Friday, July 1, 2016

Languages in the News: June 2016

This past month has been full of interesting language news stories related to everything from the Brexit to the resurrection of the Hawaiian language, so today we're going to look back at a few of our favorites.

English Loses Currency as Europe's Lingua Franca After Brexit Vote; Brexit may threaten the many minority languages of Britain

Unless you've been avoiding the internet for the past week, you're undoubtedly aware of the fact that the UK voted to leave the European Union last Thursday. There have been thousands of articles on the vote's many economic and political implications, as well as several looking at how the so-called Brexit may affect language usage within the EU. We even provided our own analysis in our last post.

This article from The Wall Street Journal looked at how the EU is already making moves to focus on communicating in German and French, and discusses how it may make things more complicated for many smaller EU countries that primarily use English as a means of communication with other EU member states. In addition, Quartz published this piece on how the Brexit may negatively affect Britain's minority languages, such as Cornish and Welsh.

A view of the Pacific Ocean from Maui, Hawaii.
How does 'Hamilton,' the non stop, hip-hop Broadway sensation tap rap's master rhymes to blur musical lines?

One of our favorite articles this month was this fascinating piece from The Wall Street Journal that looks at how the Broadway hit Hamilton's complex rhyming lyrics work, complete with samples from the soundtrack and other musical influences.

How Hawaiian Came Back From the Dead

This in-depth piece by Slate looks at how immersion programs at public schools have helped save the Hawaiian language from being replaced by English.

Preserving Native American languages by teaching the youngest students

Finally, we loved reading this piece by EdSource, which discusses how Head Start preschool programs are helping to preserve Native American languages by finding native speakers to teach the youngest members of tribes about their languages and cultures.