Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

The 10 Oldest Languages Still Spoken In The World Today

“Language evolution is like biological evolution – it happens minutely, generation by generation, so there’s no distinct breaking point between one language and the next language that develops from it. Therefore, it’s impossible to say that one language is really older than any other one; they’re all as old as humanity itself. That said, each of the languages below has a little something special—something ancient—to differentiate it from the masses.”

Read more @ https://theculturetrip.com/asia/india/articles/the-10-oldest-languages-still-spoken-in-the-world-today/

Languages do matter!

Statement by the Prime Minister on la Fête nationale du Québec and Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day

“Ottawa, Ontario

June 24, 2017

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on la Fête nationale du Québec and Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day:

“Today, on la Fête nationale du Québec, Sophie and I join our fellow Quebecers to proudly celebrate the unique history and identity of Quebec. As we gather with family and friends, we honour this proud and dynamic culture that makes Quebec prosper.

“On Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, we also join Francophones across the country to celebrate our language, heritage and traditions.

“The French language and francophone culture are foundational to our country, and they continue to shape our values, our aspirations and our Canadian identity. Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the essential contributions Francophones have made to build the diverse, strong and inclusive country that we all call home.

‘On behalf of our family, Sophie and I offer our best wishes to Quebecers, Francophones and all those celebrating la Fête nationale du Québec and Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day.'”

 

Read more @ http://pm.gc.ca/eng/news/2017/06/24/statement-prime-minister-la-fete-nationale-du-quebec-and-saint-jean-baptiste-day

Languages do matter!

Belgium fights for its famous fries after EU deems them unsafe

“Belgium’s government says a new proposal by the European Union could spell disaster for the country’s world-famous fries.

“We adore our fries the way we make them, so just let us do so for the next 100 years, because the last hundred years it wasn’t a problem, so why should it be a problem now?” Flemish Tourism Minister Ben Weyts told Carol Off, host of CBC Radio’s As It Happens.

Traditionally, Belgian fries, are twice fried in fat. First, they go in raw to generate a soft, fluffy interior. Then they are refried at a higher temperature to create a crispy, golden exterior.

This raw-fry process sets Belgian fries apart from soft and chunky British chips, or the sleek and thin fries preferred by the French.”

Read more @ http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-tuesday-edition-1.4169254/belgium-fights-for-its-famous-fries-after-eu-deems-them-unsafe-1.4169259

Languages do matter!

Bilingual? In These States, That Could Land You a Good Job

“‘Now you’re speaking my language.’ That’s something we all want to hear from an employer when we’re interviewing. Of course, that can have multiple meanings, particularly if you’re a bilingual candidate. Employers, now more than ever, need applicants who can speak multiple languages. Traditionally that would’ve mostly centered on the Spanish language, but globalization is creating a need for those who can speak Mandarin, French, and many others.

The ability to speak multiple languages is tied with boosts in earnings. Depending on what languages you know, you could increase your salary by up to 3.8%, according to an MIT economist. That might not sound like a lot, but when you compound it over time it can add up.

But it’s not just your earnings you should be concerned about. It’s the ability to get a job in the first place.”

Read more @ http://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/bilingual-these-states-land-you-good-job.html/?utm_source=AOL_cpc&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=widget

Languages do matter!

9,500 TEDx Views — of the U.S. Foreign Language Deficit — Thank You! :)

Over 9,500 views of my TEDx talk on the U.S. Foreign Language Deficit.  Many thanks to all of you have taken the time to view.

Special thanks to Dean Kenneth Vehrkens, Ronald Calisssi, and Deborah Fredericks of FDU’s Petrocelli College for inviting me to participate.

Languages do matter!

Brexit one year on proves it has been a diabolical and costly waste of time

“LONDON — It has been exactly one year since Britain voted to leave the European Union and all that this year has proven is that Brexit has been a deeply costly waste of time.”

Read more @ http://www.businessinsider.com/brexit-anniversary-analysis-sector-impact-jobs-economy-immigration-2017-6

Languages do matter!

The town that split the world in two

“It was here that the stage was set for Brazil to become the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas.

At first glance, Tordesillas, a small city on the banks of the Duero River in the Valladolid Province of Spain, seems perfectly ordinary. It has an old quarter with a well-preserved Plaza Mayor and churches that date back to medieval times. But mention it in San Paolo, Cartagena, or any other Central or South American city and many will immediately recognise its name. It was here in 1494 that Spain (then the Kingdom of Castile) and Portugal divided lands they had yet to find – and thus set the stage for Brazil to become the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Americas.”

Read more @ http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20170615-the-town-that-split-the-world-in-two

Languages do matter!

Foreign language ‘emergency’ hinders U.S. economy and foreign policy, report warns

“The inability of too many Americans to learn or speak anything but English constitutes a foreign language “emergency” that could end up harming the economy and impairing U.S. foreign policy, according to a survey.

Only 20.7 percent of American adults can speak a foreign language — compared with 66 percent of all European adults who know more than one language, says “America’s Languages,” a report released in March by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The findings were discussed this week at a briefing hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations.”

Read more @ http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jun/15/foreign-language-learning-disparity-an-american-em/?utm_content=buffer8d837&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Languages do matter!

The Hidden Treasures in Italian Libraries

“In Florence, Rome and beyond, these buildings are a feast not only
for book lovers, but for art and architecture enthusiasts as well.

Only in Italy, I reflected, and only in a library could I stand, alone and undisturbed, in the center of a great city and peer into the mind of genius.”

Read more @ https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/travel/italian-libraries-hidden-treasures-books-architecture-art.html?hpw&rref=travel&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=well-region®ion=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well

Languages do matter!

Dutch Shares Stage With Frisian in European Parliament

“European Parliament is dedicating a session to Europe’s minority languages, and Frisian is getting its big debut on the Parliament floor, according to Dutch News.

The Frisian languages are a closely related group of Germanic languages, and has about 500,000 speakers who live in the Netherlands and Germany. There are three types of Frisian (West Frisian, Saterland Frisian, and North Frisian). Saterland and North Frisian are officially recognized and protected as minority languages in Germany, while West Frisian is one of the two official languages of the Netherlands, the other being Dutch.”

Read more @ https://www.languagemagazine.com/2017/06/frisian-debuts-european-parliament/

Languages do matter!