Book review: Multilingual is normal. An anthology of voices. Talking about talking.

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#multilingualisnormal

What an amazing idea to collect voices about multilingualism. It’s so ordinary, yet so extraordinary. 60 stories about the pleasure, the fun, the enthusiasm of learning, knowing and using foreign languages. The book shows different life scenarios, career possibilities and language journeys. It’s a perfect read for those learning languages, as well as translators, polyglots, multilingual families, teachers and professionals working with languages or with multilingual students and families.

The idea to collect stories about multilingualism was born in the summer of 2020 and belongs to the wonderful Cate Hamilton. Cate Hamilton is so multi-talented: she’s a co-founder of Babel Babies and a leader of the Language Revolution Podcast. She has also started a postgrad degree at Oxford University (!!!). The book was actually created in just one month: from 10th July to 10th August 2020 (amazing, huh?).

And which story is my favourite? All of them! Just read below:

“It was during a parents’ evening, the first one I had been brave enough to conduct in Catalan, that I discovered the filler word I had picked up in the backstreet bars in town meant: ‘I shit on the Eucharist.’

The raised eyebrows from the first two parents didn’t alert me. Neither did the look of alarm on the pair I saw next. It was during the third meeting that I began to get the sense that something was going wrong. ” (Peter Munford, p. 45)

“I think the little monolingual boy who first opened Fun to Learn French would be proud of how far he’s come, and really pleased that he’s teaching children to love language like he does.

But I also think he’d be scowling at me and saying: ‘You’re not stopping at nine languages, are you?’

So I should probably crack on with Basque.” (Darren Lester, p. 75)

“Raising a multilingual family does not mean to choose a language strategy that everyone says will work but to choose one that allows you to go at your own pace. Find a way where you could teach your languages to your children that follows their interests.” (Adrienne, p. 173)

And finally, a little hint, you’ll find a story about my language journey there, too 😉

Enjoy reading!

You can get your e-book here and a paper version here.

Kinga Macalla

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