Language Matters

Kathleen Stein Smith, Ph.D

Monthly Archives: September 2017

International Translation Day 30 September

“The United Nations is one of the world’s largest employers of language professionals. Several hundred such staff work in UN offices.

Interested in working as a language specialist at the United Nations? Please check UN Careers on Competitive examinations for language professionals .”

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Languages do matter!

Student Essay Contest: Bilingualism and You

“We want to hear the stories of bilingual students, speaking any languages (not just French!), who are attending school in the greater New York City area (tri-state area). Students at all kinds of schools—public, private, charter, bilingual, and monolingual—are welcome to apply.

Essays should be written in students’ best English. Essays will be judged on clarity, persuasiveness, originality, and how compelling the storytelling is.

Winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony at French Morning’s annual Bilingual Fair on November 4th at Fordham University School of Law near Lincoln Center. The finalists in each age group will be announced in the weeks leading up to the fair. They must be present at the Bilingual Fair, where the final prizes will be announced.”

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Languages do matter!

The European Day of Languages — 26 September

Today is the European Day of Languages.  Let’s celebrate languages wherever we are!  🙂

“Celebrate the European Day of Languages with us!

At the initiative of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg, the European Day of Languages has been celebrated every year since 2001 on 26 September.

On the occasion of the day, a range of events are organised across Europe: activities for and with children, television and radio programmes, language classes and conferences.

‘This year’s European Day of Languages celebrates innovation in language learning and teaching.'”

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Languages do matter!

“Language Matters” — Over 22,000 views — Thank You!!! :)

Thank you to all of you — over 22,000 of you — who have taken the time to view “Language Matters.”

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Languages do matter!

L’Avenir de la langue française/The Future of French — on Radio-Canada today

I was interviewed this morning by Radio-Canada host Arnaud Decroix on the future of French on “Les Samedis du monde.”

After opening the segment, the well-informed and highly articulate host asked several questions both on the importance and on the future of French around the world, moving from the local importance of French in bilingual Canada to its past, present, and future role as a global language.

Highlights of the conversation included a discussion of the révolution bilingue, a dual language French- English immersion program in the New York City public schools and the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron during his visit to New York to address the UN General Assembly, to the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center to announce a fund to support both dual language French-English immersion programs in New York and beyond and related teacher training.

The experience of being interviewed on the radio —  in another country and in a second language — was certainly a new one for me!

Many thanks to Arnaud Decroix, Guy Noël, and the entire “Samedis du monde” team — Merci!!!!  🙂

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“The Future of French in the EU and Beyond” @

“Why French?” @

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Languages do matter!

Ya está! France 24 now available in Spanish

“France 24 is now available in Spanish after the launch of of its Spanish-language website Thursday, with the a new television channel set to begin broadcasting on September 26.

Speaking at a press conference at the Louvre museum in Paris on Tuesday, Marie-Christine Saragosse, CEO of France 24’s parent company France Médias Monde, said it was a “dream come true” to see the launch of a project that had only a year ago been merely “an idea on a piece of paper”.

Already available in three languages (English, French and Arabic), France 24’s new channel, with an editorial staff based in Bogota, Columbia, will bring its content to millions more viewers around the world.

‘Spanish is the third most spoken language in the world,’ noted Saragosse, adding that Colombia had been chosen as it is ‘a country that is at the centre of the South American continent with labour laws similar to those of France’.”

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Languages do matter!

The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit — 10,000 views on TEDx — Thank you all!!! :)

The U.S. Foreign Language Deficit on TEDx — Thank you all who have taken the time to view –10,000!!!

Languages do matter!

Inauguration of the French Dual Language Fund — CUNY Graduate Center, NYC, 20 Sept. 2017

Today I watched the inauguration of the French Dual Language fund, live-streamed from the CUNY Grad Center in NYC.

In addition to a welcome from CUNY leaders,  performances by students from 2 NYC public schools which are part of the revolution bilingue,  and a video of current highlights of the dual language immersion program in New York City’s public schools, the heart of the program was an inspiring and heartfelt talk given by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.

The French President began his remarks in his fluent English, quickly switching to French.

After recognizing the students and thanking parents, teacher, contributors, and the other stakeholders in the dual language initiative, he spoke eloquently of the role of multilingualism in building bridges, “petits ponts humains,” between people of different cultures through educational exchanges and a shared appreciation of literature and culture in both the “langue de Shakespeare et la langue de Molière.”

After a rendition of the Marseillaise followed by the Star-Spangled Banner by the immersion students, President Macron smiled and waved, saying “I go with them!” leaving the stage with the students.

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Languages do matter!



19 September is International Talk Like a Pirate Day

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Languages do matter!

Who was Samuel Johnson? The father of the modern dictionary’s funniest entries

“Samuel Johnson, who wrote the English language’s most comprehensive dictionary in the 1750s, has been honoured by a Google Doodle on what would have been his 308th birthday.

Johnson, born in 1709, spent nine years working on A Dictionary of the English Language, which was published in 1755. It remained the definitive English dictionary until the Oxford English Dictionary was completed in 1928.

While Johnson is best known for his dictionary, he had an accomplished career even without it. He was a poet and spent years creating a collection of the works of Shakespeare.”

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Languages do matter!