The Downside of Speaking Too Many Languages

Though I swear I don’t get them confused in my head (I “enter” into a “mode” where I think, act, and behave in that particular language), an odd thing happened while driving into work this morning. I usually run my language tapes as a way of multitasking and staying sharp on them (how easy it […]

Immigrants, Race, and Language – A Perfect Trifecta

What a day for controversial news topics! First, it’s common for certain languages to fade from use as immigrants assimilate. I had thought that the process would be more difficult now that media is more easily available from immigrants’ home countries, but perhaps the US is just “exceptional” in integration. This story about Hispanics losing […]

Let Us All Unite and Drink Tea Together

I’ve long since wondered why so many languages all use the same word for tea. Well, yesterday’s enlightening exhibit at the Hall of Opium in the Golden Triangle elucidated that reason. Tea originated in China and was relatively unknown in the rest of the world until the Dutch and Portuguese began trading in south China. […]

The Pitfalls In Learning Languages

Ah, languages. They are lovely to hear, stressful to learn, and quick to be forgotten. But one interesting observation that someone at The Atlantic has made is that native speakers and foreign language learners have trouble understanding each other. On the surface, this is easy to understand. Someone learning the foreign language in school usually […]

Bigotry and World Financial Capitals

The return of bigotry in America: If you thought that the public furor of anti-semitism in the 1930s in Germany couldn’t happen today, just look at the emergence of nativist sentiments in continental Europe and in the US. Switzerland banned the construction of new mosques. France is cracking down more and more on headscarves. Turkey’s […]

Some Interesting Lines

“Ça te va super bien les cheveux frisés. Ça donne une petite touche “wild and free” comme dans une annonce de shampoing ou la fille prend son pied en agitant les cheveux comme une bête sauvage déchaînée.” — Yannou “I’ll elbow you right in the mouth, stomp on your buddy, pulverize your star forward and […]

Did Greg Mankiw Just…

take a page from one of my blog posts? Mankiw: “A final possibility is that the key difference is labor mobility: Americans were willing to move among the states, whereas Greeks have to stay in Greece because they don’t speak German.” Me: “Now, neither the US nor the EU puts up artificial barriers to migration, […]

The Issue With the EU

Maybe you’ve heard about Greece’s debt, or maybe you don’t care much about things that go on outside of your country. Likewise, some marketwatchers worry that Greece will cause the next global recession, but other economists downplay concerns and say that Germany or the IMF will bail the country out. In any case, it’s interesting […]

Report from Clinic

A few interesting things have happened in school in the past few months. Once, I encountered Schlievert wandering the halls of Moos Tower. I approached him and asked, in a very Tom-Riddle-asking-Slughorn-about-horcruxes kind of way, “Sir, [for purely academic reasons] why hasn’t someone created a superbug by infusing a bacteria species with antibiotic resistance and […]