What does it take to keep a language alive?


Minde, a Portuguese village of 3000 people, has its own language, Minderico. DSCN1304Minderico developed as a secret language of the textile merchants in the town of Minde. When I heard it, I couldn’t understand anything even though the language has Latin roots.
learning a foreign language

How to learn a language: surrender to it

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...
how to learn a new language fast

I can learn language with music and TV? Really? CBS interview with Susanna Zaraysky

Language is Music? What? Watch this interview on CBS 5 Bay Sunday (San Francisco) about the book, Language is Music, with book author, Susanna Zaraysky who explains how to learn foreign languages with music and the...
how to learn a foreign language

Need an alarm clock to remember who you are? Music awakens our brains, “Music...

As I’ve written before, I wouldn’t have realized that there's a link between learning languages and music if it weren’t for Dr. Oliver Sacks. Dr. Sacks’ books,(Musicophilia, The Mind’s Eye, etc.) have shown me and...
Group of young students studying together at library

Science of language learning

I just read the “Science Grows on Acquiring New Language” article in Education Week by Sarah D. Sparks highlighting research about how we learn foreign languages. Researchers think that the “critical period” to learn...

Lives lost in wars because GI Joe and GI Jane can’t speak foreign languages

The Time Magazine blog post: The Pentagon's Foreign-Language Frustrations shows how poorly US military personnel can actually communicate in Iraq and Afghanistan. The news is appalling, but not surprising. The military's language schools  have...
Arabic tea glass

Review of Rosetta Stone (Arabic), $1 tea lesson is better than $500 Rosetta Stone

I learned more Arabic in 10 minutes with a $1 tea than from 1.5 hours of Rosetta Stone ($500).         (This review shows the negative and positive elements of the Rosetta Stone software for Arabic. I...

Why you should care about endangered languages

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...
learning a foreign language

How deaf people can learn foreign languages with music

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...
Com licenca: Brazilian Portuguese for Spanish Speakers

Sweating to the future subjunctive

How do an exercise bike and a Brazilian Portuguese language book go together? Well, one keeps me from falling asleep because of the other. Problem: I like languages but I fall asleep reading grammar books.

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