Europe Articles

Balkan Grammar

August 5, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The term Sprachbund ‘language league/area’ was first coined to refer to the unusual language situation in the Balkans. (Linguistic note: the word balkan is Turkish and means something like ‘wooded mountain chain’.) A glance at the map tells you there are many countries – from which you can infer many... read more

Ten Famous Serbs

August 2, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

My recent trip to Serbia inspired me to put together a list of famous Serbs. Some are infamous. You decide. (I’m using the spellings I saw in Serbia.) I. Famous Serbs in Sports, Science, and the Arts Novak Đoković – professional tennis player currently ranked #1 in men’s singles and... read more


July 29, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Title Image by Boris Dimitrov (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons It’s always great to visit a lively city, and Belgrade certainly fits that bill. See: my blog Belgrade. But it’s also good to get out of the capital and into the rest of the country. In... read more


July 26, 2016 9:00 am Published by 1 Comment

Belgrade Fortress When Phillip, my friend and wonderful co-author for Languages in the World, was in Spain this past month, he suggested we meet up in Serbia. I said “Sure,” especially since Belgrade is an easy hour+ plane ride from Bucharest. We met up last week. It was no surprise... read more

Transylvania II

July 18, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Now that I’ve gotten the pop culture notion of Transylvania out of the way in Transylvania I, I can deal with the real place, which is not at all wonderfully creepy (shiver, shiver) but rather very beautiful and bucolic with a rich history. Transylvania is a geographic area more or... read more

Transylvania I

July 15, 2016 9:00 am Published by 1 Comment

My friend, Trish, has a daughter, Caroline, who went on a talk show for kids in New York City when she was 3 years old. Somehow the subject of vampires came up, whereupon Caroline informed the host that, “Vampires comes from Pennsylvania.” Trish came to visit me in Romania last... read more

Ten Famous Romanians +2

July 11, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Title image: Castel Peleș, Sinaia 1. News of the death of Elie Wiesel, the writer and human rights advocate, on July 2 reminded me that he was born in Romania. His holocaust story Night (1960), a shortened version of a memoir originally written in Yiddish, was first published in France... read more

My Favorite Restaurant in Bucharest

July 9, 2016 10:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

I’ll get right to it: my favorite restaurant in Bucharest is Torna Fratre. The address is Strada Tunari 34, Sector 2. Food. The first criterion in judging a restaurant is, of course, the food. I have eaten here many times. I can say that whenever I’ve been here and whatever... read more

An Excellent Exercise Studio in Bucharest

June 24, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

If you’re looking for a great exercise studio in Bucharest, I highly recommend Attitude Concept run by the wonderful Cecilia Dumetrier. She is beautiful, talented, tons of fun – and tough. That’s the best. Note: I spend summers in Bucharest, usually May – August. Cécile – as we girls call... read more