A new word or phrase will be posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in French, Arabic, Turkish, Tamil, and Sinhala (in that order). There will be nine posts for each language.
These mini-language lessons are brought to you because of suggestions from previous cohorts. These are in no way meant to be exhaustive or comprehensive lessons. They are simply meant to introduce you to the language, and hopefully provide you for some useful phrases for those traveling abroad with the Nomadic Studies program this summer. But it is our hope that all members of the class find these language snapshots to be a positive addition to your study of the culture of these places. Language is an intricate and inseparable side of culture. The two together help to form the webs that create our perception of the world, and ourselves.
Some of you may already be fluent or have some level of it with one or more of the languages provided. You should all feel welcome to comment on the blogs about additional sources you have found useful or perhaps even a more common way to say something, anything that may be positive addition to the class.
These posts may be the jump start for some of you to explore other sources available to you online, a bookstore, or through Virginia Tech. For the Nomads, you should not worry about the language barrier while traveling. In situations that English is not an options we will have translators. However, that being said, not all of your family members in your homestays will speak English. Taking the time to learn a few basics will go a long way. But you should also embrace the experience of building relations with people without having the luxury of a comprehensive language base.
You’ll be surprised how much people will appreciate you knowing just a few words or phrases in their language.