Why you should care about endangered languages

Posted by & filed under Benefits of multilingualism.

Endangered species. Endangered whales. Endangered languages? What’s an endangered language? About half of the world’s 6000 languages will be extinct in 100 years unless we act to preserve them. In this video, I explain why you should care about languages, how linguistic diversity enriches your life and brain health and what we can do to… Read more »

How to learn languages and make them stick

Posted by & filed under Benefits of multilingualism, Experiences, How to learn languages with songs and the media, Multilingual identity.

Last week, I did a guest post on Polyglot Dream (Luca Lampariello’s popular language learning blog about how to learn languages and attain native-like pronunciation. I internalize the foreign languages that I learn to the point where I physically and emotionally resonate with them. I made a playlist of videos in English, Russian, French, Spanish,… Read more »

Making language learning free and available to all

Posted by & filed under Benefits of multilingualism, Free Language Learning Resources.

Aaron Myers and I met in Istanbul, Turkey in November 2011. Aaron Meyers has created his project, I-586, to bring free language learning materials to people in languages other than English since so many language learning materials online are only available in English. Here’s the portion of our Skype call about how he wants to… Read more »

How Russian speakers can sound harsh in English without realizing it

Posted by & filed under Benefits of multilingualism, Experiences, Resources.

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show made a funny and correct assessment of why Russian speakers sound “evil” in English, although they may not have any bad intentions. “I wonder if Russia has been our (US) enemy for so many years because everything they say just sounds evil. Maybe it’s all been a misunderstanding of… Read more »

Alphabet politics: Change your alphabet, alienate people

Posted by & filed under Benefits of multilingualism, Multilingual identity.

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,… Read more »