Archive for the Category: Language learning

Learning by doing

Today is the last day I focus on Irish after doing so for a whole month. That may not sound like much, but for me it is – I tend to flit from language to language and rarely spend very long on any one of them. Every day, with only a few exceptions, I’ve written […]

Also posted in English, Irish, Language 3 Comments

Summer schools

I had a wonderful time in Ireland last week, which is why I keep going back every summer. This year was my ninth visit to Oideas Gael and my seventh time at the summer school. Gleann Cholm Cille is beautiful, the people are great, and there’s a lovely, friendly, helpful, supportive atmosphere there. Everyone is […]

Also posted in English, Irish, Language, Music Comments Off


This month I’ll mainly be focusing on improving my Irish (Gaelic). This is mainly because I’m going to a summer school in Irish language and culture at Oideas Gael in Donegal at the end of this month, as I’ve done every year for the past six years, plus two years going there in June. I […]

Also posted in English, Irish, Language 4 Comments


Recently Robbie Kunz of Learn that Language Now did an email interview with about my language learning experiences, and about the history and development of Omniglot. It is now online and I just thought you might be interested.

Also posted in General, Language 2 Comments

Are you a hare or a tortoise?

When learning a language do you try to learn it as quickly as possible? Like a hare you hurry through the language ignoring anything that might slow you down, like good grammar and pronunciation, perhaps thinking that you can go back later and tidy them up. Or maybe you take your time like a tortoise, […]

Also posted in Language, Music 1 Comment

Studying or dabbling, or both?

Do you think it better to learn many languages to a basic level, to concentrate on a few and learn them in much more depth, or to learn a few languages well, and to learn the basics of others – perhaps many others? It will probably depend on what you want to do with each […]

Also posted in Language, Music 3 Comments

Visual addiction

There’s an interesting post by Idahosa Ness on learning languages orally over on Fluent in 3 Months today. It suggests that it is better to focus on listening and speaking until you have a good grasp of the pronunciation, rather than learning reading and writing at the same time. This can work even if you […]

Also posted in Language 6 Comments

More on grammar

The importance of grammar in language learning is often played down in language courses and by people who blog about language learning. They claim that you can learn a language either without actively studying the grammar (whatever they mean by the word), or that you only need to glance at grammar books and explanations now […]

Also posted in Language 3 Comments

What do you mean by grammar?

A lot of discussions on how to learn languages mention grammar – whether it should be learnt overtly at all; whether it should be introduced gradually from the start, or only after one has a some knowledge of the new language, and so on. There are often asides about how English-speaking people, especially the younger […]

Also posted in English, Language 2 Comments

Reverse engineering languages

Recently I read an interesting book by Barbara Sher called Refuse to Choose!, which suggests ways in which people with many interests, who the author calls scanners, can find time to persue all those interests. I thought some of the suggestions might be relevant to people interested like learning many languages, like me. One idea […]

Also posted in Language 2 Comments