Speaking in Several Tongues

Readers of the upcoming book may want to keep some dictionaries handy since I throw in words from several other languages. Sometimes a phrase from Hebrew or Spanish just sounds right. I write about this linguistic side of online dating — how a little learning can go a long way — in a post at the Times of Israel, where I’m also contributing these days. “Judaism is for (Language) Lovers” is my maiden voyage there:

Once I graduated from college and moved to New York, I started dating Jewish women and found many excelled at languages. They inspired a lifetime of studies that often overlapped with whatever was spoken by my love interest of the moment. If she spoke Hebrew or Russian or Portuguese or Dutch, then I wanted to speak it, too. For the past 30 years I’ve diligently cycled through languages, including several rounds of Hebrew. While I can’t speak anything but English, an ability to call a woman “motek” (“sweetie” in Hebrew) or close an email with “beijos e abraços” (“kisses and hugs” in Portuguese) sure can smooth the flow of a promising new romance.


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