About Nathalia

Polyglot Nerd creator, love foreign cultures and learning languages. Speak: English, Portuguese and Spanish. Learning: French

Freundschaftsbezeigungen: 20 Words from Europe That Will Make You Doubt Your Linguistic Skills

Today, we have a guest post written by Martha Simons!

One of the defining aspects of a continent is it languages. Even when visiting the different countries in a continent, among the many things you could be interested in is the unique language spoken there. In fact, you will be tempted to learn a few words just to identify with the locals or have something to take back home. Europe is no different from other continents since the languages here have pleasant surprises for you.

Some European languages are known to have oddly long words, for instance, German. However, in other instances, an European language speaker will find a correct word for something or situation and render the rest of the world, including English speakers, speechless for the lack of a suitable translation to match that. Even a polyglot will have a hard time if faced with such a situation. Here is a look at some of these words from Europe that will make you doubt your linguistic skills.

Words that are strangely long

 

Long words can be complex. They increase your chances of missing a letter or two when writing or biting your tongue severally when pronouncing. What’s more, some of these words are hard to translate fully to other languages. Here is a look at some examples;

1. Freundschaftsbezeigungen

This is not only long, but also “clumsy” as Mark Twain would put it, referring to its arrangement. Freund means “friend” and the correct translation of the word Freundschaftsbezeigungen is “demonstrations of friendship.”

2. Kraftfahrzeughaftpflichtversicherung

It’s no doubt, German is known for its long words. Surprisingly, they are not rare or special words in this language as you are likely to come across them regularly in a conversation or when reading printed materials such as newspapers. Kraftfahrzeughaftpflichtversicherung is one of these words and it stands for liability insurance for the motor vehicle.

3. Generalstaatsverordnetenversammlung

This is another of the dauntingly long terms in German. In most languages, this term is composed of at least four words. It is used to denote “meetings of the legislature.” Won’t it be just easier to break it into “general states representatives meetings”, then find a German term for each word to form a sentence? Probably, but that’s German for you!

You will not find these long words in German only. European languages have quite a number of them. Here are other examples: Continue reading

There is still time! How to learn German up to level B1 in 2017

As many people liked my post about learning French in 2017. I decided to do a German version. German is for most people more difficult than French, so I cannot guarantee that you’ll reach level B2 by the end of the year if you use these resources, but it is certainly possible to reach the  B1 level, and the best of all is that most of the materials recommended here is free of charge!

 

Knowing the language

As I recommended in the article on the French language, it is best to start slowly. Therefore, one of the best resources is Duolingo, which covers both writing and listening comprehension from the beginning. Another great and free option is the Deutsche Welle course called “Audiotrainer“. The course consists of small audios with words and phrases in German and English that must be repeated.
Another basic and fast course to get to know German is the Mission Europe course.

Choosing your first course

Once you know the basics of the language, you should choose a more complete course.
I recommend starting with two Deutsche Welle courses. My favorite is the Deutsch – Warum Nicht? course. The course is a bit old (early 90’s), however it is very good, interesting and well organized. The advantage of this course is that the characters are always the same and you are get curious to know more about them and their stories.

The second course I recommend is the interactive course “Harry”. As the structure is multimedia, it is a great course to do in front of the computer. Just like the “Deutsch – Warum nicht?” course, the characters are always the same and you are get curious to know what happens to them.

Another course I always recommend is the Assimil, although I find the French version better, the German version is also very good and the course follows the same structure as the French course. The first texts are short and simple; the audios are slow and repeated twice. After the first week, the texts become longer and the audios have a more natural rhythm. After the 50th lesson, we begin to practice reverse translation and the lessons take about an hour to complete, while in the first cycle they take only 30 minutes.

It’s time to talk!

Once you get a basic notion of the language, you should start practicing it. The best tool for this in the market is the Italki website, which has thousands of teachers available online. You can get individual lessons or buy a package. Other option is to participate in language exchanges in your city, using sites like Meetup.com and Couchsurfing to find foreigners or apps like HelloTalk.

FSI: to train phonetics and for those who like to suffer

Although I recommend the French FSI course, I do not recommend the German one, because besides being old, is not as well structured as the French version. Therefore, I do not recommend the Basic Course (FSI German Basic Course). However, the introduction course (FSI German Programmed Introduction Course) is easier and structured, very good for learning the German phonology. The course can be found here.

For the grammar lovers

As always, for grammar lovers, I recommend my favorite book series “Practice Makes Perfect“. As I said before, I love this series because they have specific courses, such as the course of pronouns and prepositions, the basic or complete grammar, verb tenses; in addition to vocabulary and conversation courses.

Another good German grammar book, but to more advanced students is the Klipp Und Klar: Ubungsgrammatik course, available for levels A1/B1 and B2/C1.

Culture

And, as always, I recommend that you be in constant contact with the culture of country, watching movies, listening to podcasts and radio or reading books, magazines or newspapers.

Good luck and start right now your studies !!!

How to reach the B2 level in French in 2017

At the beginning of the year, one of the most common resolutions people make is to learn a language. But, how to achieve a good level in the language in just one year?

Even though it seems a short period of time, a year is enough to learn a language and to communicate in the country where the language is spoken.

So if you want to learn French this year, here are my tips so that, at the end of the year, you spend the holidays in Paris speaking French.

Start with the basics

To know a new language can be scary, so the best way to get started is through an amusing and easy course. Duolingo is the most successful app in the area of ​​language learning and there is a reason for that. It’s free, easy to use, fun and has constant updates to keep you engaged. Continue reading

The Top Ten Posts of 2016

What did people read here in 2016? Check it here!

10. Review of Pimsleur German – I, II & III

I was very excited to do this review, Pimsleur is a very interesting course, people love it or hate it, no middle term here.

9. Why learning a foreign language can change your life

This is a guest post from Lucia Leite, about the most interesting aspects of learning a language.

8. Duolingo Review

An old review about the most famous language app!

Continue reading

The best articles on November and December about laguages

After a long time without publishing a post, here is one with the best articles on November and December about languages!

November

 

Having Language Difficulties? It’s Time to Believe in Yourself – TheLinguist

What is the real difficulty people have with language learning? Learning a language is not an easy task, but it is far from impossible, but most of us fail to learn one. Steve’s thesis is that the reason behind is motivation, or rather, the lack of motivation that comes from the belief that learning a language is something very difficult.

The Best Way to Learn Another Language? From Interesting Content – TheLinguist

I believe that it is easier to learn a language with a material that is adapted to our own needs and goals. Steve Kaufmann believes in that too and here he gives 10 reasons why we should learn a language from contents that are interesting for us.

How to expand your vocabulary – Lingholic

A simple post, with a few tips on how to learn vocabulary effectively.

Discovery: to learn a foreign language thanks to hypnosis or online courses – FranceTVInfo.fr

[Article in French] – An interesting news report with two journalists. One tries to learn Japanese with hypnosis, the other tries to learn Russian with an online app. See the result after 20 hours of “study”. Continue reading

Black Friday Deals for language learners

Living Language Series

Do you want to learn German, French, Arabic, Spanish, Russian and other languages from the beginning? Try the Living Language Series.

 

 

Teach Yourself Series

 

 

Practice Makes Perfect

My favorite resource to study grammar.

 

 

The best articles on October 2016 about languages

Here are the most interesting articles about languages that I read this last month.

3Fluency vs. Mastery: Can you be fluent without being good? – ScottHYoung.com

I really liked this article, because it distinguishes between two concepts, that we, language learners, often consider identical. Through this differentiation, we can understand why some people sound fluent in a short time, despite their small knowledge of the language. Continue reading

Interview with Richard Delamore, founder of the app Amikumu

Today, we speak with one of the creators of the app Amikumu, Richard Delamore, aka Evildea, who has been interviewed about Esperanto here.

amikumu

What is Amikumu?

Amikumu is an app (for iOS and Android) that helps you find people nearby who speak the languages you are learning. For example, if you are learning French, use Amikumu to instantly find, contact and meet up with native French speakers nearby. Some potential ways people can use the app is: Continue reading

Why learning a foreign language can change your life

English-speakers have the great luxury of knowing the most in-demand language in the world.  When Europeans are sitting down for business or for recreation, the common language spoken is often English.  The same is true in Africa and in Asia.  So, if you are a native speaker of a language that many people around the world wish to learn, you might ask yourself – why would I learn a different language?  There are dozens of reasons, but let’s focus on four of them.

Work and travel opportunities

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Speaking another language opens doors to visit other countries and parts of the world that wouldn’t be open to Continue reading