Complete coverage on

Language and Linguistics

Latest Stories

Complaint claims school district discriminated against Latino studentsupdated: Tue Jun 12 2012 21:43:00

Two advocacy groups filed a federal complaint Tuesday alleging a North Carolina school district's treatment of three Latino families was discriminatory because it did not provide important information in Spanish.

Rare Napoleon letter in English goes on saleupdated: Wed Jun 06 2012 06:41:00

A rare letter written by Napoleon Bonaparte in English will go to the auction block in France on Sunday.

Will Hispanic voters swing the 2012 race?updated: Sun Feb 12 2012 00:29:00

Former Gov. Jeb Bush recently argued in an op-ed that Hispanic voters will represent the margin of victory in the 15 swing states that will decide who will win the race for the White House. Is his political intuition right? And if it is, how do both parties significantly increase their chances of winning the Hispanic vote?

Hispanic vote could swing electionupdated: Sun Feb 12 2012 00:29:00

Charles Garcia says issues and candidates get Hispanic votes, not party lines.

Linguists name 'occupy' as 2011's word of the yearupdated: Sat Jan 07 2012 23:05:00

The linguists have spoken and they have decided -- "Occupy" is 2011's word of the year.

China launches English language TV serviceupdated: Mon Nov 07 2011 20:03:00

China's state-owned broadcaster has launched an aggressive international push to extend the country's influence, opening a new headquarters in Washington that will broadcast English-language programming from the heart of the US capital.

5 top tips for China first-timersupdated: Mon Oct 03 2011 10:41:00

Despite the fact that it seems to be in the news almost every day of the week, China -- impossibly vast and fascinatingly diverse -- remains a travel destination with an unquestionable mystique. As exciting as that sounds, it also makes travelling to China for the first time an incredibly daunting prospect. To help you venture into the unknown, here's our first-timer's guide to the most populated land on the planet.

Latin America lures Chinese touristsupdated: Sun Oct 02 2011 23:06:00

Maria Jose Martinez Waldner grew up speaking Spanish and English at her home in Buenos Aires. Several years ago she decided to learn Mandarin Chinese, a language that is rarely heard in Argentina.

Latin America looks Eastupdated: Sun Oct 02 2011 23:06:00

Latin America is pulling out the stops to get more Chinese tourists. CNN's Brian Byrnes reports.

Rural school adapts to population with little Englishupdated: Mon Sep 19 2011 09:26:00

This rural community in the southeast corner of Iowa is one of the last places you would expect to find a large number of students who don't speak English, yet English language learners have had a huge effect on the schools there, according to Columbus Community Schools Superintendent Rich Bridenstine.

Tips for speaking English abroadupdated: Tue Jul 12 2011 08:25:00

"YOU SEE, what we need here is some cleaning-up liquid, some disinfectant. Would it be possible for you to bring me some?"

Wanna learn English, anyone?updated: Fri Jun 10 2011 07:03:00

One of my first jobs in China was teaching English through songs on CCTV, China's national television station.

South African students learn Chineseupdated: Fri May 27 2011 07:55:00

As trade between South Africa and China continues to grow, young kids in Pretoria are learning to speak Chinese.

OMG! Oxford English Dictionary adds new wordsupdated: Fri Mar 25 2011 13:09:00

OMG! It is no longer a just a teenage expression, but officially a word found in the dictionary.

New bible of slang is publishedupdated: Thu Mar 03 2011 16:26:00

By far, my greatest interests in life are words and humor. I'm obsessed with both, which is why my favorite comedian is the late George Carlin -- the funny man most obsessed with how we talk. Nothing has ever floated the boats of my two obsessions more than a good Carlin DVD or book.

Fortune: Lost in translation? Naming your company in Asiaupdated: Wed Feb 23 2011 13:15:00

Naming a law firm Plentiful Knowledge and Victorious in Our Pursuit of Gold may come across as a bit boastful in the United States. Even as a motto, it sounds brazen and egotistical.

'Star Trek' translators reach for the final frontierupdated: Tue Feb 01 2011 01:24:00

Last month, Google unveiled its latest innovation, an app for phones that can near-simultaneously translate speech from one language to another.

China-sponsored language programs in U.S. raise concerns, hopesupdated: Wed Jan 19 2011 14:00:00

Teaching Mandarin is a growing trend across schools in the United States, where the number of students enrolling in Chinese language and cultural programs has tripled in recent years.

China pays US schools to teach Mandarinupdated: Wed Jan 19 2011 14:00:00

China is funding language programs in some U.S. public schools, but not everyone is on board. CNN's Chris Welch reports.

2010 a year for playing games with wordsupdated: Fri Dec 31 2010 11:25:00

Each year the English language takes a fresh beating, but in 2010 it was intensified more than ever by the widening reach and quickening pace of the internet.

Previously unknown language emerges in Indiaupdated: Tue Oct 05 2010 22:01:00

Linguists announced Monday they have identified an endangered language known as Koro that is spoken by about 800 people in northeast India.

Why the right side of your brain doesn't like Arabicupdated: Mon Sep 06 2010 04:53:00

If you've ever struggled to learn Arabic or felt overwhelmed just looking its symbols, now you can blame science.

DEA wants to hire Ebonics translatorsupdated: Tue Aug 24 2010 17:45:00

Wanted by the Drug Enforcement Administration: Ebonics translators.

Sarah Palin invents a 'new' wordupdated: Mon Jul 26 2010 09:27:00

As CNN's Jeanne Moss reports, Sarah Palin has invented a new word, and she's not making any apologies for it.

Iceland's volcano a mouthful to sayupdated: Wed Apr 21 2010 00:23:00

An event as big as a volcano that disrupts transportation around the globe might be expected to have its name added to the English lexicon, perhaps meaning "to cause widespread disruption," an English-language monitor said Tuesday.

Name that Icelandic volcanoupdated: Wed Apr 21 2010 00:23:00

Can you pronounce Eyjafjallajökull? Neither can the media. CNN's Jeanne Moos avoids volcanic name-dropping.

Passenger who had Arabic flash cards sues over his detainmentupdated: Wed Feb 10 2010 22:14:00

A college senior studying Arabic says he was wrongly detained for almost five hours last summer after an airport screener found his Arabic-English flash cards and a book critical of U.S. foreign policy.

Breaking through the language barrierupdated: Wed Jan 06 2010 01:16:00

Communications technology has shrunk the globe, but there remains one large boundary to all this togetherness: language.

Better translator: Machines or humans?updated: Sat Oct 24 2009 11:39:00

One of the Internet's great promises is that it's the ultimate democratizer. It's open to everyone and allows all people to communicate.

Who's the better translator: Machines or humans?updated: Wed Oct 07 2009 14:49:00

One of the Internet's great promises is that it's the ultimate democratizer. It's open to everyone and allows all people to communicate.

On Twitter, is it 'he or she' or 'they' or 'ip'?updated: Sat Mar 07 2009 15:23:00

Twitter users may value brevity in their messages, but that doesn't mean they don't think about the social implications of language.

Gender and languageupdated: Sat Mar 07 2009 15:23:00

Should we have a gender-neutral way of saying "he or she"? CNN.com's Elizabeth Landau takes a look.

CNNMoney: Word of the year: 'Hypermiling'updated: Tue Nov 11 2008 12:25:00

This was the summer of $4 a gallon gas - and its impact on Americans is reflected in our lexicon.

Time.com: Hangman, Spare That Word: The English Purge Their Languageupdated: Fri Oct 03 2008 11:00:00

A dictionary's cull of archaic terms has brought language mavens onto the ramparts

Time.com: Mexico Quietly Helps Emigrants to US Learn Spanishupdated: Wed Sep 24 2008 16:00:00

For more than a decade, as the immigration debate has swelled on both sides of the border, the Mexican government has been quietly providing money, materials and even teachers to American schools, colleges and nonprofit organizations

Time.com: Africa's Lions of the Scrabble Boardupdated: Tue Jul 22 2008 17:00:00

When it comes to the World Championship of the French-language version of the erudite board game, Senegal is the team to beat

Time.com: 'Potter' Author Testifies in Lawsuitupdated: Mon Apr 14 2008 13:00:00

J.K. Rowling said Monday that her efforts to halt a publisher's "Harry Potter" lexicon have been crushing her creativity

Asian markets follow dollarupdated: Sun Mar 23 2008 21:59:00

CNN's Sohn Jie-Ae is in Seoul and Kyung Lah is in Tokyo reporting how the rocky U.S. economy effects those areas.

Arabic TV channels face BBC rivalupdated: Tue Mar 11 2008 07:51:00

The BBC has launched an Arabic-language television news channel in a bid to challenge Al-Jazeera and other popular Middle East TV news outlets.

Time.com: Speaking Voters' Language, Literallyupdated: Wed Jan 30 2008 15:00:00

With 22 states holding their primaries and caucuses on February 5's "Tsunami Tuesday," the candidates now find themselves trying to win the support of the different ethnic communities that can deliver a bloc of votes

Time.com: Belgium Finally Gets a Governmentupdated: Fri Dec 21 2007 06:00:00

After six months of deadlock, the country's factions formed an emergency coalition. But with security being stepped up, the hard work has already begun

Baby Talkupdated: Mon Nov 05 2007 12:08:00

Here you will find various video clips of Nancy discussing her pregnancy and the twins. Nancy tells viewers she's having a boy AND a girl! • Baby Talk Nancy Grace talks with Lori from Arkansas about how her babies dance to the theme music. • Baby Talk Nancy talks with Sharon from Pennsylvania about the heartache she feels with some stories. • Baby Talk Nancy talks with Eva from New Jersey about her latest sonogram. • Baby Talk Nancy Grace jokes with Nicole from Ohio about having triplets. • Baby Talk Nancy Grace talks with Lisa from Pennsylvania about seeing the sonogram of her twins. • Baby Talk Nancy Graces talks with Melinda from Colorado about what the theme music does to the twins. • Baby Talk Nancy Grace talks with Stacey from New York about the twins doing a back flip. • Baby Talk Kimberly from Tennessee is excited for Nancy. • Baby Talk Amy from Ohio congratulates Nancy on her twins. • Baby Talk Nancy Grace talks with Geri from

Purported new bin Laden audio airsupdated: Mon Oct 22 2007 16:01:00

Al-Jazeera broadcast Monday an audio message purportedly from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden calling on al Qaeda and other groups in Iraq to unify their forces and speak with one voice, that of the Islamic nation.

Bin Laden audiotape releasedupdated: Mon Oct 22 2007 16:01:00

CNN's Senior Arab Affairs Editor Octavia Nasr describes a new audiotape purportedly released by terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

NYC school a 'madrassa'?updated: Mon Sep 03 2007 23:59:00

NYC school a 'madrassa'?

CNNMoney: Google takes stake in Chinese social Web siteupdated: Tue Aug 21 2007 04:18:00

Google revealed on Monday that it had acquired a stake in Chinese community Web site Tianya.cn, indicating a foray by Google into social networking in the world's second-largest Internet market.

Google buys stake in Chinese social Web siteupdated: Mon Aug 20 2007 00:55:00

Google Inc revealed on Monday that it had acquired a stake in Chinese community Web site Tianya.cn, indicating a foray by the global search leader into social networking in the world's second-largest Internet market.

Time.com: Can McDonald's Alter the Dictionary?updated: Sun Jun 10 2007 23:35:00

The burger giant declares war on the definition of 'McJob' as low-paid, dead-end employment. Its first target: the OED

Time.com: Ethnic Politics in Belgiumupdated: Fri Jun 08 2007 16:15:00

French-speaking politicians see a better chance of claiming the top job in the country's upcoming election, but the favorites remain Flemish

Fortune: Bleep Deprivationupdated: Mon Mar 19 2007 00:01:00

If you are more than about 45 years old, you probably can't forget when you first heard a 1972 monologue by comedian George Carlin titled "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television." Ordinarily w...

CNNMoney: Montoya: Nascar's most important importupdated: Fri Feb 16 2007 07:49:00

The most important imports in the Daytona 500 Sunday are not the three Toyota Camrys that will be in the field for the first time. Instead it will be Juan Pablo Montoya, the Colombian-born rookie driver.

Fortune: 10 toughest career dilemmas - solvedupdated: Wed Nov 29 2006 14:17:00

With advice on everything from how to get a raise, to where the tech jobs are now, to the best way to get a rude co-worker to shut up, here are excerpts from some of the top Ask Annie columns of the year. By Fortune's Anne Fisher

Fortune: Liberating Wikipedia in China (almost)updated: Tue Nov 21 2006 12:44:00

After blocking Wikipedia for nearly a year, Chinese authorities in October allowed access to most of the online encyclopedia's English-language entries and, in some cities, to the Chinese-language ...

The challenge of Chinaupdated: Mon Aug 07 2006 09:23:00

It's the fastest-growing major economy in the world and an ever more important draw for investment, materials and -- of course -- management expertise. Can any prospective MBA student ignore China?

Fortune: Damn! Co-workers who curse too muchupdated: Mon Jul 31 2006 11:43:00

Dear Annie: A friend of mine sent me a very funny column you wrote last summer about annoying workplace jargon ("Business Buzzwords that Make You Gag"), but I have a different problem. I work in an office with well-educated people who are perfectly capable of expressing themselves without recourse to foul language, yet every other word out of their mouths is f*** or sh** or some such. I have no problem with the occasional expletive, but this constant stream of obscenities is really starting to get on my nerves. Is it realistic to think that I can do anything about this, or should I just keep trying to tune it out? -Weary Ears

Fortune: Found in translationupdated: Wed Jun 21 2006 14:17:00

If you want to take the temperature of Japan's economic relations with China, forget recent heated exchanges over Japan's World War II legacy. Focus instead on something cool--really cool: the tiny...

Fortune: Found in translationupdated: Mon Jun 12 2006 10:55:00

(FORTUNE Magazine) - If you want to take the temperature of Japan's economic relations with China, forget recent heated exchanges over Japan's World War II legacy.

CNNMoney: Mucho dinero for Univision?updated: Thu Jun 01 2006 10:14:00

Money. Power. Attraction. Sounds like the stuff Univision's telenovelas are made of.

Fortune: Speaking the wrong languageupdated: Thu Apr 27 2006 09:23:00

Flip on Univision or Telemundo on any given night, and in between the melodramatic telenovelas and campy talk shows, you'll see the biggest consumer brands in the world pitching their products in Spanish. It would seem every major company, from car makers to fast food franchises, is trying to reach the nation's fast-growing Hispanic population, now more than 40 million strong.

CNNMoney: Big media's Spanish lessonupdated: Fri Mar 10 2006 12:05:00

Spanish language broadcaster Univision is "muy caliente" on Wall Street these days.

Fortune: Univision is Ready for Its Closeupupdated: Tue Feb 28 2006 16:00:00

On 52 nights last season the most watched television network among 18- to 34-year-olds was not ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, or even youth-oriented outlets like the WB and UPN. It was Univision, the Spanish-...

Fortune: He made over a billion dollars for David Geffen, racked up better returns than Warren Buffett,updated: Wed Feb 08 2006 11:41:00

The mood was tense at the Bel Age Hotel in West Hollywood, Calif., early last year. The top two dozen executives of Sears Roebuck & Co. were gathering for a strategy session with Eddie Lampert, the...

Fortune: Eddie Lampert: The best investor of his generationupdated: Mon Feb 06 2006 02:05:00

The mood was tense at the Bel Age hotel in West Hollywood, Calif., early last year. The top two dozen executives of Sears Roebuck & Co. were gathering for a strategy session with Eddie Lampert, then 42, the billionaire hedge fund manager who had just engineered an unlikely takeover of their venerable but struggling company.

Couch potato 'ruins spud's image'updated: Mon Jun 20 2005 04:50:00

Farmers are campaigning to remove from dictionaries the term "couch potato" which they say makes the vegetable seem unhealthy and is bad for its image.

'Vocabularians' submit top unlisted wordsupdated: Tue May 17 2005 07:49:00

The response from the "vocabularians" was so "ginormous" that the lexicographers let out a "whoot."

U.S. to beam Arabic-language channel to Europeupdated: Sun Feb 27 2005 17:05:00

The Bush administration is planning to expand the reach of its Arabic-language satellite channel, Alhurra, into Europe, an official overseeing the network said Sunday.

showbuzzupdated: Wed Jan 05 2005 14:10:00

As the tremendous extent of the damage caused by the Asian tsunamis becomes apparent, a number of performers are stepping up to help.

Prime-time vocabularyupdated: Wed Nov 24 2004 08:04:00

As television heavyweight "Seinfeld" returns to prime time this week, viewers are reminded of the impact sitcoms have on pop-culture psyche -- and their contributions to our vocabulary.

Translating faith into Spanishupdated: Mon Oct 18 2004 14:26:00

It makes all the political sense in the world: take your wedge issues -- abortion, same-sex marriage and stem-cell research -- and aim them at a population whose membership in the Roman Catholic Church and other Christian churches exceeds 90%.

Fortune: IN SEARCH OF CHINA'S BILL GATESupdated: Mon Oct 04 2004 00:01:00

IN THE EARLY 1990s, WANG ZHIDONG JUMPED INTO THE SEA, as the saying goes. The Beijing University graduate left a secure job to set up his own firm in an abandoned school near a street so crowded wi...

Money Magazine: Media Giganteupdated: Fri Oct 01 2004 00:01:00

Here's an investment strategy to help counter the slowing economy: Identify a fast-growing industry and single out the one player that dominates that flourishing market. Adding shares of such a com...

Money Magazine: Media giganteupdated: Thu Sep 16 2004 16:48:00

Here's an investment strategy to help counter the slowing economy: Identify a fast-growing industry and single out the one player that dominates that flourishing market.

CNNMoney: Group calls Subway ad 'unpatriotic'updated: Fri Jul 30 2004 15:13:00

An advocacy group Friday accused sandwich chain Subway Restaurants of being "anti-American" because the tray liners that the company is currently using in Germany display an obese Statute of Liberty and a German word that it claims is a pejorative term for Americans.

'Enthusiasm' saves defendant wrongly accused in murder caseupdated: Mon Jun 07 2004 14:12:00

Juan Catalan has never watched "Curb Your Enthusiasm," the HBO comedy series starring comedian Larry David. "I don't even have HBO," he says with an easy laugh.

Seeing the world for (almost) freeupdated: Thu Mar 25 2004 15:36:00

Forget about that dream vacation at the beach for a moment. If you are a student, between jobs, or just ready for a change, don't pass on a chance to spend a few weeks or a few months working overseas.

Referee Dougal given swearing fineupdated: Tue Mar 02 2004 11:19:00

Scottish Premier League referee Stuart Dougal has been fined for swearing at Rangers midfielder Christian Nerlinger in their win at Partick Thistle last month.

FCC chief wants crackdown on obscenity over the airwavesupdated: Wed Jan 14 2004 15:23:00

FCC Commissioner Michael Powell said Wednesday he is calling for a dramatic increase in fines for broadcasters that allow the "F-word" and other obscenities on the air.

Money Magazine: Money Talksupdated: Wed Oct 01 2003 00:01:00

Once a decade, Merriam-Webster rewrites its best-selling collegiate dictionary, adding new words, new definitions of old words and specialized words that have become part of everyday life. These da...

Fortune: The Triumph Of English To compete globally, more and more European businesses are making English their official language. Even tupdated: Mon Sep 18 2000 00:01:00

Didier Benchimol lives in Paris. He grew up in Paris. He went to college in Paris. He runs a company founded in Paris and based in Paris. But from the moment he gets to work in the morning till he ...

Fortune: Is Your Stock In The Danger Zone? Here's How to Tellupdated: Mon Apr 03 2000 00:01:00

There is no easy way to spot financial trouble before it occurs, but there are telltale signs that the risk of a rout is higher than a company's stock price might suggest. And you don't necessarily...

Fortune: Want Growth? Speak English THAT CERTAIN JE NE SAIS QUOI OF LES ANGLOPHONESupdated: Mon Apr 26 1999 00:01:00

There's been a lot of bad news out there in the world economy lately. Supposed economic superpowers like Germany and Japan have fallen on hard times; Asian tigers that thought the future belonged t...

Fortune: TV in a Spanglish Accent CAN TELEMUNDO BECOME A PLAYER?updated: Mon Dec 21 1998 00:01:00

When Nely Galan was a high school sophomore, she wrote a letter to Seventeen magazine about her rough experiences in an all-girl Catholic school. The editors were so impressed that they gave her a ...

Money Magazine: FIVE U.S. STOCKS WITH LATIN HEAT HISPANICS AS A GROUP ARE GROWING--AND SPENDING--FAR FASTER THAN OTHER AMERICANS. THESE COMPANIEupdated: Mon Dec 01 1997 00:01:00

Ana Hernandez, 23, a pharmacist's assistant, and her husband Jose, 21, a maintenance worker at Disney World, speak English while at work in Orlando. But when they learned they were expecting twins ...

Fortune: U.S. PCs INVADE JAPAN Once the Japanese had a lock on the market. Now the Americans are attacking with new machines, new softwarupdated: Mon Jul 12 1993 00:01:00

WHO SAYS American companies can't compete against Japanese giants on their home turf? In the past three years U.S. semiconductor makers have nearly doubled their market share in Japan, to 20%, and ...

Fortune: IF YOU WANT A BIG, NEW MARKET . . . Try reaching U.S. Hispanics. They're 19 million strong, with $130 billion to spend. Here's hupdated: Mon Nov 21 1988 00:01:00

WHEN IT comes to Hispanic marketing, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Remember Braniff's blooper? The airline's ads told Hispanics to fly en cuero -- or ''naked.'' Tropicana advertised jugo...

Fortune: JAPAN'S UNEASY U.S. MANAGERS They love America's cheap food, big houses, and great golf. But shadows follow them. They have to lupdated: Mon Apr 25 1988 00:01:00

CONSIDER the Japanese salaryman. Along with tens of thousands of his countrymen, he comes to live and to work in America. His migration is born of spectacular success -- the rise of his homeland as...

Fortune: BILINGUAL SOFTWARE New programs automatically translate computer language.updated: Mon Jul 21 1986 00:01:00

STUCK WITH dusty old computer programs that are incompatible with the latest hardware? Want to peddle military software to the Army, but your package doesn't meet the Defense Department's new progr...

Fortune: Lexicon Corp.updated: Mon Sep 02 1985 00:01:00

July was a hectic month for Lexicon, a small manufacturer of electronic terminals and modems that link computers over phone lines. In less than two weeks the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, company was s...

We recommend