Tag Archives: general language learning

Linguistics 101 Series: Why You Need to Master Prosody to Speak a Foreign Language

When you learn a foreign language, you usually study pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. Maybe even a new alphabet. But how many of your language teachers have ever mentioned prosody? Prosody is the “music” of language. In spoken languages, prosody is the variation of pitches across a sentence or discourse level. For example, in American English we tend to raise our …

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Why You Should Learn Chinese

Someone on Quora Français recently asked me, “why should I learn Chinese?” (This post was originally written in French for Quora. Lisez son original en français) My opinion? There are several reasons why you’ll want to choose Chinese as your foreign language. Use Chinese to Access Global Business Right now, much of the world considers learning English to be their …

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10 Hawaiian Words Everyone Should Know

Going to Hawaii? One thing I found really interesting about my trip to Hawaii was that nearly every local, regardless of their heritage or proficiency in the Hawaiian language, would frequently use Hawaiian words. Even more interesting, they would use these words even in conversation with tourists, assuming we knew their meaning! While nearly every American knows the word “aloha”*, …

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 A Note About Being a “Woman in Language”

Why we women in language should stop apologizing for our abilities, and learn to love the word “polyglot”.   Recently, the New Yorker published a fascinating article about hyperpolyglots. It was wonderfully researched, with great color. But one line caught my eye: “An extreme language learner has a more-than-random chance of being a…male.” The author Judith Thurman does not cite …

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