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

Interview with the President of the Venezuelan Esperanto Association

IMG_20140727_080532 - esperantoRicardo Rodrigues Coutinho was born on May 15, 1980, in Caracas and lives in the Valleys del Tuy. He studied at the School of History of the Central University of Venezuela. He began his studies in the international language Esperanto at the end of 2000 in the Venezuelan Esperanto Association. He was a member of minutes of the Cultural Esperanto Foundation (Fundaesperanto). He also worked as a member of library, secretary and he is the current president of the Venezuelan Esperanto Association. He coordinates the publication Venezuela Stelo , an official organ of the Association.  You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.

  1. Tell us a little about yourself and about the teaching role of the Venezuelan Esperanto Association.

The Venezuelan Esperanto Association is the only nonprofit organization in the country, which brings together Esperanto speakers and promoters of the Esperanto language. I have studied the language, since I was 16, I played a role as disseminator, as well as a teacher of the Association.

The range of courses and workshops have varied greatly over the years, since the work is voluntary and the country situation severely limits the possibilities of offering an intensive service. Despite this, we have: introductory workshops, courses by WhatsApp and You Tube. We also have very important achievements, which include; translations of Doña Barbara, Agriculture of the Torrid Zone, Pequeñas obras del Libertador, poems by Eloy Blanco, Otero Silva, among others.

Learning Esperanto is very fast, among other things because it is very regular and flexible, even though the study of any language is a hobby of high level of commitment. Esperanto is known to be an excellent tool to assimilate other languages, since it allows identifying the basic elements of a language, being an exercise to understand every language in the learning process. Continue reading

The best articles on July 2016 about languages

For me, the month of July brought the best news in the world of language learning. To watch TV series or movies in original version can help in the listening understanding. I already explained how I learned English watching TV and how I use films and series to learn a new language and finally a small research shows evidence that it is possible to use television to help language learning!

NEWS OF JULY 2016

Not a myth: to watch series or films in original version helps language learning – ThinkBig

[Article in Spanish] – The best news of July for me! According to the research from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, to watch a series in original version with English subtitles or without subtitles helped students from intermediate level to understand the language better. Continue reading

Confessions of a Polyglot: demotivation

I don’t know about the other polyglots, but I can’t keep myself motivated all the time while learning a language.

In June, I had a big problem to keep me motivated to study German. Like everyone else, when I start to learn a language I get very excited, I search for thousands of information about the language, materials and methods.

Learning a language is to know a new world. Despite the difficult task ahead of us, every little step is a big step forward. By learning a word, you have improved 100% in your language. Every word learned is a victory. The feeling of understanding for the first time a word in a sentence and after a sentence in context is indescribable. However, the better you get, the lower the returns.

Suddenly, to understand a phrase is normal, to read an article is no longer difficult. You are not fluent, but manages to get by in the language. The language is no longer a novelty for you. Your curiosity fades, you become fascinated with some other language, focused on some other task, goal or challenge of your life and gradually abandon the language. The result? Days, weeks or even months without studying the language.

pexels-photo-66143 rollercoaster

Continue reading

The best articles on June 2016 about languages

Read scientific, funny and interesting articles about languages that were published on the web in the last month.

NEWS OF JUNE 2016

Language of Terror vs. Loving Language – Loving Language

A simple but interesting article showing how the Somali community in Minneapolis is portrayed by the media and the perception of the author on this same community. A great text showing how one approach and intent result in a different experience. The reporter only sought the affirmation of his own point of view, but the author sought to know the people, their culture and language. Continue reading

Studying abroad: German in Hamburg

Today, I will talk about my experience in Germany, the last place where  I studied a language. If you want to know more about my other experiences, look at the posts about how I studied Spanish and French abroad.

In August 2015, I started to learn German and I still am studying, albeit at a slower pace. To improve quickly and use as a motivation, I decided that I would go to Germany in January 2016. Continue reading

Studying abroad: French in Lyon

I started studying French in the late 2011/early 2012 (I don’t remember very well). In the beginning, I have not had much idea of ​​how to study alone. I did a little search on the internet and decided to try to use the FSI course.

Despite the difficulties, I was able to follow the course with no problem until the fourth chapter, but the course began to get hard and I gave up. Then, I spend several months without studying. This did not happen just once, but several times over the years and with other methods. In 2014, I started taking French more seriously; it was then that I managed to finish several courses, such as Assimil, FSI French and Duolingo.

However, I took a break from my French studies to dedicate myself to the DELE (Spanish Diploma as Foreign Language), and after succeeding, I decided it was time to dedicate myself 100% to French. It was then, in late 2014, early 2015 that I started to look for a place to study in France.

Choosing the city

The French consulate has a website where you can search for places to study in France, from language courses to post-doctorate. While seeking a school, the first thing I did was to exclude Paris for being a very expensive city. I also avoided very small towns in France. Continue reading

Studying abroad: Spanish in Arequipa, Peru

Alejandra, my Peruvian friend who occasionally helps me with the translation and editing of articles in Spanish, lives in the beautiful city of Arequipa, Peru. I had gone there in 2011 and had spent three wonderful days. When I thought about studying Spanish somewhere in Latin America, Arequipa was natural choice.

In 2014, I decided that my goal would be to succeed in the DELE (Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language) exam. The diploma is issued by the Instituto Cervantes on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain and attest your level of Spanish. They follow the guidelines established by the Common European Framework for Languages.

Despite having studied Spanish when I was younger and having no problem to communicate with Spanish speakers, I did not speak Spanish regularly for years (as I explained in this post). To improve my Spanish and prepare myself for the test, I decided to return to Arequipa.

The city

Arequipa is one of the most beautiful and safest cities of Peru. That alone, would be enough to choose Arequipa to study Spanish. In addition, having one of my best friends living there, the choice was obvious.

However, another reason to choose Arequipa is that the Spanish spoken there is clear, without strong accent and grammatically correct. Many proud Arequipeños, including the writer Mario Vargas Llosa, say that Arequipa has the best Spanish in Peru and Latin America. If this is true, it is debatable. Nevertheless, the fact that Arequipeños speak a beautiful Spanish, this is undeniable. Continue reading

The Languages of Game of Thrones

I have said several times that I am addicted to series. And, one of my current addictions is the series Game of Thrones. In the first episode of the new season, Daenerys Targaryen surprises Khal Moro and everyone around them when she reveals her knowledge of the Dothraki language. This is one of my favorite scenes from the first episode of the sixth season. And because of this scene I had the idea to make this post about the languages ​​of the series.

Check out the scene I just talked about

Languages

George R. R. Martin, creator of the book series “Song of Ice and Fire“, has no background in linguistics as J. R. R. Tolkien; so the languages ​​were not developed in the book, instead there are only few examples of the various fictional languages.

Consequently, HBO hired the linguist David J. Peterson, who created the artificial languages ​​spoken in the series. From the few sentences written in the book, he created a lexicon and grammatical structure for these languages. Continue reading

Vocabulary for the Olympic Games 2016

This post is dedicated to the foreigners who are coming to Brazil to attend the Olympic Games, but can also serve to Brazilians who want to learn a bit of English vocabulary related to the Olympics.

Today, I will offer vocabulary about sports and its modalities, but first let’s start with the most important word:

Jogos Olímpicos – Olympic Games

Rio2016-LogoFORMATTED

Esporte – Sport

Atletismo – Athletics

100 (cem) metros – 100 (one hundred) metres

110 (cento e dez) metros com barreiras – 100 (one hundred and ten) metres hurdles

hurdles

3000 (três mil) metros com obstáculos – 3000 (three thousand) metres steeplechase

20 (vinte) km (quilômetros) de marcha atlética – 20 (twenty) km (kilometres) race walk

Maratona – Marathon

Salto em distância – Long jump

Salto triplo –  Triple jump

Salto em altura – High jump

Salto com vara – Pole vault

Arremeso de peso – Shot put

Lançamento de disco – Discus throw

Lançamento de martelo – Hammer throw

Lançamento de dardo – Javelin throw

OSAKA, JAPAN - AUGUST 31: Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic competes on her way to winning the gold medal in the Women's Javelin Throw Final on day seven of the 11th IAAF World Athletics Championships on August 31, 2007 at the Nagai Stadium in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Heptato – Heptathlon

Decatlo – Decathlon

Badminton – Badminton

Basquetebol (Basquete) – Basketball

Boxe – Boxing

Mosca-ligeiro – Light-Flyweight

Mosca – Flyweight

Galo – Bantamweight

Leve – Lightweight

Meio-médio-ligeiro – Light-Welterweight

Meio-médio – Welterweight

Médio – Middleweight

Meio-pesado – Light-Heavyweight

boxe

Pesado – Heavyweight

Super-pesado – Super-Heavyweight

Canoagem – Canoe/kayak

Velocidade – Sprint

Slalom – Slalom

Ciclismo – Cycling

Pista – Track cycling

Estrada – Road cycling

Mountain bike – Mountain biking

BMX – BMX

Esgrima – Fencing

Futebol – Football (United Kingdom) ou soccer (United States)

Ginástica – Gymnastics

Solo – Floor exercise

Cavalo com alças – Pommel horse

Argolas – Rings

arthur zanetti

Salto sobre a mesa – Vault

Barras paralelas – Parallel bars

Barras assimétricas – Uneven bars

Barra fixa – Horizontal bar

Trave – Balance beam

Maça indiana – Indian clubs

Salto lateral sobre o cavalo – Sidehorse vault

Aparelhos portáteis – Portable apparatus

Ginástica acrobática – Acrobatic gymnastics

Ginástica rítmica – Rhythmic gymnastics

Corda – Rope

Arco – Hoop

Bola – Ball

Maças – Clubs

Fita – Ribbon

Ginástica de trampolim – Trampolining

Golfe – Golf

Halterofilismo – Weightlifitng

Handebol – Handball

Hipismo – Equestrian

Concurso Completo de Equitação (CCE) – Eventing

Saltos – Show jumping

Adestramento – Dressage

2012-Olympic-Equestrian-Dressage-Jumping-Results

Volteio – Vaulting

Salto em altura – High jump

Salto em distância – Long jump

Hóquei sobre grama – Field hockey

Judô – Judo

Lutas – Wrestling

Greco-romana – Greco-Roman

Luta-livre – Freestyle

Nado sincronizado – Synchronized swimming

Natação – Swimming

50 (cinquenta) metros livres – 50 (fifty) metres freestyle

100 (cem) metros costas – 100 (one hundred) metres backstroke

200 (duzentos)metros peito – 200 (two hundred) metres breaststroke

100 (cem)metros borboleta – 100 (one hundred) metres butterfly

400 (quatrocentos) metros medley – 400 (four hundred) metres individual medley

Pentatlo modern – Modern pentathlon

Polo aquático – Water polo

Remo – Rowing

Rugby sevens – Rugby sevens

Saltos ornamentais – Diving

Taekwondo – Taekwondo

Tênis – Tennis

Tênis de Mesa – Table tennis

Tiro – Shooting

Tiro com arco – Archery

Triatlo – Triathlon

Vela – Sailing

Voleibol (Vôlei) – Volleyball

Vôlei de praia – Beach volleyball

What is your favorite sport? What kind of vocabulary do you want to learn related to the Olympic Games?