Date: Thursday, April 19th Cocktails: 6:00 PM Author Reading: 6:30 PM Reception: 7:30 PM Location: 750 Third Avenue, 11th Floor
If you've ever tried to learn another language, you know how much time, energy, and brain power is required. Imagine a person who can pick up languages very easily. Someone who can navigate our world's multilingual hullaballoo. Who can leap language barriers with a single bound. Who can learn without effort and remember indelibly. Such people aren't parrots. They're not computers. They're language superlearners.
Michael Erard searched for these people, and when he found them -- in history books and living among us -- he tried to make sense of their linguistic feats and their mental powers. In his newest book, Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners (Free Press 2012), he answers the age-old question, What are the upper limits of the human ability to learn, remember, and use languages?
Erard is an author, journalist and linguist. He writes mainly about languages and the people who use and study them, but the also writes about culture and technology. His essays, reviews, and reportage have appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers and on the morning news.