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Latest Languages of Africa Stories

2009-11-11 17:18:02

Do you speak English as a second language well, but still have trouble understanding movies with unfamiliar accents, such as Brad Pitt's southern accent in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds? In a new study, published in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, Holger Mitterer (Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics) and James McQueen (MPI and Radboud University Nijmegen) show how you can improve your second-language listening ability by watching the movie with subtitles"”as long as...

2009-05-07 14:42:14

Children as young as 19 months understand different dialects, researchers in Australia found. Catherine Best of MARCS Laboratories at the University of Western Sydney, along with colleagues from Haskins Laboratories and Wesleyan University, report the early development of this cross-dialect skill, which they term phonological constancy. The study, described in Psychological Science, suggests phonological constancy is evident by 19 months of age, but is not yet present at 15 months. In the...

2008-08-15 12:00:48

By SARAH RAINEY IT'S an opertunity that we truely cannot ignor. At least, if we listen to one university lecturer's ideas for spelling out students' problems with literacy - this could be the future of the written word. Ken Smith, a senior lecturer in criminology at Bucks New University, has called for common spelling mistakes made by students to be accepted into everyday usage as 'variant spellings' of some particular words. "Teaching a large first-year course at a British university, I...

2008-06-21 00:00:20

Friends Seminary School Autumn Adkins, 212-979-5035 ext. 193 Assistant Principal Friends Seminary School, regarded as one of the country's top private schools, today announced the addition of Arabic to its curriculum of languages being offered to its students beginning in the Fall 2008 semester. Founded in 1786, Friends Seminary has consistently striven to be at the forefront in education, from its founding as a co-ed school when the education of girls was marginal to establishing...

2006-08-23 20:16:31

By Bernd Debusmann, Special Correspondent FRANKFURT (Reuters) - It is known as Denglisch, a hybrid of Deutsch and English, and cultural purists say it is an insult to the language of Goethe and should be purged from the vocabulary. Denglisch has spread steadily as Germans adopted American phrases in business, advertising, technology, and everyday speech. "Brainstorm" has become as common a word in German as "surfen," "chatten," and "shoppen" (for surfing, chatting and shopping)....

2006-01-26 08:10:00

By Daniel Flynn DJIBONKOR, Senegal -- Legend has it that the Bainouk people of southern Senegal were cursed by a tyrannical king, who with his dying breath condemned them to wander in poverty forever. Today, the Bainouk eke out a meager existence from agriculture in the forests of the lush Casamance region, their ancient language and lifestyle under threat from the encroaching modern world. "If we speak our language no one can understand us, so we use Diola if we go into town," said...

2005-12-20 08:20:00

By Ibon Villelabeitia AMMAN (Reuters) - The waiter with dreadlocks and a Bob Marley T-shirt glides among a group of chic Jordanians sipping cappuccinos and smoking hookahs, or water pipes. A call to prayer from a distant mosque is drowned out by the sound system playing rock band Coldplay and the lively chatter of young customers: "What's up? Keefak?," "Thank you, habibi." The banter is a form of speech that mixes Arabic with English. It is widely used among Jordan's Western-educated elites,...

2005-07-06 02:36:26

By Alain Ngono JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa has embarked on ashake-up of its educational system to enable students to beeducated in any of the country's 11 official languages rangingfrom Afrikaans and English to Xhosa and Zulu. Officials describe the policy as an important step towarddeveloping indigenous African languages which were ignored orsuppressed under decades of white apartheid rule. "It is our legal obligation to develop a policy thatincorporates all South African...

2005-07-03 02:51:34

By Alain Ngono JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa has embarked on ashake-up of its educational system to enable students to beeducated in any of the country's 11 official languages rangingfrom Afrikaans and English to Xhosa and Zulu. Officials describe the policy as an important step towarddeveloping indigenous African languages which were ignored orsuppressed under decades of white apartheid rule. "It is our legal obligation to develop a policy thatincorporates all South African...