Tag Archives: language

Why a Year Abroad Isn’t Enough to Become Fluent

Taking the leap to move to the country where your target language is spoken can be an exciting segue in your language learning journey. In fact, a year abroad is often touted by teachers and professors as one of the best ways to perfect your skills, and as a result we language students put a(…)


Monolingualism in the United States

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Pub quiz time: what is the official language of the United States? We’ll wait. Because whilst English is perceived as the language of the United States, there is no official language of the United States. It is only an official language in 27 states, and we say, only, because if movements such as English Only(…)


Yiddish: New York’s Lost Language

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I’ve heard it said that every language in the world is spoken in Queens, New York. While this may not be a proven fact, hang out on the streets of Jackson Heights or Woodside and you might get an inkling of how it could be true. I like to count languages when I’m on the(…)


Why Is Hard-Learned Language So Easily Forgotten?

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Coming to the end of a two-month stay in my hometown of New York, away from my home in Thailand, I overheard three young Thai women on holiday walking along the West Side Promenade talking about the city. It was a normal enough discussion of the buildings, the river, the lack of public toilets, all(…)


Language Learning: If Gestures Could Talk

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Are you a hand-speaker? Do you punctuate your sentences with wide, sweeping arm gestures, or sharp hand cuts through the air signaling an end of subject? Then maybe this will, uh, speak to you! Gesticulating In truth, a lot of us gesture when we speak. Watching someone get flustered with their argument or passionate about(…)


The Top 9 Soon-To-Be Extinct Words of 2017

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A few weeks ago, we wrote about words that have been added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary for 2017 and what made those words worthy to be included into the official lexicon of our language. While looking at the new words, we also came across words that have been deleted in 2017, and the reasons why. As intriguing(…)


Reading Between Lines: The Meaning of Trump’s Trumpisms

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Please note that this is an article about language and was NOT written to criticize, incite, or imply any political message. It is merely observational and meant for general interest.  Currently, it’s near on impossible to get through a single news program without even the slightest mention of Donald Trump in some way or another. Every(…)


The Most Hated Words in English

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Is there a word that prickles your skin, raises the short hairs on the back of your neck, or just in general makes you feel sick? Did you even know about this phenomenon? That a simple word with no political or hateful connotations can make normal person uncomfortable. Well, it’s a thing, and it seems(…)


5 Tips for Picking Up a Language Again After a Long Break

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Taking a break from learning a new language can be healthy, but sometimes a short two-week break can turn into months, then years, and before you know it you’ve forgotten nearly everything you learned in the first place. Maybe you set aside that language so you could focus on another, or you got too busy,(…)


Giving Life to Language: How New Words Are Created

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Not yet halfway through the year and already Webster’s has added a 1,000 new words to their dictionary. Though the old man Noah Webster himself might have been stymied by words like humblebrag, photobomb and listicle, the lexicographers at Merriam-Webster are encouraging the unstoppable language revolution. It’s true that none of these words are necessarily(…)