Mother Tongue: My Family's Globe-Trotting Quest to Dream in Mandarin, Laugh in Arabic, and Sing in Spanish (Hardcover)

My Family's Globe-Trotting Quest to Dream in Mandarin, Laugh in Arabic, and Sing in Spanish

By Christine Gilbert

Avery Publishing Group, 9781592407927, 336pp.

Publication Date: May 17, 2016



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.

About the Author

Christine Gilbertisawriter, photographer, anddocumentary ssite hasbeenmentionedintheLos Angeles Times Web Buzz, the TravelChannel s World Hum, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Brave New Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, andmanymore publications.Her writingandphotographyhavebeenseenonLonely Planet, Rough Guides, andBBC Travel. OriginallyfromtheBostonarea, Gilbert nowlivesinBarcelona, Spain, withher husband, Drew, andtheirchildren, ColeandStella."