This website is a portal to a large number of sites giving general resources, lessons, pronunciation guides, online dictionaries, software and fonts for a wide range of languages from Asia. The majority of the sites listed here are online courses for those wishing to learn a language, all of which are free. Alongside these, however, are also sites providing tools for those wishing to read and write in an Asian language either on the web or for their own purposes. The website would benefit from some maintenance - most of the links to Burmese sites are broken, for example - but it is a useful resource for anyone needing basic language training, a bit of practice, a resource to aid teaching or a software tool.
The website 'Bangla' is a page listing resources for students of Bangla, or Bengali. The page starts with quite a lengthy article giving the history of the language and also a brief account of the history of Bangladesh and in particular of its struggle for independence throughout the twentieth century. This is followed by a list of courses available for students in the UK and the US, as well as by a number of short wave radio locations on which Bengali radio stations can be found. It's not a great set of resources, but those wishing to learn the language might find the information it presents quite useful.
Cahiers de Linguistique – Asie Orientale (CLAO) is a international scholarly journal of research on East Asian languages, issued twice a year by the Centre de Recherches Linguistiques sur l'Asie Orientale (CRLAO), EHESS-CNRS Paris. The Persée portal (accessible in French or English - the language can be changed on the portal homepage) makes available online in a searchable database the full contents of the journal from the first issue in 1977 up to 2002. Articles are published in French or English, but the abstracts are all in French. The journals can be accessed by issue, and articles can be viewed onscreen or downloaded as PDF files. Each article has a navigation menu at the left that gives quick access to component sections, diagrams, references, and an abstract. Keyword searches can be carried out at several levels: article; issue; all issues; and all Persée journals. Registering on the portal makes available several more interactive features, such as saving search histories and notes, and access to RSS feeds. Languages covered include: Japanese; Ainu; Korean; Mandarin; Cantonese; and other languages of China.
The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature is based at the University of Oxford. It contains nearly 400 literary works composed in the Sumerian language that was spoken in ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) during the late third and early second millennia BCE. The materials available include a variety of historical, mythological, and literary texts from a number of different Sumerian city-states including Ur, Babylon and Nippur. All resources are available in non-ASCII character transliterations and are accompanied by a typically brief, but essential bibliography. As the vast majority of texts are also available in English, this resource is open to researchers at all levels, whether they are student or professional. The texts are grouped thematically, and may be browsed by category or number, or searched via a customised search engine. The editors of the site plan to introduce English labels to further facilitate searching the Sumerian transliterations. The list of bibliographic references is impressive, and those both new and familiar with this field may wish to spend some time browsing the references. This project received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) within the Research Grants scheme. This corpus can also be ordered via the Oxford Text Archive (OTA) website (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS)), on completion of a request access form.
The Emille Corpus is an electronic resource which can be downloaded from the Oxford Text Archive website (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS)). The encoding format used is SGML. The collection consists of: 30 million words of monolingual written data (Gujarati, Tamil, Hindi, and Punjabi news website articles); 600,000 words of monolingual spoken data (Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, and Gujarati radio broadcasts); 120,000 words of parallel data in each of English, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, and Gujarati (taken from UK government leaflets). The resource is freely available, although users are asked to agree to a brief statement of terms and conditions.
This UNESCO website on the Endangered Languages of Indigenous Peoples of Siberia is the result of a large-scale project dedicated to the preservation and revival of these languages, run by the Department of the North and Siberia, part of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Russian Academy of Sciences. The site presents a lot of information in a clear and well-organised way and will mainly be of interest to linguistics researchers and academics. The background to the project is outlined in the Round Table section, which also has information on the participants and full texts of the papers presented at the conference in 2005. The Languages and Cultures section has descriptions of 28 languages and their sociolinguistic situations, together with bibliographies. The latter can also be accessed from the main menu; it should be noted that most of the references are to works written in Russian. The Project section outlines completed and ongoing research projects on the documentation of Siberian languages; it also provides information on educational programmes, grant-giving bodies, and the United Nations Endangered Languages Programme. Some useful basic information on equipment for field linguistics appears under the heading Instruments.
This is the archived website of the Endangered Languages of the Pacific Rim project, which was carried out by a research group from several Japanese and other universities between 1999 and 2003. The site is available in parallel English and Japanese versions and provides: an outline of the project's scope, objectives and specific topics; its organisation (several research units focusing on different geographical areas and methodological issues) and contact details; programmes of meetings and conferences; related essays; and links to PDF files of journal reviews of some of the publications resulting from the project.
This is the website for the Foundation for Research and Promotion of Ainu Culture (FRPAC), an organization which promotes cultural events and brings together resources related to the study and understanding of the Ainu (Utari), an aboriginal people indigenous to northern Japan and south-eastern Russia. FRPAC is jointly funded by the Japanese national and Hokkaidō governments. The website is presented in both English and Japanese; however, the Japanese version is considerably more comprehensive, and details the foundation's research and publications, promotional efforts, and mission, as well as providing links to relevant collaborators, museums, and cultural centers. Audio and video resources provide an introduction to Ainu language and culture, while a "childrens' portal," accessible only from the Japanese side, provides basic but extremely comprehensive information on all aspects of Ainu culture which, though intended for young people, will appeal to students of all ages seeking a broad introduction to the Ainu people. Sections addressing the Ainu language and its intersections with Japanese may also be of interest to linguists. As a source of basic information and links and contact details for further study, the website is a useful first step. Readers of Japanese will be better rewarded, but serious researchers will quickly outgrow the site.
The Himalayan Languages Project, based at the University of Leiden, carries out linguistic research into little-known languages in the Himalayan region. Its online resource introduces the project's aims, methods and research staff, and lists its book-length and electronic publications. The website provides short descriptions of the endangered languages investigated by the project (32 in all), and lists current research directions (many descriptions of which contain links to publications by research staff at the University of Leiden). Biographies of research staff also link to their publications, some of which are freely available to download in PDF format. Users are also free to download an account of the Leiden theory of language evolution, and are provided with a link to sources on evolutionary linguistics from Jeroen Wiedenhof, Leiden's senior lecturer in Chinese linguistics. A separate section describes the programmes of conferences and symposia related to the study of Himalayan languages. Papers are not available to download, but some conference programmes provide links to abstracts. This resource provides an informative introduction to Himalayan languages and the scholarship surrounding them, which should be of value to linguistics scholars and experts on the Himalayan region alike.
This Web page outlines research using molecular population genetics to gain an insight into the prehistory of the greater Himalayan region, and the development and distribution of its incredible linguistic diversity. DNA samples were taken from populations within Nepal and Bhutan and compared with samples from India and China, allowing the genetic map of the region to be compared with the linguistic. The website includes links to published outcomes, and details of researchers involved in the project. The research was funded by the AHRC as part of the European Science Foundation EUROCORES programme: 'The Origin of Man, Language and Languages'.
Language in India is a well-established, peer-reviewed scholarly electronic journal that publishes research in the languages of the Indian sub-continent. The journal has a particular interest in the sociolinguistic and political aspects of languages, and encourages interdisciplinary research and linguistic descriptions relating to any language from this region. Launched in March 2001, all issues published to date are available online. Articles are diverse and, at the time of review, addressed such issues as diaspora literature in Indian tongues; bilingual advertising in a multilingual country; and parsing in Tamil. Common areas addressed include: second language acquisition, English language teaching, and motivations for learning English in the Indian sub-continent; literary translation and criticism; and linguistic comparison between English and the languages of the Indian sub-continent. New issues are published monthly, and the site also features a broad selection of e-books, available to download for free, on various themes relating to Indian languages. All in all, this is a rich resource for anyone interested in Indian languages and linguistics. The site also features a broad selection of e-books, available to download for free, on various themes relating to Indian languages.
The Online Documentation of Kolymar Yukaghir website presents Dr. Irina Nikolaeva's work on this highly endangered language of North East Siberia. The site is comprehensive and clearly organised, and is divided into four broad sections: introduction; texts; dictionaries; and pictures and maps. The Introduction section gives: an explanatory outline of the documentation and how to access it; the linguistic and cultural background of the Yukaghir ethnic minority and language; a detailed description of the glosses and transcription conventions used; and an extensive bibliography. The 52 texts are categorised into songs, tales and stories; each has an audio file (mp3), a translation, and a sentence-by-sentence analysis. The Dictionaries section comprises bilingual dictionaries and a list of Yukaghir affixes. The final section has: maps of the Yukaghir region, pictures of some of the individuals who provided the data and of the Yukaghir way of life, and a video clip, for which a plugin is required.
This website features charts comparing the scripts of a number of South Asian languages, in particular the Brahmi-descended scripts and Urdu and Sindhi. The characters compared are split into phonetic groups. The website has a page which gives an introduction to Tamil, and another which does a comparison similar to that on the home page, but across all Brahmi-descended scripts. There is also a chart showing how the various languages developed over the ages from their original source. This site is not intended as a resource for seasoned scholars, but rather for those beginning an investigation into South Asian languages and their inter-relationship.
This website introduces the Slavic and East European Language Research Center (SEELRC) which is coordinated by the Duke University and aims to improve the United States' "capacity to teach and learn Slavic and East European languages". The site is an online support of the manifold teaching and research activities of the centre. The projects run by SEELRC are: a reference grammar network, grammatical dictionaries, language and culture through film, a virtual tour of St Petersburg and the case and aspect books series. The grammar network comprises extensive grammars of Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Czech, Georgian, Macedonian, Polish, Romanian, Russian and Slovene. They are PDF files which can be downloaded; for some of the languages exercises are also available. The grammatical dictionaries so far only cover Albanian, Russian and Czech. All of these resources are free. The site of SEELRC also hosts a webliographies section, a gateway to online resources of the countries in East-Central Europe and Central Asian organised by topics. The SEELRC publishes the Glossos peer-reviewed ejournal devoted to research in languages and linguistics. The contents and abstracts of all issues can be read free of charge on the site, and the papers can be downloaded as PDF files. SEELRC organises summer institutes, but information on how to apply is not available on the site; however, an archive of past summer institute programmes can be viewed. This website holds valuable resources for the study of Slavic and East European languages.
South Asia language pedagogy and technology is an open-access online journal published by the University of Chicago. The journal aims to provide a discussion forum for those involved in the teaching of South Asian languages, focusing in particular on second-language teachers. It holds articles about tuition techniques, linguistic histories and technology. while this journal is available for free, readers are asked to register in order to receive an announcement of new volumes, but more importantly so that demand can be demonstrated to funders. All issues are available in an archive, but as this is a new publication, there is only one issue released at the time of writing (March 2008). Information about methods of submission to the journal are also given on this well-presented site.
Tetun/Tetum is a website with information about a language spoken in parts of Timor-Leste (East Timor) and west Timor and used as a lingua franca throughout Timor. It is a project by students of the School of Language Studies, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand. The site contains an overview of the grammar of Tetun/Tetum; some sound samples of the language; a short story in the original language and translated to English; and the sentences of that story in detailed analysis. This site functions as a good introduction to studies of Tetun/Tetum but is by no means exhaustive.