A free English-speaking club located in Chelyabinsk, Russia


How would a native speaker say that? A discussion of corpus-based software.

So you sit in front of your computer typing a message in English. You are not sure of the wording of some phrase. It seems ungrammatical or probably has an unintended meaning. You want to consider actual language usage to resolve your doubts. What software can you use for that? And how does this software work?

And now it really is. With a presentation.

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Presentation: Bilingualism

How do you feel when there is more than one language living inside your head? How are bilingual children brought up? Can you become bilingual if you were raised speaking one language? We'll discuss a little of that, and then we'll have some rest from serious topics - just come and help your team win.

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Presentation: Psycholinguistics

Psycholinguistics studies the way in which operations of the mind make language possible. It is a cross-disciplinary field, drawing upon ideas and findings from areas such as cognitive psychology, theoretical linguistics, phonetics, neurology, discourse analysis, computer science, semantics etc. It also explanes the difference between female and male languages and can tell a lot about auther just analyzing his story.

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A Man Bites a Dog, or Tough Questions about Language (part 2)

Do we think in English when we speak English? Why is it hard for machines to understand human speech? Why is it ping-pong and not pong-ping? The answers to this and other tough questions about language, fun facts, experiments and exercises tonight at Speak Freely.

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Linguistics: Why Do We Even Need It?

So, linguistics is the study of human language. So what? I can use language all right, without even knowing that linguistics exists. Everyone can! Besides, if there wasn't any linguistics, we'd still speak all the same languages, wouldn't we? As a matter of fact, practically everyone speaks English now, so we don't even need interpreters, let alone linguists. I've heard they can't get a job anywhere and even if they can, they don't really get paid. I mean, is that even useful? Should be fun stuff to do anyway, like being a dog surfing instructor or something.

If you agree with any of the above or you just don't know what linguistics is all about, come. I'll give you some examples of what linguists do, we'll do some easy tests, hopefully that'll be fun stuff, and in the end you might get an idea of why these people are still around.

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Presentation: Language Creation

How and why do humans create languages? How many constructed languages are out there and how many more will appear in future? Can you create your own language? We'll answer these and other questions, look at some of the popular conlangs and even try to make our own.

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Presentation: Natural Language Processing. Why machines still don't talk like humans

Marvin (the robot): I've been talking to the main computer.
Arthur: And?
Marvin: It hates me.

Douglas Adams, the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Let's talk about one of the most-awaited features of modern technology: the ability of computers to learn human language. Yes, we do have voice recognition just about everywhere, and we do have Siri that can even answer (or pretend to answer) most personal questions, and we do have computers that can, to a different extent, process text and create their own, sometimes indistinguishable from that written by humans... but somehow we still aren't there talking to our smartphones over a beer nor asking questions to a teacher assistant bot in a science class. How did we get where we are now, how does it work and why computers still haven't got the hang of natural language - let's see.

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Mathematical methods in linguistics

Linguistics is as much a science as any other: precise, objective, truthful, and significant. It uses common scientific methods, just like physics or biology or economics, along with its own methods, and it even uses maths to describe the regularities and laws observed. The latter is what the presentation is going to be concerned with: how maths is used to describe human language.

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Learning a language: what am I doing wrong?

Learning English (French, Swahili, Mandarin) for years and still not speaking it? Opening your mouth and still lost for words, so much that you'd better keep it shut? What is wrong with you?

In my presentation, I will talk briefly about how to start speaking a foreign language, and then we will do a couple of tests to get you to know your personal learning style and start learning more efficiently.

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The Future of the English Language

A hundred years ago, Englishmen could not believe their language is becoming international. A hundred and fifty, they could not even imagine that. And indeed, how could a language as complex and weather-beaten as English ever become international and even start to be considered simple? Well, that's not the question. Things just happen.

The question is, what is going to happen to this language one hundred years from now? Two hundred? A thousand? There is a number of predictions about this. We'll learn about them, we'll discuss them, and we'll try to make something of our own.