Men and women, different languages

Why female foreign language students or speakers may not practice or show their languages

Multilingual women, where are you? In late January, I had a Skype call with Benny Lewis for about two hours to discuss our language learning trajectories and I asked him why there were more male...
Crown Princess Masako

Famous Women who speak foreign languages, Do you know of any?

As I am thinking of ways to promote women and girls learning foreign languages and showing their linguistic prowess, I compiled a list of famous and powerful women who are multilingual. Some of them use...
english as a second language

Multilingual identity: I have to speak all my languages to be ME

So far, I've written about language learning and the importance of being multilingual. But I haven't covered a much more personal and psychological element of being a polyglot: my multilingual identity. I joke that...
Eating mutton fat soup for breakfast

Being in limbo: Difficulties of a Russian heritage language speaker going to a Russian...

The limbo land of being a heritage language speaker is one I’ve been inhabiting most of my life. It’s only recently that I’ve known the term “heritage speaker”, referring to those of us who...
Multiple personalities with different languages

Mutlilingual identity: diversity of languages and ways of being

Scientific American magazine published an article about how speaking various languages can alter the personality of the speaker: Polyglots Might Have Multiple Personalities People take on different character traits depending on which language they are using This...
Student ridiculed

Speaking your native (heritage) language despite ridicule

It’s assumed that just because I grew up speaking Russian that it was always easy for me to speak Russian. No way! My parents’ Soviet immigrant friends liked to talk about how well their children...
Spy

Why the CIA needs me and other 1st and 2nd generation immigrants for language...

I keep getting messages from the CIA on Linked In because they need 1st and 2nd generation immigrants to fill their huge need for foreign language speakers. According to this Reuters article, U.S. spy agencies...
Languages Signpost Meaning English Chinese Spanish And French, how to learn a new language fast

Primero Hay Que Aprender Español. Ranhou Zai Xue Zhongwen.

A quiz: If a person who speaks three languages is trilingual, and one who speaks four languages is quadrilingual, what is someone called who speaks no foreign languages at all? Answer: an American. Primero Hay Que...

How to raise a bilingual or multilingual kid

I am typing this just after having a trilingual conversation with my nephew who just came back from Ecuador. When I speak to him in Russian, he responds in Spanish. When I speak to...
video

Speaking in Tongues documentary on public television

Speaking in Tongues is a documentary about raising multilingual children. I just saw it on public television in the US and it's excellent. It shows the controversy over bilingual education and how and why families...

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