Entries by Alison Kroulek

A Brief History of the Umlaut

Have you ever wondered why some letters in languages like German have those funny dots above them? Do they have a purpose? And if so, what is it? Fear not, we’re here to help! Those little dots are called umlauts. Here’s a brief history to explain what they are, why they exist and what they […]

6 Apps For Endangered Languages

By the end of this century, linguists expect more than half of the languages in the world to die. It’s a bleak statistic, especially given how deeply language and cultural identity are bound together. But linguists, language activists and the people who speak endangered languages are fighting back. Want to save an endangered language? There might […]

US “Alt-Right” Gets Lost in Translation

The “alt-right” was a notable force in last year’s election for US president. The loosely organized collective of right-wing trolls spread memes and “fake news,” helping to influence public opinion against Hillary Clinton and in favor of Donald Trump. They certainly weren’t the only factor, but they had an impact. But when they tried to […]

Star Wars Translations, Emoji, Talking Dolphins and More: 9 Language and Translation Stories Worth Reading

Waiting impatiently for the weekend to start? We’ve handpicked 9 interesting stories from the world of language and translation to keep you informed (and amused): French Translation of Last Jedi Trailer Prompts Questions If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ve probably seen the Last Jedi trailer already. If you’ve missed it, you can watch it […]

How to Celebrate May Day Around the World

Yesterday was May Day, and that means it’s time for a party. Or a protest. Maybe both.  Why are May Day celebrations around the world so different? To find out, let’s take a look at the history of the holiday and the places where it’s celebrated. Traditional May Day Celebrations Around the World In the northern […]

The Future of the Icelandic Language 

The Icelandic language is as close as you can get today to the language of the Vikings. Brought to the Iceland by Norse settlers in the 9th century, it is the closest living language to Old Norse.  But is the modern digital age threatening to wipe out Icelandic? It depends on who you ask. If the […]