Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: April 2016

Kathy in “Inside FDU — Faculty, Staff — Update, Welcome April/May 2016”

“In March, Kathleen Stein-Smith, associate University librarian and director of public services, Giovatto Library (Metro), presented on “Foreign Language as a Global Competency and the U.S. Foreign Language Deficit: Foreign Languages as a Career Asset” at the Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Conference in Columbus, Ohio, and attended the Internship Summit at the Globalization and Localization Association Conference in Brooklyn, N.Y. Stein-Smith’s article, “Pushing the Multilingual Envelope,” was published in the March issue of Language Magazine. Her latest book, The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit: Strategies for Maintaining a Competitive Edge in a Globalized World, has been accepted for publication by Palgrave Macmillan and is due for release in July. A hardcover version of the book may be pre-ordered from Amazon. On April 22, Stein-Smith presented on “The Role of Multilingualism in the Implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals” at the Symposium on Language and the Sustainable Development Goals at the Church Center for the United Nations, U.N. Plaza, in New York City.”

Read more @ http://view2.fdu.edu/publications/inside-fdu-newsletter/2015-2016/aprilmay-2016/faculty-staff/

Languages do matter!

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Of two minds: The advantages of working in your own language are obvious. Those of working in a foreign one are subtle

“MORE and more of the world is working in English. Multinational companies (even those based in places such as Switzerland or Japan) are making it their corporate language. And international bodies like the European Union and the United Nations are doing an ever-greater share of business in the world’s new default language. At the office, it’s English’s world, and every other language is just living in it.

Is this to the English-speaker’s advantage? Working in a foreign language is certainly hard. It is easier to argue fluently or to make a point subtly when not trying to call up rarely used vocabulary or construct sentences correctly. English-speakers can try to bulldoze opposing arguments through sheer verbiage, hold the floor to prevent anyone else from getting a word in or lighten the mood with a joke. All of these things are far harder in a foreign language. Non-natives have not one hand, but perhaps a bit of their brains, tied behind their backs. A recent column by Michael Skapinker in the Financial Times says that it’s important for native English-speakers to learn the skills of talking with non-natives successfully.

But, as Mr Skapinker notes, there are advantages to being a non-native, too. These are subtler—but far from trivial.”

Read more @ http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21696489-advantages-working-your-own-language-are-obvious-those-working-foreign

Languages do matter!

Kathy at the UN today — presenting at LANGUAGE AND THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: A SYMPOSIUM

Kathy at the UN today — presenting at LANGUAGE AND THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: A SYMPOSIUM on “The Role of Multilingualism in the Implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals” — organized by The Study Group on Language and the United Nations and held at the UN Church Centre.

Many thanks to Professor Humphrey Tonkin, the organizers, and all who participated.

Read more @ https://sites.google.com/site/languageandtheun/events/program

Languages do matter!

“Many Languages One World: Promoting Multilingualism: The French Language Winners” published in the April 2016 issue of the AATF National Bulletin

My article, “Many Languages One World: Promoting Multilingualism: The French Language Winners” has been published in the April 2016 issue of the American Association of Teachers of French National Bulletin (subscription only).

Kudos to my wonderful students — MLOW 2014 and 2015!

Languages do matter!

UN Chinese Language Day — April 20th

UN Chinese Language Day is observed annually on April 20. The event was established by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 2010 to seeking ‘to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization’. April 20 was chosen as the date for the Chinese language ‘to pay tribute to Cang Jie, a mythical figure who is presumed to have invented Chinese characters about 5,000 years ago’. ”

Read more @ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UN_Chinese_Language_Day

Languages do matter!

5 LEADING LANGUAGES IN THE WORLD OF BUSINESS REVEALED

“I always assert that you should learn a language for love, not for money. But sometimes it does help to know which languages will give your professional profile an extra edge.

Which languages are the biggest in business?

As the business world contains such a diverse range of ideas, cultures and languages, it’s very interesting to see the way in which The Language Factory recently portrayed some of the world’s most influential languages in a bid to help businesses better understand their business communications overseas.

Their interesting new infographic puts together a host of facts about some of the leading languages in the world of business and their country of origin.”

Read more @ http://www.latg.org/2014/11/5-leading-languages-in-world-of.html/

Languages do matter!

El Diario La Prensa, oldest Spanish-language daily in U.S., prepares to say ‘adiós’

“El Diario La Prensa is fighting for its life.

Like so many other print publications, the historic New York City-based tabloid published by impreMedia is struggling to find profits delivering Latino-related news in print.

The oldest Spanish-language daily newspaper in the United States (it’s been circulating since 1913) has been through several rounds of layoffs over the last years, but on December 30 a fatal prognosis was announced: the paper would only survive a year.

Since then-impreMedia CEO Francisco Seghezzo delivered the news, the paper’s business side, its staff – both current and laid off – and its union have been racing to find a miracle cure, although not necessarily together.”

Read more @ http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/money/2016/04/13/el-diario-la-prensa-oldest-spanish-language-daily-in-us-prepares-to-say-adios/

Languages do matter!

Sacré bleu! Britain’s defence at risk over cuts to foreign language speakers

“BRITAIN’S defences are being harmed by a lack of foreign language speakers in the armed forces, with just FIFTEEN specialist Russian speakers to help counter the threat from Moscow, it has emerged.

New figures released by the Ministry of Defence show UK generals are relying on fewer than 700 linguists to help interpret and translate both on the battlefield and behind the lines.

The MoD has a total of 697 servicemen and women with a proficiency in foreign languages at basic level or above.

But just 132 of those are deemed to be ‘expert’ linguists, while 301 are registered as ‘professional.

A further 264 are ‘functional’ in a second language.

Interpreters employed by the British armed services speak a total of 48 languages, including Mandarin, Pashto and Arabic.

However, MPs have criticised the ‘long-standing neglect of the MoD’s most basic tasks in assuring the Defence of the Realm”.

Just 51 linguists are considered to have specialist knowledge of Arabic and 149 speak the language of our closest neighbour and key ally, France.

A member of the Commons Defence Select Committee, the Scottish National Party’s Douglas Chapman, said the lack of Russian speakers was particularly worrying.”

Read more @ http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/660310/Britain-defence-at-risk-cuts-foreign-language-speakers

Languages do matter!

Bilingualism can lead to higher-paying jobs

“There’s the obvious advantage of being able to communicate with many more people, of course, but knowing a second, or third or fourth, language, however rudimentary one’s vocabulary, also opens up the world in ways that are often unquantifiable.

This most recent piece I read recounts the visit to Florida International University by a California professor who has co-authored a book on the performance of bilingual workers in an increasingly globalized labor market. ‘Those who learned English and maintain their native language earn more, have higher-status jobs,’ Patricia Gandara said.”

Read more @ http://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/ana-veciana-suarez/article67385642.html

Languages do matter!

European Union to Considering Visas for U.S. Travelers

Read more @ http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/08/world/europe/european-union-to-consider-requiring-visas-for-us-travelers.html?ribbon-ad-idx=3&rref=travel&module=Ribbon&version=context&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Travel&pgtype=article&_r=0&mtrref=undefined&gwh=98104C6E6A1BCDE85C715AACD6147168&gwt=pay

Languages do matter!