Language

Sign of the Times

Speech, rather than hearing, has been at the heart of the long history of deaf exclusion.

Easy as ABC

What were the origins of the alphabet, before the Greeks?

Explicit Content

Rude words are a constant, but their ability to cause offence is in flux. Historians should know their flim-flam from their fiddle-faddle

Learning Japanese

Official secrecy and institutional rivalry obscured the achievements of two crash programmes hastily launched to teach Japanese during the Second World War. 

The Invention of Chinese

Believing language would unify their struggling nation, Chinese officials began a project to create a national language and define what it meant to speak Chinese. 

Making Massacre

A Dutch conspiracy trial in the Indonesian archipelago gave birth to a sadly enduring English word.