Eurovision: “Celebrate Diversity”?

This year’s slogan for the Eurovision Song Contest had laudable intentions: “Celebrate Diversity.” But was this nothing more than an empty promise? Anyone hoping to find a true embracement of diversity in this program will be hard-pressed to find it. It’s no secret that English song submissions in this competition are on the rise, reaching a record 84% this year. Lurking behind this statistic are even further indicators of a competition –in my opinion– completely devoid of diversity. English-speaking hosts, judges awarding points primarily in English, complete domination of English in promotional materials for the event, and official Eurovision websites available only in English. (more…)

A Nugget of Knowledge (Brought to You by the Spanish Language): Prickly Pears are Figs!

My day started out like any other. Wake up 8:30. 20 minute walk to work. 9:30 start work. Stare at computer screen. Morning snack at 11:00. And that’s when things finally got interesting. When I first moved to Spain, every day was a new opportunity to learn something new. But after nearly four years here, my language acquisition rate has plateaued. Needless to say, when my co-worker took out what I can only describe as a “dainty in size, crude in character” fruit, I was excited about the new perla de conocimiento he was about to share with me. (more…)

Portuñol: formación de palabras en portugués para españoles

No es ningún secreto que el español y el portugués se parecen muchísimo tanto a nivel de la gramática como del vocabulario. Estas similitudes pueden ayudar a los principiantes a comunicar en portugués aún sin haberlo estudiado durante mucho tiempo. Sin embargo, como veráis aquí abajo, hay suficientes diferencias y excepciones a la conversión de palabras españolas a las portuguésas, que para superar el nivel de “portuñol” y hablar de verdad portugués, será necesario estudiar bastante. 😉

Esta entrada se dedica a dar una lista práctica de como se “traslade” ciertas terminaciones y sonidos en español al portugués. El objetivo aquí es lo siguiente: “Cómo se puede aprovechar de las semejanzas y correspondencias en el vocabulario? (more…)

In-, Un-, Non-, and More: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Negative Affixes in English

Ricardo: “I can say ‘The price is uncorrect?’”
Me: “No, the right word is incorrect.”
Ricardo: “Why?”
Me: “Great question.”
Enter this post.


Imitating Immersion

Anyone that has spent any time learning a language undoubtedly has heard the advice that the best way to learn a new language is total immersion by moving to a country where their L2 is spoken. Maybe you’ve tried that and it didn’t work, or maybe you wish you could try that, but life circumstances are preventing you from picking up and moving your whole life abroad. Well, if so, you may just be the perfect audience for this post. (more…)

Funny German Compound Words

I am willing to admit that not everyone gets as much pleasure out of nor finds it legitimately fun to learn a language like I do. What’ll seem even crazier is that I love (so far) learning German. EVERY single person I have a told I am learning German has responded with “but why?!” and the best response of all that I’ve gotten so far has been “Life is too short to learn German.” Add that to the fact that Germany is consistently rated as one of the least funny countries in the world, and I’m sure you’re thinking, what could possibly be fun about learning German, but just humor me for a second. Imagine a world where I could leave this note on the counter:

“Dad, when you go to the grocery store tonight would you mind picking up some glowing pears and an ink fish? Thanks! Love, Maria” (more…)

German Language Resources are a Girl’s Best Friend

These are some of the best German language-learning resources I’ve found so far. Enjoy!

Facebook Pages
Buzzfeed Deutschland – probably difficult to understand at the beginning but it gets you familiarized with the language and you can always compare the German translation to the original post in English.
FluentU German – great page. They offer paying services but they also make posts about finding good resources and some vocabulary lists and videos. You can like their Facebook page or subscribe to e-mail newsletters.


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