If you walk into one of the smaller dining rooms in Thorne Hall at dinner time, there’s a good chance you’ll hear a language other than English being spoken. Several times a week, different departments typically sponsor a “language table” at which students get the chance to practice their linguistic skills in an informal setting.
Professors and teaching assistants mingle with their students and other members of the Bowdoin community, some of them native speakers, to chat away in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Sinhala, or Hindi. Conversation in English is discouraged, but of course if you’re having difficulty thinking of a word or a phrase, help is at hand. The cost of these language classes? The price of a dinner.