Multilingual_road_sign_in_Glendale,_CA

How to really learn 30 languages

Nobody ever taught me how to learn languages, so when I first started, it was slow. I didn’t know what I was doing. We’d only just had the Internet installed at home a few years beforehand, and I didn’t know anybody else who was doing it. Whenever I’d tell people I wanted to learn more languages, they’d ask the same …

Give us our language back!

I find it difficult to describe the true level of horror and dismay that I felt when I came across a news article about a recent proposal to make English the sole official language of the European Union. I find it even more difficult to come to terms with the fact that this has not come from the British – the famed …

Language and politics: when is multilingualism a political act?

Recently it was announced that for the first time in 20 years, Hebrew classes have been reintroduced by Hamas to the university syllabus  in the Gaza strip. Hamas apparently intends to entirely reintroduce Hebrew teaching to secondary schools as well, despite great resistence from the local population. However, Hamas insists that it is important for the Palestinians to “know the …

Multilingualism and literature: 10 authors who write in other languages

Is writing an internationally acclaimed, bestseller novel in a foreign language a mark of fluency? Following on from my recent post, I thought it would be interesting to list some of the many multilingual writers and novelists who write in other languages. What particularly interests me, is that many of these write in their second or third languages, of which …