Stories about Language from January, 2009
China: Name Change for the Minzu University of China
Highpeakspureearth discusses the cultural political implications in the recent change of English name of “the Central University of Nationalities” to “Minzu University of China” (MUC) (since November 20th, 2008).
Russia: iPhone Apps
Siberian Light reviews “the best Russian iPhone apps.”
Czech Republic: A Fairy Tale; Travel; Language
Czechmatediary writes about travel to Telc, Moravia, which is also called the “Moravian Venice”; posts a Czech fairy tale about the 12 months; and asks a linguistics expert about the best way of getting kids to speak Czech (or any other foreign language for that matter).
Azerbaijan: Language Lessons
Linda in Azerbaijan details the trials and tribulations of learning Azerbaijani. Despite the difficulties, the Peace Corps Volunteer says she is determined to learn the language at the highest level possible.
Iran: BBC launches new Persian TV channel
The launch of BBC Persian TV on January 14, attracted praise, enthusiasm, suspicion, and in one word: attention! Iranian bloggers are expressing their opinions on this new channel, and they are as diverse as ever.
Jamaica: Praying in Patois
Iriegal shares her thoughts on the production of a Patois Bible: “I just want to say $60 million dollars is a lot to invest…there is so much controversy in translating European English into Patois I really don't know how they are going to do it, even from and audio perspective.”
Bangladesh: Learning English
Kotha-Chhilo (something to say) thinks the politicians and cricketers of Bangladesh should take English language courses to express themselves freely to international media.
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Nihad Hasanović
An interview with Bosnian writer Nihad Hasanović – “one of the most interesting and intriguing young writers in the space of Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian language” – at Jasmin's Heart (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5).
Latvia: Book Publishing VAT Up From 5% To 21%
Very belatedly, links to Peteris Cedrins’ reporting and musings at Marginalia on the history of book publishing in Latvia and the outrageous VAT increase on books from 5 percent to 21 percent.
Jamaica, U.S.A.: Pre-Inauguration Poem
Jamaican litblogger Geoffrey Philp pens “a simple lyric, for Barack Obama”.
Hong Kong: Election Consultation Deferred… It's Dog-Speak!
If constructive questions like the election consultation became "dog-speak" in the eye of top ruling elites (in the form of Freudian slip), what's the function of the Legislative council? Although LSD's legislators' dog's fight performance is disruptive, can the Legislative council be genuinely constructive with the un-democratic system?
Syria: Mideast Youth in Arabic
Mideast Youth has launched an Arabic website, writes Rima, from Syria.
China: Bu Zheteng
ESWN discusses various possible translation of “bu zheteng” in President Hu Jintao's speech last week.
Lebanon: Arabic with Hebrew accent in US TV
As'ad AbuKhalil, a Lebanese professor of political science based in U.S., observes that every interpreter of Arabic on mainstream US TV news channels speaks with a Hebrew accent.
Azerbaijan: Off the Air
Following the recent ban on foreign radio broadcasts in Azerbaijan, Thoughts On The Road registers its disappointment with the move. Although Radio Free Europe will now concentrate on expanding its web site, the blog says that this is no replacement for a radio station. It also wonders how Azerbaijani students...
Japan: Teaching Buddhism by sign language
A blogger at Toppei no Minna Chigatte Minna Ii (トッペイのみんなちがってみんないい) introduces a website where it is possible for deaf followers to download the .wmv files and the original texts of the Buddhist Sacred Scriptures interpreted through the use of the (Japanese) sign language. While this initiative may not sound new...
Rwanda: The myth of the lack of hospitality
Morgan in Rwanda debunks the popular myth amongst expats living in Rwanda that Rwandese are not hospitable and don't invite people over for dinner. She concludes: “knowing how to communicate in the local language is really the only way to learn about a culture beyond the obvious”.
Languages and dialects of Mali
Mali Travel Diaries writes about Mali's multilinguism, a country where French is the official language and 50 others are spoken.
Brazil: Reform won't unify Brazilian and European Portuguese
Fabio Said believes that the Portuguese language spelling reform will not make the main variants of the language uniform. Commenting on a BBC news which states otherwise, he argues: “In fact, this passage is nonsense. European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese will always be two different language variants, with very strong...
Pakistan: State of the Punjabi Language
Aamna at Lahore Metblogs discusses about the state of Punjabi language in Pakistan.
Lusosphere: Reform in Portuguese Language Not Welcomed
As of today, the reform of Portuguese language spelling begins to be implemented in Brazil. The same rules will eventually be implemented in Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe. Bloggers across the Lusosphere are not exactly happy about it.