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!
Anonymous asked: How hard was it to learn Slovene?



so hard









Fun fact: the Polish word for a “tip” is “napiwek” which literally means “for-beer”. As in “have some money to buy yourself a beer…



'how long can i hold a conversation with this person before they realise that i'm english and start talking to me in english instead?' is a fun game to play in any country with a different language to your native one

"bonsoir, pouviez-vous m—"

"toilets are down the stairs on the left miss"



when you have a conversation with someone fluent in your foreign language and you make a lot of mistakes and it’s like


take me back

i can do better than this, i swear 

Gender Neutral Spanish


Hola Spanish friends:

So, something that’s been bouncing around my head for a while is if it’s possible to use spanish in a nongendering way.  I’m totally not talking about not using grammatical gender (like la mesa), but restricting it to animate nouns (people, to be more blunt).

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The authority you need here to coin a word is gonna be a dictionary, and before we talk about how to get into one, we need to deconstruct the idea of what a dictionary is. Which may seem a little dumb, but I promise you, most lexicographers (dictionary-writers) have exactly the opposite view on language than people think they do.

Dictionaries are mostly used by prescriptivists, that is, people looking for the One True Spelling (or Meaning) of a particular word. The dictionary is correct and flawless and complete, and deviations from it are by definition (heh) wrong. Hence the idea that any word not in the dictionary is not a “real” word.

But dictonaries are mostly made by descriptivists. Rather than prescribing correct usages and spellings, lexicographers are describing the language as they find it. They take in thousands of examples of words in use, whether from well-established academic texts or from awesome pop song mashups, and try to write a definition that covers those usages. And since people are constantly using language in new ways, the dictionary is never complete and never totally correct.


The Language Nerd, on “To Coin a Phrase”

Came across a blog with some nice, concise posts about language and linguistics. Check it out

(via madmaudlingoes)
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finnish tongue twisters of doom

18589 Plays




finnish tongue twisters, yo.

translations for your amusement:

  • Yksikseskös yskiskelet, itsekseskös itkeskelet, yksikseskös istuskelet, itkeskellen yskiskelet. Are you coughing alone, crying by yourself, sitting alone, coughing while crying?
  • "Kas vain!" sanoi kasvain, ja kasvoi vain. Vain kasvain voi kasvaa noin vain. "Well, well!" said a tumor, and kept on growing. Only a tumor can get bigger just like that.
  • Vesihiisi sihisi hississä. The water goblin hissed in an elevator.
  • Vasta vastaa vasta vastaavasta vastavastaavasta. The bath whisk answers only for the respective person responsible for the bath whisk.
  • Keksijä Keksi keksi keksin. Keksittyään keksin keksijä Keksi keksi keksin keksityksi Inventor Cookie invented the cookie. After inventor Cookie had invented the cookie, he invented that the cookie was invented.
  • Appilan pappilan apupapin papupata. The bean casserole of the deacon of the rectory of Appila (name of place or “the father-in-law’s home”).
  • Piukka paikka, peikko: paukkupuikko poikki. It’s a tough situation, troll: the bang stick is broken.
  • Kokoa kokoon koko kokko! Koko kokkoko? Koko kokko. Gather up a full bonfire! A full bonfire? A full bonfire.

i’m so happy to be Finnish because if I had to learn to speak the language I probably wouldn’t

  • My German Teacher (in German): We have an observer here today but he doesn’t speak any German so we can talk about him and how stupid his tie is.


"And then I saw her face" gets a whole new meaning when you read it in present tense


Slurs are not oppressive because they are offensive, they are oppressive  because slurs by nature of being slurs draw upon certain power dynamics  to remind their target of his/her/their vulnerability in a certain relation to power and as an extension of that, to threaten violence and exploitation of that vulnerability.