Languages are hard to learn. Sure, I'm a professional writer, which means me am totes real good at English. But outside of my mother tongue, these abilities sort of drop off the table. I studied French for 15 years in school, from Kindergarten to my final year of college.
I live in a schizophrenic household. Two languages, two cultures, two sets of swear words. In our marriage of 40 years, my French husband and I have lived daily between two worlds. We lived in his country, and in mine. We worked in his country, and in mine.
Learning a second language is unproductive and a veritable waste of time. At long last I have come to my senses. After years expounding and arguing about the benefits of learning foreign tongues I have come to realize the truth and seen the light.
Visit all the great New York sights such as the Empire State building, Rockefeller Center, and the South Street Seaport. But, be sure to stop into these exceptional stores. You'll get to play a game of chess, see magic tricks, get acting tips or take a language lesson.
Anyone who's ever been irked by improper use of a semicolon or a misplaced comma will find a kindred spirit in Lynne Truss, a British journalist and novelist whose bestselling book covers all manner of mistakes in the English language.
Movie subtitles can annoy--as visual clutter--when you don't need them, but they are a godsend for the deaf and anyone watching a foreign language film. Now a devoted group of 200,000 volunteer video subbers on Viki.com have elevated the humble subtitle to an art form.
Being a linguist does put you in a minority amongst native English speakers. I guess I've been in a little comprehension bubble by mainly traveling in countries in which I speak the lingo. All that changed when I moved to Greece.
There is a trick to learning languages that can shorten the journey to fluency from decades to mere months. There's also something most teachers won't even tell students for fear they would never start, but in fact, is vital that you know.
Farid Haque's mother speaks Arabic, his father, Japanese, his friends, Urdu and his wife, Norwegian. When this education technology entrepreneur, publisher and gamer launched his company, the road ahead was obvious.