As most of the people who have met me in person know, I’m quite interested in languages, be they programming or natural languages. This blog however will deal with the latter, namely Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and German.
As my university major is Chinese, it won’t be a surprise that I got quite some links regarding this particular topic. An excellent starting point for everybody interested in this language is Zhongwen.com, where you’ll find dictionaries, lists of interesting vocabulary, a Pinyin chat and much more. If you need to look something up and don’t have a dictionary on you, Sunrain may just be what you’re looking for. It’s a really nice dictionary that handles English, Pinyin, GB and Big5 input and output. One reason I really like this site for is it’s simple and uncluttered appearance. The interface is mostly in Chinese, but even people who don’t have to much of a clue regarding that language should find their way around. Then there’s also Chineselanguages.org which has some pretty nice dictionaries with sophisticated search possibilities (bushou, English keywords, pinyin, four corner input etc.). It also covers various dialects like Cantonese or Hakka. And if you need something even more sophisticated like a Chinese-Japanese-Korean Dictionary of Cultural and Political Terms or a Chinese Medical Glossary make sure to check out this comprehensive listing of links regarding Sino-Tibetan languages. Last but not least I want to direct your attention to DimSum, which despite it’s rather stupid name is an excellent Java application that offers some cool features like converting characters to pinyin, converting pinyin to Wade-Giles and vice versa, plus a lot more.
But now to an interesting link for the japanophile’s among my readers: Yookoso! is an excellent resource for anybody interested in the Japanese language. Besides tons of interesting links you’ll find two mailing lists, namely “Grammar a Day” and “Kanji a Day”. They are really cool and low and behold, you can even choose your skill level when subscribing! Other than that the site offers lots of assorted links which should keep you busy for quite some time. Maybe you also want the two pars of Japanese for Nerds (one, two) at Kuro5hin. If you do make sure you also check out the comments, because in my opinion they actually contain a lot more interesting information then the articles themselves.
As this post already got longer than I intended, here are a few more links without further ado. Go ahead and learn something about Korean Hangul because they rock! When you’re finished with that check some Vietnamese language and culture before you totally got enthralled by this Introduction to Tibetan Orthography.