Easy Tips for Etiquette Abroad

While fall may be fast approaching, summer is not over yet! If you have an upcoming trip abroad, here are some tips to show your hosts that you have put in some time to learn about the country, culture, language and customs. While most folks understand that we are newbies to the country and will give us slack,... Continue Reading →

Is it Fall or Autumn?

Today it’s a matter of regional usage (e.g. North America vs Great Britain) but how did we get here? Pre-16th century, the season was known as “hærf-est”, basically “harvest”. Interesting to note that this root is still in play in modern Germanic languages (Dutch herfst, German Herbst and Scottish hairst). The word “autumn” is thought to... Continue Reading →

Finding Your Second Language

Finding your second language: An invitation to compare yourself to…yourself There is a wonderful article in the New Yorker about hyperpolyglots (those who speak at least 6 languages) that is worth a look-see. Hyperpolyglots are basically the Olympic-level champions of language acquisition. A fascinating world to say the least! And just like their athletic counterparts,... Continue Reading →

Spotlight on Russia

The World Cup is upon us and the eyes of the world will be glued to their TVs over the coming months to watch the games taking place in Russia. That said, here’s a little linguistic trivia on where the word Russia likely comes from: While much of the ancestry of modern Russians can be... Continue Reading →

April – The Month of Opening

Like so many words in our native language, we generally don’t think about where they come from and what their meaning and, perhaps, true spirit is. Take a look at the words for “to open” and “April” in a couple of romance languages: aprire/aprile (Italian), abrir/abril (Spanish/Portuguese). Notice that the letters p and b are a... Continue Reading →

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

As we celebrate the patron saint of Ireland, we thought we’d reflect not just on the “luck of the Irish” but how they and other cultures celebrate the idea of luck. China: Is it lucky number 7 or number 8?  Depends on who you ask! In western cultures, we like number 7. Probably because the... Continue Reading →

Happy Lunar New Year!

Lunar New Year is just around the corner and you will start to see signs around the city wishing people a “Happy Chinese New Year”. What many people don’t realize, but what our Korean or Vietnamese language teachers could tell you: Lunar new year is not just celebrated in Chinese communities. In Vietnam the lunar new... Continue Reading →

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑