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Category: Dialect/Slang

  • Apr 22, 2012
  • 05:15 PM

'Bahasa rojak affecting Malay language'

Bruneians should lessen the use of bahasa rojak or Malay infused with other languages in conversation, said the head of Magazine and Journal Planning Department at the Language and Literature Bureau (DBP).
  • 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
  • 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 17, 2012
  • 01:15 PM

Watton man teaches Norfolk dialect to students in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Richard Batson / Norwich Evening News
The sound of Norfolk dialect has been troshing around the tearbles of a school room. But the “larnin” about mawkins, dickeys and squit has not been among the fields and flint buildings of the language’s homeland. It has been amid palm trees and skyscrapers 3000 miles away in Saudi Arabia.
  • Apr 14, 2012
  • 02:01 PM

The unique dialects of Appalachia give the mountain people their identity

Lisa King / Washington Times
It is true that various terms are rooted in Elizabethan English, Scottish, Celtic, and Irish languages, and dialects do remain in use amongst the Appalachian people, but there is no across the board commonality amongst them that explains the unique nature of the language, other than geography. Urban immigrant and ethic concentrations existed, yet no clearly distinct way of speaking beyond a common accent had developed in these places.
  • Apr 10, 2012
  • 10:41 PM

Ghana calls an end to tyrannical reign of the Queen's English

Afua Hirsch / The Guardian
"There has been a significant change now, away from those who think sounding English is prestigious, towards those who value being multilingual, who would never neglect our mother tongues, and who are happy to sound Ghanaian when we speak English."
  • Apr 10, 2012
  • 05:12 PM

EO urges use of standard English

Brenton Henry / Antigua Observer
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Language Arts teachers have been urged to promote the use of standard English during school hours, as the Ministry of Education makes a bid to further improve performance in that subject area.
  • Apr 10, 2012
  • 03:28 PM

Do Moroccans Speak Arabic?

Matt Schumann / Morocco Board News Service
Arabic is unique in its diglossia. This term refers to the fact that Arabs speak multiple 'Arabics', usually a 'high' variety, or the Modern Standard Arabic referred to above, and a 'low' variety, i.e. the colloquial Arabic dialects. In other words, the Arabic that is printed in books is different from the Arabic that people grow up speaking, or their mother tongues.
  • Apr 08, 2012
  • 04:52 PM

VIista Latina: Fusion of English and Spanish along the border creates a distinct dialect

Julio Morales / Imperial Valley Press
A native of Mexicali, Jose Martinez said that if one listens intently, different varieties of Spanish can be heard spoken in the Imperial and Mexicali valleys. While regional Mexican accents are common, he also has taken note of how English language constructs have influenced the type of Spanish spoken along the border.
  • Apr 04, 2012
  • 02:55 PM

Silesian to become official language in Poland?
“We want the Silesian dialect to become a language,” Andrzej Rozenek, press spokesman of the liberal Palikot Movement, the third largest party in parliament, told the Rzeczpospolita daily. Academics and laymen are divided however on whether Silesian merits being classified as more than a dialect.
  • Apr 04, 2012
  • 11:39 AM

Overcoming a language barrier in my own country

Thamer Al Subaihi / The National
...One solution to this quagmire for an Emirati who isn't in Emirati circles would be to take up lessons in Emirati dialect. Shaima Al Sayed began offering such lessons more than a year ago and to my and her surprise, there are many Emiratis in the same boat. When she started her courses she only had foreigners in mind, but to her shock, numerous locals approached her.
  • Apr 04, 2012
  • 01:28 AM

Doctoral student travels to Madagascar to document dialect

Ann Manser / University of Delaware
Betsimisaraka is practically undescribed, said O'Neill, whose research indicates that the dialect is not as related to standard Malagasy as has been believed. Although Betsimisaraka is not considered endangered, children in the region are increasingly being taught the standard dialect, and the number of Betsimisaraka speakers is declining.
  • Apr 03, 2012
  • 03:43 PM

Is there a Seattle accent?

Joe Fryer /
A survey of people in Seattle finds that very few believe there is a Seattle dialect. But if you post that question to linguist Betsy Evans at the University of Washington, the answer is a bit surprising.
  • Apr 02, 2012
  • 12:36 PM

A guide for Northern New Mexico diction

Tom Sharpe / Santa Fe New Mexican
Indeed, all jokes aside, people from other parts of the country often are puzzled at the esotericism of Northern New Mexico -- with place names in Spanish, Tewa and other languages, and natural, cultural or historical references unknown elsewhere. Mark Cross aims to acclimate tourists, newcomers and even people who have spent years here but remain ignorant of the finer points, with his newly published Encyclopedia of Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico.
  • Apr 01, 2012
  • 02:48 PM

New website to feature 1939 Smoky Mountain field recordings of Appalachian speech

Morgan Simmons / Knoxville News Sentinel
On April 13 Hall's complete interviews will be available online for the first time in both audio and text form. A sampling of those interviews currently is posted on the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English website at After April 13, the public can visit that website to find the address of the new website dedicated to Hall's work in capturing the stories and speech of pre-World War II Appalachia.
  • Mar 30, 2012
  • 09:43 PM

Write Angle — India versus Bharat

Ziya Us Salam / The Hindu
Quietly, though not so imperceptibly, Hindi is undergoing a change. Not just the spoken language but even the written word. Gone are the days of chaste Hindi, the times when the language drew heavily from Sanskrit, then settled to be the preferred mode of discourse in the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb.
  • Mar 29, 2012
  • 02:39 AM

Cockney rhyming slang's brown bread: Phrases are being replaced with text speak

Eleanor Harding / Daily Mail
Would you Adam and Eve it? While cockney rhyming slang was once a quintessential part of the nation’s culture, it is fast becoming an alien language, a survey suggests. Now, Britons are much more likely to understand phrases such as ‘OMG’, ‘innit’ and ‘wicked’ than those from the old London dialect such as ‘apples and pears’.
  • Mar 28, 2012
  • 11:34 PM

Votes and Vowels: A Changing Accent Shows How Language Parallels Politics

Julie Sedivy / The Crux
The two groups originated from distinct groups of settlers; the Inland Northerners migrated west from New England, while the Midlanders originated in Pennsylvania via the Appalachian region. Historically, the two settlement streams typically found themselves with sharply diverging political views and voting habits, with the northerners aligning much more closely with agenerally being more liberal ideology.
  • Mar 26, 2012
  • 08:11 PM

An In-depth Examination Of The Phrase "I Dunno"

Martin Gardiner / Science 2.0
Dr. Lynn Grant, who is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Languages and Social Sciences at the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand ('The University for Changing the World') has recently completed a study which examined the linguistic properties of ‘I don’t know’ and ‘I dunno’. Finding that the phrases often find use as 'hedges', markers of uncertainty, and as politeness devices.
  • Mar 26, 2012
  • 12:49 PM

Our wordly heritage makes the grade

Bill Ward / Minneapolis Star Tribune
The final volume of the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE), covering words beginning with "Si" to "Z," includes many Minnesotans' favorite euphemistic expletives as well as such colloquialisms as the snow/dirt mashup "snirt," the salutation "hey ya" and "woodchuck case" (a situation of necessity, one in which there is no choice).
  • Mar 26, 2012
  • 11:01 AM

English as She is Spoke

Are we developing a new language? Do you also get the impression that some South Africans are speaking in a foreign tongue? A few decades ago the manner in which Afrikaans people spoke English, reflected their lack of understanding of the language. This was especially true of those from farms and rural areas.
  • Mar 23, 2012
  • 05:49 PM

The Man From DARE

Doug Bradley / Huffinton Post
I just wish Fred Cassidy, the University of Wisconsin-Madison professor who was the force behind DARE, were here to enjoy it. He worked on the dictionary until his death in 2000. Even after his passing, Cassidy continued to push it forward: His epitaph reads "On to Z!"
  • Mar 18, 2012
  • 07:17 PM

Making sense of the language confusion (audio)

Julia Slater /
Switzerland is at the intersection of three major European cultures – German, French and Italian – and the only language it can truly call its own, Romansh, is spoken by less than 0.5 per cent of the population.
  • Mar 15, 2012
  • 01:24 AM

London Olympic Visitors Must Navigate Cockney Slang (audio)

Philip Reeves / NPR
Americans and Britons share the same language, yet transatlantic visitors to the London Olympics might struggle to understand what's going on. The games are in East London, home of rhyming slang, a form of linguistic gymnastics. It was pioneered in the nineteenth century by Cockneys as a code to confuse snooping policemen.
  • Mar 15, 2012
  • 12:35 AM

How should Shakespeare really sound? (audio)

The Telegraph
Inspired by working with Kevin Spacey, Sir Trevor Nunn has claimed that American accents are "closer" than contemporary English to the accents of those used in the Bard's day. The eminent Shakespearean scholar John Barton has suggested that Shakespeare's accent would have sounded to modern ears like a cross between a contemporary Irish, Yorkshire and West Country accent.
  • Mar 14, 2012
  • 12:04 PM

A Dialect is Preserved on Mother Tongue Day

Ott Tammik / ERR
As the country marks Mother Tongue Day, most are celebrating standard Estonian, but other dialects are held dear as well. When an ERR radio station recently discontinued a news program produced in the Kihnu dialect - the language of a small island off the southwestern coast - two grade school students took over.
  • Mar 09, 2012
  • 11:47 AM

What kind of English should a Ghanaian speak?

Kofi Amenyo / GhanaWeb
What kind of English should the Ghanaian, then, speak? This piece is about the spoken, rather than the written, language since for the latter, many Ghanaians can reach quite a high level of excellence. Anyone who has gone to school in Ghana is confronted with English as the British speak it.
  • Mar 08, 2012
  • 01:40 AM

Gaelic dialects 'dying out', Edinburgh academic warns

BBC News
All local dialects of Gaelic will die out except two, according to research by a University of Edinburgh academic. Dr Will Lamb suggests only the Gaelic of Lewis and South Uist will be strong enough to survive in the future. He said one of the reasons was that these dialects were dominant in Gaelic medium education.
  • Mar 07, 2012
  • 11:09 AM

Sheng ‘will be one of the most dominant languages in 2050’

Chege Muigai / Daily Nation
But, in 2012, Sheng looks far from going the way of Latin, the ancient language that you will only hear in seminaries and read in school mottos. If anything, Sheng has found a new mojo. Marketing firms, politicians and activists have turned to the language to connect with the rising segment of urbanised youth because “it is stylish”.
  • Mar 05, 2012
  • 11:29 PM

#Soda or #Pop? Regional Language Quirks Get Examined on Twitter

Kate Springer / TIME
A study presented by Brice Russ, a graduate student at Ohio State University, at the American Dialect Society’s annual meeting in January demonstrates how Twitter can be used as a valuable and abundant source for linguistic research. With more than 200 million posts each day, the site has allowed researchers to predict moods, study the Arab Spring and now, map out regional dialects.