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EF ‘s EPI Reveals Worldwide English Skills

Education First For the seventh year in a row, Education First (EF), has released their annual report on English proficiency. EF, an international education company that specializes in language training, educational travel, academic degree programs, and cultural exchange, states in their introduction to the rankings, “In 2017, English is as essential to international communication as it has ever been. It is...

Dutch Courage? Alcohol May Actually Help Improve Foreign-Language Skills

It’s a popular belief that alcohol helps improve speaking skills for a foreign language, but the belief can be easily passed off as a perceived improvement instead of an actual improvement. A new study has confirmed, however, that acute alcohol consumption may have beneficial effects on the pronunciation of a foreign language. Many studies have been conducted that prove the...

Dutch Shares Stage With Frisian in European Parliament

Flag of Friesland of Netherlands
European Parliament is dedicating a session to Europe’s minority languages, and Frisian is getting its big debut on the Parliament floor, according to Dutch News. The Frisian languages are a closely related group of Germanic languages, and has about 500,000 speakers who live in the Netherlands and Germany. There are...

60% of Surfers Read Books Regularly

A 17-country report just released by global market analysts, GfK, shows that 30% of the international online population read books"every day or most days". This is led by China at 36%, closely followed by Spain and the UK at 32% each. However, if the segment is widened...

Study Suggests Universal Sounds

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In a study that challenges a fundamental concept in linguistics, an analysis of nearly two-thirds of the world’s languages shows that humans tend to use the same sounds for common objects and ideas, no matter what language they’re speaking. The independence between sound and meaning is believed to be a crucial property of language: across languages, sequences of different sounds...

Spanish Vistas

Students share their diverse experiences of Spain ISLA Salamanca “ISLA is a real island of adventures, strong emotions, and first-rate Spanish in Spain’s most famous university city. Maybe that first phrase sounds like a bit of a cliché, but for me it really was like this. I’ve been to ISLA twice, and I always remember these holidays as being full of new...

Putting the Benefits of Bilingualism into Practice

The National Science Foundation's Partnerships in International Research and Education (NSF PIRE) has awarded a $5 million dollar grant over five years to help translate the scientific benefits of language learning from the lab to the classroom. Research has shown that speaking two or more languages makes minds more open to learning and more flexible, so now's the time...

A Call For Diversity in Mobile App Languages

The mobile app market reached over 1.3 million available applications in July of 2014 and continues to be a booming business medium. Still greatly expanding, the Japanese app market surpassed the United States as the biggest in the world last October, beginning a trend of mobile application globalization. According to a recent survey conducted by the mobile division of One...

Chimps Learn the Local Language

When humans move to a new place, they oftentimes learn the local way of speaking, whether picking up some of the local language or just learning new vocabulary within the same language — think of a Londoner moving to California and calling the trunk of a car the boot or the hood of a car the bonnet. Ever since...

Tonal Languages Like It Hot and Humid

A new report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America links the evolution of tonal languages to climate, specifically to heat and humidity. The report, “Climate, Vocal Folds, and Tonal Languages: Connecting the Physiological and Geographic Dots,” is the collaboration of linguists hailing from the U.S., Germany, and the Netherlands,...
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