For the next few days, I’m in Singapore to host a language lab to train people to speak their target language on day one, and to sign copies of my book. I’m also using this visit to a country that speaks English as an official language, to investigate its other unique linguistic opportunities. In this […]MORE
Final reminder: on Monday I announce the next three month language mission on the Language Hacking League email list. It’ll be a good one!! Subscribe by entering your email in the top-right of the site to find out in advance of me announcing it on the blog! Today you get two fun videos about my […]MORE
Time to reveal what my fun part-time language mission for the summer is, and you may be surprised by how genuinely practical it is!! Basically, rather than learn a new language, as I normally tend to do (or maintain my current languages, which I am doing anyway this summer), I’ve decided to learn a new […]MORE
This video is entirely in English (I haven’t done such a thing for a half a year!) and is very simply just me reading a poem. But this is no ordinary poem! It was written (not sure by whom) to demonstrate the weird spelling convention that English follows, and is incredibly difficult to read without practising it a lot in advance!
I used to offer the best students in my classes (when I was an English teacher) €100 if they could read the entire thing without slipping up. Considering that I couldn’t even do this myself (I slip up once in the video even this time, and probably pronounce one or two words wrong), I knew that the money was safe!
This poem is generally used to prove that English is the “hardest language in the world” (I shit you not; as I always say every language makes this claim), so I’ve decided to hijack any searches people make for this poem, to add some humour to a normally dull and discouraging concept, and then add some encouragement of my own at the end!MORE
In the last five months, I have definitely received the most double takes of my life whenever I said that I had been learning all my Egyptian Arabic in Brazil.
It’s just such an unlikely combination! Brazil has never had a huge or even tiny wave of Egyptian immigration. While there, I only managed to meet one single Egyptian in person in my entire 3 months. This was partially the reason I did it – to prove that even if there are no natives nearby, you can learn to speak the language entirely online.MORE