Language, Linguistics

The IPA – A Language Learner’s Secret Weapon

My American accent used to slip into every language I learned. I’ve never been good at impressions, and I was equally bad at guessing how new sounds worked. What I needed was a clear explanation
The Mission

15 Reasons Why We Need Endangered Languages

It’s a question we get asked all the time, and one that’s been covered by major news networks: do we really need to save endangered languages? Our answer, of course, is yes. But we aren’t stopping there. To
The Mission

5 Endangered Language Songs to Listen to This Week

Eijõ by Tuļļi Lum This slow and soothing folk song is sung in Livonian, a language spoken near the Black Sea in Latvia. Livonian is critically endangered and there may not be any fluent speakers

What’s the Matter with Q?

Last week, a friend asked me why the letter “Q” is so rare in English. For proof, just look at Scrabble. There’s only a single Q tile in the set, and while it’s worth 10
The Mission

Google Creates Font Family for 800 Languages

Have you ever opened a document, only to find that the text has turned into gibberish? The most famous kind of text error is tofu: . These little boxes appear when your computer can’t display

The Voynich Manuscript: a medieval mystery

The only book of its kind, and perhaps the only book in its language, the Voynich Manuscript has been owned by alchemists, polymaths, and kings. None of them, however, were ever able to read it.

No, “the Eskimo” don’t have 100 words for snow

You’ve probably heard the popular saying, “The Eskimo have 100 words for snow.” It’s a phrase used to justify linguistic relativity: the idea that our world view is shaped by the language we speak. Unfortunately,
The Mission

What is an endangered language?

A language becomes endangered when people stop using it. “Endangered” means that few people speak the language. If everyone stops using the language, it becomes extinct. Usually, people don’t choose to give up their language. We want