A Language Without Sound or Visuals

According to Washington DC’s Gallaudet University, the US has between 45,000 and 50,000 DeafBlind people—those who can neither see nor hear. Until recently, fingerspelling and braille were the primary means of communication but limited person-to-person interaction. Over the last few years, however, a new communication system has grown organically, based around American Sign Language (ASL). Known as pro-tactile ASL, elements from standard sign language have …

Spotify Offering 215 Hours of Free Language Lessons

We all associate Spotify with music, but there are actually some 215 hours of foreign language lessons available. So after you listen to your Discover Weekly playlist and want to feel a bit more clever, why not take a class in beginners’ Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian or Swedish? Just go to Spotify, click browse and scroll down to “Word.” (There are also audiobooks, guided meditation …

Yiddish in the 21st Century and Beyond

Yiddish is a thousand-year-old language. With many words originating in the Bible, it makes sense that there’s no term for “email” or “transgender” or so many other modern-day words. However two people, Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath (Yiddish editor and poet) and Paul Glasser (former dean at YIVO Institute for Jewish Research), have joined forces to create the future-forward Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary. With over 50,000 entries and sub-entries, …