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Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Call For Language-Related Guest Posts

I have something in common with 5.52% of humanity.

Top 100 Languages by Number of Native Speakers. Data from Wikipedia.
(click here to see this image larger)

My first language is English.

And basically that means I don't have a freakin' clue what the world is like. No one does, really. Seriously, how much work would you have to put in, studying languages and cultures, before you could be confident that we could drop you any random populated place in the world and you'd be fine?

I write a lot on this blog about the fact that I speak Mandarin and I'm going to move to China pretty soon. I want to spread these 2 messages: 1) The world is so huge and diverse- none of us have a freakin' clue about it, and 2) The vast majority of people ABSOLUTELY CAN learn a second language. (I'll only make an exception for learning disabilities.)

So I'm asking my readers for guest posts. I'm sharing with you how I feel about Chinese; now I want you to share with me about every other language on the face of the planet. Here are some possible topics you can write about:
  • Why you learned/are learning a second language (And I'm not looking for "well I kinda studied French in high school but I was never that good at it..." No, it has to be something that's actually important to you. And I'm not looking for some abstract "oh I would just love to learn Italian, it sounds so beautiful." Get back to me once you've actually put some work into studying it.)
  • How you learned a second language 
  • What was easy/ what was hard about learning a second language
  • How learning a language has changed your perspective on the world
  • Your experiences traveling and speaking your target language (If you feel like "oh but my Japanese isn't that good, I can't write a guest post about it"- no, do not feel that way. If you've actually gone out into the world and met people and tried your best to speak a foreign language with them, well you're doing more than most people I know. And having those kinds of experiences tends to bring up unusual and surprising questions and thoughts. I want to hear about it.)
  • Your experiences meeting people from another culture, and speaking your target language
  • Interesting grammar/ pronunciation/ sentence structure/ useful words (like how I wrote about the four tones, measure words, etc) 
  • Busting some myths about your language
  • If English is not your first language, tell me all about learning English.
  • I write about Mandarin a lot. That doesn't mean you're not allowed to write about Mandarin! (Seriously, even if your experience is somehow exactly the same as mine, well, nice to know I'm not alone. Please write about it.)
  • If you spoke some language other than English at home growing up, I want to hear about that.
Note: If your writing includes any words/sentences from your language (which it probably will) you must also give the English translation.

To submit your guest post, email it to me at perfectnumber628 [at] gmail [dot] com. Put something to the effect of "language guest post" in the subject line. (Go ahead and include a link to your blog and twitter, if you have one.) Send me the well-edited final version of your post- in the body of the email, not an attachment. If I like what I see, I'll publish it on my blog. Submissions are due anytime between now and when I edit this post to say that I'm no longer taking submissions.

Okay, awesome. Send me your guest posts!

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