Articles on Language

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Indonesia’s language policy makes the use of standard Indonesian a measure of nationalism. Prodita Sabarini/The Conversation Indonesia

Who speaks Indonesian, ‘the envy of multilingual world’?

Indonesian, an engineered language made in the time of colonialism, is "the envy of the multilingual world". But no one speaks standard Indonesian on the streets. Does anyone speak the language?
New census data gives insight into Canada’s immigrant population, including how English language proficiency can impact wages. Here, a group of new Canadians take part in a citizenship ceremony in Ottawa in September. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

Closing the immigrant wage gap: Is speaking English important?

New census data provides a chance to understand why immigrants earn lower wages than Canadians who have been here for many generations. Whether immigrants speak English at home may be a clue.
Everyone sees them all, but we don’t all give them the same distinct names. lazyllama/Shutterstock.com

Languages don’t all have the same number of terms for colors – scientists have a new theory why

People across the globe all see millions of distinct colors. But the terms we use to describe them vary across cultures. New cognitive science research suggests it's about what we want to communicate.
A photo of Stoney Squ-w Mountain in Banff by the Bow River. (Shutterstock)

The S-word: Just stop using it

The word Squ-w has an innocent origin, but its use in English has long been derogatory and racist. Place names which use this word should be changed.

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