Prose

Shifting Languages

by Emma Gilpin Shifting from one language to another feels strange. It feels almost like I have more than one personality, as if there is a strange sort of discord between my English and German speaking selves. I have always loved words, which is why I chose to study languages in the first place. But, […]

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Prose

Is Language Sexist? Is Sexism Linguistic?

by Anna Wawrzonkowska Do we think what we say, or do we say what we think? The difference is slim, but extremely important. In other words, the dilemma could be phrased as: is language shaped by our thoughts and opinions, or does it shape them? The visual statement made by the graph above is clear and […]

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Culture, Prose

The Origins of Chaos, or the English Spelling Explained

by Anna Wawrzonkowska In 1992, Gerard Nolst Trenité, a Dutch academic and linguist, wrote his famous poem: the Chaos. It is, perhaps, the best summary of the helpless confusion any non-native speaker feels when put against the whirling maelstrom of English spelling and pronunciation. Dearest creature in creation Studying English pronunciation, I will teach you […]

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Culture, Prose

Chilean Slang – A Mini Language Lesson

by Christy Callaway-Gale Ready to learn three slang words of Chilean origin? Here they are: weón, weá and weonear. What follows are most intellectually intellectual translations, thoughtfully arranged in easy-to-learn separate paragraphs (#NotStudyingAtOxfordForNothing). Pay attention reader: Weón – ‘Mate’ Just about everyone who speaks to you here thinks you are their weón. Embrace it. #IgoreInstinctiveEnglishness […]

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Culture, Prose

The Great Linguistic Dance

by Ben Griffiths The first thing that pops into your head when you think of ‘translation’ is probably the act of rendering a text from one language into another, a process seemingly so simple yet often almost unfathomably complicated. Some say it is in reality impossible to make a completely ‘accurate’ translation, since languages are so […]

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Culture, Prose

Teaching in China: How not to learn Mandarin

by Emily Smith Last summer I was fairly determined to leave the UK. Taking advantage of that gloriously low effort skill of speaking one’s own native language, I headed to Nanchang, Jianxi in China where I taught English to high school and university students. I learnt a lot, but one thing I really didn’t learn […]

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