The Ethnic Aisle

The Tongues Issue

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Courtesy of Gemma Bou,

Tongues are funny things. Most of what makes up the tongue is invisible—and much of what we use tongues for is similarly ineffable: to taste; to speak; to kiss; and.. other things we’ll tell you about when you’re older.

But somewhere in that fuzzy mix of taste, language, and sensuality is culture itself. At the tip of the tongue is where both the impossibility of translation and the ecstasy of mutuality are found. So here in the Ethnic Aisle’s “Tongue Issue”, we’re all about that most sensitive of organs, and how it stands for how we communicate and connect. Follow along why dontcha’?

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Here are Kelli Korducki and Chantal Braganza with Goodbye, Mother Tongue, a look at the loss of bilingualism, and the many benefits that come with speaking more than one language.

Helen Mo ruminates on the experience of taking Chinese classes and seeing many when before there only seemed to be one.

Would you dirty talk in your mother tongue? That’s what Bhairavi Thanki’s asking.

Can you translate the erotic? Tiana Reid examines the theatre of “pussy talk”.

Jaime Woo takes a look at how foreign names can be turned into jokes and the very real negative effects that can have.

Sam Tecle wants a new agenda for TVO’s The Agenda: to make accents boring.

 

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