Other bits and bobs

how to not forget vocabulary in a foreign language
How to remember vocabulary in a foreign language This article is not really about memorising vocabulary in a foreign language. If you’re interested in the topic of how to learn or memorise vocabulary effectively, make sure you read my three other posts on this topic: How to learn vocabulary effectively How to learn vocabulary: top tips How to use mnemonics to learn vocabulary in any language What this article is about, though, is how to make sure that you don’t forget the vocabulary you’ve already learned. Or, in other words, how to maintain the vocabulary that you have. How to […]

How to NOT forget vocabulary in a foreign language

how to stop translating words in your head
How to stop translating in your head when speaking a foreign language Stop translating in your head because that’s not what language learning is about. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not that easy at all! Translating in your head – either from your native language or into your native language – when speaking or listening to a foreign language, is something many language learners struggle with. In fact, it’s a very natural thing to do when you first start learning a new language. It’s a habit that somehow develops early on and stays with you for a long, long […]

How to Stop Translating in Your Head

5 books every language learner should read 1
The 23 April 2017 is World Book and Copyright Day. To mark this occasion, I’ve decided to share with you my 5 favourite books that I think you should read if you want to become a more effective language learner. I’ve also made a video in which I share some extra details about the books. Make sure you watch it as well and don’t forget to subscribe to the channel: Are you ready to look at the 5 books every language learner should read? Let’s get started! 1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People What is it? A classic in […]

5 Books Every Language Learner Should Read

language learning addict 8
Are you worried that you or someone you know might be addicted to learning languages? Well, before you make your final diagnosis, use the guidance below to check their symptoms! And don’t worry – being a language learning addict is not a bad thing after all! 1. You delete holiday photos from your phone to make some space for language apps Because who cares about memories when you can get the latest version of Duolingo, right?   2. You’re happy to watch really bad films just because they’re foreign You have the time of your life and your friends be like:   […]

8 Signs You’re Addicted to Learning Languages

10 things monolingual people will never understand 14
1. Wanting to learn a language for no reason whatsoever Yes, I’m learning Haitian Creole. No, I’m not going to Haiti. And I’m not married to a person from Haiti. And I’m not working with people from Haiti. I just like the sound of their language!  2. That feeling when you walk into a language bookshop And it’s like walking into a sweet shop as a child. It’s magic. 3. That feeling when you’re watching a foreign film and you spot a mistake in the subtitles They always mistranslate X – they should know better! 4. The urge to buy […]

10 Things Monolingual People Will Never Understand

Are you too strict with yourself when learning languages? 11
  In the last year or so, the internet has been flooded with blogs about productivity, smart thinking, smart learning, optimising your routines, increasing your effectiveness, developing good habits and so on, and so on.   This seems to be a trend that’s here to stay – it can be applied to the way we work, the way we eat, the way we organise our daily lives, and, of course, the way we study foreign languages.   Put procrastination in the closet because you won’t need it for a while (or, ideally, ever again!).   Being productive is good but… […]

Are You Too Strict With Yourself When Learning Languages?

5 Skills that will make you successful in a language career 1
Want to be a language teacher, language app developer, translator, or anything else that involves using languages in your job? Take a look at the five essential skills you will need to be successful in a language career, and some tips on how you can develop them! Listening skills Good active listening skills will help you win friends and become successful in any career. Active listening is about showing you care, empathising with the person you’re listening to, and building productive relationships with people. If you’re working in languages, here’s how being a good listener can help you: If you’re […]

5 Skills That Will Make You Successful in a Language Career

6 things successful language learners never believe 6
Do you sometimes feel that something hard to define is stopping you from making progress in the language you’re learning? Do you feel that you’re putting in the effort but things are not working out as you would want them to? Perhaps you’re bothered by limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs are things that we make ourselves believe, and which constrain us in some way or stop us from achieving our true potential. Let’s take a look at some limiting beliefs that many of us may sometimes hold. By naming them, you can take your first step on the way to getting […]

6 Things Successful Language Learners Never Believe

I’d like to share a personal story with you today. The idea came to me when I was working on my recent blog post with tips on how to stay motivated when learning a language. Staying motivated is tough. We all sometimes procrastinate, to a certain degree, but that’s easy to overcome with some minor tweaks to the way we go about our day. What’s more difficult to overcome are the emotional barriers that might be preventing us from achieving our language learning goals. The story I’d like to share with you starts in Sheffield It’s a city in the north of England where […]

You are an unbreakable language learner

best language blogs 6
I went to the 2015 Polyglot Gathering in Berlin last week – met a lot of fantastic people, listened to a number of interesting talks and here are the 10 things I learned! 1. You don’t need a reason to learn a language. My monolingual friends often ask me what the reasons were behind my decision to learn each of the languages I can speak. To live abroad, to go travelling, to get a new job? They’re missing the point, though. Multilingual people don’t always think along the lines of ‘utility’ when picking languages to learn. Sometimes, there’s no reason […]

10 things I learned at the 2015 Polyglot Gathering

I took part in a quiz this evening. And I totally lost – I came third with minus 6,400 points. And here’s why this story is important for you if you’re learning a foreign language. I arrived in Berlin today for the Polyglot Gathering. It’s Saturday and some of the train tracks are closed so there were no direct trains from the airport to the Berlin central station. I ended up in Lichtenberg, which is in East Berlin and had absolutely no idea how to get to the centre. Maps and schedules in the main station hall were non-existent. The […]

Why you should always put your hand up

language tag 1
Hi everyone! Here’s my language tag video! I answer 10 questions about my language learning story, share my language learning tips and tricks, and reveal what my favourite language is. Let me know if you make a language tag video as well – I’d love to watch it! Here are the 10 questions I cover in the video: What’s your native language? What was your first language learning experience? What languages have you studied and why did you start them? How does your personality affect how you learn languages? Do you prefer learning languages in a class or individually? What […]

Language tag video

how to memorise noun genders language learning 7
How to memorise noun genders in French, Spanish and Italian Memorising noun genders is something that many language learners struggle with. Remembering genders becomes even more difficult when they don’t correspond to the genders in your own language (if your language is one that has genders). For example, in French the word ‘window’ (fenêtre) is feminine and in German it’s neutral (Fenster). Or the word ‘wall’ – the French ‘mur’ is masculine and the Polish ‘ściana’ is feminine. Sometimes, memorising genders based on your native language can be helpful. For example, the Spanish ‘camisa’ and the Polish ‘koszula’ (shirt) are […]

Three tips for memorising noun genders

Here’s a round-up of my favourite seven language blog posts from February. If you’ve got any other suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments below! Five bizarre false friends in Polish and Russian In his recent post, Alex Rawlings talks about the close similarity between Polish and Russian, which can sometimes be very misleading. Alex discusses five truly bizarre false friends – take a look and see if you know them! How to stop people talking to you in English I went to Spain last year and what made me the most excited about my trip was checking how […]

The language round-up: best language blogs in February