Success Stories: Taste of Persia

This isn’t your average NYC pizzeria…beyond Italy…it also hold a Taste of Persia! From a failed printing business, to a few months of homelessness in between, Saeed Pourkay, now owner & chef, prepares a wide range of Persian dishes, which some describe as “the way my grandma or mom makes it.”

Curious to find out more & taste his آش رشته (ash reshteh) or فسنجان (fesenjān)? Check out this interview by the wonderful Nina Roberts! Link:

Travel Tuesday: Laguna Quilotoa, Ecuador

Looking for that next big hike destination? With a 2,850 meters elevation in the Andes mountains, Ecuador’s capital is home to an incredible blue lagoon & active volcano called the ‘Quilotoa Crater Lake’!

Cheap & easily accessible with a range of fun activities, Quilotoa Crater Lake is ideal if you like hiking, kayaking, or just being in the great outdoors.

Heading out to see this breathtaking view yourself? Work on that Spanish to connect with the locals before you go! Sign up today:



Summer drink series: Seville orange syrup (sharab al-busfeyr)

Photo credit: Carls Bad Craving

Made with the juice of Seville oranges, Sharab al-Busfeyr (literally meaning ‘the drink of Seville oranges’ in Arabic) is just another way to cool off to a sweet syrup as we bid the summer season farewell.

With only two ingredients, this easy recipe deserves a try!


  • 2 pounds of Seville (or any other) oranges
  • Sugar (equal weight as the juice)

Firstly, juice the oranges and then in the same amount in weight, add sugar to the juice. Stir the sugar frequently during the day until fully dissolved (some patience may be required, it can take days!), and do not add any water to the mixture. Once the sugar is dissolved, transfer the syrup into a clean bottle. It is best kept in the fridge to increase its shelf-life to one year.

To drink, mix 1/4 part syrup to 3/4 parts water — serve with crushed ice if desired!



The world is a poorer place when monolingualism prevails

Ludovic Marin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images via NYTimes

In how many ways can you express your feelings? How many different words do you have for snow, dates (the fruit), the range of shades for the color purple? We believe that the more languages you know, the richer your linguistic repertoire, and ultimately, the richer your experience of life.

“Bilingualism improves memory, attention and mental dexterity… when young people learn that there is more than one word for a color, feeling or thing, they are hard-wired to know that multiple perspectives coexist.”

Whether you’re starting a new language or polishing up your Arabic, Persian, French or Spanish, NaTakallam’s got you covered 😉

Learn a language, widen your vocabulary, broaden your perspective.

Source and image:

Travel Tuesday: Salalah, Oman

Photo credit: Condé Nast Traveller Middle East

An oasis in the Middle East, Salalah is the second largest city of #Oman and go-to summer escape, or during the ‘khareef’ (خَرِيْف‎) or monsoon season as the locals would say. The word khareef literally means ‘autumn’ in Arabic, but in Southern Oman, autumn seems to begin as early as July with stunning shades of greenery!

Salalah’s many breathtaking waterfalls, such as ‘Ayn koor’ (عين كور), or the ‘Water Spring of Koor’, are accessible from July–September and are not to be missed! Catch it before it’s too late 😉

#TravelTuesday #NaTakallam #Arabic #Oman #Salalah

Source and image:

Summer drink series: Papelón con Limón

This week’s summer drink is one of the oldest and most popular beverages in Venezuela! Simply made with an unrefined sugar cane (or piloncillo in Spanish), lime juice and water, ‘Papelón con Limón‘ is an effortless yet tasty way to freshen up during these last days of the summer.

Dating back to the 18th century, Papelón con Limón was especially popular among those who worked in the fields for its high nutritional value.

Want to give it a try? You can find the recipe below.


  • 1 8 ounce piloncillo cone
  • 4 cups very hot water
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice cubes for serving

Pour hot water over the piloncillo cone. After it has dissolved & cooled off, add the lime juice & cold water. Serve with ice cubes. ¡Salud!

Image & source:

What’s the best way to teach children a second language? New research produces surprising results.

Different to what people might expect, children’s language-analytic ability is most important, followed by phonological awareness.

In a new study, the results showed that conscious effort & learning makes the best use of limited time spent on foreign language learning.

In other words, subconscious language learning requires much longer hours of learning over a longer period of time.

This means that even if you don’t live in the country where the desired language is spoken, you can learn effectively through lessons, including via NaTakallam conversation sessions and Integrated Curriculum!

P.S. Did you know NaTakallam offers four languages, easily accessible to you online via Skype? Find out more here.

Source and image: link.