Archive for the 'Linguistics' Category

American Bilingualism and Globalization

Saturday, April 7th, 2012

By Jessica Vaughan, CIS.org

“Speaking two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world” is the insipid platitude that begins an article flatly asserting that “Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter.” What does one have to do with the other? Nothing that is immediately obvious.

If speaking another language is desirable on the basis of living in a globalized world, then becoming smarter is an added benefit. If becoming smarter is the real benefit, that would appear to be its own reward whether the world is globalized or not. But perhaps the author meant to say that learning a second language makes you smarter, which then makes you better able to compete and prosper in a globalized world. Or whatever.

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Assimilation: Erasing Differences?

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

By Dominique Peridans, CIS.org

During the course of 2011, the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research produced a study on the question of immigrant assimilation, to which an article last month in the Wall Street Journal referred. The study concluded, and the article celebrated, that Americans do assimilation well. In comparison with an assortment of European nations and Canada, the United States ought to be proud of how they integrate newcomers. As was reported last June in another Wall Street Journal article that referred to the study, “handling immigration turns out to be one thing we do better than most of the rest of the world.”

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Department of Very Bad Immigration Ideas: ‘Every child in the United States should learn Spanish’

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

By Stanley Renshon, CIS.org

Some ideas are so astoundingly bad that it is not only hard to take them seriously, but also to understand how they could be seriously made. Which brings us to Nicholas Kristof’s recent column entitled “Primero Hay Que Aprender Espanol, Ranhou Zai Xue Zhongwen,” which translates to “First, one must learn Spanish. Then Learn Chinese.”

The starting point of this awful idea is Kristof’s observation that lots of people are asking him “the best way for their children to learn Chinese. Partly that’s because Chinese classes have replaced violin classes as the latest in competitive parenting.”

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Update on Fuzzy Words in the Immigration Policy Debate

Monday, January 18th, 2010

By David North, CIS.org

The open-borders supporters continue to push the linguistic boundaries as they seek to impose on all of us new and fuzzier ways of discussing immigration policy, a subject covered in an earlier blog of mine.

There was extensive coverage last month of Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s use of the phrase “undocumented immigrant” in one of her first high court opinions. According to the New York Times this was the first time that this term had been used in a Supreme Court document; “illegal immigrant,” a slightly more precise term, had been used often before.

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When Will Westerners Stop Westernizing Islamic Concepts?

Monday, August 31st, 2009

by Raymond Ibrahim*

Recently, Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA Today wrote an article about Muslim zakat, wherein I was referenced as a “critic of Islam.” She then followed up with another article titled “Critic questions the aims and ends of Islamic charity,” dedicated to examining my views on zakat.

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Government Policies Stifle Talk of Islam

Monday, January 12th, 2009

by David J. Rusin*

When President Roosevelt addressed Congress after Pearl Harbor, he cited Japan fifteen times in a speech of five hundred words. When President Bush did the same after 9/11, he uttered “Islam” or “Muslim” more sparingly — just eleven times in a speech of three thousand words. And when Senators Obama and McCain spoke at the respective conventions and debates, asking to be entrusted with America’s security, not a single reference to Islam could be found.

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CNN uses the word “terrorist” re: Hamas, then redacts it

Monday, December 29th, 2008

By Andrew L. Jaffee

CNN is a leader of, and role model for, the very politically-correct “mainstream” media. So I was flabbergasted to read an article posted today entitled, “Barak: Israel in ‘all-out war’ with Hamas,” which didn’t refer to Hamas as “assailants,” “extremists,” “gunmen,” “insurgents,” or “militants,” but actually printed the statement, “Israel continues to strike at Hamas terrorist targets in Gaza…” Initially, I thought to myself, “Does this represent a change in editorial policies — or even attitudes — about terrorism at the media giant?” But I also felt that I should be cautious before jumping to conclusions. I took a screen-shot of the page as well as saved the article to disk. After running some errands, I returned home, turned on my laptop, and reloaded the CNN article in question. Lo and behold, CNN had redacted its original terminology, removing any mention of the word “terrorist” in reference to Hamas, changed the story’s title, but left the URL (link to the page) unchanged. In other words, it pulled a fast one on its readers.

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Teach Arabic or Recruit Extremists?

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

by Daniel Pipes*

New York City’s Arabic-language public school, the Khalil Gibran International Academy, opens its doors this week, with special security, for 11- and 12-year-old students. One hopes that the prolonged public debate over the school’s Islamist proclivities will prompt it not to promote any political or religious agendas.

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A Smile That Might Well Have Lit Up The World

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

A personal, historical vignette

By Cainnech Ó Sullibhain

In December 1963, the ship that I served on was carrying some general cargo destined for Tanganyika, East Africa. The freight was part of an aid package for Tanganyika from the Commonwealth Colombo Plan in Britain.

When we headed downriver and anchored beside an old German fort, I knew we were in the wilds. My first thought was to get ashore somehow and reach a place where I might get some decent food, or so I thought. I got ashore by a small dinghy and made my way through the jungle. This area was well known for lions, so I was a bit wary of where I was going. Coming out of a clearing I reached what seemed like a road and was walking to who knows where, when a big lorry came by carrying some goods for the main town. As it happened the African driver of the lorry stopped and wished me: “Jambo Bwana!” (Greetings Sir!), to which I replied “Jambo” in return. I got a lift with him.

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English: the master key to the world of business, science and knowledge

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

By Kenneth T. Tellis

The English language began its journey from Celtic Britain, which after the Roman conquest, became influenced by Latin. After the Roman withdrawal from Britain, the country was invaded by Angles, Saxons and Jutes. English then adopted words from their languages. The Danes then invaded Britain and in time left their stamp on the English language. By the time of the Norman conquest of 1066, the language known as Aenglisch was still pretty close to other Nordic languages. After the Norman conquest, more than 10,000 Norman-French words were incorporated into the English language.

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