Articles for Languages/Linguistic curiosities

Recent research shows that the language used in job postings may be holding women back from work

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village Why are women still underrepresented in many high-profile fields like finance and STEM? The reasons behind this are complex and may include gaps in education, lingering gender stereotypes, lack of role models, and concerns over work-life balance. Findings from a ...

The debate around “woke” culture is heated: while many say it has helped to raise awareness of social justice issues others claim it has gone way too far

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village What does “woke” actually mean in today’s culture? As the use of the word spreads, what people actually mean by woke seems less clear than ever. A review of Google keywords shows that the search for defining “wokeness” has surged ...

Esperanto Day, July 26, celebrates the birth of a language aimed at fostering harmony among peoples. Is it still relevant today?

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village “Does the day of linguistic justice still have relevance?” ask the authors of an article published on World Esperanto Day 2021 by CGTN, the China Global Television Network. Esperanto was invented by Polish ophthalmologist L. L. Zamenhof in 1887 and ...

Survey data about non-binary people: a critical tool to inform discussions about policy, resource allocations, and other issues that affect them

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village “International Non-Binary People’s Day” is celebrated ever year on the 14th of July since 2012 and is aimed at raising awareness around the issues faced by people who do not identify as male or female. The issue is gaining increasing ...

Loss of linguistic diversity may lead to loss of knowledge of age-old remedies that could unlock the potential for new treatments

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village According to the UN, more than 30% of the 7,400 languages on the planet are expected to disappear by the end of the century. The impact of language extinction on linguistically unique knowledge is often overlooked, says Dr Rodrigo Cámara-Leret, ...

Exclamation marks have become part of a social-media specific dialect to prompt humour and irreverence

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village Francis Scott Fitzgerald hated exclamation marks (“it’s like laughing at your own joke”), Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen and James Joyce loved them, and Anton Chekov even wrote a short story in their honour. “Long considered the ‘fun uncle’ of the ...

Not everyone who speaks English is treated the same way. What happens when accent discrimination creeps in?

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village Have you ever become impatient during work conversations, speaking over or finishing the sentences of colleagues who are non-native English speakers and are more hesitant? Do you tend to gravitate more towards colleagues who are English native speakers to chat ...

Translation can be a political act when is used to give a voice to under-represented groups and challenge gender stereotypes

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village The act of translating a text, of making it available to people who can’t read the original language, is a political statement in many different ways: what works are chosen to translate, or not to translate, who should translate, what ...

French government bans inclusive writing in schools but accepts other changes that feminize language

by Pisana Ferrari – cApStAn Ambassador to the Global Village In the French language, all pronouns, nouns and adjectives carry the gender of the object or person they refer to. In English, the discussion around “gender neutral” language focuses on pronouns (“they”), in Romance languages such as French it is ...