March 2020


Five surprising truths about language mixing

Guest blog by Dr. Shana Poplack, Member of the Order of Canada, Canada Research Chair in Linguistics and founding director of the Sociolinguistics Laboratory, both at the University of Ottawa.

On this International Day of Multilingualism, I celebrate coexisting languages and their speakers everywhere. I’m in good company, since more than half the world’s population is said to speak more than one language, often many more. This means that multilingualism is not the exception, but the norm. And yet this most ordinary state of affairs continues to be associated with a variety of deficits, mainly linguistic. One of the most salient and stigmatized is language “mixing”, widely considered to display laziness and ignorance, when not blamed for the deterioration or even demise of one or all of the languages involved. ...

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Le français vue de chaque côté : une conversation entre deux membres de notre équipe de communication à l’occasion de la journée internationale de la Francophonie

Pour encourager chacun à réfléchir à son lien avec la langue française, nous avons demandé à deux de nos collaboratrices bilingues de parler de leur expérience: l'une dont la langue maternelle est le français, l'autre qui parle le français comme langue seconde. Bonne journée internationale de la Francophonie !

Géraldine Gautier: Née et élevée à Paris, je me suis établie au Canada il y a 21 ans. Quand je repense aux facteurs qui m’ont conduits à vivre ici, il y en a eu beaucoup. Sans doute l’un marquant a été d’abord mon environnement familial porté sur d’autres cultures et langues étrangères. J’habite Ottawa depuis 1999 mais j’ai fait une parenthèse de 5 ans dans la région de Toronto. Une chance car grâce à cette dernière expérience, j’ai vraiment réalisé que le bilinguisme et la Francophonie ne...

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What does International Women's Day mean to you? Federation staff perspectives.

Lily Polowin, Communications Coordinator at the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The Federation currently has 18 staff members, 14 of which are women. Being part of a team of strong women inspires me daily, and so this International Women’s Day, I wanted to probe my colleagues to see what empowering thoughts were blooming within. I asked staff if they’d be interested in answering this question: What does International Women’s Day mean to you? Here are the answers I received. Enjoy, and Happy International Women’s Day!

Lamis El-Zein, Executive Assistant:

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate girls and women all over the word, and to honour those who...

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Boxes and trolleys and tape, oh my! The Federation moves offices.

Lily Polowin, Communications Coordinator, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The first time I experienced the joy of moving was when I packed up my teddy bear, band posters, my first laptop, and my dignity in many boxes and made the trek out to Lennoxville, QC to move into my residence at Bishop’s University where I was going to be studying music and philosophy. In second year, I recall living in a very cramped four-bedroom apartment on top of the local poutine restaurant, and in third year, a horrific day in which a roommate and I moved two apartments’ worth of contents into separate apartments. Watching my roommate haul his fridge up four flights of stairs is a sight I will never forget....

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