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Why I’m mixing up Hungarian with Hebrew

Mixing up languages is a question that comes up quite a lot. Many people are concerned about how to seperate languages in their heads, how to avoid embarassingly speaking one instead of the other, and how to reassure themselves that they can actually speak lots of different languages at the same time, rather than just their native tongue plus whatever’s …

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VIDEO: “Improving Reading and Comprehension” (Polyglot Gathering 2014)

My main talk at this year’s Polyglot Gathering in Berlin was the one that I was most preoccupied with. I thought that delivering it just a week after I’d finished my exams would also provide a good opportunity to reflect on my past four years at Oxford, and the particular language learning skills that my time there had allowed me …

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VIDEO: “Afrikaans Basics” (Polyglot Gathering 2014)

A few weeks ago I attended the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin, where I gave two talks: the first being a basic introduction to Afrikaans for those interested in learning it, the second about improving your reading and comprehension. The first of those is now available! Unfortunately for this talk I was placed in the smallest room which had no video …

Ten proverbs and sayings to help you around the world

It’s taken me a long time as a language learner to come to terms with proverbs. I always resisted them for various reasons. They’re a pain to learn, they can sound silly and unnatural, and it’s often hard to imagine a scenario in which you’d actually use them. However, they’re actually a really important part of every language, and as …

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 …