Monthly Archives: August 2017

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Support for Russian in Ukraine

Thirty percent of Ukrainians in areas controlled by the Kiev government support granting official status to the Russian language, according to a new survey. The poll, conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, found that 54.4% of Ukrainians were against Russian becoming an official language and another 15% of the respondents found it difficult…

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Can Putonghua Relieve Poverty?

While Chinese President Xi Jinping has declared war on poverty, and instructed local governments to create a “moderately well-off society” by the beginning of 2021, in time for the centenary of the ruling Communist Party, regional authorities are failing to teach ethnic minority groups enough Putonghua [Modern Standard Mandarin], Zhu Weiqun, said in an article…

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Hawaiian Language Sets a Good Example

Revitalization efforts for the Hawaiian language are now being used as a model for success for other indigenous language programs. Advocates of endangered languages visited the University of Hawaii at Manoa this month for the fifth annual International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation. A large portion of that conference was the field study He…

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Spain Honors Ladino in Israel

Interior of Santa Maria la Blanca Synagogue in Toledo, Spain. Erected in 1190 and considered the oldest synagogue building in Europe still standing. It was consecrated as a church upon the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in the 15th century, but no major renovations were done.Spain’s Real Academia Española (RAE), the leading authority on…

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Bilingual Education on the Brink of Return in Boston

The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously approved the LOOK (Language Opportunity for Our Kids) bill that would allow school systems to bring back bilingual education, potentially ending a 15-year-old ban on schools teaching students academic courses in their native language.The LOOK bill updates MGL Ch 71A English Language Education in Public, allowing all districts to choose…

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Belarus Opens First Chinese Department

Minsk State Linguistic University (MSLU) will open Belarus’ first Chinese language and culture department in the new academic year, according to MSLU Rector Natalya Baranova. The department plans to enroll nearly 300 students. “We have long been preparing for this. We already have the lecturers and teaching staff for it. Today Chinese is taught in…

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An Act of Commitment, Generosity, and Mediation

Celebrated author John le Carré believes that anglophones need to learn a second language now more than ever    At the German embassy in London, UK, last month, during an awards ceremony recognizing outstanding teachers of the language, the renowned British author John le Carré, famous for spy novels like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which…

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BBC launches Pidgin Portal

The BBC has launched a new online section that delivers news exclusively in Pidgin for West African audiences. Pidgin is a language spoken by over 75 million Nigerians. While the number of speakers is large, Pidgin offers unique challenges: it is a language without official spelling or grammar that is in constant flux. The portal…

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Taiwan Launches “Mandarin-on-the-Go”

Taiwan’s Ministry of Education has announced Mandarin-on-the-Go, a new language-learning program for those wanting to learn Mandarin. Chinese language centers and universities are working with the Ministry of Education to promote study tours where students going to Taiwan can learn Mandarin through interactive study abroad programs. The language and travel packages aim to teach the…

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STUDY ABROAD: Germany

John le Carré is not the only proponent of learning German. Harald Braun and Kurt Gamerschlag share the benefits of learning the language of Goethe in its homeland. “There are many reasons to learn German in Bonn, or Germany in general. I’ll name three for any prospective student coming to Bonn: Bonn is both small…