'The first casualty when war comes is truth,' said Hiram Warren Johnson in a speech to the US Senate in 1917. He might have added that the second is language.
Military-speak is full of jargon and euphemisms, and with this in mind we ran a glossary of terms recently in the current conflict - 'asymmetrical warfare', 'Ground Zero', that old favourite 'collateral damage', and the Arabic word 'jihad'.
Expats are often shaky in their mother tongue. But fear not: the fight in the brain known as language attrition can be stopped
Monika Schmid is a professor in linguistics at the University of Essex
When a former PhD candidate recently asked me to write a reference for her, I found myself facing an unexpected dilemma. She is a wonderful person and a brilliant scientist whom any employer should consider themselves lucky to recruit, and I’m delighted to provide a reference saying just that.
My college admissions essay said it all — if only I had stopped and listened to myself at the time. I was more concerned with finding a hook that would set me apart from the tens of thousands of other applicants, who were, of course, trying to do the same thing.
Numbers learning a modern language have plummeted in the past decade. The situation needs to be urgently reversed to boost links with Europe
It was inspirational to read John le Carré’s timely piece on “Why we should learn German” (News). Through his personal narrative about learning German, he encapsulates so eloquently all the key motivations for learning languages: access to other cultures; curiosity about the structure of language; the ability to engage in meaningful dialogue with crucial political and trading partners.