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Articles tagged with: English

Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on May 28, 2009 2 Comments
Indian Sign Stores

This afternoon, I had occasion to visit some “sign stores” in a neighboring village in a New Delhi suburb. We needed stamp pads (it’s a long, dull, inconsequential, and utterly irrelevant story why), and so, this hot afternoon-it was around 104°F, with 25% humidity-we trekked over to the village. The “LADIES TOILET” (or, the “Ladies/महिला”/”Women” […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on May 10, 2009 1 Comment

मैं दिल्ली में एक अनाथाश्रम गयी दो साल पहले. वहां कुछ बच्चों के साथ मैंने बात की. मैं उन्हें अंग्रेजी सीखने के बारे में पूछ रही थी. सब बच्चे बोल रहे थे की वे सोचते थे कि अंग्रेजी सीखने से ही वे कुछ बन सकते हैं. इंटरव्यू के बीच में एक बच्चे ने पूछा, […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on May 8, 2009 1 Comment

Samajwadi Party (a regional Indian party) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s campaign promise to abolish the use of English, “angrezi hatao” (Remove English) in UP (Uttar Pradesh, a north Indian state) has been causing quite a bit of tumult. Mulayam specifically promised “to ban English in education and computers in new projects.” My parents […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on May 4, 2009 No Comment

From the Lion King, one line from the Hula Song in 17 languages: Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Mex. Spanish, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, and Swedish. A video tailor-made for FIT!

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on April 30, 2009 2 Comments

So instead of writing a post inspired by a rereading of Bourdieu’s concept of habitus, I thought I would have a little more fun with my iMovie, and “vlog” instead of blogging. Here’s a short reflection on habitus through the scripts I have inhabited….and which have inhabited me.

Music: Jacques Dutronc, “Les cactus”

Habitus from […]

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Written By: aaminahm on April 29, 2009 5 Comments
Arablish, the New Muslim Cool

On Sunday Jen, a fellow CAL student, and I went to the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF) at the Sundance (formerly the Kabuki) to view New Muslim Cool. This film is a documentary about Islam, Muslim youth, identity, and Hip Hop culture. I found out about the screening because it was on my friend’s […]

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Written By: aaminahm on April 24, 2009 5 Comments

According to Delta Airlines the price to pay for Islamophobia is $25.00. For those of you who might remember, I posted a blog “Do You Speak English?” about an incident that occurred on a Northwest  ( a Delta subsidiary) flight from Minneapolis to Columbus on April 2, 2009.

During that flight the only attendant questioned me […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on April 21, 2009 1 Comment

In reading On Phenomenology and Social Relations, I was struck by some glorious lines Alfred Schutz (1970) penned on language. You find these lines in the chapter entitled Social Means of Orientation and Interpretation, which begins by situating language in the context of culture:

“In order to command a language freely as a scheme […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on April 9, 2009 12 Comments

A Republican Texan legislator, Betty Brown, created an uproar Tuesday by suggesting, during House Elections Committee testimony, that Asian-American voters should use names which are “easier for Americans to deal with.” Ramey Ko, a rep for the Organization of Chinese Americans, had earlier stated “that people of Chinese, Japanese and Korean descent often have […]

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Written By: daveski on April 8, 2009 No Comment

A reminder from the calendar page: Stanton WorthamProfessor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania, will be giving a talk today as part of the Berkeley Language Center’s lecture series:

Hillbilly Spanish and Tarzan English: Ideologies of Mexican Immigrant Language 

The talk is in B-4 Dwinelle Hall, 3-5 p.m., […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 15, 2009 2 Comments

Last night, I was interviewed in a radio segment for a show entitled “Four Elements,” to discuss the importance of “Fire” in Hinduism. The idea behind the show is to explore the importance of the four basic elements-earth, wind, fire, water-in different cultures. First off, Hindus recognize five elements: the four listed above, and sky. […]

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Written By: daveski on March 14, 2009 No Comment

Here’s a guest post from Maya Smith in the beginning stages of her voyages across the globe. She’s in India now and as I’ve been pestering her to write about it for FIT she posted this to her blog “Big Bang 2009” and let me cross-post here…amazing stories from a fluent speaker of […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 9, 2009 1 Comment

An article by Neelabh Mishra entitled “An Awadhi Lilt For Obama: Let’s realise that language bridges make for creative cohesion,” appearing in this fortnight’s issue of Outlook, an Indian news magazine, caught my attention today. The title was immediately interesting to me: I was curious about how Awadhi (अवधी), a dialect of Hindi […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 7, 2009 38 Comments

A recent post on Lexiblog has a list of the top ten languages hardest to learn, according to “language enthusiasts”:

1. Icelandic
2. Russian or Mandarin
3. Arabic
4. Mandarin
5. Hungarian
6. English
7. Hindi
8. Cantonese
9. Chinese
10. Tamil

What are some of the hardest languages YOU have acquired? What made them hard?

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on March 5, 2009 No Comment

Or does he? According to the Canadian Globe and Mail,

Barack Obama’s supposed grammatical gaffes have stirred up the hornet’s nest of disagreement between grammarians and historians, and we’re back to arguing about an old topic: I and me.”

Shall we stand by the president? Between you and I, or…err…you and me, I think […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on February 1, 2009 5 Comments
Road Signs: International Edition

This has been a rather eventful month for road signs across the globe, so here’s a short round up of some of the more interesting news that caught my attention in January..

The Birmingham City Council, UK, has decided to drop possessive apostrophes from road signs, to the dismay of many, particularly the Apostrophe […]

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

The Mudra Institute of Communications in Ahmedabad (MICA) recently organized a popular conference on the phenomenon known as Hinglish. According to conference organizer Rita Kotharu, “Hinglish has been around for some time now, but it tends to be dismissed as the preserve of those who know neither English nor Hindi well. It now […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on January 11, 2009 1 Comment

Youki and I found this great multilingual rendition of “Happy Birthday” on Youtube that we wanted to share with our fellow FITizens:

Sublime, huh? We wish everyone born today-a day picked oh so randomly-a very happy birthday.

Oh, and Fitzy, unwilling to be left out, offered this.

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