Monthly Archives: April, 2012

Foreign thinking

Thinking in a foreign language leads people to make more rational decisions, according to researchers at the University of Chicago. Featured in the current issue of Psychological Science, the study found that people have less emotional ties to a foreign language, meaning they have a more rational thought process. Their emotional ties to their native(…)

Language laziness

Feeling a little lazy with your language learning? Can’t be bothered to brush up on the local lingo for your summer holiday? Help is at hand. This phrasebook t-shirt could be the solution to all your problems! No need for that pesky phrasebook or trying to make yourself understood through complicated hand signals. Just point(…)

Full moon names

Mark this on the list of “things I didn’t know”: Full moons have names! According to a post on, this tradition dates back a few hundred years, to Native Americans of what is now the northern and eastern United States, who gave names to moons in order to keep track of seasons. The name(…)

Selective hearing

I’ve often been accused of having selective hearing, particularly when it comes to being asked to do things I’d rather not do. Scientists have now explained how selective hearing works – the real kind though, not the type I practice! Selective hearing is the way in which people can tune out a noisy environment and(…)

Mmmm, delicious!

What does the word haggis conjure in your mind? How about jellied eels? It’s fair to say that British food isn’t renowned for its culinary excellence. In comparison to our European neighbours, the British look pretty badly off, food-wise. But give some of our traditional dishes a chance, and you might be surprised! BBC America(…)

“Cleaning up” the Russian language

Following in the footsteps of L’Academie francaise, Russian officials have launched a campaign to “clean up” the Russian language. Russia’s Education and Science Ministry has decided that words borrowed from other languages (loan words) are no longer permissible and Russian words should be used instead. In a project costing around US$150,000, they aim to revise(…)

Amazon opens Spanish-language Kindle store

Good news for tech-savvy language learners – you can now buy Kindle ebooks in Spanish! Earlier this month Amazon launched eBooks Kindle en Espanol at The shop currently has around 30,000 Spanish language titles, including bestsellers from Paolo Coehlo and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. You can even buy the massively popular young adult series The(…)

College lingo for the uninitiated

Whether you’re headed off to a new school or starting a new job, there’s always new lingo to learn. This may be especially true of environments where there are lots of young people, who tend to have slang that’s all their own. Don’t worry though, Huffington Post has the “Ultimate College Dictionary”, just for you!(…)