Language Knows No Boundaries

ImageFinding common ground through ‘shared words’.
One of the Knowledge and Innovation Fund winning projects, SharedWords is aiming to motivate the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to focus on their similarities through language. In their research they found that both languages share a numerous amount of words and highlighting this may start making both communities feel more familiar with each other. Go team!

“Discovery of common words and common traditions of different nations is an exciting experience and solid proof of common values of humanity. In spite of the national and religious politics that focus on and influence the differences and interests among different nations, we can start to focus on our similar traditions, similar cultures and similar words in order to find common ground.

Sharedwords is not only a social project, it is a language learning tool and a methodology to change the point of view of language learners and break the prejudice of “foreign language” since it focuses on  similar words of different languages to make language learners feel familiar to the languages that they want to progress in. Sharedwords promotes the common elements of languages, which we find to be the most effective way to shift from one language to another for adequate communication.

Sharedwords is also a philosophy and a point of view for peace building that can be applied to different conflict areas. And we are so happy to see and practice the philosophy of Sharedwords in reality in Cyprus. On the 30th of January at the Home for Cooperation we had a fruitful meeting with Eleni Michailidou, the representative of Cyprus Interaction Lab, Ellada Evangelou, Knowledge and Innovation Officer of the Peace-it-Together Network, and Sylvie Manti, Project Development Consultant of the Peace-it-Together Network. We were happy to see that we were well on the way of creating the online language game which we had envisioned to be the final fruit of our knowledge product project.

The online language game will be based on the common words of Turkish and Greek, such as:

Muhallebi Μαχαλλεπίν
Köfte Κεφτές
Pehlivan Πεχλιβάνης

For example, during the Turkish version of the game, pictures or pronunciations of specific words will be given as hints for Greek learners and they will be expected to form the Greek version of the word by dragging and dropping correct Greek letters in the correct sequence. It is a really effective way to establish a strong bond between the language and the learner with the words that they already know. Please find us on facebook and twitter to find out more about our project!”

Testimonial written by: Nuri Sılay / member of the SharedWords team

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