What do weight loss after Christmas, expired peanut butter and learning Spanish have in common?
Apparently, they all take around 5 months.
Which seems like a long time to hold onto festive pudge and an exceedingly short time to learn
You worked so hard.
You spent ages squeezing those new words and phrases into your brain. Then you try to use them in real life and...
You keep searching your brain, but everything you learnt has temporarily left the
Which teacher do you remember most from school?
I bet you're thinking of a brilliant one, or a horrible one. Most people forget about the ones in the middle.
I had lots of mediocre language teachers at school. They didn’t really care about
What comes to mind when you hear the word procrastination?
Sitting on the sofa in your underpants? Staring at GIFs on buzzfeed? Watching a 106 year old Indian lady give cooking lessons on YouTube? (a few of the things
Spring is here.
How do I know?
Because the cherry blossoms are blooming, the nights are getting lighter, and my bedroom wall has its first mosquito splatters of the season.
It’s not all gelato and vino living in Italy
The best way to learn a language is to go to the country.
How many times have you heard that?
There are lots of smart reasons to think this. When you try learning a language in your hometown, lots of
AKA the brick wall of language learning: if you bang your head against it for long enough, you'll start to break it down - but it hurts.
As a beginner, if you only know 10 words, learning 10
Last year, I was toying around with the idea of learning German but not doing much about it.
Then one afternoon, after being sucked into a YouTube rabbit hole, I came across a video of this really enthusiastic dude who had
Have you ever been so busy you didn't have time to wash your socks?
That's what last month was like for me.
The start of term and some exciting new projects at joy of languages (more on this
So you want to learn Chinese, but it sounds too much like hard work.
I know the feeling.
I'm currently learning Mandarin Chinese, but I'm too lazy to study. In fact, if Garfield and Homer Simpson had a love
What does the future, better version of you look like?
Mine’s fluent in lots of languages, wears matching socks and doesn’t eat nutella straight from the jar.
In January, lots of us chase after that better version of ourselves, whether it be
You know those great life ideas you always talk about (often after a few drinks) but never actually get round to doing?
Me and my Italian other half, Matteo have always talked about making a podcast to help people learn
Do you find language learning boring?
Not long ago, my answer to this question would have been a resolute no. I'd always enjoyed learning languages because it never felt like work.
I used to ditch textbooks as soon as
Are you one of those people who did Spanish in school but barely learned how to say ¿Dónde está el baño? (my hand's up). If so, you'll know that the way we learn languages at school doesn't
The longest I've ever stayed awake is 52 hours.
It was 2010 and I was writing my university dissertation at the very last minute. I sat in the 24 hour library for 2 and a half days, fuelling myself with
Fear. Stress. Boredom. Language learning can stir up a host of negative emotions.
One minute you're yawning over a grammar book and the next you're cowering under the table for fear of sounding like a cross between a
Goals are good. We know that.
They turn dreams into reality and all that jazz. But working on goals involves a constant battle against the lazy part of our brains that says "uh... I'm sure it'll just, you
One of the best things about working on the joy of languages blog is that our readers are always sharing smart ideas about how to learn a language. This week's post is inspired by Anne, Ken and Vanessa, who suggested keeping
Milan gets unbelievably sweaty in August. That kind of hot that makes you want to shave your head, tear off your own skin and lie face down on a marble floor all day. So I decided to ditch the heat and mosquitos