Articles on Language

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Lest we forget is an expression with dignified origins, a rich history and a budding linguistic fossil. E-Maxx

Lest we forget lest: Anzac and the language of remembrance

This Anzac Day the words "lest we forget" will often be spoken. It's a usage that we don't otherwise hear. Why do linguistic fossils such as "lest we forget" linger – and how do they help us remember the fallen?
Map depicting the two major hypotheses of the spread of Indo-European languages (white arrows) and geographic distribution of the archaeological cultures described in the text. Wolfgang Haak

European invasion: DNA reveals the origins of modern Europeans

Europe is famously tesselated, with different cultural and language groups clustering in different regions. But how did they all get there? And how are they related?
From left to right. Mandarin employs a different part of the brain. Chinese man via XiXinXing/Shutterstock

If you speak Mandarin, your brain is different

Language is traditionally associated with the left side of the brain. But Mandarin speakers are using the right side.
We could all pay better attention to what comes out our mouth. Emmanuel Szép

Mansplaining the word of the year – and why it matters

The Macquarie Dictionary last week named “mansplain” its word of the year for 2014. The Dictionary defines mansplain as: verb (t) Colloquial (humorous) (of a man) to explain (something) to a woman, in…
Literary translation has occurred for centuries (the Bible is a prime example). And with Nobel Prize winners like French author Patrick Modiano, it’s unlikely to disappear anytime soon. Wikimedia Commons

Absorbed in translation: the art – and fun – of literary translation

I recently stumbled upon a post that describes the process of literary translation as “soul-crushing.” That’s news to me, and I’ve been engaged in literary translation for the better part of four decades…

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