The Language Feed - April 3, 2005

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Sun Apr 3 18:23:12 UTC 2005

The Language Feed
April 3, 2005

This issue and archives can be read on the web at

Tribal delegates gather to talk about saving their language
San Diego Union Tribune, April 2
In a conference hall echoing with chanted songs almost as old as the
nearby Colorado River, hundreds of American Indians are rekindling a
fundamental flame of their diverse but related cultures.

Quechans getting creative to help keep their language alive
Union Sun, April 2
Susie Gilbert is learning Quechan for her husband.
Once she's mastered the language, she plans to teach it to her husband,
a Quechan who never learned his native tongue.

Pentagon launches push for better language skills, April 1
The Defense Department announced Wednesday "a major initiative" to
develop foreign language experts among the uniformed and civilian workforce.

Court makes Quebec language law bulletproof
Toronto Star, April 1
Under the guise of a rap on the knuckles of Quebec bureaucrats, the
Supreme Court of Canada bulletproofed the province's language law
against further constitutional challenges yesterday.

English as a second language an increasing challenge: Test expectations
track progress but also create pressure
Tahoe Daily Tribune, April 1
Erika Garcia wanted to fulfill the opportunity given to her when her
parents moved from Mexico to South Lake Tahoe.

NELC to suffer the loss of key language professors
Yale Daily News, April 1
With the expected departures of four professors, Yale's Near Eastern
Languages and Civilizations Department is facing an uphill battle as it
attempts to grow in response to increased student demand for modern
Middle East and Arabic language course offerings.

Ukrainian language is not that small beer!
Ukrainska Pravda, March 31
Once we were drinking coffee on Khreshchatyk Street as a little Gypsy
boy drifted up to us and peddled his learned phrase in Russian: “Please
spare a few coins. There is no food at home.” Being in bad humour we
replied quickly in Ukrainian without giving it a second thought: “Keep
walking buddy, we don’t understand Russian.” However, the little beggar
immediately switched into Ukrainian and repeated the familiar pitch
about no food at home.

NSU to help preserve language
Tahlequah Daily Press, March 31
Preservation of traditional tribal language has been an ongoing battle
for American Indian tribes across the nation for years.

Trademarked Inuit word irks Nunavut's language czar
CBC News, March 30
Nunavut's language commissioner isn't pleased with a southern dog food
company's move to trademark qimmik, the Inuktitut word for "dog."

Miami Language Project - Part 3
WKSU News, March 30
Language skills are often developed over a lifetime. But researchers on
the Myaamia at Miami University in Oxford have a more daunting task.
They work to restore and put into use a centuries-old language that
hasn't been spoken conversationally in nearly 45 years. It starts with
publication of a Miami language dictionary this spring. Miami Tribe
researchers vow to again make it a living language by teaching it to
English speaking Miami children.

Making peace through language
Ynet news, March 28
In an effort to promote peace and understanding between Jews and Arabs
in France, a new organization is offering joint Hebrew and Arabic
classes to students in Paris.,7340,L-3064380,00.html

Background noises interfere with infant’s language development
New Kerala, April 3
A new study by University of Maryland researchers has revealed that
noise levels in daycare centers and homes can interfere with the
language development of infants younger than 13 months.

Foreign Teachers a Quick Fix
The Washington Post, April 3
Gilmar Mejia tries to give his high school Spanish class an authentic
feel, adorning the shelves with Central American toys and the walls with
posters of Latino celebrities -- race car driver Juan Pablo Montoya and
pop singer Shakira, her blond mane flaming outward.

Does language 'difficulty' speak of a sense beyond mere words?
The Japan Times, April 3
I have often been told by Japanese people that theirs is the most
difficult language in the world. Virtually all the Japanese people who
have said this to me, I might add, have spoken no other language than
their own.

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