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The March 5-List

Hello March! I don’t know in your part of the world, but in mine, March started with an awful amount of snow from storm Emma and the Beast from the East. I am quick to complain about snow, but in fairness, there was only about 2 cm where I live. Not even enough to sustain a snow fight.

Something to read:  Think like an Anthropologist, by Matthew Engelke
Why?  While I know my fair share of jobs in -ist, anthropologist is not one of them and I had everything to learn about the field. Mind you, I still have everything to learn after reading it, but I am now very aware of the extent of my ignorance (and the reading list provided at the end should take me further). Also, it’s written in a simple and engaging way, and easily fits what Nicolas Boileau, one of our famous French poets, wrote: “Ce qui se conçoit bien s’énonce clairement, et les mots pour le dire arrivent aisément.” (What is clearly understood is clearly said, and the words should come naturally).

Something to follow: The World in Words podcast by PRI
Why? The topics related to languages are so diverse that I am sure anyone can find something to their liking. I am not a fan of podcasts myself but this one almost feels like I’m having a conversation with the host Patrick Cox and his guest (yes, sometimes I speak to myself, too).

Something for the learners: The Drops app
Why? I am experimenting with various ways and apps to learn vocabulary, and Drops is one of them. Learning in context is always a winner but I don’t always have the time for that, so rote learning and repetitions is my second best. There is a free and three paid options and I’m only testing the free one for the moment. I love that they have different versions of Spanish, English and Portuguese depending on the continent you’re interested in.

Something to listen to: a tango song, Cambalache, sung by Julio Sosa
Why? My favourite tango teacher used to tell me that I would dance better if I understood the lyrics of the songs. With my nonexistent Spanish, that was hard. But as tango is often about nostalgia and longing for a loved one, of for Argentina, I could just about follow. Not this one, though: the upbeat melody contrasts with the extreme cynicism of the lyrics… discover them yourself here, in Spanish, English and French. Beautiful language to talk about ‘trash’.

Something random: Ecosia, the search engine that plants real trees
Why? The income generated by the ads are partly invested in planting trees all around the world. Also, it’s fast and give as good results as Google (since it’s the standard search engines are compared with). You can install Ecosia on all your devices, too.

Note: The Diffracted Word is not affiliated with any commercial or non-commercial venture quoted in this post. This is just the opinion of a language-lover bookworm.

Photo by Errol on Unsplash

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