[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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Ten ways to fix your language exchange

Language exchanges are a really popular way to practise your languages. They’re free, they’re fun, and a great way to really get to know someone who shares your passion for learning languages. But sometimes there’s a catch. Although many language exchanges start out strong, they can quickly run into some problems. If you don’t prepare or plan for these, your exchange could come to a very …

Language learning never stops, and that’s why I’ve stopped (for now)

I remember I came home one day in Yaroslavl, after another idyllic day spent eating cabbage pies in the mid-April snow, to find my flatmate at the kitchen table buried in a pile of grammar books with sheets of vocabulary written out all around her. I asked her what on earth she was doing – the test wasn’t until Monday. …

YouTube Video: +1 Japanese Challenge Week 1

As I mentioned at the end of my last post, I’m taking on the challenge of learning a brand new language: Japanese! I’m not doing this alone though, to make sure I stick to my goals and achieve as much as I can with the limited amount of time I have, I’ve joined the +1 Language Challenge, set up by …

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 …

YouTube video: How to learn Yiddish with Dr. Khayke Beruriah Wiegand

I’ve just put up this brand new interview with my Yiddish teacher Dr. Khayke Beruriah Wiegand. We talk about how to go about learning Yiddish, through or classes or independently. She also gives some really powerful reasons why people should learn the language. We filmed the whole thing in Yiddish and I’ve put up English subtitles as well. Enjoy!

The ‘Mother Tongue’: A brief introduction to Yiddish

Speaking at the Polyglot Conference in Budapest last weekend, I took the opportunity to give some air time to a particular language that might have dropped a little from the agenda. Yiddish (also known as מאַמע-לשון / ‘mame loshn‘ – the ‘mother tongue’) has never been studied to any great extent outside Jewish communities, and now it is under even more threat, as people …

Polyglot Conference 2013: Looking back on Budapest

I’ll always remember that week leading up to the Polyglot Conference in Budapest as one in which I was extremely nervous. When I first heard about it from Luca Lampariello and Richard Simcott, whom I met in Italy in November, my initial reaction was that it was nuts. Firstly I couldn’t believe that two people would want to take on …

Procrastination: Your language learning enemy and how to get past it

by guest author Lizzie Davey We’re all guilty of procrastinating every once in a while – some more than others. We often find ourselves putting an important task off or filling our time with small, inconsequential ‘missions’ that we try to convince ourselves we need to do. Then suddenly, an hour or a whole day has passed and our to-do …

Who can learn languages?

One of the most important roles of a language learning blog is myth-busting. Language learning unfortunately seems to be a subject eternally shrouded in the mists of rumour and unfounded generalisations. The news that someone can speak a language is greeted with great surprise, admiration and even envy by others, and this contributes to the idea that there is a …