Swearing in a Language without Curse Words

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator It’s said that language learning starts from curse words. In various exchange programs and language learning classes, when people from different countries meet and talk about their own languages and cultures, some of the most popular expressions they learn from each other might be “hello,” “I love you,” and swearing. Just like gratitude and affection, it’s human nature to want to express anger, frustration and resentment in explicit and…

Chatbot and the Language Industry

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator  What comes to mind when you see the word chatbot? Siri? Alexa? Or the automatic replies you receive when you type in an online customer service chat box? Well, they are all a part of the big chatbot family. As the name indicates, chatbots are robots that can automatically generate conversations with humans and fall into the artificial intelligence (AI) category. When asked questions, chatbots generally come up with…

Fictional Languages and Where to Find Them

By: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator Late last year, with the airing of The Mandalorian, Tusken Sign Language was introduced to the public. Accompanied by the unbearable cuteness of ‘Baby Yoda’ and the attention it brought to the Deaf community’s contributions to the film industry, the series and Tusken Sign Language trended online, adding a new member to the family of fictional languages. Fictional languages, familiar to fans of sci-fi and fantasy genres, have a…

Different Ways to Learn a Language

By: Ashley Tulio, Communications Specialist While living during a worldwide pandemic, individuals have taken quarantine as an opportunity to learn a new skill such as cooking, sewing, at-home workouts, etc. Something else that many people have pursued is learning a new language. While kids tend to pick up new languages more easily compared to adults, a study has shown that learning a new language as an adult actually reroutes brain networks, igniting shifts that can…

COVID-19 Stories: Hanen Nanaa, Campaigning for An Inclusive Canada

MCIS recently had the pleasure of interviewing Hanen Nanaa, a young, passionate individual dedicated to supporting newcomers in feeling welcomed and connected to their communities. Hanen is very special to MCIS as she was the youngest recipient to receive the Interpreter Training Scholarship in 2016. She has only been in Canada for four years and has already been accepted to Ryerson University, volunteered with many newcomers’ organizations, and began leading Books, Arts, and Music Collective…

Starting from “How Are You” – How Communication Barrier Goes Beyond Language

by: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator Seven years ago, when I first came to Canada, the first culture shock I ever experienced was the question “How are you?” It was my biggest fear at the time, that someone would show up in front of me and burst out the words: “how are you?” I, feeling attacked, would have to answer in return, without having developed the conditioned response of replying with “I’m good.” Before I…

Learn to Roll Your Rs! – A Step-by-Step Beginner’s Guide to the Alveolar Trill

by: Cheryl Lu, Social Media Coordinator You are learning a new language. It’s ridiculously difficult to master as you expected it to be. As a believer in hard work, you started an ultimate conquest to its grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. You defeated the first two. Then you realize there’s still an annoying rolled R existing in the language. You practiced, you read (and probably watched) about a thousand trilled R tutorials, and you failed. Frustrated…

Multiculturalism in Canada: Are We Doing Enough to Promote Linguistic Diversity?

By Sanah Matadar, Social Media Coordinator Most people, both inside and outside the borders of Canada, are familiar with the generalization that Canada is a very multicultural nation. At the very least, this sentiment is always brought up when discussing Canada’s major cities. Every opportunity we get, we celebrate this image of diversity and openness to multiculturalism. Take the following stories and ads as examples: https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/hockey-night-punjabi-representation/ https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-raptors-inspiring-city-and-country-1.5149411 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQzxb-lU2pk Certain facts definitely reinforce this idea of…

The Polyglot Profiles – Sara Maria Hasbun

The Polyglot Profiles – Introducing Sara Maria Hasbun Sara Maria Hasbun is the founder and Managing Director of Meridian Linguistics, a linguistic consulting firm that offers translation and other language services to global businesses. Their linguists and translators work remotely from all over the world. Sara Maria is American, but currently based in South Korea. She also recently started a blog and YouTube channel (Misslinguistic) in which she chronicles her adventures in extreme language learning;…