When italki made it possible for teachers to create a podcast and share it on the platform, I jumped in. I'd been thinking for a while about creating a podcast for English learners, based on excerpts from real literature in English -- starting with poems that I've collected, but eventually including prose works as well. … Continue reading A new project: the Enchanted English podcast
Dear blog readers, how have you been? What's on your mind and heart? Share your monthly review in the comments, or any other thoughts, and I'll be sure to follow up. In this time of distancing, lockdown, and just wintry coldness, I appreciate our interactions all the more. Literature I read a lot of books … Continue reading Month in Review: January 2022
Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct, 1994 It took me a couple of months, but I did it! In my last Make Me Read It poll, readers chose Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct, a complex yet relatively accessible account by a cognitive psychologist, describing his understanding of "how the mind creates language." I did not always … Continue reading You made me read it: The Language Instinct
Retable of the life of the Virgin, anonymous, c. 1480 At the turning point of timethe spirit light of the worldentered the stream of earth-existence.Darkness of nighthad ceased its reign;day-radiant lightshone forth in human souls.LightThat gives warmthTo simple shepherds' hearts;lightthat enlightensthe wise heads of kings. Light divine,Christ-Sun,warm our hearts,enlighten our heads,that good may becomewhat from … Continue reading Shepherds and Kings, warmth and light
Here's the final post from my Summer in Other Languages readalong, Die Kleine Hexe by Otfried Preußler, with a summary in German, an English translation, and some last thoughts on the conclusion of the book. If' you've been following along, thanks for being with me on this journey! I've really enjoyed it and I hope … Continue reading Die Kleine Hexe: Chapters 16-20
Here’s part three of my Summer in Other Languages readalong of Die Kleine Hexe by Otfried Preußler. Once again, I’ll give a short summary of this section in German, an English version of the summary, and some observations and questions. Die kleine Hexe sucht mehr Menschen zu helfen mit ihrer Verzauberung. Sie hilft Thomas und … Continue reading Die Kleine Hexe: Chapters 11-15
For English speakers, one of the main hazards in learning a language like French or German is the existence of informal and formal versions for the second person (you). This used to be part of English as well -- "thou" was informal, though now it sounds extra formal and archaic to our ears. However, this … Continue reading A formal feeling
How can we travel the world in the time of a global pandemic? Through reading, of course! Last summer, I focused on reading books in other languages - and it was such a great experience, I wanted to do it again. And as with last time, I'd like to invite anyone who wants to join … Continue reading Coming soon: Summer in Other Languages
"You have no idea how frightfully interesting it is to take a human being and change her into a quite different human being by creating a new speech for her. It's filling up the deepest gulf that separates class from class and soul from soul."from Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw These words spoken by Professor … Continue reading Can language transform your life?
Fear stalked me for a long time in language learning. When I started learning French as a teenager, I was extremely self-conscious, battered down by criticism of my appearance, and desperately afraid to speak in public. This was not conducive to practicing a new language, where mistakes are inevitable. I limited my utterances to the … Continue reading What am I afraid of?