Why is the UK losing 11 to 26 billion dollars a year? Nick Chambers explains that there aren’t enough foreign language speakers to service export markets. Susanna Zaraysky answers why English speakers are not good at foreign languages and how to motivate English speakers to learn new languages. BBC’s Newshour on 30 January 2012.
I wrote a guest blog post, Use Music to Learn a Foreign Language, on Aaron Myers’ Everyday Language Learner blog. He and I met in the fall of 2011 when I was reveling in the delight of Istanbul, Turkey. Over lunch, we discussed how to promote language learning. I like his title “Everyday Language Learner” because becoming multilingual requires a daily effort. The blog post explains why music is essential to language learning with some background on the scientific and academic research on music, language and listening. I also give some tips on using songs and TV to learn languages. Use Music to Learn a Foreign Language
Luciana Lage of Street Smart Brazil and I have a video series on how to learn Portuguese via Brazilian songs. Here is the introductory video where we explain the connection between listening, music and learning a new language. The next video is our first using the song Você Não me Ensinou a Te Esquecer by Fernando Mendes. We point out the grammatical and pronunciation differences between Portuguese and Spanish. We offer the Spanish version of the song, Tu no me enseñaste a olvidar by Marcus Maestro to show the differences between Portuguese and Spanish. I even sing a bit of this sensual song and wear a clown nose to show how to say “Não” and other nasal sounds correctly. Another video on Você Não me Ensinou a Te Esquecer will be posted soon.
Susanna Zaraysky habla con Mercedes Soler en el program de NotiMujer en la CNN en Español sobre el idioma ladino (el antiguo español de los judíos explusados de España durante la Inquisición católica en 1492), de dónde viene, como se mantuvó y porque es importante para los sefardíes (judíos españoles) de no perder su lengua ancestral. Se ve a Liliana Benveniste cantando Yo me akodro d’akeya noche en ladino. Susanna Zaraysky speaks with Mercedes Soler in CNN in Spanish about the Ladino language (ancient Spanish of the Jews expelled from Spain during the Inquisition). They discuss the origins of the language, how it was maintained and why it’s important for Sephardic Jews not to lose their ancestral language. Liliana Benveniste sings, Yo me akodro d’akeya noche.
Susanna Zaraysky, autora del libro, El Idioma es Música, habla con Fabiola Kramsky del idioma ladino (de los judíos sefardíes expulsados de España durante la Inquisición) y cómo se conserva hoy en día con la música. Kat Parra canta “En la Mar”, una canción ladina. Al Despertar, Telefutura 66, San Francisco CA. Susanna Zaraysky speaks about the history of the Ladino language of the Spanish Jews expelled from Spain during the Inquisition and how it is being preserved today with music. (English subtitles are available by pressing the “CC” button in the lower right side of the screen or the Interactive Transcript button to the right of the flag button below the screen.)
English subtitles available by pressing the “CC” button in the lower right side of the screen or the Interactive Transcript button to the right of the flag button below the screen. Susanna Zaraysky, autora del libro, El Idioma es Música, habla con Fabiola Kramsky del idioma ladino (de los judíos sefardíes expulsados de España durante la Inquisición) y cómo salvó la vida de un joven judío bosnio durante la segunda guerra mundial. Kat Parra canta “Hannukiah”, una canción ladina. Al Despertar, Univision 14, San Francisco CA. Susanna Zaraysky speaks on San Francisco’s Univision station about how the ancient Ladino language saved a boy’s life during the Holocaust.
Instead of just writing about my wonderful four days in Istanbul, I’ve decided to make a small picture gallery of food and cafes in the city. I am not waiting 11 years, like last time, to return to this great city!
Going Kyrgyz in a Kyrgyz dance costume at a costume ball in Alameda, California. Wearing the Kyrgyz kaplak hat. The Kalpak is a hat usually made from four panels of white felt with traditional patterns stitched into them as decoration. It is worn by males of all ages especially in rural Kyrgyzstan, and is a symbol of the nation.
Yes, I do enjoy linguistic ignorance from time to time. I met with a Turkish Couchsurfer when I was in Istanbul who generously spent two days showing me the city via the Bosphorous ferry and a drive along the Golden Horn. He wanted to give me a crash course in the Turkish language and I had to explain that after almost two weeks in Kyrgyzstan, where I was speaking in Russian all the time and sometimes interpreting (one of my most loathed activities), I wanted to be in the bliss of linguistic ignorance and understand little to nothing of what is said around me. My brain needed a break. When you are in a city as beautiful as Istanbul, and so full of history, just soaking it in is a delight. Here are some photos of what I enjoyed looking at and admiring. When I walked into the Hagia Sophia, I wondered, “Why do so few Americans have passports?” With wonders like this former cathedral that became a mosque under the Ottoman Empire, reasons abound to travel the world. A little language fun… In Russian, this börek shop would mean Idiot’s börek (meat or spinach filled pastries)! Palace… Read more »
Last year, I reported on how the problems resulting from the Azeri language of Azerbaijan being written in Latin script instead of Cyrillic letters. In Azerbaijan, the elderly who haven’t caught on to the new alphabet, can’t read official documents or the election ballots, so they don’t vote. On my recent trip to Central Asia, I learned that in Uzbekistan, the country switched from the Cyrillic alphabet to Latin letters (like the ones we use in English but with accent marks). The new writing system makes it super difficult for the Uzbek diaspora to communicate. The ethnic Uzbeks living in Kyrgyzstan still use the Cyrillic alphabet and Uzbek kids in Kyrgyzstan can’t read children’s textbooks from Uzbekistan because they are written in the Latin alphabet. Why Uzbekistan switched to the Latin alphabet is beyond me. Was it to reject Soviet occupation? It’s one thing to be mad at one’s colonizer, it’s another thing to throw out the baby with the bath water. Why change alphabets when the population is already used to reading in writing in Cyrillic? It seems like an unnecessary burden on the population to learn to read and write anew. After the wars and demise of the… Read more »