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Stories about Language

Caribbean alphabet series provides lots of laughs on TikTok

Laughter has become a critical coping mechanism in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in an era of social media "influencers," can anyone lay claim to originality?

‘We have a strange destiny': a conversation with the Livonian poet Valts Ernštreits: Part II

"That's the idea of the series: to tell the Livonian story to the Latvian public, so they would better understand why Livonian is important."

‘We have a strange destiny': a conversation with the Livonian poet Valts Ernštreits: Part I

"There are only a few countries in Europe who have indigenous people, and Latvia is one of them."

International conflicts are also about names: The case of Nagorno-Karabakh

As in all territories inhabited by different nations using various languages, in this case, Azerbaijanis speaking a Turkic language, and Armenians speaking an Indo-European language, geographic names have more than one name.

Are Romance languages becoming more gender neutral?

Each language is morphing in its own way -- and not everyone is happy about it.

Lukashenka or Lukashenko? Why Anglophone media use different spellings for the embattled Belarusian leader

The answer: It depends.

‘Lukashenka's time is over': a Belarusian writer urges solidarity from afar

"Lukashenka says Belarusians abroad are controlled by puppet-masters, but it's the other way around. It is the Belarusian protesters in Belarus who are the masters, and we, the diaspora, are...

Natives’ or ‘outsiders'? A mob attack in Meghalaya throws questions of belonging into sharp relief

The ethnic tensions of Meghalaya – and many more of India's north-eastern states – can be traced back to the 'outsider' narrative.

How a bad translation of ‘Black Lives Matter’ ended up enabling racist narratives on Chinese social media

A popular Chinese translation of the anti-racism protest slogan is paradoxically being used to spread racist discourse.

Calls, SMS, and radio: How pre-internet tech helps low-income children's schooling in India's lockdown

An award-winning non-profit start-up from the city of Cuttack, in the state of Odisha, is providing low-cost remote education to over 5,000 children from 400 villages.

Nigerians counteract COVID-19 denialism with social media campaigns

Nigerians directly confront coronavirus denial headlong with counter-narratives that use ordinary language in campaigns devoid of the usual mistrust between citizens and governments. 

How Balinese communities in Indonesia are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic

"COVID-19 mini-wikithons provide a safe space for people to talk in their native Balinese language about their challenges and coping strategies of the pandemic in Balinese communities."

Czech author Radka Denemarková on Kundera and patriarchy in the Czech literature scene

"We still await a book about Kundera written by a young, sensitive, intelligent woman, as Kundera's world is based on patriarchal values."

Indian activists publish the first online magazine in the Santali language

Language activists from the eastern Indian state of Odisha have recently published the very first online magazine in the Santali language.

COVID-19 leads to closure of popular bookshops in Bangladesh

"There are so many second-hand books with probably no more copies in the world… many valuable documents of Bengali literary culture will be lost like this."

Wikipedia project boosts Taiwan's hundreds-strong Sakizaya-speaking community

Along with six other indigenous languages in Taiwan, Sakizaya is classified as “critically endangered” by UNESCO.

How can Nepal's literary tradition make its mark on the global scene?

Director of Global Literature in Libraries Initiatives shares insights into how Nepali literature can reach wider audiences.

Who fact checks online disinformation in West Africa’s Bambara language?

Kpénahi Traoré, a language activist and journalist, battles the online dissemination of false information in Bambara, one of West Africa’s most widely spoken minority languages.

Making Swahili visible: Identity, language and the internet

Swahili is the most widely spoken African language, but its visibility online is dismal. Kenyan language activist Bonface Witaba is working to change this.

A conversation with Udmurt language digital activist Artyom Malykh

"My primary motivation is to keep the language of my community alive. Udmurt must be used in as wide a variety of spaces as possible in order to ensure that...

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