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.
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.
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...
At what price, monolingualism?
Fortunately, a scant few of us will ever be in a life or death situation requiring foreign language knowledge. However, Canetti’s example is not the only example of how a multilingual person in the Balkans used a language to save a life. I’m co-producing the documentary, Saved by Language, with Bryan Kirschen about how Moris Albahari saved his life in the Holocaust by speaking in Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) to an Italian Colonel and a US pilot.
Music and Mandarin
Melody and rhythm are important to learning a tonal language like Mandarin, but learning a tonal language through music is not the same as learning a non-tonal language like French.
Education: It’s the music, stupid!
While politicians bicker about how to re-organize and finance schools, parents worry about their children’s academic performance and low-performing students struggle to follow lessons, we are forgetting about a free, fun and extremely powerful...
Improving my Portuguese, one (lost) calorie at a time
We've probably heard of people improving their conversation skills in a language over a meal. I'm reversing the trend. Portuguese vocabulary goes up and the inches melt away. (Let me be ambitious and count in...
Rediscovering Budapest and reveling in the Polyglot Conference
Have you ever felt like traveling into your past while being marveled by the present? My trip to Budapest for the Polyglot Conference was both a trip to my past and a wonderful journey to...