WHAT’S IN A NAME? THE HAWAIʻI EDITION

As you may (or may not) know, at the beginning of this year I started learning Hawaiian. And if you are learning a certain language, it is always nice to brush up on your geography knowledge. But don’t worry, I won’t be telling you where the individual islands of the Aloha State or some of its culturally or historically important places are located. Instead, I am going to tell you what’s behind their names. … More WHAT’S IN A NAME? THE HAWAIʻI EDITION

EVEN IF YOU HEAR ONE OF THESE, DO YOUR THING ANYWAY

When you decide to learn an unpopular foreign language, you often hear various “pearls of wisdom” from you relatives, friends, colleagues. Rarely do they smile at you, give you a thumbs-up, pat you on the shoulder, and say: “Wow, that’s so cool!”. Their words are more discouraging than encouraging, and suddenly you get the feeling that what you are doing is … pointless. … More EVEN IF YOU HEAR ONE OF THESE, DO YOUR THING ANYWAY

HOW TO CELEBRATE THE YEAR OF INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES – THE PACIFIC WAY

2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages. That’s undoubtedly a wonderful initiative, but what does it actually mean? Well, completely nothing unless we – the people of this world – make a commitment to celebrate this year the way it deserves to be celebrated. I happen to have a few ideas how you can do just that; especially if you want to focus on the Pacific tongues. … More HOW TO CELEBRATE THE YEAR OF INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES – THE PACIFIC WAY

INDIGENOUS, VERNACULAR, OFFICIAL, NATIONAL

When we talk about language, we often use different words to describe it. We say “indigenous language”, “vernacular language”, “official language”, “national language”, “first language”, “mother language”… That’s a lot of languages, don’t you agree? We are all familiar with these names, but do we know what they really mean? Are they one and the same thing? … More INDIGENOUS, VERNACULAR, OFFICIAL, NATIONAL

WHAT’S IN A NAME? THE MARSHALL ISLANDS EDITION

I don’t know about you, but I find place names immensely fascinating. I am always curious what the words we see on a map or signposts mean. And that curiosity has led me to some very interesting findings, which I am about to share with you today. Because I am learning Marshallese, I just have to start with the Marshall Islands. … More WHAT’S IN A NAME? THE MARSHALL ISLANDS EDITION