Monthly Archives: May, 2013

Dance dictionary

Sometimes the spoken word just isn’t enough. Which is why Puma has got some of the world’s top freestyle dancers together to create a Dance Dictionary. The dancers have translated words into moves, and you can edit together these words to create a whole sentence. Pretty cool huh? Check it out in the video below.(…)


Language switching

Have you ever wondered how bilingual people can switch between languages so easily? According to new research, it seems they have separate “sound systems”. The study, at the University of Arizona, looked at 32 Spanish-English bilinguals. It tested them on some ‘rare’ words in Spanish and English, finding that if participants heard the words in(…)


Some strange Americanisms

Sports are huge in America. Everywhere you look there’s coverage of football, basketball, baseball… and pretty much any other sport you can name. People are constantly talking about sports too, and so vocabulary differences come up. It’s not just a case of ‘soccer’ (in the US) vs ‘football’ (in the UK): there are plenty of(…)


Ig-pay atin-lay or Loffelsprache

Pig Latin (Ig-pay atin-lay) is the simple “language” (or more accurately code) we learn as kids to try and confuse our elders. But did you know that other languages have their own version of Pig Latin? German-speakers have Loffelsprache for example: 2. LÖFFELSPRACHE — GERMAN In German Löffelsprache, or “spoon language,” a “lew,” “lef” or(…)


Talk Like Shakespeare Day

I may have missed Talk Like Shakespeare Day by a couple of weeks, but it’s never really too late to celebrate the Bard! Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel officially proclaimed April 23rd 2013 “Talk Like Shakespeare Day” in honour of the man’s 449th birthday. Some guidelines for celebrating the day include: 1. Instead of you, say(…)


Pinterest for language learning

In case you haven’t heard of it, Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo sharing website, where you can ‘pin’ images from around the web on boards that you’ve created. You can also use it to help with your language learning. For example, you could use it to pin prompt cards, visual reminders of words, or infographics(…)


Speak up!

I think it would be fair to say that speaking is the main problem area of my language learning attempts. Whilst I’ve had some success picking up individual words, and have decent reading skills in Spanish, speaking aloud is my big weakness. My biggest fear is getting words wrong – I dislike being incorrect. This(…)


Word talks

You’ve probably heard of the famous TED talks. Well, TED have created a playlist of talks that have been given on various aspects of language. I particularly like Patricia Ryan’s talk, titled ‘Don’t insist on English!’. It’s all about how the focus on English may halt the spread of ideas in other languages. As we(…)