Recent Blog Posts

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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In published reports from recent years, the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) compiled the results of the first stage of a three-year study into the languages of Austronesia.  Focusing on five languages used in Taiwan – a state with 14 officially recognized indigenous groups – the study illustrated a lamentably […]

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Are you interested in becoming a medical interpreter? Sign up Now and get started. I worked as a medical interpreter at a level one trauma hospital for three years. In the beginning, the work felt frenetic and gratifying and new every day. But after a year or so, I started […]

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