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Written By: f12ealang84 on December 12, 2012 1 Comment

The inspiration for our project was our mutual love for food and our propensity to dine out almost all the time. We decided to take our love of restaurants and show how there are multiple factors that contribute to the reputation that a restaurant develops in the minds of its patrons.

Our choice of restaurant to […]

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Written By: daveski on December 12, 2012 No Comment

This past semester, students in a new Sophomore Seminar offered through East Asian Languages and Cultures and the Berkeley Language Center have taken significant steps toward understanding the complexity of language in multilingual environments like Berkeley.

Rather than focus on the speech or writing practices of bilingual individuals, however, participants […]

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Written By: aaminahm on June 17, 2012 No Comment

As a follow up to my recent post “a fish out of water” I want to provide some
context for my experience in Boston by pointing out that I walked the Black Heritage
Trail through the Beacon Hill district today. This trail begins at the monument
for the 54th regiment who fought the Civil War for no […]

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Written By: aaminahm on June 16, 2012 No Comment

Last night I found myself feeling unsettled as I walked a long with a small group of junior research associates that I met this week at the Digital Media and Learning hub’s Summer Institute in Cambridge, MA. Having grown up in the Bay Area and having spent some time in the south I have experienced […]

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Written By: markkaiser on February 1, 2012 1 Comment
High school libraries

While transporting my high school son to debate tournaments at various Bay-area high schools, I have found myself parked in high school libraries for hours at end, waiting my turn to judge one of the many events. It is striking the difference one finds between libraries in top-ranked high schools (e.g. Lowell […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on January 25, 2012 No Comment
“Chai Tea” and other oddities

“What is Chai Tea?” I wondered, flabbergasted: “It makes no sense! Chai=tea. Tea tea? And it’s supposed to be Indian?”

Now, I take pride in knowing my teas: I come from a land where tea is the preferred beverage, ubiquitous in the national beverage-scape. Tea was incorporated into my breakfast routine […]

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Written By: Youki on December 1, 2011 1 Comment
A Dictionary of Bay Area Locations with Spanish Origins

Ever wonder how Mount Diablo got its name?  What the “San” in San Pablo means, or what an “alcatraz” is?

California’s diverse toponymy comes from its rich cultural history — places like Ohlone Park, Sonoma, Solano, Petaluma, Marin and Napa all originate from the indigenous peoples of the area (Ohlone, more→

Written By: Jonathan Haddad on June 15, 2011 No Comment
Adventures in Hindi Reality TV: Ratan ka Rishta (Part II)

As I tune in to tonight’s episode (14, but who’s counting?), Ratan is saying things about the different suitors, in what appears to be a slightly mocking tone. Her current target is Abhinav Sharma, the tallest of the bunch, a New Delhi software developer with a gaunt face and smoothed hair. The […]

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Written By: Jonathan Haddad on June 15, 2011 2 Comments
TV ain’t always easy: Ratan ka Rishta (Part I)

I am spending the summer in India with my wife and her family.  While I generally find it hard to forgo watching television, my desire to vegetate in front of frivolous entertainment has been severely challenged by the predominant share of programming allotted to films and serials in Hindi, a language I have not […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on June 9, 2011 1 Comment
“Excuse me, are you English-medium?”

The late afternoons-when my husband and I play badminton in a park in a Delhi suburb-are a 100-and-something degree Fahrenheit here, extremely hot and dry. All day, we wait anxiously for the mercury to dip just a little so we can go out and play. The park is fun not just because it’s a lush […]

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Written By: Jonathan Haddad on May 4, 2011 1 Comment
Of Bin Laden, Empathy, and Translation

As a U.S. citizen, I have had one reaction to the killing of Osama bin Laden.  However, as a student of literature, I have found little to say about this symbolic victory in the “War on Terror” except, perhaps, that it is extremely distracting from the research papers I should […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on April 22, 2011 No Comment
Politics of Being Counted: Indian Census 2011

The doorbell-which makes the sound of chirpy, chirruping birds-shrieked for my attention on a late Monday morning a few months ago. I was living in a suburb of New Delhi, India, collecting data for my dissertation. As I went to unlock the grill door, I saw a lady dressed in a dark salwar kameez […]

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Written By: AlekZ on March 12, 2011 1 Comment
Pomelo

It’s rare, but every now and then I’ll be confronted by how many mistakes I learned through my mother.

Last week at a party, I discovered what a pomelo was. This green-peeled citrus fruit is something I am familiar with, having eaten it throughout my childhood. I always recognized the pomelo as a grapefruit, because they […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 2, 2011 4 Comments
Reducing the “Indian” in the New York Times

Mr. Manu Joseph pens another Letter from India for the New York Times, this time on the “Uncompromising Practicality [that] Could Be India’s Downfall.” I covered his previous letter here, noting the gaping flaws in his argument about the spread of English in India. This time, he serves up […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 27, 2011 No Comment
Amar Chitra Katha & The Politics of Race?

The “father of Indian comics,” Anant Pai, creator of the fabled Amar Chitra Katha (अमर चित्र कथा) comic books that generations of Indian children were reared on, passed away last Thursday. In my dusty library in India, I had stacks and stacks of ACK comics. In fact, some of my most memorable childhood moments […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 6, 2011 No Comment
Times of India: Just Kidding?

This was the “SMS Joke of the Day” in the Times Of India yesterday:

“Charlie Sheen is really coming to Lilo’s [Lindsay Lohan’s] defense. In fact, he’s set up a website asking the media to leave her alone. The site is doing good, it’s almost received as many hits […]

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Written By: daveski on February 4, 2011 4 Comments
“Thank you, Mr. Safeway Shopper”, or, The Joy of a Categorical Identity

For a long time, I’ve had a thing against the way that Safeway has its cashiers personalize customers’ encounters at check-out time. Or, maybe I shouldn’t just call them “customers”, because, after all, we are card-carrying members, only able to get the real price on dozens of items if we sign over our names and […]

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Written By: daveski on November 15, 2010 6 Comments
The Top Words of 2010: Non-English Edition

I saw news from the good folks over at Langology that the Global Language Monitor has already published its Top Words of 2010 list. The top 3 results they list from their “annual global survey of the English language” are: “Spillcam”, from the BP oil spill coverage; “vuvuzela” of World Cup […]

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Written By: Jonathan Haddad on October 27, 2010 3 Comments
Will Allen Iverson learn Turkish?

While many of us here in the Bay Area are amped up for Game 1 of the World Series, myself, I am more excited about the start of the NBA season, and my favorite team, the Wizards, opening night match-up with the Orlando Magic.

Kevin Seraphin, a native of French Guyana, must be […]

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Written By: daveski on September 28, 2010 No Comment
Worlds in words, on the word world map

If you can say that three times fast, then please read on… : )

This post accompanies the Word Map page that’s linked in the header of the FIT homepage. Sirpa and I were inspired by the activities listed on the website for the European Day of Languages to make a few fun […]

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