Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: October 2013

Halloween in France

Halloween in France

“Halloween in France is rather controversial, due to the perception of corporate and cultural influence, as well as the fact that it is not a typical French holiday.”

Language and culture do matter!

Faculty Cuts at East Stroudsburg

Faculty Cuts at East Stroudsburg

“The cuts continue in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. East  Stroudsburg State University has announced that it is eliminating 15 tenured and  tenure-track positions, The  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The university also plans to close  its movement studies and lifetime fitness department and to place a moratorium  on bachelor’s degrees in music and in French.


Policy needs to change to address the US and UK’s language deficits

Policy needs to change to address the US and UK’s language deficits

“Monoglot Britons and Americans must begin to accept that they can’t be complete global citizens without language skills.”

Languages do matter!

Half of Hungarian parents expect their children to work abroad

Half of Hungarian parents expect their children to work abroad

“Almost half of all Hungarian parents believe their children could be tempted to seek work abroad as the country continues to struggle against high unemployment in the 15 to 24 age range, according to a new poll.

The survey by Jobline, one of Hungary’s largest job advertisement websites, found that many families expect their offspring to be employed outside Hungary for an average one-to-two years.

The prospect of earning higher wages abroad or facing unemployment at home continues to lure the country’s youngsters to West European countries and elsewhere.

Those moving abroad can expect to earn much more than in Hungary. Jobline head Gabor Toldi told the Wall Street Journal that West European youngsters who move abroad do so for other reasons than the need to find a well-paid job.”

Languages do matter!





















Hottest job skill? Fluent in a foreign language

Hottest job skill? Fluent in a foreign language

“If you are fluent in a foreign language, the future is looking brighter for you.

Among the top 15 fastest growing occupations in the nation, according to the Department of Labor, are translators and interpreters.

It predicts about 25,000 jobs will open up between 2010 and 2020.

And that doesn’t include the military, which is also actively recruiting more translators and interpreters.”

Languages do matter!

Bringing up baby bilingual

Bringing up baby bilingual

“But one researcher on the topic, François Grosjean, disagrees that one-parent, one-language is a must. Instead,  he says, “the need factor is crucial” —that is, the child must experience regular monolingual situations in each language.”

Languages do matter!

Humanities Jobs Decline (French and other languages increase)

Humanities Jobs Decline (French and other languages increase)

“Numbers-wise, the report wasn’t wholly disappointing, with Feal noting a win for  language diversity, based on job ads: Among foreign languages, Spanish jobs  remained predominant but continued on a multiyear pattern of decline, to 34  percent of all positions from 36 the previous year.The second-most popular  language, French, rose to 22 percent of all jobs from 17 percent the previous  year. (Note: Because listed positions belong to various departments, both  English and foreign languages lists add up to more than 100 percent.)  Other rising languages included German and Scandinavian; Russian and Slavic;  Arabic; and Japanese, all with slight percentage increases. Chinese stayed  relatively flat year-over-year, at 8 percent of jobs listed.”

Languages do matter!

Un total de 107 centros aragoneses potencian el aprendizaje de lenguas extranjeras

Un total de 107 centros aragoneses potencian el aprendizaje de lenguas extranjeras

“Un total de 107 colegios e institutos aragoneses, la mayoría no bilingües, van a desarrollar este curso actividades para potenciar la enseñanza de idiomas entre sus alumnos, ha informado este lunes el Gobierno aragones.

!Los idiomas si’ importan!


It’s official! French is sexiest language in world

It’s official! French is sexiest language in world

“French has been voted as the sexiest language in the world, according to an international poll of globetrotters.

According to the survey, the country is marked as a desired tourist destination for not only its majestic architecture or its reputation as the capital of romance but also the sensual charm of the French language, the New York Daily News reported.”

This confirms an earlier 2004 survey by Philip Beresford @

“PEOPLE who speak a second language can earn an extra pounds 3, 000 a year and are even seen as sexier than the less linguistically talented. 

 A survey of businesses found managers were much more likely to hire someone with good language skills — and pay them more than a mono-lingual candidate. 

And the majority of dating agencies studied said foreign language speakers were seen as more attractive and more intelligent than their rivals in love.

The most common languages used in businesses were French, German, Italian and Spanish”

Languages do matter!

Learn a New Language with Real Content

Learn a New Language with Real Content

From Vilnius-based Bliu Bliu — real-life content at a level you can understand.  An interesting concept.

“Bliu Bliu matches you with the right  content, at your level and about things you are interested  in. It’s like having native people talking to you 24 hours,  always at your level, easy to understand.”