Tag Archives: language learning

Natural Selection and the Rules of Language

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Despite being considered a humanities subject, language crosses boundaries with science more often than you’d think. With that in mind, it seems the jig is up. Sorry language sticklers: it appears that a new study by evolutionary biologists at UPenn looking at the natural patterns and standard use of English from 11 CE up to the(…)


Recapping 6 New Year’s Celebrations Around the World

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There might be one or two of us who’ll be glad to see the back of 2017. Some probably even went to bed long before the big gongs started and woke up in 2018 hopeful of better things to come. Although the festivities should have ended by now, check out a few traditional festivities that went down(…)


A Commercial Christmas: Here’s to Celebrating 200 Years of Bemoaning Capitalism

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The complaint that Christmas has lost its meaning to consumerism, capitalism, and overindulgence is almost as much an annual tradition as the event itself; not that such complaints necessarily mean we won’t try to outdo ourselves year upon year, of course. But the nature of these complaints isn’t new, and neither is the language we(…)


There’s More that Meets the Eye: Languages of the United States

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So America is the land of the monolingual, the place where only English is spoken and no other language exists—aside from for the more than forty million people who speak Spanish as a first language, and the estimated eleven million speaking it as a second, of course, but who’s counting those? And other than English(…)


Romanian: The Forgotten Romance Language

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Sometimes Romance language is synonymous with a language of love, instead of its true origin, as language that originates from those spoken by Romans. And when we think of Romance languages in general, chances are the first that will fall from our lips as suggestions are Italian, French, Portuguese, and Spanish; not necessarily in that(…)


Cornish: Greetings from the Southern English Coast!

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When you think of Cornwall, chances are you might be thinking of the humble Cornish Pasty—even if technically they originate from Devon! But did you know that Cornwall, one of the most beautiful counties on the southwestern coast of England, also has its own language; one that is recognised as a minority language by the(…)


Guarani in Paraguay: An Indigenous Outlier

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When you think of the languages of South America, it’s a fair bet that Portuguese and Spanish are the first ones most people will come up with. English, French, and Dutch might also get a mention owing to colonial history. But in addition to these, there are a wealth of indigenous languages spoken, some of which share(…)


Ghostly & Ghoulish Halloween Traditions from Around the Globe

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Halloween is one of the oldest holidays in the world and also one of the most globally celebrated. You’ll have a hard time finding a place that hasn’t experienced Halloween fever to some extent, and countries all around the world have personalised the holiday to fit in with local traditions and cultural norms. With Halloween(…)


Out with the Old, In with the New: Bye British English, ‘Ello Euro-English

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Brexit has been blamed for all manner of things: changing trade routes, price increases, you name it. However, one of the latest things it stands accused of is the eventual dilution of the purity of the English language and the rise of something called Euro-English. Wait, what? Isn’t that just English? Well, sort of. It(…)


After Brexit More British are Keen to Learn New Languages (And You Should Be, Too)

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The UK has never been a nation known for having a huge appetite for foreign language learning. Whether it’s the ‘English as a global language’ crutch, or the importance given to math and science over language learning, the United Kingdom has long struggled to keep up with many other European nations when it comes to(…)