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Around 32% of an ever-growing multi-cultural society in the U.K speak a second language. But if your life relies on the use of that second language every day because of work and social encounters is it possible to forget your mother tongue completely? From lingual dilemmas to buying up brands!! do we really care as a community if what we are buying is real or fake or do we just care what it looks like to others?
“Like losing part of one’s soul” – Can you forget your mother tongue?
Professor Monika Schmid (Head of Department and Professor)
If you speak a second language on a daily basis, you may find you have problems when using your mother tongue – you may not remember some words, become hesitant, or use odd expressions and sentences. This process is called “language attrition”, and it is very common. Despite this, it is usually both unexpected and deeply upsetting, and the research on it is very sparse as compared with the vast field of research on second language development. For these reasons, attriters often feel that they are alone, unique – and somehow ‘deviant’. Don’t worry: you are not.
What’s in a brand?
Dr Maitrayee Deka (Lecturer)
This talk will focus on cultures of copy and piracy as an alternative side to branded modernity. It will look at ordinary people’s consumer choices. What sort of consideration goes behind getting the next pair of jeans or smartphones; is it the aura of brands that drive decisions or something else is at work? Based on ethnographic accounts of Delhi’s popular marketplaces, this talk will give a glimpse into the often ignored side of global commodity culture: a world of knockoffs, and shanzhai goods.
Food labels: what do they really mean?
Every day we encounter tons of information about food and how much nutrients they give us, like '5% fat’ and ‘high fibre’. How do we interpret this and judge the nutritional value of what we consume—is it enough or too much? This talk discusses how words and numbers on food labels subtly change our attention, interpretation, and evaluation of food.