World

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Portuguese Exam Record in U.S.

The U.S. online Portuguese exam, part of the National Examinations in World Languages (NEWL), had its highest number of registrations (345) this year. “Despite the restrictions and constraints arising from the current pandemic situation and the fact that many schools are in hybrid or distance education, 345 registrations were recorded nationally (the highest number ever),”…

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Afrikaans Goes to Court

The University of South Africa—locally known as UNISA—the largest university system in the nation, has been working on phasing out Afrikaans as a language of instruction since 2016, a move that has been met with protest from some of the nation’s Afrikaans speakers. Now, the highest court in the country will determine the constitutionality of…

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Government Officials Quantify Chinese Learning Growth

More than 70 countries and regions had incorporated the Chinese language into their national education system by the end of last year as the language’s global influence continued to spread, officials from China’s Ministry of Education claimed at a news conference in Beijing last month. They added that some 20 million people are learning Chinese…

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French to Lead During France’s EU Presidency

The French language is poised to become the main language of the European Union’s (EU’s) meetings, notes, and debates during France’s presidency of the bloc from January 2022 to June 2022. France is planning to host major EU meetings in French, a move that breaks with the long-held tradition of hosting such meetings in English….

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Addressing the Gender Bias in French

French speakers have long been engaged in a debate over the language’s gender inclusivity—or rather its lack thereof. While some progress has been made toward feminizing the language (such as the 2012 move to remove the word mademoiselle from all official government communications, instead opting for the more neutral madame), other measures have been met…

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Chinese Controversy in Sri Lanka

Two incidents in which Chinese was included on signs for government projects but Tamil was omitted, despite being an official language, have caused Sri Lankans to start questioning the cultural hegemony of China on the island nation as its investments multiply. Sri Lankan attorney general Dappula de Livera unveiled a plaque written in Sinhala, English,…

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Arabic Internet Users Avoid Censorship by Adapting Alphabet

Pro-Palestinian activists have come up with a unique way of maneuvering around online censorship in the Arabic language: using an ancient form of the Arabic alphabet that isn’t properly recognized by social media algorithms designed to detect offensive or controversial content. In light of the recent developments in the Israel–Palestine conflict, social media networks like…

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Bill Would Allow Six Months to Learn French in Québec

A proposed language reform policy in Québec would give new immigrants to the Canadian province a pretty narrow timeframe to attain working proficiency in French: six months. Bill 96, a 100-page piece of legislation, aims to boost the status of the French language in Québec, but some argue that it could discourage immigrants from coming…