9 Surprising Facts About the English Language


If you can successfully read and understand this article, you’re among the world’s 1.5 billion English speakers. Indeed, almost 1 in 5 people speaks English either as a first or a second language. But in addition to its immense worldwide prevalence, English has a lot of interesting quirks – ones that will surprise even native(…)

9 Surprising Facts About the Russian Language


So you’ve learned about the rise and fall of the USSR, you’ve read Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and you’ve even listened to some operas by Tchaikovsky. But how much do you really know about the Russian language? Did you know that astronauts have to learn Russian before going into space? Or that Russian speakers are(…)

No, You Can’t Teach Your Furby to Swear: How Furbies “Learn” Language


There are few toys as emblematic of the 90s as the classic Furby. In their prime, the owl-like creatures found their way into millions of homes, constituting one of the most pervasive (perhaps inexplicably so) fads of the era. Though considered by some to be a beloved household pet, the Furby’s eerie human-like nature has(…)

7 Linguists Who Changed the Game


We’ve all heard of famous physicists like Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein; everyone knows the names of famous composers like Beethoven, Bach, and Brahms. But how many people can claim that they know the names of some of the most influential linguists? Indeed, important names in linguistics have not quite infiltrated the mainstream in the(…)

6 Creative Ways to Be Social When Learning a Language


Language is inherently social: after all, the whole point of language is to allow humans to communicate with each other. Therefore, if you’re learning a foreign language, it makes sense to be as social as possible: learning with others is fun, motivating, and will help you learn faster. However, if you don’t know where to(…)

5 Common Mistakes that Students of Italian Make


Learning a foreign language isn’t easy. And Italian, with its seemingly infinite verb endings and complicated pronouns, presents a challenge even to the most studious learner. While making mistakes is an inevitable part of the language learning process, there are some common errors that are easy to avoid. Differentiate yourself from the average Italian student:(…)

5 Reasons Why English Isn’t as Hard as You Think


It’s not easy to learn a new language, and English is no exception. With a daunting list of prepositions and a complicated spelling system that gives endless grief even to native speakers, it’s no wonder that the English language poses a serious challenge to learners worldwide. But learning English isn’t all blood, sweat, and tears.(…)

5 Reasons Why Japanese Isn’t As Hard As They Say


Japanese is notorious for being a difficult language to learn, especially for English speakers. While some aspects of Japanese, such as its writing system, are admittedly challenging, there are plenty of other features of the language that are surprisingly simple! In fact, in many ways, Japanese is less grammatically complex than English. Here are some(…)

4 Reasons Why Portuguese Isn’t as Hard as You Think


With over 200 million speakers and growing, Portuguese is one of the top spoken languages in the world, and is used widely in many fields such as business and tourism. For English speakers, however, learning Portuguese grammar can be an intimidating prospect. But don’t let its unfamiliar nasal sounds and numerous verb conjugations intimidate you:(…)

The 5 Hardest Things about Learning Japanese


Due to Japan’s influence in international business and culture, there are plenty of native English speakers who have learned to speak Japanese with proficiency. If you ask them if their journey to fluency was easy, however, they’ll likely respond with a resounding “no”. Indeed, for a variety of reasons, Japanese is challenging for English speakers.(…)