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· July, 2008

Stories about Language from July, 2008

Azerbaijan: Shop Baku

Visiting Azerbaijan? A new blog, Shop Baku, offers helpful tips for foreigners in the country including a helpful list of food names in Azerbaijani and English as well as a cheat sheet for buying produce from markets and shops.

Proposal to close Hausa Wikipedia

  28 July 2008

The blog Hausa Online reports that a few days ago a proposal had been made in Wikipedia's discussion pages to delete the Wikipedia in Hausa language, an African Chadic language spoken by more than 24 million people. This comes a few months after the blog Beyond Niamey expressed his concern...

Saudi Arabia: What is the point of MBC Persia?

MBC is a Saudi-run satellite television company, known across the Arab world for its entertainment channels as well as Al Arabiya news channel. It has just launched a new channel called MBC Persia, on which films are subtitled in Farsi. Saudi blogger Mohammed Abdullah Al Shahri wonders whether this initiative is really what is needed.

China: Official Olympic Security English handbook

  22 July 2008

Matthew at Waiguoren Critic of South China notes the lack of lessons on breaking up fights or calming people down before they begin in the official Police Olympic Security English Handbook, but with dialogue like this, a nightly stand-up routine at Olympic Village is an approach Chinese police should probably...

China: Don't even think about asking

  22 July 2008

It's The World Meets China and not the other way around, if one is to believe that anyone will the ‘Eight Don't Asks’ will be taken seriously when Olympics fans show up next month. ‘Income, age, love life, health’ and see Tim Johnson's post at China Rises for the rest.

Brazil: Portugal ratifies Portuguese language agreement

  21 July 2008

Portugal's President Anibal Cavaco Silva has ratified the agreement to standardise the Portuguese language and its spelling in a move to make the language, spoken in 8 countries, more uniform globally. O Hermenauta [pt] has written a round up of reactions from both sides of the ocean and concludes the...

Japan: Mainichi's “Foreign Staff”

  21 July 2008

In the latest step in a long and drawn out controversy, Mainichi newspaper has issued a 3-page official apology in response to the harsh backlash concerning its English-language WaiWai column. Blogger polimediauk responds to the news, questioning the tendency to divide foreign and Japanese staff at the English-language Mainichi site and treat them differently.

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Blogger of the week: Elena Ignatova

Today's Blogger of the Week series is taking us to Macedonia, a small country in Europe that some people might not even have heard of but that has a thriving blogosphere. We talked to Elena Ignatova, editor of both Global Voices in Macedonian and in Albanian, about her involvement with Global Voices, the Macedonian blogosphere and her work as an internet activist, among other things.

Myanmar: Naming System

  20 July 2008

“I realized that the Burmese custom of naming is fairly unique. It symbolizes the combination of the particular virtue for a person and astrological calculation of the day of the week that the person was born based on Burmese lunar calendar year.”, Bakaung blogs and explains more in detail.

Japan: The Linguistics of Nico Nico Douga

  20 July 2008

Metagold is a research blog based out of a project at Goldsmiths College, University of London, focused exclusively on the video sharing web service Nico Nico Douga. In a July 15th post, Metagold takes up the story of a linguist at Kyoto University, Kanamaru-san (id:kana0355 [ja]), who “asks how the...

Japan: Is it all over for Mainichi?

  20 July 2008

Nobuo Ikeda writes in English and in Japanese about the latest step in the drawn-out WaiWai controversy: after a string of earlier statements, Mainichi has issued a 3-page-long official apology, in which it pledges “to rehabilitate [Mainichi Daily News] into a site that can dispatch information to the world that...

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Taiwan: Observations on Yahoo! Taiwan's search filter

  20 July 2008

We hear about issues on censorship a lot on Global Voices Online and our Advocacy Project, and most of the cases come from Government policies or business self-censorship because of Government policies. However, fierce business competition can sometimes result in censorship...or a kind of.

China: Looking back at a campus shooting

  19 July 2008

“...the first few days with the cast were really strange, everyone kept whispering to each other wondering if I was a big kung fu master back in China.” Why does it always have to be so awkward when Chinese and Americans get together?

Tanzania: On language and unity

  18 July 2008

Kenyan blogger Jerry Okungo, writing at Siasa Duni, comments on “the realisation that Tanzanians may not be as good masters of Kiswahili as the rest of East Africa may think” and on last week's decision by the Tanzanian Parliament “that the country had abandoned Ujamaism—the country’s version of socialism”. And...

Jamaica: Patois Parlance

  18 July 2008

Transition Sunshine says that “all Jamaicans are multilingual, and while some may not speak patois, they all understand it”. Posted with video to prove her point.

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