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  • Apr 20, 2012
  • 12:17 PM

Tanzanians debate if English is key to success

Anna Patton / Washington Times
Like the majority of Tanzanians, these students were taught in the Kiswahili language throughout seven years of primary school. But moving to secondary school means an abrupt shift to learning all subjects in English, which many educators, students and parents say affects how much learning actually takes place.
  • Apr 20, 2012
  • 12:13 PM

Quebec town in trouble over bilingual newsletter (video)

CTV News
A monthly newsletter in the city of Chateauguay, Quebec, has caused a stir and it has nothing to do with its content. A resident complained there was too much English in the newsletter and now, Quebec's language watchdog has launched an investigation.
  • Apr 20, 2012
  • 02:41 AM

Selling Russian to the Russians

Kanstantsin Lashkevich / Belarus Digest
Belarusians have the weakest national self-identification in the former Soviet Union and its authoritarian ruler Aliaksandr Lukashenka is happy to pursue pro-Moscow cultural policy in exchange for cheap Russian gas and oil. The most recent manifestation of such policy was a letter from the presidential administration urging local authorities "not to allow artificial reduction of the use of the Russian language".
  • Apr 20, 2012
  • 02:35 AM

The language that became a mighty weapon

Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Developed by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, “Native Words, Native Warriors” shares the stories of the code talkers, U.S. military soldiers who came from more than a dozen Native American tribes.
  • Apr 20, 2012
  • 01:35 AM

Linguists grapple with lack of formal major, a blessing and a curse

Elizabeth Sun / CU Columbia Spectator
Columbia is one of only two Ivy League schools, along with Princeton, that does not offer a linguistics major, although undergraduate interest in the field has been growing. Columbia’s program has been suspended since 1991, but students can petition for an independent major in linguistics or graduate with a special concentration in the discipline.
  • Apr 20, 2012
  • 12:34 AM

In the shade

Deepa Ganesh / The Hindu
“On so many occasions, when we were looking for a Tamil book, we've had to really go hunting for it. A bookstore selling regional language books in a cosmopolitan city makes a lot of sense,” says Subodh. But it's a minority that reads and speaks in their mother tongue.
  • Apr 20, 2012
  • 12:25 AM

Proposals aim to preserve Louisiana French

Kris Johnson / Houma Courier
A new resolution headed to the state Senate floor aims to preserve as much of the French language in Louisiana as possible. House Resolution 46, proposed by Acadian and Hispanic Rep. Stephen Ortego, D-Carencro, requests that state agencies, when translating information from English to French, make such translations using Louisiana French.
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 08:33 PM

In Swahili, they call it ...

Huang Yuli in Shenzhen / China Daily
When Shen Yuning announced he was planning to compile a Swahili-Chinese dictionary, most of his friends thought he was joking. Since that online post in December, Shen has compiled nearly 5,000 words, working at least 15 hours a day in Kenya and Tanzania with help from some Africans.
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 08:26 PM

Best Apps to Learn a Language

Julie Ashton-Townsend / Literacy News
Learning a new language is something that takes time and effort, but now you can do it on the move. This is a guide to the best android, iPhone and BlackBerry apps to help you learn a new language.
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 08:05 PM

French language activists find 850 violations in Montreal

CTV.ca
Led by the Societe Saint-Jean Baptiste and the Mouvement Quebec Francais, 300 of the complaints were collected by one retired worker who spends his days looking for egregious language violations. Standing in front of the bust of Camille Laurin, the father of Bill 101, English-only flyers from grocery stores and tailors were presented as examples of violations.
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 08:01 PM

Marae hosts Hawaiian scholar's lu'au

Elton Smallman / Stuff.co.nz
The lu'au at Kirikiriroa Marae is for Keao NeSmith, a native of Kauai, who is back in Hamilton to receive a doctorate for his work on the revitalisation of the Hawaiian language. Mr NeSmith teaches the Hawaiian language at the University of Hawai'i and has taken time off to come back for his graduation.
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 07:58 PM

My education, my language

Zubair Torwali / Pakistan Today
In mainstream Pakistan, the linguistic diversity of the country is still thought to be a threat to the national cohesion despite the fact that Pakistan has lost one of its arms mainly (including other factors as well) due to the denial of linguistic diversity.
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 07:50 PM

Interpreting error leads to £25,000 retrial costs

Ruth Green / The Lawyer
...a Romanian-speaking defendant was interpreted as saying that they had been “bitten” by the claimant. It was only on Friday during cross-examination when the defendant was asked to produce photographic evidence of the bite mark that the error was revealed. The claimant had in fact said that they had been “beaten”.
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 07:45 PM

Face to face with a new language

Courtney Johnson / Minnesota Daily
...one thing that the University of Minnesota’s French department is beginning to implement into their curriculum is interactive Skype exchanges with students from France. It is a new practice, so there are still some kinks to be worked out. But every student from my French 1004 class is currently paired up with a student at a university in France...
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 07:41 PM

Gaelic for toddlers plan welcomed

John O'Groat Journal
“I have no problem with this at all. I have never been against Gaelic – although I did oppose the bilingual Gaelic road signs,” Mr Flear told the Caithness Courier. “The perception in some quarters is that if you are against bilingual road signs then you are anti-Gaelic but that is not the case. I am pleased people want their children to be immersed in the Gaelic language.”
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 02:04 AM

The rock hyrax surprises with syntax skills (audio, video)

Rebecca Morelle / BBC News
The small mammal is extremely vocal: males sing complex songs that can last for several minutes. But now scientists have discovered that the order of the notes is significant, suggesting that the songs have syntax. They also found that hyraxes from different regions had a different dialect when they warbled.
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 01:14 AM

Hungarian minority wants Magyar to become official regional language in Romania in 20 years

Romania-Insider.com
“With small steps we have climbed from zero linguistic rights in 1989 to 64 linguistic rights and we don’t want to stop here. In the long term, our target is to have Hungarian an official language regionally. If we look at the timeline of zero to 64 linguistic rights in 22 years, we should make our language official in some regions in 20 years,” said Kovacs Peter.
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 01:06 AM

Livery cab drivers who want to pick up street hails don't have to know English

Pete Donohue / New York Daily News
The current draft of rules would let livery drivers pick up street hails for four years before becoming proficient in English. Taxi and Limousine Commission officials, however, are considering exempting current livery drivers from even the four-year deadline because they’re concerned many won’t be able to pass the test and would lose their livelihoods, sources said.
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 12:58 AM

Eish, it's definitely English

Rebecca Davis / Daily Maverick
At this juncture in South Africa’s history, it may seem an odd time to write a book about the use of English in South Africa. The notion might seem regressive, colonial, even a bit politically incorrect. Mesthrie is quick to correct this. “Despite being a minority language in South Africa, English is the most-shared language,” said Mesthrie.
  • Apr 19, 2012
  • 12:20 AM

Wayzata students learning Spanish outside of school

Stephanie Audette / Minneapolis Star Tribune
Frustrated over a lack of access to Spanish immersion, some Wayzata parents created their own program, and it has been thriving for a decade now.
  • Apr 18, 2012
  • 11:55 PM

Kurds Push for their Rights in New Turkish Constitution

Hemin Khoshnaw / Rudaw
Turkish officials have been saying that the Kurdish language will not be an official language for education. When Bulent Arinc, deputy prime minister, met with Osman Baydemir, the head of the Diyarbakir municipality, he told him, “We will not adopt studying in the Kurdish language, but Kurdish can be an optional subject in schools.”
  • Apr 18, 2012
  • 06:19 PM

Researcher: State English learner program is 'subtractive education' (audio)

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez / 89.3 KPCC
The default policy in California schools immerses students in English without building on what they’ve learned in their native languages. At the same time, a growing body of research underscores the benefits of speaking two or more languages early in life.
  • Apr 18, 2012
  • 06:09 PM

Graduate students in linguistics leaving legacy for speakers of endangered and quirky language of Garifuna

Kathleen Maclay / UC Berkeley
Garifuna hasn’t been studied extensively, and Michael said its quirkiness presents challenges. It features a vocabulary split between terms used only by men and terms that are marked for common use, and used by women, children and men. But the split doesn’t affect the entire vocabulary, and the terms used by men tend to come from the Carib language influence while the common forms are largely from Arawak.
  • Apr 18, 2012
  • 05:49 PM

'No obstacle for Turkey to run in Eurovision with a Kurdish song'

Hurriyet Daily News
Artists who represent Turkey in the annual Eurovision song contest are free to compose their works in languages other than Turkish, İbrahim Şahin, director of the country’s state-owned broadcasting station TRT, said yesterday in a written statement.
  • Apr 18, 2012
  • 11:56 AM

International language conference lands in Leeds

Leeds Metropolitan University
The Languages in the Globalised World event, held at the Gandhi Hall at our University’s Headingley Campus, will provide a forum for teachers and researchers to exchange their findings, experiences and perspectives on teaching, learning and skills development in languages, whilst discussing the usefulness of multilingual ability and multiculturalism in a globalised world.
  • Apr 18, 2012
  • 11:18 AM

Saving the native tongues of Australia (video)

Al Jazeera
In Australia, only a handful of hundreds of indigenous languages have managed to survive following decades of European colonisation that heavily suppressed the native ways of life. But many of the country's indigenous groups are struggling to save their languages and preserve their cultures in the process.
  • Apr 18, 2012
  • 11:02 AM

Students captivate audience in Moscow at Turkish Olympiads

Faruk Akkan, Yaşar Niyazbayev / Today's Zaman
The International Turkish Language Olympiads attracted great interest in their eighth edition on Monday in Moscow, where 215 students competed to win prizes in various categories, including song and poetry, and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press attaché was awarded for his contributions to Turkish-Russian relations.
  • Apr 18, 2012
  • 10:59 AM

Reading time at the zoo: the baboons that excel at English

Cordis News
The researchers, based at the Laboratoire de psychologie cognitive (LPC) de l'Universite d'Aix-Marseille have shown that a group of baboons has successfully learned to discriminate real English words from pseudo words just by looking at their written form.
  • Apr 18, 2012
  • 10:57 AM

Startup of the day: Travelling Languages

Philip Connolly / The Sunday Business Post
“We were looking at a different way to package a language course,” said Fanara. “One of the best ways is to create an environment for people where they can only speak English. They are forced to speak the language they are learning.” The school is only for adults and takes its students on a tour around Ireland to listen to and speak with different accents.
  • Apr 18, 2012
  • 10:49 AM

Why My Daughter Isn't Bilingual — Yet

Deborah Kolben / The Forward
When Mika was born, my husband and I decided that we wanted her to be bilingual. My husband’s parents are Israeli immigrants, and he was born in this country shortly after they arrived. Until he went to school, Hebrew was his only language. (My Hebrew is limited to what I learned in Hebrew school, which, unfortunately, wasn’t much.)

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