How to learn languages by speaking English Part 1: Russian

Having English as your native language can be both a good and a bad thing. The main advantage is that in most places in the world, there is a strong chance that there will be someone who speaks some form of English, which makes travel and business ten times easier. However, the disadvantage is that often people will be reluctant …

Multilingualism and literature: 10 authors who write in other languages

Is writing an internationally acclaimed, bestseller novel in a foreign language a mark of fluency? Following on from my recent post, I thought it would be interesting to list some of the many multilingual writers and novelists who write in other languages. What particularly interests me, is that many of these write in their second or third languages, of which …

All you need to know about Afrikaans

Seeing as it’s Christmas, I thought I’d share with you all something very special. This is going to be the first in a series of posts about specific languages, in which I will go through some basic background info, crash-course some grammar, give you a few example phrases and put up lots of pretty pictures on the way. Today’s language …

What is fluency, and how to attain it?

One of the biggest preoccupations that language learners have is attaining fluency in their target language. Fluency is upheld as the holy grail of language learning, and many feel that they cannot claim to speak a language until they speak it “fluently”. This attitude is reflected in media coverage of polyglot-related stories, with headlines claiming that people speak so many …

Christmas in Greece

Greece is at its most beautiful at this time of year. The tourists are gone, and have taken the raging heat with them, the parched mountains have suddenly turned green and have a dusting of snow on them, the streets are filled with the smell of woodsmoke from people’s fireplaces, and the days are about three hours longer than in …