"The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners" (Encore presentation.)
On this edition of our show, which originally aired back in February, we hear from the writer and linguistic scholar Michael Erard, who's written about language for Science, Seed, Wired, The Atlantic, The New York Times, New Scientist, and other publications. Erard's new book is "Babel No More: The Search for the World's Most Extraordinary Language Learners" --- and it's not just a fascinating group portrait of the world's leading polyglots, it's also an engaging examination of what language is, of where it lives in the brain, and of the enormous intellectual potential that can be found in everyone. As a critic in The Economist has noted: "[This is] the first serious book about the people who master vast numbers of languages. . . . [Erard] approaches his topic with both wonder and a healthy dash of scepticism . . . feeling his way through his story as a thoughtful observer, rather than banging about like an academic with a theory to defend or a pitchman with a technique to sell. . . . Fascinating."