Language

5:20am

Tue June 4, 2013
Europe

Longest Word In German Has Been Retired

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 6:10 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

German spelling bees are about to get easier. The language's longest word has been retired. Its 63 letters long so we'll let YouTube's words German channel say it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Rindfleischetikettierungsuberwachungsaufgabenubertragungsgesetz.

MONTAGNE: One word, the definition: A law concerning the delegation of duties for the supervision of cattle marking and the labeling of beef. The law is outdated, so officials are saying auf wiedersehen.

Read more

6:34am

Fri May 31, 2013
U.S.

Spelling Bee Winner Conquers 'German Curse'

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 3:37 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A 13-year-old from Queens won the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night. He correctly spelled a Yiddish word of German origin meaning dumpling.

(SOUNDBITE OF SCRIPPS NATIONAL SPELLING BEE)

ARVIND MAHANKALI: Knaidel. K-N-A-I-D-E-L. Knaidel.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You are correct.

Read more
Tags: 

3:51pm

Thu May 30, 2013
The Two-Way

A Kiss Is But A Kiss, But To French Kiss Is 'Galocher'

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:29 pm

French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault kisses his wife, actress Salma Hayek, in Paris in 2009.
Francois Mori AP

It might come as a surprise that for centuries the French have been sans a term for "French kiss."

But, voila! The newest edition of the Petit Robert 2014 dictionary has rectified that with a new verb — "galocher," meaning "to kiss with tongues." It's a clever derivation of la galoche, a word for an ice-skating boot, and so evokes the idea of sliding around the ice — or the lips and tongue.

Read more
Tags: 

8:54am

Sat May 25, 2013
Europe

War Of Words: France Debates Teaching Courses In English

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:13 pm

Demonstrators in Paris protest Thursday against a measure to teach more university courses in English.
Jacques Demarthon AFP/Getty Images

Will teaching in English at France's universities undermine the French language? That's up for debate in the country now, and the argument is heated.

The lower house of parliament approved a measure Thursday that would allow courses to be taught in English, something that is currently against the law.

Those in favor of the proposal say it will attract more international students and improve English language skills of French students. But opponents say the move will only impoverish and marginalize the country's tongue.

Read more

5:35am

Thu May 23, 2013
The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays

Living In Two Worlds, But With Just One Language

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 10:24 pm

Elysha O'Brien and her husband, Michael, with their sons. Elysha never learned Spanish but is determined that her children will.
Courtesy of the O'Brien family

NPR continues its conversations about The Race Card Project, where NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris asks people to send in six-word stories about race and culture. The submissions are personal, provocative and often quite candid.

Read more

Pages