The Interpreter

Why I Hate Interpreting and Translating: multilinguals are not “natural” interpreters and translators

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.
Language Learning Articles

You are not your language. Linguistic snobbery blocks language learning

f you fashion yourself Ernest Hemingway or Jorge Luis Borges’ incarnate and therefore exempt from learning an “inferior” tongue, let’s do a reality check. Where’s your Nobel Prize for Literature? Where are the bookshelves of tomes in your name worthy of mention?

Even spies need to read my book!

Having just read this article written by Nikita Khrushchev's great grand-daughter about how one of the Russian spies couldn't hide his Russian accent makes me both laugh and wonder why the Russian government spent...
Russian through French

Russia through French eyes: Experiencing life anew in a different language

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...
Language Learning

MTV, here we come! 17 polyglots redo “Call me Maybe” in 30+ languages

That's right. Seventeen Internet polyglots came together, under the tireless direction of Benny Lewis of Fluent in Three Months, to create the first ever polyglot music video. There are over 30 languages in this...

Watch “Saved by Language” online or on DVD

The film, Saved by Language about how Moris Albahari saved his life in World War II in Bosnia by using the Ladino language is now available to the public! You can rent it for $7 to watch online as many times as you like in a three-day period or you can buy the DVD for $25 and watch it whenever you want. You can order the DVD in either the PAL or NTSC format. Both the DVD and the online rental have subtitles in English, Ladino, Spanish, Portuguese and Bosnian/Serbo-Croatian.

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.

Sensual Brazilian music —> Learn Portuguese

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...

Free foreign language lessons

Learn languages for free on Open Culture.com. The site features 37 foreign languages, including Spanish, French, English, Mandarin, Italian, Russian and more. Download lessons to your computer and mp3 player and you’re good to...

Portuguese via Brazilian music

In this lesson, Luciana Lage (of Street Smart Brazil) and I use the song Toda Sexta Feira to teach the days of the week in Portuguese, how to use the words todo/toda, and pronounce...

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