Tag Archives: Languages

Why just speaking English isn’t going to cut it anymore

Why just speaking English isn’t going to cut it anymore

Britain is facing an uncertain future and an uneasy relationship with Europe after Brexit and the latest general election. Among other things, a key determiner of the success of Brexit will be the UK’s ability to conduct negotiations without language barriers. But the country’s woeful inability to learn languages, and the decline in foreign language […] … learn more→

Why it’s hard for adults to learn a second language

Why it’s hard for adults to learn a second language

As a young adult in college, I decided to learn Japanese. My father’s family is from Japan, and I wanted to travel there someday. However, many of my classmates and I found it difficult to learn a language in adulthood. We struggled to connect new sounds and a dramatically different writing system to the familiar […] … learn more→

How the language you speak changes your view of the world

Bilinguals get all the perks. Better job prospects, a cognitive boost and even protection against dementia. Now new research shows that they can also view the world in different ways depending on the specific language they are operating in. The past 15 years have witnessed an overwhelming amount of research on the bilingual mind, with […] … learn more→

Spanglish and the Royal Academy

Not long ago, the Real Academia Española, its matrix located in Madrid, with 21 branches throughout the Spanish-speaking world, did something at once surprising and disappointing: It approved the inclusion of the word espanglish in its official dictionary. I say it was surprising because for decades the RAE systematically disregarded the existence of this hybrid […] … learn more→

The vanishing voices of Nepal, Africa – and New York – Research

A Cambridge academic devoted to the documentation of endangered languages has returned to a remote Nepali village to hand over a two-volume dictionary and grammar – the first ever written record of Thangmi – as part of a new three-part series on the world’s vanishing voices. … learn more→

Dear Apostrophe: C Ya

Nearly 30 years ago one of my professors, talking about the way language evolves over time, predicted that the next evolutionary stage would involve common punctuation marks. Specifically, he said, the apostrophe would eventually cease to exist. Think maybe I should send him a text to let him know just how accurate his prediction was? […] … learn more→