Recent Blog Posts

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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In 1990, the U.S. Department of Education embarked on a mission to fund the nation’s most promising foreign language institutions.  Known as Title VI Language Resource Centers (LRCs), these groups are housed within universities across the nation and share the aim of developing resources and opportunities for teachers, instructors, and […]

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When the Eurozone was forged in 1999, it brought with it the promise of more mobility, cooperation, and comradery in Europe. The global economic downturn that followed shortly after generated a sense of urgency, especially among young people, to seek employment outside of their home countries. Spain – one of […]

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Scientific investigation is a slow process. Rarely are long-established ideas smashed with one individual research paper that causes everyone to turn their heads. The study of sound symbolism (also called phonosemantics) follows suit. One of the founding principles of modern linguistics, as put forward by Saussure, is the idea that […]

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You’d think that one of the fundamental questions linguists would have sorted out by know is how many languages there are. I thought that too before I studied to become one. Quantifying languages is much more complicated than it initially sounds, with the result that we can never truly count […]

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