If you like languages, you'll love The Great Language Game. Data scientist Lars Yencken was inspired by his love of languages to create a simple game where you listen to a sample of a language, and then have to guess which language it is. The game currently uses 78 languages, from Albanian to Yiddish. It starts with a choice between two languages that are usually pretty easy to distinguish ...
If you keep on playing (and if you are a certain type of person you won't be able to stop), you will find your ear tuning to subtle distinctions in rhythm, intonation, and phonology. Though you may not be actually learning the languages, you will be learning to really hear the differences between languages, an excellent place to start.
Like Geoguessr, the game where you guess the locations of Google Street View pictures, The Great Language Game can leave you frustrated by what you don't know, but also occasionally impressed by the accuracy of your gut instincts. Both offer a interactive experience with a wide yet detailed view of the world. Hear the details, and get more familiar with the world by playing a few rounds of The Great Language Game here.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- After Ferguson, we don't need another dialogue on race
- The government is getting into the fact-checking business. Be very, very afraid.
- Russia's new air force is a mystery
- How I became a borderline hoarder
- In defense of Obama's golfing
Subscribe to the Week