Katie Harris is an expert on languages and a YouTube star. You will find her in “Easy Italian” videos. You will also find her at joyoflanguages.com. Jay talks about one of his favorite subjects – languages – with a master, and a delightful one at that.

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There are 2 comments.

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  1. colleenb Member

    Delightful interview. Just so Mr. Nordlinger knows, a few of his questions could not be heard at the beginning.

    • #1
  2. Tedley Member

    Agree with @colleenb. It was interesting to hear that Katie had the same problems as I had while growing up, before I had traveled overseas. I took 4 years of Russian at Univ of Michigan in the early 80s, but it just didn’t take root. I finally made a short visit to Russia 23 years later. Forget about conversing with people, I couldn’t even remember the entire alphabet, let alone the meaning of most of the words on the signs. 

    However, while I was in the Navy stationed overseas (Japan, Italy and South Korea), learning the local language became a hobby. Knowing a bit of Japanese helped me secure a Japanese girlfriend (eventual wife), and once I got sufficiently proficient, I could communicate with my Japanese military counterparts in their native language. I learned by taking night classes when time allowed, and used proficiency tests as measures of my Japanese ability. I eventually reached the level where I used Japanese extensively during the last 10-years of my career and now at Sophia Univ in Tokyo. It was also a great way to prove that I could still learn things in my 40s and 50s, even though, like Katie, I still need to hear words 20 to 30 times before they sink in. 

    • #2