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...
learning a foreign language

Where are the female and non-white polyglots?

Most of the public Internet polyglots are white males. Do race and national origin play a role in the decisions people make about learning languages? What can we do to inspire more non-whites to learn...
foreign language learning

What makes the 20 most spoken languages tick?

  What makes the 20 most spoken languages tick? I greatly enjoyed the book Babel: Around the World in 20 Languages. Gaston Dorren explains the histories of the 20 most spoken languages in the world, with...

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...
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.

Polyglot dreaming: In which language do you dream?

I have heard on several occasions that the sign of fluency in a language is when one dreams in the language. That can't be true. Or else I'm fluent in Arabic without being aware...
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.
listening

Listening: the key element to foreign language learning

I am so glad to find another person, Corey Heller of Multilingual Living, who is loudly telling language learners and teachers that listening is the main element to foreign language learning. If more people listened...
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...
elite school

Not learning languages reduced job prospects

The Telegraph article, Foreign languages are 'elitist' subjects, came out earlier this year in the UK showing that state jobs require foreign language knowledge while fewer school offer language classes. This means that more people...

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