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Travel, Linguistics, Sports


Jay Hirshberg is noted, among his numerous other accomplishments, for his mastery of several languages, including dialects from Europe and the Middle East. As he has himself embarked on the long and often convoluted process of mastering a new language, Jay Hirshberg offers several tips and insights to beginners, or to those who are potentially considering adopting a new language in addition to English. An advocate of the benefits of learning a new language, Jay Hirshberg emphasizes that becoming familiar with even the basic terminology required for communication in another language will improve most international travel experiences. Although it is not uncommon for individuals in countries other than the United States to be familiar with English on a basic level, Jay Hirshberg has found that when individuals have even a basic familiarity with the country’s native language, the quality of the experience can improve, sometimes even drastically. For instance, when native inhabitants discover that individuals have some grasp on native communication, Jay Hirshberg suggests that they may be friendlier, more willing to share tips, insights, and experiences with regard to the region, and may even direct travelers and tourists to local venues or locations not easily heard of or found. Additionally, on the level of pure practicality, a basic reading familiarity with a foreign language presents a major safety benefit in that it allows individuals to read signs in another country, many of which may be important for obtaining directions, remaining knowledgeable of restrictions, and locating medical assistance in case of an emergency.

Work experience




Sep 1995Jun 1997


Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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