Firstly, many thanks to all those speakers who contributed to the conference; we have had some great feedback (there have been 750 visits to the website in the three weeks since), and to those who came and discussed, took notes, asked searching questions, and pushed the project forwards.


The conference broadened the scope of subjects brought into the field of study:

Corpus study, of the language of genocide, and discourse study of particular words, notably ‘culture/kultur’, ‘propaganda’, ‘inexpressible’.

Prisoner of war camps and internment camps as a locus of both language learning and language study.

Political choice of specific languages as an expression and a generative field of identity.

Language and internationalism, particularly Esperanto and the international mind.

Linguistic pointers to the effects of war and the cultural processing of the experience.

Multilingual environments, particularly involving large numbers of languages.

Interpreting in the field through military infrastructure.

Alternatives to speech; reticence, silence, signals.

We hope to pursue some of these further in the blog, which is as always open to guest contributions.


Linking to a regular connection the project has with Wales and Welsh, we show here a couple of pages from the Ruhleben internment camp magazine from October 1915. It looks as though Mr Davies in Bar. 21 (Barrack?) should have been in demand – ‘Cymru am byth’ is the standard (‘Wales forever’). He might have been able to help with a few spellings in English too. But a few observations on the culture of languages at the camp, including the location of Billingsgate for the cockney (London) accent (Billingsgate was the historic London fish-market, now located in Docklands, but previously on the Thames a few hundred metres west of the Tower of London).

Ruhleben Oct15 22

Ruhleben Oct15 23


Link to an article by Gwendal Piégais, that follows on from his paper at the conference: https://twitter.com/GPiegais/status/1040884071700877312 giving some information about the context of creation of the Russian bases in France and Macedonia.




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