Language in the news – 31 March 2013

by Craig Evans

Here are my picks from what seems to have been a quiet week for language in the news:

UK news…

Project to explore origins of Celtic people wins funding – The Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies (CAWCS) has secured £689,167 in funding from The Arts and Humanities Research Council for a three-year project to investigate the “archaeological background of the emergence of the Celtic languages in western Europe”. The origin of the Celts is still shrouded in mystery, with many believing that they came from central Europe, while previous research has shown evidence of the Celtic language in pre-Roman Iberia. The CAWCS will be working in collaboration with a number of universities on this project.

International news…

Swedish Language Council forced to remove ‘ungoogleable’ from annual new word list – The Language Council of Sweden has removed the word ‘ogooglebar’ (‘ungoogleable’) from its latest yearly list of top ten new words that have come into the Swedish language. The popular annual list is intended to reflect how language and society is changing in Sweden. This follows a request from Google that the Council’s definition be changed to refer specifically to Google and not search engines in general. Unwilling to comply with this request, and not wishing to become embroiled in a costly trademark protection legal dispute, the Language Council opted instead to remove the word. The incident has reignited the public debate about ‘who  decides language’.

Features…

Migrant English – and why it will only get worse – Hugh Muir, writing in The Guardian, discusses the Government’s plans to change English learning options for people applying for UK citizenship.

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