Thursday, June 07, 2007
Time for multilingual net domains
Imagine if each time a British internet user entered an e-mail or website address, they would be required to include a Chinese or Cyrillic character.
For millions of non-English speakers around the world, this is precisely what they experience when they use the internet as the domain name system is unable to fully accommodate their local language.Read more: Domains
"Diversity and change in adult language learning"
- The number of adults learning languages in local authority and FE college classes is continuing to decline.
- Spanish continues to grow as the foremost language learnt, with Italian, British Sign Language and Arabic also increasing their share of the market.
- Between 11% and 12% of local authorities and FE colleges are already using Asset Languages to accredit learning.
These are the initial findings from CILT’s survey of adult language learning, carried out in conjunction with NIACE and the Association for Language Learning earlier this year. Although figures on learner numbers are difficult to interpret, the findings reflect similar conclusions published by NIACE last month (Figures of Speech, May 2007). In addition to the overall decline, these highlight the growing diversity of adult language learning provision, and the growth in participation from ethnic minority communities.Read more: CILT
Word of the Day: epicene
epicene \EP-uh-seen\, adjective:
1. Having the characteristics of both sexes.
2. Effeminate; unmasculine.
3. Sexless; neuter.
4. (Linguistics) Having but one form of the noun for both the male and the female.
1. A person or thing that is epicene.
2. (Linguistics) An epicene word.
He has a clear-eyed, epicene handsomeness -- cruel, sensuous mouth; cheekbones to cut your heart on -- the sort of excessive beauty that is best appreciated in repose on a 50-foot screen. -- Franz Lidz, "Jude Law: He Didn't Turn Out Obscure at All", New York Times, May 13, 2001
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Israeli diplomats fed up with Kosher dining
Israeli diplomats fed up with a protocol requiring they entertain guests at less-than-fancy kosher eateries abroad have asked for the rules to be relaxed, only to be overruled by a religious Jewish cabinet minister.
Trade Minister Eli Yishai, a member of the Orthodox Shas party, persuaded the Foreign Ministry not to accept the appeal by dozens of Israeli envoys to be allowed to hold official functions in non-kosher restaurants, Maariv newspaper said. "Keeping kosher preserved the people of Israel," the daily quoted Yishai as saying.Read more: Kosher
IncrediMail Ltd. Introduces Chinese Language Version
IncrediMail Ltd., a software company specializing in Internet consumer products and services, today announced it introduced a Chinese language version of its flagship email product. This is the company’s first step in extending its user base in China.
"We see China as an untapped, emerging market where internet use is growing in popularity," said Yaron Adler, chief executive officer of IncrediMail. “We believe that, like other brands that have successfully introduced their products to China, entering the Chinese market will help to increase our user base and create tremendous financial growth.�?Read more: Press Release
Australia: Lack of language skills
Australia's top research universities, the Group of Eight, are doing the nation a favour in moving to kick-start foreign language teaching from infancy to postgraduate standard.
The imperatives for the case are compelling. In the 1960s, 40 per cent of Year 12 students studied a second language, compared with 15 per cent today. In Queensland, the fall-off is even more serious, with just 5.8 per cent of Year 12 doing so. At university level, the number of languages available has fallen from 66 to 29 in the past 10 years, with just 3 per cent of students studying an Asian language.Read more: Australia
Word of the Day: lumpen
lumpen \LUHM-puhn; LUM-puhn\, adjective;
plural lumpen, also lumpens:
1. Of or relating to dispossessed and displaced individuals, especially those who have lost social status.
2. Common; vulgar.
noun: 1. A member the underclass, especially the lowest social stratum.
. . .an academic sweatshop where underpaid lumpen intellectuals slave for a pittance. -- Ashlea Ebeling, "I got my degree through e-mail", Forbes, June 16, 1997