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Written By: daveski on April 6, 2010 No Comment

There’s a new blog on campus: The Golden Bears Blog features a dozen student volunteer bloggers organized by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions to depict student life at Berkeley and attract new students. It was featured in this article from the UC Berkeley NewsCenter, and we just added […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on April 1, 2010 No Comment
Vwl tg n Gml!

Gml rlsd ths sttmnt v ts ffcl blg ths mrnng:

“At 6:01 am Pacific Time, during routine maintenance at one of our datacenters, the frontend web servers in that particular datacenter started failing to render the letter ‘a’ for a subset of users. As error rates escalated, the strain spread to other […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on April 1, 2010 No Comment
Google Translate for Animals!

Incredibly exciting news for those of us who’ve been waiting with bated breath to find a device that will translate what our pets are saying. Communicate with animals with this groundbreaking technology courtesy of Google, in only 8 steps. Click on the image to find out more!

And, oh….

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 20, 2010 No Comment

Interesting piece on blogging in the New York Review of Books, entitled “Blogging, Now and Then“:

Whether exchanged orally in a café, scribbled on a scrap of paper, or combined as paragraphs in a newssheet, anecdotes operated as the primary unit in a system of communication. Many of them found their way […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 18, 2010 1 Comment
It’s Funny Cuz it’s in Chinese?

I was browsing the Huffington Post this morning, when the following story caught my eye on the home page: The Funniest Newspaper Corrections: Retracting The Ridiculous (PICTURES). One of the graphics is the following:

I couldn’t see what was so funny about it, so I clicked on the “Source” link, a site called more→

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 3, 2010 No Comment

For kicks, I just searched Google News for the term “dialect,” and found this letter to the Editor in the The Barbados Advocate. I am reproducing it in full, italics mine:

Classroom not the place for dialect


I was somewhat dismayed to read the report of the address given by a University professor on the subject […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 3, 2010 No Comment

In a recent radio segment, Rush Limbaugh made the following comment:

“Obama can turn on that black dialect when he wants to and turn it off.”

This particular comment is provoked by Obama’s pronunciation of the word “ask” during the President’s talk with state governors. Hendrik […]

Written By: daveski on March 1, 2010 No Comment

Looking for inspiration on a Monday morning? Check out Words Without Borders’ March issue, on international poetry!

Written By: daveski on February 27, 2010 No Comment

When words are immutable“–an article by Usama Hasan from The Guardian, in response to the question “Are religious texts lost in translation?”, being passed around Twitter today. Hasan wrestles with the contentious issue of the (possibility) of translation of the Qur’an, concluding in the end that “the best translation of its teachings is […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 17, 2010 No Comment

for Google? Here’s what’s up:

Google may be earning an alleged $500 million a year via companies and individuals who register deceptive website addresses.

The claim centres on a controversial scheme known as “typosquatting“, the practice of registering a misspelled variant of a popular web domain. For example, a typosquatter might register “newscientsist.com” in […]

Written By: daveski on February 16, 2010 No Comment

The National Capital Language Resource Center’s “Culture Shocks” blog is offering prizes for 200-word-or-less vignettes of culture shock experiences that get published on their blog. Take a look at the stories there–and post yours here on FIT, too, while you’re at it! 🙂

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 5, 2010 No Comment

Want to drink a Bruichladdich? Scared to order it? Well then, this article published in the Food section of the Atlantic Online is the one for you!

Written By: daveski on February 4, 2010 No Comment

Have you been learning a language recently? Are you trying not to forget one? Do you have other thoughts or experiences about language, language learning, or language teaching that you’d like to talk about? FIT’s having a get-to-know-you meeting tomorrow (2/5) at 2pm in room 34 Dwinelle.

We’re hoping that there are others out […]

Written By: daveski on February 4, 2010 No Comment

The 36th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society is going to be happening on the UCB campus this weekend, February 6-7. There are several different session formats planned, and invited speakers include John McCarthy, Peter Daniels, Lyle Campbell, and Richard Sproat. Check it out!

Written By: daveski on February 2, 2010 No Comment

FIT celebrates the official launch of the student-run Berkeley Review of Education. Congratulations to al the volunteers at the GSE who have made this happen!

From the editors:

We are excited to announce the publication of the inaugural issue of the Berkeley Review of Education. The journal can be accessed free online at more→

Written By: daveski on January 26, 2010 No Comment

We’ve just added some language events to the Languages@Berkeley calendar (see the “Calendar” link at the top of the FIT page for a full calendar view, or scroll down and look in the right-hand column for the line-by-line summary).

Here are a few coming up:

Lecture by Vincent Gillespie: Meat, Metaphor, and Mysticism: […]

Written By: daveski on January 25, 2010 1 Comment

Today @langology on Twitter posted a link from 2006 that still seems pertinent today, as the word “linguist” continues to be misused in popular discourse to mean “language cop”, “polyglot”, or worse. This article from boston.com News introduces the writing, work, and thought of Geoffrey Pullum and Mark Liberman, regular bloggers […]

Written By: daveski on January 21, 2010 2 Comments

The Berkeley Language Center’s Spring 2010 lecture series–featuring Professors Andrew Cohen (U of Minnesota), Jerrold Cooper, (Johns Hopkins U), Lera Boroditsky (Stanford), and the BLC Fellows Anna Maria Bellezza, Usree Bhattacharya, Minsook Kim, and Jason Vivrette–has been added to the Languages@Berkeley calendar. Check back with the BLC for more details, and […]

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Written By: daveski on January 17, 2010 No Comment

This New York Times article by Anand Giriharadas, “Language as a Blunt Tool of the Digital Age“, makes some interesting associations between the use of digital communication tools like text messaging, Twitter, and blogs, on one hand, and a global business environment in which a ‘simplified’ version of English is in ascendance, on […]

Written By: daveski on January 14, 2010 2 Comments

Several days ago I posted an aside mentioning the UC Consortium for Language Learning and Teaching’s upcoming conference (April 23-25 at UCSD); the deadline’s been extended to Feb. 5 (first extended to Feb. 1), for anyone (like me) who’s been dragging their feet to get the application in.

Hope to see you there!

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