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Travel Cultures Language

Nobody in Bulgaria
Is Calling You a Hobo

by Joyce McGreevy on February 27, 2017

A Bulgarian street prompts the thought that learning a second language will mean learning a second alphabet, Cyrillic. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

Not all who wander Bulgarian streets are lost, just the non-Bulgarians.
© Joyce McGreevy

When Learning a Second Language
Means Learning a Second Alphabet

Your mission? Walk to the store. The one with signs that say “HOBO!” Funny, many stores in Bulgaria display that word. Why? You’re learning a second language, but hobo is nowhere in your phrasebook.

Even more mystifying to an English speaker? Bulgarian maps.

A Bulgarian map helps the author understand that learning a second language will mean learning a second alphabet, Cyrillic. (Image in the public domain.)

Should I turn наляво or надясно? And which is which?

Someone tells you, “Bilingual signs are everywhere.” So off you go, innocent as the day you were born. Sure enough, you find a sign with two versions of a street name.

Life Changes When A Brain Goes Bilingual

by Sheron Long on July 29, 2014

Shape of the Western hemisphere in an eye, illustrating how life changes and the world view expands for people with a bilingual brain. (Image © Stockbyte)

Oh, how the view of your world expands!
© Stockbyte

Power Up! Know the 6 “Warming” Signs

The bilingual brain is hot! Powered by two or more languages, it leads to a series of life changes. Should you embark on this adventure, recognize the 6 “warming” signs and get set to become a different person.

#1  You Start to Zag

Growing up, you get pretty good at zigging, doing things the usual way. But once you start communicating in a second language, you have to find fast work-arounds. The very thing you want to say requires a word you don’t yet know.

Heading South to Ecuador And North on Life Goals

by Bruce Goldstone on December 30, 2013

Bilingual sign in Ecuador, part of a language learning experience that caused a shift in life goals. (Image © Bruce Goldstone)

Take note: That’s not Señor Chancho and it’s not Mr. Pig.
© Bruce Goldstone

How I Started in on Language Learning—And Gained a Lot More

Twelve years ago, this Mr. Chancho sign would have meant little to me.

But now, whenever I look at this photo, it reminds me that any journey is full of surprises, if you’re open to them. I started out on a language learning mission, and wound up shifting my life goals along the way.

Goal One: A Healthy Brain

In 2002, I signed up for Spanish lessons at the Cervantes Institute in New York City. My goal was to keep my brain shipshape.

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