David Turshyan, Librarian, International Languages Department


a collection of French books

French Bilingual Books

January 07, 2023

Here is a riddle in French:

  • Je parle toutes les langues et j'ai tout le temps la tête à l'envers. Qui suis-je?
  • I speak all languages, and I always have my head upside down. Who am I?

 Armenian Classical Writers header

Armenian Classical Writers

April 24, 2020

Here is a centuries-old Armenian riddle by Nerses Shnorhali.

No feathers and no wings it has,
Swifter than a bird it flies,
From land to land it tours and turns,
With companions it returns.


Shakespeare's Universe

November 30, 2016

“All my best is dressing old words new,” writes William Shakespeare in one of his sonnets. Let’s consider an expression –  “to kiss away” – from the play Antony and Cleopatra –  “We have kissed away kingdoms and provinces.” (Act 3, scene 10).

Image: woman sitting on a chair holding a flower

The Book of Flowers

April 10, 2015

Picture a book that can gracefully endure the trials of the centuries—the water, the fire, the sword. What will this book be about? In what language will it be? There is an old legend about an artist-scribe who was being burned along with a precious manuscript.

LAPL image

Around the World in 30 Seconds

January 26, 2015

Imagine traveling around the world in thirty seconds, while looking at thirty books – each in a different language. That’s one book per second. Imagine the treasures to be discovered in this short amount of time. Is this possible? Yes, indeed, if we have the knowledge of deciphering a letter code.

“Just One More Piece”: The Magic World of Puzzles

August 26, 2014

The Lacemaker by Tropinin

collection of Yiddish books

Yiddish: a Living Language

July 21, 2014

When in the second half of the last century Isaac Bashevich Singer was awarded a Noble Prize for Literature, he raised an interesting question: “People ask me often, ‘Why do you write in a dying language?’” And he tried to explain: “There is a quiet humor in Yiddish and a gratitude for every day of life… e

The Man Who Planted Trees

April 08, 2014

“For a human character to reveal truly exceptional qualities, one must have the good fortune to be able to observe its performance over many years.

poetry books on display

Nowruz - A New Day: Contemplating the Arrival of Spring

March 14, 2014


That come before the swallow dares, and take

The winds of March with beauty...

O, these I lack,

To make you garlands of… my sweet friend.

 - Perdita, Winter’s Tale (IV, 4)