No, this post is not an ode to that old Extreme song, although it's still a great one! The post is a little bit about "code switching," I started hearing about everywhere a few years ago. Code switching refers to the verbal portion of the many personas we all have. The words we choose, the way … Continue reading Say What? Edition 7: More Than Words
Against my own personal rules for how best to take advantage of a life that is far too short to absorb everything the world has to offer, I have traveled to an international destination twice. Two weeks ago, I went to Spain. Fourteen years ago I lived there, working in a summer camp in Andalusia … Continue reading Return to Spain
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
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
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
I have a friend from Lima. A mutual acquaintance introduced us because I was looking for a tutor to work with me on my spoken Spanish when I was applying for a special appointment in South America with the State Department. She is personable, well-educated, fun, and we clearly had a lot of common interests, and I … Continue reading Lima
I never studied Greek, but I meant to. When I was 19, I had a plan. A list of 10 languages and how many years I was going to spend studying and becoming fluent in each to be the ultimate polyglot powerhouse. It was a motley collection of languages from all continents. Norwegian, Swahili, Vietnamese. … Continue reading Alpha
Near the end of sixth grade, the school herded everyone in that grade into the auditorium. Someone explained to us that next year we would start learning a foreign language. Yes, that is a pathetically late time to start, but that decision was out of my control. We were given two choices – Spanish or … Continue reading Quoi?
Era la exhumación final de todo lo soñado y lo vivido, el comienzo de un viaje sin retorno hacia el pasado que ya sólo acabará conmigo.