Nicole Eberhard

The Creation & Evolution of Language in Game of Thrones

Undoubtedly one of the biggest modern sensations in television has been the HBO series Game of Thrones. Based on George R.R. Martin’s as-yet-unfinished series of fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, the TV series, like the books, has taken the world by storm. The richly detailed world that Martin created has a mythology(…)

When Words Matter: The Politics of Rhetoric

Word choice matters. Especially when it comes to politically charged topics. The malleability of language means that the same concept or phenomenon can be described in multiple ways, and with each variation comes new connotations. For example, you can describe someone who has moved abroad as an expat or an immigrant. The term immigrant, however,(…)

The Power & Pitfalls of Vocal Intonation: Vocal Fry & Upspeak

Conjure up the stereotypical Valley Girl accent in your mind. You know, where every sentence ends in a question as the voice intonation rises? Kinda like Cher in Clueless? This rise in intonation is called upspeak, or uptalk, by linguists. And it’s an intonation that really grinds many people’s gears. Young women who use uptalk(…)

5 Words You’re Better Off Avoiding in Argentina

It’s no secret that Spanish is a sticky language to learn. It’s not because it is particularly tough grammatically, but because it differs so greatly from country to country where it is spoken. If you’ve learnt Spanish in Spain or Mexico, when you take your linguistic prowess down south to Argentina, you may be surprised(…)

Why Are Some Accents Sexier than Others?

For some people, all it takes is hearing a snippet of sultry French spoken to make them weak at the knees. Others love a crisp British accent or a lovely Irish lilt. Meanwhile the exotic exuberance of Brazilian Portuguese does it for other people. It’s a funny thing how accents can turn us on (and(…)

From Bondis & Buses: Essential Spanish Terms You Need to Travel South America

The majority of countries in South America may be Spanish speaking, but that doesn’t mean they speak the same Spanish. Travellers are often stumped when they find the word they learnt in one country means something entirely in the next country. This can make getting around a little tricky when the words for different kinds(…)

The Top Portuguese Slang You Need in Brazil

Oi! Tudo Bem? Are you down with the lingo thrown around on the streets of Brazil? No? Well you should be. As important as it is to master the ins and outs of grammar, if you want to achieve fluency, you have to learn how a language is used by ordinary people. And what represents(…)

10 Mistakes Tourists Headed to Brazil Make

Brazil is undoubtedly one of the most captivating and exotic countries to travel to and explore. Travellers are drawn by the world-famous beaches, the allure of Carnaval parties and the mysteries of the Amazon, among other draw-cards. But many travellers make some cliché errors when planning their travels. Make sure you get the most out(…)