More people are learning foreign languages than ever before. And thanks to globalization, access to media from abroad, and the myriad of language learning apps, it’s never been easier. You can even learn fictional languages such as Klingon and
Joy of Languages probably isn’t an ideal platform to talk politics, but this isn’t about politics.
It’s about people. In the United States, the UK and globally.
I’m struggling to find the right words, so I’ll borrow Banksy’s instead
Have you ever thought about using French TV shows to learn French?
It sounds fantastique - pour yourself a glass of rouge and snuggle up on the sofa while everyone else in your French class drives themselves crazy trying to
Watching Italian TV shows is a fantastic way to practice, because you can do ALL the following things at once:
- Train yourself to understand native speakers better by listening to realistic conversations.
- Get into Italian culture and “visit” different
Why do you want to learn a foreign language?
You might want to enjoy travelling more, connect with people from other cultures or get closer to friends and family members.
Come to think of it, you probably don’t
Let’s be honest.
You probably already know what you need to do to learn a foreign language:
1. Study regularly.
2. Learn the grammar and vocabulary.
3. Practice speaking a lot.
The tricky part is putting all that stuff into
I'll start tomorrow.
No wait, on Monday. Next month. In January. Once I've finished this or that.
There are lots of good reasons to fall out of learning a language: You might:
- Be overwhelmed with work or home
This is for you.
For all that time and ink you spent on word lists and verb tables.
The one who hears that there's no point in learning a language "because everyone speaks English". But you do it anyway
Have you ever thought about learning Spanish by watching Spanish TV shows?
Instead of sitting in a classroom memorising irregular verbs, you could be learning Spanish by sitting on the couch in your pyjamas munching popcorn.
But if it was
Talking to native speakers.
Everyone knows it's the best way to learn a foreign language. But there's one problem with this method that no one talks about.
In the beginning, those native speakers may not want to talk
Why are some people good at learning languages?
Or not so good?
Is it motivation, memory or experience?
These things can make a difference. But many of the people I know who speak several languages also share certain personality traits
Guest Post by Kerstin from Fluent Language
The school subjects you hated leave scars.
I have so often told new people that I work with languages and I teach German, just to hear them say “God, I was terrible at
Having a conversation in Spanish can feel scary at first.
There are so many things that could go wrong!
- You forget a word or some grammar mid-sentence.
- You don't understand what they said to you.
- They reply in
You know those "Giovanni checks into a hotel" style dialogues you find in most Italian textbooks?
They're ok if you want to pick up a few polite phrases for travelling. But not so great if you want
A few months ago, I decided to try and become fluent in Mandarin Chinese.
I made a plan.
Looking at people who'd already done it, I worked out that it'd probably take me around 1500 hours. If I
Have you ever noticed how cheesy the dialogues in French textbooks sound?
They use the same words and grammar as French people do in real life, but something doesn't sound quite right.
One of the reasons is that textbook
Lots of people say they speak a foreign language better after a drink or two.
It seems logical.
One of the trickiest things about speaking a language is the nerves and alcohol lowers inhibitions.
But does drinking really help you
What’s the difference between a Spanish learner and a native speaker?
There are obvious things, like pronunciation and grammar.
But there’s another difference that people hardly ever talk about. Little words that Spanish speakers use all the time, but that
Reading, listening, speaking and writing.
As a language teacher, I’m supposed to tell you that they’re all equally important (a bit like not having a favourite child).
Between you and me, I have a favourite. One that’s more important than
You’re walking along the streets of Paris and you see a delicious croissanty thing in the window of a boulangerie.
You don’t know what it’s called, but you know you want one.
So you let the sweet smell