Duolingo is Getting More Serious

Duolingo, the rising star in the language learning space, is this year’s most downloaded application in the education category on Google play. On iOS, however, the app did not make it in the top ranks this year.

This difference in rankings on the two leading mobile operating systems is a good indicator for the different mindsets and needs learners in industrialized countries and the developing world each have. According to Gina Gotthilf, head of marketing and international development for the company, 67% of Duolingo’s 50 million users are now located outside the United States.

Continue reading “Duolingo is Getting More Serious”

Eddie Izzard Language Champion 2014

Europe needs more Language Champions like Eddie Izzard

Readers of British newspaper the Guardian were invited to nominate their public language champion of the year for the second annual award hosted by the Guardian and the British Academy.

The judges chose comedian Eddie Izzard from a list of nominees that included the manager of Bayern Munich football club Pep Guardiola, and the UK’s deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

Continue reading “Europe needs more Language Champions like Eddie Izzard”

Ottoman Language

Turkish President Erdogan wants to revive the Ottoman Language

Cross-published on EDUKWEST Europe.

Language learning apps might soon have another language to cover: Ottoman. Turkey’s president Tayyip Erdogan declared on Monday at a press conference that the Ottoman language should be taught in schools to prevent younger generations from losing touch with their cultural heritage, reports Reuters.

Politicians in the opposition as well as teachers and academics see this as an attack on the secularist principles of the Turkish republic and accuse Erdogan and Turkey’s religious council of trying to reshape the school system along religious lines.

Continue reading “Turkish President Erdogan wants to revive the Ottoman Language”

lost languages in the brain

Study finds Traces of Lost Languages in the Brain

A joint study by scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – The Neuro and McGill University’s Department of Psychology seems to show that languages learned during early childhood leave traceable patterns in the brain. Even if the child stops using its first language and replaces it with a new one, which is often the case in international adoptions, the unconscious brain retains those patterns years later.

Continue reading “Study finds Traces of Lost Languages in the Brain”

language learning is in decline

UK: Language Learning is in Decline because of Anti-European Sentiment

We already learned that in the UK language learning is in decline and that only 9% of 15-year-olds in the UK are competent in the first foreign language they learn in school after seven years, whereas other European students at the same age show much higher competency, like 82% in Sweden.

Back in August the Guardian shared some data on British teens and their growing reluctance to learn foreign languages but their parents aren’t any better. A survey by travel site TripAdvisor found that Britons are worst in the EU when it comes to speaking the language of the country they are visiting for vacation.

Continue reading “UK: Language Learning is in Decline because of Anti-European Sentiment”

European Union learn two foreign languages

Europeans should Learn two Foreign Languages says Commissioner Vassiliou

According to Europe’s Language and Culture Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou learning foreign languages can be a way out of the economic crisis for many Europeans. We already wrote about examples in other countries like Canada which show that being bilingual pays off.

The European Union committed to promote multilingualism with the goal of every citizen of the EU speaking at least two foreign languages. This way people would become more mobile and language savvy and enable them to find work across borders.

Continue reading “Europeans should Learn two Foreign Languages says Commissioner Vassiliou”


Romanagiri is the new Youth Language in India

Romanagri, have you heard of this language? It is a new language used by young people across India. The interesting thing is the evolution of this language is different from the other languages.

Languages traditionally developed through gradual accumulation of words and syntax and spread through the brain and the tongue. Romanagri, a protmanteau of English and Hindi, changes and proliferates via cell phones rather than speech. Romanagri is a natural language among young Indians, but confusing to English language purist.

Continue reading “Romanagiri is the new Youth Language in India”

Using a Language is Simpler than People Think

Maybe it’s human nature, but people often tend to make things more complex than it actually is. For many years, language scientists have assumed that language is like a Russian nesting dolls, made up of small parts in turn made of smaller parts. A new study done in Cornell suggests language is simpler than they had thought.

Language system deals with words by grouping them into little clumps that are associated with meaning. When these word clumps are arranged in a particular order, it’s simply understood. For example “bread and butter” might be represented as a construction. On the other hand, if we reverse the sequence, it would likely not make any sense.

Continue reading “Using a Language is Simpler than People Think”

bad grammar

Does Texting equal Bad Grammar?

Editor’s Note: Originally published by VOXXI as Does cell-phone texting equal bad grammar?

Does texting your friends on the phone equal bad grammar? Certainly not. Do not let pseudo scientific studies, carried out by language apprentices at some English departments, fool you into thinking that the language used by an individual to connect with a friend is bad per se.

Continue reading “Does Texting equal Bad Grammar?”