Tag Archives: language

Should my son learn Arabic?

The Curzons are currently resident in Dubai, and the question that appears as the title of this post has just come up. Curzon’s son, currently aged about 30 months, is attending an international nursery, and will have the option to … Continue reading

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The Global Decline of the Arabic Script

Today, the Latin alphabet is the international standard for phonetic writing. But this is a modern phenomenon. For centuries, Arabic was the central language to science and trade, and consequently, the use of its script was dominant worldwide well into … Continue reading

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What Language to Learn?

I’m going to repost as an independent post what I wrote as a comment on one of Chirol’s posts almost four years ago regarding languages, and what languages to learn. I was reminded of this topic because of Younghusband’s post … Continue reading

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Offending nationalist sensibilities?

In last week’s _The Economist_ the Director of the International Bureau for the Democratic Party of Japan wrote in to criticise one of the magazine’s covers, pictured below. bq. You made fun of our respected nation’s name on a cover … Continue reading

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Mapping the extinction of languages

Throughout history languages have transformed with moving populations. Sometimes they transform right of existence. I was never one to get weepy about dying languages. I have always thought it a fact of history. But I do regret lost cultural artefacts, … Continue reading

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In the book “Spook Country”:http://www.amazon.com/Spook-Country-William-Gibson/dp/0399154302/ William Gibson paints a picture of Cuban-Chinese gangsters who do parkour and communicate through a manufactured language called “Volapuk”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volapuk_encoding. Gibson describes Volapuk through the character Milgrim on page 16: bq. When the Russians got themselves … Continue reading

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Strategic communication

The latest “Principles of War”:http://www.jhuapl.edu/POW/ seminar series featured “John Rendon”:http://www.jhuapl.edu/POW/rethinking/video.cfm#rendon of the “Rendon Group”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Rendon who spoke on the topic of strategic communication. This is an issue dear to my heart as a former PR man with a technology bent familiar … Continue reading

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Diplo speak

Hilarious sign at UNHQ, NY. Photo by “Blake Hounshell”:http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/node/6377.

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Lost in Translation?

In the very public row over Russia’s refusal to extradite a suspect to Britain in the poisoning murder of Alexander Litvinenko, the headlines in the western press are focusing solely on Putin’s statement that Russia is not Britain’s colony: Russia’s … Continue reading

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Jamba what?

From the Wikipedia article (with sources): Prior to 2007, the company website of Jamba Juice claimed that “Jamba” derives from the “African” word “Jama,” which means “to celebrate, taking care of body, mind and soul is a way of celebrating … Continue reading

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