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How to pass for a native speaker

I was amazed by the response from last week’s post on “looking the language”. If truth be told, I’d had some second thoughts before publishing it. The whole subject of appearance, identity and cultural acceptance as a native speaker is – needless to say – a sensitive one, and one that I have been dealing with my whole life. Yet in the emails, …

[VIDEO] Speaking Hungarian after 9 months in Budapest

Nine months have passed since I first moved to Budapest, and formally started learning Hungarian. Since then a lot of things have happened. I’ve discovered first hand just how hard it is to keep focus on your languages while also trying to work, pay bills, and sleep. I’ve experienced some of the complicated emotions that people have when learning a …

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Mental blocks when speaking languages

The other week it happened again. It was a sunny afternoon, one of the first we’ve had this year, so I decided to go to one of my favourite cafés in downtown Budapest and do my work there. It’s a nice, relaxing place with a good vibe, comfortable chairs, good WiFi and nice coffee. I like it so much that …

8 Great Books for Learning Hungarian

When learning a new language like Hungarian, choosing the right materials is a crucial part of the decision making process. You could be the most motivated, passionate and enthused language learner in the world, but if you can’t get your hands on something to channel all that energy into, then you’ll probably quite quickly peter out. When I decided to …

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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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Life after University

It’s been nearly eight months since my last post. In that time I haven’t learnt any new languages (although I’ve acquired a number of new books for my collection), but nonetheless I have been very busy! Instead I have been working very hard on my German, Russian and Yiddish, I finished my degree, and gave two talks at the Polyglot …

What is a polyglot?

I took a little break over the summer, so I haven’t been updating this site regularly. Although I have been posting to the RawLangs Blog Facebook page and Twitter, I thought it was time to start blogging again. I’m going to start off by addressing a question that has been on my mind for a while. What is a polyglot? If you …