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So far Nova Languages has created 705 blog entries.

The surprising story of the Basque language

A few steps from the entrance to the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, one of San Sebastian’s most visible landmarks with its sky-piercing gothic spire, lies a simple, two-faced earthen slab. In this corner of Spain’s Basque Country, it seems out of place: carved on one side with an Apostolic cross and on the other [...]

By |2019-06-04T13:52:31+00:00June 4th, 2019|Armenian language, Basque language|0 Comments

Iceland is inventing a new vocabulary for a high-tech future

Every morning, Iceland’s language planners begin their day by taking off their shoes at the communal shoe rack in their office and slipping into pairs of soft clogs. As tourists begin to fill the alleyways of downtown Reykjavik with a faint babble of English, French, Chinese, and Italian, the language planners shuffle quietly back into [...]

By |2019-06-02T14:42:19+00:00June 2nd, 2019|Iceland, Language|0 Comments

Ancestral languages are essential to Indigenous identities in Canada

Recent protests against the federal government’s approach to Indigenous language legislation is the latest manifestation of concern regarding the maintenance and flourishing of Indigenous languages and culture. Although these latest protests are centred around jurisdiction and funding, the fundamental issue for Indigenous peoples is support for an essential part of their identity. My work in [...]

After 50 years of the Official Languages Act, what is the place of French in Canada?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act and the International Day of La Francophonie on March 20, an Open Caucus was held at the Senate of Canada to reflect on the place of French in Canada. Professors Stéphanie Chouinard, Michael MacMillan and Benoît Pelletier addressed the following question: What is the place [...]

By |2019-05-25T22:24:51+00:00May 25th, 2019|Canada, Language|0 Comments

Australia’s Ancient Language Shaped by Sharks

The tiger shark was having a really bad day. Other sharks and fish were picking on him and he was fed up. After fighting them, he met up with the hammerhead shark and some stingrays at Vanderlin Rocks in the waters of Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria to speak of their woes before they set out [...]

By |2019-05-15T18:01:36+00:00May 15th, 2019|Australia, Language|0 Comments

Coining New Words Key to Revitalizing Native American Languages

WASHINGTON — It was a thrilling find for a then-graduate student in linguistics: While conducting research in Jesuit archives in Quebec in 1999, Michael McCafferty discovered a previously unknown manuscript - a dictionary of the Myaamia-Illinois language, handwritten by a 17th century Jesuit missionary. Comprising some 22,000 entries, the manuscript has played a key role [...]

How the world of fonts is making room for Indian languages

Peter Bilak likes to think of fonts as the voice of the text. They convey emotions and tone, just like voices—and just like voices, there are some fonts that are inherently better at communicating a message. Bilak knows this universe of fonts, with their adjunct emotions, intimately. In 2009, the Slovakian typeface designer had co-founded [...]

By |2019-05-02T11:34:00+00:00May 2nd, 2019|Fonts, Indian languages|0 Comments

The confusing way Mexicans tell time

When I first stepped foot on Mexican soil, I spoke relatively good Spanish. I was by no means fluent, but I could hold a conversation. So when I asked a local ice-cream seller in downtown Guadalajara when he expected a new delivery of chocolate ice cream, and he said ‘ahorita’, which directly translates to ‘right [...]

By |2019-04-30T10:15:05+00:00April 30th, 2019|Language, Mexico, Spanish language|0 Comments

What Language Do People Speak in the Balkans, Anyway?

Imagine a situation in which an American defendant hires a British lawyer for a trial in an American courtroom. The accused then demands that a British interpreter be found. British-American legal interpreters are hard to find, so the demand could delay the case for years, possibly even long enough that the case has to be [...]

By |2019-04-18T13:18:45+00:00April 18th, 2019|Balkans, Language|0 Comments

Do You See What I See?

In a Candoshi village in the heart of Peru, anthropologist Alexandre Surrallés puts a small colored chip on a table and asks, “Ini tamaara?” (“How is it?” or “What is it like?”). What Surrallés would like to ask is, “What color is this?” But the Candoshi, a tribe of some 3,000 people living on the [...]

By |2019-04-10T00:18:29+00:00April 10th, 2019|Colors, Language|0 Comments