Everywhere in the world, it seems, people fret about language.

Some people worry about too much English. Some people are concerned because their language is being ignored or banned. And sometimes government and the law get involved. How will it all work out?

Linguist Daniel Midgley hits the hotspots in this episode of Talk the Talk.


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For this podcast, two of my interests — language and Mormonism — came together. Some Samoan-speaking Latter-day Saints have initiated what appears to be a legal action against the Church for forbidding them to speak Samoan in church. (A church public affairs director appeared not to be aware of the action.) The situation is similar to that of Hawai’i, where some members are trying to allow their language to be recognised. As more minority languages gain recognition and status, this will be more of an issue for the church and other organisations.

Anyway, this is all part of a larger story about policing language behaviour. Have a listen.


Show notes

‘Le binge drinking’ struck from French
http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/07/29/new_french_word_le_binge_drinking

Employees in Quebec told they can’t speak English to each other. For reals? Or a media beat-up?
http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/exclusive-iga-franchise-employees-told-they-can-t-speak-english-to-each-other-1.1343299#ixzz2XMlIeeCx

English speakers in Quebec like to point to stories like these to show how ridiculous it all is
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/130220/quebec-language-police-claim-italian-restaurant-menu

but then if you were a French speaker, you’d be concerned about English encroachment, too.

The language cops didn’t like the spoons.
http://globalnews.ca/news/660744/quebec-language-police-target-frozen-yogurt-spoons/

The Office québécois de la langue française gives suggestions on how to comply
http://oqla.org/en/discussion/media/99-oqla-french-descriptions

More on the OQLF
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_qu%C3%A9b%C3%A9cois_de_la_langue_fran%C3%A7aise

A lawsuit in Japan over language change. Sorry, gramps, but you may have to adapt.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/27/japan-broadcaster-sued-english-words

Samoan Mormons in Brisbane fighting to speak their language in church
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-09/an-australia-samoa-church/4876010?section=qld
http://www.talamua.com/samoan-language-ban-by-church-in-brisbane-reaches-pm/

An LDS rep seemed unaware of the suit, and said there’s no ban
http://www.islandsbusiness.com/news/samoa/2301/ban-on-samoan-language-in-brisbane-church-not-true/

but says it’s up to Salt Lake
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/pacific-beat/court-battle-over-mormon-ban-on-samoan-language/1173440

Hawaiian is an official language in Hawai’i, but you can’t take a driving test in it. Daniel Anthony wants to change that.
http://www.kitv.com/news/hawaii/official-language-unusable-for-official-business/-/8905354/21328240/-/ccgxy9/-/index.html
http://news.yahoo.com/man-fights-license-test-hawaiian-191014442.html


Show tunes

‘The Modern World’ by the Jam
from the album Compact Snap

‘Legal Man’ by Belle and Sebastian
from the album Legal Man