tip off

FULLY (SIC) | October 25, 2013 | SIGN LANGUAGE | 4 |

Flipping the bird? Or just a sign of the times?

During the NSW bushfire emergency this week, some viewers got a rude shock when they saw the Auslan interpreter apparently ‘flipping the bird’ to the cameras. Was the interpreter being cheeky or was this a a simple misunderstanding? Sign languages expert Adam Schembri explains.

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WILLIAM STEED | October 21, 2013 | MEDIA | 4 |

Redefining the refugee

Fairfax media reports that Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has sent a list of appropriate terminology for referring to refugee boat arrivals, including referring to the people as ‘illegal arrivals’ and ‘detainees’. How does changing terminology change how we think about something?

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FULLY (SIC) | October 10, 2013 | FOREIGN LANGUAGES | 16 |

There’s more to language learning than economic utility

Recent reports show that the number of students studying Asian languages in later years of high school continue to drop. Lochlan Morrissey wonders if convincing students that learning a second language is economically useful might be the wrong way to go about things.

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WAMUT | September 24, 2013 | FOREIGN LANGUAGES | 2 |

Footyglots: the AFL goes multilingual

Last week, the Australian Government dissolved its Ministry of Multicultural Affairs leaving us wondering who will provide leadership that encourages Australia to embrace its linguistics and cultural diversity. Funnily enough, it’s coming from an unlikely collaboration between one of our biggest religious organisations – the AFL – and one of our biggest financial institutions, the NAB. Greg Dickson has more on Footify, a commercial campaign doing more to promote multiculturalism than our government seems to want to.

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WAMUT | September 06, 2013 | FOREIGN LANGUAGES | |

Candidates get their language on

One day out from the election and Greg Dickson has noticed a few more languages other than English being used in various campaigns. Is this a last-ditch effort to reach every constituent, a deliberate recognition of our linguistic diversity, or just because we can?

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WAMUT | September 04, 2013 | FOREIGN LANGUAGES | 4 |

The Great Language Game. What’s your score?

When you hear a foreign language, can you tell what it is? A Melbourne-based engineer and fellow language geek has developed the Great Language Game. It’s quick and fun but rather hard! Have a go and let us know how clever you are.

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CLAIRE BOWERN | September 02, 2013 | INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES | |

Raiders of the Lost Archives

Last week, Indigenous languages got some media attention when it was revealed that documents discovered in the archives of the NSW State Library are shedding new light on some little-known languages. Claire Bowern has more on the story and describes how interesting, challenging and worthwhile archival materials can be for efforts to strengthen Aboriginal languages.

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PIERS KELLY | August 30, 2013 | SOCIETY | |

Jessica Mitford and a star-spangled language

In 1939, writer and activist Jessica Mitford learned that in America, “if someone pays you a compliment—you’re looking well, what a pretty dress, and so forth—you are supposed to say ‘Thank you,’ instead of just mumbling inaudibly.” Piers Kelly observes that in 70 years, certain differences between U.S. and British styles of communication have stood the test of time.

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WAMUT | August 28, 2013 | FOREIGN LANGUAGES | 6 |

LOTEs in the Election: your guide to linguistically-talented candidates

With the election campaign in full-swing, you could be forgiven for thinking all the candidates are monolingual English speakers. Not true. Here’s a starter’s guide to people on your ballot paper who speak Languages Other Than English (LOTEs). But why didn’t you know all this before? Greg Dickson argues it’s part of politics race to the bottom to appeal to a dumbed-down notion of middle Australia.

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FULLY (SIC) | August 01, 2013 | GRAMMAR WARS | 7 |

When grammar gets mean: Prescriptivism in the 21st century

The generally accepted wisdom is that “kids these days” don’t know how to use English properly. So why are there some young people who still reach for the red pen? Allie Severin looks at the rise of the young prescriptivist.

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