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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on September 29, 2010 No Comment

Which words does Google Instant blacklist?

Check out the story here.

Written By: daveski on September 28, 2010 No Comment

The Center for the Art of Translation and LitQuake present an event that you might expect to find on a blog called Found in Translation–a panel discussion entitled “What Should I Read in Translation?”, featuring translators Chana Kronfeld, Kareem Abu-Zeid, Alissa Valles, and Eric Selland, and moderated by Scott Esposito. To […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on September 23, 2010 No Comment

CAPTCHAs go commercial!

Written By: daveski on September 9, 2010 No Comment

Happy Friday!

If you have a language or cultural topic you’re curious to talk about or would like to try blogging about, or if you’d like to meet and share stories about your names in other languages and English, come to Caffe Strada anytime from 2:30 to 4, in the patio area outside.

It’d be […]

Written By: daveski on August 11, 2010 No Comment

If you find yourself wanting to savor a little more of the summertime AND also ease yourself into the semester mindset, you might like to take a look at the reading list introduced in an article on the BLC website, “Late Summer Reads“. Comments and additions are welcome there, if you’ve got readings […]

Written By: Youki on August 6, 2010 1 Comment

from CrunchGear:

Google Books is one of the most straightforward projects in the Google meta-project of cataloguing and indexing every piece of data in the world. The human race has, after all, only been literate for around five or six thousand years, which makes the task measurable, if not easy. The project is also interesting […]

Written By: daveski on July 28, 2010 2 Comments

¿Saben Uds. cómo se dice “carrot” en español? Do you know the words for vegetables, fruits, and other foods in Spanish? Today is Super Miércoles–Super Wednesday–at Mi Tierra Foods in West Berkeley, where you can read product labels in both Spanish and English. Check out this article and interview with Mi Tierra manager […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on July 25, 2010 1 Comment

Check out this article in the New York Times about the spread of English among school kids in Indonesia. Money quote:

“Indonesia’s linguistic legacy is increasingly under threat as growing numbers of wealthy and upper-middle-class families shun public schools where Indonesian remains the main language but English is often taught poorly. They […]

Written By: daveski on July 19, 2010 No Comment

The Center for African Studies at UC Berkeley invites you to take a class in an African language this Fall 2010 semester, including:

Elementary Zulu
Elementary Chichewa
Elementary Wolof
Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced Swahili

Class times, Course Control Numbers, and more information is available on this PDF file. Contact Amma Oduro (amma AT berkeley DOT edu) […]

Written By: daveski on June 10, 2010 No Comment

Referees are brushing up on swear words in 17 languages for World Cup starting tomorrow, according to this article from the New York Times. The player to listen for in U.S.-England match: English striker Wayne Rooney, say the potty mouth experts.

Translation project, anyone?


Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on June 7, 2010 No Comment

The Research Digest blog highlights a recent study, where:

“researchers say we’ve adopted a number of habits of convenience that reflect the frequent use of positive words in our language (in turn reflecting the greater frequency of positivity in the world). For example, positive words tend to be ‘unmarked’ – that is, the positive is […]

Written By: daveski on June 3, 2010 No Comment

Christine Kenneally’s NewScientist article (“Language lessons: You are what you speak“) following the work of Nicholas Evans of the Australian National University in Canberra and Stephen Levinson of the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, the Netherlands points to an age-old (or at least decades-old) question: Do all […]

Written By: daveski on May 12, 2010 No Comment

LexioPhiles has been moving along with its Top 100 Language Blogs competition; although FIT’s not on the list, FIT readers might be interested in checking out the nominees and voting in these different categories:

Language learning blogs
Language teaching blogs
Language technology blogs
Language professional blogs

The results will be aggregated by […]

Written By: daveski on May 9, 2010 3 Comments

Did you ever wonder why the word for “mother” in so many languages features the sound “ma”? Here’s a nice article courtesy of Langology (Facebook link; “@langology” on Twitter) in recognition of Mother’s Day.

And today’s special occasion for moms makes me wonder about a bunch of things related […]

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Written By: markkaiser on April 29, 2010 No Comment

I came across interesting data on home language use (hat tip, Rich Robin) here:

A few highlights:

Of all the states, California has the highest percent (42%) of the population speaking a language other than English at home.
In the US the top ten languages spoken at home are (in order) Spanish, Chinese, French, Tagalog (!), […]

Written By: daveski on April 28, 2010 2 Comments

Are you a.) creative b.) artistic c.) romantic d.) disposessed e.) expressive, or f.) just plain cool? Tomorrow is Poem in Your Pocket Day!!! Here are the instructions (thanks, Billette!!):

Print/write out your favorite “pome”, tuck it into your pocket (wallet, purse, thong, etc.) with it poking out, and […]

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Written By: daveski on April 26, 2010 3 Comments

In his column in the Washington Post, “Why waste time on a foreign language?” Jay Mathews argues that much foreign language education in high school is a waste of time–this after mentioning that two of his own children “were serious Spanish students…and today, as adults, use the language at […]

Written By: Marie Joelle Yveline Thuillier on April 26, 2010 1 Comment

The event will take place in 370 Dwinelle from 3:00 to 5:30pm.

Written By: Marie Joelle Yveline Thuillier on April 26, 2010 3 Comments

Check out this article!

Written By: fee on April 16, 2010 No Comment

“Girl Wakes From Coma Speaking New Language”

A Croatian teenager from the southern town of Knin awoke from a 24-hour coma speaking fluent German. She had been studying the language in school and watching television programs in German but was just a beginner.” see article for more ….

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