Language Shortcuts: Foreign Words for Busy People

English is fabulous, but it doesn’t have a word for everything. Some concepts can be expressed better, or at least faster, in another language.Here’s some shortcuts and curiosities from French, German, Spanish and Swedish: Y’allIn English, if you want to talk informally to a bunch of people at once, how can you address them? You’ve got “you”, or maybe “you guys” or maybe “y’all” (accent … Continue reading Language Shortcuts: Foreign Words for Busy People

Which Language App Should You Try Next? April App Test

Do you find yourself using the same language app/s every week? I like the programs which work for me, but it is worth taking time to explore what other apps can offer. Here’s a few… Drops Drops has a large choice of courses and has a concept is like Memrise, in that they feed you letters and words of a language slowly, with a focus … Continue reading Which Language App Should You Try Next? April App Test

Thinking of Living Abroad? 4 Books to Read

Here’s two modern classics and two contemporary books from people who found temporary homes in Europe. Each book gives a flavour of the local language, illuminates the culture and history, and lets you imagine how it would be if you started over in a new land… George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London This was one of my favourite books as a teenager … Continue reading Thinking of Living Abroad? 4 Books to Read

How Far Can Duolingo Take You?

“Spider versus Bear”, “I am the cheese”, “the police are after me”: Duolingo is iconic for its gameified style, its colourful badges and its weird mess of vocabulary. The randomness is no more. The massive new changes for the Spanish and French courses introduce a more traditional topic structure, which brings them in line with scores of other programmes, including Babbel, Memrise, Mondly and Busuu. … Continue reading How Far Can Duolingo Take You?

Those Embarrassing Language Learning Moments

“Estoy embarazada” means “I am pregnant” in Spanish, and is example numero uno of embarrassing language mistakes. But language learning awkwardness is not just limited to these slip-ups. Simply exposing yourself to conversations with native speakers is a (small) social risk. The best time to learn is obviously when you’re a kid, not just because it’s easier, but because your mistakes cause you no embarrassment … Continue reading Those Embarrassing Language Learning Moments