Posts in tag

language hacking


The Kindle as a Powerhouse for Language Learning: Hacks and Review

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The Best Gift Ideas for Language Learning: Spanish, French, Chinese, and Anything Else

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Love = Murder? Balkan Romance (and Serbian Grammar!) as Understood in the Song “Ubiću Te”

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Minchia ch’è beddu! 20 Minutes to Feigning Fluent-ish Sicilian

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Neapolitan in 20 Minutes: Learn Just Enough for Any Conversation in Southern Italy

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On Learning Just Enough Bosnian Slang to Toast, Gripe, and Propose Marriage

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You Can Pass for French with Just These Gestures and Noises

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Mexican Spanish is unique, and this is especially true when you’re making love — you’re likely to hear phrases that differ those heard in your love piles in other Spanish-speaking countries. As in many cultures, sex is considered a bit “naughty” in Mexico, but with consternation and intrigue comes linguistic creativity. There’s a rich range …

A screenshot from a recent class. My Anki decks for memorization are on the left, and on the right a Skype session with one of  my favorite Serbian teachers from Italki. I record some of the new words and phrases from each class into my Anki decks. A Skype lesson with my self-teaching guide close at hand I’ve …

If you want to joke, flirt, and gripe with the locals in Sicily, you could do so in Italian. But if you manage to do so in Sicilian you’re going to have way more fun. Sicilian is the language of the island of Sicily. Some refer to it as a “dialect” — but, prior to …

Today we’ll learn to count in Serbian / Bosnian / Croatian. But this South Slavic linguistic shitshow is crazy, so all we’re really going to understand is the number one. If we get really masochistic, we may cover the numbers two, three, maybe even four and more in some other article. This is a grammar …

Bosnian is uniquely rich among its Slavic brethren in shortened informal expressions. Here’s a quick guide; master these few words and you’ll sound like a local.

If you want to joke, flirt, and make a proper toast in the south of Italy, you could certainly speak Italian. Or English — or Galician or Russian, for that matter, as Italians are generally only too delighted to carry on a conversation without the slightest comprehension. But if you really want a truly local adventure, you must speak at least …

Over the years I’ve spent learning and refining my Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian, I’ve tried out plenty of textbooks and learning guides. Most of them were terrible. But a few have risen to the top and are worth recommending. These books aren’t the very first step you should take into the language; your first few minutes of Serbian learning should …

The horrors of Serbian/Croatian/Bosian hit you one after another: cases, verb aspect, and conjugations… And then at some point, probably later in the process, the bizarre and seemingly random distinctions between više and još will also start to get on your nerves. These words can be translated, variously, as “more”, “even more”, “yet”, “any more”, “still”, etc. …

Got a special someone in your life who wants to take on a new language? Here’s a look at how to give the gift of learning a foreign language — what works best, what is the most fun, and what will be the most motivating as the receiver sets out on their journey. Why take …

Look up foreign-language words without blocking your reading flow, then export and learn your vocabulary list to make them yours. Over the years I’ve been using a Kindle to learn languages, I’ve very gradually uncovered hacks and tools for efficient vocabulary building. But this article will throw them all at you, right here, in one …