Category Archives: random

5 awesome Netflix recommendations for Portuguese learners

Portuguese media has a much more limited range on Netflix than some of the other languages we’ve looked at so far, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it to practice the language! Here are some of the best suggestions for things to watch in both European and Brazilian Portuguese. Enjoy!   Miraculous: Tales of(…)


Canada: Multifaceted, Multicultural, and Multilingual

So far, we’ve looked at the multilingual nations South Africa and India. In continuing our look at countries with multiple official languages, our next visit is to North America. Come with us as we look at the languages of the Great White North, the land known for its maple syrup, kindness, and Canucks (other hockey teams(…)


8 Popular Phrases You Probably Didn’t Know Were Coined by Shakespeare

The Bard may be long gone but his influence on the English language persists hundreds of years after he penned his last work. William Shakespeare created new words and phrases all the time for his plays and poetry, and a lot of them surprisingly still persist today. When we’re not making use of his plot(…)


What is ‘Feminism’ And Why is it the 2017 WOTY?

Feminism has been named the WOTY (word of the year) for 2017 by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and you probably won’t have too hard a time guessing why. Feminism has been huge in the last year, especially with the downfall of powerful figures like Harvey Weinstein, the rise of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and the(…)


Taxicab Mandarin: How to Navigate Your Way through China

The goal of this article would be to provide some very basic Mandarin to be used in taxis by people who don’t speak Mandarin, however, “Taxicab Mandarin” is also an informal level of Chinese language acquisition, e.g. I speak enough Mandarin to tell the taxi driver where to go; hence, the taxicab element. Meanwhile, this(…)


5 Creative Ways to Study a Foreign Language

Because language learning is, well, a type of learning, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to treat it like a graduate thesis. The result is often that you either fall into a rut, get bored and give up, or, most importantly, stop having fun picking up that new tongue! While(…)


The US Dollar’s Name Origin and Associated Common Slang

Money talks and nobody walks, and that is just the way it is. In a consumer-based society, money is at the top of our conversational pyramid. How often when hanging with friends, having dinner with family or chatting with colleagues at work does someone ask: “How much was that?” Even between strangers waiting for a(…)


Queens New York: The World’s Linguistic Melting Pot

In some cases, to find the last speaker of a dying language instead of traveling to remote outposts of civilization or border towns destroyed by war and crippling poverty, you can hop on the 7 train out of Grand Central Station to a stop in the borough of Queens. Heralded as the most culturally diverse(…)


Right Swiping Your Way to a Second Language

Allow me to introduce myself: My name is Aaron and I am an American living and studying in Barcelona, Spain.   Ever since moving abroad, my answer to the inescapable “de donde eres” question has strategically shifted from ‘the U.S.’ to ‘California.’ I must admit, it’s a great strategy. As soon as the word leaves(…)


Recounting the Ever-Changing Diversity of New York City

What do Peter Minuit, Pieter Minuit, Pierre Minuit, and Peter Minnewit all have in common? You guessed it! They’re all the same person, with spelling differences. Taking the first version, Peter Minuit, to be our variation, who here knows why he is famous? History may not have been everyone’s strongest suit (or maybe history plays(…)