After my recent trip to the British Museum I’ve been a little fixated on ancient languages and philology. Or I guess I should say, even more fixated than usual.
And thanks to the wonders of the internet and what one author I read called “digital search literacy,” I have recently stumbled across a cache of other bloggers with a similar fixation, most of whom are far more expert and more erudite than I. It was through one such blogger that I was introduced to a new website/treasure trove called Lexicity.
Lexicity is run by a magical internet angel. That is the only way I can describe someone who has compiled language learning resources for 16 different ancient languages, from Latin and Greek to Akkadian and Ugaritic and everything between and around. The resources include dictionaries and grammars, target language manuscripts available electronically, and helpful links for further research. I am actually surprised at just how much material is available electronically for these languages, even the more “obscure” ones like Gothic or Aramaic.
The main value of the website, of course, is pedagogical potential. These languages do tend to belong to the realm of elite European universities and ambitious geeks (I say that lovingly!) who are willing to go to great lengths. With over a dozen practice grammars in Egyptian* alone, this website makes these languages accessible in a very streamlined, one-stop-shopping kind of way. Like I said, internet angel. But there is another value to Lexicity, and that is its sheer geekery potential. Much like the beloved Omniglot, this site has the potential to consume hours of the lives of people like me who want to explore, and since its forum just opened this week, that potential has grown even further.
To sum up, I would like to present you with a quote from the Lexicity twitter account:
“Yay for interacting with other language nerds!”
(*The author of Writing: Theory and History of the Technology of Civilization declares, “Surely, Egyptian hieroglyphic writing was the most lovely ever devised.” Like I needed more reasons to obsess.)