Improving my Portuguese, one (lost) calorie at a time

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We’ve probably heard of people improving their conversation skills in a language over a meal. I’m reversing the trend. Portuguese vocabulary goes up and the inches melt away. (Let me be ambitious and count in inches which are longer than centimeters!) When I say “reading Brazilian books on a bike to improve my Portuguese”, is… Read more »

Language confusion: 3 funny polyglots explain how to avoid mixing up your languages

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If you thought that polyglots are just serious language lovers who spend all their time talking about grammar, you are wrong! I spent three fun-filled days in Poland with Richard Simcott and Luca Lampariello switching languages and making some videos about language learning. We spent most of the three days laughing and enjoying Poland. The… Read more »

Where are the female and non-white polyglots?

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Most of the public Internet polyglots are white males. Do race and national origin play a role in the decisions people make about learning languages? What can we do to inspire more non-whites to learn foreign languages? Back in March 2012, I recorded a Skype call with Fasulye and Jana Fadness to encourage more women… Read more »

Three polyglots meet in Poland

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Do polyglots just talk about language learning? If we did, we’d probably bore each other very quickly! I had the pleasure of meeting Richard Simcott and Luca Lampariello in Poznań, Poland earlier this month. We share six common languages (Russian, English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian) and we gracefully switched from one language to another… 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 »

How to learn Turkish

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Here is the second part of my conversation with Aaron Myers of Everyday Language Learner, an expat from the United States who has been living in Istanbul for over four years. We met in November 2011 near in Istanbul, where he told me about some difficulties and advantages of learning Turkish as an English speaker…. Read more »

How deaf people can learn foreign languages with music

Posted by & filed under Como aprender idiomas con música y los medios, Experiences, How to learn languages with songs and the media, Multilingual women, Susanna's TV interviews.

I often hear these excuses: “I have no ear for languages” or “I don’t have any musical talent, so I can’t learn a foreign language”. WRONG! Here is a very short video I did on Spanish language television (with English subtitles) about how my deaf German friend learned English with the help of the flute…. Read more »

How Russian speakers can sound harsh in English without realizing it

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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 »

(Linguistic) ignorance is bliss, sometimes

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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… Read more »