This is my primary blog and I run a few others, including queerandpresentdangr (angry political blogging) and veritablevoyage (feminism. fandom. random.).

Now, then. This blog: Power, political language usage, language learning, multilingualism, sociolinguistics, frame narrative, language lols.

I'm a native English speaker and a fluent French speaker. My Spanish and German are both basic at best. (They will probably stay that way until I take a class, b/c I'm awful with self-motivation).

Anyway, find me on Duolingo @ veritablevoyage!








This is the best thing I will ever attribute to this website and I get nothing

James = Diego?


Usually with Spanish names you can easily figure out the English equivalent: John/Juan, Robert/Roberto, Mary/María, but the Spanish version of “James” is usually given as “Diego.”


So it goes like this: the Hebrew origin of the name “Jacob” is usually given as Ya’akov.  This got Hellenized as Iakobos, which became Iacobus in Latin.  A variant of this was Iacomus.  (Iacobus and Iacomus are the origin of Italian Giacobo and Giacomo, respectively).


1. Iacomus got shortened to James in French, and then passed to English.

2. Iacomus/Iacobus got shorted to Yaco or Yago in early Spanish, and “Saint James” was Sant Yago, which got reanalyzed to San Tyago or San Tiago (as in Santiago, Chile), and later San Diego.

So yes, Diego = James and both of them = Jake or Jacob.

Looking to follow other linguists


I’m currently studying a few languages and I’m interested in finding other linguists and omniglots here on Tumblr.

Please reblog this if you are a linguist, study languages, or are multilingual and I’ll follow you!

The backstage language of human behaviour


Throughout Western society there tends to be one informal or backstage language of behaviour, and another language of behaviour for occasions when a performance is being presented. The backstage language consists of reciprocal first-naming, cooperative decision-making, profanity, open sexual remarks, elaborate griping, smoking, rough informal dress, ‘sloppy’ sitting and standing posture, use of dialect or sub-standard speech, mumbling and shouting, playful aggressivity and ‘kidding’, inconsiderateness for the other in minor but potentially symbolic acts, minor physical self-involvements such as humming, whistling, chewing, belching, and flatulence. The frontstage behaviour language can be taken as the absence (and in some sense the opposite) of this.

Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959)

“L’amitié était un choix où elle s’engageait tout entière; elle s’y livrait absolument, et comme je ne l’ai fait qu’à l’amour. Elle m’a connu mieux que personne; je lui ai laissé voir ce que j’ai soigneusement dissimulé à tout autre : par exemple, de secrètes lâchetés. J’aime à croire que, de son côté, elle ne m’a presque rien tu. L’intimité des corps, qui n’exista jamais entre nous, a été compensée par ce contact de deux esprits étroitement mêlés l’un à l’autre.”

Hadrien, Mémoires d’Hadrien de Marguerite Yourcenar

Friendship was a choice to which she devoted her whole being; she gave herself to it utterly, and as I have done only to my loves. She has known me better than anyone has; I have let her see what I carefully concealed from everyone else; for example, my secret lapses into cowardice. I like to think that on her side she has kept almost nothing from me. No bodily intimacy ever existed between us; in its place was this contact of two minds closely intermingled.

(via yet-we-will-make-him-run)

The recognition that immersion in Gaelic Medium education works, as demonstrated by its steady popularity and growth (with no detriment to the child’s fluency in English), should be seized on by education departments where there is a Scots language tradition, to establish similar schools in their areas. Every Gaelic medium school should have introductory classes in Scots, and vice versa.

The languages of immigrant communities should also be introduced to such schools. There can scarcely be a community in Scotland that doesn’t have families of Bengali or Cantonese origins, and our Polish communities, making a significant contribution in so many other ways, could also contribute. Invite such people into every primary school in Scotland. Children’s brains are great, largely empty, sponges, well able to absorb a rich blend of linguistic fluids. There are many much less economically developed societies than ours that take multilingualism for granted. Let Scotland also show willing.

- Aonghas MacNeacail (via selchieproductions)
“Your voice sounds completely different in different languages. It alters your personality somehow. I don’t think people get the same feeling from you. The rhythm changes. Because the rhythm of the language is different, it changes your inner rhythm and that changes how you process everything.

When I hear myself speak French, I look at myself differently. Certain aspects will feel closer to the way I feel or the way I am and others won’t. I like that—to tour different sides of yourself. I often find when looking at people who are comfortable in many languages, they’re more comfortable talking about emotional stuff in a certain language or political stuff in another and that’s really interesting, how people relate to those languages.”
- Francois Arnaud for Interview Magazine (via iraplastic)
Anonymous asked: Is there a way that you would advise to learn Spanish conversation and vocabulary if you aren't exposed to a a Spanish speaker daily? My teacher has told me to read a book and watch a show, but I just do not know where to begin. Could you give me a few suggestions?



Otherwise there are penpal sites that would be very useful.