The Art of Spanish

1492 was a momentous year for Spain. The Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus set foot in the Americas, leading to the continent’s largescale colonization by Europeans. Columbus did so by order of the so-called Catholic Monarchs of Spain, Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon, while actually trying to discover a new …

Puzzled by the Music of Language: Missionaries in 17th-century Vietnam

Imagine you get dropped in a foreign country where people seem to sing rather than speak their language. You are required to describe this strange tongue, and you only have pen and paper and your own memory and intellect to rely on. This is what happened to a number of Jesuit missionaries in early 17th-century …