Tag Archives: language research

No bad words for bilinguals

Brains are complicated and odd things. Take new research from Bangor University in the UK. Researchers have found that an unconscious brain quirk dampens down people’s responses to negative words in their non-native language. Bilingual people thus respond less emotionally to words like ‘failure’ in their second language. Similarly they are less shocked to hear(…)


Get learning – age is no excuse

One of the most often heard excuses for not learning a new language is “I’m too old”. It’s generally accepted that children are ‘better’ at learning new languages than adults. A new study challenges this idea though, showing that adults are better than children at acquiring a new language skill. The issue may be social(…)


Language of the future

What language will people speak in the future? That’s the subject of a chapter from new book “The Language Wars: A History of Proper English” by Farrar, Straus and Girous, extracted at Salon.com. English currently continues to dominate as the lingua franca of business and popular culture and it’s widely used in other industries. It’s(…)


The birth of a word

Another really interesting talk from TED titled “the birth of a word”. TED is a small non-profit organisation devoted to “ideas worth spreading”. Deb Roy, a researcher at MIT wired up his house with video cameras so he could track his son’s language evolution – from “gaaa” to “water”. 90,000 hours of tape later, he(…)