Friday, May 27, 2011

Enrique Iglesias – sticking to his Spanish roots

Spanish superstar Enrique Iglesias has steadily become one of music world’s top-selling artists, and has gained a reputation not just for his extraordinary musical ability, but also for his consistent incorporation of the Spanish language into his lyrics.

Born in Madrid, Spain as the youngest child of well-known Latin singer Julio Iglesias, Enrique was essentially raised in the United States, and educated in English. However, unlike many young immigrants who often unconsciously replace one mother tongue language for another, Enrique maintained a strong link to his Spanish ancestry.

Using the language often within his early musical work, this decision paid off in more ways than one. His debut album, entitled ‘Enrique Iglesias’, performed exceptionally well, and record sales were astronomically high for an album recorded in a language other than English. This success has followed the singer throughout his career, and Enrique Iglesias is now one of the biggest sellers of Spanish language albums in history of music. He has also maintained a fiercely loyal Spanish fan-base that has allowed him to hold the record on Billboard’s ‘Hot Latin Tracks’ for producing the most number one singles (Spanish-language). In addition, he is the recipient of 11 Billboard Latin Music Awards, essentially positioning him as the king of Latin pop music.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

South Africa: Dialects of identity

By: Samantha Cook

In a world where linguistic communities and cultures are part of a constant cycle of evolution, language is never a static concept but rather a constant revision of itself as it travels through different regions, societies and time periods.

As a result, the term ‘dialect’ has become vitally important in the description of the language variants that are a by-product of this evolutionary cycle. Despite their similar connotations, ‘language’ and ‘dialect’ are exceedingly different concepts. ‘Language’ is fundamentally a system of words, their behaviors and their collectively-understood meanings, and is often defined by national and cultural borders (e.g.: Spanish, Chinese and Japanese). ‘Dialect’ rather refers to a state of mutual intelligibility, whereby two speakers are able to understand each other, but are not necessarily adhering to the same language system and grammatical rules. Therefore, whilst understanding is not usually possible between speakers of different languages, it is entirely possible between speakers of the same language, but different dialects.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Difference Between Language and Dialect: The Philippines’ Illustration

In linguistic perspective, there really is no clear-cut distinction between language and dialect. Most experts say the terms “dialect” and “language” are very much influenced politically and socially. Institutions decide on which language is declared national, while society based on regional affiliations also claims dialect variation as languages in their own right.

In the Philippine’s case, Filipino is the national language. However, a lot of people in different regions within the country also think that their “dialects” are different languages as well.