Archive for February, 2008

Moscow Daily Photo

Moscow Daily Photo is by Irina, who posts a different photo of her town every day, mixing well known icons such as the Kremlin and St. Basils with shots of everyday life and also nature photos where you can share the cold Russian winter!

Part of the City Daily Photo blog network which includes more than 500 blogs from cities all over the world.

February 26, 2008 Comments disabled

International Mother Language day

Today is International Mother Language day, and also the launch of 2008 as the International Year of Languages, led by UNESCO.

Global Voices online published ‘Are languages free?’ an article from Bangladesh on the importance of mother languages, especially minority languages and those in danger of extinction. According to the article, it has been proven that we learn more easily if we are taught in our mother tongue. Unfortunately many people around the world do not have the opportunity to learn in their own mother tongue.

Read more about the International Year of Languages here.

February 21, 2008 Comments disabled

Petite Anglaise (UK) and Mr Frog (France)

The frog and I speak a language understood only by ourselves, where sentences may start in French, end in English and include some words which hover somewhere in between. I’ve adopted some of the frog’s more endearing mistakes because they amused me: faulty plurals (feets, sheeps), creative past tenses (“I’m feeling hanged over”). He also does a very convincing faux Yorkshire accent when he says “fancy a cuppa tea luv?” and slips into it automatically (as do I) when he spends time with my family.

Mother called last night and asked the frog if he had any idea what she could get him for his upcoming birthday. I would give anything to have been a fly on the wall to see her reaction when he said that he could do with a pair of handcuffs*.

Strait-laced mother must have been struggling to process this unexpected/unwelcome revelation about our sex life and his request was met with a protracted embarrassed silence. I was too busy choking with mirth on a sour cream and onion Pringle to put either of them out of their misery.

He meant cuff links*.

Reproduced with permission from Catherine Sanderson´s blog Petite Anglaise. Catherine is about to publish a book about her adventures living in Paris.

*note for non-native english speakers:
handcuffs – the police use them to fasten your hands together
cuff links – decorative device used to fasten shirt sleeves

February 20, 2008 Comments disabled

Languages fight for global dominance

Has the use of english as global language of international communication gone so far that it will never be overtaken? Or is it destined to go the way of Latin and Ancient Greek as the balance of power between civilisations shifts and other languages gain in importance?

Apparently experts are divided on this question. Across cultures, English is the word is a very interesting article from the International Herald Tribune discussing the issue.

Meanwhile a post from Chinese in Vancouver blog Is Chinese culture going mainstream? highlights the rising importance of Chinese culture and language in Hong Kong, the USA and Canada.

February 18, 2008 1 comment

A Star from Mosul

Written by Najma, which means ‘star’ in Arabic, this is the the blog of an engineering university student living in Mosul in the north of Iraq.

A Star from Mosul is a well written blog which gives a vivid account both of daily life and customs of Iraqi people, and the reality of living in a country at war.

February 15, 2008 Comments disabled

Hearts of the New Silk Roads

The old silk road cities of Tashkent in Uzbekistan and Almaty in Kazakhstan have seen enormous changes since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

This article from Saudi Aramco World magazine discusses cultural identity in Central Asia and also describes the modern day silk road nomads (businessmen who roam by plane and SUV instead of camel), Tashkent´s thriving theatre scene and the rise of Korean restaurants in this historic region.

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February 12, 2008 Comments disabled