Monthly Archives: April 2008

More on code switching

When I lived in Taiwan I was in a multilingual environment. The main languages I encountered there were Mandarin, Taiwanese and English. Sometimes I came across speakers of Japanese, Korean, Hakka or Spanish as well. As a student I had friends from many countries and we tended to communicate amongst ourselves in Mandarin. In some […]

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Code switching

Today we have a guest post from Dr. J.K. Palmer in Santiago, Chile. I’m an English dominant Spanish and English bilingual (well not technically bilingual as I didn’t grow up with Spanish, but I am a C2 on CEFR framework and teach at university level in Spanish). Living in Chile I normally speak Spanish, but […]

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Name the language

Here’s an extract from a news report in a mystery language. Can you guess or do you know which language it is and where it’s spoken?

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Word of the day – clustfeinio

I came across the word clustfeinio yesterday while reading a novel in Welsh. At first I wasn’t quite sure what it meant, apart from having something to do with ears, clustiau. From the context though I was able to guess its meaning: Wy’n clustfeinio am bob gwich a sgrech. I’m [verbing] to every squeak and […]

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Korean in Mongolia

According to an article I came across today, increasing numbers of Mongolians are enrolling in Korean language classes in the hope that they will get jobs in Korea and save enough money to buy a house when they return to Mongolia. This is the so-called ‘Korean dream’. Such classes are available at all levels of […]

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Lingosmile is a new wiki-style site I heard about recently which aims to provide a free and easy way to produce translations collaboratively. The idea is that anybody can join in and translate material into their language, edit existing translations and/or add recordings. Translations on the site are divided in sections such as language learning, […]

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Fluency and literacy

Is it possible to achieve spoken fluency in a second language without being able to read it? This question was sent in by Ian McGilloway and comes, in part, from a discussion he had on holiday where the local staff at a diving company in a small fishing village on an island spoke pretty good […]

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Language quiz

Here’s a recording from a news report in a mystery language. Do you know or can you guess which language it is and where it’s spoken?

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Language museum in london

According to Reuters, plans are afoot to establish a language museum in London, which is apparently the most multilingual city in the world with over 350 languages spoken. The idea is the get the museum up and running to coincide with the 2012 London Olympics. The museum would aim to get people more interested in […]

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Word of the day – 成語

成語 [成语] (chéngyǔ) are Chinese idioms usually consisting of four characters. They tend to pack a lot of meaning into those four characters and many have a story, myth or moral behind them from Classical Chinese literature, in which they were used extensively. If you’re not familiar with the stories, it will be very difficult […]

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