As resources on the World Wide Web proliferate, so do the pages that attempt to provide subject-oriented access to those resources. In most cases, such efforts are somewhat scattered, with many different pages providing more or less comprehensive, often overlapping lists of resources on a given topic. An exception is the Human-Languages Page, which is rapidly becoming known as the focal point for language-related information on the Internet.
The Human-Languages Page was created by Tyler Jones, a computer science student with an interest in languages and the World Wide Web. He began with a list of some 30 links, named it the "Human-Languages Page" to distinguish the resources from those on computer languages, and encouraged submissions of additional links from users. The page now includes over 300 links to information related to over 70 spoken, written, signed or invented languages. It is a nominee for the GNN "Best of the Net" award for 1995.
Language and literature resources are grouped by language, ranging from Aboriginal languages to Yiddish and including such gems as a language tutorial in Tagalog and audio news in Greek. Links lead to dictionaries, language lessons (many include audio), news digests, periodicals and language-related software. The English section includes a substantial number of resources for students and teachers of English as a second language, as well as specialized dictionaries and information about Old and Middle English.
A "Quick Jump" feature near the top of the page allows the user to jump to alphabetized sections of the language list and highlights interesting sections near the end of the page that might not otherwise come to the attention of the casual browser. For example, a section on multi-lingual resources contains a rich collection of resources embracing more than one language, including archives of non-English computer fonts and information on instruction in less commonly-taught languages. Additional sections lead to online text collections, linguistics resources, and commercial sources for software and translation services.
The author's goal is to include all sites that contribute to the understanding of a language or languages. Casting such a wide net has resulted in the impressive array of languages represented and the variety of resources; however, users should be aware that the quality of the linked resources will vary. In addition, the page is growing so rapidly (some 50 new links per month) as to become unwieldy. Within each language list there is no further breakdown by category, and the larger lists are becoming difficult to browse. At this writing, author Tyler Jones plans to create a database of the entries which will be searchable by language and type of resource, allowing users to quickly zero in on the desired links.
The World Wide Web's capability for multimedia and user interaction has brought a new dimension to the study and enjoyment of languages, and anyone with even a casual interest in a foreign language will find something of interest here. Language students and teachers will find this page indispensable, and librarians will appreciate having quick and easy reference to dictionaries in a range of languages not usually represented on our reference shelves.
University of Oregon