Discover: Languages

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Language Inspired Art

One Blue House, painting by Charlotte Hutson-Wrenn

'One Blue House' by Charlotte Hutson-Wrenn

'One Blue House', an oil on canvas by Charlotte Hutson-Wrenn of Edisto Island. The artist says the Gullah influence “is rich and deep across many genres.”

Linguists say Gullah began in the Western Hemisphere as a mixture of West African languages and English, but today is regarded as a Creole tongue, a language in and of itself.

In the Lowcountry, Gullah, the rich patois of the Sea Islands, might seem to be in decline. As little as 25 years ago, one heard Gullah (or variations thereof) spoken almost every day in the streets of Charleston. Today, many must seek it out.

Read more on this fascinating languge.

Script drawings by Venantius Pinto

Tocharian letter paintings

Tocharian letter paintings

Tocharian letter paintings
Tocharian Letter Paintings

Armaic letters Ayin and Samek

Aramaic letters Ayin and Samek

Armaic letters Dalet and Qop

Aramaic letters Dalet and Qop

Armaic letters Waw and He

Aramaic letters Waw and He

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The Tocharian Language

Tocharian is an extinct Indo-European language which stands by itself as one of the eleven major groups in the Indo-European language family. It was not discovered until the turn of this century, as a result of archaeological expeditions to Chinese Turkestan.

The Aramaic Language

Aramaic is one of the Semitic languages, an important group of languages known almost from the beginning of human history and including also Arabic, Hebrew, Ethiopic, and Akkadian (ancient Babylonian and Assyrian). It is particularly closely related to Hebrew, and was written in a variety of alphabetic scripts. (What is usually called "Hebrew" script is actually an Aramaic script).

Fascinating Language Facts

  • There are more than 2,700 languages in the world. In addition, there are more than 7,000 dialects. A dialect is a regional variety of a language that has a different pronunciation, vocabulary, or meaning.
  • The most difficult language to learn is Basque, which is spoken in northwestern Spain and southwestern France. It is not related to any other language in the world. It has an extremely complicated word structure and vocabulary.
  • All pilots on international flights identify themselves in English.
  • Somalia is the only African country in which the entire population speaks the same language, Somali.
  • The language in which a government conducts business is the official language of that country.
  • More than 1,000 different languages are spoken on the continent of Africa.
  • Many languages in Africa include a “click” sound that is pronounced at the same time as other sounds. You must learn these languages in childhood to do it properly.

Employers value Language Skills

  • Research has shown that using language skills in business opens the door to a wide range of economic, social and personal benefits
  • 74% of employers are looking to employ people with conversational language skills
  • Customers addressed in their mother tongue are much more likely to do business with you
  • Studying a foreign language improves your oral and written skills in English too, and also helps develop key communication skills that are crucial in the workplace.

New Languages in a Globalised Workplace

  • Firms establishing business in growing economies have an increasing need for speakers of Mandarin, Cantonese and Russian
  • 15% of employers are looking for people familiar with the Arabic language and culture
  • Many firms wanting to develop a commercial presence in Brazil need Portuguese speakers
  • Whilst French and German are still the most sought-after languages, Spanish is increasingly valued by firms trading with Spain and Latin America