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?
how to learn a new language fast

Gift for the holidays: how a language saved a life

For a limited time, until December 31, 2014, Saved by Language is on pre-sale. You can buy it here. The DVD comes with English, Ladino, Spanish and Bosnian subtitles. Choose from PAL and NTSC formats.
music and language

Music can bridge the income gap in education

Music can help people bounce back after a stroke or brain trauma. It can also narrow the achievement gap between poor and rich kids.

TEDx: Music + language (songs) activate our brains, hearts and souls.

Alas, my TEDx talk on why we need to learn foreign languages and save endangered languages via music has been posted online.
Idioma é música

The Portuguese language has many homelands

Over two years ago, I wrote about the idea of a language as a homeland as I was starting my journey into the endangered language of Ladino/Judeo-Spanish. The Portuguese writer, Fernando Pessoa, is quoted as...

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.
Language is Music

Upcoming presentations on language learning via music

Next week will be a bonanza week for me in terms of presentations on learning languages via music and preserving endangered languages with songs and technology.
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.

New year, new books on language learning

January not only brought in a new year, it brought in three new books! First, I updated Language is Music with about 30 new tips on language learning using music, TV, radio, movies and other...

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