Archive for March, 2013

Why I Started Traveling The World

Why I Started Traveling The World

Being brought up in a family that traveled quite a bit, my passion for traveling the world came early in life.

My parents had one of those Educational World Globes which you could spin, and as a kid I used to play a game where I would spin the globe, close my eyes and point with a finger to see where it ended up on the map when the globe stopped spinning.

Read more »
Learning German on the move

Learning German on the move

Back at the beginning of 2012 I headed to South America to work as a surf coach for a Spanish school in Ecuador. The job also came with the perk of private Spanish lessons, which I was stoked to get to grips with.

Read more »
My seventh language

My seventh language

I’ve long loved words. Language in all its glorious beauty has endlessly intrigued me. The idioms, the metaphors, the double entendres, the colloquialisms, the histories, the mysteries, the accents, the travel, the gelato . . . Sorry, I digress.

Read more »
How to Learn Portuguese

How to Learn Portuguese

Portuguese was my language choice for a variety of reasons. For one, the past couple of overseas holidays I’ve had have been in Portugal, and I hate the feeling of being the foreigner who can’t communicate in anything but English—even though the Portuguese are generally fluent and refuse to make you feel self-conscious.

Read more »
Learning Greek with the family

Learning Greek with the family

It wasn’t very long ago that I would have had no idea and would have assumed either of these phrases was something nice. I often joked that Leo would be coming home from school speaking Greek while we all smiled and said how clever he was, when in reality he could be swearing and saying all sorts of things and we would have no idea!

Read more »
From Monolingual to Multilingual

From Monolingual to Multilingual

There is a joke I have heard on a couple of occasions that goes like this: What do you call someone who speaks two languages? – Bilingual. Three languages? – Trilingual. Four languages? – Quadralingual. One language? – American. It’s true. The average American doesn’t speak a second language.

Read more »
No More Excuses to learn a language

No More Excuses to learn a language

What do my Polish colleague, Russian best friend, Dutch physiotherapist and Greek dentist have in common? They all speak perfect English. Perfect, lilting, full-of-nuance, cracking-smart-jokes English. On hearing this kind of linguistic gymnastics, most of us English speakers revert to our tired excuses, like “Why do I need to learn a new language? It’s usually not hard to find someone who speaks at least a little English.” Or there’s this one: “But which language should I learn?”

Read more »