More Than Just Chinese: A Guide to Tonal Languages

This week’s language of the week is Punjabi, so, just like many of you, we’ve been learning more about it. Turns out, we discovered something quite interesting: Punjabi, the same as Mandarin, Cantonese and even Yoruba, is a tonal language! Not sure what that means? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Let’s start with what … Read more

Kia ora, how are you?: The Curious Case of New Zealand English

This week is Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori, or Māori Language Week, in New Zealand and around the world. As one of New Zealand’s official languages (alongside English and New Zealand Sign Language), Māori holds an important position and efforts to revitalise the language are proving successful. But what are the consequences of having … Read more

Latin at the Movies

Latin may not be the dominant language of a vast empire any more, but that doesn’t mean you won’t hear it now and again. In this post, we take a look at seven movies that feature Latin in some shape or form and see how popular culture has helped keep Latin alive. Now, it might … Read more

Valentine’s day – a day for declaring your love in any way you can.

Valentine’s day – a day for declaring your love in any way you can. But love can often be more tortured than a simple declaration. As Alfred de Musset said in his book “On ne badine pas avec l’amour”: “We are often deceived in love, often wounded and often miserable; but we love, and when … Read more

New App Helps Save Endangered Language of Reindeer Herders Nicknamed ‘The People of Eight Seasons’

Language learning company uTalk has launched an app to help save the threatened Southern Saami language spoken by reindeer herders in Norway and Sweden. The herders are nicknamed the people of eight seasons because their culture divides the calendar year into eight or more seasons to tie in with the life cycle of the reindeer. … Read more

Le Musée de l’Homme – Paris

7000 languages, 7 billion people – one museum’s answer The word of God, children’s novels, recipes, drunken talk, rumours or political promises: everything is about speaking. It’s estimated that there are 7000 spoken languages in the world and a billion different ways to say all those things. This uninterrupted discussion among people of generations started … Read more

Stop thinking about it and get going!

In the spirit of ‘Linguists Anonymous’, I am Felicity Jones, 45, and I am mildly addicted to learning other languages. I speak French, German, Spanish, Italian and some Mandarin. I have used uTalk to learn some Danish, and my January challenge is Greek. Even as a child I would listen under the bed cover to … Read more

What languages mean to me

Interview with Alexandra Turner – translator, writer, editor Alex left her London life a few months ago to go and travel around the world. She is passionate about culture and languages and has traveled to 26 countries up to now. At the moment she lives in Stockholm, Sweden (and we deeply envy her for that). EuroTalk: What … Read more

Language of the Week: Italian

Buongiorno! Italian is our language of the week, in celebration of an annual tradition, Il Palio, which dates back to the 12th century and is held on the 16th of August. This is a horse race unlike any other and is all over in 90 seconds. It’s held in the beautiful city of Siena, where the … Read more

A beginner’s guide to Esperanto

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Esperanto week! If we’ve convinced you to give the language a try, you might find this handy beginner’s guide a good place to start… Please feel free to share it with anyone you think might be interested. And for more information about Esperanto, visit edukado.net, a site run by linguist … Read more