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[3 Sep 2010 | No Comment | ]
Most important languages to learn (besides English)

A post by the Guardian revealed the most important languages to learn: French, Spanish, Swedish, German, Russian. Four languages I understand, but Swedish? Is it really necessary to understand what the name of your IKEA furniture stands for? The Guardian stresses the fact there is a strong IT industry in Sweden. All understood, but Swedish people speak excellent English (and German, and French, and Spanish). Sorry, Swedes, you are just too good with foreign languages!
Image credit: Powi/Flickr

Featured, Learning Languages »

[30 Jun 2010 | No Comment | ]
ESL – or why English still is the No. 1 language

After my recent post on the Globish book I found some more evidence on why English will stay the number 1 language in the years to come. A study by the British Council suggests that there are up to 2 billion English learners worldwide. Now that’s a number compared to “just” 1 billion native Mandarin speakers. Add the ~500 million native English speakers to that and you have roughly a third of the world population speaking English. So, time to start practicing your English skills, folks! There are many free …

Learning Languages »

[8 Apr 2010 | One Comment | ]
Globish: how English rules the globe

Just stumbled across a book review of a book called Globish which will be released in the next few days. It states that English has become the world language. Let me cogitate that (ha, I do use my new favorite word from time to time). After a little bit of deep thinking I have to agree. Much of the way we communicate today or what we use on a regular basis is dominated by “English-speaking” companies, products, services or similar. Let’s take the computer for example: Windows’ market share is …

Learning Languages »

[23 Mar 2010 | One Comment | ]
Cogitate: my new word for 2010

Just stumbled across a post from one of my favorite news sources, the New York times (yeah, you might have noticed by now). And as this blog is about languages and learning (at least most of the time) I wanted to share my new favorite word of the year for 2010 with you: Cogitate – to think deeply. I like! Nothing more to say…
Image credit: Flickr, Gutter.

Learning Languages »

[6 Feb 2010 | No Comment | ]
How to say a name correctly

Now, we all now that pronouncing a foreign name correctly can be difficult and sometimes end up very embarrassing. One of my “alltime favorites” is Jorge, pronounced rchohrch√§ (hopefully!). I just came across a website which helps you pronounce every name correctly. The fancy title is howtosaythatname.com. Try is out yourself, it has hundreds of names, ranging from Spanish to Vietnamese and Japanese. Pretty neat.
Image credit: wwarby, flickr.

Learning Languages »

[2 Feb 2010 | No Comment | ]
Guys, seriously…

I just came across an article about the strangest Australian tourism questions. Who asks which train to catch going from Fiji to New Zealand? Unbelievable. That actually reminds me of being in Berlin a couple of years ago. Standing in front of the Brandenburg Gate the guide explained exactly where the Berlin Wall used to be. One tourist seriously asked: “But why would they build a Gate in front of a wall?” Yeah, why? Someone explain please while I try to calm down.
image credit: Linh_rOm, flickr

Learning Languages »

[3 Dec 2009 | No Comment | ]
Writing the perfect English CV

It’s already quite difficult as a native speaker to get your CV lingo right. Now I don’t want to know what a foreign speaker has to go through to write a catchy curriculum vitae. And it’s not only the words but the entire formatting too!!! So to make your life a little easier I wanted to share this excellent website from the University of Kent with you which includes tons of example CVs and cover letters.
Here are my three general tips that I tell anyone who cares to listen:
1. …

Learning Languages »

[18 Nov 2009 | No Comment | ]
How long does it take to learn a new langauge?

Asking how long it takes to learn a language is akin to asking how long a piece of sting is. The answer is the same, that is to say; it depends.