Gellert bath house

Learning Hungarian via Italian opera, neo-Nazis and a phone sex line

Living in Budapest, Magyarország (Hungary) made me think in different ways in order to express myself in Hungarian, see the modern incarnations of a dark chapter of European history and hatred and fend off...
woman's mouth with $20 bill

Putting my money where my mouth is

I was born in a Communist country where you couldn’t speak freely. If you opposed the government, you would go to jail or you’d go to a gulag (prison camp) and may never return,...
Mental health problems

How to identify depression and find help

I am writing to convince you why it’s important to talk to people who are close to you about their mental health issues. If you don’t want to do it because it makes you...
video

I was a child refugee. Don’t send back the migrant ships!

After long last, I am making videos again. Below you have a video in Italian and a blog post in English and link to the original Italian article I wrote. VIDEO: I made this video "I...

Don’t fault innovative musicians!

Instead of criticizing people who are risk takers, we should be applauding their efforts because if we don’t innovate, these languages are going to die.

Alphabet politics: Change your alphabet, alienate people

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...

Teaching language learning in areas marred by ethnic violence

The odd irony of giving three presentations about language learning in a city that saw 450 people killed last year in ethnic violence was not lost on me. Via the US Embassy, I was...

Bride kidnapping in Central Asia, Is an English speaking woman less likely to be...

Talking about learning English using music and media at the American Corner, Kant, Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz flag on wall. In the past year, I’ve been paying more attention to reaching out to girls...
The Whistleblower film

Could speaking English empower female sex trafficking victims to escape?

I rarely talk about the practical life-saving applications of speaking another language. But the topics of female sex trafficking and bride kidnapping make me wonder about how speaking another language, particularly English, could liberate...
Lenin in Kyrgyz kindergarten

Russian as a colonial language: native Russian speaker sees her language anew

Although I knew that the Russian Empire and Soviet regime spread the Russian language to the countries that were once part of the Russian empire and Soviet Union, I only recently truly felt the...

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