The Power of Poetry: Resisting Injustice with Language gathers poems from many languages that address five themes: Authoritariamism, Colonialism, Economics, Gender, and Identity/Ethnicity. VIEW THE EXHIBIT
This project grew out of a request for multilingual storytelling as part of the Gaithersburg, Maryland Book Festival. The idea was for individuals to share their love of language by telling children’s stories in a variety of languages. Since that event has gone virtual, we have begun to collect audio and video stories in many languages to share with you. VIEW THE EXHIBIT
Have you heard of the Dictionary of American Regional English? Called “DARE” by those who know it well, DARE is a six-volume reference work that documents words, phrases, and pronunciations that vary from one place to another place across the United States.
The National Museum of Language is happy to partner with The Dictionary of American English(DARE) to present a virtual exploration of how data was collected for the dictionary. VIEW THE EXHIBIT
Read and listen to the story of Arthur the Rat. This short tale was used to obtain phonetic representation from throughout the country of all phonemes in American English. Recordings were made of DARE informants from all over the United States reading this passage when fieldwork for DARE was being carried out from 1965-70.
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The Philogelos, typically translated as “the joker” or “the one who loves laughter”, is an ancient Greek collection of approximately 265 jokes. Dating to the 4th or 5th century CE, it typically bears the title of the world’s oldest surviving collection of jokes. NML Associate and Latin teacher Linda Thompson created these cartoons from the collection. VIEW THE EXHIBIT
This exhibit highlights aspects of the development of American English at a critical time in its history – a time when many Americans, for the first time, began to think of their language as a language in its own right, and not a mere loan product from England. The War of 1812 forged a new American identity in many respects. By the end of it, Americans felt themselves to be finally completely free of their European colonial masters, and ready to forge a new and unique nation, using its own words. VIEW THE EXHIBIT
There are over 2 million “francophones” in the United States, that is, those who speak French at home or otherwise strongly identify with the language and culture. It is the first or second language of about 10 million people in the Americas, even excluding those who speak French-based creole languages. VIEW THE EXHIBIT