Polyglot Superpowers : Turning Calamity into Opportunity

A bunch of Norwegian banknotes - what opportunity can you imagine springing from these? Image from freeimages.com

Foreign languages are superpowers. A bold claim? Well, just think about it: they allow you to perform impressive feats that others cannot. Polyglot people can leverage their skills to open doors, get things done, create opportunities and build bridges, amongst… Continue reading

Lovely Leaflets: Making the most of foreign language tourist ephemera

A stash of tourist leaflets and guides in various foreign languages.

What have I been doing this week? Well, apart from obsessing over topping Duolingo’s new global leaderboards? Mostly, I’ve been hacking my way through reams of foreign language leaflets and tourist material I’ve amassed over the past few months of… Continue reading

Five Ways to Stick to Language Learning Resolutions

A new calendar means new language learning resolutions. But how to stick to them? (Image from freeimages.com)

We are well into the New Year now, and – if you are like me – you probably have a list of language learning resolutions as long as your arm. But doesn’t cold, damp January feel like the longest and… Continue reading

Finding a Language Retreat : Peace and Quiet to Reset Your Learning

The coastline of Banff, Aberdeenshire

Do you have a retreat? A place to escape to, just you and your books? Maybe you have a few places that earn that title. I’ve spent a bit of time at one of mine this week. And it has… Continue reading

Mindfulness tools for language learners

A bit of mindfulness can help the study sun break through

Even if languages are your passion, everybody needs a break. Pacing learning well is the hallmark of the efficient student, and avoiding burnout should be a top priority for polyglots. Mindfulness techniques – finding balance and quiet in the now… Continue reading

Edinburgh Fringe for Language Lovers: Shows for Linguists!

Edinburgh Castle is a stunning backdrop to the Edinburgh Fringe each August

Edinburgh Fringe has filled the streets of Scotland’s capital for another colourful August. There are literally thousands of shows available to see. The sheer number of them means that there is bound to be something of interest to everyone. And that… Continue reading

Berlin, where have you been all my life?

Icon of Berlin, the Fernsehturm, seen from Alexanderplatz

Language learning isn’t finite; it’s a lifelong process, and isn’t meant to have an end. As such, languages never count as ‘finished’ or ‘learnt’, but require upkeep and maintenance. With this in mind, I’ve been planning some exciting mini-trips to… Continue reading

Travel and the ‘Stuff Monster’ : Lessons from the road

Travel with the bare essentials

Travel has always gone hand-in-hand with a love of languages for me. As a kid, I realised how languages were a key to opening up huge swathes of a fascinating world, a world I wanted to explore. And, sure enough,… Continue reading

Language travels on a shoestring

Aeroplane

Despite brill online face-to-face services like iTalki for practising and learning languages with native speakers, you can’t beat time spent in the country as the best way to immerse yourself in your chosen language. Seems like an expensive way to fluency,… Continue reading