Can the airport stay multilingual?

Airports are great for languages. How do we use them to teach?
I recently blogged about traveling through the Denver airport, and the languages that I saw there. Last week I had a different experience at my own local airport, MSP, Minnesota-St Paul. I spoke Somali, Oromo, and Amharic, while I heard a family conversation in Russian and a few phrases of Turkish. An international airport is a treasure-hunt and a paradise for language-lovers.
Experiencing multilingualism

Learning languages at the airport

Be brave and meet great people at the airport!
Be brave and meet great people at the airport!

“How are you always finding people?” our exchange student asked me at the airport Tuesday night, after I had struck up several multilingual conversations with strangers.

Airports are full of languages, and this is how I’m “always finding people.” I keep my ears open. I cherish opportunities to talk with fascinating people from all over the world.

I met refugees. I heard about difficulties living in the US. I got to know about American life from a new point of view.

Do you keep your ears open? What languages have you heard spoken recently? How well do you speak them?
Read: 4 languages, 1 night!

Week 19 of Loving Somali: Barasho wanaagsan! Nice to meet you!

I have always found it nice to meet Somalis.
I have always found it nice to meet Somalis.

This weekend I took a trip to a conference Arizona, and even though I wasn’t planning on practicing my Somali much, I ended up doing more than usual. I look forward these days to spending time in airports, looking for East African adventures.

Continue reading “Week 19 of Loving Somali: Barasho wanaagsan! Nice to meet you!”