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Category: Society/Culture - Page 2

  • Apr 07, 2012
  • 10:59 PM

Portuguese-language courses prove highly popular

Alex Taylor / The Daily Star
BEIRUT: Only a few months after its official opening, the Brazil-Lebanon Cultural Center in Ashrafieh has seen a rush of Lebanese students eager to learn Portuguese and explore cultural and familial ties to the country.
  • Apr 07, 2012
  • 09:26 PM

DW Baig: Tunes from the valleys

Sehrish Ali / The Express Tribune
Although there are various folk songs in Wakhi, no one had ever professionally composed and recorded songs in the dying language. So, for Baig’s first album Noyofth, which means precious, he made sure that the songs were carefully penned down in Wakhi without diluting the language by fusing it with other languages...
  • Apr 07, 2012
  • 08:32 PM

First Language Attrition: Why my parents and I don't speak the same language (audio)

James Kim / 89.3KPCC
I have always had a tough time understanding my parents. Not because we’re from different generations, or born and raised in different countries; it’s that we don’t speak the same language. Growing up, I remembered that my Korean was actually pretty good. My mom said that I “spoke Korean very well for seven years.” But afterwards, I “stopped speaking Korean and only spoke English.”
  • Apr 06, 2012
  • 03:37 AM

Kagera residents urged to promote Kiswahili

Meddy Mulisa / Daily News
RESIDENTS in Kagera Region have been encouraged to promote Kiswahili as a lingua franca, when communicating with other people. People in Kagera are fond of using their mother tongues when commucating instead of using the national language.The media, on the other hand, should spearhead the use of correct Kiswahili.
  • 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 06, 2012
  • 12:10 AM

Jordan- Sign language training helps teachers better engage students

Middle East North Africa Financial Network
Teaching using sign language poses a challenge to educators in schools for hearing-impaired students, especially if the teachers are inexperienced sign language users, said Hiba Ayousi, an Islamic education teacher.
  • Apr 06, 2012
  • 12:05 AM

Hebrew language, key in Israel education

Paula Jabobs / Jerusalem Post
But to achieve lasting success, Israel education must emphasize Hebrew language skills. Nothing binds us to Israel like the Hebrew language. I still remember the exhilaration of speaking Hebrew on my first visit to Israel many years ago. However, what percentage of American Jewish young people can conduct a conversation in Hebrew, understand an Israeli radio or television broadcast, or read an Israeli newspaper?
  • 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
  • 12:48 PM

Lost in translation

Daniel Bouskila / The Jewish Journal
I have vivid memories of Judeo-Arabic being spoken in my home. It was both a “private” language for my parents, as well as a form of cultural communication between my parents and their friends. In fact, there are several jokes for which, to this day, I don’t know the punch lines, as they started out in French, and just when the suspense was it its peak, the punch line rolled out in Judeo-Arabic. When my sisters and I would beg my father to translate, the answer always was, “I could translate, but it won’t be the same.”
  • 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
  • 12:11 PM

Students queue up for degree in Assamese

Gaurav Das / The Times of India
GUWAHATI: The number of applicants pursuing PhD in Assamese at Gauhati University has increased significantly owing to positive prospects at a time when the language was believed to be losing sheen among the youth.
  • Apr 05, 2012
  • 01:54 AM

Saskatoon meter readers work to overcome language barriers (audio)
With thousands of immigrants settling in Saskatoon every year, some city meter readers have been running into language barriers. Now the city has come up with a kit to help its staff break through those barriers.
  • Apr 04, 2012
  • 08:46 PM

Keeping the Ladino Language Alive Through Music

Fox News
A group of Jews who trace their ancestry back to Spain meets periodically in Los Angeles to sing in Ladino, part of their Sephardic cultural heritage that fuses medieval Spanish and Hebrew. "The choir's mission is to preserve the Ladino language and we need to hand it down to people in the United States who perhaps know or don't know that they have Sephardic roots," ...
  • 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
  • 02:10 PM

Business and the Welsh language

Chris Kelsey / WalesOnline
While the Welsh Language Board’s (WLB) efforts have borne fruit as some 500 new voluntary schemes have been adopted, there is scope for the new Commissioner to persuade more businesses to actively embrace the language and to be prepared to offer Welsh services to their customers.
  • 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
  • 04:54 PM

German Political Scientist: I Speak Belarusian at Home
The future of the language is children who speak it. But it is difficult to raise children in the atmosphere of the Belarusian language where I live in Minsk, in Belarus. There are quite a few kindergartens and schools teaching Belarusian, on the background of the vast majority of Russian-speaking families. Cartoons, books and games – they are all in Russian.
  • 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
  • 09:31 AM

Alliance Francaise club celebrates French language, culture

LaTina Emerson / The Augusta Chronicle
Each month, about 70 French speakers gather in Aiken to celebrate the language, culture and cuisine of France. They are members of Alliance Française, which meets the last Tuesday of each month at All Saints Anglican Church in Aiken. Last week, the club danced and listened to French-inspired music by the Fresh Music All-Star Band, dined on wine, cheese and French dishes and held conversations with other members in French.
  • Mar 31, 2012
  • 06:48 PM

Dewi Sant church in Toronto looks to Wales for minister's job

BBC News
The only remaining Welsh language church in Canada is advertising for a new minister in newspapers in Wales. Dewi Sant Welsh United Church in Toronto, Ontario, is believed to be one of the few churches in North America still holding services in Welsh.
  • 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
  • 03:05 PM

Keeping Inuit Students Engaged: School Programs Incorporate Inuktitut, Day Care (video)

Indian Country Today Media
...a video she coordinated profiles unique school programs in Nunavut that integrate Inuit culture into the curriculum to keep students engaged. Single mothers such as 19-year-old Eva Kakkik, who might not otherwise graduate from high school, are now able to finish their education thanks to on-site day-care service in one school, which enables her to see her 3-year-old son throughout the day.
  • Mar 31, 2012
  • 02:15 AM

Interest drops in Turkey’s minority language courses

Vercihan Ziflioğlu / Hürriyet Daily News
Private courses launched in recent years to teach Turkey’s minority languages have not attracted much attention despite the minimal fees they charge, and some believe the lack of interest in such courses has to do with Turkey’s long-lasting policies.
  • 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
  • 04:50 PM

It's only words

Zubair Torwali / The Friday Times
There are over 60 languages spoken besides the so-called 'regional' languages and Urdu and English in Pakistan. From the afore-mentioned languages, Badeshi and Ushojo have by now died, and a dozen of the remaining will soon disappear if left untended. When a language dies, a culture dies; and when a culture dies, its wisdom - often the outcome of centuries' worth of experience - dies. Above all the identity of a people dies with it.
  • 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 30, 2012
  • 12:58 AM

Saving Endangered Languages

Ghada Shbeir / Assyrian International News Agency
Shbeir writes and sings in the ancient language of Syriac, drawing attention to the beauty of the endangered Aramaic dialect that originated in the Mesopotamian city of Edessa, which now lies in Turkey. Syriac was the lingua franca of much of the Middle East from about the 7th century BC until the 7th century AD, when Arabic pushed the language to obscurity.
  • 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
  • 01:48 AM

Gov’t should be committed to French studies – Prof Kuupole
The Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Prof. Domwini Dabire Kuupole has emphasized the need for a strong commitment on the part of government to formulate a clear policy on the study of the French language.