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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers. http://geographyeducation.org
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Malaysia's 'Allah' controversy

Malaysia's 'Allah' controversy | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Is limiting the use of the Arabic word for God a sign of growing intolerance towards minorities?
Seth Dixon's insight:

In Arabic, the word Allah means God.  Christian Arabs refer to God as Allah and Arabic versions of the Bible reference Allah.  As Arabic and Islam have diffused in interwoven patterns, the linguistic root and the theological meanings have became intertwined to some.  BBC World and Al-Jazeera have reported on this issue as the Malaysian government has attempted to ban the use of the word Allah to any non-Muslim religious group.  Language and religion just got very political.  


Tags: languagereligion, political, Malaysia, SouthEastAsia, culture, Islam.

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Caterin Victor's curator insight, June 25, 4:25 PM

 Yes !!  The religion of love and peace, is not a religion, and sure that  not a pacific love,  just a bunch of hatred and criminals wich endanger  the  world, in the name  of a pedophile crazy, Muhamad, and  and  inexisting  allah, a  Devil, not a  God !!  The  Obama`s   "Holly  Curan ", a  dirty   instruction book  for killing !! 

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The Geography of Language

"Over the course of human history, thousands of languages have developed from what was once a much smaller number. How did we end up with so many? And how do we keep track of them all? Alex Gendler explains how linguists group languages into language families, demonstrating how these linguistic trees give us crucial insights into the past."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This TED-ED lesson is a quick primer into the geographic context of linguistic change and variability that we find all around the world. 


Tags: language, TED, regions, folk cultures, toponyms, historical, culturediffusion.

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Catherine Smyth's curator insight, June 2, 7:45 PM

Not really primary geography but so interesting!

Woodstock School's curator insight, June 4, 6:05 AM

A good teaching tool for explaining the diversity of languages.

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, June 12, 9:38 PM

Geografia Cultural

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The Geography of Small Talk

The Geography of Small Talk | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Surprising alternatives to "so what do you do?"—from New Orleans to New York.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The types of questions that you ask when you are meeting someone new for the first time has some regional variations but there is much more to the geography of small talk than that as see in this 4 minute video.  People want to understand your cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic context by asking spatial questions about where you are from.  Identity and place are tightly woven and these neighborhood questions are almost invitations to share much more personal information, as if to ask, "how do you fit in this world?"  When you are being introduced to someone, what are the questions that you ask, and what type of information are you hoping to get?  Each person has their own little geography that has profoundly shaped who they are---so what’s your story? 


Tags: language, regions, folk cultures, communityplace, neighborhood.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, April 24, 9:43 AM

unit 2-3

Mr Steven Newman's curator insight, April 24, 2:33 PM
Love this scoop from Seth Dixon. A nice way to help kids understand sense of place .
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European word translator

European word translator | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Translate any word from English to more than 30 other European languages, on a map
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an incredible resource to visualize the linguistic similarities between European languages all on one interactive map.  Just type in a word or phrase as it will translate it for you and place the results on the map.  I just found this, but I think it still belongs on my list of favorite resources.   


Questions to Ponder: Do you see any regions forming?  How does language impact the diffusion of people, ideas and goods?  Hoe do you think these languages diffused?   


Tags: language, culture, English diffusion.

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Melissa Marshall's curator insight, April 9, 10:23 PM

This is a fantastic resource for seeing how words have changed according to geography. Type a word into the box and see it translated directly on to a map in more than 30 languages. Great for teaching kids about regions of language, or asking how they think a certain country came to use a certain word. 

Mick D Kirkov's curator insight, April 11, 3:43 AM

Haha, hehe, hihi, or Ho-ho-ho! Maybe even huhuhuy!

Helen Rowling's curator insight, April 17, 4:57 PM

English; Toursim; Geography

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Gambia president rejects English language

Gambia president rejects English language | Geography Education | Scoop.it
President's decision to shift official language from English to local language comes months after its decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Gambia has been showing signs that they want to remove neo-colonial influences.  Last year the President withdrew the Gambia from the Commonwealth (a collection of 54 countries, mainly former British colonies), tired of being 'lectured' about human rights.  Now they have rejected English as the official language.  Mandingo (38%), Fula (21%) and Wolof (18%) are the three most widely spoken languages but it is currently unclear if one of these will become the new official language or if several will receive that status. 


Questions to Ponder: What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the old colonial language as the official language in multilingual African countries?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a local language/languages as the official language?    


Tags: languagegovernance, Africa, colonialism.

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Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 2:27 PM

I think it's great that the President of Gambia wants to change the official language from English to the local language. The West African country announced it is withdrawing from the Commonwealth which is a group of 54 nations which made up largely of former British colonies, hence why these colonies speak English. If the people want aren't using English primarily and they're using another language, that is rooted to the culture of Gambia, then maybe it's time to consider having two official languages.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 3:49 PM

Gambian president wants his nation to have a sense of identity. Conforming to the English language and making that the primary language of the country has set a drawback on what he wants his country to be. He says they should speak their local language and that to be a leader you don't have to speak English. I think speaking the local language is a great idea but also knowing the English language is very beneficial.

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 29, 1:14 AM

culturally it would be a good idea to switch the official language to a local language that way their langueages dont become dead languages but economically its not a good idea because Americas dominate language is English and it is also an economic power.

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Does English still borrow words from other languages?

Does English still borrow words from other languages? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"English language has 'borrowed' words for centuries. But is it now lending more than it's taking, asks Philip Durkin, deputy chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. "


Knowledge of what is being borrowed, and from where, provides an invaluable insight into the international relations of the English language.  Today English borrows words from other languages with a truly global reach.

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Pranav Pradeep's curator insight, February 6, 3:20 PM

English is still a language that is made off of other languages, not many if any of our words were not atleast based off of someother language!

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Ukraine: To Face Europe or Russia?

Ukraine: To Face Europe or Russia? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"This map illustrates the country's deep division – and why the protests might not be what you think. Ukraine has been wracked by protests for two-plus weeks over President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to reject a deal for closer integration with the European Union. Russian President Vladimir Putin had been pressuring Yanukovych to quit the EU deal and join with a Moscow-led trade union of former Soviet states instead. Will Ukraine's future be with Russia or with Europe?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

The country of Ukraine is both ethnically and linguistically divided and since the fall of the Soviet Union, the partisan politics have mirrored these divisions.  The northwestern portion of the country is primarily ethnic Ukrainian and with the majority speaking Ukrainian.  This section of the country that is hoping to strengthen economic and political ties with the EU and face Europe; those that aren't as bullish on the EU here at least want to explore other options so they aren't overpowered by Moscow's shadow.  The southeastern portion of Ukraine primarily speaks Russian with sizeable ethnic Russian populations (although many ethnic Ukrainians speak Russian here); not surprisingly, this is the part of the country that would rather join in an economic union with Russia and other former Soviet Republics, or at least not turn their backs on Moscow. 


Questions to Ponder: Why are language and ethnicity often tied to political orientation?  Why might trading with all economic partners not be as viable an option?

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Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 11, 2013 11:52 PM

Language and ethnicity are often tied to a political oriantation because maybe the people feel as if they can connect to someones ideas or beliefs because they are the same gender, race, or share the same cultural traditions. People like to be able to relate to others. 

Tony Aguilar's curator insight, December 12, 2013 2:41 PM

language and ethnicity make a big difference in a country like ukraine, ethncity usually brings along with it relgious and political ties. It would be easier for a country divided as ukraine to ramain autonomous and trade with Russia, and the EU. It would not hurt the country to stay that way.  Right now citizens are tearing down russia related statues and are politcally divided not wanting to merge with Russia with their president. it is important to choose what is most viable for their citizens and country

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 4, 2:29 PM

There is such a solid division right through the middle of the country maybe it should split like Czechoslovakia did. The North can go with the EU and the south can go with Russia.

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(Serbo-)Croatian: A Tale of Two Languages

(Serbo-)Croatian: A Tale of Two Languages | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"What language is spoken in Croatia? Croatian is now the 24th official language of the European Union, but there are disagreements about whether it’s a distinct language or just a slightly different dialect of Serbian. Serbian nationalists believe that everyone shares the same language, “Serbian”. But many Croats persist in making their national language as distinct from Serbian as possible. Listeners will discover how politics is intruding on language, and how it is changing the map of linguistic patterns in unexpected ways."


Tags: language, Croatiapolitical, podcast, Maps 101.

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CCRES's comment, November 6, 2013 4:06 AM
Baška tablet , Croatian: Bašćanska ploča, pronounced is one of the first monuments containing an inscription in the Croatian recension of the Church Slavonic language, dating from the year 1100.
Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 1, 3:03 PM

This part of the world has been so mixed up for so long. Each country wants their own identity, language and name but the borders are continually changing. Although these fights seem petty to me (an American) I am sure they mean quite a bit to the people living in these areas. National identity is very important to humans in general. Where we come from is the basis of who we are.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 9:51 AM

Languages are sometimes a mystery to countries but mostly has to do with who's occupying these countries and where the countries are located.  Croatia is only a few countries away from Serbia so the fact that the language they speak may/not be close to Serbian is no surprise. Migration and other factors contribute to the language developed in specific countries.

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Directions and Dialects

Seth Dixon's insight:

Learning about North, South Carolina isn't easy; and don't get me started on Due West...throw in a different accent and you've got a failure to communicate (and for the record, she is dead on with her geographic descriptions).


Tags: language, the South.

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Expert's comment, September 25, 2013 10:07 PM
hehe :)
Molly Diallo's curator insight, September 30, 2013 5:59 PM

Amusing : )

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The Great Language Game

The Great Language Game | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Challenge yourself to identify some seventy languages by their sound alone. Learn more about how languages sound and where they're spoken.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a great game that let's you first listen to and then attempt to identify the language that is being spoken.  What's even better, you have "three lives" and after the game is complete, you will be provided with the more information about the languages that you were not able to identify. 

 

Tags: language, culture, trivia, games.

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Shelby Porter's comment, September 19, 2013 2:21 PM
This certainly was interesting! It was challenging to identify some languages, and others you could figure out right away. Some of them I had never even heard of! Being exposed to a few languages growing up I thought I would be better at this, but I was very wrong. It is a little disappointing knowing that many people are not exposed to the many languages our world has to offer. It is also disheartening to hear many people get offended when people do not speak English here, when really America has no national dialect. I know that many schools require students to take a different language in high school, but it only the more common ones that are becoming popular in the U.S. (Spanish, French, Portuguese, etc.). Maybe some day children will become more exposed to the many different languages that have grown across the globe.
Sid McIntyre-DeLaMelena's curator insight, May 29, 11:59 AM

A game where you can test your knowledge of global tongues only by sound.

The knowledge of languages is important in movement especially for migrants and immigrants and participators in global trade.

Debi Ray Kidd's curator insight, July 21, 4:52 PM

Make sure you look up the languages that you don't know to determine where they're spoken.

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What's in a Name?

What's in a Name? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The Pentagon has upset patriots by labeling the body of water between Korea and Japan in an exhibition depicting various battles fought during the 1950-53 Korean War as "Sea of Japan" rather than "East Sea."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Earlier this week I posted on whether a group of islands off the coast of Argentina should be called the Falkland Islands or Las Malvinas.  There is some geopolitical significance to which name you ascribe to particular places.  Does it matter if I call the sea to the east of the Korean Peninsula the "East Sea" and if someone else refers to this same body of water west of Japan the "Sea of Japan?"  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 and other governments.  Last summer, a worker in the South Korean government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested that I share some resources that state South Korea's position(see also this 10 minute video), showing their commitment to this rebranding effort.  Also see this GeoCurrents article on the subject in 2012, after South Korea's failed attempt to get international recognition.


Questions to Ponder: What other places have multiple names?  What are the political overtones to the name distinctions? What are other tricky places on the map where distinct groups would label/draw things differently?  Is the map an 'unbiased' source of information? 


Tags: language, toponyms, South Korea, historical, colonialism, cartography.

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Justin McCullough's curator insight, October 17, 2013 10:16 AM

I agree with Peter Kim and others that are fighting to have the name changed to the East Sea. The term "Sea of Japan" was used in colonial times of South Korea. Now that those times are long gone, it I can understand why South Korea would want to get rid of anything related to that time period. This actually reminds of something that I'm going over in my colonial history class; the Pueblo Revolt (1680). During this time Indians revolted against the Spanish colonizers oppressing them and taking away their traditions, forcibly converting them to Christianity. During their revolt the Indians destroyed many of the Spanish institutions, especially those related to religion. They destroyed churches and even defaced the statues of the saints, and returned to their traditional practices.

This article also reminded of Sri Lanka changing the its colonial name on Government institutions from Ceylon to Sri Lanka. This happened not to long ago. The Island's colonial name (Ceylon) was dropped when they became their own country in 1972. However, the name Ceylon remained on many of the Government institutions (e.g. Bank of Ceylon or Ceylon Fisheries Corporation). However, in 2010 the name was dropped for good.  

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Esri Thematic Atlas

Esri Thematic Atlas | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Esri Thematic Atlas is a configurable web application that uses a collection of intelligent web maps with text, graphics, and images to talk about our world.
Seth Dixon's insight:

ESRI is moving towards creating a dynamic, authorative, living digital atlas and empowering users to create their own.  See this great political map of 2008 U.S. presidential election that is a part of the altas; it goes far beyond simple blue and red states.  StoryMaps are also democratizing the mapping process.  Explore these excellent examples of storymaps (Endangered Languages and top 10 physical landforms). 


Tags: GIS, ESRI, mapping, cartography, geospatial, edtech.

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JMSS_Geography Resources's curator insight, June 26, 2013 1:20 AM

The Esri Thematic Atlas is a configurable web application that uses a collection of intelligent web maps with text, graphics, and images to talk about our world.

Carol Thomson's curator insight, July 17, 2013 4:53 AM

First unit is based on maps and atlases.  Want to build a range of resources.

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Atlas of True Names

Atlas of True Names | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The Atlas of True Names reveals the etymological roots, or original meanings,
of the familiar terms on today's maps of the World, Europe, the British Isles and the United States.

For instance, where you would normally expect to see the Sahara indicated,

the Atlas gives you "The Tawny One", derived from Arab. es-sahra “the fawn coloured, desert”.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a fun set of maps that forces us to reexamine the historical linguistic roots of place names.  Many toponyms have a complicated histories so the actual root of the name is not always a single straightforward translation as shown in these maps.  As you explore these maps, most readers will find something the they would dispute, correct, or want to see contextualized more but all in all, it is a fun set of maps.


Tags: language, mapping, art, cartography, toponyms, historical.


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John Blunnie's curator insight, July 2, 2013 11:12 AM

True names give these maps a unique and historic twist.

Carol Thomson's curator insight, July 17, 2013 4:57 AM

I loved looking at the map of great britain.  I hope it grabs my pupils' attention as an introduction to maps.

Amy Marques's curator insight, July 31, 2013 7:19 PM

Great to see what the original names where! Especially for those that are similar to its current name and those that are completely irrelevant!

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African borders

African borders | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"About the history of the creation of Africa borders and debates about African borders."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Disregard the rough English grammar; this is a nice article to show some of the historical, ethnic, linguistic and political complexities behind African borders.  This would be a great supplemental article to help AP Human Geography students to prepare for Question 2 of the 2014 AP Human Geography Exam that focused on superimposed boundaries within an African context.  


TagsAPHG, language, Africa, colonialism, borders, political.

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Tom Cockburn's curator insight, June 24, 5:46 AM

Borders here are Continuing to evolve

Darleana McHenry's curator insight, June 26, 7:33 AM

I thought that this was interesting and decided to share it.

 

Beatrice Sarni's curator insight, July 7, 3:36 AM

always an interesting discussion...

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Retronyms: Linguistic Shifts

Retronyms: Linguistic Shifts | Geography Education | Scoop.it

A 'retronym' is a term specifying the original meaning of word after a newer meaning has overtaken it.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Technological change demands linguistic change.  The technological world in which our societies are immersed changes our lived experiences and aspects of culture such as language. For example, vinyl disks were simply called records until compact discs, audio tapes and digital files flooded the music market.  An artist may still cut a record today, but the record probably won't be available in vinyl.   Vinyl, then, is a 'retronym' to now describe what was once called a record, which now has other meanings and connotations. This list has 14 other examples of retronyms, which exemplifies the cultural patterns and processes that create pop culture.  


Tags: language, culture, popular culture, technology.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, May 3, 9:06 AM

unit 3

God Is.'s curator insight, May 3, 1:15 PM

Some of you might appreciate this article.. Darn I feel old! LOL

A.K.Andrew's curator insight, May 6, 8:32 PM

Fantastic images for our modern day terms.

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A tour of the British Isles in accents

Got the audio here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01slnp5 The person doing the voice is Andrew Jack who is a dialect coach.


Tags: language, culture, English, UK.

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Sascha Humphrey's curator insight, April 6, 4:33 AM

He's really quite good, and the seamless change of dialect is quite impressive!

Michael MacNeil's curator insight, April 6, 11:32 AM

The diversity of the English language is amazing.  Even in the "motherland" it changes from location to location...aye bay goom.

Melissa Marshall's curator insight, April 9, 10:19 PM

This is a really interesting video for understanding regional dialect differences!

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Business Languages In Africa

Business Languages In Africa | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Main Languages of Business in Africa."

Seth Dixon's insight:

While this is not a perfect map, it is still a powerful one to convey several points.  One, the impact of colonialism is still felt in the the cultural, economic and political institutions of Africa.  Two, given that most of African countries have many indigenous languages spoken by the population, the old colonial language remains as a de facto Lingua Franca in most places, especially among the elite.


Tags: language, Africa, colonialism.

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diana buja's curator insight, March 30, 4:48 AM

Well, so - now we are to call languages that were introduced in the 19th century *and some earlier * by colonialists - BUSINESS LANGUAGES.  ...

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 2:30 PM

It's interesting to see years after colonialism and imperialism there the nations it colonized are still having contact with their 'mother country'. For example the countries of Angola and Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau gained independence in the 1970's and they still trade with Portugal and are dependent on one an other to an extent, and language definitely has something to do with it.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 3:46 PM

Africa is a huge continent filled with tons of countries. Language is widespread even within a city or town. Throughout Africa, there is no denying that the languages vary drastically. All the languages however are among the most spoken languages in the world. More business for Africa!

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Lexical Distance Among the Languages of Europe

Lexical Distance Among the Languages of Europe | Geography Education | Scoop.it

  This chart shows the lexical distance — that is, the degree of overall vocabulary divergence — among the major languages of Europe. The size of each circle represents the number of speakers ...

 

And yes, English has its deepest roots in German...the French aspects were tacked on after the Norman Conquest.

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ethanrobert's curator insight, March 19, 10:20 AM

This is a wonderful map that truly shows language families and their roots. In Europe, I was rather surprised when I seen that the Romance branch was much larger than that of the Germanic. All of the ancient Germanic groups such as the Jutes, Angols, and the Saxons were well versed in combat. Considering they conquered much of Western Europe, how is it that the Romance group is bigger than the Germanic? Also, in Eastern Europe, the Albanian language has no reason to exist. In a region dominated by the Slavic group with no environmental barriers, the Albanian language should not exist.~Ethan.

Arya Okten's curator insight, March 27, 10:33 PM

Unit II

Ness Crouch's curator insight, March 28, 8:43 PM

This isn't my normal area of interest but I found this fascinating!

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Are Elvish, Klingon, Dothraki and Na'vi real languages?

View full lesson on TED-ED: What do Game of Thrones' Dothraki, Avatar's Na'vi, Star Trek's Klingon and LOTR's Elvish have in common? They are all fantasy constructed languages, or conlangs. Conlangs have all the delicious complexities of real languages: a high volume of words, grammar rules, and room for messiness and evolution. John McWhorter explains why these invented languages captivate fans long past the rolling credits.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This TED ED video lesson brings up some important questions to ponder for cultural geography (and uses some popular fantasy/science fiction examples to do it).   For languages that are spoken by actual populations, they often 'borrow' vocabulary from other languages, making some ask the question, can loan words damage language integrity? 

 

Tags: language, culture.

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Cultural Syncretism

Cultural Syncretism | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

I found this image on social media from a great geography teacher (link to his site--looking for APHG group activities?  Try this).  This picture taken at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Memphis, TN shows an intrguing linguistic combination that I had never imagined before.  This is referred to as cultural syncretism, where two or more cultures or cultural traits combine together to make something new.  Globalization and migration are making more cultural combinations than we've ever seen before in this human mosaic we call home.


Tags: language, culture, the South, APHG, religion, landscape.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, December 11, 2013 12:01 AM

Interesting 


Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 28, 11:02 PM

This was taken in Memphis, TN. I liked how it mixes the religion with the surrounding culture and dialect, really interesting and shows that people can have the same religion and different backgrounds. 

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How Far Is It To The 'Boondocks'? Try The Philippines

How Far Is It To The 'Boondocks'? Try The Philippines | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Few know "boondocks" is a relic of U.S. military occupation in the Philippines.


Seth Dixon's insight:

I imaged that the term 'the boondocks' was of Asian origin, but I was surprised to learn how this U.S. military lingo was able to become a mainstream term.  The Tagalog word bundok means mountain and given the guerrilla warfare tactics, U.S. soldiers thought of their enemies as hiding 'in the boondocks.' This term spread throughout the military to mean an isolated region, but today the term has morphed from its military-based meaning of mountainous jungles to one that can also describe a sparsely populated rural America.  This is a fascinating article from NPR's Code Switch team that focuses on issues of culture, identity and race. 


Tags: language, toponyms, historical, conflict, culturediffusion.

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Tony Aguilar's curator insight, October 13, 2013 3:06 AM

We have all heard the phrase living in the "Boonies" The boondocks was a word that was taken from a philipino word called Bundok, that meant the guerilla warfare they were experiencing from phillipino insurgents during the Spanish American War with the America. In this war which Teddy Roosevelt helped lead we gained US Puerto Rico and Guam as new Territories from the Treaty of Paris. The war was fought against Emilio Aguinaldo who was a master at guerilla tactics against American soldiers. This was a desperate war involving coloniazation or exerting our power as a country against other countries that ammassed a huge death toll. Now that we know the word boondok, is not an all American word that was popularized in the 1950's but it was actually taken from the Phillipino language during a time of fighting in the Jungle or the Sticks. But boondocks also refers to a people living around mouintainous regions. Just some food for thought.

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Regional slang words

Regional slang words | Geography Education | Scoop.it

How many of these 107 regional slang words do you use?  This week on Mental Floss' YouTube information session, author and vlogger John Green explains 107 slang words specific to certain regions.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is a great audio supplement to these maps that display regional variations of vocabulary terms. 


Tags: language, North America, regions, USA.

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Justin McCullough's curator insight, September 18, 2013 3:43 PM

This is an interesting video explaining words heard in different parts of the country. The video displays not only the cultural diversity of America but also how difficult it is to learn the English language. Although I was born and raised in Rhode Island most of the terms I am familiar with are the ones from the south (my dad's from Texas/California) and Massachusetts (my mom's from Fall River Mass). However, I have always used bubbler, but dandle board....really?

Anyways this video is pretty entertaining and informing. 

Shelby Porter's comment, September 30, 2013 9:17 AM
This video is a very interesting way to see where a lot of our everyday vocabulary comes from. It gives us insight to the diversity in culture that America expresses. Now I can understand why it is so hard for many people to learn the English language, we have slang for everything, and a different slang word for each part of America. I am familiar with a lot of the terms, being a New England Native. Bubbler, wicked, soda, and cellar are some that are part of my everyday vocabulary (and unfortunately, being from Rhode Island sometimes the "R" seems to drop). It is amazing to see all the different words we have for just one thing and where they use them. It is just another great example of how widely diverse our country is.
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Linguistic Diversity at Home

Linguistic Diversity at Home | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Counties where at least 10 percent of people speak a language other than English at home."

Seth Dixon's insight:

While this is ostensibly a map that would be great for a cultural geography unit, I'm also thinking about the spatial patterns that created this map.  What current or historical migrations account for some of the patterns visible here?  What would a map like this look like it it were produced 50 years ago?  Why are Vermont and West Virginia the only states without a county with over 10% of the population that speak another language at home?  


Tags: language, North America, mapping, regions, census, migration, populationhistoricalfolk cultures, USA.

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elianna sosa paulino's curator insight, September 10, 2013 10:48 AM

While this is ostensibly a map that would be great for a cultural geography unit, I'm also thinking about the spatial patterns that created this map.  What current or historical migrations account for some of the patterns visible here?  What would a map like this look like it it were produced 50 years ago?  Why are Vermont and West Virginia the only states without a county with over 10% of the population that speak another language at home? 

 

Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 5, 2013 2:34 PM

The presence of large numbers of people that speak languages other than English at home occurs on the east and west coasts of the U.S., but largely in the south and western areas of the U.S..  In high school we used to have discussions about how there were many immigrants coming into the U.S. from or through Mexico.  With migration comes cultural diffusion, as the people coming into the United States bring their language and many other cultural elements of their country of origin with them.  I know there are certain neighborhoods in cities in Rhode Island where most people that I see on the street are speaking Spanish.  I have a relative that has married an immigrant from Guatemala, and she learned that the North East coast of the U.S. Is where many people from Central America move to- often in groups that settle as communities to help each other.  I can understand that it is essential to live near people that speak your language, and it makes sense that their strength and comfort in numbers is also a way of having a "home away from home."  Being the area of the world on the southern land border of the U.S., and that Central America consists mainly of Spanish speakers, it fills in the Southern areas of the U.S. with people that speak a language other than English.  The coasts overall can be explained as being populated by people that speak languages other than English at home because they contain ports of travel and trade, and are points where many flights from other countries would land and drop off travelers and migrants.  That and beautiful ocean views make the coasts a great place for foreigners to settle and live.  These pull factors are likely influential reasons for people to relocate to the areas on the map.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 10, 2013 11:02 PM

This map does not bring many surprises.  Places where there are a lot of Spanish speaking families are present in places where many Spanish people immigrate to, along the Mexican border and the southern tip of Florida, where Cuba is close by.  One interesting thing about the French areas seen in Louisiana is that their version of French is a regional dialect. Not only is their a cluster of French speaking families, but they are all speaking a language native to the region.  It is very surprising that there are not as many French speaking families along the Canadien border.

Suggested by Duane Hanstein, GISP
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How To Say 'Beer' Everywhere In Europe

How To Say 'Beer' Everywhere In Europe | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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Ryan G Soares's curator insight, December 3, 2013 10:34 AM

I really find it interesting how such a popular beverage is said from place to place in one area. Depending on where you live in one country or continent can change how something is said. Me living in the Eastern part of the United states we could Beer, beer. Compared to Europe calling "Beer" ale, pivo, cervesa, etc. Its facinating how depending on one's culture such a popular thing can be changed.

 

Suggested by Kristen McDaniel
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Do Geography and Altitude Shape the Sounds of a Language?

Do Geography and Altitude Shape the Sounds of a Language? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Languages that evolve at high elevations are more likely to include a sound that's easier to make when the air is thinner, new research shows
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PatrickHance's comment, September 2, 2013 9:33 PM
Recently, a University of Miami linguist named Caleb Everett made a surprising discovery about how geography influences language. Previously, it was assumed that how languages developed sounds was random. His findings show that languages with ejective consonants have a strong tendency to be in high-altitude regions. Ejective consonants are made by suddenly releasing an intense burst of air, and about 20% of the worlds languages have them. By sampling 567 of the 6909 known languages, Everett found that 87% of languages with ejective consonants are found in areas above 1500 meters. Only 43% of languages originating in high altitude areas were without ejectives, and just 4% of languages developed far from high altitudes had ejectives. Everett also found that as the altitude of a language's origin point grew, so did the chance of it containing ejectives. Assuming that his findings hold up when the rest of the world's languages are analyzed, this would be the first time geography was proven to change the sounds of a language.
PatrickHance's comment, September 2, 2013 9:56 PM
I feel that this is a very important article. If his analysis remains true for all the other remaining languages in the world, then it'll be a major discovery. This research may open up a whole new branch of linguistics, regarding how languages are shaped by geography. Soon, we could be discovering how dry, mountain air could help you make clearer sounds, and so on. From there, we could be studying how factors like socioeconomic status change your speech. The prospects for a big discovery like this are amazing.
PatrickHance's comment, September 2, 2013 10:02 PM
Stromberg, Joseph. "Do Geography and Altitude Shape the Sounds of a Language?." Surprising Science. Smithsonian, 12 Jun 2013. Web. 1 Sep. 2013. <http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2013/06/do-geography-and-altitude-shape-the-sounds-of-a-language/>.