It's no secret that the UK struggles when it comes to language learning. As a mostly monolingual nation, we've never quite grasped just how useful speaking another language can be. In fact, anything much beyond a basic 'bonjour' continues to be (somewhat embarrassingly) out of reach for many of us.
The case of inflectional classes in Oto-Manguean languages, however, is just one small example of the vital role indigenous languages play in informing our understanding of language. Not all indigenous languages enjoy the same status as those of Mexico, yet each one is as valuable as the next.
The blog I posted a few days ago on bilingualism generated some lively debate - not only on Twitter, but also around the
It's no secret that we Brits are the worst linguists around - bar our American cousins, who we should thank for spreading our language around the world. Ask a Brit if they speak a foreign language and they're likely to mumble something about GCSE French or a Rosetta Stone CD they haven't quite got round to taking out of its packaging.
We are constantly being told Britons are 'bad' at languages... Brits do not have some kind of freak genetic indisposition that hinders them from learning foreign languages. The drop in uptake of languages is not the result of a lack of ability, but of a complex mix of factors.
Perhaps the most enlightening bit of action we see in GoT that truly exemplifies the challenges of being an interpreter is when for Daenerys Targaryen faces the Good Masters of Astapor.
That's 'other than English', of course. A tip of the hat to the people at the new Maptia Blog - who are "on a mission to
Xin Nian Kuai Le, Gong Xi Fa Cai! If you didn't understand that, you've just missed out on the chance to make friends this week. And you're not alone. The Mandarin Chinese language is becoming more and more important for the UK because, quite simply, China is becoming more and more important on the world's stage.
How do we learn a foreign language? First and foremost, adults learn languages in a radically different way from children: neurologically speaking, the information acquired is 'stored' in different places in the brain.