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

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

Switzerland’s invisible linguistic borders

It was one of the shortest train rides I had ever taken: just 10 minutes and one stop from the Swiss city of Neuchâtel. Yet when I disembarked in the small municipality of Ins, everything seemed, somehow, different. At first, I couldn’t put my finger on it. Something about the architecture perhaps? People’s body language? [...]

By | 2018-07-03T14:48:50+00:00 July 3rd, 2018|Languages, Linguistic borders, Switzerland|0 Comments

How Wikitongues is saving world languages from linguicide

“In the next 80 years, 3,000 languages are expected to disappear.” That’s what it says on the homepage of the Wikitongues website. And then it adds: “We won’t let that happen.” Last week, ‘we’ was Daniel Bogre Udell, one of two original founders of Wikitongues, and Kristen Tcherneshoff, its volunteer-in-chief. The frontline of their fight: [...]

By | 2018-06-24T13:58:43+00:00 June 24th, 2018|Languages, Linguicide, Wikitongues|0 Comments

Why it’s okay for bilingual children to mix languages

Few would consider mastering more than one language a bad idea. In fact, research points to a number of cognitive, economic and academic advantages in being bilingual. Parents who speak different languages understand the family home is an important setting to learn both, and seek various ways to help their children thrive bilingually. One of [...]

By | 2018-06-21T10:25:52+00:00 June 21st, 2018|Bilingual, Bilingualism, Children, Languages|0 Comments

More than 2,000 of the world’s languages are dying out

As a child, Kanako Uzawa treasured her school vacations, when she traveled from Tokyo to her family farm in Nibutani, a remote village in northern Japan. “There were rice fields extending into the distance,” she says. “It was all very green with fresh air… It was paradise for kids.” Uzawa, who was born in Tomakomai, [...]

By | 2018-05-24T13:51:13+00:00 May 24th, 2018|Endangered Languages, Languages|0 Comments

Why teachers shouldn’t be afraid of other languages being spoken in the classroom

More than 20% of all primary school and 16% of secondary school children in the UK speak languages other than English. And there are now more than 360 languages spoken in British classrooms. But more often than not, in mainstream schools in the UK, the “home languages” of children can be sidelined at best, and [...]

By | 2018-05-23T00:55:42+00:00 May 23rd, 2018|Education, Languages|0 Comments

How Do Languages Evolve? This Game Is Finding The Answer!

A team of researchers led by Dr. Olivier Morin at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany have released a mobile app, the Color Game, designed to study how human languages evolve. Dr. Morin's team identified a problem in how traditional language studies are conducted; participants are often given [...]

By | 2018-05-21T20:54:01+00:00 May 21st, 2018|Evolution of language, Languages|0 Comments

How I discovered there are (at least) 14 different kinds of love by analysing the world’s languages

No emotion, surely, is as cherished and sought after as love. Yet on occasions such as Valentine’s day, we can often be misled into thinking that it consists solely in the swooning, star-crossed romance of falling deeply “in love”. But on reflection, love is far more complex. Indeed, arguably no word covers a wider range [...]

By | 2018-03-10T15:31:23+00:00 March 10th, 2018|Languages|0 Comments

These Sámi Women Are Trying to Keep Their Native Skolt Language Alive

Tiina Sanila-Aikio isn’t your everyday president. The 34-year-old is the head of the Sámi people in Finland, the only indigenous population recognized in the European Union. She is also the creator of the world’s first Skolt-language rock albums. Skolt is a Sámi language spoken by just 300 people. Although the Sámi population numbers at least [...]

By | 2018-03-06T18:59:37+00:00 March 4th, 2018|Languages, Sámi, Skolt language|1 Comment