Stories about Language from September, 2011
Bhutan: Promoting The National Language
Penstar stresses the need to simplify and promote use of the Bhutanese national language Dzongkha decreasing dominance of English language.
Kyrgyzstan: Pushing for the state language in campaign
murzaki writes about the Kyrgyz language test, which is a part of the presidential candidates registration in Kyrgyzstan. Some observers believe this exam may be a tool of screening away unwanted politicians, but it probably also marks the start of politicization of the state language issue.
Taiwan: Polyglot teaches you Taiwanese indigenous languages
Mike Campbell, a polyglot who can already speak fluent Mandarin, Hakka, Fukien-major languages used in Taiwan, along with a dozen of other languages, is now teaching people how to speak Sediq, Truku, and other rarely spoken Taiwanese indigenous languages on Youtube that now even most indigenous people now cannot speak.
Russia: Jokes and Xenophobia
Donna Welles writes about Russian jokes (and a blog that translates Russian and Ukrainian jokes into English) – and about xenophobia.
China: A water calligraphy dot matrix printer
Danwei has produced a video interview with Nicholas Hanna, a media artist who has built a tricycle that can paint Chinese characters with water on the ground as it moves. The machine is inspired by Beijingers who practice Chinese calligraphy with water brushes on the ground in parks.
South Korea: The Diplomats Who Can't Speak English
It was revealed on September 13, 2011, that four out of ten South Korean diplomats find it nearly impossible to use proper diplomatic language in English, prompting the public to raise questions on the competency of Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials.
Mexico, USA: Triqui Indigenous Migrants Defenseless Against Crime and Police Questioning
The Triqui indigenous people of Mexico living in the United States as undocumented immigrants are easy targets for robberies and police questioning because they often don't speak Spanish or English –Ismael Flores in Vivir México [es] reports.
Lebanon: Empowering Migrant Workers With Language
A community of enthusiastic young people in Beirut, The Migrant Workers Task Force, are working to support foreign domestic workers in Lebanon whose living and working conditions are often desperately unfair. Thalia Rahme reports.
Ukraine: Crimean Tatar Language on Twitter
Hirano Takaci (@hiranotakaci), a Lviv-based photographer and teacher of the Japanese language, has recently launched a Twitter bot – @ukr_crh – that posts Ukrainian words/phrases and their Crimean Tatar (Qırımca) translations. “The thing is, I've been searching but haven't found any Ukrainian-language books about the Crimean Tatar language,” he explained...
Peru: The State of Quechua on the Internet
Quechua, one of the original languages of Peru, is on the Internet in various forms: from Google and Wikipedia in Quechua to blogs and citizen initiatives looking to maintain and encourage the presence of this language through the web.
Moldova: “Our Romanian Language” Day Protest
Twenty years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the official language is still an issue of dispute in Moldova, where the Constitution calls it Moldovan, the educational system teaches Romanian, and the ethnic minorities insist on formalizing the Russian language as a second official language.