognising it. On the rare occasion that they did catch a real witch or wizard, burning had no effect whatsover. The witch or wizard would perform a basic Flame-Freezing Charm and then pretend to shriek with pain while enjoying a gentle, tickling sensation. Indeed, Wendelin the Weird enjoyed being burnt so much that she allowed herself to be caught no fewer than forty-seven times in various disguises.

Interesting. The first time I read this part, I learnt some words and expressions. New vocabulary:

torch: A portable light produced by the flame of a stick of resinous wood or of a flammable material wound about the end of a stick of wood; a flambeau. See more definitions at: http://www.answers.com/topic/torch

leather-bound: covered in leather, as a book. See http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/leather-bound

propped: to support by placing something under or against —often used with up.
to support by placing against something.
Example: She propped the rake against a tree.
First Known Use of Prop as a verb: 1538
See http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propped

quill: Many definitions; the hollow horny shaft of a feather, and then, a pen. What does shaft means? the long handle of a spear or similar weapon. And spear?  thrusting or throwing weapon with long shaft and sharp head or blade. See http://northkeep.ansteorra.org/graphics/spear.gif
Sources: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quill, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shaft, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spear

likely-looking: seeming to be right or suited for a purpose. See http://www.learnersdictionary.com/search/likely-looking

to shriek: To utter a shriek. And what is a shriek? A shrill, often frantic cry. A sound suggestive of such cry. See http://www.answers.com/topic/shriek What does shrill mean? High-pitched and piercing in tone or sound: the shrill wail of a siren See http://www.answers.com/topic/shrill

tickling: from to tickle: to excite or stir up agreeably, example: music … does more than tickle our sense of rhythm — Edward Sapir. See http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tickling

disguises: disguise, cloak, mask mean to alter the dress or appearance of so as to conceal the identity or true nature. Example We disguised the fact that we were disappointed. See http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/disguise

New Expressions:

For one thing.... For another...

in the dead of night

he also happened to be...

It was nearly midnight

had no effect whatsover

and then pretend...

... she allowed herself..

I will write more about my readings, vocabulary discovery and new expressions.

Keep tuned!

Angel "Java" Lopez
http://www.ajlopez.com
http://twitter.com/ajlopez

Resources for English as a Second Language

English is a fascinating language, but its study can become an overwhelming task for an adult student. There are so many difference from Spanish, my mother tongue, that I must practice a lot to grasp the language. I want to write about some English particularities, and its origins and history, but now I'm in a middle of a moving, and I'm far from my English books.

Web is a great source of English resources, and I'm compulsive link collector (you can view my delicious cloud at http://www.ajlopez.com/en). Thanks to Mariano Szklanny (a good guy), I have a new link to explore and share:

http://www.usingenglish.com

I used to say "readen" instead of "read", influenced by "written" vs "write". Now, I can learn about irregular verbs:

Irregular verbs

A list of 211 basic English irregular verbs, including their base form, past simple, past participle, 3rd person singular, and the present participle / gerund. Click on a verb to view extended information about it.

Irregular verb definition

An irregular verb is one that does not take the -ed ending for the Past Simple and Past Participle forms. Some irregular verbs do not change; put put put, while others change completely; buy bought bought, etc.

Irregular verbs fall into 5 categories:

  1. Base Form
  2. Past Simple
  3. Past Participle
  4. 3rd Person Singular
  5. Present Participle / Gerund

Curiously, there are many kind of verbs:

Auxiliary Verb; Ditransitive Verb; Dynamic Verb; Finite Verb; Inchoative Verb; Intransitive Verb; Modal Verb; Non-finite Verb; Phrasal Verb; Regular Verb; Stative Verb; Transitive Verb; Verb Group; Verb Phrase

There is a free dowload

Irregular Verb List Viewer

I'm amazed that some verbs has no future tense ("can" is an example). Verbs with incomplete conjugation are called defective verbs, more info at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defective_verb

I want to improve my English, starting from my "Anglish", Angel's English. This blog is dedicated to practice, keep tuned, and feel free to send suggestions, corrections and comments.

My collected links about English, at:

http://del.icio.us/ajlopez/english

Angel "Java" Lopez
http://www.ajlopez.com/en

The game of Go, by Borges

Today, the ninth of September of 1978,
I had in the palm of my hand one small disc
of the three hundred sixty-one that are needed
for the astrologic game of Go,
that other chess of the East.

It is older than the oldest writing
and the board is a map of the universe.

Its black and white variations
will exhaust time.

Men can be lost in it
as in love and day.

Today, the ninth of September of 1978,
I, myself, who am ignorant of so many things,
know that I do not know one more,
and I thank my poetic inspiration
for this revelation of a labyrinth
which will never be mine.

Jorge Luis Borges

My Go rank evolution at KGS

I'm a fan of the game of Go. This is a fascinating game: I recommend it to any person interested in "brain" games. It could be addictive, and it deserves more than a look. You can find more information about rules and game in general at:

http://www.gobase.org
http://senseis.xmp.net/

In these Internet days, we can play Go in the net. One of the more visited servers is KGS:

http://www.gokgs.com

Playing games, you obtain a rank. In Go, rank begins at 30 kyu, ascending to 1 kyu, and then, 1 dan to 9 dan (amateur and professional). I'm a 10 kyu. You can see my evolution in this graph:

I must improve my game skills. I have to gain more sense of danger, management of balance (territory, influence), view the direction of play, know how to reduce and how to invade, understand josekis and fusekis (openings), and train reading tesujis (tactical problems).

As a software developer, I'm working on a Go program. The creation of a computer go software is one of the hardests problems in artificial intelligence game programming. It's a big challenge. More info about these topic at:

http://gobase.org/information/computers/

Angel "Java" Lopez
http://www.ajlopez.com/en

Presentation

Hi people!

My name is Angel "Java" Lopez, and I'm from Argentina, South America. English is not my mother tongue, so I need to learn and practice that language. I'm a software developer, and usually, I  read a lot of books, manuals, magazines and web pages written in English.

This blog has a purpose: to post my thoughts, ideas, and comments, in English. One of the topics will be English language: grammar, history, curiosities, problems and web resources. Actually, I have a blog written in English, http://ajlopez.wordpress.com/ but it's dedicated only to articles about software development.

My personal site is http://www.ajlopez.com/ (in Spanish) but now I'm traslating some page to English, you can see the partial result at http://www.ajlopez.com/en

That's all, folks. My plan is to write an article once a week, about English as as Second Language, some ideas, books, or everything else.

Angel "Java" Lopez
http://www.ajlopez.com/