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Why French Numbers Are the Worst, Part 456 Posted by on Sep 25, 2017 in Archived Posts

French numbers are hard to write, and weird to understand. And we’re all just going to have to live with that.   I love to complain about French numbers. Well, I love to complain, period, but among all the things out there to complain about, French numbers is perhaps one of the lowest-hanging fruits. I…

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5 Genuinely Useful Klingon Phrases Posted by on Sep 11, 2017 in Archived Posts

You might not think you’d need to use any Klingon outside of a sci-fi convention, but believe it or not, these phrases might actually come in handy in everyday life. Klingon is the fictional language spoken by aliens in Star Trek which has become a fully fleshed-out conlang (constructed language) in its own right and…

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5 Tips for Language Learning on a Budget Posted by on Sep 4, 2017 in Archived Posts

You don’t have to be a billionaire to learn new languages. You don’t even have to be a millionaire. Travel is expensive, there’s no real way around that. Paying for transport, be it planes, trains or buses; accommodation, food, laundry, not to mention the ticket price of any sights or attractions…it’s basically paying all the…

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Portuguese ≠ Russian? Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Archived Posts

Does Portuguese sound like Russian, or the other way around? To be fair, this comic comes from a guest writer – I myself don’t speak much Spanish, and I don’t speak any Portuguese or Russian. But I’ve traveled a few (wonderful) times to Portugal, and I’ve always noticed that the language has a lot of…

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Language Learning: Then and Now Posted by on Aug 21, 2017 in Archived Posts

Language learning didn’t used to be so luxurious. Once upon a time, before there was a global network of computers talking to each other, there was only one way to learn a language: immersion. Sure, you could study languages in a university classroom or pay an expensive tutor to patiently take you through years of…

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The Words That Aren’t Being Said Posted by on Aug 14, 2017 in Archived Posts

So much of language learning is in between the words. In Italy, they say “mm-mm” (starting high and ending low) to mean “yes.” In English of course we say “mm-mm” with the same intonation to mean “no.” This is the kind of small thing you wouldn’t notice on your first trip to Italy, but let…

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Language Learning Culture Shock Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Archived Posts

Can you get culture shock when learning new languages? Since moving to Germany six years ago, I’ve been back to the USA a number of times. Sometimes I’m visiting family, sometimes I’m going to a friend’s wedding, sometimes I just want to return to my home town and eat at my favorite local restaurant, the…

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