Blog

  • Emoji – the new lingua franca?

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    You may recall that we have touched upon this subject on our social media pages. Scholars, and in particular Professor Vyv Evans, a linguist at Bangor university, now have a new and rather alarming concern – the seemingly unstoppable rise of the emoji. For those still in the linguistic dark ages (like the writer), emojis are a modern day version

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  • Google translate is a useful tool, but do take care!

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    Every year, the town of As Pontes de Garcia Rodriguez, in the north-western Spanish province of Galicia, organises an annual event, the Feria do Grelo, celebrating one of the local speciality vegetables, rapini, or broccoli rabe, which is a turnip-like vegetable used in regional dishes. Web masters for the town were keen to broadcast details of this unusual festival to

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  • The language of multi-culturalism

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    A recent issue of Private Eye (No. 1404) has an interesting comment about cutbacks in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses. The article takes up a point made by the Prime Minister at his party conference. “There are parts of Britain today where you can get by without ever speaking English or meeting anyone from another culture,” he

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  • “We need to make more of our children multilingual”

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    Thus ran the Daily Telegraph’s headline (October 19) over an article by Peter Tait, former headmaster of Sherborne School. The article contained all the usual “mom and apple pie” arguments on why our children should be learning foreign languages: “You can never understand one language until you understand at least two”. Well, hurrah for that little gem. The paper reported

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