The Jews in India

Sep 4, 2015 by

[This post was originally published in July 2012] My previous post discussed African groups claiming Jewish descent; in this post we consider Jewish groups from India, home to five Jewish groups of different antiquity, speaking...

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Kusunda, a language like no other?

May 25, 2012 by

Kusunda is a dying isolate language. Gyani Maiya Sen, a 75-year-old woman from western Nepal, is its last known speaker. There are some 100-160 people in the Kusunda tribe, and some of them know a few words of the language, but...

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Burushaski, an un-exotic "orphan" language

Aug 19, 2011 by

Burushaski’s claim to fame is its isolate status. Put simply, it is not related to any other human language on the planet. It is spoken by some 55,000-60,000 people (called Burusho) in the Hunza-Nagar area and the Yasin area in...

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Translating from Hindi to Urdu

Jan 7, 2011 by

There is an insider joke among my translator-friends: we refer to boring, non-creative and sometimes pointless translation assignments as “translating from Hindi to Urdu”. Of course, the joke is that Hindi and Urdu are...

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The goddess of English

Jan 5, 2011 by

While English is not — and most likely will never be — the official language in the United States, it plays that role in many other countries in Africa and Asia, even where it is not the most widely spoken language. One...

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A new language discovered in India!

Oct 7, 2010 by

The recent report of a new language being discovered in the remote northeast corner of India highlights several important points. First, the realization that Koro, this newly discovered language, is not just a dialect of previously...

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