#103 | Simon Ager on Creating an Encyclopedia of Languages

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Linguistics expert and language enthusiast, Simon Ager, talks with Benny and Elizabeth about creating one of the internet’s biggest (and first) encyclopedias of languages and writing systems.

On his website, omniglot.com, Simon has cataloged over 340 writing systems and collated information about more than 1,600 languages. Simon has studied a wide range of languages including Chinese, Japanese, French, German, and he has a particular interest in Celtic languages.

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Patreon Extended Episode

Enjoy the podcast? Subscribe to our Patreon to get access to extended episodes and loads more content. Here’s what you’ll hear in the long-form episode:

  • Comparing learning music and languages
  • Singing as pronunciation practice
  • Metaskills: The skill of learning a new skill
  • Benny and Elizabeth’s best languages

Learn more and access this bonus content on Patreon.

Episode Overview

Some of the topics brought up during the interview are:

  • Making the most of immersion experiences
  • Simon’s favourite resources, including Duolingo and Memrise
  • A typical day of language learning
  • First steps for using Omniglot.com
  • Using your languages to aid research on Wikipedia
  • Getting a Masters in Linguistics, and where it can take you
  • Celtic languages and their revival
  • Responding to “why bother?” criticism
  • Integrating the four pillars of language into daily life
  • People-watching in your target language

Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy