Just because somebody speaks two languages, he/she is not a natural, automatic interpreter and translator. A multilingual person can’t translate anything anybody wants, and can’t do simultaneous interpretation. I have received many requests and demands to translate and interpret on the spot from monolingual people and from multilinguals who aren’t used to being in situations where they have to interpret or translate.
The idea that just because somebody is bilingual that they should make a career as a translator and an interpreter or do it for friends and family as favors is absolutely faulty.
Rare is the book which envelops my attention, delights me in its prose, makes me re-read passages both for the joy of the flow of the sentences and for the content and strikes a chord with me personally. Le testament français (UK edition)/Dreams of my Russian Summers (US edition) not only had all of the… Read more »
I have heard on several occasions that the sign of fluency in a language is when one dreams in the language. That can’t be true. Or else I’m fluent in Arabic without being aware of it! I briefly studied Arabic but I don’t speak it. However, sometimes I have dreams in Arabic, or in what… Read more »
The word “surrender” conjures up images of defeat and submission. But when it comes to language learning, the more you give yourself up to your target language, the more successful you will be. Why do people speak with accents? They are stuck in the phonological structure of their native tongue. Why do foreign language speakers… Read more »
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 »
In this video interview, Aaron Myers, an expat from the US who has been raising two children in Istanbul for over four years gives advice about how to raise kids in a different country and maintain two languages.
Professor François Grosjean, the Emeritus Professor of psycholinguistics at Neuchâtel University, Switzerland is a specialist in bilingualism, multilingualism and heritage language speakers. Last week, he wrote a blog piece, Portraying Heritage Language Speakers: Heritage language speakers are bilinguals with a difference. in Psychology Today about my case as a Russian heritage speaker working in… Read more »
I highly recommend the book, Babel No More. It’s a fun read as it’s written like a detective story and you can feel the passion for languages that the hyperglots demonstrate. Why I read Babel No More First there was Michael Erard’s opinion article in the New York Times about how monolingual Americans really are and… Read more »
(My country is the Portuguese language. Fernando Pessoa) The idea of feeling an affinity with a language is not foreign to me given that I speak seven languages and have studied ten. In fact, my likes and dislikes for the sounds of languages have repelled me from certain languages and attracted me to others. But… Read more »
(Photo is of Lisbon, Portugal.) Feeling like I am in Portugal without leaving the United States I ventured into the Little Portugal area of San Jose, California, where the local immigrant population from the Azores islands convene around a church, a couple cafes and restaurants and a store. Oddly, I hadn’t been there for over… Read more »