Christmas gifts for polyglots

We are almost a month away from Christmas and polyglots, like everyone else, love to receive Christmas presents, but in a more nerdy way. Check out some tips to give a present to a polyglot friend, son, partner or even yourself.

  1. Assimil

Assimil is one of my favorite methods; you can check my review of the French course here. The course focus on dialogues with few grammatical explanations. All dialogs are translated in the other side of the page. Each course has its own dialogues. For Francophones, there are over 70 languages courses available, so it is probably the reason that Assimil is the most popular course in France. For English speakers, there are only 12 languages ​​courses available, for Spanish speakers there are 13 courses and for Portuguese speakers there are only 5 courses. Continue reading

Interview with Igor from Missão Poliglota

igorbarca_1375816613_16Igor Barca is the founder of the blog Missão Poliglota and of the School Estude Idiomas. He is a professor of English, French and Italian. Currently, he is also studying German and Japanese. His mission is to master at least 10 languages.

  1. What languages do you speak and at what level?

I am Brazilian. Then I speak Portuguese as a native language, but early on I got interested in languages. The first foreign language I learned was Italian. Despite having lost some eloquence from lack of practice, I consider myself fluent today as as I can fast recover the rhythm during a conversation.

On the other hand, my French is becoming more and more fluent, as I have been teaching students very often, including candidates for diplomacy. The English also goes well, according to my last exam of proficiency, which attested to the level C1. I have studied Spanish for two years and today, not so fond of the language, I have only intermediate level.

In addition to these languages, I study German and Japanese. I have been studying German for some time now, but with not enough motivation to evolve. My current mission is to learn Japanese in 90 days. I visited Japan in April and came back very excited with the language! I had studied Japanese before, but that was 10 years ago…

To sum it all: I speak Portuguese, English, French and Italian fluently, have intermediate level in Spanish (thanks to Julio Cortázar and his books, lol), I study German for some time now and I’am starting my studies of the Japanese language. To learn more about my current mission, click here. Continue reading

Study Methods for Foreign Language Learners – Part 3

Now let’s talk about the materials available for self-learners.



The complete course costs about US$ 200 and the basic one about US$ 30. Does worth the price? Well, if you’re a disciplined person, sure. Linguaphone method follows this simple methodology: to listen,to understand and to speak.

There is more than one type of course, and you should be aware of the differences.

The PDQ Course aims those people who want learn the basics, contains 4 CDs and the vocabulary guide.

The All Talk series contains 16 CDs and a small vocabulary guide. Aims people who doesn’t have regular time to study and affirm take the learner to the intermediate level.

The PDQ and AllTalk series are the cheaper, but I do not recommend them. The older versions would be a much better purchase, but they are a little bit hard to find. The series below are currently the best courses from Linguaphone:

The Complete CD Course and the 2nd Stage CD course; both courses claim take the student to the advanced/expert level. Besides the CDs they also have textbooks ad exercise books.

Positive aspects: you can study almost anywhere and covers multiple aspects of the language. The pronunciation is clear. Apparently, the older courses are better, so if you have the chance buy the books of the 50’s to 70’s.

Negative aspects: Learners describes that the new series like PDQ are for “tourist” type of student, as they not deepening in the main aspects of the language. Besides that, some students complain that isn’t an easy course for beginners and have a fast pace, with not enough repetition. It’s only available for the main languages. And the audio only courses aren’t good as the traditional material.


Teach Yourself series are available in several languages (60) and that is probably the series major quality. Compare to others methods it’s also cheaper, the price range between US$10-US$ 70, however some courses can be a little bit more expensive. Continue reading