international languages department



What is one takeaway one? Can the answer be expressed in Roman numerals? As a number, the concept of zero has come to us by way of Arabic, all the way from India. In India, the preferred official language is Hindi (हिन्दी), which belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family.

The Colors of Serenity

In the story “The Last Dream of the Old Oak Tree” Hans Christian Andersen presents a short dialogue between a little fly and an oak tree. “Will all the beauty of the world come to an end when you die?” asks the little fly.

Image: woman sitting on a chair holding a flower
David Turshyan, April 10, 2015

Picture a book that can gracefully endure the trials of the centuries—the water, the fire, the sword. What will this book be about? In what language will it be? There is an old legend about an artist-scribe who was being burned along with a precious manuscript.

LAPL image
David Turshyan, January 26, 2015

Imagine traveling around the world in thirty seconds, while looking at thirty books – each in a different language. That’s one book per second. Imagine the treasures to be discovered in this short amount of time. Is this possible? Yes, indeed, if we have the knowledge of deciphering a letter code.

collection of Yiddish books
David Turshyan, July 21, 2014

When in the second half of the last century Isaac Bashevich Singer was awarded a Noble Prize for Literature, he raised an interesting question: “People ask me often, ‘Why do you write in a dying language?’” And he tried to explain: “There is a quiet humor in Yiddish and a gratitude for every day of life… e