Mother Tongue by Christine Gilbert
My Family's Globe-Trotting Quest to Dream in Mandarin, Laugh in Arabic, and Sing in Spanish

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...a celebration of a family’s determination to venture together, for better or worse, into the unknown. An engaging travel narrative for both language lovers and general audiences.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

One woman’s quest to learn Mandarin in Beijing, Arabic in Beirut, and Spanish in Mexico, with her young family along for the ride.

Imagine negotiating for a replacement carburetor in rural Mexico with words you’re secretly pulling from a pocket dictionary. Imagine your two-year-old asking for more niunai at dinner—a Mandarin word for milk that even you don’t know yet. Imagine finding out that you’re unexpectedly pregnant while living in war-torn Beirut. With vivid and evocative language, Christine Gilbert takes us along with her into foreign lands, showing us what it’s like to make a life in an unfamiliar world—and in an unfamiliar tongue.

Gilbert was a young mother when she boldly uprooted her family to move around the world, studying Mandarin in China, Arabic in Lebanon, and Spanish in Mexico, with her toddler son and all-American husband along for the ride.Their story takes us from Beijing to Beirut, from Cyprus to Chiang Mai—and also explores recent breakthroughs in bilingual brain mapping and the controversial debates happening in linguistics right now.

Gilbert’s adventures abroad prove just how much language influences culture (and vice versa), and lead her to results she never expected. Mother Tongue is a fascinating and uplifting story about taking big risks for bigger rewards and trying to find meaning and happiness through tireless pursuit—no matter what hurdles may arise. It’s a treat for language enthusiasts and armchair travelers alike.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Christine Gilbert

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Christine Gilbert is a writer, photographer, and documentary filmmaker and is the creator of the popular blog Almostfearless.com. Gilbert’s site has been mentioned in the Los Angeles Times Web Buzz, Travel Channel’s World Hum, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Brave New Traveler, Bing’s official blog, MSNBC columnist’s blog Elliott.org, National Geographic Traveler, and many more. Her writing and photography have been seen on Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, and BBC Travel.Originally from the Boston area, Christine now lives in Barcelona, Spain, with her husband, Drew, and their children, Cole and Stella.
Author Residence: Barcelona, Spain
 
Published May 17, 2016 by Avery. 333 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Travel. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

Above average
on Mar 01 2016

...a celebration of a family’s determination to venture together, for better or worse, into the unknown. An engaging travel narrative for both language lovers and general audiences.

Read Full Review of Mother Tongue: My Family's Gl... | See more reviews from Kirkus

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