According to legend, if you make a pyramid out of stones it will change into a troll and bring luck.

The People and Culture of Iceland

Iceland is proud of its people and its culture, and works hard to preserve its heritage in both language and the arts. Here’s a look at how, along with general information about the population, religion, and folklore.

bonjour

Helpful French Phrases for Travelers

What many mistake for snootiness in Paris actually an ingrained social formality that, from an outsider’s perspective, can feel very old-fashioned. People still greet their neighbors cordially and hold doors for each other regardless of gender. If you want to make a good first impression and feel like a local tout de suite (immediately), commit these phrases to memory and employ them liberally.

A game of cricket in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo © Aloysius Patrimonio/123rf.

Talking Cricket in New Zealand

To most North Americans, the rules of cricket are rather mysterious. After all, a single match can last for five days! But playing can be good fun, and even watching might enthrall you after you’ve figured out how it all works. Here’s a brief overview that may help you follow the conversation in the local pub.

Guatemala makes a great place for Spanish-language study. Photo © Al Argueta.

Study Spanish in Guatemala

Guatemala is a popular place for Spanish-language study, particularly Antigua and Quetzaltenango. In terms of value for the money you spend and variety of locales in which to learn, you really can’t beat Spanish-language instruction in Guatemala. Here are a few basic things to look out for when deciding where to study.

Carved Mayan stelae at Chichén Itzá, Mexico.

Deciphering Hieroglyphic Maya Script

For years, scholars could not agree whether the fantastic inscriptions found on Maya stelae, codices, and temple walls were anything more than complex records of numbers and dates. Learn about the difficult journey to finally translating Maya glyphs, from centuries-long resistance to breakthroughs as recent as 1980, efforts which have lent invaluable insight into Maya civilization.

Statue of three figures outside Istanbul University.

Turkey Demographics: Peoples, Cultures, and Languages

The peoples of Turkey include dozens of ethnicities—all who hold citizenship are considered Turkish under the constitution—so is very rich and varied culturally. The official language is also Turkish, but many other languages are spoken and represented in the media.