Archive for June, 2015

Ignorant Friends: the Secret to Your Success Posted by on Jun 29, 2015

Disclaimer: everything that follows is terrible advice. If you’ve followed the Transparent Language blog for any good amount of time, you’ll know there are lots and lots and lots of articles on how to improve your language-learning, how to get over the fear of speaking new languages, and what it takes to get better. But…

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How I Became Trilingual in Three Years (and How You Can Too) Posted by on Jun 24, 2015

In 2012 I was your typical monolingual English-speaking American. Now, almost exactly three years after picking up my first Teach Yourself Dutch book, I’m a functional trilingual backpacking my way through Latin America. I didn’t do it through expensive courses or an auspicious blow to the head, but instead by learning about how the brain…

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A Brief History of Language Posted by on Jun 22, 2015

Sometimes it’s hard for us humans to keep time in perspective. I suppose it’s a good thing—after all, if we were constantly thinking about the fact that we’ve been around for about 200,000 years and for 98.5% of that time we never wrote anything down, we probably wouldn’t be able to function in our day-to-day…

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What the word for “Spoon” tells you about your language Posted by on Jun 15, 2015

I’ve made a startling discovery. Much in the same way that the position in the night sky of arbitrarily-determined groupings of stars on the day you happened to be born can tell you everything you need to know about your personality, the tonal linguistics of the word for “spoon” in any language is a perfect descriptor…

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Learn How to Learn Before Learning a Language Posted by on Jun 10, 2015

learn efficiently

Learning a language takes time and effort. You can cut down on both by having the right strategies and tools at your disposal. That’s why I recommend investing time in learning how to learn before diving in to a new language on your own. In all your years of schooling, you were likely never taught…

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Boots, Blokes and Bucks: Is it Bringlish or Ameringlish? Posted by on Jun 8, 2015

This one’s for all you non-native English speakers out there. Whenever I run into someone learning English, I can immediately tell whether they’ve learned it out of a textbook or simply by absorbing the media. That’s because if you learn English in the classroom anywhere outside the U.S. of A, chances are it’s going to…

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What Languages Reveal about Other Cultures Posted by on Jun 3, 2015

A different language is a different vision of life.”

“A different language is a different vision of life.” – Federico Fellini It sounds like one of those motivational phrases you’d read on a daily quote calendar. You might nod your head in agreement or make a quick internal “aww”, but in reality, you’re not totally buying it. It just sounds… fluffy, right? But those…

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