My first release of the New Year – a chapter contributed to What Katy Did Next by Susan Coolidge. I nabbed the section on her visit to England, and although it made me a little cross in places (we Brits have NOT “forgotten” Jane Austen, and I’m not sure there’s ever been a time we had … ) it’s a fun read overall. Plus, her plan in visiting literary landmarks of London is a splendid idea.

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There’s also a new podcast out … I was sent an interesting contribution for the 2009-retrospective by Nicholas, which inspired me to do an entire show on the subject of actively developing resources for language-learning at LibriVox. It’s already a great place to find lots of recordings in many different languages, often by native speakers with varied accents, to help ‘train the ear’. However, we’ve also been working on Primers, Grammars and other intructional material, in several languages, to help people learn. The podcast includes an introduction to the subject, a perspective from Leni who’s recording a Portuguese primer, some samples from different books — and most splendidly, the slight downside of recording books over 100 years old … you’ll be learning how to ask your coachman how long the horses will need to rest, and how to request sealing wax and a light (for sending your postal cards!) Availle quotes from a German/English text, what a hoot!

Lest that put people off, Leni also mentioned this, and notes that most of the book she’s working on is as good today as it was when it was written — even in places you wouldn’t expect!

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