Start a Love Affair with a Romance Language

Saturday 14 February 2015 is St Valentine’s Day and is a great time to start a language love affair with a Romance language in French, Italian or Spanish.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated all over the world with a variety of native traditions to explore and enjoy. However, nowadays, for most of us, it has become a massive commercial event, complete with chocolates, roses, teddy bears and quite frankly anything that is red and pink! Even, the days of anonymous love letters seem long gone …  [Read more…]

Celebrate Chinese New Year 2014!

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31st January 2014 is the start of the Chinese New Year.   This year is the Year of the Horse.   Start afresh and learn to speak one of the most important languages in the world – Mandarin Chinese. We introduce our top 5 ways to learn Mandarin, featuring some of the best and most innovative language providers in the world. [Read more…]

Saving Sami one rap at a time

The Sami language is spoken in Northern Norway and Finland by an ever-decreasing group of people – less than 20,000 people now speak the language, and numbers are only in decline as Norwegian and Finnish creep further and further up the Nordic region, and it may one day usurp Sami entirely.

However, Nils Rune Utsi is a man on a mission to reverse this downward trend in Sami speakers. In an attempt to boost interest in the language, he founded a rap group called Slincraze, rapping in Sami to make this language more relevant for younger generations and to stimulate interest with a view to making sure Sami stays in the consciousness of native speakers.

“I rap in Sami because it is my language and it feels so natural to me,” said Nils, “and of course I want to preserve the language in a way the youth can understand it… I feel it’s one of my duties to teach people to be proud to be a Sami.”

The concept is simple: if the Sami youth associate the language with something young, fresh and fun, they may feel more inclined to embrace the language themselves and want to keep the language alive. Of course, if Sami youngsters think about the language in a positive way, they will be more likely to ensure their own children learn Sami.

As is the case in so many parts of the world, the lesser-spoken languages are in danger of dying out at the hands of the dominant languages of the region. Lots of Sami children may well also speak Finnish and Norwegian, and may prefer to use these languages as a matter of prestige or to improve their chances in the job market.

There is a similar situation in Wales, where fewer children are learning to speak Welsh as English is regarded the language of prestige and global importance. There is a scene in the TV show Gavin and Stacey where Bryn, a man who has lived in Wales all his life, tells a group of Englishmen that ‘Nobody in Wales speaks Welsh’. Could we be seeing a similar situation arising in the future with Sami?

Take a look at one of Nils’ songs on YouTube:

If you were a speaker of an endangered language, how would you go about making it relevant and a desirable language to learn?

Find out more about Nils’ pledge to save Sami>>

Learn how to speak Sami>>

3rd UK Portuguese Film Festival

The 3rd UK Portuguese Film Festival brings together acclaimed films as well as up and coming visual artists and directors. The festival aims to promote Portuguese culture as well as showcase Portuguese cinema on an international platform.

[Read more…]

Light Warlpiri – New Language Discovered In Australia

A new language called Light Warlpiri has been discovered in Northern Australia. The language combines some elements of the English language as well as indigenous speech and is spoken by around 600 people in a remote desert community. What’s especially interesting about this language is that Light Warlpiri is what is known as a ‘mixed language’ as it contains a mix of several languages such as English, Traditional Warlpiri and Kriol.

[Read more…]

Maasai Image And Name Are To Be Branded

The Maasai people in Kenya and Tanzania want to trademark their name and image. The Maasai is an easily recognisable culture in tribal Africa who symbolize the outdoors and adventure and wear colourful beads and costumes. They are a semi-nomadic people where cattle is a sign of status and speak the Maa language. A Maasai elder wants the Maasai name and image to be trademarked out of respect for his culture and people. Globally, there are currently more than 80 companies using either the Maasai name or image.

The Maasai elder, along with an NGO (which specialises in securing intellectual property rights in developing countries), want to brand the Maasai image and name so that companies have to get permission to use them. It is thought that the Maasai brand could be worth more than 10 million dollars a year.

Read more about why the Maasai want to brand their image and name>>

 

US Republican Strives To Make English Official Language In USA

The Republican Congressman Steve King is working hard to make English the official language of the United States of America. He is striving to get a bill passed which will make an English language requirement obligatory for work places and have official government functions carried out in the English language. [Read more…]

A Rare Letter Written In English By Napoleon Bonaparte Goes To Auction

A letter written in the English language by the French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, will be going on sale at auction. It is a rare letter and even more so as it was written in English by Napoleon himself. Napoleon had wanted to understand the language of his British enemy when he was captured by the Brits in 1815. Unfortunately, he had not quite mastered the English language as noted in the letter going to auction.

[Read more…]

Give The Language Of Love!

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Photo taken by Andrea Lainé

February 14 is Valentine’s Day (also known as Saint Valentine’s Day). This is the day when, traditionally in the West, people send ‘Valentines’ or love poems and cards, as an expression of their love for each other.   The origins of this day can be traced to the Roman festival of Lupercus, the god of fertility.   [Read more…]

Teach Yourself Business Mandarin Chinese

teach-yourself-business-mandarin-chineseDo you want to win more business in China?
Do you want to serve your Mandarin Chinese-speaking customers better?
Do you want to work more effectively with your international business partners?

Teach Yourself Business Mandarin Chinese is a three-hour, all-audio, straightforward course that will help you to acquire essential up-to-date business language to use in China. [Read more…]