Motivational Tips for Mandarin beginners

CHINESE and MANDARIN are becoming popular languages for people all over world to learn these days.

The most common question that beginners of these languages have, is “How can I learn Mandarin quickly and easily?”

Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Learning any language takes patience, persistence, time and creating smart learning strategies to suit your style of learning.

Here are some useful tips for beginners: Continue reading

How to write a polite email or letter in perfect Spanish

You never know when you may need to write a formal letter to a company in Spain, whether looking for work or linked with a holiday booking, car hire issue and so forth. It is always good to try to write a few phrases in Spanish to show you are making an effort. It may help you get a job, land a promotion or just help to practise and extend the Spanish you already know.

Here are some key phrases to help you write a polite email or letter: Continue reading

20 Strategies to Fit Language Learning into your Busy Life!

So many people say they would like to learn a language, however the number of people who actually go ahead and do it is much lower. Why? The main reason is probably working out how to fit it into your already busy schedule. Well a few things to bear in mind which could persuade you to start learning a language are:-

  • You do not need to know every word in the language to be fluent or even to get by.
  • You only need to learn 2,500-3,000 to use it effectively.
  • The key is to focus on what you are actually going to need to know.
  • You don’t need to learn too much grammar, vocabulary is more important in the beginning stages.
  • You only need to spend 15-20 minutes a day focused on language learning to make good progress. Little and often is the key.

So this blog post is aimed “busy” people who may not have hours spare to learn a language.

20 ideas to build language-learning activities into your daily life:

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20+ Spanish Reading Resources

The best way to learn more vocabulary and improve your Spanish grammar is to read as much Spanish as you can. This could include books, magazines, comics, newspapers but the most important thing is to choose something you are interested in and will enjoy reading.

The resources listed below are fun and easy to read as long as you already know a little basic Spanish to begin with. Continue reading

Weather Talk in French

The English are always talking – and usually complaining – about the weather, but the French do their fair share too. In fact, one way to translate the expression “to make small talk” into French is parler de la pluie et du beau temps, literally ‘to talk about the rain and the fine weather’.

To ask what the weather is like, you can say Quel temps fait-il? Continue reading

Interview with polyglot Steve Kaufmann

Who is Steve Kaufmann?

Steve Kaufmann is a well-known polyglot who has been learning languages for over 50 years. He can speak 17 languages fluently and is currently learning more. He has a strong social media presence with over 100,000 subscribers to his Youtube channel, maintains a language learning blog and is the author of books to teach people how to learn languages successfully. Steve kindly agreed to answer a few questions that language learners frequently ask: Continue reading

Online Resources to Learn Spanish Fast

Nowadays there are so many language learning apps, websites, and online resources out there that anyone can learn a language from the comfort of their own home without ever having to visit the country where the language is spoken.
In this blog post we will look at the many different online resources to help you with your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills when learning Spanish. (Most of these apply to all language learning.) Continue reading

Adventures in French Canada

Although it is perhaps a rather delicate subject, one thing I think that visitors to Québec need to be warned about is Québécois profanity. In my first month or so I noticed that people’s speech was full of what appeared to be religious words, and my first thought was, “What devout people they are!” but then it dawned on me that these were swearwords.

Unlike in Standard French, where swearwords tend to centre on sex and excrement (such as merde shit), Québécois profanities (known as sacres from the verb sacrer to consecrate) are words and expressions related to Catholicism and its liturgy. They originated in the early 1800s when people became frustrated by the tight social control exerted by the Catholic clergy. Continue reading

How many words do you need to know to be fluent in a language?

Most people ask themselves this question when they start learning a foreign language. It can be daunting to think about how much you need to learn to be able to have a conversation with someone as you do in your native language. However the good news is that it is not as difficult as you might think! Continue reading

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