MEITS Blog


A rós by any other name..?

by Deirdre Dunlevy

‘That’s a weird name, what is it in English?’

For anyone with a name that is not easily identifiable as English, you’ve probably heard this before. And as someone whose name doesn’t have a ‘translation’- my name is just my name- it is incredibly frustrating as people try to figure out what my name ‘is’ in another language.

Continue Reading

Double minoritisation: non-standard varieties of minoritised languages

by Merryn Davies-Deacon

For a long time, non-standard varieties of widely-spoken languages, such as regional dialects of English, were stigmatised. On the BBC, regional accents are still rare. But there is evidence that non-standard varieties are beginning to be valued as assets to our cultural diversity. Earlier this year, the New York Times British-Irish Dialect Quiz was a big hit.

Continue Reading

“The two cultures” 60 years later

by Thomas H Bak

This week marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most famous and controversial academic lectures in European history: C. P. Snow’s Rede lecture at Cambridge University entitled: “The two cultures”. The lecture is complex and has many interwoven themes, some specifically British, others consciously global, but I think it would be fair to say that at its heart lies C P Snow’s criticism of the lack of respect, interest and knowledge that the “literary” academics have when it comes to science, particularly applied science and technology. The topic has been extensively debated in the context of its intellectual history and subsequent criticism, but my question is a slightly different one: does it still have anything relevant to say to sciences and humanities of our time?

Continue Reading

Noticing languages - noticing linguistic inequality

by Nicola McLelland

I’ve just been called up for Jury Service – my first time – and I’m approaching it with what I’m guessing is the usual mix of curiosity, eagerness to be useful, and nervousness. The last time I set foot in a courtroom was doing work experience as a teenager, shadowing a court interpreter. The defendant who needed the interpreter was convicted of a driving offence. He said he hadn’t understood the rules, but, I discovered, that was no defence, though it might mean a more lenient sentence.

Continue Reading

The myth of English as the language of science?

by Dieuwerke (Dee) Rutgers

In this day and age, it is hard to imagine the world of science without English: The dominance of English as the lingua franca of the international scientific community is generally undisputed, even if the impacts of this dominance are more contested. My aim here is not to make a claim to the contrary: English is indeed the preferred language of scientific communications today. Still, I wonder – might there be more to the ‘language of science’ than meets the proverbial eye? How ‘English’ is our scientific language anyway, and what does this reveal about the history of science? Might our bias towards science published in English be leading to lost knowledge and missed opportunities? What are the less visible and less tangible parts of our scientific endeavours, and what roles do languages play within this?

Continue Reading

Angkor Supermarket: Multilingual landscapes of Cambodia

by Hui (Annette) Zhao

In January 2019, I went to a linguistic anthropology conference in Siem Reap, Cambodia (CALA – the Conference on Asian Linguistic Anthropology). Before the trip, all I knew about the city was ‘oh, that’s where Angkor Wat is!’. I boarded the plane to Siem Reap, hoping that my languages (Mandarin, English and a bit of French) would help me survive the 5 days since my Khmer is limited to ‘អរគុណ’ (pronounced /ʔɑˈkun/, meaning ‘thank you’).

Continue Reading

Will you be my Valen-cia-tine? Finding language lovers in Valencian schools

by Dominic Keown

Whether we like it or not, the notion of impact has brought a whole new dimension to the way disciplines in the Humanities have to address themselves. Once academically inward-looking subjects, which remained untroubled in the protective, intellectual comfort of bygone ages, arts and literatures, our subjects have had to find avenues of immediacy to connect with a wider range of audiences in an effort to underline the relevance of their teaching and research.

Continue Reading

What, if anything, makes learning English different from learning other languages?

by Henriette Hendriks

We Skyped the son of a friend of ours last week. He’s from the Netherlands and needed to interview a British citizen for his English homework. He sent an email,  in English, inviting my British partner to participate and then proceeded to conduct the interview in fluent and almost flawless English.

Continue Reading

Page 1 of 8 pages

Find By Author




Our Partners