Online databases work to preserve, teach languages

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People interested in studying Latin can do so via the Internet through a service that functions with the help of a custom online database.

The language education company Lingua Classica’s new Latin Parser online database software was designed to help students learn to read the language by teaching them how to identify root forms of words, define them, make translations and comment on the historical or literary context of a particular passage.

Data is typed into a pop-up window and then saved to the custom online database. To see the information entered for a particular part of a passage, the user can simply click on the word. Words and meanings that have been saved in the online database can be converted into flashcards or lists and then printed out. Access is by subscription.

Online database preserves dialects

Latin Parser isn’t the only application to promote languages through the Internet. In Canada, researchers at Memorial University in St. John’s have developed an online database aimed at preserving the dialects found in Newfoundland and Labrador Province, according to The CBC. The custom online database features audio samples of speech from different parts of the province, some of which are decades old. Recordings and field notes are pinned to various sections of an interactive map. Variations in grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation between regions are all presented on the database.

“In Newfoundland [and Labrador], there’s a great deal of interest in things that unite us and divide us, and we’ve discovered there’s a tremendous interest in language variation in the province,” project founder and retired linguistics professor Harold Paddock told the source.