Oh, I see! moments
Travel Cultures Language

14 Ways of Learning
a Second Language

by Joyce McGreevy on August 8, 2017

A signpost atop Floyen, Bergen in Norway reflects the idea that learning a second language can take you in new directions. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

Learning a language takes you in new directions.
© Joyce McGreevy

Language Tips for Busy People

Research shows that learning a second language is like superfood for the brain. Experts say we’re predisposed to be multilingual. So why do so many smart people think learning a second language is impossible?

Curiously, those who claim linguistic ineptitude often use complex grammar:

  • “Had I understood the benefits of learning Japanese, I would have taken classes.”
  • “If only I could have learned Spanish in high school, I would be fluent today.”

When Worlds Converse

by Joyce McGreevy on April 24, 2017

A handwritten word list in Greece exemplifies how global citizens can help each other become multilingual. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

A handwritten word list in Greek is a global citizen’s treasured gift.
© Joyce McGreevy

Language Lessons for Global Citizens

When you travel, what languages do you speak? After all, every day you navigate a rich linguistic landscape—and that’s before you leave North America.  As a global citizen, you’re more predisposed to becoming multilingual than you may realize.

For example, did you ever

  • attend kindergarten, use a thesaurus, or study algebra?
  • wear corduroy or khaki, moccasins or a parka?
  • observe graffiti or a replica?
  • blitz through work like a ninja, or do yoga on a patio?

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.

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