Blog Archives

And the Happiest Language in the World Is…

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According to the Pollyanna principle, formulated in the ‘70s by two social psychologists, people tend to use positive words more frequently than negative ones. Furthermore, we tend to remember in greater detail and describe more exhaustively those memories with a positive rather than a negative association. Based on this principle, researchers at the University of […]

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North Korea and Language

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The Guardian recently published an interesting piece that to a certain degree removes the mantle of impermeability that covers North Korea. In other communist nations the study of a foreign language might (now or previously) be taken as a matter of prestige, however, it is mandatory for all students in hermetic North Korea, from primary […]

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Why Children Aren’t Better Language Learners than Adults

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Everybody’s favorite stereotypical excuse to not learning a foreign language is that adults can’t learn languages as well as children. The common misconception is that children’s brains are more elastic and more capable of remembering new languages and that our adult brains are rigid and incapable of adapting to the new language’s structure and remembering […]

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The Subtle Gap Between Being Bilingual and Being a Translator

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Have you ever been asked to translate a short text or to edit a translation simply because you know how to speak or are a native speaker of that given language? If not, then you will at least have probably heard someone you know mention that a friend corrected a document translated into English because […]

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Europe’s Contribution to the Future of English

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In my last post “Translating…The Future” I wrote about one possible aspect of the future of the English language; the probability  that it will become more and more simple over time. As I mentioned in that post, it is a natural phenomenon for complicated grammatical structures to be progressively and slowly discarded from widely-spoken languages, […]

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Translating… The Future?

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A little over 600 years ago, Geoffrey Chaucer, whom is widely considered to be the father of English literature, asked why anyone would possibly want to learn English, a language with no literature.  Indeed, at that time English was the new kid on the block, confined to Great Britain’s meager population of just four million […]

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Exploring Idioms in Foreign Languages

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In my previous post “Understanding English-Language Idioms,” I discussed the peculiarity of idioms. Idioms are expressions used in informal language that don’t actually mean what their literal meaning would suggest, which is often rather strange. We use idioms every day without putting much thought into their literal meaning or their origin. However, idioms can also […]

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The Peculiar New Words Added by Oxford Dictionaries

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The editors at OxfordDictionaries.com don’t want to get left behind with all the advances in the English language and so they decided to add a thousand new words to their online dictionary. It’s worth noting that here we’re referring to the popular online dictionary of Oxford University, which is not related to the highly regarded […]

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