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So far Nova Languages has created 685 blog entries.

The Small Island Where 500 People Speak Nine Different Languages

On South Goulburn Island, a small, forested isle off Australia’s northern coast, a settlement called Warruwi Community consists of some 500 people who speak among themselves around nine different languages. This is one of the last places in Australia—and probably the world—where so many indigenous languages exist together. There’s the Mawng language, but also one [...]

By | 2018-11-27T13:53:52+00:00 November 27th, 2018|Languages|0 Comments

These Radio Stations are Reviving Indigenous Languages

In the struggle to preserve Indigenous languages, community radio stations have emerged as a key tool to help mother tongues that were crushed under the weight of colonialism flourish once again. What was once forbidden and punished by the Canadian government — the speaking of one’s own language — can be heard with a turn [...]

By | 2018-11-21T15:53:15+00:00 November 21st, 2018|Indigenous languages, Radio|0 Comments

Is the English language too powerful?

In 2016 I published the “Power Language Index”, a research note on the efficacy of languages. It was a systematic data-driven analysis using 20 indicators to compare the clout of the world’s languages. It tried to answer the question: which language best serves a person to engage in life from a global perspective? The index [...]

By | 2018-11-06T16:24:03+00:00 November 6th, 2018|English language|0 Comments

On a Mission to Save Languages From Extinction

NEW YORK—There are 800 different languages spoken among New York’s 8.5 million residents, and unfortunately, that number may be decreasing. One man is on a mission to make sure the city and the world don’t lose their linguistic diversity. The UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger states that 230 languages have died since [...]

By | 2018-11-05T20:43:08+00:00 November 5th, 2018|Endangered Languages, Languages, Wikitongues|0 Comments

How English words entered Arabic through the British empire in Iraq

The British “Mesopotamian Campaign” of the First World War took almost three years to get to Baghdad – and the occupying force faced many challenges once it arrived. In fact, Britain’s overwhelming predominance over Iraq from 1917 to 1947 was a time of rough and violent political and economic “communication”. But the large number of [...]

By | 2018-11-02T18:01:11+00:00 November 2nd, 2018|Arabic language, Iraq|0 Comments

What is killing Mexico’s rich indigenous languages?

“I speak the sounds of the people of the rain” – If you ask the Mixteco people about their first language, the reply is just one example of Mexico’s rich linguistic diversity. Yet linguists, artists and human rights defenders are warning that Mexico is becoming increasingly monotone – and that discrimination, as well as repressive [...]

By | 2018-11-02T12:31:58+00:00 November 2nd, 2018|Indigenous languages, Mexico|0 Comments

These People Have a Mind-Bending Way to Navigate

The door of Sivek’s house looks out on a rising slope. But when he walks away from the door toward the rear of the building, he is walking “uphill”—even though the floor is flat. That’s because in Sivek’s tongue, indoor space is defined by imaginary slopes that are totally distinct from the world outside. This [...]

By | 2018-10-28T10:26:56+00:00 October 27th, 2018|Papua New Guinea, Yopno language|0 Comments

Can the language of the Vikings fight off the invasion of English?

“Coffee and kleina,” reads a large sign at a roadside coffee shop by one of the main roads in Reykjavik. Not so many years ago, such a billboard would simply have read: “Kaffi og kleina” – in the language of the Vikings, the official language of Iceland. It is a privilege of the few to [...]

By | 2018-10-18T00:21:54+00:00 October 18th, 2018|English language, Iceland, Icelandic language|0 Comments

Millennial Aboriginal Australians Have Developed Their Own Language

Millennials, in a way, are a firmly bilingual group, thanks in no small part to “textspeak.” With the rise of Web 2.0 at the turn of 21st century, instant messaging slang and the bevy of acronyms that resulted have become a de facto marker of age, if not cool-factor. Down under, in the remote village [...]

By | 2018-10-12T10:04:04+00:00 October 12th, 2018|Aboriginal, Australia, Language, Warlpiri|0 Comments

North America’s nearly forgotten language

Even before I saw the water, I heard the rumble. Sounding like a river or a waterfall, the noise was gently muffled by the sword ferns and step moss as it reverberated through the sky-scraping red cedars and Douglas firs. What I was hearing was not a river, and if I’d come along this trail [...]

By | 2018-10-03T17:43:23+00:00 October 3rd, 2018|Chinook Jargon, Chinook Wawa, Language, North America|0 Comments