A “First world problem” is a minor inconvenience for people who don’t have to deal with any pressing concerns – an advantage of living in a richer country or having a rich lifestyle. As such, it’s hardly something to genuinely complain about. Along the same lines, a Polyglot Problem is an inconvenience you only have […]MORE
After last week’s announcement, you should know that I had an intensive project to re-activate my Hungarian! The reason I was doing this was to prepare to go back to Budapest to attend the Polyglot Conference, and I had a great time at it, but I did want to make sure I was using some Hungarian outside of it. In this post, I’ll say how both the mission and the conference went!
Firstly, I had signed up for six hours of Hungarian spoken lessons via italki. While I had blogged that I would be putting about ten hours into the project, once again my super-secret project in Berlin was consuming my time, and I barely had 10 minutes before each lesson to quickly revise things. So in total, I had about 7 hours of exposure time to Hungarian before arriving.
I find that because I am so busy on another project, if I don’t actually schedule a lesson, then I can keep putting off the work, so I’m really glad I did put aside that time in advance. Busy or not, when you know you have another person scheduled to talk to you, you’ll make the time!MORE
So, I’m Julie Ferguson and I have nothing on Helen Keller! I am, however, severely deaf and partially sighted.
My parents realised that I had a hearing problem when I was 2 years old, though I didn’t get my first hearing aid until I was 4. Unfortunately, when I was 4, nobody could understand me babbling away in my version of English, except for my mum and my brother. Apparently, I was bad. I couldn’t even pronounce my own name (it sounded like Ooee Fehuhoh).
I was sent to speech therapy for intensive work before I started primary school, and I remember working on all those weird sounds especially “spoon”. My particular hearing loss makes it difficult to hear consonants, especially s, h, and f.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
Language learning can and should be free, and there are many ways to do it without spending a penny, which I discuss regularly on this site. However, there is one time when spending a bit of bob can certainly be justifiable – when giving in to the consumerist frenzy that we celebrate just after the […]MORE
After a LOT of work to prepare the lyrics, round people together, send way too many emails, have contributors pick verses and languages, give them feedback for several different takes, blend it all together, get through the immense task of video and sound editing, and making sure everyone was happy with it… “Skype me maybe” is finally ready for the world! 🙂
As you can see, the storyline is that I’m a hopeless language learner, ready to give up, when 16 of the Internet’s most famous polyglots show up to give me some encouraging words… in the tune of Carla Rae Jepsen’s “Call me maybe” that was popular this year, and inover thirty languages. Yes, it’s as crazy and as good as it sounds! 🙂MORE
I met up with fellow Youtube polyglot, Moses McCormick (see his Youtube channel) in Columbus, Ohio and the two of us went to a mall simply to walk up to complete strangers and practise a bunch of languages with them.MORE
Those of you in the email list, and following my Facebook, or twitter found out about this in advance, but today it’s time to announce on the blog what my epic summer language learning mission is, tell you where I’ll be, and precisely what I’ll be working on in TEN languages so that you can […]MORE
The results are in and it turns out that Fluent in 3 months has won the top Language Blogs of 2012 competition! Thanks so much for your votes everyone!! 😀 What an honour!! Have a look at the top blogs, as well as top language lovers overall (which includes twitter and language professionals) […]MORE
When you understand “language genes” to be something that some people have and you don’t, then you’re being ridiculous. I’ve seen this in many iterations: language talent, gene, skill, knack etc., and today I’m going to tell you why I think it’s all nonsense. The part of your genetic makeup that helps you deconstruct and […]MORE
Today’s guest post is from Susanna, author of Language is Music, who speaks seven languages and promotes learning languages with music and the media. Susanna and I made a multilingual video together in San Francisco and she also wrote a previous guest post here about listening techniques and how to use songs to learn languages. […]MORE
This is something that has been bothering me for some time, so after giving my thoughts on it, I’d love to hear yours. What do you understand it as meaning if someone says that they are a “linguist”? As far as I’m concerned, a linguist is someone who studies linguistics. Linguistics can be a fascinating […]MORE
In the last eight years, I’ve invested serious time into learning 16 languages (so far; I’ll be giving clues to the 17th one in the e-mail list throughout August, to be started in September. You can sign up to that on the top-right of the site if you think you’ll be able to figure it […]MORE
Hello from the road once again! I’m writing this from Las Vegas airport en route to Portland for my first of two conference stops in North America. My time in Amsterdam has officially come to an end and I took everything I own in the world (which now weighs precisely 23kg/50lbs; less than the 40+ […]MORE
I was about to update my facebook status to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, but this creates a certain problem; most of my facebook friends are not native English speakers and some don’t celebrate Christmas. While they may have enough to understand the simple phrase “Merry Christmas”, it’s forcing a language in their feed that […]MORE