Adventures in urban language-learning

July 6, 2016 | Review Period
Learning Review Period

A Summer Linguabinge!

I am running from one language to the next, awakening slumbering friends.

I did not mean to abandon Pashto. I love Pashto. I merely put it on hold. More on that another time! In preparation for my talk on language-learning products at Polyglot Conference Thessaloniki 2016, I am now giddily regarding my language…

July 4, 2016 | Review Period

Polyglot Conference Thessaloniki 2016

Greece, here I come!

In late October I will be going to the 2016 Polyglot Conference in Greece, where I will give a presentation entitled “Language Utopia! One Polyglot’s Product Fantasies.” It will be X-rated. From the Polyglot Conference Home Page! Just kidding. It’…

July 3, 2016 | Review Period


A Dazzling New Entry in the Global Language-Learning Market

Last October, using a big discount offered to Polyglot Conference attendees, I acquired for my personal language library a healthy portion of the products offered by Glossika, a small but shockingly productive publisher based in Taiwan. Glossika Language Pileup! I…

February 2, 2016 | Pashto

Grammar Books for Protection?

In which an Arabic verb book may possibly have protected me from a crazy person.

Today in New York I got into a verbal altercation with a woman at a cafe who refused to move her belongings off an adjacent seat so that I could sit down. (There were no other seats.) Here’s what…

January 16, 2016 | Pashto

The Art of Pimsleur Pashto

The mellifluous voice of the woman on the audio recordings makes for excellent Pashto promotion.

Until a couple of weeks ago I was zipping along with my Pimsleur audio lessons for Pashto. When I don’t like a voice on an audio recording, it is a huge bummer. It doesn’t happen much — I am…

January 11, 2016 | Pashto

Cheating on Pashto

I keep studying Arabic instead.

I love the Pashto I’ve encountered so far, but I have a confession: I have been temporarily tempted aside by Arabic. Just as I was about to finish the first 30 audio lessons that Pimsleur offers for Pashto, I…

November 29, 2015 | Pashto

Went North, Found World Literature

In which changing my coffee shop routine led me to global writers.

I am trying to shake up my routine a bit, so I have been testing out a new coffee shop. I realize this is not the most radical alteration one could make to one’s lifestyle, but much of life…

November 28, 2015 | Pashto

Polyglot Conference NYC 2015: A Linguagala!

More than 400 language nerds took over Manhattan in October.

I loved the Polyglot Conference, held October 10-11 at the SVA Theatre on 23rd Street. About 425 people from around the world landed on the isle of Manhattan for two days of language talks and linguatastic extracurriculars. It made me happy. …

September 1, 2015 |

On a Language-Review Bender

Old languages are bubbling, slithering, slinking around in there, and I want them to come out!

For the past months, my language life has continued unabated, on a daily basis, though undocumented here on this blog. I kind of fizzled out on Swedish, not really quite getting where I wanted to go, but it is not…

March 8, 2015 | Swedish

Big Apple Greeter Preparation

I have to brush up on Italian, so I'm reading Assimil's Lo Svedese!

After a winter hiatus, I am back to doing weekly Big Apple Greeter visits. What that means is I take tourists around New York through the Big Apple Greeter volunteer program. The goal is to show visitors a slice of…