Category Archives: quirk

Language Learning: Is Fluency Worth It?

Captura-de-pantalla-2017-03-01-a-las-00.54.00-150x150.png

One of the pleasures of being a traveller in a new and exotic place is not understanding the language. Of course, being an English speaker you will always find a person with whom you can communicate. However, being oblivious to conversations on the streets and in the shops, to the television blathering away, or the radio gibbering(…)


Laughs Around the World: How to Have Fun in Different Languages

Picture13-150x150.png

If your friend sent you this meme, how would you answer? The most likely options are “haha” or “LOL” (which means “Laughing Out Loud”, if you didn’t know). But if you found this meme hilarious, you may want to laugh hard and use “HAHA”, “hahahahaha”, or “ROFL” (Rolling On the Floor Laughing). The problem is(…)


Asado, Lunfardo & Fernet: How to Become a Real Argentine in 10 Steps

How-to-become-an-Argentina-in-10-steps-Mate-150x150.jpg

Argentina has an incredibly rich immigrant history, resulting in an eclectic background of people and customs that have molded the country’s culture. This is especially true in Buenos Aires, where the cosmopolitan nature of the city makes it very easy to blend in as a foreigner. Until, that is, you open your mouth and try(…)


Learning French? Follow these 5 Instagram accounts.

Looking for a new way to brush up on your French? Why not try Instagram? With thousands of bloggers using the platform for everything from sharing their photography to getting followers for a food blog, Instagram is an amazing place to find new talented people sharing their expertise. Including languages! Here are some of the(…)


Why Does it Seem Like My Mandarin Gets Better After a Few Drinks?

snow-restaurant-mountains-sky-150x150.jpg

Based on anecdotal evidence from popular media, it’s widely believed that alcohol improves the ability to speak in a foreign language, ostensibly due to the anxiety-reducing effects of booze itself. Based on personal experience, a couple of drinks goes a long way toward loosening my tongue no matter what language I’m speaking. I’m currently on(…)


15 Forgotten Christmas Words to Make Your Holiday Merry

Photo_2-150x150.gif

Are we too late? Or perhaps right on time. Possibly… but it’s that time of year again. For all those language lovers out there, have a sit after all the gift unwrapping is said and done and take in a little Christmas linguistics fun. Here are some long and perhaps not-so-long forgotten words associated with(…)


6 Gift Ideas Perfect for Language Learners

photo1-150x150.jpg

Sometimes the holidays can be more a season of stress than festive cheer, especially if you’re agonising over what to get who (not to mention what to buy for that one friend who seems to already have everything). If you know someone who is learning a new language, or you are a language learner yourself,(…)


Taipei Night Markets 101, Part 2: Things to Know Before you Go

640px-ShiLin1-150x150.jpg

Last week we covered the very basics of Taipei night markets in Part 1. Now that the stage has been set, we’re going to talk about getting you prepared. So without further ado, on with the show! 1. Bring: An open mind Forget all your homeland standards of sanitation, culinary taste and tradition, and human(…)


Hungarian and Polish: An Unlikely Language Alliance

giphy-1-150x150.gif

We know what you’re thinking. We’ve taken two of the, arguably, more difficult languages to master, and attempted to force them together like Mrs Bennett did with Elizabeth and the awful Mr Collins (Pride and Prejudice, folks), but we promise, there is a little more in common between these two languages than those two unfortunate(…)