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This is a great video for GIS day (TODAY!) to remember why and how spatial thinking and spatial technologies can improve education and communities. GIS will be a mainstay in the emerging workplace.
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A quick fun quiz on languages from around the world. If you consider yourself a bit of linguist, this quiz will be 'nada' problem for you!
An infographic of the etymology and cultural origins of the names that made the United States of America.
I would dispute the accuracy of some of the alleged linguistic origins of the state names, so take this with a grain of salt (still it's a clever concept for an inforgraphic and shows some interesting patterns). As with all long infographics on this site, you can "scroll down" on the image by putting the cursor in the top right-hand corner of the image and sliding on the translucent bar.
Tags: language, USA, infographic, toponyms, historical, colonialism.
The Names Behind The States | @scoopit via @APHumanGeog http://sco.lt/...
Africa may have achieved independence, but the old colonial ties are still important as France’s decision to send troops to Mali to fight Islamist extremists shows.
This is a very intriguing infographic (download high-resolution image here). How are old colonial patterns a thing of the past? How do old colonial patterns continue to affect the African continent?
Tags: Africa, states, language, infographic, historical, colonialism.
"Ogooglebar. That's Swedish, and means "something you can't find with the use of a search engine." At least, that's what the Language Council of Sweden wanted Ogooglebar to mean--until Google stepped in, fearing that the word had negative connotations for the firm."
I am used to the French trying to slow the flow of English words into French, but shocked that Google would join in the fray to slow linguistic change. Words evolve based on cultural shifts and technological changes and the computer industry has especially created new words to describe emerging, new social interactions. I'm certain that the company Google is thrilled that "to google" is the verb of choice to describe the action of searching for online for content. I would have guessed that Google was savvy enough to understand that this "ungoogleable" term is not an indictment on the company, but a new way to define that elusive, mysterious, indefinable quality for a generation that sometimes acts as if everything can be found of Google.
Tags: language, culture, technology, google, diffusion.
The Ultimate Language Resource on the Web.
Having never lived in the South, I will defer to others on accuracy and quality of this dictionary and sayings, although I have heard this one enough understand this entry:
Fixin v. aux. Getting ready to: "I'm fixin to leave."
Tags: language, culture, unit 3 culture, USA.
Readers Nick and Riela have both written to ask how and when English colonists in America lost their British accents and how American accents came
This is a great question about cultural divergence and the answer has it's roots in understanding class and place.
Tags: language, culture, unit 3 culture, USA, UK, historical.
France declares war on the English language. Erin Burnett reports....
France is famous for trying to slow the linguistic diffusion of globalization's most powerful online language (which also happens to belong to their age-old cultural and political rival). France has a commission dedicated to removing new words that have English origins since 1996 with the goal of introducing words with have linguistic roots in French. Recently then have done away with the Twitter term #hashtag to #mot-dièses. This video criticizes this cultural practice and it is also derided in this NPR article. However this does not mean that France is immune to cultural pressure to change linguistic traditions. There was been a movement to alter the term Mademoiselle on official documents with a new title that allows women the freedom to choose the form of address that they prefer (and not to force them to reveal their marital status--think Ms. vs Miss).
Questions to Ponder: Why (and how) do languages change over time? Is it possible to keep a language 'pure?'
Tags: language, culture, globalization, unit 3 culture, France, gender.
It is Italy's richest province, and has been part of the country for almost 100 years - but some in South Tyrol just do not feel fully Italian.
While the idea of everyone of the same nationality belonging to the same country might be considered an ideal situation, the world's ethnic geography is too jumbled to create perfect nation-states. South Tyrol is a part of Italy that is one of those places with mixed a ethnic, linguistic and political heritage. By different criteria, many of the residents could be considered German, Austrian or Italian or a combination of the them. Since the Euro Zone fiscal crisis, the push for political autonomy in South Tyrol has intensified, in part because this region has avoided the crisis and is economically fairing better than the rest of Italy.
Questions to Ponder: How do political borders reveal and conceal "the truth" about places on either side of the line? What elements are a part of a regions heritage? Can regions have multiple, overlapping heritages? How does devolution impact the whole country?
Tags: Italy, states, autonomy, ethnic, language, devolution.
Questions to Ponder: How to political borders reveal and conceal "the truth" about places on either side of the line? What elements are a part of a regions heritage? Can regions have multiple, overlapping heritages? How does devolution impact the whole country?
Take note Kate and Johnny!!
This map is a fantastic geovisualization that maps the spatial patterns of languages used on the social media platform Twitter. This map was in part inspired by a Twitter map of Europe. While most cities would be expected to be linguistically homogenous, but London's cosmopolitan nature and large pockets of immigrants influence the distribution greatly.
Tags: social media, language, neighborhood, visualization, cartography.
This is a most decidedly dated reference for pop culture, but a great movie for making explicit the idea that the way we speak is connected to where we've lived (also a good clip to show class differences as well as gender norms). The clip highlights many principles and patterns for understanding the geography of languages.
Tags: Language, class, gender, culture, historical, London, unit 3 culture and place.
Meet the "hairy Ainu" of Japan, Taiwan's Saaroa, the Kusunda of Nepal, the last Manchus and the Jarawa of India's Andaman Islands.
The rapid spread of Mandarin, English, Spanish, Hindi-Urdu and Arabic as the 5 largest languages (most native speakers) is connected to the spread of globalization and the cultural aspects of that phenomenon. These 5 declining languages represent the flip side of those cultural patterns.
The Endangered Languages Project is a website for people to find and share the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about the over 3,000 endangered ...
This short video is a great primer for understanding the importance of linguistic diversity. Why the loss of linguistic diversity (a global phenomenon) related to other themes on geography, such as political and economic autonomy for minority groups? Why are so many languages vanishing today? What forces are creating these emerging cultural patterns? For more on the project, see: http://www.endangeredlanguages.com/
"It may seem surprising, but in this age where geographic mobility and instant communication have increased our exposure to people outside of our neighborhoods or towns, American regional dialects are pulling further apart from each other, rather than moving closer together. And renowned linguist William Labov thinks there’s a connection between political and linguistic segregation.
"Labov suggests that it’s these deep-seated political disagreements that create an invisible borderline barring the encroachment of Northern Cities Vowels. When he looked at the relationship between voting patterns by county over the last three Presidential elections and the degree to which speakers in these counties shifted their vowels, he found a tight correlation between the two. And the states that have participated in the vowel shift have also tended to resist implementing the death penalty.
"Social identities are complex, and can be defined along a number of different dimensions like class, race, or ethnicity. Not everyone feels that politics are a part of their core identity. But I suspect that political ideology may become an anchor for accents to the extent that large social groups collectively identify themselves by their political beliefs. According to Bill Bishop, author of The Big Sort, this is happening more and more as Americans voluntarily cluster themselves into homogenous, politically like-minded communities."
There are 8 major English dialect areas in North America, presented on the map. These are shown in blue, each with its number, on the map and in the Dialect Description Chart below, and are also outlined with blue lines on the map. The many subdialects are shown in red on the map and in the chart, and are outlined with red lines on the map. All of these are listed in the margins of the map as well.
This map is incredibly busy, but the best elements of this interactive map are the links to YouTube videos of particular accents and pronunciation examples. It's not winning any cartographic prizes but the links make the map it worth perusing given its rich detail. See also this article about the map from GeoCurrents.
Tags: language, North America.
Very cool map with links to video/audio of the local dialect.
The Caucasus region, dominated by the imposing Great Caucasus mountain range and stretching between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, has long been known as one of the world’s ethnically and linguistically most diverse areas.
After this weekend it has become glaringly obvious that many are painfully ignorant of the geography of Chechnya and the surrounding Caucasus Mountain region. This article from GeoCurrents discusses the linguistic diversity of the region and this Geography in the News article outlines the contentious geopolitical situation of Chechnya within the Russian Federation. Also, the Washington Post published an article entitled, 9 questions about Chechnya and Dagestan you were too embarassed to ask.
I do not post these materials to lay blame to an entire ethnic group, religion or region for the terrorists acts of two individuals. On the contrary, I post these articles because I find this to be a teaching moment where we as educators can clarify the geographic context of an unknown part of the world to our students. As we teach this context, quick labels and lazy narratives become harder to maintain and our students can become less prejudiced and critically think about the situation with greater depth and clarity.
This article is timely given the need for the ambassador of the Czech Republic to release a statement to explain that the Czech Republic & Chechnya are in fact different places.
I had an idea that this area of the world is complex in its linguistic, cultural & political make up. I must admit though I had no idea it was as complicated as it is. Absolutely fascinating!
"What we know as the English Language today has evolved over thousands of years, influenced by migrating tribes, conquering armies and peaceful trade. Do you know the origins of the language you speak? Have a look at this detailed infographic from Brighton School of Business and Management."
Languages, just like cultures, are incredibly dynamic and have changed over time. Many people like to imagine an older version of their own culture of "how it used to be" or even "how it's always was." This is an illusion though, to pretend as though cultural change is something new. This fantasy allows for people to nostalgically yearn for what once was, even if that perceived pristine past was but a fleeting moment in history that was shaped by many other peoples, places and times.
Tags: English, language, culture, infographic, historical.
What can economists learn from linguists?
Tags: language, culture, economic, TED.
Our thoughts shape the words we speak, but the language we speak (and ways we communicate) help shape the way we think. In this TED talk, an economist looks at how the grammatical structure that languages use to speak about the future impacts how the speakers of the language are able to save money for future events. For 5 other examples of how language can impact how we think and perceive the world, see this attached article.
A valid and inspirational study regarding the way in which the use of a certain grammatical tense, be it future or present, can affect our decision making!
What do you think?
For information about our language services, please visit:http://www.veritaslanguagesolutions.com/language/
Intersting video on how the different languages we speak could affect our way of thinking.
Failure by Belgium's political parties to form a government since elections in June have prompted fears of a split in the tiny European country. Al Jazeera's...
This 2007 video is dated, but many of the same issues are still seen today. This video briefly lays out the cultural context for the political divisions between the French-speaking Walloons and the Dutch-speaking Flemish populations of Belgium. For a longer video on the topic, see this half hour video.
Tags: language, culture, Belgium, unit 4 political, Europe, devolution, unit 3 culture.
For computers, shibboleths allow online verification of your identity. Culturally, shibboleths are words that have distinct regional pronouncations and consequently 'reveal' something of the speakers ethnic, cultural or regional background. This Washington Post article lists some phrases that people that are visiting Washington D.C., or not from there often get wrong.
Tags: language, culture, Washington DC, unit 3 culture.
Watch the video Boontling: A Lost American Language on Yahoo! Screen
In Booneville, CA, local residents literally created their own language over 150 years ago and had it was locally accepted enough to be taught within the school district. This language of Boontling (Boont Lingo) but one that the younger generation has not fully adopted, but is still spoken by the older residents.
Tags: folk culture, language, culture, rural, unit 3 culture, California.
The terms cooks enter into search engines can provide clues as to what dishes are being cooked around the nation.
Some fascinating (if not entirely scientific) maps that show the most common searches on www.allrecipes.com and regional differences in food preferences. More importantly, it also is an interesting glimpse into the geography of language. Some similar dishes are called by more regional names (e.g.-"Stuffing" in the Northeast and West, "Dressing" in the Midwest and South). This set of maps also reinforces the concepts of regions. This is a fun way to teach some actual content and enjoy the holiday.
Tags: language, food, diffusion, regions, seasonal.
Although English is America’s common tongue, immigrants’ efforts to learn it present challenges to institutions and individuals alike. These graphics compare regions, schools, and communities where newcomers have settled to learn and integrate.
The interactive map feature of language and the accompanying spatial patterns reveal much about the major migrational patterns in the United States.
Tags: Migration, USA, statistics, language, immigration, unit 2 population.
One of the great things about Twitter is that it’s a global conversation anyone can join anytime. Eavesdropping on the world, what what!
While many educators have been using http://popvssoda.com/ to show the linguistic regions in the United States, this is a similar map, with the added social media component. To map out these regions, the cartographer used the word choice on geo-tagged tweets as the data source. For another twitter, map, the following link shows which regions are most actively engaged on Twitter: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/06/top-countries-on-twitter_n_1653915.html
What do these regions show us? What types of regions are these?
Issues in Focus East Sea...
Does it matter if I call the sea to the east of the Korean Peninsula the "East Sea" and if you call the body of water the west of Japan the "Sea of Japan?" Absolutely. When dealing with matters of diplomacy, a name reflects how a country is viewed. For many years the Sea of Japan has been the defacto name internationally and South Korean officials have lobbied (quite successfully) to bolster the legitimacy of the name within the media, publishers and cartographers. What other places have multiple names? What are the political overtones to the name distinctions? To watch a 10-minute video on the history of the name, see: http://bit.ly/Lu5puJ
Like a detective at a crime scene, chief language inspector Antons Kursitis scans the lobby of a hotel in downtown Riga. He spots a brochure that lists hotel services in Russian only, a flagrant violation of Latvia's language laws.
"Protecting the Latvian language — that is, safeguarding its supremacy over Russian — has been a priority here since the Soviet occupation ended two decades ago. Those efforts face their biggest test yet on Saturday, in a referendum on whether to make Russian the country's second official language." What historical, political and demographic factors shape this cultural issue of language? Why is language often seen as so crucial to cultural identity?
The Latvian voters have spoken: in a massive voter turn-out, they struck down the referendum that sought to make Russian an official language. "Latvia is the only place throughout the world where Latvian is spoken, so we have to protect it," said Martins Dzerve, 37, in Riga, Latvia's capital. "But Russian is everywhere." For more on the vote, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17083397