Monday, November 7, 2016

Languages in the News: October 2016

With the US election taking place tomorrow, you'll have noticed that it has dominated the headlines, especially last month. However, there were still plenty of interesting news stories on languages and today we're bringing you some of favourites. Let's get to it.

The Guardian discussed which words are considered offensive on television and other media. If you'd like to read about offensive words, check out the story here. Later in the month, they also told us about 10 words that changed meaning as well as the word of the year.

TechCrunch brought us the news that Google has implemented neural machine translation. Read about how this type of machine translation is almost as good as human translation here.

Mashable had an interesting story on My Grandmother's Lingo, an interactive animation to help teach an endangered language. Read about the animation here.

Some news outlets in the UK decided to claim that immigration would be to blame for changes in the English language over the next 50 years. The Conversation debunked these claims and likened them to an outdated way of thinking about languages. Read the full article here.

Quartz had an article on articles and Donald Trump sounding racist (not for the first time). Why did his use of "the" when referring to African Americans make him sound racist? You can find the answer in the article here.

Brexit is still making the headlines in the UK. The BBC was reporting on claims from MPs that Brexit could result in a nationwide language crisis.

USA Today was looking at the current president, rather than the hopefuls being elected tomorrow. The article had ratings of Obama's abilities in various languages (or lack thereof in French). Read about them here.

Following the presidential debate in which Trump said "bad hombres", Merriam Webster received a huge spike in searches for both hombres and ombre. Read their story on it (and the differences between the two words) here.

Elsewhere Oxford Dictionaries' blog was discussing some awesome Japanese words that should be in the English language. Read about them here. They also had a fascinating articles olesser-known letters of the English alphabet.
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Those are our favourites from this month. Are there any important language news stories we missed or that you think we should have mentioned? Tell us about them in the comments below.