Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: January 2017

To compete online in India, businesses will soon have to work in 122 languages

“There are also forces moving in another direction. In India—population 1.25 billion—local language speakers are adopting the internet faster than ever, far outpacing English speakers. That makes the nation “the next frontier in language services,” according to the translation industry publication Slator.

To target the world’s second most populous market as it increasingly goes online, businesses will have to account for its linguistic kaleidoscope. Indians speak 22 official languages (meaning various local authorities work in those tongues), and about 122 languages are considered “major” and spoken widely.”

Read more @ https://qz.com/880195/to-compete-online-in-india-businesses-will-soon-have-to-work-in-122-languages/

Languages do matter!

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Want to move abroad? Try here!

“The global community network InterNations recently conducted their annual Expat Insider survey of more than 14,000 expats from 191 countries, asking residents to rate 43 different aspects of life abroad, from friendliness of locals and family life to affordability and work-life balance. The survey then graded countries according to how well they scored across all these indexes.

We talked to residents in the top-ranking countries to find out what exactly makes their adopted country so special.”

Read more @ http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20170120-want-to-move-abroad-try-here

Languages do matter!

‘Rescuing and reviving the curriculum is not enough to restore modern foreign languages to their rightful position’

“It’s not enough to grandstand the fact that languages have been introduced at primary school and leave it at that, writes this veteran journalist

‘Languages are in a highly precarious state,’ he said.  Restoring them to their prior position needed to be a ‘national priority’ – especially at a time of Brexit negotiations where the UK’s ability to obtain trade deals will be dependent on our ability to communicate with countries who speak a range of different languages.”

Read more @ https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-views/rescuing-and-reviving-curriculum-not-enough-restore-modern-foreign

Languages do matter!

This Hotel With 50,000 Books Is A Literary Lover’s Dream Come True

“If you tend to spend your vacations reading, then this is the spot for you.

The Literary Man hotel in Óbidos, Portugal is home to about 50,000 books and counting.

The Literary Man is nestled just outside the walls of the historic center of Óbidos, a charming medieval town that’s recently started embracing bookishness with the addition of new bookshops and a literary festival.”

 

Read more @ http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/literary-man-hotel-with-books_us_587e69a4e4b0aaa36942e068?

Languages do matter!

Cuba says ‘yes’ to English as tourism flourishes

“As Cuba slowly opens up its economy to the rest of the world, more and more Cubans are learning English. The Cuban government has made proficiency in English a requirement for all high school and university students. As Will Grant reports from Havana, that approach differs from the Cold War, when Russian was the preferred foreign language.

Many Cubans are already learning the language themselves, and if not, they are trying to make sure their children are.”

Read more @ http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-38467299

Languages do matter!

In defense of the foreign language class: benefits outweigh drawbacks

“The university should require all students to take at least one foreign language class.

Motivation isn’t quite as common in the United States. A Modern Language Association review of 2013 enrollment data revealed only 7 percent of college students are enrolled in a foreign language course.”

Read more @ http://temple-news.com/opinion/defense-foreign-language-class-benefits-outweigh-drawbacks/

Languages do matter!

The Sinulog-Santo Niño Festival

“The Sinulog-Santo Niño Festival is an annual cultural and religious festival held on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City, and is the centre of the Santo Niño Catholic celebrations in the Philippines.

One of the main highlights of the festival is the grand street parade which lasts for 9 to 12 hours.”

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

Languages do matter!

HOW FRENCH IS RANKED

From Bob Peckham, Founding Chair of the AATF Commission on Advocacy.

“Those of us who are English speakers, and have learned, or are learning the French language are too often called to defend it’s relative value. Relative value can have many variants, because it is calculated from different statistical resources or at different times. Since the value of all languages as core to learning is being challenged, I  feel compelled to offer a list showing how French is ranked for a variety of functions, a variety of places. In all but six I have named a source, with the knowledge that sources I have not seen may show a different rank. The collection establishes, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that French is a useful language, worthy of being studied to the point of mastery.  The ranking statements are in no particular order.”

Read more @ http://www.utm.edu/staff/bobp/french/frank.shtml

Languages do matter!

Languages crisis in the US highlighted in new report

“Language education is dwindling at every level in the US, from school to university, and a diminishing share of the country’s residents speak languages other than English, according to a new report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The State of Languages in the U.S.: A Statistical Portrait is a precursor to another forthcoming report from the academy about how the US might build language capacity to meet the needs of the increasingly global economy and otherwise ‘shrinking world’.”

Read more @ https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/languages-crisis-us-highlighted-new-report

Languages do matter!

In their search for independence, Catalans can resemble Brexiteers

“It has made Catalan the main language of teaching.

It is not hard to divine the contours of a deal. Mr Rajoy could offer concessions on financing and infrastructure. More controversially, he could propose recognising the Catalan language or that Catalonia is a nation within Spain.”

Read more @ http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21713341-region-plagued-corruption-and-unemployment-nationalists-may-not-win-their

Languages do matter!