Category: world languages (page 1 of 2)

Episode 279: Mailbag – Competitive Edition

We’re taking your questions on a Mailbag episode!

Along the way, we’re going to find out some pretty strange things about how words and phrases got to be how they are. Do you say zero or oh? What is begging the question? And has the French /r/ always been like that?

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie answer them all on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Antonino Tati


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Episode 279: Mailbag – Competitive Edition [128 kbps]

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Show notes

The hazards of English spelling
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-03/lsoa-tho030917.php

Self-Organization In The Spelling Of English Suffixes: The Emergence Of Culture Out Of Anarchy
http://www.linguisticsociety.org/sites/default/files/Berg_Aronoff.pdf

The Standardization of American English
http://teachinghistory.org/history-content/ask-a-historian/25489

till (prep.)
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=till&allowed_in_frame=0

Wikipedia: Names for the number 0 in English
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_for_the_number_0_in_English#.22O.22_.28.22oh.22.29

How many names does zero have?
http://inmadom-myenglishclass.blogspot.com.au/2011/09/how-many-names-does-zero-have.html

Why getting out for zero is called a “duck” in cricket
https://www.sportskeeda.com/cricket/why-getting-out-zero-called-duck-cricket

Begging the Question, Again
https://afterdeadline.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/25/begging-the-question-again/?_r=1

Begging the question: How much should we fight for a correct English usage that no one actually seems to use?
https://www.theguardian.com/media/mind-your-language/2010/may/24/begging-the-question-mind-your-language

This troublesome 3-word phrase perfectly exemplified Antonin Scalia’s obsession with originalism
https://www.businessinsider.com/beg-the-question-meaning-definition-usage-2016-4

Questions to French native speakers…
http://www.antimoon.com/forum/t16151.htm

r/French: The rolled “R”
https://www.reddit.com/r/French/comments/2wwz2y/the_rolled_r/

Rolled ‘R’ in French – what area?
http://www.forum.french-linguistics.co.uk/forum/topics/rolled-r-in-french-what-area

Studies in the History of the English Language: A Millennial Perspective
Google Books link

Flipped, rolled, trilled or other…How to deal with the French “r”?
https://dictioncorner.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/flipped-rolled-trilled-or-other-how-to-deal-with-the-french-r/

When did the trilled “r” fall out of use in French and become replaced with a uvular fricative?
https://www.quora.com/When-did-the-trilled-r-fall-out-of-use-in-French-and-become-replaced-with-a-uvular-fricative

The origin of the French uvular “R”
http://www.antimoon.com/forum/t4808-15.htm

Frozen – Let It Go (French version)
https://youtu.be/wQP9XZc2Y_c

Georges Brassens – La Mauvaise Réputation
https://youtu.be/26Nuj6dhte8

What Is the F–kboy?
http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2015/08/18/what_does_fuckboy_mean.html

Green’s Dictionary of Slang
https://greensdictofslang.com

Diagram for 0800 0077 070


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Episode 264: Spurious Etymologies (live at Camp Doogs)

With words, things are not always what they seem.

An etymology is a story about how a word or phrase got to be that way. How did your favourite phrases come about? Is it possible that the origins you’ve heard are not quite true? And how can you spot a fishy story?

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie are coming at you live for this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Jane Hebiton


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Show notes

Pinjarra
http://www.boodjar.sis.uwa.edu.au/boodjar-placenames/Pinjarra

Pinjarup | Ethnologue
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/pnj

Google’s Quest To Design A Typeface For Every Language On Earth
https://www.fastcodesign.com/3064379/googles-quest-to-design-a-typeface-for-every-language-on-earth

Google Fonts: Noto Sans
https://fonts.google.com/specimen/Noto+Sans

What’s new in Unicode 9.0?
http://babelstone.blogspot.com.au/2016/01/whats-new-in-unicode-90.html

13912551_10153802558073527_633204098457369152_n

Good luck takes a reverse
http://www.news.com.au/national/good-luck-takes-a-reverse/story-e6frfkp9-1111118083194

Wiktionary: chock
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/chock#Etymology_1

List of common false etymologies of English words
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_common_false_etymologies_of_English_words

Was ‘tip’ formed from an acronym of ‘To Insure Promptness’?
http://www.snopes.com/language/acronyms/tip.asp

Folk etymology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folk_etymology

The Word Detective: False etymologies
http://www.word-detective.com/2013/03/false-etymologies/

More about Break A Leg
http://www.theatrecrafts.com/pages/home/glossary-of-technical-theatre-terms/more-about-break-a-leg/

The Phrase Finder — a great resource.
http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/b.html

Wiktionary: global weirding
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/global_weirding

Global Weirding Is Here – The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/opinion/17friedman.html?_r=0

Global warming vs climate change
https://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?r=326

Orthorexia: when healthy eating turns against you
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/sep/26/orthorexia-eating-disorder-clean-eating-dsm-miracle-foods

Orthorexia nervosa: when righteous eating becomes an obsession
https://theconversation.com/orthorexia-nervosa-when-righteous-eating-becomes-an-obsession-36484

Orthorexia nervosa – when healthy eating is no longer healthy
http://www.eufic.org/article/en/artid/orthorexia-nervosa/

Pete Evans is clueless about nutrition
http://scepticalnutritionist.com.au/?p=1523

Pete Evans slammed for ‘potentially damaging’ paleo diet advice to osteoporosis sufferer
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-29/pete-evans-slammed-for-advice-to-osteoporosis-sufferer/7793572

Doctor criticises chef Pete Evans for giving ‘potentially deadly’ diet advice
http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/doctor-criticises-chef-pete-evans-for-giving-potentially-deadly-diet-advice-20160829-gr3ydb.html

Clean eating trend can be dangerous for young people, experts warn
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/oct/01/clean-eating-trend-dangerous-young-people-food-obsession-mental-health-experts

CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet online
http://www.csiro.au/en/Research/Health/CSIRO-diets/CSIRO-Total-Wellbeing-Diet-Online

The Butterfly Foundation
https://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au

Etymonline: helicopter
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=helicopter

Bully: A Vicious, Cowardly Word With a Long History
https://www.good.is/articles/the-history-of-the-word-bully


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Image credit: Kylie Sturgess

Episode 262: Universal Grammar

Why do all human languages resemble each other? And how do children learn language so fast?

For many linguists, the answer is Universal Grammar. It’s one of the biggest ideas in linguistics, but now it might possibly be coming unstuck. What is it, and what does its acceptance or rejection mean for modern linguistics?

Linguist Daniel Midgley has something for everyone on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


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Show notes

The French Number
http://www.thefrenchnumber.fr

Evidence Rebuts Chomsky’s Theory of Language Learning
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/evidence-rebuts-chomsky-s-theory-of-language-learning/

Don’t believe the rumours. Universal Grammar is alive and well.
https://medium.com/@dan.milway/dont-believe-the-rumours-universal-grammar-is-alive-and-well-58c1fbc5608b#.av7h2vini

The bonfire of Noam Chomsky: journalist Tom Wolfe targets the acclaimed linguist
http://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2016/9/14/12910180/noam-chomsky-tom-wolfe-linguist

Tom Wolfe plays mischief with language in ‘Kingdom of Speech’
http://articles.philly.com/2016-09-11/news/75354678_1_language-evolution-darwin-urdu

Noam Chomsky on the Evolution of Language: A Biolinguistic Perspective
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/37725-noam-chomsky-on-the-evolution-of-language-a-biolinguistic-perspective

Dr. Noam Chomsky’s answers to questions from r/linguistics
https://www.reddit.com/r/linguistics/comments/13buz0/dr_noam_chomskys_answers_to_questions_from/?

Universal Grammar- How Do You Back It?
https://www.reddit.com/r/linguistics/comments/16avcv/universal_grammar_how_do_you_back_it/?

What are the leading anti-UG theories?
https://www.reddit.com/r/linguistics/comments/4es4pb/what_are_the_leading_antiug_theories/

The language faculty that wasn’t: a usage-based account of natural language recursion
http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01182/full

A Cognitive Neural Architecture Able to Learn and Communicate through Natural Language
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0140866

Grammar rules aren’t nearly as clear-cut as we thought
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/01/grammar-rules-aren-t-nearly-clear-cut-we-thought

Child language acquisition: Why universal grammar doesn’t help
http://muse.jhu.edu/article/552064

‘Avengers’ assemble to take on ‘racist, abusive coward’ Donald Trump, urge people to vote
http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/avengers-assemble-take-on-racist-abusive-coward-donald-trump-urge-people-to-vote-20160921-grlnmt.html

‘Butt’ is an actual unit of measurement
http://gizmodo.com/butt-is-an-actual-unit-of-measurement-1622427091

The first fuckwit
https://stronglang.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/the-first-fuckwit/

My table

sweary-units-of-measurement


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Episode 260: Promoting LOTE (featuring Annie Demosthenous)

Language learning is important. Loads of kids are taking languages other than English (or LOTE). Lots of people are teaching them.

But for all that, we’re just not learning them. So why not? Are we doing it wrong? Not starting early enough? Or is it the culture of language learning in English-speaking countries? More importantly, how do we fix it?

Language teacher Annie Demosthenous chats with Daniel, Ben, and Kylie on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Dylan Websdane


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Show notes

Negative campaign: Votes sought for most disliked English word
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/25/negative-campaign-votes-sought-for-most-disliked-english-word

Oxford Dictionaries’ campaign to find most hated English word scrapped
http://www.newkerala.com/news/2016/fullnews-111238.html

Now we’ll never know what the English language’s least favourite word is
http://www.aol.co.uk/news/2016/08/27/now-well-never-know-what-the-english-languages-least-favourite-word-is/

Offensive language ruins search for world’s worst word
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-37197699

#OneWordMap: mapping the world’s least favourite words
“Update: We regret to inform users that due to severe misuse we have had to remove this feature from our website.”
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2016/08/one-word-map-least-favourite-word/#

Part 1: Why LOTE is having trouble

Fewer students are taking languages
https://blogs.crikey.com.au/fullysic/2016/06/15/solve-australias-language-learning-crisis/

Schools are cutting back
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/diplomatic-tensions-as-italian-and-greek-phased-out-of-school-20160805-gqlwpf.html

It’s difficult to teach LOTE anyway, with students get 1 hour a week.
http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/teachers-know-dripfed-languages-fail-to-take-hold-20121102-28pms.html

We don’t have a culture of language learning in English-speaking countries
http://neoskosmos.com/news/en/Challenging-Australias-monolingual-mindset

What’s the big deal? Everyone speaks English
https://theconversation.com/why-native-english-speakers-fail-to-be-understood-in-english-and-lose-out-in-global-business-54436

Part 2: How to fix it

Should we be getting students to speak their home language (if they have one), instead of making everyone choose Indonesian or French?
https://theconversation.com/how-we-kill-languages-and-fail-our-cleverest-children-29137

How about dual-language programmes?
http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/dual-language-books-bridge-culture-language-for-english-learners-in-edmonton

How about language nests?
https://theconversation.com/language-nests-a-way-to-revive-indigenous-languages-at-risk-19824

Just making language learning compulsory?
https://theconversation.com/how-to-make-australia-more-bilingual-42609

What Is The Millennial Whoop? Once You Hear This Virulent Pop Hook You Won’t Be Able To Unhear It
http://www.nme.com/blogs/nme-blogs/what-is-the-millennial-whoop-songs

“The Millennial Whoop”: The same annoying whooping sound is showing up in every popular song
http://qz.com/767812/millennial-whoop/

The Millennial Whoop: the melodic hook that’s taken over pop music
https://www.theguardian.com/music/shortcuts/2016/aug/30/millennial-whoop-pop-music

You might not know what the Millennial Whoop is but you have definitely heard it
http://www.capetalk.co.za/articles/16330/you-might-not-know-what-the-millennial-whoop-is-but-you-have-definitely-heard-it

The millennial whoop: the key to modern pop
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p046j43s

Best Classical Tunes: Search with a virtual piano
http://bestclassicaltunes.com/DictionaryPiano.aspx


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Episode 258: The Future of French (featuring Sophie Richard)

What’s going to happen to French?

We’re getting conflicting reports. While English-speaking pundits gloat over the decline in French influence, population shifts may see French becoming the next big thing. And French still has a lot of prestige. So what’s in French’s future?

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie speak with linguist Sophie Richard on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Show notes

Iran’s language watchdog battles ‘Nutella Bars’
http://www.dailysabah.com/life/2016/08/20/irans-language-watchdog-battles-nutella-bars

Iran’s language watchdog targets Nutella Bars in fight against Westernisation
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-19/iran-language-watchdog-battles-nutella-bars/7767296

In Iran, ‘Pizza’ Now Known as ‘Elastic Loaves’
http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2006/07/elastic-loaves.html

Iranian Leader: ‘Pizza’ to Be Called ‘Elastic Loaves’ in Foreign Word Ban
http://www.foxnews.com/story/2006/07/29/iranian-leader-pizza-to-be-called-elastic-loaves-in-foreign-word-ban.html

Iran Launches a Holy War on the English Language
http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/05/09/iran-launches-a-holy-war-on-the-english-language/

Understanding Khamenei’s objection to increased use of the English language in Iran
http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/understanding-khamenei-s-objection-increased-use-english-language-iran-936032844

Let’s Stop Pretending That French Is an Important Language
https://newrepublic.com/article/116443/new-york-citys-french-dual-language-programs-are-mostly-pointless

Jeremy Paxman: French is a useless language and their achievements are ‘long past’
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/paxman-french-is-a-useless-language-and-their-achievements-are-long-past-a3220776.html

Zut alors, Jeremy Paxman! French isn’t a ‘useless’ language
https://theconversation.com/zut-alors-jeremy-paxman-french-isnt-a-useless-language-57990

French: Lingua Franca
http://www.ozy.com/acumen/french-lingua-franca/31780

Want To Know The Language Of The Future? The Data Suggests It Could Be…French
http://www.forbes.com/sites/pascalemmanuelgobry/2014/03/21/want-to-know-the-language-of-the-future-the-data-suggests-it-could-be-french/#5f24c13e3933

C’est impossible! French set to be the world’s most commonly spoken language by 2050 because of soaring population growth in sub-Saharan Africa
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3367012/C-est-impossible-French-course-world-s-commonly-spoken-language-2050.html

English is losing its status as the universal language of the Internet
http://www.techinsider.io/english-is-losing-its-status-as-the-universal-language-of-the-internet-heres-why-thats-a-good-thing-2015-12

Liège: le français est une des langues les plus enseignées au monde
https://www.rtbf.be/info/regions/liege/detail_liege-le-francais-est-une-des-langues-les-plus-enseignees-au-monde?id=9357228

Read The Full Text Of Hillary Clinton’s Speech On The Alt-Right
http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/hillary-clinton-speech-text_us_57bf4575e4b02673444f2307

Trump’s shock troops: Who are the ‘alt-right’?
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-37021991

Presidential Campaign Brings the Alt-Right Out of the Shadows
http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/presidential-campaign-brings-alt-right-out-shadows-n638396

New Democratic Ad Is Just People Reading Gross Breitbart Headlines, Because Breitbart Is Gross
http://wonkette.com/605845/new-democratic-ad-is-just-people-reading-gross-breitbart-headlines-because-breitbart-is-gross


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Episode 255: Diagnosing from Words (featuring Katie Fraser)

Can our language tell us if we’re not well?

The words we use can reveal a lot of social information. But in the future, computers will examine our words to detect mental illnesses like dementia and motor neuron disease — even before lab tests. How would this work?

Researcher Katie Fraser talks to Daniel, Kylie, and Ben on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Cole Healy


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Show notes

How to Pronounce Latinx
http://la-negra-barbuda.tumblr.com/post/113404952782/how-to-pronounce-latinx

JFK: “I Am a Jelly Donut” (“Ich Bin ein Berliner”)
http://urbanlegends.about.com/cs/historical/a/jfk_berliner.htm

The Real Meaning of Ich Bin ein Berliner
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/08/the-real-meaning-of-ich-bin-ein-berliner/309500/

US now has more Spanish speakers than Spain – only Mexico has more
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/29/us-second-biggest-spanish-speaking-country

Read Tim Kaine’s Speech at the Democratic Convention
http://time.com/4426037/dnc-tim-kaine-speech-transcript-video/

In DNC speech peppered with Spanish, Tim Kaine says Clinton is ‘lista’ to be president
http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2016/07/27/in-dnc-speech-peppered-with-spanish-tim-kaine-says-clinton-is-lista-to-be/

Tim Kaine Spoke Spanish At The DNC, But Don’t Overlook These Important Perspectives From The Convention
http://www.bustle.com/articles/175382-tim-kaine-spoke-spanish-at-the-dnc-but-dont-overlook-these-important-perspectives-from-the-convention

Globalist: The Republicans’ barb: John Kerry ‘looks French’
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/03/news/globalist-the-republicans-barbjohn-kerry-looks-french.html?_r=0

Trump to Bush: This Is A Country Where We Speak English, Not Spanish
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/09/16/trump_to_bush_this_is_a_country_where_we_speak_english_not_spanish.html

Trump Supporter on Kaine Speaking Spanish: At RNC, ‘I Didn’t Have to Get a Translator’
http://ktla.com/2016/07/23/trump-supporter-on-kaine-speaking-spanish-at-rnc-i-didnt-have-to-get-a-translator/

Scottie Nell Hughes on Kaine Speaking Spanish: Didn’t Need a ‘Translator’ for RNC Speeches
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/scottie-nell-hughes-on-kaine-speaking-spanish-didnt-need-a-translator-for-rnc-speeches/

GOP convention speaker breaks into Spanish
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/288604-gop-convention-speaker-breaks-into-spanish

Ralph Alvarado addresses Hispanic voters in Spanish at GOP convention
https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/national/ralph-alvarado-addresses-hispanic-voters-in-spanish-at-gop-convention/2016/07/20/2a6ab230-4eca-11e6-bf27-405106836f96_video.html

With Vigorous Plea, Ralph Alvaredo Rises as Possible New GOP Star
http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2016/07/21/with-vigorous-plea-ky-lawmaker-ralph-alvarado-rises-as-possible-new-gop-star/

Republican convention staff try to make signs in Spanish, get grammar completely wrong
http://theweek.com/speedreads/638046/republican-convention-staff-try-make-signs-spanish-grammar-completely-wrong

Why Trump supporters are particularly likely to complain about Spanish speakers at the Democratic convention
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/07/25/why-trump-supporters-are-particularly-likely-to-complain-about-spanish-speakers-at-the-democratic-convention/

Kaine En Español: Pandering Or A Symbol Of Understanding For Latinos?
http://www.npr.org/2016/07/27/487491607/kaine-en-espa-ol-pandering-or-a-symbol-of-understanding-for-latinos

Can natural language processing help detect dementia? This U of T grad student is trying to find out
https://www.utoronto.ca/news/natural-language-processing-dementia

Kathleen (Katie) Fraser @UofT
http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~kfraser/

Research highlights misdiagnosis for people with Alzheimer’s disease
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-07-highlights-misdiagnosis-people-alzheimer-disease.html

Psychiatry When You Don’t Speak the Language
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/psychiatry-when-you-don-t-speak-the-language/

Language Could Diagnose Parkinson’s, ALS and Schizophrenia before Lab Tests
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/language-could-diagnose-parkinson-s-als-and-schizophrenia-before-lab-tests/

Online Stroop Test
http://www.onlinestrooptest.com

Words Matter: Clinician’s Notes May Hold Key to Suicide Risk
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/853890

How does my therapist rate? New machine-learning software detects empathy in therapy sessions
http://phys.org/news/2015-12-therapist-machine-learning-software-empathy-therapy.html

GLAAD Media Reference Guide – Transgender Issues
https://www.glaad.org/reference/transgender

‘How could you?’ Viewers condemn Karl Stefanovic for ‘transphobic’ language
http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/sexuality/agenda/article/2016/07/28/how-could-you-viewers-condemn-karl-stefanovic-transphobic-language

Watch: Karl Stefanovic Offers Solid Apology For His Transphobic Comments
https://www.pedestrian.tv/news/arts-and-culture/watch-karl-stefanovic-offers-solid-apology-for-his/e06bfe40-c729-43e9-9ec1-bc227cf9ba17.htm


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Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

Image credit: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/language-could-diagnose-parkinson-s-als-and-schizophrenia-before-lab-tests/

Episode 242: Swedish (featuring Hedvig Skirgård and Anna Melberg)

Swedish is a great language, and we have a lot of questions about it.

What about its unusual and hard-to-pronounce sounds? Why are people in Sweden so good at learning English? And are we going to see the emergence of Swinglish one day?

Daniel, Ben, and Kylie chat to linguist Hedvig Skirgård and Swedish person Anna Melberg on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Naomi Smith


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Show notes

Using Aussie slang makes a person more likeable, ANU study finds
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-24/aussie-slang-makes-people-more-likeable-study/7274808

Australian slang makes you more likable but only in an ocker accent, study claims
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/mar/24/australian-slang-makes-you-more-likeable-but-only-in-an-ocker-accent-study

Aussie slang increases likeability
http://www.anu.edu.au/news/all-news/aussie-slang-increases-likeability

2011: Swedes place 4th in English skills ranking
http://www.swedishwire.com/economy/9176-swedes-place-4th-in-english-skills-ranking

The Swedish Number: You can now call Sweden and chat to a random Swede
http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-08/call-this-number-and-chat-to-a-random-swede/7309664

People in Northern Sweden have the world’s weirdest way of saying ‘yes’
http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/wtf/people-in-northern-sweden-have-the-worlds-weirdest-way-of-saying-yes/news-story/0a28804d66ab18b64476f998062d0039

Humans Who Read Grammars
http://humans-who-read-grammars.blogspot.com.au

Sj-sound
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sj-sound

Movie: Smala Sussie – I had a little frog once. (A story too emotional to tell in Swedish)
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x302d2c

Scientists have identified a universal Nope face
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/thefeed/article/2016/03/30/scientists-have-identified-universal-nope-face

The ‘Not Face’ Is Universally Understood
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2016/03/28/not-face-universal-language/

Kayaktivism
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/05/protest_against_shell_drilling_in_the_arctic_kayaks_and_boats_near_seattle.html

How to pronounce Ä, Ö, Å, and J
http://www.onlineswedish.com/pronounce.php

The IKEA Dictionary
http://lar5.com/ikea/

Stop Everything, IKEA Names Have Meanings
http://www.buzzfeed.com/tabathaleggett/stop-everything-kea-names-have-meanings


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Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

Image credit: http://i4.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article4988539.ece/ALTERNATES/s1200/TEASER-Weird-sound-in-Swedish-language.jpg

Episode 240: Bite the Wax Tadpole

Brand names can get lost in translation.

When a company tries to market a product overseas, sometimes the result is international zany hijinks ahoy. But not all the stories are true — there are plenty of urban legends around. Who can separate the facts from the fiction?

Linguist Daniel Midgley brings your ancestors back from the grave on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

UNSW: Indigenous Terminology
https://teaching.unsw.edu.au/indigenous-terminology

The Daily Telegraph Accuses UNSW Of “Rewriting History” For Saying Australia Was “Invaded”
http://junkee.com/the-daily-telegraph-accuses-unsw-of-rewriting-history-for-saying-captain-cook-invaded-australia/75322

Daily Tele Uncovers Academic ‘Invasion’ Plot… 20 Years Too Late
https://newmatilda.com/2016/03/31/daily-tele-uncovers-academic-invasion-plot-20-years-too-late/

Of course Australia was invaded – massacres happened here less than 90 years ago
https://theconversation.com/of-course-australia-was-invaded-massacres-happened-here-less-than-90-years-ago-55377

Outrage As University Teaches History Correctly.
http://www.sbs.com.au/comedy/article/2016/03/30/outrage-university-teaches-history-correctly?cid=trending

Wiktionary: pajero
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pajero

Urban Legends: The Chevy Nova
http://jalopnik.com/169401/urban-legends-the-chevy-nova

The Chevy Nova That Didn’t Go
http://spanish.about.com/cs/culture/a/chevy_nova.htm

Bite the Wax Tadpole
http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/tadpole.asp

Bite the Wax Tadpole?
http://www.coca-colacompany.com/history/2008/03/bite-the-wax-ta/

Come Alive!
http://www.snopes.com/business/misxlate/ancestor.asp

Worst slogan translations
http://crazytopics.blogspot.com.au/2007/01/worst-slogan-translations.html

Word Safety
http://wordsafety.com

10 Most Unfortunate and Funny Car Names
http://www.oddee.com/item_93544.aspx

Braniff Ad Has `Naked` Option
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1987-02-05/business/8701080195_1_diego-garrido-wording-largest-hispanic-advertising

These Mistakes Will Kill Your Company’s Prospects When Trying To Go Global
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/these-mistakes-will-kill-your-companys-prospects-when-trying-to-go-global-2011-12?r=US&IR=T

Burrada
Google Books link

Naming Faux Pas
http://www.namedevelopment.com/naming-faux-pas.html

Urban Dictionary: don’t at me (don’t @ me)
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=don’t+at+me+(don’t+%40+me)

The Accidental History of the @ Symbol
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-accidental-history-of-the-symbol-18054936/?no-ist

Ray Tomlinson, email inventor and selector of @ symbol, dies aged 74
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/07/ray-tomlinson-email-inventor-and-selector-of-symbol-dies-aged-74

Ray Tomlinson, The Creator Of Email Who Popularized @ Symbol, Dies At 74
http://www.ibtimes.com/ray-tomlinson-creator-email-who-popularized-symbol-dies-74-2331307

“I am frequently asked why I chose the at sign, but the at sign just makes sense.”
http://arstechnica.com/business/2016/03/e-mail-inventor-ray-tomlinson-who-popularized-symbol-dies-at-74/

Slash: Not Just a Punctuation Mark Anymore
http://chronicle.com/blogs/linguafranca/2013/04/24/slash-not-just-a-punctuation-mark-anymore/

Citroen C4 Cactus Ushers In A New Kind Of Low Cost Car
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/02/citroen-c4-cactus-ushers-in-a-new-kind-of-low-cost-car/

Mitsubishi Starion
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_Starion

Seen in Sicily

ucuntu


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Image credit: Arran from Facebook

Episode 237: Hinglish (featuring Sana Bharadwaj)

Hinglish. It’s not Hindi. It’s not English. So what is it?

It’s a hybrid language spoken by about 350 million Indian people. And it’s getting bigger all the time. But what’s it like, and what function does it have for its users?

Linguist and Hinglish speaker Sana Bharadwaj talks to Daniel, Ben, and Kylie on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Show notes

What can wolf dialects say about human language?
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2016/0209/What-can-wolf-dialects-say-about-human-language

The language of wolves: study finds howling ‘dialects’
http://www.slashgear.com/the-language-of-wolves-study-finds-howling-dialects-09426237/

Wolf species have distinctive howling repertoires functioning like dialects, Study finds
http://nhv.us/content/16024253-wolf-species-have-distinctive-howling-repertoires-functioning

Mysterious chimpanzee behaviour may be evidence of ‘sacred’ rituals
https://theconversation.com/mysterious-chimpanzee-behaviour-may-be-evidence-of-sacred-rituals-55512

Mysterious chimpanzee behaviour could be ‘sacred rituals’ and show that chimps believe in god
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/mysterious-chimpanzee-behaviour-could-be-sacred-rituals-and-show-that-chimps-believe-in-god-a6911301.html

Gorillas observed ‘singing and humming’ during mealtime: study
http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2016/s4415568.htm

Wild gorillas hum during dinner.
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/seriouslyscience/2016/03/01/wild-gorillas-hum-when-theyre-eating-tasty-food/#.VtrkGMf9Dqo

8 Hinglish phrases made and used by Indians, only!
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/education/story/8-hinglish-phrases-made-and-used-by-indians-only/1/414761.html

The rise and rise of Hinglish in India
https://theconversation.com/the-rise-and-rise-of-hinglish-in-india-53476

Will we all be speaking Hinglish one day?
https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/will-we-all-be-speaking-hinglish-one-day

The Hinglish Project: Typeface
http://www.thehinglishproject.com

How Donald Drumpf & The “John Oliver Effect” Have Already Influenced The Presidential Election
http://www.bustle.com/articles/147171-how-donald-drumpf-the-john-oliver-effect-have-already-influenced-the-presidential-election

Someone replaced Donald Trump’s eyes with his mouth and he looks the same
http://mashable.com/2016/02/26/trump-lip-eyes/

We Asked Facial Symmetry Experts About the Science Behind Having a “Punchable Face”
http://mic.com/articles/135809/we-asked-facial-symmetry-experts-about-the-science-behind-having-a-punchable-face#.5GNd6Bhp7

Neurologist explains why it’s hard to look at Ted Cruz’s creepy ‘unsettling’ face
http://www.rawstory.com/2016/02/neurologist-explains-why-its-hard-to-look-at-ted-cruzs-creepy-unsettling-face/

World Wide Words: Zemblanity
http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-zem1.htm

15 Crazy Examples Of Insanely Ableist Language
http://thoughtcatalog.com/parker-marie-molloy/2013/10/15-crazy-examples-of-insanely-ableist-language/

Omniglot: Pitman Initial Teaching Alphabet (i.t.a.)
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/ita.htm

A passage in the Initial Teaching Alphabet
couboi-smaull-text


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Image credit: http://www.zackstv.com/2012_10_01_archive.html

Episode 220: Not So Arbitrary

Why do words appear the way they do?

Why aren’t words the same in every language?

Sometimes it doesn’t seem to make any sense. But new research shows that maybe language is not as arbitrary as it seems.

Linguist Daniel Midgley makes sense of the chaos on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Kylie Sturgess


Show notes

James Chapman’s Tumblr blog
http://chapmangamo.tumblr.com

20 Actually Useful Chengyu (成语)
http://carlgene.com/blog/2010/07/20-actually-useful-chengyu-成语/

How to say “third wheel” in French?
https://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20101120103032AAU5Jcf

LiveJournal: third wheel
http://linguaphiles.livejournal.com/3313785.html

Third wheel? Fifth wheel? (Try control-clicking on the lines to make them collapse.)

“Play gooseberry”
http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/play+gooseberry

Buzzfeed: What Noises Do Animals Make In Other Languages? Here Is An Important Guide
http://www.buzzfeed.com/robinedds/what-noises-do-animals-make-in-other-languages-here-is-an-im#.ic7P18xW4

Epic of Gilgamesh Summary
http://www.shmoop.com/gilgamesh/summary.html

Lost ‘Epic of Gilgamesh’ Verse Depicts Cacophonous Abode of Gods
http://www.livescience.com/52372-new-tablet-gilgamesh-epic.html

The Newly Discovered Tablet V of the Epic of Gilgamesh
http://etc.ancient.eu/2015/09/24/giglamesh-enkidu-humbaba-cedar-forest-newest-discovered-tablet-v-epic/

Back to the Cedar Forest: The beginning and end of Tablet V of the Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgameš
http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/18512/

Points of similarity between the Babylonian and Noachian flood stories
http://www.religioustolerance.org/noah_com.htm

On the Arbitrary Nature of Linguistic Sign
http://www.academypublication.com/issues/past/tpls/vol02/01/07.pdf

Hockett’s features of human language
http://people.exeter.ac.uk/bosthaus/Lecture/hockett1.htm

Hockett on arbitrariness and iconicity
http://ideophone.org/hockett-on-arbitrariness-and-iconicity/

Saussure knew about iconicity, despite his focus on arbitrariness
http://hiphilangsci.net/2014/08/06/saussures-sound-symbolism/

Wikipedia: Koro language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koro_language_(India)

Koro–the psychological disappearance of the penis.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17727356

Koro Syndrome: The Irrational Fear of Lethal Genital Shrinkage
http://io9.com/5944722/koro-syndrome-the-irrational-fear-of-lethal-genital-shrinkage

Wiktionary: koro
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/koro

Languages less arbitrary than long assumed
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151001130050.htm

Finding iconicity in spoken languages
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-09/uom-fii090915.php

Arbitrariness, Iconicity, and Systematicity in Language
http://www.cell.com/trends/cognitive-sciences/abstract/S1364-6613(15)00177-1?_returnURL=http%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS1364661315001771%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

Road to language learning is iconic
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113143705.htm

Language Hat: Gluckschmerz
http://languagehat.com/gluckschmerz/

Schadenfreude Is in the Zeitgeist, but Is There an Opposite Term?
http://www.wsj.com/articles/schadenfreude-is-in-the-zeitgeist-but-is-there-an-opposite-term-1434129186


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

Image credit: http://image.slidesharecdn.com/languagecurriculum-150617134700-lva1-app6891/95/language-definition-nature-and-characteristics-33-638.jpg?cb=1434548895

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