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February 2009

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 27, 2009 1 Comment

Researchers at the University of Reading, led by evolutionary theorist Mark Pagel, claim to have come up with an elementary “Stone Age phrasebook” comprising some of the oldest words, and to have mapped out the evolution of many words through comparisons between the Indo-European family of languages over a 30,000 year period. The […]

Written By: daveski on February 26, 2009 3 Comments

Perusing the FIT calendar and checking my own schedule I notice a rarity in the language-at-Berkeley universe: two great-looking events going on at the same time:

1. BLC Spring 2009 Lecture Series — Alice Gaby, Professor, Department of Linguistics, UC Berkeley
Talk title: “When is West? Talking and Thinking about Time and Space”
When: Fri, February 27, […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 26, 2009 2 Comments

One of the most fascinating aspects of my ethnographic work in a orphanage in a Hindu ashram in a satellite town of New Delhi, India, is the multilingual setting. The kids, to recap quickly, are first language Bengali speakers, second language Hindi speakers, attend an English medium school, and take part in mandatory 4 hour […]

Written By: Youki on February 26, 2009 3 Comments
The negotiation of non-negotiable identities

In a recent talk by Claire Kramsch, she said: “Transcultural competence is not the bland coexistence of multiple cultures under the happy banners of diversity. It is the much more risky circulation of values across historical and ideological timescales; the negotiation of non-negotiable identities and beliefs.”  

What does it mean to negotiate the […]

Written By: daveski on February 24, 2009 8 Comments

ありがとうございます(arigatou gozaimasu) = “Thank you very much”.




Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 24, 2009 5 Comments
2,500 Languages Endangered

Last Thursday, UNESCO unveiled the new (online) Atlas of World Languages, claiming that 2,500 (36%) of the 6,900 languages spoken worldwide are endangered. The top three countries facing the loss of the most languages are: 1. India (with 196 endangered languages); 2. The United States (with 192); and Indonesia (with 147).

Nearly 200 languages […]

Written By: daveski on February 23, 2009 5 Comments

“There is no difference between marks and words in the sense that there is between observation and accepted authority, or between verifiable fact and tradition. The process is everywhere the same: that of the sign and its likeness, and this is why nature and the word can intertwine with one another to infinity, forming, for […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 22, 2009 10 Comments

ए. आर. रहमान को बहुत बहुत बधाई हो. उनकी वजह से आज बहुत लोगों की ज़बान पर हिन्दी है.

जय हो!

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 21, 2009 2 Comments

This past Thursday, I attended Language Matters: Strengthening Asian and Pacific Islander Language Education at Berkeley. The stated aim of the event, according to the program brochure, was “to promote the creation of majors and minors for marginalized API languages like Korean, Tagalog, Thai, Tamil, Vietnamese, Khmer, etc, and to promote labor equity for […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 20, 2009 2 Comments

The economic crisis: innovatively visualized and textualized by Jonathan Jarvis. Brilliant.

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 20, 2009 No Comment

Bleeding pixels hit your screen! It’s created by “messing around with video compression keyframes and roughing up the data until a beautiful, choppy, psychedelic mess ensues.”

Check out “Evident Utensil” by Chairlift:

and Kanye West‘s new release, “Welcome to Heartbreak” :

KANYE WEST “Welcome To Heartbreak” Directed by Nabil from nabil elderkin on […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 20, 2009 8 Comments

An article in ABC News Online a few weeks ago began: “To see the effects of racism based on skin color most clearly, one should go to the developing world. In richer countries people are increasingly comfortable, and successful, regardless of their natural skin color, but in many African countries like Senegal, trying to […]

Written By: daveski on February 20, 2009 1 Comment

Yesterday I came across this announcement about a summer course in comparative education that’ll be offered through UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. While the course sounds interesting for its content–liberation theology, popular education, social movements from Latin American contexts–the real kicker is that this course is in Spanish. […]

Written By: daveski on February 19, 2009 No Comment

Hello community FIT,

Tomorrow Usree, Youki, and I will be meeting at the Bear’s Lair (UCB campus, near the intersection of Bancroft and Telegraph Aves.) for sliders and beverages, carbonated or otherwise, to talk about recent language-related events on campus, technology in the language classroom (like, have you heard about the upcoming Language Technology […]

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Written By: daveski on February 18, 2009 No Comment

The Berkeley Language Center has announced its Spring 2009 Lecture Series. The lineup is as follows:

Feb. 27: Alice Gaby (UCB): “When is West? Talking and Thinking about Time and Space”
Mar. 4: José del Valle (CUNY): “Everybody’s Usage: The Politics of Grammar in the Hispanofonia”
Mar. 19: James Coleman (Open Univ., UK): “New Perspectives on Study Abroad: […]

Written By: Youki on February 17, 2009 3 Comments

100 days ago, Dave Malinowski was announced as a finalist in the 2008 Blogging Scholarship.  Since then, FIT has grown considerably, both in readership and in the content offered.   A few random facts for the 100-day period:

The FIT admins have sent 2144 emails to each other.  That is not a typo.  There are probably a […]

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Written By: Youki on February 17, 2009 9 Comments

Bobbie Johnson, writer for the UK Guardian’s Technology Blog, recently wrote an article entitled “Why aren’t ebooks taking off? Not enough pirates” in which he examines the role of piracy in the conversion from analog to digital music, video, and books:

Everyone’s looking at the pattern they’ve seen in music and video – an […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 16, 2009 2 Comments
Top Blog?

Bryan Appleyard of Times UK gives us the Top 100 Blogs in the world.

Find out if Found in Translation made it by clicking here.

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 16, 2009 No Comment
Roald Dahl’s Writing Hut!

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Center has created an online interactive site that allows you to explore the private “Writing Hut” where he did his writing. The site offers interactive features like allowing you to click on different objects to find out more about them, and “Ideas Book” buttons which allow you to guess […]

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 16, 2009 3 Comments

The last thing I wanted to do on a cold, rainy, windy night was to venture out for a late-night movie experience. But a Brazilian friend’s rather last minute invitation to watch the critically acclaimed movie “Slumdog Millionaire” was too compelling. As we rushed over to Emeryville for the last show of the night, I […]

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