One of the most popular and well-known tools for learning a language online is Duolingo. Duolingo is completely free. But is it worth it, and how do you use it? To investigate, Agnieszka from 5-Minute Language shares her experience using Duolingo to genuinely learn some languages. Over to you Agnieszka! The free language learning […]MORE
You can learn a lot about how language works by studying how software-engineers approach the challenge of speech-recognition. In the early days of the field, engineers theorized that getting a computer to recognize speech was merely a question programming a large database of word recordings into it. For example, get a speaker to say the phrase “I can’t wait to watch this Kickstarter video!”, and the machine would be able to link the phrase with the sounds from its database and tease out the coMORE
One of the biggest challenges for students of any foreign language is finding the time to study.
Many of us have started, stopped and restarted learning a foreign language several times. After a long day at school or work, chores, meals, and maybe a workout we often feel unmotivated or lack the time to study. One of the best ways to find time to study is to use technology to automate your language study.
Benny is obviously a huge proponent of finding the most efficient to learn languages and has many posts about hacking your studies. One way I like to “hack” my time, is to automate the process of language learning in as many ways as I can.MORE
The most famous example people know of me (and my friend Moses) levelling up, is when we went to a mall in Columbus Ohio and spoke over a dozen languages. I’ve had people email me to ask where are good places to level up, as if a list can be compiled. Actually, you can do […]MORE
After months of book tours, and enough of a work backlog that I’ve had to hire full-time help, it’s finally time for me to get back into making videos again! 😀
Since this year I’ve decided to focus on improving the languages I already know, I wanted to give you a look into the process of how I go about slowly improving my languages over the long term, maintaining them, and pushing myself into mastery in my top languages.
As such, I’ll be making a heap of new videos that I can produce with much more consistency than I ever did during my hectic intensive learning projects!MORE
It’s the feeling of stagnation, like sitting around and waiting for something to happen because you know you’ve been putting in the work.
It’s what happens when you feel a huge rush of demotivation because you’re really tired of studying this language every single day and not seeing much of a return for it.
Benny Lewis has definitely hit them before and so have thousands of other language learners.
BRICK WALLS. At the end of the day, some get through them and some don’t.MORE
Karen who runs Immersia offers these words of encouragement – I love seeing the same realizations from such a wide range of people, and am happy to share hers with you today, especially since she has such an interesting and different background. Over to you Karen: ——— I was born in the Ukraine and my […]MORE
Hi everyone! I just got an email from my mother, who told me that the bookstore in Cavan (my hometown in Ireland) has Fluent in 3 months on its shelves. The book has finally been published!I absolutely can’t wait to share this incredibly encouraging language learning advice with the world and am so glad you […]MORE
Let’s be honest. I can take it. Americans aren’t exactly known for our foreign language ability. Often, we speak English and we simply expect the rest of the world to do so as well. There are many reasons why this problem has developed, but that’s not the purpose of this article.
As with all stereotypes there is both a bit of truth here as well as many exceptions. I’m an American diplomat (or Foreign Service Officer as we’re officially known) and it is not only helpful in my job to learn foreign languages, it is required.MORE
If you’ve been learning a foreign language for very long, you’ve probably heard the “conventional wisdom” that having native-speaker lover is the best way to advance. You might even have had the thought yourself. Believe me, when I was living in Russia and feeling cold and lonely, there were moments when I thought that if only I had a Russian boyfriend, I would not only be less lonely but I would also learn so much more.MORE
When I tell people that I am trying to learn Iñupiaq, the native language of my hometown in Northern Alaska, invariably I hear a long, drawn-out, “Whyyyy?” “Not many people speak the language, so what’s the use of learning it?” “Almost all the people who can speak English anyways, right?” “I thought you were a white guy?”
All these questions are of course ridiculous and to prove all the naysayers wrong, here are 5 reasons why learning an endangered language is not only a supremely gratifying endeavor, but it’s one that can be done more easily than you think! I have experienced this by attempting to learn Iñupiaq, but these reasons can apply to any endangered language!MORE
Ever since I announced the book, and followed it up with the HUGE language learning giveaway (US here, UK here), one of the most frequent questions people have asked me is what the difference is between Fluent in 3 months and the Language Hacking Guide.
So, for those of you wondering, here are the answers!
Language Hacking Guide: Idea to reality in just SIX WEEKS
The great thing about self-publishing is the speed with which it can take place. I had an idea to write an e-book, I got on it immediatelyMORE
As you all know, I like to delve into interesting cultural observations as I travel, as the local culture, and especially time with its people, is what travel is all about for me. Other than speaking with people (the general focus of this blog), there are so many ways to explore other cultures, one of […]MORE
People are always asking me which courses I use for my language learning projects, and what books I recommend, as if product choice is some huge determination in how successful you will be in learning your target language. What if it’s really just throwing money at the problem?
The solution isn’t to get as many courses as possible either – I ran a survey a while back, the results of which showed me that people who buy less materials are actually MORE successful in language learning!
Rather than spending time figuring out which courses work best for them, they just pick one, work with it and use it, while focusing much more on some kind of interaction with real natives (or native content) to improve their level. Your energy is better spent on doing something active with your language, not with your product/book research.MORE
The issue of parents teaching their children comes up often and I’ve even had someone guest post on the blog about it before. That’s great if you speak the languages yourself, but what if you are monolingual and still want to give your child the best possible head start in this wonderfully global world?
Christine, who blogs at AlmostFearless and who has been travelling with her husband since 2008, has thought long and hard about this while she raises her own son, and is even writing a book about the experience. If you want to help out, see details at the end of the post. Otherwise, enjoy her take on what parents can do to help their children learn languages that the parents themselves don’t speak fluently yet!MORE