Books are dead – it’s time to ditch 15th century technology


The printing press was invented in 1440. Apart from the Internet, this one invention is probably one of the most incredible things that happened in the last millennium to help spread ideas – books and the ideas they contain have transformed the world. And yet, almost nothing has changed since the 15th century in the […]


Pimsleur Approach Review – An Honest Look

Happy girl using tablet pc on the grass

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 […]


What is the best language learning course? Looking at the numbers


Any answer to the question posed in the title of this post will inevitably be loaded with presumptions, bias, personality preference, anecdotal or confused sources of evidence, guesses with no actual experience, irrelevant criteria and many other things that lead it to give an impossible or misleading real answer, because simply there is just no […]


How to download free native-spoken podcasts & MP3s in almost any language


Every Friday I send out an e-mail to the Language Hacking League with a list of interesting websites to check out, as well as more precise updates regarding my own language missions. This particular tip got a great response from people last week, so I’ll share it on the blog too. It’s very easy, and […]


Spaced repetition: Never forget vocabulary ever again


LEE ESTE ARTÍCULO EN ESPAÑOL AQUÍ (READ THIS ARTICLE IN SPANISH HERE). Here’s a great method to make sure you remember vocabulary in future! The SRS (Spaced Repetition System) is a presentation method that gives you the information before you would forget it and makes sure that it stays constantly fresh in your mind. So, […]


Busuu & LiveMocha: review of pros and cons

busuu LiveMocha

Over the last weeks, I have been attempting to learn German through various different interfaces. Some have been a huge improvement to how I learned previously, some can be helpful in particular ways, and some just aren’t for me at all. This post shares a little of my experience using both Busuu and LiveMocha. The […]


Honest & detailed review of the LingQ web-based learning system


Update: LingQ is a paid system, and as I say in this review the only part I found to be truly unique was the reading interface, which is still $120/year for the basic version. Luckily there is now an open source and totally free alternative that fixes many problems I discuss in this post, especially […]


How to make your computer multilingual


I’ve always said that total immersion and avoiding English are the key to learning a language quickly. However, even when living in the country, watching TV, socialising and doing everything else in the local language, you may still be exposed to too much English on your computer. And if you can’t travel yet to practise […]


Best free online dictionaries for translators and linguists


Sorry traditionalists, but printed dictionaries are on the way out! They are either too small to contain enough entries or too large for those of us that travel, as well as being too expensive. In the time it takes me to go get a big fat dictionary, and flick through the pages for a particular […]