Four school students, two girls and two boys, standing with their backs to the camera, facing the chalkboard in front of them and writing Chinese letters into boxes drawn on the board to learn the Chinese writing system.
Communication

Some Dialects Are Actually Distinct Languages

September 26, 2020

Typically, when we say ‘x’ is a dialect of ‘y’, it means that ‘x’ is quite similar to the language ‘y’. The reason why we consider ‘x’ to be quite similar to the language ‘y’ is that the writing system is the same. Sometimes, what appears to be a dialect is actually a different language. […]

Flags of Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark (left to right) fluttering on poles, with a cloud filled, slightly overcast sky in the background.
Communication

Why Are Similar Languages Often Known by Different Names?

September 26, 2020

In our ordinary daily experiences, such as while watching a TV show or speaking to someone at a convenience store, we hear words in different languages that seem almost the same as the words in our own language. However, the names of the languages are different. […]

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