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

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

A change in our diets may have changed the way we speak

AS THE SAYING goes, we are what we eat—but does that aspect of our identity carry over to the languages we speak? In a new study in Science, a team of linguists at the University of Zurich uses biomechanics and linguistic evidence to make the case that the rise of agriculture thousands of years ago [...]

By |2019-03-14T19:10:07+00:00March 14th, 2019|Language|0 Comments

There’s a Weird Similarity Between Chimp Communication And Human Language

Behind this sentence lies a solid bedrock of mathematics, one that has been shown to govern all human languages. Linguists have found the hoots and hollers, gestures and expressions used by chimpanzees obey some of the same basic principles, demonstrating the foundations of language have deep evolutionary roots. A study led by the University of [...]

By |2019-02-14T13:37:16+00:00February 14th, 2019|Language|0 Comments

Did Humans Speak Through Cave Art? Ancient Drawings and Language’s Origins

When and where did humans develop language? To find out, look deep inside caves, suggests an MIT professor. More precisely, some specific features of cave art may provide clues about how our symbolic, multifaceted language capabilities evolved, according to a new paper co-authored by MIT linguist Shigeru Miyagawa. A key to this idea is that [...]

By |2018-12-27T13:38:15+00:00December 27th, 2018|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