Tag Archives: New York City

Queens New York: The World’s Linguistic Melting Pot

In some cases, to find the last speaker of a dying language instead of traveling to remote outposts of civilization or border towns destroyed by war and crippling poverty, you can hop on the 7 train out of Grand Central Station to a stop in the borough of Queens. Heralded as the most culturally diverse(…)


Recounting the Ever-Changing Diversity of New York City

What do Peter Minuit, Pieter Minuit, Pierre Minuit, and Peter Minnewit all have in common? You guessed it! They’re all the same person, with spelling differences. Taking the first version, Peter Minuit, to be our variation, who here knows why he is famous? History may not have been everyone’s strongest suit (or maybe history plays(…)


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(…)


Hep to the Step, Hep to the Lingo: What is Jive?

Language can define a generation; just look at the effect the internet, with sites like Tumblr, Vine, and Reddit, has had on the way we speak today. Groovy vernacular was common in the 60s, while the 80s was rad,  perhaps even tubular. What about the age of jazz during the 30s and the 40s? Whaddya(…)


New York’s linguistic diversity

New York City has always been an incredibly diverse place – people have been attracted to its charms and promise since the 19th Century. Ellis Island saw people from all over the world pass through it, and their descendents now make New York a cultural melting pot. This interesting article in the New York Times(…)