Learning Norwegian via Trump: “Hvordan sier du «shithole country» på norsk?”

Not to get sucked into politics, but Trump’s alleged comments about immigrants from “Shithole countries” were apparently paired with comments about wishing that there were more Norwegians immigrating to the U.S.A.

In terms of a reality-check, there was a piece in the Atlantic that nicely covered why that isn’t likely to happen–(spoiler: Norway is one of the few countries in the world that consistently beats Canada (yes, and the U.S. too) on UN Development index, happiness rankings and other measures).  Still, I was curious to see what Norwegian people were saying about this chapter of current events— how would you even say “shithole country” in Norwegian?

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Duolingo: crowdsource translation meets language learning

I found the TED talk below after listening to a great interview with Luis von Ahn on CBC radio (Spark).

I had previously seen clips of him talking about CAPTCHA / reCAPTCHA; however, in the Spark interview (and the TED talk), he goes on to discuss his latest project, called Duolingo.   It’s hard not to get excited about what the project (still in beta) promises: a marriage between crowdsource translation and language learning.

If you want to skip directly to the part where he talks about the research questions that led to Duolingo, skip to the 8m37s mark.   I wonder how long the waiting list is to participate in the beta?

[update March 24th, 2012: received invitation to participate in Spanish or German Duolingo beta.  I´ve tried the first couple of Spanish lessons, and I can already tell that Duolingo is going to be very addictive!]

From the TED video description:

Duolingo will be a revolutionary product in which millions of internet users from around the world will work together to translate the internet and learn a new language at the same time. All for free.”