Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: December 2016

New Year’s Around the World

“Happy New Year! Watch the skies light up in as we take a look at some of the most festive New Year’s celebrations around the world, including Paris, Sydney, Berlin, Toronto, Hong Kong and Rotterdam.”

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Languages do matter!

Happy New Year 2017 to all my readers! :)

Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year to all my readers!  🙂

Kathy’s TEDx talk nearing 9,000 views! :)

As we near 2017, I am excited to announce that my TEDx talk is nearing 9,000 views!

#languages do matter!

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017!

Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Paris: 2016/2017 Guide

“New Year, Paris-Style:  Parties, Traditions, Parades, and More

The Champs-Elysees is the site of the city’s largest gathering on New Year’s Eve in Paris.

If you’re lucky enough to be in Paris to usher in the New Year, the city of light offers plenty of ways to say Bonne année!. In my book, Paris is one of the most colorful and exciting places to celebrate New Year’s Eve, whether your preferred style is clubbing the night away, a good meal with a view, or a simple glass of champagne shared with a small group of friends or loved ones.”

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Languages do matter!

World Arabic Language Day 2016 (December 18th)

Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Arabic Language Day, 18 December 2016

World Arabic Language Day is a call to promote the cultural and linguistic diversity of the world as a crucial element in the cultural wealth of humanity. The Arabic language, in its classical form and its many dialects, is a global language in which the identities, beliefs and aspiration of peoples across the five continents are expressed. It is a bridge between cultures and a practical way of adding to knowledge, perceptions and mutual understanding for peace.

When we celebrate the Arabic language every year on 18 December, we also acknowledge its immense contribution to science and universal culture, including philosophy and the arts.”

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Languages do matter!

The reason Americans value ‘busyness’ has less do with work ethic than culture

“When you tell other people how swamped you are these days, they’ll think you’re really important.

But according to new research from Columbia Business School, Georgetown University, and Harvard Business School, that implicit association between busyness and importance isn’t necessarily universal. While Americans see busyness as a status symbol, other cultures may instead see leisure time as a status symbol.”

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Languages do matter!

Boxing Day 2016: What is it and why do we celebrate it?

When is Boxing Day?

Boxing Day occurs every year on December 26th. It’s a national holiday in the UK and Ireland. If the day after Christmas falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday is designated as the official public holiday.

This year, Boxing Day falls on a Monday.

December 26th is also the feast day of Saint Stephen, the patron saint of horses, which is why Boxing Day has come to be associated with horse racing and fox hunting.

Why is it called Boxing Day?

According to some Boxing Day can be traced back to the Victorian era when churches often displayed a box into which their parishioners put donations.

Also in Britain, on the day after Christmas Day, servants of the wealthy were given time off to visit their families because their services were required for the Christmas Day celebrations of their employers.

They were therefore allowed the following day for their own observance of the holiday and each servant would be handed a box to take home, containing gifts, bonuses and sometimes leftover food.”

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Languages do matter!

Ancient Irish tradition of hunting the wren on St. Stephen’s Day (December 26th)

“It’s often said that Christmas in Ireland lasts not just for Christmas Eve and Christmas, but days into January with special celebrations and observations extending the festive season. On St. Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas, the wren bird is cheered.”

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Languages do matter!

Merry Christmas — from “Language Matters” :)

Merry Christmas — and many thanks to all my readers at “Language Matters.”

Languages do matter!

Christmas and New Year in Paris

“Paris undergoes a transformation with the approach of the festive season. The city’s most beautiful monuments are illuminated, Christmas decorations adorn the streets, and department store windows are filled with animated displays.

Markets, Nativity scenes, open-air ice rinks, merry-go-rounds and a host of other activities and events take over the city, offering fun for all the family. Restaurants keep the festive spirit alive all the way into the New Year, with special menus for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve celebration.”

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Languages do matter!