On the Eleventh Day of China: Who Speaks Chinglish?

I'm going to start this post by saying that I was blown away by all my tour guides' English abilities. Seriously blown away. As tour guides, I expected their English to be good, but they all had vocabularies far beyond what I expected. They understood everything I and the other guests asked, they understood all … Continue reading On the Eleventh Day of China: Who Speaks Chinglish?

Say What? Edition 8: When Native Speakers Sound Like They Aren’t

My roommate my first year in Russia told me that English was an easy language to start speaking and make yourself decently understood but near impossible to master because of all the idioms, nuance, unexpected pronunciations, and multiple ways of saying everything. No matter how long you speak it, you're always going to encounter something … Continue reading Say What? Edition 8: When Native Speakers Sound Like They Aren’t

Say What? Edition 4: Thoughts From Italy

A collection of random linguistically-related thoughts that popped into my head while in Italy four weeks ago. ******************** Language can provide anonymity in a crowd. One of my biggest linguistic pleasures when in Europe is hearing half a dozen languages spoken around me at any one time. I enjoy it partly because you feel a … Continue reading Say What? Edition 4: Thoughts From Italy

Say What? Edition 3: Thoughts From Switzerland

A collection of random, linguistically-related thoughts that popped into my head while in Switzerland five weeks ago. ******************** Going abroad makes you realize that your language skills aren't nearly as good as they should be. How did I used to be fluent in German but a few weeks ago I couldn't even understand what the Swiss … Continue reading Say What? Edition 3: Thoughts From Switzerland

Say What? Edition 2: The Foreign Language Edition

I used to speak four foreign languages at a high intermediate level. Now I can still hold my own in Spanish, but that’s about it. I went to a French conversation group a few weeks ago to attempt speaking French for the first time in about three years and was mortified that I could barely … Continue reading Say What? Edition 2: The Foreign Language Edition