Special “foreigner treatment”: please no! I’m a heritage speaker.

Usually, I don’t want to attract attention to my not being a local by asking for special treatment when I am in a Russian speaking country. Because as soon as I tell...
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...
woman holding her face, letters around her

How to avoid bilingual caregiver burnout

The scalpel cut into my father’s chest. As blood oozed out of the wet, pink flesh, the surgeon said to me, “Tell your Dad I’m going to cauterize his skin to prevent infection.” My Dad,...
Turkish festival

Multilingual ≠ not a racist or a terrorist

I'd like to think that those who are multilingual are less likely to become racists and revert to deadly extremism because communicating with people in other languages opens one’s mind and introduces one to...
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...
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...
Obama and Medvedev Russian (matroshkis) stacking dolls

Spaceman: Being in between languages

When I lived in Argentina, a Spaniard told me about a friend of his whose parents were from Spain but grew up in Portugal. When the Spanish man visited Spain from Portugal, he couldn’t...
brain power

Being Bilingual May Boost Your Brain Power

Last week, National Public Radio (NPR) reported a story, Being Bilingual May Boost Your Brain Power, that bilingual children may have more brain power and that Alzheimer's disease may be delayed or averted if one...
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...

Recent Posts

Popular Posts

Translate »