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How to pass for a native speaker

I was amazed by the response from last week’s post on “looking the language”. If truth be told, I’d had some second thoughts before publishing it. The whole subject of appearance, identity and cultural acceptance as a native speaker is – needless to say – a sensitive one, and one that I have been dealing with my whole life. Yet in the emails, …

How do you learn languages?

I often tell people that I learnt to speak Russian at the kitchen table. This is, of course, a shameless lie. I attended eight hours of language classes a week with 10-15 hours of homework on average and vocabulary lists of sometimes up to 1000 words, did this for an entire year before revising for, sitting, and having to pass …