Archive for the Category: Language learning

Language learning plans

At the beginning of 2013 I mentioned on this blog that I planned to continue studying Breton and Russian, and maybe have a go at Swedish or Norwegian. I hoped, though didn’t mention, that I would be able to converse reasonably well in Breton and Russian by now, but haven’t achieved that. I continued my […]

Also posted in Dutch, English, Language, Russian 5 Comments

Merry Christmas

Zalig kerstfeest / Nadolig Llawen / С Рождеством / Nollaig chridheil / Joyeux Noël / Nollick Ghennal / Frohe Weihnachten / Nollaig shona daoibh / A Blithe Yule and a Multilingual Merry Christmas to you. My Dutch studies a sort of on hold this week, but will continue after New Year – I was planning […]

Also posted in Dutch, General, Language, Russian 3 Comments

Fluent Forever

Today we have a guest post by Gabriel Wyner. Hi everyone! I wanted to share with you a project I’ve been working on to help folks learn languages faster. To help introduce it, let me give you some background on myself and what I do. I’m an opera singer, and for my career, I needed […]

Also posted in Language, Pronunciation 1 Comment


I’ve decided to learn Dutch this month and want to see how much I can learn in a month. I haven’t learnt any Dutch before, but can understand it a bit as I speak English and German. I’m using online resources, including courses on Babbel and any others I can find. I will also be […]

Also posted in Dutch, English, German, Language 6 Comments

How to learn any language in six months

I came across this TED talk yesterday in which Chris Lonsdale, a psychologist from New Zealand who runs a company in Hong Kong, talks about language learning. He believes that anybody can learn a language in six months if they follow the five principles and seven actions that he has formulated after assessing all the […]

Also posted in Language 7 Comments

Learning varieties of Chinese

The other day I was talking with a lad from Hong Kong. We were speaking mainly in Mandarin, with odd bits of Cantonese thrown in from time to time – I speak Mandarin fluently, but only know a little Cantonese. I asked him how he had learned Mandarin, and he said that he had just […]

Also posted in Chinese, Language 3 Comments


This month I will focusing mainly on Breton (Brezhoneg). I’ve been learning it, on and off, for a year now and can make some sense of written and spoken Breton, though my speaking and writing lag behind quite a bit. I have been using Le Breton sans Peine, which I’ve nearly finished, though I can’t […]

Also posted in Breton, Language 1 Comment


I came across a very useful channel on YouTube this week: Wikitongues, which is a collection of videos of people speaking many different languages, including many lesser-studied/known languages and dialects such as Gullah, Luxembourgish and K’iche’ Mayan. The videos I’ve seen so far mostly seem to involve people talking about their native languages and cultures. […]

Also posted in Language 4 Comments

Frequently-used words

One piece of language learning advice that is quite widely preached is that you should concentrate on learning the most frequently -used words in a language at first, before learning less common words. By doing so you should have enough words to be able to understand and talk about everyday kinds of things. The advice […]

Also posted in English, Language 5 Comments

Attitudes of minority languages speakers to learners

A friend of mine posted an interesting question on Regional, Minority & Indigenous Languages group on Facebook: “Has anyone ever experienced rejection or hostility from a minority group for learning their language?” This generated a lot of discussion. Sometimes when I speak Welsh to people in shops in Bangor they will reply in English. I […]

Also posted in Endangered languages, Language 11 Comments