Archive for the Category: Language learning


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


Today I finally got round to signing up for Twitter, something I’d considered for a long time, but didn’t do anything about – this is often how I do things, or rather don’t do them. I’ll be tweeting as @Omniglossia as someone else is using @Omniglot. I plan to use to as a place to […]

Also posted in English, Language, Russian 1 Comment

Learning vocabulary

There are some interesting tips on how to learn vocabulary (including my own little contribution) on Do you use any of these methods? Or do you have your own ones? Since I wrote my contribution to that blog, I’ve been thinking about this and realised that constructing sentences using words I’m learning might help […]

Also posted in English, Language 1 Comment

I forgot the elephant!

A few days ago after the Bangor Languages Learners’ meet up, I was talking to one of the other members of the group and suddenly exclaimed, “I forgot the elephant!”, and hurried back into the café to retrieve it. As he commented, it’s not a phrase that often comes up in conversation. The elephant in […]

Also posted in English, Language, Words and phrases 7 Comments