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 […]
Author Archive for: Alison Kroulek
About Alison Kroulek
This author has yet to write their bio.Meanwhile lets just say that we are proud Alison Kroulek contributed a whooping 886 entries.
Entries by Alison Kroulek
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 […]
Your English teacher may not have approved of it. And the older generations may start muttering about kids and lawns when they hear it. But slang helps keep languages interesting and alive. And many of the words and expressions we use today started out as slang. Often playful and colorful, slang is like a laboratory […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 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 […]
How many times have you heard someone say “men and women don’t speak the same language?” But that’s not true . . . well, in English, anyway! In some parts of the world, the words people use can vary dramatically based on nothing more than gender. For example, in the following cultures, men and women […]
What’s the difference between a language and a dialect? The answer is not as clear-cut as you might think. Let’s look at the different ways to determine the difference between a dialect and a language, and how they stack up in the real world. Mutual Intelligibility The most obvious way to distinguish a language from […]
Do you tweet? The best thing about Twitter is how easy it is to keep track of your interests. At the same time, there’s so much going on that it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which accounts to follow. So, let us help you out. Here are 23 Twitter accounts for people who […]
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