"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
‘One panini, two paninis…’: the grammar of Italian culinary culture in Britain today
I still recall, with a mixture of amusement and embarrassment, the time I took a visiting Italian friend to lunch in a café along London's Holloway Road. After studying the menu, he ordered a mozzarella and tomato panino – ‘so that'll be one panini for you’, jotted down the young woman behind the counter. My friend confirmed his choice by repeating it in a way that signified he could speak only for himself. And to make his point, he leaned somewhat on the singular -o of the ending, keen, I imagined, to avoid the kind of mix-up that leads to extra portions being brought to one's restaurant table in error. But to no avail: before proceeding to take his order, our waitress told my companion firmly, in an unmistakeably eastern European accent, that he would be having a ‘mozzarella and tomato panini’, and that was that.