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Written By: Emily Dutch Linares on September 16, 2014 No Comment
Do you #langchat?

Calling all language instructors! A community of language teachers meets weekly on Twitter to discuss topics related to language teaching using the #langchat hashtag. Conversation topics are selected by vote, and Langchatters gather on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST to share their thoughts on the winning topic. In case you miss the conversation, summaries of […]

Written By: Emily Dutch Linares on September 16, 2014 No Comment
« C’est quoi, ta couleur préférée ? »

J’aurais pu prendre une décision en lançant une pièce de monnaie pour un tirage à pile ou face. « Pile » : espagnol. « Face » : français. J’avais besoin de suivre un cours de langue et je n’arrivais toujours pas à faire mon choix. « Tout le monde parle espagnol. Apprends-le ! » C’était une réplique bien connue. Après tout, nous vivions en Californie et le Mexique […]

Written By: sara esther on November 18, 2013 1 Comment

A few weeks ago, I told my American flat mate about a British actor I am quite fond of at the moment. As I was eagerly listing his films that I had seen so far, she repeatedly told me that she “already knows.” But, how? So, I already told you? Too bad I simply cannot […]

Written By: kernrg on October 16, 2013 No Comment
Minority Languages in Europe

Just a quick note to announce an online report about minority languages in Europe, produced by FranceInter, passed along to me by David Rafoni. 46 million Europeans speak a language that is considered “regional” or “minority.” These languages are protected by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, but in France […]

Written By: Krista Brune on October 10, 2013 No Comment
The Centrality of Translation to the Humanities: Towards Cross-cultural and Transdisciplinary Communication

While my colleagues ventured to Latin America and Europe over the summer, I headed to the middle of this country to spend three weeks at the University of Illinois participating in a National Endowment for the Humanities summer program on the centrality of translation. Over the course of the institute, we examined the question of […]

Written By: markkaiser on May 23, 2012 2 Comments
Pimsleur advertisement

I ran across this ad for the Pimsleur language learning audio materials on an electronic Japanese dictionary (denshijisho.org). As  a Language Center administrator, I interact with dozens of language professors, lecturers, and graduate student instructors here at Berkeley as well as at other institutions. I can’t remember ever hearing any disparaging remarks about Dr. […]

Written By: seo on December 6, 2011 3 Comments

Long time, no see, FiTizens!

We’ve hit December and with that comes the start of the usual reflections upon the year that has just been. On the language side of things, this usually means lists of words that somehow manage to encapsulate or convey the events and general feeling of the year. The past week here […]

Written By: kealohap on October 26, 2011 1 Comment

I have been taking French for 7 years now, since my freshman year of high school. I attended a French American school where I was learning how to say “Bonjour” while my many of my new friends were taking math and chemistry in French since they had been there since kindergarten — or maternelle as […]

Written By: daveski on October 17, 2011 2 Comments
The Skype “S”

Last week I had the opportunity to go and talk with the students in Claire Kramsch’s UGIS 120 class, the introductory course for the new Applied Language Studies minor being offered out of the College of Letters & Science. The topic of the day was medium, discourse, and multimodality, and while my presentation […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on September 12, 2011 No Comment
A history not my own

It was a glorious Fall in the late ’80s, in a land filled with trees colored in autumnal brushstrokes. I remember with great vividness my first moments in an American classroom.  I was seated in the last row, in a corner, comfortingly next to the door (should I be overpowered by the need to escape). […]

Written By: Diana Arya on March 6, 2011 No Comment

I have left my current residence in Oslo to spend a week in Guangzhou. I feel as though I’m starring in my own version of the film Inception, an American living in Norway conducting educational research in China. What will serve as my “kick” into familiar surroundings once again? Perhaps my move […]

Written By: kernrg on February 12, 2011 4 Comments
Online lingo: Is there a grammar of affective particles?

In instant messaging and texting, my students detect a clear distinction between the use of lol (laugh out loud) and a smiley : ) either standing on a line of its own (i.e., as a whole utterance) or at the end of an utterance, as in:

You’re a real stud muffin! lol
You’re a real […]

Written By: Sylvia on December 5, 2010 4 Comments
The problem with machine translation

There’s a joke quoted in the TA Professional Translation Services Guide about a machine translation of the biblical phrase “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Supposedly, someone used a free online translator to translate this phrase from English to Russian, then back to English again, and […]

Written By: Billette on October 15, 2010 2 Comments

…so said the English-L1 instructor of French. This woman teaches in Canada to Anglophone Canadian students. My mind flashed to questions of language and power. Canada is an officially bilingual country, thanks to the political (linguistic?) activity of Québec. Why “Continental French” when one’s fellow countrypeople speak a different variety? I fear that the answers […]

Written By: Polyglottous on October 6, 2010 1 Comment

Stephanie’s my given name. Not much more to it; my mom chose it because she liked how it sounded. Rhythmically, it flows well with my middle and family names. Not to mention Stefanie Powers, renowned (heh) 80s actress of Hart to Hart fame, shares the name; my mom loved the show. I used to resent […]

Written By: aaminahm on August 22, 2010 No Comment

Last night I went to a community iftar in Oakland. I volunteered and was placed on napkin duty. As I stood there, folding napkins, I began to see all of the hungry fasters file in to the community center in preparation for our second meal in about 16 hours.
I was excited about the iftar because […]

Written By: Raghda on June 16, 2010 1 Comment

I wrote it in Egypt in 2005, it is edited by Mm Leila Khoury

Quand les fêtes approchent

Quand les fêtes approchent

Cherche dans tes poches

Une fleur ou des bonbons

Et dans n’importe quel balcon

Jette-les courageusement

Peut-être derrière la fenêtre

Pleure un enfant

Et tendrement ton cadeau

Lui offre la […]

Written By: kernrg on June 12, 2010 2 Comments
Friends and amis on Facebook

An interesting aspect of social network sites like Facebook and MySpace is their appropriation of the word “friend.”  I sometimes get email messages from people I hardly know (and sometimes people I don’t know at all) inviting me to friend them (now it seems there is no more need to use the verb “befriend“).

How […]

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Written By: katiebernie on February 27, 2010 No Comment

I got an email from my undergraduate alma mater today. They were writing to inform me that, in May, it will have been five years since I graduated. This apparently means two things: 1 – my five year reunion is coming up (oh joy), and 2, my years of free email service are ending. No […]

Written By: katie_k on February 19, 2010 3 Comments

(For those who can’t read Russian, I wrote in English below this. And for those who can read Russian, please excuse the errors!)
Вчера когда я шла по улице, я слышала девочку, которая говорила по-русски. Конечно я хотела её слушать, но только yслышала одно предложение: «Фреди, он должен быть смартый.» Сначала я думала что она бы […]

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