Silence is golden: my Japanese escape from multilingualism

After exiting the airport and embarking on my three-hour train and subway ride to my cousin’s apartment in Chofu, I sat on my train seat and looked around. Since leaving the airport, I had...
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I don’t “speak white”. Multilingualism is my identity.

For those of us who are bilingual or multilingual, our languages may shape our identities and cultural affiliations more so than race, economic status or religion. With about 20% of children in the US population...
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...

When being multilingual is a burden

What you’re about to read may seem counter-intuitive.  Sometimes, being able to speak more than one language can be more of a burden than a benefit.  You might ask:  “How so? Isn't the ability to communicate across...

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...

Hiding behind a multilingual mask

Being surrounded by various languages at the UN and then being forced to speak Portuguese, I had to think about what to do with my language knowledge and stop hiding.  United Nations, “It’s your world”...
learning a foreign languagevideo

Farenheit 451 (remake): no more multilingualism

As a bibliophile and great admirer of the dystopian novel Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and the original 1966 film adaptation, I was surprised at how much I liked the 2018 film remake that...
People communicate online in different languages communication concept

Why It’s Smart to Be Bilingual: The brain’s real super-food may be learning new...

A recent article in Newsweek, Why it's smart to be bilingual, shows some positive and negative elements of multilingualism. I didn't know that those who know more than one language may have a reduced vocabulary...
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...

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...

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