Language Links: German MOOC and Swedish idioms

German Mooc and Swedish idioms

Just for fun, I publish a list of articles about foreign languages and language learning.

Coursera announced that it will launch its first foreign language learning MOOC in October in collaboration with University of Pennsylvania. Auf Deutsch: Communicating in German Across Cultures is a beginner course scheduled to run for six weeks. “The course will be informative and entertaining. People will hopefully be learning something new about German culture. Students will learn about the different lifestyles Germans have. That’s where the entertainment part will come in.” says Professor Edward Dixon, the course developer. I, for one, have enrolled and I can’t wait to dissect the instructional design of the course.

Speaking of fun in German, do you act as if you have fat pants? It’s not an insult, I swear! Head over to FluentU to find out what that means in a list of 10 German idioms. I haven’t lost my mind and all my cups are in my cabinet.

I bet you’re tickled pink by funny expressions in foreign languages. Check out this video of 10 Swedish expressions, unless you have a feeling there are owls in the moss (meaning something is quite off).

What happens when actors are told to speak in their native language for “authenticity”? Using Gratuitous Foreign Language (GFL) is Hollywood’s way of saying “hey, as long as it sounds foreign and exotic, we’re covered”. But is everything foreign-sounding really true to the plot of the film? Salon gives a few examples of native speakers who took a few liberties on camera.

Can you translate your standup routine into a foreign language, and still keep the same jokes? If you’re Eddie Izzard, you can try, but there is no guarantee that your audience will understand. Although the misunderstanding itself can become a source of humor.

P.S. More German language resources here and here.

Image: Nordic Summer Evening by Sven Richard Bergh (1889 – 1900)

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