Welcome to the Much Language Such Talk podcast! We love languages and know everyone has a connection to the language or languages(!) they speak. Here we’re going to talk about the benefits of learning new languages and what it means for you, your brain, and the world!
[Carine:] Hello everybody! Welcome to the introduction of the Bilingualism Matters podcast, titled
[Brittany:] MUCH LANGUAGE
[Eva-Maria:] SUCH TALK
[Brittany:] In this podcast, we will be talking about ALL the aspects of bi- and multilingualism. Languages are universal and everyone has a story to tell about language. Languages are fun, languages can be political, languages tell us more about who we are as individuals, but also as a community, as country or even as a species.
[Eva-Maria:] That’s why we thought that the world needs yet another podcast – to discuss all of that and more. But first, since you have no idea who you’re listening to, let us introduce ourselves.
[Carine:] Hello, my name is Carine. I am a PhD student in Linguistics the University of Edinburgh (UoE). I research how people understand ambiguity in their second language when reading and listening. I speak Hebrew, Finnish, English, Japanese, and I can sign a little bit of American Sign Language
[Brittany:] Hello my name is Brittany, I am also a PhD in Psychology at UoE. I study Human cognitive neuroscience, which is just a lot of words, and I am interested in language learning as an intervention to cognitive aging and dementia, as well as language changes in multilingual people in later life. It’s never too late to learn a language! I speak, English, French and I’m learning Español.
[Eva-Maria:] Hi I’m Eva-Maria, I am a PhD student in Linguistics as well, studying trilingualism. I am interested in how the languages you speak interact with other, and how individual differences such as language attitudes or even language aptitude influence that process. I’m also interested in language policies and language protection. And I can’t wait to convince all of you to learn all of the languages. I myself speak German, English and Dutch, and a bit of Plattdeutsch and un petit peu de francais (but don’t tell my Flatmate)
[Brittany:] …because she’s French
[Eva-Maria:] All three of us are volunteers at Bilingualism Matters, a research and information centre about bilingualism at the University of Edinburgh. Bilingualism Matters was founded in 2008 by Professor Antonella Sorace, who our volunteers…
[Eva-Maria:] …and Jessica will be interviewing in the next episode, so stay tuned for that! Antonella will talk about the idea behind the research centre, its main goals and what Bilingualism Matters has accomplished in the last 12 years.
[Carine:] Bilingualism Matters aims to communicate research to a wider audience to raise awareness of the benefits of learning languages and to break the stigma of bilingualism. Which is why we came up with the idea for a podcast.
[Brittany:] Bilingualism Matters provides information and support to empower families raising bilingual kids, people who no longer live in their native language environment, people who want to learn new languages, and those who are interested in languages in general. We provide talks, workshops, and support on various language projects and issues.
[Eva-Maria:] We have several branches throughout the world, 26 across 15 countries, from California to Hong Kong! And hopefully we can introduce you to all the branches individually, as they all work on different aspects of bilingualism, and their expertise often ties into the local situation of the branch, so there is lots to discuss!
[Brittany:] At the Edinburgh branch, there are two members of staff, Kat and Christy who we will interview in a later episode, but most of our members are volunteers, such as us. In future episodes, you’ll be hearing from either me
[Brittany:] or Eva-Maria, as well as various other volunteers. We will interview people that work with bilingualism in different fields and from different perspectives, such as speech and language therapists, parents, teachers and researchers.
[Carine:] In our interviews we will be covering topics such as how language changes throughout one’s life
[Brittany:] how languages change
[Eva-Maria:] how we learn languages at different ages,
[Carine:] bilingualism and language disorders
[Brittany:] language identity and culture
[Eva-Maria:] and many many more.
[Carine:] We will announce the topic for an upcoming episode on our social media channels, AT bilingmatters on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, so you can send us your questions that we can then address in the episode. You can also send us any question you might have or suggestions for topics to our email address which is firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Brittany:] And now, just to give you a glimpse of what we might be talking about on this podcast:
[Carine:] Did you know?
[Eva-Maria:] Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world
[Carine:] Did you know?
[Brittany:] English is the most popular second language
[Carine:] Did you know?
[Eva-Maria:] 60% of the world is bi or multilingual, the other 40% are mostly found in English speaking countries. Languages change from contact with other languages, which is normal and is nothing to be scared of
[Carine:] So, are you as excited as we are to talk about languages on this podcast?
[Eva-Maria:] Before we go, one last thing: none of this would be possible without the help of our wonderful volunteers, and our dear friend Theresa from Berlin who designed our logo. Thank you guys so much!
[Carine:] That’s it for now! We are not going to say much more as our next episode will introduce you to Bilingualism Matters in more detail, but you can always find us on social media or check out our website.
[Brittany:] Thanks for listening to the introductory episode of Much Language, Such Talk. The first episode will air on October 1st , this upcoming Thursday, and after that we will release new episodes every two weeks, so watch this space!
Stay tuned for the many riveting episodes to come! As Carine said: Follow us on our social media, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bilingmatters to keep in touch and stay up to date!
Until next time! Adios! (Spanish)
[Carine:] Shalom! (Hebrew)
[Eva-Maria:] Tschüss! (German)