Multilingual Digital Storytelling

This project grew out of a request for multilingual storytelling as part of the Gaithersburg, Maryland Book Festival. The idea was for individuals to share their love of language by telling children’s stories in a variety of languages. Since that event has gone virtual, we have begun to collect audio and video stories in many languages to share with you. Click here to see the exhibit.

Dictionary of American Regional English Virtual Exhibit

Have you heard of the Dictionary of American Regional English?  Called “DARE” by those who know it well, DARE is a six-volume reference work that documents words, phrases, and pronunciations that vary from one place to another place across the United States.

The National Museum of Language is happy to partner with The Dictionary of American English(DARE) to present a virtual exploration of how data was collected for the dictionary. Click here to enter the exhibit.

How a Rat’s Tale Helped Dialect Research

Read and listen to the story of Arthur the Rat. This short tale was used to obtain phonetic representation from throughout the country of all phonemes in American English. Recordings were made of DARE informants from all over the United States reading this passage when fieldwork for DARE was being carried out from 1965-70.

Philogelos: The First Joke Book

The Philogelos, typically translated as “the joker” or “the one who loves laughter”, is an ancient Greek collection of approximately 265 jokes. Dating to the 4th or 5th century CE, it typically bears the title of the world’s oldest surviving collection of jokes. NML Associate and Latin teacher Linda Thompson created these cartoons from the collection. Click here to enter the exhibit.

The Movable Museum

A number of exhibits are available for loan to responsible organizations who meet our security criteria.

These include exhibits on Japanese, Arabic, French, Chinese, and Spanish. Send a message through our contact form to inquire.

Click on the links below to learn about a few of the Museum’s exhibits.

Elderly writing Chinese on pavement with waterWriting Language: Passing it On

Emerging American Language in 1812

Glimpses of French in the Americasfrench frames

Virtual Exhibit

Philogelos: The First Joke Book