There has been much talk that the capital of Ukraine should be written in the style used in Ukrainian Kyiv rather than the Russian Kiev - see, for examplehttps://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/25/how-to-pronounce-and-spell-kyiv-kiev-ukraine-and-why-it-matters?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
I have recently been watching the documentary "All or Nothing" about Tottenham last year.
There are a variety of languages used representing the multinational nature of the team. I was interested to see Jose Mourinho talking one to one with the England international, Eric Dier in Portuguese. Dier's Portuguese seemed fluent (but I am not expert on this) but I wonder whether there was a power dynamic at work here as it is obviously Mourinho's first language.
I was also struck by how often swear words were used as part of the culture. Do the players and managers think this provokes more passion? Interestingly, Amazon did not bleep out the "f word" but did bleep out the "c word".
There is also an interesting section where Mourinho learns the names of the players. Again, there are aspects of hierarchies. Harry Kane is called "Harry" so Harry Winks has to be called "Winksy". He also asks the player Kyle Walker Peters if he is "Walker" or "Peters" and he replies "Walker Peters". It seems surprising that Mourinho who has worked in Britain for a long time is not really aware of double barelled surnames.
I have been listening to a very interesting radio programme on polyglots at https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3csz4pt
There are interesting points about the ways that knowledge of languages brings power (reference is made to Mandela learning Afrikaans, which was seen as the language of his oppressors but that it was much more useful for him to know it than not know it). This seems to have resonance with the need for English speakers to know other languages.
A speaker explains how the knowledge of several languages helps her to gain respect. It also helps her to break down stereotypes.
This article about an increasing interest in Luxembourgish is quite intriguing and relates to some of the issues discussed on some OU courses, especially L161, "Exploring Languages and Cultures"
I have also been reading "Flight" by the Polish writer, Olga Tokarczuk and she writes pityingly of those who only speak English as follows:
"There are countries where people speak English . But not like us - we have our own languages in our carry on luggage.... only ever using English when we travel, and then only in foreign countries. It's hard to imagine but English is their real language. They don't have anything to fall back on or turn to in moments of doubt.
"How lost they must feel in the world, where all instructions, all the lyrics of the stupidest possible songs, all the menus, all the excrutiating pamphlets and brochures - even the buttons in the lift - are in their private language. They may be understood by anyone at any moment....." (Tokarczuk 2007/2017: 183).
Tokarczuk O (2007 translated 2017) Flight London: Fitzcarraldo.
The following link gives a translation for Happy New Year in a variety of languages:
I wish all the best for 2016 to anyone who reads this blog.
I suppose I am showing my age if I state how interested I have always been by space exploration. So, I have been very interested in newspaper coverage and television coverage of Tim Peake's flight.
One of the aspects that drew my attention was his need to study Russian during his training, This was not surprising as he is traveling in a Russian craft and the Star Gazing programme last night mentioned how Russian is naturally the working language for the Soyuz flights although English will be used on the ISS. The international nature of the ISS also presumably means there would need to be a high degree of intercultural competence on the part of the cosmo/astronauts.
Probably most viewers would have been aware of his physical, psychological and scientific skills but linguistic and intercultural competence must also be vital for these cosmo/astronauts.
A multilingual seasonal greetings sign seen in the underground (via the @OUDALEL twitter account).
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