Language News From Around the Web – January 2018

Hey LinguaCore Readers!

Welcome to the January 2018 edition of Language News From Around the Web!

Language News is LinguaCore’s once-a-month round-up of all the best articles, podcasts, and videos on languages and language learning, collected from all over the Internet for your very own perusal.

Let’s check out this month’s links!

Language News From Around the Web


The Complexity of Kanji

Author: Paul Jorgensen

Source: Langfocus

Summary: The writing system of Japanese is equal parts beautiful and complex. It is made up of three sets of component symbols, the largest of which are known as kanji. Derived from and influenced by Chinese characters, Japanese kanji are symbols that often replace entire words and concepts, and are comprised of dozens of strokes, all assembled in a specific order. All of this complexity makes kanji seem extremely difficult to acquire as a learner of Japanese, but as language enthusiast Paul Jorgensen shares in this video, the very same complexity adds lots of cultural and semantic value to the Japanese script that would be otherwise lost. If you’re learning Japanese, and want to explore Kanji further, check out this excellent video.

70 People Try 70 Tongue-Twisters From 70 Countries

Source: Condé Nast Traveler

Summary: Tongue twisters are a fun and often amusing way to practice the challenging sounds of any foreign language. In this video from Condé Nast Traveler, seventy people from cultures all around the world are asked to provide tongue twisters in their native languages. While some are long, and others are short, all of the tongue twisters will pose a worthy challenge to your foreign language pronunciation skills. See if your target language is among the languages represented!


The Best Way To Learn, According To Your Tendency

Author: Steph Koyfman

Source: Babbel Magazine

Summary: In Gretchen Rubin’s new book The Four Tendencies, she explores four “personality profiles” which she believes have a unique and important impact upon the ways in which we go about our lives. In this article, writer Steph Koyfman explores what each of these four tendencies means for the creation of language learning habits, and way you can use your “tendency” to jump-start your language goals.

Learning a Language in VR Is Less Embarrassing than IRL

Author: Alice Bonasio

Source: Quartz

Summary: One of the best ways to practice any language is to use it IRL (i.e. In Real Life) with native speakers. However, this kind of practice can also be the scariest, as you essentially have to “perform” your language skills in front of another living, breathing person, mistakes and all. Up to this point in history, there have been few ways around this; you either speak with people, or you don’t. But thanks to recent advances in VR (i.e. Virtual Reality) technology, researchers believe they may have found a way for you to get all of the in-person language practice you need, without any of the potential consequences of making mistakes in front of an actual person.

North Korean Defectors Must Overcome Big Challenge Once Free: Learn English

Author: Thomas Maresca

Source: USA Today

Summary: Once defectors from North Korea make their escape to South Korea, they must adjust to a new and different lifestyle that is often contrary to the one in which they were raised. Perhaps the most surprising of these adjustments come linguistically—though North and South Korea share the same language, the dialect of South Korea has absorbed many loanwords and phrases from English that are completely unknown in the Northern dialect. Not only that, but the pervasiveness of the actual English language in South Korea today has also proven to be a challenge for North Korean defectors, as they need to learn English to both get by in daily life and to share their stories with the world. This article from USA today details the stories of several such defectors, as they attempt to learn English in South Korea.

What did you think of the links? Let us know by leaving a comment below!