How a Year of Language and Travel Made Me a Better Global Citizen

This isn’t the pretentious ‘global citizen’ that you hear in hostels from hipsters who think their own passport isn’t cool enough to warrant a straight answer when you ask where they’re from. I mean the actual philosophical, civic, and social idea of being a global citizen and…

16 Ways to Study a Language Abroad for Free

Language immersion is not only the best way to learn a new language, but also sort of the reason this blog exists. When I turned 21, I only spoke English, and one of the reasons was that I thought I’d just never have the time…

Trilingual in Three Years — Part 4: Three Years Later

It’s June 4th as I start writing this, so about 3 years and 1 month after I first opened a book called Teach Yourself Dutch and started my multilingual journey. Thus time for an update. Three years ago I was in Tallahassee, Florida, getting ready for…

The 3 Steps to Hacking Pronunciation in Any Language

In December I wrote the three-part series, Trilingual in Three Years, to share in detail my approach to language learning. After finishing that series I embarked on my overland trip from NOLA to Bogotá, since which Globalect has focused more on travel and backpacking, my hispanophone struggles and successes in Mexico, and the linguistic…

Gezellig Doen in Central Mexico

My second and third weeks in Mexico formed an uncomfortable, linguistically pubescent transition as a language learner and a traveler. In cultural terms, I’d finished my soft segue in comfy Americanized Monterrey with my overprotective adopted Mexican family, so culture shock wasn’t such a concern. In…

Bebé’s First Words

Crossing into Mexico was the first time I’ve really been nervous or scared while traveling, for a couple of reasons. The first and lesser is the obvious one: if you turn on the news in the US (and occasionally in Europe), you can’t avoid stories…

Backpacking the Hispanosphere: NOLA to Bogotá

When I left Holland this October, my intention was to travel a bit through the Balkans and London, go spend a month or so with family in Florida, and then by the end of December fly south to Colombia where I would teach English in…

The Multilingual Struggle is Real.

Spanglish autocorrect

The multilingual’s natural predator: autocorrect.

The cool folks at Transparent Language have given me one of my first guest posting opportunities in the world of language and travel blogging, and they published my post this morning! It’s called “10 Daily Struggles of Learning a Third Language and Beyond” and it’s about the way your brain, social life, and even cell phone go completely apeshit as you start juggling more languages in your head.

Meaghan, the Social Media Coordinator at Transparent Language, emailed me earlier this month because she had stumbled across Globalect and liked its take on language and travel (yay!). We kicked around some ideas and landed on this one, mainly because it’s super relevant to me at the moment. If you caught the Trilingual in Three Years series I just finished writing this week, you probably read that I’m working hard on trying to learn Spanish as quickly and awesomely as I did Dutch, and while my progress is muy bueno, it’s also the cause of a lot of dolor de la cabeza. Juggling words, sentence structures, idioms, and cultural notions is something I’ve only just gotten used to, so introducing a third language is a stimulating but challenging act of mental acrobatics that I’m still adjusting to.

Duolingo

All not-English languages are basically the same thing, right? I don’t see why I can’t use Dutch verbs in Spanish sentences, whatever.

You can read about and probably relate to prepositions making zero sense and spending at least ten minutes of every day convinced you’re having a stroke in my post at Transparent Language.