Minimalist.Travel: Live and Learn Maximally While on the Road

This site’s lead vagabond (second from right) on an investigation of eating in small-town Albania, in the company of new friends and with appropriately copious drinking. I also learned about young Albanians’ sexual practices.

Travel is much more rewarding if it involves something more than getting sloppy drunk on a beach.

That’s not to say we’re against drinking and partying. In fact, a drink or two has been scientifically shown to improve your ability to pronounce a language you don’t know (just don’t expect it to do anything for retention or grammar). And partying and flirting are great ways to really get into a culture and discover new things.

Even small experiences, like learning to toast, dance, or string together a few words to tell a joke in a marginalized language, can make a vacation into an enriching, memorable experience.

Articles About Learning Languages, Dancing, and Generally Living it Up While Traveling

The Best (Most Intriguing, Fun, Informative…) Italian Podcasts Being Made in 2023

Your Language Guide Mose Hayward Listens to Italians Jabbering The world of Italian podcasts has exploded with slick new options; as Italian language learners, in 2023 we’re no longer limited to drive-time jabber from RAI (Radiotelevisione italiana) or sloppily uploaded audio from Italian amateurs. Italian podcasting can compete with podcasts anywhere; there are quality offerings…

Read more… The Best (Most Intriguing, Fun, Informative…) Italian Podcasts Being Made in 2023

Make Sweet Ljubav in Serbian: Slang for Love Piles, Sex, Consent, and Gossiping About it All

Your Guide Mose Hayward Polylinugual Lover The Serbian, Bosnian, and Croatian language skills that you learn in lessons and grammar books are decidedly not the most useful. These often overlook the key body parts, as well as the things you should exclaim when they smash. Plus the lack ways to express affections, dirty and sweet,…

Read more… Make Sweet Ljubav in Serbian: Slang for Love Piles, Sex, Consent, and Gossiping About it All

How to Search Multiple Definitions and Translations in a Single Click — for Language Learning and Translating

Your Train Guide Mose Hayward Hexagonal Rail Nut One of the annoying, charming things about language is that definitions are squishy; there’s no one perfect definition. Each speaker of the language will have a slightly different idea of what “bread” tastes and looks like, for instance, or about whether a “soirée” is classier or tackier…

Read more… How to Search Multiple Definitions and Translations in a Single Click — for Language Learning and Translating

Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian Possessive Adjectives from Nouns: How People Own Stuff in these Languages

Your Guide Mose Hayward Southslavophile Serbian, Bosnian, and Croatian have a way of showing who belongs to what that corresponds to apostrophe+S in English. It is called the derived possessive adjective. Milan’s rule — Milanovo pravilo Marija’s pool — Marijin bazen As you can see the endings are not quite as uniform as the English…

Read more… Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian Possessive Adjectives from Nouns: How People Own Stuff in these Languages

Brazilian vs. European Portuguese: Key Differences to Learn in Grammar and Vocabulary

European Portuguese is infamously quite different from the Brazilian variety. Here is what you need to know if you’re hoping to transition from speaking one to speaking or understanding the other. Your Language Guide Mose Hayward Luso-curious I’ve been speaking Brazilian Portuguese regularly for more than a decade, but have recently been spending more time…

Read more… Brazilian vs. European Portuguese: Key Differences to Learn in Grammar and Vocabulary

Love = Murder? Balkan Romance (and Serbian Grammar!) as Understood in the Song “Ubiću Te”

If you love someone should you kill her? Probably yes, according to one Serbian-language song. Magnifico’s tune “Ubiću Te” is a frenetic ride into romance, and translates as: “I Will Kill You.” On this blog I’ve long suggested that you should all pour yourself a rakija, eat some cupi, and learn some Serbian. But taking…

Read more… Love = Murder? Balkan Romance (and Serbian Grammar!) as Understood in the Song “Ubiću Te”

Can You Count to One in Serbian? It’s Fucking Harder Than You’d Fucking Think!

Jedan americanac sa jednom rakijom — One American with one Serbian brandy, learning to count Today we’ll learn to count in Serbian / Bosnian / Croatian. But this South Slavic linguistic shitshow is crazy, so all we’re really going to understand is the number one. If we get really masochistic, we may cover the numbers…

Read more… Can You Count to One in Serbian? It’s Fucking Harder Than You’d Fucking Think!

Više vs. Još in Serbian/ Bosnian/ Croatian: The Differences and When to Use Each One

Sevdah šljivovice! Ti dani su bili najlepši! Nisam više u Srbiji ali sada volim rakiju još više! — Nostalgia for plum brandy! Those days were gorgeous! I’m not in Serbia any more but I now love (Serbian) brandy even more. The horrors of Serbian/Croatian/Bosian hit you one after another: cases, verb aspect, and conjugations… And then…

Read more… Više vs. Još in Serbian/ Bosnian/ Croatian: The Differences and When to Use Each One

Neapolitan in 20 Minutes: Learn Just Enough for Any Conversation in Southern Italy

If you want to joke, flirt, and make a proper toast in the south of Italy, you could certainly speak Italian. Or English — or Galician or Russian, for that matter, as Italians are generally only too delighted to carry on a conversation without the slightest comprehension. But if you really want a truly local adventure, you must speak at least…

Read more… Neapolitan in 20 Minutes: Learn Just Enough for Any Conversation in Southern Italy

A Great Video of Samba de Gafieira

Your Guide Mose Hayward Travel Nerd Samba de gafieira — Brazil’s groovy answer to tango — is a flashy, complicated dance that lends itself to spectacle. There are many videos of performances by outrageously talented professionals online, but I also love to see people just dancing it in a party. In the first video below,…

Read more… A Great Video of Samba de Gafieira

On the road: Why I party with elderly locals

The best adventures in foreign lands usually involve locals who have a couple of generations on me. They didn’t learn to dance from MTV, and they haven’t taken up the lowest-common-denominator drinks wrought on the world’s youth by globalization (Heineken, absolut, mojitos, cosmopolitans). These are the locals with stories to tell, cultural wisdom to share. The lame cell-phone photos above and…

Read more… On the road: Why I party with elderly locals

The Outstanding Russian Gestures that Should Be Adopted by Everyone

Your Language Guide Mose Hayward Always Prefers a Sight Gag Over Literature Your buddy is tipsy. Would you rather express this with a gesture referencing an 18th-century alcoholic carpenter’s tzar-given neck tattoo, or just mime tipping a bottle to your lips? Almost invariably, Russian gestures are more interesting and/or emphatic than their international counterparts. We…

Read more… The Outstanding Russian Gestures that Should Be Adopted by Everyone

How to drink while dancing: Traditional Catalan wisdom for prancing drunks

Traditional Catalan dancing. Photo by Josep Puigdemont. Your Guide Mose Hayward Travel Nerd If you’ve read my other advice on Catalans, you presumably now have a hot Catalan girlfriend and have mastered drinking wine from your porró, the squirty Catalan wine pitcher. The obvious next step is to dance with your Catalan gal while drinking from…

Read more… How to drink while dancing: Traditional Catalan wisdom for prancing drunks


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