Category Archives: Language

Life on the Mexican-US border.

Susana Gallegos

Alex Bullen

Human Geography

December 2, 2013


Life on the Border

            The border of Mexico is quite different from more distant states from Mexico, since the border towns are “connected” to one another. The border stretches between the United States and Mexico. It is an “invisible” line on maps, a physical wall in person. The separation between two countries does not prevent an exchange of popular culture: food, lifestyle, and language are all cultural characteristics that diffuse from place to place; a connection that is impossible to deny.

The United States and Mexico border is nearly 2,000 miles long (International Borders of the USA). I grew up in Mexico, right on the border, in Agua Prieta, Sonora and Douglas, Arizona.  Growing up I notice that the wall that divided the USA and Mexico were always changing. Never paid attention on how the people from my both towns was influenced by the popular culture, until I visit my family from Gomez Palacio, Durango Mexico; I was ten years old, talking to my cousin and I asked her to pass me the “tape” and she looked at me with this blank expression on her face, and replied: “el que?” (the what?) I repeated: El tape, pasame el tape (The tape, give me the tape) and still my cousin did not move. I grabbed it and said well how do you call this, she said, cinta adhesiva. It was the first time I have ever heard that name, and of course that is the correct name in spanish.



When I went back to Agua Prieta, I noticed the spanglish. Words like

pushale- to push, raite- give a ride, parquear- to park, quitear- to quit, lonche- lunch, and many more. Although many people from that live in Douglas, have not really adopted spanish words but they understand them, and the their accent is different as well.

Food is also influence by the two borders. In Agua Prieta we eat a lot of hamburgers and hot dogs, but with a Mexican twist. For example hot dogs that are typically in my home town are wrapped in bacon and with pinto bean, and salsa. There is also many American restaurants in Mexico, like McDonald, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Applebee’s. In Douglas, AZ there were small business selling Mexican food or Tex-Mex food.

Lifestyle personally I believe that the Mexican side of the border have more popular culture than the American side. When I live in Agua Prieta my parents will buy some of the groceries on Douglas. It is common to buy clothes sell in American stores, since in a way there were cheaper than some of the stores of Mexico.  The American side will buy more furniture, decoration, and sometimes pets. Food was not allowed to go through the border back in the states. Monetary also is used in both border, in some stores in Douglas one can pay with Mexican money, and in Agua Prieta one can use American money everywhere in town.


Living in the border I can conclude that the Mexican side of the border has higher influence in some of the American popular culture, but still keeping their own folklore culture. It is a mixture that was easily seen when I visited my family in Gomez Palacio. The border is a different way of living that I would recommend to visit the border and experience the exchange.



Gigi. “Do You Want It in English, Spanish, or Spanglish? :-D.” A Better Me Day                           By Day. N.p., 14 Aug. 2011. Web. 02 Dec. 2013


“International Border of the United States and the Defense of These                      Borders.” Border Control. Numbers USA, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013


N.d. Photograph. God’s World Photography. Web. 2 Dec. 2013


Rubenstein, James M. “Folk and Popular Culture.” Cultural Landscape.                                                     Harlow:Pearson Education Limited, 2014. N. pag. 108. Print.




Ways of Development.

Susana Gallegos

Geo -106.

 Human Geography

Alex Bullen

 Ways of Development

There are different key elements of human culture distributed across the globe. Some can because migration. Leading to a new development the key can be language and culture. These key elements will help us understand that by combining them they will create distribution around the word by the movement of people to different parts of the world, by communicating different ideas and ultimately by combining ideas it creates development. Migration is an important element that helps define the motives behind the distribution of languages.

People all over the world need modes of production, distribution, and consumption in order to provide food and other commodities needed on a daily basis. It might be that some places in the world some basic needs are not provided, hard to afford or obtain. People might be looking for the basic needs that maybe denied in their place of origin. These people will look for better opportunities and places where that opportunity to grow is available, and may also to immigrate to a land of greater opportunity. In fig. 2, it show depending on the economy doing in a place and how are people are also doing , they will go to a place where the progress is better, in this example is showing America. Fig. 2

By creating a way of distribution by migrating, the people will take their culture with them and integrate it in their new place of residency. In the article “About Human Development”, the writer Fernando Rojas states “Human development is defined as the process of enlarging people’s freedoms and opportunities and improving their well-being. Human development is about the real freedom ordinary people have to decide who to be, what to do, and how to live”. People should have the freedom to migrate to new ways of living.

When taking culture from one place to another. Language is also linked with culture. Language is distributed around the globe by migration. Back then a way of distributing language was distributed around the world was by war or by the conquest of a new land, this imposed a new language, but many people kept their native language. Now a day it is very helpful to know another language. Most of the big companies will look for people that can speak a language that can connect them to a part of the world where they are interested in making business; leading to the distribution of ideas and new developments. According to John W. Berry, in his journal called Acculturation: Living successfully in two cultures he states that:


“Acculturation comprehends those phenomena which result when groups of

Individuals having different cultures come into continuous first-hand contact, with

subsequent changes in the original culture patterns of either or both groups under

this definition, acculturation is to be distinguished from culture change, of which it is

but one aspect, and assimilation, which is at times a phase of acculturation”


fig 3.

With culture and language the development of new ways of living will increase in different regions. Developments in different parts of the world are not always even. In some places poverty is extreme, and others are wealthy. Human development is defined as the process of enlarging people’s freedoms and opportunities and improving their well-being. Human development is about the real freedom ordinary people have to decide who to be, what to do, and how to live. The level of development is the process of improving the material conditions of people through diffusion of knowledge.

In conclusion elements of human distribution go hand in hand with culture, language; distribution of these is a combination of knowledge and trying to work together to create a better way of living in our world. We all have adopted, we are all immigrants in a country that haves help us develop as a person and a community where we all have developed acculturation.










Work Cited


Acculturation.” Ray-Ban. It’s Not Deciphering the GREek!, 15 Nov. 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2013

Berry, John W. “Acculturation: Living Successfully in Two Cultures.” N.p., 10 July 2005. Web. 15 Oct.                             2013.

“Identity Designed.” MyCall. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.

Rojas, Fernando. “About Human Development.” Human Development Project RSS. Measure of America               American, n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.





Kyra Binaxas

            Egypt greatly exemplifies a country that bases its political movements around language, ethnicity, and religion. Among many other Middle Eastern countries Egypt is at a crossroads between tying its political policies with strong Islamist values and religion or moving forward to having a more westernized influence, yet still identifying strongly with Arabic culture. Khairat El-Shater’s candidacy for president of Egypt became a conflict that clearly shows this constant battle between religion and ethnicity.

Khairat El-Shater is the chief strategist and financier for an organization called The Muslim Brotherhood. By definition The Muslim Brotherhood is, “ A religious and political group founded on the belief that Islam is not simply a religion, but a way of life. It advocates a move away from secularism, and a return to the rules of the Quran as a basis for healthy families, communities, and states.” (Jones). This organization holds most of the power in Congress and if Shater were to gain presidency it would therefor result in The Muslim Brotherhood obtaining a complete political monopoly over Egyptian politics fixed on the basis of Islamic religion.

Hosni Mubarak- Egypt’s former president- outlawed The Muslim Brotherhood. The majority of the educated youth of Egypt are against holding traditional Islamic values as the basis of their political influence. They fight for a more westernized and liberal society. Although they fight for westernization and democracy they do not want any outside help. They still view non-Arabic people who are trying to speed up the process for westernization as intruders. So they essentially still hold ethnicity to a high degree of importance. Whatever the result may be of Egypt’s political dilemma both hold influence centered around concept that unify how people identify themselves in the Middle East- either religious value or ethnicity and language. Hopefully one day Egypt, along with the rest of the Middle East may become societies of peace, correlating their political movements with that of which are best for all their people.

Works Cited

1) Kirkpatrick, David. “Islamist Group Breaks Pledge to Stay Out of Race in Egypt.” New York Times [New York] 31 03 2012, n. pag. Web. 5 Nov. 2013. <;.

2) Kirkpatrick, David. “Keeper of Islamic Flame Rises as Egypt’s New Decisive Voice .” New York Times [New York ] 12 03 2012, n. pag. Web. 5 Nov. 2013. <;.

3) Jones, Bryony, dir. What is the Muslim Brotherhood. Writ. Susanna Cullinane. CNN.Com, 2013. Web. 5 Nov 2013. <;.

Edited By:

Jacob Standofer, Oren Paisner, Jessica Silvestri


Kishan Pachhai

Prof Alex Bullen

GEO 106-101


Language- Bhasa

            Language is common to all the humans. Many social scientists state, the ability to use language symbolically is what makes us human. Even though it is a universal human attribute, it is hardly simple because in some ways, it is surprising that languages change as they are passed down through the generations, reliably enough for parents and children to communicate with each other. All language changes over time – but at different rates. Languages change for a variety of reasons such as social, economic and political pressure. Languages usually change after the invasion, colonization and migration. The development of new items drives language change. New technologies, industries, products and experiences simply require new words. Nepal has 123 languages as the mother tongue, most belonging to Indo-Aryan and Sino-Tibetan language families. According to Kulper and Pauls, The official language of Nepal is Nepali and the percentage spoken as the mother tongue is 44.6% Out of 123 languages, 121 are living and 2 are extinct. Of the living languages 11 are institutional, 20 are developing, 26 are vigorous, 56 are in trouble and 8 are dying. Language is an important part of culture and peoples value.

Before Nepali came to be known as Nepali, the language, during different stages of its development, was called various names such as Khas-kura, Parbate or Parbattiya and Gorkhali. Nepali is originally an Indo-Aryan language, but as it passed through history, it incorporated number of words from the speeches of Tibeto-Burman family, Maithili, Rajasthan, Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Hindi, Bengali, Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Portuguese, and English according to Priat Giri in Origin and Development of Nepali Language and also, according to Brian H. Hodgson, a scholar of repute and British resident in Nepal. He counted thirteen distinct and strongly marked dialects in the mountainous parts of the limits of the modern kingdom of Nepal. They were the Khas, the Mangar, the Gurung, the Sunwar, The Kachari, the Haiyu, the Chepang, the Kusunda, the Murmi, the Newari, the Kiranti, the Limbuan, and the Lepchan. Except the Khas, all the other speeches belong to the Tibeto-Burman family. Khas was the language spoken in the great kingdom or empire of Khasas which was established in 12th century. The name Khas-Kura was used for the language by the Tibeto-Burman speaking Mongoloids, particularly by the Newars of the Nepal valley, which is present day Kathmandu.

As the speaker of Khasa language moved eastward, it gave rise to number of dialects. The speeches of Khasas were adopted by the new immigrants and their influence of the speeches on Khas language. Parbat was the pre-dominant one and explains why Khas-Kura came to known as Parbate. With the help of high caste Brahmans and Gorkha’s conquest of the kingdoms of Nepal valley, language was being spread. Prithivi Narayan Saha conquered all the other kingdoms and joined them into one. He took over the Nepal valley in 1768-69 thus shifting the capital from Gorkha to Kathmandu. The Khasa speech was spoken in Gorkha, and Gorkha gave a new importance to this language as it came into wider official use. The language then came to known as Gorkhali. Khas-Kura didn’t spread only as the result of conquests of Gorkha but it was spreading even before conquerors began their campaign. The language during its transition from Khas-Kura to Parbate to Gorkhali to present Nepali has transformed words from multiple dialects.

Edited By: Araceli, Jason, Susana

ImageNepali Alphabets

ImageChart: Shows langues spoken in Nepal


Map of Nepal

Work Cited

Basnet, Dev B. “Online Nepali Literature Forum.” Online Nepali Literature Forum. Online Nepali Literature Forum, 5 Nov. 2005. Web. 22 Nov. 2013. <;.

Kulper, Kathleen, and Elizabeth P. Pauls. “Nepali Language.” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 24 June 2009. Web. 22 Nov. 2013. <;.

Rubenstein, James M. “Languages.” Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography. N.p.: Prentice Hall PTR, 2013. 142-177. Print.

Second Langue Acquisition in the USA.

Jason Miller

Human Geography

Final Paper

Alex Bullen

Second Langue Acquisition in the USA

                Learning a second language is important. However, the American school system doesn’t think so. Competency in a foreign language is important for trade, travel, and security, as it is a core form of communication on the planet Earth.

Like a living organism, languages are born, spread, evolve, and eventually die. When they die, they take with them culture, stories, and history, since many of these things are ingrained in language. Many words in Spanish have to do with Christian, particularly Catholic, ideas. The word el rector means principle in Spanish, taken from a title held within Catholic churches. In Japanese, omoshiroi means entertaining. However, the literal meaning is “white face”, taken from the custom of play actors painting their faces white.

So why is language important to trade? Because people trade ideas about everything. Speakers of foreign languages, particularly the younger ones, mix English words like cool and sexy because, to them, it’s cool. But more worldly, the ability to communicate in other languages is important for the exchange of physical goods and money. Many business schools around the world require fluency in a language popular to trade. These could be Mandarin, English, Spanish, Arabic, German, etc.

Anyone who has ever traveled to another country knows if neither the travelers nor the domestic people can converse in a common tongue, or pantomime their way to understanding, it becomes very, very frustrating. When I was in Italy, I knew not a single world of Italian except pasta, bonjourno, pizza, escuzzi, none of which were any help. Also, immigration often requires the learning of a new language. Perhaps not from Colombia to Mexico or New York to London, but from Asia and Latin America to the USA, which are the two largest sources of immigrants to America now, people must know English or learn it when they come here. Sometimes they know someone who speaks both, but the American dream isn’t about relying on others to help you with everything.

National Security depends on knowing more than English here in the USA and abroad. Intelligence agencies must know languages like Russian, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Arabic to name a few. They need to because of the work: espionage, deciphering letters, interviewing people, sending diplomats, and hopefully signing peace treaties.

However, despite all these necessities… second language acquisition in America isn’t the best. According to Forbes, only 18% of American report that they can speak speak a language other than English. Also according to Forbes, 53% of Europeans report that they can speak a language other than their mother tongue. Being that America is one of the most wealthy and powerful languages in the world, why are we in a “foreign language deficit?” Well, language acquisition happens when humans are much, much younger, before age 5. When they are toddlers, the brain is engineered to soak up language. However, as you grow older, it becomes harder and harder as the years go by. In Germany, students are required to begin learning French or English beginning 2nd grade. By 8th grade, students still in school are required to begin learning the other language they did not select. One of my Japanese pen pals told me in Japan, students are taught how to read and write English beginning at a very young age, even though they aren’t really taught how to speak it. As I can attest from my American public school education, foreign languages are not offered until middle school. Furthermore, I was not required to take one until high school. This is far past the age of toddlers. Even more so, the Forbe’s article stated that many people here in America who speak second languages say so because they came from a family that spoke a language other than English (like Spanish).

If we don’t change the American school system, we won’t evolve as a country or a people. Personally, I think there are many things in the curriculum that need to be redone. But as I have just dished out for you, Americans are missing out on a lot of opportunities because of our low second language acquisition.



Altschuler, David Skorton and Glenn. “America’s Foreign Language Deficit.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 27 Aug. 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2013.

“Research.” Little Pim. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2013.

“Picture.” WordPress, n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.

“Graph.” Byte Level, n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.

How Political Movements Form Around Language and Ethnicity.

Oren Paisner

Professor Bullen

Final Project


How Political Movements Form Around Language and Ethnicity

            Throughout the history of human kind there has been struggle between different cultures and ethnicities. A good example of this, the ethnic cleansing that took place in Kosovo, demonstrates exactly what happens when there is a clash of political ideas in a country. Political movements form around language, ethnicity, and religion because of the beliefs that are associated with them.

Religion seems to be a strong motivator for political movements in a lot of countries. When China invaded Tibet in 1951 and installed a communist dictatorship in 1953, they destroyed many monasteries and temples. They did this to the Tibetans to show them who was boss. In this case, the political movement of the Chinese communist regime formed from the belief that Tibetan Buddhism was a religion that cultivated opposition to Chinese interests.


Political movements can also form around language. In the Canadian province of Quebec there is a separatist movement trying to make Quebec an independent country. A significant reason for this is that the main language in the province of Quebec is French. In the rest of Canada, English is the primary language.  Jane Jacobs, an American-Canadian journalist comments that “Canadians who are indifferent to the question of Quebec separatism are likely either to identify primarily with their own province, such as Newfoundland or British Colombia, or else to identify with a Canada which -for all they care emotionally- may or may not include Quebec.” (Excerpt of the Question of Separatism) This idea ties in with political movements forming around language because the Canadian provinces that are indifferent to the Separatism are dominantly English speaking provinces.


Ethnicity can be and often is a huge motivator for political movements. Kosovo underwent ethnic turmoil after the breakup of Yugoslavia which resulted in lots of violence and many deaths. “At its peak in 1999 Serb ethnic cleansing had forced 750,000 of Kosovo’s 2 million ethnic Albanian residents from their homes, mostly to camps in Albania.” (Rubenstein, 251) This clearly demonstrates how the desire for less ethnic diversity can motivate a political movement to try and reach that goal by means of violence.

Ethnicity, religion and language don’t only cause political movements to do unspeakable things, but often they bring people together in their differences. One of the things I never take for granted is living in a country where people actually bond over the differences they have instead of fighting over those differences. That is why it is important to understand how Ethnicity, Religion and Language influence political movements so that we can do our part as individuals to make sure that those influences are positive.


Works Cited N.p., n.d. Web.

Jacobs, Jane. “Excerpt of The Question of Separatism: Quebec and the Struggle over             ____Sovereignty by Jane Jacobs.” – Independence of Quebec. N.p., 12 Apr. 2011. Web. 02 Dec. 2013.

Rubenstein, James M. The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography. Upper _____Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005. Print.

“Where Is Tibet?” YoWangducom. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2013.

Edited by: Ellie, Jacob and Kishan

The Spread of the English Language.

Shae Kovalchick

Geo 106

Language is something pretty much everyone on the planet is exposed to. How does it really spread around the globe though? Why are some languages a lot more common than others? English for example, how does it spread from the US and UK to other places with such power and force? How did it become such a staple language? I’m going to observe how English has spread in the past and present.

As you can see above, the countries where English is primarily spoken is all across the globe. This isn’t even factoring in places that hold English as a secondary language. The first major way that English made its way around the globe was due to the British. They founded different colonies that spread all over, and when they took over they obviously used their own language. This is the reasoning behind the earliest uses of English in places that aren’t England. This is also why a place in India in which you wouldn’t really associate with English has English as their second most spoken language.

Eventually nobody was settling any new colonies but, use of English still grew. In the First World War English was viewed as a sort of symbol for peace and freedom. The American dream was a very powerful concept, and English was a cog in the American dream machine. Furthermore, in more recent years America has become a global powerhouse of sorts. Not only with regards to the military or from an economic standpoint, but from a media standpoint as well. Everything from popular television, to music, to the internet itself, the English language has a lot of weight behind those things. If the best resources or forms of media are in one language it isn’t a surprise that language would spread elsewhere. There are also many forms or styles of English with many different accents. This helps it be more accessible to everyone. There is even an extremely broad category of English referred to as Globish, which is essentially just International English.

So in conclusion, the power of the countries using English and the symbolism behind it were the key factors in helping it spread. From takeovers centuries ago, to modern music and media today English has, and continues to spread like wildfire. I see no signs of it slowing down or stopping anytime in the future.


Figure 1 – Map of countries that speak English as a primary language.





Work Cited

Park, Sohyun. “The Spread of English in the Modern Period.” The Spread of English in the Modern Period. N.p., 20 May 2011. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.

“What Are the Origins of the English Language?” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2013.

Edited by:
Oren Paisner
Ellie Strandquist
Jacob Standafer

Norwegian Language and the Influence of Politics

Jennah Reiman

Prof. Bullen

GEO 106-101

 11 Dec. 2013

Article #4

Norwegian Language and the Influence of Politics

Political movements occur for a need of change, and a lot of changes occur after a movement.  Many things can cause a necessity for change, ranging from global issues to consequences as the result of single persons’ actions.  On a personal level, language, ethnicity and religion can play a huge role in creating conflict.  Often, at the end of a political movement, the newly gained freedom concludes in the separation of different languages that were previously considered as dialects. 

The history of Norway displays the manner in which one country, on the journey to independence also gained their own language.  The Norwegian language originally was categorized as a Danish dialect.  Norway was under Danish rule up until 1814, however they were still not declared with freedom.  Sweden was the ruler of Norway until May 17, 1905, when Norway was granted independence and obtained a separate Norwegian language.  An author by the name of Stephen May has voiced his concern with the topic of language and politics, in that, “languages, and the status attached to them, are the product of wider historical, social and political forces” (May, 4).  To relate, the fact that there is a defined Norwegian language is evidence of a prolonged struggle for independence.  It is a symbol that over time of political discourse the Norwegians have gained the power to rule themselves.  Although war was a possibility at points during Norway’s history, implications were resolved peacefully.  Stuart Burch, an author published in History Today, mentioned that, “this flavours the present in the way that Norway seeks to promote itself as a world leader in conflict resolution” (Burch). 

Ongoing patterns, similar to the one mentioned above, can be found throughout the history of many nations in their conquest of independence.  Gaining and losing aspects of language, ethnicity, nationality, religion, culture and way of life are just a few changes that can cause and occur after political movements. In the case of Norway, they were able to gain recognition of freedom and language through political processes.  This exemplifies that the political processes that gave Norway freedom, also lead to the separation of the Norwegian Language.

Edited by: Nathan Lee, Emily Flora and Jessica Silvestri

Works Cited

May, Stephen. “The Politics of Language.” Introduction. Language and Minority Rights: Ethnicity, Nationalism and the Politics of Language. New York: Routledge, 2008. 4-5. Print.

Burch, Stuart. “Norway and 1905.” History Today. History Today, 2005. Web. 02 Dec. 2013.