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
Endangered languages have been a hot topic for quite a while now. Some people say it is absolutely necessary to at least try to save them, others dismiss the problem as unimportant. Which side are you on? Are you one of those guilty of neglect? … More GUILTY OF NEGLECT
Endangered languages. How can we save them? This one question keeps getting asked by linguists and language enthusiasts all over the world. And the answer is quite simple – we have to make sure that new generations learn them. But how exactly can we make this happen? Can technology come to the rescue? Can language learning apps be a solution? … More CAN APPS BE LANGUAGE SAVIOURS?
I am quite certain that many of you have wondered what the difference between a language and a dialect is. Well, I have. Many times in my life. And you know what? I still haven’t found anyone who would give me a straight answer. Because it seems that this particular question is the question that even linguists have trouble dealing with. … More A LANGUAGE OR A DIALECT?
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
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
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
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
So yeah… What I want to write about today are … er … those little words that aren’t real words, but they are words. You all know them, but what do you know about them? Something? Anything? Nothing? Well, even if nothing, I will try to help you. … More AHEM! ATTENTION PLEASE!
When we think about language, we think about words. We think about letters, sounds, sentences. We think about spelling, pronunciation, and grammar. But the truth is, language is much more than that. Because sometimes you can speak without uttering a single word. … More SPEAKING WITHOUT WORDS