Submitted by: cman
Mon, 10/21/2019 - 11:08

Multilingual Celebrities

When working abroad, many entertainers and celebrities need interpreting services to communicate with business partners, colleagues or the press.

While professional linguistic assistance is always worth investing in, some celebrities have it easier than the rest: Throughout the years, they acquired two, three or even six languages.

In this post, we’ll take a look at 7 world-famous people who are polyglots, how they did it, and what we can learn from them.

Submitted by: cman
Wed, 04/24/2019 - 10:32

I have become increasing interested in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies as they represent a transparent way forward that puts the power back in the hands of individuals.

Serving visitors in their native tongue

You might be amazed to know that about 90 percent of internet users from EU prefer to spend more time on the websites that are in their primary language. Thus, for all the industries, no matter how big or small they are, it is important to serve the visitors in their native tongue.

Submitted by: cman
Mon, 10/05/2015 - 04:58

Recent brain research sheds light on polyglot brains

This is an interesting and motivating educational video about the benefits of having a multilingual brain.

In this video, Mia Nacamulli takes us through some of the many reasons that being bilingual (and multilingual) "keeps your brain healthy, complex and actively engaged".

This was published for free on TED Ed which makes it easy for teachers to build a lesson plan based on the content of this video.

Some of the remarkable advantages

I don't want to spoil the goodies, but here are a couple of advantages pointed out in the video:

Submitted by: cman
Wed, 07/15/2015 - 14:59

Learning a language? Love languages?

These two lists are for language lovers + learners, prepare to be overwhelmed with tons of educational language resources as well as TV shows available on Netflix in many languages.

Huge List of Language Learning Resources

Chinese Musings has created a list of 140+ tools for learning a language.

Many of these have been reviewed here at Free Language, there are some that have not yet been checked out and written about, but you can guarantee they will be soon!

Huge List of Foreign Language TV Shows with Audio on Netflix

Submitted by: cman
Sat, 07/11/2015 - 13:54

Your brain rewards learning new words in a unique way

Researchers in Germany and Spain performed a study in 2014 which revealed that your brain may have a unique method of rewarding you when you learn new vocabulary words.

The reward for learning new words is stimulation of the same area of the brain as sex

The 36 participants in the study were exposed to language learning activities which caused stimulation of the ventral striatum, a part of the human brain processes motivation and reward.

The ventral striatum area of the human brain is also related to gambling, drug highs and delicious food

Submitted by: cman
Wed, 03/11/2015 - 12:40

Humorous Animated Video of Different English Accents

A clever young British bloke that goes by the YouTube handle "Truseneye92" has produced a cool video that includes 30 different English accents from around the world. He single-handedly speaks them all himself, quite a talented character.

He got his friend to animate the video and the result is funny to listen to and watch and even insightful from a dialectical perspective.

This is a delight for linguists, English-language enthusiasts and anyone interested in regional accents and local language flavo(u)r.

Submitted by: cman
Sat, 03/07/2015 - 11:54

How does a human translator compare against modern machine translators?

See the infographic below this article.

How far can we go to replacing human translators with artificial ones?

The Study

As translators ourselves, here at VerbalInk we were extremely interested in Google’s latest translation efforts. Would the machine live up to the human version? Google’s new software app promised visual and audio translation that could be used in conjunction with video conferencing services, similar to the very popular Skype.

Submitted by: cman
Sat, 03/07/2015 - 11:32

Use the HelloTalk app for free language exchanges!

Mark Samson, an Ohio musician, has made it his quest to make a friend in every country of the world using the free HelloTalk language exchange app.

His website, linked to above, has the ongoing list of friends and each person from each country gives an introduction and recommendations about visiting the place they are from.

Using HelloTalk, which is on track to have over a million users this month (March 2015), Mark is able to reach out and meet people all over the world right from his home in Ohio!

Do you want to make a friend in every country?

Submitted by: cman
Thu, 01/15/2015 - 05:32

Want to be a translator but not sure what it really takes?

Well, lucky for you there is an amazing language translation course online for free from the good folks at LOGOS.

This course covers much more than the basics, getting into the nitty gritty of translation as a profession including standards, process, perception, theory, models, production, adaptation, translation loss, tools and more.

Some of the more fine details include compensation and explicitation, metatextual rendering, wordplay, imitation, phraseologisms, dubbing, subtitling, translating for theater and much more.

I simply cannot say enough about how detailed and in-depth this free language translation course truly is, you have to look for yourself!

Submitted by: cman
Sat, 10/25/2014 - 04:30

How can I learn a new language with self-study?

Thanks to the good old Internet, self-study for learning a language has become very accessible. So accessible, in fact, that now it is a task to choose which one to go with!

Indeed, there is a wide variety of choices for online and offline language learning self-study. Perhaps you have searched around a bit and been overwhelmed with information overload in the search for a program that fits your needs.

Well, you no longer have to bring it all together yourself as there happens to be an ongoing list of language self-study programs.

Submitted by: cman
Wed, 10/15/2014 - 04:53

Michel Thomas App: Download for iOS

The Michel Thomas Method App is free to download, then offers in-app upgrades.

This app opens up the world of Michel Thomas Method to iOS users on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.

Who is Michel Thomas and what is his method?

Michel Thomas was a polyglot language teacher who developed a method by which the instructor takes full responsibility for the student's learning process. This is intended to relax the students and ease the learning process.

Submitted by: cman
Wed, 10/15/2014 - 04:37

Get a Feel for Michel Thomas's Method with these Free Course Booklets has made it possible to download for free the PDF booklets of the official language courses online.

Why might I want these useful booklets?

These booklets are useful for insight into Michel Thomas's language learning method.

They can also be studied right away to learn written language.

Submitted by: cman
Thu, 09/18/2014 - 13:18

Benefits of Being an English Teacher Abroad

Submitted by: cman
Tue, 05/20/2014 - 02:48

Learning Languages with Tutors

When it comes to learning a language, dedication and regular practice are two of the most necessary parts of the process. But even with a great classroom learning environment, just about every student benefits from individual instruction from a qualified tutor. If you've thought about learning a new language, you can make 2014 the year you turn that dream into a reality by signing up for tutoring. What makes me so sure? I'm a firm believer that one-on-one instruction helps language students of all ages, whether it's tutoring for middle school students or private lessons for busy, working adults. Here are 3 reasons why you should take the leap and give tutoring a try in 2014 if you want to master a new language:

Submitted by: cman
Fri, 04/25/2014 - 00:52

HelloTalk Free Social Language Exchange App Evolves new Features

A few months ago, I wrote about HelloTalk, a (then) up-and-coming app for learning languages via social exchange.

The freshly updated free HelloTalk language exchange app now has millions of users, and features have been added to improve the language exchange and education flow offered.

Submitted by: cman
Mon, 01/13/2014 - 20:44

A guest article by Katie Collom of

Submitted by: cman
Sun, 12/29/2013 - 13:40

Go Beyond Convention

A guest article by Jessica of

Submitted by: cman
Sat, 11/16/2013 - 08:45

Ancient African Alphabets and Graphic Design

Safi Mafundikwa gave a TED Talk in February of 2013 about the longstanding tradition of African alphabets.

It is often thought that the African continent did not produce significant forms of writing, but this is far from the truth.

Mafundikwa, founder of the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts (ZIVA), has been incorporating ancient African alphabets into graphic design with stunning results. His book, "Afrikan Alphabets", explores this theme in great detail.

Watch his TED Talk below to learn more.

Submitted by: cman
Sat, 11/09/2013 - 01:57

Fodder for Cocktail Conversation and Uncomfortable Silences

The three infographics below just might illuminate you in ways that may or may not be useful, but are certainly interesting and often comical.

At the very least, they will fuel you with fodder for those inevitable moments of uncomfortable silence, or make you the center of attention at the next cocktail party.

Discover such all-important facts like the origin of the word "sideburns", the surprising Aztec root of the word "avocado", how "Dick" came to be a nickname for "Richard", the mystery of the origin of the word "condom" and how women came to be referred to as "broads".

Discover these and many more entertaining English language facts below.

Random English Language Facts 1-10

Submitted by: cman
Sat, 11/02/2013 - 02:47

What does your native language have to do with saving cash?

A TED Talk with Keith Chen dives into the concept that the very language you learned growing up can actually have an effect on your ability to save money!

Sounds kind of wild, but if you watch the talk below, you'll find out why it is that this researcher believes your native language does, indeed, have an impact on your innate thinking about the future and, thus, your tendency to think about the world in a way which either makes you more or less likely to save money or spend money.

I don't want to spoil the fun, so I won't say any more than I already have. Enjoy!

Submitted by: cman
Sat, 10/26/2013 - 00:05

Visual Graphic of 'Awesome' Language Facts

Did you know Pinocchio is the second most translated book in the world after the Bible? How about that sign language speakers have accents? Or that a kid in his bedroom started a micronation with its own language of 35,000+ words!

These and other intriguing language-related tibits have been incorporated into the infographic below by the UIC London team. I thought it would cool and interesting for readers of our blog, so I've posted it below.

Language Infographic

Submitted by: cman
Thu, 10/17/2013 - 08:53

Shenzhen Engages Public in English Translation Efforts

A recent France24 culture article featured a number of humorous 'Chinglish' translations for public signs.

A new project in the Cantonese mega-border-city, Shenzhen, focuses on tapping the public to spot signs with flawed translations and submit alternatives. The submissions will be looked over by a team of pro translators and a prize will be awarded to winning participants.

Submitted by: cman
Tue, 10/08/2013 - 06:23

What's the Secret to Learning Vocabulary in a New Language?

Noel van Vliet, creator of Smart Language Learner, just published an interesting article entitled 37 Language-Learning Experts Reveal their Favorite Method for Learning Vocabulary.

Noel polled language learners across the world, asking them about their recommendations and methods for learning vocabulary in a new language. The results - amassed from self-taught language enthusiasts to linguists and more - are very interesting and range quite widely, offering loads of free advice for new and experienced language learners alike.

Nice work, Noel!

Submitted by: cman
Sat, 09/14/2013 - 16:01

Chart of World's Cultures

A recent article on Business Insider brought to my attention research done by Richard Lewis, founder of Richard Lewis Communications, to "plot the world's cultures on a chart".

The results have something to say about language as well as culture and business.

Richard Lewis offers cross-cultural coaching and consultation.

A world traveler who speaks ten languages, British linguist Richard Lewis decided he was qualified to plot the world's cultures on a chart.

He did so while acknowledging the dangers of stereotypes.

Submitted by: cman
Sat, 08/10/2013 - 17:25

Over 25 Language Blogs in One Place

The folks at Transparent Language maintain a surprising amount of Language and Culture Blogs from across the globe.

Feeding interesting tidbits about language learning and culture for over 25 languages, these blogs are engaging and professionally done. Often, guest bloggers and invited to submit fresh and intriguing content and the variety of articles has a wide range.

Submitted by: cman
Thu, 07/25/2013 - 09:11

Who blogs the most about language learning?

I just came across this round-up of top language learning blogs from 2012.

We have revieved and linked to some of the top five candidates, but there were some new ones for us there, too, which we are excited to look into and write about.

These are blogs that have to do with language learning in general - they offer a lot of information and guidance for language learners as well as teachers.

Submitted by: cman
Wed, 07/17/2013 - 10:43

Free Language Lessons

This useful page on OpenCulture has links to lessons for learning over 45 foreign languages for free.

These include podcasts, audio lessons, video lessons, written materials and much more - all free!

Included are languages for which resources are often challenging to locate, such as Cambodian, Icelandic and Maori.

A nice single page of language links, to be sure!

Submitted by: cman
Mon, 03/25/2013 - 19:53

A TED Talk on Expanding our Horizons through Embracing a Multilingual Conversation Online

At least, that's kind of what I took out of it. It's a few years old now, but Ethan Zuckerman's TED Talk, entitled "Listening to Global Voices", explores just how little the World Wide Web actually does for most people in expanding their horizons!

Submitted by: cman
Tue, 03/12/2013 - 17:27

Duolingo is Good, Free

FL recently blogged about Duolingo's Free iPhone App for Learning Spanish.

This just in from TechCrunch below. Discover more Mobile Language Learning Apps and Spanish iPhone Apps.

If you're goggled, there are plenty of Spanish Android Apps out there for you.

Submitted by: cman
Mon, 11/26/2012 - 08:43

Duolingo Releases Free iPhone App

Duolingo - who we reviewed back in July of this year - is a new online language learning platform focusing on learning while translating content from the Web.

They have just announced a free iPhone app for learning Spanish and French so you can take your learning with you on-the-go.

To download this app directly from the App Store, click here.

From Duolingo

Your breaks and commutes are about to get a lot more productive.