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
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
Oceania is one of the most linguistically diverse regions in the world. It comes as no surprise then that the vast majority of its inhabitants speak more than one language. But is the large number of indigenous tongues the sole reason for this? … More MULTILINGUALISM IN THE PACIFIC
Over 200 languages from the Pacific region have officially been given endangered status by UNESCO. But Oceania is home to more than 1000 tongues. Does that mean that the rest of its languages are perfectly safe? That there is no need to worry they, too, may one day face the fate of extinction? In other words, are they endangered, or are they not? Well, that surely is the question. … More ENDANGERED, ENDANGERED NOT
Imagine: you’re visiting Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, or Papua New Guinea. You know you’re going to get by in any of those countries using only English or, in case of Vanuatu, French. But wouldn’t it be great if you could say a few words in the local lingo? Just think about it. And when you decide I’m right, here’s a book that may help you. … More “PIDGIN PHRASEBOOK & DICTIONARY” BY LONELY PLANET
Pidgin and creole languages. You have heard about them, right? While the names sound familiar to most people, only some know what exactly hides behind these terms. In the Pacific, pidgins and creoles are present mainly in Melanesia, where they function as lingua franca. But how were they brought into existence in such a remote part of the world? … More NOBODY’S AND SOMEBODY’S NATIVE LANGUAGE IN MELANESIA