If you are on a journey to learn a new language and already speak one fluently…but have not tried Lang-8, then you are in for a revolution. Debuting in 2007, Lang-8 took language learning to the highest, most user-friendly, international stratosphere (and that was three years ago!) …and it has never looked back.
- The premise: Free Language Tutoring.
- How: Users of Lang-8 (Infinite Languages) write journal entries in a foreign language. Then, other Lang-8 users who are native speakers of that language correct them. In return, those users’ journal entries are corrected by other Lang-8 members. What often happens is that 2 members who want to learn each others’ native language meet, and thereafter frequently correspond. A simple way to bridge divides between nations, reduce miscommunication, and further world peace? Its name is Lang-8. Continue reading
Compared to most of my other entries, this will come off as more of an Op-Ed piece.
I speak several languages and understand several more. On top of that, I pride myself on being able to distinguish and identify many languages almost immediately (both upon hearing them spoken or seeing them written). It is a strange kind of pride to many, I am sure, but as strange as it is to be a single polyglot (at least that is what I strive to be) the experience becomes ever-stranger when I interact with my quite gifted—and quite adorable if I might add—polyglot girlfriend. Continue reading
Living in the United States today are millions of people with the capability to speak only one language. Bilingualism is a very common trait to have though and more than we even may want to believe or deem necessary. Borders of nations may be clear-cut and divisive but the beauty of language is it knows no boundaries. Like the river when it meets the ocean, language flows and blends while simultaneously growing, expanding, fading, and eventually dying, becoming one with the rest of the sea.
- A World Without Bilinguals
Go north from the United States for example, and French-English bilinguals can be found; to the south Spanish-English bilinguals are common; in Korea meet the Japanese-Korean or Chinese-Korean bilinguals; within Europe where nations are as intertwined in language as they are financially, culturally, and historically, it is no longer bilingualism but trilingualism or more. In my opinion–and to cut to the chase–you could say that these bilinguals are the glue that hold our world together, the cartilage between the bones so to speak that make the entire structure move easy politically, socially, etc. Can you picture the world as an organism? In many ways the human race as a whole is becoming more and more like a single organism: the internet connects us like a nervous system, worldwide organizations respond to aid natural disaster victims like white blood cells to a cut, language is tied with our culture as a kind of bone structure holding it all up, and bilinguals work between nations as intermediaries like the connective tissue called cartilage that makes the walking smooth. Continue reading