What is fluency?

June 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm

This way? That way! Photo: Ed Yourdon

It is notoriously difficult to define fluency in a language.

Are you fluent when you can have a basic conversation without too many umms and errs?

Or just when you can have a … Read more

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Telenovelas

May 23, 2013 at 11:06 am

Gata Salvaje, photo: Daniel Oines

Telenovela (n): (1) a soap opera produced in and televised in or from many Latin-American countries. (2) pure gold for learners of Spanish and Portuguese.

Beautiful Bella Cepeda was in love with her childhood friend, … Read more

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Language learning hacks – practical advice or chasing rainbows?

May 8, 2013 at 8:38 am

Do you want to learn to speak Mandarin Chinese in three months?

Sounds great, doesn’t it. You too can fly in the face of the stereotypical English-only speaker, wowing friends, family and business contacts with your flowing Mandarin (or Cantonese, … Read more

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Does speaking a second language make you more intelligent?

March 26, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Photo: Hey Paul Studios

Once upon a time, not too long ago, bilingualism was considered “bad” for your brain. In the USA, at least, the accepted knowledge was that people exposed to two languages became confused with two different sets … Read more

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Question: what are “false friends”?

March 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm

a)   Friends you invite into your home, share precious evenings with, send your favourite YouTube clips before anyone else only for them to shack up with your boyfriend/girlfriend the moment your back is turned. How could they be so cold?… Read more

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What do you call someone who speaks one language?

February 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Image: Markus Koljonen

Here’s an old joke for you:

Q. What do you call a person who speaks three languages?

A. Trilingual.

Q. What do you call a person who speaks two languages?

A. Bilingual.

Q. What do you call … Read more

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Long-Haired Dictionary

February 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm

long-haired dictionary (n): a foreign girlfriend who will help you with your language learning.

A typical conversation may go something like this:

Man: Hi darling, how was your day at work?

Long-haired dictionary: It was terrible, I spilled tea on … Read more

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