LanguageNews.net

Language & linguistics news from around the world • Updated daily • Relevant stories, selected by humans (not computers)

Share this site!

Language: English - Page 2

  • 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 06, 2012
  • 12:14 AM

Debate increases over necessity of English language in Thailand

China Post
Lately there has been increasing debate about the status of the English language in Thai society. Many arguments are made for and against the relevance of English and its usefulness. Arguments made by Thai politicians take us back and forth about the role of English and distract us from the realities of this new century.
  • Apr 05, 2012
  • 11:59 PM

DARPA grant to support research into auto-translation of Chinese

Susan Chaityn Lebovits / Brandeis University
“When you translate one language into another, there are many challenges,” Xue says. “Chinese words, for example, have no spaces between them. One of the first things that must be done is enter spacing that indicate word boundaries, a process called ‘word segmentation.’”
  • Apr 05, 2012
  • 12:35 PM

Is It Possible for English-Mongolian Bilingualism?

Siarl Ferdinand / UB Post
Seven years ago, President Ts.Elbegdorj shocked Mongolians by announcing that the nation would become bilingual, with English as the second language. Mongolian is a relatively small language, landlocked between two international giants, Russian and Chinese. As Elbegdorj pointed, English would be the definitive tool to open windows on the wider world.
  • Apr 05, 2012
  • 12:14 AM

Death To The Space Bar (video)

John Herrman / BuzzFeed
"You could type a whole sentence without using a space," SwiftKey's Joe Braidwood told me. "You could write an entire essay, though you might get every word you want. Technically you could write a novel without spaces." No more slapping the spacebar every half-second. No more stretching your thumbs.
  • Apr 04, 2012
  • 08:49 PM

English: The mongrel language

Heidi Stevens / Chicago Tribune
Stamper's talk attempted to put our incredibly rich and multilayered and mind-numbingly confusing language into some historical context for audience members whose jobs are among the hardest in the world: teaching English as a second language.
  • Apr 04, 2012
  • 08:18 PM

Let's Talk About Privacy (but not in Russian or Hindi)

David Talbot / Technology Review
The world is increasingly talking about privacy these days. But when people try to read the actual privacy policies of major social networking sites – they often must do so in English.
  • Apr 04, 2012
  • 03:37 PM

Lingua franca of S.Africa's mines set to fade slowly

Ed Stoddard / Reuters
A pidgin mix of Zulu, other African languages, English and Afrikaans, Fanagalo is not a recognized language and its small vocabulary of around 2,000 words is largely limited to commands, with plenty of obscenities thrown in, according to experts and those who know the tongue. You will find dictionaries for it online but its name has no agreed spelling. Some use Fanagalo, others Fanakalo.
  • Apr 04, 2012
  • 12:21 PM

It's no surprise that anglos don't share a nationalist vision

Celine Cooper / Montreal Gazette
Like many people, I have serious questions about the methodological integrity of L’actualité’s recent findings on the future of French in Montreal, and the highly subjective ways in which they were interpreted and disseminated to the public. (The cover graphic showing a frog holding the “Ici on parle English” sign added a certain nuanced je ne sais quoi).
  • Apr 03, 2012
  • 06:08 PM

Bilinguals switch tasks faster than monolinguals, NIH funded study shows

NIH News
Children who grow up learning to speak two languages are better at switching between tasks than are children who learn to speak only one language, according to a study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. However, the study also found that bilinguals are slower to acquire vocabulary than are monolinguals, because bilinguals must divide their time between two languages while monolinguals focus on only one.
  • Apr 03, 2012
  • 03:43 PM

Is there a Seattle accent?

Joe Fryer / KING5.com
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 03, 2012
  • 03:23 PM

700 sites set up for language students

Zheng Xin / China Daily
More than 700 foreign language training institutions have been set up in Beijing to encourage people to learn another language, according to the Organizing Committee of Beijing Speaks Foreign Languages Program. In addition, the government has developed lectures popularizing foreign languages and introducing other cultures to enable people to get involved in picking up another language.
  • Apr 03, 2012
  • 02:30 AM

Two languages, one roof: a chance for learning

Montreal Gazette
At a time when people with a political agenda devoted to separating Quebec from Canada are seizing on every opportunity to pit francophones against their anglo fellow Quebecers, the prospect of enhanced co-operation between English and French school boards is a most welcome development.
  • Apr 02, 2012
  • 11:13 PM

Linguist Tells 'The Story Of English In 100 Words' (audio)

NPR
Linguist David Crystal describes English as "a vacuum cleaner of a language" — speakers merrily swipe some words from other languages, adopt others because they're cool or sound classy and simply make up other terms. Crystal believes every word has a story to tell, even the ones as commonplace as "and."
  • 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 02, 2012
  • 01:55 AM

Vietnam wants India to train English teachers

Indian Express
Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Thien Nhan has expressed keenness to source around 20,000 English teachers from India over the next few years to teach English and train Vietnamese teachers. The HRD ministry has suggested that the CBSE is well equipped to train English teachers and it will work out the modalities with Vietnam.
  • 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 www.cas.sc.edu/engl/dictionary. 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 31, 2012
  • 05:16 PM

The best French teacher for anglos is life experience

David Johnston / Montreal Gazette
Something happened in January 2009 that shattered conventional notions about bilingualism within the English-speaking community. The Quebec Community Groups Network published a study that found many who have grown up with French immersion suddenly discover in their early 20s that their French isn't really very good.
  • Mar 31, 2012
  • 02:18 AM

Use Of Arabic Language For Official Correspondence Banned In EES

Peter Lokale Nakimangole / Oye! Times
...The circular warned of the continued usage of Arabic language that clearly contradicts the South Sudan’s supreme transitional constitution and that of EES; the circular also targets citizens who ignorantly use the language for official communication in the public or for correspondences in the government offices.
  • Mar 30, 2012
  • 11:55 PM

Quebec government tells language watchdog: bite more often

CTV.ca
QUEBEC CITY — Facing a barrage of linguistic controversies, the Quebec government has announced it wants the provincial language watchdog to bite more often. Despite a hiring freeze across Quebec's public service, the government will hire 43 employees at the Office quebecois de la langue francaise to fill vacancies left by departures.
  • Mar 30, 2012
  • 05:46 PM

The language of assimilation

Esther Cepeda / The Star Democrat
CHICAGO Back in the mid-1700s, German immigrants were the bane of my favorite founding father, Benjamin Franklin, who believed they'd never assimilate into the predominant culture of the time. Franklin believed the immigrants were "generally of the most ignorant, stupid sort of their own nation" and thus unable and unwilling to learn English.
  • Mar 30, 2012
  • 05:42 PM

Budget Holds Good News for Quebec's English-language Minority Groups

Canada Newswire
In his budget speech, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty remarked that Canada's two official languages are an integral part of Canadian history and identity and that the Economic Action Plan 2012 will continue support for official languages by maintaining funding to protect, celebrate and enhance Canada's linguistic duality.
  • Mar 30, 2012
  • 02:36 PM

Truths and Misconceptions about Multilingualism: The 23 EU Languages

Areti Kotseli / Greek Reporter
According to the ENIC Network (European Network of Information Centres), more than 90% of Greek people consider English the most useful language after their mother tongue Greek. Despite the bad success percentages (57%) for the Lower Examination – Greece is the 50th country out of 67 – and the Proficiency examination (46%), half of Greeks consider themselves capable speakers of English.
  • Mar 29, 2012
  • 11:28 AM

Georgian Students Opting For English In Foreign Language Test

Bernama
TBILISI, March 29 (Bernama) -- The Georgian Education Ministry said on Wednesday English has become the no.1 choice in foreign language test for 73 percent of students sitting for the 2012 national examinations, China's Xinhua news agency reported. This is followed by 17 percent Russian, 7 percent German, and 3 percent French.
  • Mar 29, 2012
  • 02:43 AM

Quebec sovereigntists sound language alarm, again, over poll

Graeme Hamilton / National Post
MONTREAL — Ever on the lookout for signs the province is headed for disaster, sovereigntists jumped all over a poll last week purporting to show that Quebec anglophones couldn’t care less about French. Yves-François Blanchet, the Parti Québécois language critic, cited the special report in the magazine L’actualité as evidence that Quebec’s language law, Bill 101, urgently needs to be strengthened. “It’s quite the warning shot,” he said of the poll conducted by the firm CROP.
  • 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 28, 2012
  • 03:10 PM

English Language No Longer an Issue, Teachers Say

AllAfrica.com
Rwanda teachers in high schools have said that the issue of communication in English is fading off with time. This was disclosed in a one day work shop for teachers in high schools organised by Ministry of East African Community (EAC). Ever since English was declared as the only language of instruction in schools, teachers and learners with a strong background of French language had been struggling to come to terms with the change.
  • Mar 28, 2012
  • 02:07 PM

Our View: Give immigrants chance to gain English skills

Press Herald
If there's one thing nearly all Americans agree on, it's that a command of the English language is necessary for finding a good job and living a productive life in this country. And it's not at all uncommon for some people to criticize recent immigrants for a perceived inability (or even a lack of desire) to master the language of their new homeland.
  • Mar 27, 2012
  • 11:52 PM

The Laguages of Sri Lanka: A Model for national unity

Devanesan Nesiah / The Island
In Sri Lanka, a three language policy would be the appropriate use of Sinhala Tamil and English with due flexibility in respect of medium of instruction in schools and the language of administration and record in particular localities. There are good educational reasons to encourage the use of the Mother Tongue (the home language) as the medium of instruction in the primary school

Languages

Categories