Teachers love enthusiastic students who want to learn, and Australia’s language teachers are no different. A group of language advocates has called for Australian politicians to set a good example and learn Asian languages. Will Steed explains.READ MORE
Articles by William Steed
The Australia in the Asian Century whitepaper is, on the surface, a bold statement in several areas, including literacy in Asian languages and cultures. It targets all Australian students being exposed to Asian cultures throughout their schooling and having access to classes in Asian languages. Does it mean that your children will all be learning Chinese at school next year? William Steed looks more closely at the pathways outlined to achieve this goal.READ MORE
Julia Gillard has been criticised for changing the definition of misogynist to suit her attack on Tony Abbott. Now, Macquarie Dictionary have updated their entry for ‘misogyny’, seemingly to reflect Gillard’s usage. But is it as simple as that? Can a Prime Minister drive such language change? Will Steed and Aidan Wilson think not.READ MORE
William Steed writes: The 2011 census data is out. One of the questions it asked is about the language spoken at home. It reveals some things about the Australian populace that some people may find surprising. Hopefully, they also find it heartening. Across Australia, 20.4% of households reported speaking more than one language at home [...]READ MORE
ABC’s Jane Cowan ran into some accent issues in Alabama, USA. She also discovered the joy of discussing language differences in a new place. Discussing and laughing together over different words and pronunciations is a great way to break the ice in a new place. Everyone can find something that’s distinctive about how they speak where they’re from – a word, a particular way of saying something or odd sayings.READ MORE
Fairfax media’s reply to a heavily-critical Murdoch tweet includes a useful new word: “tweetorialise”: “Proof you can’t trust anything in Australian Fairfax papers, unless you are just another crazy,” he tweetorialised this morning. Although the word may have been used before just now, this is, according to Google, the first time it has occurred in [...]READ MORE
The recent flooding around southern NSW and northern Victoria has brought a few of Australia’s more interesting place names into the news. Some of them are interesting just for being a bit longer than the normal place name, such as Tallygaroopna. Digging a little further, a number of unusual place names pop out, mostly from local indigenous languages – Boomahnoomoonah, Koonoomoo, Numurrkah, and more.
That said, some of them not only look unusual, but are pronounced in an unusual way.READ MORE
William Steed writes: It’s only a small thing, but I’m a fan of both Australian indigenous languages and musicals (and, thanks to X-Men, of Hugh Jackman as well). All three show up together in Jackman’s one-man show on Broadway, says ABC Online. Olive Knight sings in the show, Back on Broadway, and taught Jackman to [...]READ MORE
Canberra this morning was a little smoky, with a chemical fire in the northern suburb of Mitchell. Emergency Services sent out emergency messages to a number of suburbs, urging people to stay indoors to avoid toxic smoke.
A couple of friends posted the emergency text message on their Facebook feed:
The ACT Fire Brigade responding to chemical insadent in Mitchell. Resadents of Franklin, Crace, Harrison, Watson, Downer, Kaleen, Lyneham, Hackett stay indoors.READ MORE