Friday, January 1, 2016

2015: The Best of Languages on the Web

On Wednesday, we looked back at our most popular posts from 2015. Today we're going to give you our picks of the best language content we saw throughout the year.


Our first pick comes from James Chapman of Soundimals, a series of amazing multilingual illustrations. His "How to Sound Happy in Eight Languages" brought a smile to our faces for the start of the year. You can see the image here and see other brilliant illustrations on the Tumblr here.

We also enjoyed a snippet from the "Beeb" (or the BBC if you're not from the UK) which discusses the work of American linguist Noam Chomsky on language acquisition and human language. You can listen to it here.


Our favourites from February include an amusing comic from Itchy Feet. This strip, called "Expressive Vowels", gave us a giggle and made us appreciate the diaresis (or trema or umlaut). You can read the comic here and read the other amazing comics here.


In March we enjoyed The Guardian article entitled "A Quick Guide to Speak Franglais". It discusses the Académie française and the French government's efforts to protect the French language, as well as the increasing influence of English on the language. You can read the article here or more on language from The Guardian here.


As we love April Fool's Day, we also loved the article on "Grungespeak" from the Oxford Dictionaries' blog. The post discussed fictionalised words that gained some credibility as journalists tried to ride the wave of grunge music in the early '90s. You can read the article here and check out the OxfordWords blog here.


In May, NPR looked at the relationship between language and memory and how accents foreign to us make it more difficult to remember words. You can read the article here and more from NPR on languages here.


The pick from June mixes pop-punk and linguistics, two of my favourite things. The article "I Made a Linguistics Professor Listen to a Blink-182 Song and Analyze the Accent" revealed some valuable insights into why accent is so important to music. You can read the article here.


The Atlantic had a fascinating article on Toki Pona, a language with a hundred words. You can read the article, "How to Say (Almost) Everything in a Hundred-Word Language" here.


In August we read a great article from, "7 Common Language Learning Strategies That Don’t Work (And How to Fix Them)". You can read some of Benny Lewis' best tips and tricks here.


We're back with NPR for September. We loved their piece on pleonasms, which you can learn about by reading or listening to "Please Don't Have A Temper Tantrum About The Pleonasm In This Headline" here.


In October we enjoyed an article from on the Indus script and how it was deciphered. You can read the fascinating piece here.

Trees, like languages, also have roots.

Another article from The Guardian grabbed our attention in November. We love stuff on language acquisition and the beginnings of language, so this article was great for us. You can read the discussion on "The roots of language: what makes us different from other animals?" here.


To finish the year, we liked this piece about non-binary pronouns on the BBC. As the discussion on gender identity becomes more and more important, we can see how language adapts and how we can adapt language to better suit our world. You can read the article here.

Were there any language articles you enjoyed from 2015 that should have made our list? Tell us about them in the comments below and we'll be sure to share the best suggestions with our followers.

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