Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: August 2013

Vive le Terroir

Vive le Terroir

“The importance of terroir to the French psyche and self-image is difficult to overestimate, because it is a concept almost untranslatable, combining soil, weather, region and notions of authenticity, of genuineness and particularity — of roots, and home — in contrast to globalized products designed to taste the same everywhere.”

Vive le Terroir

Vive le Terroir

“The importance of terroir to the French psyche and self-image is difficult to overestimate, because it is a concept almost untranslatable, combining soil, weather, region and notions of authenticity, of genuineness and particularity — of roots, and home — in contrast to globalized products designed to taste the same everywhere.”

Bill seeks to make English official language of Wisconsin

Bill seeks to make English official language of Wisconsin

“Another legislator is making another attempt to make English the official language of Wisconsin.”

The English language is literally spiralling exponentially out of the control of pedants

The English language is literally spiralling exponentially out of the control of pedants

“Opinion: a word now seems to mean what a lot of people think it might mean.”

The Black Box of Second-Language Acquisition

The Black Box of Second-Language Acquisition

“I’ve come to believe that nailing the optimal method is not as important as continuing to put one foot in front of the other. In other words, I think, above all, you’ve got to find some method that keeps you practicing regularly over a long period of time.”

Learning New Language Has Significant Impact on Brain Structure

Learning New Language Has Significant Impact on Brain Structure

“The age at which children learn a new language can have a significant impact on the adult brain structure, suggests a new finding.”

The Most Useful Business Languages

The Most Useful Business Languages

The 2011 report from Bloomberg — English, Mandarin Chinese, and French top the list.  🙂

Myths in language translation for business

Myths in language translation for business

Translation of your business messages into foreign languages could seem easy with the Internet at your fingertips.

However, the Internet will often translate your messages quite literally. They will not rephrase them to make them more readable, nor check the grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary and expressions that might be local to a particular market.

When you write for a country or region of the world, you must localise the meanings and intents of metaphors and statements and make your words natural to the reader in order to be taken seriously as a real business constituent.”

French Language To Be Part Of UTME As From 2014 – Minister

French Language To Be Part Of UTME As From 2014 – Minister – See more at: http://leadership.ng/news/300813/french-language-be-part-utme-2014-minister#sthash.G7H2QtT3.dpuf

“‘Being multi-lingual in the 21st Century was essential as it helps individuals to operate more effectively in the international community’. ‘For Nigeria, the study of French language is quite a key, considering the fact that our neighbouring countries are French-speaking.’ ‘Apart from the English language, French language is one of the major international languages.'”

(UTME=Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination)

Spy agencies have fewer than 2,000 people proficient in Middle Eastern languages

Spy agencies have fewer than 2,000 people proficient in Middle Eastern languages

“Given the high level of US engagement in the Middle East, you might expect Middle Eastern languages to be a top priority.

Even combining Arabic speakers with other regional languages like Persian, Pashto, and Urdu (which are in the “other” category in this chart) still brings the total to around 1,900, less than one-fifth of the payments for foreign language proficiency.

Also surprising, given China’s size and geopolitical importance: only 903 people in the intelligence community are proficient in Chinese languages.”