About Nova Languages

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Nova Languages has created 688 blog entries.

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+00:00October 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+00:00October 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+00:00October 3rd, 2018|Chinook Jargon, Chinook Wawa, Language, North America|0 Comments

How the South Korean language was designed to unify

“Our husband is also a teacher,” my co-worker told me as she noisily slurped her soup. She was seated beside another colleague, who was slurping hers, too. I was confused. Had I misheard her? Were these women married to the same person? “She’s talking about her husband,” the second co-worker clarified, perhaps noticing my blank [...]

By |2018-10-02T11:35:08+00:00October 2nd, 2018|Korean language, South Korea|1 Comment

Meet the Cultural Illuminati Guarding France’s Most Sacrosanct Asset: The French Language

When you’re known as “the immortals,” as are the 40 members of the Académie Française, it’s hard to take yourselves lightly. Over the course of five centuries, 732 of them have walked the earth and reigned as the guardians of France’s most sacrosanct asset: its language. A linguistic secret service, if you like, they project [...]

By |2018-10-01T00:13:45+00:00October 1st, 2018|Académie Française, France, French language|0 Comments

The Little-known Language Spoken by Jews Across the Medieval Arab World

When it was suggested to Joshua Blau, at the start of his professional career, that he study the letters of Maimonides, there were those who warned him not to undertake the task. The three scholars who had previously begun dealing with the letters had died unnatural deaths. The first was found deceased at his desk [...]

By |2018-09-27T21:47:36+00:00September 27th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Maori Language, Once Shunned, Is Having a Renaissance in New Zealand

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A teenage thrash metal band screams out Maori lyrics in its latest videos. A popular radio host is learning New Zealand’s indigenous language and sharing new vocabulary with his audience. And residents of Merivale Retirement Village in Christchurch are studying Maori, greeting one another in the language that had been unspoken [...]

By |2018-09-17T15:41:50+00:00September 17th, 2018|Maori language, New Zealand|0 Comments

The language the French forbade

On a cold night winter’s night nine years ago, I made my way along icy cobblestone streets, a howling wind at my back, into the medieval town of Sarlat-la-Canéda in the Dordogne region of south-west France. This area is famous for its prehistoric caves, medieval castles and truffles – but I was here for another [...]

By |2018-09-12T11:00:16+00:00September 12th, 2018|Europe, France, Occitan language|4 Comments

Don’t assume language or dialect is locked to a particular place

In an age of globalisation with unprecedented levels of mobility and communication, the world is often described as a “global village”. But this metaphor has implications for how we understand the geographical place around us. There are clearly emotional meanings connected to the concept of place. An expression such as “do you want to come [...]

By |2018-09-12T10:45:08+00:00August 29th, 2018|Dialect, Language|0 Comments

The Mexican art of double entendre

As a Brit living in Mexico, I’ve discovered that many people are intrigued by whether or not I eat spicy food. I once had an entire conversation with a waiter in which he asked me where I was from, what language I spoke, where exactly England was, and finally ended with the question he was [...]

By |2018-08-24T01:14:11+00:00August 24th, 2018|Double entendre, Language, Mexico, Spanish language|0 Comments