Marja-Leena Rathje
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the Finnish language

A talk about the Finnish language

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dying languages & technology

I've written before about my interest in the loss of minority languages around the world. The dominance of the English language on the internet and in popular entertainment is just one factor that is blamed, but here is a... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 30/07/2011 | 24 comments
themes: Culture, Ethnicity, Linguistics


language and place

Being an immigrant and interested in how language, culture and place affect us as individuals and as societies, a couple of months ago I became intrigued by the >Language > Place blog carnival. Edition 4 is now up, hosted by... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 28/02/2011 | 2 comments
themes: Culture, History, Linguistics


Euro language

A chuckle and a relief from flower photos... something I found at the bottom of my email inbox from three years ago when housecleaning...source unknown. Enjoy!     The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 18/02/2010 | 15 comments
themes: Linguistics, Neat stuff


an English-Finnish dictionary




an immigrant's tool, an almost-bible, a book of days...

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Marja-Leena | 29/07/2008 | 25 comments
themes: Being an Artist, Found Objects, History, Linguistics, Photoworks


dying languages

Image credit: Enduring Voices Project Finnish was my first language. I was five years old when my family emigrated to Canada. Arriving in Winnipeg, I was promptly placed in school, not knowing a word of English. Now that was... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/09/2007 | 6 comments
themes: Culture, Ethnicity, History, Linguistics



I've recently come across some great links on a couple of interesting subjects - the first an important environmental story and the second a fascinating linguistic and ethnological one. 1. At Biodynamic Farming and Gardening I found out about a... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 10/04/2007 | 4 comments
themes: Culture, Current Events, Environment, Ethnicity, Linguistics


language leak

I must still be thinking about accents and language and identity because this article caught my eye and really struck a chord. A study says that languages 'leak' into each other in subtle ways: While linguistics experts are reluctant to... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 20/08/2005 | 6 comments
themes: Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Linguistics



Artist Karen D'Amico of fluid thinking** wrote about how her accent betrays her roots even after 15 years in her new country. It got her "thinking about the notion of accent as a marker for identity." This subject always fascinates... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 16/08/2005 | 1 comment
themes: Being an Artist, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric, Linguistics


more about Elvish

Shelley at Burningbird wrote this about a Guide to Elvish**: "If you're a Tolkien fan, or interested in linguistics, David Salo's new book on the linguistics of Elvish, Gateway to Sindarin, A Grammar of an Elvish Language from J.... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 23/11/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Books, Linguistics


World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples

"Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, will host the Fourth World Congress of Finno-Ugric Peoples from 15-19 August 2004. The theme of the congress is "The Youth Is Our Future" and it will bring together approximately seven hundred delegates, observers and... [Continue Reading...]

preserving languages

Recently NewScientist published an interview of linguist Alexandra Aikhenvald. Here are some excerpts : "Imagine how different politics would be if debates were conducted in Tariana, an Amazonian language in which it is a grammatical error to report something... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 16/03/2004 | 2 comments
themes: Ethnicity, Folk Legends & Myths, Linguistics



The Lord of the Rings mania has hit the schools! BBC has an amusing article "Do you speak Elf?", about Birmingham schoolboys who have volunteered for lessons in Sindarin, the "conversational" form of Elvish, invented by Lord of the... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 04/03/2004 | be the first to comment
themes: Films, Folk Legends & Myths, Linguistics


The Telling of Tales

At Pericat, a blog that I enjoy looking at as well as reading, I noticed a link for the Kalevala. My curiosity made me write in and inquire "how come?" Pericat wrote a beautiful and moving response as an... [Continue Reading...]

Marja-Leena | 23/02/2004 | 2 comments
themes: Folk Legends & Myths, Linguistics


KALEVALA and The Lord of the Rings

As a Finnish-Canadian artist, I am drawn to learning more about the very ancient roots of my family in the Old World. In writing about these discoveries on this weblog, I hope to share some of these with other... [Continue Reading...]