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  • bennytaj1280
    I just arrived in Melbourne, Australia after spending the last month and a half in India, and the last several months in Asia in general – mostly in more “rugged’ environments like Chiang Mai, Bali, and most recently Palolem beach in Goa. I have to say that I’m very glad to be back in civilization […]

  • Outback Kangaroo Sign
    Hey language hackers! Today I write to you from… Australia! This is a HUGE first for me, as I’ve been waiting to add this country to my list for years, and you all have been asking me for years why I’ve been neglecting this continent… Well, now I’m finally here! I’m thrilled to be here, […]

  • Smart work
    Why is that some people are worse language learners no matter how hard they work? Among the many emails/tweets and in-person comments I get about those who have tried and failed to learn languages, what comes up more often than not is something along the lines of “I know that I can’t ever learn French/German/Chinese […]

  • facetime
    One of the best tools available to us nowadays to help us learn a language is to get on Skype/Google+/Facetime or any VoIP tool and chat to a native speaker. The pros are many. It doesn’t require travel. Through many sites it’s cheaper than in-person lessons, and it usually has way more options than you […]

  • baby3
    One of the main reasons I travel so much is that I find it fascinating to see how different people are across different cultures. For new travellers, some of these differences can make people from other countries seem completely weird or just plain rude. Simple things you take for granted as being done in a […]

    • Review of Rosetta Stone: Detailed and honest look at latest version (TOTALe)
      This is a very detailed and frank review of the latest version of Rosetta Stone: version 4 TOTALe Rosetta Stone is one of the biggest brands in language learning in the English speaking world (not to be confused with the Rosetta Stone that helped us decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics, which it is named after). The problem is that it is out of the budget o...

    • Why Learning French isn’t hard
      Today's guest post is from Zack, (@zackjsimon) who is a long-term reader of the blog and has sent me this guest post idea for a concept that you all know I like to write about for as many languages as I can! Considering French is considered by some to be among the world's "hardest languages" (yes, seriously, Parisians will insist on this; luckily, ...

    • 17 cultural clashes this European had in America
      Warning: If you are pissed off easily, don't read this post. Although plenty of (American) commenters agree with me, I'm also getting a flood of angry comments and hatemail, but this is my (as always) frank and honest non-watered-down opinion, take it or leave it! Read on to the conclusion to see my positive thoughts about Americans before you conclude ...

    • DuoLingo Review: The Quick, Easy and Free Way to Learn A Language
      Today a brand new completely free language learning resource and tool for translating the Internet (via real people rather than automatically) has become publicly available. It's called DuoLingo. Luis von Ahn gave a TED talk about it some time ago (in both English and Spanish), so there has been plenty of interest built up about it, and an invitatio...

    • 29 life lessons learned in travelling the world for 8 years straight
        EDIT: This blog post was written on my 8 year travel anniversary in 2011. In 2013 I celebrated my TEN year travel anniversary with a much more visual representation of the top ten lessons learned in travelling the world, including the absolute best footage from my travels, and you can hear me speak out the lessons directly to the camera. Here ...

    • Learning Mandarin Chinese Is Easy; You Just Think It’s Hard
      Napoleon Hill wrote in his bestselling book Think and Grow Rich, "There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge." Do you say to yourself, "I am too old/young/fat/skinny/rich/poor/educated/uneducated/white/black/gay/straight/hairy/hairless/sheep/goat to be learning a new language [or insert any formidable-sounding thing]." Realiz...

    • Pimsleur Approach Review – An Honest Look
      In the recent survey about the "best" courses, Pimsleur came out on top, both among the best and the worst. Despite almost a decade of learning languages, I have to admit that I had never tried the Pimsleur approach. I was under the impression that audio based learning wouldn't work for me, as I considered myself a "visual" learner. But this was noth...