Language in the Era of Covid

What are the first words you would pick to learn in a new language? After this pandemic season, the books of “must-know” phrases might be re-written.

When I first moved to Asia and started learning Chinese, the first word I remember learning was “foreigner.” A kid was pointing at me from across a subway station crying out in fear. He’d never seen a foreigner before and the experience was quite scary, apparently.

Can you guess one of the first phrases I mastered here?

“Contactless payment.” It’s a helpful phrase that didn’t exist when I moved overseas the first time. But in the era of COVID contactless payments are encouraged (not to mention convenient).

I wonder what my kids will be learning first in 20 years?

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