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Discussions Discussion French Basic
Romain Masson, Oct. 4, 2012

Hi all , I’m French , if you need help or have a question , i’m here for help you ;)

Romain Masson
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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Jenny Rothberg, March 23, 2012

Making sense of the language confusion - Switzerland

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/culture/Making_sense_of_the_language_confusion.html?cid=32286756
Jenny Rothberg
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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Jenny Rothberg, March 16, 2012

The Kihnu dialect is Preserved on Estonia’s Mother Tongue Day: Standard Estonian is spoken by roughly 1.1 million people. Closely related to Finnish and more distantly to Hungarian, Estonian belongs to the Finno-Ugric language group, which includes about 40 languages spoken by around 20 million people that are mainly thought to have originated thousands of years ago in the Ural mountains, now in western Russia.

http://news.err.ee/culture/5eb896a0-226f-4632-a993-d9da80e59689

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Dz6Q-DyzcSE
Jenny Rothberg
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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Jenny Rothberg, Feb. 19, 2012

Latvians Reject Russian as Second Language:

Voters in Latvia on Saturday overwhelmingly rejected a plan to adopt Russian as a second official language, defeating a constitutional referendum that underscored the ethnic and political tensions that remain more than 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/20/world/europe/latvia-rejects-bid-to-adopt-russian-as-second-language.html?_r=1

http://youtube.com/watch?v=gPc_WrsjoEY&feature=player_embedded
Jenny Rothberg
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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Amanda Sanchez, Jan. 10, 2012

Mark Pagel: How language transformed humanity

Biologist Mark Pagel shares an intriguing theory about why humans evolved our complex system of language. He suggests that language is a piece of “social technology” that allowed early human tribes to access a powerful new tool: cooperation.

http://www.ted.com/talks/mark_pagel_how_language_transformed_humanity.html
Amanda Sanchez
Comments (3)
  • Jenny Rothberg Jenny Rothberg Jan. 10, 2012
    The concept of viewing language as a tool to rewire someone’s mind by implanting your thoughts into someone else’s mind through speech is intriguing. Thanks for sharing this talk. The power of language is indeed awesome.
  • Nina Dumas Nina Dumas Jan. 10, 2012
    Very eloquent and strong case for why language is the most potent trait that has ever evolved!
  • Kim Hsu Kim Hsu Jan. 10, 2012
    Is there a most potent language, one that can eventually supplant others in a Darwinian way…one world, one language?

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Discussions Discussion Cultural History of Technology
Esteban Amaya, Nov. 13, 2011

Technological artifacts are products of an economy, a force for economic growth, and a large part of everyday life. Technological innovations affect, and are affected by, a society’s cultural traditions…

Esteban Amaya
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Discussions Discussion unselected
Marco Masoni, Oct. 29, 2011

I just read this fascinating account in The Guardian, written by Stephen Pax Leonard (http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/stephen-pax-leonard), who lived with the Arctic Inugguit for one year, while learning their language and ways of life. What he discovered was a “cold heaven,” where life was stripped to its basics. This sentence, in particular, struck me: “I am a romantic, and I discovered that romantics are always disillusioned because the world is no longer how they had hoped it to be.”

Life in Greenland’s polar desert
by Stephen Pax Leonard

An excerpt:

For me, the appeal of the remote settlement was immediate and unforgettable. Smiley children were magnetised to the stranger and the adults invited the visitor in for a supper of polar bear or fermented little auks, followed by endless refills of black coffee… The eldest hunter in the settlement and a story-teller with whom I worked, Qaerngaq Nielsen, gave Savissivik 10 years. Climate change has meant that the settlement is almost impossible to get to by dog-sledge and there are few who wish to live in complete isolation in the 21st century with no medical facilities.”

FULL ARTICLE at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/30/life-greenlands-polar-desert

http://www.flickr.com/photos/68893426@N06/6293219281/
Marco Masoni
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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Bert Breton, Oct. 7, 2011

The article, “Dealing With Regional Dialects & Languages In Global Internet Marketing” examines the advantage a global company can have by marketing itself online using local dialects.

The tricky countries are those with regional languages most marketers have not heard of. Take Spain, for instance. You shouldn’t think of the Catalan language spoken in Catalonia as a “dialect” but as a language opportunity and deal with it as such. The same is true of Basque and Galician which with Catalan are official languages of the regions they relate to.

Catalan is given an “official” status by Google too — since you can use Google’s keyword tool to check keyword search volumes in Spain. Galician and Basque are sadly not available via that route but do exist in Google Translate. A very interesting read…

http://searchengineland.com/dealing-with-regional-dialects-languages-in-global-internet-marketing-95360

http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelimage/3532647164/
Bert Breton
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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Jenny Rothberg, Sept. 27, 2011

Swiss Effort to Save a Language Opens a Rift: Villagers Debate Whether to Stick to Dialects of Ancient Roman Tongue or a Cobbled-Together ‘Esperanto’

ZURICH—As kids return to school in Val Müstair, high in the eastern tip of the Swiss Alps, they are also entering the front lines of a bitter battle: the fight over the future of a centuries-old Latin dialect.

The municipality (population 1,600) is a stronghold of Romansh, a language imported by Roman occupiers 2,000 years ago and still spoken by most locals. Today, its villagers are up in arms over authorities’ attempt to push a sort of Romansh Esperanto on locals—one that officials defend as the only chance to save one of the last living relics of the Latin language.

The tiff originated in 1996, when Romansh became Switzerland’s fourth official language even though only roughly 60,000 people speak it.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903352704576540252076676760.html
Jenny Rothberg
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Discussions Discussion Dialects of the World
Jenny Rothberg, May 31, 2011

Standard German has been banned from Zurich, Switzerland preschools in favor of Swiss German. The outcome of the Sunday referendum was welcomed by the “Yes to dialect in the kindergarten” group that argued for the change. Swiss German, is almost unintelligible in most of Germany and remains a strong element of the Swiss identity. More here:

http://www.thelocal.ch/202/20110517/
Jenny Rothberg
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