linguistic groups


Today being the last day of classes before exams, I decided to go treat myself this afternoon. This involved going to the linguistics section of one of my university libraries and reading for an entire afternoon instead of studying for my finals. 

There was lots of cool stuff, though, so it was totally worth it.

some facts about the middle east people should know
  • the Middle East sits on the crossroads 3 continents, the countries that surround it include (not limited to): Niger, Mali, Pakistan and China. As a result, people who are MENA (Middle East North African) are a diverse mix of European, Asian, African and Arab indigenous ethnicities so people from the middle east range in skin-tone and genetic traits. Not all MENA folk are lightskinned/darkskinned/olive-skinned, HOWEVER, MENA people should not be whitewashed, simply because many MENA folk pass as white.
  • Not all MENA people are “Arab”. Usually, someone defines her or himself as Arab because a) Arabic is his/her first language, or b) That person descended from the tribes of Arabia.So, the term “Arab” is actually a linguistic grouping, not ethnic or religious.
  • Not all MENA folk speak Arabic. Due to the fact the area of the middle east is so large, there are many languages spoken throughout i.e. Kurdish, Barber, Turkish, etc. Yes, Arabic is commonly spoken because of the spread of Islam, but it varies dramatically depending on where you are.
  • Not all MENA are Muslim. The media LOVES to portray all Muslims as Middle Eastern and visa versa. However, there are 100s of faiths throughout the middle east, including Judaism, Christianity, Baha'i, Zoroastrians, the Druze and many more. Indonesia actually has the highest Muslim population of any country in the world and it is not in the Middle East.   
  • MENA folk have had White People and other POC define our experiences, ethnicity and religion since the first days of Colonization (and even now with Aleppo). In the U.S. MENA are classified as White, though many/most receive exactly zero percent of the privlege, simply because classifying ourselves as White was the only way we were allowed into the U.S. I live in Australia and have grown up being called a wog, a n**ger, i have been denied jobs because of my heritage and hate airports for too many reasons I shouldn’t.
  • Unless you are MENA, the only thing you should do when it comes to MENA politics, issues, etc. is listen, learn and help where you can.
For Anglo-Canadians

For the argument that ‘because Canada has two official languages, Québec needs to incorporate more English into the province. I’m tired of Quebecers  not serving me in English when I go there, English speakers have the right to live there’, here’s a guide to why this way of thinking needs to disappear. 

  • Canada is bilingual only at the federal level. Each province has the right to decide what its own official language will be at the provincial level, to date there is only one province that is officially bilingual at this level, and that’s New Brunswick. Provinces can chose to have one language as their official language (whether it’s de jure or de facto). Such as Alberta (English) and Québec (French). What does this mean? It means that private businesses, provincial level and lower governmental services, most recreational shops, restaurants etc will offer services in these languages, unless a member of a non-official linguistic group opens up their business. When’s the last time Alberta has been criticized nationally for ‘not being bilingual enough’ or ‘not supporting everyone’s life to live there’.
  • Yes English speakers, you do have the right to live here. But like any immigrant must understand, the majority cannot bend to accommodate the wants of every single immigrant. For instance, if you were from Québec and wanted to move to Winnipeg, even though French is one of the official languages of Canada on the Federal level, you will obviously not be able to live in Winnipeg only speaking French. When you move to a new country/region/province where your native language isn’t spoken by the majority of the population, you learn this area’s language or you get used to be isolated. Similarly to how you wouldn’t be able to live in Manitoba only speaking French, if you move to Québec, that is the language you are mostly going to be hearing. The majority of our population speaks French, which means the majority of our businesses, restaurants, tv shows, books etc will be francophone. No immigrant can assimilate themselves completely into the larger québécois society without learning to communicate in French in the same way that not speaking English in Manitoba would keep you from being an active member of Manitoban society ****UNLESS you find a group of people who share your language, then small little isolated societies coalesce, i.e. Westmount***. However, I strongly believe that immigrants should be encouraged to keep their mother tongue alive in their own homes and in safe spaces, I cannot think of anything worse than having to sacrifice your native language to live somewhere. But there is definitely a balance between being willing to speak one language at home and one language in public (as many, many people do) and rejecting a language all together (being from Montréal this happens so much).  
  • When is the last time a francophone walked into a restaurant in downtown Vancouver and demanded to be served in French? Never. That would be rude and illogical because French is not a very largely spoken language there. So why would you expect a québécois restaurant to offer service in English? Because English is just that important? No, it’s really not. 
  • Yes, a lot of québécois are able to communicate in English (especially the younger generation—among all of my friends from primary school, a least 2/5 of them are now able to speak English at a high level). But this does not mean that all Québécois are ready to communicate in English at any given moment, especially in the work place. It can be frustrating for us to try and express ourselves in English because it is after all not our native language. Some of us are afraid of speaking poorly, with weak grammar, thick accents, and lack of vocabulary. So even though many of us are able to understand English because of English education since primary school all the way to Cégep (for some people, but it’s still more education in English than most English speakers receive in French), we might be afraid of using English outside of the classroom, especially when our jobs are at stake. So if you stop a Québécois in the middle of the street and ask us something in English, or if you go into a boutique and ask questions about a product in English, some of us don’t respond not out of spite or because ‘we hate English speakers’ but because we might be insecure about our English abilities, particularly if you’ve had an English speaker complain to your boss about ‘how incompetent you are for not speaking English well enough’. I and many other Québécois are ready to do our best for an English speaker who is friendly and in need of help. 
  • That said, English is not the language we speak everyday, French is the language of our society and our culture and to native Québécois, English is not the language we use to speak to each other in every day life. Sure, I might occasionally write my Québécois friend a response in English on tumblr, but it would just feel really awkward to speak English to my québécois friends consistently or to walk around addressing them in English on the street. When I know someone else is a francophone, my natural reaction is to speak French with them, and that’s just the way it is. However, I do know that there are Québécois who are proud of the fact that they can speak another language (English sometimes) and thus do enjoy using it as often as possible, because learning another language is hard and it’s super cool to be multilingual! 
  •  If you want to talk about making Canada as a whole more bilingual, let’s look at the numbers. About 1/3 of the entire Canadian population is francophone, which leaves the other 65ish percent English speaking, and the rest is allophone (having a First Nations language as their mother tongue, or an other language like Chinese, Arabic, or Russian). This makes francophones, one of the two national official languages, the minority. When you have two things that are supposed to be important to a country and one of them is in such a large minority compared to the other, the logical thing to do would be to protect the former. French speakers are a minority when compared to the rest of Canada, which means IF anyone should be complaining about Canada not being bilingual enough on ANY provincial level, it should be us francophones. If anyone should be learning the second official language of Canada, it should be Englsh speakers—people may argue that francophones should learn English because it’s more widely spoken, but that’s exactly why French should be valued more in Canadian society, because it is NOT as widely spoken and therefore French is the language that should be encouraged more through education, politics, and social events. English doesn’t have to be protected because it has more than twenty million people readily speaking it; if you want Canada to be more bilingual, it would be logical to raise the number of francophones past 11 million people. Bilingualism is not achieved by encouraging francophones to speak English, it only contributes to the erasure and stigmatization of the French language. Québec is a safe place for francophones to come and live, because it guarantees the ability to speak, work, and live in French—but even though this is about Québec— it is important to realize that there are French speaking communities all throughout Canada that deserve the right to a life in French, and that’s why the nation as a whole should do more for French speaking people.  

In conclusion, if you want to talk about the linguistic situation in Canada, let’s talk about federal officials or services not using the two official languages, let’s talk about how immigrants can better be included into the Canadian society, let’s talk about dying First Nations’ languages and rights instead, because attacking Québec for things that are done in English speaking provinces every day is not helping anyone. 

Kik Groups

Sorry if this may be a bit repetitive but howtopolyglot and I created kik groups for language learning. Now you are able to practice your language of choice with tons of other polyglots willing to help you learn!

General - #tumblrlanguages

Spanish - #tumblrespanol

French - #tumblrfrancais

German - #tumblrdeutsch

Portuguese - #tumblrportugues

Italian - #tumblritaliano

Russian - #tumblrrusskiy

Chinese - #tumblrzhongwen

Korean - #tumblrhangugin

Japanese - #tumblrnihongo

Polish - #tumblrpolski

Turkish - #tumblrturkce

American Sign Language - #tumblrasl

Irish Gaelic - #tumblrgaeilge

Swedish - #tumblrsvenska

Hebrew - #tumblrivrit

Esperanto - #tumblresperanto

Serbo-Croat - #tumblrsrpskohrvatski

Scandinavian Languages- #tumblrscandinavianlanguages

If there is a language you would like to learn that is not listed please contact me so that I can create it and add it to the list. Thank you!:)

‘What’s a uterus?’ Health illiteracy could be the death of us 

Health illiteracy is associated with poor surveillance, delayed diagnosis, problematic compliance and worse outcomes. Health-illiterate patients ask fewer questions, visit doctors less, and rely more on anecdotes and myths. These patients are poor at self-care and they make for poor carers. Culturally and linguistically diverse groups fare worse in every way.

Space Latinxs, Snippet #1 (experimental)

So here’s a short-short of Poe discussing what it’s like to be a Space Latino. Since this is a world where a character can be named after a rap song, I figured using “Iberican” in place of “Spanish” and extending it out to encompass both the people and language in this fictionalized, necessarily-simplified, Star Wars universe would work. Iberican is a cultural/linguistic grouping, kind of like Hispanic or Latino is on Earth, and I’m going from there. (That kind of thing though is why it’d be awesome to get some feedback on what’s shitty to simplify and what’s acceptable. That kind of thing.)

(Oh also I’ve decided that homophobia isn’t really a thing so much in this ‘verse, not most of the time; being bi or fluid is kind of just normal. Because science fiction/fantasy, c’mon. Space Gays.)

Anyway. Set sometime after the events of TFA, when Finn is recovered. 

“No,” Poe said, and he looked a little wistful. “Not many people speak it around here. There were a few of us, at the Academy, but most of the others went into other specialties. For some reason not a ton of pilots wind up being Iberican, or speaking it well, so I don’t use it much now. Oh, but there was one time–” and he lit up with remembered amusement. Finn could watch the way his eyes crinkled when he smiled all day and never be bored.

“One time, I was out with a bunch of other Fleet pilots, right, we were out on this pretty remote posting, and we had a stopover on this godforsaken little planet.” He waved his hand dismissively. “Like, one real city on the whole thing, and they had like, two bars in the place, right?”

“Oh,” Pava said, “oh, gather ‘round, it’s a Wild And Crazy Dameron story.”

“It kind of is,” Poe said, amused. Sometimes he went a little tight around the eyes when Pava referred to his putative Wild And Crazy past, but but this time it didn’t seem to bother him. “So okay.” Suddenly everyone in the room was looking expectantly at him, and it would have made Finn nervous, but it didn’t seem to faze Poe at all.

“Okay. So we’re in this little shitty bar,” Poe said, “we got nowhere to be for the night. And it turns out this backwater planet is like, rotten with First Order. So there are all these First Order guys. And like, nobody’s in uniform, right, so it’s fine, it’s not anything we’ve got to really do anything about, right. But like. There’s some tension, and everybody’s hammered. And let me point out– man, First Order? They like to drink, okay? Don’t think for a second they don’t.”

Finn nodded, and suddenly everyone was looking at him. “Oh,” he said, “not me, I was a cadet still until like, a couple months before I got out, we didn’t get that kind of freedom. But if you were offworld you could get up to all kinds of shit.”

“So some of those guys might have been Stormtroopers?” Poe asked.

Finn shrugged. “If they were off-duty,” he said, “you wouldn’t know. What, did you all think we sleep in the outfit?”

“Kinda,” Pava said.

“Hell no,” Finn said, “that shit’s uncomfortable. If you’re offworld and your commander’s chill you can go to bars and stuff, we’re not robots. We don’t, like, sleep in pods whenever we’re not needed.”

“Huh,” Poe said, like that was a revelation.

“So what did you do to them?” Finn asked, a little twitchy at everyone’s regard.

“Oh,” Poe said, and lit up a little again, visibly taking back the mantle of The One Telling The Story. “So the thing about the First Order, right, they don’t let in anybody who’s not human, and even within that, they only speak Basic. So they’re just– they’ve got zero grasp of any other languages. They’re so set on one thing, you know?” and he made a gesture with his hand, as if delineating people in regimented rows, “everything the same, uniformity. So–”

“What’d you do?” Snap asked, leaning in.

“I pretended I didn’t speak any Basic,” Poe said. “I just stuck to Iberican the whole night. I forget how it started, I think I came in and I stepped in something or whatever, and I cussed in Iberican because I wasn’t thinking about it, and then I saw who-all was there and I just rolled with it. Me and one other pilot. She wasn’t a native speaker but she was fluent enough. So we just pretended we didn’t have any Basic at all.”

“Okay,” Pava said slowly, with a visible air of waiting for there to be more.

“So here’s the thing,” Poe said. “I mean, we weren’t in uniform, but like. Our jackets have Fleet insignia on them. It’s fucking obvious we’re Fleet pilots. And you know the Fleet operates with Basic as its standard language. So at the very least we’d understand it, right? And everybody knows that, and the First Order assholes know that. And I’m like, no comprendo, perdon, ¿habla Iberica? no hablo basico, no entiendo, ¿puedo le comprar una bebida? ah, tienes ojos tan bonitos.” 

Finn was entranced; he had never heard Poe speak anything but Basic, and it made his voice seem different, lower and more liquid, sweeter somehow, and it had to just be an impression but it really seemed so different.

“Wait,” Snap said, and he clearly had understood some of that. “Did you– hit on them?”

“I did,” Poe said, eyes crinkling as he grinned widely. “The guy who seemed to be in charge, he was this ginger-haired prick, all prissy-looking, and I just decided I was going to shoot the moon and go for it. I kept getting right in his space and bringing him drinks and trying to get him to talk to me, and I’m saying absolutely outrageous things, I’m licking my lips, I’m making meaningful eye contact, I’m just– I mean, the other pilot, she’d bet me money I couldn’t get the guy to make out with me. And I decided I was really truly going to go for it. So I gave him everything I had.”

“Oh man,” Snap said. “Like, you’re not even my type, Dameron, but I’ve seen you turn it up.”

“It can be hard to resist, I’m told,” Poe said, gesturing as if presenting himself. “I clearly wasn’t this guy’s type either. You can kinda tell. He was tall, he was probably into other tall dudes. Or maybe– broad-breasted women,” and he gestured, kind of circular-ly, in front of his chest. “I got that vibe. Anyway. I still gave him all I had, you know? I was dedicated to this bet. And his buddies thought it was hilarious. I mean, when they weren’t all being super-pissy that I wouldn’t speak Basic, and they said some pretty heinous shit, but like, that was the bonus– if I was pretending I didn’t speak Basic I didn’t have to actually acknowledge the really shitty things they said.” He shrugged.

“Well?” Pava asked. “Did you get him?”

Poe blinked at her, then guffawed. “Hell no!” he said. “We ended up fighting. We nearly got into it in the bar, and managed not to actually come to blows, but then when I left they tried to jump me in the alley. Which, to be fair, I’d kind of expected– they’d literally actually said as much right in my presence, because apparently they actually bought that I was somehow a Fleet pilot with zero Basic– so I was ready for it, and so were the others of us, and we wound up having a real corker of a barfight over it, but nobody died. And I knocked my ginger pal over and gave him a big fat kiss on the mouth before I left, so.” He shrugged.

This was greeted with general applause and laughter. Finn wondered how many uptight ginger commanders there were in the First Order, and looked over at Poe as he thought about how to ask it. Poe caught his look.

“Yeah,” Poe said, “I ran into him again.”

“Really,” Snap said.

Poe sucked his teeth, nodding, and then grimaced. “He was actually on the Finalizer,” he said, “when I got captured.”

Everyone fell silent. “Really?” Pava said.

Poe nodded. “He recognized me. He’s standing there all resplendent in black with leather gloves and the whole schtick, and he looks me up and down and he’s like, no hablo basico, eh?” Poe affected an impersonation of General Hux, looking down his nose and mincing out the foreign phrase. “And I was like, dude, that shit was hilarious and you know it.”

“Did he agree?” Pava asked.

Poe made a face. “No,” he said, “that encounter really didn’t go well for me at all.” He took a drink, grimacing. “But,” he said after a moment, brightening, “I made a friend after all,” and he reached over and grabbed Finn’s shoulder, pulling him in close.

Finn basked in that attention– everyone looking at them wasn’t so bad when it was both of them. He grinned. “That’s right,” he said. And then, on impulse, he added, “And even we thought Hux had no sense of fucking humor. Our Captain thought he was a prissy little fuck.”

“Did he,” Poe said.

“She,” Finn corrected. “Phasma. She had no time for him.” He reflected on it. “She wasn’t exactly what I’d call a broad-breasted woman, but she was a couple inches taller than he was, and yeah, I’d bet you anything she was his type. And she had no interest in that at all.”

“Taller than him,” Poe said, giving Finn a strange look. “He was pretty tall.”

“Oh yeah,” Finn said. “Phasma’s enormous. Highlight of my life was throwing her down a garbage chute on the Starkiller.”

That also got a good reaction, laughter and applause and high-fives all around. Best of all, though, Poe still had his arm around Finn, and Finn leaned in against Poe’s solid warm weight and soaked it in, marveling at the way this made him feel. Like he was part of something, like he was important.

Salish, 1907

The Salish peoples are an ethno-linguistic group of the Pacific Northwest.
Salish is an Anglicization of seliš. The seliš were the easternmost Salish people and the first to have a diplomatic relationship with the United States
so their name was applied broadly to all peoples speaking a related language.

Athabascan Cultures of Alaska

Athabascans – Who We Are The Athabascan people traditionally lived in Interior Alaska, an expansive region that begins south of the Brooks Mountain Range and continues down to the Kenai Peninsula. There are eleven linguistic groups of Athabascans in Alaska. Athabascan people have traditionally lived along five major river ways