Languages

Mapping the European Union’s Massive Crackdown on Immigrants

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This month saw the largest single-operation crackdown on undocumented immigrants in European Union history. Dubbed “Mos Maiorum” (a Latin phrase referring to the “ancestral custom” of the Roman Empire), the initiative, which ran from October 13 to October 26, saw EU member states join forces to clamp down on illegal immigration and the organized criminal syndicates that facilitate it. Operations ... Read More »

The Vatican Library’s Amazing Documents Are Finally Online

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The news: The Vatican Library is getting an e-upgrade. The official library of the Holy See is undertaking a massive digitization project designed to upload hundred of thousands of books and images from its physical archives into an online database. As Business Insider reports, nonprofit organization Digita Vaticana Oculus was founded in 2013 with the goal digitizing 80,000 manuscripts. That’s just ... Read More »

Sweden Has Its Own Font

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But they’re worried it’s maybe a little too nationalistic (at least for them). Type has a way of speaking to us. I mean, of course it does: Type spells out words. So let me rephrase that: Typefaces have a way of speaking to us. Comic Sans can’t be taken seriously. Helvetica, ubiquitous, clean, used everywhere from corporate logos to the ... Read More »

Thinking in a Foreign Language Could Sway Your Moral Judgments

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Would you kill one person to save five? This cruel dilemma pits the principle of thou-shalt-not-kill against simple math: Five is greater than one. But presumably it’s a dilemma each person solves the same way each time, unaffected by superficial things like the language in which it’s presented. After all, we like to think we abide by a consistent moral ... Read More »

Marks on paper

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“Four treasures” –the ink stick, the brush, the paper and the ink stone on which the ink will be ground and mixed with water to create the black juice used for writing- and “eight eternity principles” –the “strange stone” (怪石), the “jade table” (玉案), the “iron pillar” (鐵柱), the “crab’s pincher” (蟹爪), the “tiger’s tooth” (虎牙), the “rhinoceros’ horn” (犀角), ... Read More »

Cameron Tells British Children to Learn Mandarin, Not French

Prime Minister David Cameron returned from his tour of China with a message for Britain’s schoolchildren: forget French and German, it’s time to learn Mandarin. David Cameron, prime minister of U.K., talks with students at a subbranch of Longjiang Road Primary School in Chengdu on Dec. 4, 2013. Source: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images A foreign language will be compulsory in primary as well as ... Read More »

Lose a language, lose a culture

There are now only seven native speakers of the Nuu language, a clicking language spoken by the Khomani community in South Africa. As increasing numbers of languages disappear, humanity loses cultural heritage but not only… the loss of a language has far more dire consequences than the loss of a culture. Ms. Ouma Aenki Kassie passed away on January 7 ... Read More »