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Articles tagged with: language

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: Usree Bhattacharya on April 11, 2011 1 Comment

Education First, “The World Leader in International Education” (as it calls itself) released what it called “the world’s first index to compare the English-language ability of adults in different countries,” which caused a flurry of excitement in the international news media. You can download the full report here. The report, compiled based […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on October 6, 2010 No Comment

LA Times reports on this story:

A previously unknown language has been uncovered in the far reaches of northeastern India, researchers reported Tuesday. Koro, a tongue brand-new to the scientific world that is spoken by just 800 to 1,200 people, could soon face extinction as younger speakers abandon it […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on July 27, 2010 No Comment
Unmarked Multilingualism?

In doing literature review for language socialization research in the Indian context, I found a provocative chapter written by Mohanty (2006) via the good folks at Google Scholar. This paragraph stood out:

In India, presence of many languages is natural and unmarked in all forms of social and individual communicative acts. Quite early […]

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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 […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on April 5, 2010 1 Comment

Last Monday, I joined in the Jewish ritual feast of Seder, an event which marks the beginning of Passover. It was my very first time being a part of the celebration of Seder, and so I “prepped” by thumbing through a pop-up explanatory children’s book (in English): and of course, Wikipedia was an […]

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Written By: Nicko on February 7, 2010 3 Comments

Few years ago, when I was an undergraduate student learning Korean, one of my professors started his methodology class about Korean studies with these two questions: Where is “Korea”? What do you call “Korea”?

Back then, everyone was quite sure about the answer and was wondering why a professor would ask that kind of question to […]

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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: aaminahm on May 1, 2009 9 Comments

I was born Shanga Nomusa White.  Everyone called me Nomusa. Nomusa is Zulu for with grace or kindness. I didn’t realize until I was much older that I was named after my father whose name is Musa. Musa is Arabic for Moses. He changed his name when he converted to Islam. I, followed suit.

Well, actually […]

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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 January 21, 2009 2 Comments

Ravi, a gifted young peacock-fan seller from the slums of Mumbai, is a GENIUS. He picked up bits and pieces of 13 different languages from tourists he sells to…watch it!

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Written By: daveski on January 20, 2009 1 Comment

(Photo above linked to NYT article mentioned below)

The second most popular story in the New York Times today, the day of the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, is about language and reading: “From Books, New President Found Voice“, writes Michiko Kakutani.

The article draws parallels between […]

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Written By: Youki on December 13, 2008 13 Comments

In an earlier post, Usree linked a youtube video comparing Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” to Joe Satriani’s “If I Could Fly.”  A background in music theory/composition will tell you that the majority of modern, mainstream music is based off a few pretty common chord progressions (copying the melody and tempo, however, is a completely […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on December 8, 2008 2 Comments
Signs from Around the World!

A really amazing Flickrite, Tony Bowden, has compiled a massive gallery of signs from around the world. Check it out here. [Hat tip: Chris Bodenner.] Looking at the signs he has collected, I was reminded of a very interesting sign I took a picture of, at a park in New Delhi, India, […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on December 4, 2008 3 Comments

The New York Times‘ book blog, the aptly titled “Paper Cuts,” carries a post about a recent UC Press book entitled “One Thousand Languages: Living, Endangered, and Lost,” edited by Peter K. Austin. The description includes this alarming line: “There are more than six thousand languages used around the world today, although […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on December 2, 2008 3 Comments

Crazy Indian Video….Buffalaxed:

Youki: Usree, I came across this video and I was extremely reluctant to share it with you, because of how extremely offensive it was.
Usree: Extremely?
Youki: [Nervous laughter]
Usree: Okay…I love offensive…er “stuff.”
Youki: [Looking away, still nervous]: I actually saw it a couple of days ago. And uh wasn’t [laughter][ gonna send it to […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on December 1, 2008 2 Comments

Today’s Wall Street Journal carries an opinion piece that calls out “many [in the] prominent Western media [for being] reluctant to call the [Mumbai] perpetrators terrorists.” He accuses the BBC of being “anti-Semitic” and the New York Times “disgraceful,” in their coverage of the Mumbai terrorist attacks. He further criticizes journalists for attempting to […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on November 27, 2008 2 Comments
Life Between Terrorist Strikes

Minutes ago, on the NDTV live feed covering the Mumbai terror strike I’ve been riveted to for the past 24 hours, Rahul Bose, the renowned Indian actor, (demanding of an Indian politician) asked what quality of life Indians could expect between terrorist strikes. The larger context of his question dealt with what steps […]

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Written By: Usree Bhattacharya on November 23, 2008 7 Comments

The Indian government recently decided to confer “classic” status to a select few languages, using the yardstick that a language has to have been around at least 1500 years in order to make the cut. The official designation of a language as “classic” comes with a sizable grant to be used for its […]

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