Recent Blog Posts

Did you know that 2019 has been designated the International Year of Indigenous Languages? The recognition comes as a result of a United Nations resolution, which was adopted in 2016. According to official IYIL website the purpose is to “raise awareness of them [indigenous languages], not only to benefit the […]

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It’s officially holiday season. That’s right: Grey Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday are just around the corner, so be sure to get your tent set up in line, put your fighting gloves on for five a.m. door buster sales, and fill your wallet up with green. […]

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When it comes to learning a new language, one difficulty for English speakers can be learning how tone impacts the meaning of words in some languages. Tonal languages are languages in which changing the pitch of a word can change the meaning of the word itself. For example, in Mandarin, […]

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In pretty much every language, you can find the most basic and obvious equivalent of the word work – as a noun, meaning ‘job’ or ’employment,’ and as a verb, meaning ‘to engage in physical or mental activity to achieve a purpose or result, usually in the workplace.’ In English, […]

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One of my favorite moments from my time as an English teacher in Japan has got to be the “Japanese loanwords” lesson where I attempted to teach Japanese students how to properly pronounce Japanese words used in English. The students were both amused and bemused to learn that these words […]

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Whether October has you curling up with Hocus Pocus and the Addams Family, or a level up in terror is more to your taste, it’s likely that you’ve watched your favorite scary movies over and over again. As a visually-focused genre reliant on universal tropes with often minimal dialogue, horror […]

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News host Laura Ingraham recently brought grammar into the political spotlight during a segment in which she criticized NBA players LeBron James and Kevin Durant for a conversation they had about politics. What Ingraham criticized in this instance was not only what they said, but how they said it, calling […]

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A Russian and an American step into an elevator – let’s say the two know each other vaguely as colleagues at work. If this elevator happens to be in America, what ensues is likely a very uncomfortable (Russian) and confused (American) exchange, triggered by an innocuous American “How are you?” […]

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Imagine someone running up three flights of stairs to convey some astonishing news to a friend.  As soon as the excited speaker opens his mouth to talk, the words tumble forward in gasps and bursts, punctuated by pauses that allow him to catch his breath.  Only after filling his lungs […]

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The Roma are a traditionally nomadic ethnicity with communities all the way across Europe and beyond. Often misunderstood and mistreated – a topic I won’t go into – they are typically thought to be homogeneous. Language variation is just one way to illustrate that this is definitely not the case. […]

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