The best articles on August 2016 about languages

A little bit late, but here are the articles I enjoyed reading on August!


What ISIS, the CIA, and the Mormons have in common? Languages! – Loving Language

The title of the article asks a question and answer immediately. Read in this article how completely different institutions use languages as a method of recruitment.

Learning a foreign language is like dating: it spurs anxiety – PsychologyToday
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10 tips on how not learn a language

Are you tired of learning a language? Tired of the same advice about language learning?

Don’t worry, I have the solution!


  1. Study only grammar

Why waste your time talking, listening, reading the language when you can just study grammar? Study only grammar and you will, probably, have more knowledge of the language grammatical structures than any native speaker will! And, who doesn’t want to know more than a native? 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

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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.


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

The best articles of May 2016 about languages

Every month I’ll put here interesting articles I read on other websites and newspapers about languages and language learning.


Short-term language learning aids mental agility, study suggests – ScienceDaily

Another study shows us how learning a language can be beneficial to the brain, in just one week.

The languages the world is trying to learn, according to Duolingo – Quartz

Check a map which are the most popular languages of Duolingo application by country and find out why in Sweden the most popular language is Swedish. 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


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

Multilingual Movies – Part 2

“Plurality of languages: […] It is crucial 1. that there are many languages and that they differ not only in vocabulary, but also in grammar, and so in mode of thought and 2. that all languages are learnable.”

Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt

Languages: English, German, Hebrew, French and Latin

The film tells a part of the biography of the famous Jewish philosopher of German origin Hannah Arendt (Barbara Sukowa). Established in the United States, she is already a respected intellectual when she offers to the New Yorker magazine to cover the trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann. She follows the trial in Israel and then publish five articles in the New Yorker. However, by putting the articles that there was collaboration of Jews in Nazi logistics, Arendt is heavily criticized, especially by the Jewish community.

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Using television to learn languages

I always say that one of the best ways to learn a language is to watch movies or television in the target language.

The main reason is the following:

It is natural!

One of the biggest flaws of the books made for learning languages is that the language is usually more formal and “arranged ” that the language of quotidian. Even books of slangs and swearwords are not very useful, because these words are out of context. Moreover, at least in Brazil, some curses can be addressed to someone in a positive context. Such subtlety of language will only be learned in context, i.e.: living in a country where they speak the language or seeing it happen through movies and television in general.

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Explaining my study routine

As I said in my last post, since Monday (10/07) I’m putting what I’m studying on twitter to anyone curious.

Materials and Methods



For grammar I use a book in the traditional form.  A book with a lot of exercises to fill blanks and verb conjugation.

I am currently using the workbook “Diccionario práctico de gramática “.

Some materials I use: FSI French, DVDs in Spanish, Ipod and grammar books.

Some materials I use: FSI French, DVDs in Spanish, Ipod and grammar books.


To improve my level of understanding I do the following activities:

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Tips to learn a language

Study everyday

If possible, study the language every day. Many studies have proved that it is better to study for a shorter time everyday than study for a long period only one or two days a week.
Try to set a schedule and stick to it. If you want to study more it’s alright, but do not study to the point of fatigue. If you’re going to study for more than one hour, plan also taking short breaks to rest.

Review the contents

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