For centuries, Icelanders have looked backward to move forward with their language. When they need to come up with words for new technologies or ideas, they dredge up archaic terms — and try to talk the public into re-using them.
North Koreans may speak Korean, but not the kind they have to learn if they defect to the South. And even with a new smartphone app to guide them through South Korea's unfamiliar dialect, it's a tough and unnerving challenge.
Mexican author Cristina Rivera Garza used to publish her creative work only in Spanish. But after a quarter century living in the US, she says writing in both Spanish and English brings tremendous richness to her experience, and lets her engage a whole new audience in conversation.
Alan Eyre is a familiar name to many Iranians. He's the US State Department's Persian-speaking spokesman. Fluent in Persian, Eyre can dole out centuries-old poems and proverbs that leave Persian speakers bewildered.
These days, the word "thug" is bound up in questions of racial discrimination in the United States. So it may be surprising that it's actually an Indian word that referred to a notorious group of 14th-century robbers and killers.
Jaime Jarrín grew up in Ecuador, a fan of soccer. When he came to the US, he moved to LA — right about the time the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to town. Through perseverance, he got a spot broadcasting the team's games in Spanish — a gig he's held since.