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· May, 2008

Stories about Language from May, 2008

China: Sharon Stone on Earthquake

  31 May 2008

Lam Kay pointed out that the mainstream media had mistranslated[zh] Sharon Stone's comment on Sichuan earthquake and caused a lot of misunderstandings in the Chinese world.

Jamaica, U.S.A.: Everglades Litany

  30 May 2008

“In anticipation of Caribbean American Heritage Month“, Jamaican litblogger Geoffrey Philp is running video series, which begins with one of his own, entitled Everglades Litany.

China: Quake Lake

  28 May 2008

Michael from the Opposite End of China points out that the Sichuan earthquake has added a new lexicon “Quake lake” to the English speaking world.

Jamaica: American Standard

  27 May 2008

Litblogger Geoffrey Philp is not in Jamaica for the Calabash International Literary Festival, but he's keeping track of what's going on, including Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott's criticism of the American standard.

Jamaica: Literary Feud

  26 May 2008

Blogging from Jamaica's Calabash Literary Festival, Annie Paul talks about Derek Walcott's poem The Mongoose, “written specifically with V.S. Naipaul in mind”: “Down here at Treasure Beach we give thanks for sunny skies and prickly poets. Willing conscripts in the enactment of a first-class literary feud we await the unfolding...

South Africa: What is the meaning of “makwerekwere”?

  25 May 2008

Khanya traces the origin of the word “makwerekwere,” a slang for foreigners in South Africa: ” A couple of bloggers with an interest in language have asked about the the origin and meaning of the word “makwerekwere”. It is a slang word for foreigners, and especially illegal immigrants, which I...

Burkina Faso: Learn Fulfude in six seconds

  25 May 2008

Stephen believes you can learn Fulfude (one of the languages spoken in Burkina Faso) in six seconds!: “We're all familiar with dazzling language-learning promises made by Linguaphone and similar companies: Speak fluent Arabic in just three weeks! Swedish in a weekend! Well, here's Fulfulde in six seconds. Just learn this...

Global Agenda for Lusophone Africa

  23 May 2008

“The past, present and future of Africa will be debated for two days in Lisbon during the II International Congress of Lusophone Africa. Organized by the University of Lusophone Humanities and Technology, the event's theme is ‘Global Agenda for Lusophone Africa’ and it will be attended by a range of...

Ukraine: A View From Crimea

Last week, Ukraine banned Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov from the country, after he called for Russia to take ownership of Sevastopol, a Ukrainian Black Sea naval port. The incident received much coverage in the Russian and Ukrainian media and blogs. Below is one more post, written by a Russophone resident of Balaklava, a Crimean town that has an official status of a district of the city of Sevastopol.

Brazil: Making your blog speak tongues

  17 May 2008

Tiago Dória [pt] tips bloggers about Der Mundo, a multilingual publishing tool for blogs whose “idea is to follow a hybrid model in which machine and the readers themselves translate”. The Brazilian blogger remarks that besides culture differences, the language barrier is still a conversation stopper in the web.

Mozambique: In defense of native languages

  16 May 2008

Jorge Saiete [pt] is very disappointed that some people in Mozambique believe that native languages, such as Xangana, Xitswa, Ndau, Nhugwe, Macua, and Chuabo should be avoided and are often reprimanded and labeled as language of evil. “I think the national languages are our heritage that most deserves to be...

Angola: On the standardization of the Portuguese language

  16 May 2008

Eugénio Costa Almeida [pt] breaks the news that the deal to standardize the Portuguese language in all countries was ratified in the Portuguese Parliament and within six years new spelling rules may be adopted. “Everyone has thought about “getting into the habit” but the most important thing was forgotten: children...

Kuwait: Zero Hour for Elections

Kuwait is all set for its National Assembly elections on Saturday (May 17). A total of 246 male candidates and 27 female candidates are running for 50 seats in the hotly contested elections. Abdullatif AlOmar brings us a selection of posts on the elections and other matters from the Kuwaiti blogosphere.

Guyana, USA: Speaking With Soul

  15 May 2008

Signifyin’ Guyana is enjoying reading a book about Ebonics, but says: “If I ketch any one of my students writing that way, he or she gon get a straight up F.”

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