• Join the Language Learning Community at Women in Language

    Language learning can be lonely.

    There’s a lot of work you do on your own even if you regularly meet with a language tutor or exchange partner.

    And finding other people who share your passion and enthusiasm for learning new languages? Not always easy.

    Next week, Lindsay Williams, Kerstin Cable, and I are hosting Women in Language for the third time. It’s an event we put together to champion, celebrate, and amplify women’s voices in the language field.

    It’s four days of inspiring talks, panels, chat, and this year, we’re even adding two language exchange sessions.

    And now, more than ever given our current global situation, finding places where we can reach out, connect, and learn is more important than ever.

    Get your ticket to Women in Language 2020. (Sept 17-20, 2020)

    Women in Language -- an online language learning event

    Why Women in Language

    Many online conferences call for papers. That means that those who submit papers and present at these events are people who have the confidence and experience to submit proposals. Not always, but in a significant number of cases.

    But what about those who may be intimidated by the thought of submitting a proposal? Or are afraid of being rejected? Or don’t have the means or ability to travel to an event?

    They often end up not having the opportunity to share their stories, their research or their voices at these events.

    And that’s why Lindsay, Kerstin and I created Women in Language. To provide a platform where these lesser heard voices can be heard.

    Rather than call for papers, we brainstorm throughout the year and ask for recommendations from our event attendees. We keep a running list and when we start putting Women in Language together, reach out to potential speakers.

    This means we’re able to invite speakers you wouldn’t usually hear from, putting together a program of experts, researchers, learners, educators, and enthusiasts packed with new perspectives and voices.

    This year, we have more than 30 speakers across four tracks:

    • Language Mastery
    • Dream Teams
    • Living and Working in Languages
    • All the Language Feels (psychology-related topics)

    Get your ticket to Women in Language 2020. (Sept 17-20, 2020)

    Women in Language -- an online language learning event

    Why Should You Attend Women in Language?

    1 It’s open to everyone

    The “women” in Women in Language refers to the speakers and organizers. Everyone is invited to join us at the event. Regardless of how you identify, you’re welcome at Women in Language and we’d love for you to join us for four incredible days of learning.

    And because the event is open to everyone, a lot of interesting conversations happen in the chat! It’s an exciting opportunity to connect and learn!

    2 You’ll meet amazing people

    One of the things we love about Women in Language is the community. Year after year the event Facebook group and live chats are filled with positive, uplifting, and encouraging conversations. New friendships are formed, language exchange partners are met, and new collaborations are set up.

    3 You’ll learn loads about languages

    Over the four days, we have two panels and numerous talks. Can’t make one of the talks at the time it’s happening live? No problem! When you get a ticket to Women in Language, you get access to the event indefinitely and all the talks are recorded. That means, you can always watch the talks when you’re able.

    4 There’s a chance to win language prizes

    With the purchase of your ticket to Women in Language, you’re automatically entered into a raffle, getting the chance to win one of three prize packages. This year, we have donations from LingQ, Fluent in 3 Months, Drops, and more. Each of the prizes include hundreds of dollars of language products.

    5 You can attend from anywhere in the world

    Women in Language is an online event. That means you can attend from anywhere in the world if you have internet access. You can join us from home, on the beach, or from the patio of your favorite café (just be sure you practice safe social distancing!).

    6 You can practice your languages

    During the event, we’re hosting two Speak Easy sessions. This is something Lindsay, Kerstin, and I took from something else we ran together (Language League). And basically, it’s an online language exchange/meet-up. You’ll join potentially hundreds of other learners and get put into a group organized by the language you want to practice and have an hour to chat away in your languages!

    7 You can nominate speakers you want to hear from in the future

    At the end of each event, we ask attendees to nominate speakers they’d like to hear from for future Women in Language events. So if there’s a female speaker you’d love to hear from, you can let us know and there’s a good chance we’ll invite them to a future Women in Language.

    8 You get the chance to ask language experts your questions live

    At the end of each talk, we hold a Q&A session with the speaker. You’ll be able to ask questions in the chat and Lindsay, Kerstin and I will share them with our speakers. So if you have anything you’ve been itching to know or ask, Women in Language gives you the chance to do just that!

    9 You’re supporting Girl Up

    Each year, Women in Language donates 10% of profits to a charity. This year, we’re donating to Girl Up, an organization that works to improve girls’ rights and provide opportunities for girls to become future leaders.

    Ready to join us? Get your ticket to Women in Language 2020.

    The Details About Women in Language

    Tickets to Women in Language are $29 for the four day event.

    It’s happening live September 17-20, 2020.

    But if you’re unable to attend it live, you can still watch the recordings of the talks if you purchase your ticket before September 20th. When you get a ticket, you have indefinite access to the event. That means you can join us live, watch the recordings at a later time, or even do both!

    Tickets are only on sale until the last day of the event, so don’t miss out on joining us!

    Get your ticket to Women in Language 2020. (Sept 17-20, 2020)

    Have questions? Let me know in the comments!

    September 11, 2020 • Language Resources • Views: 590

  • Clear the List | Monthly Language Learning Strategies Update | September

    It’s September, one of my favorite months. It’s not only my birthday month, but it’s also the first month of fall (imho the best season!). And… Women in Language is here!

    I’m a month into my Persian language project, nearly halfway to beating my longest streak ever on Memrise, and getting back into Mandarin Chinese becoming a bigger part of my life again. Let’s dive in!

    Women in Language

    Want to spend four days learning about language stuff while spending time with an amazing, supportive group of language lovers? Me too! That’s why I co-organize Women in Language each year with Lindsay Williams and Kerstin Cable.

    And this month, the next event is happening!

    You can attend talks for more than 30 inspiring speakers from September 17-20. We have panels, dream teams, language exchange practice sessions, live q&a’s and a chat that’s always on fire!

    Learn more here.

    The Language Hacking Podcast

    The Language Hacking Podcast over at Fluent in 3 Months where I’m co-hosting with Fi3M founder, Benny Lewis is still going strong! We release a new episode every week and we’re up to 13 episodes.

    Some of our guests have been: Idahosa Ness, Olly Richards, and Scott Young.

    If you give the podcast a listen, or if you already have been listening, we’d love your reviews!

    Drops has Serbian and Bosnian

    Drops added two more languages last month! You can now learn Serbian and Bosnian with Drops (as well as Croatian).

    Spend just 5 minutes a day learning thousands of new words–including those related to staying healthy–in 39+ languages!

    For now, on to #clearthelist …

    Not sure what #clearthelist is? Let me clear it up for you (see what I did there?). #CleartheList is a linkup where we share our monthly goals, and by we, I mean myself, and Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages.

    We’d absolutely love for you to a part of our community. You can join us by adding a link to your own goal post below.

    So let’s get started, sharing our goals and motivating one another to #clearthelist!

    Please feel free to tag your posts or photos with either #clearthelist on your favorite social media channels!

    Last Month’s Highlights on Instagram

    Last Month’s Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // We have been introducing more and more Mandarin into our daily routine. Books each night, Mandarin tv time before English tv, Mandarin game play before tablet time, lessons, games in the car, and more.

    Maintain my vocabulary learning streak. // Yes! I missed a day for a couple languages because I started too close to midnight, but I’ve kept up my streak for most of my active languages.

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // Yes! I made it through quite a few videos this month.

    Fluent in 3 Months Challenge // I’m still going strong with my Persian language project!

    Keep reading Game of Thrones in Russian. // I didn’t do as much of this as I would have liked.

    Study Stranger Things in Hungarian. // Same as above.

    Keep working through the PersianPod101 course. // Yes! And I got that coursebook (actually several coursebooks) as the next step.

    Finish Pimsleur’s Persian 1. // I’m very close to doing this. So I’ll still count it as a “yay”.

    Maintain my weekly lessons in each language. // As much as this has been possible, I’ve done this!

    This Month’s Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // I’d like to continue to incorporate this more and more until we’re an OPOL household.

    Maintain my vocabulary learning streak. // This has been a great way to rebuild my language routine, so it’s staying on the list indefinitely! Plus, I’m really seeing the impact of this study.

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // I’d like to continue to whittle this down since I have more than 1,000 videos in my queue.

    Fluent in 3 Months Challenge // This will be the tail end of my Persian language Challenge.

    Keep reading Game of Thrones in Russian. // More like resume reading Game of Thrones in Russian.

    Study Stranger Things in Hungarian. // Same as above.

    Finish my Persian Script Hacking book. // So that I can start to get comfortable reading and writing in Persian.

    Get to lesson 15 of Pimsleur Persian II. // I want to keep knocking this one out.

    Maintain my weekly lessons in each language. // It makes sure I’m using all my languages each week and helps me a ton with accountability.

    Have an awesome birthday with family. // Because it only happens once a year!

    Women in Language // I’m looking forward to all the inspiration and energy of this event.

    Resources I Used This Month

    A quick recap of the materials I am using.

    What I Am Using to Learn Chinese

    What I’m Using to Brush Up/Improve My French:

    • LingQ
    • Listening to French radio/podcasts/music

    What I am Using to Learn Russian:

    What I am Using to Learn Persian:

    What I am Using to Learn Hebrew:

    What I am Using to Learn Korean:

    What I am Using to Learn Spanish:

    What I am Using to Learn Italian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Japanese:

    What I’m Using to Learn Croatian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Hungarian:

    Not Currently doing any study for: German, Hindi

    What I’m Using for Little Linguist

    • Lots of books
    • Day-to-day interaction
    • italki Lessons
    • Duolingo ABC
    • Droplets
    • Movies in Chinese
    • Gus on the Go Chinese

    Resources That Aren’t Language Specific

    The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month

    For the first two years of Little Linguist’s life, I spoke to him almost exclusively in Mandarin Chinese. But then, English started to creep in and before I knew it, had taken completely over.

    I’ve been trying to get back on track, but I was initially deterred by the idea of starting the language again now that he’s older. He communicates well in English and the idea of starting over with another language seemed intimidating.

    So I started with little things I knew he enjoyed–play, reading, movie time. And sure enough, the language began to become a part of our lives once more. And as I continue to make little additions, that part grows.

    So my lesson for this month is this…

    Sometimes, when a project or change seems overwhelming, just take a single step.

    For us, it was reading one Mandarin Chinese book each night. And it grew from there. But it was in taking that first step to get back on track that re-incorporating Chinese stopped seeming overwhelming.

    Don’t forget that I would love to hear all about your goals for this month! Please join us by adding your post to the linkup below! 

    Clear The List Linkup Rules:

    1. Share your goal post whether it includes your aspirations for the month or year. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted.

    2. Link back to this post. You can use our button if you wish.

    3. Follow the hosts: Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

    4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Please visit the site of the person who linked up immediately before you and leave them an encouraging comment! By hosting this linkup, we’re hoping to create a positive community where we can all share our goals. If you do not do this, you will be removed from the linkup.

    5. Share on social media using #ClearTheList

    September 7, 2020 • Eurolinguiste • Views: 564

  • How to Learn Persian: My Persian Language Project Update

    Three weeks ago I started learning my fourteenth languages, Persian. I promised regular updates on my methods, progress, and I’ll even do my best to break down exactly what I do each and every day to learn the Persian language.

    So let’s jump right in.

    Here’s where I was at on Day 0:

    And here’s where I was at about two weeks later. (The video says Day 30 but I started the Fluent in 3 Months Challenge late and recorded my Day 30 video early).

    My Daily Language Learning Routine: What I Do Each Day to Learn Persian

    To learn Persian, there are a few things I do every day:

    My Daily Routine to Learn Persian

    Complete 6,000 points on Memrise.

    If I have words to review, I’ll do this first. Then, any leftover time I’ll spend learning new words.

    Where do these words come from? They’re primarily the vocab and phrases that come up during my lessons. But if I come across anything useful while doing other activities (listening to podcasts, watching Youtube videos, etc.), I add them to my flashcards as well.

    When do I do this? I squeeze this into the day whenever I can. Sometimes it’s while I’m a passenger in the car. Other times it’s the last thing I do before bed. Some days it’s while my kids are doing karate. And it’s even while I watch tv on occasion.

    Listen to 30 minutes of Pimsleur.

    I’m currently nearing the end of Level I of Pimsleur. I’ve needed to repeat a few lessons to make sure I fully grasp the new material. And I already have Level II ready to go.

    When do I do this? Whenever I’m in the car or on a walk. And sometimes while I’m doing chores.

    Complete 5-15 minutes in Drops.

    Drops is a good way for me to review some of the thematic vocabulary that comes up during my lessons. It’s also proven to be an engaging way to get introduced to new words I wouldn’t have come across in other contexts.

    When do I do this? The same rules apply for when I do Memrise. But I do try to do Drops when I can listen to the audio because it’s read by native speakers and helps me with my own pronunciation.

    My Weekly Routine to Learn Persian

    Have 1 Persian lesson on Preply.

    Every week I have a lesson with my Persian tutor on Preply. (Here’s the link to her profile directly.) We go over topics I’m likely to discuss in Persian with friends and she does an amazing job letting me guide the lessons but also steps in when I need a little more guidance.

    I put together a complex sentence correctly on my own which led to a discussion about how many languages I’ve studied. I couldn’t help but grab a screenshot of the interaction!

    What I Can Currently Do in Persian

    According to Preply’s CEFR scale, based on the number of lessons I’ve done, I’m slowly creeping towards an A1. This, of course, doesn’t take into consideration all of the work I’m doing outside of lessons. My self-evaluation would be that I’m a solid A1 on my way to A2.

    Currently, I can introduce myself, talk about my work, things that interest me and my family, and do some other basic things in the Persian language.

    I still don’t have a huge vocabulary, Drops says I know just over 200 words and I’ve learned all 155 words and phrases currently stored in Memrise (though I have a lot more to add).

    What My Future Plans Are to Learn Persian

    Now that I’m over the newbie hurdle in Persian, it’s time for me to start really digging in.

    Up until this point, I’ve been using romanization to get by, take notes, and figure things out. I want to start diving into coursebooks, however, so I’m due to start learning to read and write in Persian.

    I picked up a copy of Judith Meyer’s Persian Script Hacking and will be using this as my primary resource to learn to read and write.

    Once I’m comfortable with the Persian alphabet, I’ll start digging into the course books I purchased. They are:

    And once I’ve gotten through these, other coursebooks I’m interested in evaluating are:

    A Summary of My Persian Learning Strategies

    Overall, I’ve been very consistent in my Persian studies. (You can follow me on Instagram to see daily reports of my progress!)

    I also take every opportunity I can to practice the language. We have new neighbors who speak Persian and they’ve been gracious enough to let me practice with them. I also send my video recordings to a friend from karate for feedback. And I also do some grocery shopping at our local Persian market because even if I don’t practice the language with anyone there, I get to hear music in the language and look at labels in Persian.

    If you have any questions about how I’m learning Persian, please let me know! I’m happy to add more detail on any part of my learning process. Just leave me a comment below.

    September 3, 2020 • Language Project, Language Resources • Views: 688

  • 15 Popular Study Abroad Locations Among College Students

    If you’re thinking about studying abroad to better grasp and appreciate another language or culture, or you simply want to take an opportunity to expand your horizons and see a bit more of the world, your options are incredibly diverse.

    Let’s take a look at some of the great places you could choose and everything they have in store for you!

    1. Spain

    You can really get your money’s worth by making Spain your study abroad option, since it’s one of the least expensive places to study in Europe when compared to U.S. costs. Plus, there’s over seventy universities to choose from.

    While you’re there, you’ll be able to enjoy a lively music scene, the delectable cuisine, and major metropolitan destinations like Barcelona, Granada, Seville, and more.

    2. Norway

    If you’re looking for a really cost-effective opportunity, you might want to consider Norway since it is a free option for everyone both inside the EU and out. This is limited to public universities, and does not cover certain specialized programs, but it’s certainly an attractive offer to consider.

    When you have time between classes, you’ll be able to explore the region’s amazing landscape, including in such regions as the Alps, Geirangerfjord, and the Arctic Circle where you can see the marvelous Northern Lights.

    3. Brazil

    Want a warmer climate? Brazil might be your perfect destination for studying abroad. The country offers numerous programs for students, particularly within the bustling city of Rio de Janeiro.

    Guests to that city love the exciting nightlife, outdoor possibilities like hiking and swimming in the ocean, world-class restaurants, and more!

    4. New Zealand

    New Zealand boasts an impressive statistic when it comes to study abroad options – all of its eight universities are within the top 3% of the world. As a visiting student in the country, your opportunities for fun and fulfillment are nearly limitless, too. Some popular activities include kayaking, skiing, rafting, bungy jumping, whale watching, and so much more. You can also take the opportunity to learn more about the country’s Māori culture.

    5. South Korea

    South Korea’s study abroad programs are another excellent option for students, particularly if you examine Korea University, considered an equivalent to the United States’ Ivy League schools. With the area’s delectable cuisine, gorgeous mountainside and beachside views, host of museums, and ease of public transport, this is one opportunity to definitely keep in mind.

    6. France

    With over 3,500 higher education institutions for students to choose from, including many within the City of Light itself, France is a wonderful possibility if you’re looking to do your studying abroad in Europe.

    The sky’s the limit when you want to engage with the region’s culture, too, as you can visit any number of first-rate restaurants and vineyards, see masterpieces at the Louvre, explore the Paris Catacombs, and so much more.

    7. Costa Rica

    Costa Rica not only has sixty universities for students to choose from, but the cost of living in the country is rather affordable as well, making the country an enticing option to add to your list. Visitors enjoy plenty of outdoor activities, lively sporting events, easy and cheap travel, and, of course, the amazing and scenic beaches.

    8. Japan

    Those who want to experience the full spectrum when it comes to a country’s culture should consider Japan, as it lays claim to both cultural sites that stretch back thousands of years along with some of the most advanced technological innovations on the planet.

    You’ll delight in this unique disparity as a student, and will further appreciate the culinary wonders, historic sites, and splendid landscapes that await you.

    9. Russia

    Russia has a strong emphasis on education, with 54% of their population between 25 and 64 having university degrees. So if you want to travel somewhere with a focus on academics, and especially if you’re studying Russian, this may be the place to go.

    While there, you’ll also be able to attend the country’s many museums, marvel at its unique architecture, and more. Also, studying in Russia can be particularly affordable because of the free housing Russian schools provide, called obshagas. If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a culture and meet lots of new people, this is an excellent way to do so.

    10. United Arab Emirates

    For students who are honing their Arabic language skills, UAE can be a great study abroad option. There are numerous programs within the country, including several for the major metropolis of Dubai.

    If you end up choosing Dubai as your option, you’ll be able to explore all of the amazing projects the city has been working on such as Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, the Dubai Frame, the market and cultural fair Global Village, and IMG Worlds of Adventure which is the largest indoor theme park in the world.

    11. Germany

    Students who have an academic interest in areas like business, the hard sciences, and, of course, the German language, will feel right at home in one of the country’s many universities. During downtime you can scope out the region’s impressive art scene in places like Dresden, hike through the picturesque Black Forest, or engage in some afterhours fun in one of many beer halls.

    12. China

    China has the fastest-growing influx of international students in the world, and for good reason. With its top-rated universities and major presence in both world affairs and commerce, choosing China as your study abroad option can be greatly beneficial to your future.

    But let’s not overlook the amazing and authentic cuisine you’ll be able to have while in the country, or the key historical sites you can visit like the Lintong District’s Terracotta Army, the illustrious Summer Palace, and, of course, The Great Wall.

    13. The United Kingdom

    With the wide variety of excellent schools the country offers, and the lack of a language barrier for Americans, it’s no wonder so many students choose the UK for schooling. In fact, the collective of countries has been known to often hold over 10% of U.S. study abroad students.

    And since the UK is comprised of four separate countries, during your downtime you can visit England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to see key cultural and popular sites like Stonehenge, Buckingham Palace, Loch Ness, Portmeirion, and the Giant’s Causeway.

    14. Italy

    Students who are drawn to Italy’s study abroad programs can come from a variety of backgrounds, but many have an interest in business, languages, or the fine arts. And because of the region’s food, wine, beautiful architecture, and rich cultural history, the country is one of the world’s most popular study abroad locations.

    While there, be sure to visit the wide variety of museums, churches, and more to take advantage of all the country has to offer. And we can’t recommend Venice enough if you’re looking for a beautiful and picturesque city to spend time in.

    15. Switzerland

    Switzerland has been ranked second in the world for teaching quality, making it an ideal choice for students looking to study abroad. Swiss universities are also known to make innovative learning models and global-minded education a priority.

    As a visitor, you’ll be able to engage in a variety of outdoor activities like hiking and skiing, take day trips to historic, fairytale-like castles, and get your fill of delicious Swiss chocolates.


    About the author: Linton Lewis works with Kent State’s MCLS department which provides an online Master’s in Translation in six separate language tracks.

    September 3, 2020 • Travel • Views: 527

  • How I Became Eurolinguiste | A Post in French

    Bonjour… Bon, voilà quoi – j’ai enfin décidé d’écrire un article en français. Je discute souvent des langues et des façons de définir le bilinguisme, mais je ne l’ai jamais fait dans une langue autre que l’anglais. J’espère donc que vous apprécierez mon histoire sur comment je suis devenu Eurolinguiste.

    Quand j’avais onze ans, j’ai commencé à apprendre ma deuxième langue. En fait, c’était ma troisième – j’ai parlé espagnol quand j’étais petite – mais j’ai presque tout oublié. En fait, j’ai tout oublié. C’est vrai qu’on oublie les langues que on n’utilise pas régulièrement – c’est dommage.

    Quand j’ai été choisir mon cours de langue, j’ai voulu apprendre l’allemand. Hélas, l’année où j’ai commencé mon cours de langue, l’allemand a été abandonné, et donc, je n’avais plus qu’un seul choix. Malgré le fait que ce n’était pas ce que je voulais, je ne regrette pas le chemin que j’ai pris. Si mon chemin avait été différent, je n’aurais pas cette passion pour la linguistique (qui existe en moi) aujourd’hui.

    Mon voyage linguistique n’a pas été facile, et il y a tellement de choses que j’ai oublié dans les langues que j’ai apprises. Quand mon désir d’apprendre une nouvelle langue l’emportait et que je laissais l’apprentissage de la précédente en suspend, ce qui arriva souvent, tout mes efforts ont (souvent) été perdus. À un moment donné, j’ai changé la langue que j’apprenais avec une telle fréquence qu’il me semblait que je n’arriverais jamais à la parler couramment.

    C’était beaucoup plus tard que j’ai finalement porté mon apprentissage sur les langues que j’aimais. La raison pour laquelle j’ai eu la chance d’apprendre plusieurs langues est que j’ai rencontré des gens qui me soutiennent dans l’apprentissage chaque langue. J’apprécie telement pour ceux qui m’ont soutenu jusqu’ici.

    Mon objectif pour l’instant « à ce jour » est d’ajouter l’italien et l’allemand et, plus tard, le croate.

    Je suis encore en apprentissage, et je serai toujours une étudiante en langues.

    PS. I added a sort of secret page to Eurolinguiste. Est-ce que vous pouvez le trouvez?

    August 18, 2020 • Eurolinguiste • Views: 826

  • 11 of the Most Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

    Learning a new language and looking for a bit of inspiration? Look no further.

    I put together this collection of my favorite quotes about learning a new language or language learning in general. Here are 11 inspiring quotes about learning a new language.

    One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland – and no other.
    EMILE M. CIORAN

    One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland – and no other.
EMILE M. CIORAN

    Language shapes the way we think and determines what we can think about.
    BENJAMIN LEE WHARF, American Linguist

    A language has very little that is arbitrary in it, very little betokening the conscious power and action of man. It owes its origin, not to the thoughts and the will of individuals, but to an instinct actuating a whole people: it expresses what is common to them all: it has sprung out of their universal wants, and lives in their hearts. But after a while in intellectual aristocracy come forward, and frame a new language of their own. The princes and lords of thought shoot forth their winged words into regions beyond the scan of the people. They require a gold coinage, in addition to the common currency.
    JULIUS CHARLES HARE, Guesses at Truth

    The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.
    LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN

    In the acquisition of languages by direct study, where time can be afforded for the purpose, it is found that several languages, belonging to the same family–as the Latin, Italian, and Spanish, for instance–can be acquired together, almost as easily and rapidly, as either of them can be acquired separately, and with far less chance of their being lost from the memory of disuse. By finding the roots in the parent tongue, and by tracing the growth from these roots outward into different tongues, as it were genealogically, it is found that they descend and spread according to certain organic laws of modification and growth.
    HORACE MANN, Thoughts

    No language is justly studied merely as an aid to other purposes. It will in fact better serve other purposes, philological or historical, when it is studied for love, for itself.
    J. R. R. TOLKIEN, “English and Welsh,” The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays

    No language is justly studied merely as an aid to other purposes. It will in fact better serve other purposes, philological or historical, when it is studied for love, for itself.

    Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.
    RITA MAE BROWN

    Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.
RITA MAE BROWN

    Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.
    JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE

    Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.
JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE

    To have another language is to possess a second soul.
    CHARLEMAGNE

    To have another language is to possess a second soul.
CHARLEMAGNE

    One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.
    FRANK SMITH

    One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.
FRANK SMITH

    If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.
    NELSON MANDELA

    If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.
NELSON MANDELA

    What’s your favorite quote about language?

    August 17, 2020 • Language Resources • Views: 817

  • How Learning a Language is Like Eating Cookies

    This month I am honoured to feature a guest post from Jarvis1000 from I Want 2 Speak Thai, a linguist fluent in Thai and English and learning Spanish. I admire Jarvis1000 greatly because he is able to excellently balance his family, a job and language learning (something I one day inspire to do as well!). All this goes without saying that in addition to his already busy schedule, he still finds time to write inspiring posts on learning languages.

    He no longer has a blog, but I really enjoyed his posts when he did!


    How Learning a Language is Like Eating Cookies

    When I was 19 years old, I did like many young men in my church and became a missionary. I spent two years of my early adult life in “AMAZING THAILAND” and came back fluent in Thai. Fast forward 10 years and I am now a 30 something married father of 4 kids. I work 40+ hours a week along with my other responsibilities as a father. On top of all that I am learning Spanish. Though there are many things I learned about language learning in Thailand, learning how to apply them to my current situation has been totally different.

    How learning language is like eating cookies | Jarvis1000

    Learning a foreign language is like eating a tim tam slam I am sure most of you know what an Oreo Cookie is. A childhood is not complete without dunking an Oreo cookie in milk every so often.

    On the other hand, you may or may not have heard of a Tim Tam. I was introduced to Tim Tams by my wife, who is from New Zealand. It’s a cookie (or a ‘biscuit’ as my wife would call it) that is made of too thin chocolate wafers with a chocolate crème filling. The entire thing is then coated in chocolate.

    When my wife introduced Tim Tams to me it wasn’t just, “here’s a Tim Tam.” She introduced them to me as a “Tim Tam Slam.”

    A Tim Tam Slam is done by first preparing a hot chocolate beverage of your choice. Then, after biting little bites on each side of the Tim Tam, you use the Tim Tam as a straw to suck up the hot chocolate into the biscuit. Once saturated, you tilt your head back and let the warm chocolate goodness fall into your mouth and enjoy. It’s one of the greatest chocolaty pass times I have ever experienced!

    What does that have to do with language learning?

    For me, learning Thai in Thailand was like having a Tim Tam Slam. When you suck up that hot chocolate, you have committed to eating that whole thing with all you have in you. You can’t go back, you NEED to eat that thing or make a horrible mess otherwise. Immersion commits you to learning the language. When you do eat it, though it might be a bit overwhelming for a moment, you eventually just sit back and embrace immersion for what it is!

    Right now, I am not learning Spanish in an immersive environment. I don’t NEED to learn Spanish. In fact, it can be difficult to find opportunities in my regular day-to-day life to use it. Learning Spanish is less like a Tim Tam Slam and more like dunking Oreo’s in Milk. No matter how much I want to learn, I will never be able to be as committed to it as if I lived or worked in an immersive environment.

    There is another way I have notice that it is like dunking Oreo’s. If I put it in and out too quickly, it’s basically pointless even dunking it. On the other hand, if I put it in too long the cookie crumbles and falls to the bottom of the milk, ruining the cookie and the milk in the processes. When I learn something, I need to do it in such away as to keep my confidence and motivation going long enough to actually get something done. At the same time, if I try to do too much I lose all confidence and motivation to do anything at all.

    So how does one do that?

    There are many things one can do, but that are a few tips and trick that I have learned on the way.

    Set a plan/system. I have created a system that I follow day in and day out. I use a combination of input and output activities as well as both structured and unstructured activities to help me. The most important thing is that you should never wonder to yourself, “What am I going to do this week?”

    Be Flexible. Nothing will ever go as you plan. Adapt. As you start getting better at certain things, you will find it is no longer useful to practice the language in one way or another. Don’t fret about it; just go with the flow and change.

    Find as many opportunities to talk out loud. Talk to the wall or your steering wheel. Don’t know how to say what you want to say yet? Do what you know and fill in the rest with your native language. Don’t know the past tense yet? Just use the present tense for now and just use a lot of context words like already or yesterday. Some will say that you will “create bad habits.” Let me ask you, have you ever known an adult who was stuck saying “pasgetti” all of their life because they didn’t know how to say it as a kid? Me neither. Just talk!

    Don’t just learn a language, live it. Learn how to say and talk about what you already do everyday. If you like Sports, then learn the Sports words you need. I mean everything, so you can listen to a play-by-play announcer and listen to commentator talk about player contracts. Don’t just learn how to say your profession, learn every detail of your profession in your language.

    Don’t worry if you can’t do all you want to do right away. Its baby steps. To paraphrase a bad joke, how do you eat a packet of Oreo cookies? One dunk at a time.

    August 16, 2020 • Language Resources • Views: 863

  • Confessions of a Serial Language Learner

    I’ve mentioned my personal experience and history with language learning in a few different posts. And I do my best to keep this page updated.

    I grew up with exposure to Spanish but stopped hearing it at home at a really young age. I quickly forgot nearly all of it.

    Thankfully, my third language stuck.

    My History Learning Languages

    But I was never really satisfied with just two languages under my belt. At the age of 15 I began learning Arabic so that my friend and I could share a “secret”-to-us language at school. I loved learning the script, but I struggled with it and quit after a semester.

    Not long after, I set a goal I kept to myself, worried about what people would say if I shared it with them. I decided I would speak 8 languages. But after my Arabic course, I didn’t really do anything to pursue it (music was becoming a bigger part of my life).

    It was only at university while studying for my Master’s degree things changed. I needed to learn other languages for my major and I took the requirement seriously, taking courses for the suggested languages. It was then I realized how much I loved not only speaking other languages but the learning process itself.

    I started on Italian, continued German (which I had dabbled in before), took up Croatian, and begged my roommates for one or two lessons in Mandarin (though again, nothing stuck). And that, with a few years in between, brings me to today.

    Am I a polyglot?

    I don’t at all feel comfortable calling myself a polyglot. I prefer to say that I’m an “avid language learner” or a “language lover”. I love being a part of the language community and am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to get to know several other awesome language lovers. But there’s one other title I’m comfortable giving myself… I feel confident calling myself a “serial language learner”.

    Today, I’d like to share a few things…

    A few confessions from a serial language learner.


    Confessions of a Serial Language Learner

    Being unable to avoid walking into any bookstore you pass just because you can’t keep yourself from perusing their foreign language section.

    If there’s a book in the foreign language section that looks interesting, it’s impossible to avoid an impulse buy. #allthebooks!

    Forgetting words in your native language as your brain makes room for words in your target language. It’s a thing. Your brain only has the capacity to hold many words and the more languages you know, the fewer words you are capable of knowing in each (I wish I had a link to the article I read on this). So make the words you learn count! Learn words that are relevant to you and the conversations you imagine yourself having.

    It’s frustrating. Oh so frustrating when you realize you have the same sentence written in your notes five times. That means all five times you stumbled across it, it was new to you. Or when you chat with a native speaker and despite being able to speak to them, you do not understand a word they say. Or when you have entire conversations by paper because your reading and writing progressed so much more quickly than your speaking skills.

    You have breakthrough moments that make every frustration and moment of self-doubt worth it.

    Realizing you will never live long enough to learn all the languages on your list or read all the books in your “to read” pile.

    Having to choose a finite list of languages because of the above.

    The confusion of dreaming in another language.

    The joy of realizing you dreamed in another language.

    When you fill a notebook and can’t decide whether to keep it in case you need it for reference, copy your most pertinent notes into another notebook to condense and continue or just start over.

    When you work on your language in a language app and they release a new language and that new language tempts you away from what you were working on. Or when you look at their list of offered languages and that temptation arises.

    When you used to know more in a language. For some reason, you still think you are at the same level even though you haven’t practiced and get called out on it when someone shares that language and tries to speak with you and nothing comes out.

    When suddenly the food you eat, the movies you watch and the music you listen to get on your significant other’s nerves because they are all in your target language and they don’t feel like reading subtitles or learning how to use chopsticks or eating with their hands or listening to that same k-pop song you have on repeat for the 100th time.

    When you only intend to study for an hour and end up spending most of the day immersed in your target language, forgetting to write a blog post so you either skip blogging or throw up some travel photos instead.

    When you feel like you should be progressing more quickly. The truth is, with language learning, and most skills, there is nothing quick about it. You can quickly learn certain facets of a language like specialized vocabulary, but to really become fluent or conversational (and retain it) it takes years. Anything else is like cramming for a test. You may pull it off but you can forget remembering it six months down the line.

    If you’re learning (or have tried learning) another language, can you relate to any of the above? I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Or, if you have any of your own language learning confessions to share, feel free!

    August 7, 2020 • Language Resources • Views: 1022

  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Vocabulary in French: How to Talk About Your Favorite Books in French

    I’m a bookworm. One of my favorite genres, aside from history or historical fiction, is that of la fantaisie/fantasy (“fantasy”) and la science-fiction (“science fiction”).

    When you get to the intermediate level in a language, diving into content created for native speakers is an effective way to boost your skill in a language. And that’s why I dive into books as soon as I’m able–LingQ helps a ton with this!

    I read in French as much as I read in English, but there’s something I make sure to do whenever I read.

    I only read books in French I would have read in English.

    That means I don’t read something just because it’s in French. It has to be something I’m interested in–regardless of the language the book is in.

    Sometimes this means I read translations of my favorite books–like “The Name of the Wind”, “Game of Thrones”, or “Eye of the World” in other languages. Though sometimes I read books in the same genre in French, too. Pierre Bourdieu is one of my favorite French fantasy authors!

    Needless to say, I read a lot of fantasy and science fiction in French, so I thought I would share some of the most common fantasy/science fiction vocabulary I’ve come across in my reading. Please let me know if you feel if anything is missing from this list!

    Please note that some of these are words that I have come across in my reading and some are ones that I have added on my own – any that seem out of place are those that I had to look up while reading.

    Science Fiction and Fantasy Vocabulary in French with English Translations

    Fantasy and Science Fiction Nouns in French

    These are some of the characters, objects, and ideas you may come across when reading science fiction or fantasy in French.

    Key Fantasy Vocabulary in French

    • une quête – “quest”
    • une légende – “legend”
    • un mythe – “myth”
    • le héros – “heroes”
    • le méchant – “the villain”
    • une dystopie – “dystopia”
    • une aventure – “adventure”
    • une théorie du complot – “conspiracy theory”
    • sous-création – “world-building” (I’m not totally sure about this one)
    • l’intrigue – “intrigue”

    Words to Discuss Knights in French

    • un chevalier – “knight”
    • une lame – “blade”
    • une épée – “sword”
    • un bouclier – “shield”
    • une lance – “spear”
    • une cotte de mailles – “chainmail”
    • une armure – “suit of armor”
    • un ordre de chevalerie – “order of chivalry”

    Words to Discuss Magic or Something Otherly in French

    • un magicien – “magician”
    • la magie – “magic”
    • un sorcier – “wizard”
    • une sorcière – “witch”
    • un sort – “spell”
    • une malédiction – “curse”
    • un système de magie – “magic system”
    • les ténèbres – “darkness, obscurity”

    Words to Talk About Characters in French

    • le protagoniste – “the protagonist”
    • l’antagoniste – “the antagonist”
    • le roi et la reine – “the king and queen”
    • un aubergiste – “innkeeper”
    • les pommettes – “cheekbones”
    • les androïdes – “androids”
    • un dragon – “dragon”
    • un serviteur – “minion”
    • les nains – “dwarves”
    • les elfes – “elves”
    • les gobelins – “goblins”
    • Bilbon et Frodon Sacquet – “Bilbo and Frodo Baggins”

    Fantasy and Science Fiction Verbs in French

    These are some of the verbs you might come across in your French reading.

    • échouer – “to fail”
    • rebiffer – “to balk”
    • jaillirent – “gushed”
    • aiguiser – “to whet”
    • chuintements – “hissing”
    • chamade – “racing, pounding”

    Fantasy and Science Fiction Adjectives and Adverbs in French

    Use these words to get more descriptive when speaking French.

    • farouchement – “fiercely”
    • en sueur – “sweaty”
    • épique, héroïque – “epic, heroic”

    Fantasy Book Titles in French

    • Le Seigneur des anneaux – “The Lord of the Rings”
    • Le Hobbit – “The Hobbit”
    • Trône de fer – “Game of Thrones”
    • Le nom du vent – “The Name of the Wind”
    • Le Cycle de L’Assassin Royal – “The Farseer Trilogy”
    • Le Meilleur des mondes – “Brave New World”
    • La Guerre des étoiles – “Star Wars”
    • Harry Potter à l’École des Sorciers – “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”
    • Conan le Barbare – “Conan the Barbarian”
    • Le Maître du Haut Château – “The Man in the High Castle”

    Any other fantasy or science fiction words you’d like to see on this list? Let me know in the comments!

    August 6, 2020 • Language Resources • Views: 1228

  • Clear the List | Monthly Language Learning Strategies Update | August

    This last month has been exciting, with lots of new updates. I will, of course, get into more detail about what those are below soon.

    The Free Language Learning Library

    As a friendly reminder, in case you missed the update last month, my free language learning library moved! If you’d like to join and get access to the materials available within the library, access it here.

    The Language Hacking Podcast

    We’re into the second month of the Language Hacking Podcast over at Fluent in 3 Months where I’m co-hosting with Fi3M founder, Benny Lewis.

    We’ve interviewed a lot of fascinating folks, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

    If you give the podcast a listen, or if you already have been listening, we’d love your reviews!

    Here’s how you can celebrate the podcast with us:

    • Step 1:  Subscribe on Apple Podcasts (or your favorite podcasts app) so you don’t miss an episode.
    • Step 2: Listen to Episode 1.
    • Step 3: Leave a review to let us know what you like about the podcast.

    Virus Prevention Vocabulary is Now on Drops

    In addition to recently releasing Croatian, Drops also released a new topic so you can learn vocabulary to discuss recent events in your new language.

    You can now spend 5 minutes a day learning thousands of new words–including those related to staying healthy–in 39+ languages!

    For now, on to #clearthelist …

    If you’re new around these parts, #clearthelist is a linkup where we share our monthly goals, and by we, I mean myself, and Lindsay of Lindsay Does Languages.

    We’d absolutely love for you to a part of our community. You can join us by adding a link to your own goal post below.

    So let’s get started, sharing our goals and motivating one another to #clearthelist!

    Please feel free to tag your posts or photos with either #clearthelist on your favorite social media channels!

    Last Month’s Highlights on Instagram

    Last Month’s Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // We’ve put together a plan to create more of an immersion environment at home. I’m hoping we’re able to better implement it this month.

    Maintain my vocabulary learning streak. // Yes! I’ve been able to successfully maintain my vocab streaks and even with a new language.

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // Another month of adding more videos to watch rather than watching many of them, but I did manage to get through a few of them.

    Fluent in 3 Months Challenge // I ended up having to stop my Russian challenge because I started a new language…

    Keep reading Game of Thrones in Russian. // I have kept this up!

    Study Stranger Things in Hungarian. // Same as above with Russian. 🙂

    Begin to do some coursebook work. // I started a Pod101 course, and while it isn’t a course “book”, it is a course, so I’ll count it as a win.

    Maintain my weekly lessons in each language. // Yes! Many of my tutors are on summer vacations, but I’ve been able to keep up my lessons with those whom are still around.

    This Month’s Goals

    Continue filling the gaps in my Mandarin vocabulary I’ve noticed since Little Linguist’s arrival. // We have a new plan in place to make Mandarin even more a part of our routine.

    Maintain my vocabulary learning streak. // This has been a great way to rebuild my language routine, so it’s staying on the list indefinitely!

    Keep working through my YouTube Queue.  // Really this time!

    Fluent in 3 Months Challenge // I started a new language so I’m jumping into another challenge a bit late. I’m very excited about this project!

    Keep reading Game of Thrones in Russian. // It has been a good way to keep up my Russian and even improve it.

    Study Stranger Things in Hungarian. // It has been a fun method for boosting my Hungarian reading comprehension.

    Keep working through the PersianPod101 course. // And once I’m through much of this material, I hope to invest in a course book!

    Finish Pimsleur’s Persian 1. // I’ve completed the first two lessons so far.

    Maintain my weekly lessons in each language. // It makes sure I’m using all my languages each week.

    Resources I Used This Month

    A quick recap of the materials I am using.

    What I Am Using to Learn Chinese

    What I’m Using to Brush Up/Improve My French:

    • LingQ
    • Listening to French radio/podcasts/music

    What I am Using to Learn Russian:

    What I am Using to Learn Persian:

    What I am Using to Learn Hebrew:

    What I am Using to Learn Korean:

    What I am Using to Learn Spanish:

    What I am Using to Learn Italian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Japanese:

    What I’m Using to Learn Croatian:

    What I’m Using to Learn Hungarian:

    Not Currently doing any study for: German, Hindi

    What I’m Using for Little Linguist

    Resources That Aren’t Language Specific

    The Biggest Lesson I Am Taking Away from This Month

    13 wasn’t my final number. I initially thought I’d stop at 10 languages, but then it became 10, 12, then 13. And now I’m at language 14 (and technically this number would be higher if you counted the languages I dropped).

    What this number will end up being in the end remains to be seen. I may keep it at 14, may drop some languages, or may even get to a higher number.

    For now, the lesson I learned is that I should stop saying xyz will be my “last” language because as of yet, it hasn’t been the case.

    Don’t forget that I would love to hear all about your goals for this month! Please join us by adding your post to the linkup below! 

    Clear The List Linkup Rules:

    1. Share your goal post whether it includes your aspirations for the month or year. Submissions unrelated to the theme or links to your homepage will be deleted.

    2. Link back to this post. You can use our button if you wish.

    3. Follow the hosts: Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages and Shannon from Eurolinguiste.

    4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Please visit the site of the person who linked up immediately before you and leave them an encouraging comment! By hosting this linkup, we’re hoping to create a positive community where we can all share our goals. If you do not do this, you will be removed from the linkup.

    5. Share on social media using #ClearTheList

    August 4, 2020 • Eurolinguiste • Views: 604