‘House names’ are nicknames that Ethiopian family members give each other. Traditionally multisyllabic and descriptive, house names are becoming shorter and more cutesy. Also, changes in Uruguayan surnames.
The US Army is reviving a program that offers immigrants with certain language skills a fast track to US citizenship. Many of the slots, including all those for Korean speakers, have already been filled.
Forget Klingon, Na’vi and Dothraki, and consider instead the invented languages of novels: Elvish, Pravic, the language of the Ariekei and Wardwesân.
The World’s Gerry Hadden has lived in Catalonia for eight years. He speaks English, Spanish, French and German. But not Catalan. No matter that his kids speak it, his neighbors speak it, the stars of mighty FC Barcelona speak it. Gerry doesn’t speak Catalan because he doesn’t need to.
Cartoon Queen Carol Hills and I talk language and Africa. We also consider food idioms, banana skins and robberies gone wrong.
There is no copyright on book titles, which can lead to confusion. It’s all too easy to mistakenly buy the wrong version of ‘Pure,’ ‘Sweet Revenge’ or ‘Nemesis.’ Also, novelist Tom Wolfe talks about his continued experimentation with punctuation.
‘Chips Funga’ is one of the most popular phrases in Kenya today. It means ‘french fries to go’…and a whole lot more. We hear from musician Anto Neosoul who helped popularize the expression. He’s also penned a song about deception on social networks called ‘Qwerty Love.’
These past few weeks have difficult for the people who run the BBC (which of course is one of the co-producers of The World). No-one at the Beeb feels like celebrating a birthday. But the BBC is 90 years old. And, awkward or not, it’s marking the day—November 14, 1922—when it made its first broadcast. [...]
Is the BBC’s huge well of public trust in danger of drying up? A veteran news anchor says its managers must stop speaking the ‘gobbledygook’ of bureaucratic jargon and start properly overseeing its output.
Israel’s Maronites don’t like being labeled as Arabs. They have gone to court for recognition as ‘Aramaic.’ The problem is, most of them don’t speak much Aramaic. So now the language is being re-introduced.
On the eve of the US elections, two people who know how to throw a phrase about offer their thoughts on America’s troubles. Novelist Lionel Shriver is an American living in London. Journalist Edward Luce is a Brit living in Washington. They both care deeply about United States, and they’re worried.
We visit a Bangladeshi-owned barbershop in post-Sandy New York. Tuesday’s ballot was supposed to have been translated into Bengali– a requirement under the Voting Rights Act– but election officials missed the deadline. In the barbershop, though, voters are as divided between Obama and Romney as the country is.
An explanation of the pranksterish wordplay in Ai Weiwei’s take on Gangnam Style. And a conversation with the translator of Liu Xiaobo’s Tiananmen poems.
Many streets in Arab East Jerusalem are unnamed. Jerusalem’s mayor has launched a campaign to name them and put up street signs. While many locals welcome this, some fear that it’s part of an Israeli plan to annexe the Arab parts of the city.
Britons used to impress the world with their displays of resilience and sangfroid. But recently, they express themselves as much by crying as by grinning and bearing it. Should the stiff upper lip be consigned to history? Plus, the origin of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On,’ and a Belgian take on that slogan.