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Every country has its own slang, and Britain is no different. Of all the English-language slang in the world, I find British slang to be some of the most creative and interesting. But then, I’m biased because I’m British! Just a word of warning before you continue: although these slang terms are relatively mild, there are some you wouldn’t use at work or with your grandma. I’ve marked these as NSFW, “not safe for work”. Now before you throw a wobbly because I’m waffling on, let’s have a gander at some real British slang, so you can speak English like the English. Here are 25 British slang words to get started: 1. Gutted - “Devastated” This is a piece of British slang you’ll hear all the time, in all parts of Britain. The word is used to describe feeling very sad and disappointed at a circumstance or turn of events. For example:
He was gutted when he realized he was the only one of his friends who hadn’t been invited out to the pub.
This phrase is used among all age groups. 2. Wanker - “Person of Contempt” (NSFW!) If a British person refers to you as a “wanker”, you should certainly be concerned. It’s slang that means an obnoxious, stupid, and unpleasant person. It’s relatively offensive. In American English, it would be equivalent to a minor curse word. Use is common, although you’re more likely to hear it in casual settings among teens or twenty-somethings. Think of it as pub talk. Here’s an example:
He’s such a wanker. I wish he would stop harassing the staff here and let them work in peace.
3. Tosh - “Nonsense” The word tosh is used to dismiss something as a bunch of nonsense. It’s used in the way that many speakers would use “baloney” or “poppycock”. Below are some examples of using the term:
  • Tosh! Of course the world isn’t flat. What are you getting on about?
  • That’s a load of tosh.
  • I read that article, and it was all tosh and nonsense.
4. Throw a Wobbly - “Get Visibly Annoyed” If someone gets extraordinarily angry over something, they might “throw a wobbly”. It is often used to describe extreme, albeit justified anger. It’s also used to indicate that someone is being a bit ridiculous and having a tantrum. Example:
He really threw a wobbly when the referee made the third unfair call of the game.
5. Taking The Piss - “Teasing” (NSFW!) This is to joke and tease, a bit mercilessly at someone’s expense. You’ll hear this fairly widely used, especially in casual situations. It’s used a bit more often among pub crowds and younger people where humor often includes teasing and well-placed insults. An example of this would be:
They teased Jeff brutally all night. He was really a good sport about them taking the piss out of him that way.
6. Rubbish - “Nonsense” This one should be pretty easy to figure out. It’s a dismissive word used paint an argument or other notion as being completely worthless. It’s used pretty commonly and isn’t really favored by one particular gender or social group. Here’s an example:
He claimed he was late because of the train, but I know that’s complete rubbish.
A stronger British slang word (NSFW!) that can be used in place of rubbish is “bollocks”, literally meaning “testicles”. 7. Posh - “Luxurious” If you remember The Spice Girls, you know that Victoria Beckham was Posh Spice. She got the nickname because she was the stylish one with the lavish lifestyle. That’s what “posh” means. It means luxurious and reflective of an upper-crust lifestyle. For example:
Her penthouse was so posh that the toilet seat was encrusted in rubies.
8. Our [Jack/Jill] This one isn’t quite as widespread, but you might hear it. This depends on the location you’re in as well as the crowd you’re with. “Our [name]” is an expression of pride in the accomplishment of someone a group of people know in common. It could be a young person who’s gone on to do well in business, a younger nephew or niece, even a little brother. Here’s an example:
Did you hear about our Stephen? He’s working as a surgeon now!
9. Muck - “Dirt” “Muck” is another one that should be easy to figure out. It refers to mud, sludge, slush, or other disgusting waste matter. It’s very widely used. Example:
Wear your boots. The streets are full of muck after the storms.
10. Knackered - “Tired” If you are extremely tired, your new British friends will tell you that you look absolutely “knackered”.
  1. Mate - “Friend”
This means pal or friend. It’s almost always used among men and boys. For example:
  • Hey everyone! Meet my best mate, Nigel.’
  • That sounds great! I’ll talk to you later, mate!
“Mate” is usually a friendly, casual phrase that you will hear nearly everywhere. Although if you hear someone saying it in an annoyed tone you may be in trouble! 12. Gander - “Look” To “have a gander” is to “take a look”. For example:
Have a gander at that printer and see if you can tell why it smells like burning rubber.
13. Trainers - “Running Shoes” “Trainers” are athletic shoes. In the US, they’re often referred to as sneakers or tennis shoes. 14. Lost The Plot - “Gone insane” When someone has “lost the plot”, they have lost all ability to cope reasonably with the situation. Example:
After being delayed for six hours, then finding out that the airline lost her luggage, Gwen really lost the plot.
15. Grockel - “Clueless tourist” If you’re visiting Britain, hopefully, nobody refers to you as a “grockel”. It’s an insulting term used for annoying or clueless tourists. 16. Fortnight - “Two weeks” If you hear someone say that they’ll be back in a “fortnight”, that means they plan to return in two weeks. 17. Gobsmacked - “Awestruck” “Gobsmacked” means awed or surprised, almost always in a good way. For example:
She saw that her best friend had showed up to surprise her for her birthday and was completely gobsmacked.
18. Cock Up - “Disaster” (NSFW!) If something has been badly done, or someone has made a real disaster of things, that’s a “cock up”. For example:
I can’t believe how badly he cocked up this engine. He should have called a mechanic in the first place.
19. Chuffed - “Proud” Somebody who is feeling “chuffed” has a sense of pride over something they have accomplished. For example:
I’ve lost three pounds by going to the gym, and I must say I’m well chuffed.
20. Bob’s Your Uncle This is another common term that is used to indicate that doing something is quite easy. For example:
Mix together flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. Throw it in the oven for 45 minutes. Bob’s your uncle! You’ve got a cake!
21. Brass Monkeys - “Freezing Cold” (NSFW!) The origins of this are slightly obscene. It comes from the phrase “It’s colder than a brass monkey’s balls out there!” Now, that’s been shortened to “brass monkeys”. For example:
You need to bring extra blankets. It’s brass monkeys in the downstairs bedroom at night.
22. Bloody - “Damned” (NSFW!) “Bloody” is another word that is mildly obscene in that it’s considered to be a bit of a swear. It’s synonymous with damn or other similar words. It’s often used to express anger or frustration. For example:
If this bloody traffic jam doesn’t clear up, I’m going to be late for work again!
23. Dodgy - “Unreliable” If somebody or something is “dodgy”, they cannot be trusted or relied upon. For example:
  • Don’t trust that dodgy mechanic down the street to fix your car!
  • I wouldn’t use that old lawnmower. It’s really dodgy.
24. Proper - “Authentic” “Proper” is most often used to describe something that is correct and authentic. If you’re going out drinking, someone may suggest going out to find a “proper” curry. 25. Nick - “Steal” The term “nick” is used to mean stealing or shoplifting. For example:
I was so broke that I was tempted to nick a couple of beers to quench my thirst.
It’s also used to refer to getting arrested. As in:
The cops nicked two guys for that bank robbery last week.
British Slang: Over to You I hope you’ve enjoyed this article about British slang! What British slang terms do you like? Let me know in the comments. Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. She is practicing regularly while reviewing new translation services at Pick Writers and constantly contributing to other educational platforms.

The post 25 Typical British Slang Words that Every English Learner Should Know appeared first on Fluent in 3 months - Language Hacking and Travel Tips.

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“Polyglots aren’t born with a special language learning gene that makes them more adept to learning languages. They just work hard and their passion keeps them going.” - Michele, The Intrepid Guide.
It was a pleasure to interview Michele of The Intrepid Guide for our new Add1 Insights series. Michele is an Australian language and travel blogger and behind The Intrepid Guide, where she shares her passion for languages and travel. She writes detailed destination guides, and encourages travellers to learn languages, to give them a richer experience and better interactions with the locals. I should also mention her vivid Instagram photos -- take a look, they’ll make you want to hop on a plane and see the world! [caption id="attachment_25798" width="684"] Northern Lights in Norway[/caption] Add1 Insights: Learn a New Language in 90 Days In Add1 Insights we interview polyglots, language teachers, language learners and even folks from outside the field of language learning. We’re getting straight to the point, asking for their top tips on language acquisition, steadfast motivation, and rapid learning. We want to give you the inside scoop on what it takes to learn a new language, fast (in as little as 90 days). We’ve actually seen hundreds of people learn a new language to conversational level in just 90 days. You can do it too by putting what you learn from Add1 Insights into practice. And if you need extra support, then join us in Add1 -- where you’ll make lots of new friends who share your goal of learning a new language fast (plus you’ll have a 15 minute conversation in your new language after 90 days -- we guarantee it). Read on to learn some of Michele’s language learning hacks. And get to know some fun facts about this innovative travel blogger at the same time. What Are the Top Three Activities You Would Advise to Have a 15 Minute Conversation in a New Language After 90 Days??
  • Start with learning your biography. The most important and reusable vocabulary you will learn is all about you. Everytime you meet someone new, what do you do? You introduce yourself, you talk about your job, where you’re from and why you’re learning the language. Focus on learning this and you’ll be able to comfortably hold your first 15 minute conversation.
  • Expose yourself to the language every day and use study materials that discuss topics you’re interested in. That way you’ll pick up vocabulary that will be useful to you. For example, if you love reading books, pick up a book you already know well and read it in your target language. If you enjoy cooking, trying listening to podcasts or watching YouTube videos in your target language.
  • Attend a language class. This is a great way to stay on track with your language goals as it keeps you accountable. It also has a wonderful social aspect where you’ll meet similar minded people. Language classes are great because you’ll practice your reading, writing, listening and speaking.
What Are Your Top Three Favorite Places for Studying a New Language?
  • I love starting off my day with a cheeky study session on the train as I commute to work. I’ll either read over my language class notes, do a couple of lessons on Mondly or Duolingo or listen to music in my target language. This helps me feel productive even before I arrive at work and sets the right tone for the rest of the day.
  • I’m a huge fan of study holidays. I spent three weeks in Italy attending language classes in the morning. Then had the rest of the day to explore the city and putting into practice what I was learning. I found this to be such a great way to focus on the language and mix in travel at the same time. I plan on doing the same thing with Norwegian later this year.
  • I’m a grammar girl through and through. I enjoy learning grammar because it helps me to feel more confident with the language. Before going to bed, I like to read a couple of pages from my grammar book. I usually quickly revise a previous known rule then look over new grammar points. I find this is a nice conclusion to the end of my day.
[caption id="attachment_25799" width="683"] Glacier Point, Yosemite, USA][/caption] What Are Your Top Three Favorite Study Tools When You First Start Learning a Language?
  • To learn the backbone and structure of the language, you’ll find my head buried in grammar books. To some people, grammar can be boring, but I love it. The trick is to find grammar books that aren’t too wordy. Have clear examples. And aren’t entirely written in your target language (at least in the beginning). Otherwise you’ll find yourself translating the explanations. This defeats the purposes and will slow you down.
  • I swear by language classes. I love the accountability they provide by having a set time each week. Plus the social aspect is great for meeting new people and making friends.
  • To help attune my ear to the rhythm and sounds of the language, I like listening to music in the target language. I use Spotify to help me find music in the music genres I enjoy then create a playlist. When I find a new song that I like, I usually set myself a challenge of translating it so I can learn it and sing along.
What Are Your Top Three Favorite Memories of a Language Win?
  • I remember my first conversation with a stranger after I moved to Italy. My Italian was still lower-intermediate. Yet I had a very promising and interesting conversation with my taxi driver. He had a thick Roman accent and ate his words, yet I could understand him. I asked him what his favourite view of Rome was and he gave me his top two. This conversation was a win for two reasons. I could confidently hold a conversation. AND I learned something new about my new home.
  • One summer I was in Palermo, Italy celebrating a girlfriend’s birthday with four other girlfriends. One night we went to dinner at a popular restaurant frequented only by locals. It’s fair to say we stuck out like a sore thumb. After about 10 minutes at our table, a middle-aged lady from a neighbouring table who was with her family enquired where we were from. Her eyes lit up when we replied in Italian. After no more than five minutes of chatting, Maria invited us around to her house the next day for coffee and cake! She gave us her number, address, and time. It was all set. I’d never in my life received such an invitation. And it was all thanks to being able to speak Italian that we were able to meet such wonderful people.
  • I remember the look on my Italian friends face when I first used the expression “andare a ruba” (sell like hot cakes). She was surprised and proud of me for using this idiom correctly and without hesitation. I enjoy moments like this as it gives me a boost of confidence and encouragement to keep improving.
[caption id="attachment_25800" width="1024"] Roman Forum, Rome, Italy[/caption] What Are Your Top Three Reasons to Learn a Language Before a Trip?
  • By speaking the local language, you can often get much better interactions with locals. They will appreciate your effort to learn their language. This can lead to receiving better service, local tips, or even invitations like the one I had in Sicily. You don’t have to be fluent or spend a lot of time with the language. Knowing a few choice phrases can go a long way. So be sure to practice your “Buongiornos”, “Guten Tags”, and “Ohayou Gozaimasus ” before your trip.
  • A side effect of language learning is becoming more culturally aware. When we are culturally aware we are more conscious of what is considered inappropriate or offensive to others. This helps us develop a deeper understanding of our own and other people’s cultures. It fosters interest in how cultures both connect and differ all while broadening the mind and increasing tolerance.
  • You’ll have better and more memorable travels. Travelling isn’t just about going to a foreign land. Taking selfies in front of a few monuments. Eating your body-weight in food and then going home. It’s about experiencing the culture and the people who live it and language helps you to do that. All those micro interactions - from buying train tickets to asking strangers for directions - will be all the more enjoyable and easy.
What Are Your Top Three Favourite Activities to Do in One of Your Target Languages?
  • When I’m not in the mood to read a book, I enjoy watching movies in the target language with the subtitles on. I jot down any words that appear often. I know these are common words or important in the context of understanding the story-line.
    • Listening to music and translating the lyrics of my favourite songs is another fun way for me to learn and interact with the language.
    • I love dining in restaurants with that specialise in the cuisine of the country I’m learning the language of. There is an almost a 100% guarantee that the staff speak my target language and this gives me a chance to put my language skills into practice.
[caption id="attachment_25801" width="1024"] Pyramids of Giza, Egypt[/caption] What Are the Top Three Roadblocks You See Learners Face?
  • Getting started is probably the hardest part. There are so many ways to learn a language that there is a sense of overwhelm. And there is also a lack of confidence that you CAN actually learn a foreign language.
  • Boredom and losing interest.
  • Hitting a plateau.
What Are Your Top Three Keys for Dealing with Those Roadblocks?
  • Many people put off learning a language for many unfounded reasons. Too old. Too busy. Because they ‘lack the language gene.’ Polyglots aren’t born with a special gene that makes them more adept to learning languages. They just work hard and their passion keeps them going. Read the biographies of other polyglots and language learners. You’ll see that many of them had terrible first encounters with languages. Yet they were still able to overcome them.
  • Boredom is a very common reason why language learners will often give up. Boredom is a sign that something’s wrong. If the content or resource bores you, you’re not on the right track. Remember, language learning should be (and is) fun and enjoyable. Branch out and look for different types of materials. Things that you know will hold your interest and cover topics that you’re interested in. For example, films, songs, books, podcasts, applications.
  • The key to avoiding hitting a plateau is to push past your comfort zone. Challenge yourself by learning new topics and vocabulary that you’re not familiar with. Talk about current affairs with your language partner or teacher. It's a great way to expose yourself to new vocabulary. Another great way to overcome the plateau is to remember how far you’ve come. Look back over your old language notes and writing and old recordings of you speaking. This will give you the well-needed boost that will help you keep going.
What Are Your Top Three Favorite Youtube Channels for Practicing a Language?
  • I’m currently learning Norwegian and Norwegian Teacher - Karin is one of my favourites. Her videos are short and get straight to the point. She also has does vlogs with subtitles which is great to hear the Norwegian spoken at length.
  • As a huge fan of etymology, and the evolution of Nordic languages and the vikings, I watch Jackson Crawford’s channel. Dr. Jackson Crawford is an Old Norse specialist and his video are so informative.
He’s interesting to watch as most of the time he’s wearing a cowboy hat and films his videos out in the snow. It’s unlike anything else I’ve seen online.
  • Since moving to London, it’s important for me to keep up my Italian. To do that, I like watching Learn Italian with Lucrezia. If I feel a bit rusty on any grammar points, I’ll watch her tutorial videos, but usually, I watch her Italian vlogs.
Who Are Your Top Three Target Language Idols?
  • Richard Simcott is my hero. He’s a huge inspiration and super intelligent, and an all-round wonderful human being. I love this dedication to the Polyglot Community by creating such things as the Polyglot Conference.
  • Luca Lampariello was the first polyglot I came across. I came across his Youtube channel when I was living in Italy and working on improving my Italian. I love his easy-to-watch and informative videos. He provides so much value and is able to simplify and explain complex concepts and methods really well.
  • Benny Lewis is another language idol. Thanks to his playful nature, he’s great at taking the stress out of language learning. He reminds you that it’s ok to make mistakes and that you don’t need to know it all before you engage in a meaningful conversation. This is so important to remember. He’s not afraid of embarrassing himself in another language, and I love that. It gives me the courage to do the same.
[caption id="attachment_25802" width="1024"] View from Fjellheisen in Tromso, Norway[/caption] If You Were Going to Try the Add1, What Are the Top Three Languages You Might Attempt to Learn?
  • Norwegian - I’m currently obsessed with all things Norwegian and its beautiful melodic language. I’ve travelled to different parts of Norway and each time I go back I love it even more. I want to know more about the people and their culture. The best way for me to do that is to interact with them, in their language.
  • French - I studied French intensively for a year. But when my favourite French teachers all left, I didn’t like the replacements. That ruined my experience and progression with the language. I’d love to go back and pick it up again as it’s such a beautiful language. Discovering its many similarities with English is always a pleasant surprise which makes it even more enjoyable to learn.
  • Afrikaans - My partner is Afrikaans. I’d love to be able to speak to him in his mother tongue and with his friends when we all go out. The one struggle I’ve had is finding engaging study material to keep me interested.
What about You? Which of Michele’s tips will you incorporate into your language routine? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section. And to our Add1 participants, best of luck on your language adventure! Want to learn a new language in 90 days? Come join us in Add1. A big thank you for Michele for sharing her thoughts and winning strategies with us. To learn more about Michele, you can visit her Instagram account or her website.

The post Add1 Insights #2: Michele Frolla from The Intrepid Guide appeared first on Fluent in 3 months - Language Hacking and Travel Tips.

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Can’t stop binge-watching your favorite TV shows? Turn your TV addiction into Korean language practice! Korean TV shows are a great way to learn the Korean language… plus they’re really hot right now! Can you really learn by watching Korean TV serials, shows, and dramas? Yes, with the right approach. It’s not just about passive watching, though. You need to actively engage with what you’re watching. Here’s my three-step method: Step 1: Watch a short scene without subtitles to pick out what you can. Step 2: Watch it again with subtitles to see how much you understood and piece together what you didn’t. Step 3: Take notes of things you heard to later look up and practice them with your language exchange partner. (You can find a more detailed three-step process here). In time, you’ll start to understand more and more of the show as you watch. Watching TV is a nice break from traditional studies. Think about it: you don’t sit around only absorbing info in your native language. You enjoy the language through music, books, and TV. You should do the same in your target language! Finding native resources you enjoy in Korean will help you stick with it longer and grow to love and understand the language. Now it’s time to pick your Korean TV shows to watch! I recommend watching one Korean show from each of the three categories below. They’ll offer different styles of both language and real-life situations. Some of these you can find on Netflix, otherwise, check out Viki. 5 Korean TV Drama Shows to Fall in Love With Boys Over Flowers An international hit, Boys Over Flowers is based on the Japanese manga Hana Yori Dango. The show follows Geum Jan-di, a poor but sassy student on scholarship at a prestigious high school. The school is dominated by the F4 - rich heirs to South Korea’s largest conglomerates. They’re bullies, but everyone is obsessed with them… except for Geum Jan-di. She butts heads with the leader of the F4, Gu Jun-pyo, who bullies her relentlessly. Over time, love triangles form and there are tons of mishaps. The show focuses on social status, romance, and high school conversations. Plus, there’s a lot of discussion about feelings in simple language, so you’ll learn how to express your feelings with those you care about. My Love From the Stars This award-winning drama is about Do Min-joon, an alien who came to Earth during the Joseon Dynasty in 1609. Stranded here for centuries, he’s almost like a vampire from Twilight - he has crazy special abilities, never ages, and has to move and change his identity so no one knows the truth. Fast forward to the present day. When he’s almost able to go home, he meets Cheon Song-yi. She’s a famous actress who moves in next door. Do Min-joon falls in love. He constantly becomes entangled in both her life and weird circumstances around her career. Do Min-joon is a great example of going from formal to casual speech as you get to know someone. You’ll also pick up a lot of helpful vocab that’s consistently repeated throughout the series. The Heirs The show’s full title is “Heirs: He Who Wears the Crown Must Bear Its Weight.” It’s about a group of rich high school students (a popular K-Drama troupe, if you can’t tell) who are heirs to huge family businesses. The series centers around forbidden love, family duty, and finding one’s own identity. Like Boys Over Flowers, you’ll see how language is affected by social classes. And the variety of characters will also expose you to different expressions, idioms, and phrases. What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim Based on the novel by Jung Kyung Yoon, the show is about company vice president Lee Young-joon and his secretary, Kim Mi-so. Lee Young-Joon is an extreme narcissist and doesn’t treat his loyal secretary Kim Mi-so very well. After nine long years of feeding his ego, she decides to quit. Of course, misunderstandings and a love triangle pop up as a result. You’ll hear a lot of different speech patterns, boss-to-subordinate language, and vise-versa. And you’ll pick up different business titles and vocab, which you’ll need to know if you want to work in a Korean company. Besides, they will appear in almost every show you watch. Descendants of the Sun In this action, war, and romance drama, Yoo Si-jin is a captain of a special forces unit who falls in love with Dr. Kang Mo-yeon. They begin to date, but eventually realize their life goals don’t align. Their relationship has many ups and downs through the nature of their jobs and being stationed in different locations overseas. The show is incredibly popular and has more action than a lot of K-Dramas. Because it’s set during war times, you’ll hear army lingo and helpful medical terms. 5 Addicting Korean Reality TV Shows I Can See Your Voice This reality game show is the opposite of “The Voice” in America. On “The Voice,” the judges can’t see the singers during the blind auditions and judge only their voice - not their looks. On “I Can See Your Voice,” the judges try to guess which contestants are skilled and which are tone-deaf by their appearance only. The judges are guest artists, and they have a panel to offer advice and help them decide. After the judges decide to eliminate a contestant as a “tone-deaf singer,” the contestant returns to the stage to sing and reveal the truth. If the contestant is the last one standing, they either get to record a single with the guest artist or earn prize money (depending on if they can really sing). You’ll learn a lot of music-related vocab with this show. I Live Alone (Home Alone) A mix of reality and variety show, “I Live Alone” follows celebrities around in their everyday life, both at home and out and about. The celebrity of the week shows the viewers their home and their routines and a panel of hosts comment on it. There’s a wide variety of celebrities on the show: models, singers, actors, athletes, comedians, and more. But everyone is single and lives alone. This is a great show to learn vocabulary relating to many different occupations, as well as phrases and words used throughout everyday routines. We Got Married “We Got Married” pairs up celebrities for fake marriages. The show follows them through their adventure to complete assigned tasks and make their fake marriages work. The show is insanely popular, boosting the popularity of participating celebrities as a result. You’ll learn a lot about relationships in South Korea, celebrities, and pop culture. Plus, you’ll pick up vocabulary and phrases for talking about marriage, relationships, and every day “married” life. Hyori’s Bed & Breakfast (Hyori’s Homestay) Hugely successful on Netflix, “Hyori’s Bed & Breakfast” (also called “Hyori’s Homestay”) features K-Pop icon Lee Hyori and her rockstar husband Sang-soon. They opened up their home as a B&B for travelers on the Jeju Islands. The show is simple and pleasant to watch as travelers come to stay, chat, and share meals together. The show is both calming and great for picking up many different styles of speech, slang, idioms, and casual phrases. If you like the chill vibe of Netflix’s Japanese sensation “Terrace House,” you’ll love this show featuring South Korea’s sweetheart. Chef and My Fridge Also called “Please Take Care of My Refrigerator,” in each episode the best chefs in Korea compete to create fantastic dishes on the spot from ingredients inside the guest star’s own fridge. The chefs have only 15 minutes to complete the task. The guest star chooses who is the winner with the most delicious impromptu dish. If you like cooking shows in your native language, you’ll love this one. And you’ll get a solid grasp on the vocab for food, how to talk about cooking, and describing taste. 5 Variety Korean TV Shows Running Man This is the epitome of a kooky variety show! In every episode, the show’s stars must compete with each other to win a race or games. The missions are often outrageous and create silly antics among the contestants. It’s one of the longest-running variety shows in South Korea. This is a fun show to watch, and you’ll always learn something new since every show changes the missions. Weekly Idol Variety shows are all about having celebrities do a lot of random things, which makes them fantastic for learning Korean. This show has celebrity MCs who host guest celebrities on each episode and challenge them to perform silly segments. If you enjoy watching Jimmy Fallon play crazy games, lip sync, and dance with his guests on “The Tonight Show,” then you’ll like Weekly Idol. 2 Days & 1 Night If you want to get an idea of places to visit in South Korea, watch this show. “2 Days & 1 Night”’s slogan is “real wild road variety show,” and it sends the cast members all over the country to new destinations. They have to complete missions and games to earn rewards while traveling. If they fail, they’re punished. This is a great show to gain knowledge, vocab, and phrases of locations and travel in South Korea! Knowing Bros Also called “Men on a Mission” or “Ask Us Anything,” cast members and guest celebrities act in segments as high school classmates. Most of the show has the cast playing games or performing impromptu scripts. This show is fantastic for learning casual, informal speech. Unlike other variety shows where there’s still a strict rule of formal/informal language based on social hierarchy and seniority, “Knowing Bros” encourages all the guests to speak easily with each other. Besides that, all the skits take place in a classroom setting, so you’ll learn a lot of idioms, phrases, slang, and vocab related to school and high-school-age lingo. Infinite Challenge “Infinite Challenge” is an unscripted, challenge-based variety show, and considered the first of its kind. The challenges are often extreme, ridiculous, and comical. Unlike many other variety shows, it focuses on satire for comedy. There’s so much to pick up in each episode, with phrases and words repeated often throughout each episode as a challenge’s focus. Binge-Watch and Learn! Watching good Korean dramas, variety shows, and reality shows can actually expose you to a wide range of the culture and language. If you dabble in a bit of it all, you’ll start to develop a well-rounded base for your language and understanding. After all, pop culture and TV shows heavily influence language and what’s being discussed on a day-to-day basis. Korean is easier to learn than you think, and this is just one of the ways you can boost your language skills. If you want to see other resources and methods, check out our list of 35 of the greatest Korean online resources. What are your favorite Korean TV shows to watch? Did yours make the list here? Leave a comment and share your favorite shows for learning Korean!

The post 15 Totally Addicting Korean TV Shows to Boost Your Language Skills appeared first on Fluent in 3 months - Language Hacking and Travel Tips.

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Learning Russian is tough. You've got the Russian case system, weird verbs of motion. And don't get me started on Russian numerals... Luckily, not everything is difficult. There’s a lot that actually makes Russian easy to learn such as the absence of articles or the regularity of noun gender. And today, I want to share my 'super secret' method I've used to put in a ton of extra hours learning Russian with you. Can you already guess what it is? Okay, I admit it, I blew my secret in the title of this article. It is... … playing Russian video games. Exactly. I've been roaming apocalyptic lands, shooting mutants and even saving damsels in distress. All the while improving my Russian skills. I can talk for hours about why video games work so well for learning Russian (as long as you avoid Call of Duty on a Russian server), but I've got a feeling that you'd prefer to see which games are the best for learning Russian, right? But before that, here's the cliff notes on why gaming is such a great time investment:
  1. It makes learning Russian FUN
  2. You can easily spend hundreds of hours learning
  3. You need to understand the language, otherwise you can't finish your mission
  4. You absorb more knowledge because you're laser focused
  5. And if you're a beginner: Russian audio + English subtitles = a killer combo
Look, some very big organisations (CEFR), say that you need to put in approximately 1100 hours to become fluent in Russian (B2). If you're going to make such a commitment, you might as well make it fun. So, without further ado, here are my top five Russian video games/series: Note: there are many more games out there, but I've picked the ones that have Russian audio and are fun to play. I've tried playing some games with only Russian texts, but I couldn't get into as much as games with spoken Russian. If you just want to read, I suggest you start with Harry Potter as your first book. 5 Russian Video Games You Can Lose Yourself in for Hours These games all have a good story. I've noticed over the last few years (as I've gotten more mature/busier, maybe?) that my focus has shifted to story games instead of games where you need to level up your character to infinity. Level up games often don't have much dialogue, whereas story games do, making them ideal for language learning. Games with a good story are almost like watching a good movie. Only interactive. You can play for an hour a day (after work/school), and finish it in a couple of weeks - without losing your social life. 1. Metro 2033 (and its successor Last Light) httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc2hhef-Nzo This is the absolute king when it comes to Russian video games. You play Artyom in an apocalyptic Moscow. An atomic war has killed all human life on earth, except for 40,000 people who managed to hide from the nuclear missiles in the deep underground Moscow metro. The game follows a linear plot in which you travel between the metro stations (each of which has its own culture and alliances), shoot mutants, and even go above the ground to enjoy breathtaking views of a ruined Moscow. This game is especially awesome if you've been to Moscow before and have traveled by metro. You'll see familiar places - only in a completely different light. Most people will spend around 10 to 20 hours on this game, which makes it a perfect game for those who like to play videogames for a good story, but don't want to spend too much time leveling up their character or running around doing side missions. 2. The Witcher Series httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ndIeNusRLI Metro is great for people who want a bite-sized story. But if you want an open world to explore where you can spend hundreds of hours, then the Witcher series is for you. The games are about Geralt, a Witcher (mutant), who gets paid to do dirty jobs and kill monsters. The world takes place in a medieval setting with monsters and other magical things. I have only played the second game, but friends say that the third installment is absolutely worth playing. So if you're into magical role-playing games, then Witcher is for you. Note: there are three games, but you don't necessarily need to play them in order from one to three. They can each be played on their own. Although the first one is really starting to show its age. Since the Witcher was based on Slavic (Polish) mythology, the game comes to life with Russian audio. So I highly recommend you turn on the Russian. Another great thing about the Witcher series is that the games are already popular. So chances are that you've played them before. This might seem like a bad thing, but it's actually a good thing. The games have a high replay value, and the fact that you already know the plot more or less makes it a LOT easier to understand it when it's only Russian. If you've already played it, I challenge you to play with both Russian audio and text! 3. Stalker httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNqMgOws3-0 One of the highest rated Russian science fiction books from the Soviet Union is Roadside Picnic. After an event called the "Visitation", six places on earth are changed into supernatural places. These zones exhibit strange phenomena, that are not understood by scientists. They bring new dangers to those that enter them. Also, there are weird, but valuable, artifacts to be found. The Stalker games are based on Roadside Picnic. And in the games, you play a Stalker (that's what they call the guys who go into the restricted zones and try to loot valuables). In the games, you'll walk around the zones, fight with mutants and other stalkers. The games are a bit older, but can be a lot of fun. Another good thing is that there are many side missions, so you can make the game as long as you'd like. 4. Pathologic httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lCYVCl3b8o This is by far the WEIRDEST game in this list. The game is situated in a little town where people get sick with the "sand plague". You have to discover what is going on and how to stop it. You can play as one of three characters, the Bachelor, Haruspex or Devotress. The storyline is the same for each, but from a different perspective. The game can be quite scary, and your only goal is to survive 12 days in the town. I won't spoil anything of the great plot, but if you're in for a game that is completely different from many others and doesn't hold your hand all the way through, try Pathologic. 5. Bioshock Infinite httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBnMxXXfF88 If you've played video games before, chances are high you've played at least one of the Bioshock games. For those who don't know Bioshock Infinite, it takes place in a flying city called Columbia. It was built in the previous century as a Utopia for its citizens, but things went wrong and now you've got to save the town. Or destroy it? What not a lot of people know is that the game is available with Russian audio as well. Although it might be tough to buy it if you're not in Russia (or any Russia speaking country). I recommend you Google around and see if you can find it somewhere. And if you already own the game, try switching the languages according to the gamemaker. The game can be compared to Metro as far as it's a shooter with a great storyline that can be played in around 10 to 20 hours. Which Russian Video Game Will You Try? Alright, there are the games. Five Russian video games that are great to play if you're learning Russian. Watch the trailers for more information and here's a quick recap about each game:
  1. Metro 2033 - post-apocalyptic shooter that takes place in the Moscow metro
  2. Witcher series - an open world role-playing game in a magical medieval world
  3. Stalker - post-apocalyptic shooter
  4. Pathologic - horror game in a creepy town where you have to survive 12 days
  5. Bioshock Infinite - shooter located in a flying utopian city
Now you might be wondering… Isn't Gaming a Waste of Time? Even though gaming is becoming more popular, many people still see gaming as a time waster. And it's true up to a certain point. If it's the only thing you're doing, then it's a good idea to reevaluate. But if you're doing well in your day job or school, then playing a bit after work or on the weekends is perfectly fine. Still, if you're anything like me, you (sometimes) experience some guilt when you play video games. After all, there are so many other activities you can do and other ways to learn. If you do enjoy playing games, but can't get into it as much as you did before, I highly recommend you try playing one of the above games in Russian. It helped me a lot to 'persuade' myself that I was spending time with purpose, while actually was doing something fun and useful. Turning the language to Russian has allowed me to switch my mindset from: Playing video games is a waste of my time → Playing video games allows me to practice my Russian listening & reading skills, learn new vocabulary and relax at the same time. And let's face it, what's more fun? Going through your dusty grammar book for hours at a time… or losing yourself trying to save the world?

The post Tired of Boring Lessons? Learn Russian with These 5 Amazing Russian Video Games appeared first on Fluent in 3 months - Language Hacking and Travel Tips.

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Learning Russian is tough. You've got the Russian case system, weird verbs of motion. And don't get me started on Russian numerals... Luckily, not everything is difficult. There’s a lot that actually makes Russian easy to learn such as the absence of articles or the regularity of noun gender. And today, I want to share my 'super secret' method I've used to put in a ton of extra hours learning Russian with you. Can you already guess what it is? Okay, I admit it, I blew my secret in the title of this article. It is... … playing Russian video games. Exactly. I've been roaming apocalyptic lands, shooting mutants and even saving damsels in distress. All the while improving my Russian skills. I can talk for hours about why video games work so well for learning Russian (as long as you avoid Call of Duty on a Russian server), but I've got a feeling that you'd prefer to see which games are the best for learning Russian, right? But before that, here's the cliff notes on why gaming is such a great time investment:
  1. It makes learning Russian FUN
  2. You can easily spend hundreds of hours learning
  3. You need to understand the language, otherwise you can't finish your mission
  4. You absorb more knowledge because you're laser focused
  5. And if you're a beginner: Russian audio + English subtitles = a killer combo
Look, some very big organisations (CEFR), say that you need to put in approximately 1100 hours to become fluent in Russian (B2). If you're going to make such a commitment, you might as well make it fun. So, without further ado, here are my top five Russian video games/series: Note: there are many more games out there, but I've picked the ones that have Russian audio and are fun to play. I've tried playing some games with only Russian texts, but I couldn't get into as much as games with spoken Russian. If you just want to read, I suggest you start with Harry Potter as your first book. 5 Russian Video Games You Can Lose Yourself in for Hours These games all have a good story. I've noticed over the last few years (as I've gotten more mature/busier, maybe?) that my focus has shifted to story games instead of games where you need to level up your character to infinity. Level up games often don't have much dialogue, whereas story games do, making them ideal for language learning. Games with a good story are almost like watching a good movie. Only interactive. You can play for an hour a day (after work/school), and finish it in a couple of weeks - without losing your social life. 1. Metro 2033 (and its successor Last Light) httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc2hhef-Nzo This is the absolute king when it comes to Russian video games. You play Artyom in an apocalyptic Moscow. An atomic war has killed all human life on earth, except for 40,000 people who managed to hide from the nuclear missiles in the deep underground Moscow metro. The game follows a linear plot in which you travel between the metro stations (each of which has its own culture and alliances), shoot mutants, and even go above the ground to enjoy breathtaking views of a ruined Moscow. This game is especially awesome if you've been to Moscow before and have traveled by metro. You'll see familiar places - only in a completely different light. Most people will spend around 10 to 20 hours on this game, which makes it a perfect game for those who like to play videogames for a good story, but don't want to spend too much time leveling up their character or running around doing side missions. 2. The Witcher Series httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ndIeNusRLI Metro is great for people who want a bite-sized story. But if you want an open world to explore where you can spend hundreds of hours, then the Witcher series is for you. The games are about Geralt, a Witcher (mutant), who gets paid to do dirty jobs and kill monsters. The world takes place in a medieval setting with monsters and other magical things. I have only played the second game, but friends say that the third installment is absolutely worth playing. So if you're into magical role-playing games, then Witcher is for you. Note: there are three games, but you don't necessarily need to play them in order from one to three. They can each be played on their own. Although the first one is really starting to show its age. Since the Witcher was based on Slavic (Polish) mythology, the game comes to life with Russian audio. So I highly recommend you turn on the Russian. Another great thing about the Witcher series is that the games are already popular. So chances are that you've played them before. This might seem like a bad thing, but it's actually a good thing. The games have a high replay value, and the fact that you already know the plot more or less makes it a LOT easier to understand it when it's only Russian. If you've already played it, I challenge you to play with both Russian audio and text! 3. Stalker httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNqMgOws3-0 One of the highest rated Russian science fiction books from the Soviet Union is Roadside Picnic. After an event called the "Visitation", six places on earth are changed into supernatural places. These zones exhibit strange phenomena, that are not understood by scientists. They bring new dangers to those that enter them. Also, there are weird, but valuable, artifacts to be found. The Stalker games are based on Roadside Picnic. And in the games, you play a Stalker (that's what they call the guys who go into the restricted zones and try to loot valuables). In the games, you'll walk around the zones, fight with mutants and other stalkers. The games are a bit older, but can be a lot of fun. Another good thing is that there are many side missions, so you can make the game as long as you'd like. 4. Pathologic httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lCYVCl3b8o This is by far the WEIRDEST game in this list. The game is situated in a little town where people get sick with the "sand plague". You have to discover what is going on and how to stop it. You can play as one of three characters, the Bachelor, Haruspex or Devotress. The storyline is the same for each, but from a different perspective. The game can be quite scary, and your only goal is to survive 12 days in the town. I won't spoil anything of the great plot, but if you're in for a game that is completely different from many others and doesn't hold your hand all the way through, try Pathologic. 5. Bioshock Infinite httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBnMxXXfF88 If you've played video games before, chances are high you've played at least one of the Bioshock games. For those who don't know Bioshock Infinite, it takes place in a flying city called Columbia. It was built in the previous century as a Utopia for its citizens, but things went wrong and now you've got to save the town. Or destroy it? What not a lot of people know is that the game is available with Russian audio as well. Although it might be tough to buy it if you're not in Russia (or any Russia speaking country). I recommend you Google around and see if you can find it somewhere. And if you already own the game, try switching the languages according to the gamemaker. The game can be compared to Metro as far as it's a shooter with a great storyline that can be played in around 10 to 20 hours. Which Russian Video Game Will You Try? Alright, there are the games. Five Russian video games that are great to play if you're learning Russian. Watch the trailers for more information and here's a quick recap about each game:
  1. Metro 2033 - post-apocalyptic shooter that takes place in the Moscow metro
  2. Witcher series - an open world role-playing game in a magical medieval world
  3. Stalker - post-apocalyptic shooter
  4. Pathologic - horror game in a creepy town where you have to survive 12 days
  5. Bioshock Infinite - shooter located in a flying utopian city
Now you might be wondering… Isn't Gaming a Waste of Time? Even though gaming is becoming more popular, many people still see gaming as a time waster. And it's true up to a certain point. If it's the only thing you're doing, then it's a good idea to reevaluate. But if you're doing well in your day job or school, then playing a bit after work or on the weekends is perfectly fine. Still, if you're anything like me, you (sometimes) experience some guilt when you play video games. After all, there are so many other activities you can do and other ways to learn. If you do enjoy playing games, but can't get into it as much as you did before, I highly recommend you try playing one of the above games in Russian. It helped me a lot to 'persuade' myself that I was spending time with purpose, while actually was doing something fun and useful. Turning the language to Russian has allowed me to switch my mindset from: Playing video games is a waste of my time → Playing video games allows me to practice my Russian listening & reading skills, learn new vocabulary and relax at the same time. And let's face it, what's more fun? Going through your dusty grammar book for hours at a time… or losing yourself trying to save the world?

The post Tired of Boring Lessons? Learn Russian with These 5 Amazing Russian Video Games appeared first on Fluent in 3 months - Language Hacking and Travel Tips.

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“The point of learning a language is communication. You’ll most likely be understood even if you have bad grammar.” - Lindie Botes
I’m honored to have interviewed Lindie Botes for our new Add1 Insights series. Born in South Africa, Lindie has lived in France, Pakistan, the UAE and Japan. She speaks 10 languages (to varying levels), including Afrikaans, English, French, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Vietnamese, Malay, Arabic and Hungarian. You can find her on YouTube, where she shares language learning tips with her 100,000+ subscribers. Add1 Insights: Learn a New Language in 90 Days Add1 Insights is our new feature where we interview polyglots, language teachers, language learners and even folks from outside the field of language learning. We’re getting straight to the point, asking for their top tips on language acquisition, steadfast motivation, and rapid learning. We want to give you the inside scoop on what it takes to learn a new language, fast (in as little as 90 days). We’ve actually seen hundreds of people learn a new language to conversational level in just 90 days. You can do it too by putting what you learn from Add1 Insights into practice. And if you need extra support, then join us in Add1 -- where you’ll make lots of new friends who share your goal of learning a new language fast (plus you’ll have a 15 minute conversation in your new language after 90 days -- we guarantee it). Read on to learn some of Lindie’s language learning hacks. And get to know some fun facts about a creative polyglot at the same time. What Are the Top Three Activities You Would Advise to Have a 15 Minute Conversation in a New Language After 90 Days??
  • Make sure you have a natural pronunciation down. I do this by listening to a language a lot before I dive into studying it full-on. The more natural I sound, the easier it is to feel confident and be understood.
  • Learn the most used vocabulary in context, and focus on vocabulary you are interested in and would want to have a conversation about
  • Make your own sentences using new vocab learnt and get them checked by native speakers
[caption id="attachment_25741" width="701"] Lindie with a tiny Mt Fuji in the background[/caption] What Are Your Top Three Pearls of Wisdom for Language Learners?
  • Don’t focus too much on accurate grammar in the beginning. The point of learning a language is communication. You’ll most likely be understood even if you have bad grammar.
  • Don’t underestimate how important correct pronunciation is. Sounding natural makes you come across as more fluent than you may be.
  • To reward yourself and stay motivated, keep track of your progress. This will help you when you feel like you are not getting anywhere.
What Are Your Top Three Favorite Cities?
  • Tokyo, Japan: I used to call this city home for a while and love that there’s always something new to do and see.
  • Taichung, Taiwan: for the beautiful nature and cute cafes.
  • Johannesburg, South Africa: because of how metropolitan, multilingual and international it is. Whilst still retaining unique South African flavour.
[caption id="attachment_25742" width="700"] Lindie giving a talk on language learning at the South African Department of International Relations and Co-operation[/caption] What Are the Top Three Ways You Keep Yourself Motivated During an Intensive Language Mission?
  • Remind myself why I’m doing it and focus on my goals
  • Remind myself that I’m not getting any younger and I might as well study now rather than later
  • Do something fun in the language like watch a movie or call a friend
If You Were Going to Try the Add1, What Are the Top Three Languages You Might Attempt to Learn?
  • Hokkien because of its prevalence in Singapore (Lindie lives in Singapore at the moment)
  • Malay for the same reason
  • Thai because I’ve always given up soon after starting
What Are Your Top Three Favorite Places to Practice Speaking a Target Language?
  • Phone calling apps where you can speak to someone without seeing their face
  • Social media set in my target language
  • Approaching unsuspecting strangers in public places once I get over my shyness
What Are Your Top Three Favorite Study Tools When You First Start Learning a Language?
  • Radio apps to hear the language as much as possible
  • Good old fashioned textbook to keep my studies on track
  • A trusty online dictionary, like Naver which I use for Korean and Chinese.
What Are Your Top Three Favorite Places for Studying a New Language?
  • My desk, with lots of stationery and notebooks
  • On the train, listening to podcasts
  • Chatting to friends in coffee shops
[caption id="attachment_25743" width="700"] Lindie's bullet journal Chinese notes.[/caption] What Are Your Top Three Favorite Memories of a Language Win?
  • Being able to intern at a Japanese company. I realized that although I’m not fluent, my Japanese is good enough to get by in an office
  • Acting as an impromptu translator between my Korean and Indian housemates in Singapore
  • Being on South African news and teaching the presenter how to say something in Japanese
Lindie’s Top Content for Language Learners Lindie’s videos are full of helpful, interesting content for langauge learners. She give practical tidbits on how to become a polyglot. This is her video which answers the age-old question, “How long does it take to be fluent?” She also shares heartfelt videos about the trials and tribulations of language learning like this one. And she shows her audience how to plan for success. What about You? Which of Lindie’s tips resonate most with you? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section. And to our Add1 participants, best of luck on your language adventure! Want to learn a new language in 90 days? Come join us in Add1. A big thank you for Lindie for sharing her thoughts and winning strategies with us. To learn more about Lindie, you can visit her YouTube channel or her website.

The post Add1 Insights #1: Lindie Botes (Globetrotting YouTuber, Speaks 10 Languages) appeared first on Fluent in 3 months - Language Hacking and Travel Tips.

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Japanese honorifics can be something that takes a little while to get your head around when you’re learning the language. But they’re an essential part of Japanese, so you must learn them. Here’s why Japanese honorifics are important. If there’s one thing to know about Japanese culture and language, it’s that everything is extra polite. Watch any Japanese movie or show, and you’ll witness plenty of ways the Japanese show respect to one another. They bow, have set phrases to show appreciation, and add -さん (-san) to the end of names. If you look at the subtitles while watching a Japanese movie, you might have noticed that -san translates as “Mr.”, “Mrs.”, or “Ms.” This is a Japanese honorific and the most common one. But there are other Japanese name endings too? In fact, there are a lot of ways to show respect in Japanese with honorifics! Let’s take a look at some of them, and how you can start using them in everyday speech. How to Use Japanese Honorifics Japanese honorifics have two main forms: prefix honorifics and suffix honorifics. Most of what we’ll be including here are Japanese suffixes because there are so many more of them. Now, here are the four main things you should know when using honorifics:
  • Use honorifics for others, but never use them when talking about yourself or your family
  • When in doubt, use -san, or ask what the other person prefers
  • You can be more informal with your peers (classmates or coworkers of the same status and age), but you need to be more formal with those above you or older.
  • You will always add the honorific to someone’s last name unless they tell you otherwise or you have a close relationship with them.
The 4 Most Common Japanese Honorifics San in Japanese As I said earlier, -さん (-san) in Japanese means “Mr.”, “Mrs.”, or “Ms.” It’s gender neutral and is used regardless of marital status, which makes it easy! It’s the honorific most often used. You’ll use it for strangers, acquaintances, and coworkers. You’ll even say it in conjunction with job titles like お巡りさん (omawarisan, “police officer”) and 店員さん (tenninsan, “shop clerk”). You can’t go wrong using -さん. Sama in Japanese So what’s the -様 (-sama) Japanese meaning? There’s not a direct translation into English, but -sama adds a higher level of respect. It’s used for people of high ranks (like in a company), or customers. Yes, as a customer, the shop clerk will use your last name + -様 because customers in Japan are treated with the utmost respect. From time to time, you may also hear -殿 (-dono) in Japanese. Traditionally, -dono means something like “master” or “lord” and it's less respectful than -sama. Nowadays, you’ll hear it in old samurai movies or as a joke between friends or family. Chan in Japanese This one can be tricky, only because of the wrong impression in the West from anime. You’ll often hear “-chan is for girls, and -kun is for boys.” But that’s not quite right. In reality, -ちゃん (-chan) is for anything cute. That means you’ll usually attach -ちゃん to girls names, young boys, babies, and even sometimes pets! But that’s not all - you’ll hear it used with celebrity names, boyfriends, girlfriends, close friends, siblings, grandparents… You get the gist. Most often, you’ll hear it used with someone’s first name instead of their last, or with a shortened cute nickname. For instance, Usagi in Sailor Moon calls her boyfriend Mamoru “Mamo-chan,” a shortened form of his first name plus -chan. Japanese superstar Utada Hikaru is known as “Hikki,” but fans might call her “Hikki-chan.” And you might call your older sister “Nee-chan” instead of “Oneesan.” Kun in Japanese While -くん (-kun) is most often used for younger boys, it’s not exclusive. -Kun’s Japanese meaning expresses respect for someone of “lower” status than you or, most often, younger than you. That might mean they’ve worked at a company for less time than you have, they’re your junior in school, they’re a child, or a close friend. You can address a woman or girl by -kun, but it’s usually used by women to men. They might call their boyfriends or spouses -くん to show affection, like -ちゃん. Likewise, women often call children, especially boys, by -くん. Prefix Japanese Honorifics These are the Japanese honorifics that go at the start of a Japanese word. There are only two prefix honorifics: お- (o-) and ご- (go-). And there are only a handful of instances where they're added before names, like お母さん (Okaasan, “Mom”) and お父さん (Otousan, “Dad”). The “o” at the beginning is an honorific that shows politeness to your parents, but it’s not uncommon to hear “Kaasan” or “Tousan” like yelling “Ma!” or “Pa!” Besides familial names, the “o-” prefix can attach to royalty, martial arts teachers, or the head of state. O- and go- prefixes are normally used for nouns that are significant in Japanese culture, or life-giving (and have kami, or a god-like nature). In this respect, they’re tied to Shinto traditions. Here are a few examples:
  • お神様 (okamisama): God, or gods
  • お茶 (ocha): tea
  • お酒 (osake): rice wine
  • お金 (okane): money
  • お水 (omizu): water
  • ご両親 (goryoushin): parents
  • ご家族 (gokazoku): family
The general rule is if the word is Japanese in origin, it uses “o-”. And if it’s Chinese in origin (using the Chinese, or on-reading of kanji) then you use go-. But don’t worry too much about memorizing this! You’ll just pick it up as you use the words. The few mentioned here are most common, and many others you hardly hear. Even if you use the wrong prefix, don’t fret. Japanese speakers will still understand, and they know you’re learning. Other Japanese Formalities You Should Know Besides the main four honorifics you use on a personal level, there are other honorifics used based on specific job titles, relationships, and social situations. You can still always get by with -さん (-san), but sometimes more specific honorifics are more appropriate. Some even take place of the other person’s name altogether. Japanese Honorifics at Work In the office, you can call your coworkers -さん (-san) or even -ちゃん (-chan) or -くん (-kun), but what about your boss? When talking to your boss, you’ll call him 部長 (buchou). This means “manager,” and you can use it with their last name or without. For example, you can say “Tanaka-buchou” or just “Buchou.” Both are respectful. Same goes for the company president, which is 社長 (shachou). But, when you’re referring to someone else’s boss or president who works at a different company, you would use -様 (-sama). Japanese Honorifics in Newspapers, the News, and Formal Documents You will rarely hear this one in spoken speech outside of the news, but it’s a good one to know: -氏 (-shi). This one refers to you, the reader, as well as all the other readers of a formal letter, document, academic research paper, or newspaper article. It also refers to a famous person or person of interest in a news article or segment, whom the speaker has never met. Once it’s been used with the person’s name (for instance, “Tanaka-shi”), it's used by itself to refer to the person. Japanese Honorifics in School In school, you can address someone simply by their status title. You can call you teacher 先生 (sensei) or attach it to their name, like “Tanaka-sensei.” Even teachers who have a PhD, like in college, are often still called sensei. Sometimes you might hear these professors referred to as 博士 (hakase), or “Tanaka-hakase*. This isn’t common, but it translates as “Dr. Tanaka.” It’s more common in American schools to change the address of a teacher with a PhD, though. Besides teachers, there are also Japanese formalities for students above and below you. If you’re talking to an upper-classman, you would call them 先輩 (senpai), or “Tanaka-senpai.” For those in the class below you, you could say 後輩 (kouhai). But unlike senpai, which shows respect, kouhai can be a bit condescending. So, it’s not really used as an honorific suffix. Japanese Honorifics at Home Like I mentioned before, you use the o- prefix when talking to family members. Here’s a list of all those familial honorific titles:
  • Mom: お母さん (Okaasan) / 母 (Haha)
  • Dad: お父さん (Otousan) / 父 (Chichi)
  • Older brother: お兄さん (Oniisan) / 兄 (Ani)
  • Older sister: お姉さん (Oneesan) / 姉 (Ane)
  • Younger brother: 弟さん (Otoutosan) / 弟 (Otouto)
  • Younger sister: 妹さん (Imoutosan) / 妹 (Imouto)
  • Uncle: 叔父さん (Ojisan) / 叔父 (Oji)
  • Aunt: 叔母さん (Obasan) / 叔母 (Oba)
  • Grandfather: お祖父さん (Ojiisan) / 祖父 (Sofu)
  • Grandmother: お祖母さん (Obaasan) / 祖母 (Sobo)
You’ll also use these terms when talking about someone else’s family, such as 田中さんのお母さん (Tanakasan no Okaasan, “Mr. Tanaka’s mother”). But, for your own family, you use the “o-” prefix names only when talking to your family members, or about a family member to another family member. When talking about your own family to others outside your family circle, you would use their humble names. So, from above, “Okaasan” is formal and you call your mom by that name, as well as anyone else’s mom. When talking about your mom to others, you say “Haha.” The reason for that change? Japanese people like to show respect to their family and other people. But they prefer to be humble when talking about themselves and their family to others. That’s why you’ll never add an honorific to your own name when talking about yourself. And why you drop the respectful “o-” prefix names and opt for the humble names when talking about your own family. Japanese Honorifics in Relationships For boyfriends and girlfriends, you’ll often use -ちゃん or -くん, or call them by their name. You can also call them 彼 (kare, “he” or “boyfriend”) and 彼女 (kanojo, “she” or “girlfriend”) when talking to others. If you want to be especially romantic, you can use the person’s name plus のきみ (no kimi, like “Tanaka no kimi” or “Ayumi no kimi”) to say “My beloved.” It’s a bit heavy, and it’s mostly used in love letters. If you’re married, you can call your husband 夫 (otto) to others, and 旦那さん (dannasan) when talking to him. Dannasan is respectful, but also a bit “cute.” It’s almost like a form of PDA in Japanese, so usually, it’s said behind closed doors, while using “otto” in public. The same is true for 妻 (tsuma) and 奥さん (okusan). Tsuma is how you refer to your wife in public, while “okusan” is a cute, respectful term used when addressing your wife at home. If you’re talking or asking about someone else’s husband or wife, though, you would refer their husband as ご主人 (goshujin) and their wife as 奥さん (okusan). Japanese Honorifics With Kids When talking with children, it’s common to say -ちゃん or -くん, but there are a couple other cutesy names you can use! Especially for babies. -たん (-tan) is a form of baby talk, a mispronunciation of -chan by young children. It’s an affectionate term you can use for young children, especially toddlers. Like -chan, it’s used a bit more for girls than boys. Then there’s -ぼう (-bou), a cuter form of -kun used for young boys and toddlers. This one is only used for boys though because it means something like “little prince.” Japanese Honorifics in Religion In some faiths, you have priests and pastors. In Japanese, a priest (司祭, shisai) goes by 神父 (shinpu), which translates to the title of “Father” in English. In English, a Catholic priest can be just “Father”, of you can add their name, like “Father Dominic”. The same is true in Japanese. You can say Shinpu or ドミニク神父 (Dominiku-shinpu). In Protestant faiths, the church leader is 牧師 (bokushi), which means “pastor.” As with shinpu, you can use bokushi by itself to address the pastor of the church, or use it with their name like ドミニク牧師 (Dominiku-bokushi). Japanese Honorifics in Politics, Royalty, and Leadership There are a lot of titles for politicians, world leaders, and royalty. But the most common you’ll hear in Japanese are:
  • 首相 (shushou): prime minister
  • 大統領 (daitouryou): president
  • 皇帝 (koutei): emperor
  • 皇后 (kougou): empress
  • 閣下 (kakka): excellency, for heads of state, ambassadors, and other high-ranking dignitaries
  • 殿下(denka): royal highness
For example, 安倍首相 (Abe-Shushou, Prime Minister Abe) and トランプ大統領 (Toranpu-daitouryou, President Trump). For royalty, there's イギリスの殿下、エリザベス女王 (Igirisu no denka, Erizabesu-jou, “Her Highness of England, Queen Elizabeth”). And Emperor Akihito is 秋人皇帝 (Akihito-koutei) and his wife, Empress Michiko is みちこ皇后 (Michiko-kougou). There aren’t many left in the world, but a sovereign king or queen is 陛下 (heika) instead of denka, which is used for non-sovereign royalty. But 陛下 is still used when formally announced the emperor of Japan. For royal family members, you would say -王 (-ou) for king, -女王 (-jou) for queen, -王子 (-ouji) for prince, and -王女 (-oujo) for princess. Such as ハリー王子 (Harii-ouji, “Prince Harry”). Mastering Japanese Honorifics Takes Time but Goes a Long Way Phew! That’s a lot of Japanese titles and formalities. It takes time to master them all, but this is a good, large chunk of all the major ones you’ll hear in different social situations or while reading the news. If you master the main four you should know - san, sama, chan, and kun - you’ll be one step ahead and sure to make others happy with how polite you are in Japanese! Ready for more? Check out these amazing Japanese resources. Which honorifics do you use most? Have you tried to start using a few of them? Let me hear your experience with honorifics in the comments!

The post Japanese Honorifics: How to Show Respect in Japanese appeared first on Fluent in 3 months - Language Hacking and Travel Tips.

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Movies can bring us joy, laughter, and tears. They can also help us learn. In fact, they’re a valuable language learning tool! Watching Korean movies can be a great way to learn the language and culture. When you watch Korean movies, you hear the Korean language used in many ways and in situations that you won’t learn in a textbook or language app. You get valuable listening practice (when you’re actively listening). Plus, watching movies is one of the best ways to learn aspects of the culture you may not have understood or known. And obviously, one of the best reasons to learn this way? You get to enjoy must-watch Korean movies. That’s way more enjoyable than always staring at a vocab list! Of course, you’ll need to study Korean outside of movies, but that doesn’t change the fact that they can help instill what you learn. And it’s a good idea to learn a bit about the movies and related vocabulary beforehand, so you can pick out more as you listen and watch. If you hear phrases or words repeated often, write them down. You can look them up when the movie is over, and commit them to memory. So here are 10 of the best Korean films to get started with learning from movies. The Beauty Inside Hangul: 뷰티 인사이드 Released: 2015 Director: Jong-Yeoi Baek Genre: Romantic Comedy IMDb Rating: 7.4/10 On his 18th birthday, Woo-jin wakes up in a different body. And every day after that, when he wakes up, his body changes again. He could be anyone - any gender, ethnicity, or age. Sometimes he even speaks different languages! But he’s always himself on the inside. Then one day, he falls in love with a girl who doesn’t know the different people she talks to every day are really, in fact, Woo-jin. Romantic comedies like this are a fantastic way to pick up casual speech patterns and everyday language between couples, friends, and social situations. Oldboy Hangul: 올드보이 Released: 2003 Director: Chan-Wook Park Genre: Action Thriller IMDb Rating: 8.4/10 I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this legendary movie. It’s ranked as one of the top Korean movies and started the revenge genre trend. Based on the Japanese manga of the same name, Oldboy is about a man who was kidnapped and held hostage for 15 years. Without ever knowing his captor or their motive, he is suddenly released. He ends up caught up in a game of manipulation, violence, and conspiracy as he seeks vengeance. Get ready for some intense Korean verbiage, phrases, and idioms. You’ll be exposed to many ways of speaking in Korean that you might not hear often in your own everyday life. Train to Busan Hangul: 부산행 Released: 2016 Director: Sang-ho Yeon Genre: Apocalyptic thriller IMDb Rating: 7.5/10 This movie is widely popular and broke records for moviegoing attendance. It’s considered one of the best Korean films in recent years. It takes place on a train from Seoul to Busan as a zombie apocalypse breaks out in the country. An infected passenger boards the train at the beginning of the journey and the outbreak spreads among the cars as passengers fight for survival. You’ll hear all kinds of formal, informal, and hierarchical speech patterns from children, families, the news, and more. You’ll also learn crucial vocab you’d need to survive should a zombie apocalypse happen! The Attorney Hangul: 변호인 Released: 2013 Director: Woo-seok Yang Genre: Drama IMDb Rating: 7.7/10 This movie’s based on a true story during the Chun Doo-hwan authoritarian era. Members of a book club are arrested without warrants by the government under falsified charges, claiming they’re North Korean sympathizers. This leads a tax attorney from Busan to defend his old friend and other book club members in court. That tax attorney was Roh Moo-hyun, who became the 16th president of South Korea and a face for human rights. Not only is this movie great for learning a bit of Korean history, you’ll learn political and court-related terms in Korean, too. Veteran Hangul: 베테랑 Released: 2015 Director: Seung-wan Ryoo Genre: Action Comedy IMDb Rating: 7.0/10 Seo Do-cheol is a tough veteran detective who takes on a high-profile investigation that leads him to a young millionaire, Jo Tae-oh… who happens to be the third-generation heir to a huge conglomerate. Jo Tae-oh uses his wealth, power, and connections to stay one step ahead of Seo and his team. But the detective is relentless and continues to hunt him down. Get ready to expand your crime vocab in Korean! You’ll be exposed to varying speech patterns from both Seo and Jo, and learn phrases relating to law enforcement, businesses, and more. My Wife is a Gangster Hangul: 조폭 마누라 Released: 2001 Director: Jin-gyu Cho Genre: Action Comedy IMDb Rating: 6.5/10 The orphan-turned-Kkangpae leader (the Korean mafia) Eun-jin discovers her long lost sister is dying of cancer. To make her sister’s dying wish a reality, she marries a kind man and hides her gangster life from him. Eventually, he finds out and tries to get Eun-jin to give up the mafia life. Cue tons of gang fighting. If mafia-style movies are your thing, there are two more “My Wife is a Gangster” movies following this one. You’ll learn about the Kkangpae and hear those unique speech patterns. Plus, there’s a lot of repetitive words and phrases to pick up on and memorize. Inside Men Hangul: 내부자들 Released: 2015 Director: Min-ho Woo Genre: Action IMDb Rating: 7.0/10 A political action/drama movie following the fight between power, vengeance, and success. Lee Kang-hee, an influential editor, uses the power of the press and secret deals to manipulate the political system. He pushes for Jang Pil-woo to win the Presidency during elections. One of their former henchmen, who was treated ruthlessly when caught, seeks revenge while a detective relentlessly investigates Lee and Jang. You’ll learn everything from newspaper verbiage to political vocab and phrases in this one. Listen for how the characters change their speech patterns based on each other’s status. How to Steal a Dog Hangul: 개를 훔치는 완벽한 방법 Released: 2014 Director: Sung-ho Kim Genre: Family IMDb Rating: 7.0/10 Ji-so lives in her van with her mom and brother after being abandoned by her father when he went bankrupt. After seeing a poster offering a reward for a lost dog, Ji-so comes up with a plan to kidnap dogs from wealthy families. She later returns the dog to claim the reward, so she can save up money to buy her family a home. Of course, she’s a bit misguided and runs into issues along the way, but all’s well that ends well. Pay attention to the hierarchical speech patterns related to social status, as well as kid-friendly speech. Besides, who doesn’t love a lighthearted movie with dogs? The Wailing Hangul: 곡성 Released: 2016 Director: Hong-jin Na Genre: Horror IMDb Rating: 7.4/10 A stranger arrives at a remote village in the mountains in South Korea. Suddenly an infectious, murderous disease spreads among the villagers. Police officer Jong-goo investigates the case and struggles to find the truth as he learns about his daughter’s infection. The deeper he gets into the case, the stranger and darker it becomes. If horror movies are your thing, there’s plenty of vocab specific to this genre that will help you when watching more horror movies. Try to reiterate what happened in the movie later in Korean so you can practice telling your own ghost stories! Wonderful Nightmare Hangul: 미쓰 와이프 Released: 2015 Director: Hyo-jin Kang Genre: Romantic Comedy IMDb Rating: 7.1/10 If you like the American TV show “The Good Place,” you’ll probably like this Korean rom-com. Yeon-woo wakes up in heaven after a car accident, only to discover that a clerical error led to her accidental death. In order to go back to her life, she must live as another woman for just one month. She struggles with adjusting to this temporary life where she is married to a civil servant with two daughters. But she grows into a better person along the way. There’s a lot of different grammar patterns, vocab, and ways of speaking you can listen for, especially within Yeon-woo’s temporary new family dynamic. Which Korean Movies Will You Watch? These are 10 of the best Korean movies (and some of the all-time most popular) to watch and learn from. Movies can be entertaining, but remember to actively listen. Try not to tune out and only read the subtitles while you’re watching. Instead, listen and learn the speech patterns and tones. If you want some tips for improving your Korean language skills while watching movies, try using the transcription technique for grasping what you hear. And if you binge all these movies and you’re ready for something else, try Korean dramas next. Which Korean movies will you start watching? Do you have a favorite movie genre in Korean? Or were any of your favorite Korean movies not on the list? Share with us in the comments!

The post 10 Must-Watch Korean Movies to Fall in Love With As You Learn Korean appeared first on Fluent in 3 months - Language Hacking and Travel Tips.

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A tear rolls down my cheek as I listen to her story. My friend lost her cat to a spinal cord injury. Minou was a handsome round-faced tabby with a fluffy racoon tail. With swollen red eyes, my friend shares intimate details of her cat’s unsuccessful surgery. After a long silence, I hand her a tissue and we break into laughter. The joke eases our sadness for the moment. What exactly was the joke? I was attempting to hand my dear friend a tissue through my computer screen. She was in France while I was sitting in California. We started out as language exchange partners, chatting on Skype. A year later, we are genuine friends. I have strong bonds with my Francophone friends because I made language exchange a key part of my learning. Let’s be honest. Speaking to a new person in your target language can be intimidating. It takes guts and a hardy dose of grit to create a sustainable language exchange. The first time I did it, I not only suffered from insomnia the night before. I also sounded weird during the exchange. My brain was so busy finding words that I had the social skills of a baby moose (more on that in a moment). First, let me begin with how I started. I Started by Talking to Strangers Two of my regular language partners were complete strangers to me when we started meeting on Skype. Both found me using italki’s notebook section. For writing practice, I submit one or two posts in my target language every week on italki’s notebook section. These folks corrected my French, we got to talking, and things worked out from there. If you’re looking for a language exchange partner, I recommend that you start by connecting with people online (who speak your target language) on a regular basis. You can do that on italki, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or online forums, or plenty of other online platforms. Do this, and you will make friends who speak your target language. Then you can ask if they’d like to hang out. I Was Persistent and I Didn’t Give Up When I was looking for a language exchange partner, I contacted several of the native speakers who corrected my notebook submissions on [italki](http://fluentin3months.com/italki]. Using the same email message, I asked if they would be available for a weekly chat. Out of ten sent messages, a retired Belgium man was the only one to reply. If you’re anything like me, you’ll hit a few dead ends before you find a good fit. As for my French partner, she contacted me after she corrected one of my notebook entries. I responded to her with a similar generic text. I Use a Simple Contact Script Here’s the message I use when I contact a potential language exchange partner. Feel free to use it yourself!
Thank you for contacting me, Jean. It would be a pleasure to speak with you and practice our target languages together. I am available Monday, Wednesday or Saturday at 15h30/Paris time next week. If you'd like, we can talk for an hour (30 minutes in English, 30 minutes in French) or a half hour (15 minutes & 15 minutes). If you pick a time, I'll meet you on Skype. Language learning should be fun. I'm a helpful language partner because I speak clearly and have a friendly demeanor. I would write this in French as well but I have to get ready for work. Wishing you all the best on your language learning journey, Elizabeth
I’ve Made the Chats Part of My Routine You brush your teeth every morning. I hope. You go grocery shopping every Thursday after work. These simple tasks are part of your routine. You don’t think about it. You just do it. By setting up a chat at the same time every week, having a language exchange becomes as easy as walking your dog: Language exchange has been a regular part of my weekly routine for over a year now. It’s the main reason I am so comfortable when talking to strangers in my target language. During our recurring sessions, I speak with my language exchange partners for 30 minutes in French followed by 30 minutes in English. After months of weekly chats with my language buds, I find myself forgetting that I’m speaking French. It’s an extraordinary feeling, and one that you can experience too -- as soon as you find a language exchange partner. I Share My Interests in My Online Profiles Your online profile will help potential exchange partners find common ground with you. Hat tip to Lindsay Williams for that handy-dandy hint. When you’re on a language exchange website such as italki, potential exchange partners will pop over to your profile to see if you have anything in common to talk about. You can share your favorite movies, music or hobbies in your profile. I enjoy the art of language learning so much I included the tools I use. Here’s a peek at my profile. My husband and I love visiting Paris as well as other areas in Europe. I've wanted to learn a second language ever since I was a little girl. My current goal is to learn French to B2 level. Once I've reached that level, I will learn Spanish and Chinese. Some of my favorite study habits and apps: I Set Expectations Right from the Start As you can see in my contact script above, I list my availability so that my potential exchange partner can choose the best time for her. I also made sure to explain how the language exchange would work. Setting the 50% French / 50% English expectation makes it easy to stick to this guideline. A few people responded that they would be happy to chat but preferred to meet spontaneously. That didn’t work for me and I responded with a polite, “No, thank you” message. I wasn’t interested in hunting for a partner every week. For me, that would be like hiding my toothbrush in a different room every morning. Practicing your target language is a challenging mental workout. Routine can make it a little easier. As I mentioned earlier, most people never even responded. It’s a numbers game, folks. Don’t get discouraged. Keep trying. I Let Go When Exchanges Didn’t Work Out One language exchange partner that was not a fit was Maxime. I enjoyed talking to him. His patient demeanor made me comfortable while fumbling with my beginner level French. But, he was late. A lot. He would send me a message saying he would be five minutes late due to an important work meeting. Then he’d show up 20 minutes past the agreed start time. I’m not big on drama. And there is no need to school a grown man. Besides, I couldn’t lambast him in French just yet. After he was late for the third time, I told him that I was no longer available and that I would call him if I had time. By letting him go, I made space in my life for the best language buds to arrive. Our energetic life is much like tending a garden. New growth will not occur until there is space available. Keep your language plot weeded and you’ll be amazed at the beautiful flowers that grow with a few organic seeds. I Keep It Even, Steven (My Sunny California Smile Helps Here) I listened to Olly Richards speaking about a language exchange partner gone rogue. After they spoke in English for 30 minutes or so, he attempted to switch to his target language but she refused. He’s way more polite than me. He didn’t come right out and tell her it was time to speak in his target language. He was smart enough to refrain from scheduling a second exchange. As for me, I’m pretty American in that I would have said with my sunny California smile something to the effect of “Okay! French time now.” I've got a secret weapon. I grew up on the East Coast where being frank is a regional pastime. It comes in handy when used sparingly. Actually, I have said, “Okay! French time now,” when my language partner and I get carried away in our conversation. I am fair. I do the same when it’s time for English. I wait for my partner to take a breath between sentences and then I say gently, “Ok, English now." Then I start answering only in the correct language. It’s become so normal that we continue the subject in the new language. I Make Sure: Same Time, Same Place, Same Coffee I keep to a routine, and it works well for me. I do my language exchanges first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee. Actually, I usually go for hot water. But you get the idea. With this routine, having a goal of 120 minutes of speaking French per week is not only possible, it’s easy. I talk to my buds before starting my day. I plunk down on my meditation bench for a morning mind bath. I brush my teeth. And on a good day, I do five minutes of yoga before a session but everything else happens after we chat. I Cheat on My Language Partners (They Forgive Me, Honestly) I usually surpass my weekly goal of 120 minutes because I have more than one language bud. But why have more than one? Because people get sick. Because people go on vacation. Because life happens. It’s helpful to have partners with different accents, speech patterns and interests. My American partner laughs with me when we can’t figure out how to translate a phrase we use in English like “binge-watch” or the not-used-nearly-enough “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. My Belgium partner uses simple sentences. He remembers what it was like to learn a second, third and fourth language. My French partner shows me what American culture looks like through her eyes. They are each fascinating in their own way. I’m Prepared for a Mental Workout While Simultaneously Sounding like a Preschooler It takes courage to set up a language exchange appointment. It takes even more courage to show up. The first month of weekly language exchanges was the hardest for me. My French speaking muscles hadn’t developed yet. I suffered insomnia. It was due to a mixture of excitement and terror the night before each appointment. My husband would find me staring off into a corner while mumbling to myself in French. Poor fella. He thought I’d gone mad. As it turns out, I was practicing my introductions. During the first few weeks, I would also run out of things to say during our chats. My brain was so busy finding words that I had the social skills of a baby moose. Someone would ask me how I was doing. After five minutes of sputtering, I would finally mumble Ça va (“It's going well”). This extremely impressive two-word sentence was then followed by a very long, very awkward silence. I completely forgot to ask them how they were doing. I’ve Learned that “Baby Moose Phase” Is Normal It gets better with practice, I promise. But it will only get better if you practice. The first month of conversations were choppy and uncomfortable. I jumped all over the place. Talking to me in French was like talking to a four year old. A four year old who had minutes ago eaten two gigantic popsicles followed by a 20 ounce Red Bull. “I like frogs. Do you like the beach? Yesterday, we went to the park. Where does your mom live?” My famous phrase for changing subjects was, “I want to talk about…” And off we’d go. How to Be a Great Language Exchange Partner in 5 Simple Steps Quoting Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Or in the case of a language exchange, be the language partner you wish to see in your world. It’s quite simple. Step 1: Be on time. I set up Skype before brushing my teeth. I learned the hard way. I missed out on 20 minutes of an exchange because my fickle computer decided it was time to update and restart. Step 2: Be courteous. I emailed my language partner with a sincere apology. I also promised to let her know when my computer was working again. Her time is valuable. So, I keep delays to a minimum. Step 3: Put your freaking phone down. And keep it out of reach during the entire conversation. Trust me. It won’t kill you. There is no greater killjoy than to struggle in a target language while the other person sneaks a text. Not cool! Step 4: Invest in a headset with a decent microphone. It’s hard enough speaking in your target language. Add not hearing the other person or sounding muffled. You can turn a lovely exchange into an annoying experience. For 10 bucks, you can miss out on the madness. Your headset doesn’t need to be fancy. I have two sets near my study chair. If one poops out (which does happen), it doesn’t ruin the whole conversation. Step 5: Be a cheerleader. Positive feedback to a language learner is like sunshine on a plant. Give it freely. Give it often. Give it wholeheartedly. Some of the things I say to my language partners are quite simple. Your sentences have better flow this week. That’s great. I noticed you are looking up words less and less on Google Translate. Way to go! It’s actually quite touching to see my language friends bask in the glow of their improvements. Ready. Set. Exchange! What I know for sure is that language exchange has made my language learning come alive. It's unnerving to take the plunge but so worth it. I wish you the best of luck luck with your language exchange adventures. Have you ever tried a language exchange? I'd love to hear your two cents' worth.

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A big challenge for people learning a new language is failure. Who wants to be wrong? I know that I hate feeling I’ve messed up. Yet you can't learn a language if you can't accept failure. Falling in love with your mistakes is the key to confident conversations in a new language. Follow these easy steps to learn to fall in love with your mistakes and make rapid progress towards your language goals. Step 1: Put on the Mindset of a Top Athlete Most of us will never be Olympians or professional athletes. Nevertheless, we can learn a lot from the way these top performers train to improve their skills. Athletes set goals and train hard. They also take care of themselves with time to recover, rest and have fun. This approach allows them to improve and get stronger. Successful language learners do these same things. In addition to establishing a learning routine that is consistent, fun and allows for steady progress, athletes have an even more powerful secret to their success. Their secret? Resilience. How many times do you see a player get tackled in a football game? A baseball player strike out? A missed goal? These failures happen in every game. Yet despite these setbacks, players still get back up and keep playing. Mistakes can be embarrassing. Many a Spanish learner has told people that they were embarazada (pregnant) instead of avergonzada (embarrassed). I had a taxi drop me at a Korean television station (MBC) instead of the embassy I requested. I also once thanked an elderly French woman for giving me a disease when I wanted to compliment her on her kindness! All-star athletes like Tom Brady wouldn't be playing if they let every mistake stop them. They get back up and keep going. Otherwise, they would never be top performers. Treat yourself like a top athlete by getting a regular workout and keep communicating despite your mistakes. Language learning is a marathon, not a sprint. The stronger you are, the longer the distance you'll be able to run. Try, fall down, and get back up every day in your target language. Step 2: Seek Out Failure You can’t learn a new language without making a lot of mistakes. Don't resist making them by staying in your comfort zone. Avoid mistakes and you avoid progress. Small children make tons of mistakes learning to speak. Do we tell them to stop speaking until they can do it perfectly? No, we help by listening, encouraging them, and providing quality language input. Have that same compassion and patience with yourself. Step 3: Use “Linguistic Tasks” to Focus on What You CAN Do (Not on What You Can’t) Focus on what you can do, and that will provide you with what you need to be able to develop your language skills. Can you only respond with one word? Say it. Did you mispronounce something? Try again. Each attempt brings you closer to mastery. One of the most helpful tools I have found as a language learner and a language teacher is tasks. Linguistic tasks are specific things a person can do in a language. A task might be renting a car, or understanding a shopping list. They are practical real-world prompts to build and measure your skills. Step 4: Speak from Day One Speak from day one, and do it every day. It gives you the perfect opportunity to keep making mistakes! Plus you’ll assimilate, process and experiment with all of the words and phrases you are learning. When you speak with a native speaker (or even a highly proficient non-native speaker), not only are you doing important problem solving with the language you've already learned, you are getting new language from that other person to keep and use yourself. Learning from input and testing yourself with your output regularly is the key to rapid progress. Try italki to start speaking your target language with a tutor from the start. They can model correct language use for you, as well as provide you with a lot of new language that you can use in future conversations - just as the adults in your life did for you as you learned your native language. Too shy to dive in with a native speaker now? Talk to yourself first. You won't get the same input that you would get by talking to native speakers, but it is a great way to work through your shyness. Record yourself. Absolute beginners can even read through vocabulary lists or a dialogue. As your confidence builds, start recording yourself without vocabulary aids. Talk regularly about any topic you wish without worrying about mistakes, and feel yourself reaching fluency fast. If you want to ever be able to speak a language fluently, you will have to have to work through a lot of mistakes first. A workout routine of trial and error will help you do just that. Step 5: Use Mistakes to Fail Forward There is no more useful test for language learners than mistakes. When you speak and write, your errors and gaps in knowledge show themselves. For example, you might not have the word you're looking for or can't remember a certain verb ending. Instead of feeling bad, take this valuable feedback as an indication of where to focus during your next study session. Fill those gaps by finding the words and phrases you didn't know or by reviewing your verb conjugations. Use your mistakes to fail forward. To get good quality feedback on your mistakes, you can share your writing with your italki teacher, or an online community like Rhinospike. You will find the grammar and vocabulary you learn in context far more helpful than anything from a textbook. Step 6: Remember, You Will Get to Automatic Just as you learned that 1+1=2, you will learn the patterns and structures of your target language and not forget them. Math and languages have a great deal in common. They both deal with symbols and sounds that represent ideas and values to us. When you learned arithmetic, you learned it so well that many calculations eventually became easy and almost automatic. You likely made some errors along the way, but the practice and feedback helped cement the algorithms in your mind. Practice makes perfect, and mistakes are part of that process.

The post Learn Any Language Faster: 6 Easy Steps to Falling in Love with Your Mistakes appeared first on Fluent in 3 months - Language Hacking and Travel Tips.

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