Languages Archive

Which language is "the best"?

I am often asked this question, in various forms: I want to become a translator/interpreter: which language should I study? Which language is the most in-demand for translation and interpreting? What is the best language for a translator or interpreter to know? The answer, like the answer to many freelance-related questions, is a resounding it

Word clouds of inaugural addresses

Thanks to reader Dierk Seeburg for sending the link to these word clouds that compare Obama’s inaugural speech to those of Bush, Clinton, Reagan and Lincoln. If you haven’t checked out Wordle, it’s a very cool language/art/geek tool that generates a word cloud that gives greater importance to frequently used words in your text. In

Obama on bilingualism

The inauguration of our 44th president promises to bring many changes to the U.S., and there’s reason to hope that better foreign language education will be among them. The statistics on foreign language proficiency in the U.S. are downright dismal; in 2005, the National Association for Bilingual Education reported that half of the European Union’s