This week in languages: July 15, 2016

by on July 15, 2016



The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission has blocked 11 sites in the Malay language that had been used by terrorist group ISIS to propagate their views among the Malay-Muslim community. The Communications and Multimedia Minister has appealed for Malaysians to remain vigilant and to guard against such harmful ideology.

Commentaries and Features

What’s in a gender-neutral pronoun? Motto‘s Jacob Tobia interviews Nick Adams, director of GLAAD’s transgender media programme, about the stereotypes of gender-specific pronouns and how people can adapt to gender-neutral ones.

Martu karu. As part of an effort to revitalise the Bunganditj language, native to the Boandik people of southeast South Australia, a lady is reclaiming the aboriginal identity of the Boandik people. Joy—one of a handful of fluent Bunganditj speakers— remarks that it is “an important part of the language revival was a focus on young children, who often found it easier to learn second languages and were able to carry it onwards,” reports ABC News.

Writing on the challenges of a nation still struggling to free itself from its Apartheid past, South African MP, Dr Makhosi Busisiwe Khoza, argues that the African languages should reclaim their place in the country. She supports this assertion with keen explanations of the logical and systematic strengths of these languages, and hopes that this would go some way in remedying the poverty and social problems that South Africa remains beset with.

Silicon Valley, the area of the San Francisco Bay that is home to many of the world’s high-tech giants, also has its own variety of jargon that can make it feel defined by elitism to outsiders. This language barrier is formed by words such as “gamification”, “Hype Cycle”, and “acqui-hire” and is described as “mind-numbing” by Rochelle Kopp and Steven Ganz in their new book Valley Speak: Deciphering the Jargon of Silicon Valley.

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