Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to common questions about Babel. If you do not find the answer you are looking for, get in touch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Inside Babel
Q. Does Babel cover languages other than English?
A. Babel is produced in the UK but covers a wide variety of languages and runs many features relevant to different languages. For example, Issue 8 contains articles on borrowed words in English, the multilingual culture of the Vaupes region of Colombia, learning Chinese and a fusion of English and Korean called Konglish. Our regular Languages of the World feature also documents different languages from around the world. We welcome contributions from all parts of the world and on the subject of any language - find out how to contribute in the Contributing to Babel section below.

Getting your copy of Babel
Q. Why are my log-in details not working?
A. If you have previously taken out a digital subscription to Babel, you may find that your log-in details for this account do not work on our Subscribe page. Instead, you will have to set up a new account as a Babel user by entering your details under the heading 'New user? Please register'. You may of course use the same username and password when signing up as a new user, ensuring that your log-in details for different subscriptions (e.g. Babel 2015, Babel 2016) are identical.

Q. Do I have to use Paypal to pay for my subscription?
A. Although Paypal is our main payment method, our Subscribe page allows subscribers to make a transfer from their bank. The red textbox on the right-hand side of the Subscribe page also allows subscribers to download an invoice form for paying by cheque or bank transfer.

Q. Can I set up a gift subscription?
A. Yes. When registering as a new user, make sure that you enter the intended recipient's details in the address fields provided (starting with 'Recipient name'). After filling in the registration page, you will be redirected to a page prompting you for your billing address.

Q. What is the difference between individual and institutional subscriptions?
A. Individual subscriptions are our standard subscriptions, suitable for individual readers. Our institutional subscriptions are for schools, universities, businesses etc. and reflect the fact that these subscriptions tend to be enjoyed by larger numbers of readers.

Digital issues
Q. What formats are the digital issues available in?
A. Our digital issues are suitable for PC, Mac, Netbooks, Tablets, iPads, iPhones and Android. More details about our digital edition can be found on our Digital page.

Q. Can the digital issues be shared among friends/staff/students?
A. Individual subscriptions cannot be shared. However, we do provide institutional subscriptions for schools and businesses that wish to make Babel available to staff or students.

Q. Can you supply PDFs of Babel?
A. Unfortunately we cannot provide PDF copies of the magazine. However, digital subscribers are able to access all digital issues for a year. You can also read the Babel sampler and
 Babel No1 free online.

Contributing to Babel
Q. Can I write for Babel?
A. We welcome ideas and submissions from all linguists. The one thing all Babel articles must do is communicate ideas about language in a way that is stimulating and accessible. Potential contributors can submit feature articles or a piece that would suit one of our regular features, such as Languages of the World. We provide guidelines for all types of contributions, which can be downloaded by clicking the links below. We also suggest getting in touch to arrange a deadline for submission - this will help us plan which issue to fit your article into.

If you do not wish to write an article yourself, but would like to suggest ideas for possible articles, do get in touch - especially if you have a burning question for our Ask a Linguist feature! If you have any questions about contributing to Babel, get in touch via our enquiries page.

Contributors' guidelines
Feature articles
Ask a Linguist
Language Games
Languages of the World
Lives in Language
Meet the Professionals
Pull-out features
Book reviews