Language

Navajo Nation Changes Language Law

Oct 27, 2014

In the space of a few months, the quest for one candidate to become the next Navajo Nation president has become intertwined with the changing culture of Indian Country. It has turned into what could be described as a political thriller with a distinctly Navajo hue.

Suzette Grillot and Joshua Landis discuss the turmoil in Iraq caused by ISIS. Rebecca Cruise reports on state of Ukraine and its possible cease fire with Russia.

Later in the program, an interview with Boston College Near East Historian and political scientist Franck Salameh about the many dialects of Arabic and the future of teaching it.

Arabic Keyboard
Francesco_G / Flickr Creative Commons

The beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by the radical group the Islamic State, and continued tensions in Gaza reignite long-standing questions about why there’s so much tumult in the region.

Suzette Grillot talks with University of Oklahoma junior Amanda Tomlinson about the speech in Arabic she gave at the United Nations General Assembly this summer and the importance of multilingualism.

Later in the program, an interview with Pakistani actor Iqbal Theba about his role on the TV show Glee, and the role of race in the entertainment industry.

Amanda Tomlinson speaks before the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations

On June 27, the winners of the “Many Languages, One World” contest sponsored by the United Nations presented their essays to the General Assembly. Out of almost 1,500 students worldwide who took part in the contest, 60 were chosen; including University of Oklahoma student Amanda Tomlinson.

The contest required an essay written in one of the six official languages of the UN: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish – any language except the native tongue of the author.

Every year the world’s major dictionaries unveil their new offerings, adding words that reflect new trends, technologies and fads. But Scrabble has long been a bastion of tradition.

Scrabble dictionaries are updated only every five to 10 years, and words vying for a coveted position between “aa” (a pointy rock found in Hawaii) and “zyme” (something that causes zymotic disease), must first go through an exhaustive process. That is, until this week.

Ana Noshpal

Even though parts of Oklahoma were known as Indian Territory in the 19th and early 20th centuries, today only a few thousand citizens speak the Creek language. University of Oklahoma Creek instructor Gloria McCarty and her family are a few of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject.