World

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Mandarin Imposed on Minority Preschools

The Chinese Ministry of Education is making Mandarin the medium of instruction for preschoolers in areas where minority languages like Mongolian, Tibetan, and Uyghur, as well as regional Chinese languages like Sichuanese or Cantonese, had been used. “In order to… implement General Secretary Xi Jinping’s instructions on nationwide Mandarin-medium education (‘start them when they’re babies’),…

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A Step to Slow France’s Regional Language Decline

France is notorious for its single-language policy, which ranks French as the only official, national language in the country—despite the country being home to more than 20 different regional languages, like Occitan, Alsatian, and Basque. While these languages have historically been quite robust, France’s policies regarding language use and education have largely ignored— and at…

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Taiwan Opens Chinese Centers Across US

Taiwan’s Minister of the Overseas Community Affairs Council (OCAC), Tung Chen-yuan (童振源), opened the new Taiwan Center for Mandarin Learning in Irvine, California, to provide Chinese language courses for American adults. The center aims to provide a language learning environment that values “freedom and democracy while respecting cultural diversity,” Tung said at the inaugural ceremony…

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French in Haiti: Is It Time for a Change?

With the recent natural disaster and assassination of the country’s president in July, Haiti is in the middle of major political, economic, and social upheaval. Amidst the turmoil, some commentators believe now might be the right time for Haitians to take up a revolutionary linguistic policy: adopting Haitian Creole as the primary governing language. Benjamin…

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Call to Make Tulu 24th Official Language in India

Language activists in India are calling for a new language to be added to the country’s list of 23 official languages: Tulu, a Dravidian language related to Tamil and Kannada. Recently, the movement to adopt Tulu as an official language of India has gained traction on social media, with more than 250,000 individuals sharing their…

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Ukraine Limits Russian Use

Ukraine has adopted a new language policy which marks the nation’s continued departure from the protocols outlined in the Minsk Agreements of 2014, indicating that linguistic tension remains a major issue in the country. The policy—which was passed in 2019 and took effect beginning July 16, according to a report from TASS Russian News Agency—requires…

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Papua New Guinea Sees Decline in Linguistic Diversity

Papua New Guinea—frequently heralded as the most linguistically diverse place in the entire world—is in the middle of a language crisis. According to a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, the youngest generations in the nation are using Indigenous languages far less than ever…

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Portuguese Exam Record in U.S.

The U.S. online Portuguese exam, part of the National Examinations in World Languages (NEWL), had its highest number of registrations (345) this year. “Despite the restrictions and constraints arising from the current pandemic situation and the fact that many schools are in hybrid or distance education, 345 registrations were recorded nationally (the highest number ever),”…