Language learning resolutions for 2013

As it’s nearly February, I figured I should probably get some New Year’s resolutions. These are of course all to do with languages, but this time I’m taking a new approach to learning. The test is going to be to see how well it works. It was only when I started at university that I realised how much free time …

How do languages change the way you think?

Nearly everyone who is multilingual talks about languages changing the way they think. My great aunt, well into her nineties, speaks five languages completely fluently (although she now tends to speak all of them at the same time), and once said to me with great conviction “Chaque langue est une autre personalité” – each language is another personality. This stuck …

Language and politics: when is multilingualism a political act?

Recently it was announced that for the first time in 20 years, Hebrew classes have been reintroduced by Hamas to the university syllabus  in the Gaza strip. Hamas apparently intends to entirely reintroduce Hebrew teaching to secondary schools as well, despite great resistence from the local population. However, Hamas insists that it is important for the Palestinians to “know the …

How to learn languages by speaking English Part 2: German

Following on from my previous post about Russian, here is a quick sequel about German. I think German’s a great language, and is probably one that has shaped my life the most. I’ve been studying it since I was 14, and have chosen to carry it on at university. I love Germany and I love Berlin, and in two years …

Polyglot Project podcast interview with David Mansaray

The other day, David Mansaray and I had a little chat over Skype for his Polyglot Project Podcast. We met in November at the Poliglotti4.eu conference in Parma, where he asked me to speak on his show. We had a great conversation, and talked about a lot of fascinating aspects of language learning, such as the psychological process of language …

Deciding to learn a language: which one is for you?

One of the biggest dilemmas facing language learners is choosing which one. For some people, this may be a fairly straight forward decision, while for others it can be difficult to know where to start. In this post I’m going to talk briefly through some of the things you should consider before embarking on the learning process, which will hopefully …