Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Best of 2013

What a year it's been! Today we'll be looking back at the best of 2013, including your favourite posts and guest contributions. We'll start with the Top 10 Posts of 2013:

Top 10 Posts of 2013

In April for our Intro to Linguistics series we looked at thematic relations. You guys seemed to appreciate it, as it makes its way into our Top 10 Posts at number 10.

Exactly a year ago today we encouraged you to learn a language and helped you on your way by providing you with a shortlist for the best languages to learn in 2013. We hope you stuck to your resolution!

Russian is often overlooked when it comes to languages that have influenced the lexicon of English. Back in April we had a look at a few examples of words that came from Russia with love, which made it our number 8 post this year.

Though we hate language stereotypes, people seemed to like us setting the record straight back in March.

In January we looked at the Index Translationum, a list of books translated in the world. We found this bibliography of translations interesting and given that it is number 6 in our top 10 posts of 2013, you did too.

Some people swear, others don't. Some people hate swearing, others don't. Back in March, we looked at just how cursed cursing is and whether we should really be so upset by it. Clearly you lot aren't massively upset by swearing or it wouldn't be number 5 in our list.

We also addressed our dislike of artists using their non-native tongue in a song in March. Whilse we want people to learn languages, these examples were so bad that they show that the artists that were named and shamed should have studied a lot harder in school.

In May we addressed the educational issues surrounding compulsory language learning, an issue close to our hearts. It's clearly close to your hearts too and that's why it's number 3 in our list.

Another entry from our Intro to Linguistics series, our look at morphological typology was far more popular than we could have dreamed and made its way into our list in a silver medal position at number 2.

Sometimes it seems that we are all suckers for life's simple pleasures. Our simplified look at word categories was the most popular post of 2013.

Favourite post not featured? Check out the other months of 2013!

Best Guest Contributions

To mark our first birthday back in September, we opened up The Lingua File to guest contributions. Here are the top five guest posts from this year, though that's not to say the others weren't amazing too! If you'd like to contribute to The Lingua File, send an email to

In September, linguist and ESL teacher Jennifer Collins of looked at the relation between language and politics, how we define languages, whether countries can own languages, and how we choose official languages. We found it fascinating and so did our readers, making it number 5 in our best guest contributions.

4: Spelling Wars: The Problem with Reviving Languages by Rhian Davies

Rhian Davies, language policy and planning student, evaluated the spelling issues you encounter when you revive languages. Her post focusing on the minority language of Cornish was fascinating and earned it fourth place in our top 5 guest contributions.

In October, freelance writer Steven Armstrong of looked at ways to motivate students to learn English. This informative and useful post is the first onto our imaginary podium.

Language enthusiast and adventurer Cher Hale of The Iceberg Project gave us 12 ways to get the Italian language into our everyday routine in order to help us master this beautiful and romantic Romance language. We found the steps indispensible and so did you. It's second in our list.

Our guest contribution from famed linguist David Crystal was always going to be number one on our list. The distinguished linguist was kind enough to contribute to The Lingua File and easily earned his place at the top of this list.

If your favourite Guest Post wasn't here, check out our other Guest Posts.

Thank you for being with us so far and we hope that 2014 is as good for you as 2013 was for us!

Happy New Year!!!

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