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

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

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

Europe vs. Europa

I am pro-Europe, and although I understand some concerns about immigration – regarding types of jobs, integration, the impact on areas with a struggling economy – my (idealistic) impulse is that we should stay together. I know that Britain is not putting up an iron curtain, a Berlin wall or Trump’s barrier (material tbd), and I know countries like Switzerland can step outside the EU … Continue reading Europe vs. Europa