The Telegraph August 19, 2014
100 novels everyone should read
The best novels of all time from Tolkien to Proust and Middlemarch
The New York Times August 8, 2014
Soviet Valor, Revised for the '50s
Context is everything, comrade - to use a word carefully expunged from the soundtrack of Lewis Milestone's 1943 "The North Star" when this wartime extravaganza was rereleased 14 years later, recut and retitled "Armored Attack!"..
The Guardian August 5, 2014
The art of standup in a second language
Eddie Izzard has done it in French, German, Spanish, Russian and Arabic. But are the jokes essentially the same - and do foreign comedians at Edinburgh get lost in translation?..
The New Yorker August 4, 2014
The most important mystery of ancient Egypt concerned the annual inundation of the Nile floodplain. The calendar was divided into three seasons linked to the river and the agricultural cycle it determined: akhet, or the inundation; peret, the growing season; and shemu, the harvest...
The Financial Times July 18, 2014
Coffee time beats the daily grind
Coffee shops have been the birthplace of political revolutions, artistic movements and Harry Potter. Moshi Monsters were created in them, Barack Obama wrote his first presidential...
The Financial Times July 14, 2014
Can books cross borders?
Is it in any way "important" to read writers from our own country? Is there even any real difference in reading a book from home and a book from abroad...
The Financial Times July 14, 2014
The evolution of colour photography in modern Russia
In the digital age, when a smartphone can capture an image and send it across the world instantaneously, it is easy to forget the power the colour photograph once exerted. In few countries was that as true as the Soviet Union...
The Telegraph July 4, 2014
Sherlock and Moriarty to return as the truth behind #221back is revealed
Sherlock and Moriarty are to return in 2015, the BBC have announced after a series of tantalising social media posts...
The Telegraph July 3, 2014
How to apologise (and sound like you really mean it)
Luis Suarez is the latest public figure to deliver an unconvincing apology, so how do you say sorry in a genuine, believable way? We asked the experts...
The New York Times July 2, 2014
Americans Think We Have the World's Best Colleges. We Don't.
Americans have a split vision of education. Conventional wisdom has long held that our K-12 schools are mediocre or worse, while our colleges and universities are world class. While policy wonks hotly debate K-12 reform ideas like vouchers and the Common Core state standards, higher education is largely left to its own devices...
The New York Times June 23, 2014
A Freelance Career, Found in Translation
In reality, of course, subtitlers try to be a little more unobtrusive. Their work is visible from the first moment someone speaks, but the better the subtitlers, the less we notice what they've done. They do actually exist, however,...
FT Magazine June 17, 2014
Football teams that hold nations together
The political leaders of all 32 nations competing in the World Cup will be praying for a good performance from their national side. With the possible exception of Barack Obama, they can confidently expect to bask in any success achieved on the playing fields of Brazil...
FT Magazine June 16, 2014
Spot the difference
The news that a computer has managed to simulate the conversation of a 13-year-old boy is being seen as a significant milestone in the progress of artificial intelligence. It is known as the Turing test and in recent experiments at the Royal Society, the computer program became the first to pass by fooling a third of the judges into thinking they were talking to a Ukrainian teenager named Eugene Goostman...
FT Magazine June 15, 2014
Francis: a pitch-perfect Pope
For a nine-year-old boy in lower-middle-class Buenos Aires in 1946, there were three towering influences: the Catholic church, Argentina's new president, Juan Domingo Perón, and football...
FT Magazine June 10, 2014
Soccer chat cheat sheet
We've got our free wall charts from the Sunday papers. The spawn have their Panini sticker books and the endless TV shows mean that I already know the 50 greatest World Cup moments; the 40 greatest World Cup goals; the 20 best World Cup teams and England's one greatest World...
The Telegraph June 4, 2014
The CV might be dead. But what's replacing it? - The boss's view
The traditional CV and cover letter are dying out, especially in creative industries. Boss Joesphine Fairley considers what's replacing them - and spills the beans on what employers really want.
The Financial Times June 2, 2014
The Rise of the Global Capital
It was one of those paceless mornings that make Amsterdam so agreeable. A friend and I were sitting in a dinky café on a canal, armed with good coffee, aimlessly leafing through...
The Guardian June 2, 2014
Microsoft's 'Star Trek' voice translator available before the end 2014
For Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise, seeking out new life and new civilisations wouldn't have been much use without a universal translator to deal with new languages too. Fortunately for the denizens of the 23rd century, Microsoft has begun making...
The Guardian May 23, 2014
Cannes 2014 review: Leviathan - a new Russian masterpiece
Andrei Zvyagintsev's Leviathan is a sober and compelling tragic drama of corruption and intimidation in contemporary Russia, set in a desolate widescreen panorama. This is a movie which seems to be influenced by the Old Testament and Elia Kazan; it starts off looking like a reasonably scaled drama about a little guy taking on big government...
The Guardian May 20, 2014
Classics question: when does a novel gain this status?
At the first bookstore I worked in, The Great Gatsby wasn't a classic. Fitzgerald slugged it out in general fiction, side by side with Faulks and Fleming. Fleming wasn't even in crime and thrillers; no, James Bond languished in...
The Guardian May 12, 2014
How to talk to strangers
Read our guide and then fearlessly sally forth into party season.
The Financial Times May 11, 2014
Only connect, but do it in person
In recent months, Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford university, has been inflicting pain on volunteers as part of an experiment in cognitive development. These pain tests come with a twist. Some of the volunteers have suffered...
The Financial Times May 10, 2014
Game of two halves: the ugly side of Brazilian football
In 1958 a Brazilian team starring the black teenager Pelé and several other dark-skinned players won the country's first World Cup. After the victory, wrote the playwright Nelson Rodrigues, "I saw a small black woman. She was the typical slum dweller. But the Brazilian triumph transformed her. She..."
The Financial Times May 5, 2014
Reasserting Russia's literary status
Once upon a time it was the greatest literature in the world. When William Faulkner was asked to name the three best novels of all time, he cited the book Dostoevsky described as "flawless": "Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina."
The New York Times April 14, 2014
In California, Saving a Language That Predates Spanish and English
Sitting in a circle in a classroom at Eureka High School here, Tenayah Norris and a half-dozen other students were learning how to express direction in Yurok, a Native American language that nearly became extinct a few years ago. Growing up on...
Wired April 8, 2014
Mark Vanderbeeken: The English Language Innovation Bias
There are many reasons for the international business community to be grateful to the English language. English is the dominant business language precisely because it gives the global community access to itself - it is widely spoken, lacks the grammatical complications of the romance languages, and has a simple alphabet that lends itself easily to use on the internet.
Wired April 7, 2014
Thinking in a Foreign Language Makes Decisions More Rational
A series of experiments on more than 300 people from the U.S. and Korea found that thinking in a second language reduced deep-seated, misleading biases that unduly influence how risks and benefits are perceived.
Wired April 6, 2014
Thinking of Home Makes It Harder to Learn a Foreign Language
Something odd happened when Shu Zhang was giving a presentation to her classmates at the Columbia Business School in New York City. Zhang, a Chinese native, spoke fluent English, yet in the middle of her talk, she glanced over at her Chinese professor and suddenly blurted out a word in Mandarin. "I meant to say...
Primer March 26, 2014
10 Words You Mispronounce That Make People Think You're an Idiot
It's been said, though we're not sure by whom, that it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. But sometimes we've got to open our mouths so use this handy guide to make sure, at the very least, you're saying the words right.
The Telegraph February 19, 2014
Winter Olympics: the language explained
Snowboarding idioms and luge lingo are all explained in our handy guide to the terms you're hearing coming out of Sochi.
CNNMoney February 12, 2014
The Hottest Job Skill is...
The Army, NYPD and State Department can't get enough workers with this job skill. Neither can Fortune 500 companies, hospitals, local courts and schools.
The Telegraph February 11, 2014
Sochi 2014: the Weird and Wonderful Winter Olympic Kits You Can't Miss
So let's start with the volunteers outfits. Talk about putting on a brave face; did any of them know they'd be dressing like a patchwork rainbow crossed with a blue raspberry Slush Puppy when they put their names down? We think not. Commentators were quick to...
The Financial Times February 10, 2014
'The Snowden Files'
First WikiLeaks and then Edward Snowden - such has been the tsunami of leaks from America's national security state in recent years, it sometimes feels like there is nothing left to know about how Washington's diplomats and spies go about their business...
The Financial Times February 9, 2014
How Russia' Writers Saw
Sochi, where the 2014 Winter Olympic Games opened this week, has been twinned since 1959 with the genteel English town of Cheltenham. The mind boggles at first, but then begins to see the similarities...
The Guardian February 8, 2014
Learn Russian in a Day
The formal "hello" in Russian is a necessary yet wholly unwelcoming word. It's packed with consonants that trip over each other, often within the same syllable. I try it over and over again, and only sound like I'm spitting. "Zdtras-vooy-tyeh." I am starting to hate it...
The Financial Times December 26, 2013
It's Who You Hardly Know That Counts
This may be a statement of the obvious at Christmas, but our families can sometimes let us down. Evidence comes from a little-noticed survey published by the US Census Bureau in September. The findings are conveyed in a...
The New York Times December 12, 2013
Who Goes to Work to Have Fun?
"ONE of our core values is to inject fun and quirkiness into everything we do," Neil Blumenthal, a founder of the online eyeglass retailer Warby Parker, recently told The New York Times. This is a philosophy currently enjoying a...
The Financial Times December 10, 2013
Books of the Year
From the Great War to the gardens of Venice, the best books of 2013 as chosen by FT writers and guests.
The Financial Times December 10, 2013
What Mandela Taught Us
In 1993, South African general Constand Viljoen was plotting an Afrikaner guerrilla war against multiracial rule. So Nelson Mandela invited him over for tea. When Viljoen and three other retired generals arrived at Mandela's house in Johannesburg, they expected a ...
The Moscow Times November 26, 2013
Protect Russian Culture and Language
At a recent meeting of Russia's literary and educational elite, President Vladimir Putin expressed his concerns about the fate of the Russian language: "It has become the norm not only for ordinary Russians, but unfortunately also for those in the mass media and film industry to..."
The New York Times November 26, 2013
Campaign Seeks to Recruit Top Students to Become Teachers
If you can't do, teach. The three best things about teaching? June, July and August.
With so much teacher bashing, who in the world would want to teach?
The New York Times November 20, 2013
Learning to Speak Brazinglish
Despite having a big territory rich with natural scenery, Brazil is not accustomed to many international visitors. The World Tourism Organization, which ranks tourist spending in different countries, puts it 39th on the list, behind much smaller countries like...
The English Blog November 19, 2013
Cartoon: The History of Twitter
In a mere instant - or about the time it takes to send a 140-character message - Twitter became one of the Internet's most valuable properties, capping a dizzying seven-year rise from scrappy start-up to a major publicly traded company. Twitter Inc. surged...
The Thrillist November 18, 2013
More hilarious English translations: Menu edition
Being presented with an English-language menu while traveling abroad kind of takes the fun out of playing dinner roulette - unless, of course, that menu's been translated by...
The Telegraph November 17, 2013
Dallas: on the trail of JFK
A head of the anniversary of JFK's assassination, Nigel Richardson visits key sites in Dallas.
The Financial Times November 16, 2013
The evolving role of the Oxford English Dictionary
Look for a topical expression in the Oxford English Dictionary and you may find it is older than you think. "Phone-hacking", for example, was first used in the early 1980s. Americans have been worrying about "fiscal cliffs" of one kind or another for more than 50 years. And the desire for an "Arab spring" goes back to at least 1975 - or longer in the case of cyclists, for whom the term was...
The Columbus Dispatch October 7, 2013
US Begins Government Shutdown as Budget Deadline Passes
The US government has begun a partial shutdown after the two houses of Congress failed to agree a new budget. The Republican-led House of Representatives insisted on delaying President Barack Obama's healthcare reform - dubbed Obamacare - as a condition for passing a bill. More than 700,000 federal employees face unpaid leave with no guarantee of back pay once the...
The New York Times October 6, 2013
Why I Silence Your Call, Even When I'm Free
My cousin Stacey in San Francisco called recently. We hadn't spoken since she visited me the previous month, and I missed her. I was sitting in my office, catching up on e-mail while refreshing my Twitter feed every few minutes. Hardly too busy for a chat.
The Financial Times September 27, 2013
Solo, by William Boyd
It turns out that Ian Fleming wasn't so much James Bond's creator as the legendary spy's first handler. After Fleming's death in 1964 a series of writers has been contracted to take over 007 duties, starting with Kingsley Amis (writing as Robert Markham) and culminating with the present incumbent, William Boyd, whose first Bond adventure is Solo.