International Online Language Exchange

Thanks to Covid-19, the in-person language exchange I last hosted at Madrid’s VIPs Velásquez has become a not-in-person international event online, with regular log-ins from three continents. Every weekend I greet familiar faces signing in from Madrid, Barcelona, London, Toronto, New York, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Houston, Chicago, Mexico City, Los Angeles. One faithful user joins…

Spanish Loanwords: My Nominations

What follows is an incomplete list of Spanish words and sayings that might rate utterance by English speakers. The German weltschmerz, zeitgeist and schadenfreude get occasional play in the U.S. media because no English words so ably cover the same turf. Why not pagafantas and hombretón? I have discussed all candidates below with Spain born-and-raiseds,…

Italki Online Language Learning: a Review

italki is a global internet platform that links language learners with language instructors. A big, well-established platform: the about page claims five million students parsing verbs in one hundred thirty languages with ten thousand teachers.  Thirteen years old now, founded by two Shanghai entrepreneurs.  Betcha you’ve never heard of it. Spain’s coronavirus quarantine has made…