Guest Post: Don't Force Language Learning

An outdoor language class.

I grew up in a small town in central New York; a small, conservative, God fearing town full of white people who spoke English and were damn proud of it.

I was eleven and moving from 7th to 8th grade - the point in which children in my district were expected to begin learning a foreign language- a terrible policy - at which time we were given the choice between Spanish and Spanish - French having been cut the previous year.

Guest Post: English Syntax – Who Owns The English Language?

English: banner Shakespeare

I once wrote an article and asked a friend for her advice on it, to which she responded that it was okay, except I may have some issues with syntax.

This sparked my interest and I began to do some research on it. After all, for at least a decade my primary source of income was from translation, from Czech into English, so it was important for me that my writing skills were sharp and on the ball.

Guest Post: Talking about Time — How Language Shapes Our Thoughts

English: A typical Deutsche Bahn railway stati...

It’s well-established that knowing more than one language provides a variety of benefits: people who are bilingual or multilingual are better at problem-solving skills, have a larger memory capacity, and have a reduced risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. But just how much influence can we ascribe to language? Are different languages simply different systems of words that we use to express the same thoughts? Or can language actually shape the way that we perceive the world? A recent study examining how English and Mandarin speakers conceptualize time suggests that language may be more powerful than we had previously thought.

Rap Songs In My Native Languages

There are many interesting things that one can do with languages because languages cover almost all parts of life. Besides reading, listening to songs is also my favorite pastime. And to be a multilingual means that I have a wider range of varieties to choose from various countries.

I found videos of songs in different languages few days ago and I thought to myself "Why don't I find those of my native languages?" So, I present to you here rap songs in my native languages; Hokkien and Indonesian.

Songs in Similar Languages

Has it ever happened to you when you are listening to a song and you realize that you seem to have listened to a similar song before? Whether it is deliberate plagiarism, part inspiration or just a coincidence, we don't know the truth. I like to listen to songs in different languages, and here are similar songs that I found.

Guest Post: How to Understand Hard Accent without Pounding Your Head against a Wall

English: People engaging in casual conversatio...

Accent is a very important aspect when conversing. The minute you open your mouth, people know where you are from. Interestingly, people whose native language is different cannot control their accent.

As the world shrinks, thanks to the internet, people around the world come closer. Today, the young generation aspires to travel abroad. They want to see the world and learn about new cultures. With this new trend, understanding the other person’s accent has become more important than ever. It is very important that people understand others, whose native language is different, when conversing with someone.

Learn Afrikaans Online

English: Slogan in front of the Afrikaans Lang...

Hallo, hoe gaan dit? Goed, dankie. Wat is jou naam? My naam is Teddy. Aangename kennis
Hello, how are you? Good, thank you. What is your name? My name is Teddy. Pleased to meet you

If you have learnt Dutch before, you may wonder what language it is. It looks like Dutch, but it is not. You can even understand it if you know English, can't you? So, what is it?

Teach To Learn

Many various kinds of learning methods exist nowadays and you can find them as easily as clicking your computer mouse. That is the good news. The bad news is which one to use. For experienced language learners, they may have figured out their potential and learning style. Nevertheless, this does not mean that they can be free from the confusion of the leaning method.

I have read about many language learning methods. I have even mix-and-matched them in order to find the most suitable one. However, I still sometimes find it difficult to learn with the existing methods and this condition keeps on urging me to find another method.

තායිවානයේ දී ප්‍රයෝජනවත් විය හැකි භාෂා

English: Image taken by author of a sign on a ...

කුමන භාෂාවක් ඉගෙන ගැනීමටදැයි තීරණය කරන්නේ කෙසේ ද? රැකියා අවශ්‍යතා, අධ්‍යාපනය, විවිධ අන්තර් පුද්ගල සබඳතා ආදී ඔබේ අවශ්‍යතාව අනුව පිළිතුර වෙනස් විය හැකි ය.

3 Mistakes in English by Spanish Speakers

An intermediate language class at Shane Global...

Everyone is learning foreign languages nowadays. No one is too old to learn a language, what matter most is actually the methods and mindset. Various reasons for learning a foreign language are such as, job requirement or moving to another country.

Despite living in a Mandarin-speaking country, English is my main language since I study in an international program. Besides, Mandarin is the language of daily life, used mainly when dealing with off-class chores, such as going to the market or restaurant.

Guest Post: Using Music To Learn A Language

Learning a new language is always exciting and can benefit you on many different levels: not only will it help you get a deeper insight into new cultures and traditions, but it can actually serve as a good addition to your CV. Nonetheless, learning a foreign language can be quite difficult at times, and it is a known fact that it is a lot easier for a child to do it than for an adult. If you want to learn a new language quickly and effortlessly, then one of the best ways to do that is by listening to music, and here you will find out why!

Guest Post: Learning Malayalam?

This post is for a friend, Teddy who loves languages - almost all his Facebook posts are language related. The other day he asked me - "What makes learning Malayalam enjoyable?" It was then that I realized, most of the languages I learnt was something that came naturally - I mean, I didn't put in any extra efforts to learn any of them.

Interview: Przemek Kocur (Poland)

Let's meet Przemek Kocur from Poland

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

My name is Przemek. I am from Poland. My mother tongue is Polish. My biggest passion is learning foreign languages. I got attracted to them in high school. I am autodidact. I am lucky because I have an opportunity to use some of the languages at work (I am responsible for international relations in a town hall).

5 Funny Words In Afrikaans From My Perspective

On my daily routine sitting in front of my computer reading many articles about languages, technology, and entrepreneurship, I usually find interesting subjects to learn. And this time, I have an even more interesting subject about language when I read that Afrikaans is considered as an easy language, if not the easiest, for English speaker or speakers from its language family. I was like “Seriously?!”

Guest Post: Penang Hokkien - Establishing A New Writing System For A Spoken Language

It's not everyday that someone somewhere has the chance to create a new writing system for an existing language.  More often than not, most of the language already have an established writing system.

Penang Hokkien is my mother tongue.  It is one of the few languages that have remained largely in spoken form all this while.  Although there has been various attempts to write Penang Hokkien, this is I believe this is the first attempt of establishing an orthography for this 300-year-old language in the computer age.

Interview: Lindie Botes (South Africa)

Let's meet Lindie Botes from South Africa

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

I was born in Pretoria, South Africa. Because of my father’s job, I grew up in Paris, Pakistan, Dubai and South Africa. Currently my parents live in Japan. At home I speak Afrikaans. At English schools in various countries I learnt Urdu, Arabic and French as subjects. In 2009 I became interested in Korean and this spread to Japanese, Mandarin, and other Asian languages. 

Guest Post: How to Switch Your Brain into Chinese Mode when Speaking Mandarin?

Many of my foreign students like to translate when speaking Chinese. They tend to think in their own language or English first then translate into Chinese. Of course we know that we probably shouldn’t do that when learning a foreign language, but sometimes we just can’t help it!

So how do we avoid this? How can we change our brain to a total Chinese mode?  It’s not easy, but it’s definitely not impossible!! Here are some suggestions on how to think in Chinese.

Learning French from a Native Spanish Speaker's Perspective

Being convinced that I wanted to do research and teaching, I decided to study PhD in France. For that reason, I started learning French.

I think that when you learn new things, you need to be motivated in order to assure success on it. Even if I do not consider myself a bilingual speaker, I have had great experiences learning languages.

Guest Post: My language studies of Danish and Norwegian Bokmål

In 2009 I restarted my language studies of Danish both with self-study of textbooks and workbooks and with community college language courses.

Why Danish? This language has a bit the reputation of being difficult to pronounce! I visited Denmark already once in 2001 and Denmark is the closest Scandinavian country to Germany. Besides this I was born quite close to the Danish border in Schleswig-Holstein. So Danish was easy to choose for me as my 8th language.

Interview: Jamerson (Brazil)

Let's meet Jamerson from Brazil

Google+ | Instagram | Skype: jamersuarez 
Twitter | Whatsapp: 05511 9 58621213

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

Hi, my name is Jamerson, 19, from São Paulo, Brazil. I always loved languages but my parents only speak Portuguese so I tried to look for some opportunities to learn more languages. I started with Spanish which is very similar to Portuguese when I was 11 and then I started learning French and English. My goals right now are to learn German and Italian… as everyone says: to learn a language is the key to many more

Interview: Olle Linge (Sweden)

Let's meet Olle Linge from Sweden

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

Hi! My name is Olle Linge and I'm a language learner and teacher from Sweden. I studied English and French in school, but Chinese in the language I have spent the most time with in recent years. I currently study in a master's degree program for teaching Chinese as a second language in Taipei, Taiwan. I'm the founder of Hacking Chinese, where I write about how to learn languages more efficiently as an adult.

9 Multilingual News Websites For Reading Practice

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Learners learn languages in many different ways, such as attending language classes, playing games or listening to audio. Whatever the methods are, they usually cover four aspects of language learning: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. Mastering only one or two of these is not enough because in the reality, we read, listen, speak, and write.

Interview: Tom Dobbels (Belgium)

Let's meet Tom Dobbels from Belgium

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

I am a Belgian polyglot living and working in Taipei. The great thing about being born and educated in Belgium is that we have 3 official languages (Dutch, French and German). My mother tongue is Dutch, and we get taught French in primary school. In secondary school, I studied English and German. In university I studied Spanish and I lived in Brazil for one year where I picked up Portuguese. Belgium is a small country that greatly relies on export with other bigger nations. That makes us very “adaptive”, and learning a new language is often a great asset while doing international business.

Learning Indonesian – A Native English Speaker's Perspective

Bahasa Indonesia:
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Indonesian is the first language that I have really tried to learn. I studied French and Italian for limited amounts of time during my schooling, but only because I was forced to learn them. With Indonesian it was different – I study Indonesian because I love the language.

However, as a native English speaker, learning Indonesian can (in the beginning) seem strange. Because Indonesian has a sort-of-reversed word order to English, many native English speakers find it hard to rewire how they look at language.

Interview: Jan van der Aa (the Netherlands)

Let's meet Jan van der Aa from the Netherlands

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

My name is Jan van der Aa, I just turned 27 and I am a traveling entrepreneur. In the last 5 years I have visited over 70 countries. I do speak a few languages as well. Besides my mother tongue I am also comfortable in English, Mandarin Chinese and German. I also speak Cantonese, Portuguese and Spanish and I am a beginner in Japanese and Indonesian. 

Interview: Michael Tetris (Taiwan)

Let's meet Michael Tetris from Taiwan

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

I am a tour guide, part time model agent and event host. I have been to about 20 countries so far and still increasing the numbers…and I love outdoors, art and history. I am just another simple man on this planet. I speak Chinese and Taiwanese as native languages, and  I speak English fluently. I also know basic Japanese.

Interview: Chloe (Taiwan)

Let's meet Chloe from Taiwan

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

Born and bred in Taiwan, I consider my mother tongue to be Chinese. However, I started learning English since I was four, so English comes to a close second.  I have been learning Spanish for 7+ years, but I can’t write well, because I rarely write. I also learned French for 2 years, but it’s been on and off. I also tried out Vietnamese and Indonesian classes at school just for fun.

Interview: Conor Clyne (Ireland/ UK)

Let's meet Conor Clyne from Ireland/ UK

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

I am a qualified lawyer by profession, a traveler by passion and speak English, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, as well as, currently learning Romanian, Catalan and Ukrainian. 

Learn Indonesian by a Native Spanish and English Speaker

Indonesian flag
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, I started to be motivated about the language about a year ago since I had some Indonesian classmates and heard some similarities with Spanish language; however, I got busy and took a break. It was until recently when I was about to graduate from college that I dedicated myself more.

Interview: Balint Brunner (United Kingdom)

Let's meet Balint Brunner from United Kingdom

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

My name is Bálint and I’m seventeen years old. I was born in Budapest, in Hungary, to Hungarian and Greek parents. Currently I live in the United Kingdom, where I’m also enrolled in secondary education. I’m the author of a blog called ‘I wish to be a polyglot!’, which some of you may have encountered already.

Interview: Marcelo Yuji Himoro (Brazil)

Let's meet Marcelo Yuji Himoro (Brazil)

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

Okay, my name is Yuji and I'm a Japanese-Brazilian. My mother tongue is Portuguese, but I also grew up exposed to the Japanese dialect from the Touhoku region spoken by my grannies. I picked up English and Spanish by playing games, listening to music, chatting, reading, watching TV, series and movies (which is perhaps why I make a lot of mistakes).

Interview: Ron (United States)

Let's meet Ron from United States

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know? 

I’m a technical writer and translator from Orlando, Florida. I speak English (native), Modern Standard Arabic (C1), Spanish (B2), and German (B1). I also blog about languages at

Interview: Brian Powers (United States)

Let's meet Brian Powers from United States

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

I am the creator and primary writer for Languages Around the Globe, a language and culture blog and social media presence dedicated to spreading cultural awareness through language learning and cultural exchange. LATG offers both language learning advice, tricks, insight into linguistic issues and attempts to spread awareness of endangered and minority languages.

Interview: Sophia (Germany)

Let's meet Sophia from Germany

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

I was born in Portugal and I am living in Germany now. My grandfather is mixed of French and Spanish, so we speak Portuguese and Spanish at home. I have studied French for 3 years but I cannot speak it well. I have also studied British English for 12 years.

Interview: Amanda Bullington (United States)

Let's meet Amanda Bullington from United States

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

I’m an American who has lived in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and India. I received a scholarship from the Taiwanese government to study Mandarin at the National Taiwan Normal University, where I studied up to business proficiency. I read fluent French.  I’ve also dabbled in beginner classes for Urdu, Arabic, Japanese, and Indonesian.

Interview: Anita (Belize)

Let's meet Anita from Belize

Could you tell us about yourself, including the languages you know?

Hi, I am a Belizean student that recently graduated from university in Taiwan. My native languages are English and Spanish. In my free time, I enjoy playing with online language games. My third language that I am able to speak is Mandarin since I got a scholarship to study in Taiwan.

Guest Post: How to fit language learning into your life (no matter how busy you are)

busy schedule?

You know the problem. You’re getting nowhere with your language learning. You know you need to invest more time in your studies.

Every week you promise yourself that you’ll spend more time studying. But somehow life gets in the way. Before you know it another week passed and you haven’t done any studying.

5 Foreign Languages To Learn In Taiwan

English: Image taken by author of a sign on a ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How do you decide which language to learn? Everyone has different answers, such as job requirement, heritage, or relationship.

A little bit about me

Before I decided to focus on Spanish, I was also learning several other languages, for instance Latvian, Russian, Portuguese, etc. Learning the basic of those languages allows me to understand some phrases and the structure.

Guest Post: How to Stay Motivated When Learning a Language

Motivation quote

Did you start your language learning with total commitment, only to lose interest after other life events took over? I know I did.

Learning Spanish at university was an exciting challenge. I had visions of myself jetting off to the Costa Del Sol, chatting with friendly locals, and sunning myself on the beach.

Guest Post: Ten Tips for Developing The Language Learners Thinking Skills

Thinking RFID

In order to enhance the language learners thinking skills, instructors should employ a variety of strategies. The following strategies can be use by instructors to ensure that the learners develop thinking skills.

1. Develop a well-structured teaching program depending on the level of the learners

This will help the learners to understand the things that they are taught well and be able to understand the language and answer questions.

How Much Time?

(Photo credit: bigpresh)

When we talk about how much time you spend on learning foreign language, we may need to look into your schedule. How did you manage your learning schedule? 30 minutes of reading per day? 1 hour of speaking per day? Do you think that you have done much to be better? In fact, you need more than that to excel in the language.

If you say that you attend 1 month of Spanish class at school that does not really mean you have learned Spanish for 1 month. Perhaps, it could be just 8 hours of learning if your class is 2 hours per week and there are 4 weeks in a month.

The Secret Messages Inside Chinese URLs

An American friend living in Beijing once said she refused to communicate with anyone whose email address consisted of a string of numbers, such as This made sense to me at the time—why make email addresses as difficult to remember as phone numbers? But I soon realized that issuing a blanket ban on number-based communications would mean cutting off just about every single Chinese person I knew. 

Language Learning Links

You may have finished one round of Duolingo or all of the exercises in Livemocha, then what's next? Looking for more language learning materials could be a treasure hunt. They are available anywhere on the Internet, but you need an effort to find them.

Guest Post: 4 Ways to Practice a New Language Every Single Day

#1147 Japanese crossword puzzle

Learning a new language sounds exciting, right? To many people, it sounds like a daunting task as well. It's all too easy to make excuses, saying that you don't have the time or that you’ll just forget everything in between classes. Fortunately, if you make a plan to get exposure to the language and practice your skills every day, you will be positioned for success. So shelve those concerns and come up with a plan of attack that will put you on the right track! Follow these tips to make learning a second language party of your everyday life.

Learn a Foreign Language in a Foreign Language

Which language do you use when you are learning a foreign language?
Your answer might be your native language. I bet many people would agree with it since your native language is the language that has grown with you and you know your native language better than other language. However, this fact does not always turn out to be true. Those people who grow up in another country and have been exposed to a foreign language and culture might perform well in both their native and the foreign language.

Guest Post: Polyglot Indonesia

I mentioned earlier in one of my articles that joining local communities is one of many strategies to learn languages. Apart from learning the language, you may also have the chance to interact with fellow learners. You may also do things together in the foreign language, such as singing, chatting, or anything in order to use the foreign language in real life. Surround yourself with the learning atmosphere, then the motivation and self-confidence will come.

Giveaway: Private Beta Access to FluentU [Closed]

Do you like to watch videos to learn a language? If yes, did you encounter any difficulty?

Watching videos is one of my methods to learn a language. It gives an opportunity to sharpen my listening skill, to know how an emotion or gesture is attached with the phrases, and to learn about the cultural aspect of the language.

Review of Italki: A Different Way To Learn Languages

Do you usually enroll to a language course or buy books to learn a language? Or do you always utilize the Internet to find native speakers and at the same time to use it as your language learning tool? Personally, I would go for the second option, to utilize the Internet.

Motivation and Strategy in Language Learning

Since the commercialization of Internet in mid-1990, it has contributed significant changes into our lives and has even had a revolutionary impact on commerce and culture, including the way we see our world. Communications become easier. Social networking, discussion forums, and online shopping sites are rising.

A Radical Way To Learn Chinese

A Radical Way To Learn Chinese

Students who learn radicals have significantly better recall of Chinese characters than those who don't. There are three major advantages to learning Chinese radicals
1. It’s easier.
2. Stroke of genius.
3. Learn organically.

Guest Post: Three Best Automated Language Translation Websites and Apps Available Today

English: An icon representing translation from...

If you have ever tried to learn a foreign language then you will understand just how difficult a job it is to be able to translate from one language to another. There has been huge strides made in the technology and algorithms used and today there are some fantastic websites and apps available that can translate in varying degrees of quality, from good to excellent. Here are 3 of the best on the market so you can try them out and find the perfect one for you.

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