Monthly Archives: June, 2017

Monolingualism in the United States

Pub quiz time: what is the official language of the United States? We’ll wait. Because whilst English is perceived as the language of the United States, there is no official language of the United States. It is only an official language in 27 states, and we say, only, because if movements such as English Only(…)


Yiddish: New York’s Lost Language

I’ve heard it said that every language in the world is spoken in Queens, New York. While this may not be a proven fact, hang out on the streets of Jackson Heights or Woodside and you might get an inkling of how it could be true. I like to count languages when I’m on the(…)


Why Is Hard-Learned Language So Easily Forgotten?

Coming to the end of a two-month stay in my hometown of New York, away from my home in Thailand, I overheard three young Thai women on holiday walking along the West Side Promenade talking about the city. It was a normal enough discussion of the buildings, the river, the lack of public toilets, all(…)


Language Learning: If Gestures Could Talk

Are you a hand-speaker? Do you punctuate your sentences with wide, sweeping arm gestures, or sharp hand cuts through the air signaling an end of subject? Then maybe this will, uh, speak to you! Gesticulating In truth, a lot of us gesture when we speak. Watching someone get flustered with their argument or passionate about(…)