Recent Blog Posts

These days, we don't always have the time to use full words or speak in complete sentences. The advent of text-speak and internet lingo has conditioned many of us to seek out the most efficient routes of communication. While far from a novel invention, acronyms' prevalence makes knowing the most […]

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Mathematics has a language all its own – a rich tapestry of systems interconnected with ironclad logic. Linguistics, philosophy, and mathematics have shared insights for centuries – Sir Isaac Newton, for example, composed a hefty treatise in 1687 entitled Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Unfortunately, for most of us, high […]

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Calling all language-lovers! If you’re looking for robust, personal, and in-depth language stories instead of snippets and sound bites, you may be interested in Schwa Fire – a digital publication dedicated to just that. A Kickstarter campaign is currently under way to make this language magazine a reality. Spearheaded by […]

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The ever-blurring borders of nations and the subsequent cultural, linguistic, educational, business, and economic shifts that take place are not going unnoticed by the U.S. Department of Education. In November of this year, the Department released its first-ever document detailing a comprehensive international strategy, entitled “Succeeding Globally Through International Education […]

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The term lingua franca was first coined in the beginning of the 17th century by the Italians. At that time, it represented a conglomeration of mostly Italian, with a smattering of French, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, Greek, and Arabic, and was used primarily as the language of commerce. The term literally […]

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Why is an activity carried out by hand done “manually”? The arm’s terminus is called a hand in every Germanic language – with only minor variations like the Icelandic hönd — yet describing acts in which the hands are indispensable requires borrowing from Latin. The Latin word for hand, manus, […]

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Dr. Michael Erard’s body of research is enough to pique the interest of any language-lover. At the intersection of discourse and cognition, Dr. Erard explores linguistic phenomena, from metaphors to clarify concepts in early-education skill-building to the thinking that underlies how rock bands select their names. His latest book, Babel […]

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Fall semester of this year marks the launch of a degree-seeking translation and interpretation program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. What makes this program particularly unique among a small but stellar group of U.S. universities that offer similar courses of study is a welcome fact for many potential […]

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What better way to bring language learners into the modern era than with tutorials and learning materials tailored specifically to tech lovers? The University of California, Los Angeles, has been doing just that over the course of the past two years with the Language Materials Project. Supported by a grant […]

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A recent study out of the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig may shed some light on the neural mechanisms underlying dyslexia. Using magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) technology, researchers compared the brains of control subjects with those of dyslexic adults. Their findings pinpointed a very […]

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