June 19, 2011


Ah, blast, I forgot to update today. Well, I guess I'll chat a little bit about foreign languages.

Mostly I'll say this much: I just changed my Facebook, Gmail, and Chrome browser to display everything in Spanish. 'Course, now, the problem is that my spellchecker is keyed to Spanish, meaning all of my English typing keeps having the red squiggly line of universal spelled-wrong-ness underneath it, even though I can type 80wpm without errors. (Just saying' -- I learned how to do that while balancing seven AIM chat windows, way back in 2003. Yeah I'm Old School.)

Anyway, the biggest tip I can offer about keeping up with your foreign language skills long-term is this: practice. Allowing your skills to languish unused is the greatest wrong you can do to them. Respect your mind and your language enough to at least pretend to use them from time to time; load up CNN in Spanish, go check out a Quebecois newspaper, or hunt down some Faust in Deutche. Whatever it takes, even keeping the reading comprehension part going is valuable.

Mostly, I stress this because being unilingual -- that is, only knowing English -- is quickly becoming a luxury that only Americans can afford, and even we are finding ourselves laughed out of a world where most people grow up bilingual at least, if not petralingual or something equally astonishing. Keep at least fuzzy with your foreign language; three years of high school French must have taught you something.

Hey, at the very least, you know enough to be dangerous, and that's a very fun place to be.

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